Adnams Broadside | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

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Adnams BroadsideAdnams Broadside

Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-10-2002

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Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 279
Photo of GallowsOak
4.85/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply English Premium Cask Bitter at its best. Spicy notes of Challenger (?) hops. Malty and rich but not overpowering. After the first pint the second is enevitable. If you find it on a bar in England it would be rude not to try it! Think warm summer evening in a English country pub garden after a hard game of tennis. Broadside is a drink to sip gently, talk about, then finish off in large mouthfuls. Adnams have acheived a perfect balance of robust and 'easy to drink'. Don't buy the bottled version thinking it's the same drink, it is very different, very good indeed, but very different.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Adnams Broadside (bottled version, introduced in 1972) has a very thick, creamy, beige head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and significant lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, syrupy, brown bread crust, nut, and mild hop oil. Taste is of banana, sweet, brown bread, sugar, and a mild, balancing, straightforward bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat slick, and Adnams Broadside (bottled) finishes semi-wet, easy drinking, and not the least bit alcohilic.


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Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

A: Deep amber-brown. Lovely, dark bloom, which dissipates after a few minutes. Minimal lacing.

S: Strong malt backbone, with a wine-like fragrance. Almost port-like in fact. Definite notes of nut and oak.

T: Very well balanced, strong bitter. Toasty, biscuit flavors. Port-like alcoholic flavor. Very dry and surprisingly refreshing.

O: Outstanding example of how great English bitters can be. Along with Fuller's ESB, this is one of my favorite examples.

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Photo of dogin26
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

I rate this beer seriously high not just because of its quality flavours but also the price point. Here is australia i can get a case for cheappppp.

Great toffee, caramel malts with dark but easy drinking fruits. Banana also makes an appearance. Just delicious

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - a bloodish-red amber color, a light mocha head is quick to build up to two fingers, then drift down slowly, some choppy lacing left behind.

Aroma - sweet, malty, bready, biscuity, like most good ESBs.

Taste - sweet malts at first, quickly followed by some good balancing hops. A hefty wash of carbonation cleans the palate for the ensuing roasty flavors. Ends with that malt roastiness and some of the hop bitterness. Great balance, a great beer!

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, and medium-bodied.

Drinkability - a great beer at a great price. 99 cents a bottle on sale at Jungle Jim's. Woo Hoo!

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Photo of diablo14
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

are we all drinking the same beer here? lol this is one english ale that can count itself among the best going around! its not a beer i have ever had a big session on, but one that has never failed to tickle my tastebuds and a few other faculties each time ove had the pleasure of indulging.

its got a great deep ruby like color, and its apparent lack of head retention is intentional. they dont like much head on their beers in those parts of england. its location by the sea explains the strong presence of the old briny! you can smell and taste it in the brew, and adds wonderful character to a beautifully well rounded beer. there are aspects of dried fruit (raisins, currants, peel) and nice oaky overtones. the finish is highlighted with the classic kent goldings and fuggles hops, providing a balance of spiciness and bitterness. combined with that slightly salty taste of the sea, broadside has a touch of individuality that sets it aside from most others in this genre.

i really never notice that its quite strong, even for a traditional english ale, but that is yet another thing about broadside that makes me give it consideration every time im in the mood for a top quality beer from the u.k. i cant wait to head over there next year and get into some of this from the keg!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my wife's favourite beer!

This is serious drinking beer, full of colour, full of powerful flavours and aromas. A dark ruby-red strong English Ale which demands respect.

My wife and myself drink it in 'The Nelson', Southwold. The pub is full of naval stuff, as you would expect, it is also only 400 yards from the brewery. The horse-drawn dray delivers to all the pubs in Southwold even to this day, a great sight.

Adnams are pushing their beers into the 'Free Trade' more and more at the moment and are expanding. Their beers are now available all over the UK. I have not detected any lowering of standards or tastes of any of their beers. I try them whenever I come across them, Broadside at its best, is a very very good beer.

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Photo of champ103
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at several places around Aberdeen. The Cask Version is 4.7% ABV.

