1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

755 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 755
Reviews: 404
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 11
Gots: 35 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 755 | Reviews: 404 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Daredevil


4.68/5  rDev +23.2%

the label looks like a Steven Spielberg dub of an England WW II propaganda poster ... just cool ... the nose has hints of pink grapefruit, sure more hops then malts ... the rich taste has hints of blood oranges, lychees, roasted macadamia and some toffetype sweetness ... a great english bitter ...definitely premium ...

03-03-2007 23:09:45 | More by Daredevil
Photo of DogFood11


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured into a stemmed pils glass it forms a meaty eggshell white head that has good retention. Amber to coper in color with slow rising uniform carbonation.

First pull and my initial thought was "This is another english brew where the malt bill is so soft and delightfull". English brewers have a distinct way of brewing that makes alot of their offerings delicate and this is in that group as well. Very flavorfull with a mild chocolate mixed with some toasty malts and a snappy and drying hop finish. Malts come back into play in the aftertaste as it coats the palate a bit and slowly melt away.

Notes: Nice ESB but not much beyond that. A little watered at times and there is an underlying metallic twinge that is annoying. Overall I'd love to see this while in England.

02-13-2007 02:06:54 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

Bottle Date September 2006, Sampled January 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep amber to dark ruby color, it is topped by an initially three-finger thick, dirty tan colored head. The aroma is a mix of berry like fruit notes and light malt. Notes of raisins, currants, caramel, light toffee, perhaps a touch of buttery diacetyl and some dry biscuit-like malt all intermingle here in the aroma.

The taste is light on the palate, with a soft fruity sweet malt character up front. It finishes with some berry-like hop notes as well as a touch of spicy herbal character and a light bitterness that finishes things off. A very light diacetyl note adds a touch of butterscotch that lingers a bit in the finish. This actually has a good diacetyl character, it is very subtle, just enough to add some complexity, but not enough to become detracting. A touch of toasty malt character is here, it evokes some soft chocolate notes and even a touch of roasted coffee character.

This has a fair amount of carbonation in this brew, it probably adds a bit to the lightness of this brew. This is not a bad brew, but I can't help but think that this seems a little thin in the flavor department. I am not looking for bigger, but there is a certain leanness here that I associate with cheap lager, though I am not quite sure why I say this. This does have a nice balance between spicy hop character and malt notes, though it does lean towards the hop side of the spectrum.

01-13-2007 20:32:59 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of bort11


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

23.25 oz bottle (that's an odd volume?) poured into an Imperial pint glass. Egg white colored head that recedes to a filmy lace. Solid ring maintains. Color is a clear orange/red when held to the light.
Smell is primarily a sweet malt with a mild smokey bitterness in the background. Taste follows smell, though the bitterness is dry and the smokiness is more pronounced. Some caramel flavor is in the finish.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Carbonation is slightly creamy.
ESBs are not my favorite style, but this one is very good.

01-06-2007 05:03:29 | More by bort11
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

This is a review of a beer I drink on a regular basis, and I thought I should share my views on it.

I only drink it in cask form and in pubs I know look after their beer.

A lovely ruby coluored dark beer which always comes with a fine, smooth, creamy off-white head.

No huge aroma, but hops, malts and often a toasty burnt smell is evident.

This is a well balanced, well made bitter and tastes like a good English bitter should.

The dryness and bitterness stays for a while, to be replaced by the malt and hops which are initially in the aroma.

Very drinkable, a good benchmark for anyone who doesn't know what an English Bitter tastes like.

12-14-2006 12:10:18 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of calinative68


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

I bought this is Idaho this past summer. I was looking for a good example of a English pub ale.
Nice dark red apperance with a decent white head (head didn't last too long).
Smell of fruit,malt and hops.
Taste is crisp and quite balanced. I still get the fruit, malt and hops. Quite drinkable as it went down really easy.
Good ale to drink on a Fri or Sat night. I can honestly say, I could drink this all night long.

10-13-2006 18:04:29 | More by calinative68
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

2.28/5  rDev -40%

Light brown ale. Pour gave a 1/2 finger light tan coloured head which reduced to virtually nothing very quickly

All i could get here was roasted grain and earthiness, nothing special

Worse than the aroma - no fruitiness, only light hints of grain with an overpowering bitter roasted aftertaste

Very thin and to be honest a bit stale after about 2-3 mins. Flat in carbonation

Cant say i could another pint of this, a poor example of an english bitter, no character at all

09-21-2006 09:51:06 | More by seanyfo
Photo of mynie


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Can sez that the ABV is 5.3.

