Crunchie (36) - Somerset, ENGLAND - APR 15, 2009
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
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.
ladnewton (1570) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 28, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at Bon Accord, Glasgow on 22 April 2010. Gold with cream lacing head. Pungent, fruity and hoppy with a bitter aftertaste on a medium textured mouthfeel. The extra "oomph" is noticeable.
harrisoni (14701) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - MAY 31, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
maeib (8750) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - APR 3, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cask conditioned handpump Romany, Northampton. I recall this beer winning CBOB back in the day. For some unknown reason Adnams stopped brewing it. That was a shame as it was a quality beer; relatively hoppy for its time. Well itís back. Apparently resurrected for cask ale week but letís pray it can be more permanent as itís still pretty good. Sure we are used to hoppier beers now in the UK but this still holds its own. Itís dark copper and pours with a nice white head. Thereís a little soap in the nose amidst the citrus hops and a little spiciness to balance the hops and malts in the mouth. Itís just a lovely personable English bitter, the likes of which Adnams do so well. Whippersnapper British raters who didnít see this when it was originally brewed should not miss this if it does turn out to be a one off.
bacchanalia (146) - milton, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - APR 17, 2009
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
oh6gdx (21935) - Vasa, FINLAND - JUL 5, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cask@GBBF2010. Copper colour, small fluffy off-white head. Aroma is dry fruits, mild wood, some caramel malts as well as some tealeafs. Flavour is mildly nutty, wooden, caramelly and ending in a grassy bitterness.
chriso (7482) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 6, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
HogTownHarry (6199) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - MAY 22, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
bobinlondon (1259) - Harrow, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 6, 2009
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
EdKing (2082) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 5, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours copper/reddish. Very nice bold sweet fruit aroma which is matched in flavour. Thereís a little bit of hop dryness in the finish, but all in all a really nice medium bodied bitter, with lots of fruit flavour.