XB Bluebird Bitter - Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

Not Rated.
XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter

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

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
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 (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 48
Photo of BrewBoone
4.63/5  rDev +26.8%
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.

Photo of Offa
4.52/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Photo of deBeers
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional cask ale which I recall being spicy. I'll rereview this asap I hope. Great session ale. I'm having trouble remembering much other than I loved this beer last night. Very impressive ale that's on cask at Delaney's right now...

Cheers.

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 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 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 Drew966
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light copper color with a thick white head from a brown bottle. The smell is all citrusy hops. The taste is predominated by the American hops, there is an English beer lurking in the background however. I think its a real interesting idea to blend the English and American styles as they try to here. I'm not sure its exactly a fair match as the American hops tend to overwhelm. That said, I think this is actually a very good, very drinkable beer that is lighter than many heavily hopped American beers, making for a nice relatively light style. Recommended.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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 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 BeerLover99
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of shirfan
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle claims this to be an English session ale with some American hops thrown in.

Pale gold with a slight haze, good head retention.

Aroma of sweet, almost lemony citrus and restrained malt.

Flavor is a lightly dry lemon zest, very mild cereal grains, and a touch of biscuit. Highly drinkable. The American hops don't do a whole lot for this beer, and the brewer's notes on the bottle say that they were aiming to miss an APA on purpose. That's where their dart landed; this is a very sessionable, hoppy (for the style) bitter. I'd love to have a pint or four on cask -- good stuff.

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 ryan1788a5
3.77/5  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.

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 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.

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 Nickls
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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 gc4hokies
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
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

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 ClockworkOrange
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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 RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.