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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

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 Brenden


3.94/5  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.

Serving type: can

10-28-2013 15:35:22 | More by Brenden
Photo of Subliminal64

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very surprised with the taste of this beer. I was expecting something flat and bland, but it was infact very tasty with a good amount of carbonation.

Its a little on the expensive side, but well worth a look.

I will definetley be having this beer in the near future.

Serving type: can

09-06-2013 21:55:12 | More by Subliminal64
Photo of mactrail


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive dark amber in the tall glass. Nice sudsy foam, which is a pleasant nod to the American consumer. Light bodied but warm-toned and even fairly rich. The classic British mineral taste. Fairly hoppy but I wouldn't say there is much of an aroma. A fair amount of maltiness, though you wouldn't call it rich. Some roasted malt, a tart resiny taste, a hint of walnuts and apple skins, and then that foamy taste that makes me wonder about water flowing through limestone.

It's hard to review these English beers in cans or bottle. This is more of a lager than what you would find on the hand pump in a pub. However, it's a highly drinkable sudsy gulp from the modestly-priced 440 ml can which seems to be a Trader Joe's regular.

Serving type: can

09-04-2012 05:32:10 | More by mactrail
Photo of FlyingBull


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice light amber color, clear, 1 finger head that lasted the pour.

S: Somewhat sweet/floral, malty, nice English hop aroma.

T: Slightly on the sweet side, malty on the front; medium hop flavor and bitterness in the middle, smooth. To me, it kind of tasted like a "better" PBR on tap. Strange, but I found this beer very drinkable and easy to like.

M: medium bodied and carobonation; nice mouthfeel - easy to drink.

O: This beer was not as I expected. It was a little more sweet but still had some hoppiness in it. It's very drinkable. I got a 4 pack of cans at Trader Joe's. Would buy again. A nice beer to throw in the ice chest mix for a party.

Serving type: can

09-03-2012 22:40:13 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of elNopalero


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Trader Joes for a buck a can—sold in four packs—and for the price you can’t beat it!

Poured it into an imperial pint glass just because I could. I was treated to two big fingers of cottony foam that died down into a gummy lacing atop an amber-caramel brew. Not much of an aroma to speak of—more of a light malt than anything—but the flavor has a light maltiness, a mellow bitterness and a clean finish. This is one I’ll pick up again.

Serving type: can

08-28-2012 08:18:05 | More by elNopalero
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 6/16/13.

Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy chunks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, burnt caramel, and some slight metallic aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, slight caramel, and some nutty flavors. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: can

08-22-2012 04:40:17 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of beergoot


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich amber body with a very thick, creamy head. Aroma comes across as rich, sweet malt grains with an emphasis on caramel and some citurs hop smell. Some toasted bread. Toffee and caramel sweetness to the taste; slightly burnt or carmelized sugars. Buttery. Light, bright bitterness rounds the flavor out. Medium body, clean yet chewey.

A very flavorful, decently balanced ESB. Nice complexity, leaning more towards the sweet malt side of things.

Serving type: can

08-09-2012 18:20:35 | More by beergoot
Photo of Reaper16


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

14.9oz. can served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a dark amber color with plenty of red undertones. It's close to a garnet slash ruby color. Decent clarity to the body. The head is strange looking. It's huge, first of all -- 2.5 fingers of sand colored foam, though it settles down to 3/4 of a finger. The head looks really dense and creamy on top, but it's actually composed of very large, loose bubbles. Lovely lacing.

The nose is full of crisp apple and stewed pear -- this is immediately recognizable as an English ale. A bit of baking spice in there too. The hops aren't that assertive (I don't know how old this can is), but they do lend a needed steel-like sharpness.

The taste follows the nose. Lots of soft malt flavors, ranging from breadcrusts to fruitcake. Sugar cookies are in here, with a bit of baking spice. The fruits are very present: baked apple, mostly. A touch of orange marmalade. The hops -- far from the beer's focus -- lend a metallic bitterness that brings the whole palate together.

