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

Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

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very good

683 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 683
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-23-2001)
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Ratings: 683 | Reviews: 398 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Offa


4.97/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful English bitter that finally was available here although it sold out fast and with good reason.

Deep copper, it has a medium pale tan head slowly shrinking to a nice, lasting 1/4 inch top that's permanent, and leaves a little bit of lace.
The aroma is rich caramel, toasted whole wheat bread, a delightfully complex yet lively plum-orange-raisin-lemon mix, lea and leaves - very English.

The taste is like the aroma overlal, with a lot of fruit as above, toast, a strong leafy tea character, esp. near the finish, mroe toast, hints of licorice and pepper, and a lightly winey fruitiness and a rather English sweet-sour hint. It has great sweet-bitter balance and a wonderful leafy finish married with sweet caramelised bread crust that lingers.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 23:42:28 | More by Offa
Photo of Brad007


4.9/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: Dark brown with a one-finger head and lively carbonation.

Aroma: Nice and malty upfront. Some hop bitterness in the nose. Inviting aroma.

Taste: Mild and bitter upfront. A hint of fruit/spice as well. A second sip confirms the bitterness but there's also dryness as well. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter. Malt sweetness is balanced.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style. More of a true version of an ESB from the folks that made ESBs famous.

Verdict: Pick it up. An underrated style that excels in the area of drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 02:09:58 | More by Brad007
Photo of gbarbee

North Carolina

4.89/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Light, clear, clean, and amber appearing ale. The head is white, alive, and very inviting.

Smell - A very clean smelling beer, not overpowering. This is what one thinks of when smelling a good beer, even to a non-beer drinker. Some hoppy scents mixed with clean water comes to mind.

Taste - Clean, crisp, refreshing, and light ale. Reminds me of an English pub where this style of beer is enjoyed in the company of friends.

Mouthfeel - Light on the palate, carbonated but overly so, smooth and refreshing.

Overall - Great beer and one of my favorites. It is no wonder that most of the Wells and Young's Board likes Bombardier.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 17:32:16 | More by gbarbee
Photo of kmacphail

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.88/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked a bottle of this from a local shop after seeing it on a billboard at the end of the street. I was not disapointed.

The beer poured a lovely dark brown colour, with a slight hint of ruby and formed anice thick off white head. This pint gave off a nose of roasted malts, caramel and a faint hint of some bitter fruits to give balance.

The taste was even better!! Roasted malts balanced by bitter hops with some fruity berries and butterscotch thrown in for good measure. the pint swirled nicely around the mouth with a nice thick body, truly a fabulous English pint.

This is truly one of the best beers I have ever sampled, a true classic and one that should be in every cupboard throughout the global market.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 21:12:06 | More by kmacphail
Photo of HeroJH


4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great, another really nice English Ale that I can find near my house. A great example of a well balanced traditional ale.

A - nice amber with a reddish tint. Fading Head, nice low amount of carbonation.

S - Nice balance of caramel, slight flowery spices. Iron.

T - Balanced and subtle. Minerals, even hop bitterness, touch of sweetness. Very long nice aftertaste of clean bitter and minerals.

M - soft carbonation, coating

D - Supremely easy to drink. Enough interest and smoothness to keep 'em coming.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 19:21:26 | More by HeroJH
Photo of ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured into my pint glass and was greeted with a thick, off white head that doesn't retain overly well, but does settle down to a thick layer of foam over the beer. It is a clear reddish/amber hued brew and carbonation appears to be low and fine, which is what I'd expect to see. Good sticky lacing clings to the side of my glass.

S- Strong malts are noted, providing the sweetness, and are followed by some earthy spice...in particular, some subtle nutmeg and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Before the finish, I also detect a hint of citrus, and then the hop bitterness makes itself known. A nice, balanced aroma overall!

