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Shipyard Old Thumper - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

602 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 602
Reviews: 373
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 14.09%

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)
View: Beers (40) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 602 | Reviews: 373 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nitroterrance


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer for the 1st time on tap at The Olde Ship British pub in Santa Anna California last month and bought a keg for my basement bar this past week. I am serving this on a regular faucet with 75/25 nitrogen.

Appearance - nice amber/copper color. 1/2 inch head dissipates to no head in 5 minutes.

Smell - sweet spicy hops with slight orange smell.

Taste - light buttery sweet malt upfront followed by spicy/peppery bitter hops on the sides of your tongue on the finish. Definately an English bitter flavor but not overly sweet. The nitogen spreads out the flavor very nicely.

Mouthfeel - not overly carbonated due to the nitrogen, but a nice fizzy hoppy finish. Spicy bitter peppery finish lingers on after the swallow.

Drinkability - This is a classic ESB/English bitter. The buttery sweet malts along with the spicy English hop finish make this very sessionable.

English bitters and ESB are my favorite beer style. This is a really good ESB and is a great example of the English style. The light buttery malt flavor along with the spicy/peppery hop finish is what stands out in this beer.
If you like English Bitters and ESB's this is a must try.

Cheers :)

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-12-2010 00:46:58 | More by nitroterrance
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a ping glass

Appearance – The beer pours deep amber, nearly copper color, with a billowy tan colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a caramel and toffee smell mixed with some lightly toasted bready and malty smells. Along with these aromas are some others of an earthy and grainy nature. Rounding out the aroma profile is a little bit of oak which leads to a nice sweet and malty aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a big sweet and bready flavor with tons of toffee and caramel and a somewhat doughy taste. The doughiness transitions more to a roasted bready flavor as the flavors advance with the sweeter tastes gaining even more butteriness with much of the caramel taking on a more toffee like flavor. Some lightly burnt flavors as well as a bit of a nutty taste come to the tongue more toward the end. These are accompanied by some herbal and earthy hop flavors, which combined with the rest, as well as a little bit of an apple and stone fruit flavor, to leave a somewhat sweet and lightly roasted and hopped, but rather strong malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thick and creamy for a brew of only 5.6 % abv. with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are great for the big, sweet, and malty flavors of the brew creating a very mouth coating feel.

Overall – Quite sweet and robust in flavor for only 5.6 % abv. A rather enjoyable ESB.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 01:11:37 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of scotorum


3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a plastic cup.

a: Clear amber with a finger tall white head which disspiated quickly to nada.

s: Caramel malt with slight fruit tones.

t: Caramel malt with a curious fruit undertone. Bitter ripe fruit aftertaste smoothed out later.

m: Moderate, good body.

o: A pleasant tasting brew with malt dominating but also some fruitish bitterness which early on detracts somewhat in the aftertaste. No dating info on the bottle to suggest its age. Consumed while at a hotel where drinking vessels were at a minimum and a lack of ice required the beer to be drunk rather warm, so another tasting would seem in order for a totally fair review.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:47:52 | More by scotorum
Photo of FLima


3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice copper color with a thin head that keeps a constant plate and leaves some laces.
Aroma of English hops, caramel, toasted malt, tangerines and a muffled pine.
Malty flavor with bold but also balanced notes of earthy English hops, plums, toffee, nutty and toasted malts, burnt wood, caramels, perfume and some citrusy. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Medium body with perfect carbonation.
Excellent ESB, flavorful, bold, bitter, fruity and well balanced. I am curious to try the UK version, and see if it is as bold as this one. But again, don’t try to compare its bitterness to ultra-hopped American beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 01:39:06 | More by FLima
Photo of thecheapies


3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Empties out a rather hazy, amber-colored beer with no more than a half-inch of unsettled off-white head.

Tea-like malts with musty grain aromas and a muddled citrus hop presence. Has an estery fruitiness of apple and plum.

Toasty and a bit perfumey. Citrus and floral hops take a backseat to a musty bitterness and partially-oxidized cereal grain. Some dry toffee, honey, apple, and treacle and a pleasant herbal character. Less delicate than I would deem appropriate for an English Pale.

Wet body with a slippery feel. Burps out dissolved carbonation that is trapped in the liquid.

Gets a little better as you start to get through it. A little better than average.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 15:48:02 | More by thecheapies
Photo of TastyAdventure


3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - light copper, 1/2 finger head, a little hazy

S- sweet toffee? Candy. undertone of sweet fruit. Non-tart berries.

T- sweet but light malt. Bready. Is that a touch of blueberries and blackberries??

Overall, I'm surprised by the strong fruitiness in this one. Too much for an ESB. But still good.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 00:04:55 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle that I bought yesterday, but a few months past the 2013 BB date notched on the label. Served in a snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with modest bone-colored head that soon reduces to a partial, thin coat and a ring but leqves very good lacing. .

S: Light toast and roasted grains with browned butter.

T: Also a bit buttery but not objectionable. Solid malt base with clear presence of some spicy hops. Mildly bitter.

M: Light carbonation; medium+ body; light tongue bite.

