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Adnams Broadside - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams BroadsideAdnams Broadside

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very good

249 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 18
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-10-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 140
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my wife's favourite beer!

This is serious drinking beer, full of colour, full of powerful flavours and aromas. A dark ruby-red strong English Ale which demands respect.

My wife and myself drink it in 'The Nelson', Southwold. The pub is full of naval stuff, as you would expect, it is also only 400 yards from the brewery. The horse-drawn dray delivers to all the pubs in Southwold even to this day, a great sight.

Adnams are pushing their beers into the 'Free Trade' more and more at the moment and are expanding. Their beers are now available all over the UK. I have not detected any lowering of standards or tastes of any of their beers. I try them whenever I come across them, Broadside at its best, is a very very good beer.

Photo of GallowsOak
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply English Premium Cask Bitter at its best. Spicy notes of Challenger (?) hops. Malty and rich but not overpowering. After the first pint the second is enevitable. If you find it on a bar in England it would be rude not to try it! Think warm summer evening in a English country pub garden after a hard game of tennis. Broadside is a drink to sip gently, talk about, then finish off in large mouthfuls. Adnams have acheived a perfect balance of robust and 'easy to drink'. Don't buy the bottled version thinking it's the same drink, it is very different, very good indeed, but very different.

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this 500ml bottle on 2nd July 2006 (BB 27 JUN 07) NOTE: 6.3% ABV.

As soon as I removed the crown cap, a nice surge of bubbles appeared from the top of the bottle. Poured into pint glass a clear fairly dark brown brew with a nice head. The smell was a surprise, being fruity (apples and pears). I had expected an earthy malty smell. The taste was malt and hops, very good, although not complex. Mouthfeel was clean. This is a good honest English Ale. The only downside was I got a tiny bit weary of the taste which explains my reduced drinkability score. I would love to have a couple of pints of the cask version.

Okay, I have had the cask version (a number of times!) in April 2007 while visiting London. I found it to be an excellent "session" ale, so my "drinkability" score would be a 4.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my! What a terrific ale! I must say, this poured much darker than I was anticipating. A dark cloudy bronze / red colour with a lovely khaki coloured head. It looked wonderful! The smell is delicious with loads of caramel and other sweet, candy-like nuances. There is also a pleasant measure of hops detectable, as well. The taste is a magnificent balace of caramel and hops, as both the sweetness and the hops' bitterness seem to manifest themselves at the same time. The mouthfeel is very smooth, making this easy to drink. A perfect measure of carbonation in a truly wonderful English ESB!! Smashing!! ..and a special thanks to BA Ding for being kind enough to provide me the opportunity to taste this lovely treat!

Photo of jaluria
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Read about this beer in The Brewmaster's Table and decided to pick up at my local store.

Poured a nice crimson color with an eggshell colored head that left behind some lacing and contained a medium level of carbonation. Aromas of sugar, plums, roasted malt, and sea salt seemed apparent. The taste was somewhat smokey with strong malt flavors. The beer was engaging with a bitterness that grows with each sip and dominates the finish. Slightly chewy texture with a smooth and refreshing. Good flavors and low alcohol content make this an easy drinking beer.

Photo of geexploitation
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer calls itself an "English Ale", but it doesn't taste too much like one. It doesn't taste like an ESB (which is how BA classifies it), that's for sure.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held to direct light. Big head initially, but it fades. The nose is quite sweet, with caramel notes, perhaps some beet sugar notes, and just a touch of earthy hops. Not much hop character for an ESB/English Ale. The palate is more of the same: there's some balance in the bittering hops, but lots of sweet malt character -- caramel and dark fruit -- and a finish with a dry, Burton-gypsum snap. Mouthfeel is rather viscous, perhaps due to some residual sugars.

All in all this is OK, but I'm not terribly impressed. This just doesn't strike me as very English.

Photo of LHMark
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 6%, Broadside is a big beer, especially for one that advertises itself simply as "English Ale." Yet the brew is nicely balanced and pleasant. There's nothing extraordinary here, but I'd happily order a Broadside from time to time.

I screwed up the handling of the bottle, leaving a luxurious trail of suds across the floor as I rushed to get the gushing maw over the sink, so I can't accurately comment about the beer's head. It pours a pretty amber, almost apricot when held up to the light.

Being used to American IPAs and pale ales, with their esters and Pacific Northwest pine scents, I found Broadside's aroma refreshingly different. There;s some floral hop smell, but it's more subdued...dare I say more refined?

