Batemans is an independent brewery from Wainfleet in Lincolnshire; the Bateman family have been operating the brewery on a pretty much continual basis since 1874 and along the way have turned out some cracking beers and picked up rather a lot of awards – the most recent of these being “Best Regional Brewer” at the Publican Awards 2010.
XXXB is their 4.8% premium bitter and has previously been voted as being one of the top 50 beers in the world.
I have sampled XXXB on a number of occasions over the past few years, both on tap and most recently bottled as part of a deal from our local off licence – all Batemans beers €2.00 a bottle, a real bargain by Irish standards!
XXXB pours to a nice clear coppery finish with a mid-sized head that lasted reasonably well with a fair amount of lacing.
The initial aroma that I picked up was that of a slightly bitter black tea with some citrus and a bit of sweetness coming in afterwards – possibly toffee.
On drinking this beer the first thing I noticed was that there is very little sweetness to it, the citrus comes through quite clearly along with a slight nuttiness and some biscuity richness from the malts.
There is a lot of bitterness present through out along with the slight taste of black tea, this with the slight element of citrus makes for a very refreshing pint although some might find it a touch sour towards the finish.
The body is reasonably light but the carbonation is spot on resulting in a very pleasant mouthfeel overall.
In my opinion XXXB is better than average but there is certainly room for improvement.