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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Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 434
Photo of sfprint
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from Oct 20, 2011, exp 3/16/12

A: Dark tea, 1/2 finger head, transparent, zero rising carbonation.
S: Sweet copper malt, cream soda, berries
T: Mildly sweet, fairly mild flavor, tea like, a tad sour, neutral, mildly bitter
M: Astringency is timely tied to carbonation sting, which are both mild.
O: Decent, bit on the bland side.

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Photo of jeffthepony
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a slightly darker than I thought pint with crisp white head
and hoppy aroma.

An aroma of malt hits the the nose.

A slight hoppiness of taste and bitter kick
a good tasting beer just not great.
Far better on cask but isn't that obvious.

okay I guess a standard to set a C grade from

an old faithful

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Photo of airforbes1
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours red-orange with a thin head. The aroma is not quite what I expected. In addition to smelling a typical butter smell, I also smell some mint.

The taste follows the nose as I taste butter, followed by some mint. It almost as a medicinal quality. The hops don't make much of a presence. The best quality of this beer, to me at least, is its mouthfeel, which leaves a strong coating in my mouth.

This beer is pretty good, but it didn't have the taste profile I was expecting or had hoped for.

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Photo of KDawg
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark copper color with a small head

Balanced and aromatic with grains, malts, sour tones and some toffee.

medium bodied and more on the lighter side with flavors of toffee, grains and malt tones

A quality bitter. Balanced with good bitter tones and a long finish

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Photo of sdsurfer217
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Two fingers of dark beige head that laces the glass nicely. Dark amber in color, good amount of carbonation off the bottom.

S: Sweet caramel aromas, touch of biscuits and nutty characteristics.

T: Nuttyness comes through with a caramel finish. Pretty clean finish with lingering malt flavors.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly creamy feel to it. Lingering flavors invite me to drink more.

O: Pretty easy drinking English ale. Nothing remarkable about it to make it stand out, but its good and I could easily drink a few of these. Would be good with any pub/English fare.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stocky 500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before June 2012. I've had this before about 5 years ago... I remember liking it but neglected to review it. I allowed this one to warm up on the counter a bit before serving.

Pours a an attractive deep amber-copper colour, clear but quite dark. Modest, light-tan head that seeps away to a soapy cap and collar after a few minutes. Good lacing. Pleasant, hearty aroma with toasted bread and biscuits, some nutty character, molasses, chocolate and raisins. Some earthy hop notes underneath.

Tasty stuff - roasted nuts and grains alongside caramel/molasses sweetness provide much of the flavour, with plenty of dark jammy, fruity ester notes throughout the sip. These flavours are nicely balanced with the floral, earthy hops that come forward in the finish, along with some bittersweet baker's chocolate and peppery notes. Earthy bitterness lingers briefly on the palate in the aftertaste. Medium-bodied and mildly carbonated. Just a little bit buttery, moreso as it warms.

Not exactly simple, and not all that complex either, but it manages to be both satisfying and easy to quaff. A solid English session ale in my opinion - if you like bitters, this one is definitely worth a shot.

[Updated Jan. 8 2014]

I decided to compare a 500 mL can of this with a few other bitters (the famed Fuller's ESB, as well as Wellington Best Bitter and Trafalgar ESB, two local Ontario-made beers). This is a fabulous English bitter deserving of the 'premium' label - quite full flavoured and nicely balanced, and easily one of the better bitters in this quartet. I'd also take this over classics like Hobgoblin or Lancaster Bomber. This is not an attention-grabber (like most beers of this ilk), but it's still a fine brew that all fans of English session ales should look into, particularly considering the great price point - at $2.30 a can, this may be one of the best-value English ales in the LCBO.

Final Grade: 4.06, an A-.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany brown. One finger head stays a while. Some lacing.

Smells of English hops, with toffee and fudge thrown in.

Taste is much sweeter than I would have thought. Caramels, brown sugar, syrup, toffee, fudge, almost into Doppelbock territory. No real hops in flavour. 4.5 for initial taste, but down to 3.5 after the bottle :-(

Mouthfeel is nice and solid, well away from the waterness that can prevail in English beers.

Good beer, albeit a tad sweet, hence down a bit in drinkability after the initial flavour burst.

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

Well's Bombardier English Premium Ale ALC By VOL. 5.2%, Drink of England.

Light brown color, clear, creamy toned head, lush and lace-leaving.

Aroma: bready malt aroma, toasty, lightly roasty. a touch of sweetness, hemmed in by hops.

Taste: dark malts felt first, caramel and toffee flavors emerge ever so, with a touch of fruit, in there, as well. Ripe apple, a slice of cherry. Fully flavored, smooth, and extreme only in drinkability.

