Well, here it is....in all its glory!
This is the late-hopped Bluebird clone, fresh out the barrel. First impressions, this is rather too carbonated...I'm going to have to move the barrel to the shed, as sitting inside, even in the coldest room, is playing hell with the fittings.
That aside, the look is great...compare that with a previous photo, and the colour is smack on. Dark golden in colour. That bit of crystal has given a nice hue, and just a hint of residual sweetness.
I late hopped this quite considerably, and I can report that it has really worked. The nose is really hoppy, when it is first poured. Afterwards, this dissipated a bit, possibly losing it in the head (?), but a gentle swirl gets the aroma back. Of course, this was hopped with Challanger, so the hop hit is all spicy green hops, rather than the New World tropical fruits.
On the palate, the beer is nice and bitter...not over the top at all, but good enough to keep coming back. So my concern that I would not get enough IBUs out of the late hopping are unfounded. It lacks a bit of body (this is almost 1% lighter in ABV than it should be, due to a lower attenuating yeast than must be used by Coniston). However, this means that this is a cleansing pint, which you can keep coming back to.
Quite chuffed with this. The technique of late hopping looks promising.