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

very good
897 Ratings
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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 jeranbrews
3.02/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark deap beautiful ruby topaz color. Clear but gorgeous. Light beige head, a bit loose. Some mild lacing. If the head was more impressive I could go much higher on this score.

S - Mossy cheese. A bit of horse blanket in there sadly. Some irish moss hops perhaps.

T - Oh my yes that is bitter but only initially and only for a second. It quickly calms down to a subdued mildly hoppy wooden taste. Makes me think of carpentry. Like particle board and pine resin.

M - Surprisingly watery and loose. That explains the mediocre lacing. Not bad. The hops give it a bit of effervescence.

D - Not quite what I was imagining but not bad either. Perhaps I should have had this one at a more traditional rooms temperature. But seeing as how it's 100F now, that didn't seem like the best option.

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

date on bottle: 22/03/12

pours a clear dark red/brown/amber color. decent head which completely fades about half way through.

smell was really nice. very sweet, malty.

taste was quite malty, tad bitter, and a tad sweet. good drinkability, good carbonation. overall pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of Eramen
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A glossy amber, two finger head, with a off-white foamy head.

S - Malts, brown bread, getting dried banana too for some reason.

T - Roasted malts, caramel, forest fruits and tree nuts; it also has nice bitterness going on at the back of the palate. A sweet beer, and it works well in its favour.

MF - Medium texture, fairly creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation.

O - A decent bitter, didn't knock my socks off but a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this at an outside cafe in Southampton on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Poured a red more than amber color with a fair bit of head from a cask served ale, but the head disappeared quickly, minimal lacing.

Not a terribly strong aroma, malt and caramel.

Taste was quite good, with the malt standing out first, followed by the hops in the finish.

Felt very good in the mouth, little carbonation, but a pleasure to swallow.

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Photo of NordeastBrewer77
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

14.9 oz can into etched Killian's nonic.

Poured a rich coppery red with a one finger head of off white foam that quickly fell to a thin cap with minimal lace.

Aromas of caramel and toffee up front with a healthy dose of earthy hops in the background.

Sweet caramel malt with a hint of roasty chocolate up front followed by a solid bitterness. Almost a sour bite from the esters, fruity and a tad bit buttery. Very enjoyable.

Clean and quick on the tongue. Nicely but not overly carbed. Very dry with an ever so slightly lingering bitterness.

Overall I give this beer an A. A quality bitter with alot going on. Very easy drinking and enjoyable.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a samuel smith pint glass.

A ruby red colour, with a nice smell to it too.

Tastes malty yet its balanced well with the hops which also serve to add a bit of bitterness to it.

Quit well carbonated, with a head that dies down quite quickly.

Overall a very decent drop. Nice with some good old English fish and chips.

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Photo of corby112
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cask at London Grill.

Pours a dark golden orange, almost copper cor which is slightly clouddy with lighter colored golden orange hues and a thin half finger head that quickly fades into a thin ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet malty aroma with faint floral earthy hops.  Hints of biscuit toffee caramel and nut.

Thin bodied with a sweet malt profile and a faint floral hop presence providing balance.  Hints of caramel, toffee, but and biscuit.  Nice dry hop presence provides subtle balance.  Not really bitter but enough to counter sweetness.  Easy to drink but not very complex.  Really watered down and bland.  I really like cask conditioned beers but this was like slightly malty water.  

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Photo of PhageLab
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Clear coppery colour, with a nice layer of froth. Left nice sedimentary layers down the side of the glass, and the head never vanished.

S - Sweet nose with an earthy quality.

T - Apple tart comes to mind initially. Bitter yet very well balanced with a good malty body. Seems to get better with every sip.

M - Creamy light body, well carbonated yet not overly so.

D - Outstanding. I could drink this all day. One of the best ESBs I've had the pleasure of trying. Highly recommended.

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Photo of woosterbill
2.59/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Handpump half-pint at the Green Man.

A: Clear reddish-brown body with a thin, wispy head. Nice color, but really underwhelming carbonation.

S: WTF. Solvent. Tomato - like the sauce on a cheap pizza at a bowling alley. Cough syrup. Christ this is terrible.

T: Ok, at least it tastes better than it smells. Still somewhat medicinal, but it's more just straight caramel malt. Boring, but at least there's no pizza.

M: Substantial, slick medium body; low carbonation.

O: This was one of the worst real ales I had in England, and it's a tragedy that it's so prevalent. Perhaps I got a pour from a poorly kept cask, but I don't think it's worth the gamble to try it again. Avoid this beer.


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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 15.9 oz can into a pint glass.

A: deep mahogany color with a fluffy off-white head that slowly settles to a thin lace on the surface. Darker than most beers of this style. Carbonation is lively.

S: grainy malt up front with subtle caramel and toast notes. Hops lend a floral character in the background.

T: Much like the smell, but with a slightly harsh bitterness at first. As the beer warms, the malt profile really begins to shine through, bringing hints of caramel, fresh baked bread, and some fruity esters. Hops provide a slightly bitter, floral finish.

Nores: This is the epitome of a traditional English ESB. Moderate to medium in body, and quite easy to drink. Maybe the best English beer to come out of a can that I have tried. Very well put-together.

