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

very good
898 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: 898 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of MaxBrews
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation a beautiful and uniquely shaped bottle holding 570ml of English Ale poured into a 16oz glass thats somewhere between pils and pint.

Appearance: Pours with a bubbly and quickly dissipating one and a half finger head. A good looking thin, but firm and soapy lacing. Some residue is left from the head on the glass. The color is a clear copper with some haze at the bottom.

Smell: This is a malty beer, which gives off toasted and bready aromas as well as a variety of fruit; pear, raisins, grape and prune. Slight notes of caramel and a little peppery spice.

Taste: This is a malty ale with plenty of dark fruit (sultana grapes as the label suggests). Hops aren't really identifiable as having a certain flavor but they add a fair amount of bitter bite and a little spice. However there was this occasional metallic taste that I can't get around so I can't give this a "Good" rating.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation on the lighter side of mouthfeel, with a bitter bite. Not in the territory of American IPAs but a fair amount of bitterness none the less. Surprisingly does not finish all that dry.

Drinkability: Pleasant and easy to drink with a good amount of flavor. I've found several English pale ales to be in the same realm but with more flavor. This would be a great beer if the price wasn't so steep. I've always found Samuel Smith's to be steep but a $4.50 pint from a bottle? A decent bitter though may drink again.

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Photo of hackmann
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Had to make an aggressive pour to get a good head. The light tan head sits atop a nice see thru copperish color body. The head is short lived but, has some nice lacing. Mild carbonation.

Smell: Slight peppery note mixing with sweet malty notes.

Taste:a nice herbal hoppy bite with a rich taste of malt characteristics. I get a nice cedary note along with a red apple freshness. I like the firm english ale quailties and the crisp refreshing taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a dry and hoppy bite that is still refreshing probably due to the watery edges of the ale. The slight carbonation also helps to clean the palate. There is a little spice tingle left on the cheek and gums.

Drinkability: To me easy to drink. Low 5.2% and a solid english ale taste that makes it enjoyable.

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

love the look of the bottle, with the english flag emblazoned on a shield. when poured this ale appeared a dark copper color, with a decent sized head (near white in color) that dissipates quickly with just a few bubbles working their way to the top. looks very inviting. head retention and lacing are just about nil. smells are of hops, lightly roasted malts, and a bit of bready spiciness. the fuggle hops on the palate are apparent right up front, and are certainly not overwhelming, but offer a nice tangy bitterness throughout the sip. a thick breadth of malty sweetness accompanies the hops that i really enjoyed. good combination of fuggle hops and the crystal malts. has a slight toasty flavor i appreciated also. can't put my finger on the spice that is showing through. the finish has a spicy zip with a nice balance of that hop bitterness with the sweets. this ale has a medium body, with moderate carbonation. very nice. i found the drinkability to be a strong suit. i have yet to find a wells that i didn't enjoy. a splendid ale.

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

Poured on tap at Meg O Malleys in downtown Melbourne. Pouts a brown caramel with a small white head that left no lacing.
Smell is some malts with light hops
Taste is light malt with some nice bitterness on the way down,
This is a nice session beer. Nothing to write home about, but a nice ESB. Give it a try if you find it.

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Photo of Daniell
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: nice malt colour when held up to light, otherwise darkish sultana - three finger head. Proper.

S: nice pungent sultana (I may have been influenced by the "sultana" description on the label :P) and yeast. Also a kind of metallic smell, and vague dark fruits and chocolate/carob. Has kind of a vague "funkiness"/"old smell"/"feces" which is similar to that I find (and have trouble describing) in Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Also get the "apple"yness I seem to pick up in every beer.

T: bitters, yeast, tastes very "full" from the darkness, also some fruitiness. Also some vague vegetabliness.

M: nice and creamy.

D: a dark beer and the malt (which usually gives me higher drinkability) is downplayed here.

A nice brew, although very intense. Wouldn't want to session these, ironically something like Cooper's Best Extra Stouts seem more sessionable to my taste.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a deep amber color with an medium sized off white head that slowly disperses leaving some thick lacing on the sides of the glass. The first thing I smell in this beer is the caramel malt, with just a little bit of citrus underneath. This is a smooth beer that tastes of caramel, malt, and just enough bitterness to keep it from being overpowering. Actually, the bitterness is almost refreshing following the sweetness of the malts as it does, very tasty. This beer is smooth and refreshing feeling light in the mouth, and could easily be the drink of choice on a warm evening, or even in colder months. A very good beer.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass. A dark, russet-amber hue, with a half inch of off-white head. Decent retention, a bit of lacing.

