Adnams Broadside | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

BA SCORE
87
very good
296 Reviews
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Adnams BroadsideAdnams Broadside
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
England, United Kingdom
adnams.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
296
Ratings:
453
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
35
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 453
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine British ale, just brought in to Smokeless Joe's. A good malting job with carmel, very clean and refreshing. Slightly drying aftertaste. The aroma contains the malt and the hops and it is acceptable. Very drinkable. Good white head, easy drinking. Understated carbonation.
Had again a month later and good bitterness.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty along with some caramel and slightly fruity aromas. Taste is of sweet malt and some burnt caramel flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very malty presence that I am enjoying.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin yet dense beige head that died down but never completely faded away, leaving rings of lacing down the side of the glass.
S: There are aromas of earthy yeast in the nose along with notes of bready and grainy malts and hints of raisins.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a bit more fruity flavors, particularly as it warms up. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink and is quite malty and flavorful for the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I think about ESB's, I think about a strong English balance of hops to malt with a passionate masculinity, yet restrained character on both sides to make the beer as drinkable as it is complex. Where a tug-of-war is expected, a symphony of flavor is delivered.

The anticipation of garnet and ruby stained ale is met with an absolute and resounding burnish brown ale with tawny copper and amber, but the beer is much darker than I expected. But the slow release of foam amounts to a dense and thick blanket of foam that consists of finely knit carbonation and caps the beer for a long, long haul. with each tilt of the glass, the beer's creme clings to the glass and laces with intricate patterns and rings with each drink taken.

Firm and stately aromas of bread, brown sugar, toffee, and pastry crust are met with fruity scents of dried and pitted fruits that span cherries, apples, apricots, pineapples, grapes, dates, and figs. A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg allow the well melded aromas to sculpt a notion of fruitcake and rum-soaked breads.

The taste is delivered with a delicious and moderate strength of toffee sweetness, toated breads starch, and fruity esters for a taste that's alive, vibrant, yet restrained. Lightly aged notes allow for a slight wine vinous character to stem from fruit and into the woody taste of hops that seem of pine needles, grass, and earthen soil.

Richly textured with it's creamy and understated carbonation, but it's release of creaminess is met with the most pleasant of toast dryness, hop bitterness, and mild alcohol warmth.

Although this ale is a bit toastier and richer in malt character than I'm used to in most ESBs, especially my benchmark- Fuller's ESB, this beer seems of a stronger mild ale or a hoppy and soft brown ale of England.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. It says 'Strong Original' on the label, so I'm going with this listing.

This beer pours a clear, medium ruddy bronzed amber hue, with two actively skyborne fingers of bubbly, thinly foamy, and yet chunky at the same rate dirty white head, which leaves some random proliferate specks of lace around the glass as it lazily blows off.

It smells of a strong, nutty caramel malt, a bit of toffee, dark, acidic fruit, crystallized brown sugar, and leafy, musty hops - quite hefty, all. The taste is somewhat bready, sturdy biscuity caramel malt, sour, astringent pit fruit, a trifling metallic flinty character, some wayward oily canned nuts, and bitter earthy, leafy hops. A quite subtle, and wee warming rises in concert with deeper reflection (read: drinking) of the beer.

The bubbles are a tad zingy, and lightly cutting, but eventually settle to a support role for the most part, the body a decent middleweight, and maybe a bit too tight and manor-ish to be dubbed really all that smooth. It finishes off-dry, the caramel/toffee sweetness deeply tempered by a lingering musty, old fruitiness, and the stalwart noble hops.

An approachable, and conquer-worthy old-world strong ale, the subtly of it all clear in the restraint in the main players' getting lost in the timid, though distracting enough off-flavours - to note: mineral and must (which sounds like an old Judas Priest song...). Still rather good though, and duly representative of the style, one, like its kin, having lost its place to the more effusive American take on things, somewhat sadly, I suppose.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy somewhat dark amber body with a prodigious head that leaves quite a bit of lacing behind

Smell: Biscuit and caramel nose with a fruity raisin character as well; fruity orange hops in the background

Taste: Starts out very malty, with a wonderful caramel flavor; a tart hops flavor joins mid-palate; a touch of honey joins the slightly vinous taste on the finish as well

Mouthfeel: Reasonably full-bodied with moderate carbonation; a little slick

Drinkability: Different from what I was expecting, this is one of the better British brews I have tasted

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty classic ESB. Served cool at 55º into a tulip glass. Tawny reddish copper color, an attractive jewel tone color. A half inch of off white foam rises and leaves behind a good coverage on the surface, with random spotty lacing.

