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Beer – #733 – Batemans – Vintage Ale 2014

Beer from Ol’ Blighty today, an annual release of a beer they call ‘vintage’ it seems to me that this is just an annual brew and isn’t aged, but it’s not overly clear, anyway it has a nice packaging and a great backstory, and well, you know I can’t resist that sort of thing.

Each year’s Vintage will have its own special characteristics due to the hand selected malts and hops, varying slightly from season to season.

A bottle that is 500ml, which has beer of 7.5% ABV and 255 calories a serve size, this in NZ is 2.96 standard drinks worth.

Brewed by Batemans this one in the style that is  English Strong Ale and that happens in Wainfleet, England

Old Bloke with old ale

Old Bloke with old ale

This beer is from the Batemans 30 year old Barley Wine recipe and the flavour has been matched with bottles which had been left undiscovered for 31 years only to be found in 2007.

The 2014 Vintage Ale, the third edition of our wholly opulent Vintage Ale, is perhaps the boldest yet. 

Luxuriating in wine casks from the Bordeaux region of France has left a distinct and characterful mark on this complex beer. 

Old Bloke with Ale in a carton

Old Bloke with Ale in a carton

Brewed using malts from Propino barley grown in the Yorkshire Wolds, Crystal & Chocolate malts from the Fawcett Maltings, and Challenger Hops grown in the Hulme family hop farm in south-east Kent.

A unique, rich, spicy, full flavoured classic English Ale… with a French twist. 

So, what could possibly go wrong? I’ve noticed some people refer to this as Barleywine, when it isn’t, but I’m no expert, and they’re fairly close in style.

The aroma seems to be rich in steeped fruits, which is a bit like a Barleywine might be, of course.

Loud aroma in the glass, and despite my best efforts it ends headless, but that is fruity rich and there is some chocolate mingling and mixing in the background.

Batemans - Vintage Ale 2014Interesting first sip, which infers that this is a beer that lack a bit of body, or a bit thin on taste, but the finish is really nice and  enjoyable as is that lingering taste.

Difficult to recover from a first thought.

This is a nice idea of a beer, it has a great back story and that is compelling, but this is a hat-tip to that, and they’ve embarked on an annual special. Sadly their intention and the brewers notes might be for a completely different beer than the one in the bottle.

Didn’t get anything that might have indicated a red-win tannin. Got a nose of chocolate, faintly and not taste, indicated full steeped fruits but again missing in the body. A few things wrong really.

So yeah, na, not a beer that I’d be thinking about shortly after I finish it.

The story of course reminds me of the Harringtons ” the Forgotten”  in some respects, make a beer, forget about the beer, and the end result was, for me, a bit of an average beer .

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 6 of its things from the thing. It’s got a lot of things that are nice and some that are bit missing and that does not make a good beer make. I’d have liked a thicker body and more oomph, the packaging though alludes to all that and it isn’t what I had.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland in Northcross, but I’m sure it’s in most places.
  • Am I enjoying it? No.
  • Would I have another? No, but I’d be interested in the earlier ones, see if they aged well and all that.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? You jest right ?

Music for this : I had some soul music on from ” The Jack Moves ” and they had an album called ” The jack Moves” on Spotify


Malty, with complex fruity esters. Some oxidative notes are acceptable, akin to those found in port or sherry. Hop aromas not usually present, due to extended age. Medium amber to very dark red-amber color. Malty and usually sweet. Alcoholic strength should be evident, though not overwhelming. Medium to full body alcohol should contribute some warmth. An ale of significant alcoholic strength, though usually not as strong or rich as barleywine. Usually tilted toward a sweeter, more malty balance. Often regarded as winter warmers, and often released as seasonal beers.


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