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Shipyard Old Thumper - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 380
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 11
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 03-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Old Thumper Alström Bros
Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 380 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Omnium
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a very nice amber color, less than one finger head, thin lacing, doesnt cling at all.
S - Hops come to the nose, followed by a sweet malt, along with some drier floral and pine notes.
T - Pine, malts, good hop bitterness, and some interesting spices, much more complex than your average Pale Ale.
M - Good carbonization, but dry bitterness and a little bit of malt hangs on to your palate, not the interesting complexity of the smell or taste.
O - A really different, and good EPA, It has almost a saison quality to it with the spices and malt, but there's a great bitterness of the hops. Solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

Omnium, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of popery
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once upon a time, I picked this beer up and, while it didn't inspire a fan of craft brewing in me, as later experiences did, it was very pleasurable and opened me up to more interesting flavors in beer. So, I have a touch nostalgia for this one. At any rate, this beer has a big caramel flavor and a fairly unique yeastiness, that I now understand is Shipyard's signature. The beer looks very nice with a highlighted amber liquid and a fairly sticky head. The aroma is caramel malt and a touch of interesting fruity esters. The flavor is quite good and big for the abv with a lot of malt and a clean, dry hop finish. It's an excellent session beer that doesn't skimp on the flavor. I imagine it's wonderful out of a cask. I would love to have that experience. The feel is nicely chewy but not astonishing. I bet fresh from a cask would up this category. The Shipyard yeast is interesting, and, while I like it, I'm not sure that the beer around it is incredible. The caramel malt is good, but it's not great. It could just use more richness. I don't have a lot of experience with ESBs, so my rating could change as my experience deepens. I will be sure to come back to Old Thumper, but then I'll be back, regardless, whenever nostalgia builds.

popery, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Best Enjoyed Before: July 09. Wait, that's tomorrow! We haven't a moment to waste.

Appearance: Fairly clear, mahogany-hued body with a small-sized, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Toasty, biscuity nose with fair notes of light caramel, nuts, fruit, and spicy-scented English hops.

Taste: Well-toasted pale maltiness with some biscuity leanings, a faint touch of nuttiness, and a caramel sweetness to it. Light fruitiness. A modest, appropriate amount of clean bitterness from the earthy, spicy English-minded hops. Splash of Darjeeling tea. I must say, the buttery Ringwood yeast is fairly restrained, well-behaved even. Finishes lightly crisp, semi-dry, and with a lingering hint of zesty spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Gee whiz, that was a pleasant surprise! Well-rounded, well-balanced, and with just the right amount of flavor and ease of drinkability. Now, generally, I find the Shipyard brews to be rather lackluster and somewhat cheerless, but this one really hit the spot.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright gold, like the color of cider with a quickly dissipating ivory head. Smells a bit hoppy, yeasty with hints of peach (?).

Taste is spicy. Nice apple malt flavors then big taste of hops (Goldings?) to finish. Nice body and great hoppy finish that lingers all over the palette. Well balanced. Very smooth and drinkable.

I had this on cask at the Great Lost Bear and was so impressed I had to pick up a sixer. I am not a big fan of Shipyard but this is a very good beer. Not as good as it was on cask mind you but definitely their best offering.

ViveLaChouffe, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bitters pour. Dark yellow with a big, highly-retentive white head, like a highly alcholic Belgian.

Smells of lager yeast and mild hops. Kind of nice, but too weak to really matter.

Tastes pretty much like it smells, only a little more firm. Like a good euro pils, slightly pasturized lager grain with fruit esters, ending on a nice, light hop. Pretty good.

mynie, May 26, 2006
Photo of williamherbert
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a dark, orange -- almost amber -- color. Very little head or carbonation whatsoever. Definitely has the appearance of an ale.

The aroma is of a malty, subdued English ale. Slight yeast flavor creeps up.

Sweet, flat ale flavor. Very pleasant and fruity. Has a sweet aftertaste. Does not taste strong or "alcoholic" to me at all.

Not too thick, not too watery. Perfect feel, like a cask-ale. It goes down very easily. Extremely easy to drink and smooth.

williamherbert, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-posting: I did not have the UK Version, so I am moving my review.

Sampled on August 10, 2010.

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

Appearance: Pale caramel in color with a medium sized white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a fair amount of lace.

Smell: Rich, buttery malts with notes of caramel and fruits.

Taste: As the smell suggests, this is nice and malty- begins with buttery and fruity (apple, plum) flavors, finishing with caramel notes and light hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with fairly heavy carbonation and a very sticky finish.

Drinkability: Not the best of its style, but far from the worst. Like most English ales, this is a good, flavorful, and malty session beer

Mosstrooper, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Jmamay22
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Thumper is a slightly hazy copper colored beer with a tawny khaki colored head that settles to a thick collar. Smells of caramel, butterscotch, biscuits, and a light balanced touch of hops. Well rounded and enticing aroma.

