Brewed by Adnams
Style: Bitter
Southwold, England
Serve in English pint


on tap


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RATINGS: 21   MEAN: 3.28/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.16   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
Cask: Occasional Returned after an absence of 10 years as a special in April 2009 but has appeared again since then. To celebrate the UKís first ever National Cask Ale Week, Adnams is bringing back a much-loved classic - Adnams Extra Special Bitter. Known to its fans simply as ĎAdnams Extraí, the beer was crowned the Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival in 1993.
According to Rob Flanagan, Sales Director at Adnams, ďAdnams is fully supporting Cask Ale Week and wanted to celebrate the occasion by bringing back one of our old favourites. Adnams Extra Special Bitter has reached near cult status amongst Adnams fans who remember the beer with great fondness, we are sure they will be delighted to hear that it is returning. We also hope that resurrection of Adnams Extra will create a buzz of interest in Cask Ale Week for those who have not tried it before.Ē
Returned again for Wetherspoons Oct í15 Beer Festival.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
joe19612 (2228) - camberley, Surrey, ENGLAND - AUG 15, 2010
Cask at GBBF 2010. Poured a lovely dark copper colour, with a thin white head. Good malty aroma, the taste is all malt with a plenty of fruit with a good hoppy finish. Need to try his again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
harrisoni (15643) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAY 31, 2010
Cask gravity at Reading BF 2010. Copper colour, lasting bubbly beige head. Little bit of caramel on aroma, but plenty of fresh English leafy hop on the finish. Good English hop. Lovely flavour.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
hughie (3996) - Bedford, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - MAY 1, 2010
Cask at Wellington Arms, Bedford. Copper colour with a small off white head. Flint and nettle hop aroma. Salty, seaweed taste with a hint of herby bitter wormwood. Needs some sweetness too.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bobinlondon (1260) - Harrow, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 6, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2014 Handpulled cask at the Bre Louise, Euston. Amber with a white head. I remember this beer well from its former life and to me it hasnít changed much at all. Juicey malt and pungent plucky hoppage with and unmistakable Adnams house character which I canít put my finger on.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
wheresthepath (1833) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - MAY 26, 2009
[Cask at Dunstable Arms, Sheringham] Slightly cloudy deep orange colour; moderate off-white head. An atypical Adnams - less of the Adnams malt and a far higher hop profile. Rather bitter at first, but this mellows into a straw and farmyard flavour with a good fruitiness behind. After getting over the shock of the initial "this isnít the malty Adnams that I know and love", this grew on me, but itís certainly not my favourite of their brews.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
HogTownHarry (6322) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - MAY 22, 2009
Cask. At The Wenlock Arms. Slightly hazy deep amber with a large and lasting frothy white head. Leafy and mildly sweet/fruity aroma, initially a little soapy (end of cask?), had a bit of a minerally tang to it. Taste was solidly bitter - grassy with crushed appleseed, again leafy, and very dry - a hint of alcohol presence. Somewhat thin-bodied, seemed a bit astringent, a touch flat, with a fairly long dry bitter finish. Decent, could have had a bit more life to the mouthfeel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DonMagi (5595) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - APR 24, 2009
Cask in the pub in old street that iv forgotten the name of. Alround rating: Bitter english grassy hop, toffee character, bit boring and kind of iv had this soo many times before about it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bacchanalia (146) - milton, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - APR 17, 2009
Super red berry fruit on the nose & pours a very deep gold that just looks so appealing. A lovely rounded flavour on the palate, that fruit remains but gets overtaken slowly by a ever more dry hoppiness. I hope Adnams continue to make great real beer like this instead of some of the blander beers they seem to have creeping into their range.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Crunchie (36) - Somerset, ENGLAND - APR 15, 2009
Iím not old enough to remember this from first time around so all I have to go on regarding itís previous demeanor is opinions from a few people I trust. Having tried Extra by myself in a 250yr old cellar preceded by a burst of pure Fuggles when the peg was ousted, I could almost say - this is Adnams Extra. But what it used to be like means little to my present palate, itís what it has been like for the past week and a half that has mattered. And oh, what a week and a half! Instantaneous recognisation on smelling - THIS IS ADNAMS! That not overly estery yeast, the whiff of sand and sea and Southwold, pure fuggles in the way they should be used - abundantly. At this stage of writing Iím thirsty. A full, slimy, round mouthfeel with seriously good quality malt flavours carrying the earthy, floral, hoppy hops, racing around the mouth in celebration. Itís not aggressive and doesnít need to be, the finish is carried beautifully and the bitterness builds and builds and builds. To me, this is just as hoppy a beer as some West Coast double IPAís - it showcases hops, I donít need to be hit around the head with a full hop sack to realise the flavour and I could enjoy 10 of them. This is not a rant against strong hoppy US hopped beers, they are enjoyed by myself to great extent, this is justification of the greatness of cask ale and a word I never get bored of using - subtlety. I donít care if itís never brewed again (although I hope it will) because my first experience of it will live with all my drinking life. A friend of mine who used to run a great pub in London said that when his father would visit him from Scotland, he would have a pint of Extra on departure from London and upon waking up in Edinburgh could still taste the hops and bitterness. Extra and Innovation in cask for my birthday? I hope so.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
chriso (7513) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 6, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2010 Interesting to see this one back from the dead. I hope to see it somewhere during the course of this week. However, whilst trying to put some of my old scribblings in order I just happened to stumble across the following notes yesterday - from the Harbour Inn, Southwold, 1992 (June at a guess). I took this as a prompt to resurrect these vintage observations too. "Adnams Extra - 4.3%, OG 1043 - Nothing finer than sitting outside the Harbour Inn on a brilliantly sunny day, watching the comings and goings in the rather ramshackle harbour and its even more ramshackle associated buildings, with a pint of this wonderfully drinkable best bitter in your hand. Crystal clear and darkish amber, in perfect condition with just a thin crown of foam that persists well down the glass. Gently fruity and assertively bitter at the same time. A very dry finish makes for an exceedingly refreshing pint." Whilst Googling around I unearthed an article from the same year written by Michael Jackson advocating drinking the very same beer from the very same establishment. Perhaps we were even there on the same day. Who said nostalgia ainít what it used to be.? Now I just have to find the new version for comparative purposes. Fingers crossed. [7/4/7/4/16=3.8]

Cask (gravity dispense) at Woodies Beer Festival, New Malden on 21 August 2010 as Adnams Extra Special Bitter. As expected not quite so impressive without the rose tinted spectacles in operation. Still a decent brown bitter though. Good earthy hops. A little residual sweetness. Score updated.

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