T- If the aroma is great, the taste is perfect! The sweet malts define the beginning, before the spiciness comes through, providing a deeper, earthy/herbal like flavor, finally finishing with a fresh, not too powering leafy hop bitterness, which lingers for just the right amount of time on the palate. Liquid Gold!

M- A nice medium-full body that has mild carbonation. This is a very creamy beer which allows my palate to really absorb the flavors.

D- I really wish our breweries over here could match the greatness of true English Bitters! The alcohol is well hidden, the textures are subtle yet distinctive, the flavors are perfectly balanced and it's a perfect session beer. I'll definitely be buying this again and recommend this to any true beer lover!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 02:43:35 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of Daredevil


4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

the label looks like a Steven Spielberg dub of an England WW II propaganda poster ... just cool ... the nose has hints of pink grapefruit, sure more hops then malts ... the rich taste has hints of blood oranges, lychees, roasted macadamia and some toffetype sweetness ... a great english bitter ...definitely premium ...

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 23:09:45 | More by Daredevil
Photo of WMEugene


4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at Churchkey, from notes.

A - Pours a clear amber color. One-inch thick and creamy head with great lacing.

S - Solid mix of malts and English hops. A classic English "pint" smell - nothing too strong, but pleasant enough.

T - Creamy balance of malts and mild hops. Delicious and everything I'd want in the style.

M - Smooth, easy-drinking brew. Thin-medium bodied and what I expect from a cask brew.

O - I found the Bombardier to be a classic and great example of the style. It's an inviting brew that can be enjoyed as a one-off or as a "session." I would love to have this one on cask again.

Serving type: cask

11-29-2011 02:16:56 | More by WMEugene
Photo of Absumaster


4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am drinking this beer from a can, in the ideal situation this is on draft at room temperature in an English pub. Nevertheless, great stuff!

Appearance is clear, brown with a pretty stable and creamy head.

Smell is balanced between hops and malts with the hops being resinous and raw and the malt caramellic and a little husky and grainy. There is some diacetyl which only adds to the beers lovely smell.

Taste of raw, resinous, English hops, which also give the beer a good bitter. On top of that is the malt that gives the beer a caramel, candy sugar taste and really balances the bitterness. Every sip the beer seems to show either hops or caramel malts, so every sip is different and highly drinkable. I could drink this all night. Mouthfeel is dry and leaves a nice 'bitter' feeling on my tongue.

Serving type: can

03-31-2007 15:00:18 | More by Absumaster
Photo of Riggo


4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous copper/amber with perfect clarity and a creamy off-white cap of foam. Excellent lacing.

Smell is a wonderful mix of sour, earthy wood, citrus, peat-smokiness, fruit (apples, pears) and cedar.

Fantastic balance in the mouth, a clean, earthy hop bite surrounds a juicy, fruity middle with caramel, toffee, and smoky notes. Cedary and lemony hops draw out the dry finish.

Extremely drinkable for an ale--just so balanced and the dryness cleans things up so nicely. Low carbonation makes for a creamy, mellow mouthfeel but still feels lively and fresh (despite the long journey).

This is what I want to drink every day. A simply beautiful product. I wish american brewers would brew these kind of "hoppy" ales--the hops give an earthy cedary quality and an overall dryness while still remaining so subtle and harmonious with the fruity/caramel malt qualities.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 00:48:54 | More by Riggo
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Red-brown with a good chunky retaining head.

S - Slightly sweet, floral hops and citrus.

T - Light toasted malts and some lemony twinges. Hops are mild and there's a slight tart edge in there as well.

M - Low carbonation and a smooth medium feel.

D - Very good. Could drink this one all day long (figuratively speaking). Not a huge hoppy/malty brew, but nice and tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2006 04:37:53 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of WetCoaster


4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Stunning clear deep ruby/copper with a thick, pillowy amber head. Very good retention. Active carbonation. Doesn't get much prettier.

Smell. Simple, but quite nice; carmelized malts, red apple fruitiness and mild hop spice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very nice indeed. Smooth, full, sweet, slightly chewy, slightly smoky. Dense caramel malt up front, followed by leafy and ever-so-British hops, which gradually dry out the flavor, leaving a lingering -- but pleasant -- bitterness in the finish.

