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Adnams Southwold Bitter - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Adnams Southwold BitterAdnams Southwold Bitter

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BA SCORE
82
good

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 16.34%


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)
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy Hour at my house. Bust out the cheese, the summer sausage, the crackers, and a half-liter of English Bitter. And let's warm that bottle up. What else to do? Oh yeah, on to the beer:

A good looker after the bottle is poured. In the imperial pint glass, the color shines a copperish red color with a somewhat soapy head on top, leaving a semi-creamy lace around. The nose feautres some pleasant diacetyl, some earthiness, a some pinches of esters.

Light bodied, but full of flavor. Modest diacetyl and earthiness towards the start, the duel of flavors slowly die and give off a bit of sweetness from the malt. We start to get a sense of esters, very subtle pineapple, and some unmalted-like sweetness (like chewing on malt). Sure, the beer is light bodied, but it seems like there's some meat on its bones, and the carbonation level is just right (not overly carbonated, and not really flat).

It's nice to come across a bitter stateside. Even better to come across one that has held up on the voyage acorss the ocean. Pleasant mix of flavors here.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 22:50:22 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 01:13:34 | More by smakawhat
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 22:32:56 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 23:56:26 | More by metter98
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 17:14:51 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong, malty aroma has a fruity overtone, mainly pear and grape. It pours a clear, dark coppery amber bordering on mahogany with a nice light tan head that leaves some generous lacing. Malty flavor is rather bitter, but not fiercely so, with subtle notes of fruit, wood and caramel and a touch of smoke. Smooth texture has average body and a fair amount of fizz.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2012 02:25:51 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 16:04:09 | More by flyingpig
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 20:39:24 | More by oberon
Photo of jrfehon33
jrfehon33

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 12:35:44 | More by jrfehon33
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 22:34:01 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 18:30:09 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of popery
popery

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 04:36:37 | More by popery
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 18:43:45 | More by fx20736
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: cask

01-30-2012 19:45:30 | More by Slatetank
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

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.

Serving type: can

12-12-2011 17:13:41 | More by rarbring
Photo of fullsweep
fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

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.

Serving type: cask

12-11-2011 19:11:02 | More by fullsweep
Photo of Sunnanek
Sunnanek

Sweden

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.

Serving type: can

10-14-2011 17:19:37 | More by Sunnanek
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

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!

Serving type: cask

06-20-2011 01:39:36 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Trizzle
Trizzle

United Kingdom (England)

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".

Serving type: cask

04-06-2011 17:37:56 | More by Trizzle
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

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...

Serving type: cask

10-28-2009 17:11:43 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

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.

Serving type: cask

02-26-2005 17:01:07 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: cask

12-07-2004 04:39:02 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

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.

Serving type: cask

11-16-2004 18:38:27 | More by francisweizen
Photo of gentlebubbles
gentlebubbles

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: cask

04-29-2004 18:56:35 | More by gentlebubbles
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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...)

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 03:10:51 | More by Billolick
Adnams Southwold Bitter from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.