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XB Bluebird Bitter - Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

Not Rated.
XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

71 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-03-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by ghetto90007:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass a dull lightly hazed gold with a nice well retained white head that inches down very slowly leaving a creamy top.The addition of Mt. Hoods for aroma really show thru giving it a "light" citrusy character not robust like the bottle says but quite nice I also picked up a touch of mineral and biscuit.Sadly the citrusy character doesnt carry over into the flavor much somewhat dry with a mineral-like quality with that English herbal,"green" finish.Now this is a nice bitter the aromas were very nice and its very sessionable but I was hoping for a little more oomph in the end.

Photo of brownbeer
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of ADR
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy light amber with a big bottle-conditioned head that's a little tough to control in a glass. Not a lot of lace though, mostly dots (much better in the second pour, as it warms). Pleasant mild citrus aroma, not overwhelming but slightly astringent. Mouthfeel is lighter, carbonation plenty ample overall, maybe overdone. Granular senses, pithy with black pepper and asociated spices. Malt is fairly ordinary in impression. Despite the American aroma hops, the beer remains well-balanced and tight. Finishes with a bit of tar resin and some exaggerated fizziness in the aftertaste. Drinkable, but a bit unremarkable, not sure why Coniston needs an entry like this, but its an interesting idea.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of rapidly falling eggshell white head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Slight breadyness & great fruittyness once warm

T: Leafy & citric hops, plus biscuitty malt up front with bit of toffee. Fruittynes (apricot, apples & dates) & citric & leafy hops follows as this warms. Finishes with a little bit of mineral dryness, some fruit & nice orangey hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with restrained
carbonation & good balance

Great drinkabilty, this one I could easily session on, although I'd prefer to move on after a few, because I'd think the flavor would bore me after a while. If less pricey or on cask, this one would work for me!

Photo of jsh420
2.76/5  rDev -24.4%
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

Photo of peoplewithhands
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of plaid75
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy copper hue, with a three finger foamy head. Pretty good retention and nice lacing.

The smell was clean, dry and lightly aromatic. Hints of citrus and cannibus.

The taste was rather thin. Minor malt presence up front, but the beer finished very seltzery. Whatever hop character was present, did not translate to the taste.

Mouthfeel was thin as well.

Drinkable, but so is seltzer.

The idea behind this beer is good - to add some American aroma hops to an English Pale Ale.

Photo of revolution
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of Hoves
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised when I got this because it was golden orange and cloudy. I thought is was a hefe at first, but upon tasting, I was corrected. Smells of a crisp hop dryness and mandarin orange. The hops carry over in to the taste but it is backed by an odd Cheerios like grain. Not bad, but different. Mouth feel was heavy, but flat with smooth little bubbles.

Photo of jwc215
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy light amber with a thick, foamy head that settles to a lasting thin cover. Not much lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is floral with some citrusy notes and a bready undertone.

The aroma doesn't really match the taste, mainly because the hops are muted under sweet malt. Odd mix of earthy, leafy hops and some citrus - lemon and orange blanketed under a sweet honeyish malt. It almost works to a degree, but doesn't. The hops are nearly lost to the malt, which itself doesn't lend much flavor to it. The carbonation that is not too noticeable in the appearance interferes and give it something of a seltzer-water aftertaste. It has a sweetish, fleeting finish.

The body thins even when warm, though there is something of a creaminess to it, but not enough to quite make up for the thin body and late carbonation feel.

It not undrinkable despite odd blend that is ironically helped by its mildness. But, it's nothing worthwile, IMO. It's a nice idea in theaory to blend British (Challenger?) and American (Mt. Hood?) hops with English malt, but it doesn't come through well in this case.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours to a clear pale straw color with plenty of carbonation, resulting in a massive fluffy white head that refuses to go away.

The smell is interesting. A bit citric on top of the typical english bitter aroma of light spicy herbal hops and caramelized malt.

The taste is sweet and malty with an up front citric. Little to no taste in the finish. Very light and quaffable. Not as impressed by this as I was with the regular Bluebird. The American hops didn't mix well with the English style, and may have even been a bit skunked. Still a decent brew.

