Batemans XXXB | George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

very good
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Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB

Brewed by:
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2002

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 139
Photo of Reidrover
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1Pint .09oz bottle. 5% alc, From Capital Market, Salem.$4.49 Pale brown ale with a nice half inch eggshell white coloured head. LOvelly English malt nose..delightful as usual..caramel, fresh cut hay..nice. Smooth caramel, slightly toasty taste, the hops are underneath the chewy malts until near the end of the mouthful when they appear for a pleasing bitter end. Rather nice on the palate. Smooth and not too complex!( somethimes that is good in a beer). Overall a very nice English ale.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Unfortunately as I later found out this is classified as a English brown rather a pale ale as indicated on label.

A: Old coppery-penny color with a bubbly and froamy sandy-beige had of average retention. A spacious macro-bubbly carbonation is stead-fast as it rises providing a fair and average coverage for lace.

S: Biscuity and dry maltiness on the opening aroma. A hint of peppery flower and dry fruit along with a leafy green hopping, vague in distinction that is followed by a trailing dry malt sweetness.

T: Spicy with a dry nutty and malty residue. Silty maltiness with a light peppery nature along with some green leafy character of fennel, tea leafs, and basil. A light fruity nature moves in with a warm holiday spicing. Nice malt-base more so then the hop level (I originally thought this was a pale from the label) with a fruitiness of green melon lying buried beneath the residual malting.

M: Milky feel with a nice tingle of carbonation. Malty lace with a spicy touch on the close.

D: Average enjoyment factor, malty, making for a nice fall style beer but in limited quantities.

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Photo of Rayek
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic.

A: Hazy copper with light carbonation from fine bubbles. A rocky cream cap slowly falls to a patchwork quilt of foam. Leaves lots of lace.

S: I picked up a healthy dose of anise and black tea right out of the gate. Some bittersweet toffee and a hint of lemon sit behind them.

T: Starts out with bittersweet toffee and an almost leathery flavor. Bitterness is sharp and packs an acidic black tea bite. The beer gets a bit sour toward the end.

M: The light body is doughy and a bit too tingly.

D: This is a nice beer that felt like it would be much better fresh in a pub than out of a bottle shipped across the Atlantic.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.31/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into Erdinger pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a dark gold/light brown. Other reviews describe this beer's colour as copper. I suppose that applies. Three finger thick, creamy head. Quite nice.

Sm: Light clean scent - the usual suspects: barley, hops, some malt.

T: Balanced body. Hint of nut. Bitter finish typical of pale ales.

Mf: Too smooth, too wet. A bit coarser at the finish but this doesn't save it.

Dr: Too costly for its quality. Look elsewhere. Advertised as a pale ale.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky tea color with a very nice, foamy head that leaves clumps of lace

Smell: Fruity, with apple and pear dominant; undertones of fig and tea-like earthy hops

Taste: Fruity, up front, with the apple, pear and fig elements quickly pairing off with the herbal hops; after the swallow, the tea-like element balances out some of the sweeter flavors in the malt profile; mineral flavors linger in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with gentle carbonation - cask in a bottle?

Drinkability: Much better than the Combined Harvest, but still suffers from a bit too much sweetness relative to the hops

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Photo of charlatan
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours somewhere between brick and ruby red in colour with a head which rapidly dissipates to a thin ring around the rim and a small island. The nose is dominated by dried fruit, probably fig.

This is less sweet and more biscuity than i had imagined with enough hop bite to give it a clean and refreshing herbal finish. Definitely a well balanced beer with much to recommend it.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle 4,8% Abv

Appearance: Batemans XXXB pours a beautiful shade of copper red and has a good sized and fairly creamy caramel coloured head that has pretty good retention and leaves some decent lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly the nose is malt dominated, but who said that was a bad thing? Toasted malt is well appreciated with biscuity, caramelized sugar and toffee aromas, there is some fruitiness - over-ripe red apples - and some spicy, almost tea-like hops (hop aroma becomes stronger as the beer warms) that round out the nose

Taste: As with the nose, the taste is malt dominated. Caramel (with a hint of candy sugar), toasted bread and bruised/over-ripe apples are all present and are followed by a pretty good English hop flavour that has hints of high quality tea and is fairly spicy. The finish is fairly bitter, but a little more bitterness could only improve the beer.

