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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

793 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 410
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 13
Gots: 54 | 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: 793 | Reviews: 410 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedSpecial1
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a deep amber color with an medium sized off white head that slowly disperses leaving some thick lacing on the sides of the glass. The first thing I smell in this beer is the caramel malt, with just a little bit of citrus underneath. This is a smooth beer that tastes of caramel, malt, and just enough bitterness to keep it from being overpowering. Actually, the bitterness is almost refreshing following the sweetness of the malts as it does, very tasty. This beer is smooth and refreshing feeling light in the mouth, and could easily be the drink of choice on a warm evening, or even in colder months. A very good beer.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass. A dark, russet-amber hue, with a half inch of off-white head. Decent retention, a bit of lacing.

Nose is malt, caramel, herbal hops, dark fruits. Very inviting.

A somewhat sweet, but refreshing bitter ale. Not exceptionally bitter (only for a moment at the end), but very smooth and drinkable. I can certainly see having a few of these in an evening.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark for the style, medium body with a touch of creamyness. The carbonation is light, providing slight bursts of malty goodness.

More than makes up for their IPA; a fine pale ale, not overly strong so as to allow for sessions. Good stuff.

Photo of atis
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap in BombardierBar in Riga

Pours reddish amber with off-white and very smooth head in half finger thickness (till the end of the glass), excellent lacing that covers all sides of the glass and slowly, towards the end of the glass small holes start appearing in it. Aroma reminds of caramel, some fruit.

Taste is mild toasty malt with some fruitiness and fresh floral bittery hops in the background and long lasting bittery aftertaste; medium dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth medium with less than moderate carbonation.

A solid bitter ale.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops and malts. Taste is good, again hops and malts, slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a quality beer.

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

A deep-ruby coloured bitter with a reasonably sized white head that dissipates quite quickly.

There is a lovely smell of butterscotch with a malty finish. At first, the bitterness, typical for the style, is the dominating feature. Then the malty goodness becomes more present, with a hint of butterscotch and a bitter after taste.

This beer is as drinkable as you would expect an English bitter to be. However, in this category I prefer drinking Fuller's ESB over this one, since the Bombardier is a bit too tart for my taste.

Photo of Baileyuk
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A good beer but an interesting review as each individual element has issues.

The appearance is good, decent head, great lacing good color.

Smell was non existent, even after tasting. Not bad, just not there.

Taste was good, very mild for an ESB. Really a very good beer but nothing spectacular.

Photo of northaustin
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark reddish thats fairly clear with less than a finger of white head which disappears quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

smell: small smooth malt with a subtle note of earthy hops.

taste: english bitter for sure. no sweetness. big bitter flavor that is very much what i was hoping for with the style.

mouthfeel: kinda makes ya pucker up and salivate a little. no dryness.

drinkability: very affordable for a good beer that is a shining example of its style.

Photo of TheHammer
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The bottle says Wells Bombardier English Premium Ale, however given the Alcohol content is the same, and their own website doesn't seem to comment on a premium ale, I'm pretty sure I'm reviewing it in the right place.

Appearance: A lot darker then I would expect, as I've had English browns that were lighter, as the body boast a deep brown with a very crimson orange when held to the light. Decent carbonation in the body, too bad I can't say for the same for the head which is non-existent.

Smell: Not much out of this one, even after a good deal of warming. Simply toffee malt and rather plain flowery hops. I'm not particularly impressed.

Taste: Like a cross between a pale ale and an English brown, with more on the pale ale end of things. Starts with a plain but sweet toffee malt, that seems to immediately shift to floral hops with a mineral edge. They both have their merits alone, but combined they hamper the beer.

Mouthfeel: Poor transitioning, it tastes segregated into sweet start and hoppy end, nothing in between. Carbonation is good, and highlights both spectrum's of the beer, the aftertaste is more on the mineral end though, and lingers for too long.

Drinkability: This doesn't go down that smoothly, because this simply isn't a very smooth beer. Refreshing enough I suppose and it's settling down decently enough. I dunno, even as a ESB, which I personally find aren't the most drinkable, I'd say this is disappointing.

Final Thoughts: I suspect the Young's end of Wells and Young's is the premium brand, whereas Wells is the good enough brand. It honestly tastes like this beer should be two separate beers, a Wells Brown Ale and a Wells Pale Ale. For an ESB, you will want to stick to Fullers, because frankly there is nothing special about this bitter.

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

a bit english hop when you pop it with a pour that a bit darker. a straight copper. some head that isn't aggressive of particularly lacy. nose of quintessential beer bitter hop. some earth and metal. palate that is a traditional form i suppose... with an earthy finish.

Photo of Methodd
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.79/5  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.

Photo of Chinon01
4.17/5  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.

Photo of PartyBear
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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

Photo of Jeffo
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

Photo of templar316
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of mhatters
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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

Photo of TheSarge
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of dudecandle
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of seand
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of HeroJH
4.77/5  rDev +25.9%
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.

Photo of rixport
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of farrago
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of daliandragon
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.