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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.

679 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 379
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 11
Gots: 29 | 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: 679 | Reviews: 379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grynder33
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amberish color, no head, sweetish malt aroma, carmelly sweet taste, this dominates, not much hop to speak of, its a little thin on the palate, seems like a very good thirst quencher, sweetness stay on the tongue almost till the end. Flavorful summer beer.

grynder33, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of Budlum
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with 0.75 inches of foamy white head shrinking to a thin miniscus after 45 seconds. Deep yellow, amber body with orange and reds on the edges when held to light.

Sweet hops immediately on the nose. Very floral and sweet. Notes of wheat malts and a toasted malt in the end. Notable scents of molasses and honey balancing the smooth hop aroma.

Tangy hops are the first noticeable flavor which is quickly mellowed by a malty sweetness. After the malty sweetness, hops re-appear for an IPA-like long finish. Notable honey on entry before the rush of hops. Earthy, charcoal senses mingling with the hoppy finish. Pretty complex for the style and price-point.

Excellent effervesence initally and a nice amount of body for an ESB. Unfortunately, it is a little oily.

Drinkability is good. The beer is sensibly priced, tasty and complex enough to entertain. A good session brew.

Budlum, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of patreely12
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear copperish golden. half an inch of white sudsy head. minimal lacing. a good bit of visible carbonation.

S - good whiff of sweet pale malts, very bready. some hints of caramel, light citrus and a bit of spice. there's a faint hint of hop presence but the majority of the aroma is based on those bready malts.

T/M - the center stage of this beer's flavor goes to the sweet breadiness of the pale malts. hints of caramel, orange rind-like citrus and a very light peppery spice give the beer some added flavor and personality. the hops are more pronounced than in the nose. they add some bitterness, but they really take the backseat. light bodied and moderately high carbonation.

Overall this is an average beer, but I liked it a lot. really easy to drink, sessionable even. sometimes you don't want a beer with big abrasive hop flavor, old thumper provides simple, refreshing malt all the way.

patreely12, May 20, 2011
Photo of johnsilk
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

johnsilk, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +38.9%

stevecooks, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of TheMaineBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

TheMaineBeerGuy, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of Chadbrew
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Thumper
Well it is better than the Shipyard Export anyways. I found this to be a fairly clean beer with substantiation in taste and body. The yeast in the nose and the yeasty “bite” on the tongue are a little rough and take away from the overall pleasure.
Overall this beer reminds me of a classic British Pale Ale.

Chadbrew, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of decadance
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - In between an amber and a golden. Lots of head with pretty lacing.

S - A bit bland here. Really only pick up some biscuit malts.

T - Almost like the smell. Its an esb, which is sort of neutral to begin with. A little tiny hop up front

M - I do not like how this finishes. It coats the palate, almost deafens it.

D - Eh, I could have more, I just don't want more.

decadance, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Ryanm1
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer was poured factory direct from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. A moderate amount of head was found after poured.

The beer was light copper in color when poured.

This is a non-traditional English bitter which really tasted the part. This beer was incredibly bitter, and a bit lighter than I would expect in color akin to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

The smell was fruity, with a dry finish. The ABV on this beer was 5.8% which was slightly higher than a normal domestic beer. It also comes in cask condition. Mouthfeel is nothing better than average and taste is a hair below average. Drinkability is moderate as the alcohol content is slightly above average and the beer has a lighter feel, but the bitterness cuts down on the need for several.

Ryanm1, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Scott1970
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Scott1970, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of chefdave37
4/5  rDev +11.1%

chefdave37, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of walshclimb
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very clear medium brown body with thin head that dissipates quickly to a thin white film. Aroma of light sweet malt with slightly sour note, more yeasty/fruity as it warms. The flavor is where this beer shines. It is a solid British-style ale with well balanced malt and hops that turns into a sweet and nicely bitter aftertaste. Excellent mouthfeel as well with a medium body, crisp carbonation and a tongue coating finish. Overall a very drinkable beer that I am happy to just have one or as a session beer. Very versatile and nice with an array of foods including spicy indian or more traditional meat and potatoes fare.

walshclimb, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of ebrifan
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

ebrifan, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of TTTBeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

