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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 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 Luigi

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out into imperial pint glass with a rich amber color. Has a two finger with head that quickly settles down to a think blanket on top of the beer. Some sticky lacing as well.

The aroma is bitter sweet and malty. Has that quintessential English spicy hop to bring balance. Hints of plums, butterscotch and fresh bread.

The taste is dominated sweet toasted malts. Plums, butterscotch, and a spicy citrus from the hops. A little harshness (and I mean that in a good way) from the mineral water.

Medium bodied, with a semi-dry finish.

One of best English ESB's money can buy!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 19:07:32 | More by Luigi
Photo of cervezango


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

very cool patriotic look to the bottle , advetised as britans first brewery. amber/ tree sapp look to the body with a 1.5 finger of small bubbled head.

spicy(pepper) apple and malty to the nose.

very british tasting nice strong hops bite, with a dry malty aftertaste. a little pepper like the smell but bitter hops is prevailing . kindoff a simple taste but quite nice. a good classic bitter.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 19:40:22 | More by cervezango
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a light golden brown that sets up a 2+ finger head of fluffy off-white foam, which very slowly collapses on itself and leaves plenty of lace rings around the glass. Held to a full-spectrum light, beer is a vibrant orange-red and clear.

S - Lightly toasted, bready malt mixed in with bitter flowering hops. Nose really has to be coaxed out of the glass. This is not a beer that you smell before you taste.

T - Gently toasted malts, light caramel, and simple fruit-like sugar up front. Definitive earthy hops show up in the finish to clear the sweetness / malts away and switch the focus. There's almost a hint of black pepper in the back end.

M - Somewhat fizzy and crisp. Above moderate, pushing full carbonation. Rather thin, but not watery. Body is on the light side. Finish snaps off the back of the tongue rather quickly, leaving a dry, refreshing impression.

O - This is a good beer to have with lunch - it would compliment most sandwiches well, such as a roast beef and cheddar with a soft horseradish sauce, or even fish-n-chips with a tasty, tangy tartar sauce. More hop-forward than the typical English brew, but not an American hopfest, either - it's an interesting juxtaposition of lightly toasted malts against straightforward bittering hops that delivers both sides of the coin.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 01:51:42 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of BretSikkink


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange brown in color, clear with tanned foam - a nice bitter look overall. The nose is clean, faintly sweet with a mild herbal tint.

Flavor again is inoffensive and mild but unspectacular. Clean and mildly sweet, herbal finish with a bit of buttery toffee. Body is thin, slightly metallic, and finishes very clean.

Nothing spectacular and not worth seeking out but solidly British bitter.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 01:12:41 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of killianf

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into pint glass

A: Pours crystal clear copper with a 1-finger off-white head. Decent carbonation.

S: Hoppy, grassy aromas, spicy smells, rich toffee smells too when the glass is swirled.

T: Toffee and chocolate malt, with a slight fruitiness. Spicy characters too, with a malty finish and aftertaste.

M: The feel is thin and light-bodied. Medium carbonation on the tongue. It's smooth though, and easy to drink.

Overall: A bit of a disappointment, this was a fairly average beer for me. I can't say I'd recommend it but judging from other reviews I've seen online, some people really like it, so I can't say it's to be avoided either. Either way, average beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 10:27:22 | More by killianf
Photo of rangerred


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

500ml bottle poured into a nonic.

Appearance is a clear reddish brown with a thin white head that settles into a small layer.

Smells of dark fruit and caramel with that classic English character although not as strong as I have experienced in other beers of this style.

Taste is quite malty up front with a nutty character along with some toast. Dried fruit makes a quick passing with a moderately high bitterness quickly sweeping in. The bitterness is somewhat drying and lingers on the back of the throat after the finish.

Overall this is a fairly solid beer but not up to par compared with other ESB's I have had. I would have preferred a little more maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 02:09:06 | More by rangerred
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 MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

550ml bottle purchased at Market Basket in Somersworth, expires 10-05-12. Pours a crystal-clear copper body with a thin crown of khaki-colored head. Smells bready and slightly spicy. Fresh-baked bread permeates the tastebuds. Hints of caramel and chocolate too, but only slightly. Light bodied with fairly low carbonation. Not much going on here, but a passable beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 01:32:20 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of gtermi


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This pours a very nice dark brownish copper body with a thick tan creamy head. As the head slowly fades, it leaves a decent amount of lace on the glass.

S: Has a nice malty scents with also a decent amount of yeast.

T: Has a strong malty taste. It has a nice yeasty bread flavor with a bit of roasted malt.

