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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

799 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 799
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 14
Gots: 59 | 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: 799 | Reviews: 411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Atlas1
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this several years ago whilst in merry old England. Glad to see it on the shelves in San Antonio.

From the bottle to my DFH barrel pint glass, this is a beauty. Rich dark amber color with hues of bright orange and ruby red when held up to natural light. Hefty, slightly off-white head that sticks around a good while and leaves a nice lace on the sides of the glass as it recedes. The nose is also rich, with creamy malted sweetness rising to the forefront. Good fruit scent too, with apples, pear, banana, strawberry and fig. A muted vanilla smell too. Maybe some faint milk chocolate? Really good stuff. Tastes just dandy too. Malty and sweet up front, but that is quickly overtaken by a super-dry hoppiness. Slight fruit flavors in there too, but nothing stands out. Mouthfeel is even and smooth, but bone dry.

A solid ESB from across the pond. Rich, but well-balanced. A great version of the original style. Perhaps not the best ESB I've ever had, but a really good one. Admittedly, though, I am a huge fan of the style.

Photo of ralree
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brownish red with a reddish head. 2-finger head, fairly slow-paced dissipation, decent lacing. Pretty good looking.

S: Alcohol, dark fruit - raisins, a little banana, rich malt. Not too shabby.

T: Dark fruit is first, along with the malt, followed by some alcohol flavor and burn. Quite full of banana flavor. Metallic flavor after swallowing. Some bread notes as well. Leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Alcohol is overpowering, and it doesn't taste all that good, and it's just slightly too cloying and banana-y. I'm not impressed.

M: A little watery, medium-light body. Non-astringent, decently carbonated.

D: I don't think I'll finish the entire pint, and I probably won't buy it again. If one was to not mind the wateriness, alcohol, and sweet-overload, it would go down alright...

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

Mid sized bottle, some sort of dating perhaps etched onto the bottle. Pours dark amber, with a medium tan head, that shows retention then goes to a thin film and leaves nice and plentiful stringy lacing. Nose is nutty and malty. Pleasant British ale, bready malts, smooth and highly drinkable. Brit ales have been getting a lack of respect in my beer world, this one reminds me of the simple pleasures and understated elegance of the brews from England.

Photo of Nic8612
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This was a pretty decent example of the English Bitter. I'm not a big fan of them but I tried it at a tasting and was pleasantly surprised I suppose. This was pretty drinkable. Its a lot better than I expected considering I don't care much for the style at all. All that said, its not something I would go out of my way to buy but it was a good experience.

Photo of theghost3
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is exceptionally dark copper, almost red, with a thick light beige head. Significant lacing. The smell is strongly coffee/cocoa beans/nuts with roasted malts and a hint of fruity hops. The taste starts out strong of roasted malts and coffee, but ends with a slight fruit flavor. Mouthfeel is rather carbonated--surprisingly, not very thick. This is a drinkable beer that is not as heavy as you may anticipate before trying. I really like the size of the bottle. The Charles Wells website says its the UK's only full English pint bottle.

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

I've had this on tap many, many times at Brick Store and am finally reviewing it.

A - dark orange red body with a bit of a head

S - hoppiness with a fair amount of malt in the nose

T - a good bitterness up front and throughout with a solid malt backing. Very enjoyable and great bitter aftertaste

M - medium bodied, very smooth with some carbonation, goes down excellently

D - what a beer! The drinkability is off the charts. There's just something about this beer that makes it infinitely sessionable. The flavor is excellent and it feels great going down. Would definitely drink whenever!

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-transparent light mahogany or coppery brown. Aroma is hoppy with some traces of spices and a little malt component. Flavor is almost more winey than beery, fairly fruity and a little malty, and has a strong nip to it, as well as some strong but pleasant hoppy bitterness. It goes down smoothly and with pizzazz.

Photo of Lukie
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear but dark ruby/brown haze. There was very little head, and little to no lacing at all. As I always say with the English Ales, freshness in Australia is a problem.

Typical english malts and caramel. There is some slight fruit sweetness in it aswell. Swells slightly like candy cherry.

Typical english malts again. Caramel, slightly sweet honey, and lots of bready and biscuit malt. It is full of malty character.

Very drinkable, and enjoyable as a pint. It is nothing to rant and rave about, but for the price, well worth it on occassion.

