Friday, March 25, 2011

Adnams Explorer

The fifth of six beers sent to me by Adnams Brewery out of England. This beer purports to smell like a "grapefruit grove" and the label states all its hops are from the "New World" (I guess that would be here). I was really excited for this one as it seems to be hinting that it's an American-style pale ale or IPA - but IS it? Let's see....

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (624) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011
Appearance: Dark golden color with a mostly clear body. Forms a two-finger, off-white, frothy head. Moderate retention, but next to no lacing.

Smell: Despite the bottle’s description I get no citrus in the nose here. Rather, it’s more of a generic blonde ale with notable grain smell not unlike a lager.

Taste: I hate having my hopes dashed and Adnams Explorer, while not a bad beer at all, certainly let me down. The brewery seems to market this as an American-style hoppy beer but the palate has next to none of the features. Much like the aroma, the taste is in the style of a generic, unoriginal blonde ale. There’s slight dryness throughout the first half and mild bitterness. The second half is surprisingly grainy for an ale and tastes like a very mild macro lager. If I really concentrate I can get some slight peppery flavors like a saison, but they are well-masked and short-lived.

As the beer warms the grainy flavors grow stronger and the authentic flavors fade away. What was a mild sour tang begins to dominate the palate. Not that the palate is repulsive. There is a slight malty sweetness throughout the palate and the beer finishes clean, so there is no lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: While it may have similar characteristics of a lager in the palate, Adnams Explorer is much closer to a traditional ale in terms of drinkability. It’s not crisp and bubbly, but a little thicker and flatter. It’s somewhat refreshing while it’s in the mouth despite its slightly dry flavor. The 5% ABV seems a little high for such a lighter-bodied beer.

Overall, a disappointing brew that’s not really bad - just far from good.

Grade: 4/10

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