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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 453
Photo of chilidog
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked thisone up as a real bargan, .99 cents for a 16.9 oz. bottle. I've gotten a few, a couple of times.
A good english ale to be had. It pours a good dark burgandy with a full tan head that laced real well, ring like. The aroma is sweet malt with hints of plum or pear. The taste is malt, dark fruit and to me, winter-like spice. A good dose of it too. Hops peak in the back of the taste only to slightly dry the mouth. The mouthfeel is still left with an oil like feel, though not bad.
A real bargain with good, go with a meal quality. If you find this for a buck, go for it indeed.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with ruby back-lit tints. A decent light tan head forms,a nd it nicely proudly sticks around for a good long time. Aroma is malty bready with some dark fruit notes, slight brown sugar/molassas, and a hint of alcohol. Flavor follows through, the alcohol is stronger in the flavor than expected for a 6% brew. Also has a somewhat (but not strong) sharp hop bite back end. Overall nice taste, but generally bigger and heavier than I want in a beer most of the time. Body is full and rich.

A good, decent beer, and at $5.99 for a four pack of 12 oz bottles, this one is a great value!

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

This arrived as a nice deep ruby color with a small head. It faded a bit and left some minor lacing.

There's some degree of alcohol present in the smell. The taste is pretty good, bringing plenty malt flavor to the mouth. Alcohol can be tasted, but it's not as strong in the taste as it is in the smell. Hops are definitely apparent in the finish.

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

Another beer that I bought with the exp. date has expired. (21Sep05)
Honestly I dont think it effected the taste but I really couldn't say if it did.
Adnams bottle shape is something I admire, why it's different and not plain looking like most.
Head is there but leaves quickly, length about inch or less.
Coloring has a reddish brown tint. It has the cloudy look at both ends that I like.
Even though it has Original Ale printed on the label I still taste the bitters inside from the last beer from them ESB.
It's mild easy to drink one or two but I wouldn't finish the case with this one. Not a party beer.

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

This review comes with apologies to historians of the Anglo-Dutch wars and fans of Patrick O'Brian.

Big-ass 1.pt9oz bottle, featuring a line-of-battle ship loosing a broadside - presumably HMS Royal James (ok, that's the only ship name from this battle I know), purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $5.45. I went in looking for AK Smoked Porter for a possible trade. Not finding my quarry (and knowing it was gone everywhere else in town), and feeling all those bottle staring at me, I decided to pick up something to make putting up with the moronic Division Street traffic worth my while. I settled on the Broadside bomber and remembered I'd had a couple of pints of the draft version at the Castle Inn on a rainy day in Cambridge, UK, in the summer of 2001. I decided it would be fun to try the bottled take on it. Also my predilection for naval and maritime history dictated that I had to drink something commemorating the Battle of Sole Bay (or Solebay, as it's often written). "Best before 21 Sept 05." Oops. BTW, why is an English brewery commemorating a defeat? Yeah, yeah, it was their local battle, but their side lost! It'd be like a brewer in Honolulu offering a Day of Infamy IPA, or a Russian brewer making a Tsushima Stout.

Poured a muddy brown that took on a copperish orange shade when held up to direct light, with a big, thick off-white head that dropped faster than you can say Michiel Adriaanszoon De Ruyter. The head dropped in about 2 minutes, but left lovely sheets of foam on the sides of the glass as it made it's way down my imperial pint glass.

The smell isn't what I expected, despite not really knowing what to expect. There's a mild, berry sweetness, along with a mild bitterness. There's also a noticeable bready yeast scent that might have been less strong had this been fresher, but had not reached an unpleasant level. This smelled tasty without being flashy about it.

This unflappable, steady without being spectacular quality carried over to the taste. Make no bones about it - this is a mostly malty beer. The mildly fruity sweetness is the most noticable flavor component, but it's kept from beating the drinker over the head by a no-frills hoppiness that doggedly sticks to it's job -keeping the malts from running amok. Otherwise, the hops are about as active as the French were at Sole Bay.

While more substantial than a typical English pale ale, the thickness of this beer is no slab-sided Dutch built buggar. Mouthfeel-wise, this is at the upper end of medium bodied, with a level of carbonation that keeps this from being too heavy but other wise doesn't draw too much attention to itself.

