Adnams Broadside | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

very good
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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: 151 | Ratings: 277
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 pkalix
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

oh my.... as advertised... ruby with a tan head and smells like a stinkin' fruitcake. well, if we here in America don't like fruitcakes, what makes 'em think we wanna drink something that tastes like a fruitcake?? the cool thing is they did NOT ADD the flavors (I think) but, rather, it comes from the malts they use which is forgivable, original, and almost commendable. cherry, fig, sticky sugar-y lickable fruitiness on the nose and palate. leave it to the Brits . . . . kind of wish I had opened the Mango Magnifico instead of this one now . . . . typical british tangy malts, sweet yet bitter, fruity and rich. some metallic aftertaste....

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.84/5  rDev -26.8%
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 BeerIsland
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served at Hunger & Thirst in Lancaster PA. This was an excellent presentation of a classic beer. Very pretty dark brown and heady in the glass. Malty but not sweet, also caramel flavors but not sweet; very well balanced. I almost thought I was drinking a heavy lager, this beer was so smooth.

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Photo of delta490
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a deep clear ruddy brown. Slight visible carbonation. Short lived off white head dissipates quickly leaving lacing

S- rich malt primarily dark fruit (cherry, plum?).

T- great. Deep malt flavors with just a soft hop bitterness as a counter

M- smooth and soft

O- this is an excellent representation of the English bitter. A great pint.

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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 speter
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, poured into a nonic.

A: Clear ruddy tan with a two-finger tan head that persists, leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet bready malt with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar.

T: Biscuity, creamy, and lightly sweet upfront, the beer falls slightly flat mid-palate, before finishing with (I kid you not) a marmalade spike, followed by a nice British bitter bite. The hops do provide a very nice aftertaste that lingers nicely.

M: Creamy and smooth, with a bit of warmth.

O: A solid bottled ESB that is almost certainly superior on cask.

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Photo of AnotherBeerGeek
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served up this lovely full-pint ale in a pub glass. The color is an intensely clear red-brown, with plenty of visible carbonation and a light tan head that fades away quickly. The nose offers up caramel malts and sweet berry notes. There is more of the same as you take that first taste, although these flavors quickly fade to a drying moderate bitterness revealing a respectable underlying hoppiness. The feel is light and refreshing, and the overall result is a decently complex, nicely enjoyable semi-bitter ale. Absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of Samp01
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Pours a reddish brown amber with a small quickly fading beige head. Aroma is of toasted caramel malt, very fruity and yeasty. Taste of toasted caramel malt, fruity, yeast, breads, some toffee flavor and mild earthy hops bitterness. Palate is a medium body, crisp with good carbonation. Finish is sweet toasted caramel malt, yeast, fruity, bready with some earthy hops bitterness, ending has a lingering caramel malt and toffee aftertaste. Overall a good, flavorful and pleasant drinking brew.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy; copper colored, medium head, long lasting

Aroma: Malty; tangy fruit; whiff of sea salt; hops

Taste: Malty; orange fruit; spicy hops; very complex and well balanced; creamy

Remarks: Seaside salt is a trademark aroma of this beer

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a half finger of head on a hazy, brown colored body.
The aroma is a complex blend of fruit and bread. Apple, plum, wheat bread and fruitcake.
The taste is bready and fully loaded on malt, but avoids becoming too sweet. A little lemon bitter in the background.
The texture is thick with moderate carbonation.
A hefty beer with great flavor.

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Photo of Radome
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 500 ml bottle into a goblet. The beer was bought off the shelf in England.

A - The color is a rich, deep garnet brown, the deepest copper you could have before being called pure brown. It is crystal clear. The head is tan, thick and sticky; made up of large, oil-sheened bubbles that leave lots of lacing.

S - The aroma was surprisingly hop oriented after the initial pour. I was surprised because I expected more malt balance. As the beer warmed and breathed, more malt came out and the earthy, woody hops faded a bit. Warm bready malt and raisins balanced the hops eventually, making it very inviting.

