1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Blue Bell Bitter - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Blue Bell Bitter
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
83
good

42 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.38%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blue Bell Bitter Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Only loosely an esb this one, more of a brown bitter, with a rich toffee color approaching brown and a whole lot of malt on it without ever being sweet. The color is sexy and the aroma is very light. A coppery malt base and balancing bittering hops only. Not the most complicated beer in the world, not even close, but one of the more sessionable dark beers going, fresh from the tap, and zippy in the finish. Full medium body and an English flare, fun stuff but not the best magnolia has to offer. This place kills it!

StonedTrippin, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of justinbrown
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

justinbrown, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of RXUYDC
3.75/5  rDev +3%

RXUYDC, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Evan
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Evan, May 29, 2014
Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

IRONRakkasan, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of mentor
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

mentor, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

ygtbsm94, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev +3%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +3%

largadeer, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of geuze_gone_wild
4/5  rDev +9.9%

geuze_gone_wild, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Jason, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev +3%

AngusOg, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of brotherloco
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

brotherloco, May 03, 2013
Photo of Offa
4.73/5  rDev +29.9%

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.

Offa, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

t0rin0, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of litheum94
3.75/5  rDev +3%

litheum94, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

gleemonger, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +9.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

HopHead84, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%

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.

beagle75, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
2.2/5  rDev -39.6%

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.

womencantsail, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

plaid75, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%

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.

WOTO97, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of donniecuffs
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

donniecuffs, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +14%

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!

BeerFMAndy, Jun 08, 2010
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Blue Bell Bitter from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.