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

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

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very good

415 Reviews
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Reviews: 415
Hads: 827
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 16
Gots: 79 | 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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Reviews: 415 | Hads: 827
Photo of Theheroguy
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bit more carbonated than I expected for a "premium ale". It has a rich flavor from the dark crystal malt I assume was used in this beer. Lots of fuggle hop notes. Very enjoyable A-. (183 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Dandelion in Philadelphia. Deep dark brown, low tan foam. Roasted malty nose. Whole hearty smooth creamy british beer taste. Smooth and flavorful. Strong finish. (178 characters)

Photo of danmouer
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wells Bombadier is really a brilliant premium bitter with some unique character and fabulous balance. Rather darkly colored for a bitter, and exhibiting aromas and flavors somewhat on the toasty side, this beer nonetheless is a fine example of a premium bitter ( or ESB, If you like).

The aroma us rich, malty, toasty, sweet and fresh-grassy, and the taste follows suit. The bottled version I am reporting (and all I've ever tasted), is 5.2 abv, while in the UK a more appropriate 4.2 version us available in cans. Would love to taste that one in cask!

The Challenger hops reallybalance all that sweet toasty crystal malt. Fresh hay, grass, clean bitter...I really like these hops. What a refreshingly sophisticated break from the lead-hammer blows of so many modern North American craft ales. This is the good stuff! (819 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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... (748 characters)

Photo of Decko
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - deep copper in the glass with good thick head on pouring but didn't last. Bit of lacing. S - earthy tones with a little hoppy fruitiness. T - fairly mild with slight maltiness and well balanced hoppiness. M - low level of carbonation but very smooth and drinkable. O - very nice beer and highly drinkable. Smooth and referees hung but just a little uncomplicated. A very good session beer. (394 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.50 for a 500ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a high 3" light brown head. Rather dark brown but filtered clear

S- Not much here at all. Metallic

T- Slightly bitter. Malty good. Some decent hops. Not a lot of sweetness at all.

M- Dry and tart.

O- Pretty good brew overall for mass produced. Decent but will not buy again as it's nothing special

Food Pairing

This pretty good be went well with..... Curried chicken. West Indian not east Indian curry as the flavors are very different

Enjoy (566 characters)

Photo of OneTuffPony
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Copper red with a creamy white head.

Smell: Not much to say here. Next...

Taste: Toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and a fruity sweetness that simply tastes like apple slices. Some buttery flavour to it, along with some nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy, and clean.

Overall: An excellent beer, and one of the cheapest ales out there in my area. Will certainly be buying more of this! (401 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask Tap.
Pours two fingers of foamy head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is rich caramel and lemon.
The taste is perfect caramel sweetness with mild lemon bitterness.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
An awesome brew to have off cask. (252 characters)

Photo of denisconrado
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Appearance: stylish bottle; copper-colored translucent, oily liquid, good training dense, full bodied foam. Aroma: excuse me, but I felt nothing ... Taste: hop bitterness, wood, reminded me whiskey. Alcohol is properly inserted, leaving the taste for hops. (256 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

Tasted On: 09-12-2014
Freshness: Best by 11-13-2014
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Dimple Mug
Purchased: Single from Liquor Barn, Bowling Green KY

Dark amber, clear beer. The head starts at a good size but fades quickly.

Aromas are malty, bready with caramel notes, plus earthy hops.

Sharp notes of earthy English hops in the taste, supported by semisweet bready malts.

Medium bodied, with a spicy aftertaste.

