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Adnams Broadside - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams BroadsideAdnams Broadside

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

145 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 263
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 20
Gots: 19 | 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.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 263
Photo of speter
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, poured into a nonic.

A: Clear ruddy tan with a two-finger tan head that persists, leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet bready malt with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar.

T: Biscuity, creamy, and lightly sweet upfront, the beer falls slightly flat mid-palate, before finishing with (I kid you not) a marmalade spike, followed by a nice British bitter bite. The hops do provide a very nice aftertaste that lingers nicely.

M: Creamy and smooth, with a bit of warmth.

O: A solid bottled ESB that is almost certainly superior on cask.

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Photo of AnotherBeerGeek
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served up this lovely full-pint ale in a pub glass. The color is an intensely clear red-brown, with plenty of visible carbonation and a light tan head that fades away quickly. The nose offers up caramel malts and sweet berry notes. There is more of the same as you take that first taste, although these flavors quickly fade to a drying moderate bitterness revealing a respectable underlying hoppiness. The feel is light and refreshing, and the overall result is a decently complex, nicely enjoyable semi-bitter ale. Absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of Samp01
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Pours a reddish brown amber with a small quickly fading beige head. Aroma is of toasted caramel malt, very fruity and yeasty. Taste of toasted caramel malt, fruity, yeast, breads, some toffee flavor and mild earthy hops bitterness. Palate is a medium body, crisp with good carbonation. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt, yeast, fruity, bready with some earthy hops bitterness, ending has a lingering caramel malt and toffee aftertaste. Overall a good, flavorful and pleasant drinking brew.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy; copper colored, medium head, long lasting

Aroma: Malty; tangy fruit; whiff of sea salt; hops

Taste: Malty; orange fruit; spicy hops; very complex and well balanced; creamy

Remarks: Seaside salt is a trademark aroma of this beer

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a half finger of head on a hazy, brown colored body.
The aroma is a complex blend of fruit and bread. Apple, plum, wheat bread and fruitcake.
The taste is bready and fully loaded on malt, but avoids becoming too sweet. A little lemon bitter in the background.
The texture is thick with moderate carbonation.
A hefty beer with great flavor.

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Photo of Radome
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 500 ml bottle into a goblet. The beer was bought off the shelf in England.

A - The color is a rich, deep garnet brown, the deepest copper you could have before being called pure brown. It is crystal clear. The head is tan, thick and sticky; made up of large, oil-sheened bubbles that leave lots of lacing.

S - The aroma was surprisingly hop oriented after the initial pour. I was surprised because I expected more malt balance. As the beer warmed and breathed, more malt came out and the earthy, woody hops faded a bit. Warm bready malt and raisins balanced the hops eventually, making it very inviting.

T - The taste is balanced as well, but leans slightly toward malt. The malt is Warm and bready, with some raisin, brown sugar and even molasses notes. The hops are there, but at a lower level, with earthy and woody being the best way I could describe them. The finish is slightly sweet, but not too cloying.

M - Medium to heavy body, which is appropriate for this flavorful beer. The carbonation is smooth but noticeable. Some low to moderate hops bitterness. Alcohol is detectable, but not at a hot level.

O - This is a nice ESB with plenty of aromas and flavors running around in it. It is a bit too thick and chewy for me to want to drink more than one, but it's a nice sipper.

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Photo of mizx
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle (Best Before dated: 30/11/13)

Very nice clear dark ruby colour with an off-white one finger head, quickly subsiding to a thin cap with just a little spotty lacing. Aromas of sweet malt, some dark fruit and breadiness. Sweet malt taste with some spice and fruitiness, balanced hop bitterness comes through in the slightly dry finish, nice lasting aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

I've not had Fullers ESB for a while, and that might just be better; this is a moreish beer I'd definately buy again.

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Photo of Idris
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am self-confessed big fan of the ESB style. I find it to be a highly underrated style, with balanced and, I dare say, often nuanced flavor profile. This beer presents as a clear ruby-tinged brown brew with an off-white head that quickly retreats, leaving a billowy island in the center of my tulip glass I utilize for evaluation. Sweet malts, very subtle dark fruit, and a hint of breadiness commands me to take a sip. Malt sweetness, a hint of hop spice, and candied fruits abound in the palate, with a finish a touch dryer than anticipated. Medium mouthfeel, no obvious flaws, and the desire to have another (which really is the hallmark of a good beer). Well done.

