Adnams Bitter - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams BitterAdnams Bitter

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BA SCORE
83
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.87%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 05-28-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by lacqueredmouse:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pleasant burnished bronze colour, with flashes of red through it. Head is fine and filmy, and leaves beautiful patterns of lacing down the inside of the glass.

Pleasant English hop fragrance on the nose, giving some resin and wood flavours, with a darker lilt of tobacco leaf. A bit of caramel maltiness as well, that balances it. Pretty nice.

Very smooth on the palate, with some burgeoning grain sweetness through the front, before a welcome addition of bittering hops cleanses the back, and gives a much needed balance. Slight hint of marzipan on the very back. Feel is very pleasantly smooth, with just a leavened hint of carbonation.

A very drinkable brew, and a mild but pleasant English bitter. Not a very robust one, but it's nice enough.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2012, so it's just out of date. ABV is stated as 4.5%.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A rich coppery-amber colour with good carbonation. Forms a small head of white foam that disappears rapidly. A subtle aroma of sweet, fruity caramel malt with hints of yeast and stewed hops. A faint buttery note in the background.

Tastes of caramel malt with a dry bitter finish. Notes of toffee, faint hints of aromatic citrus and a vague yeasty fruitiness. A mild stewed-hop bitterness upon swallowing. Hints of alcohol/solvent in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and a little slick. Good body. Somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of fruity caramel malt.

Not bad; a decent bitter (as the label says, a classic). Slightly sweet, with subtle flavours that blend well. But it's a bit boring - if something more exciting was on offer then I'd probably pass this over.

Photo of Hammarby
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a foamy white head twith some lacing.
S: Fruit, iron,butter, dried apricots.
T: Bitterness, fresh bread and a hint of iron. Aftertaste of light fudge and dill crisps. I can't explain the dill crisps, but it's there.
M: Medium body, kind of low carboration.
D: Good. No problem drinking this one whatsoever. Then again bitter is one of my favorite styles.

This is just the way a bitter should taste and feel, to my opinion.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dry English malts with a bitter...almost vinegar but not unpleasant...hop blend and bite on the tongue.
Color is a nice pale ale shade of gold with a decent head.
Aromas are only slightly English malt but the dry, green hop aroma is definitly there.
Very drinkable, session type brew.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber approaching copper with a small head.
Nose shows light caramel, floral and peach notes, quite sweet. Diacetyl is definitely noticeable, making it seem fuller and richer.
Loads more toffee and caramel as flavours with faint reminders of the fruity aromas along with resinous hops. Finishes with a rather dull metallic bitterness.
Nice low carbonation.
This would have been quite good if not for the dodgy finish.

Photo of Amalak
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Clear light brown, bubbly. It has a bubbly head and some lace.

S. No real scent to it.

T. Very flavorful beer. Malty and smooth. Has a bit of a bubble gum flavor to it. There's also a lemon/lime-Sprite kind of taste.

M. Bubbly and tingly on the palate.

O. Very smooth and easy to drink. Balanced, even if a slight bit dry.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 500ml bottle with a 4.5% Bitter inside, best before 16th July 2009, drank on 22nd April 2009. Poured (twice) into a La Chouffe stemmed tulip shaped glass.

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Deep amber body with a very good, rich and high tanned head. The beer had a teak wood sort of hue to it, clear and wholesome looking too.

Very different to the cask version and a lot stronger in alcohol. The aroma, taste and mouthfeel just don't match up and why should they, this is obviuosly a completely different beer.

Hops, barley and nuts in the aroma, along with some malt bread and toasted brown bread.

The beer just tastes right, good bitter bite and a hoppy aftertaste, a classic British Bitter.

Adnams are a favourite of mine and this is the sort of product that highlights why.

A joy to hold and drink!

Photo of AylwinForbes
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The "regular" Adnams bitter - a lighter version of the estimable Broadside. Many a long night in an Aldeburgh pub and several pints of this fine bitter punctuated my university career. Dark amber and moderate sudsy head appear on first pouring. Lowish in alcohol, but not concomitantly low in flavour, malty fruity, slight hop aroma, good body, eminently drinkable.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
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 amber-copper pour with quickly fading two finger head and nice lacing. Pretty typical English Bitter nose with lots of biscuity malt, subdued fruity herbal hops, and a strong aroma of tea and rye bread. The taste follows suit with fruity, herbal tea, and bitter hops up front, balanced nicely by solid bready, nutty, caramel malt with hints of vanilla, rye bread and a touch of metal. Smooth bitter finish and the low ABV make this pretty drinkable. I've heard a lot about Adnams and they're a solid brewery, but still nothing that really jumps out to me.

