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Adnams Southwold Bitter - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams Southwold BitterAdnams Southwold Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

145 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.88%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | 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: rastaman on 08-12-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 67
Reviews by biboergosum:
Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle - surely this is the same offering as the 'Adnams Bitter', no?

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of loosely foamy, dirty white head, which leaves some low shoreline lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of grainy caramel malt, thin apple orchard fruit, and some mildly bitter leafy, grassy hops. The taste is somewhat biscuity, grainy malt, with some breakfast butter character, a simple drupe fruitiness, and herbal, leafy hops.

The carbonation is generally quite sedate, just a bit of sass here and there, the body medium-light in weight, and haltingly smooth, a slight indistinct edge floating throughout. It finishes off-dry, barely, the grainy malt, apple skin fruitiness, and leafy hops conspiring and conjuring that particular effect.

A so-so bitter, not really up to the spec of a Fullers or John Smiths, with an off kilter, and overly dominant fruit nature. Good for one, I suppose, and then it's simply time for something else.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a clear deep copper color with a nice looking 1/2 finger white head atop that held well.Bready and toffee malt aromas,light fruity ester and hard water roud it out,there is a light whiff of leafy hops.A little light in the mouth but probably right on for the style and abv.,subtle flavors of sweetish toffee and biscuit,fruity tones,that hard water,and a little more pronounced leafy hops in the finish.It's not bad it is what it is,I could drink alot of these over a long period of time in a session.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

large bottle with dating, its fresh. Tasty English style ale. Medium body and nice smooth mouthfeel. Nice and malty, bready, yeasty and fresh tasting. Moderate hop bite to add balance and complexity to this brew. Completely English in its sensibilities. Doesnt overpower the ole taste buds, as some U.S. ales can do ( I love those as well dont get me wrong...)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of April 2013. Picked up some time back from a supermarket. The figure depicted on the label is 'Southwold Jack', a local icon and an emblem of the brewery.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep orange-amber colour with medium carbonation. Forms a decent head of frothy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or two before collapsing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of caramel malt with fruity yeast esters, stewed hops, faint grass/hay and a hint of sweetness.

Tastes of caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of caramel, fruity yeast esters, stewed hops, mild grass/hay and a dry earthiness. A subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with light carbonation and good body. Slightly astringent, with an aftertaste of dry stewed hops and fruitiness.

A decent bitter, if a tad unexciting. Would be nice if the hop aroma was more prominent, but overall this is balanced and well-crafted. A easy-going ale that would be perfect for sessioning. Worth sampling if you see it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southwold Bitter pours a deep mahogany caramel amber color with a slightly hazed appearance. Head is thick and tan full of froth, with fine even lacing. Earthy, leather notes of complexity even some fruity grape notes more concentrated raisin even, with a hop nose of earthy herbal hops. Complex enduring flavors of butterscotch, caramel, blended with earthy herbal hops dominating eachother into submission to create an exhilarating layer of balance. Which exudes the palate into wanting more and more, a very easy to consume complex low in alcohol English bitter. Mouthfeel is complex with a hint of diacetyl but doesn't knock you down, rather it balances out other aspects that the beer has to offer. Medium bodied evenly carbonated this beer I'm sure is supreme on cask. Overall a enjoyable beer that I want travel to far for since I can get right down the street.

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Considering the 3.8%ABV, this was very tasty, very nice hoppy flavour, and on the drier side of the scale, very nice citric hops and satisfying bitter finish, great session ale.

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gorgeous tarnished brassy hue with great clarity and 2 fingers of off white head that sticks to the glass. Bold, earthy and spicy hops on the nose with buttered burnt biscuit it underneath it. Toasted grains, roasted malt and a slight floweyness.

Light body. Big malt profile. Toasted grain on the flavor with a little bit of butteryness. Hops come through flavor wise but there's not a ton of bitterness. Lots of balance. A little thin and watery but it has good flavor, a nice balance of complex malts and noble hops. Bold for a session brew but the water like body takes away from it a bit.

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a 10oz pint glass at Churckey DC. From notes.

A real nice light tan off white head hits on the pour, and barely falls if at all. Dark chestnut brown body withe amber and orange sides and hues, and a fairly crystal clear appearance. Very good lacing on this drink as it clumps throughout at times while finishing.

Nose brings a soft malt body, and mostly semi toasted bready malts. Not much else, but really pleasurable and simple and solid.