Pours nice and dark cherry red into an imperial pint glass, a gigantic white head fades quickly away into nothing and leaves no traces along the side of the glass.

Smells of very nice English pub ale fruits along with a slight node of hop and a bunch of pasteurization blandness. Is that the smell of dead flavor? I think so. But, thankfully, the majority of the flavor seems to have survived.

Tastes very nice, all crisp and fruity. Big blend of dry hop mixes with very sweet and fruity malt and the flavor stays the same all throughout--no real stages, no real complexity. Kudos to it, though, for managing to overcome the pasteurization blandess, which lingers only as a faint aftertaste.

A good example of the style. light, crisp, and immensely drinkable. Heck of a way to kick off a long weekend. Probably be a lot better drank fresh, though.

09-16-2006 00:42:55 | More by mynie
Photo of marcobrau


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

A light brown to dark mahogany ale that pours with a voluminous, rocky off-white head. that falls very slowly. Fruity aroma with hints of caramel. The taste is malty and fruity, with a strong note of minerals.The finish is lightly spiced with hops and just a touch dry, with light bitterness. This beer needs more bitterness to be an ESB, but it's a good session beer which sort of comes across as a darker, fruitier and more complex version of Bass Ale.

09-11-2006 23:16:58 | More by marcobrau
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%

Light brown ale. Pour gave a 1/2 finger light tan coloured head. The beer was scantly laced and mildly carbonated.

This beer was floral and fruity, with hints of treacle, dark fruits, nuts and earthy spice.

Similar to the aroma. Biscuity and slightly nutty, with hints of dark fruit and treacle. Nice floral spiciness from the hops.

Well balanced and tasty English ale. Toasted malt and floral bitter hops quite flavourful and balanced. Mild carbonation nice, doesnt detract from the malts and hops.

This is a very drinkable ale. Would make a nice session brew, as well as a decent brew to introduce a novice to the realm of craft brew. As long as this is readily available ill pick it up again.

Not sure why its marketed as a premium ale here in Canada. Guess they think it may be more accessible as such versus the ESB.

08-28-2006 13:17:09 | More by demcorhip
Photo of headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -17.1%

Got my first sample of Charles Wells Bombardier Premium Ale (or Premium Bitter in other markets, apparantly) as a gift from family members, the first in a set of beers for my birthday. The bottle is quite impressive, but what about the beer itself?

Pours from a solid brown pint bottle into my pint glass surprisingly dark for a bitter, perhaps closer to an English Brown Ale. Brownish in colour, with heavy caramel and ruby colouration depending on lighting. It's topped by two fingers of surprisingly foamy head that dissapates quickly, but still leaves a one-finger cap that lasts for the entire drink. Heavy, heavy lacing rounds out the beer. Certainly not bad looking.

Smell is fairly neutral, at least at first. Dark bread, some indistinct tangy berries, nutty, some light, subtle hopping, a touch of roasted and toasted malt, slight chocolate. Almost a nutella character? Pleasant, but the unusual fruit tang is just a little off, almost like a jam.

Taste is more of the some. Dark bread, with a touch of berry sweetness at first (again, unusual - tangy, jam-like). Sweetness is counteracted by some bitter, dry flavours. Roasted and toasted malt. Nutty (cashews?). Again, almost like a brown ale. Some slightly assertive hop flavour on the finish. Dry, grainy, slightly bitter. Persistance of that unusual twang. Not bad, but not really a marquee beer, either.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Though highly visible in the pour, carbonation is surprisingly moderate, with a medium body. Drinkability is average, though I can't quite put my finger on why. Perhaps it's the unusual... 'jam' sort of flavour, but I can't see myself drinking more than one or two of these guys in a sitting (though they helpfully come in a pint bottle!)

Wells Bombardier Ale is miles above many beers, but is still largely nothing special. Worth a try, but not quite ready for the limelight.

08-19-2006 20:09:08 | More by headlessparrot
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Had this on tap at the Rose and Crown in Palo Alto as a pint.

Poure a dark copper with a very fine bubbled, creamy head that sticks around and left excellent lacing.

The smell was a very light malt with a faint herbal hop nose as well.

Taste was very dry. Well balanced with a delicious light cocoa finish and some liht herbal bittering.

The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with perfect carbonation for the style.

Quite drinkable. Not the most complex beer in the world, but quite pleasing.

