The Battle of Solebay marked by new spirit in Southwold

It was a bloody naval conflict where thundering cannons claimed thousands of lives off the coast of Southwold.

And to commemorate the Battle of Sole Bay, Adnams brewers is launching a new spirit.

The Spirit of Broadside, an 'eau de vie', will be unveiled this May to coincide with the 340th anniversary of the third Anglo-Dutch war.

It comes after Adnams brewed its first Broadside beer 40 years ago to commemorate the tercentenary of the battle.

Chairman of Adnams Jonathan Adams said: 'Spirit of Broadside is distilled in a similar manner to our whisky spirit and is then transferred into heavily toasted Russian oak casks for maturation in the brewery cellar. It has been in the casks for 12 months - we hope people will enjoy it.'

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The Battle of Solebay raged in the North Sea on May 28 1672 when the English naval fleet had their headquarters in Southwold. While the sailors were drinking in the local taverns, the Dutch fleet mounted a deadly assault which eventually sunk the English flagship.

It is said to have taken the drummer boy four hours to round-up the men onto the ships to fight.

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The English fleet, under the command of the King's brother James Duke of York and the Earl of Sandwich, drove off the Dutch forces but both sides claimed victory. About 150 ships and more than 10,000 men took part in the battle, while 2,000 are said to have died on each side.

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