Taste strangely on first quaff is a mild cheap tobacco, similar to cigarettes, but certainly tolerable. Chewy graham cracker malt and milk depth, with a fairly bitter hop finish, giving to an earthy feel.

Overall a real mellow and chewy classic bitter that is worth seeking out.

Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively dark and clear reddish amber in color with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are light but unique aromas of buttery malts and fruity yeast in the nose; these become a lot stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has a light amount of bitterness along with hints of butter and toffee.
M: It feels a bit higher than light-bodied on the palate with some hints of chewiness and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite flavorful given its low alcohol content, which makes it rather sessionable.

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Adnams Southwold Bitter 3.7° – 3.50
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery in Southwold, Suffolk, United Kingdom (England)

Cask @ Papago Brewery
The beer a cloudless amber color as it sets in my mug, the head portly in size with the color a pleasing light tan and the texture creamy, lace forms a thin sheet to cover the glass. Nose is all malt, sweet and pleasant with the start lightly sweet, nice malt presence and the top light in feel to the palate. Finish is devoid of carbonation as one should expect, mild hop presence, quite dry aftertaste and quite reminiscent of Caffrey’s and Boddingtons’s Cask beers, and a nice change of pace from the hearty IPA’s and dark brooding beers I have sampled of late.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle: best before 30 Nov 2012, poured into an 'Old Speckled Hen' badged pint vase shaped glass on 22 Aug 2012.

Lovely looking beer: clean and clear body of true amber, on top a well formed head of white foam.

Malty nose and taste: toffee and semi-sweet molasses fill the mouth with flavour, rich for a 4.1% ABV beer. Talk about easy drinking, this is a session beer with a great taste and attitude.

Photo of fx20736
2.27/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a British Pint Glass. Served cool.

pretty medium copper with 2 fingers of a cream colored batter texture head which leaves nice swaths of lacing.

strange aroma of burning rubber.

Chewy, viscuous mouthfeel.

taste: bitter. quite bitter. and fairly malty.

Notes: had my 1st two Adnams beers today and their is a bitterness which I find not at all pleasing. Pity as I was excited to try some new English beer.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt, 0.9oz bottle poured into a tulip stout glass. Date stamp says 1346 21:12 - whatever that may mean.

Appearance: Clear dark coppery orange. Tiny bubbles coming up through the beer slowly when held up to the light. Thin skin of white foam across the top with some occasional strands of lacing noted. Very nice color with this beer.

Smell: Herbal and mild buttery note with just a bit of skunk in there. Skunkiness goes away as beer warms up.

Taste: Malt with a hint of diacetyl butter and hop bitterness mixed together at the beginning, and finishing with a sharp bitterness. Definite English style hop bitterness here. A tasty example of an English bitter.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation but a little watery underneath, although it does remind me of just about every English bitter I've ever had out of the bottle, so really spot on for style. I suspect it would be better on cask. So in other beers I might feel the mouthfeel was average, but in this case, it works well with everything else going on and is just right.

Overall / Drinkability: Quite drinkable and I think a good example of an English bitter. I could easily see myself having another one. Like all English ales needs to warm up for a bit after coming out of the fridge before you get all the flavors and the real character of the beer.

Photo of claspada
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly dark amber color with a thick eggshell head of froth that recedes to leave solid lacing.

Aromas begin with earthy, floral hops with some emerging fruity green fruit esters with some more herbal hops in the background. As it warms you get some of the malt base composed of heavily toasted bread, light minerally aspects with some emerging caramel maltiness.

The tastes begin slightly biscuity and toasted maltiness with some minerally aspects in the finish. Hops are lightly bitter but balance the malt sweetness, mainly earthy and herbal. Some fruity English yeast esters also emerge as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter with a slightly balanced malt sweetness.

Overall this was an enjoyable beer that I enjoyed while eating my Malaysian dinner the other night. It is extremely drinkable, never boring and just a quality example of an English Bitter, one of the top ones I've had in the US for sure. It lacks the spoiled, old, oxidized flavors many English imports have which was very pleasing.

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.55/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

NERAX 04

This is what a bitter should be!

A crystal clear amber, with a beautiful fluffy head crowning over the rim of the glass. Very fragrant. Nice maltiness, and crisp hops balanced with subtle perfection.

This one I could drink all day and not feel like I was missing out on anything.

Photo of rarbring
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The ale is clear honey amber, a warm off-white head that settles slowly leaving very good lacing. Very small curtains.

The smell is sweet fresh bread with a dash of honey, ripe apples and pears. An orange, almost metallic finish.