08-14-2006 03:44:43 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of xav33


2.78/5  rDev -26.8%

Wells Bombardier
16 oz bottle
Unknown bottling, expiration date 09/06, swallowed 08/06
Medium pour in an English pint.

Poured an intriguing clear ruby brown with an average slightly off white mostly diminishing head.

Smelt of dark bread.

Taste was sweet malty, almost corny upfront, with combination of sweet malt and hoppy body and good average lasting finish. Body was medium light, dry and fizzy, which held back some of the flavors.

Overall, an above average English bitter.

08-10-2006 17:46:16 | More by xav33
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Got a bottle of this at the Henry VIII Pub in Etobicoke (west end of Toronto). I've seen this at the LCBO occasionally, but never picked one up. Great looking bottle, although the pub gave me the worst possible glass for it... I didn't really get that, since they served proper glassware for everything else.

Anyway, pours a pleasant orangy brown into a wildly inappropriate, what looked like a standard Ikea water glass. Aroma was hard to discern, even in this non-smoking pub, and it was a little too cold. Primarily bread, mild roastiness, and a teeny bit of hops.

Taste was quite good, and this is a very drinkable ESB (as I find most to be). Malty, of course, and chewy mouthfeel, with a little bit of grassiness and smokiness.

Not a bad beer, although it didn't stand up to well in between two much better ones (Younger's Tartan Special on tap, and a Fuller's London Porter).

08-07-2006 13:07:02 | More by crwills
Photo of Blakaeris


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours a clear rich red-brown color with a tan head that dissipates quickly leaving moderate lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, hints of dark fruit, and a mild hint of herbal hop.

Taste is far more full and rich than the nose. Sweet caramel malt has a pleasant nuttiness. Herbal hop character offers generous bitterness, and is present throughout the experience. Mild minerally notes. There is a dark fruit and charred smokiness as well. Finish is dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with slight diacetyl butteryness.

A surprisingly full flavored brew. Interesting, full flavored and complex.

07-30-2006 17:25:34 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of Reidrover


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Nice looking beer in appearance, dark amber with ruby aspects, lovelly large dense creme coloured head. Nice dark fruity, malty aroma, with a hint of hop and mild pipe tobacco. Great balanced flavours, mainlly malty on first taste..dark malts, slightly toffeeish, some dried fruits, slightly prunish, a hint of dried apricot..all vert nice, but the understated English hopping as always supports well and leads to a well balanced beer. Very good mouthfeel, not thick but pleasing..dryish finish. I liked this beer very much , typical English flavours make for a easy going Summer night beer here in Salem

07-11-2006 06:31:05 | More by Reidrover
Photo of ypsifly


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Undated 16.9oz can purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into an imperial pint glass.

Dark amber under over two fingers of light tan that shows very good retention and leaves lots of fine wispy lace.

The nose has a nice balance of caramel malts and lightly floral hops. A touch of toast is in there as well. Nice.

The taste follows the exact same path as the nose. Well balanced with a light lingering bitter aftertaste. A very smootyh beer with a moderate mouthfeel that has just the right amount of carbonation....I'm glad there is no widget in this can. A very drinkable beer that is perfect for summer refreshment or washing down a good meal.

07-06-2006 22:28:48 | More by ypsifly
Photo of jarmby1711


2.65/5  rDev -30.3%

Dark in colour looking a little coca colarish, there was not a lot of bubble and the head was thin and yellow tinged.
The smell was disappointing , being watery and vaguely malty.
The taste to me was too much alcohol.I think because there so little other flavour to go with the 5.2% ABV No hop flavour , dull uninteresting malt and just a little hop bitterness
The label bangs on about selecting only the most flavoursome part of the ripest hops.
well get some new people to do the selecting because they missed out on this brew.
The best part of this ale was the mouthfeel It was smooth oily and the carbonation was in good proportion to the mouth feel.
Not a very happy experience To much alcohol to go with too little flavour

07-01-2006 00:23:29 | More by jarmby1711
Photo of bluejacket74


3.45/5  rDev -9.2%

Served in a pint glass, the Bombardier pours a copper color with a small off-white head. There isn't much of an aroma, but the main smells are hops (fruity) and a bit of caramel. It tastes mainly like hops, spices, bread and caramel. It finished clean, with pretty much no aftertaste at all. The mouthfeel is thin and watery with low carbonation, but it is pretty drinkable. The aroma and flavor weren't too strong with this beer. It's not bad, but it's not something I would want to drink all the time. It would make for a decent occasional session beer. I guess I was just expecting more from the beer, but overall it's average to good.

