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XB Bluebird Bitter | Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

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XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter
BA SCORE
3.65/5
Good
79 Ratings
XB Bluebird BitterXB Bluebird Bitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
England, United Kingdom
conistonbrewery.com

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 03-03-2005

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#31,840
Reviews:
53
Ratings:
79
pDev:
14.25%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
2
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense bright white head that quickly died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of apples and notes of citrus hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell in that it has fruity flavors, but there are also some notes of biscuit malts. A mild amount of bitterness is present, and this particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is very drinkable and goes down effortlessly; I would easily have lots of these in one sitting. It is quite refreshing and thirst quenching.

 738 characters

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass a dull lightly hazed gold with a nice well retained white head that inches down very slowly leaving a creamy top.The addition of Mt. Hoods for aroma really show thru giving it a "light" citrusy character not robust like the bottle says but quite nice I also picked up a touch of mineral and biscuit.Sadly the citrusy character doesnt carry over into the flavor much somewhat dry with a mineral-like quality with that English herbal,"green" finish.Now this is a nice bitter the aromas were very nice and its very sessionable but I was hoping for a little more oomph in the end.

 611 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of rapidly falling eggshell white head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Slight breadyness & great fruittyness once warm

T: Leafy & citric hops, plus biscuitty malt up front with bit of toffee. Fruittynes (apricot, apples & dates) & citric & leafy hops follows as this warms. Finishes with a little bit of mineral dryness, some fruit & nice orangey hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with restrained
carbonation & good balance

Great drinkabilty, this one I could easily session on, although I'd prefer to move on after a few, because I'd think the flavor would bore me after a while. If less pricey or on cask, this one would work for me!

 695 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well-bubbled amberish orange with an expansive head that occupies more of the glass than the beer does immediately after a gentle pour. The foam is yellowish ivory, is airily stiff and sports hundreds of large, gem-like bubbles on its upper surface. This is not the type of cap that will deposit much lasting lace, although a few skinny fingers are arrayed haphazardly along the nonic bulge.

I like the nose. The beer smells exactly like what it is, namely a pale ale brewed with English (Challenger) and American (Mt. Hood) hops. Hard to say which one is the most aromatic, it's a virtual dead heat. Slightly floral, moderately spicy and nicely citric fruity. There's also a suprising amount of diacetyl that leads to an enjoyable (in this case at least) buttered breadiness.

Not the flavor that I was expecting. There's something amiss here, though I'm not sure that I'll be able to identify what it is. The beer is insufficiently malted and lacks any sort of softness or creaminess whatsoever. In fact, it's borderline harsh in the mouth. The sweetness that builds throughout each mouthful and leaves a tacky residue on the finish tastes like added sugar, akin to lemonade, rather than malt.

Speaking of lemonade, the flavor is more citric sour than hoppy bitter. Looking at the listed ingredients for Bluebird Bitter versus this XB version, one realizes that they really aren't that dissimilar. The main differences are that the original uses Maris Otter malt and this beer uses Mt. Hood hops in addition to Challenger. Why then do the beers taste so different? I love BB for its subtle, drinkable charm. XB lacks those very qualities.

The mouthfeel is too thin to be enjoyable, even with the mildly sticky, mouthcoating finish. Some of the harshness fades as the boisterous bubbles begin to die, but the mouthfeel is still no great shakes.

Fans of Bluebird Bitter are hereby warned to avoid this beer. It isn't very good and it certainly isn't as advertised. Coniston's hope of a more highly hopped, American-style pale ale with English roots (a fantastic idea by the way) fails in the execution. Bluebird soars while Bluebird XB never gets off the ground.

 2,176 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a thin creme head. Nose is mild apple tones and bitter edges. Flavor is high on the grain tones. Highly bitter. Feel has a pretty high carbonation. Liquid is well bodied for the most part. This is a fairly easy drinker, though it is slightly intense.