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Photo of sommersb
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 01-20-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Single from Brawley's Beverage, Charlotte

A: Clear beer, with a bright ruby color. The head is a good size and off-white in color. Retention is good and the lacing is very attractive.

S: Sweet malts, with caramel, nut, and bready aspects. Aromas are clean and very pleasant - makes me want to take a sip!

T: Taste is firstly malty sweet, with the caramel and nut flavors as noted in the aroma. I also get some bitterness of earthy hops and a slight orange/fruity component.

M: Body is medium, with an average amount of carbonation. The finish is more dry than you get in the initial tasting, but still is big on the caramel malts. The English hops keep everything in check for a nice balance.

O: Overall I really enjoyed this beer and would recommend it as a solid session ale.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was told by many that this particular cask was things like "incredible". It's incredible that this beer still tasted well and had some dynamic malt and hop flavors for a beer with a "best by" date of 16 APR 2012. It was kept cold in a walk-in refrigerator this whole time...

For an old, chilled cask, this poured with a surprising amount of head. Looked great atop the amber-copper liquid. Minimal lace. Small touch of haze.

Fresh pale ale and crystal malt on the nose. Mildly estery and vinous. A tad earthy as in "dirt". Not terribly bold on the nose.

Quite toasty/bread-crusty malt flavor, apple-like esters, and actually still packs a somewhat spicy, herbal hop flavor in the background, with some smooth bitterness providing some great contrast and depth long into the finish. The body has some substance to it - a little grainy-gritty yet washes away fairly dry and clean.

I wouldn't call this sample of this ale "incredible" or "awesome". But I can't deny that it certainly had a bolder, more vibrant bready, grainy, and earthy overall flavor than most British pales that make it over here (and I guess that counts for something), but nothing particularly unique. I do wish this was more findable in the American market though. Would like to have it again for sure.

(EDIT: 26 Mar 2014 - I'm wondering now if this cask was a mislabeled Southwold Bitter - having had Broadside earlier in the month on draft, it tasted quite a bit different than what I've described above... the Southwold bottle I just drank was much more similar to my description above)

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Photo of FLima
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice two finger head that quickly left a thin constant lacy.
Dark brown ruby color.
Mild malty aroma with a hint of piney hops.
Medium body and low carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Sweet malty taste with some refreshing hops and hints of caramel. Hints of dried fruits.
Sweet and bitter aftertaste, a bit dry.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass at 6:40 Am on thanksgiving after working 12 hours in a first responder capacity... and man is it tasty.

A=Simply one of the best looking beers I have ever seen. A beautiful amber mahogany color with a finger of head that slowly leaves lacing oozing down the glass

S=Tons of malt, a bit of toffee

T=Sweet, slightly fruity with toffee and pronounced malt in the finish

M=bit thin for my liking, but nothing that detracts from the overall experience

O=Great all around beer, and one definitely worth trying

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Photo of Oakenator
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ruby-brown - a really nice color. Head is decent at pour but disappates somewhat quickly - somewhat expected with this style of beer. Smell is bready malt and spices. Mouthfeel is good for this traditional English beer but from a bottle. Taste is like a English bitter but with a deeper depth of flavor - stronger malts, some mild hoping and in addition to the notes picked up on aroma the taste adds a bitter/sweet finish - a honey or a nice dark sugar. Good beer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a slight bubbly head. Just a ring left, spotty lace.

Big candied, sweet dried stone fruit and toffee aromas.

What you smell is what you get. Huge candied flavors that dissolve into lightly bitter malt. Dried fruits, some apricot, some prune, toffee, then smooth lingering bitterness. I really like the complexity, but this one is a big fruity mess. Big malt at the end, if it helps, but sugary fruit still peeks thru.

Medium bodied, a bit on the flat side, but that is ok.