Mouthfeel: A tad fuller than medium bodied with perfect, understated and gently smooth carbonation, a real pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: I wish my local served this one, I could see it being one of my choice ales when having a pint with friends. A very enjoyable and drinkable beer that I will be sure to have again.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Into a British pint glass, poured copper-red with more carbonation than expected, two fingers of beige head, great retention, and good lacing. The nose revealed the traditional expected notes of apple, pear, biscuit, and malt. The taste began with toast, biscuit, toffee, and caramel, dissolving to the aforementioned fruity flavors, and then finishing on a bitter dry toffee note. Smooth, yet slightly spritzy medium body. Excellent session beer with a great flavor progression.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes! Pleasure to have come across this ale stateside. Saw this brewery featured in Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter television series.

Hmm. If you've had a Fuller's ESB (or other British bitter, for that matter) - that's the smell. Mild, by American standards, but actually, this one packs a tiny bit more bitterness and fruitiness than a Fuller's, et al. I wouldn't characterize the bitter as "hoppy" per se - perhaps ever-so-subtly. But you must know what you're looking for in a bitter from the isle. This delivers. It's modestly fabulous.

The bitter character is fantastic. I really dig this utilization of hops. Getting some caramel notes and the fruitiness is in check. Artfully balanced.

Rich and smooth feel, solid stalwart body. Wonderfully bitter aftertaste that emerges glacially and inhabits every corner of mouth. Mildly peppery as well.

Had quite a few bitters from the UK and this may be the most bitter. Up against many American versions, it stands up strong and can trade some blows. I'd be delighted to drink this again whenever.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice coppery colour. Very clear with a large-bubbled head of yellowish white foam. Lacing is only speckles of sticking bubbles down the edge of the glass, but it looks decent all up.

Quite malty on the nose. Bit of grain bag rustic character, and a whiff of banana phenols. Malt is dominant though, with some toffee and caramel notes, and just a hint of roastiness. Quite nice all up.

Taste is similar - very big on the malt, with more of an emphasis on roasted grain. Fresh wholegrain bread spread with molasses. Slightly astringent finish as the roasted character lends some bitterness. Still, it's very full bodied for the most part, very sweet, rich and grain-heavy. Mouthfeel is round without being cloying. Good.

A very full-flavoured beer, almost too heavy to drink much of, despite its relatively low strength. Still, I enjoyed it as an experience - maybe not something I'd seek out regularly though.

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Photo of morimech
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brownish amber color with two inches of solid head that had great retention. When the head does settle, it keeps a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Pleasant aroma of toasted bread, black tea, and citrus fruit. The addition of American Liberty hops threw me a little in this English ale but it compliments the beer nicely. I love the flavor of this beer. The malt sweetness is kept in check. Slightly toasted malt upfront before the hops add their flavors. The Goldings are detected first with some herbal and peppery flavor, then the citrus notes come in the finish. Has a nice rich mouthfeel for such a low ABV beer. My bottle says 5.0% ABV. Nice soft carbonation that is trying to mimic an ale on cask. Very drinkable with its low ABV and pleasant features.

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Photo of timholio
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and mild. I would drink this again. Lite in the ABV which is great.

I would drink this again. Fullers ESB has way more taste than this though but this is a lighter beer.

I prefer Fullers London Pale Ale which is very similar in style but the fullers is more distinctive. I would reach for this when you want a decent session ESB that is lower in alcohol.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light copper orange with a good sized, foamy white head.

S - Lots of malt on the nose, sweet caramel, toffee, and bread. Faint hop presence.

T - Those malt flavors are prominent and make up the base. A bit of buttery flavor with the breadiness. There is some hop flavors that go in and out of this base. They are fairly faint though. A bit of citrus hop and some earthy/floral. The hops are a bit stronger during the finish, also finishes with some mineral and a bit of pepper.