T - The taste is balanced as well, but leans slightly toward malt. The malt is Warm and bready, with some raisin, brown sugar and even molasses notes. The hops are there, but at a lower level, with earthy and woody being the best way I could describe them. The finish is slightly sweet, but not too cloying.

M - Medium to heavy body, which is appropriate for this flavorful beer. The carbonation is smooth but noticeable. Some low to moderate hops bitterness. Alcohol is detectable, but not at a hot level.

O - This is a nice ESB with plenty of aromas and flavors running around in it. It is a bit too thick and chewy for me to want to drink more than one, but it's a nice sipper.

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

500ml bottle (Best Before dated: 30/11/13)

Very nice clear dark ruby colour with an off-white one finger head, quickly subsiding to a thin cap with just a little spotty lacing. Aromas of sweet malt, some dark fruit and breadiness. Sweet malt taste with some spice and fruitiness, balanced hop bitterness comes through in the slightly dry finish, nice lasting aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

I've not had Fullers ESB for a while, and that might just be better; this is a moreish beer I'd definately buy again.

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Photo of Idris
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am self-confessed big fan of the ESB style. I find it to be a highly underrated style, with balanced and, I dare say, often nuanced flavor profile. This beer presents as a clear ruby-tinged brown brew with an off-white head that quickly retreats, leaving a billowy island in the center of my tulip glass I utilize for evaluation. Sweet malts, very subtle dark fruit, and a hint of breadiness commands me to take a sip. Malt sweetness, a hint of hop spice, and candied fruits abound in the palate, with a finish a touch dryer than anticipated. Medium mouthfeel, no obvious flaws, and the desire to have another (which really is the hallmark of a good beer). Well done.

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Photo of sommersb
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 01-20-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Single from Brawley's Beverage, Charlotte

A: Clear beer, with a bright ruby color. The head is a good size and off-white in color. Retention is good and the lacing is very attractive.

S: Sweet malts, with caramel, nut, and bready aspects. Aromas are clean and very pleasant - makes me want to take a sip!

T: Taste is firstly malty sweet, with the caramel and nut flavors as noted in the aroma. I also get some bitterness of earthy hops and a slight orange/fruity component.

M: Body is medium, with an average amount of carbonation. The finish is more dry than you get in the initial tasting, but still is big on the caramel malts. The English hops keep everything in check for a nice balance.

O: Overall I really enjoyed this beer and would recommend it as a solid session ale.

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

Was told by many that this particular cask was things like "incredible". It's incredible that this beer still tasted well and had some dynamic malt and hop flavors for a beer with a "best by" date of 16 APR 2012. It was kept cold in a walk-in refrigerator this whole time...

For an old, chilled cask, this poured with a surprising amount of head. Looked great atop the amber-copper liquid. Minimal lace. Small touch of haze.

Fresh pale ale and crystal malt on the nose. Mildly estery and vinous. A tad earthy as in "dirt". Not terribly bold on the nose.

Quite toasty/bread-crusty malt flavor, apple-like esters, and actually still packs a somewhat spicy, herbal hop flavor in the background, with some smooth bitterness providing some great contrast and depth long into the finish. The body has some substance to it - a little grainy-gritty yet washes away fairly dry and clean.

I wouldn't call this sample of this ale "incredible" or "awesome". But I can't deny that it certainly had a bolder, more vibrant bready, grainy, and earthy overall flavor than most British pales that make it over here (and I guess that counts for something), but nothing particularly unique. I do wish this was more findable in the American market though. Would like to have it again for sure.