Surprisingly more hoppy when tasted, but still well balanced. Caramel and bready biscuits stand out as the butterscotch seems to have faded once tasted. Finishes with a drying soft spiced floral hop bite. Medium and well carbonated. This is an enjoyable easy drinker.

Jmamay22, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a mixed 12 pack. Pours a nice amber with a decent off-white head.

Smells of fruit, butter, and some light brown sugar notes

Taste is of some firm malt, toasty bread, butter, hops and fruit. You get the alcohol too, and it is a good thing.

Chewy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

You can put a few of these down, if the flavors above are your thing. The butter is a turn off for some, but I like it. Nothing in your face here. Well made, and of the 5 styles from Shipyard that I've tried, this is my favorite.

OtherShoe2, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of Morris729
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-hazy golden amber color with a creamy white head that sticks to the walls of the glass as it recedes. Nose is dominated by sweet buttery caramel along with some aromas of tropical fruit in the background. Medium in body with a rather soft and creamy texture. Taste begins with sweet malt, caramel, and toffee followed by a roasted nuttiness and an earthy yeastiness. A bit of wood is present towards the end along with more buttery diacetyl. If you like Ringwood yeast, this is a must-try.

Morris729, Aug 07, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Based on the label, I thought I had some kind of obscure, English, off-brand ale. I now see, thanks to site reviews, that I have before me an ESB, a favorite style, from one of my favorite states.
This pours a garnet toned, caramel amber body, with a minimal head and no lace.
Aroma is caramel malt, with a pleasing, fruity hop note of fried apples in butter. Obviously, this has a solid, malt profile. It's clean and medium bodied in the mouth, but I'm missing the nut flavors that I consider necessary to be a topnotch ESB. This is still a compelling brew, with ideal caramel malt sweetness playing off against a floral/herbal hops bitterness that is, surprisingly, smooth.
This is a very tasty brew, and is very well balanced. Put some walnut flavor in this, and it would be a world class ESB. Very drinkable.

merlin48, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of fx20736
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into British Pint glass.

Thin on mouthfeel

Medium orangish-amber with a 1 finger offwhite head that leaves a respectable amount of lacing.

Nose is of baked shortbread with a slight candied fruitiness.

Taste: broad caramel maltiness with a warming alcohol changes over to a restrained English Hop bitterness. There is a chalky, slightly metallic aftertaste that is not strong.

Notes: a nice ESB, although the ABV is much higher than say, Honker's Ale. Drinkability ranks fairly high but the alcohol content is above that of a session beer.

fx20736, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Paul Pendyck GEN Sutter Cask Night special. We are so lucky to have this event on a monthly basis and the selections are always superb. I adore this beer and yet, this was the first occasion that I got to try it out of a gravity-fed cask. Usually, it is in bottle form.

Despite coming from a gravity pour, it still produced a finger of foamy ecru head with good retention. The color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a grassy quality, underlain by a mild sweetness. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a bitterness that put me in mind of freshly mown grass or hay. The finish was definitely herbal. This was much different than what I remember getting out of a bottle. It was quite good, and yet, I preferred the Chamberlain of the two presented on this evening. Go figure.

Another review, this time from a handpump:

The pull produced a finger of deep tan head with decent retention. Nose was mildly sweet with a slight graham cracker-like edge. Color was a bright medium amber. To see that kind of clarity in a cask ale is simply amazing. The mouth feel was very creamy. The taste was slightly bitter, but in a most pleasant way that would appeal to even a casual beer drinker. The finish was dry, butter, quenching. I really miss being up in PORME. The finish reminded me of the scent released when rubbing fresh hops between one's hands.

woodychandler, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of beeragent
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer pours a light copper/orange, forming a 1/4 inch off-white head. Nothing much by the way of lacing. The aroma is a bit light, but seems to be very malty, with a hint of fruit? The flavor is like tasting those butterscotch candies, but alcoholic. Nice buttery flavor up front, along with caramel and toffee flavors. Just like drinking candy. Smooth easy mouthfeel. Delicious flavor, decent abv., and smooth finish make for a highly drinkable ale. Overall, after reading a few reviews, I had high hopes, but after trying it myself, it was even better than expected. This is definitely going into the rotation!

beeragent, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a amber with slight chill haze with slow bubbly carbonation inside, a thin off-white head that faded fast and minimal lacing in spots. Smell is sweet caramel malt, lightly earthed, nice fruity esters and a light hoppy backing. Taste is crispy with a caramel creamyness following with a small warmth of alcohol and fruity esters get involved leading into some toasty biscuit and breadish sweet grain, a touch of fruitiness from some loosely layered hop bitterness. Finish is a balancing act of lingering aftertastes of dry, lightly piney and very light fruity hoppyness. Quite interesting little finish. Feel is medium bodied with a play of slight roughness in the front with a bit of creamyness and chewyness into the light dry playful finish. Seems to smooth out as it warms. Drinkable ESB, but its not all that "Extra Special" but would make for a good session beer.