Lightly fruity and mildly sweet apricot nose, hints of sugar cookie and fruitcake as advertised on the back label.

Sweet grainy flavors with a hint of hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Some light fruitiness, apricot and melon rind notes. Supple feel, mellow and smooth, not too sweet. Simple but well put together and enjoyable. Overall a solid ESB, lives up to it's benchmark reputation.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light dry fruits and some dry caramel malt is mildly interesting. Taste is also a balanced mix between some medium dry figs and raisins with some notes of dry caramel malt. Body si about average with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. I thought the aroma had some fruity ester that could have lead tom something interesting but the taste couldn't really match up with the rest -not bad overall but I won't seek this again necessarily.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find here,pours a rich amber with a nice looking slightly off white head.Aroma is deeply malty with some yeast notes with a touch of fruit,taste is sweet and rich with some great fruity depth.Very smooth going down I have a case and I will savor it.A light bitter finish but a nice big malty brew.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting looking beer, my first from this brewery which I guess one some Brewery of the Year award in 2011, not sure which award but something.

Pours a creamy looking 1/2 finger head that fades semi quickly but leaves a big halo ring of nice looking thick lacing, over dark but very clear mahogany brown color with some ruby light streaming through.

Nose has that typical English strong beer aroma, typical yeast, malts, and hops. Lots of fruity esters at first, typical from English yeasts, fruit cake almost with some bright stone type fruits and light bready malts. Very light phenolic touches underneath with a hint of booze that reminisces of beers higher than 6.3% abv. Hops bring a light herbal character. Lots of sweeteners with light brown sugar and molasses, caramel, light biscuit made with brown sugar, and again hinting at the fruit cake.

Taste brings a mild caramelized molasses cake flavor, with the sweetness rushing out to the front. Plenty of molasses and some brown sugar, with hints of caramel and toffee. The bready malts beneath that with decent sweetness really give a taste of molasses cake or rum cake with candied dates or something. Then light fruity esters come through, much less than the nose, but again typical of the English yeast varieties. Fruits add a touch of a fruit cake to the molasses cake. There is also an interesting caramelized almost smoky like coffee syrup flavor, it's a really interesting flavor to run along side the molasses cake and fruit. Then some light herbal earthy hops. The hops are interesting in giving some light grassy herbal flavors, but not the overpowering typical herbal UK style hops I can't stand, so interesting. The finish gets a bit more bitter but never overly bitter, typical of English bitters, it also dries a bit but stays somewhat sweet, more molasses and cake lingering, and a bit of the nutty toffee lingering.

Mouth is med to a bit richer bodied, decent carb.

Overall interesting, pretty much a good example of an English strong beer, that has characteristics of a bitter and a brown ale, with tons of molasses cake, fruity esters, biscuit, etc. and the hops add a nice bitterness and herbal earthy flavor that doesn't go to the icky taste I don't like. Drinkable, and something I wouldn't mind drinking a bunch of at a pub.

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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 TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, caramelized malts and some pale hops.

T: The taste is malty and sweet with flavors of honey, dark fruit, caramel and some spice. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer with a lot of substance that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden-copper body, fairly clear appearance, with a small, though sustained white head.

Smell: Fruit cake aroma of raisin pulp, dried apricots, and chopped red apples with a sweet-scent of caramel and bready malts.

Taste: Sweet maltiness at the start, with tastes of caramel, light treacle, and (English) toffee. Fairly bready throughout. Varied fruits. Leafy, lightly grassy hops with a medium degree of bitterness. Very slight chalky quality. Drying, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Light carbonation.

Overall: Fairly nice, balanced ale.

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

A beautiful shade of dark red-orange-copper with a toffee colored head of firmsticky foam. Each looks great in isolation and they look even better in combination. As the cap deflates, thick strands and streamers of lace stick to the glass with authority.

The aroma is on the underpowered side. It's firmly toasted (sweet and caramel-like) as well as being moderately British hoppy. Good, but far from great.