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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 jadpsu
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a full tan head of average duration. Side glass lacing is pretty good.
Aroma: Has some seet, bready malts, with some spice hops. Both are light, but they are both there.
Taste: Has light malts, a touch of caramel. Don't pick up the hops. Dry to the palette and is mildly bitter.
It actually reminded me of a Foster's Bitter Ale, with the biggest difference being price.
I liked it but at twice the price of the Foster's bitter, IMO the better taste/value for a bitter ale goes to the Foster's Bitter

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Photo of ejeffer11
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice to see this classic bitter in a can and a welcome sight for summer drinking.

pour is steady, with very little head produced - cask brew in a can. beer is dark brown producing some nice lacing after the first few sips. Malty, buttery and some very light butterscotch flavor here. Nice dry bitter finish and refreshing as can be. At just over 5% alcohol, this is pretty light by today's standards, but the amount of flavor from this beer is pretty amazing. One of my all time favorite easy drinking english ales. Glad to see this in a can. Will be on this a good deal this summer.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New canned Bombardier. It's been a few years since I last had one. The can makes a beautiful pour, resulting in a beer with a dark mahogany brown with a substantial head on top of it, reaching just to the tip of the pint glass. The nose is very faint, offering just some light malt. Better flavor, with good caramel marking the start. Bitterness is low by modern US standards, but it fits perfectly well with this beer. A little light yeasty fruitiness rounds out the finish. Body is a tad thin and watery.

Generally, a classic beer. This one of my early favorites when I first discovered beer could taste good.

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

Mahogany pour, tan to black with little head. Malt sweetnes on the nose with little other hints as to flavor. A tasty ESB and a very even brew. A nice well rounded malt character with a nice subtle hop finish. The body is slight and nearly thin, though the style seems to demand it. For this reason I cannot judge negatively on lack of texture. Over all this is a good drinkin' brew with moderate ABV and a really casual flavor and feel. I like it.

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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 NilsFrisk
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper colored beer with a very thick and retaining head, looking like a foam mountain, rising towards the middle of the glass.
Smells floral, a bit resin, and a bit of malt there.
Starts of tasting quite hoppy, but the hops fades while drinking it, and the carbonation dominates most of the taste after a few sips, towards the last sips, when most of the carbonation is gone, it tastes a little bit like dirty coins.

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Photo of 7ways
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful ruby wood color with a massive rocky head to rival any Trappist ale. Thick blankets of lace.

The aroma is almost, but not quite, entirely absent. Faint cereal and that's it. Even after serious swirling, this beer smells like nothing but Cocoa Puffs and pale malt. I opened up another beer I'm familiar with just to make sure there's nothing wrong with me.

Biscuits, multigrain bread, bitter chocolate, and hop bitterness on the palette. Almost no hop flavor. Caramel emerges as it warms, but makes little impact. Very simple.

While fairly full bodied, this goes down like water. Perfect carbonation, I wish all pale ales were this way.

This should be what Budweiser tastes like. Super quaffable AND high quality. Good wtf-ever beer to go with a simple meal or a movie. But I wish I could try it on cask, maybe then it would have some complexity and real aroma.

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

First I've seen this in a can.
Fairly dark amber pour, good layer of large bubbled cream head. Retains well enough.

Earthy malt aroma. Some herbal hops, peat.

Caramel, malty, solid. Some woody and tea notes.
A fair amount of herbal hoping in the finish. Really well balanced.

Extreamly drinkable, solid mouthfeel. The right amount of lively carbonation. One of the better examples of the style I've had, which is not a lot admittidly.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, reddish copper with a modest beige head that dissipates in short order. Lacing is minimal.

S: Roasted and caramel malts, fresh fruit (particularly hints of cherry), and spicy floral hops.

T: A balance of rich, roasted malts and sweeter caramel malts alongside spicy, slightly citric floral hops. Nuttiness throughout, and tastes of candied fruit come out in the finish.

M: Carbonation is light, but has initial crispness that gives way to smoothness. Medium-bodied. The lingering finish balances roasted malt and earthy hop bitterness.

D: A tasty, easy-drinking ESB with low enough ABV to be easily sessionable. Strong example of the style.

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Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear honey-brown color with a two-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust toasted malts with hints of lighter caramel malts. Also present are moderate amounts of breadiness and hints of raisins.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts of smooth caramel malts and drier toasted malt flavors kick things off. Slight biscuit flavors come into play shortly thereafter before being tempered by earthy hops midway through the sip. Near the end of the sip slight amounts of dark fruit flavors come into play before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I enjoy this beer on-tap but the cask conditioning takes it to another level. Very much worth a shot if you find it served on cask.

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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 cichief
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the Porchester from the cask.

A- Pours a deep gold with a nice white head, clear no haze.

S- Subtle hop aroma, somewhat spicy, plenty of malt.

T- Malty and yeasty, some clove, a little medicinal, with a dry finish.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, nice feeling.

O- A decent session beer, but nothing special.

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

A clear, ruby-copper colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a good amount of lace. Very nice to look at, if not a bit light.

Aroma is hoppy and spicy, but subdued with a warm honey sweetness and rocky-metallic tone.

The taste is very mild, but rich with roasted malt and a slight, lemony tea tone. A creamy start gives way to an unripened green grape bitterness that verges on sour. A familiar mineral tone can be tasted on the tongue and finish.

I could drink this at any time, it's above-average, but not great in my books.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - beer pours a rich copper color with a white head that left quickly

smell - malts, graham cracker, hint of cherry

taste - better than the smell, malty goodness upfront, some of that bready, graham cracker mixed in there for good measure

mouthfeel - meduim carbonation, medium bodied, slight bitterness on the finish

drinkability - good version of the style, this was a beer that i'm glad i tried.

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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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