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I went out for lunch with my parents last week, after a shopping trip to the MacArthur Glen Retail Park. We stopped at a pub on the way home, at a place called Winsick (not too far away from Chesterfield), at the New Inn. I asked for a pint of Magnet, but they'd run out, so I had to choose quite quickly. I opted for a pint of Adnams Broadside ~ I had previously tried, enjoyed and subsequently reviewed their Bitter (extremely unsubtle hint alert!), so I decided to go for a brewer I recognised and liked.
Adnams is based at the Sole Bay Brewery in Southwold, Suffolk. It's an old site with an awful lot of brewing history attached to it ~ brewing can be traced back to 1396, but the present company dates back to 1857. It was bought by George and Ernest Adnams, who turned the brewery into a going public concern in 1891. Adnams still continues to be a family business ~ three members of the Adnams family still work there! Adnams beers can be purchased at around 100 of their own pubs and at around 750 other outlets throughout the country. Some of the Adnams beers you may encounter include Bitter (3.7% ABV), Fisherman (4.5% ABV) and Regatta (4.3% ABV).
Broadside weighs in at a creditable 4.7% ABV and was first brewed back in 1972, to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Battle of Sole Bay ~ don't say that you don't learn anything from my ops...it's better than going to school this!
Looks wise it is mid-brown to amber colour, in fact almost golden, with a light coloured head. The head is quite frothy and reasonably long lasting and the texture of this beer is smooth and rather rich ~ it coats the inside of your mouth nicely and slides pleasantly down your throat. This beer has a lot of body…in fact you do feel a bit like you are eating it rather than drinking it…if you get my meaning?
The aroma of Broadside is quite fruity ~ a little like the spicy, curranty smell of a rich Christmas cake. It’s a bit nutty, slightly sweet and has an orangey, lemony scent too. Taste wise, Broadside is lovely! It's almost like a meal in a glass ~ it is well balanced and very tasty. It starts off rather malty and hoppy, but this soon mellows into that rich Christmas cake fruitiness that I mentioned in the aroma. The finish is rather dry and predominantly hoppy, with the flavour of caramel coming through, from the roasted malt. It is a bitter/sweet combination of tastes, giving rise to a clean, crisp and good quality ale.
The after taste is nicely long lasting ~ a rich and warming combination of bitter hops and sweet roasted caramel. It's a lovely mid strength bitter that stands on its own two feet ~ it ideally shouldn't be mixed with any other flavours because it is very distinctive. I made the mistake of having my first pint with my meal and the taste overpowered what I was eating. The few mouthfuls I had before my food arrived were excellent; infinitely superior to those I had during the meal. The pint I had after lunch was heavenly! My dad said tasting my Broadside ruined his pint of John Smiths ~ I did warn him about having that, but he wouldn’t be told...John Smith’s WAS cheaper after all!
I paid the princely sum of £2.20 for my pint of Broadside at the New Inn. This is a little more than we usually pay for a beer in a pub outside of the Town Centre (in some pubs in Chesterfield Town Centre you can pay around £1.20 for a half of lager ~ to put the price into perspective!). That said, it was a top class pint, so I wasn't overly upset at having a pay a little bit over the odds for it. Cheaper would have been a bonus of course, but a girl can't have everything! People have said in the past that Adnams beers don’t travel too well, but mine had gone from Suffolk to Derbyshire without any noticeable ill effects.
I thoroughly recommend that if you see this, and any other Adnams beers on offer down at your local, give it a try. My dad instantly wanted to "trade" his beer for mine...a John smith's for a Broadside? Not a chance I'm afraid dad ~ I love my family, but not THAT much!
Broadside is a great member of the Adnams Family!
Adnams Brewery, Sole Bay Brewery, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6JW Tel. 01502 727200
Nice review! Southwold is a really nice place and this is one of my favourite beers, bottled or down the pub. Though for some reason two pints I enjoyed at a pub called the Brick Kilns were even tastier than usual. :-)
moose 18.12.2002 16:39
Have you ever been to Southwold? Its one of our local beaches ~ its a gorgeous little town but stuck in such a time warp! They even transport the beer around to the local pubs by horse and cart!!!! If ever you are this way pay it a visit, and let me know and I will come out for a pint or two!
mrpaella 13.12.2002 22:44
Hi Andrea, You are the ultimate beer expert. Do people recognise you now at your library as you have featured on CMW? Thanks...Paul