High street retailer J Sainsbury is running its third annual Great British Beer Hunt, which offers winning brewers the chance to get their beers showcased in supermarkets nationwide for a six-month period from November. The three best-selling beers from each of the four regions during the three-week competition (11 Sept – 2 Oct) will go into a grand final on 4 October, where a panel of experts will select the two overall winners from a line-up of 12. The winner will be sold in 300 Sainsbury’s stores while the runner-up will feature in 150.
For the third year running, J Sainsbury’s PR team has been kind enough to send me four samples.
Following my recent review of Williams Brothers’ The Honey Thief, I moved onto Bateman’s B Bock, a Bavarian style lager beer which attained the name ‘billy goat’ from the way Bavarians allegedly pronounce Einbeck (the town where the Bock style originates) as ‘ein Bock’, hence hence the goat image (pictured).
Anyway, here it is – B Bock – an English take on the dark Bock style, one of two Bateman’s entries into this year’s contest. Although I drank this beer in the last day of August, it tasted like Christmas. The nose is one of the most pleasingly complex I have ever come across; there’s blackcurrant, sharp cinnamon, other soft fruits and dark chocolate liquor, all wrapped up in a deep, dark, cloudy russet beer.
The taste is a rather toned down take of the wonderful nose, especially that rich chocolate liquor hint.
Look: Deep cloudy brown-red hue
Nose: Complex soft fruits and chocolate liquor
Taste: Christmas in a glass. This had better make the final cut as it’s perfect for December!