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XB Bluebird Bitter - Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%


Brewed by:
Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-03-2005)
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden-amber. Great clarity. Rocky white head retains well enough, but settles after a while. Not much in the way of lacing, just a few small spots.

S: Candy lemon, orange peel, marmalade. Mild ginger ale sort of scent. Then caramel and a light grainy smell.

T: Thin caramel flavor, butterscotch. Toffee. Soft grassy flavor. Orange marmalade and orange peel. Green hop oils. Bitterness is mild. Drying grainy finish.

M: medium bodied with some slick residual sugars and a slight syrupy feel. Moderate prickling carbonation lifts this sticky texture enough that it doesn't get off putting at all.

O: it's a good beer even if it doesn't stand out all that much. The American hops are used in such a way that they impart flavor but not the aggressive bitterness that have come to characterize American beer styles.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 20:57:25 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. A batch code is printed on the label but there is no freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a nonick pint glass. The color is hazy, medium copper. Two fingers of dense, off-white, rocky head dissipated slowly.

Smell: Sharp and British. The “American aroma hops” give it a very acute and concentrated grapefruit aroma, reminiscent of dish soap. It dominates the aroma. I can detect some sweet caramel malts and grassy British hops, but the dish soap aroma is omnipresent and pervasive.

Taste: Very strange mouthfeel: dry and powdery; it is almost like Tang after it has been mixed with water. The flavor is a weak reflection of the smell: sharp citrus hops (which is slightly similar to the dish soap of the smell), caramel, and earthy hops.

Drinkability: Needless to say, the dish soap quality is very off-putting. I will drink it but I doubt if I will ever buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 05:12:45 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle. Pours a pale golden/straw color with modest white head. Nose is fresh with some black tea aromas, grain, and light citrus. Palate offers an expected black tea sort of flavor, soft biscuity malt, medium carbonation, and a rather clean malty aftertaste. Citrusy hops mix in for some balance, but overall malt stands out more to me. Very easy drinking. Delight.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 04:54:52 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of peoplewithhands
peoplewithhands

Nebraska

3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: cloudy light orangish with light head that stays

Smell: grapefruit and citrus with some sweet malt

Taste: grapefruit and bitterness with alot of fruity tart

Mouthfeel: Crisp carbonation, light body.

Overall: the fruitiness is almost too much, but I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 20:23:17 | More by peoplewithhands
Photo of gc4hokies
gc4hokies

Virginia

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance = pours a hazy light orange color. The head is very light and dissapates quickly.

smell = citrus/orange peel, hint of grass

taste = bisquit notes, dry, with plenty of bitterness for the style.

mouthfeel = good carbonation, solid consistency

overall = good session beer. very dry and drinkable. nothing exceptional

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 01:15:38 | More by gc4hokies
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL English style brown bottle,

A: Pours a hazy light orange with a small white head. Fair retention, no lace.

S: A lot of grapefruit with a Pine Sol/terpene astringency.

T: Mild malt character. The hop flavour is solid with assorted citrus, hay, and a light carbonic acid flavour. Very well attentuated.

M: Prickly, spritzy carbonation. Crisp, good body overall.

O: Not a fan of the nose here, but the flavour saves it somewhat. A nice drinking pint, but at $6+ it's way to price for what you get.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 01:33:44 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense bright white head that quickly died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of apples and notes of citrus hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell in that it has fruity flavors, but there are also some notes of biscuit malts. A mild amount of bitterness is present, and this particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is very drinkable and goes down effortlessly; I would easily have lots of these in one sitting. It is quite refreshing and thirst quenching.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 01:09:27 | More by metter98
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a slightly dense orange body with a strong carbonation and a bubbly rocky off-white head. The foam sticks together as it slides down the glass after each sip.
S- The soft pale malt has a faint dry honey malt flavor and a slight tartness in the finish that becomes more hoppy as the beer opens up. There is also a soft candy sugary note that comes through as the beer opens up.
T- The soft pale malt and tartness finish with a slight sweetness of malt. The hops take over the tartness as the beer warms but still stay pretty soft.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizzy prick on the tongue at the end of each sip.
D- This beer has a very light flavor and a subtle depth but there is not a lot of depth of flavor there. It is easy to drink but just not much character.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 03:22:16 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - golden hazy yellow, with big white 2 inch head, that fades and leaves intricate lacing.