A: Pours a chilled hazed copper/orange color. A two finger tightly packed head forms with excellent retention. Spicerweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Toasted malt, toffee, and lots of fruit. Apples and pears are dominate. Floral hops linger. Really inviting.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of fruity flavors of pear and apples that are great. Floral and grassy hops are asertave and balances everything out. This finishes a little sweet with some very nice toffee. Excellent.
M/D: A medium to full body with good carbonation. So creamy and smooth. Not watery at all. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. I can quaff a few with no problem. I want to keep coming back again and again.

This is an excellent ESB. The ABV of this on cask is much lower than the bottle. At 4.7% this is still a little far outside the traditional session beer range, but much more manageable than what is listed here, and incredibly moreish. Overall, just a wonderful beer, and a perfect example of an ESB. Up there with Fuller's.

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Photo of Lemreway16
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Some beers bridge the divide of draught into bottle - Everard's Tiger, Timothy Taylor's Landlord are examples. This beer on draught is virtually unbeatable. I used to live in East Anglia and it was the King of draught beer. There is a however its not the same in a bottle, why? its far too strong and the taste is over powered by its strength.

From the pump @ 4.7% its unbeatable - from the bottle @ 6.3% its too strong to be a session beer and in my mind relegates it self to the one off bottle/specialist taster style.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint-sized glass.

Appearance: Deep coppery brown with a one-finger off-white head. Wonderful lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of floral hoppiness jumps out at me, offset a little by the malts.

Taste: The hops immediately rush out at me with a delightful spicy bitterness. The malt darkens the flavor well. I'm enjoying how earthy this is. This is how an ESB should taste. A faint bitterness lingers on for some time in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: High! What a great, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of seanyfo
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

50cl bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A mahogany/ruby red body with a 2 finger head that is creamy producing good lacing and retention

S- Doughy breadiness. toasted malts.

T- Bavarian Dunkel Lager like toasted malt flavours, faint plain chocolate

M- Medium body, creamy

D- A moreish malty ale. Lovely toasted malt backbone would go delicious with chocolate. Flavours remind me of a dunkel but with the british velvety texture of a creamy ale. Delicous!

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Photo of moulefrite
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper in color, deecent while minimal head/lace. Aromas are a treat: Warm/yeasty bread, shortbread, fruity hop, malt extract. A treat to taste as well. The mouthfeel is full, round and silky. Flavors are bready/ doughy, quite malty with a decidedly fruity hop bitter that lingers deliciously. This is one solid ale, that is so easy to enjoy, and welcome addition to the marketplace here in Chicago. Welcome back Adnams, and thanks again to Shelton Bro's for the sample!!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The legendary Adnams Broadside, haven't had this in about 6 years, a 500 mL pour,

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a medium white head, good retention, some soft lace.

S: Gorgeous full malt character, with a lot of minerality, toffee, real nice.

T: Gorgeous (I feel redundant) malt flavour with definite notes of dark chocolate and walnut skin. Strong hop character on the back end, earthy with some grass. Nice balance.

M: Full-bodied, creamy frothy feel, big for its style, long aftertaste.

O: It was great to revisit this legendary effort. Still just as good as I remember it, well worth the $4 for a pickup, glad they came back to the States.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real great ruby red just like the bottle says, of dark red ruby and brown color. Hues of mahogany brown toward the top and orange on the bottom. Head has about two fingers and a faint whipped light caramel color lots of retention. Some hazy bubbles stick to the side just under the head. Real nice.

Great toasting grains and dry ripping barley. Fruity sense a bit of dry figs and dates, with a good hop dry bitterness. Very nice and impressive.

Taste has a real nice balance. Crackery dry malt, mixing with a good roast AND milky sweet softness. Slightly thin body, maybe even a little carbonation, comes with still enough richness to coat the palate. Faint hints of dried out toffee on the finish. Nice coating rich faint dark sugar sweetness on the swallow and even some banana.

A real pleasant beer, I've been wanting this for awhile and glad to have finally tried it. Fantastic.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Broadside pours a slightly hazy, deep copper body beneath a creamy head of off-white foam that holds well and slowly drops to a wide collar and whispy surface covering, all the while leaving some very nice lace about the glass. The nose delivers earthy, leafy, and grassy hops over a caramelish malt. It's full bodied and creamy in the mouth with a very fine and natural (bottle-conditioned), moderate carbonation that gently caresses the tongue and rouses the tastebuds. Caramel/toffee/nutty malt dominates the flavor, accented by a thin thread of yeasty fruitiness (cherries) and earthy, woody, and grassy hops. It's really well-balanced by a solid bitterness that never steps beyond its supporting role, but anchors the entire production. It finishes dry with some subtle alcohol, a note of yeasty fruitiness, and a residual bitterness that leaves the palate refreshed and ready for food or more beer. Quite tasty!!! And a surprisingly drinkable ale considering it's 6% abv (the draft version is 4.7% abv)! The alcohol remains almost completely cloaked throughout. A bit strong for an all night session ale, but maybe one to get you started! Well worth trying.

