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Adnams Explorer - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams ExplorerAdnams Explorer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

63 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-01-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (53) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by damndirtyape:
Photo of damndirtyape
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1pt, 0.9oz bottle (5% ABV) poured into a tulip stout glass. Date stamp was 2178:13:44.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with a bit of orange to it. Thin white head across the top, occasional strands of lacing noted.

Smell: Quite a lot of American hop smell here, which seems to be what they were going for. Mostly grapefruit, but a hint of lemon citrus.

Taste: Very hop forward and hop dominating. Unbalanced towards bitterness with just the barest amount of malt underneath it all. The malt comes across as biscuity, not balancing enough though. Hop flavors are mostly grapefruit, pine, and a hint of skunk at the end.

Mouthfeel: Good in that it cleans the palate, but not fizzy. Just a hair thicker than water underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Let me tackle drinkability first. Not very drinkable. One is enough as it has too much in the way of hop bitterness and not enough in the way of hop flavor and malt backbone balance. Overall, I think this beer is not in the right category. It's not an American blonde, but rather, a UK take on an American India Pale Ale, but without enough malt. It's too hoppy to be an American Pale Ale, and it's not a Blonde either. Given the hop bitterness of this one with an emphasis on the US based hops, it's more like an unbalanced AIPA. So overall I don't think it works well. Not a bad beer, but not a great one either.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of May 2012, so it's a little out of date. ABV is stated as 5%. The label commands that it should be served chilled (though I let it warm a little) - I suspect that this has been created to appeal to lager drinkers. A blonde beer brewed with chinook and columbus.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A golden-amber hue with medium carbonation and slight sediment. Forms a smallish head of creamy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before reducing. Aroma of light malt with mild notes of grapefruit and aromatic hops, accompanied by fruity ale yeast. Slightly sweet.

Tastes of light malt with subtle aromatic hops and a dry finish. Notes of mild grapefruit, citrus, and ale yeast. Slightly sweet. A faint, dry bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with good body for the style. Mildly astringent. Aftertaste of yeast with hints of aromatic hops.

Nice - exceeded my initial expectations. Light and refreshing, with a subtle but distinct aromatic hop character. Would go down only too easily on a warm summer day. Worth sampling.

Photo of Brenden
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Explorer sits somewhere in the range of dark yellow and pale orange as far as color. It's got a hazy thickness in its body. The head is not quite a finger tall, and retention is good but not great, but the lacing left behind is fantastic; thick, patchy rings of yellow-tinted foam cling densely on the glass.
There's a distinctive mild mustiness to the malts on the nose, and it's earthy in a way. It finishes herbal and grassy with some citrus, though not as much as boasted.
The flavor is where this beer develops. It's distinctively British in a gentle, unoffensive metallic note and somewhat herbal quality. The surprise is the hefty dose of hops I wouldn't have expected from the aroma. This is a nice, hoppy blonde for sure.
This beer is consistently crisp in a light body with a moderate smoothness and a semi-dry finish as hops linger on the tongue.

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Do they actually grow Chinook and Columbus hops on the American East coast? Huh.

This beer pours a clear medium golden straw colour, with one finger of loosely foamy dirty white head, which leaves a low-lying seawall of lace around the glass as it rashly subsides.

It smells of pale grainy, somewhat bready malt, some mild Rocky Mountain spa mineral notes, a bit of mild orchard fruitiness, and soft floral, leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, some biscuity, lightly toasted breadiness, a smidgeon of tangy citrus, and more tame leafy, and kind of peppery, hops.

The carbonation is pretty laid back, the body a decent medium weight, a tad watery, but generally smooth in deferential consolation. It finishes off-dry, the gravitas of the guest star hops coming more fully round on the lingering bready malt.

One of the better blonde ales I've come across, but it is an admittedly weak category to begin with. Anyhoo, the introduction of foreign flora into a native bio-environment has been accomplished with typical English understatement. Successful - yes, but you have to be patient, wait, suffer a wee bit, and then all is revealed, to somewhat of a less than tumultuous eclat.

Photo of beerinabottle
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unusual but not a style that I am fond of.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a thin head and ring around the glassthat left slight lacing. Aroma of biscuit malt and light minty spiciness, slightly sweet. Flavor follows with biscuit malt, grassy, lightly citrus hops with a light minty, floral component that persisted into a nice malty hops finish. Light to medium bodied. Apparently inspired by American beers, this does have a bit more spicy hopping, but still adheres closely to the malt centered British styles like an ESB. Nicely malty and balanced.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was quite excited to see this on cask at Nicholson's during a recent pub crawl. Golden color, however this seemed to be pretty clear for a cask ale. Thin white head disappeared very quickly. Some good amounts of lace were on the sides of the glass as I drank. Nice citrusy aroma. Plae biscuit-like malt combined with citrusy hop flavor. Good balanced amount of bitterness. Low carbonation. Missing the creamy mouthfeel that I am used to for a cask ale. Very drinkable beer. Good flavor, just missing some of the cask elements that I enjoy, and have experienced.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First time I have had the bottled version. Different animal to the cask beer I drink when in Southwold.