Starts sweet, brown bread, brown sugar, a dash of oranges, then a straight bitter finish.

Medium carbonation, small foamy bubbles, soft and refreshing, a rather long dry finish.

Very session-able, a nice relaxing ale. The can bought in Sweden says 4.1% ABV.

Photo of gutbucket2
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

5 litre cask from brewery shop containing live yeast. Poured amber, clear, with reasonably lasting head. aroma: sulphur and hop. taste: apple, sulphur, treacle. mouthfeel, light. overall: great character in this bitter.

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually not my fav style, English bitter, but I'm trying to get a liking for it, so hopefully this helps my cause.

Pours a nice looking creamy bubbly 1 finger head that seems to just sit there like it has no place to go, and leaves nice lacing on the sides as it dances around them, over semi clear auburn honey brown color.

Nose has a typical earthy bitterness, just slightly herbal and grassy, a light coppery like aroma the good kind, a light sweet caramel and toffee malt aroma, hint of honey malt as well. The hops get a bit more grassy and quite aromatic the more I nose.

Taste gets more bitter, a definite English style bitter. Earthy hops, bittering hops, fairly grassy and herbal but bright, chewy even. malts bring more caramel and toffee like, but light soft and almost juicy like. bitterness grows to a decent mark as it goes, with more of that grassy herbal taste, and a slight nutty like flavor with just a touch of bready dough malt. Slight mint and tobacco like hop character, with a bit more sticky sweetness. Finish is drier but still slightly sweet and sticky, more herbal grassy hops and little malt flavor lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, soft though, with decent carb.

Overall better than I though. The herbal earthy grassy hops don't really turn me off, and in fact bring some interesting characters that I'm actually enjoying this beer. A nice malty balance that adds an interesting softness to it which could be the water.

Photo of rjplumer
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Malt, caramel bread type of aroma. Medium brown body with a bit of an orange hue.. Light tan head about a half inch or so to start and settles relatively quick to a light film. Mild sweet fruit and malt taste with a touch of bitterness. Touch of apple like crispness. Has a full thick feel.

Photo of rtrasr
4.94/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this bitter at the Plough in London near the British Museum. Pours a beautiful cooper color with nice white head. Some lacing in the glass. It smelled warm and toasty. It tasted so easy. Perfect for a cool fall day. It went down so easy. The perfect session beer. Tasted of a nice glass of milk. I drank 3 pints, no problems. Has to be one of the best bitters out there.

Photo of mikeg67
2.7/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle. Pours amber with a medium lasting white head. Aroma is of grassy hops, caramel malt, and ripe fruit. Body is medium and tangy. Earthy hops followed by caramel malt and some fruit on the palate. Finish is long and earthy. I can’t say I enjoyed this brew.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this on cask at Eli Canon's.
The brew came to me at room temp and displayed a clear orange/amber color with about a 1cm soft creamy white head. The head stayed around throughout most of the sampling.
Aroma is mild but I get some caramel malt and also a nice mix of earthy and grassy hop.
First sip reveals soft creamy texture and very faint carbonation. I get a sweet malty start which rolls over to a grassy hop finish that lingers on the roof of my mouth rather nicely. Overall the brew is mild on flavor and aroma but isnt that part of what a bitter should be? I could drink tons of these in a sitting I think. Good example of the style!

Photo of Seumas
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the joy of return trips to England is the opportunity to sup pints which remain as tasty as they were at first cut many years earlier.

There's still a nice hop flavour to this East Anglian classic, citrus and seaweed, subtly done.

It was and is good in the free trade in London and Essex, and delightful in a rural Adnams house in its home county of Suffolk.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

Pours a deep amber with orange hues capped with a two finger off-white head. Great retention and a noticeable amount of spider web like lacing. Pleasant aroma of apple peel, caramel, toffee notes on the nose. Apple peel, pear, a touch of almond and biscuit notes joined by caramel malt and toffee. Finishes with a restrained herbal bitterness. Slick and smooth, fairly substantial malt backbone lends to a lighter medium body with a pleasant level of carbonation. An exceptionally well-balanced, easy drinking bitter. Highly recommended.

Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent starting head which leaves chunky lace on the glass. Crystal clear with a deep copper amber color. Attractive.

The nose is closest to toffee and caramel than anything else. Mild hop aroma in the background.

This is a smooth drink, rich and lowly carbonated. More bitterness than the smell would suggest. Plenty of toasted malt, but it isn't too biscuity.

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Adnams Southwold Bitter from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.