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Bluebird Bitter | Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

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Bluebird BitterBluebird Bitter
Very Good
490 Ratings
Bluebird BitterBluebird Bitter

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

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bluebird is a fine session ale with a light golden colour. The intense resinous and spicy hop character which is the beer's hallmark is derived from the use of unusual quantities of English Challenger hops, each bale being individually and personally selected by the brewer. The malt is, of course, Maris Otter fermented slightly warm to give a soft fruitiness with a faint hint of scented geranium.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 490 |  Reviews: 300
Reviews by busternuggz:
Photo of busternuggz
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a shaker pint glass.

Beautiful, clear golden color with a foamy 1/4" white head. Big foamy bubbles, thick shallow lacing. Comes back nicely with a swirl.

The aroma is floral and somewhat spicy, with a soft caramel/toffee note. A little grainy. Nice.

Similarly the taste comes on with spicy, floral hops, some pleasantly sharp herbal/grassy notes, and subtle toffee. A little fruitiness I can't quite place. Ends light and dry with a bit of a grapefruit zest and pine aftertaste. There's a delicate malty sweetness in the very beginning, but it finishes lightly bitter.

Nicely textured, comes on somewhat thick and fluffy then fades away light and clean. Smooth and drinkable, it's hard to put it down.

This beer is a great example of simple but well executed English brewing. An excellent true to style bitter, with a nice hop punch to it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of yelterdow
2.57/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear amber, supporting a spongy two-finger snow white head that laces sporadically.

Smell- Whoa... some serious diacetyl here... and a striking similarity to Orval's nose. Rotting mouse. No shit, I'm serious.

Taste- The same dead marsupial qualities are here in the taste, I'm afraid. And lots of diacetyl too, where it really gets in the way of enjoying the beer. Big English Challenger hops add a spritzy spiciness, but unfortunately there is not enough malt balance to even things out.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Active and very responsive in the mouth, relatively smooth going down. Unfortunately, the negative impressions of smell and taste outweigh the positive, and this beer finds its place next to the curb on Memory Lane.

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Photo of plfahey
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Medium dark gold color and rather clear, with a generous white head. Head shows moderately high retention and some nice, sticky lacing.

Aroma-White bread, grain, and grassy, hay-like malt with a touch of caramel in the background. Hops are lightly floral and earthy-green, but present. Some light fruity esters (apple and orange) from the yeast complement the malt profile.

Flavor-Soft bread and hay-like malt quickly gives way to crisp apple esters with a touch of honey. Mid-palate has light biscuit malt and some orange notes before a firm, yet gentle moderate bitterness comes through in the finish along with herbal and earthy hop flavors. Yeasty notes with light orchard fruit and subtle hop tones carry long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with soft, gentle, moderate carbonation. Moderately dry finish but never astringent.

Do bottled bitters from England get better than this? I'm always skeptical of bitters coming from England-since it's such a delicate style it's no wonder that so many of them don't make the journey to the US in good condition. However, this one somehow manages to preserve many of the lovely, subtle nuances that make bitters what they are-low alcohol, fruity yeast notes with a touch of earth, multi-faceted malt profile, and light but firm hop presence. Awesome.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange with a thin white head that quickly recedes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet malts and some light floral, slightly metallic, hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with some light hops that leave a dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, a decent bitter/session ale but it's pretty subdued and not very interesting.

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Photo of Beer21
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bluebird Bitter by Coniston Brewing Co.

"The beauty of Hops"
Supreme Champion 1999

Appearance- hazy orange with little head. very carbonated looking.
Smell- citrus wirh a nice little bitter hop aroma.
Taste- not bad! Citrus with a little bitterness. Some malt and hops present. very light.
Mouthfeel- carbonated and light. A little bitterness in the citrus flavor.

Overall- not a bad little beer. I wouldn't pass this one up.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Hagbard
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This very pretty beer pours a nice golden orange color. The head is thin, but looks creamy. Doesn't leave much of a lacing on the sides of the glass. As the beer hits the bottom of the glass, your nose is assaultedf by a wonderful florally hop aroma. The taste begins as slightly bitter, but before it can really bite your tastebuds, a nice contrasting malt background slides in to soften the taste. There are definite floral notes in the background. This is a very tasty beer, yet the taste is not as strong as the aroma seems to promise. The moutfeel is very creamy, with a small amount of carbonation. If you were to line up a bunch of cask beers and a bunch of bottled beers, I would probably peg this as one of the casks. The mouthfeel is very reminiscent of cask. Drinkability is extrememly high as it goes down very well. A great session ale.

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Photo of DVMin98
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this as a shelfie and decided to give it a try. This is a very nice, drinkable, light beer. Had it right after mowing the lawn and I was very refreshed. Mildly fruity. Some sweetness. Mild bitterness from the hops. I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dark amber body, slightly cloudy due to the bottle conditioning.

The smell is dry and almost musty, very hoppy with scents of lavender.

Upon tasting there is a lovely hoppy dry taste which sits on the palette for some time with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Due to its low abv, the beer is very easy to drink and I can definatly imagine myself buying this again.

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Photo of elec
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful rich amber that leans towards orange and is slightly hazy; no actual particulates are seen, however. The head is light ivory in color and looks soft yet sticky. It eventually drops to a half finger and leaves better than average fat rings and broken sheets of lace. The nose is quite nice; floral hops primarily.

