Adnams Broadside | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

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Adnams BroadsideAdnams Broadside

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

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: 151 | Ratings: 276
Photo of Philousa
2.42/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark chestnut brown and clear against the light, this was hard to get a head from the pour, but came out easily with a stiff swirl. I think my fridge is too cold. Syrupy caramel, big nuttiness, some coppery metallic aroma. No hops to speak of and the yeast is present in a slightly tangy way. Some biscuit comes out with a swirl. Solid malt body hits the lips first. A big nuttiness is there again and the metallic taste is more pronounced. Malty like a bock, but mild like an English Bitter. Feel tends towards the watery, finish is balanced.

Nothing stands out in this beer. It's balanced, but it has nothing to hang its hat on. Needs some spice and maybe steer it back towards the style a bit.

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Photo of bark
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Note: The beer I drank was 6.3% abv.

The colour is dark red-brown, and the foam is medium thick, yellowish and quite soft.

The smell is sweet and filled with fresh hops. There are flavours of hay and mint, too.

The carbon dioxide is kind of strong for ale, and it fades away quickly.

The taste is somewhat metallic, dry, burnt with hints of apricot. The taste of alcohol is not hidden very well, and the straightforward, dry bitterness is almost too powerful.

The aftertaste is plain bitterness with burnt hints, but it is surprisingly short. After just a few minutes, there is nothing left at all.

I must say that this beer makes me a little disappointed: I expected a well-crafted, complex and generous strong ale, but what I got was just an aggressive yet plain bitterness with a taste of alcohol that belongs to much cheaper beers.

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Photo of mrmanning
2.66/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the LCBO- Deep chestnut pour unleashed a frothy mocha cap leaving pretty spiderweb lace. The aroma that I was first greeted with was caramel and then molasses. Dark fruits (plum, prune) follow with a bit of char and fruitcake. Tastes of sweet fruitcake and sugary nutty malts. Prune and dark plum come in and add more sweetness which is semi balanced by some metallic hops. Problem is, I hate the taste of fruitcake. This is not really good.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.84/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a clear dark ruby color, almost coppery and a very decent white and foamy head, with a decent retention.
The aroma is nothing special - hoppy along with some yeast as well.
The taste is sweet, yeasty and bready (not my favourite) with a decently bitter finish.
All in all a drinkable, although quite filling, ale. Could be better, but it could be much worse.

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Photo of treyrab
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Took a break from the election tonight to pour this. Bad idea. Poured into a pint glass...

A: Pours a cloudy amber which is opaque due to the haze. Pours with no head and the hops leave a slight lace on this one.

S: Very sour malt smell with cider and vinegar on the onset. It then blends into some sweet caramel, bittering hops, and a metallic hint. Overall, let's say I was not in a hurry to take a sip.

T: Extremely cidery with sour apple and some caramel malts. For a bitter, there is very little hop presence and tons of sweet malt. Vinegar notes come through as well and really overpower any of the good malt aspects of the beer.

Overall, this one looks like apple cider, and doesn't taste far from it. This may be your style, but it didn't do it for me.

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Photo of Newsman
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On cask at the Fitzrovia Pub just off Goodge Street, in the Fitzrovia/Bloomsbury section of London. (Seriously, how do you deliniate neighborhoods there?)

I had seen this in other places, but figured I'd give it a shot. Poured a nice copper color, thin head, little lacing. Smell was malty, with just a thin hint of hops behind it.

Taste was...average. Compared to other cask-conditioned beers I had on my trip, this was kind of bland. The malt sweetness wasn't overpowering, but hops and other notes weren't remarkable. Mouthfeel was a little watery, too, further lending to the overall indifferent feel of this one.

Drinkable? Sure. I didn't really toss my pint out the door or anything. Went well with my fish and chips. But compared to other brews I had on my trip, it didn't stand out in the least.

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Photo of Foyle
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours with a 2" foamy off white head that recedes very slowly and leaves significant lacing. Ruby red/brown in color with mild carbonation bubbles.
Aroma: sweet fruit, clove, spice, earthy hops
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and somewhat watery. A little sticky with a semi-dry finish.
Flavor: a complex combination of sweet flavors (licorice, banana, clove, raisins) with a strong earthy hop presence for balance.
Overall: a very good, but not outstanding beer. I would not consider this beer sessionable as it is quite filling. It would be best served as a dessert beer or paired with proper food (such as strong cheese or roast beef).

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Photo of Boto
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is a brown color with a hint of amber to it. I had to try real hard to get some head out of it, and it dissapated right away. Maybe some fruitiness to the nose. Not much else. The taste is mostly a medium maly sweetness. I also get the taste of alcohol: suprising since the beer is only 6.3%. Maybe some bitterness at the end. It is almost trying to be a barleywine, but it doesn't really impress at all.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer calls itself an "English Ale", but it doesn't taste too much like one. It doesn't taste like an ESB (which is how BA classifies it), that's for sure.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held to direct light. Big head initially, but it fades. The nose is quite sweet, with caramel notes, perhaps some beet sugar notes, and just a touch of earthy hops. Not much hop character for an ESB/English Ale. The palate is more of the same: there's some balance in the bittering hops, but lots of sweet malt character -- caramel and dark fruit -- and a finish with a dry, Burton-gypsum snap. Mouthfeel is rather viscous, perhaps due to some residual sugars.

All in all this is OK, but I'm not terribly impressed. This just doesn't strike me as very English.

