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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

804 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 804
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 14
Gots: 62 | 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: 804 | Reviews: 412
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.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell consisted of a slight toasted caramel and a flowery hop.

The flavor featured a nice caramel malt and a touch of a diacytl.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty ESB. Good drinkability.

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

A-Dark copper with a creamy yet small head that still leaves a fine lacing.

S-English hops of course, but a little more musty than some...maybe from the Challenger hops used in this beer. Traditional Golding hops brings this one back to familiar. Malts smell malty as in a malted milkshake.

T-Very malty, ranging from light biscuit to dark caramel. I love it! Challenger hops are a pleasant change from the Golding Fuggle combination we always see.

M- Typical English ale, though not a pub style ale. Well carbonated with a decent texture, though not as smooth as others of the style.

D-As much as I love Fuggle, and I do, it was nice to have a change.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my Samuel Smith imperial pint glass with a large creamy lightly colored caramel head. The beer itself sits nearly lifeless without much carbonation and a crystal clear brown amber. Some spotted lacing.

Smells of biscuits with a light caramel touch. Slight whiff of hops, but everything is fairly muted and very much English.

Tastes similar to its scent, but the hops are slightly more robust. Moves from biscuity sweet to a nice drying hop finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Deliciously drinkable, but at $5 a bottle I better enjoy this one. While this won't knock your socks off it will be good.

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with an extraordinarily firm head that laces like a cask ale

Smell: Caramel malt dominates, with a fruity element and, underneath, a nutty-biscuity tone

Taste: Lots of toffee and sweet fruitiness up front, with a building tea-like herbal bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tea element persists in a long and pleasing finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very enjoyable; one of the top English ESBs around (sadly, they are increasingly hard to find)

Photo of lpayette
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 3.25 oz bottle.

Pours a dark amber with a head that struggles to come to life. There's a bit of lacing present, but not much. The smell is pleasant and malty, but nothing to get too excited about. The taste is pretty biscuity, which I like... balance is more on the malty side with the hop presence mostly coming in at the finish.

Overall this is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer that is a good representation of the style.

Photo of MerkinMan
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a pint + 3.25oz bottle into imperial style pint glass. Color was nice dark red with a good head that faded to about 2mm, which is what I would expect from a Brittish Bitter.

Smells nice, notes of a few different grains perhaps the more refined of palate could identify.

Tastes good, nice and even. Small hint of the hops in the aftertaste.

Very drinkable. I would drink these all night, but may be a little pricey for that -- $5 a bottle. I did not mind paying that much for a beer this good, though.

Photo of eberkman
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a big bottle, producing an amber-red brew with a rocky, airy, almost whipped-cream-like light tan head that does not shrink down in the slightest, leaving plenty of lacing. Definitely an inviting looking beer. The nose is a little week -- mostly biscuity malts and some subtle spiciness. Tastes as a strong bitter should -- lots of caramely, cookielike malts with a soft hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little disappointing -- a pleasant soft smoothness -- almost airiness -- is overtaken by an overall watery feel. Nonetheless, it's interesting and pleasant enough to session with. A few of these would certainly not be a bad way to spend an evening.

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

Pours a light copper ...nice head with some lacing. Smell is a nice blend of malt, yeast and citrus. Taste is malty with a nice crispness with a not overly bitter hop presence. Mouthfeel is crisp with a nice dry finish. Drinkability is very good based upon crispness and low abv.

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

A - Poured an amber color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of slightly sweet malt with hints of caramel

T - Is much like the smell sweet malt with a touch of caramel

M - This is a medium bodied beer

D - I think this is an easy to drink beer it has a pretty good taste to it worth a try sometime

Photo of dedrinker
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut color with a thin head. mild aromas of caramel malt and some milder toffee notes. The flavor was quite similar, yet lacking in depth or complexity. Finish was restrained malt and the faintest touch of earthy hops. Not bad, but I was hoping for more from the folks that took over Young's.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very nice. Clear darker amber with brown hue. Very crème head. Nice size, nice lacing down the side too. Nose is not overly exciting. Slight woody edge. Not much really going on. Flavor is good. Nice malty complexity. Good level of caramel sugary sweetness. Nice wood tones. Feel is silky with carbonation and a good liquid body. Very drinkable. I am sure there are more exciting examples of the style, but this one goes down smooth and has a nice level of flavor character. A pleasure to drink. I wonder what this would be like on cask...

Photo of omnigrits
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 586ml bottle into a wasted Guinness glass, this beer immediately strikes me as something I'm probably going to like just from the dark amber colour topped with a good head that takes a long time to subside. Neither too hoppy nor too malty, but subtle and delicate fruitiness comes to my nose from the glass. From a purely personal perspective I'd prefer a little more bitterness - I find Bombardier just a bit too bland, but very drinkable all the same. A very nice beer indeed.

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

Was able to give this brew a try the other night while at Mahar's. Brew had a nice color, kind of a copper tone with red highlights. Had a good sized light tan head that had some good legs and left nice lacing rings down the side of the glass. The aroma was very inviting, with a fruit like smell mixed with a night toasted scent. The flavors are similar to the aromas but seem to bring them out more as the malts seem to really be alive with a biscuit flavor, the fruit highlights pear and apple. The hop flavor really seems to be fresh as it has a nice bittering effect. This is a highly drinkable brew that has very nice flavor and feel with a lower ABV, exceptional drinkability.

