7.14.2006

HoX Beer Review #4: Bombardier Ale

Wells Bombardier Ale



I figured this beer would be a contender to Newcastle, the beer that really kicked up my love for beer when I first started drinking. At a glance, it looks like Newc, maybe a little darker. A rich brown with some deep red tones. Clear, too. As clear as a brown liquid can be. Holds a head pretty well, too. It's got a nutty aroma, more than anything. A little coffee, too. I expected more malt on the nose, and I was surprised that there wasn't any.

It tastes good. If I were in England on St. George's Day (whatever that is), I'd have one. That said, it's not great. Upon first taste, it really fell short. It's not really flavorful. It's bitter, and not in a good way. There's not much else to it. The aftertaste does leave a something to be desired. Again, it's just bitter. There's nothing else to it. My first impression of this ale is that it's only really perpetuating the notion we have in the US of the milquetoast Englishman.

...20-30 minutes later...

The funny thing about this ale is the deeper into the glass it get, the more I like it. The more it warms up, the more enjoyable it is. It tastes and smells better. The richness I've been expecting is coming out in waves. It's got much more of a complex flavor, and a powerful nose. I've never really taken much stock in beer served "warm," but this one sure should be. Here in the US, we like our beer ice cold. The more flavor in the beer, the warmer you should drink it, like Wells' Bombardier Ale. Less flavorful beers, like MGD (which I enjoy), need to be consumed ice-fucking-cold to experience the "flavor." Why? Because there isn't any, so the warmer it gets, the worse it tastes. Ever drank a warm MGD? Exactly. A beer like Wells' Bombardier Ale gets completely covered up at fridge temperature. The closer it gets to room temperature, the more it shines. There's no place I know of that would serve this beer at 65°, so if you see it in a bar, I'd pass this one up for a Newcastle, if you're looking for a brown ale. Unless you're in a proper pub. In England. Then add another +0.1 to "aroma" & "mouthfeel", and +0.2 to "taste," and feel good about ordering a pint. This is not, however, a beer to drink after a long, hot, Southern California Summer day. I'd gladly take an ice cold MGD over this one.

Here's my attempt at a new scoring system:
1.0 is perfect in each category,
0.1 is the complete opposite of perfect.
Use your imagination for everything between.
The perfect beer would be scored "4.0/4"

Wells Bombardier Ale

Appearance: .8

Aroma: .6

Taste: .6

Mouthfeel: .6

2.6/4

4 comments:

KPL said...

Of course I have a few things to say. First, I like the rating a lot better (except I don't know how you rate appearance. I have a few comments about that, but we'll discuss that off-blog . . . just remind me). Second, I love you man for having a beer review. Third, I absolutely hate you. When I read, " The funny thing about this ale is . . ." I just threw up my hands and said "FUCK! I knew he was gonna pull some shit like this!" I actually thought you were gonna stick to the negative for once! Damn hippies! That's right Jeff, you are a damn hippy!

Jeff said...

This beer was bad when it was cold. When it warmed up, it got strikingly better, and I felt it necessary to point that out.

As for appearance, I'm not quite sure about this one, either. I mean, the more it looks appetizing, the higher it'll be scored. I think it's more of an "all or none" category. Think of Chimay Gran Reserve as a 1.0 for Appearance. Think of Michelob Ultra as 0.1.

Also, think of the Chimay as having total score of 4.0/4, and Michelob Ultra as 0.4/4.

BrainofJ said...

Hey Jeff,

I just noticed you were doing beer reviews from sig on Vaughan's forum. If you can find it, try a beer called Skullsplitter. You can find out more about it here: www.legendslimited.com/skull.html. They had this on the beer menu at the casino near where I went to college. Once my friend and I saw the name, we knew we had to try it. Skullsplitter has probably been the best beer I've tasted to date. The thing I remember most about the taste was that it was almost like wine (to me anyway) but better. I started buzzing before I even reached the bottom of the bottle.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the recommend, J! I'm now on the lookout for that beer. If I can get my hands on it, I'll gladly review it.