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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

686 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 686
Reviews: 399
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%

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: 686 | Reviews: 399 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barczar


3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant light amber brown with a frothy khaki head that lingers indefinitely.

Aroma is bready, nutty, and has light fruity yeast character. Seems fairly yeasty, with earthy hop presence to balance.

Flavor is fairly subtle, with fruity undertones, and toasted malt backbone giving way to bitterness at the finish. Fairly restrained. The balance is toasted and earthy. Nuttiness really surfaces as it warms.

Body is moderate, with slightly spritzy carbonation and light alcohol warmth. There's a bit of carbonic bite.

Great bitterness to just overwhelm the malt character at the finish. The fruity character was unexpected, and is not my favorite characteristic.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2013 01:51:46 | More by barczar
Photo of rickyk76

North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark copper color with a slight tan head that, while not thick, laces the glass for the entirety of the drink. As with most unfiltered bitters, not a clear beer, but not chill haze as some have stated.

Aroma is heavy malt with slight fruit. Not a huge nose, but very pleasant.

Taste is slightly bitter at first, but eases into a malty chocolate with hints of raisin. Usually expect more bitterness from an ESB, but this is pleasantly malt forward.

Could definitely drink a few pints of this throughout the night.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2013 01:50:15 | More by rickyk76
Photo of drpimento


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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 jkanavel


3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany, opaque through the center. Pure white head, low head retention.

S: Muted chocolate, crystal malt, pruny

T: Very dense and chewy malt. Solid old world hop background. Raisins, black cherry, port.

M: I would like to try this in a cask. On tap it was quite thick, medium to low amount of carbonation. This has some weight to it.

O: Really nice. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2012 07:16:39 | More by jkanavel
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Got it on tap at the Olde English Pub in Albany, where they serve it in a large (20 oz) dimpled mug. . . . Body is coppery-amber with a small off-white head. Leaves behind some lace.

S: Not much power to the nose - tea-like, floral and a hint of fruity sweetness.

T: Fruity malt underneath - ripe apples and apple skins come to mind - with some caramel malt sweetness as well. I'm also getting a touch of smoke, which seems odd. Finishes semi-dry and fairly clean.

M: Call it the lighter side of medium in heft. Carbonation is nice.

O: Good, but that smoky flavor detracts. Also a bit too fruity for my preference.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2011 16:59:53 | More by Kendo
Photo of david18

New York

3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had an Imperial pint of this at a pub on a recent visit to London. In general I don't live british ales (they're a little malty for my taste) but I always like to try something new. This one was pretty interesting and a little strong than what you can usually get.

Appearance is a mid-to-dark brown. It was from a cask pull tap so the carbonation was a little light. Very cloudy.

Aroma was of bread and dark fruit. Quite inviting.

Flavor was a little intensely malty but not terrible. Bread, crackers, a little bit of dates.

Overall, one of the better british ales and worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 18:56:24 | More by david18
Photo of bboelens


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at WOB, poured into a tuliped guinness pint glass.

A-Deep orangey gold with hints of blood red throughout the pour yielded a solid 2 finger thick head, that lasted, developing into an excellent lacing that chronicled every gulp I took.

S-Malts, hints of caramel and a slight sugary dextrose

T-An excellent not too bitter (actually semi-sweet) malt with slight hop finish. Caramel and hints of chocolate sit in the middle as it's all washed down with a splash of alcohol taste.

M-Medium body and carbonation

O-I haven't had a large amount of ESBs but I'm becoming a huge fan of them, it's very easy to drink pint after pint of this

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 17:11:57 | More by bboelens
Photo of PhageLab


4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Clear coppery colour, with a nice layer of froth. Left nice sedimentary layers down the side of the glass, and the head never vanished.

S - Sweet nose with an earthy quality.

T - Apple tart comes to mind initially. Bitter yet very well balanced with a good malty body. Seems to get better with every sip.

M - Creamy light body, well carbonated yet not overly so.

