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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blue Bell Bitter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

10-23-2012 02:02:39 | More by t0rin0
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

2.2/5  rDev -39.4%

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.

11-27-2010 08:56:40 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

10-25-2013 05:08:12 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev +10.2%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

08-27-2013 00:12:57 | More by largadeer
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

08-08-2013 19:11:48 | More by Jason
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +10.2%

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.

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

Arizona

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

06-15-2004 19:05:06 | More by Gusler
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.68/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

08-28-2013 15:57:58 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

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!

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

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

06-19-2013 20:43:54 | More by AngusOg
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

07-23-2009 19:33:45 | More by ffejherb
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2.48/5  rDev -31.7%

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????

09-17-2004 10:45:17 | More by rastaman
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.73/5  rDev +30.3%

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.

12-06-2012 04:48:18 | More by Offa
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

10-31-2013 03:01:27 | More by mentor
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

05-03-2013 21:23:43 | More by brotherloco
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.43/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

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

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

05-29-2014 14:18:50 | More by Evan
Photo of litheum94
litheum94

California

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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

California

4.5/5  rDev +24%

04-24-2012 19:12:10 | More by gleemonger
Photo of donnebaby
donnebaby

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +15.7%

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.

06-11-2005 07:20:46 | More by donnebaby
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

This sat with a good classic gold and copper color, without much head. The lace is there but doesn't grab attention. The same goes for the smell; it's good but not the highlight.

Where this beer delivers is in the taste and mouthfeel, and it really does deliver. The malts are traditional and solid, while the bitterness is present but held in check to result an exceedingly balanced beer. The mouthfeel is very good, being medium in every way while pleasing and inviting. It's tough to say anything bad about the drinkability, too.

10-08-2004 06:56:56 | More by watermelonman
Photo of Mark
Mark

California

4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

This beer was lock to try when I got around to trying the Magnolia pub. First it was on cask, gee that was easy. Second it was brewed with Maris Otter malt and English hops. This beer pourd a copper color, head retention was great, I was surprised by the lack of lacing though. Nice earthy malty aroma. Smooth fruity taste profile reminded me of British cask beer. Solid mouthfeel and drinkability is superb. Was I in London? Excellent, and one of the most authentic bitters I have encountered here at home.

01-03-2004 02:23:35 | More by Mark
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -11%

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.

08-03-2010 21:15:18 | More by donniecuffs
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Blue Bell Bitter from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.