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Adnams Southwold Bitter - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Not Rated.
Adnams Southwold BitterAdnams Southwold Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

124 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 16.34%
Wants: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of popery
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours clear and amber, the color of freshly oiled mahogany. The head is a thick lip of fine, khaki bubbles. The beer doesn't quite achieve the look of a hand-pumped pint, and the head quickly thins to a stubborn few millimeters. The aroma is freshly baked pastries laced with hop nectar. The caramel malt backbone is quite rich for the strength of the beer and holds up the hops well. The hops are rather fruity - peaches, nectarines, meyer lemons and a hint of pineapple - with touches of mineral notes. The taste is a bit sweet, and there isn't quite enough to the hops to pull it together. The caramel malt verges on sickly, medicinal sweetness, though it's certainly not a fatal flaw in my estimation. Carbonation is low, and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but it's a pale imitation of a cask. It's hardly the fault of Adnams. I'd just love to try more English ales fresh out of a cask. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and, once again, am amazed at how much flavor English brewers can pack into <5% abv beers. Of course, not having sampled the casks of England, I really have no idea how it compares to the style. Perhaps, if I was surrounded by bitters, I wouldn't praise it so highly, but that's an issue for another day.

popery, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of JGuill
4/5  rDev +10.8%

JGuill, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of fx20736
2.25/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

fx20736, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery's Shelton Brothers tap takeover event.
Served cask temp in a nonic.

The color is a deep golden amber with very light haze and thick cream that settles gradually with fine bead and lace stickage is good. the smell is very herbal and has a nice fruitiness from the ale yeast ester which is slightly pear/apple tinged with a light spice in the nose almost comes forward as piney with a mineral element in the mix. The feel is good with light body mild carbonation as expected with moderate bitterness and fruitiness from the yeast which is tangy on the palate with a mild astringent tinge in the mostly dry finish.

The taste has a more piney flavor than the aroma lets on with some gentle bitterness which has a more herbal taste w/ gentle pepper tinge and accent with more yeast which brings a light alcohol flavor and subtle mineral tinge w/ a dry finish. The overall is a highly drinkable bitter -very quaffable. I would order this again as it is pretty full of flavor for a 3.7% beer.

Slatetank, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of msromberg
3.5/5  rDev -3%

msromberg, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of rarbring
3.88/5  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.

rarbring, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of fullsweep
3/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

fullsweep, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep amber with a really large thick compact white head that sure takes it's time to set into rather nice lacings.

S: Mild sweetness to the malt, butter and bitter hops. Rich fruityness. Smells rather basic, but man - why mess with the basics if you know what you're doing?

T: Green apples and nettles - dry! Malt is kind of dry and is generously buttery. Bitter hops.

M: The aftertaste is long and bitter in the best possible way. Body is light and carbonation mild.

O: An uneven beer. The taste is a little to mild, but nice. The aftertaste is the best I've had in a canned Bitter.

Evil_Pidde, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
2.35/5  rDev -34.9%
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!

woosterbill, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of Trizzle
2.38/5  rDev -34.1%
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".

Trizzle, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of StJamesGate
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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...

StJamesGate, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

AtLagerHeads, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

UncleJimbo, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-cask at the Market Porter, London

Light orangey amber. Little head to speak of (it's cask afterall). Aromas of fresh citric hops and classic, buttery, british malts. Taste follows suit. Quite citrusy and hoppy for a 3.7%abv brew. Nice maltiness in the mix as well, and a killer finish that is clean as an open sky. Mouthfeel, light and easy to drink. Refreshing even. A classic session ale.

francisweizen, Nov 16, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
4.55/5  rDev +26%
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.

gentlebubbles, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
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...)

Billolick, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of govtmule
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first cask-conditioned beer. So, this could be skewed, but here is my impression...
I ordered this at Eli Cannon's on 3-12-04 while waiting for a table. It was served at slightly below room temp. It was kind of dark in EC's but it appeared to be more of a yellow or light tan than amber like the other reviewers said. There was a nice foamy white head. The taste was nice with some hints of fruit and a creamy feel on the tongue. Good balance. I could drink it all night without feeling too dense.

govtmule, Mar 15, 2004
Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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.

Gusler, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

sulldaddy, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of TerryW
3.43/5  rDev -5%
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.

TerryW, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of bridgeporter
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just returned home from 2 weeks of beer heaven in the U.K. Had several pints of this wonderful session ale in a beautiful pub in the countryside east of Leicester. A little bit of heaven on earth was the Black Boy pub. ( not very politically correct, but I didn't name it!)

A nice dry, mildly hoppy ale that made you wish for more. Lucky for me I had a non-drinking driver so this was no problem. A slightly sulphuric taste in the background might put some off but this added to the long dry finish that made this a pleasure to the taste buds. Scotty, beam me back!!

bridgeporter, Oct 11, 2003
Photo of Seumas
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

Seumas, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in the "Sherlock Holmes Pub" just off Tralfager Square. They have renamed it for their establishment as "Sherlock Holmes Fine Ale". It pours a slightly amber color. The aroma is somewhat faint, but you get both malts and hops in it. The taste is slightly bitter at first, followed by a good maltiness. Very smooth.

Boto, Jun 08, 2003
Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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.

rastaman, Aug 12, 2002
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Adnams Southwold Bitter from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.