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

Pours a beautiful clear ruby color with nice off white head. Nose is nice and malty with some slight copper. The taste is superb and to style (as far as american distributed bitters) nice malty taste with smooth mellow golding hop flavors and a nice little hop spice twang. a bit of appley taste (ala SS old brewery pale, but not as strong) Quite dry on the finish, yet still very refreshing. A wonderful session brew, and one I will surely revisit when I get sick of Urban wilderness and the Sam smith pales and organics. Man how I wish we had the bitter selection they have in England, not to mention the cask selection. and for that matter the bitter on cask selection! What perfect session brews. Oh well, someday maybe! Until then, its another excuse to travel. Good beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a warm brown crystal clear body with a golden-brown hue as the light shines through it. There is a thin sticky ring of off-white head that last for a bit. It has a gentle carbonation of big bubbles supporting it.

S- The smell of mineral water gives way to dark malt hints and a soft dry light molasses note is finished with a soft green hop note.

T- The soft taste of lightly toasted malt has some pale malt flavors for support and a soft sweetness finish it. There is a light bitter note that comes through after each sip but not when the beer is cold.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.

D- This beer has some malt notes and a faint hint of hops but it is just bland. All the great subtle flavors in a good bitter are absent, and it was actually tough to finish. I hope to try it on cask and see how this beer taste when it is alive.

Photo of Nipitato
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bottle at Brookline Liquor Mart in Brighton, MA.

A: Deep copper with some ruby highlights. Good 1/2 inch thick head that dissipates to a not quite thin head with good retention.

S:Good strong caramel malt aroma. Some mineral water in there as well. Some fruity aromas add character.

T: Moderate hop bitterness comes on strong at the back end. Some mineral flavors, which are pretty nice. Biscuit malt flavor underscores. Slightly fruity.

MF: Medium body. Low carbonation. Clean finish with only a touch of bitterness lingering.

D, notes: Nice British hop flavors in this one. British beers are meant to be sessionable. This one is. Good balance.

Photo of botham
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 3.25 oz bottle poured into a new sam adams glass. pours a caramel amber color with amber highlights and two fingers of creamy light tan head. moderate lacings.

aroma is malty, with notes of caramel malt, and a touch of roasted malt. a floral hop character balances the malt, adding a subtle spice to the aroma. very nicely proportioned and complete feeling aroma.

taste is malty up front, with the same caramel and hint of roasted malt, finishes on a creamy note with some floral hops and a creamy character.

mouthfeel is supurb. a medium bodied creamy texture gives way to a smooth finish and mildly bitter aftertaste. soft CO2 on the palate adds to the very subtle spicy character of the hops.

drinkability is great. this is a mild and easygoing brew that uses simple flavors and aromas to produce a complete composition that is a delight to drink. cheers, Wells, this one is for you!

Photo of Graham5161986
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark, reddish-brown with a nice, thick tan head that has great retention and leaves a pretty good amount of lacing. tiny bits of floating particles visible.

S: rich, sugary caramel malts and a good amount of bitter hops giving it a grainy, bready nose as well.

T: smooth and semi sweet malts up front with subtle hoppy bitterness throughout giving way to a nice nutty, bready malt finish.

M: medium bodied, slight cream and quite crisp. goes down smooth and quite dry - very refreshing.

D: this is a nice english bitter. good hop character throughout and a bit of malty sweetness that doesn't overpower the beer. Very drinkable and very enjoyable. I will buy this beer again.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/10/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, dark fruit, caramel and some hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with flavors of some dark fruits, honey and caramel. There's a mild hops presence and a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent session beer with some substance that I could drink for a while.

Photo of tayner
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a nice amber with a good sized head that lasted.

Smell was muted with some pear and apple notes, and sweet.

Taste was sweet with some bitter and woody hop flavors. there was a touch of apple and pear sweetness, but very muted in the flavor department too.

It seemed watery and almost like an English version of BMC product.

I wont be getting this one again, thanks.

Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: Dark brown with a one-finger head and lively carbonation.

Aroma: Nice and malty upfront. Some hop bitterness in the nose. Inviting aroma.

Taste: Mild and bitter upfront. A hint of fruit/spice as well. A second sip confirms the bitterness but there's also dryness as well. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter. Malt sweetness is balanced.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style. More of a true version of an ESB from the folks that made ESBs famous.

Verdict: Pick it up. An underrated style that excels in the area of drinkability.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a maple syrup colored caraeml and ruby color. Only a one finger head right after the pour,but quickly degrades to a nearly nothing ring of foam. The aroma is a dry pale adcarame malt that gives of hints of whole grain bread. The frst sip is full of minerals and rain. This is the real deal as far as hard water is concerned. Bone dry hops that balance very well with the medium malts. The malts are heavy on the toast and light on the roast, makes me think of toasted whole grain bread. Bone dry palate , but very drinkable. If only this was available on tap tap a bar near me.

Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint, 3.25 fl oz bottle copped singly from Gary's in Madison for $3.99...
Pours a gorgeous, mahogany-brown, ruby-red colored-hue with enormous carbonation visible and a minimal head that left enormous lacing around the glass...
Sweet, yet not overbearing, malty, nutty aroma with grains apparent...
Superb, clean, clear, bread-and-butter, nutty, malty flavor, with obvious overtones of caramel and toffee - very smooth without being too bitter or overbearing...
Great, refreshing, light mouthfeel with an excellent level of drinkability and a not-over-the-top 5.2% ABV...
Definitely one of the better depictions of the style...

Photo of Traquairlover
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, 3.2 fl oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear reddish amber, large frothy off white head with very good retention and leaving medium lacing on glass. Medium carbonation of small bubbles.

S = Caramel, buttered scones, floral notes of hops, very slight notes of orange-lemon marmalade and white pepper.

T = Light caramel at front of tongue followed by bitterness mid-palate especially on the sides of my tongue, flavors include fresh baked bread and lemongrass, nice long bitter finish.

M = Medium bodied, good mouthcoating, light carbonation.

D = This is a very drinkable beer. If it were slightly lower in ABV it would be an awesome session beer. Nice for an afternoon where you are feeling like a good English pale beer.

Photo of tmitch75
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown, like chestnut, cloudy on top but clear on the bottom. Light head. Looks like I think an English ESB should.

Muted aroma, caramelly sweet malt with just a touch of spicy hops.

Taste is very similar to the smell, with more floral hop flavor.

Medium smooth body with light carbonation. Again, just right for my expectations of the style.

Very drinkable and sessionable English ale. This is really what an English ESB should be in my opinion.

Tasted 3/18/08.

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

Decanted cool into my Bass ale trademark glass

A - A brilliant amber w/ a smooth silky cream cap. The ale looks pretty w/ pin sized beading and a sunfade shading in the glass.

S - Tart apple and cherry fruitiness in the ester w/ a gentle biscuit-like and malty aroma.

M - Mild sweetness w/ moderate carbonation. Slightly tart fruity acidity and a crisp dry finish.

T - A big nutty flavor as the fruity English yeast and toasted malt flavors mix w/ a twiggy woody note. There are plenty of pear and apple flavors w/ subtle hop spicing w/ slight vegetal flavors and a hint of sugary sweetness in the end flavor.

D - A very easy drinkin' English ale w/ session strength, for me this is average and could take it or leave it, but it's not a bad English ale by any means. It serves its purpose, but the flavor becomes ordinary after the first pint, just not a fave style-a little too sweet for multiples.

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

A higher ABV bitter than the standard bottle on the Tesco shelf. A fairly dark chestnut color which is very attractive, a modest head. Fairly muted aroma, fruity malt notes I thought. At first I thought the taste rather dull; but over time I began to appreciate the details: it's quite a dry bitter hoppiness but with some depth of apple-citrus fruit and malty hues.

Photo of slyke
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wells Bombardier pours a lovely copper color with a half-inch of tan head. The head falls to a cap after a few minutes and laces nicely.

The smell of this beer has a pleasing malty sweetness to it. The taste is also malty and sweet, but with the subtle note of Challenger and Goldings hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, crisp at the beginning, and has a sweet, slightly coating finish.

There is a lot happening in this beer and it is all wonderfully subtle. The beer is interesting and comforting all at once; recommended.

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

Poured from a 1 pint bottle.

Appearance: Pours dark copper bordering on amber topped by a 2" off white head that slowly dissipates to a tightly bubbled sheer lacing topping the beer. Crystal clear with streams of tiny bubbles racing to the surface.

Smell: Lots of caramel immediately in the nose with hints of dark fruit. Spicy and floral hops shine through as well.

Taste: Malt forward in the start with caramel and molasses like sweetness. Floral hops (EKG) show with a light bitterness that is followed in the finish by a spicy hop bite. Has a bit of a mineral aftertaste which is common in certain English yeast strains. Somewhat dry late in the finish.

Mouthfee: Medium in the mouth, somewhat coating. Nicely carbonated.

Drinkability/Notes: A really different take on an ESB. More malt pronounced but does have the nice English hop characteristic that you would expect in an ESB. A realy nice take on the style. Would love to try this on cask. A little higher abv than a true session beer but one I could definitely sit back and drink a few. Recommended. Seek and Enjoy.

Photo of morebeergood
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap last weekend at Cornwall's in Kenmore Square. Served in a pint glass. The color was a brownish orange, and the smell was slightly hoppy in nature. Not much though in the flavor department. Kind of bland. A gentlemen next to me also remarked (correctly) that it was very watery in texture. I was just thinking too, very thin body. If you are a fan of this type of beer, then you may enjoy this. But it was a bit too bland for me. Fine for a quick pint then I left.

Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 799 ratings.