Photo of david18
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of all the english beers I had on my recent visit to London this was probably one of my favorites. Very bright light color, good carbonation, refreshing (especially for an english draft ale) and quite a nice thing in the afternoon. Perhaps it was partially the difference between draft and cask but I enjoyed this beer all week.

Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-cask in London:

Pours copper with a foamy white head. Foamy lacing sticks.

The smell is musty-ish, a bit leafy, with caramel.

The taste is of strong caramel with a leafy, tea-like, slightly aspiriny bitterish finish.

The feel is light-bodied/thin. Approaches watery.

Something almost clashes here, but ends up with a refreshing quality. Caramelly with an herbal dryness. It does have a certain drinkable smoothness to it.

Photo of Mark
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had this beer in a pub in Hampstead. Adnams bitter is a deep and clear amber topped by a nicely formed head, lacing is scattered but nice. Herbal hop aroma is followed by a zingy sharp hop blast that is also herbal and a bit fruity. Finish is long. Tingly mouth feel, a nice beer to enjoy while relaxing and it is quite refreshing.

Photo of rjimlad
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Promising start when it poured a hazy caramel with a thin head and some fine lacing. Not much aroma except for some hop resin and slight citrus.
Flavour is citrus and hop, loads of grapefruit bitterness. Quite boozy and drinkability is compromised by this. Some grassiness and subdued breadiness. I was a little disturbed by a slight soapy taste that bothered e when I identified it. I think this is a pretty average bitter.

Photo of rarbring
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper-toned slightly hazy beer, an off-white head that leaves tons of lacing.

The smell is a dash of sweet fruits, apricot, plum, some refreshing sour lemon and lime.

The taste you meet is faintly sweet, saramel, some malty tones, digestive biscuits, in the sour area oranges and lemon, and finish of with a dry clean bitterness.

Medium low carbonation, a creamy mouthfeel, a dry finish.

This bitter is easy to drink, and more or less the one I most often have in stock.

Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Grape Expectations, Ballyclare...

Poured a deep orange / rusty copper colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick and foamy and faded to thin layer...

Aroma - Fruity (burnt orange, some raspberry hints, raisins), sea saltiness, light toasted malts, spicy hops, herbs (rosemary ?), vanilla creaminess...

Taste - Strong spicy hop bitterness, definite sea salt notes, toasted bread notes, floral, nutty, tart fruit...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry. Medium body.... Pretty drinkable...

Overall - A very good beer.... recommended...

Photo of JanM
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure if I should use bitters on tap as a reference in rating this beer. I think bitters need to be carbonated but not overly carbonated like the can version I had. It kind of puts it in another style (or sub-style) so to speak. In any case, Adnams Bitter filled my glass with an inviting chestnut colored brew, lots of bubbles and some good foam. Straight out of the can it produced a smell of hops and metal. After a while it became floral too. The first taste was of sweet caramel and bitterness (ta-dam!). This was followed by a hint of licorice and dryness. Refreshing, I'm happy with it.

Photo of GreenCard
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: goldy-copper, good clarity, thick layer of spongey off-white foam, good head retention

Aroma: malt, hint of rust, herbally hops, bit o' diacetyl

Flavor: dry malt backbone with an enveloping green hop flavor; vegetal bitterness and a hint of lime peel; finishes dry with a lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, crisp, slight astringency

Photo of mike130
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm noticing the bottle I've got is higher ABV than what is listed here - 4.5%. Might be a new recipe.

Poured into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass. Looks great - nice, large, thick head that leaves a little lacing with decent retention.

Smells like a standard bitter - a bit of malt and a subdued hop presence mainly.

Tastes stronger than it smells - quite a large, nice bit of malt followed by some typical English hops. Very tasty - not outrageously strong, but can discern some biscuit and caramel in the malt and the hops leave quite a dry impression. Well carbonated and the hops remain in your mouth after you've finished.

Overall a very tasty beer from Adnams. Tasty but very easy to drink at the same time - could be a very good session brew.

