Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

820 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 820
Reviews: 417
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 17
Gots: 72 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 10-23-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 820 | Reviews: 417
Reviews by SmokinSmyth:
Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this at an outside cafe in Southampton on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Poured a red more than amber color with a fair bit of head from a cask served ale, but the head disappeared quickly, minimal lacing.

Not a terribly strong aroma, malt and caramel.

Taste was quite good, with the malt standing out first, followed by the hops in the finish.

Felt very good in the mouth, little carbonation, but a pleasure to swallow.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice ruby color with a creamy well sestained head that leaves a small amount of lacing,aroma is subtle on the malty side with touch of fruit and biscuit.Taste is mellow but with some nice flavors,malt tilted for sure with some flavors of dried fruit and some metallic notes in the finish.I could drink these all night and it has a pretty cool looking bottle to boot,thank you Liquid Solutions!

Photo of RoyalT
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Clear, light brown body with a big, volcanic head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – There’s definitely a big maltiness to this nose. There’s a touch of hops as well, but the heavy, caramel-laden malt aroma dominates.

Taste – The caramel comes out a little bit more in the taste. The malt though is there, in accordance with the style. There is some hoppy bitterness for balance.

Mouthfeel – Little carbonation, but very creamy and chewy.

Drinkability – I thought that this was the ale’s strong suit. This went down exceptionally well. It is smooth, creamy, sweet, and a joy to knock down.

Comments – I tend to like a heavy bitterness to my ESBs, although it is not necessarily a requirement of the style. I wouldn’t favor this one from a personal standpoint, but many fans of the style will enjoy The Bombardier. If you like your ESBs smooth, a little on the lighter side, and not overpowering (read, “anti-Rogue Brutal Bitter") then give this a try.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany pour, tan to black with little head. Malt sweetnes on the nose with little other hints as to flavor. A tasty ESB and a very even brew. A nice well rounded malt character with a nice subtle hop finish. The body is slight and nearly thin, though the style seems to demand it. For this reason I cannot judge negatively on lack of texture. Over all this is a good drinkin' brew with moderate ABV and a really casual flavor and feel. I like it.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a light golden brown that sets up a 2+ finger head of fluffy off-white foam, which very slowly collapses on itself and leaves plenty of lace rings around the glass. Held to a full-spectrum light, beer is a vibrant orange-red and clear.

S - Lightly toasted, bready malt mixed in with bitter flowering hops. Nose really has to be coaxed out of the glass. This is not a beer that you smell before you taste.

T - Gently toasted malts, light caramel, and simple fruit-like sugar up front. Definitive earthy hops show up in the finish to clear the sweetness / malts away and switch the focus. There's almost a hint of black pepper in the back end.

M - Somewhat fizzy and crisp. Above moderate, pushing full carbonation. Rather thin, but not watery. Body is on the light side. Finish snaps off the back of the tongue rather quickly, leaving a dry, refreshing impression.

O - This is a good beer to have with lunch - it would compliment most sandwiches well, such as a roast beef and cheddar with a soft horseradish sauce, or even fish-n-chips with a tasty, tangy tartar sauce. More hop-forward than the typical English brew, but not an American hopfest, either - it's an interesting juxtaposition of lightly toasted malts against straightforward bittering hops that delivers both sides of the coin.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany body is topped by a one finger beige head. Good retention and some sheets of lacing on the glass. Aroma of toasty bready crystal malts and floral and spicy hops. Light medium body, medium carbonation, and some mineral on the palate. Taste is very much like the aroma. Bready and toasty malt, bitter unripe pears, slight nuttiness, and a pervasive floral and spicy hop bitterness. A pretty good English Bitter here.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mid sized bottle, some sort of dating perhaps etched onto the bottle. Pours dark amber, with a medium tan head, that shows retention then goes to a thin film and leaves nice and plentiful stringy lacing. Nose is nutty and malty. Pleasant British ale, bready malts, smooth and highly drinkable. Brit ales have been getting a lack of respect in my beer world, this one reminds me of the simple pleasures and understated elegance of the brews from England.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass. A dark, russet-amber hue, with a half inch of off-white head. Decent retention, a bit of lacing.

Nose is malt, caramel, herbal hops, dark fruits. Very inviting.

A somewhat sweet, but refreshing bitter ale. Not exceptionally bitter (only for a moment at the end), but very smooth and drinkable. I can certainly see having a few of these in an evening.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark for the style, medium body with a touch of creamyness. The carbonation is light, providing slight bursts of malty goodness.

More than makes up for their IPA; a fine pale ale, not overly strong so as to allow for sessions. Good stuff.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Keep The Glass beer at the Winking Lizard in scenic (sarcasm) Bedford Heights, Ohio.