Nose is malt, caramel, herbal hops, dark fruits. Very inviting.

A somewhat sweet, but refreshing bitter ale. Not exceptionally bitter (only for a moment at the end), but very smooth and drinkable. I can certainly see having a few of these in an evening.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark for the style, medium body with a touch of creamyness. The carbonation is light, providing slight bursts of malty goodness.

More than makes up for their IPA; a fine pale ale, not overly strong so as to allow for sessions. Good stuff.

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Photo of atis
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap in BombardierBar in Riga

Pours reddish amber with off-white and very smooth head in half finger thickness (till the end of the glass), excellent lacing that covers all sides of the glass and slowly, towards the end of the glass small holes start appearing in it. Aroma reminds of caramel, some fruit.

Taste is mild toasty malt with some fruitiness and fresh floral bittery hops in the background and long lasting bittery aftertaste; medium dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth medium with less than moderate carbonation.

A solid bitter ale.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops and malts. Taste is good, again hops and malts, slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a quality beer.

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

A deep-ruby coloured bitter with a reasonably sized white head that dissipates quite quickly.

There is a lovely smell of butterscotch with a malty finish. At first, the bitterness, typical for the style, is the dominating feature. Then the malty goodness becomes more present, with a hint of butterscotch and a bitter after taste.

This beer is as drinkable as you would expect an English bitter to be. However, in this category I prefer drinking Fuller's ESB over this one, since the Bombardier is a bit too tart for my taste.

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Photo of Baileyuk
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A good beer but an interesting review as each individual element has issues.

The appearance is good, decent head, great lacing good color.

Smell was non existent, even after tasting. Not bad, just not there.

Taste was good, very mild for an ESB. Really a very good beer but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of northaustin
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark reddish thats fairly clear with less than a finger of white head which disappears quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

smell: small smooth malt with a subtle note of earthy hops.

taste: english bitter for sure. no sweetness. big bitter flavor that is very much what i was hoping for with the style.

mouthfeel: kinda makes ya pucker up and salivate a little. no dryness.

drinkability: very affordable for a good beer that is a shining example of its style.

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Photo of TheHammer
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The bottle says Wells Bombardier English Premium Ale, however given the Alcohol content is the same, and their own website doesn't seem to comment on a premium ale, I'm pretty sure I'm reviewing it in the right place.

Appearance: A lot darker then I would expect, as I've had English browns that were lighter, as the body boast a deep brown with a very crimson orange when held to the light. Decent carbonation in the body, too bad I can't say for the same for the head which is non-existent.

Smell: Not much out of this one, even after a good deal of warming. Simply toffee malt and rather plain flowery hops. I'm not particularly impressed.

Taste: Like a cross between a pale ale and an English brown, with more on the pale ale end of things. Starts with a plain but sweet toffee malt, that seems to immediately shift to floral hops with a mineral edge. They both have their merits alone, but combined they hamper the beer.

Mouthfeel: Poor transitioning, it tastes segregated into sweet start and hoppy end, nothing in between. Carbonation is good, and highlights both spectrum's of the beer, the aftertaste is more on the mineral end though, and lingers for too long.

Drinkability: This doesn't go down that smoothly, because this simply isn't a very smooth beer. Refreshing enough I suppose and it's settling down decently enough. I dunno, even as a ESB, which I personally find aren't the most drinkable, I'd say this is disappointing.

Final Thoughts: I suspect the Young's end of Wells and Young's is the premium brand, whereas Wells is the good enough brand. It honestly tastes like this beer should be two separate beers, a Wells Brown Ale and a Wells Pale Ale. For an ESB, you will want to stick to Fullers, because frankly there is nothing special about this bitter.

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

a bit english hop when you pop it with a pour that a bit darker. a straight copper. some head that isn't aggressive of particularly lacy. nose of quintessential beer bitter hop. some earth and metal. palate that is a traditional form i suppose... with an earthy finish.

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Photo of Methodd
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly off-clear, dark ruby with a heavy off-white head that settles slowly into a collar around the edge. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, figs, floral hops.

Taste: Caramel and floral hops here too, some spice and a nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with very suitable carbonation which is not over-done like a lot of ESB’s.

Drinkability: Very good, similar to Fuller’s ESB but not quite as well put together and not as strong. All and all I would very much recommend this to anyone who likes an ESB as much as I do.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is deep amber with a small off-white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: The smell is dominated by the sweet light roasted biscuity malt, but there is also floral hops - both citric notes as well as some ripe banana is present.