Not bad. I don't hate this, and the brew isn't flawed with a bad decision...just too many elements. As rich as this is, the entire fruit basket kinda kills this, even with the bitter at the end. Decent beer, but not the best ESB I've had.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going down the Adnams road again. 500 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Beautiful polished amber color, topped with fine head and retention on top. The nose is fruity, nutty, and has some "raw" malt sweetness. That leads to a flavor which is dominate of a duet of malty and fruity notes. Accents of pineapple work into the profile. Some butterscotch and toffee crisp appear as the beer warms. The flavor is a little raw at first, eventually smoothing out to become more pleasant and and more fun to drink. Overall, it's a fine choice to drink broadside.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. There is a batch code but no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a half-liter Hobgoblin glass. The color is ruddy, deep copper. Two fingers of dense, buttery, light tan head dissipated slowly and tantalizingly.

Smell: Lots of nice, sweet grassiness and dark fruit. It also has bold aromas of caramel, nutmeg (maybe), and toffee. It smells a little like a doppelbock.

Taste: The malts dominate except for a hint of booze and a bitter edge that comes on late. Overall, though, it is well balanced and flavorful: grass, dark fruit, caramel, nuttiness, and toffee. It also has a metallic aftertaste.

Drinkability: A very good brew. British bitters are not my specialty and I would much rather have it from the cask. But I suppose this will do across the pond.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty classic ESB. Served cool at 55º into a tulip glass. Tawny reddish copper color, an attractive jewel tone color. A half inch of off white foam rises and leaves behind a good coverage on the surface, with random spotty lacing.

Lightly fruity and mildly sweet apricot nose, hints of sugar cookie and fruitcake as advertised on the back label.

Sweet grainy flavors with a hint of hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Some light fruitiness, apricot and melon rind notes. Supple feel, mellow and smooth, not too sweet. Simple but well put together and enjoyable. Overall a solid ESB, lives up to it's benchmark reputation.

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Photo of Philousa
2.42/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark chestnut brown and clear against the light, this was hard to get a head from the pour, but came out easily with a stiff swirl. I think my fridge is too cold. Syrupy caramel, big nuttiness, some coppery metallic aroma. No hops to speak of and the yeast is present in a slightly tangy way. Some biscuit comes out with a swirl. Solid malt body hits the lips first. A big nuttiness is there again and the metallic taste is more pronounced. Malty like a bock, but mild like an English Bitter. Feel tends towards the watery, finish is balanced.

Nothing stands out in this beer. It's balanced, but it has nothing to hang its hat on. Needs some spice and maybe steer it back towards the style a bit.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Adnams Broadside
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
ABV: 6.30 %

Pours a clear light brown with amber tint. Off white head forms with good retention. Aroma of toffee, caramel, raisin bread, strong tea like, herbal hopping. In the flavor, delicious malty notes with more quality toffee, butterscotch and burnt caramel around the edges. A single hop variety (first gold) is used and adds a great richness and depth of herbal flavor, as well as a palatable bitterness. Finishes clean with a slight notion of toffee and hop. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, delicate but moderate carbonation and a moreish finish.

Overall, this is a great beer. A perfect example of an English ESB, with true to style flavors and a time tested recipe. Broadside is one of the best English ales that comes to the states, and honestly can be enjoyed for almost any occasion. Top notch.

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Photo of tony223366
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful burgundy color with dark brown streaks. A really gorgeous color with a light tan 3+ finger head. Perfect clarity. Beautiful lacing and pretty decent retention. I love the way this beer looks!

S: As far as aromas I get mostly caramel malts with some more raw grain type aromas. Maybe a little brown sugar as well as some fruitiness. The hops come out mostly in a spicy way.

T: Oh man, this is excellent. What a great ESB. Some caramel and rich malt. Just a hint of that graininess. The hops are definitely bitter and on the finish. I get a little of the dark fruit but not much. The finish is so clean.

M: Just spot on. Really rich and creamy. Low carbonation. Just wow.

O: Crazy. This was so much better than I thought it would be. Honestly I saw the labeling about world's best brewery so I assumed it wouldn't be great... but it is. This (for me) constitutes a pretty perfect afternoon drinking beer. Rich, but not heavy, with a good kick and easily quaffed. Love it

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Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real great ruby red just like the bottle says, of dark red ruby and brown color. Hues of mahogany brown toward the top and orange on the bottom. Head has about two fingers and a faint whipped light caramel color lots of retention. Some hazy bubbles stick to the side just under the head. Real nice.