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Photo of jcurtis55
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this one on tap at The Plough in London. This is a fairly average ESB. It has a decent aroma of hops and fruit. The mouthfeel is light. Tangy taste but not much body there. More to the aroma than the flavor, but it was also served pretty cold. It did go pretty well with the fish and chips.

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Photo of Natural510
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brown ale poured an okay head which quickly evaporated. The color was a cloudy, almost muddy-brown which looked nice.
This is a somewhat average British ale...decent hop bite, but very sour aftertaste. Not much mouthful of which to speak.
It could make a good session ale, like most British browns, but I much prefer Young's or Samuel Smith, which go down smoother with a bit more flavor.

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Photo of rarbring
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear chesnut colored beer, ann off-white small head, little lacing.

The smell is rather modest, some nuts and pears.

Tasting initially of seet brown bread, then ripe apples and pears, modest bitterness.

Light carbonation, a refreshing/watery texture, a small body, a slightly dry finish.

Well balanced, no surprises.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a damn good looking ale. Dark with lively carbonation. Over one inch head. A clear copper ruby when held up to the light with brilliant head retention and honeycomb lacing.

The aroma is sweet, like pink bubblegum with creamy toffee and some roast in the distance.

The taste is similar, with bubblegum like fruity esters from the British Ale yeast up against a toasty caramel malt balanced by a nice chalky herbal bitterness. Almost tastes a bit burnt and plasticy.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy with ample carbonation. A tad harsh.

Overall a decent enough beer. That I probably won't get again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served with a small cream colored soap bubble head and some lace. Color is a very clear mahoganey. Mild hop, malt nose. Flaors about the same with some toffee and good bittersweet balance. Chewy. Very easy drinking. Great body. Ditto carbonation. Session brew.

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

Pours dark ruby with a thick, sudsy head of beige foam. Transparent, filtered. Good lacing.

The aroma shows a lot of fruity malt with raisins, prunes, toffee and toast. Some English hoppiness contributes a grassy, peachy note. Lots of sweet fruitiness.

The taste is sweet and malty. Lots of toffee, sweet dough and fruit. The hops get a bit vegetal but also provide more spice/grass/light stone fruit. Light bitterness keeps some of the sweetness in check, but it gets a bit cloying for me.

Mouthfeel is decent, though I preferred Southwold Bitter's mock cask feel. Carbonation is on the light side but pretty normal. Coats the mouth, for better and worse.

It's a decent ESB, but something isn't quite clicking for me. The fruitiness is a bit too all over the place, and the sweetness needs a creamier mouthfeel.

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Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown with light airy head. Smoky aroma ,peat, wood, burnt toast. Taste is chocolate,molasses and smoke, with some hop bitterness.Dark and meaty, but very drinkable.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with lighter highlights. Slightly off-white 1 finger fluffy head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Aroma of sweet malts [honey/caramel].

Taste has light hops and malts. Other things going on here, but very light and hard to discern.

Mouthfeel is slightly flat, lightly cleansing.

Overall, a decent brew. Definitely sessionable. Worth a try.

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Photo of smcolw
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good blanketing lace from the modest head. Deep copper color, nearly brown. Appears clear.

Very mild, almost neutral aroma. Mostly malty, slightly metallic.

The flavor is an improvement with some darker malt elements. There's not much hop in the finish and the aftertaste is short lived. The body is above average like a typical British ale.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle on 07/19/2005.

Poured dark brownish hue with medium off-white head that diminished slowly with fair lacing. Good aroma of malt and sweet fruit. Medium body. Medium bottersweet flavor with small bitter finish of moderate duration.

Good drinkable brew

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Photo of janubio
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber colour, with a thin head that leaves ring and lace. Aroma of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits, plums. Creamy, not much carbonation, medium body. Taste of chocolate, plums, dark fruits. Bitter rough finish.

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Photo of drmeto
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-pours a clear copper-ruby with a big,frothy,offwhite head
-low to medium carbonation visible
-herbal,spicy,bready,cough syrup,slight coffee,nuttytoasty finish
-medium to high bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-medium body
Very spicy English Strong Ale.
Pretty good overall

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

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear mahogany, ruby red pour with two finger head, nice lacing and decent retention. Strong fruity, malty nose overpowers any hint of hops. The taste is much the same. Dark fruit dominates along with molasses and maple syrup with hints of nuts, vanilla, cherries, rasins, and just a touch of chocolate. I get a little hop bitterness on the finish, but overall it's a bit too sweet for my tastes which really hurts the drinkability. Not a bad beer, just not my cup of tea...

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

Thick foamy, light brownish tan colored head, that leaves a little lacing. The beer is syrupy brown in color, almost like cola. The aroma is a little bit chocolately mixed with lightly sweet malt. Caramel and sweet malt dominate the initial flavor. I think there's some hops in there that cut the initial sweetness, but they never make themselves fully known. A good, flavorful beer, a bit on the sweetside, but not too much.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark reddish colour with a slightly tanned head and two finger lacing that retains fairly well

S - Yeasty , spice with banana, some toffee or sweet candy apple, quite a bit going on here

T - Not as pronounced in the palate as the nose some slight toffee, roasted malts, banana along with the spice, almost slightly peppery and bitter on the finish

M - light to medium bodied with low carbonation (a little watery)

O - Not a bad beer ale but lacks a real punch to bring you back for more

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

Had this on cask at Redbones last night, and it was a very pleasant find. Root beer color when poured, it had this great frothy tan head that covered the inside of my glass during drinking. It had a wonderful fresh bready aroma. I found the taste mild, biscuity, and astringent in the finish. Very enjoyable, and nice to see on cask.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.87 out of 5 based on 276 ratings.
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