Broadside Strong Original is very good beer. I'm not sure what distinguishes it from the lower-ABV Broadside ESB (except ABV of course), so I'll just ignore style and describe what I taste. This is a superbly well-balanced ale with plenty of ingredients. The solid-as-a-rock malt backbone delivers a lusciously sweet caramel flavor and a medium-full mouthfeel that makes the beer a pleasure to drink.

ABSO is also dark fruity and contains a hint of spiciness, possibly emanating from the well chosen, generous amount of hops. I'm especially enjoying the longish finish, during which sweet malt and earthy-spicy hops keep things balanced until long after the swallow. Its bold, yet refined, flavor makes English strong ale the perfect choice when assigning style.

I like this beer much more than I thought I would. While Adnams SSB was pretty good stuff, Broadside Strong Original is a cut above. I'd love to get my hands on the whole Adnams line, but I'm not sure they're available on this side of the pond. Recommended.

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Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-hazed caramel/chestnut with 4 fingers of creamy sand colored head. Superior head retention & average lacing

S: Cakeyness & some leafy hops, plus some dark fruittyness once warm

T: Minty hops, dryness caramel & herbal hops, plus a touch of warming alcohol up front. Apricot & pear mingle with brown sugar & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty & quenching for the ABV. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Very creamy with moderate carbonation, super balance

Drinks very easy, despite the hops not really being simpatico with me. Cask Broadside about 1.2% weaker was one of my go to real ales when I lived in England. This isn't a bad substitute, although cask will always be better. A solid, sessionable strong ale

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Photo of smcolw
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
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 Jason
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$3.45 @ Charles Street Liquors, Boston, MA:

http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/user_reviews/1008/

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bowling pin style bottle, best before date on the back label.

Appearance: Pasty off white lace clings well, weather brownish bronze hue is dark and inviting.

Smell: Ripe pear and black currant fruit mix as well as a light metallic malt sweetness. Touch of buttery yeast in the back.

Taste: Very malty with toasted and caramel like qualities, hops barley crest the sweetness and lend some flavor as well. A touch of ripe dark fruit with a hint of buttery yeast and alcoholic esters in the back. Finishes a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Slick thickness on the palate drops out after a quick prickle of carbonation.

Notes: A very flavorful strong ale with simple complexities. An easy pick to pair with a nice hearty sandwich for lunch.

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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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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 Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle, fresness date of 03 Feb 05, pours nice dark almond with some reddish hues. Tan head leaves medium lacing. Tasty, malty British style ale. Medium body, smooth creamy mouthfeel. Balanced and understated, a nice warming everyday ale, fine session quaffer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/ruby with a rocky tan head that slowly descends to a thin, ever-lasting head. Quite a bit of lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is bready with mild fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet grainy, nutty malt. Very smooth. Bitter, cherryish fruity hop presence balances out the sweetness. Just a hint of peppery alcohol, especially in the finish. Fairly mild flavor, but nice.

The feel is full, coating. Doesn't hang around too long, though.

This one is easy to drink. Mellow for the style, adding to drinkability. A fine, classic example of an English strong ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear bronze, color, good,creamy head, full and active, yet quick to crumble down. Aroma: very airy, some citrus, yeasty, fruity, but wide, wide open, almost empty. Yet, actually, pretty much dead-on for style.
Taste: tiny, fruity, slightly bitter flavor right off, then smooth, malty, easy-going. A little too sweet and malty, for my taste, but probably, again, right on the button for what they're trying to do. Yep, kind of treacly, but that's what makes Newcastle so damned popular. Nice, little hops, big, fat, fruity malt, very smooth and utterly drinkable. Body is medium, at best, and finish is, perhaps, too short, too sweet.
Overall, not to my taste, but a great example of this style.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Pours a medium to dark ruddy brown amber with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and good lacing. Great aroma of sweet bready caramel malt, plum and dark fruit, toffee. Flavor follows with semi-sweet caramel malt, dark and dried fruit, nuts and slowly revealed earthy hops, finishing with a nice malty, mildly grassy hop finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A tasty ESB with great malt and nicely balanced hops. I don't know this Gold hop variant, but it is very subtle at first, but reveals itself nicely in the finish and there is great malt support for it. I liked this quite a bit and will buy it again. Nicely done.

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Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
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 WesWes
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1/4" off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is dry with a malty scent. It also had a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good. It is full of malty flavor with a strong caramel finish. It has a dryness that makes the beer very crisp and slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer drinks well. It is a good strong ale. It has good flavor and malt complexity.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 453 ratings.
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