This is a tasty beer that doesn't make too many demands on the palate, but at the same time is more interesting tasting than a typical English pale ale. It would go well with a hearty (earl of) sandwich, and you'd probably fare better than Mr. Montagu if you chose this.

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

Copper brown with a nice light brown head, decent carbonation, and sheets of lace. Sweet malty aroma and a bit nutty. Nutty malt flavors with a bit of cherry-like fruitiness; nicely balanced and not too sweet. Medium-full bodied and smooth with a drying malt finish.

Per BOM notes: Gold - 2003 GBBF - Strong Bitter.
English Maris Otter.
English Challenger, Fuggles and Goldings hops.

Lot #: 5069
Tasted: 11/07/05

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Photo of canucklehead
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brought back from UK this is a beer with a distinctive profile. The beer tasted slightly of caramel with a real semi-sweet malty finish. I really liked the fact that it created its own identity with the toffee richness. Big head on a pretty light brown body this beer is a real charmer.

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

The bottle was a gift from a shop owner for some advice I had given her. She thought it was an excellent beer and I had never heard of it before.

I chilled it to 62 F (16.7 C). The head was a off-white and retained almost to the final sip. The aroma was very pleasant. I would compare the taste, the mouthfeel, and the drinkability to Fullers' London Pride and note that this beer would easily be my choice over London Pride.

In the '90's I spent a few months every year in England and Scotland and made a point of drinking as many different beers as possible. So I am surprised that I never had Adnams before.

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

500ml Bottle bought from Sainsburys

Poured a reddy brown / amber colour... Creamy tan head poured quite big and foamy with small beading. Head settled to a nice thin layer which lasted until the end...

Aroma - Sweet and malty, dark fruits (plums), ginger, slight nuttiness, vanilla hints...

Taste – Fruity, spicy, quite strong maltiness, slightly sweet...

Feel - Quite light bodied. Sharp at first but quite creamy afterwards...

Overall - Well worth a try. Very drinkable...

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beer of the month club selection.
Poured a medium copper with abundant off-white head. Smell is very malts combined with dark fruits (plums, raisins). Taste is fruity mixed with a nice hoppy bitterness. Finishes smooth. Good drinking beer. Thanks to BA mtanji for the sample.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Pours a deep, rich mahogony color with a 2 finger, light tan head. After head disspates a tightly bubbled, nice lacing aheres to the side of the glass.

Smell: Biscuity, with hints of sweet, caramel malt, slightly fruity, possibly apricots or currants.

Taste: Sweet caramel and fresh fruit flavors start then gives way to a slight hop bitterness at the finish. Leaves the mouth slightly dry and wanting more.

Mouthfeel is fairly chewy and creamy.

I like this one a lot. An easy drinker that is worth seeking out. 6% abv is well hidden but could catch up if sessioning this beer. Overall a very good strong ale that I would buy again.

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

[This is the cask version at 4.7%. Ratings for the bottled version should be entered under "Adnams Broadside Strong Original".]
Cask conditioned at The Tottenham, London. Deep amber/copper colour, minimal head. Aroma of nuts and red fruits. Flavour is a bit alcoholic with a substantial hoppy bitterness, which leaves a nice aftertaste.

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Photo of amicar
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking beer. A red- tinged brown with a creamy dense head that is of mild- medium size. Smell is wondefully complex; musky, lighly hopped aroma, some nice roasty things in there. Slight fruitiness on the nose if you look for it. More intensity of smell than most beers I've had. Taste is a nice mix of base malt and an appropriate degree of roast malts underneath giving way to a sharp little hop bite when the slight seetness fades. Good slick fullness in the mouth and stays in the mouth for a long time. It has all the intensity and complexity I love in a world- class beer, but a light enough hand in it that I could find a lot of these empty in a night. If all the bottles are this good (especially for $1.79/ pint bottle), I'm stocking up.

