Batemans XXXB | George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

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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 laituegonflable
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Ooh yeah, a "XXX" B. How exciting. Poured into a stein, so far slightly lacking in heaving breasts for a "XXX" beer, but I'm still holding out hope. Nice deep red amber clour with very healthy but unpretentious beige head, sinking steadily, leaving some nice clouds of lace around. Strong and steady bead through a clear but dark body. Very English.

Nose is quite sour, with a lot of Goldings hops on there, very herbal, with a spicy tea character. Aspects of caramelly amber malt underlying, light soil character and a bit of creaminess that I've come to associate with English ale yeasts. A little subdued but very pleasant for what it is.

Taste is fairly rich and pleasant, a lot of faintly dark malt gives a boiled fruit or toffeed character to it, herbal hops come through midway, elements of mint and tea leaving wafting out, with a very light tingle of spice on the back, and maybe a slight yeasty character. Similarly spicy linger, quite organic and herbal in its bitterness, which isn't excessive, and in many ways I would say is of a "bitter" quality rather than an "Extra Special Bitter" one.

I think though that the richness of the malt is underused with the mouthfeel being a bit thin, lacking, watery. Little bit of a nip as it goes down but little else.

This is a session beer to be reckoned with, a lot of nice flavours, subtle clean finish, excellent throughout the palate.

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Photo of kylesobrien
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy caramel brown with a bit of a reddish hue. Head is modest and recedes shortly after pouring to leave a thin, powdery froth atop the pint. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is of caramel, subtle hops, and candied fruits -- and something that smells a bit like toasted bread. Appearance is definitely British, as the carbonation is on the lighter side.

Flavor is slightly bitter, with overtones of caramel and dried fruit. I taste some fig and raisin, and some more subdued and vaguely fruity flavors I can't quite place. Maltiness is very evident, but not excessive. Finish is bitter and crisp with a hint of scorched brown sugar or even licorice. Mouthfeel is very smooth, almost creamy. Body is slightly heavier than that of many pale ales I've tried, but this remains pretty drinkable.

I'd say this is one of the better British pale ales I've tried. The flavor is nice and tasty, but what I find really appealing is the drinkability of this one. It's full-bodied, but quite smooth. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to splurge on a British pale, but the price makes it hard to enjoy on a regular basis.

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

A: Chestnut brown, thin white head, decent lacing.

S: Roasted malts, roasted nuts, buttery biscuit. Faint sweet hoppyness.

T: Roasted malts and roasted nuts. Biscuity. Finishes with a nice floral hop and bitter bite. Could have used a touch more dark maltyness for my taste.

M: Medium bodied, ample carbonation.

D: Good representation of the style. Could have been slightly bolder, but most authentic englishes lean towards the thinner flavor profile.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle into an Imperial Pint,

A: Pours a red-brown with a finger of white foam, some lace.

S: Classic British Bitter, caramel and toast, minerals, sulfur.

T: A little more on the hoppier side than most British bitters I've had. Notes of metal and definite minerality. Malt brings flavours of toast and a mild brown sugar.

M: Little too metallic/coppery at times. Medium-bodied, very smooth.

D: A real nice pub ale, it's nice to see another classic British ale here in the US.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Your standard coppery color. Medium carbonation level. Very nice toasted aroma with a touch of caramel-somewhat nutty. Soft malty flavor. Again a trace of caramel. Slight lingering hop bite in the finish. Well rounded flavor wise and plenty of it for such a low abv. Good body. A great drinkability. I was thrilled to see this beer back in the USA. It was a staple in my fridge 20 odd years ago. Check out the history of the Bateman family and their brewery-a great read as well.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bateman's XXXB. 500 ml into Fuller glass. BBD 9.23.2009.

Pours a good copper color with active, fleet carbonation. Head is slightly doughy and about 2/3 finger - decent retention for what it has.

Slight cinnamon and clove spice with a copious amount of English malt (I was going to say Marris Otter...not a stretch but the label confirms it) and noble, grassy hops. Warming on the olfactory.

