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

Not Rated.
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

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very good

806 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 806
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 16
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 10-23-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 806 | Reviews: 412
Photo of NilsFrisk
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper colored beer with a very thick and retaining head, looking like a foam mountain, rising towards the middle of the glass.
Smells floral, a bit resin, and a bit of malt there.
Starts of tasting quite hoppy, but the hops fades while drinking it, and the carbonation dominates most of the taste after a few sips, towards the last sips, when most of the carbonation is gone, it tastes a little bit like dirty coins.

Photo of 7ways
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful ruby wood color with a massive rocky head to rival any Trappist ale. Thick blankets of lace.

The aroma is almost, but not quite, entirely absent. Faint cereal and that's it. Even after serious swirling, this beer smells like nothing but Cocoa Puffs and pale malt. I opened up another beer I'm familiar with just to make sure there's nothing wrong with me.

Biscuits, multigrain bread, bitter chocolate, and hop bitterness on the palette. Almost no hop flavor. Caramel emerges as it warms, but makes little impact. Very simple.

While fairly full bodied, this goes down like water. Perfect carbonation, I wish all pale ales were this way.

This should be what Budweiser tastes like. Super quaffable AND high quality. Good wtf-ever beer to go with a simple meal or a movie. But I wish I could try it on cask, maybe then it would have some complexity and real aroma.

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

First I've seen this in a can.
Fairly dark amber pour, good layer of large bubbled cream head. Retains well enough.

Earthy malt aroma. Some herbal hops, peat.

Caramel, malty, solid. Some woody and tea notes.
A fair amount of herbal hoping in the finish. Really well balanced.

Extreamly drinkable, solid mouthfeel. The right amount of lively carbonation. One of the better examples of the style I've had, which is not a lot admittidly.

Photo of Kartoffeln
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, reddish copper with a modest beige head that dissipates in short order. Lacing is minimal.

S: Roasted and caramel malts, fresh fruit (particularly hints of cherry), and spicy floral hops.

T: A balance of rich, roasted malts and sweeter caramel malts alongside spicy, slightly citric floral hops. Nuttiness throughout, and tastes of candied fruit come out in the finish.

M: Carbonation is light, but has initial crispness that gives way to smoothness. Medium-bodied. The lingering finish balances roasted malt and earthy hop bitterness.

D: A tasty, easy-drinking ESB with low enough ABV to be easily sessionable. Strong example of the style.

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

Photo of cichief
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of bryehn
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, ruby-copper colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a good amount of lace. Very nice to look at, if not a bit light.

Aroma is hoppy and spicy, but subdued with a warm honey sweetness and rocky-metallic tone.

The taste is very mild, but rich with roasted malt and a slight, lemony tea tone. A creamy start gives way to an unripened green grape bitterness that verges on sour. A familiar mineral tone can be tasted on the tongue and finish.

I could drink this at any time, it's above-average, but not great in my books.

Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - beer pours a rich copper color with a white head that left quickly

smell - malts, graham cracker, hint of cherry

taste - better than the smell, malty goodness upfront, some of that bready, graham cracker mixed in there for good measure

mouthfeel - meduim carbonation, medium bodied, slight bitterness on the finish

drinkability - good version of the style, this was a beer that i'm glad i tried.

Photo of steveh
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New to the local store. Best by Oct. 31, 2011 right on the brown bottle neck.

The label reads: "English Premium Ale," not "Bitter," as the BA listing reads.

A -- Pours a nice amber-copper with a slow-settling, off-white head.

S -- Mild mix of caramel malt and spicy hops. Rather light in esters. Some light citrus notes and sulfur with warming.

T -- Sweet, caramel malt up front that folds quickly into an earthy bitterness that lingers until a breadiness finishes off the flavors. Some mild dark fruit characters in the aftertaste. There is a distinct, nearly astringent bitterness in the aftertaste -- even vaguely hot alcohol with warming.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to watery with a light body.

D -- This is certainly a very palatable beer, goes down well and keeps you interested. It's on the lighter edge of an ESB, if that's what you're expecting, but certainly won't disappoint as it will leave room to step into something a bit bigger for the next choice.

*As I finish the pint, I note that the flavors smooth out nicely with warming -- don't sample this too cold.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of Ochsenblut
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of flyingpig
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A large, foamy and slightly off white head sitting atop a dark, brownish amber beer. A lot darker than the other bitters I have reviewed thus far but it looks good non the less. The head itself it also rather thick, lasts well & leaves nice lacing on the glass.

An aroma consisting mainly of dark fruits with an underlying spiciness that works well together. I can also detect the malts in there as well.

This one has an earthy malt taste to it with a nutty flavour upfront and a very bitter finish. Somewhere in the middle is the dark fruits hinted at from the aroma.

Medium bodied with only slight carbonation, it is smooth with a dry finish.

