Adnams Explorer - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
10-17-2012 02:28:27 | More by biboergosum
3.45/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
10-14-2012 23:00:51 | More by damndirtyape
3.85/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
10-14-2012 17:40:10 | More by hosehead83
3.68/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
09-16-2012 23:28:52 | More by BigBry
United Kingdom (England)
3.55/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
06-26-2012 22:20:14 | More by jazzyjeff13
3.73/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
07-04-2011 18:05:11 | More by beerdrifter
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.78/5 rDev +5%
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.
06-26-2011 13:44:19 | More by CwrwAmByth
3.2/5 rDev -11.1%
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.
03-12-2010 19:09:05 | More by Dentist666
3.13/5 rDev -13.1%
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.
11-18-2009 09:05:13 | More by ADZA
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.15/5 rDev -12.5%
The head quickly dissipates to just a rim ring above the straw coloured beer. The nose is chalky leading me to expect a yeasty taste. There are some banana esters but no hint of the grapefruit mentioned on the bottle.
After a disappointingly watery start a pleasant light but warm Belgian flavour kicks in with hints of a spice I can't place (nutmeg perhaps?). Yeast is not a big factor. Then the hops kick in and I am treated to the grapefruit flavour, not bold or sweet, understated but welcome all the same. Then we're back to the original flavour but with a hint of popcorn. I'm quite surprised by the subtlety of the nuances here.
Rather watery and flat to start, it took a bit of getting into and even then left the mouth rather dry, yet by the end of the bottle I was wishing I had another!
10-29-2009 14:47:10 | More by charlatan
4/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
09-23-2009 10:58:35 | More by jbro434
4.03/5 rDev +11.9%
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.
09-15-2009 22:57:15 | More by aaronh
3.85/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
08-11-2007 10:21:42 | More by Cresant
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.83/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
06-09-2007 08:09:11 | More by kmacphail
3.88/5 rDev +7.8%
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 Id like the malts to come through too.
11-19-2006 22:49:41 | More by Sigmund
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
3.5/5 rDev -2.8%
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
10-09-2006 19:10:13 | More by cypressbob
United Kingdom (England)
3.6/5 rDev 0%
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.
09-16-2006 20:57:52 | More by BlackHaddock
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
3.6/5 rDev 0%
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...
08-23-2006 11:31:22 | More by mdagnew
United Kingdom (England)
3.63/5 rDev +0.8%
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.
08-14-2006 19:26:47 | More by wl0307
3.85/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
02-21-2005 17:06:31 | More by Bierguy5
4.8/5 rDev +33.3%
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.
01-08-2005 17:06:49 | More by SaucyJack
2.68/5 rDev -25.6%
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.
12-11-2004 14:13:03 | More by Stimack
Adnams Explorer from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.