Total Score: 7.6/10
According to me [I don’t trust that guy] I have previously had Adnams Broadside. I don’t remember this… or they changed their label design… either way it shows how reliable I am as a witness*. IIRC their Bitter is pretty damn tasty (I rated it 6.95/10 which is just below above-average for my rating system – granted I was a harsher critic back in those days – I’ve become much more forgiving in my old age) so I’m expecting a solid gold turd of a brew here [‘solid gold turd’ being an honour I bestow on only a few beers – the crème de la turd].
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Presents a clear deep maroon body with a 1cm beige head that sticks around quite well, I like. 8/10.
S: Quite plum driven with macerated fig and brown sugar rounding out the biggest aroma characters. There is a bready yeast centre with notes of cream sherry and tea leaf in there as well. A broad English canvas from which Adnams provide us with a decent broadside of a brew. 8/10.
T: Dark English ale in its essence – plum, fig, brown sugar – fruit cake in a glass… similar to Theakston Old Peculier but lacking the finesse of Theakston’s Old Ale. There is a slight medicinal herb bitterness with a metallic note at the finish. Hmmm, a roasted nut character in there as well. Not bad… not knees of the bee either though (bees do have a lot of knees – you can’t compete with their knees, don’t even try). 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a thin/flat carbonation. 6/10.
D: I can see where Adnams were going with this English Special Bitter-cum-Old Ale, and it is surely a top drop, not ‘solid gold turd’ good, more a ‘cat piss respectable’… which is still quite decent. I know what you’re thinking – why do my beer approval terms contain “piss” and “turd”? Simple – I’m Australian. Everything here degenerates to urination/defecation terms of endearment… I’m not taking the piss: This is a tasty brew from Adnams. 7/10. Total: 7.6/10.
Food match: Rack of beef, roasted with all the trimmings (aka gravy, roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding).
*Note: if you were going to murder someone, and I suggest not doing this in the first place, but if you do it in front of a witness hope it was me (as the witness of course – I’m not into the whole being murdered thing).