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just had 2 pints of this at Danny's Tavern in Chicago.

High-clarity, reddish copper tone, solid foam that forms some lacing.
Aroma could be smelled a few feet away from the tap when it was first poured. I'm guessing we were the first of the night on that particular tap. It was vague floral Goldings hops and toasted malt, light and clean. In the glass it seems to be more muted. Some grassy graininess.

Flavor of apple, toasted malt, grassy & mildly bitter Challenger hops. Bitterness is subtle in the finish. Very even, rounded mouthfeel that is clean and doesn't hang on the palate too much. Had to have two in a row, so it gets my strong vote as a highly drinkable English Ale.

Photo of dnichols
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a 20 ounce capped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured a clear ruby red with one finger tan head generated by a moderate pour. The tan head was thick and sticky but receded quickly none-the-less. As the head receded it left an even curtain on the exposed glass and a uniform cover over the surface of the liquid.

S: It exhibited a sweet fruity toasted malt with hints of ripe plumes and raisins. There is a distinct aroma of alcohol despite the relatively low 4.3 ABV.

T: My first sip was a dominated by a nice balance between the sweet malts and hidden tangy citrusy hops. I did not experience the characteristic bitters I expected from the style until I allowed it to rest and warm. Then the modest bitters came forward. However, there was an element of sipping a diluted brew that resulted in an unsatisfying experience.

M: Thin, light, watery body with a slightly sweet front, zesty citrusy finish and a relatively clean finish.

D: Bland, low ABV, and not much character. Not a brew I would get excited about beyond this sample...wouldn't turn it away but I doubt my dollars would find there way back to jolly old England.

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

Poured on tap into a branded pint glass at the Brick Store

A - Poured a dark brown with red highlights in it. A nice head that fell quickly enough but left a good lace down the glass

S - Smelled of mocha and toffee with a nutty smell also..good

T - A very good taste to it..much as advertised in the smell

M - A very good balanced mouthfeel..good carbonation

D - A totally sessionable brew..in fact, I sat down and told the bartender at Brick Store I wanted a sessionable ale because I was getting ready to go to the Beerfest and this was what he brought me..very good..and I think my first intro to ESB's...a good beer

Photo of elricorico
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one is dark amber, bordering on brown in colour. A two finger foamy tan head formed. It is reasonably slow to reced and leaves a sheet of lacing. Looks good.

Fruity aroma gives an impression of bananas and berries. A light herbal hop aroma in there as well. Nothing fantastic, but pleasant.

Lightly sweet fruit punch through most of the mouth, with a herbal hop finish. For a moment the finish reminded me a bit of Boddingtons (not a good thing) but it seems to have passed, and taken on an almost root beer type quality. Not a lot of bitterness here, more for fans of the sweeter stuff.

There is a bit of body to this beer, but I find the carbonation sharper than I like for the style.

I wouldn't mind trying this one on cask, to see if that smooths out the carbonation. This could make a very nice pub ale.

Photo of Zorro
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much darker ale than I expected this is a very dark amber with a light brown head that you could possibly call tan but not really. A clear bronze colored ale that I could also call a red colored ale.

Very aromatic ESB here strong Kent hop aroma with lots of toasted grain and biscuit malt. Fairly buttery but not over the top this has a nice caramel scent.

The flavor begins sweet and slightly bitter with a butter and wood after taste. Long lasting herbal bitterness in the after taste it is a little astringent and walnut skin would be the best way I can describe it. Herbal and bitter are the two best ways to describe this so if you like that you will love it. Malt sweetness is all at the start of the flavor profile here along with a bit of nuts.

Pretty good mouthfeel.

Tasty ale but it loses some drinkability point on the basis of the price of this stuff. Other than that this is a good ESB on the herbal and bitter end of the ESB scale. Recommended to try at least once.

Photo of rajendra82
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer came in a sturdy looking 500 ml. Bottle, and I chose to warm it up close to cask temperature before opening it. The beer looked very good in the pint glass, as the copper colored body was absolutely clear, and the head atop was nearly two finger thick and sticky. I know my bottle was fresh, because the store owner had cut open a newly arrive case and handed it to me, but I did not realize how fresh until the hoppy aroma hit my nose. Quite a bit more aromatic than most other English bitters I've sampled so far. The earthy pungent hop smell was quite detectable, even at an arm's length. The taste was where the Englishness of the beer started to make itself known. The bitter-spicy, mineralized, dry, and musty taste was typical handiwork of an English yeast strain. Not much citric brightness was seen here, like that typical in the American interpretations of the style. The mouthfeel disappointed me a little, as it was tinny and marred by an almost metallic aftertaste. Not as good as Fuller's version from what I recall, but it's been a while.

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

568ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep mahogany orange/red with 1 1/2 inches of head. Lots of sticky lacing with a bit of mild, lazy carbonation piercing the brew. Great colouring. Aroma is of apples, caramel, grass, earth, plum, and a bit of peppery spiciness.

Taste begins with a herbal bitterness, followed by a mineral-like flavour that most likely comes from the water source. Earth, grass, caramel, light fruitiness (apple, raisin), and some black pepper. Tasty and very much what the style calls for. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a higher carbonation than I expected from an actual English bitter. Pretty dry in the finish with sweeter notes coming out in the aftertaste. This is a simple and well executed beer that would be a great session ale, especially on cask.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 804 ratings.