M - Medium to light body and average carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D - Good drinkability. Balanced and smooth.

Notes: Not an amazing beer, but alright if you just want a beer to sip on casually.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this one for awhile. I love a good English ale.

A: Fits nicely into my English Imerial pint glass. A beautiful amber. The head starts at 1 inch but dies fast. Carbonation is a little on the high end to make this a 5.

S: Toffee, biscut, and a some caramel from the malts. The hops are floral and tea-like. Faint earthiness and some mild fruitiness from the English yeast.

T: Tons of great English character. Biscut and toffee are the main thing I pick up. The caramel comes out as well. The hops are very nice and provide a tea-like flavor with a hint of spiciness. The beer finishes with some faint fruitiness and just a hint of butteriness. A treat for those who like a good English ale. Lots of flavor for a low ABV. Bitterness is spot on for the style.

M: Light bodied, crisp and clean on the tongue. Too much carbonation for a traditional English beer, but I can deal with it.

D: All around, a great example of an English ESB. Right on for the style. Very flavorful and quite sessionable. Why the hell did I only buy one bottle? I must get more.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a murky amber, even an aggressive pour results in fast leaving scant head. Some cling lace and ring remains.

S - Sweet malt and a bit of port. Maybe a little oxidized?

T - Initial malt sweetness, ends almost excessively dry.

M - Somewhat creamy at first, light bodied, good carb.

D - Not one of my favorites. Had a 9.09 date on it. I gather that might be the best by and maybe why it has a bit of a stale port feel to it and doesn't finish the way I had hoped.

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Photo of mheberger
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been really into trying more classic English Ales after getting the book "The Ale Trail" by Roger Protz.

Picked this up at the neighborhood discount grocery store... and was very intrigued by the combination of English Goldings hops and American Liberty hops, plus the addition of some wheat.

Very drinkable, lightly carbonated, very little head. Predominantly bitter on the palate, with some peppery notes, but not much flowers or citrus like you would expect from an ale hopped with Fuggles.

The Batemans website calls it "Grainy, Gristy & Gratifying". Yup.

I can see sticking with this one over an evening, and downing several pints of this bitter. I'd serve it a bit warmer though, maybe 55º plus. Recommended.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Yellowy red, very scant head, even on a rough pour. Tiny white ring that leaves thin streaky lacing. Red scotch.

Buttery, buttered bread or biscuits. A touch of honeyed sweetness. Low power nose. I'm trying but there just isn't much. Bread yeast.

Butterscotch diacetyl with a twang. Very light grassy matte bitterness. When warmer there is a light caramel evident. I think this brewery's yeast has a "bring on the diacetyl" attitude.

Very light. Barely present carbonation which I like. Thin, but a little more substantial than the multi-grain harvest beer from Bateman's.

Easy to down but not too interesting. As I stated in my other Bateman's review: these came from a discount grocer and I can't postulate as to their age.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brilliant copper hue with an eggshell colored head that settles quickly. Remaining is a thin film on the surface. Lacing is decent as well.

S: Bready malt and sweet fruits are present on the nose, with a sharp, floral hop character.

T: Malt is dominant in this brew, with hints of rising bread dough, caramel, and butterscotch. Floral, fruity hop notes give the beer a nice bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied, viscous and full of flavor. The finish is long and drying.

D: Overall, a solid ESB. I could drink this on an everyday basis.

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Photo of LittleCreature
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Pours a thumb's width of foamy, cream coloured head that steadily reduced to a thin layer over a clear body of bright copper-red.

Smell - 4.0
Rich aroma of biscuity and toffeeish malt, tangy fruit and spicy hops.

Taste - 4.0
Big flavour for an ale of just 4.8% abv; sweet biscuity malt, a dab of butter, plummy fruitiness, spicy, peppery hops, and a touch of aniseed. Substantial bitterness and sweetness battle for supremecy, but the finish is actually quite dry and clean.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
A full bodied ale with a low level of carbonation and fine bead.

Drinkability - 4.0
Too strongly flavoured to be sessionable, but so very tasty and moreish.