The mouthfeel is medium to full for the style. Not a lot of active carbonation. It feels as an ESB should, mostly.

Overall, this is a wonderful English ale. It has an incredible drinkability, owing to the beer's balance. Every element has an integral place. I want to drink the entire 4-pack of cans right now. This is lovely.

Serving type: can

08-02-2012 20:49:27 | More by Reaper16
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber to garnet red in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium sized thick patch and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Rather mild in overall aroma but a very pleasant smelling beer. There are light notes of caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar, and just a hint of nuts.

T: There is a light amount of malt sweetness upfront with hints of caramel malt. Additionally, there is some notes of nuttiness and light earthiness. Light to moderate amounts o bitterness in the finish, but those bitter flavors do not linger.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly chewy.

O: Very enjoyable, very easy to drink, and very sessionable. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would gladly have another of these - I only wish I could find this one on cask.

Serving type: can

07-12-2012 21:40:18 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BeerDocT


4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chilled British pub pint glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Gorgeous, deep, opaque mahogany in color. Clear, but certainly not translucent. Very small head that dissipated into a delightful, swirling mass of foamy residue. Looks like an English ale should.

-Smell 4.0: Bouquet is very nice, but subtle. I smell caramel and grains and slight straw hint. Faint traces of hops.

-Taste 4.5: Front is a very slight sweetness and the feel of carbonation bubbles. Middle is a subdued, deep caramel barley malt that is wonderfully refreshing. Finish is bright tasting grains and a subtle hoppiness. The hops are very noticeable in the dry and alkaline finish. Excellent.

-Mouthfeel 4.5: Above average and the light carbonation made this beer all the more enjoyable.

-Overall 4.5: This beer gets it right. What is "it"? "It" is how a quality beer tastes. It isn't about jamming as much hops and barley into every aspect of the beer pallet. It's about following tradition and keeping it right once you have gotten it right. Wells Bombardier hits the mark. Excellent English ale and highly recommended.

Serving type: can

07-09-2012 03:02:24 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of DrDemento456


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Drank from the can but I can assume it has a dark amber color to it, clear with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head.

S - Smell is nice, borderline brown ale with a great nutty aspect and a touch of toffee. English malts making it smell of freshly brewed tea.

T - Wow this is a smooth English bitter. Again sharing equally nutty flavors with the clash of English malts giving it an herbal tea quality. Taste is mostly smooth with little bitterness from herbal teas flavors or hops. Quite good.

M - Light to medium it does had a chewy aspect to it.

Overall next to Anderson Valleys version this one is equally as good with smooth flavors and crisp taste. Worth trying if you love the style.

Serving type: can

06-22-2012 16:49:05 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
ABV: 5.20 %

LOOK: Copper/amber color with a chill haze. Small soapy head forms and retains a while.

SMELL: Malt, gingerbread cookie, brown sugar aromas but pretty mild. Suggestions of toffee and caramels.

TASTE: A beer perhaps sharing qualities of an English brown ale, this is malt forward with very low bitterness. Nutty, light toasted malt flavor, and is complexly malty. There is a touch of lemony/herbal hops, quite English indeed, and tasty.

FEEL: Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Even feel with some malt flavors lingering into the finish.

OVERALL: A solid brew from England making its way to the states. Probably the type of beer you would expect to find at English pubs. Good flavor, good feel, everything is just about right and proper with this beer.

Serving type: can

06-20-2012 00:27:34 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of StuartCarter


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a nice light brown with a white head that slowly dissipates to a thin white foam.

Smell: lightly caramel sweetness.

Taste: mild bitterness with a pleasant malty character.

Mouthfeel: relatively thin, which is appropriate for the style.

Overall: an easily quaffable English bitter.

Serving type: can

06-06-2012 00:23:13 | More by StuartCarter
Photo of WVbeergeek


4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: can

05-28-2012 17:41:55 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of mscudder


3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Best by June 2012.