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

pours a deep brown color with a decent 1 finger head that sits around for a good bit of time.
smell is sweet, sweet rasins and fruity esters come through.
taste reminded me of simple sugar soaked raisins. very port like in its sweetness. slight carmel notes. it is sweet but not overly sweet
its medium bodied, smooth with a slightly creamy texture to it.
nice beer overall

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another reason why I'm becoming an ESB man. After my local pub got Fuller's ESB on tap, this is a close (recent) second.
Poured up cloudy and dark amber with a thick off-white head of creamy foam. Head left pretty quickly, but a thin cover stayed around. Wonderful smelling brew, malt and fruit, maybe apples or sweet vinegar, jumped from the glass I had poured. Taste was similar to the smell, hops at the back with a multitude of flavor on the tongue and cheeks. Not much carbonation, reminds me of pub beers in England. I would drink a few. Great stuff, I will have to seek out more ESB's as well as Adnam's other brews.
Cheers...

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Photo of tweeder263
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep amber brew with a nice 1 finger head. Smells of beer, i thought i smelled a slight bit of skunk at first but if it was it left quickly. Taste of sweet malt ,nicely rounded out by hops very subtle.Goes down smooth nice sweet lingering aftertaste.Pretty good brew,wouldnt mind having a few of these bad boys around.

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

500 ml bottle. 3 months after the Best Before date, but have no fear, this beer is in great shape. Dark amber with a nice off-white head. Sweet malt aroma with subtle fruit and toffee. Chewy malt flavor flavor with a hint of fruit, and a nice hop flavor in the finish. Great balance, complexity, and drinkability. It's hard to put this one down. I would love to try this beer on cask. It must be orgasmic. Until that day, keep the 500 ml bottles coming. Great beer.

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

Burnt reddish-brown with a bubbly cream-colored head that fades away to a small ring around the glass. Brute aromatic force asserts itself through the tiny opening of the bottle right from the get go. Sweet, rotting pine forest smothered in sap, flowers, and alcohol. The slightest roasted flavor provides a welcome accompaniment to the sweetness of the generally smooth, sweet, malty taste. Almost fruity, really. Some grassiness and a mild astringency leads to a potent but brief burst of hops. Very thick and beefy.

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Photo of malty
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 ml nicely curved bottle - BB Feb 05 (it's been in a cool dark fridge for the past 8 months.

Beautiful ruby-copper color with a very faint off-white head that disipates to a fine cloud with a tiny halo above the ale.

Notes of carmelized dark fruits, molasses and bread dough. Winey notes are apparent also.

A warming spicy caramel flavor hits the tongue at first. Followed by roasted malts and cracker-like flavors. The spicy character surfaces once again wrapped in the warmth of subdued alcohol.

Mouthfeel if a tad flat with a medium body, moderate fine carbonation and a nice even finish.

Drinkability is above average. I bet this would be fantastic on cask.

Overall an interesting ale of quiet intensity. Surprisingly warming with only 6% ABV. It seems to me this ale would be done utmost justice straight from the firkin. Will seek this out on tap in the future.

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Photo of granger10
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really nice deep auburn color with a creamy tan head. Fruity aroma with some hops but a little vegetable note in there as well. Taste is very creamy on the mouth with a rich caramel sweetness and good English hop hit on the backside that provides a fruityness. Slight buttery note actually helps the smoothness of this really thick, chewy bready body. It all works here. Depth is an issue and the richness could be overwhelming after a few but overall this is simply a really well made English ale.

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Photo of Suds
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me why I love a good, solid English ESB. It’s a mahogany color with a rocky, stable tan head. The aroma is very malt and fruity. Faint butterscotch in the smell as well, and hint of ethanol. Sweet malt tastes, caramel, lightly toasted malts, and a medium hop balance combine in the flavor. Relatively low carbonation gives the beer a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. It’s substantial, and very satisfying. It’s not the kind of beer that “wows” you, but it is thoroughly compelling and would be a hell of a session brew.

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

Appearance – This one had a huge, explosive head, which is unusual for the style. The body is a dark, solid brown.

Smell – The light, toasted malts are subtle but well-defined. There’s a spritzy yeast character to the nose as well. I can pick up some wicked fruit like green apple and just a hint of alcohol.

Taste – The malts are huge at the taste. This is almost like drinking that liquid malt you can buy at a homebrew shop. The light yeast character from the nose made it’s way to the taste. The tart apple and some fruity sweetness round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This is full-bodied with some light woody notes that really smooth out the mouthfeel. There’s just the right amount of alcohol warmth on the tongue.

Drinkability – This one is a mouthfull, that’s for sure. It is thick and chewy and almost needs a knife and fork.

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