1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter) - Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

139 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%


Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 12-21-2002)
View: Beers (46) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 131 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by GreenCard:
Photo of GreenCard
GreenCard

Oregon

3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: darkish amber, great clarity, dense layer of tan head, some lace

Aroma: biscuity maltiness, a lush herbal hoppiness, strawberries, hint of caramel

Flavor: an even malt base laced with a bit of roast, good amount of overlying acidity that almost plays off a bit rusty (if that makes sense), grassy hop flavor with a bitterness akin to grapefruit rind, finishes dryish with an aftertaste of hop leaves, caramelly malt and a trace of aluminum

Mouthfeel: medium body, sharp carbonation, somewhat astringent

Other comments: Tastes quite a bit different than the can of it that I had two nights ago. More hoppy. Strange because it's from the same four-pack. My palate must have been in a different condition at that point than it was tonight. In any case, an enjoyable beer that I'll probably drink again.

Serving type: can

09-27-2004 19:15:09 | More by GreenCard
More User Reviews:
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

12-05-2013 02:01:21 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.4%

07-08-2013 22:09:18 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of TomRB
TomRB

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

05-11-2013 18:59:09 | More by TomRB
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

01-31-2013 21:31:00 | More by matjack85
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -16%

11-22-2012 22:11:18 | More by djrn2
Photo of HankC
HankC

Sweden

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

10-09-2012 18:57:17 | More by HankC
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.4%

12-29-2011 20:35:18 | More by cdwil
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

11-28-2011 19:55:49 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of claminat420
claminat420

Michigan

2.33/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- poured a deep brown/ mahagonay color. white half a finger head with thin lacing.

S- raisons and alcohol.

T- dark malts with a raison taste. no hops. lame.

M- medium. hardly any carbonation.

D- pissed i bought a 4 pack.

Overall- for 12 bucks a 4 pack this is just rediculous. and only 3.7 abv??? pass this up!!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 02:31:42 | More by claminat420
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a glass tumbler.

Has a truly beautiful pour, color, head, and retention. Without a doubt the best appearance of its style. A nice, balanced ESB that is actually quite smooth and yeasty. Tangy, buttery, sweet, and slightly smoked in flavor, the beer has a slight, malty structure.

Sweet finish, with some very soft, apple-like finish with moderate carbonation. A solid beer of its style. Decent finish, though a bit dry and sparse tasting.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 20:57:11 | More by TLove
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Suffolk ESB poured a caramel color with a 1-2 finger foam head that dissipated quickly. Not much in the way of lacing.

It smelled of caramel and a slight hoppiness. The taste reminded me of a Scotch ale which has that unique taste to it. It had a nice bitterness on the finish which rounded it out nicely to me. Overall a good ESB and I would recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 04:44:10 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9oz brown bottle with a cool lighthouse label...best before date of over a year ago...Damn you Friar Tuck's...

Appearance: A SUPER hazy orange/gold beer with medium carbonation and a thin ivory cap.

Smell: Large sweet caramel and toffee presence up front supported by a mild fruitiness and just a TOUCH of leafy hops.

Taste: Fruitier than expected from the nose...there's a mild/grainy presence up front, backed by slightly tart fruit (apple) and a decent kick of hop bitterness on the finish. The beer finishes tart and dry, and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Slightly fizzy and light-medium bodied.

Drinkability: Fairly high.

Conclusion: Not bad, not great. It's pretty on target for a Special Bitter, but it's a little TART and aggressively bitter (without much hop flavor for my taste). I'd really like a FRESH sample to compare this to as I think this beer might have greater potential than shown here.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 18:45:24 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish-brown color and a cloudy consistency. There wasn't much head with this beer, but it did have excellent lacing.

S: There was a very malty, bready smell, along with some mild spices.

T: A nice roasted malt flavor accented by some brown sugar and other spices. Not overly complex but good.

M: A fairly well-carbonated beer with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a well made ESB with a solid taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 13:50:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of Spikester
Spikester

Oregon

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with a fat one finger light tan head. Plentiful lacings.
Aroma was malty with some euro hops.
Taste is sweet malts and a good amount of bitter hops. Some leather, minor citrus, and a medium dry finish. Not a bad ESB overall. Quite sessionable considering the 4.5% abv.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 06:54:29 | More by Spikester
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper/brown color. A two finger beige head forms and leaves sticky lace down the pint glass.
S: Light buttery and caramel malt. A light citrus hop aroma.
T: Toasty sweet caramel malt. A subtle fruity flavor with pears and apples that come out as the beer warms a bit. A light hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness.
M/D: A medium body, but thin and watery. Low on the carbonation end. Easy and smooth to drink, like most good ESB's. A good session beer.