O: Decent ESB. Flavor intensified and improved with warming.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 23:08:24 | More by chinchill
Photo of microbrewlover


3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew pours a red/copper color with an off white one finger head which lasts for a while. Almost no lacing and low carbonation.

The smell is sweet and roasted malts, nuts and apples and pears. Very malty.

The taste largely follows the nose with sweet malts dominating. There is also a burnt/roasted malt taste. There is also a fruit, apple/pear taste. Slightly nutty with just enough hops on the back end to keep this brew from becoming too sweet.

The mouthfeel is slightly chewy, mostly smooth. No bite or aftertaste.

Overall this is a good mix of malts, fruits and hops. With just enough hop presence to keep it from being too sweet I would not call it "Strong Bitter" but I would recommend it just the same.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 20:56:00 | More by microbrewlover
Photo of pcguitarwzrd


4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Fishale Taphouse.

A: Dark brown, fairly clear, not much head.

S: Dark fruit, toffee, almost Belgian-y.

T: up front, sweet raisins and plums, molasses...could pass for a Belgian dubbel, until the hops kick in and leave a nice long bitter finish gently laced with booze.

M: fairly heavy and rich, but with a pleasant amount of carbonation that keeps it from being syrupy.

O: a very interesting beer, almost like a Belgian barleywine. Nice, would order again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2013 19:52:07 | More by pcguitarwzrd
Photo of Philousa


2.71/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark gold with metallic sheen and a billowy white head that settles to a very small, but evenly distributed, creamy layer settling on top. Aroma is mainly tart yeast with wheat bread/white bread crust with a good dose of earthiness. A swirl reveals some nut aroma to boot. Tartness extends to flavor as well with burnt toast/bread crust and nuttiness, which fades to grassy bitterness and earth, which lingers for a short while. The feel is slightly astringent but mostly watery in viscosity with a slightly sweet finish.

This is like drinking a doughy bread that hasn't risen with some serious earthy bitterness. It's strange, but not wholly unenjoyable. I'm not sure, but I think that's sort of a compliment.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 04:44:42 | More by Philousa
Photo of beyah


4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apearance - 1 figer of foam, dies down in a few minutes and leaves decent lacing. Color is amber with a little chill haze.

Smell - Malty Earthy Hops and the distictive Ringwood yeast.

Taste - Malty with a distictive earthy English Hops and the sweetness from the yeast. Well ballanced beer.

Mouth Feel - Great on mouthfeel, smooth and slick slightly too much carbonation. Leaves the hop flavor in the back of the tounge.

Overall - This is my favorite offering from Shipyard

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 01:30:52 | More by beyah
Photo of metter98

New York

3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has balanced flavors of toasted and fruity malts along with some notes of butter and caramel plus faint hints of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable. I really liked the mix between the fruity yeast and biscuit malts.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 21:34:05 | More by metter98
Photo of Omnium


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 22:59:20 | More by Omnium
Photo of MAbeerNE1


3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle that I bought from the brewery.

A: A clear and clean light amber color with a sparse but steady stream of bubbles feeding a very modest half centimeter head.

S: You can smell the diacetyl on this one right away. Browned butter and moist earth.

T: Buttery smell of the nose in the mix, but mixes well with the strawberry sweetness of the esters, the alcohol, and a nice hop spice that lingers long after the beer is gone. Great balance; nice mix of flavors.

M: Very light carbonation, slightly syrupy, full bodied. Smooth.

O: A nice beer. True to style and easy to drink. I like how the butter notes mix well with the sweetness of the malt and the spice of hops and alcohol. I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 03:16:06 | More by MAbeerNE1
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - orange with a soft, bubbly head that leaves a little lacing

S - apple, fruity

T - apple, bread, caramel

M - light to medium bodied, crisp

This is a very disappointing beer. It's all esters and simple fruity flavors. I guess it showcases the Ringwood yeast, but there is absolutely no depth nor balance. The fruit is so intense it's cloying which slows the drinkability and bored me. I definitely won't be having this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:59:05 | More by tdm168
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.55/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shipyard Old Thumper Extra Special Ale has a medium-to-thick, off-white head, a hazy, orange-golden appearance, which hazes even more, once the bottom of the bottle is swished and poured in. After that, one can see a descending grey cloud and little brown specks floating about. There is some lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, sugary, and toffee-like barley malt, and the flavor is of the same with a nice hop bitterness, some caramel, sugar, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Shiyard Old Thumper Extra Special Ale finishes wet, mild, and delicious. Overall, this is wonderful, and I strongly recommend it.


Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 18:16:53 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Corey1978

4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer from Shipyard Brewing Company in a bottle, draft and cask. All 3 are great. Cask was my favorite, but bottle is most common. Poured into a 16oz glass. Hits of hops, malts and barley. Very drinkable beer. Not overpowering at all in any aspect.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2013 12:36:08 | More by Corey1978
Photo of pmcadamis


4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper and hazy with a small khaki head that shows some staying power.

S - Toasted malt notes with some burnt marshmallow and a gentle wisp of flowery hops. Yeasty and creamy aromas abound. Mellow and understated, but this nose is quite complex!