D - Outstanding. I could drink this all day. One of the best ESBs I've had the pleasure of trying. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2011 03:27:36 | More by PhageLab
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

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

Had this on tap in a pint glass.
Dark reddish-brown in color with ruby red hues. One finger head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Aroma is high on malts with hints of dark fruits.
Taste is also high on malts, with a dry bitter finish. Typical example of an ESB, light and easy to drink.
There wasn't any noticeable lacing with this ESB.
A decent ESB, and certainly worth trying if you like this kind of beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 04:02:37 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of BeerLover99


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: flowing golden yellow, hint of orange hue.

S: slight grain, malt and earthy hops.

T: cream sweet up front, with nice mild bitter finish.

M: solid carbonation with med/light body. smooth going down. the sweet and bitter play off each other quite nicely.

D: Great session beer. Enough flavor for beer geeks and something adventurous for your newbies. Not usually great beer for the warmer months. Give this English brew a try, it's worth it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2010 23:57:17 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of simpliciter


4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber with a light foamy head. Noise is lightly sweet and rather minimal. Flavor is excellent, with tea like notes and a smoky bitterness. Finishes clean and clear, ready for the next sip!

A nice mouth feel makes this a great beer for a cold, rainy evening.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2010 22:50:00 | More by simpliciter
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

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

Pours a nice brownish amber color with nice cap of off white head, leaving some behind and decent lacing. Scent is of roasted nuts, wheat bread, yeast, touches of grass and earth. Taste brings all the qualities of the scent together, a great bready and nutty malt backbone with splashes of earthy hops. Medium bodied, perfectly light carbonated. Overall and very nice, highly drinakable ESB.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2010 14:43:57 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Bouleboubier


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

Served on draft in a mixer pint. Healthy fat inch of compact head - off-white. Typical brown-copper color.

The aroma was something I hadn't quite come across yet. The first thing that popped into my mind was "cake" or "muffin". Yeah, more muffin - mixed with warm bread - yeah, like a warm muffin. Warm muffin, mmm. Yes, I liked it. The aroma, that is.

Has the general feel, water-wise, and characteristic biscuity/caramelly element but not so much the hoppier, more bitter traits of English (import) ESB's I'm accustomed to. The medium-high thick malty, muffiny factor was in full effect. The feel had some weight up front and through but ends a few degrees less bready. In the aftertaste light fruitiness could be found.

I wouldn't go so far as to say this was "thirst quenching". A very good English ale - a little different - but nice. I feel like it begs to be paired with some chocolate nibs or some other desserty confection of small quantity and/or volume.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2010 17:31:46 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of AgentZero


2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown with ruby highlights, small white head with not a whole lot going on.

S - Toffee and bready malts, little brown aleish. Slight hops profile, but mostly malty.

T - Carmel and toffee flavors, malty, not a huge fan, just tastes kind of blah and flat and leaves me wanting.

M - Very carbonated, maybe a bit much so, light-medium bodied.

D - Not hard to drink, just doesn't taste well enough for me to want to drink muc.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2010 04:46:33 | More by AgentZero
Photo of jneiswender


3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Deep Ellum in Boston. Served at cellar temperature and in a pint glass.

A-garnet and brown body with an off-white head.

S-berry smell

T-fruit and fruit stone front, floral hop finish and mineral flavor throughout.

M-light to medium

D-just an okay beer. Not very much depth. I would have again if given limited choices.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2010 15:39:43 | More by jneiswender
Photo of FLBeerGuy


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Meg O Malleys in downtown Melbourne. Pouts a brown caramel with a small white head that left no lacing.
Smell is some malts with light hops
Taste is light malt with some nice bitterness on the way down,
This is a nice session beer. Nothing to write home about, but a nice ESB. Give it a try if you find it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 04:18:31 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of atis


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap in BombardierBar in Riga

Pours reddish amber with off-white and very smooth head in half finger thickness (till the end of the glass), excellent lacing that covers all sides of the glass and slowly, towards the end of the glass small holes start appearing in it. Aroma reminds of caramel, some fruit.

Taste is mild toasty malt with some fruitiness and fresh floral bittery hops in the background and long lasting bittery aftertaste; medium dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth medium with less than moderate carbonation.