T: Nice sweet light roasted caramell malt, with floral hops that gives it a nice fruityness.

M: The aftertaste is rather sweet, and faint bitter. The body is medium as well as the carbonation.

D: A nice well balanced bitter. Not the strongest in taste - but just like a bitter should be.

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Photo of Chinon01
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Soft soapy head spider web lacing. Nose is of figs and orange raisins and other citrus notes with some chalky minerality.

Taste in the front is similar to nose with a nice marriage of gentle hops and mineral in the finish. Balanced malty goodness throughout. Mouthfeel is decent and the drinkability is awesome.

There is nothing cloying or overwrought about this beer. Restrained elegance. A knockout.

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

Appearance: Deep red colour, with a small foamy off-white head, and no clear carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet biscuity malts, with a slight citric fruitiness.

Taste: The initial flavours are biscuity malts, as is the case with the aroma, however, there is also a noticeable earthy hoppiness about it. Slight hint of bananas.

Mouthfeel: Full, still and chewy.

Drinkability: Really drinkable, nice flavours, not to heavy considering the fullness, and very moreish

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Photo of Jeffo
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this at my local LCBO

From a bottle into a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Pours a 3+ finger thinner looking off white head with decent retention. Color is rust or mahogany brown and is perfectly clear with medium carbonation. Head slowly fades to a foam cap, but only a ring remains to the end without leaving any lacing down the sides.

SMELL: Mild nose of caramel malt and toffee. Some nice floral hops and pine notes as well.

TASTE: A little bolder than the nose. Some toasted grain up front with caramel and toffee again. Floral hops come through nicely with pine notes as well, much like the nose. Mild and longer lasting aftertaste is nicely done.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little airy but still soft on the palate. Not as creamy as hoped, but goes down smooth enough non-the-less. Finishes slightly too astringent on the palate. Not a real fan of the feel.

OVERALL: Unfortunately the weak, airy and overly astringent palate kept this otherwise enjoyable beer from actually being enjoyable. Tasted quite nice, but I just couldn't get past the less-than-impressive feel of the beer. Not one I'd want to have again.

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Photo of templar316
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A nice crisp english ale. Pours a quickly falling off-white head, moderate lacing. Nice butterscotch notes to the nose, a little biscutty. Flavor starts with sweet malts fading into a mild hop bite and finsihing with an oily sweetness. Smooth and refreshing I could drink a dozen of these.

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

Served in a 20oz pint glass - on cask at the Rose and Crown in London

Poured an ambercopper color, hazy, with a delicious white head

Bready, toasty nose, the hops are slightly muffled but there

The flavor is caramel, toast, nutty, with a nice fruityl hop side.

Creamy, very pleasant, another great cask beer to session all day

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

Clear copper colored body--one and a half finger thick light tan head, which falls a bit quickly after pour, but remnants sticks together well. Lacing is decent.

Aroma is of tea, and slightly floral and pine.

Taste is of tea and slight butterscotch, with an herbal finish.

MF is medium in body, maybe tends to lean a bit to the thin side. Well carbonated and crisp, wetting to the palate.

Overall a mildly complex beer, but still leans tot the refreshing side.

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

A: Nice dark body with large, frothy, thick, off-white head with good retention. Very pretty.

S: Very floral, good and malty. Bread, caramel, fruit.

T: A true malt-bomb with great sidenotes. It's got a nice dose of spice, some burnt orange and the subtlest bit of Fuggles hops.

M: Pretty chewy with low carbonation.

D: A very pleasant brew overall. It ranges a bit much into bubblegum sweetness, but it works out.

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Photo of seand
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear medium amber with a small amount of light tan head. A relatively thin layer retains pretty well, there's some lacing but not a lot.

S: Sweet, hints of caramel and fruit.

T: Starts sweet like the nose, moving into some light hoppy bitterness.

M: Well carbonated, light to medium mouthfeel.

D: Quite easy to drink, a good session beer.

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Photo of HeroJH
4.77/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great, another really nice English Ale that I can find near my house. A great example of a well balanced traditional ale.

A - nice amber with a reddish tint. Fading Head, nice low amount of carbonation.

S - Nice balance of caramel, slight flowery spices. Iron.

T - Balanced and subtle. Minerals, even hop bitterness, touch of sweetness. Very long nice aftertaste of clean bitter and minerals.

M - soft carbonation, coating

D - Supremely easy to drink. Enough interest and smoothness to keep 'em coming.

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Wells Bombardier (English Premium Bitter) from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.79 out of 5 based on 898 ratings.
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