T - Biscuit-y malt with a big perfumed hop note on top. Initially flowery and slightly fruity.... sweeter fruits like melon, not the more abrasive citrus fruits typically associated with hops. Finishes a little bit grassy and some more grapefruit comes out.

M - Medium bodied and solid. This one maintains a balanced feel for almost a minute before the citrus hop notes come out to play and the mouthfeel progresses toward dry.

This is an extremely balanced and well made beer! I like that it's not off the wall or crazy, but still has enough complexity to keep you thinking and swishing. Major session potential.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 19:27:36 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of TMoney2591


3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Fuck that New Thumper noise! Anyway, this stuff pours a clear bronze topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises earthy greens, light banana, toffee, and a touch of buttery biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a kiss of Connecticut tobacco and light grapefruit peel. The buttery character is toned down a decent bit. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice ESB, nothing close to special, but something fairly drinkable and generally enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 03:32:59 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of fauxpunker

3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


A: Pours orange/pale copper. Just a tiny bit of haze, but pretty clear. Head is moderate, off-white. Retains short, lacy head.
S: Caramel jumps right up front. Malt definitely dominates. Slightly perceptible grassy quality in there, as well.
T: The strong caramel aroma doesn't hold up in the flavor. A mild bitterness rushes to the front with a decent malt presence following it. Doesn't really build up to much and fades quickly. Caramel comes back a bit in the after taste, and something else. Butter possibly.
M: Light and fairly carbonated. Takes on a watery quality quickly.
O: Easy to drink and not especially offensive. Probably wouldn't buy it again, but would have no trouble grabbing it if nothing else was available. Forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 23:41:18 | More by fauxpunker
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle brought back for me from the brewery. Shipyard has been given permission to brew this under the Ringwood name. Best before January, 2013.

Poured into a nonic. Great fluffy crown of foam here, that looks like it will last until the end. Great streaks of fluffy lace. Amber-copper, slightly hazy.

Nose is classic bitter: caramel malt, grain, tea-citrus hops, and a metallic twinge.

Similar taste as in the nose. Not a bad bitter by any stretch, it's just a hard style to be that objective with. Good malt sweetness, some fruit, tea, and that same metallic taste to the finish. Not bad - I wouldn't seek it out, but it works.

Creamy, average to higher than normal carbonation, lighter bodied.

It works - would love to try this on cask - or better yet, from the original brewery in Hampshire.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 18:37:07 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Flounder57


3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Having this beer on cask at the Great Lost Bear.

It poured a one finger head that has left some nice lacing on the glass. It has good clarity for a cask and no signs of carbonation. It smells fruity, bready, malty, and a bit funky. It tastes about the same with a bit of lingering bitterness and some yeasty boys. It drinks creamy and silky smooth with low carbonation and medium bodied filling. Overall, a good beer on cask that I seem to encounter every time up here in Maine.

Serving type: cask

10-20-2012 22:01:23 | More by Flounder57
Photo of CheezyBlaster


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ehhh, not so much. I'd love to try the "UK version." It has to be better, right?

Nose to mouth: All grainy, white bread toast . . . boiled rice. Lots of that. I don't know, this beer doesn't really sell it across any rubric aside from "get the job done." No hop character except to bitter. Malt is, as I said, a saltine/corn chip bomb, but central.

Ringwood yeast you say? What am I looking for?


Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 01:53:12 | More by CheezyBlaster
Photo of Maxwell


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pretty caramel brown with some nice buttery notes and a lovely little golden-white head that sits at a half a finger width. The beer is quite hazy like a dark apple juice and there are quite a few bubbles racing to the top with carbonation. The beer smells rather skunky with nice hints of caramel and burnt malts and burnt sugars. As the beer settles the skunkiness mellows out and brings forward the malts nicely. The beer tastes heavy with the roasted malts and nice caramel hints in the taste. There is a slight bitter tinge in the back of the taste and aftertaste reminiscent of light citrus, but it is very faint. The mouthfeel is smooth and caramelly on the tongue with a little rush of carbonation that quickly smoothes out into a more velvety feel. Overall this is nice roasted example of an ESB, the bitters are not very present here even for the styles slight bitters, but the malts are excellent on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 02:37:40 | More by Maxwell
Photo of flagmantho


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This bottle is labeled as being 5.6% rather than the above-noted 5.9% ABV.

Appearance: nice golden hue with a clear body and a moderate effervescence. Head poured a finger of fizzy ivory foam which didn't have much staying power. Not too bad.

Smell: very sweet malty aroma, quite English in character. There's a light nuttiness and caramel character here as well. Not bad, but a bit sweet to me.

Taste: sweet malt with the same light nuttiness as the aroma. Some earthy hops are present, and bitterness is moderate toward the end. Not bad, but again, it's really on the sweet side for my taste.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a good creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a decent beer whose sweetness seems misplaced. I would be interested in trying a slightly drier version of this; I think it would be great that way.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 16:40:37 | More by flagmantho
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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 602 ratings.