S - grain, bread with subtle hint of hops/earthy/citrus.

T - hint of bread/grain with malt, nice smooth on tongue.

M - med/light body with solid carbonation balance.

D - solid session beer and worth seeking out for the English bitter fan.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 18:11:48 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of dball
dball

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a special treat for me at the Brickskeller in DC. It is very pricey. I'd call it a full flavored bitter that is very smooth with an unfiltered feel (not sure if it's unfiltered). I don't drink a lot of bitters but give this beer a thumbs up and a recommendation for someone looking for a unique import.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 01:44:18 | More by dball
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this before from cask and it's much better that way. This one poured with a small, cream colored head that quickly faded and no lace. Color is a slightly hazy orange amber. Aroma is malt, caramel, a bit of toffee and hop. Flavor is fairly bland (this bottle was in my cold fridge) and similar to nose. Body is ok and carbonation is a bit fizzy. Fiinish is like flavor and short. Usually I'd rather have another brand. Nothing really wrong with it. Can't imagine finding this someplace and not being able to find something better.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 22:23:00 | More by drpimento
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Orange with a slight haze with a thick, eggshell cap of fine bubbles. Great head retention and thick, sticky sheets of lace. Fruity aroma, tart apples, pears, soft malts, and a bit of citrusy hop spice. Moderate bitterness, fruity up front, apples, light citrus. There's a bit of spice towards the end and light, lingering bitterness. It's drier than I expected, which gave the texture a more coarse character and seemed to draw away any significant malt flavour. Light bodied with slightly rough carbonation. I liked the aroma on this one, but it feels like it's overattenuated.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 23:25:00 | More by DrJay
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a couple of times now, and it's definitely grown on me. It pours a rich amber color with a thick eggshell head. Head retention is good, but I would have liked to see a bit thicker lacing.
The aromas of the beer are very floral, with hints of geranium and spice. Marris Otter malt's trademark biscuit and caramel-like character also shine through.
XB isn't as hoppy as I would expect with the addition of American varietals. Sweet bready malt is dominent, along with caramel flavors, followed with a nice fruity, floral hop finish.
Mouthfeel is good, although it could be a bit more viscous. The finish is creamy and stcks around for some time.
Overall, XB is a very pleasant bitter that goes down very easily. An excellent session brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 01:32:08 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of Hoves
Hoves

New York

3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

XB pours as a golden beer with a very minimum head. I would have expected more hops from an XB...

Coniston has always been good to me in the past and I'm not saying this is a bad beer. It is good, I guess I was just expecting more.

The XB is perfectly carbonated with decent hops (not as much as anticipated).

It's weird to say but XB is not as good as expected but may my expectations were too high...

It is a good beer and I would recommend to anyone...it has a slightly sweet hoppy flavor...

Again, Coniston succeeds....but for me I would have liked more.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 03:09:20 | More by Hoves
Photo of revolution
revolution

Wisconsin

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden color, a bit hazy, with a small, slightly creamy head that reduces quickly.
S - Aroma of grains, and bread, covering the hops.
T - Malty, bread, bitterness, with slight fruit, then a crisp, slightly dry finish
M - medium body with mild carbonation
D - the well-balanced flavor, along with the low carbonation, is appreciated more with each drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 01:14:42 | More by revolution
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is another wonderful bitter from Coniston, very similar to the plain Bluebird, but a bit different.

Pale amber, faintly hazy, it has a medium-big, off-white head slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy top and thick ring. It leaves some weak wisps of lace.

Aroma is grain, light bread dough, citrus (orange, lemon, hint of grapefruit), light pine, hint of caramel, light yeast.

Taste is crisp but firm, yeasty-citrusy (mostly lemon) and zesty, light firm breadiness, faint hint of pine at finish and aftertaste only. It is nicely balanced and maintains the character wonderfully. Feel is light but firm, solid, and a bit lively. Drinkability is incredible.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 07:08:41 | More by Offa
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Orangey-blonde with a noisey white head.

