1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

773 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 773
Reviews: 407
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 12
Gots: 41 | 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: 773 | Reviews: 407 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drinkininthewood
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 568 ml brown pop off bottle into a pint glass. BB 31/01/08

A- Dark red in color, with a frothy 2 inch thick tan head, and many large lively bubbles.

S- Nice malts, some grain/nuts, and has a somewhat fruity character.

T- Caramel malt sweetness up front with a nice roasty flavor followed up with a grassy/earthy, spicy, and slightly bitter hop balancing, some mineral flavors were noticed in a somewhat dry finish. Nice balance.

M- smooth and somewhat powdery, with a medium body and carbonation is moderate. Theres something "metallic" about the mouthfeel that im not to excited about.

D- Fairly decent, nice flavor.

Overall a nice, quality bitter. Probably one of the better offerings from this brewery. Worth a try for sure.

drinkininthewood, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of Onslow
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This beer seems to get decent ratings but i really disliked this beer .. First off, not to bitch about price but this really is to expensive, Especially for this kind of brew .. Medium sized head for a bitter .. Smells of used socks and old biscuits .. Taste is just a muddled mess, quite disgusting actually! .. Avoid at all costs!!

Onslow, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small date of 31/12/07 printed on bottle that I assume is a "best by" date:

Pours a vibrant ruby amber with a thick head that slowly descends and stays. Broken rings of creamy lacing stick to glass.

The smell is of caramelsh grain, slight hint of sulfur. Earthy and berry-like fruitiness come through behind the malt sweetness.

The taste if of caramelish, biscuity sweetness balanced by a background of earthy bitterness. Cherry-like fruitiness becomes more pronounced as it warms. Bready, dry finish.

Medium bodied, it leaves a malty sweetness on the tongue, along with an unfortunate metallic tinge, though not enough to really interfere.

A nice ESB - malty, but with just enough bitter balance to keep it in style and interesting. A nice one to have on its own, but cherry like sweetness and bready notes make it a nice one to pair with warm cherry pie. A classic ESB that I would love to try on cask.

jwc215, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish brown color with a small tan head of large and active bubbles. The head doesn't stick around for all that long and the beer then looks mostly still with only a few bubbles rising.

Aroma: Initially I got a good bit of nuttiness and some caramel, but my glass was really full after this pour. As the beer warms up some, you can pick out the hops in the aroma, but the malt is the key player.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely in that you get a good bit of malt in the beginning with some dark caramel and quite a bit of toasty flavors, but there is a clean and well defined hop bitterness that sets in to give balance to the beer about midway through the sip. The bitterness starts to take over the balance of the finish late, but then stays with you for a good while late after the sip...and this actually turns a bit chalky really late in the finish. This is a tad unpleasant on the back of the throat, but this isn't necessarily out of style.

Opinion: Overall this beer is pretty drinkeable for an English Bitter...ESB...whatever. I am not a huge fan of the Bitters, but this is one of the better balanced ones I have tried in recent times. Though it is not a huge beer, there is plenty of flavor here, and it doesn't leave your palate wanting for more. The dryness on the back of the throat is a bit like roast to me though I know it isn't. After about half the glass though...you don't really notice it anymore...imagine that!

SkeeterHawk, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice reddish brown. The head is well retained with some good looking lacing. Smells of fruits, malt and toast with some butter. The taste has hints of biscuits, hops and a dry finish the malt is quite pronounced as well. A good session beer. Paired well with some Triscuits with melted old cheddar and salsa.

irishkyle21, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.48/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean deep amber with an off white head. Bigger carbonation than expected. It had a very faint sweet smell, but really not much at all. In the taste a very small caramel malty sweetness and small bitterness, but not too big. It s a smooth English beer, very session-ish, but not much in the aroma and taste to write home about.

OWSLEY069, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of bashiba
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a dark clear amber with 2 inches of thick white head that quicly vanished.

Smell has hints of fresh bread, minerals, and some light hops.

Taste is smooth and subtle with hints of toasted malts, chocolate, fresh bread, minerals, & pepper, with just a bit of spicy hops. Incredibly balanced.

Mouthfeel has a decent amount of body with good carbonation and a crisp dry finish.

Extremely drinkable, one of my Benchmark English beers which all others are judged against. Always has a place in my fridge.

bashiba, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper with a very nice off-white head that lasts quite well and leaves some decent lacing. Smell is quite malty, with a bit of nuttiness coming through on top of nice caramels and a hint of butter. Some grains. As such the taste comes out of left field with some nice citrusy hops. Spicy Goldings give some nice bitterness to the ale, with the malts complex enough to lend it good character. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has good body, and drinkability is stellar. Great bitter, and a wonderful drinking beer for just about any time.

Mandrake, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy auburn. Medium head, lots of lacing all down the glass.

S - Seltzer water, red licorice rope with pine and earthy/woodsy hops.

T - Red licorice, some woodsy, mossy hops (fuggles likely). Aftertaste is a light bitterness.

M - Slight carbonation, not too much though, medium bodied, pretty refreshing.

D - Not bad, a bit too sweet overall. If I am in the mood for a mild English bitter, I might have this one again.

mrasskicktastic, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of Orrshow
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep amber which was crystal clear. 1/2 finger of off white head which was a little frothy and left some lacing.