There's nothing on the can telling us what style it belongs to, and I have nothing else in front of me, so I can only guess. Brown ale? Mild? A bit of both?

Medium bodied, lingering malty finish. Great sessioner. A good ol' drinking beer, when you just want something tasty and wet, and are in no rush to challenge your taste buds.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a really nice poofy head, luxurious like thick cream. The beer was amber colored and had a slight bit of a malty taste that I really liked. It was not bitter. I would certainly buy this beer again.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint can into a pint glass, at fridge temperature. With an aggressive pour, it forms a large, loose, tan head that slowly recedes, leaving moderate lacing. Liquor is dark amber with light carbonation evident, quite clear. The nose is caramel, with a hint of something metallic, and a trace of spiciness. The flavor shows caramel, toffee, and green apple with a reasonably dry finish. Some English hops flavor balances it out nicely. Mouthfeel is moderate.

This beer improves as it warms; it really should be served at cellar, not fridge, temperatures. It's an excellent English ESB, and I prefer the canned version to the bottled. I applaud the brewery for not succumbing to the "widget" gimmick. The beer is, however, perhaps a bit over carbonated.

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Photo of fx20736
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bomber into a British Pint glass.

Dark, dark copper with creamy mocha colored head. Decent lacing.

Faint whiff of caramel with an apple grape fruitiness backed by an earthy quality.

Mouthfeel; soft and silky but full bodied.

Taste: Whole grain bread spread, with grape jelly followed by a peppery spice with an earthy hoppiness. The overall impression is dry fruitiness with a spicy, earthy, quality.

Notes: Wow, what a beer! A great looking beer with multiple layers of flavor. Well constructed, delicious, soul lifting. I'll be buying more!

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a very nice looking dark amber / dark reddish color with a nice off white head head. The smell is much more malty and toasty than anything else. The feel is medium. The taste is like the smells, lots of toasty malts a little sweet for a ESB the bitters / hop presence is low and nothing very noticeable. Overall this one was good, but I prefer a Fuller's ESB.

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Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had an Imperial pint of this at a pub on a recent visit to London. In general I don't live british ales (they're a little malty for my taste) but I always like to try something new. This one was pretty interesting and a little strong than what you can usually get.

Appearance is a mid-to-dark brown. It was from a cask pull tap so the carbonation was a little light. Very cloudy.

Aroma was of bread and dark fruit. Quite inviting.

Flavor was a little intensely malty but not terrible. Bread, crackers, a little bit of dates.

Overall, one of the better british ales and worth trying.

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

Presentation: Attractive 14.9oz can; best by date (1/28/12) clearly stamped on bottom. Poured into a Sam Smith's imperial pint.

Appearance: Warm mahogany with nice clarity, capped by a substantial antique ivory cap with good retention.

Smell: This is one that really needs to warm up before anything comes out. Out of the fridge, it's a bit metallic and doesn't have much going on. Getting closer to cellar temperature, this proivdes notes of pale malt, caramel, and some fruity esters. Still not tons of depth, and surprising lack of hops for an ESB, but still not too bad.

Taste: Simple and straighforward. Light pale malt background with hints of caramel and a lightly bitter, minerally finish. Light bitterness, but almost nothing in the way of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied.

Overall: Not a bad English beer, if nothing special. Definitely not as hoppy as some other English ESB's (I'm looking at you, Fullers) but the malt notes are nice here. Not really anything wrong with it, and it certainly kicks the butts of some other, easy-to-find English imports (and the fact that the brewery dates them is awesome), but there's not really anything that would lead me to purchase this again, if some other English options were available (Black Sheep, Fullers, etc). That being said, if someone handed me one, I'd gladly accept.

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Photo of dave2k5
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a carbonated pint glass.

A: Very dark amber with light carbonation which I quite like, about a quarter inch head which doesn't quit. And a decent amount of lacing.

S: Bitter, hoppy, fused with a chilli/coffee smell maybe? Pleasing none the less, obviously a pleasant bitter smell to it too.

T: I personally found the taste naturally bitter with a hint of caramel, I didn't quite get the taste of sultana as the bottle had indicated. Hops were prominent and theres a pleasant tangy twist.

M: Very light carbonation which I think is nice with a beer, not so much that it leaves you burping up more then you can consume. Quite smooth, drinkability is excellent and while writing this have already consumed 3 quarters of the pint ;)

O: I was quite trepaditious about trying this as I've never tried it before and all I had to go on was the advert, which actually prompted me to buy it cos it made me laugh. But I'm glad I bought it because I've really enjoyed it. In the words of Rik Mayall... BANG ON!!

Happy drinking, Cheers!!

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Photo of puboflyons
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle stamped 10/05/12-A-L1130-04:36. The pour is a handsome darker amber with just a small head. The aroma is classic British Ale with brightly sweet caramel malts and cleanliness. The body was smooth and in the medium territory with a powerful sweet malty taste and a decent bitter hop bite on the end. A fine example of the style.

