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XB Bluebird Bitter - Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

Not Rated.
XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter

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

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of ShuliShake
5/5  rDev +37.4%

ShuliShake, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

Halcyondays, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

metter98, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3%

(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.

rhoadsrage, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

BeerLover99, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of dball
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

dball, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -17.6%

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.

drpimento, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

DrJay, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +19%

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.

WYVYRN527, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Hoves
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

Hoves, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of revolution
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%

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.

revolution, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Offa
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%

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.

Offa, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of brownbeer
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

brownbeer, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of cbaird2
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

cbaird2, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of popery
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

popery, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of jsh420
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%

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

jsh420, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

(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.

Nickls, May 17, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

ClockworkOrange, May 03, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -3%

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.

RblWthACoz, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of BrewBoone
4.68/5  rDev +28.6%

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.

BrewBoone, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of gfreed
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%

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.

gfreed, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of wl0307
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Using American Mount Hood aromatic hops, is this supposedly the classic Bluebird with an American twist? But the original bluebird is made with 100% English Challenger hops, so this has to be a totally different ale then? BB 17/12/08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a slightly translucent dark amber colour with reddish hues, coming with a well-lasting tight frothy off-white head and rather mild carbonation - looking quite healthy for a RAIB.
S: sweet tangerine-ish citrus hops come with rather intensely sweet pale malts and syrup, added with a hint of butterscotch-like yeasty influence. As it warms the yeastiness comes at the expense of the other elements on nose.
T: yeastiness in the form of lactose-drink accompanies the main entry of lightly burned pale malts (with an edge of fig paste, slightly like a thinly-sweet edge of a pasteurised ale to be honest...), sweet citric taste (a bit like the undertone of tangerine syrup), thin-bodied bitter-sweet tea, leading towards a lightly dry/tannic and bitter finish that doesn't go without a subtly sour edge of more yeastiness.
M&D: overall this is a lightly-carbonated, smooth-enough, medium-bodied pale ale that suffers a little from the intervention of the yeast sediments, clouding the overall balance b/w malts and hops a bit more than what does to the traditional/ordinary Bluebird Bitter.

wl0307, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of shirfan
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

shirfan, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +8%

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!

russpowell, Mar 26, 2008
XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.