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

very good
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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter)

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-23-2001

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Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 889
Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Big head that fast disapears into some lace, bitter and acidic bite, with some malts and chewy creaminess to offset. Nice dark glass bottle. Drinkable.A somewhat better than average beer, the British present a pint, and that's all I can have of it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 6/16/13.

Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy chunks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, burnt caramel, and some slight metallic aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, slight caramel, and some nutty flavors. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a copperish amber color with a white bubbly head. There was some light lacing on the glass. The smell had some nice malt aromas and grains on the nose. The taste was pretty mellow and had a good bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Overall it's pretty good ESB.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear garnet red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of lacy bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel, nuts and toffee in the nose from the malts. The slightest hints of fruity yeast are detectable.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderately strong but a complex mixture of caramel, nutty and toffee flavors from the malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aromas and flavors are quite complex for a light-bodied beer. There is also a good balance between the malt and hops because it doesn’t taste overly malty. This beer is very sessionable.

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

A real joy to drink tonight at one of my local favorite beer-spots, Marikka's.

The beer opens with a brown-ish pour that reminds me of many English Mild Ales. The head formation is confident and withstanding, retaining all the while, while leaving memorable lacing on the glass. The look promises greatness.

The aromas are timid, but do reliquish a boquet of perfumy, piney hops atop of a rich, malty concoction of caramel flavored malts, biscuit-like qualities, and a hit of toast and cocoa. Can't wait to dive into this beer.

Flavors of mild toasted malts govern while an upcharge of caramel and malt soon to follow. Firm malt flavors are tempered with a piney, nectar-like flavor from the hops to balance the firmness with delicacy from suble herbal, flowery flavors from the hops and soft fruity esters from the yeast-- maybe a bit of Christmas in this beer.

The feel is dead-on for English Pales. A firmly malty texture with a soft pillow of creaminness, carbonation; tempered with the proper balance of hop bitterness.

This is one of those beers that are easy to dismiss because of the timid values in hops and malts; but balance does this beer justice. Remember that this is a moderate abv. beer and not meant for overwhealmed judgement-- just drinkability. I could drink this all evening long.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, the most English-looking yet of many in any store that I've ever seen.

This beer pours a clear, dark burnt amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, filmy, foamy, and pleasantly sudsy beige head, which settles at a leisurely pace, eventually leaving a decent wash of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly toasted biscuity caramel malt, sugary cooked apple, a touch of bready yeast, and some herbal, earthy hops. The taste is more crackery, lightly biscuity caramel and pale malt, bolstered by some mild rock toffee notes, muddled orchard drupe fruit, soft black peppercorn, and somewhat bitter leafy, floral hops.

The carbonation is moderate, yet a bit prickly, the body an adequate medium weight, generally smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy, through the zingy bitterness. It finishes sweeter than I would have thought - the gritty caramel malt still standing strong against the fruity, and mildly bitter herbal and leafy hops.

An offering that teeters well away from the banality that I unfortunately encounter too much in imported British ales. I sure wouldn't pass up a few rounds of this as the local pub bitter option, if that sort of thing actually existed in my neck of the woods.

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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)

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Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a La Chouffe goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Bottle acquired at McCambridge's, Galway. Reviewed from notes.

A: Three finger head of nice cream and fair thickness. Above average retention. Dark clear amber colour.

Sm: Very light scent. Hops. No sultana fruit.

T: Balanced body of slight fruit, lots of hops including some nutty notes, and a very subtle spice on the finish. Built well for the style - not too many bittering hops.

Mf: Far too dry on the finish. Should be less coarse.

Dr: Too pricey for how relatively unremarkable it is.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful brown/redish brew with a small head reminiscent of the style. Once open, I got an incredible fruity/sweet smell that disapear once the brew was in my glass. Bitter tasting with a sweet aftertaste. One of the best bitter that I had the chance to drink recently. Will try to track more C.Wells product...

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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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of off-white head on a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. Very nice color. The head settles at an average pace and leaves excellent lace in its wake.

S - Toasty malt and a hint of caramel. Fruity yeast, apples and some figs.

T - Rich maltiness up front, lots of toffee and medium-dark caramel. Fruity yeast profile in the middle figs and plums, surprisingly dark. The finish is toasty with some slight hop flavor and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, medium-light carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable with a pleasingly complex malt profile. This beer stands out primarily for its rich toffee malt profile and dark fruit yeast character. Everything is well balanced and in proportion allowing for a very nice, enjoyable ESB.

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

Pours a nice ruby color with a creamy well sestained head that leaves a small amount of lacing,aroma is subtle on the malty side with touch of fruit and biscuit.Taste is mellow but with some nice flavors,malt tilted for sure with some flavors of dried fruit and some metallic notes in the finish.I could drink these all night and it has a pretty cool looking bottle to boot,thank you Liquid Solutions!

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

500 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, best before 3/22/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, toffee, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, toast, nuttiness, pear, apple, biscuit, toffee, molasses, light earth, and herbal. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, nuttiness, light fruit, biscuit, and toffee on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance of flavors that are quite robust; zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Overall this is a damn nice ESB offering. Great balance of fairly robust flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful pint! The thick head of densely creamy dark tan froth holds remarkably well and leaves thick rings of craggy lace.

In the nose it's a touch peppery in a plant-like way, over background notes of caramel malt. With a swirl, some mild yeasty fruitiness can be found (melon, apple, peach).

The mouthfeel is medium with a dextrinous edge, and it's quite smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation that gently caresses the tongue.

The flavor displays a lot of the pepperiness found in the nose upfront, backed by some leafiness, and even a bit of floral character before the caramelish maltiness shows. It's soft, and rounded, with a gentle sweetness, and the caramel certainly isn't overdone. The bitterness balances, and makes itself known, but for the most part remains backstage allowing the hops and malts shine. More leafy hop flavors appear in the finish, along with some gently nutty caramel, and even a minor smear of butteriness.