Excellent in the bottle, I can only imagine how good this real ale would be from the cask. A very good example of one of my favourite styles. It is so full in flavour that I would recommend drinking a little colder than is the norm for real ale to enhance its drinkability.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Turbid copper color. Aroma of toffee/ caramel (Sugar Daddies and Heath bars) and faintly nutty.

Wow, the aroma totally misleads as the flavor side-steps into dusty-dry, biscuity territory, with a hint of marmite, and a touch of earthy hop bitterness on the finish.

It's been a long while since I've had a beer where the aroma was distinctly different from the flavor.

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Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a bubbly tan head. Trailing lace slides down the glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is biscuity - classic Maris Otter malt aroma with a touch of caramel. A nice peppery/citric touch mixes in.

The taste is biscuity with caramel. A kiss of sweetness turns to a dry, leafy, peppery/spicy finish with an interesting, subtle, mild wheat tang.

It has a smooth medium body.

Nicely balanced and unique. It has nice subtle complexities. Easy to drink and enjoyable!

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Photo of Pecorasc
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of the 1 pt. .09 oz brown bottle into a wine glass. Interesting ledge shape on neck of the bottle.

Medium to deep amber in color. Extremely clear. Low carbonation. Frothy, rocky head with all different sized bubbles that appear creep up the sides of the glass.

Aroma of toffee and butterscotch, subtle goldings.

Great toffee flavor (heathbar), carmel, appropriate diacetyl. The bitterness is restrained, but very balanced.

This beer has substance. Feels much more carbonated than it looks in the glass.

As far as drinkability, mission accomplished. One pint won't do. Could have drank 2 or 3.

Surprised to see American Liberty and wheat listed as ingredients. Very fine ale, nicely done.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy pumpkin with golden honeycomb highlights. The firmly creamy crown is the color of buttered wheat toast and is a good match for the beer on which it sits. Longevity, plenty of character during melting and extensive glass coverage... what more could one want?

Triple XB doesn't smell very hoppy. Then again, it doesn't need to have an American IPA's worth of lupulins. Crystal malt is appreciated, as is a fruitiness that smells a little too tart. Palate expectations just took a hit.

The beer tastes pretty much like it smells, though there's even more caramel-toffee than expected. The fact that there isn't as much 'B' as hoped for means that this ale is neither very 'E' nor very 'S'. It is balanced, if that sort of thing is important to you.

English Goldings and American Liberty do an okay job with both flavor and bitterness, but their contributions are diluted to some extent by too much toasted breadiness and slightly too much sweetness. Bruised apples, melted caramel and a dab of butter on whole grain toast is the sum total of the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is on the big side for the ABV and has gentle carbonation. The latter was most likely the brewery's attempt to mimick the feel of cask ale. Not that I have much experience in that area, but they did a pretty good job.

Batemans XXXB Classic Premium Pale Ale is really nothing special from this Yank's point of view. It's the sort of beer that, if it is to shine at all, will shine most brightly when drunk fresh from the cask in an English pub, not from the bottle in the American Heartland.

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Photo of Thirsty2383
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first encounter with Batemans beer. Poured from distinctive 16.9oz bottle into a chalice glass.

A= Copper color w/ thin head, almost no lace.

S= Not as hoppy as I expected. Sweet and spicy scent.

T= Bitterness falls somewhere between most pale ales and ESBs I've tasted. Well balanced, not overwhelming. Mild caramel blended w/ fruity flavors. Refreshing.

MF= Medium-bodied, lots of carbonation.

D= Very drinkable, pub-style ale. Goes down smoother and cleaner than many American ESBs.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 0.9 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Caramel colored, small yellowish off white head that quickly resolves into only a thin covering of bubbles over about half the surface and a solid ring around the edge of the glass.

S = Heavy dose of caramel with light marmalade and just a hint of butterscotch.

T = Caramel, honey, fresh apples, even some bananas, fair amount of bitterness in the center of the tongue and into the finish.

M = Medium to medium-light body, just a touch more carbonation feel than I would like, good mouthcoating.

D = This is a very easy beer to drink and I could keep drinking them.

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Batemans XXXB from George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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