Photo of kojevergas
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Gouden Carolus goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland. My bottle clearly shows 4.5% ABV, NOT 3.7% ABV as in the description.

A: Pours an amber-copper with a one finger head of poor retention but decent cream and thickness. Appealing.

Sm: Caramel, hops, barley. Lots of caramel, in other words.

T: Slick open to caramel and hoppy barley. Maybe a bit of chocolate but it could be overflow from the caramel. Ironically, it's far from bitter. The balance favours the latter half. Well built but longing.

Mf: A bit too wet and surprisingly smooth for a bitter. The smoothness does complement the taste, however.

Dr: Low abv, good taste. An excellent session beer.

Photo of Zimbo
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick very creamy quarter inch heavy white head. Amber brown body. Dark fruit smell. On the tongue this is dominated by a bushel of apples with a dark musty dank cellar quality with an element of sourness before there is a lengthy lingering bitter quality. Somewhat dilute, this is not as well balanced nor with as much definition as I would expect as its parts just don't create a very good clean whole.
Still decent enough but it ain't Adnams's Extra is it?

Photo of bark
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As previously stated, this beer comes in 3.7% ABV in casks and 4.5% ABV in bottles, kegs and cans.

The colour is deep amber – red; the two finger head is beige, firm and airy. The fine crater sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing. The liquid is clear.

The smell is dry, fruity and bitter. Apricots, a chemical hint of wax and soap are blended with some yeast and a sweet hint of butter. It smells like a bitter, all right.

The taste is fruity and bitter, all in a balanced and relaxed, very British way. Dry notes of rye bread and butter beans are blended with a mild buttery cookie flavour. It is balanced by a gentle bitterness and a hint of bakers yeast. The aftertaste is fruity with notes of dried apricots, bitter oranges and kiwi.

The carbonation is mild; the bubbles are very small. The liquid is very smooth.

Earlier, I didn’t really esteem the ales of Adnams. I thought they were too chemical and dry. But I think that they have been served too cold; at circa 10° C (50° F), it really opens up.

Photo of cypressbob
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served slightly chilled in an imperial nonic, 4.5%

Pours with a rich dark copper body, shimmering rust highlights. An inch thick head forms, bubbly and dense, good retention also. Some small bubbles of lacing up and down the glass

Smell, rich slightly musty malt profile. Some spicy malt character along with a helping of strong aggressive english aroma hops. Some grapefruit and lemon zest

Taste, crisp and smooth malt body, lots of crisp hops backing the malt flavour up. Crunchy very dry biscuity malt, some slight dry yeast character on the finish. A touch of dried fruit and brandy too

I'm sure this is a real winner on cask. A very drinkable and flavourful bitter

Photo of StJamesGate
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at the Tin Goose, Heathrow airport.

Pours ruddy brown with a thin clingy white head. Musty, toilety, barrel nose. Sour cracked grain and cranberry malts with a malt vinegar sting, then tobacco leaf, tea and woody hops. Medium, slight chew, dry finish.

Sour, skunky, and musty - is this what a bad pint tastes like?
I'm not a huge fan of Adnams, but their reputation means their bitter must be better than this, and I wouldn't trust an airport bar to care much about conditioning.

10-28-2009 17:11:43; On cask at The Crown, Victoria Park, London.

Pours orange with great white lacing. Faint nose. Woody malts and orange coriander hops. Dry tight finish with medium body.

A properly bitter pint of bitter and with the low ABV, a very sessionable ale.

look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In bottle, 28/5/13 - Raspberry nose, more red berry up front with woody hops and some chew. A very fruity bitter. Makes Fuggles palatable, though past date. I'll taste this fresh some day...

Photo of dionisio
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a pub in London. I had over 30 beers on cask while I was visiting England, and this was probably my favorite one. A great bitter. I can't describe it any better than that, because it was two years ago. I wish they would export this to America, but it seems they don't, as I haven't seen it anywhere.

Oh, and for those confused about the ABV... the cask version is 3.7%, the bottle is 4.5. I got this info from the Adnams website.

Photo of Mjoepp
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear and deep amber/copper. Little white foam, medium bubbles, dissapears quickly.

S: Fruity, sweets. Little skunk feeling to it.

T: Apricots, sweets. Aftertaste is bitter caramells and metal.

Overall: More than avrage bitter, but not really a favorite.

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Adnams Bitter from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.