What's the hop profile? Not Fuggles (yes, I'm grasping at straws - I don't do a lot of English beer lately), but English Goldings. Makes sense to me. That comforting leather note along with slight spicing - almost a little nutmeg and cinnamon - of the several English malts in here.

Palate feel is quite pleasant. A little spice with a hearty smoothness and deep yet crisp finish. Not as filling or heavy as others in the style.

This is a solid, classic English ale and while I don't seek these out too often it's a great session choice that I'll welcome in my glass.

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

Bottle poured into my Samuel Smith's Imperial Pint, Batemans XXXB is a chill hazed dull orange with a small off-white head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is a little fruity, grassy hops, and a bit tinny.

Taste is very simliar to the nose, nice malt, some leafy hops and tinny.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium light, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is okay. At first, it was too metallic, but the caramel malts came out more as it warmed (and my pallate adjusted), and I got to enjoy it more.

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Photo of spointon
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a very cool looking 16.9oz uniquely shaped brown bottle into a straight sided English pint glass.

A= This ale poured a perfectly clear dark copper color (I could read the label on the bottle through the full glass) with a 1" creamy tan head. The head was soft and quickly dropped to a broken skim, leaving just a few traces of lacing behind.

S= Aroma was full of sweet malt and some light fruity esters. Hops were earthy and mildly spicy to the nose. Some very faint oxidation present but nothing off-putting.

T= Very "English" in flavor. Nice caramel-sweet malts up front with some drier biscuit notes in there too. The hops were full and spicy but not citrusy like American hops. Some nice fruity flavors crept in and out of each sip, showing some faint apple and pear. Finished dry and fairly refreshing.

MF= This was on the lighter side of medium bodied with a big carbonation release that remained soft on the tongue.

D= This was my first ale from Batemans. I found it to be a very solid English pale ale, and could easily drink a few in one sitting.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a really pleasant example of white I find to be a quite boring style of beer. This beer didn't over-deliver on flavor, but had a pleasant flavor and aroma. Not very interesting for craft beer fans, but certainly a not-unpleasant beer. A nice bitter.

Appearance is cloudy and darker than I might have expected. Head faded quickly. Aroma wasn't of hops at first...more biscuit than anything else. Subsequent sniffs as I drank seemed to reveal more hops, but that might have just been my imagination. Flavor is vaguely hoppy, but more metallic (copper) than anything else, with a notable amount of biscuity maltiness. Mouthfeel's a little thin, but that seems to me to be characteristic for this style, so I won't hold it against it.

Not bad, but hardly terrific. This is another English beer my Dad left at my house after his most recent visit. I love free beer, but I can imagine other beers I wish Dad had left instead.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ESB pours a crystal clear copper, and is topped by a sudsy, frothy, off-white head that fades to a film. Sustained bubbling seems to keep the film intact. The aromas are nicely malty: biscuity malts, toffee, and a little bit of an apricot aroma.

Upfront this beer is mildly sweet with a lot of maltiness. The sweetness is contributed by toffee flavors, but the bulk of the maltiness is buiscuity and toasty, which lasts through to the finish. The finish is moderately bitter with grassy and herbal hop flavors. This ESB is medium-bodied, moderately carbonated and has a mild dryness in the finish.

I thought that Batemans XXXB was a nice malt-forward beer that managed to keep the sweetness in check and that had a nice bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of froghop
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear amber-orange with a medium light beige head, and some lacing.

smell is of cour malt, some spice, earth, some floral, and a touch of caramel.

taste is of soda water, perfume, caramel, and malt, ends slightly dry and slightly bitter.

overall tastes better than it looks.

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Photo of matty
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is bready and biscuity.Taste is biscuit,caramel and hops.This is one of the few beers where hops are prevelant that I've actually enjoyed.Overall pretty good and something that I would recommend.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brownish amber with a creme head. Nose is malty caramel. Flavor is slightly sweet and smooth. Oddly so in a way. Roasted nuttiness hits me on the back. Back to the malty sweet tones I get at the start. A bit unusual and not really what I would be expecting for the style. Feel is smooth on liquid. Carbonation is lower. An interesting beer. Not really working as an ESB for me, but pleasant enough to drink I guess.

