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XB Bluebird Bitter | Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

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BA SCORE
82
good
52 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
76
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
14.72%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
2
For Trade:
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XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 03-03-2005

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 76
Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Coniston's XB Bluebird Bitter a couple weeks ago for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for a new beer to try and I thought I would take a chance on this one, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 11.2 oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is has a nice clean and simple looks and it's not too eye catching. It poured a nice amber orange color that took on more of an amber color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with a creamy aroma being the first to show up and it leads into some fruity yeast which imparts a slight dark fruit aroma. Up next comes the hops which impart some a little bit of fruity, herbal and citrus rind aromas. This beer has a good aroma, it's unique and I have no complaints.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the fruity yeast being the first to show up with some eniglish ale like flavors along with a little bit of a stone fruit like flavor. Up next comes the malts which impart some grainy and sweet malt like aromas and towards the end comes the hops which impart those citrus rind and herbal aspects that I got in the aroma and it had a higher amount of light bitterness with a lemon, stonefruit and slight herbal hop aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, there's not off flavors and and the different aspects work well together.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, a little clean, medium bodied wit a lighter amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but it could use just a little more carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of an English Bitter, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in the style and I ended up enjoying it. This beer had nice drinkability, I could drink a couple of these. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it was good and just where I want it to be. What I like the least about this beer is the carbonation, it could use just a little more. I would buy this beer again and I would recommend trying it. All in all I was happy with this beer and I thought it was a little unique. It made for a goof first impression for this brewery and I'm interested to try more of their beer and i thought it was a good example of the style. Nice job guys, this is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the bottle in a pint glass. This fine bitter pours a clear golden amber color with a nice head of white foam that level itself out to a thick ring and thin layer with little lacing. Nose of honeysuckle, light citrus notes of lemon and orange peel, and subtle herbal hops. Flavors follow the nose with sweet light honey to the front and sides that melds to a subtle grain note heading towards the back that culminates in a nice light herbal hops note blended with citrus that lingers long after each sip. Crisp carbonation makes for an easy and lively mouth feel that finishes moderately dry and bitter on the aftertaste. Excellent.

Cheers

 657 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant copper gold under a 2” fluffy white foam collar that produces thick lace. S: Big fruit aromas dominated by plum. T: A rich malt and fruit attack with plum, toffee and caramel pulled together with a refreshing, earthy hop bitterness. F: Very wonderful rich, creamy texture with a medium to medium light body and fine soft medium low carbonation O: the combination of the rich creamy texture, fruit , malty caramel and hop bitterness make this extremely enjoyable and drinkable.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Coniston Bluebird Premium XB has a fairly thick, spongy, off-white head, a cloudy, orange-amber appearance, racing bubble streams, lots of large and tiny tan sediment throughout, and minimal lacing left behind. The aroma is of water, turned fruit, and cellar mold, and the flavor it the same, with the fruits being mango, red preaches, and apricot. White bread is present, but bitterness is quite low, really. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Coniston Bluebird Premium XB finishes semi-dry and easily gulp-able.

RJT

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

 916 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 372 characters

Photo of peoplewithhands
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 286 characters

Photo of gc4hokies
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
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

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of dball
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

 316 characters

Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

 538 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 579 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 760 characters

Photo of Hoves
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 564 characters

Photo of revolution
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 365 characters

Photo of Offa
4.52/5  rDev +25.6%
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.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.78/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of cbaird2
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of popery
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of jsh420
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
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

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Photo of Nickls
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
82 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.