Lancaster Bomber | Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC

74 Reviews
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Lancaster BomberLancaster Bomber

Brewed by:
Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2003

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 142
Photo of vinicole
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear darkish chestnut/amber. Thin bubbly head.
Light English malt and hop aroma.
Standard but rather underwhelming English Bitter flavour as found in the smell. Balanced.
Light carbonation. Medium body.
Run of the mill beer that I have had a number of times over the years.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.39/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 500 mL bottle into a pint glass, copper colored with a foamy off white head that dissipates leaving wispy lacing, clear

S: English hops, light sweet grain, Burton water

T: sweet and bready up front with an earthy hop profile

M: thinner with lower carbonation

O: sweet for a bitter

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thwaites' "Lancaster Bomber"
cask via handpump @ Fly In The Loaf, Liverpool, UK on 1 May 2015

Notes: 4.4% ABV. Clear copper body beneath a short head of white. Slightly better than average head retention, decent lacing. Aroma: fruity, floral, leafy/spicy over a distinctly caramelish malt base. The flavor is caramelish, bready/grainy, and threaded through with the same floral, leafy and gently spicy hops found in the nose. Also perhaps a touch nutty and tea-like. Stiffly bitter, it finishes dry with some residual malt and leafiness. Medium-light in body, soft and smooth across the palate.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for $3.65 CDN from LCBO.

Appearance - clear copper color with minimal visible carbonation. A half finger of white head has modest retention.

Smell - a lagers bread smell with big caramel malt. A little metallic too, but works here somehow. Some grape and plum aroma in there too.

Taste - similar to the nose with a caramel and molasses flavor, mild bitterness seeping through with a slight grape and plum concoction. Pretty good especially if it gets a chance to warm up a bit.

Mouthfeel - smooth, reasonably well carbonated, a bit of a dry finish, but a it too thin.

Overall - not a bad bitter, but certainly not one I'd go out of my way to have again. Worth a shot for the price.

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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


 352 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, deep amber with a dense, beige cap. Decent head retention with some soapy lacing. English malt nose with Fuggles/Kent Goldings sort of hop aroma. Balanced flavour, some nutty malt with earthy and slightly citrusy hops, fruity yeast character. Slightly mineral finish, medium/light bodied, lowish carbonation, a bit soapy. Overall, a decent beer when presented in a can. I'd prefer to try it in a fresh cask to see how it fares in that format.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of derekvandenbrink
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised how much I liked this pint. Quite often a canned or bottled beer can be quite different from a pint served at a pub. This pint was less gassy than for example a London Pride in a bottle. Smelled more hoppy than it tasted.
I wouldn't say it tasted much like an ESB more like a Gayles pint - as taken over by The Griffin Brewery.

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Photo of jonb5
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Half litre bottle, poured into pint glass. Bronze auburn colour, clear, one finger off white head. Retained a fair amount of lacing. Aroma had hints of Fuggles and Goldings hop with some apple, also had to think of a north German style Pilsner. Tasted pine and citrus fruits (mainly grapefruit) sharp finish, moderate bitterness. Smooth texture, decent carbonation, slightly watery body. Overall it lacked the character of some ESBs and was slightly too strong to session as Andrew Flintoff found out after 17 pints at the 2007 cricket world cup in Barbados.

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Photo of bark
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is deep copper (30 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger head is airy and beige. It sinks slowly leaving lots of thick lacing.

The smell is semi-sweet with distinct notes of apricots, hay, spices (allspice?), caramel and flowers (black currant bush).

The taste is smooth. It is not very bitter, instead the hoppy flavours dominates. Fresh flowers, dried and fresh apricots, hints of tart berries (gooseberries, green bananas) and grass. Mild sweet notes with some caramel and plums. Medium to light body. The aftertaste got a smooth flowery bitterness and a growing sweetness (caramel, brown sugar) and green berries. The finish is somewhat bitter.

The carbonation is light, the many small bubbles are smooth. The liquid is semi-dry.

More like a malty best bitter than an ESB. Still, a highly gulpable ale.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice copper colour, finger of head with little retention and no lacing.

S - Musty caramel, grassy hops, hints of buttered bread.

T - The musty caramel dominates, solid grassy hop notes, caramel corn and buttered bread lingers.

