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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

734 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 734
Reviews: 401
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 11
Gots: 23 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-23-2001)
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Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Methodd

British Columbia (Canada)

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

500mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly off-clear, dark ruby with a heavy off-white head that settles slowly into a collar around the edge. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, figs, floral hops.

Taste: Caramel and floral hops here too, some spice and a nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with very suitable carbonation which is not over-done like a lot of ESB’s.

Drinkability: Very good, similar to Fuller’s ESB but not quite as well put together and not as strong. All and all I would very much recommend this to anyone who likes an ESB as much as I do.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 04:51:01 | More by Methodd
Photo of Evil_Pidde


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is deep amber with a small off-white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: The smell is dominated by the sweet light roasted biscuity malt, but there is also floral hops - both citric notes as well as some ripe banana is present.

T: Nice sweet light roasted caramell malt, with floral hops that gives it a nice fruityness.

M: The aftertaste is rather sweet, and faint bitter. The body is medium as well as the carbonation.

D: A nice well balanced bitter. Not the strongest in taste - but just like a bitter should be.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 22:01:54 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of Chinon01


4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Soft soapy head spider web lacing. Nose is of figs and orange raisins and other citrus notes with some chalky minerality.

Taste in the front is similar to nose with a nice marriage of gentle hops and mineral in the finish. Balanced malty goodness throughout. Mouthfeel is decent and the drinkability is awesome.

There is nothing cloying or overwrought about this beer. Restrained elegance. A knockout.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 17:20:56 | More by Chinon01
Photo of PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep red colour, with a small foamy off-white head, and no clear carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet biscuity malts, with a slight citric fruitiness.

Taste: The initial flavours are biscuity malts, as is the case with the aroma, however, there is also a noticeable earthy hoppiness about it. Slight hint of bananas.

Mouthfeel: Full, still and chewy.

Drinkability: Really drinkable, nice flavours, not to heavy considering the fullness, and very moreish

Serving type: cask

09-13-2009 15:32:44 | More by PartyBear
Photo of Jeffo


2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this at my local LCBO

From a bottle into a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Pours a 3+ finger thinner looking off white head with decent retention. Color is rust or mahogany brown and is perfectly clear with medium carbonation. Head slowly fades to a foam cap, but only a ring remains to the end without leaving any lacing down the sides.

SMELL: Mild nose of caramel malt and toffee. Some nice floral hops and pine notes as well.

TASTE: A little bolder than the nose. Some toasted grain up front with caramel and toffee again. Floral hops come through nicely with pine notes as well, much like the nose. Mild and longer lasting aftertaste is nicely done.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little airy but still soft on the palate. Not as creamy as hoped, but goes down smooth enough non-the-less. Finishes slightly too astringent on the palate. Not a real fan of the feel.

OVERALL: Unfortunately the weak, airy and overly astringent palate kept this otherwise enjoyable beer from actually being enjoyable. Tasted quite nice, but I just couldn't get past the less-than-impressive feel of the beer. Not one I'd want to have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 16:06:53 | More by Jeffo
Photo of templar316


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

A nice crisp english ale. Pours a quickly falling off-white head, moderate lacing. Nice butterscotch notes to the nose, a little biscutty. Flavor starts with sweet malts fading into a mild hop bite and finsihing with an oily sweetness. Smooth and refreshing I could drink a dozen of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 02:01:15 | More by templar316
Photo of mhatters


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

Served in a 20oz pint glass - on cask at the Rose and Crown in London

Poured an ambercopper color, hazy, with a delicious white head

Bready, toasty nose, the hops are slightly muffled but there

The flavor is caramel, toast, nutty, with a nice fruityl hop side.

Creamy, very pleasant, another great cask beer to session all day

Serving type: cask

08-10-2009 01:22:20 | More by mhatters
Photo of TheSarge


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored body--one and a half finger thick light tan head, which falls a bit quickly after pour, but remnants sticks together well. Lacing is decent.

Aroma is of tea, and slightly floral and pine.