Very nice bitter. (457 characters)

Photo of Hovellord
4/5  rDev +5.3%

I just love English beer, so I might be a bit prejudiced. Lovely, malty brew. Deep color. Smooth malt with enough hops to make it what it's supposed to be. I've bought up all the Bombardier that Beer Run had. (209 characters)

Photo of KellyBelukusBeers
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Subtle bitterness from English Challenger hops with color and aromas from Crystal Malt give rich , rounded, biscuity flavor and deep copper color. Plus love the tap with cannon ball on it and the new pint glasses Huzzahh! (221 characters)

Photo of captaincoffee
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Just moved to London two days ago and this was my first pour at my first London pub. I chose it because it was the first tap staring at me in the bar and the waitress said it was a good seller.
Came in an oversized pint glass, 20 oz...gotta love the Brits with the big pint. Nice light caramel coloring and thin but dense cream head.
I got a bit of musty English hops on the nose, but really nothing to speak of.
The initial taste was a bit of vinegar and leather...followed by a more typical British bitter profile. At first I thought it was some off flavor due to the food I was eating, but subsequent tastes confirmed it just had a funky initial start. I wouldn't have been able to finish the pint except that the lasting flavor profile was okay.
Finish was actually good...at least in comparison to the start.
Overall, a very disappointing beer. (850 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, ruddy brown with a nice creamy off-white head. The head has great retention and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is deep and rich malt, with hints of dark fruit and a faint earthy whiff. The taste follows in line, with a delicious malt forward flavor and a subtle hint of hops to round it out. The beer's body weight is perfect, not too heavy or thin and it has a smooth finish. A great pint of bitter. If you're in England, always good on cask. (456 characters)

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

Well's Bombardier has a thick, creamy, cream-colored head, a semi-clear, slightly bubbly, deep copper or even ruby appearance, and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is beautiful- rich, sweet, toffee, mild coffee, citrus, sugar, and mild hop oil. Taste is similarly beautiful- toffee, hop oil, moderate and balancing bitterness, sugar, bread crust, and malt. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Well's Bombardier finishes semi-dry, delicious, and quite drinkable.

RJT (475 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich dark brown colored body with a good tint of red that looks like stained wood. Brilliant clarity and good carbonation. Creamy white head that leaves good lacing. A very good looking beer.

S: Really nothing on the nose except for this faint sickly acidic smell. A bit like what vomit smells like. It only comes across when I get really close to the beer so as long as I don't climb into my glass head-first it doesn't smell bad. I'm not really sure what that smell is.

T: Some light caramel and a bready aftertaste. A bit of fruit on the end as well, like eating a bit of fruitcake. It tastes pretty good.

M: The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium and is a bit sweet but not filling.

O: Overall it's a nice beer but not something I'd probably pick up again. (775 characters)

Photo of MarkoNm
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a nice coppery color and an average just slightly tan head.
The aroma is sweet, roasted malts, some caramel and slighty spicy.
The taste starts with a medium hoppy bitterness, which is then joined by some roasted feel and caramel.
Finishes with a medium bitterness (slight spices also). Bittery, but then again not too bittery. OK, I guess. (353 characters)

Photo of FoamInnovation
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wells is amazing stuff from the tap in England at a pub, but that may be a bit of bias.

In a glass, stateside, Bombardier pours a barnyard brown, like oak barrels, with a 1 minute, slightly off-white head.
The beer smells rich and warm with an aroma of European hops, some caramel and malt.
Taste is also rich when the beer is suitably warmed, with a bit of barley, caramel, and yeastiness.
Mouthfeel is silky, filling, and smooth, with just enough bubble to reach the tongue. Fabulous.

The beer deserves a bit more attention as a go-to brew of choice, given it's quality and affordability. Extremely solid drink. (616 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a copper-mahogany color with a one finger of a light tan colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a bit on the lighter side but consists mainly of a biscuit and slightly bready aroma. There are some other aromas of darker fruits, caramel, and toffee with some hints of yeast mixed within. Other aromas of an earthy and herbal nature mix with the rest, producing a rather light and smooth smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins quite dry and gets only more so as the taste advances. A rather cracker and biscuit malt flavor mixed with some lighter caramel flavors are present upfront. The caramel fades rather fast with more roasted malt flavors taking their place. Some quite light hop flavors of an earthy nature bring a bitterness to the brew, complementing well the loss of the sweet and the increase in the roast. Some light chocolate flavors develop later in the taste and mix with the bitter and drier flavors of the brew to create a crisp and lightly roasty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is light and thin with a carbonation level that is rather low. The thinner body is fantastic for the lower abv. and for allowing for an easy drinking feel, with the carbonation, all the while, keeping it a bit thicker in nature and accentuating the roasted and lighter bitter hopped flavors rather nicely.