 273 characters

Photo of jwc215
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy light amber with a thick, foamy head that settles to a lasting thin cover. Not much lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is floral with some citrusy notes and a bready undertone.

The aroma doesn't really match the taste, mainly because the hops are muted under sweet malt. Odd mix of earthy, leafy hops and some citrus - lemon and orange blanketed under a sweet honeyish malt. It almost works to a degree, but doesn't. The hops are nearly lost to the malt, which itself doesn't lend much flavor to it. The carbonation that is not too noticeable in the appearance interferes and give it something of a seltzer-water aftertaste. It has a sweetish, fleeting finish.

The body thins even when warm, though there is something of a creaminess to it, but not enough to quite make up for the thin body and late carbonation feel.

It not undrinkable despite odd blend that is ironically helped by its mildness. But, it's nothing worthwile, IMO. It's a nice idea in theaory to blend British (Challenger?) and American (Mt. Hood?) hops with English malt, but it doesn't come through well in this case.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of plaid75
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy copper hue, with a three finger foamy head. Pretty good retention and nice lacing.

The smell was clean, dry and lightly aromatic. Hints of citrus and cannibus.

The taste was rather thin. Minor malt presence up front, but the beer finished very seltzery. Whatever hop character was present, did not translate to the taste.

Mouthfeel was thin as well.

Drinkable, but so is seltzer.

The idea behind this beer is good - to add some American aroma hops to an English Pale Ale.

 500 characters

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of WesWes
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild malt scent that boasts of pale, light crystal, and bisquit malts along with a nice hoppy aroma that balances well. The taste is average. It has a very bitter flavor that dominates the taste. It's very citrousy. The malt content is way off balance and hardly enjoyable. It has a fruity yeast element that seems almost sour to the taste. The mouthfeel is average also. It is a medium bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This seemed like a good beer at the first smell, but it quickly dropped in my opinion with the first taste. It's one and done for me.

 687 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 500 ml.bottle with a date stamp of F18-103. Sampled on June 27, 2017.

It is a typical looking light to medium amber pour considering the style and a modest, lingering white head. Some floating sediment when you pour the whole bottle in.

The aroma has a caramel and toffee malt sweetness with a vague papery feel and a light, clean crisp grassy hop note.

Light to medium body but creamy, clean and refreshing.

Basically a sweet yet citrus zingy flavor that ends mildly to moderately bitter but overall finishes quite clean. Very typical for this style and I could see myself downing one of these in a traditional British pub.

 640 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant copper gold under a 2” fluffy white foam collar that produces thick lace. S: Big fruit aromas dominated by plum. T: A rich malt and fruit attack with plum, toffee and caramel pulled together with a refreshing, earthy hop bitterness. F: Very wonderful rich, creamy texture with a medium to medium light body and fine soft medium low carbonation O: the combination of the rich creamy texture, fruit , malty caramel and hop bitterness make this extremely enjoyable and drinkable.

 498 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL English style brown bottle,

A: Pours a hazy light orange with a small white head. Fair retention, no lace.

S: A lot of grapefruit with a Pine Sol/terpene astringency.

T: Mild malt character. The hop flavour is solid with assorted citrus, hay, and a light carbonic acid flavour. Very well attentuated.

M: Prickly, spritzy carbonation. Crisp, good body overall.

O: Not a fan of the nose here, but the flavour saves it somewhat. A nice drinking pint, but at $6+ it's way to price for what you get.