Drinkability: Without question, the most balanced, drinkable ESB I've run across. The color, the feel, the flavor -- I love everything about it. A new favorite, and one I'll be revisting often.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 22:07:48 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper with a very nice off-white head that lasts quite well and leaves some decent lacing. Smell is quite malty, with a bit of nuttiness coming through on top of nice caramels and a hint of butter. Some grains. As such the taste comes out of left field with some nice citrusy hops. Spicy Goldings give some nice bitterness to the ale, with the malts complex enough to lend it good character. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has good body, and drinkability is stellar. Great bitter, and a wonderful drinking beer for just about any time.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 01:33:45 | More by Mandrake
Photo of Methodd

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly off-clear, dark ruby with a heavy off-white head that settles slowly into a collar around the edge. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, figs, floral hops.

Taste: Caramel and floral hops here too, some spice and a nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with very suitable carbonation which is not over-done like a lot of ESB’s.

Drinkability: Very good, similar to Fuller’s ESB but not quite as well put together and not as strong. All and all I would very much recommend this to anyone who likes an ESB as much as I do.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 04:51:01 | More by Methodd
Photo of drpimento


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man, I like this beer! Yummmm! Served at a good temperature with a decent sized ,light tan head that slowly settled and lots of lace. Color is a clear, amber copper with some tiny bubble trails. Aroma is very toffee, caramel, malt, fresh beer, along with a little leather and roast. Flavor is like nose, plus a little carbonic tang and biscuit. Body & carbonation are just right for this style. Finish is like flavor, of medium lenght and readies me for another quaff. Super drinkable beer. I want more!

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 03:41:01 | More by drpimento
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out into imperial pint glass with a rich amber color. Has a two finger with head that quickly settles down to a think blanket on top of the beer. Some sticky lacing as well.

The aroma is bitter sweet and malty. Has that quintessential English spicy hop to bring balance. Hints of plums, butterscotch and fresh bread.

The taste is dominated sweet toasted malts. Plums, butterscotch, and a spicy citrus from the hops. A little harshness (and I mean that in a good way) from the mineral water.

Medium bodied, with a semi-dry finish.

One of best English ESB's money can buy!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 19:07:32 | More by Luigi
Photo of Mark


4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear copper color under a thinnish head that did not leave much lace. Aroma was earthy, healthy, and fruity. Substantial mouthfeel, and a very smooth finish that blended malt and hops efficiently. A good cask ale which checks in at 4.3%. Glad I tried it.

Serving type: cask

01-03-2003 06:50:48 | More by Mark
Photo of rixport

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Exactly what one would expect from a good British ESB. Brilliant tawny amber color with great clarity, but not the overly shiney appearance of a lot of newer 'tourist' beers coming out of England lately. Aroma was clean with caramel notes and a background hop note. Carbonation level was perfect.. lively without being burpy. Up front carmel/crystal malt roundess without being cloying, followed closely by an assertive (at least in English beer terms) hop bitterness, I would imagine fuggles. An extremely well balanced beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2009 17:18:59 | More by rixport
Photo of RedSpecial1


4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a deep amber color with an medium sized off white head that slowly disperses leaving some thick lacing on the sides of the glass. The first thing I smell in this beer is the caramel malt, with just a little bit of citrus underneath. This is a smooth beer that tastes of caramel, malt, and just enough bitterness to keep it from being overpowering. Actually, the bitterness is almost refreshing following the sweetness of the malts as it does, very tasty. This beer is smooth and refreshing feeling light in the mouth, and could easily be the drink of choice on a warm evening, or even in colder months. A very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 00:49:16 | More by RedSpecial1
Photo of morimech


4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a large tan head that had good retention. Heavy lacing is left on the glass throughout consumption.

Wonderful aroma of caramel malt, figs, plums, and tobacco.