TTTBeer, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of RussBecker1
3/5  rDev -16.7%

RussBecker1, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of pwdiamond
4/5  rDev +11.1%

pwdiamond, Wednesday at 05:16 PM
Photo of vitesse
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.
a very distinctive english-style ale. this one poured a bright, clear copper color. nice fluffy head. moderate to light carbonation. smell is distinctly carmelly. very butterscotch and bready taste in this one. must be the ringwood yeast. flavor is very 3-dimensional and complete. mild hops balance out a really nice malt profile.
drinkable and flavorful at the same time.
i highly recommend this one.

vitesse, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of outdoor7or24
1.5/5  rDev -58.3%

outdoor7or24, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of lehows
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poursa semi-hazy golden color with a beautiful head. Head was creamy and hung around till the beer was gone. Big aromas of buttery grain and floral hops waft up to the nose. Taste hits you with that buttery diacetyl, then you get the toasted grain, malt, and the floral hop quality. Creamy and slick mouthfeel. Great drinkabilty and a lovely brew from Alan Pugsley.

lehows, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured an orangish brown. Hardly any head whatsoever, though. The taste had a diacetyl flavor that usually turns me off. Possible caramel malt, as well. What was most noticable was the strong alcohol flavor present throughout the nose and mouth. That sort of overwhelmed the senses. An okay beer, but then again I'm not much of an ESB fan.

HoppyMcStout, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of Greenlabel
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fine interpretation by Shipyard of an English Best Bitter. Pours an amber color with a lasting head. The impact of the Ringwood yeast is not as dominant as in some of the Shipyard brews. The overall texture of the product is very smooth with some definite fruit overtones and a somewhat hoppy finish. No unpleasant aftertaste. This product seems to be getting a wider distribution these days and I now see it available in 12-packs as well as 6-packs. Well worth the premium price of a micro.

Greenlabel, May 31, 2003
Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. No freshness date. No indication on the label of what style it is. Just tells you it's an "extra special ale," as if that means anything. Now that i'm on BA, i see i correctly identified the flavor as that of an ESB. Appearance lost a mark because the head dissipated so fast and left no traces, but the color was beautiful. Amazing brilliant ruby red.

I have to say that after the second sip i found myself regretting that i alone would be forced to consume all 22 ounces. It just wasn't doing it for me.

But far be it from me to dismiss a beer so quickly. I slowly made my way through it, and found that the taste improved as it warmed it. It really redeemed itself. I wouldn't be opposed to splitting one of these with someone sometime, but it needs to start at cellar temp and be consumed slowly so that it's at room temp by the time you reach the last sip.

Also, i must note that the bottle claims this is brewed with the very same recipe as the original UK version, using the same ingredients shipped from Ringwood. So i don't see how the American version could be an ESB while the UK version an English Pale Ale. I think the UK version is misclassified on this site.

Bonhoeffer, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of Stoutmeister
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Stoutmeister, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of FleeVT
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask conditioned and hand drawn into a pint glass at the Blue Anchor Pub in Delray Beach, Fl.

A: A beautiful golden and copper with a slight haze. This brew presented a nice 1 finger head which is better than I expected from a cask drawn ale. It eventually settles down to a thin layer, eventually.

S: The nose was a combination of toasted bread malts, mild yeast, and a sweetness that hinted at dark berries. This beer also hinted at some indistinguishable spices on the nose. Really approachable and inviting.

T: A subdued beginning which slowly opens up with the toasted bread malts and hints of the spice and yeast. The palate transitions nicely from tart to bitter as the hops build up and continue gaining steam to the bitter end. The finish provides a hint of the 5.9% ABV which is a great surprise.

M: A creamy texture that is no doubt provided by the lack of carbonation.

D: I haven't had a drawn beer in years and this was the perfect compliment to a rainy south Florida afternoon. The cask conditioning seems to add a complexity to the beer in the depth of flavors, the intermingling of the different palate components are layered nicely. I'd like to find a bottle of this stuff to compare apples to apples.

FleeVT, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of CheezyBlaster
3/5  rDev -16.7%
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?


CheezyBlaster, Oct 17, 2012
Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.