Lancaster Bomber - Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC

Not Rated.
Lancaster BomberLancaster Bomber

Educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 4
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 73
Reviews by dreamchaser:
Photo of dreamchaser
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very clear amber colour and unsubstantial yet long-lasting light white head. A surprising taste. Strong aroma of hops. Taste begins crisp and clean with fine bitter hop notes but finishes with very sharply metallic maltiness that lingers only briefly. Mouthfeel is quite watery and weak. Well balanced but lacks substantial flavour notes.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue IX:

A beer named after the WWII English bomber aircraft--nostalgia for a very few, small history lesson for the rest. "More-ish" or moreish is on the label, which simply means "so good you want more."

Pour this beer hard or you'll end up with a paper lacing. And obviously, we served this at cellar temperature. Nice thick stack of tiny bubbles slowly crackle to a whipped froth-like lace; bright and clear brownish/brassy color. Hint of woody hop, mildly sweet biscuity malt and a touch of mineral in the aroma. Smooth carbonation; thin, wet body. Malt is mild all around with notes of toasted grain and toffee. Hops add more flavor than bitterness--wood and faint citric peel all help to balance. Lots of yeast character here with a mild buttery flavor from the diacetyl, overripe fruit and some apple skin. Ends with a semisweet maltiness and muddled hop and yeast flavors.

To sum it up, more-ish could be used, but we prefer typical session ale. It's traditional with the style, just don't set your taste bud expectations too high. It's good to bring beer back to ground level once in a while.

Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brown-amber color with a white head. The aroma is earthy and dirty hops with some toffee. The flavor is similar. I get some toffee and earthy hops and something that resembles iced tea. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JohnW
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on various occasions in a Thwaites pub in my home town. Medium dark rich colour with reasonable head that lasts fairly well. Aroma is more malty with very slight hints of sweetness rather than being a hoppy bitter beer, but is not exactly exciting. With the dark rich colour, one expects lots of flavours, but is disappointed with a rather thin taste with not much character, or any depth of flavour. Just drink it and you feel slightly let down as it has little to say or shout about. You could not actively dislike it, but neither could you shout with joy....its just very ordinary. I guess it comes into the category of being a beer that is easy to drink, but just rather boring.

B'ham UK

Photo of Groucho75
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle with L156 15:15 marked on the neck. Picked up for $3 when my local was clearing out some backstock. Apparently this was sitting in the back for ages. Usually marked $4. Let's see if the dollar off makes up for any age.

Served into a proper British pint glass at room temperature because I haven't had a proper British ale in some time and jolly well wanted to reminisce.

Beautiful rich toffee-mahogany color on the pour. Didn't notice any yeast so I added the whole bottle. Some slight foam, but it didn't last for long. A touch of it clings to the glass. I'd say this is the best part of the beer. I thought the carbonation was non-existent at first, but after a few minutes I noticed loads of tiny bubbles 20 minutes after I opened it.

Not getting a lot of nose here. Faint raisin at best.

Plum, some currant/raisin-y goodness as far as mouth flavor goes. Some notes of tea as well as the finish lingers. I think I could taste the age on this one; if it were fresher, I think the character would be more assertive.

Served this warm I was hoping for a little more character, but I have to remember that this is a veddy British ESB and a mild one to boot. 4.4% ABV isn't supposed to knock you out. This is an afternoon pint on a Sunday outside in the garden type ale. Descent and very sessionable.

Photo of biboergosum
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml single can. Very subtle, well-rendered WW2 imagery evoked on the label imagery.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, loosely bubbly ecru head, which leaves a rather random array of upwardly mobile peninsular lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells quite prominently of biscuity, grainy pale malt, with a touch of straight up caramel, some stoney flintiness, a blended apple-heavy fruitiness, and further fruity, somewhat floral hops. The taste is more semi-sweet, hollow fruity, and slightly biscuity malt, emboldened with hints of wet stone, ethereal black pepper dust, and more understated, mildly bitter floral, earthy hops.

The carbonation is almost near non-existent, the body on the lee side of medium weight, and more or less smooth. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity malt, mild orchard fruitiness, and slight black pepper character going a long way in recommending this.

A very presentable version of the style - biscuity and hoppy - what else could you want? Maybe a tad thin, but that's neither here nor there, the overall effect still more heady than anything I was expecting. Pretty solidly drinkable, that's the bottom line.

Photo of mintjellie
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Robert Simpson pint glass. Small head fading to thin covering. Beautiful reddish brown colour. Looks fantastic held to the light. I love the colour on this.

Caramel with fruit and something floral rounding it out. Fruit becomes more apparent as it warms. Apple? I think my imagination might be running a little too far with that one.

Tastes much the same as it smells. Caramel up front with a little bit of fruit. Sweet malts are dominant. Mild bitterness in the finish. Hops seem very restrained. The aftertaste is acidic.

Light but not thin, with gentle carbonation. A smooth, easy drinker.

Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours mahogoney brown colour with initial foamy head. A little malty, though also a tad faint beery aroma. The mouthfeel is average, also a tad astringent. There is a small hop taste, more malty. Not too drinkable, a passable beer. Certainly not a great ESB.

Photo of russpowell
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another from my Mid-town haul...

Pours copper/caramel with a pinky of cream colored head that drops very fast. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Jammyness & a hint of herbal hops

T: Apricot & herbal hops up front. A bit of toffee surfaces as this warms, along with leafy hops, & more fruittyness. Finishes fruitty, with a bit of oaky dryness, & faint herbal hoppyness, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Light/medium bodied with minimal carbonation

Drinks easy enough, like most English bottled offerings, it makes me wonder how good the cask version is? Better, I'm sure of that...

Photo of Richter35
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light mahogany colour with large and bubbly head that retains for a few minutes after the pour. Served in a pint glass. Looks appetizing enough...

Smell has s strong hop presence, backed up by a bready-malt base. Nothing new here and I would say probably that the beer is a bit one-dimensional in this category.

Tastes include mildly bitter hops, a sweet malt profile that has a somehwat dry and metallic finish.

Mouthfeel is curious. A medium bodied beer, but somewhat heavy and syrupy.

This beer, for me, is too awkward and unnapproachable in a lot of ways. The mouthfeel and colour would suggest a stronger showing in the taste department, but somehow leaves something to be desired.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear light mahogany colour. Capping this is a bubbly off white head with decent retention.

Malty notes possibly some caramel or maris otter give a sweet note on the nose. Some floral aromas mix with a tinge of chlorination.

Watery malt flavours, biscuits, very mild. A light bitterness grows stringer as I get deeper into the drink, almost to the level of astringency.
This is not helped by a odd taste which can best be likened to pool water.

Passable, would go well with pub fair but nothing overly interesting.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle at 45 degrees into a 20 oz mug.

A: It pours a dark copper color with a half-finger of light tan head that does not hold or lace much at all.

S: Caramel, buttery diacetyl, wet grains, and a strong whiff of goldings.

T: Caramel, a little almond, buttery diacetyl, mild fruitiness, and some English hoppiness.

M: The body is relatively light with average carbonation levels.

O: This is flavorful and I could do five of these.

Photo of DaveBar
3.12/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a bit of head that lasts. Dark amber

S- Not much

T- Not much LOL

M- Creamy but limited

O- Nothing special and I will not buy again

Food Pairing

This beer would go well with... BBQ'd hot dogs topped the way you like 'em


Photo of Stocean1
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber - 1 finger head - some lacing

S - hint of sweet malt, caramel

T - not much here, very subdued and only a hint of grassy hops (ESB?)

M - very light, only slight bitterness on the end, but goes down easy

O - easy drinking but very subdued for the style, simply lacks much character.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a large foamy head with some retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of refreshing caramel malt with a light dry hoppy finish. Taste is also a mix between some lightly sweet caramel malt with some light traces of dry English hops. Body is about average with some good carbonation. Easily drinkable with limited complexity.

Photo of Mlkluther
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Ok. There is a strange flavour in the finish I can't place but I'm not a big fan.

Photo of SteveS1
3.99/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the bottle-
Look: Pours a nice copper with a thin, bubbly, light brown head

Smell: An excellent aroma, very sweet, strong caramel scents, malty.

Taste: Nice balance of hops and malts. Not overly sweet and plenty of flavor. A slight bitterness lingers on the tongue.

Feel: A touch of carbonation, maybe a bit light, definitely not too heavy.

Drink: Very drinkable. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the style, I found it to be very solid all around. Great smell and a nice balanced taste, I would recommend it to any beer drinker. I'd have it again if I found it on a restaurant menu or at a pub.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In the mid 90's I took a month long 'Landlords' course in Lancaster, with Mitchells brewery, the now closed firm made the original 'brewed for a mission' Lancaster Bomber. They gave me a Bomber t'shirt and I was given another for drinking 20 pints of it (no not in one night). Your memory plays tricks of course and the new 'Thwaites' Bomber is fine, but I thought the Mitchells one superb (before the yeast problem, which more or less sealed Mitchells fate).

500ml brown bottle, poured (three times) into my 0.2 litre Hannan Alt straight glass.

Deep amber, clear and clean looking, off white head soon retires to a wispy, thin covering.

Slight hop aroma, mostly in the third glass, as the beer warmed a little, otherwise not much at all.

Good bitterness, malts and hops combine to give it that true British bitter taste.

You can't say it is watery, but there is no huge complexity of flavours hanging around to be investigated by your tastebuds, a dryness appears and the hops are still there for a while, but not a great mouthfeel in my opinion.

Overal a 3.5 for drinkability is fair, the cask version is better, but I haven't seen any for some time, so haven't reviewed it on here yet.