A solid bitter ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2010 20:28:39 | More by atis
Photo of rixport

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
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 rec


3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This highly recommended English Ale pours a crystal clear amber body with an unfortunate scummy white-soap head. It's not unusual for an English ale though, where most lack long retention, strong lacing or any kind of truly appetising aesthetic.

The aroma was rather mild, but a slight malt sweetness and aromatic hops were apparent on the nose even if nothing else. Pleasant, even if underwhelming.

The initial sip is met with a bright up-front flavour, but one that quickly seems almost too balanced for its own good - nothing really grabbed me with a "wow". That sweetness from the nose was found in the flavour as dark fruits, along with some complimentary toasty-malt.

The aftertaste is notably bitter, but considerably less than other English Bitters. That's presumably because of the desired differences between a typical English Bitter and an Extra Special Bitter.

Overall it's one I'd highly recommend. Nothing ground-breaking, but a fantastic tasting complex English ale that's rounded enough to have as a once off or even as a session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2008 16:39:24 | More by rec
Photo of kimcgolf


3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Poured to a bright reddish-amber color with thin white head that lingered to mid-glass and left very good lacing. Nose was malty dark fruit with just a hint of spices and hops. Mouthfeel of this medium-bodied beer was tingly and slightly dry, while the flavor followed the malty dark fruit sweetness of the nose, with a hint of toffee. Finish not as dryly bitter as I would like, but not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2008 11:02:43 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of gabeerfan


4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived a nice dark copper brown. Nice off-white head.
Very fruity aroma. Caramel, plums, figs, raisins. Some herby bitterness.
Flavors mirror the aromas pretty closely. Pretty sweet on the tongue. The earthy, herby hops come in a little stronger, but are still bit players.
Medium bodied. Somewhat syrupy that coats the palate, but doesn't linger for long. Smooth carbonation.
Very drinkable. Easy drinking and good flavors make this a good drinker all night.
Very good beer and my choice if Fuller's ESB isn't available.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2008 01:25:39 | More by gabeerfan
Photo of champ103


4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark copper color. A small white head forms and leaves a bit of patchy lace.
S: Malty and fruity (apples, pears, ect). Some candy like aromas.
T: This is great. Sweet caramel malt with a wonderful light toastiness. Some fruit flavors that follow the nose and a nice hop bitterness as the taste lingers. Everything is balance perfectly.
M/D: At first, a nice refreshing snap of carbonation. A good creaminess follows. Very smooth and easy to drink. A good session beer.

This was a very enjoyable ESB. Something I would drink more often if it was easily available. This compares nicely with the Fuller's and Young's examples.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2008 23:25:20 | More by champ103
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at british beer company in framingham, ma

poured into conical pint

nice deep dark amber color, gem clear. some head, but soon fades to wispy layer. no real lacing that stays on the glass however.

fruity cider and nutty aromas. caramel malts and phenols in addition to other esters. grassy english hops.

flavors similar, with sweet malt backbone. moderate bitterness from grassy, earthy hop. slight resins. semi-dry, faint malt in finish.

not too thin, decently smooth. moderate carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2008 09:05:33 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of ruckzuck


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

I've had this on tap many, many times at Brick Store and am finally reviewing it.

A - dark orange red body with a bit of a head

S - hoppiness with a fair amount of malt in the nose

T - a good bitterness up front and throughout with a solid malt backing. Very enjoyable and great bitter aftertaste

M - medium bodied, very smooth with some carbonation, goes down excellently

D - what a beer! The drinkability is off the charts. There's just something about this beer that makes it infinitely sessionable. The flavor is excellent and it feels great going down. Would definitely drink whenever!

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 18:47:36 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-transparent light mahogany or coppery brown. Aroma is hoppy with some traces of spices and a little malt component. Flavor is almost more winey than beery, fairly fruity and a little malty, and has a strong nip to it, as well as some strong but pleasant hoppy bitterness. It goes down smoothly and with pizzazz.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 01:27:44 | More by Cyberkedi
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.