A - Pours a rich copper with a ruby hue. Head is a light tan while being quite frothy. From a can... very nice!

S - Almost skunky on the nose. Toasted malts and some apple mix for something I do not find attractive.

T - Soft malts hit the palette first and are followed by some sweet malts and then apple sweetness. There is some caramel tying everything together making this pretty unique.

M - Light-medium body, a bit too thin for me in an ESB. Low carbonation from the can, but I think it helps the beer out a bit.

O - This is an interesting brew to say the least and it is not bad, yet I do not think I will pursue it again in the future.

Serving type: can

04-27-2012 03:22:38 | More by mscudder
Photo of MurphyMacManus


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Can into tulip pint.

A: Clear copper with an impressively large off-white head.

S: Mineral water (it has a smell!), fruity and bready, faint earthy and floral notes.

T/M: Mineral water, slightly sweet and bready malt. Hop notes are mostly floral and slightly earthy. Carbonation bites a bit and is definitely not light.

Overall: Pleasant and well-balanced English-style ESB. Good session beer.

Serving type: can

03-18-2012 00:45:36 | More by MurphyMacManus
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an antique Czech pint glass. "Best by" date stamped clearly on bottom of 14.9 oz can.

Pours with two fingers of light tan head over a crystal clear smoked amber body. The head isn't creamy, but does lace well.

My first whiff brings to mind lightly-estery fruit notes (pear and strawberry-banana) and basic English toasted malts. There is a little dry straw foam aroma as well. After a swirl, more of the dry malt sweetness comes forward.

Caramel and toasted bread are the base flavors along with an initial sweetness that surprised me a little. There is a little flash of hop bitterness but very little hop flavor to speak of, and what is here is more of a bitter residue than actual flavor. A bit of butterscotch at random moments. There is a mineral-water taste as well, which isn't a flaw I don't think, just and interesting facet. Aftertaste is less than an actual flavor and more a lingering light bitter residue.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and rather creamy, as I would expect from the seemingly lower carbonation levels seen in cans.

Conclusion: This is a good mass produced beer. Easy to drink with pretty good flavors. But why would one ever drink it when Fuller's ESB is the same style and not only one of the best bitters ever brewed, but hands down one of the tastiest beers regularly available anywhere?

Serving type: can

02-16-2012 16:17:48 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of wcintula

New York

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass,

Dark reddish amber pour with a thin head, scant stickage. Smells of dark dried fruits, plummy and figgy. The taste has all this and a bit of bitterness. Good body to the beer but not the best ESB I've had. My vote is with Fuller's, but I do need to drink more of this style.

Serving type: can

01-24-2012 23:25:38 | More by wcintula
Photo of Hoptometrist


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a tall boy can into a tall Ayinger glass

A- Poured a dark reddish brown with a massive fluffy head that left tons of chunky and sticky lace

S- Sweet fruitiness (dark cherry and raisin), maltiness, and a strong metallic smell

T- Very fruity and malty, dark cherry, raisin, caramel, light toffee, and a pretty strong metallic taste

M- Smooth with pretty high carbonation.

O- A really rich and sweet English ale. I would love to try this on cask, tap, or out of the bottle, because the metallic taste brought this down some for me.

Serving type: can

01-11-2012 00:16:55 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of alankwak


4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color, decent head retention and good lacing.

S: Full nose/floral aroma.

T: Awesome nutty, smokey flavor but with little aroma hops. Decent hop bitterness though. Touch of fruity notes.

M: Nice medium mouth feel.

O: Very nice Ale. Not as much head retention as I'd hoped and little aroma hops but still. Fine Ale.:) I'll have another!!!