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Photo of tony223366
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful burgundy color with dark brown streaks. A really gorgeous color with a light tan 3+ finger head. Perfect clarity. Beautiful lacing and pretty decent retention. I love the way this beer looks!

S: As far as aromas I get mostly caramel malts with some more raw grain type aromas. Maybe a little brown sugar as well as some fruitiness. The hops come out mostly in a spicy way.

T: Oh man, this is excellent. What a great ESB. Some caramel and rich malt. Just a hint of that graininess. The hops are definitely bitter and on the finish. I get a little of the dark fruit but not much. The finish is so clean.

M: Just spot on. Really rich and creamy. Low carbonation. Just wow.

O: Crazy. This was so much better than I thought it would be. Honestly I saw the labeling about world's best brewery so I assumed it wouldn't be great... but it is. This (for me) constitutes a pretty perfect afternoon drinking beer. Rich, but not heavy, with a good kick and easily quaffed. Love it

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my! What a terrific ale! I must say, this poured much darker than I was anticipating. A dark cloudy bronze / red colour with a lovely khaki coloured head. It looked wonderful! The smell is delicious with loads of caramel and other sweet, candy-like nuances. There is also a pleasant measure of hops detectable, as well. The taste is a magnificent balace of caramel and hops, as both the sweetness and the hops' bitterness seem to manifest themselves at the same time. The mouthfeel is very smooth, making this easy to drink. A perfect measure of carbonation in a truly wonderful English ESB!! Smashing!! ..and a special thanks to BA Ding for being kind enough to provide me the opportunity to taste this lovely treat!

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Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy, dark brown, 16.9 oz bottle, "Best Before 25 Nov 2004" on label. Sampled on 12 Dec 2004. Pours a chill hazed garnet mahogany body with a small, but longlasting, beige head that leaves some nice patch and sheet lace.
Aroma is very floral, with a strong caramel background.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low medium carbonation. Very clean, with a mineral note that is ideal for the style.
The taste begins with a leafy, hops bitterness that is floral(lilac?). Caramel and buttery toffee offer up a solid malt backbone, and pear and apple notes are picked up midway through. Some hints of mineral that were noticed in the aroma add to the sublime complexity. Finish is clean, with a floral hops aftertaste.
Very well executed English Bitter. Though past the freshness date, it has been stored well and exhibits no hint of oxidation. Wonderful brew from the "Sunrise Coast" of England.

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Photo of AylwinForbes
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walnut brown, clear with nice sudsy head in the glass. Tasted side-by-side with a London Pride (the quintessence of English bitter) the extra body and content of this beer was very evident. Nice balance of malty fruitiness and hop. On draft it slips down with unreal ease. Very high marks for this. Of course, I have long had a soft spot for Adnams.

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Photo of wl0307
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted by two half pints at the Anglesea Arms, South Kensington, just before X'mas 05. I can't help feeling that many BAs need to examine their eye-sights: the entry here is for the 4.7%abv. draught version rather than the stronger 6.3%abv. bottled version!! And, quite honestly, these are almost two different beers IMHO~~ Here's why:

A: pours a bright, copperish hue, with a thin frothy cap on the top, leaving very tight lacing against a low-carbonated body. Very decent and fresh~~
S: resinous hops float from the beer head, while luscious dark fruits and slightly sulphurus and earthy hops come through after swirling, backed by a toffeeish malty overtone at the back.
T: ultra smooth-textured, almost mixed juice like fruity maltiness prevails upfront (mixed of red apples, raisins, ripe black plums, with a lightly vinous touch), backed by a lightly toffeeish flavour; quickly leading to a dryish hoppyness and bitter-sweet, dried berry-fruitiness in the aftertaste... just when it's about to end a tangy fruity hoppyness with the Adnam's special soft-salty hint (as vividly demonstrated by Adnam's flagship beer: Bitter) kicks back, resulting in a satisfying, almost tea-like texture at the back of the palate.
M&D: medium-bodied and lively at the same time, the mouthfeel is rounder than round and softer than soft, with a touch of oil against its well-balanced flavour profile. It's simply a bliss as far as a draught ale is concerned... After having tried this fantastic draught version of Broadside five years ago in a Sussex village, this is my first time to bump into the same ale in such perfect condtion. A distinctive ale (IMO) from its own stronger cousin, and equally impressive!

