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Blue Bell Bitter - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Blue Bell Bitter
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BA SCORE
83
good

46 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blue Bell Bitter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of womencantsail
2.2/5  rDev -39.6%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +3%

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!

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Gusler
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask @ Real Ale Fest
The beer pulls from the cask a clear burnished copper color with a generous head that is spumous in texture and a light tan color, the lace a concealing sheet. Nose was malt sweet, fresh and clean to the olfactory senses; start was malt sweet with the top middling in feel. Finish was medium in carbonation, the hops pleasant and delectable, I thought this the best Bitter of the weekend, dry aftertaste a real pleasant and pleasing surprise, I had a couple of these one a double pour.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +14%
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!

Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of ffejherb
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of rastaman
2.48/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tap@Magnolia Pub and Brewery, San Fransisco- pretty English tasting, lemony, tea like hops, but once again, relatively grainy body, slight watery texture aswell. Hard to see why this one rates so highly on BA, but i guess everyone has different tastes right????

Photo of Offa
4.73/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

Photo of brotherloco
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mentor
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of Evan
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of litheum94
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of donnebaby
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly clear dark gold amber body, minimal white haze rides above. Low spiciness in the nose -- some cloves and cinnamon -- not overpowering but on style for the bitter.

Taste is yummy and addicting. Lots of blueberry, mint, and a floral chamomile, cola and passionfruit as well. Restrained sweetness and muffled toasty maltiness. Unobtrusively mild bittering hops. Soft bubbly feel, medium carbonation. Very sessionable and unique bitter from Magnolia.

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Blue Bell Bitter from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.