Batemans did pretty well in last year’s competition, winning first place – although I personally ranked it 14th! I enjoyed their entries this year much more, although whether that is a good sign or a bad one for them aardvark remains to be seen.
Appearance: 4.5; Aroma: 7.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 7.5; Total: 23.0
B Bock is a rather oddly-named 6.0% ABV “homage to Dopplebock”. I have to say this is not one of my favourite labels in the competition; if I was including branding in my scores, this beer would have lost a point or two.
It’s a deep, reddish brown colour with a thin but lingering head on it. The nose is wonderful – sweet with toffee malt and those little foam banana sweets that you used to be able to buy for a half penny (I may be showing my age here).
There are lots of bubbles in the mouth, battling from the start against a sweet brown sugar flavour and a really nice ripe floral fruit from the hops. Those hops give a rising bitterness that slowly creeps up and eases out all that sugary sweetness without getting out of hand.
It’s not my usual style, but slightly chilled this is a cracking beer that I could drink all evening.
Many thanks to Sainsbury’s for providing samples of the GBBH beers.