Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter) | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

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Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)
Very Good
141 Ratings
Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter)

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

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 12-21-2002

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flashback #391

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Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

A true classic. One of the best strong bitters in the world.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a pint glass from a 500 ml bottle. Look is bright clear amber with a thick foamy head and lingering lacing. Smell and taste is spice, resin and aniseed with biscuit malt aromas and flavors. Feel is medium in body with a smooth dry finish.

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Photo of TomRB
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of HankC
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of claminat420
2.31/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- poured a deep brown/ mahagonay color. white half a finger head with thin lacing.

S- raisons and alcohol.

T- dark malts with a raison taste. no hops. lame.

M- medium. hardly any carbonation.

D- pissed i bought a 4 pack.

Overall- for 12 bucks a 4 pack this is just rediculous. and only 3.7 abv??? pass this up!!

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Photo of TLove
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a glass tumbler.

Has a truly beautiful pour, color, head, and retention. Without a doubt the best appearance of its style. A nice, balanced ESB that is actually quite smooth and yeasty. Tangy, buttery, sweet, and slightly smoked in flavor, the beer has a slight, malty structure.

Sweet finish, with some very soft, apple-like finish with moderate carbonation. A solid beer of its style. Decent finish, though a bit dry and sparse tasting.

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

The Suffolk ESB poured a caramel color with a 1-2 finger foam head that dissipated quickly. Not much in the way of lacing.

It smelled of caramel and a slight hoppiness. The taste reminded me of a Scotch ale which has that unique taste to it. It had a nice bitterness on the finish which rounded it out nicely to me. Overall a good ESB and I would recommend it.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9oz brown bottle with a cool lighthouse before date of over a year ago...Damn you Friar Tuck's...

Appearance: A SUPER hazy orange/gold beer with medium carbonation and a thin ivory cap.

Smell: Large sweet caramel and toffee presence up front supported by a mild fruitiness and just a TOUCH of leafy hops.

Taste: Fruitier than expected from the nose...there's a mild/grainy presence up front, backed by slightly tart fruit (apple) and a decent kick of hop bitterness on the finish. The beer finishes tart and dry, and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Slightly fizzy and light-medium bodied.

Drinkability: Fairly high.

Conclusion: Not bad, not great. It's pretty on target for a Special Bitter, but it's a little TART and aggressively bitter (without much hop flavor for my taste). I'd really like a FRESH sample to compare this to as I think this beer might have greater potential than shown here.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish-brown color and a cloudy consistency. There wasn't much head with this beer, but it did have excellent lacing.

S: There was a very malty, bready smell, along with some mild spices.

T: A nice roasted malt flavor accented by some brown sugar and other spices. Not overly complex but good.

M: A fairly well-carbonated beer with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a well made ESB with a solid taste.

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Photo of Spikester
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with a fat one finger light tan head. Plentiful lacings.
Aroma was malty with some euro hops.
Taste is sweet malts and a good amount of bitter hops. Some leather, minor citrus, and a medium dry finish. Not a bad ESB overall. Quite sessionable considering the 4.5% abv.

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Photo of champ103
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper/brown color. A two finger beige head forms and leaves sticky lace down the pint glass.
S: Light buttery and caramel malt. A light citrus hop aroma.
T: Toasty sweet caramel malt. A subtle fruity flavor with pears and apples that come out as the beer warms a bit. A light hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness.
M/D: A medium body, but thin and watery. Low on the carbonation end. Easy and smooth to drink, like most good ESB's. A good session beer.

I enjoyed this. Pretty much everything you want in the style, I just find it a bit typical. Though, I will take a typical ESB over most anything else.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper body with a foamy one-finger head. Has a strong malt smell along with some citric notes and dark fruits from the hops.
A mix bag here - there is some tartness and fruit notes from the hops, yet this fuller-bodied beer goes down smooth and creamy, and has some sweet malt taste to it. Finishes with a dry backbite. A great beer that I'm glad I got to try.

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

Pours a nice slightly clear ruby red/deep orange amber color with a nice frothy white head that leaves good lace. Nose is mostly malty. Taste has a good malt profile with some decent british hop presence. Almost some toffee or caramel hints in here. Mouthfeel is nice, but a bit thick. Nice dry finish. Drinkability is good but not the best. Overall a good english bitter and a fair representation of the style. Im not that crazy about it, but it is a good representation. I think this bottle may be a bit old. A good brew, but there are enough better bitters available that I probably wont be purchasing this one again, except maybe at a bar.

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Photo of nasty15108
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Tulip pint glass.

A - Deep brown color with ruby hues when held up to the light. The pour produced a slightly off-white head that subsided into a spotty film. Scattered lacing throughout the glass.

S - Malty. Slightly nutty, with sweet buttery aroma. I also detected slight hints of caramel.

T - Slightly sweet roasted malt flavor up front. Hints of butterscotch and caramel. Finished creamy with a slight bitterness from the hops.

MF&D - A creamy and smooth medium bodied ESB. It reminded me a lot of Sam Smiths Nut Brown. Great flavor, coats mouth well and left a sweet taste on my lips. Highly recommended.

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Photo of blakesell
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a biscuity hazy brown with almost no head at all. Lacing clings to the glass and leaves streaks on the sides.

Smell- A nutty brown sugar with much in the dextrine malts. Hops are subdued to none, very sweet, almost like wort in the aroma.

Taste- Not near as sweet as the smell would imply. A light sourness with a nice biscuity background. Hops come in at the background. Noble hops providing the bittering and a bit in the finish. A hint of brown sugar but it is very subdued.

Mouthfeel- Light and creamy. Good carbonation and evenly balanced.

Drinkability- Smooth and very drinkable. Good for warm or cold weather. I could deal with this beer just fine in a session. I hope our paths cross again on this beer. I will enjoy a great many more.

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Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light brown; Very little head, although what is there does leave some spotty lace.

Melted brown sugar and caramel are the strongest aromas.

Creamy caramel flavors. Unlike American bitters, this is a malty brew. Very full body, but it is not sweet. The hop is almost not present. The aftertaste is brief.

This reminds me very much of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. This is a good beer, but is very much a British Bitter, not an American one.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent ESB, but not up to my favourite, Fuller's. Nice, slightly cloudy copper-amber colour with a richy, bready, yeasty malt smell. Very faint citrus hints.

Slightly bitter taste, with a bit too much citrus for me. Malt is pushed to the background I think.

Drinkability is hampered somewhat by the slightly bitter/sour taste. But otherwise, a nice ESB and probably would make for a good session beer.

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Photo of rallison
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, while not really my favorite style, this was a pretty tasty example. Nice crisp maltiness tempered by some earthy hops. Mouthfeel was well carbonated. Overall, a very easy drinking, nice example. That being said, nothing really stood out either.


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Photo of kimcgolf
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured an hazy amber color with thin off-white head that lingered atop the glass well, and reduced to marginal lacing. Try as I might, it was difficult to detect much aroma, save for a little hoppiness. Nice tingly, bitter mouthfeel, and the flavor was a pleasant blend of bitter hops and malty sweetness. This was topped off by a finish that was slightly dry and bitter, but nowhere near what the name suggests.

OK beer is the best I can do on this one.

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Adnams SSB (Suffolk Special Bitter) from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 141 ratings