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

What's this? An English ESB, from England, in a can? Heavens rejoice! Grabbed on from Bruisin' Ales for a measly $2.25 for a 440ml / 14.9 ounce can. I've had this before (mostly on draft at the Brick Store, where it is a fixture) and have always enjoyed it. Let's see how the can treatment goes.

A. Basically, Bombardier is the bitter you've always wanted. This is a gorgeous clear chestnut-rust colored beer with a huge, dirty white head that majestically settles down to cover the surface. Yes, George, there is lace.

S. Easy malt (Maris Otter?) and light sweetness along with a stuffy, dry, toasty note that inspires. Some hops are here but reserved. There is also a sharp, almost cheesy, thing going on that I suspect is also hop-related. I like it. It all works wonderfully and is highly characterful.

T. Everything else follows - easy drinkability, some fine fruity, starchy esters, a wonderful and demonstrably "across the pond" malt bill that accents gently sweet and toasted malts. Add to this some hedgerow noble hops, a distinctly Earl Grey tea flavor and a wonderfully smooth and enjoyable mouthfeel and you have one of the best ESBs I've had. The can reads: "brewed with natural mineral water", and I think you can get some of that character here, still.

M / O. If you asked me if I wanted an English Bitter on any normal day, I might say okay, but if you asked me anytime if I wanted a Well's Bombardier, I would always say YES.

As an aside, I think the can is the correct delivery method for this beer. It's cheaper than the bottle and has a freshness date! (mine says 01/28/12). All hail Bombardier!

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

Had on-tap at WOB, poured into a tuliped guinness pint glass.

A-Deep orangey gold with hints of blood red throughout the pour yielded a solid 2 finger thick head, that lasted, developing into an excellent lacing that chronicled every gulp I took.

S-Malts, hints of caramel and a slight sugary dextrose

T-An excellent not too bitter (actually semi-sweet) malt with slight hop finish. Caramel and hints of chocolate sit in the middle as it's all washed down with a splash of alcohol taste.

M-Medium body and carbonation

O-I haven't had a large amount of ESBs but I'm becoming a huge fan of them, it's very easy to drink pint after pint of this

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

This is a pleasant surprise. A nice, dark tasting, yet creamy brew. It has a unique taste and character. It is one I would repeat if looking for a little diversion from the usual.

The lacing on the glass was very nice. I also like that the can is a bit big. Why not. More is better.

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

A- Pours a clear coppery amber color. Produces a finger and a half of creamy tan head, eventually diminishes to a decent film. Leaves good lacing.

S- Super malty, a bit sweet from toffee or caramel, some hazelnut.

T- Lots of nice bready/biscuity malts, caramel and toffee, definite hazelnut. It's pretty sweet overall but it's offset by a solid background of bitterness from the earthy hops. As it warms up I also start to detect a lot of pepper.

M- Medium texture, texture is smooth and a bit prickly from the carbonation.

O- A solid ESB, very drinkable and tasty, the bottle describes it as "England in a glass" and I have to agree. Totally worth trying, especially at just over $3 a bottle.

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

Poured a 2" off-white head which took a while to settle down. Lovely clear reddish amber color when held to the light. Smells of malt. Taste is mild and pleasant with a crispness like a lager but a little more malt in the flavor, and there's a moderately long finish. It's easy to see why this is a popular classic.

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Photo of philbe311
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers worth of dense moderately creamy batter-like light tan colored head with a slightly rocky top... Fairly decent retention that leads to a creamy froth of lacing... The color is a warm caramel medium brown... A unique mix of small bubbled moderate paced carbonation with a couple of larger uber-fast bubbles throughout...

S - Loaded with sweet bready malts... Tons of caramel goodness... Toffee... Some brown sugars... Faint hints of dark fruits... A touch of nuttiness...

T - Bread crust... Biscuit... caramel... Some burnt notes... A faint hop presence... Perhaps even a tad bit of pepper...

M - A sturdy medium bodied offering... Very lightly carbonation... Smooth with a bit of creaminess...

D - A textbook ESB in all facets... A very solid offering that doesn't disappoint, but also doesn't excel either... Not too shabby...

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown ESB. Head is a bit creamy but dissipates. The smell is grain and bread. The taste is heavy malt more grain and a hoppy bitterness (east kent). There is a hint of caramel and a butteriness. Low carbonation, standard for the style, but a little bit prickly. Not bad. Not great, but I think it would be better if I was closer to the source. I have a feeling if this beer was fresh it would be a whole different experience. No freshness date listed. Quality beer, but with price being equal I'll buy a Fuller's ESB everytime.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.79 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
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