Serving type: can

01-07-2012 03:12:23 | More by alankwak
Photo of angusdegraosta

New York

4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big believer in English ale, and now a believer in English ale from a can. Wells Bombardier is a fresh-tasting offering, cold from the fridge, and as it warms a bit, as with any good ale, you can feel its glory. I agree with other reviewers - glad this was not a widget can with a nitrogenated head. Doesn't need that. The head is fine, the aroma of malt and English hops plenty evident. The only bitter I can compare this to from my limited experience is Fuller's ESB, which I have had quite a few times on tap in Canterbury Ales in Huntington, NY. So far the malt and hop flavor profile of ales in the bitter family are among my absolute favorites in beerdom. You will get that one-of-a-kind malty, aromatic goodness even from this can of Bombardier. Perhaps the only thing better is real ale, freshly casked from the brewer; barring that, give this a try. Very recommended.

Serving type: can

01-02-2012 22:27:14 | More by angusdegraosta
Photo of AlexanderCsamaj


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn, this is good beer. I could watch soccer, baseball, football, even basketball all day long guzzling this brew. Goes great with sausages, cheese, or any thing else being served at the bar.

If you like English pub ales, you will enjoy this brew. One of my favorites from the tap, bottle, or can.


Serving type: can

12-30-2011 19:06:22 | More by AlexanderCsamaj
Photo of hustlesworth


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- tall boy can, not nitro. clear coppery amber with bright orange highlights. the foam is expansive, beige and increasingly rocky as it settles, leaving a big shriveled clump in the center of the glass and thick sticky lace. best bitter i even seen.

S- lively floral and fruity hoppy aroma of lilies, raisins, melon, toffee, orange blossom honey, a bit of spice and citrus, and sweet toasted malts. goldings are put to good use.

T- damn fine beer here. there's a fruit raisin tartness from start to finish, sweet and toasty malts balanced by a mild earthy bitterness, and distinct mineral water flavor along with peppery hop spice in the finish.

MF- claiming to be a real beer, it sure feels like one, and i believe it. very glad there was no widget in this can. full juicy feel, with perfect understated carbonation. on the website however, reading about the brewing process and the 'beer to bar' section, they talk about maturation tanks for canning and bottling and adding extra co2... so doesn't that make it NOT a real ale? the catch is, they call it real beer, not real ale. just thought that was interesting. feels great though, easy drinking with moderate dryness.

D- I can't believe it took me so long to get a hold of this one, i guess the opportunity never presented itself. it looks absolutely amazing, feels just as good, tastes and smells awesome, and drinks like a champ. and the modest abv means this 4-pack will not live to see the 'morrow. old chap.

Serving type: can

12-05-2011 07:33:40 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of sdsurfer217


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Two fingers of dark beige head that laces the glass nicely. Dark amber in color, good amount of carbonation off the bottom.

S: Sweet caramel aromas, touch of biscuits and nutty characteristics.

T: Nuttyness comes through with a caramel finish. Pretty clean finish with lingering malt flavors.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly creamy feel to it. Lingering flavors invite me to drink more.

O: Pretty easy drinking English ale. Nothing remarkable about it to make it stand out, but its good and I could easily drink a few of these. Would be good with any pub/English fare.

Serving type: can

10-29-2011 12:31:30 | More by sdsurfer217
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well's Bombardier English Premium Ale ALC By VOL. 5.2%, Drink of England.

Light brown color, clear, creamy toned head, lush and lace-leaving.

Aroma: bready malt aroma, toasty, lightly roasty. a touch of sweetness, hemmed in by hops.

Taste: dark malts felt first, caramel and toffee flavors emerge ever so, with a touch of fruit, in there, as well. Ripe apple, a slice of cherry. Fully flavored, smooth, and extreme only in drinkability.

There's nothing on the can telling us what style it belongs to, and I have nothing else in front of me, so I can only guess. Brown ale? Mild? A bit of both?

Medium bodied, lingering malty finish. Great sessioner. A good ol' drinking beer, when you just want something tasty and wet, and are in no rush to challenge your taste buds.

Serving type: can

10-11-2011 05:59:27 | More by feloniousmonk
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.