3.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle. Shaker glass. Intense caramelized hues as cap is removed. Pours orangish amber in color with chill haze appearance, discrete off-white crown & some left lacing. Floral, caramel, mild toasted & very subtle fudge chocolate aromas. Gentle herbal, sweet malty & slight earthy at first sip. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Oily to watery texture. Low bitterness, hints of chocolate an acidic notes in the middle rounded by tea-like hints & subtle wood. Dry bitter finish. Slightly dried aftertaste. Nice, gentle drinkable & delicious session beer.

Photo of spinrsx
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

450ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours an amber colour with a medium size frothy off white head. There is a low to average amount of carbonation. There is also some faint lacing and the head lasted for a minute or two before it was gone.

Smell - slightly metallic, hops, malts, and tea.

Taste & Mouth - A pretty good mouth feel on this beer; an average amount of carbonation which suits the mild flavour well. The bottle boasts how the beer has a powerful hop flavour.. Not by a long shot. The hops are there, but they are mild. It really doesn't have much flavour at all. It is reminiscent of a iced tea; lemony and sugary.

Drink - It's not bad, it's just not great. I wouldn't say I'd never drink it again, but I definitely wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of ludachris
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing tea coloured amber hue with one finger of creamy off white head, displaying decent retention and leaving a good amount of tightly knit sticky lace.

Buttery malts, light fruity esters, toffee, and grassy hops make up the nose. Subued and simple but still inviting.

Toffee notes hit the palate first but is quickly subsumed by a whispy grassy hop bite. The latter moves towards the back as it progresses, providing a light bitterness that proves to be a good counter to the fruity/buttery end.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp but a bit watery in the finish. Good balance, refreshing, and an easy quaffer with the lower ABV.

Overall, a decent ESB, but it seems like thy exchanged flavour, depth, and aroma, for a lighter ABV, feel, and body. Those features clearly distinguish it from other ESB's I've had, but don't beat them. A good intro to the style and a great sessioner if you're in the mood for a few ESB's. But for now, I'll fall back on my Fuller's :)

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich chestnut brown body with thick white head that laces the side of the glass

rich aroma of hops malts and potato peelings

Slight roasts start the taste experience then onto a brief malt stop, hops ahoy, bandits nine-er, prang the kite on a yeasty bitter finish

nice mouthfeel kinda chewy with a low key carb

good and dependable kind of like the plane I guess.

Photo of mrmanning
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from the LCBO- A deep chestnut pour, with a frothy eggshell cap. Fruity nose has plum, apples, slightly toasty malts, a touch of grassy hops. Tastes of sweet caramel malts, plum, quite bready, with a little bit of balancing grassy hops, leading to a marked bitterness right in the end. Creamy and deadly drinkable, but a bit too sweet overall for sessions. Decent.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL can from the LCBO; best before May 7 2013. The abv seems a little light for an ESB, but I'll reserve judgment until I've tasted it - besides, I tend to like sessionable, mild English-style ales in general anyway.

Pours a clear amber-copper colour, topped with one finger of smooth, creamy, pearl white-coloured head. It lasts for a few minutes, until it finally wilts away completely, leaving an even coat on the surface - and another fine coat of lacing on the sides of the glass. Mild aroma with bready malts, some tea leafy hops and a touch of toffee and butterscotch. Certainly to style, but a little plain.

The flavour doesn't exactly wow me either. The initial sweetness is kicked off with some caramel and biscuity, grainy malts, but this is soon countered with the leafy, tea-like, vaguely earthly (and highly English) hop dryness. This bitterness remains dominant into the finish, and lingers for a while in the aftertaste. Nothing is out of place flavour-wise, but everything comes across as weak and diluted for an ESB. Light-bodied and disappointingly watery, with very mild (almost flat) carbonation levels. Easy to drink quickly, if nothing else.

Not much of an ESB; there's nothing special or extra about it that's for sure. I graded this as a regular English bitter, but even by those standards it's nothing remarkable - serviceable, at best. One thing I will say - the bitter finish encourages quick sips, and this fact combined with the low abv and diluted flavours make this an absurdly drinkable ale.

[Updated Nov. 3 2014]

Another can. I was a little harsh on this one last time - no it is not one of my preferred tipples in this style, but other than being a little plain this bitter doesn't really have any serious problems. Not my bag, but I can see why other people like Lancaster Bomber as it's still very sessionable with a pleasant, understated bitterness to the profile.

Final Grade: 3.41, a relatively forgettable B-.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 500-ml bottle into a draught glass.

Appearance - copper-amber colour with thin, lacey head of beige bubbles.

Smell - thin malt essence with a little hop extract aroma behind it.

Taste - decent malty flavour in the front and then washes away to a boring watery residual with very little hop presence beneath the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel - fairly smooth and well-balanced but the character is unencountering.

Drinkability - this actually goes down easy and for the amount of front-end flavour (albeit too sweet) it is a good candidate for several. A little pricey though is a knock against.

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Lancaster Bomber from Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC
79 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.