I enjoyed this. Pretty much everything you want in the style, I just find it a bit typical. Though, I will take a typical ESB over most anything else.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 02:43:09 | More by champ103
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper body with a foamy one-finger head. Has a strong malt smell along with some citric notes and dark fruits from the hops.
A mix bag here - there is some tartness and fruit notes from the hops, yet this fuller-bodied beer goes down smooth and creamy, and has some sweet malt taste to it. Finishes with a dry backbite. A great beer that I'm glad I got to try.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 02:23:13 | More by clayrock81
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slightly clear ruby red/deep orange amber color with a nice frothy white head that leaves good lace. Nose is mostly malty. Taste has a good malt profile with some decent british hop presence. Almost some toffee or caramel hints in here. Mouthfeel is nice, but a bit thick. Nice dry finish. Drinkability is good but not the best. Overall a good english bitter and a fair representation of the style. Im not that crazy about it, but it is a good representation. I think this bottle may be a bit old. A good brew, but there are enough better bitters available that I probably wont be purchasing this one again, except maybe at a bar.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 01:22:06 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of nasty15108
nasty15108

New York

4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Tulip pint glass.

A - Deep brown color with ruby hues when held up to the light. The pour produced a slightly off-white head that subsided into a spotty film. Scattered lacing throughout the glass.

S - Malty. Slightly nutty, with sweet buttery aroma. I also detected slight hints of caramel.

T - Slightly sweet roasted malt flavor up front. Hints of butterscotch and caramel. Finished creamy with a slight bitterness from the hops.

MF&D - A creamy and smooth medium bodied ESB. It reminded me a lot of Sam Smiths Nut Brown. Great flavor, coats mouth well and left a sweet taste on my lips. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 00:43:01 | More by nasty15108
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a biscuity hazy brown with almost no head at all. Lacing clings to the glass and leaves streaks on the sides.

Smell- A nutty brown sugar with much in the dextrine malts. Hops are subdued to none, very sweet, almost like wort in the aroma.

Taste- Not near as sweet as the smell would imply. A light sourness with a nice biscuity background. Hops come in at the background. Noble hops providing the bittering and a bit in the finish. A hint of brown sugar but it is very subdued.

Mouthfeel- Light and creamy. Good carbonation and evenly balanced.

Drinkability- Smooth and very drinkable. Good for warm or cold weather. I could deal with this beer just fine in a session. I hope our paths cross again on this beer. I will enjoy a great many more.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2007 20:34:22 | More by blakesell
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light brown; Very little head, although what is there does leave some spotty lace.

Melted brown sugar and caramel are the strongest aromas.

Creamy caramel flavors. Unlike American bitters, this is a malty brew. Very full body, but it is not sweet. The hop is almost not present. The aftertaste is brief.

This reminds me very much of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. This is a good beer, but is very much a British Bitter, not an American one.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 21:39:58 | More by smcolw
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent ESB, but not up to my favourite, Fuller's. Nice, slightly cloudy copper-amber colour with a richy, bready, yeasty malt smell. Very faint citrus hints.

Slightly bitter taste, with a bit too much citrus for me. Malt is pushed to the background I think.

Drinkability is hampered somewhat by the slightly bitter/sour taste. But otherwise, a nice ESB and probably would make for a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 04:32:38 | More by BDTyre
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, while not really my favorite style, this was a pretty tasty example. Nice crisp maltiness tempered by some earthy hops. Mouthfeel was well carbonated. Overall, a very easy drinking, nice example. That being said, nothing really stood out either.

Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2007 05:32:16 | More by rallison
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured an hazy amber color with thin off-white head that lingered atop the glass well, and reduced to marginal lacing. Try as I might, it was difficult to detect much aroma, save for a little hoppiness. Nice tingly, bitter mouthfeel, and the flavor was a pleasant blend of bitter hops and malty sweetness. This was topped off by a finish that was slightly dry and bitter, but nowhere near what the name suggests.

OK beer is the best I can do on this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 13:00:04 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

This ESB pours a dark foggy copper with a nice 1.5 off-white colored head. Stickiness is pretty good, here and there on the side of the glass. Smell is quite buttery with a nice toffee undertone. I also detect some pepper/spice in the nose as well. Taste is a nice nutty malt with a unique pear/mango flavoring as well. There seems to be a tiny bit of hop that tries to surface, but the malt pushes it back down. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with very little carbonation, could use a few m ore bubbles. Drinkability is scary good, could easily drink this as a session beer...hmmmm, note to self...

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 00:19:01 | More by BeerTruth
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter) from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.