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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 Tone


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight citrus hops, slight pale malt, slight sweet malt, and a hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of hint of sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight citrus hops, hint of floral hops, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance and feel.

Serving type: cask

09-25-2012 20:12:39 | More by Tone
Photo of brewskifan55


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

Poured up at the Ale House, Bath England while watching the Olympic torch proceedings coupled with the Colorado shooting.

A: Amber with a half finger head that dissipates rather quickly. Some lacing.

S: Malt, oily, caramel, toffee.

T: rustic; malts, peppers, sweet. A nice malt/hop combination that gives a clean finish.

M: Light with low carbonation.

O: Very sessionable.

Serving type: cask

07-30-2012 18:06:53 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of hoserking


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at founders pub in London near the Globe

Just what I was looking for. This is what I imagined English ESB should taste like. Very strong malts a subtle bitterness super easy drinking. The pint was gone before food was ordered.

Wonderful beer. I wish youngs/wells would start sending it to the US

Serving type: cask

07-03-2012 10:16:42 | More by hoserking
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On gravity at The Tin Goose, Heathrow airport.

Mahogany with white film that cathedrals. Nut, sour grain and mulch on the nose with a bit of cat box.
Nut and apple stuffing, some toffee and sawdust and candied orange rind hops.
Musky finish and drying linger. Medium, round, slight chew and a bit oily.

A stand up pint of bitter. Deep malts and definite bite. Jumps with freshness.

Gravity at LHR – who’d have thought?

Serving type: cask

05-30-2012 16:49:11 | More by StJamesGate
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 SmokinSmyth


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: cask

07-03-2011 14:09:47 | More by SmokinSmyth
Photo of corby112


2.4/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cask at London Grill.

Pours a dark golden orange, almost copper cor which is slightly clouddy with lighter colored golden orange hues and a thin half finger head that quickly fades into a thin ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet malty aroma with faint floral earthy hops.  Hints of biscuit toffee caramel and nut.

Thin bodied with a sweet malt profile and a faint floral hop presence providing balance.  Hints of caramel, toffee, but and biscuit.  Nice dry hop presence provides subtle balance.  Not really bitter but enough to counter sweetness.  Easy to drink but not very complex.  Really watered down and bland.  I really like cask conditioned beers but this was like slightly malty water.  

Serving type: cask

06-28-2011 17:53:58 | More by corby112
Photo of woosterbill


2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Handpump half-pint at the Green Man.

A: Clear reddish-brown body with a thin, wispy head. Nice color, but really underwhelming carbonation.

S: WTF. Solvent. Tomato - like the sauce on a cheap pizza at a bowling alley. Cough syrup. Christ this is terrible.

T: Ok, at least it tastes better than it smells. Still somewhat medicinal, but it's more just straight caramel malt. Boring, but at least there's no pizza.

M: Substantial, slick medium body; low carbonation.

O: This was one of the worst real ales I had in England, and it's a tragedy that it's so prevalent. Perhaps I got a pour from a poorly kept cask, but I don't think it's worth the gamble to try it again. Avoid this beer.


Serving type: cask

06-17-2011 23:54:01 | More by woosterbill
Photo of glid02


4.18/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-29-2011 02:46:01 | More by glid02
Photo of cichief


3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the Porchester from the cask.

A- Pours a deep gold with a nice white head, clear no haze.

S- Subtle hop aroma, somewhat spicy, plenty of malt.

T- Malty and yeasty, some clove, a little medicinal, with a dry finish.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, nice feeling.

O- A decent session beer, but nothing special.

Serving type: cask

03-20-2011 23:24:01 | More by cichief
Photo of Ochsenblut


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

An off-white one and a half finger head sits atop a dark copper body, which acted like a Guinness in the way it settled. It took nearly 5 minutes for the beer to separate into a well defined head and body. The head is very fine and never properly disappears, leaving gobs trailing down the glass.

Smells like fresh pretzels and floral hops.

Savory bread malts are tinged with a slightly citrusy hop character. More assertive bittering hops come in to reinforce the beers namesake. It finishes softly and leaves a faint reminder of grain and dry bitterness on the back of the tongue.