The beer felt pleasantly viscous in my mouth, and I thought that was a nice touch considering the higher alcohol content compared to most English ales. The beer had light fruit flavors that did not obscure the sweet taste of the malt, and finished with a noticeable but subdued hop flavor, with none of the grapefruit or pine of it's American counterparts. Overall pretty nicely balanced.

I hadn't had an English beer in a long time. Adnams Broadside is a good way to get reacquainted.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - a bloodish-red amber color, a light mocha head is quick to build up to two fingers, then drift down slowly, some choppy lacing left behind.

Aroma - sweet, malty, bready, biscuity, like most good ESBs.

Taste - sweet malts at first, quickly followed by some good balancing hops. A hefty wash of carbonation cleans the palate for the ensuing roasty flavors. Ends with that malt roastiness and some of the hop bitterness. Great balance, a great beer!

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, and medium-bodied.

Drinkability - a great beer at a great price. 99 cents a bottle on sale at Jungle Jim's. Woo Hoo!

Photo of wl0307
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted by two half pints at the Anglesea Arms, South Kensington, just before X'mas 05. I can't help feeling that many BAs need to examine their eye-sights: the entry here is for the 4.7%abv. draught version rather than the stronger 6.3%abv. bottled version!! And, quite honestly, these are almost two different beers IMHO~~ Here's why:

A: pours a bright, copperish hue, with a thin frothy cap on the top, leaving very tight lacing against a low-carbonated body. Very decent and fresh~~
S: resinous hops float from the beer head, while luscious dark fruits and slightly sulphurus and earthy hops come through after swirling, backed by a toffeeish malty overtone at the back.
T: ultra smooth-textured, almost mixed juice like fruity maltiness prevails upfront (mixed of red apples, raisins, ripe black plums, with a lightly vinous touch), backed by a lightly toffeeish flavour; quickly leading to a dryish hoppyness and bitter-sweet, dried berry-fruitiness in the aftertaste... just when it's about to end a tangy fruity hoppyness with the Adnam's special soft-salty hint (as vividly demonstrated by Adnam's flagship beer: Bitter) kicks back, resulting in a satisfying, almost tea-like texture at the back of the palate.
M&D: medium-bodied and lively at the same time, the mouthfeel is rounder than round and softer than soft, with a touch of oil against its well-balanced flavour profile. It's simply a bliss as far as a draught ale is concerned... After having tried this fantastic draught version of Broadside five years ago in a Sussex village, this is my first time to bump into the same ale in such perfect condtion. A distinctive ale (IMO) from its own stronger cousin, and equally impressive!

Photo of mortarit
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer that I bought with the exp. date has expired. (21Sep05)
Honestly I dont think it effected the taste but I really couldn't say if it did.
Adnams bottle shape is something I admire, why it's different and not plain looking like most.
Head is there but leaves quickly, length about inch or less.
Coloring has a reddish brown tint. It has the cloudy look at both ends that I like.
Even though it has Original Ale printed on the label I still taste the bitters inside from the last beer from them ESB.
It's mild easy to drink one or two but I wouldn't finish the case with this one. Not a party beer.

Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle bought from Sainsburys

Poured a reddy brown / amber colour... Creamy tan head poured quite big and foamy with small beading. Head settled to a nice thin layer which lasted until the end...

Aroma - Sweet and malty, dark fruits (plums), ginger, slight nuttiness, vanilla hints...

Taste – Fruity, spicy, quite strong maltiness, slightly sweet...

Feel - Quite light bodied. Sharp at first but quite creamy afterwards...

Overall - Well worth a try. Very drinkable...

Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[This is the cask version at 4.7%. Ratings for the bottled version should be entered under "Adnams Broadside Strong Original".]
Cask conditioned at The Tottenham, London. Deep amber/copper colour, minimal head. Aroma of nuts and red fruits. Flavour is a bit alcoholic with a substantial hoppy bitterness, which leaves a nice aftertaste.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another reason why I'm becoming an ESB man. After my local pub got Fuller's ESB on tap, this is a close (recent) second.
Poured up cloudy and dark amber with a thick off-white head of creamy foam. Head left pretty quickly, but a thin cover stayed around. Wonderful smelling brew, malt and fruit, maybe apples or sweet vinegar, jumped from the glass I had poured. Taste was similar to the smell, hops at the back with a multitude of flavor on the tongue and cheeks. Not much carbonation, reminds me of pub beers in England. I would drink a few. Great stuff, I will have to seek out more ESB's as well as Adnam's other brews.