A seared copper in color, with a scant off-white layer of lace that really didn't do much (possibly a dirty glass?). Aromas are difficult to detect. There's some sweetness here, along with a dash of bread dough and fruity esters. Flavor is rather tame. Nothing here to sit me upright in my chair. Some bitterness, but not nearly as much as other ESB's I've had. Finish has a dash of roasted malt and toffee, without any pronounced drying effect. Fuller in the mouthfeel than expected or (IMHO) desired. Modestly drinkable, though I'd reach for Fuller's ESB if offered alongside.

Cool glass, though, to add to my collection.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of June 2011. Label describes it as the drink of England.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A deep reddish copper colour with good carbonation. Creamy light tan head which subsides after a couple of minutes. Decent aroma of lightly toasted malt and some burnt caramel notes. A hint of hops.

A rich malty character with good bitterness. Interesting notes of burnt malt / caramel. A smooth mouthfeel that leaves a dryness on the palate. Mild bitter aftertaste.

A decent ale - not likely to become my regular but representative of English beer.

Photo of Libationguy
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish-light brown color with chill haze. Medium depth tan head with tiny carbonation structure,medium retention and fine lacing.

Toffee, over ripe banana, pumpernickel bread, earthiness, and a sour aroma that isnot unpleasant.

Light caramel and more pronounced toffee notes. Pumpernickel bread, toasted malt notes and a moderate bitterness from beginning to end that is well balanced.

Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation and a slightly watery feel on the palate. Last finish of mild bitterness that is very nice. The beer holds with you for some time.

Nice enjoyable pint. The brown notes of aroma and flavor are interesting and the bitterness in the beer is nicely balanced and helps to support everything else that the beer is giving. Well done.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice out of a can, deep caramel tinted ruby color with a tan khaki head pouring thick. Fine even spread lacing clings to my imperial pint glass as it settles. Aroma has a pleasant fruitiness with grain induced sliced bread qualities. Aromatic hops are distant but definitely in there, comes off herbal mint with a nice earthiness to it. Refreshing quality about this beer served up in a 14.9 oz/440 ml can. Way cleaner and more enjoyable than a New castle inline with a Fuller's but yet a bit more easy drinking. Assertive English hop character, mild fruit, bready caramelized malts coming through to balance it out, along with an earthy bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, even sturdy carbonation flowing smooth, I can't complain about anything while drinking this beer. Overall very enjoyable flavorful introduction to English ales, damn good and fresh in the can.

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 ml. can with a freshness date of 28 Jan. 2012 stamped on the bottom. Sampled in a mug.

Poured a nice clear medium-dark brown/amber with a towering, foamy off-white head. The head had good retention, and left thick patches of foam on the sides of the mug.

Aroma: toasted malt; slight nutty.

M: Good carbonation; medium-light bodied.

T: Well-balanced flavor with, I think, some slight contribution from the use of mineral water. The flavor is good but not bold, distinctive,or complex.

O - A decent tasting beer that looks better than it tastes.

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear honey-brown color with a two-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust toasted malts with hints of lighter caramel malts. Also present are moderate amounts of breadiness and hints of raisins.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of smooth caramel malts and drier toasted malt flavors kick things off. Slight biscuit flavors come into play shortly thereafter before being tempered by earthy hops midway through the sip. Near the end of the sip slight amounts of dark fruit flavors come into play before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I enjoy this beer on-tap but the cask conditioning takes it to another level. Very much worth a shot if you find it served on cask.

Photo of rastaman
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Average at best, not much body, a bit of flavour in there (malty and then kind of hoppy), but its not interesting, and i probably wouldn't recomend it.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a warm brown crystal clear body with a golden-brown hue as the light shines through it. There is a thin sticky ring of off-white head that last for a bit. It has a gentle carbonation of big bubbles supporting it.

S- The smell of mineral water gives way to dark malt hints and a soft dry light molasses note is finished with a soft green hop note.

T- The soft taste of lightly toasted malt has some pale malt flavors for support and a soft sweetness finish it. There is a light bitter note that comes through after each sip but not when the beer is cold.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.

D- This beer has some malt notes and a faint hint of hops but it is just bland. All the great subtle flavors in a good bitter are absent, and it was actually tough to finish. I hope to try it on cask and see how this beer taste when it is alive.