Taste is of tea and slight butterscotch, with an herbal finish.

MF is medium in body, maybe tends to lean a bit to the thin side. Well carbonated and crisp, wetting to the palate.

Overall a mildly complex beer, but still leans tot the refreshing side.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 07:44:27 | More by TheSarge
Photo of dudecandle

New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark body with large, frothy, thick, off-white head with good retention. Very pretty.

S: Very floral, good and malty. Bread, caramel, fruit.

T: A true malt-bomb with great sidenotes. It's got a nice dose of spice, some burnt orange and the subtlest bit of Fuggles hops.

M: Pretty chewy with low carbonation.

D: A very pleasant brew overall. It ranges a bit much into bubblegum sweetness, but it works out.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 01:18:44 | More by dudecandle
Photo of seand


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear medium amber with a small amount of light tan head. A relatively thin layer retains pretty well, there's some lacing but not a lot.

S: Sweet, hints of caramel and fruit.

T: Starts sweet like the nose, moving into some light hoppy bitterness.

M: Well carbonated, light to medium mouthfeel.

D: Quite easy to drink, a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 22:52:50 | More by seand
Photo of HeroJH


4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great, another really nice English Ale that I can find near my house. A great example of a well balanced traditional ale.

A - nice amber with a reddish tint. Fading Head, nice low amount of carbonation.

S - Nice balance of caramel, slight flowery spices. Iron.

T - Balanced and subtle. Minerals, even hop bitterness, touch of sweetness. Very long nice aftertaste of clean bitter and minerals.

M - soft carbonation, coating

D - Supremely easy to drink. Enough interest and smoothness to keep 'em coming.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 19:21:26 | More by HeroJH
Photo of rixport

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Exactly what one would expect from a good British ESB. Brilliant tawny amber color with great clarity, but not the overly shiney appearance of a lot of newer 'tourist' beers coming out of England lately. Aroma was clean with caramel notes and a background hop note. Carbonation level was perfect.. lively without being burpy. Up front carmel/crystal malt roundess without being cloying, followed closely by an assertive (at least in English beer terms) hop bitterness, I would imagine fuggles. An extremely well balanced beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2009 17:18:59 | More by rixport
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is softly sour and malty with slight toast. Smells okay.

Pours a deep amber color, good clarity, nice head. Look good.

Soft malt - toasty biscuit with mild caramel. Moderate bitterness - steely and earthy. Mild sweetness. Mild hop - noble, pungent, floral edge. Mild fruit - appleish. Some spicy pepper. Some herbal tea-like qualities.

Light, drinkable, sessionable English Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 01:48:24 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eggshell white colored head, mostly foam rather than bigger bubbles, quickly drops from one finger to a thin surface coating, no obvious lacing. Very clear redwood color, transparency does not diminish the fullness in the glass, brightens into zinc orange around the rims. Well-spaced nose, allows you access to all the various scents without interference, caramel, creamed coffee, scone, sodabread and a suggestion of fruitcake, you get golden raisins, figs, grapes and peach pits, any hops are lowkey and not out to get in anyone's face, florality too demure, overall depends on sweetness to make an impression. Medium-bodied, the carbonation starts churning from the first sip and shows no signing of diminishing until the bottle is empty. Places itself squarely in the middle ground, no favoring the toffee, chocolate or nutmeg spice or, conversely, the lemon citrus, pressed flowers or field grasses. That said, there's a noticeable metallic, streamwater aspect, which may be the most bitter thing about it. Not so bready here. Clings to your mouth pores, not sticky like honey, more so oily. So, has decent length in terms of palate presence even if not the flavor intensity to match.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 00:31:33 | More by farrago
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

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

This is another beer that is common in England but harder to find here in the states. This ESB from Wells and what's left of Young's pours a dark copper color with a ton of visible carbonation and a tan cap of head. A slight hint of metal tints the nose along with grainy caramel malts and a touch of hop spice.

