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

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

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 RaphaelSC
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a red amber body, with a white head of 2 fingers with good rentention.

S: Malt sweetness with floral hops, bread and a mild fruit smell.

T: Some bread and fruit flavour and toasted malts with the bitterness in a great equilibrium, the flavour is complex because all that wonderful malts that it beer is made of.

M: Bread and bitterness well balanced make this a very good session beer.

O: Bitterness is not rich as the malt, but still is good, but the malt steal the show here, with an average ABV, make this beer perfect as a session beer, still its is complex enough to delight the most demanding taste.

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Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4.7%. Poured a healthy three finger head of off-white creamy head. Shows nice retention and good lacing. Colour is a clear ruby brown.

Smell is of fruity malt, bread, caramel, apple, floral and citrus hops. Light and crisp.

Taste is full bready malt, some sweetness toward the end. Slight sour apple citrus and roasty caramel. Floral hops add a nice estery bitterness. A lot of fruitiness, mild nutiness, light citrus bitterness. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel has a full coating smoothness, light soft carbonation, very smooth and sessionable.

Very easy to drink, tasty and balanced. Short on complexity but a nice session bitter. Satisfying malt body.

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

Easy to drink with lots of malt and hobs; you can nearly taste some fresh tobacco. Not too strong; so ideal beer for people with some thirst and also "beer-connaisseurs"!

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Photo of doktorhops
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this sitting in my fridge and I couldn't believe I hadn't reviewed it yet - almost drank it! Lucky I checked BA and found it was on my "to do" list (which is every beer in the world... it's a big list alright). Wells Mr. Bombardier, let's see what you've got!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: This English style Bitter presents with a deep cooper/brown body and ecru half centimetre head. Looks like a classic British Bitter.

S: Caramel malts are upfront on the nose, with floral hops, toasted biscuit, metallic twang and a hint of citrus in the background.

T: Begins with sweet toffee, then the caramel base kicks in followed by a Brown Ale nuttiness and finishes with subdued citrus/floral hops bitterness. That sweetness overpowers everything (just a tad) but that aside we have solid English Bitter flavours at play.

M: Medium body with light carbonation.

D: Nice drop, sweet? Yes. Too sweet? Depends on if you have a sweet-tooth. I like it, but can see where others might be put off. Also the metallic aroma didn't present in the flavour, which is always a good thing... unless you're a robot.

Food match: Just had Mexican (soft tacos), which you wouldn't normally associate with an English Bitter but surprisingly it works. Ole!

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Photo of pkalix
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark tangerine pour, no discernible head. no rising bubbles.
sweet aroma, malt-y. smells very drinkable.
taste is sweet, malty, pleasing. nice qualities.
overall, very nice taste and very pleasing. typical range of abv content; expected and pleasing. i like the sweetness of this brew. it is not a stand-out brew but is one that can be had in succession easily.

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Photo of ckollias
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber-brown hue with a one-finger white head with a decent trail down the glass that ends in a wispy lace.

S: This beer has a musty malty aroma.

T: Flavor is smooth and malty with a slight caramel background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent brew – nothing special – but a good session beer.

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

500 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, best before 3/22/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, toffee, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, toast, nuttiness, pear, apple, biscuit, toffee, molasses, light earth, and herbal. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, nuttiness, light fruit, biscuit, and toffee on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance of flavors that are quite robust; zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Overall this is a damn nice ESB offering. Great balance of fairly robust flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of shand
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wells Bombardier pours a clear ruby-brown with a small cap of head. The aroma is awesome and just what I want from the style. It's got an assertive, but not overwhelming amount of caramel malt, along with some nuts, bright fruits and a touch of pepper. The taste is a little less assertive than the nose and comes on gently with a bit of caramel before revealing everything from the nose at once - the caramel and nutty malts, the bright fruits, and the bit of pepper rush right in, leaving a nice, flavorful yet mellow aftertaste. Maybe a touch too much on the fruits, but otherwise solid. The mouthfeel is a touch over-carbonated, but otherwise nice. The drinkability is very good. Overall, this is a great ESB from a style I'm increasingly realizing I'll never fully unlock without a trip to England.

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

500ml bottle served in a Pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber copper clear color forming a big bubbled and very creamy beige head. Excellent retention and lots of lacings left

S: Sweet toffee, caramel malts and strong notes of flowery British style hops. In overall, it's a very "British" Ale

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Mainly composed by toffee, caramel malts and bready yeasts. Strong notes of citrus hoppy bitterness in the end

M: Light to medium body. Medium carbonation. A little bit molasses. Toffee and mild citrus hoppy bittersweet aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Extremely British. Great session beer

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Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of FlyingBull
3.47/5  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.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.82/5  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.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of hoserking
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of StuartCarter
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of JerryOdom
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is quite nice. Pours with a nice thick head that lasts for several minutes. Settles in to a creamy 1/8 inch with nice lace. Ideal color and clarity for this type of beer.

The smell is quite strong and lovely. I detected it while pouring from farther away than I'd usually expect. Rich malt with hints of dates and plum; deep caramel. For me the malt somewhat hides any hop aroma although it's there in the spiciness.

I find the taste fantastic for this sort of beer. Very smooth and rich tastes but not overly cloying which happens often with bitters. The sweetness is there and stays with throughout but it's very good caramel and plum. Bitterness is well balanced for my liking. Hop taste is more detectable as spicy to me. I think the herbal and earthy characters of the fuggle are hidden beneath the caramel and dark fruit tastes for me.

Mouthfeel is just what I'd expect. Carbonation is a little high for my liking. I let it sit a while to fade out. Smooth drinking with a good feel from that well staying head.

Overall I love this beer. Will drink it anytime I get a desire for bitter.

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