Photo of linnet
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Colour is ruby, small off-white head, there is some lacing, small bubbles. Aroma is fruity sweet, jam and honey smells amost like a doppelbock, the presence of hops in the aroma is not very strong. Flavour has a distinct bitterness, but for a premium bitter it is also rather sweet. Mouthfeel is rather lively. This is a very nice bitter, maybe lacking a bit of complexity,but still very enjoyable

Photo of justme
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a London pub... One of favorite of the bitters

Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sort of an orange-brown color, this beer is pretty dark but has plenty of clarity to it. The head, tinted yellow, billows pretty nicely at nearly two fingers' height before easing down to a strong half-finger that never recedes. It leaves behind chunky patching to almost the very bottom.
The balance between hops and malts is evident on the nose, and there's a good evenness struck between perfume, pine & herb and toffee, caramel and biscuit. The dryness is there but not as evident in the aroma as it becomes on the tongue. There's a slight dark fruits note adding a light sweetness in the finish. The aroma doesn't quite have the strength of the flavor, in which all of the characters mesh without any giving way too much.
Crisp with a semi-dryness brought on not by herb or leaf like many bitters, but encouraged by the hops, it's also softly but firmly carbonated with a solid crisp bite to it and some creaminess, too.

Photo of anders36
3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber colour into the glass. The head was off-white and mediumthick. Had a fruity and slightly malty aroma with some hints of caramel. The flavor is malty and fruity with some bitterness and some hints of caramel. Maybe a little to much CO2. Leaves you with a malty bitter aftertaste.

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, the most English-looking yet of many in any store that I've ever seen.

This beer pours a clear, dark burnt amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, filmy, foamy, and pleasantly sudsy beige head, which settles at a leisurely pace, eventually leaving a decent wash of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly toasted biscuity caramel malt, sugary cooked apple, a touch of bready yeast, and some herbal, earthy hops. The taste is more crackery, lightly biscuity caramel and pale malt, bolstered by some mild rock toffee notes, muddled orchard drupe fruit, soft black peppercorn, and somewhat bitter leafy, floral hops.

The carbonation is moderate, yet a bit prickly, the body an adequate medium weight, generally smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy, through the zingy bitterness. It finishes sweeter than I would have thought - the gritty caramel malt still standing strong against the fruity, and mildly bitter herbal and leafy hops.

An offering that teeters well away from the banality that I unfortunately encounter too much in imported British ales. I sure wouldn't pass up a few rounds of this as the local pub bitter option, if that sort of thing actually existed in my neck of the woods.

Photo of dacrza1
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: June 7, 2015... GLASSWARE: Victory nonick... OCCASION: Cavs/Warriors Game Two--down to a true supporting cast without Kyrie... APPEARANCE: dark cedar body that is translucent nonetheless; head is off-white, half-fingered, and strong, with a creamy consistency... AROMA: nice, soft, spicy notes early; malts are bitter, hearty, and woody; hops are subtle and floral... PALATE: dry and vinous, with a thin overall presence--easy drinking... TASTE: an English bitter in its profile--businesslike, malty, and understatedly active; cherry, pear and some other fruity elements surprise the tastebuds... OVERALL: this beer is an enjoyable beer while watching a game and talking to the TV--great balance, subtle textures, and little fanfare...

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A lively amber, bright, thick and creamy cap and rather smooth look overall.

wow, amazing super-sweet malty aroma, dark tropical fruits, toffee, dark wheat and raisins with gentle hop spicey effects.

A dark malt, roastie wheat and raisins all over. Earthy, spicey hops, with woody and bourbon-esque notes for complexity.

A medium body with some complex and interesting layers, lush that becomes kinda light with a creamy finish.

A real treat from across the pond!

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear ruby color with nice off white head. Nose is nice and malty with some slight copper. The taste is superb and to style (as far as american distributed bitters) nice malty taste with smooth mellow golding hop flavors and a nice little hop spice twang. a bit of appley taste (ala SS old brewery pale, but not as strong) Quite dry on the finish, yet still very refreshing. A wonderful session brew, and one I will surely revisit when I get sick of Urban wilderness and the Sam smith pales and organics. Man how I wish we had the bitter selection they have in England, not to mention the cask selection. and for that matter the bitter on cask selection! What perfect session brews. Oh well, someday maybe! Until then, its another excuse to travel. Good beer.

Photo of Daniell
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: nice malt colour when held up to light, otherwise darkish sultana - three finger head. Proper.

S: nice pungent sultana (I may have been influenced by the "sultana" description on the label :P) and yeast. Also a kind of metallic smell, and vague dark fruits and chocolate/carob. Has kind of a vague "funkiness"/"old smell"/"feces" which is similar to that I find (and have trouble describing) in Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Also get the "apple"yness I seem to pick up in every beer.

T: bitters, yeast, tastes very "full" from the darkness, also some fruitiness. Also some vague vegetabliness.

M: nice and creamy.

D: a dark beer and the malt (which usually gives me higher drinkability) is downplayed here.

A nice brew, although very intense. Wouldn't want to session these, ironically something like Cooper's Best Extra Stouts seem more sessionable to my taste.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 820 ratings.