Friday night at the pub and Big Al says to me, “How d’you fancy getting your mouth round a nice fisherman?”
Well! Scanning around, I gave that salty old dog, Ahab, the once over then looked back to Big Al and categorically stated, “No feckin’ way, man!”
“But I thought you liked Adnam’s beers?” he protested.
“Aye, go’on then.” I murmured.
So with that little misunderstanding hurriedly forgotten about, I soon had a foaming Adnam’s Fisherman in my hand … (a pint of beer, that is)
Adnams is a family business which has been in operation at The Sole Bay Brewery in the Suffolk town of Southwold since 1857, although the site has been used for brewing for a lot longer than that – since the late 14th century. They brew a range of ales which owe their quality, according to them, ” to the finest East Anglian barley, old-fashioned English hop varieties and famous Adnams yeast.” These include: Broadside, Suffolk Strong Ale, Regatta, Tally Ho and this one, Adnams Fisherman.
It’s brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal malt and Chocolate malt, with Goldings hops. Some oats are also used.
“Clean and refreshing yet dark and mysterious, Fisherman is a deep coppery red, conjuring roasted nuts and dark chocolate, with a lingering taste of liquorice and dried fruits.”
Fisherman pours a clear, dark-red to copper colour with a large and creamy head of foam that sinks a little, but stills stays to the end and leaves plenty of lace.
The aroma leans heavily towards the hoppy side with a leafy note, but there’s also plenty of roasted malt there too. It’s a little smokey and there are traces of nuts and spice.
The taste is more about the malt. Not exactly sweet, the roasted flavours tend to keep it rather bitter – it’s also quite nutty. I’m having a hard time distinguishing any straightforward hop flavours – although they’re definitely there – maybe a hint of citrus? It has a spicy feel to it, with a very noticeable licorice flavour and lots of coffee and chocolate tones. They certainly didn’t hang back while roasting the malt for this beer! It finishes a little bitter, with a warming, satisfying and slightly spicy aftertaste.
At 4.5% ABV, this is a beer that’s quite hard to categorize. It has a lot of the qualities of a stout – it’s smooth and is dominated by the bitter flavour of roasted malts. But it’s not a stout. It has the appearance of a standard bitter – but it’s not hoppy enough. It has many of the spicy, warming characteristics of a winter ale, and in actual fact it’s only available from October to February – but it’s quite low in alcohol.
Aw stuff it! It is what it is, just drink it.
It’s smooth, easy-drinking and very satisfying. It’s a beer that you could easily spend an evening with, as long as it’s not a summer evening!
I haven’t really though about food pairings, but as it’s called Fisherman…
Would I drink it again? – You bait I would.
I paid 2.20 for my pint in my local – obviously prices will vary from pub to pub.