Smell - Slightly piney with a little bitterness to it. Biscuits and toffee malt arise as well.

Taste - Nice crisp citrus hop off the start. More pine with some carmel/toffe flavor. A little watery though. Somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel - Low carb and substancial enough body.

Drinkability - Amazing...I could sessions this until the cows came home.

Orrshow, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of kmacphail
4.88/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked a bottle of this from a local shop after seeing it on a billboard at the end of the street. I was not disapointed.

The beer poured a lovely dark brown colour, with a slight hint of ruby and formed anice thick off white head. This pint gave off a nose of roasted malts, caramel and a faint hint of some bitter fruits to give balance.

The taste was even better!! Roasted malts balanced by bitter hops with some fruity berries and butterscotch thrown in for good measure. the pint swirled nicely around the mouth with a nice thick body, truly a fabulous English pint.

This is truly one of the best beers I have ever sampled, a true classic and one that should be in every cupboard throughout the global market.

kmacphail, May 16, 2007
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany body is topped by a one finger beige head. Good retention and some sheets of lacing on the glass. Aroma of toasty bready crystal malts and floral and spicy hops. Light medium body, medium carbonation, and some mineral on the palate. Taste is very much like the aroma. Bready and toasty malt, bitter unripe pears, slight nuttiness, and a pervasive floral and spicy hop bitterness. A pretty good English Bitter here.

merlin48, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

~1UK pint into US pint glass (two pours!)

Clear extremely deep amber hue, pushing on ruby red. Tan one finger head that slowly settles to a thick frothy cap. The settling head leaves a solid lace around the top of the glass. Solid rings of lace develop as the beer descends down the glass.

Toasty malts set up a light hop aroma, mixed with some caramel.

Cracker like malts give off a slight roasted grain flavor along with a little bit of sweet caramel. Some butterscotch from the diacetyl swirls around with the balancing bitterness from the hops. The body is a little lighter than I would have liked, slightly watery. The finish is mostly lingering grain and a touch of bitterness. A tiny tinge of alcohol can be tasted at the very end.

This is one of the most balanced beers that I have ever tried. The bittering hops only make themselves perceptable against the dark roasted malt flavors. Recommended.

BeerSox, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of vancurly
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta say, it's nice drinking a beer labelled with a St George cross, on the same day Australia thumped England in the World Cup cricket... Cheers, lads !!!

Poured into a typical dimpled, handled pint glass.

No haze, copper brown, with a russet tinge. Beige, uneven frothy head. Attractive.

First impressions of grain husks. Some spicy, almost jammy notes. Warms to some biscuit characters, and dried fruits.

Flavours of toast & malt. The grain husk note is still there. Metallic/flinty hoppiness follows, with a subtle spice note, ending with a medium-to-mild bitterness.

Medium body, and finishes well. A good, robust session beer. I would like to try the cask variety.

vancurly, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am drinking this beer from a can, in the ideal situation this is on draft at room temperature in an English pub. Nevertheless, great stuff!

Appearance is clear, brown with a pretty stable and creamy head.

Smell is balanced between hops and malts with the hops being resinous and raw and the malt caramellic and a little husky and grainy. There is some diacetyl which only adds to the beers lovely smell.

Taste of raw, resinous, English hops, which also give the beer a good bitter. On top of that is the malt that gives the beer a caramel, candy sugar taste and really balances the bitterness. Every sip the beer seems to show either hops or caramel malts, so every sip is different and highly drinkable. I could drink this all night. Mouthfeel is dry and leaves a nice 'bitter' feeling on my tongue.

Absumaster, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of Ricochet
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber, no carbonation, little head, but beaded when poured

S: Complex, English pub ale smell, wine, malt, good stuff.

M: Thin? There was a complex aftertaste, but for overall mouthfeel impression, water with bite.

T: Raisin, minor wine note, slight hop but more of the malty note making it's presence known.

D: Overall, while the tastes were complex and didn't taste nasty or anything, I couldn't figure this one out. I could see this as a summer quencer, light with a sandwhich, but not one I'll get again.

Ricochet, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich copper color with an off white head that disapates fairly quickly. Smell was faint at first but more dry fruity, sweeter aromas came later on. Taste is again dry fruits with sweet malts with a medium mouthfeel making for an easy ale to drink, light in aroma and flavor with good carbonation.

Bookseeb, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of Stephen63
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Typical nice head when poured but rapidly lost as expected for carbonated beer. Impressive deeply dark colour.

S - Malt and hops dominate, hints of treacle.

T - Rich and full flavour as would expect from the smell. Very hoppy on the finish but almost thick and chewy caramel/toffee, in a good way.

M - Carbonation smooth and velvety.

D - Could easily have a couple of these.

The pint in a bottle is a bit of a novelty but this stuff is the business.

Stephen63, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of Daredevil
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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 ...

Daredevil, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of DogFood11
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

DogFood11, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Gueuzedude, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of bort11
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

bort11, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

BlackHaddock, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of calinative68
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

calinative68, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of seanyfo
2.28/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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

seanyfo, Sep 21, 2006
Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 773 ratings.