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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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Big head that fast disapears into some lace, bitter and acidic bite, with some malts and chewy creaminess to offset. Nice dark glass bottle. Drinkable.A somewhat better than average beer, the British present a pint, and that's all I can have of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 02:22:30 | More by Sammy
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 BuckeyeNation


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

Dark orange-bronze unless backlit, at which point its true colors are revealed... dark crimson with a dash of orange. The head is fantastic. It's buttery orange-ecru in color and whipped buttery in consistency with great looking surface topography that resembles an especially inhospitable section of the English Moors. Thick, smeary, chunky lace is plastered all over the glass.

Classic English ESB nose of fruity, herbal hops that are significantly tea-like in the bargain. All of the various elements of the aroma are present in proportions that are complementary to all. A little more power would have been welcome.

Bombardier has a wonderful flavor and has plenty of it. The only problem is, this bitter... isn't. Bitter, that is. There's a fair amount of toasted, caramel malt flavor riding along on a less than adequately malted mouthfeel. Fruity, herbal, British hops are in full flower, but it's as if 90% of their alpha acid has been leeched out. I'll always pick flavor over bitterness if I can have only one, but why should I have to choose?

A smidgen of bitterness fights gamely through on the finish, but it's too little, too late. The body/mouthfeel is attempting to firm up with warming and just manages to pry a 'medium' out of me. While there isn't an abundance of CO2, there's enough.

Bombardier English Premium Bitter has one of the more impressive bottle-label combinations that I've seen in quite some time. It's even more impressive in the glass, which is no small feat. I have a feeling that if I ever have the opportunity to try it on cask, it just might blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 21:34:10 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with an extraordinarily firm head that laces like a cask ale

Smell: Caramel malt dominates, with a fruity element and, underneath, a nutty-biscuity tone

Taste: Lots of toffee and sweet fruitiness up front, with a building tea-like herbal bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tea element persists in a long and pleasing finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very enjoyable; one of the top English ESBs around (sadly, they are increasingly hard to find)

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 00:16:44 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Beautiful brown/redish brew with a small head reminiscent of the style. Once open, I got an incredible fruity/sweet smell that disapear once the brew was in my glass. Bitter tasting with a sweet aftertaste. One of the best bitter that I had the chance to drink recently. Will try to track more C.Wells product...

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2003 13:53:02 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


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

A real joy to drink tonight at one of my local favorite beer-spots, Marikka's.

The beer opens with a brown-ish pour that reminds me of many English Mild Ales. The head formation is confident and withstanding, retaining all the while, while leaving memorable lacing on the glass. The look promises greatness.

The aromas are timid, but do reliquish a boquet of perfumy, piney hops atop of a rich, malty concoction of caramel flavored malts, biscuit-like qualities, and a hit of toast and cocoa. Can't wait to dive into this beer.

Flavors of mild toasted malts govern while an upcharge of caramel and malt soon to follow. Firm malt flavors are tempered with a piney, nectar-like flavor from the hops to balance the firmness with delicacy from suble herbal, flowery flavors from the hops and soft fruity esters from the yeast-- maybe a bit of Christmas in this beer.

The feel is dead-on for English Pales. A firmly malty texture with a soft pillow of creaminness, carbonation; tempered with the proper balance of hop bitterness.

This is one of those beers that are easy to dismiss because of the timid values in hops and malts; but balance does this beer justice. Remember that this is a moderate abv. beer and not meant for overwhealmed judgement-- just drinkability. I could drink this all evening long.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 04:52:56 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is crystal clear garnet red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of lacy bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel, nuts and toffee in the nose from the malts. The slightest hints of fruity yeast are detectable.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderately strong but a complex mixture of caramel, nutty and toffee flavors from the malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aromas and flavors are quite complex for a light-bodied beer. There is also a good balance between the malt and hops because it doesn’t taste overly malty. This beer is very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 21:29:20 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-amber body with a finely bubbled, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Perfumy aroma of caramel, citrus, bittering herbs, and yeast.