This blonde beer should be cooled before serving, which is unusual for a British beer. The New World hops Chinook and Columbus give the beer its name.

Light and refreshing, it is, but the bottle says citrus and grapefruit aromas, not sure I got those, but overall, a fine beer for a hot sunny day.

Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a full pint at the Blue Anchor in Hammersmith. Body was a hazy butterscotch yellow. sudsy foam on top (no room for a head).

Smell was fresh and very lightly fruity.

Taste was malts and grapefruit. Not grapefruit like a West Coast IPA but a mild grapefruit flavor. Mildly bitter and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel was smooth and rather creamy. This is only the second cask real ale I've had. I like, but maybe dagerously drinkable.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear golden pour with two finger head that quickly fades to a creamy film with decent lacing. The nose is all earthy, fresh mowed grass at first, but as it warms you start getting some subtle sweet caramel malts and a bit of fresh hops with a touch of white pepper. The taste is grassy as well with a slight sourness on the finish. Subtle fresh hop notes along with a sweet maltiness emerge as it warms. The finish is crisp and slightly bitter with a nice refreshing quality to it. The light body makes it pretty drinkable. I liked it better as it warmed as opposed to when it was cold from the fridge, even though it's marketed with "chilled" on the label. A solid summery beer.

Photo of SaucyJack
4.77/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With apologies to a previous reviewer who no doubt had this beer from the same cask as I did (at the Moan & Dove), this is an absolutely stunning cask beer, one of the best I've ever had outside of the UK.

It was neither warm nor flat -- that's just ignorance, I'm afraid. I enjoyed several pints, which were all served cool and had plenty of life in them.

Admittedly, the beer poured just slightly cloudy, but I wouldn't be surprised if it cleared up fully by the following day. The nose was loaded with an earthy, sulfury aroma that is common in real ale.

This is a hoppy ale -- by English standards, anyway. I don't know what the hops are but the bartender thought they were Cascade. I don't think so, but they did have an American flavor to them. They weren't citrusy, however, as I usually find Cascade to be.

This is a must try for lovers of cask ale or hopheads -- just don't expect the ridiculous hop rates of an American IPA.

Photo of BigBry
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another hand pump cask ale, while visiting friends in Andover, England.
Dark gold color, thin but tight foam with okay retention and lace.
Smell is more hoppy than alot of the ales we have tried, citrus and grapefruit aromas.
The taste jumps out with hoppiness up front, tangy citrus starts then solid backbone of malt finishes. Body is medium, good mouthfeel, dry and clean finish.
A nice, fresh summer brew that was enjoyed immensely.

Photo of Sigmund
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 ml brown bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. ABV is 5.5%. Obviously a different beer from the 4.3% cask ale. Brewed with American Chinook and Columbus hops. Golden colour, large foamy head. Pleasant hoppy aroma and flavour, both with notes of citrus and dry white wine. Bitter finish. Okay beer, but I’d like the malts to come through too.

Photo of jbro434
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold color with a small white head that left fine traces of lacing. Good bitter tinge upfront with a smooth malty presense. Floral citrusy nose. The malty, slightly creamy texture lingers throughout the mouth. Hints of citrus and a clean balanced finish made this a pleasure to drink. I had a four hour layover in London and hopped on the Underground to a pub in Earls Court for a quick pint. I feel I made a good choice considering the selection on hand.

Photo of mdagnew
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Old Comber Vineyard, Comber..

Poured a light golden orange colour... Slightly off white head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded quite quickly to light layer.. fair amount of carbonation... some light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Light biscuity malts, vanilla hints, grassy, some light lemon notes, sea saltiness, spicy / pepperiness, light basil notes, faint corn hints, some floral hops, rubbery traces...

Taste – Light spicy / grassy hops, some faint toastiness, biscuity malts, some honey sweetness, peppery notes, floral, definite salty hints, light fruits (lemons, apples, light grapefruits)...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... Light bodied. Pretty drinkable and refreshing - a nice summer beer...

Overall - An OK beer... nothing too exciting but quite drinkable.... worth a try...

Photo of GreenCard
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden pale brown, good clarity, white cap of froth, lace

Aroma: citrusy hops, slight sourness, blonde ale maltiness, melon, bit of sulphur

Flavor: up front grapefruit-rind flavor which stays throughout, somewhat balanced by a mild malt sweetness, slight off-taste of rancid butter, rounded bitterness, finishes dryish with an aftertaste of green hops and a tart yeastiness

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, mild carbonation, crisp texture

Other comments: Nice summery ale. Crisp texture and quite refreshing. West Coast hop palate makes me think of the summer I spent in the Portland, OR area!

Photo of aquatonex
1.43/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was all excited about my first cask-conditioned beer! Oy gevalt!

Found out after the fact that cask basically means flat and warm beer.