(EDIT: 26 Mar 2014 - I'm wondering now if this cask was a mislabeled Southwold Bitter - having had Broadside earlier in the month on draft, it tasted quite a bit different than what I've described above... the Southwold bottle I just drank was much more similar to my description above)

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Photo of FLima
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice two finger head that quickly left a thin constant lacy.
Dark brown ruby color.
Mild malty aroma with a hint of piney hops.
Medium body and low carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Sweet malty taste with some refreshing hops and hints of caramel. Hints of dried fruits.
Sweet and bitter aftertaste, a bit dry.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass at 6:40 Am on thanksgiving after working 12 hours in a first responder capacity... and man is it tasty.

A=Simply one of the best looking beers I have ever seen. A beautiful amber mahogany color with a finger of head that slowly leaves lacing oozing down the glass

S=Tons of malt, a bit of toffee

T=Sweet, slightly fruity with toffee and pronounced malt in the finish

M=bit thin for my liking, but nothing that detracts from the overall experience

O=Great all around beer, and one definitely worth trying

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Photo of Oakenator
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ruby-brown - a really nice color. Head is decent at pour but disappates somewhat quickly - somewhat expected with this style of beer. Smell is bready malt and spices. Mouthfeel is good for this traditional English beer but from a bottle. Taste is like a English bitter but with a deeper depth of flavor - stronger malts, some mild hoping and in addition to the notes picked up on aroma the taste adds a bitter/sweet finish - a honey or a nice dark sugar. Good beer.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a slight bubbly head. Just a ring left, spotty lace.

Big candied, sweet dried stone fruit and toffee aromas.

What you smell is what you get. Huge candied flavors that dissolve into lightly bitter malt. Dried fruits, some apricot, some prune, toffee, then smooth lingering bitterness. I really like the complexity, but this one is a big fruity mess. Big malt at the end, if it helps, but sugary fruit still peeks thru.

Medium bodied, a bit on the flat side, but that is ok.

Not bad. I don't hate this, and the brew isn't flawed with a bad decision...just too many elements. As rich as this is, the entire fruit basket kinda kills this, even with the bitter at the end. Decent beer, but not the best ESB I've had.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going down the Adnams road again. 500 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Beautiful polished amber color, topped with fine head and retention on top. The nose is fruity, nutty, and has some "raw" malt sweetness. That leads to a flavor which is dominate of a duet of malty and fruity notes. Accents of pineapple work into the profile. Some butterscotch and toffee crisp appear as the beer warms. The flavor is a little raw at first, eventually smoothing out to become more pleasant and and more fun to drink. Overall, it's a fine choice to drink broadside.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. There is a batch code but no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a half-liter Hobgoblin glass. The color is ruddy, deep copper. Two fingers of dense, buttery, light tan head dissipated slowly and tantalizingly.

Smell: Lots of nice, sweet grassiness and dark fruit. It also has bold aromas of caramel, nutmeg (maybe), and toffee. It smells a little like a doppelbock.

Taste: The malts dominate except for a hint of booze and a bitter edge that comes on late. Overall, though, it is well balanced and flavorful: grass, dark fruit, caramel, nuttiness, and toffee. It also has a metallic aftertaste.

Drinkability: A very good brew. British bitters are not my specialty and I would much rather have it from the cask. But I suppose this will do across the pond.

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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 Philousa
2.42/5  rDev -37.6%
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 Stinkypuss
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Adnams Broadside
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
ABV: 6.30 %

Pours a clear light brown with amber tint. Off white head forms with good retention. Aroma of toffee, caramel, raisin bread, strong tea like, herbal hopping. In the flavor, delicious malty notes with more quality toffee, butterscotch and burnt caramel around the edges. A single hop variety (first gold) is used and adds a great richness and depth of herbal flavor, as well as a palatable bitterness. Finishes clean with a slight notion of toffee and hop. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, delicate but moderate carbonation and a moreish finish.

Overall, this is a great beer. A perfect example of an English ESB, with true to style flavors and a time tested recipe. Broadside is one of the best English ales that comes to the states, and honestly can be enjoyed for almost any occasion. Top notch.

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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
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