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

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85
very good
425 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
425
Ratings:
864
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
17.15%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-23-2001

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Reviews: 425 | Ratings: 864
Photo of teromous
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of FoamInnovation
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Big-Frog
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of BigMacDaddy
2.78/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

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Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of Premo88
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  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.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "1 PT 0.9 US FL. oz" bottle with a moderately aggressive hand into a Sam Smith pint glass. No mention of the metric system in sight. Bottle dated 04/06/2014. Seen this around not infrequently, but never tried it.

A: Dark amber/copper with nice clarity. 1 finger white head with a fade to a thin coat by about 3-4 minutes. Quite a bit of lacing. Very nice.

S: Light and vaguely fruity. There is a specific scent that I recognized immediately, but I can't put my finger on it. Some malt. Overall the smell is nice, but very subdued. As it warmed I actually started catching a hint of some aged cheese-type funkiness. Weird, but not unpleasant. My major complaint is an overall paucity of scent quantity.

T: Very nice, full, solid malt right out of the gates. Followed by a notable presence of English hops. Mostly dry finish with strong grain presence. Bread. Maybe some hints of light fruit. Pretty good.

M: Full with a good body. Moderate to high carbonation. A bit higher than expected. Starts to build in the gut a bit over the course of the pint (& 0.9 US FL. oz)

O: Drinks well. Met expectations. Straight shooter. Quality brew. Would drink again, but wouldn't search it out.

Prost!

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Photo of Wobbly
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%

One of my all time favorite bitters. This rating is for my experience having it on tap in England on numerous occasions, not necessarily for the experience of having it out of the cans you sometimes find it in throughout the U.S. (would probably drop the score to a 4.4 or so if I were rating that).

Lovely, amber hues with a nice, frothy head. Some lacing. One of the best balanced bitters I have had, where the hops (Goldings, I think) come forth at just the rate level. Bread-like, toasty malt flavors develop throughout. A great beer to drink with Indian food.

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Photo of FLima
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper color with a one finger thick off-white head with low to medium retention, but leaving lots of laces.
Aroma of nutty malt, apples, caramels and English fruity and earthy hops.
Fruity and malty taste with spicy and earthy notes and an elegant bitterness. Hints of toasted malts, minerals, caramels and green apple citrusy. Dry and bitter long lasting aftertaste.
Light body with good carbonation.
Flavorful and refreshing beer with high drinkability. Classic English bitter, with great balance of malts and noble hops. English beers grew on me and I dig their traditional sessionable like this one and US tweaks that are usually turbinated.

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Photo of Subliminal64
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of gbarbee
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Light, clear, clean, and amber appearing ale. The head is white, alive, and very inviting.

Smell - A very clean smelling beer, not overpowering. This is what one thinks of when smelling a good beer, even to a non-beer drinker. Some hoppy scents mixed with clean water comes to mind.

Taste - Clean, crisp, refreshing, and light ale. Reminds me of an English pub where this style of beer is enjoyed in the company of friends.

Mouthfeel - Light on the palate, carbonated but overly so, smooth and refreshing.

Overall - Great beer and one of my favorites. It is no wonder that most of the Wells and Young's Board likes Bombardier.

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Photo of rickyk76
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A GREAT LOOKING 16.9 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Rust colored. Slightly hazy. A lumpy, off-white head that doesn't stay around very long. No stickage to speak of.

Smell - Malt. Sweet. Nutty. Black pepper. This beer has a big nose.

Taste - This beer starts out with a malt/sweet hit but then, quickly, turns tart. The finish is medium-well steak (I'm not kidding). A big beer.

Mouth - Good carbonation. Tart. You really feel it in the back of your gullet.

Overall - If you're expecting a nice, easy-drinking English bitter (such as Fuller's London Pride), go elsewhere. This ale is a little on the aggressive side. Very tasty. I like it.

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Photo of Libationguy
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish-light brown color with chill haze. Medium depth tan head with tiny carbonation structure,medium retention and fine lacing.

Toffee, over ripe banana, pumpernickel bread, earthiness, and a sour aroma that isnot unpleasant.