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Photo of TroyS
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one at the Wine Garden in Blackfoot, Idaho. They have a limited selection and aren't very knowledgeable compared the folks in neighboring Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Because of the lack of experience, education and shear volume that the Wine Garden is pushing(small vol.), I'd typically blame something like this on them. The code is one note in their favor plus it's fruggin' chilly out here which makes it much more likely that it has been stored at a decent temp/environment. I wonder who the distributors were. Anyway, skunky brew, but it most likely the brewery or most certainly somewhere else. I'm not personally knowledgeable about Bateman's, but even the best aren't perfect. BTW...Coded 23 SEP 09 S206207A("7" is smudged, so it could be an 8 or 4 or...?) So...from looking at the other reviews I'd guess that this doesn't happen often. A bit disappointing since I did invest 15mins or more strokin' bottles until I settled on this one - Man fridge is fun;) Well...takin' one for the team w/a smile...I'll go pic again;) I'll look forward to trying this one for the first time on another day! Hey...she looked good!

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Photo of goatgoat
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tai4ji2x for the opportunity.

Pours a perfectly clear medium amber. A frothy 3 finger off white head takes a respectable amount of time falling. A fine network of frilly lace.

Aroma has the earthy spicy hops just edging out caramel malts. A hint of butter.

Flavor is caramel, toffee, overlaid with stiff-upper-lip bitterness. Not much specific hop characteristics, just a lingering bitterness.

Medium body with traditionally low carbonation.

This is a tasty brew. Only downside is the butter note, which while acceptable in the style, is not something I enjoy.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I havent a good English ESB in awhile,this fit the bill.Poured into an imperial pint glass a clear rich copper/bronze with a sticky 1/2 finger white head that left broken lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass.Lighter but pleasant aromas,caramel and toasted malt mixed with leafy, slightly medicinal hop.Flavors have a bit of hard water to it mixed with a lightly sweet caramel malt flavor,a little butter comes thru as well,a leafy slightly spicey hop finish is a nice finish.A very nice social pint light but flavorful

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Photo of Offa
4.92/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is, to me, another wonderful English ESB, balanced and well-rounded in character, with deep complexity.

Deep, bright copper, it has a very large light tan head slowly shrinking to a permanent, rich frothy top and frothy lace.

The aroma is rich, caramelized, toasted bread, hints of licorice, gingerbread, tea leaves, caramelized-fermented fruit (figs), and orange, with plenty of buttery caramel. It is complex, balanced, and wonderful.

The taste is similarly wonderful, fruity, spicey, peppery, with buttery caramel, toasted bread, citrus, a full-bodied malty sweetness just dominated but nice spicey-citrusy-leafy bitterness that takes over just at the finish, but leaving a sweet flavour to linger.

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

500ml long and thin necked dark brown bottle into nonic.

A two finger head rises above the rim, then slowly settles to a thickcap. The beer has a deep copper hue, with a bit of a haze. Sticky lacing.

The malts have a little bit of a toasty quality, with a little bit of caramel and a good helping of butterscotch. The hops add a little bit of spiciness to the background.

The malts give a lot more toastiness in the flavor, which complement in the increased bitterness of the hops. The hops provide a leafy herbal flavor, adding a little spiciness to the flavor as well. A little bit of butterscotch. Very balanced flavors. Full bodied.

Not a bad ESB. Recommended.

 669 characters

Photo of Japerrault
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful clear amber with a thick creamy head. Nice lacing present also.

S: Toffey, toasted grains, spicey floral hops.

T: Tartness present, toffey, nutty flavors showing through as well. Also some mild apple flavors. Hops in the finish give a spicey/floral character and little bitterness.

M: This one is a dry beer with good carbonation. However, it was a bit thinner than I like.

D: Overall not a bad beer. Easy to drink, not too bitter, not too sweet.