06-23-2006 23:47:46 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of clickpush


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Pour: .5L bottle to wide mouth glass. Comes out with lots of bubbles throughout the body. A dark red beer with one finger of tan head on top that leaves excellent lacings in its wake.

Nose: Smells strong of strawberries and bananas right after opening the bottle, like ripping the lid off of a cup of yogurt. Notes of both malts and hops, some herbiness, some toffee, and a touch of alcohol to bring the fruit characters out further. The smell is a tad on the light side, but very strong during the pour.

Mouth: Has a very light body with strong carbonation. Fruity sweet characters, maybe white grapes, and a strong hop finish with a bit of heat from the alcohol, creating a spicy ensemble. Strawberry notes follow the nose into the mouth. I served this at room temp and I think it may have been a bit better chilled. Would definitely drink again.

06-15-2006 20:34:24 | More by clickpush


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

A - 2 1/2" dense beige head -- (looks like a root beer float). Excellent retention and thick patchy lace. The beer is a deep copper color and there is a tornado swirl of carbonation bubbles that just keeps on coming.

S - Wonderful light citrusy hops. Seems like just a touch of yeasty hefe quality in there. Touch of malt. Very pleasing aroma overall.

T - Light caramel notes. Toffee. Herbal hops. Well balanced with an almost perfect amount of late bitterness.

M & D - Medium bodied. Low to mid-level carbonation despite the active carbonation in the appearance. Smooth, easy to drink, session stuff here. Very tasty!!

06-13-2006 01:18:08 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of Dukeofearl


2.88/5  rDev -24.2%

I tried this in bottle a little over a year ago, and was interested to see it in cans at my local, so why not give it a try. All I can say is that either my tastes have changed, or it is far superior in the bottle. This comes out almost flat, with a few large bubbles in my Fuller's imperial pint glass. Minimal aroma is helped by a nice (but very light) hop profile in the flavor. I know English ales are subtle, and that's what there is to love about them, but this is beyond subtle. This is missing in action. Mouthfeel is watery to very watery (if the flavor wasn't better, I'd say it was an American light/lite beer based on mouthfeel alone). It did not grab me at all.

06-02-2006 23:53:52 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of JustinBathurst

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%

I was extremely pleased to have this beer. I was working my way through a large group of English ales, mostly finding myself disappointed, but then I tried this one. The bottle is a massive object in itself, containing 568 mL (an "imperial pint" apparently) of ale. The label reads Bombardier English Premium Ale.

Pours a ruby-caramel, like a cola, really. It's fairly clear. The head is slightly tan. Frothy and sudsy, it falls back without ever opening up the slightest bit. Not really lace... more like a thin carpet of suds.

Smells like a dark molasses bread, a slice of rye bread to be more specific, with a nice citrusy hop character. As it warms, a bit more of a grainy profile emerges.

The carbonation is nicely medium, very much in keeping with the British preference.

The taste is very molasses in the malt district, with mellow earthy bitterness on the exit. A spicy 'zing' like a low-profile ginger is in the background. The aftertaste is pleasant and tangy, not bothersome in the least.

I like this beer quite a bit. It's really too bad it's not very common where I live.

06-01-2006 00:09:40 | More by JustinBathurst
Photo of bodybyadam


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%

I experienced my first Charles Wells at Hops On Equinox 06. This will not be my last. The medium unfortunately was a 6oz pilsner sampler.
The appearance was a mid-dark brown clear bitter with a nice cream-colored ½” froth to top, like a distinguished gentleman.

The aroma was mild but I sensed a slight flowery hop note.

Taste- I enjoyed this almost like a Nut Brown Ale. Yet surprised this bitter was so rich in flavor.

Mouthfeel- exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability was that of any top shelf ale, highly drinkable. I found this to be excellent. I’m still searching in the stores and local suppliers.

Elbows Up,

05-22-2006 01:48:18 | More by bodybyadam
Photo of JayTheFinn


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

One of my favorites, period. Definitely one of the better of its style. Had this one over in England on tap and loved it. The bottle version is no let-down!

Has a nice reddish brown look with a particularly thick head that sticks around for a bit.

Subtle toasty smell.

Tastes the same as it smells, smooth and slightly toasty. A bit sweet as well.

Fairly smooth in the mouth, if perhaps a tad more bubbly than I really prefer.

Solid drinkability. I could down one after another.

05-01-2006 04:03:39 | More by JayTheFinn
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 755 ratings.