The mouthfeel is as smooth as can be. With a medium body it's not exactly chewy, but sits in the mouth with some weight.

Drinkability for this whole style is way up for me. I really love the assertive hops balanced with bready malts, and this particular beer is just that. Balanced and highly quaffable.

Serving type: cask

02-13-2011 18:52:11 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of DaveHS


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Bunch of Grapes near London Bridge, London.

A-Pours amber with a thin, brilliant white head and lots of attractive bubbles.

S-Light citrus, pale malts.

T/M-Biscuity malts, an almost imperceptible floral hoppiness. One of the lightest bitters I've ever had. There is a delicate note of leather in the citrusy finish.

D-Pleasant. One of the lightest bitters I've had.

Serving type: cask

01-11-2011 13:22:17 | More by DaveHS
Photo of BARFLYB


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the handpump at hulmeville inn

Well's bombadier comes off the pump looking burnt orange with a slight copper hue with a few cenimeters of bubbles leaing faint stick. Smells of toasted malt, faint sugars and banana. Slight caramel. Taste is very slightly bitter but very authentic. Some cereal and toasted malt with faint biscuit bread. Bananas and caramel. Simple and semi sweet. Feel is a real smooth criminal, no interference whatsoever. Less than medium bodied, carb on the light side. I could drink a lot of this, but something in the taste dept. Is lacking. This is plain tasting great beer if that makes any sense.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2010 01:23:48 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the hand pump at the hulmeville inn.

A- beautiful burt orange color with a finger of creamy off white head that leaves rings the whole way down the glass.

S- bready and slightly sweet. Reminds me of corn flakes and honey. The faintest hint of herbatious hops way in the back.

T- malty up front with fresh baked whole grain bread with clover honey on top. Mild vegetative hops with hint of mint and other herbs.

M- medium body with lite creamy carb as one would expect from a cask on the hand pump.

D- so easy to drink it might as well be water but even better. This is what the uk does every day, I can get down with that.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2010 01:07:36 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of jwhancher


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Poured fresh from a cask. Looks amber in color with slight white foam head. Smell is great. Aroma of still fermenting yeast with touches of slight hops, green fruit, and and almost avocado like smell. Little to none carbonation. Extremely drinkable.

Serving type: cask

06-09-2010 22:25:58 | More by jwhancher
Photo of PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep red colour, with a small foamy off-white head, and no clear carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet biscuity malts, with a slight citric fruitiness.

Taste: The initial flavours are biscuity malts, as is the case with the aroma, however, there is also a noticeable earthy hoppiness about it. Slight hint of bananas.

Mouthfeel: Full, still and chewy.

Drinkability: Really drinkable, nice flavours, not to heavy considering the fullness, and very moreish

Serving type: cask

09-13-2009 15:32:44 | More by PartyBear
Photo of mhatters


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 20oz pint glass - on cask at the Rose and Crown in London

Poured an ambercopper color, hazy, with a delicious white head

Bready, toasty nose, the hops are slightly muffled but there

The flavor is caramel, toast, nutty, with a nice fruityl hop side.

Creamy, very pleasant, another great cask beer to session all day

Serving type: cask

08-10-2009 01:22:20 | More by mhatters
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

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

Appearance: This real ale is a lovely, lightly hazed autumnal nectarine-brown, with a stalwart, cream-colored head reminiscent of cappuccino foam.

Smell: Bright, floral hops leap from the beer, carrying overtones of carnations and dandelions. They prelude a mild fruitiness, equal parts, orange, apple, pear, and mango. Malts keep quiet but for peeps of caramel, brown sugar, and walnuts.

Taste: Well balanced yet deliciously flavorful, a lovely harmony of honeyed toast malts and spicy, herbal, grassy hops. The yeast lends a slight, mildly tart fruity character. The finish is delicate with an edge of dark chocolate and citrus peel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and juicy, yet dry.

Drinkability: Very good; an excellent ale when well-kept.