Photo of dball
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

NERAX 2006 (Fri)

Contract brewed by Ridgeway

Beautiful toasty amber with a fluffy white crown that shortly falls, leaving specks on the sides.

Sulfur in the nose.

Bready malt and more sulfur, like egg yolk. Juicy lemon and sticky resin around the edges, with a touch of salt in the finish.

Lightly biting fizz.

This is ... interesting. It changes a lot all down the glass, which I could admir despite not exactly liking it. Doesn't bear any resemblance to the regular Bluebird, as far as I can tell.

Photo of kmo1030
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

slightly hazed orange amber with a thin white head.
floral with a touch of lemon and honey, and this sort of weird sanitizer type aroma.
the taste has got light caramel and honey with a little tin. it's got some very light citrusy flavors as well as the floral aspects from the aroma. very little bitterness.
a little thin in the mouthwith moderate, but delicate carbonation.
good drinkability, but needs to commit to being a pale ale a little more to be good. it's got some potential though, a little tweaking would do this good.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.91/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Photo of cbaird2
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild malt scent that boasts of pale, light crystal, and bisquit malts along with a nice hoppy aroma that balances well. The taste is average. It has a very bitter flavor that dominates the taste. It's very citrousy. The malt content is way off balance and hardly enjoyable. It has a fruity yeast element that seems almost sour to the taste. The mouthfeel is average also. It is a medium bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This seemed like a good beer at the first smell, but it quickly dropped in my opinion with the first taste. It's one and done for me.

Photo of Naes
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bitter pours out a pale copper color with a tall white head that laces and retains well. It also has a lot of visible carbonation.
The aroma is nothing special. It just has trace amounts of British style hops.
The flavor is not quite what I was expecting. It is citrusy and yeasty more than it is hopy. The yeast seems to be the dominant flavor.
Mouth feel is light to medium in body and generously carbonated.

This bitter just seems to be artificially sweet. Stick with the regular bluebird bitter.

Photo of putnam
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"With American Aroma Hops ... new wave American hop variety Mount Hood with robust citrus aromas"

OK. That's roughly the smell I get from various Rogue, Dogfish Head and Stone beers. Piercing notes of iron and lemon with the sticky red resins one associates with the "other" herb. The rusty brass color and background aromas indicate nice, glazed malt sugars.
On the palate it is balanced. Easy, hardened shells of honey and caramel flavors contain leafy mints and lemon peel notes that rise on the finish. Cottony tannins and tangy acidity don't quite fill in a gap on the mid-palate. Where's the obnoxious malty sweetness and head-spinning alcohol? Oh yeah, it's a hybrid. This beer's English chromosomes require it to be very drinkable.

Photo of mattpetti
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head, which maintains retention throughout my entire drinking of this beer. "ENGLISH PALE ALE with AMERICAN AROMA HOPS" is what is stated on the bottle. Since I do not agree with calling this an english bitter i'm going to rate it according to the english pale ale style. It smells of light citrus hops(lemon zest as it warms a little), slightly fruity, and maybe some spice. Smells almost of a hefeweizen. Taste is not too different from the smell with the yeasty hefen flavors comming through and the american hops making a fight to balance. The malt flavor is nonexistant with no fruit showing. All in all the taste of the beer isn't bad though. It's dry and not cloying at all with biting active carbonation, citrus and low abv, making it very refreshing. Though it is not what i woiuld have in mind tryign to pull a EPA off the shelf it is ultimately decent and interesting.

Photo of yen157
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber beer with golden highlights, topped by a fine but foamy head. Midly orange citrus in the nose blends well with the very light touch of phenols that have always bothered me about this beer. Hints of toast and caramel. Toasty in the mouth, but overall quite light on the malt flavor and fullness of the body. Carbonation is way too fierce, same as with the original. Orangey citrus hop flavor is restrained. This is definitely a British beer not to be confused with a West Coast style hop bomb.

Photo of gfreed
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.