Great toasting grains and dry ripping barley. Fruity sense a bit of dry figs and dates, with a good hop dry bitterness. Very nice and impressive.

Taste has a real nice balance. Crackery dry malt, mixing with a good roast AND milky sweet softness. Slightly thin body, maybe even a little carbonation, comes with still enough richness to coat the palate. Faint hints of dried out toffee on the finish. Nice coating rich faint dark sugar sweetness on the swallow and even some banana.

A real pleasant beer, I've been wanting this for awhile and glad to have finally tried it. Fantastic.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The legendary Adnams Broadside, haven't had this in about 6 years, a 500 mL pour,

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a medium white head, good retention, some soft lace.

S: Gorgeous full malt character, with a lot of minerality, toffee, real nice.

T: Gorgeous (I feel redundant) malt flavour with definite notes of dark chocolate and walnut skin. Strong hop character on the back end, earthy with some grass. Nice balance.

M: Full-bodied, creamy frothy feel, big for its style, long aftertaste.

O: It was great to revisit this legendary effort. Still just as good as I remember it, well worth the $4 for a pickup, glad they came back to the States.

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Photo of smcolw
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good blanketing lace from the modest head. Deep copper color, nearly brown. Appears clear.

Very mild, almost neutral aroma. Mostly malty, slightly metallic.

The flavor is an improvement with some darker malt elements. There's not much hop in the finish and the aftertaste is short lived. The body is above average like a typical British ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I think about ESB's, I think about a strong English balance of hops to malt with a passionate masculinity, yet restrained character on both sides to make the beer as drinkable as it is complex. Where a tug-of-war is expected, a symphony of flavor is delivered.

The anticipation of garnet and ruby stained ale is met with an absolute and resounding burnish brown ale with tawny copper and amber, but the beer is much darker than I expected. But the slow release of foam amounts to a dense and thick blanket of foam that consists of finely knit carbonation and caps the beer for a long, long haul. with each tilt of the glass, the beer's creme clings to the glass and laces with intricate patterns and rings with each drink taken.

Firm and stately aromas of bread, brown sugar, toffee, and pastry crust are met with fruity scents of dried and pitted fruits that span cherries, apples, apricots, pineapples, grapes, dates, and figs. A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg allow the well melded aromas to sculpt a notion of fruitcake and rum-soaked breads.

The taste is delivered with a delicious and moderate strength of toffee sweetness, toated breads starch, and fruity esters for a taste that's alive, vibrant, yet restrained. Lightly aged notes allow for a slight wine vinous character to stem from fruit and into the woody taste of hops that seem of pine needles, grass, and earthen soil.

Richly textured with it's creamy and understated carbonation, but it's release of creaminess is met with the most pleasant of toast dryness, hop bitterness, and mild alcohol warmth.

Although this ale is a bit toastier and richer in malt character than I'm used to in most ESBs, especially my benchmark- Fuller's ESB, this beer seems of a stronger mild ale or a hoppy and soft brown ale of England.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt, 0.9 oz bottle poured into a Tulip stout glass. No date I can interpret on the bottle, but there is a stamp which reads "1347 01:09".

Appearance: Clear deep copper on the table, clear ruby-red to copper when held up to the light. Persistent 1/16" thin off-white head across the top with some persistent strands and sheets of lacing noted.

Smell: When cold, the First Gold hop as indicated on the back of the bottle dominates the aroma, coming across as earthy with a hint of skunk. As it warms up, the malts come out to play, with some toffee and caramel notes mixing in with the Single hop aroma.

Taste: Quick bitterness up front, then moves into a malty middle which has some buttery and toffee flavors in there. The hop bitter finish at the end is notable, but not lingering - counters the malt middle nicely. A beer simple in flavor profile, but it works very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Typical English ale - some carbonation on the tongue, a tiny bit watery but still smooth. Nothing special.

Overall / Drinkability: I suspect the simplicity of the one malt, one hop combination here would really stick out if this was on cask. Don't let it get too warm though - gets flat and a little too sweet towards the end. So with a full pint, I think one is enough to savor and call it done. Worth revisiting though.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.