While the impact of the Lion takeover remains to be seen at Little Creatures, the Single Batches continue to appear, much to the delight of the beer-loving public. On a roll after the likes of the Big Dipper, Dreadnaught and Quiet American, here they've returned to Germany for inspiration (following last year's Single Batch Marzen) with a lightly smoked Bock. The use of beechwood smoked malt is such that it's barely detectable on the nose, where sweet malty aromas hold fort; instead, it appears more prominently in the flavour of this dark amber-coloured beer, where it goes to work with lots of earthy, spicy hops and ultimately contributes to a reasonably bitter, gently smoky finish. However, this Billy is mainly about the fulsome layers of malts, resulting in a delightfully smooth and impeccably balanced beer. But then again, it's from Creatures so what did you expect...?