Photo of Suds
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me why I love a good, solid English ESB. It’s a mahogany color with a rocky, stable tan head. The aroma is very malt and fruity. Faint butterscotch in the smell as well, and hint of ethanol. Sweet malt tastes, caramel, lightly toasted malts, and a medium hop balance combine in the flavor. Relatively low carbonation gives the beer a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. It’s substantial, and very satisfying. It’s not the kind of beer that “wows” you, but it is thoroughly compelling and would be a hell of a session brew.

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy, dark brown, 16.9 oz bottle, "Best Before 25 Nov 2004" on label. Sampled on 12 Dec 2004. Pours a chill hazed garnet mahogany body with a small, but longlasting, beige head that leaves some nice patch and sheet lace.
Aroma is very floral, with a strong caramel background.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low medium carbonation. Very clean, with a mineral note that is ideal for the style.
The taste begins with a leafy, hops bitterness that is floral(lilac?). Caramel and buttery toffee offer up a solid malt backbone, and pear and apple notes are picked up midway through. Some hints of mineral that were noticed in the aroma add to the sublime complexity. Finish is clean, with a floral hops aftertaste.
Very well executed English Bitter. Though past the freshness date, it has been stored well and exhibits no hint of oxidation. Wonderful brew from the "Sunrise Coast" of England.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

had this hand pumped at eli's last night..

aroma, taste, and texture: banana! i've never sampled a beer with more banana all around. the malt flavors are present but mild, adding just enough to remind you it's a beer.

this is something that should not be missed if it is available in your area. i'm not the biggest fan of cask conditioned beers, but this was a pleasant way to finish off a night of good beer consumption.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ESB poured a clear, deep amber color with white foam that settled. The smell was lightly malty with a touch of hops. The taste was flavorful: malty with moderate bitter hops. A very pleasant flavor. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry with medium body and low carbonation feel. This was a very nice pint of bitter.

Photo of Tballz420
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a dark brown, hazy concoction, with a bubbly tan head topping it off. Thick caramel malt scent, with a touch of hops. Nice does of bitter hops with a touch of floral, nice caramel malt front. Bits of yeast and fruit tones show as well. Pretty creamy mouthfeel. Pretty tasty treat from england, give it a shot.

Photo of cypressbob
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask conditioned at the northern ireland CAMRA fest

Pours with a dark amber body, slightly hazy, foamy head

Smell, malty hints, some fruity esters

Taste, quite a strong hint of apples, some hop bitterness, smooth and easily consumed

Adnams continue to create great english ales

Photo of Bdc
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The red-amber English strong ale has a malty, complex-fruit aroma. Complex malt (biscuit, caramel) and fruit (plum, raisin) flavor. Somewhat sweet, but a suprisingly clean finish, which made this fuller-bodied ale fairly easy drinking. Low carbonation and warming. A good English ale.

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9ozer purchased from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above a deeply reddish-brown brew. Dense head hung around for quite some time, and laced well. Aroma is sweetly malty. Taste is also sweetly malty, but not overly so, and a bit of hops bitterness cuts through the flavor at the end. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good. Wish I had a chance to catch this on cask like Craig did...

Photo of CRJMellor
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear mahogany with a deep tan colored and big soap bubble-like head exudes lace and leaves a minor film on the pint glass.
Aroma is caramel, hexnuts, some biscuit and butter with a spicy hop profile. Very lively beer, this cask is just right !
Flavor of sweet malt, some roastiness, cut hay and wheat. Spicy bitterings finish off a great pint.
Mouthfeel is sweet and smooth with a nice lively spiced bittering.
Drinkability - I have a bias for Adnam's but this was a really exceptional pint, kudos to the cellarman at The Castle in Cambridge, England. Great pint.

Photo of findlayfan
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle (Best before 26 Nov 04).

Clear mahogany body with nice off-white 1" head (when poured into 22 oz. glass), which dissipated fairly quickly.

Not much lacing but quite a bit of carbonation.

Pleasant, sweetish smell; lots of malt with a bit of caramel.

Quite drinkable--wish I'd had more than one bottle available--even on a warm June evening. Would likely be even more enjoyable in the spring or fall (or even winter).

I will definitely look for this one again.

Photo of longpondbeerman
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This English ESB pours a rich, dark reddish brown with a thin eggshell colored head. There is a slightly metallic initial aroma to the nose, augmented by an underside of maple, ginger, and lemon. The taste is stronger in the malts, frankly more sweet than bitter, and there is a caramel texture to the mouthfeel, supported by strong carbonation.

Photo of Doiv
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby colour with an off white head. Aroma is malty and fruity, with apples and oranges.
Tadte is hoppy and malty, with a small cinnamon kick to it. Warm winter fruits follow, then a bitter and spicy aftertaste.

Nice mouthfeel, good drinkability.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.