Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Adnams Explorer - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams ExplorerAdnams Explorer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 70
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 20.73%
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.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 35 | Hads: 70
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.

 1,208 characters

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.

 451 characters

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.

 407 characters

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.

 1,914 characters

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.

 557 characters

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.

 471 characters

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.

 857 characters

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.

 1,057 characters

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.

 484 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

 1,082 characters

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.

 437 characters

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...

 831 characters

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.

 557 characters

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.

 310 characters

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.

 563 characters

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.

 401 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

500ml bottle into a nonic.

Pours a hazy dark gold with a fluffy one finger white head. Very fine, soft carbonation bubbles that remind me almost of a nitro pour. Good lacing and retention.

Aroma is very yeasty with that classic British toffee and hay. Some touches of lemon. Nothing particularly outstanding, though.

The flavor has delicate bread and wet hay with notes of toffee. A little bit of tartness that seems out of place. A touch of lemon and apple. Very light bitterness but not enough to clean everything up. Finishes a bit sweet.

Overall, an ok beer but I was expecting better. Not sure the age on this bottle but I imagine this beer is much better from the cask.

 680 characters

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.

 448 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've obtained Adnams Explorer Chilled ABV 5.0, it looks the same as Adnams Explorer. Orange/amber beer with rapidly vanishing head, only ring remains on the surface. Weak smell of citrus and watery but balanced taste with pleasant citrus and hop palate. Crisp and invigorate beer.

 280 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
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!

 614 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 1,370 characters

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.

 753 characters

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.

 596 characters

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.


 536 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Adnams Explorer from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.