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Blue Bell Bitter - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Blue Bell Bitter
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BA SCORE
82
good

41 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magnolia Pub & Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by WOTO97:
Photo of WOTO97
WOTO97

California

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Partook on cask from the good folks at Magnolia's. Generally, a fan of bitters but was pretty disappointed with this effort. Flavors were too muted for my liking. Could definitely use a bit more spice from the hops on the nose and a bit bigger cracker-malt character. If this is meant to be a "strong bitter" then it is pretty weak in the flavor department (a 3.0 might be overshooting it). Definitely some biscuit qualities along with spice flavors from the hops. Body is thin and, without the bite that should follow for style, definitely not that satisfying. Not terrible but not a whole lot here either.

Serving type: cask

08-12-2010 00:22:59 | More by WOTO97
More User Reviews:
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justinbrown

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

07-23-2014 17:18:15 | More by justinbrown
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RXUYDC

Delaware

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

06-29-2014 00:15:49 | More by RXUYDC
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Evan

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

05-29-2014 14:18:50 | More by Evan
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IRONRakkasan

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

01-20-2014 21:27:51 | More by IRONRakkasan
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mentor

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger tan head over a cloudy lightly reddened copper liquid. Smells hoppy of cotton candy oranges, malt of light-colored caramel, and honey. Tastes hop flavor (oranges, tin, iron, wood) with supporting bready malt flavor. Full bright esters step in late to transition from hop, across the malt, and a sweet pleasing finish. Very earthy hops with a grassy edge and a mineral finish. Has a bit of a Brettanomyces crsip and horseblanket in the finish. Light in the mouth and modest carbonation. I liked it. I'm not a fan of brett, but it actually added an interesting character to this.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 03:01:27 | More by mentor
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

10-25-2013 05:08:12 | More by ygtbsm94
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GraduatedCashew

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

08-28-2013 15:57:58 | More by GraduatedCashew
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largadeer

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

08-27-2013 00:12:57 | More by largadeer
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geuze_gone_wild

California

4/5  rDev +10.2%

08-27-2013 00:12:06 | More by geuze_gone_wild
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Jason

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

08-08-2013 19:11:48 | More by Jason
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AngusOg

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

06-19-2013 20:43:54 | More by AngusOg
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brotherloco

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

05-03-2013 21:23:43 | More by brotherloco
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.73/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask, this is an outstanding English-style ESB, and very English. The beer menu says 4.5% alcohol.

Copper-amber, it has a thin off-white head slowly shrinking to a foamy ring, some lace.

Aroma is caramelly toasty barley - rich and slightly fruity, earthy-woody-tea hops - an excellent, full English character.

Taste is similar, nice winy-caramelly-nutty-toasty barley maltiness with nice, firm peppery wood and tea bitterness to nicely balance the sweetness. It stands up well to food and is highly drinkable. It has an engaging, full feel.

Serving type: cask

12-06-2012 04:48:18 | More by Offa
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t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

10-23-2012 02:02:39 | More by t0rin0
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litheum94

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

07-26-2012 17:08:19 | More by litheum94
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gleemonger

California

4.5/5  rDev +24%

04-24-2012 19:12:10 | More by gleemonger
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westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev +10.2%

11-15-2011 19:47:45 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/12/2011

On tap at Magnolia.

A: Bright copper with a mountainous beige head leaving much Brussels lace.

S: Apple and grain with toasted bread. Nicely balanced. Light earth and floral notes.

T: Grainy malt with some biscuit and a little apple. Low earthy bitterness. Finish is smooth and balanced.

M: Silky, smooth, and light  on the palate with medium carbonation.

Overall: Tasty and damn drinkable. I'd love to try this on cask.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 18:33:47 | More by HopHead84
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-pump service into a nonic pint glass at the pub in S.F.

A: Clear, light amber color with no head, just a fine ring of white foam. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Strong husky grain and hay up front, accompanied by floral hops and general fungal earthiness.

T: Begins off-dry, with early floral hops and slight acidic fruitiness that is soon followed by sharp minerals. Toasted malt emerges in the middle as acidity tapers off and slight nuttiness is also detected. The finish is mild and short, bitterness is scant, and flavors are toasty, earthy, and floral.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: Described as the "ESB" of the trio of bitters on cask during my visit to Magnolia, its modest abv (listed as 4.5% on the menu) and very passive sensory qualities don't quite seem to measure up to that category. Still, it comes across as effortless to drink and represents a fair try at an English-style pale ale, whatever they may call it.

Serving type: cask

01-08-2011 01:18:45 | More by beagle75
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

2.2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Magnolia

A: The pour is a dark amber color, perhaps copper with a finger or more of off-white head.

S: Oh man, this beer smells like buttered popcorn from the movie theater. A mild toasted bread aroma and perhaps a hint of roast, but mostly butter.

T: Tons and tons of butter with a bit of bread, popcorn, and some mild toasted malt flavor. Pretty simple and pretty, bad, to be quite blunt.

M: The body is medium with a fairly low level of carbonation.

D: Damn this was bad. No beer should have this much butter in it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2010 08:56:40 | More by womencantsail
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a toasted caramel
Malt and a grassy hop.

The taste was well balanced with a toasted, earthy malt and grassy malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very well done ESB.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2010 19:24:39 | More by plaid75
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an amber/orange color, with very little carbonation, a thin white head, poor retention, and spotty lacing. The aroma was fairly standard for the style...caramel, toffee, and maltiness, but a little lacking in the fruitiness department. The taste did reveal some more in the way of pear and nuts, but overall there was a caramel/malt dominance, and a sweet finish. Thin and smooth, a nice session beer, though I would like to detect some more fruitiness in it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2010 21:15:18 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8 oz cask pour into a miniature nonic. 4.7% ABV, 35 IBUs, On hand-pumped cask at Magnolia in San Francisco, CA.

A - Hand-pumped directly in front of me, it comes out a clear amber brown with a sudsy off-white head. Solid retention and thick lace left all over the glass.

S - The aroma smells like a great English beer, complete with toasty biscuits and caramel malts with a smooth mild English hop nose on the back end.

T - The flavor has smooth caramel malts, toasted to perfection upfront with a biscuity finish and a low level of English hops.

M - I love the texture. It comes out at cellar temperature probably around 50° F and it's medium-bodied and ultra smooth with a soft feel and finish.

D - This an awesome English bitter in cask! I love the texture and flavor combo going on this brew. Good job Magnolia!

Serving type: cask

06-08-2010 01:27:14 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Magnolia on 7/12/09.

A - Clear amber/copper-tinged body with slim off-white head that receded to a very thin ring and left virtually no lacing at all.

S - Light noble hops, toasted grains and sweet caramel comprise the basis of the aroma. Pretty simple nose.

T - Pretty straight up ESB style ale with a sweet caramely malt character and toasted grains. Light noble hops impart an herbal, grassy character.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and soft mouthfeel, perhaps a bit thin overall. Nice hop bite in the finish with a little more oomph than your typical bitter.

D - Pretty solid example, though not as creamy as I'd expect from a bitter on cask. Still, this one packed a lot of flavor and decent hop character for the style.

Serving type: cask

07-23-2009 19:33:45 | More by ffejherb
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Blue Bell Bitter from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.