In that review I mentioned ‘Bombardier’, Charles Wells most successful brew, it’s Britian’s second best selling cask ale (after Greene King’s IPA), it’s marketed as ‘the Drink of England’ and is brewed to 4.7% ABV in bottles and 4.1% on draught.
The brewery promotes the brew at beer festivals with a distinctive bar/bus and ran a successful TV advertising campaign with the sadly missed Rik Mayall.
It pours a classic dark copper colour, classic English Bitter, with a tight off-white head that laces as it goes down.
There’s not too much nose, maybe some toast and metallic old-school hops – Challenger and Goldings.
The mouth feel is lighter than I’d expected, it doesn’t quite come across as the premium bitter it sets out to, it’s more reminiscent of a 3-3.5% ‘session’ bitter than the 4.7% that’s lurking in here.
A wolf – no, maybe a fox, in sheep’s clothing.
The flavour? It’s okay, but nothing to write home about. There’s plenty of caramel, some dried fruit, and those hops, it’s just not, well, special.
I’m afraid I don’t think it justifies ‘the Drink of England’ moniker, England can do so much better.