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Blue Bell Bitter - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Blue Bell Bitter
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BA SCORE
83
good

40 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
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: 40 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 100floods
100floods

California

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got me a pint while out to a fancy dinner at SF's Nopa. I had the lamb shank, I must say the pairing was not intentional, but worked out pretty good.

Dark/gold hue, no head to be seen. The first smell that comes to my senses was definitely almost like a slightly burnt/spiced lager smell, kind of like lunatic lager (which they also serve at the restaraunt, but I can tell the difference). What the smell turned out to be was more in the taste. Decent carbonation. Nice subtle blend between hops and malt.Medium/light body, definitely felt a slight buzz, but no way was this a heavy beer. Again, I lucked out with the food pairing, the beer worked great right after a bite of the lamb shank.

Mr. Kim, you were right, Magnolia is good.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2009 16:27:18 | More by 100floods
Photo of marcpal
marcpal

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Imperial pint enjoyed at the fine establishment in San Francisco.

A: Light orange color with lacing that did not quit. Fine looking beer.

S: Bready and awfully sweet for a bitter beer. There are surely hops but not nearly what it needs. Clearly English in style but still needing more.

T: Considerably bready and malty, slightly off style. Toasted grains, too dry in the flavor and the body.

M: Light body, some production of a coating. Again, too dry and bubbly.

D: More than anything, it was just there. I could see it being far superior from the cask.

Unfortunately, my fault, but this was surely overpowered by the blue cheese apple salad and the spicy chicken sausage. The IPA held up much better: blame my planning though, not the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2008 20:34:23 | More by marcpal
Photo of Hollenbeck2
Hollenbeck2

Oregon

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this to me tasted like a belgium beer, I could have been way off and I tatsed this in a flight with 7 other beers, it was good just not my style or should I say favorite style.

had this on tap at the source, magnolia brewery.

I would however recommend trying this beer, because even though they were not all my style I could taste that they were good.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2008 02:53:48 | More by Hollenbeck2
Photo of bboven
bboven

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Similar characteristics to the regular blue bell, with the exception of the mouhtfeel and drinkability. This version is very lightly carbonated and served at cellar temps to draw out more of the flavors and makes for a highly, highly quaffable beer. I just wish it was lower in alcohol.

Serving type: cask

09-09-2007 19:41:03 | More by bboven
Photo of kdoc8
kdoc8

Oregon

2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Magnolia in San Francisco, CA. It was a brown/amber transparent color, with a thick long-lasting head and lots of lacing. It didn't have much of an aroma and not much of a taste either, except that it was very dry. I was surprised this was a bitter, because there wasn't too much of a hops taste.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 21:46:20 | More by kdoc8
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pint of this with lunch at the Haight's only brewpub after a big bike ride up San Fran's Twin Peaks.

A: Deep copper with a fluffy, half-inch head.

S: Strong on butter and very doughy, offset by a light fruitiness and a malty (as in grainy, not sweet) touch.

T: This is comfort beer exemplified. There's a good malt body with a crispy dry finish--very similar to Anchor's Small Beer another San Francisco brew. Otherwise, there's not much to it...but I think that's the point.

M: Medium bodied with a good texture and length across the palate.

D: Fine. Not exactly thirst quenching, but an easy enough beer to drink with lunch.

The x-factor here is that this beer is supposed to be straightforward, and it is. It's worth trying, even if you (like I) won't love it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2006 01:37:52 | More by benito
Photo of charlatan
charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Conker (horse chestnut) coloured with a big fluffy head, this represents a rare foray into the cask conditioned world for me. It has a subtle floral aroma amidst pine tones and a doughy smell. It is much more malty than I anticipated - the hops are almost an afterthought here. A pleasant earthy, peaty, smoky flavour gives way to slight bitterness. I was rather disappointed that Magnolia didn't have any of their Mild (a speciality of my long lost home area which I haven't come across at all in Portland) available, and judging by this I reckon it ought to be well worth trying.

Serving type: cask

08-29-2005 03:27:29 | More by charlatan
Photo of donnebaby
donnebaby

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

California

4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: cask

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

United Kingdom (England)

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????

Serving type: on-tap

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

Arizona

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.

Serving type: cask

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

Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the blue bell bitter on cask at the Magnolia Brewery in a sampler. The bar (Jupiter's) had actually had it the night before in pints across the bay in Berkeley. This beer was golden like most bitters are and didn't have much alteration in color. It had a very very thin head, which surprised me somewhat; however, the taste delivered. This bitter comes on slowly, giving you subtle bitters first and then delivering the full punch that one would expect from a cask bitter. This offering is one of the top bitters I've had, the smell was not nearly as insulting as many of the Europeans are and yet the taste was every bit as full.

Serving type: cask

05-11-2004 17:18:10 | More by chugamugofsud
Photo of Mark
Mark

California

4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: cask

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

California

2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 31 May 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
I sampled this cask conditioned at Pizza POrt's real ale fest 2003: it is hazy brown with a large white head, slightly roasty nose, slightly sour taste; all in all, it's a mediocre session beer

Serving type: cask

08-23-2003 03:47:40 | More by jcalabre
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on San Diego Real Ale Festival:

Beer pours light coppery and hazy from the hops.

Aroma is spicy with a corn edge to the malt.

Flavor is balanced well to the edge of hop razor wire. The hops are intensely grassy with a large presence of tannin that leads the finish to being a lemon grass tea.

Serving type: cask

06-02-2003 23:59:46 | More by drewbage
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Blue Bell Bitter from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.