The flavor is comprised of grassy, floral hops with a restrained, yet pleasing, bitterness. Lemon peel is evident as well, especially on the back end. I recommend drinking Bluebird Bitter at the suggested temperature of 58 degrees (or higher) as that will allow the somewhat subdued taste to flourish.

The mouthfeel is light, while still managing to be smooth and creamy. That's a wonderful combination that I haven't experienced too often.

Bluebird Bitter is supremely drinkable due to its rather restrained flavor, low ABV and light-medium body. I also imagine that it would go very well with a wide range of foods. All in all, this is a good, solid, drinkable English bitter.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of June 2012. Label describes this ale as bottle-conditioned, and a 1998 CAMRA Supreme Champion winner.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A golden hue with low carbonation and the faintest hint of sediment. Produces a huge head of fluffy white foam that lasts for a couple of minutes before subsiding. Aroma of light grainy malt with notes of herbal leafy hops.

Tastes of light malt with a dry bitter finish. Hints of grain, leaves and a mild nutty character. Has a crisp, restrained bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth with some tingling from the carbonation. Leaves the palate dry. Mild bitter aftertaste.

A rather nice bitter - the flavour doesn't try to overwhelm you but the balance is excellent. The bitterness is well attenuated, making this easy to drink. Worthy of your time.

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Photo of Sammy
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cask fest at Cole's 2010; A nice fruity hop aroma. A light peachy colour with a whispy white head. Both Sourish and hoppy characteristics, caramel. Whole thing does not work as I am not tasting a bitter. Not too drinkable, and apparently wasn't even from the 48 hurs previous that it arrived.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle. Pours orange with a long lasting white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of perfume hops, biscuit and caramel malt, hints of fruit and yeast. Body is full and smooth. Taste is of earthy hops, sour dough, and some fruit. Finish is long and earthy. I could not drink much of it.

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer, glorious beer. With so many ostensible session ale's out there it's great to find one that finally can be a claimant to that title while maintaining a plethora of flavors and a modicum of perfection. American imbibers be not fooled by the low ABV or the obscure style. English bitters can satisfy the craving for hops just as much as any American IPA while hydrating the body.

This beer pours a golden rod color with a huge foaming billowing egg-shell head. The brewers really got the right amount of yeast in this bottle conditioned beer. The head leaves big clouds of lacing on the side of my pint glass.

The smell is amazing. This beer does smell like tea, English tea. Then big amounts of herb and flowers waft gently from the beer. Chamomile, lavender, germanium. daffodil. Lemon zest.

The taste is bitter. I love the germane bitterness of the challenger hops. The bitterness comes right up front does its job and then fades gently into a nice sweetness. There is so much flavor in this little doll of a beer. Mild caramel malts, like the kind your grandmother would host in her candy bowl. Spices and fruits, particularly apple and orange.

The mouthfeel is chewy and drying while remaining hydrating ,refreshing, and sweet. The body is almost tea like with a light seltzer water fizz.

I am awed by this beer. I think it is world class. If this beer were more widely available I would drink it all the time. I wish I could go to England and try more bitters. Until then, this is the top English bitter on my list. Bravo! Cheers!

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Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on draft at Copperfields in NYC, this one poured light amber with a mild hoppy nose, low carbonation, bubbles slowly rising to the top, slim white head, leaving light lacing. Well balanced, light and very drinkable bitter in the fine English tradition. Fine sessioner

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Photo of FUwolfpacker
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle "Best served at 58 degrees in a straight pint glass at the Black Bull Inn, Coniston, Cumbria." This is the best instructions I've ever seen- not only temperature and best glassware, but the best pub to drink it in. I guess I should look this place up.

Moderate to light golden color with a moderately attractive white head that quickly drops to a thin cover with no lace. Not unattractive, but nothing special either.

Aroma is light, generally pleasant, malty, slightly (very slightly) sweet with a touch of vanilla, crystallized ginger (?). Smells nice, but very mild.

Light malty feel at first, with none of the sweet notes- actually, there is now a building of a nice bitter finish that grows to a solid end.

Mouthfeel- my first thought at first drink was that it was light and thin, but in reality, it does have some body.

Drinkability is solid. Low 4.2% ABV makes this one very esy to drink.

This is a nice beer to have when looking for something easy drinking, simple, and enjoyable. Not a complex, full beer that makes yoou want to think about it and analyze it, but that's ok- sometimes this is exactly what you want.

 1,160 characters

Photo of nuebs
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear Amber colored ale with a rocky white head.

Smell is bright and perfumed with a lot of citrus scent. There is honeysuckle sweetness to the smell. Tropical scents are in here too; it reminds me of the smell of Belgian ale with the pineapple. Fainter scents here are coffee and coriander.

Taste is mild slightly sweet with a solid herbal hop flavor right up front. Subtle roasted malt flavor is present that gives a faint coffee flavor. Lingering aftertaste of bitterness from the hopping that is pleasant. Faint tea flavor from the hops.

Mouthfeel is good and a bit creamy.

Very drinkable brew, mild yet interesting and pleasant.

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Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of necoadam
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yummy! Nothing like a pint of bitter. Poured out a dirty light copper color with a decent enough head on it. Best before 12-13-03, uh oh. But not to worry, it did make it just fine. Smell consisted of a good dose of malts in there, but it was mixed in with some hops and some tropical fruits. Taste was typical of a bitter. Matls hit the palate first then give away to some hops that seem to have a big bite to them. Quite nice. Body was nice and creamy too. Decent enough bitter. Seek it out.

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Photo of bluehende
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer with mild blueberry flavor.

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Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 490 ratings