Taste: Subtle malt flavor of caramel with a pinch of chocolate. Vaguely fruity. Lightly sweet. Bitter herbaceousness. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Fair enough. A decent, if not standard English bitter.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 04:47:22 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

Pours a nice ruby color with a creamy well sestained head that leaves a small amount of lacing,aroma is subtle on the malty side with touch of fruit and biscuit.Taste is mellow but with some nice flavors,malt tilted for sure with some flavors of dried fruit and some metallic notes in the finish.I could drink these all night and it has a pretty cool looking bottle to boot,thank you Liquid Solutions!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2004 23:42:08 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


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

A beautiful pint! The thick head of densely creamy dark tan froth holds remarkably well and leaves thick rings of craggy lace.

In the nose it's a touch peppery in a plant-like way, over background notes of caramel malt. With a swirl, some mild yeasty fruitiness can be found (melon, apple, peach).

The mouthfeel is medium with a dextrinous edge, and it's quite smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation that gently caresses the tongue.

The flavor displays a lot of the pepperiness found in the nose upfront, backed by some leafiness, and even a bit of floral character before the caramelish maltiness shows. It's soft, and rounded, with a gentle sweetness, and the caramel certainly isn't overdone. The bitterness balances, and makes itself known, but for the most part remains backstage allowing the hops and malts shine. More leafy hop flavors appear in the finish, along with some gently nutty caramel, and even a minor smear of butteriness.

Enjoyed at cellar temperature, or just below, the character of this beer really comes through. It's really very nicely balanced between hops, malt, bitterness, and yeast character. And there's enough there to keep it interesting for more than one. Certainly worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 02:36:42 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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

500ml bottle, the most English-looking yet of many in any store that I've ever seen.

This beer pours a clear, dark burnt amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, filmy, foamy, and pleasantly sudsy beige head, which settles at a leisurely pace, eventually leaving a decent wash of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly toasted biscuity caramel malt, sugary cooked apple, a touch of bready yeast, and some herbal, earthy hops. The taste is more crackery, lightly biscuity caramel and pale malt, bolstered by some mild rock toffee notes, muddled orchard drupe fruit, soft black peppercorn, and somewhat bitter leafy, floral hops.

The carbonation is moderate, yet a bit prickly, the body an adequate medium weight, generally smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy, through the zingy bitterness. It finishes sweeter than I would have thought - the gritty caramel malt still standing strong against the fruity, and mildly bitter herbal and leafy hops.

An offering that teeters well away from the banality that I unfortunately encounter too much in imported British ales. I sure wouldn't pass up a few rounds of this as the local pub bitter option, if that sort of thing actually existed in my neck of the woods.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:56:27 | More by biboergosum
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
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

On-tap 4/10/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, dark fruit, caramel and some hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with flavors of some dark fruits, honey and caramel. There's a mild hops presence and a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent session beer with some substance that I could drink for a while.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2008 15:23:55 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


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

Just had 2 pints of this at Danny's Tavern in Chicago.

High-clarity, reddish copper tone, solid foam that forms some lacing.
Aroma could be smelled a few feet away from the tap when it was first poured. I'm guessing we were the first of the night on that particular tap. It was vague floral Goldings hops and toasted malt, light and clean. In the glass it seems to be more muted. Some grassy graininess.

Flavor of apple, toasted malt, grassy & mildly bitter Challenger hops. Bitterness is subtle in the finish. Very even, rounded mouthfeel that is clean and doesn't hang on the palate too much. Had to have two in a row, so it gets my strong vote as a highly drinkable English Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2007 05:58:54 | More by emerge077
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Bottle Date September 2006, Sampled January 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep amber to dark ruby color, it is topped by an initially three-finger thick, dirty tan colored head. The aroma is a mix of berry like fruit notes and light malt. Notes of raisins, currants, caramel, light toffee, perhaps a touch of buttery diacetyl and some dry biscuit-like malt all intermingle here in the aroma.

The taste is light on the palate, with a soft fruity sweet malt character up front. It finishes with some berry-like hop notes as well as a touch of spicy herbal character and a light bitterness that finishes things off. A very light diacetyl note adds a touch of butterscotch that lingers a bit in the finish. This actually has a good diacetyl character, it is very subtle, just enough to add some complexity, but not enough to become detracting. A touch of toasty malt character is here, it evokes some soft chocolate notes and even a touch of roasted coffee character.