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Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a mahogany color and a somewhat clear consistency. What head there was dissipated quickly. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, sugar, biscuits and a bit of spices.

T: One of the better tasting ESBs out there. Malt, caramel, biscuits and pepper. A stronger, more robust taste for an English beer, but definitely tasty.

M: A vibrant amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is an incredibly drinkable ESB with a lot of character and flavor. Very easy to like.

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Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A lovely pour with massive amounts of swirling carbonation that quickly settle... Coppery bronze color... Slow paced moderate carbonation... Big head off the pour quickly recedes, but still leaves one fingers worth of white creamy foam... A good stickiness...

S - Lovely malt aroma... Toffee... Brown sugar... A faint nuttiness... Butter... Caramel... Perhaps a hint of pear...

T - The first tastes are very true to the nose... Malt... Biscuit... Toffee... Butter... Caramel... Hops begin to rise and pack quite a wallop by ESB standards... The hop bill seems to be dominated English Goldings... Brisk peppery notes are noticeable on the finish... A highly intricate and complex ESB...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Crisp... Dry finish...

D - A solid English ESB... Qutie sessionable at < 5% ABV... Layers of complexity emerge from at first glance may be construed as a standard ESB...

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown color, reddish in tint, with one inch of sticky tan head. Great lacing, great retention. This is the perfect look for an English bitter.

The nose is also top-notch, although somewhat muted by the sticky head. Peppery, earthy hops with a biscuity malt profile. A little bit of floral character in those hops as well.

Flavors of apple, spice, rye, pepper, toffee, tea, and biscuits. This is the run-down for the particular style. Well done. Smooth and easy drinking, although pretty bitter for an ESB - good for me. Malts are clearly English in origin, with lots of toffee flavors. Maris Otter and Crystal - sounds about right. Wouldn't have guessed the wheat..

The body is medium, pretty smooth, with enough carbonation to keep it feeling light and easy to sip. The finish is peppery with lasting hop oils, which is great. Robust, complex flavor. Beautiful.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a hazy copper orange, crisp white head

apples, light malt, slight piney hops

slight malty sweetness followed by slight apple leading to solid pine hops. semi dry hops on the finish followed by more fruit

light bodied, smooth, balanced with the malt starting and the hops finishing it off

smooth, crisp, a british pale with slight malty sweetness

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Photo of torchednoodle
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to try this, as English beers are what drew me to craft beer in college in the 90's. As I experiment with craft beers more, I realize that I still have a deep fondness for traditional English ales.

Pours a dark bronze. Not much smell to it, but in the back of your nostrils you can still smell the malty English heritage in this baby (I'm not even sure what that means, and I'm the one that just said it). Taste is all English, tastes a lot like an improved version of a Bass ale. Drinkability is great, and at 5% alcohol it's certainly sessionable.

A side note: when I drank a lot of English beer a long time ago I used to hate not knowing how old the beer was, so I wasn't sure if what I was drinking was fresh or had been sitting on a supermarket shelf for a year. This bottle has a date stamp on it, 9/23/08 in this case, and I love knowing that this thing is only a few months old. It helps me realize how much of the flavor is intended and how much is a byproduct of shitty storage and shipping.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle. "23 sep 09" printed on glass.

the label itself says "classic premium pale ale", so i'm inclined not to review this as an ESB. the ABV seems to follow as well. that's MY take on it, anyway...

clear, golden amber. nice head that slowly fades to wispy layer. very nice lacing.

fruity apple esters upfront in the nose, with caramel and toffee. grassy hop. trace metallic whiff.

nice, grassy hop bite immediately on the palate, with an underlying biscuity malt that persists and peeks through to the finish. minerals and faintly tart near the end, before the finish, which has more classic english hop, with a crsip, moderate bitterness. hints of esters and yeasty bread every now and then.

smooth, not too thin, with standard hint of hoppy resins near finish. moderate carbonation gives body.

solid, if you count this as a standard english pale. as an ESB it might fall slightly short.

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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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