Serving type: cask

03-04-2009 12:41:38 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of Orrshow

Alberta (Canada)

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

Appearance - Deep amber which was crystal clear. 1/2 finger of off white head which was a little frothy and left some lacing.

Smell - Slightly piney with a little bitterness to it. Biscuits and toffee malt arise as well.

Taste - Nice crisp citrus hop off the start. More pine with some carmel/toffe flavor. A little watery though. Somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel - Low carb and substancial enough body.

Drinkability - Amazing...I could sessions this until the cows came home.

Serving type: cask

06-09-2007 14:16:46 | More by Orrshow
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a review of a beer I drink on a regular basis, and I thought I should share my views on it.

I only drink it in cask form and in pubs I know look after their beer.

A lovely ruby coluored dark beer which always comes with a fine, smooth, creamy off-white head.

No huge aroma, but hops, malts and often a toasty burnt smell is evident.

This is a well balanced, well made bitter and tastes like a good English bitter should.

The dryness and bitterness stays for a while, to be replaced by the malt and hops which are initially in the aroma.

Very drinkable, a good benchmark for anyone who doesn't know what an English Bitter tastes like.

Serving type: cask

12-14-2006 12:10:18 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of TurdFurgison


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

I had this at a bar in London (the Grenadier) in early 2006. It was a little darker than pale copper in color, served in a pint glass.

The aroma was a little fruity, but mostly neutral (hops vs malt). The flavor was a little more on the hops side, with a lasting bitter after-taste. Not bad at all, I was happy to be drinking some cask-conditioned product in London.

Unfortunately we got to the pub 15 minutes before closing so we could only drink one each. I would get it again, but I prefer Fullers ESB flavor over this.

Serving type: cask

03-22-2006 15:10:35 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at The Mitre in Cambridge, UK

A nice dark copper, clear and deep. Very creamy off-white head, lasts for a bit with a little lingering suds. Moderate carbonation.

Aromas of citrus, toffee and a hint of flowery hops, all somewhat subdued, but well represented.

The first taste is fruit and toffee, a gentle wash of bitter hops, then a nutty and toffeeish malt, after which a crescendo of mild bitterness leads to a drying finish and herbal tea aftertaste. A great balance of flavors, very drinkable and inviting. Nice compliment to the tasty bangers and mash with three different types of sausage this pub served.

It's medium bodied, with decent carbonation, and a tongue-coating glycerine feel. The nuttiness returns in the aftertaste after it loses it's chill. It does what it does quietly but firmly. Everything is in fine order. This is one I would return to again and again.

Serving type: cask

08-01-2005 22:38:56 | More by horndecker
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a walking tour through London one night Daughter #1 and I ducked into The Two Chairmen for some grub and drinks.
Like many other bitters, the Bombardier was a clear. deep copper colored brew, with some intermittent carbonation within. A thin white head faded to a miniscule film, though lacing was still good. Nose here was subdued, with suggestions of toastiness and toffee. Light to minimal carbonation was parlayed into a smooth journey over the tongue, though body wasn't quite up to medium. A mild malt sweetness coats the tongue, along with some flowery hop action leading to a slightly bitter, albeit pleasant, finish.


overall: 3.75
appearance: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: cask

09-03-2004 13:51:46 | More by Bierman9
Photo of CRJMellor


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light mahogany and gold with off-white head tht leaves rings of sticky lace.
Aroma of light caramel and toffee with citric hops and soem grass and hay.
Flavors of toffee, hexnut and flowery hop resin. Uncomplicated but tasty.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy to start, gradually increasing in bittering intensity. Excellent transition.
Drinkability is very high. Excellently quaffable beer.

Serving type: cask

07-29-2004 02:04:14 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

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

A dark amber colored liquid with a nice light tan head. Deliciously fruity aroma but not an overpowering one. The taste starts with a grapfruit sweetness. That sweetness slides into a spicey middle with a smooth bitterness on the finish. This was my first English cask ale when I arrived in England. Definitly a good way to start.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2004 18:55:47 | More by ybnorml
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.