This has a fair amount of carbonation in this brew, it probably adds a bit to the lightness of this brew. This is not a bad brew, but I can't help but think that this seems a little thin in the flavor department. I am not looking for bigger, but there is a certain leanness here that I associate with cheap lager, though I am not quite sure why I say this. This does have a nice balance between spicy hop character and malt notes, though it does lean towards the hop side of the spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 20:32:59 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a copperish amber color with a white bubbly head. There was some light lacing on the glass. The smell had some nice malt aromas and grains on the nose. The taste was pretty mellow and had a good bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Overall it's pretty good ESB.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 02:04:04 | More by Knapp85
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 jwc215


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

Small date of 31/12/07 printed on bottle that I assume is a "best by" date:

Pours a vibrant ruby amber with a thick head that slowly descends and stays. Broken rings of creamy lacing stick to glass.

The smell is of caramelsh grain, slight hint of sulfur. Earthy and berry-like fruitiness come through behind the malt sweetness.

The taste if of caramelish, biscuity sweetness balanced by a background of earthy bitterness. Cherry-like fruitiness becomes more pronounced as it warms. Bready, dry finish.

Medium bodied, it leaves a malty sweetness on the tongue, along with an unfortunate metallic tinge, though not enough to really interfere.

A nice ESB - malty, but with just enough bitter balance to keep it in style and interesting. A nice one to have on its own, but cherry like sweetness and bready notes make it a nice one to pair with warm cherry pie. A classic ESB that I would love to try on cask.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 14:24:10 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very nice. Clear darker amber with brown hue. Very crème head. Nice size, nice lacing down the side too. Nose is not overly exciting. Slight woody edge. Not much really going on. Flavor is good. Nice malty complexity. Good level of caramel sugary sweetness. Nice wood tones. Feel is silky with carbonation and a good liquid body. Very drinkable. I am sure there are more exciting examples of the style, but this one goes down smooth and has a nice level of flavor character. A pleasure to drink. I wonder what this would be like on cask...

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 01:30:43 | More by RblWthACoz
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 smcolw


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

Pours dark amber/light brown. Clear. Light beige head that diminishes to a single bubble layer. Nearly a complete ring after the first sip.

Crystal malt is the first impression of the smell. Nearly no hop aroma. Creamy.

Traditional "round" British flavoring. Lots of malt (lighter toasted varieties), but an equally generous dose of hop bitterness. Very nicely balanced. Full bodied like all good English ales. A very predictable ESB!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 20:04:52 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


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

500 mL bottle, best by 5/19/11,

A: Pours a deep amber to red. Head is a solid two fingers and lasts throughout the glass, going down to a soapy film. Some lace.

S: Biscuity and toasty malt, some sweetness, light hopping.

T: Toast, toffee, English malt character. Drying out at the end with some earthy hops and husky grain. Definitely gets better as it warms, the minerality and nuance appears and makes a much more appealing drink.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, crisp carbonation, fairly smooth, bitter finish.

D: Very much an ESB, but not in the realm of Fuller's classic for me. The taste is pretty good though, drink this above 55F for the full experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 04:23:57 | More by Halcyondays
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 kojevergas


3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a La Chouffe goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Bottle acquired at McCambridge's, Galway. Reviewed from notes.

A: Three finger head of nice cream and fair thickness. Above average retention. Dark clear amber colour.

Sm: Very light scent. Hops. No sultana fruit.

T: Balanced body of slight fruit, lots of hops including some nutty notes, and a very subtle spice on the finish. Built well for the style - not too many bittering hops.

Mf: Far too dry on the finish. Should be less coarse.

Dr: Too pricey for how relatively unremarkable it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 00:33:52 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

Mid sized bottle, some sort of dating perhaps etched onto the bottle. Pours dark amber, with a medium tan head, that shows retention then goes to a thin film and leaves nice and plentiful stringy lacing. Nose is nutty and malty. Pleasant British ale, bready malts, smooth and highly drinkable. Brit ales have been getting a lack of respect in my beer world, this one reminds me of the simple pleasures and understated elegance of the brews from England.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 11:50:06 | More by Billolick
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.