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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
84
good

68 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 149
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | 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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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 149
Photo of fx20736
2.27/5  rDev -38.8%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
2.37/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Handpump half-pint at Ye Olde Cock.

A: Clear medium amber body with a thin, sticky white head. Ok retention, nice lace. Attractive.

S: Musky, grainy malt. Harsh, lighly sour fruitiness. Almost vinous. Not good.

T: Follows the nose, unfortunately. Caramel malt, rotten prunes. Sweet finish. Pretty disappointing.

M: Typical cask. Medium body, less carbonation. Ok.

O: This was a major disappointment, since I absolutely loved the Adnams Southwold Mild, and hoped that its Bitter counterpart would be just as great. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ye Olde Cock might not be the best at keeping Ye Olde Casks, so if I get the chance to have this one again I'll gladly rereview.

Cheers! (689 characters)

Photo of Trizzle
2.4/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

A last resort for me. I've always put off reviewing this thinking perhaps I'm not getting it at it's freshest, but it is perpetually average so here we go...

Start with the positive..
Good looking beer. Clear brown body with some yellow highlights. Solid head lingers and laces.
Mouthfeel is quite big. Probably the biggest I've had for the style and ABV. It's full and very smooth. Perhaps I shouldn't mark a bitter so high for being so much bigger than the style dictates, but I'm looking for positives here.

Ok..
The nose is quite tart and sweet - smells a touch like a Belgian triple or quad that had been left out overnight. Background cola and peppery notes.
Taste is sickly. Far too sweet and sour. Somehow it's like a high ABV beer that has turned. It dries out a tad in the immediate aftertaste but lingers long and sickly acidic. .

I'm done giving this beer "another shot". (886 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Copper to amber with a bubbly white head that is about a mhalf a centimetre tall. This eventually settles to thin, soapy lacing after about a minute.

Light earthy hops and light malts hitting you first. There is a tiny amount of bitter that is detectable and a touch of fruit too.

Earthy hops and malts that are coupled with some light, summer fruits and some bitterness.

Light bodied and smooth although not quite falling into the watery category, there is a mildly bitter taste and a hint of dryness to the beer. Average with mild carbonation.

Although not a bad beer really it was far to mild and lacking in any strength or flavour where it counted and not a beer that I particularly enjoyed or would go back to.

1001 Beers Blog:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com (777 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of fullsweep
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imperial pint on cask at the local sports and community centre.

A: Reddish brown, but heavy on the brown. I guess 'mahogany' would be close, but not so dark.

S: smells fairly typical for an English bitter. Honestly I can't say much else.

T: nothing incredible or outstanding about this, but relatively solid.

M: smooth, no fizz, moderately rich but not overpowering

O: as stated above, there is nothing amazing or outstanding about this, but it is a fairly solid offering, and very representative of the style. (515 characters)

Photo of captaincoffee
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this at the local pub last night with dinner. I have to say I love it when pubs pull out the specific glass for the beer they are pouring...in this case a tall 20 oz pint with "Adnams" molded into the glass at the bottom.
Poured a nice gold color with a 1 cm off-white head (pour was nice and slow so head was not as pronounced as it would have been with a more robust pour).
Not much nose...just a touch of English hops. I do wish the English bitters would give me a little more in this respect, but it was to style.
Good clean taste with nice malt/hops balance, although it was not particularly flavorful.
Clean mouthfeel...could have been a little more "juicy" in my opinion.
Overall, a very typical bitter. Nothing to get excited about, and probably not something I could pick out of a blind taste test against other similar bitters. However, a reasonably good beer. (880 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 2" puffy off white head recedes slowly with significant lacing. Copper color with minimal carbonation
Aroma: earthy hops, toasted bread
Mouthfeel: medium body, chewy, and somewhat sticky with a dry finish
Flavor: nice balance of caramel and toasted malt flavors with peppery and earthy hop presence Overall: an excellent session ale. I could drink these all day. (377 characters)

Photo of jrfehon33
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a medium brown with a hint of red and just a little bit of head.

Taste: This beer certainly is bitter but it's not overwhelming. There is just a slight bit of sweetness, grain, and pine but it's mostly the bitter flavor that you taste. There's also not very much to the finish, most of the flavor you get on the initial part of the sip.