It looks fantastic, smells pretty good & taste okay. Too bitter for my liking in the finish but still an very good bitter that goes down quite easily and kind of grows on you as you take another sip.


Photo of beerquestman
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a light lucid amber

Smell: smelled of spiciness, hops and a bit of grapefruit juice.

Taste: Tasted of hops, caramel, and a hint of grapefruit

Mouthfeel: warming and easy on the tongue.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, about what I'd expect from an ale.

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

Grabbed at the local food coop. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear coppery amber color with about an inch of khaki head that that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly slightly sweet malt, with some backing grain, and a trace of gentle hopping. On the tongue the characteristics were fairly similar, nice earthy grains, a bit of sweet malt and a faint tickle of hops.

The body was very good, smooth even, well-balanced and clean. Drinkability is also very good, the pint bottle went down so easily that I didn't realize I had drank the whole bottle.

Overall, a very nice brew. A worthy companion for a comfortable session at your local or home. Worth trying.

Photo of Intrinsic
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A healthy 1.5" head sits atop the dark copper ale after pouring. It also leaves beautiful lacing on the glass. Very appetizing.

The first scents to hit the nose are of molasses and spice with slight hop notes and a trace of coffee. Its all a very pleasant mix and makes you look forward to the taste.

This is a great bitter, with the Fuggles hops adding flavour that complements the mild maltiness quite well. Neither side is overpowering so we're left with a well-balanced taste that deserving of the name 'Premium.'

A very dry finish rounds this beer out very nicely. I think I could easily sit at the local pub all night drinking these back without batting an eyelid. Great beer.

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

Had this on tap in a pint glass.
Dark reddish-brown in color with ruby red hues. One finger head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Aroma is high on malts with hints of dark fruits.
Taste is also high on malts, with a dry bitter finish. Typical example of an ESB, light and easy to drink.
There wasn't any noticeable lacing with this ESB.
A decent ESB, and certainly worth trying if you like this kind of beer.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of June 2011. Label describes it as the drink of England.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A deep reddish copper colour with good carbonation. Creamy light tan head which subsides after a couple of minutes. Decent aroma of lightly toasted malt and some burnt caramel notes. A hint of hops.

A rich malty character with good bitterness. Interesting notes of burnt malt / caramel. A smooth mouthfeel that leaves a dryness on the palate. Mild bitter aftertaste.

A decent ale - not likely to become my regular but representative of English beer.

Photo of jpkoch1962
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep golden yellow with a thick white, long lasting head. The aroma was dominated by bready, sweet malts with a touch of pepper. The ale was thick, malty and smooth. Bittering hops came through in the middle before fading somewhat in the finish. A very nice, full body session ale. Watch the alcohol, as you will not notice it until you stand.

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Dster
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle in wells bombardier pint glass...life is good.

Appearance - golden brown, half inch of fluffy head that settled into a film

Smell - mild, sweet, malts

Taste - citrus, earthy malt taste.

Mouthfeel - silky, carbonation is bright with very small bubbles.

Drinkablity - could drink it all day.

Photo of DaveHS
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent light brown in color with a good foamy head that feels like marshmallows.
Smells of malts and bitterness. Not so much a citrusy hop bitterness but an earthy one.
Taste is somewhat earthy with an undertone and aftertaste of milk chocolate.
Creamy mouthfeel.

A good beer to drink and enjoy with the pals.

Photo of darkmartin
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a transparent, dark copper with strong red undertones. Almost an inch of off-white head. Looks quite nice.

Smell: Strong earthy hops with a minor amount of subtle mount present.

Taste: Unlike the nose, first up is nutty malt with a good dose of butter. Definitely some fruit follows, maybe apple? Those potent English hops dominate the finish, and really round the beer out quite well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a minor amount of carbonation, quite smooth.

Drinkability: One of the better ESB's I've had, I will keep an eye out for this one.

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

Imperial pint poured into a Tulip stout glass. Best by 07/12/11.

Appearance: Pours a 1/2" off-white foam which dies down to thin island of foam skin across the top. Nice walls and strands of lacing though. The beer is a clear dark coppery-red color. Nice.

Smell: Roasted malts, some cider-like apple smells, and something a bit floral at the end.

Taste: Roasted malt up front, followed immediately by a strong English bitter, which is usually the finish most of the time, but every now and then some other flavors come through like tart apples and toffee at mixed in with the bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation for an English ale. Mouthfeel is quite smooth - well on the thicker side of things.

Drinkability: For an ESB, the bitterness is prevalent here which works well. I think I prefer a beer with a bit more malt present, but overall I like this one, although with the strong bitter finish I'm definitely done at one pint. Went very well with Turkey, spiced sweet potatoes, and green beans. A solidly good English ale.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 806 ratings.