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

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

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very good

805 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 805
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 15
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: 805 | Reviews: 412
Photo of mooseisloose
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cool looking 500 ml bottle, doesn't say Premium Bitter but simply "Premium Ale", hope this is the right one, let's give it a whirl. Smell is distinctly English with some sweet malt and indeed a little peppery as they note. Pours to a deep chocolate brown with a multi sized bubble head that dissapates, but not quickly, lacing nicely. Taste is a very smooth, more European than English, well balanced ale. Has a bit of caramel combined with some roasted malts right up front. There's some crisp noble hops in the middle of the taste followed by a dry and tangy finish with bitter residuals. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth in the beginning, sparks up in the centre, but seems a little thin on the end. Overall this is a great drinking brew. Session beer without a doubt.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle 5.2% abv

Appearance: Wonderful red/amber colour with red and gold streaks if held to the light. Great frothy head that leaves good lace. I love the look of this beer, but I hate the fact that it uses artificial colourants... It would have got a 4.5 if this was natural colour.

Smell: Great nose. Caramel malt base with hints of molasses and tea. This is followed by typical earthy English hops with a hint of orange peel.

Taste: Malty with hints caramelized sugar. Followed by great hop flavour (unfortunately the flavour is not backed up by enough bitterness).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, great carbonation. Lovely drink.

Drinkability: As with most good ESB's very drinkable.

Photo of AgentZero
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown with ruby highlights, small white head with not a whole lot going on.

S - Toffee and bready malts, little brown aleish. Slight hops profile, but mostly malty.

T - Carmel and toffee flavors, malty, not a huge fan, just tastes kind of blah and flat and leaves me wanting.

M - Very carbonated, maybe a bit much so, light-medium bodied.

D - Not hard to drink, just doesn't taste well enough for me to want to drink muc.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pristine, copper color with a thin, white head that quickly fades, leaving some patches.
Smell is slightly spicey malts and a little bit of hops. Skunkiness that comes up from underneith, though it's so faint it doesn't detract from the smell substantially. Hint of cinnamon as well.
Taste is spicey malts, with some faint hops coming in after. Hints of cinnamon, banana, and apple. Finish is a bit watery, with a trace of spices coming through.
Mouthfeel is slightly crisp, with a light body. Somewhat watery.
Drinkability is decent, but this one is rather uninteresting, and doesn't have much appeal.

Photo of jneiswender
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Deep Ellum in Boston. Served at cellar temperature and in a pint glass.

A-garnet and brown body with an off-white head.

S-berry smell

T-fruit and fruit stone front, floral hop finish and mineral flavor throughout.

M-light to medium

D-just an okay beer. Not very much depth. I would have again if given limited choices.

Photo of ludachris
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and rich amber red with less than a finger of off white head that leaves minimal lace. The attractive shade of this beer is what really makes the appearance.

Grapes, figs, toffee, toasted bready malts, and spicy grassy hops are what make up the nose. Very malt forward, but that is what is to be expected for the style, and its more than welcome.

Toffee and dark fruits make an appearance first on the tongue and are followed by various spices, a pleasantly bitter grassy hop presence,and a toasted and refined bready malt finish, all of which take place in front of a mineraly backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, decently carbonated, and dry in the finish. Nicely balanced and goes down quite easily.

A great ESB that would make a perfect pint on tap. I prefer Fuller's ESB over this, but this is still a solid second. Flavourful, balanced, and sure not to disappoint.

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

It is nice to have a full bodied English Bitter after a overdose of realy hoppy PNW beers. This is spot on for the style. Slightly yeasty and flowery but anchored in malt and having a full mouthfeel. Dry finish with lots of noble hops in the midbody.

Photo of MaxBrews
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation a beautiful and uniquely shaped bottle holding 570ml of English Ale poured into a 16oz glass thats somewhere between pils and pint.

Appearance: Pours with a bubbly and quickly dissipating one and a half finger head. A good looking thin, but firm and soapy lacing. Some residue is left from the head on the glass. The color is a clear copper with some haze at the bottom.

Smell: This is a malty beer, which gives off toasted and bready aromas as well as a variety of fruit; pear, raisins, grape and prune. Slight notes of caramel and a little peppery spice.

Taste: This is a malty ale with plenty of dark fruit (sultana grapes as the label suggests). Hops aren't really identifiable as having a certain flavor but they add a fair amount of bitter bite and a little spice. However there was this occasional metallic taste that I can't get around so I can't give this a "Good" rating.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation on the lighter side of mouthfeel, with a bitter bite. Not in the territory of American IPAs but a fair amount of bitterness none the less. Surprisingly does not finish all that dry.

Drinkability: Pleasant and easy to drink with a good amount of flavor. I've found several English pale ales to be in the same realm but with more flavor. This would be a great beer if the price wasn't so steep. I've always found Samuel Smith's to be steep but a $4.50 pint from a bottle? A decent bitter though may drink again.

Photo of hackmann
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Had to make an aggressive pour to get a good head. The light tan head sits atop a nice see thru copperish color body. The head is short lived but, has some nice lacing. Mild carbonation.

Smell: Slight peppery note mixing with sweet malty notes.

Taste:a nice herbal hoppy bite with a rich taste of malt characteristics. I get a nice cedary note along with a red apple freshness. I like the firm english ale quailties and the crisp refreshing taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a dry and hoppy bite that is still refreshing probably due to the watery edges of the ale. The slight carbonation also helps to clean the palate. There is a little spice tingle left on the cheek and gums.

Drinkability: To me easy to drink. Low 5.2% and a solid english ale taste that makes it enjoyable.

Photo of jizdepski
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

love the look of the bottle, with the english flag emblazoned on a shield. when poured this ale appeared a dark copper color, with a decent sized head (near white in color) that dissipates quickly with just a few bubbles working their way to the top. looks very inviting. head retention and lacing are just about nil. smells are of hops, lightly roasted malts, and a bit of bready spiciness. the fuggle hops on the palate are apparent right up front, and are certainly not overwhelming, but offer a nice tangy bitterness throughout the sip. a thick breadth of malty sweetness accompanies the hops that i really enjoyed. good combination of fuggle hops and the crystal malts. has a slight toasty flavor i appreciated also. can't put my finger on the spice that is showing through. the finish has a spicy zip with a nice balance of that hop bitterness with the sweets. this ale has a medium body, with moderate carbonation. very nice. i found the drinkability to be a strong suit. i have yet to find a wells that i didn't enjoy. a splendid ale.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Meg O Malleys in downtown Melbourne. Pouts a brown caramel with a small white head that left no lacing.
Smell is some malts with light hops
Taste is light malt with some nice bitterness on the way down,
This is a nice session beer. Nothing to write home about, but a nice ESB. Give it a try if you find it.

Photo of Daniell
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: nice malt colour when held up to light, otherwise darkish sultana - three finger head. Proper.

S: nice pungent sultana (I may have been influenced by the "sultana" description on the label :P) and yeast. Also a kind of metallic smell, and vague dark fruits and chocolate/carob. Has kind of a vague "funkiness"/"old smell"/"feces" which is similar to that I find (and have trouble describing) in Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Also get the "apple"yness I seem to pick up in every beer.

T: bitters, yeast, tastes very "full" from the darkness, also some fruitiness. Also some vague vegetabliness.

M: nice and creamy.

D: a dark beer and the malt (which usually gives me higher drinkability) is downplayed here.

A nice brew, although very intense. Wouldn't want to session these, ironically something like Cooper's Best Extra Stouts seem more sessionable to my taste.

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

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 805 ratings.