Light caramel and more pronounced toffee notes. Pumpernickel bread, toasted malt notes and a moderate bitterness from beginning to end that is well balanced.

Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation and a slightly watery feel on the palate. Last finish of mild bitterness that is very nice. The beer holds with you for some time.

Nice enjoyable pint. The brown notes of aroma and flavor are interesting and the bitterness in the beer is nicely balanced and helps to support everything else that the beer is giving. Well done.

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Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a craggy head about two fingers tall. Good retention and lacing. Caramel and toffee malt aromas dominate. Herbal and floral hop aromas. A healthy amount of dark fruit on the nose, too, making this a bit reminiscent of a dark Belgian ale.

Mild bitterness from start to finish. Esters primarily evocative of dried fruit. Toffee malt backbone. Texture is soft, but not quite creamy. While not a session beer per the classic definition, this is something you could enjoy for pint after pint. Compares quite favorably to Fuller's ESB. I have to credit this beer to turning me on to English bitters when I first tried it a couple years ago, and it's something I still go back to every now and then.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper colored; medium cream-colored head

Aroma: Malty; biscuity; slighty spicy; hint of sulfur

Taste: Hoppy start; vinous fruit flavour turning into malty flavor; hoppy end; a touch thin in the end

Remarks: Good, but just a tad bit bitter for me; smooth, though

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of endovelico
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Of vigorous pour and clear mahogany juice and billowy off-white, stubborn head this brew tenuously displays rancid butter, toffee and nutty aromatics with even more subtle and exiguous vegetable notes.

On the mouth it feels watery, thin, - even soapy perhaps - only softly carbonated and nearly devoid of any hop 'bite'. The aforementioned notes are still very much in play at the tongue, only with more preponderance towards the nutty and toffee flavors.

It is definitely a nice, solid, all around enjoyable session Ale with a discernible and respectable yeast and malt character. Could probably serve as a gateway of sorts between sessionable beers and more dexterous (maybe even dextrinous) brews.

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Photo of soju6
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with a thick tan head that fades to good lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some malt sweetness, bit of chocolate and trace of spice.

T: Taste of roasted malt, bit of caramel sweetness, with bit of chocolate and spice. Nice bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy, nice balance.

O: Nice beer for the style.

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

500 ml bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Pours a fairly clear deep copper with a creamy tan head, retaining well at a 1/4". Slight lacing dresses the glass.

S- Mild malt sweetness and a very light hop tang in the nose.

T- Clean caramel malt and a slight citrus, mild, but a nice flavor. Irony, mineral rich. A very well balanced taste.

M- Medium body and very clean all around feel.

O- Good solid Bitter. Light but flavorful and well balanced.

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Photo of Jenks
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma – a nice biscuit aroma from the grain bill with just a slight chocolate note. May also have a bit of dimethyl sulfide . Some noble hop character does come thru but it is difficult to pinpoint or describe it.

Appearance – Pours a thin head which does hang around for the duration of the beer. Color is brilliantly clear deep reddish copper.

Flavor –Very nice British malt flavor profile; biscuit followed by a little toffee. I don’t detect any of the chocolate that I smelled. There is a piney/earthy hop flavor that plays well with the malt characteristics. Clean fermentation; no detectable flaws or imperfections. The yeast left behind plenty of body which bodes well in this beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium body. Moderate to light carbonation. No alcohol warmth. This beer is balanced on the malt side but there is sufficient bitterness. A small degree of creaminess. There is a bit of an aftertaste that lingers on the palate; slight astringency.

Overall – This is a good beer that turns into a great one as the drinking experience goes on. At first I felt there was an aftertaste that was slightly offensive but as I continued to sample the beer I could no longer detect it and that gave way to a very enjoyable beer. The malt flavor is the highlight of this libation with strong British character. The noble hops and British yeast contribute their roles and play them well as second fiddle. By the end of the beer I am left wishing I had more; not for tonight but another that I wanted a nice British ale. To improve it, I would like to see a more pronounced head and something to clean up the slight DMS aroma that is present.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 425 ratings.