S- Noticeable, earthy American hops. A little more peppery, piney hops than I expected without the great English malt character.

T&M- Fairly subtle all the way around with lemon citrus and tea notes. Light body, clean carbonation and a dry finish. Falls kind of flat halfway through.

D- Not the tastiest English Pale but a cool idea none the less. Should go down effortlessly in quantity.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 03:06:02 | More by brownbeer
Photo of cbaird2
cbaird2

Nebraska

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A: Hazy, reddish light amber color, with a huge head, though it dissipated quickly.

S: Smells nice, fruity, slightly hoppy, a little earthy

T: pretty plain tasting in comparison to the smell, malty, earthy, a slight bitterness at the end.

M: highly carbonated

D: Not a real standout, could drink many I would think, but not sure I'd want to.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 22:12:31 | More by cbaird2
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

While XB Bluebird Bitter isn't a bad beer, it disappointed me in comparison to the normal Bluebird Bitter. The appearance is a light transparent amber with a head that dissipates a bit quickly. The aroma has some American and British hop notes, which is nice but nothing too spectacular. The flavor is a bit generic and yeasty for an English ale. Unlike the normal Bluebird, this is another English ale that makes me think that English ales don't travel terribly well.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 03:35:32 | More by popery
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours a color similar to apple cider with a big 3+ finger head (so pour it slow) also lots of yeast poured in the glass

smell is fruity apples and grassy hops

taste well not as good as the smell - the beer was too sour - sour apples and earthy hops

mouthfeel stings the mouth - lots of carbonation and the sour beer does not mix

drinkability - love the smell but not the taste - i will stick to the regular bluebird bitter

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 00:52:41 | More by jsh420
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Lighter yellow gold color; nice half-finger of a frothy white head. Decent retention

S - Close to ripe apples and some malt sweetness. Bit bready

T - Earthy; lighter fruit flavors; bit of hop bitterness toward the end. Well-balanced overall

M - Thinner with subtle carbonation; nice enough

D - Session beer here. Well-balanced, no off-flavors, decent overall=pretty darn drinkable

Overall, not the best example I've had in the style, but certainly a more than respectable one. Check it out if in need of an English session fix.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2009 19:52:36 | More by Nickls
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Imperial pint glass a clear medium apricot color with about two fingers of dense off white head. No lacing to mention. Smells and tastes of bready grains, a hit of caramel malts and floral, citrusy hops (lemon and orange). Barely medium bodied with ample carbonation and a pleasant bitterness that lasts through the finish. Overall a tasty bitter, but for the price, I'll stick with the regular Bluebird.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 04:18:07 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a thin creme head. Nose is mild apple tones and bitter edges. Flavor is high on the grain tones. Highly bitter. Feel has a pretty high carbonation. Liquid is well bodied for the most part. This is a fairly easy drinker, though it is slightly intense.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2009 05:27:52 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of BrewBoone
BrewBoone

Alaska

4.68/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light tan in color with low carbonation. low, white head with little retention.

smell= citrusy hops. low malty sweetness. slight paper/cardboardness

taste= good balance of hops and malt. both light but refreshing. a session beer at its best in my mind. slight paper/cardboardness

mouthfeel= light with low carbonation to match.

drinkability= a good one to drink while playing shuffle board or darts at a bar.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 05:09:38 | More by BrewBoone
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat dark yellow in color, with a loose and fizzy head and a good wad of citrus provided by the fruity hops; somewhat pungent with grapefruit. Nice and light in the mouth and with a lightly bitter tang. The addition of the American hops is interesting, but one of the things I like most about British beer of this type is that it's *not* overloaded with hops like so many American brews. I'd say try XB as a curiosity, but for a better example of this style AND an excellent example of what Coniston does best, try Bluebird Bitter. You won't be sorry. And if you still have an urge for hoppy, overly-spiced pale ales, buy something American.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 16:55:17 | More by gfreed
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XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.