Enjoyed at cellar temperature, or just below, the character of this beer really comes through. It's really very nicely balanced between hops, malt, bitterness, and yeast character. And there's enough there to keep it interesting for more than one. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

440 ml. can with a freshness date of 28 Jan. 2012 stamped on the bottom. Sampled in a mug.

Poured a nice clear medium-dark brown/amber with a towering, foamy off-white head. The head had good retention, and left thick patches of foam on the sides of the mug.

Aroma: toasted malt; slight nutty.

M: Good carbonation; medium-light bodied.

T: Well-balanced flavor with, I think, some slight contribution from the use of mineral water. The flavor is good but not bold, distinctive,or complex.

O - A decent tasting beer that looks better than it tastes.

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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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive dark amber in the tall glass. Nice sudsy foam, which is a pleasant nod to the American consumer. Light bodied but warm-toned and even fairly rich. The classic British mineral taste. Fairly hoppy but I wouldn't say there is much of an aroma. A fair amount of maltiness, though you wouldn't call it rich. Some roasted malt, a tart resiny taste, a hint of walnuts and apple skins, and then that foamy taste that makes me wonder about water flowing through limestone.

It's hard to review these English beers in cans or bottle. This is more of a lager than what you would find on the hand pump in a pub. However, it's a highly drinkable sudsy gulp from the modestly-priced 440 ml can which seems to be a Trader Joe's regular.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-amber body with a finely bubbled, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Perfumy aroma of caramel, citrus, bittering herbs, and yeast.

Taste: Subtle malt flavor of caramel with a pinch of chocolate. Vaguely fruity. Lightly sweet. Bitter herbaceousness. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Fair enough. A decent, if not standard English bitter.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber to garnet red in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium sized thick patch and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Rather mild in overall aroma but a very pleasant smelling beer. There are light notes of caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar, and just a hint of nuts.

T: There is a light amount of malt sweetness upfront with hints of caramel malt. Additionally, there is some notes of nuttiness and light earthiness. Light to moderate amounts o bitterness in the finish, but those bitter flavors do not linger.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly chewy.

O: Very enjoyable, very easy to drink, and very sessionable. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would gladly have another of these - I only wish I could find this one on cask.

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

Dark orange-bronze unless backlit, at which point its true colors are revealed... dark crimson with a dash of orange. The head is fantastic. It's buttery orange-ecru in color and whipped buttery in consistency with great looking surface topography that resembles an especially inhospitable section of the English Moors. Thick, smeary, chunky lace is plastered all over the glass.

Classic English ESB nose of fruity, herbal hops that are significantly tea-like in the bargain. All of the various elements of the aroma are present in proportions that are complementary to all. A little more power would have been welcome.

Bombardier has a wonderful flavor and has plenty of it. The only problem is, this bitter... isn't. Bitter, that is. There's a fair amount of toasted, caramel malt flavor riding along on a less than adequately malted mouthfeel. Fruity, herbal, British hops are in full flower, but it's as if 90% of their alpha acid has been leeched out. I'll always pick flavor over bitterness if I can have only one, but why should I have to choose?

A smidgen of bitterness fights gamely through on the finish, but it's too little, too late. The body/mouthfeel is attempting to firm up with warming and just manages to pry a 'medium' out of me. While there isn't an abundance of CO2, there's enough.

Bombardier English Premium Bitter has one of the more impressive bottle-label combinations that I've seen in quite some time. It's even more impressive in the glass, which is no small feat. I have a feeling that if I ever have the opportunity to try it on cask, it just might blow me away.

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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.

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

Pours dark amber/light brown. Clear. Light beige head that diminishes to a single bubble layer. Nearly a complete ring after the first sip.

Crystal malt is the first impression of the smell. Nearly no hop aroma. Creamy.

Traditional "round" British flavoring. Lots of malt (lighter toasted varieties), but an equally generous dose of hop bitterness. Very nicely balanced. Full bodied like all good English ales. A very predictable ESB!

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

I managed to score this while on a scouting expedition throughout Philly recently with nerofiddled. I CAN't wait to add one that I did not have to trade for to The CANQuest (TM)! They are becoming fewer and fewer, but I do not mind trading, either. Let me know if you would like this in a CAN and I will make a return trip.

From the CAN: "Brewed with natural mineral water"; "Drink of England" [except at the royal wedding, apparently].

The Crack & Glug surprised me with two thick fingers of tawny head with good retention. Nose had a bready, biscuity maltiness to it and suddenly my mouth was watering. Color was a deep ruby red with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a mildly malty sweetness on the tongue initially, followed by a wash of grassy hops. Finish was more malty than bitter, very pleasant with a mild chocolatiness that seemed to linger. I would definitely want this in my cooler and I will have to pick some more up on my next foray.

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

Pours nice out of a can, deep caramel tinted ruby color with a tan khaki head pouring thick. Fine even spread lacing clings to my imperial pint glass as it settles. Aroma has a pleasant fruitiness with grain induced sliced bread qualities. Aromatic hops are distant but definitely in there, comes off herbal mint with a nice earthiness to it. Refreshing quality about this beer served up in a 14.9 oz/440 ml can. Way cleaner and more enjoyable than a New castle inline with a Fuller's but yet a bit more easy drinking. Assertive English hop character, mild fruit, bready caramelized malts coming through to balance it out, along with an earthy bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, even sturdy carbonation flowing smooth, I can't complain about anything while drinking this beer. Overall very enjoyable flavorful introduction to English ales, damn good and fresh in the can.

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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...

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.79 out of 5 based on 889 ratings.
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