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Photo of cokes
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly obscured brown that inches towards maroon. The head is full of large-bubbled pockmarks, frothy and tan.
Aromas of candied apples draped in tobacco, earth and Fuggles.
It smells sweeter than it probably is. It starts off with a rye expression, coupled with a sedate toastiness. It rapidly migrates towards sweet and fruit as this enters its middle. Plum jam, green raisins, apple peels and chewing tobacco. The remarkable part of this, is that it retains enough earthy and dry character to remain balanced, if not leaned in that direction despite the fruitness. Closes with a burst of walnuts, then directs itself unto the smoked herb hopping. Not especially bitter, just....right.
Medium in stature, with microscopic carbonation.
This is a nice one.
For sure.

(6.0% ABV bottle)

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent bitter on cask at Monty's Korner. Pored a hazy copper color with a nice off-white-ish head that receded into some elegant lace. Smell was wonderfully full of raisins and biscuity maltiness. Taste was much more distinctly bitter with a goof hop presence despite the cask effect and a good full bodied flavor that was ripe and estery, but by no means over the top. A wonderful session brew that is worthy of several pints that I sadly did not have time for. Hopefully it will be there still on sunday night.

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Photo of WGO
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep copper colour. Aroma is warm, fruity and very inviting. Raisins, chocolate, caramel aroma. Tastes of chocolate, raisins, bit of alcohol warmth but not to overpowering. Great beer, a classic.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the famous White Horse in Parsons Green. This stuff rocks! A dark amber coloured brew with a white cap of foam. The aromas are very hoppy, fruity, and very, very, well-balanced. The taste is hoppy and fruity with a nice malt backbone and the mouthfeel is creamy and oh-so smooth. The drinkability you may ask? Wonderful!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

ChANdler is a Britsh surname referring to both a CANdlestick maker as well as a storekeeper aboard ships. Ironically, I was literally and figuratively a ChANdler/chandler for just over fifteen years on four different U. S. Navy ships and my heart remains at sea, on the open ocean. Imagine my elation at seeing this reasonably priced bottle on the shelf recently!

From the bottle: "Commemorating the Battle of Solebay (1672); "Broadside is brewed to commemorate the Battle of Sole Bay, the fierce battle fought against the Dutch Republic in 1672 off the Suffolk coast. The English fleet was moored in Southwold with Admiral Edward Montagu & most of his sailors drinking in local ale houses when called to action! Broadside uses east Anglian malted barley and only one hop variety - First Gold. This dark ruby red ale is full of malty, fruitcake-like flavours and is great savoured with strong cheddar. Delicious served cool."

I popped the cap and began with a heavy-handed pour that netted me two dense fingers of tawny head head with great retention, slowly falling to create some marvelous lacing. ADM Montagu nodded in approval as I directed the helmsman to bring us alee, starboard of those Dutch bastiges. Color was a deep amber with ruby highlights (SRM = > 17, < 22) and NE-quality clarity. Truth-in-advertising time! The nose was, indeed, quite malty and fruity and the descriptor of "fruitcake" definitely applied to both myself and the beer. The order to "Release batteries!" was given and the ship rocked sideways in the water as I hefted the glass to my lips and let fly. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was semi-sweet, at most, with the malt having done its thing and the yeast having had a field day. The taste was very biscuity and fruity and I could think of nothing but fruitcake. Deelish! In the meantime, we had the bloody Dutch on their heels. Our double-crack'd CANnons left those clog-wearing punks on their heels and they had no choice but to tack away and northward from whence they came. One of our lads incurred a splinter which will almost assuredly cost him his arm, though. The finish was fittingly dry and as we headed for safe harbour, I toasted our brave lads in a job well done.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 279 ratings.
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