M: This is a very smooth and easy drinking beer. It does leave a sort of dry feeling in my mouth too.

O: This is a very solid beer. I am not huge into bitters but this is very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 06:14:05 | More by gtermi
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 Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

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

A: Clear reddish-mahogany colour with a tall and creamy foam head that sticks around for a while, clinging to the glass as it recedes.

S: Bread, caramel, citrus, floral, brown sugar, and dried dark fruits (dates, figs, cherries). Very good mix of aromas. Smells like a tug-of-war between the rich bread/caramel and tangy citrus/floral.

T: Buttered bread malt contrasted with citrus/floral hops, both in appropriate proportions to the tongue. Faint dark fruits are poking through and add to the malt base. Smooth and mellow.

M: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Quite oily with an appropriately bitter and clean finish.

D: Very nice ESB that's easy-drinking. Surprised at the smoothness and mellow taste- Sessionable. Liking the contrasting (back and forth) malt and hop nature.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 22:59:20 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

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

Poured from a bottle into a good beer mug.

A-Dark copper, reddish amber with a big creamy malt head. The head slowly breaks up 'clumpy' with good lacing. Good carbonation for an ESB.

S-A fruity malt smell that reminds me of the American beers of long ago. Way before what most American brews have become today. Can a beer smell 'dark'? If so, this one sure does.

T-It tastes like dark fruits, too. A sweet maltiness to start and cleansing bitterness to finish. Not hoppy.

M-Just enough carbonation to keep it from a watery feel. It has a bite.

O-A good looking and drinkable bitter.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 00:41:58 | More by NiceTaps
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 BeerGut4Life


3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent dark amber color that glows orange when held up to the light. Forms a chunky khaki-colored head (about 2.5 fingers). Great retention and lacing.

Aroma is reserved...faint caramel malt and herbal tea notes. A bit fruity with a hint of ginger.

Tastes earthy with some buttery toffee notes. A bit reminiscent of orange marmalade on burnt toast. Has a slick, thin to medium body that dries up quickly with a bitter, leafy finish.

A middle of the road ESB. Feels a bit too dry and roasty...could use a bit more sweetness to balance out the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 21:43:56 | More by BeerGut4Life
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 drpimento


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

Man, I like this beer! Yummmm! Served at a good temperature with a decent sized ,light tan head that slowly settled and lots of lace. Color is a clear, amber copper with some tiny bubble trails. Aroma is very toffee, caramel, malt, fresh beer, along with a little leather and roast. Flavor is like nose, plus a little carbonic tang and biscuit. Body & carbonation are just right for this style. Finish is like flavor, of medium lenght and readies me for another quaff. Super drinkable beer. I want more!

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 03:41:01 | More by drpimento
Photo of jkanavel


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany, opaque through the center. Pure white head, low head retention.

S: Muted chocolate, crystal malt, pruny

T: Very dense and chewy malt. Solid old world hop background. Raisins, black cherry, port.

M: I would like to try this in a cask. On tap it was quite thick, medium to low amount of carbonation. This has some weight to it.

O: Really nice. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2012 07:16:39 | More by jkanavel
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 capeannbass36


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

One pint 0.9 US fl. oz. bottle dated 22/03/12
Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A- Crystal clear orange, amber topped with a one finger beige colored head that disappeared within 5 minutes. Very light lacing left behind.

S- Some malt. Some hops.

T- Not overly sweet. Some malt. Some hops.

M- Very light carbonation. Fairly creamy. Slightly dry finish.

O- Easy to drink. Only roughly 5% ABV. Really kinda bland for my taste buds.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 20:04:03 | More by capeannbass36
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 GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A lively amber, bright, thick and creamy cap and rather smooth look overall.

wow, amazing super-sweet malty aroma, dark tropical fruits, toffee, dark wheat and raisins with gentle hop spicey effects.

A dark malt, roastie wheat and raisins all over. Earthy, spicey hops, with woody and bourbon-esque notes for complexity.

A medium body with some complex and interesting layers, lush that becomes kinda light with a creamy finish.

A real treat from across the pond!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 22:07:56 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance – Clear dark copper colour with an above average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation visible and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/toffee, floral hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/toffee, and some dry hops. There is also a touch of cherry sweetness. It ends with a malty dry hop aftertaste.

Overall – I found this beer to be a little boring and one dimensional. It basically just malts/caramel and some dry hops. I'll stick with a Fuller's ESB the next time I'm in the mood.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 18:26:46 | More by spinrsx
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.