tavernjef, Jun 20, 2003
Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured amber from a 12 oz bottle with a medium whtie head that was gone quickly and left moderate lacing. Nose of malts, nuts, hops. Mouthfeel was medium and flavors contained some fruits. Finish was medium and has some spicyness. A very decent brew.

rkuhnel, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is on tap at Mc'Couls Public House here in G-boro,pours a deep copper with a light soapy looking head.Aroma is much more fruity on tap than in the bottle with a little biscuit in there as well,taste is very buttery with a big lingering fruitiness,alot more umph on tap.I like this beer alot more on tap thats for sure alot more flavorful.

oberon, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of bishopdc0
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This appears a nice golden amber with a pretty nice lace especially for a cask.

The aroma is full of butty toasted sugar cookies

The taste is like a normal thumper but with a slight almost brandy characteristic with loads of malt flavor. very nice

bishopdc0, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber hue with a smallish creamy head that adheres to the glass long after its gone. A sweet, malty aroma with a light hint of orange. More sweet malt on the palate, followed by some slight tartness. Not unlike Rogue Dead Guy, actually. I have to say, I think this is a bit misclassified as an old ale by BA, esp. since it calls itself an ESA. Regardless, I'm a fan. A great session beer, I'm glad I found it.

ElGordo, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Shipyard brewed 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of Aug '09. Sampled on March 2, 2009.

A - I like the copper-amber tone with a slight beige head that fizzles momentarily. Lacing is about average.

S - The aroma is of sweet fresh malts and a little fruity.

T - Decent mouthfeel with sugar sweet malts and a hint of caramel in the flavor. It ends with a unique faint hoppy sensation.

I remember having the original Old Thumper about twenty years ago but now all I can find in my area is the Shipyard brewed version. Still, Shipyard carries it off in a good way but perhaps it is a bit sweeter than the original.

puboflyons, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Lupe
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with an off white head that leaves minimal lace. Malty aroma with some carmel and hops in the backround. Light-medium in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Starts malt sweet with citrus (lemon) and floral notes, these flavors fade as the hop presence makes itself known. Finishes with a nice bite but not too bitter. Pretty good brew.

Lupe, Nov 13, 2002
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, hops and a little citrus.

T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of caramel and nuts. Then a good hops presence comes in and provides some balance. There's also a mild background flavor of citrus. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, decent kick, not too filling, good representation of style, this is nice mild beer with enough substance to make it worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of Zono
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the cask, in a standard pint glass.

The color is deeply golden, almost approaching amber. There is some cloudiness. Old Thumper pours a persistent, perfect cap of white foamy head.

The aroma is very subtle, indeed, difficult to detect at all.

The taste bears a heavy note of caramel, supported pleasantly by a very full mouth-feel. It is surprisingly un-bitter, but I find no fault with this, honestly. The hop presence is along the floral to earthy range -- downright chthonic at times. Imminently drinkable. As the beer warms in the glass, the flavor sharpens somewhat, becoming a bit spicier.

Overall, certainly a treat to find out and about, especially on cask. However, it is, perhaps, a little restrained. Nothing to complain about.

Zono, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of gciccarelli
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Shipyard pint glass.

A - Pale amber pour with off-white head. Decent retention. Virtually no lacing.

S - Sweet malts mostly, with faint hop notes. Earthy tones as well.

T - Sweet malts with a slight hop finish. Some sweet caramel notes, and a slight bitter aftertaste. Very nicely balanced.

M - Medium body, highly carbonated. Leaves a nice coating in the mouth. Above average.

D - Great balance makes this a highly drinkable beer. A very solid brew overall.

gciccarelli, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz twisty with a best by month/year notched (J/05).
Aroma: Buttery biscuits. Some lightly floral notes infused with a sweet malt aroma. Seems on target for an ESB. Glad to have a beer that others report as having a classic “Ringwood” nose, I find it a good ESB smell.
Appearance: Deep amber body with a good finger of bright white head. Head is multi-sized and lasting (through about 2/3rds of the glass), leaving a solid ring at the pour line, and some traces of lace down the glass.
Flavor: Aroma forecasts the major taste elements, but the hops really pop in the mouth. Also a deep oak taste and a twist of lime rind. Malt start with a quick spike of earthy hops fading into an alcohol infused bittersweet linger.
Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy body coats the mouth with almost an oat feel and triggers a chew. Nice carbonation level keeps it active but not fizzy.
Overall Impression: Enjoyable, complex, drinkable. I could see a good session with this one in a pub. A dangerous session perhaps, the alcohol jumped right up on me. Overall, recommended; definitely an enjoyable karma point.

HardTarget, Oct 23, 2004
Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.