The compound is expectedly balanced and understated but the real flavor comes out in the aftertaste. The rich, bready malts are well tempered with English hops and the staying power is impressive. The texture is thin but smooth and supple, and somehow strong enough to carry the yeasty mass.

Overall, this is an excellent example of the style and quite authentic tasting.. I'm sure this is better on draft but it's still pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 02:25:23 | More by daliandragon
Photo of PirateUlf73


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Clear copper-amber color with a full, off-white head.

S: Earthy hops up front with a toasty malt backdrop. Hints of caramel and crystal malt abound. A little biscuit-like as well.

T: Light breadiness and toasty sweetness, balanced by earthy, somewhat spicy English hops. Neither is the master, as the malt and hops work well together. Very pleasant.

M: Solid medium body with low carbonation. Finish is toasty and clean.

D: A fantastic, sessionable bitter. Easy drinking.

A very excellent example of an ESB, and a downright tasty beer to boot. I'd call this a good after-work beer, a pleasant treat to come home to every night. Would also pair well with a wide range of cuisine (in my opinion). A good workhorse brew, and one I plan to purchase more of in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 06:59:21 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of AtlasBrew


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

Color: A clear dark copper, almost red, with a thick lacy cream colored head that has great retention. Leaves nice rings on the glass all the way down.

Aroma: Biscuit maltiness with toasted bread and caramel undertones. Spicy floral hops are present but very mellow.

Taste: Toasty malts and caramel flavor but not sweet, bready with an almost tart flavor that must be from the water as they suggest on the bottle. Hops are there but only in balanced bitterness. Not too much flavor from the Fuggles but still there's a twang in there of something spicy or peppery. Light bodied and smooth drinking overall.

Overall: It's a good example of a bitter. I like this as a potential session beer while sitting in a Pub in England; I imagine it would taste better on its home soil.

Cool Bottle!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 05:48:29 | More by AtlasBrew
Photo of nickfl


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of off-white head on a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. Very nice color. The head settles at an average pace and leaves excellent lace in its wake.

S - Toasty malt and a hint of caramel. Fruity yeast, apples and some figs.

T - Rich maltiness up front, lots of toffee and medium-dark caramel. Fruity yeast profile in the middle figs and plums, surprisingly dark. The finish is toasty with some slight hop flavor and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, medium-light carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable with a pleasingly complex malt profile. This beer stands out primarily for its rich toffee malt profile and dark fruit yeast character. Everything is well balanced and in proportion allowing for a very nice, enjoyable ESB.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 04:48:03 | More by nickfl
Photo of skizziks


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess there is at least one positive from the merger of Young's with Well's. While I wasn't too pleased to cross a visit to the historic Ram Brewery off my to-do list without ever having seen it, I do at least get to sample Well's beers in my hometown.

Dense tan head rises about a half inch over a clear deep copper beer. Excellent retention with good lacing.

Floral hops dominate the aroma over deep caramel malt. The yeast throws some nice fruity esters and rounds out the aroma with orange and allspice. Only complaint is that everything is a tad faint, needs to be turned up a bit.

Rich toast and caramel malt coats the tongue. A touch of spice cake. Floral and herbal flavors from the hops are well integrated with the malt. Some papery notes suggest oxidation and that would also explain why the flavor and aroma both seem muted. Very well balanced with a slight malt bias. Hops linger into a dry finish.

Full body with light carbonation makes for a beautiful fluffy mouthfeel. Luxurious in the mouth yet not too heavy. Very nice. A little rich for an ESB, pushes the boundaries of a winter warmer. Definitely not an everyday kind of beer, but a very nice special occasion beer. Too bad about the oxidation, but that is always a danger with a high priced import that may have sat on the shelf for months after its long voyage. Please date the bottles!

