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: 296 | Ratings: 452
Photo of chogm54
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

A-pours a thick frothy off white head. Clear. Dark mahogany.

S-nothing much here. Molasses,malt,toffee not too strong or appealing

M-faintly roasted malts with a nice strong choppy bitterness at end. Not as malty and a relatively short finish for an English strong ale

F- dry texture, thin bodied,low carbonation, slight metallic finish.

O- nice bitter. Just like on tap, the warming abv and choppy bitterness puts this beer ahead of other bitters

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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 Foyle
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
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 nztayls
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells fantastic, and like the bottle says - of fruitcake with no real hop aroma to speak off. Pours with a nice white head that dissipates reasonably quickly , and is a dark rich brown with a tinge of red to it. Nice and malty, with a lingering bitterness. Overall a very nice drop.

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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 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 keithmurray
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark mahogany/crimson color with white head

Smell - toffee, cherries, green apple

Taste - toffee, cherries, hint of green apple

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, low carbonation, sweet upfront, astringent in the finish

Overall - decent beer that I'm glad to have tried

Price Point - $3.99/500ML bottle

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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.

 506 characters

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 trics90
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass mug.

Pours out a clear, very dark brown with a hint of ruby red. A light brown head which goes down quickly but retains a thin layer.

A strong smell of dark berries and currents. A little bit biscuity.

Initial taste is very sweet, of brown sugar with a strong fruity flavour. A vert pleasant fruitcake and hoppy aftertaste with a hint of caramel.

Has a fairly thick and creamy feel in the mouth with a slight carbonation.

Overall, not the usual beer I would go for but enjoyable none the less. I would not have guessed the strong alcohol content and it wasn't as thick or filling as I expected which is a good thing for me. A beer which is very different to most which I would recommend.

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

500ml bottle poured into pint glass20/12/12 cheers Chris for the bottle and having such an awesome name

A a clear reddish copper with about as many bubbles as you could fit in a glass, a thumbs width of dense tan foam has great retention ending up as a pencil eraser top like island and leaves lots of random lace, sexy looking stuff

S a nutty malt monster with some nice fruity notes and lots of brown sugar both crystal and burnt, some earthy notes and the smell is quite strong, I can smell it from the table

T much like the nose with a fruit packed, nutty caramel bar thing going on that works well, some faint spice, lots of caramels and earthy hops, packed with flavor

M medium-full with mellow carbonation that give it a creamy feel, I almost expected it to be foamy and airy after seeing how carbonated it looks but everything's well done in this department

O solid stuff and a good example of an English Strong ale, malty and the booze is well hidden, I'd say this would make a good session beer but it would end up being a short session at 6.3% its pretty easy to drink

I really had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be pretty solid, I'm wondering what else this brewery's getting up to and I may just go out of my way to find out

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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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Adnams Broadside from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 452 ratings.
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