Overall – A rather nice drier and crisper esb that has a good flavor profile and drinkability. A nice more session style brew. (1,649 characters)

Photo of Big-Frog
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is simple to describe. Smooth feel, faint bitter aftertaste, and easy going. You can knock down several of these before you realize that you've done so. It pairs best with spicy food or any type of food doused in hot sauce. I know for an English Pub beer you're probably thinking really, spicy food pairing? Trust me. Spicy peanuts, steak with your favorite hot sauce, or even sushi with spicy sauces are what you need to bring the most out in this beer. Its not nearly as bitter as the name would suggest and the color is not as dark as you would suspect either. Its just a good beer. (595 characters)

Photo of BigMacDaddy
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A dark English Ale, minimal head but laces nicely. It does have a full bodied taste. Can taste the Carmel and Toffee. Aftertaste is pleasant. Not a great beer, but a good one. First tasted a couple of weeks ago, it was good enough to buy again when I couldn't find a limited I was looking for tonight. And good enough to buy again. (331 characters)

Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml. bottle. Brown colour, not very big head, but it leaves a crown. Smells of toffee, floral, maybe some fruit. Medium body, fizzy palate, good carbonation. Taste of fruits, with some chocolate and fruits, some liquorish dry finish. But in all in all, I'd just say a good beer, not an extraordinay one. (306 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: a typically cool embossed brown 500mL bottle, a fancy label as well and a cool name. Good package.

Appearance: very dark amber tending towards mahogany. Only a piffling head pops up and settles to a creamy half-finger. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: a fairly demure aroma but pleasant enough, with caramel and toffee, pine hops and a touch of cocoa chocolate.

Taste: more of those caramel and toffee flavours with some light roast toffee and some very pleasant floral and herbal characters. If anything, a little light in flavour also.

Aftertaste: the flavours linger reasonably well, with some hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: A decent mouth feel - medium to heavy body with a lower to moderate carbonation. Suits the style.

Overall: not a bad English Bitter at all, though perhaps a bit light in both aroma and on the palate for my liking. A case of 16 x 500mL bottles is AU$90 (2013) which isn't too bad for I think one or two every now and then. (950 characters)

Photo of Premo88
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. bottle poured into nonic pint glass

L: darker amber, brown -- looks perhaps closer to a good brown ale than a pale ale; 100% clear; almost 1/2-inch thick foam head of off-white to very light tan, CRAZY stick off the head ... honestly, the head looks like a high-tide line, so awesome; some lacing as we go done, but not much and not much of a skin or collar

S: buttery sweet malt; yeast; sweet bread/biscuits; floral and light -- the hops might be showing up here more than in the taste ... occasionally it pushes up so flowery an aroma that you'd wonder if it's not a Belgian pale ... pretty cool

T: fruity ... sweet, good malt kick ... almost bites with the malt giving off some nice lightness to it ; very little bitterness or hop presence ... you get more hops showing up probably in the dry finish than in the taste -- at least at first. i think i'm detecting some English hops more and more, but what bitterness is there is subtle and married to the malt.

F: light, just a hair slick/watery with moderate carbonation; not fantastic but solid enough and probably closer to style than i realize

O: LOVE IT! no one single component of this brew stands out as a champ, but as an easy-to-get English pale ale (ESB) for me in my hometown, it gives me all the notes I want from the style. fruity, sweet, some bread malts, some caramel, just enough "bitter" to balance it out and a nice dry finish that isn't wearing me out.

full disclosure: my numbers are probably 0.25 to 0.5 high because I can't get enough of this style. also, I can't get Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale in my hometown, so this one serves as a fine replacement. (1,649 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (925 characters)

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.