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Adnams Explorer - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams ExplorerAdnams Explorer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 35
Hads: 69
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 14.57%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 69
Photo of SaucyJack
4.77/5  rDev +33.6%
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.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
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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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle,

A: Pours gold with a medium white head, some nice spotty lace, looks like a light bitter.

S: Grass and some tropical fruit, a bready malt character.

T: Bready malt met with an excellent hop play. Balanced with some pineapple, grass and hay from the hops. Tart at times, a very nice hop attack.

M: Light-bodied, a real easy drinker, crisp and clean.

O: A real nice pint, it started off slow but ended well. Liked this one quite a bit.

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Photo of jbro434
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of aaronh
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on cask at the Whitelock pub in Leeds England. Fairly typical ale appearance - slightly hazy gold with a rather thick and lasting head. Aroma was light and malty. Flavor was a wonderful mix of malt with hints of caramel balanced by a solid grapefruit-rind bitterness. The mouthfeel is where this beer shines - really full and smooth - borders on sensuous. The overall blend of flavors and exceptional mouthfeel made this a very drinkable beer - I had several as the night wore on. I wish we could get session-type beers with this much character in the US on a regular basis. This was a treat.

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Photo of Brenden
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of BikingDutchman
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light golden colored beer with a white head that has plenty of staying power and some good lacing.

S: Smells pretty balanced with grassy and slightly citrusy hops.

T: Tastes very balanced between sweet malts and citrusy hops. The hops have a fruitier flavor than the aroma suggests.

M: Light body expected from a blonde ale. Seems pretty fitting for the style - not too light but definitely not heavy.

O: Easy to drink and very balanced. Refreshing, and I would look for it again if it was more available. I don't know how long this has been on the shelf, so the hops may have faded. If this was fresh, I'm sure it would be a fantastic beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouered from a half-liter bottle into a standard pint glass.
Chill-hazed blonde in color, with a nice whipped egg-white head of foam.
Aroma-Subtle hop note
Taste-White grapefruit, mineral note, 'dusty' hops, dry finish. Good flavor for a sessionable brew. A fine match for a hunk of aged English white cheddar.

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Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed form the bottle in a snifter, this nice ale pours a brownish orange with a solid white head of white foam that settles toa a nice thin layer of fine beaded white film and a nice ring with excellent lacing. Nose of biscuit, lemon zest, orange peel, subtle hops, and light toffee. Flavors follow the nose with heavy citrus notes mingling with biscuit, lime and caramel on all sides that fade in the back with moderately strong hops. Nice mouth feel, great carbonation, and a lightly dry and bitter finish. VERY NICE.


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Photo of kmacphail
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of BigBry
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Since Feb. 2006 this beer has become a regular instead of a summer seasonal, and the new bottled version has gone up in gravity to 5.5%abv. (just like what happens to Broadside)!! I guess it's targeted at overseas markets? The beer uses a blending of "Chinook and Columbus hops from the New World", and self-defines as a Blonde Beer. Coming in Adnams' trendy-shaped 500ml brown bottle, it's filtered and pasteurised. BB 17 APR 07, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: dark orangey golden to pale amber in colour, coming with a restrained layer of off-white froth which retains the tight texture alright; very gentle carbonation. Looking not bad~~
S: most enticing hop aroma prevails despite a flow of salty sulphur: sweet fruitiness of tangerine combines with a flowery scent of hops, backed by a firm backdrop of Chinese green-bean paste (as in lots of Belgian pale ales) and candy-ish malts. I don't know why, but the mixed nose is immediately reminiscent of Greene King's Fireside for its sweet, fragrant hoppy edge and the candyish maltiness. Not very traditional-English, I must say, yet enticing enough.
T: slightly sharp-textured, burned-sugary malts and fragrant hops approach together, followed by a moderate mid-flavour of (faintly) grapefruit-zesty citrus-fruits, a mild tinge of diacetyl, and dried-floral hoppyness towards the aftertaste, where a green-tea-ish bitter taste+scent linger well in the dry-ish finish.
M&D: softly effervescent on the texture, refreshing but with a good backbone of medium-plus flavour profile. Not at all like the 4.3% cask-version I tried in the past, the bottle tastes more fragrant and fuller than the cask-conditioned blond bitter. I even wonder if this should be entered as a different beer altogether? Overall, not as impressive and tasty as Adnams SSB and Broadside, but a different, "concept-brew" to add to the traditional protfolio of Adnams.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
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...

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Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, golden color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale malt, hint of sweet malt, slight hop, hint of yeast, and a hint of metallic. Fits the style of an American Blonde Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight hop, pale malt, hint of pine, sweet malt, hint of biscuit, and a hint of metallic. Overall, weak appearance, unpleasant aroma, but good body and blend.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Chris_Burton
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange with a small, light, white head. Faint smell of mango and pineapple. Taste is fruity with a light bitter spike and a piney aftertaste, fairly standard fare for an APA (although this is a blonde ale rather than a pale ale apparently - my taste buds are having a hard time telling the difference). Mouthfeel is light and crisp (is that the difference?)

As far as traditional British breweries attempting American craft beer goes, this is decent, albeit not remarkable. It certainly doesn't make me salivate and go back for more like a New Dogtown or SNPA, but its pretty good and I'd happily have another.

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Adnams Explorer from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.