 506 characters

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of wl0307
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Using American Mount Hood aromatic hops, is this supposedly the classic Bluebird with an American twist? But the original bluebird is made with 100% English Challenger hops, so this has to be a totally different ale then? BB 17/12/08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a slightly translucent dark amber colour with reddish hues, coming with a well-lasting tight frothy off-white head and rather mild carbonation - looking quite healthy for a RAIB.
S: sweet tangerine-ish citrus hops come with rather intensely sweet pale malts and syrup, added with a hint of butterscotch-like yeasty influence. As it warms the yeastiness comes at the expense of the other elements on nose.
T: yeastiness in the form of lactose-drink accompanies the main entry of lightly burned pale malts (with an edge of fig paste, slightly like a thinly-sweet edge of a pasteurised ale to be honest...), sweet citric taste (a bit like the undertone of tangerine syrup), thin-bodied bitter-sweet tea, leading towards a lightly dry/tannic and bitter finish that doesn't go without a subtly sour edge of more yeastiness.
M&D: overall this is a lightly-carbonated, smooth-enough, medium-bodied pale ale that suffers a little from the intervention of the yeast sediments, clouding the overall balance b/w malts and hops a bit more than what does to the traditional/ordinary Bluebird Bitter.

 1,379 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a slightly dense orange body with a strong carbonation and a bubbly rocky off-white head. The foam sticks together as it slides down the glass after each sip.
S- The soft pale malt has a faint dry honey malt flavor and a slight tartness in the finish that becomes more hoppy as the beer opens up. There is also a soft candy sugary note that comes through as the beer opens up.
T- The soft pale malt and tartness finish with a slight sweetness of malt. The hops take over the tartness as the beer warms but still stay pretty soft.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizzy prick on the tongue at the end of each sip.
D- This beer has a very light flavor and a subtle depth but there is not a lot of depth of flavor there. It is easy to drink but just not much character.

 817 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Orange with a slight haze with a thick, eggshell cap of fine bubbles. Great head retention and thick, sticky sheets of lace. Fruity aroma, tart apples, pears, soft malts, and a bit of citrusy hop spice. Moderate bitterness, fruity up front, apples, light citrus. There's a bit of spice towards the end and light, lingering bitterness. It's drier than I expected, which gave the texture a more coarse character and seemed to draw away any significant malt flavour. Light bodied with slightly rough carbonation. I liked the aroma on this one, but it feels like it's overattenuated.

 579 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Coniston's XB Bluebird Bitter a couple weeks ago for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for a new beer to try and I thought I would take a chance on this one, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 11.2 oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is has a nice clean and simple looks and it's not too eye catching. It poured a nice amber orange color that took on more of an amber color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with a creamy aroma being the first to show up and it leads into some fruity yeast which imparts a slight dark fruit aroma. Up next comes the hops which impart some a little bit of fruity, herbal and citrus rind aromas. This beer has a good aroma, it's unique and I have no complaints.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the fruity yeast being the first to show up with some eniglish ale like flavors along with a little bit of a stone fruit like flavor. Up next comes the malts which impart some grainy and sweet malt like aromas and towards the end comes the hops which impart those citrus rind and herbal aspects that I got in the aroma and it had a higher amount of light bitterness with a lemon, stonefruit and slight herbal hop aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, there's not off flavors and and the different aspects work well together.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, a little clean, medium bodied wit a lighter amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but it could use just a little more carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of an English Bitter, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in the style and I ended up enjoying it. This beer had nice drinkability, I could drink a couple of these. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it was good and just where I want it to be. What I like the least about this beer is the carbonation, it could use just a little more. I would buy this beer again and I would recommend trying it. All in all I was happy with this beer and I thought it was a little unique. It made for a goof first impression for this brewery and I'm interested to try more of their beer and i thought it was a good example of the style. Nice job guys, this is an enjoyable beer.

 2,684 characters

Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this before from cask and it's much better that way. This one poured with a small, cream colored head that quickly faded and no lace. Color is a slightly hazy orange amber. Aroma is malt, caramel, a bit of toffee and hop. Flavor is fairly bland (this bottle was in my cold fridge) and similar to nose. Body is ok and carbonation is a bit fizzy. Fiinish is like flavor and short. Usually I'd rather have another brand. Nothing really wrong with it. Can't imagine finding this someplace and not being able to find something better.

 538 characters

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XB Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 79 ratings
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