So, came in a 16oz glass looking rather like someone pissed in it and handed over shortly after. No head, no carbonation. Actually it tastes like seltzer that was left out forever, so it has that weird carbon dioxide aftertaste throughout. Smelled like skunk, some hops. However, people around me akinned the smell to 'feet'. Taste is bitter and watery. There wasn't much there. Mouthfeel, I couldn't get past the bitter grossness that was lingering forever. Drinkable? Not by me.

Maybe I got a bad batch, but this is how it went down. If you're the kind who likes warm flat feety beer, then this one is your style.

Photo of cypressbob
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, 5.5% not 4.3

Pours with a light amber body, fairly heavily carbonated. Fuzzy off white head forms, inch thick, settling after a minute or two at about a centimetre, fair overall retention

Smell, served chilled but I let it warm till room temp. to expose all of the beer's little nuances at differing temperatures.
Initially chilled there is only subtle aroma, some slight muskiness, little bit of fresh wort around in the background. As it warms some english hops, little bit of dms, fair whiff of malt biscuity alcohol

Taste, familiar adnams malt and hop bill, some acidic hop bitterness, very noticable alcohol for a beer of this abv. Estery booze on the finish, crisp mouthfeel with lingering malt on the palette

A solid ale, nothing particularlly exciting here, the prelevant alcohol also means its probably not the ideal session ale either

Photo of Stimack
2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was able to give this a try on cask last evening. Was a dark yellow color with amber highlights and a small white head that had pretty good retention and left a little lacing. The aroma seemed to be quite malty with some citrus highlights from the hops, also was able to notice a slight off sour tone? The taste we fair with a bread like malt taste, that finishes a bit sweet. The malt was off set by a hop taste that was a little difficult to pick up. Over all it is a fair brew, glad I gave it a try but one I would not get again.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dirty gold with a surprising sticky foam head. Had the last inch in the glass for a long time before finishing, and it still retained a bit of a ring.

Disappointing nose on this. Some honeyed grain. That's it.

For the style, this is better than the usual fare. Grain and bread up front. Then some clean bitterness. A bit of a honey, but the bitter shoves everything out of the way. Palate clears with malt and bitterness.

A little soft on the palate. Want a bit more carbonation to help clean off the bitter.

Overall, not bad. Clean bitter beer.

Photo of ADZA
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden amber colour with nice carbonation that leaves a fast receding two finger head,it has aromas of pale malts and some feint fruity hops,it has an average mouthfeel which really is pretty light and the aroma definately comes thru on the taste which really is quite bland but drinkable just not a standout beer in my category.

Photo of kmacphail
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not sure if I would class this as an English Bitter, this is a very light beer, pale ale possibly.

The beer poured an amber colour into a pint glass, initially creating a white head but this quickly disappeared to leave some suds.

The nose was mainly dominated by hops, with a secondary fragrance of grapefruit. This theme of hops continued to dominated the taste, this time it was followed by a sharper, more citrus aftertaste. The feel of the beer was light-medium, not my favourite, but given the style of this beer it was about right.

Overall I found this a very drinkable, excellent summer beer. However this is not much better than others of similar style, but I have tasted a lot worse.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first of the 4 beers I got from the Adnams shop in Southwold following a tour of the Adnams brewery. Because of the voucher for a free bottle of beer that came with the tour this was free (being the most expensive of the 3) which always a nice bonus.

A great blonde beer, golden in colour, and when served chilled extremely refreshing and quite easy on the palate. A perfect beer for the summer.

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Cask at Dr. Duncans in Liverpool:-)

Dark golden/amber with a small white cap of foam that leaves a bit of lacing, but dies quikckly. The aromas are maltier than other Adnams offerings, but their staple citrus hoppiness is still in the mix (albeit in the back of the mix). Taste is bready and malty up front with some chewy hop flavors in the middle and a very malty, sweet finish. Mouthfeel is light but substantial and drinkability is good as well. Another good'un from Adnams.

Photo of mrfrancis
4.19/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thick, pillowy white head.

S: Aromas of minerals, pine, leather, lemon, lime, bitter orange, fresh herbs, and biscuit present themselves on the nose.

T: Notes of tobacco, leather, grapefruit, lemon, lime, bitter orange, herbs, pine, cedar, biscuit, crackers, white pepper, and caramel fill the mouth. The finish is earthy, herbal, and a bit resinous with pine, orange, grapefruit, herb, tobacco, and biscuit flavors really standing out as the beer fades.

M: Medium-bodied, firm, and initially dry, though it does grow sappier on the fade. Carbonation is prickly at first, but quickly evens out.

O: An excellent bottled English ale. To me, beers like this serve as proof that the English really need to start bottling and exporting more of their ales. I think classifying this as an American blonde ale, however, is a bit of a mistake. The character of this ale is too English, and in terms of aroma, flavor, and texture, it still feels too much like an English pale ale to me. Still, this is a great ale from a great brewery.

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Adnams Explorer from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.