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 23:22:00 | More by skizziks
Photo of brendan13


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark copper with a centimetre of slightly off white head that falls rather quickly. A bit of lacing is left down the glass.
S - Smell is toffee sweetness with a floral touch hidden deep down that reveals with a bit of warmth and a good swirl.
T - Toffee sweetness also in the taste, some toasty malt notes, a bit of floral & fruity hoppiness.
M - Light to medium bodied, fairly high carbonation. Has a definate "minerally" feel.
D - A well balanced, tasty ESB. I could certainly drink a few pints of this without a problem.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 08:36:54 | More by brendan13
Photo of fitzy84


3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with a dark, murky copper-like look with a thick head and patchy lacing. Burnt cocoa aromas mixed primarily with malts. Taste was rather dull and watery. It lacked a stable flavoring and more had a flat, flavorless texture. Mouthfeel was decent with a good body but, like its flavors, was rather flat. Overall, not sure if it lives up to the title "drink of England" but it has its moments.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 01:16:20 | More by fitzy84
Photo of laituegonflable


2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The drink of England, eh?

Well, I've not seen many English lasses that look much better than this. Pours a gorgeous dark copper-amber colour with a very healthy carbonation streaming up the liquid, and a pillowy, thick head of beige foam, sticking around nicely but slowly drooping. This is definitely what an English ale should look like.

Nose is fairly simple, a very distinct aroma of English hops. A bit faint, maybe because I'm serving it a bit cold, but it's still definitely there. It's a mostly floral hoppy character and slightly balanced by a bit of a caramel malt aroma. Fairly good for what it is.

Palate is a lot maltier than I would expect, both from the nose and from the name of the beer. Very rich, almost earthy hops on the mid-palate with the back lingering in a copper, metallic kind of flavour, slightly sour, almost like when you put your tongue to the node of a battery. But the leadership is usurped by the malt on the front which also contributes to a thick, phlegmy mouthfeel. Not only does it feel phlegmy but it creates phlegm in my throat, almost like there's something lactic there. The head, when sipped, is delicious, like a strong Irish stout head. But it's here where that metallic aftertaste is strongest.

Overall, this is a fairly lacklustre example of a bitter. Mostly, it's not very bitter - it's too malty for that. Secondly, the palate, while having enough complexity to keep you interested, is fairly poorly balanced and the flavours are all essentially lined up one by one for you to count, rather than being released in a gush of flowering complexity. I could take it or leave it, really.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 10:33:51 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of Offa


4.97/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful English bitter that finally was available here although it sold out fast and with good reason.

Deep copper, it has a medium pale tan head slowly shrinking to a nice, lasting 1/4 inch top that's permanent, and leaves a little bit of lace.
The aroma is rich caramel, toasted whole wheat bread, a delightfully complex yet lively plum-orange-raisin-lemon mix, lea and leaves - very English.

The taste is like the aroma overlal, with a lot of fruit as above, toast, a strong leafy tea character, esp. near the finish, mroe toast, hints of licorice and pepper, and a lightly winey fruitiness and a rather English sweet-sour hint. It has great sweet-bitter balance and a wonderful leafy finish married with sweet caramelised bread crust that lingers.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 23:42:28 | More by Offa
Photo of tronester


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with a big tan head. Smell is of oak and freshly cut hay. Taste is nutty, sweet, with nice esters created from the British yeast strain. The finish is superbly bitter, very nice. Mouthfeel is good, finishes surprisingly clean. Good carbonation levels, though I did pour vigorously as IMO British ales need lower carbonation for full flavor. As with many English Ales, drinkability is fantastic. It's a shame more American brewers don't try and replicate this style (using UK malts, hops and yeast strains) as I imagine they could make something great.

I had this beer on cask when in London a couple of years ago. While the bottled version is very good, from the cask it is stellar. It's a shame we cannot get it in this form over in the USA!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 23:22:55 | More by tronester
Photo of roddwolff


2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was seen very well once i served in my mug, with a brown dark color and some coppery notes, good head of foam; the smell is spicy, some malts are distinguished; the taste is frutal, light bitterness and essences of caramel and toast malts; the drinkability simply is well, adequate quantity of alcohol, for enjoy better with food, i took it with meat.

The only thing i didnt like was the mouthfeel, the flavor doesnt last a lot, the body was ok.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 20:50:13 | More by roddwolff
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.