M - Thin and watery, but smooth an refreshing.

O - A super tasty ale that goes down smooth and is super sessoionable. I will be buying more of this.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot for this beer's namesake. It flew over on my wedding day. No, I did not get married during WWII.

A: thick creamy head with fine bubbles. Pour it right or the head will stay around forever. It's still lacing up the sides of the glass fifteen minutes later. Crystal-clear brownish amber colour.

S: hoppy to the point where I was afraid it would be very bitter.

T: barely bitter at all, and in fact very mellow considering the hoppy smell. There's definitely a hop flavour but it's not overpowering. I expected other flavours to dominate in a beer this dark.

M: a little tiny bit fizzy. Little bubbles are popping on my lips after every sip. Smooth and lingering.

O: Pleasant and easy-drinking. Not as attention-grabbing as I expected for a beer named after a giant buzzing bomb-dropping airplane, but I'd buy it again.

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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-.

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

Pours a copper-amber colour with a large and fluffy white head that has great retention, acting as a cap and leaving behind thick lace.

Very fruity aroma, mild caramel and grain backing.

Toasted malts, mild caramel and a surprisingly biting bitterness. Hints of chocolate, grain, orange peel and grape in the dry finish.

Medium-bodied with a mild carbonation. The everlasting head makes for a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy sensation in the aftertaste.

Nothing Earth-shattering, but makes for a great session ale. Goes well with sandwiches, fried foods, potato chips and crackers.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours warm copper with a rather large pale tan soapy head that sinks into nice lacings.

S: Sweet malts, slightly roasted, at least some caramell. Some honey and some bitter hops. A fruityness lingers in the back.

T: A bit earthy, metallic/mineral. Toffee, slightly roasted malts, somewhat sweet. On the maltier side, but some bitter hops are there, as well as fruityness.

M: Long bitter aftertaste. Body is medium to light, while carbonation is low.

O: Not bad, but also not great.

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

A clear copper ale, a high off-white head leaving good lacing and some curtains.

Smelling of honey, porridge, bitter oranges.

Starting with sweet brown bread, bitter oranges, orange peel.

Medium low carbonation, soft, medium light body, a dry finish.

A decent ESB, nothing wrong, nothing outstanding.

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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.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent ESB from Thwaites. Honestly, I bought this mostly due to the name. But I still like it.

Copper colour with a bubbly slightly off-white head. Toast and toffee malts, light fruit hops that are barely detectable.

Toasty malts carry through to the flavour, but with a nice creamy, buttery aftertaste. Nice, sweet fruity hops with just a hint of citrus to it.

Very smooth moutfheel, almost surprising for a bottle. Good session ESB, nice beer all-in-all. Not great, but quite good.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with copper highlights. Yields a decent cream coloured head and carbonation pleasantly maintained, although flatter than many North American ESB's.

Aroma is of caramelized malts, albeit with a disconcerting metallic note that I have to believe is indicative of an issue with this bottle rather than the intent of the brewer.

Taste is well balanced with a pleasantly bitter finish. Caramelized malts are the predominant tone, with hints of citrus before the finish.

A lot of flavour for 4.4% ABV and definitely a beer I'd recommend.

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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.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours coppery amber with sizeable dense, fluffy off-white head. It has good retention, gradually dissipating to a foamy cap, and leaves plenty of frothy lacing.

S: Biscuit malts backed up by chalky minerality, herbal, woody hops, and caramel.

T: Toffee and toasty biscuit malts up front with undertones of bread and grain, followed by hops that start lightly fruity and turn to earthy and particularly citric bitterness - drawing out bitter roasted notes from the biscuit malt's aftertaste - accompanied by yeast and butteriness.

M: Light bodied with smooth, gentle carbonation - sort of cask-like when poured hard. The citrus and toasted malt finish provides strong, enduring bitterness demanding another sip, but throws the balance and overpowers the milder malt tastes by the end of the bottle.

D: Although solid, it isn't as balanced as an ESB should be: the finish is more in line with a bitter, I think. That said, it'd make for a great session ale if you enjoy that sort of citric/roasty astringency, and it's a solid ale in itself.

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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.

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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.

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Lancaster Bomber from Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC
3.44 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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