Mouth Feel:  This is a very carbonated beer and nice and crisp.

Overall: It's a very good beer in this category and a good one to drink to get introduced to bitters. However to me it just seems to be lacking a prominent second note. Beyond the bitterness there really isn't much else to it. (653 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at the Farmers' Cabinet in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a hazy golden copper color with amber/tangerine hues and a half finger white head that quickly fades away. No lacing.

Slightly earthy aroma with grassy hops countered by sweet and spicy malt notes.  Lots of grass and soil followed by rye, caramel and toffee.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of grassy hops and sweet malts.  Some dry bitterness from the spicy hop character countered by caramel malt sweetness, spicy rye, toffee and hazelnut.  Not all that interesting but it's nicely balanced and easy to drink. (577 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Nicholson's - Cincinnati on February 25, 2004.

Mostly clear amber body topped with a nice head of fluffy foam that coated the glass on the way down. Smooth as silk with a nice malty character and hints of the bittering hops. Mouthfeel smooth and rich with a medium body. (284 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on cask at the Priory Arms, Oct. 2004.

This bitter poured a very slightly hazy, deep amber color with white foam that settled flat. The smell was minimal: malt with a trace of sulfur. The taste was malty with mild hops, a hint of caramel, and a touch of sweetness and bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was dry and a tad "chalky", though smooth. The body was medium with very low carbonation. The finish was astringent and made my salivary glands ache. This was an OK bitter. (491 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Half Time Beverages.

Bottled on Dec 11, 2011

It pours a clear deep gold copper with a 2 finger head of white foam. My imperial pint glass looks so gorgeous right now.

It smells grainy with a fruity backbone and has some light bitter notes.

The taste has some grain like in the smell, more bitterness than the smell, a kind of aspirin bitterness that doesn't hit my palate all that well. It finishes slightly on the sweetish side where the medium light body gets a bit thin.

This is not a bad Bitter. The abv is nice and low and drinkabilty as far as said abv goes is great. The flavours just don't mesh as well for me as I hoped. (650 characters)

Photo of TerryW
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber red pour with a generous head that dissapated to absolutely nothing – not even a film. No lace to be had.

Comes across as dry and hoppy, bitter on the palate. Lingers some, but not overlong. You can sense the dry bitterness in the aroma of this beer as well.

Real simple and straight forward. Good clean taste. Nice beer to accompany a meal. (354 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (1,003 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange-brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty faint with some slight malt and fruity aromas. Taste is of malt, slight fruit, and some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium level of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smell is pretty lacking in my opinion. (508 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date

Look - Pours a clear, light amber with a good frothy off-white head. Bubbles range from medium to very small. Average distribution, decent retention, excellent clinging.

Smell - Steely old world hop character with a background of cereal sweetness. Fruity and estery, with aromas of bananas and maybe a little apple.

Taste - Nice bitterness upfront with a subtle undertone of cereal malt flavors. Finishes slightly metallic, like the underside of a bottle cap. Bits of fruit, figs and dates. Bitterness lingers.

Feel - Light and refreshing. Has a cooling sensation like fresh water.

Overall - An enjoyable beer. Haven't had many English Bitters, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. Would have rated higher if not for the steely hop character. (774 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

08-09-2010 17:05:10; 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.

look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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... (1,014 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (177 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (1,025 characters)

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

16.9 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, deep amber-hued body with a foaming, short-lived, white head. A few spider web streaks of lace on the descent.

Smell: Toasted barley husks in the nose with an ill-defined sweet-scented trace to it, discarded fruit skins, and some earthy, woodsy English hops.

Taste: A taste of wet toast with a little, light caramel sweetness that quickly recedes away. A bit of apple skin, a bit of red grape skin. Earthy, woodsy, faintly herbal hop character with medium-light bitterness. Faint toastiness remaining in the predominately hoppy (though, even that’s still quite restrained)

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Falls a little shy of a medium level of carbonation for an overall soft mouthfeel.

Overall: Enjoyably subtle. (819 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (711 characters)

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Adnams Southwold Bitter from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.