Nice caramel malt base with a dark fruit compliment. The hops add a herbal element. I had no idea that an ESB could be so complex in aroma and flavor. I rate this a 5 if I could detect some bitterness. Just a little too sweet.

Light to medium body with a fizzy carbonation. Lower carbonation would really bring out the creamy texture this beer could have.

A great ESB. I would like to try this fresher and on cask to see how it improves. But as it is now it is still great.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 19:56:23 | More by morimech
Photo of malloyca

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amber to brown in color, but clear with visible carbonation. The buoyant 3/4" head began to dissipate quickly, but then settled into a foamy coating that lingered while I drank the rest of the beer. Very prominent caramel and toffee aromas carry over to the palate; and there is a pleasant balance of these flavors along with some nutty flavors against some toasted malt and dry hoppiness. This is a medium to light bodied beer that is a great food beer -- English pub fare or anything else fried.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 01:56:00 | More by malloyca
Photo of colebenoit

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer before and enjoyed it greatly but I'm having it right now so I'm gonna review it. I drank the beer from a pint glass.

Appearance: I'm a huge fan of this beer's appearance. It is mildly dark in colour with a deep rich, ruby read colour that really glows when held up to light. It pours with a nice dense, slightly rocky head.

Smell: This beer smells quite wonderful with a strong smell of malts and toffee, and a definate hint of cherry pie. The smell of hops lingers on the end of the aroma.

Taste: This beer had definate hints of toffee and roast malts in the body with a pleasant sweetness. This develops into a more buttery toffee flavour with hints of cherry slightly after swalloing and the finish has a toast like dryness with an assertive bitter hop flavour that lingers.

Mouthfeel: All and all not a bad body, not too watery, but it could definately benefit from a bit more substance/creaminess. The carbonation is very fine and subtle, but pleasent and noticeable.

Drinkability: Definately high in this category, I could drink nemerous pints of this without getting tired of it. A thoroughly enjoyable beer and a fine example of an English ruby red ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 01:47:32 | More by colebenoit
Photo of bashiba


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a dark clear amber with 2 inches of thick white head that quicly vanished.

Smell has hints of fresh bread, minerals, and some light hops.

Taste is smooth and subtle with hints of toasted malts, chocolate, fresh bread, minerals, & pepper, with just a bit of spicy hops. Incredibly balanced.

Mouthfeel has a decent amount of body with good carbonation and a crisp dry finish.

Extremely drinkable, one of my Benchmark English beers which all others are judged against. Always has a place in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 21:01:10 | More by bashiba
Photo of Stimack

New York

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was able to give this brew a try the other night while at Mahar's. Brew had a nice color, kind of a copper tone with red highlights. Had a good sized light tan head that had some good legs and left nice lacing rings down the side of the glass. The aroma was very inviting, with a fruit like smell mixed with a night toasted scent. The flavors are similar to the aromas but seem to bring them out more as the malts seem to really be alive with a biscuit flavor, the fruit highlights pear and apple. The hop flavor really seems to be fresh as it has a nice bittering effect. This is a highly drinkable brew that has very nice flavor and feel with a lower ABV, exceptional drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2007 03:20:26 | More by Stimack
Photo of hackmann


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Had to make an aggressive pour to get a good head. The light tan head sits atop a nice see thru copperish color body. The head is short lived but, has some nice lacing. Mild carbonation.

Smell: Slight peppery note mixing with sweet malty notes.

Taste:a nice herbal hoppy bite with a rich taste of malt characteristics. I get a nice cedary note along with a red apple freshness. I like the firm english ale quailties and the crisp refreshing taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a dry and hoppy bite that is still refreshing probably due to the watery edges of the ale. The slight carbonation also helps to clean the palate. There is a little spice tingle left on the cheek and gums.

Drinkability: To me easy to drink. Low 5.2% and a solid english ale taste that makes it enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 01:11:58 | More by hackmann
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.