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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
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Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear amber with decent head retention.

Smells mostly of sweet malts, not too complex.

Taste is of bready malt and some sweet sugary notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Overall, a very drinkable, smooth beer. Good session potential.

bluegrassbrew, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another Town and Country offering, on to the beer:

Poured into a glass, it's orange to copper in color as it glows in the dining room. This "bitter" was barely bitter at all. I first though this was a plae ale because it was so low. A very sweet beer with caramel and butterscotch, with an indirect nutty taste. The feel was firm and lush. If you're not into an inbalanced ESB, this may not be for you. Otherwise, try it for yourself.

DoubleJ, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with carbonation that lingers a bit. Aroma has more of a fruity, malty character to it. The flavor is somewhat sweet and malty, somewhat chewy and just a tad bitter. Not quite strong in that area but interesting regardless. Definitely drinkable but not a mind-blowing beer.

Brad007, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with an average size head with average retention. Aroma of light caramel malt with a weird yeasty flavour which kind of clash with the malt. Taste is mostly dominated by semi-weak malt with some weird yeast finish which doesn’t really fits well. I wasn’t too fond of this one but it seems to be a recurring theme with my taste buds and Shipyard yeast.

Phyl21ca, May 25, 2007
Photo of number1bum
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber. Light tan head and good lacing, which clings to the sides of the glass; nice. Smell is caramel malts, toasted grain, some hops. Taste is a nice balance of malt sweetness and bittering hops. Again toasted grain and caramel/honey sweetness, and a bit buttery. A fruity touch is evident, as well. A hit of bitter hops finishes out the back end and remains through the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied.

I really enjoyed this...definitely recommended.

number1bum, May 20, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear copper color. There was not much head and the little present was soon gone. The aroma is faint but somewhat sweet and malty. The taste is initially quite malty but then the bitterness becomes apparent. There is a slight bitter aftertaste and a dry finish. The mouthfeel is full. I’d consider this a well balanced and interesting beer. I wouldn’t consider this a session beer, but it is quite drinkable.

barefootbrewer, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed copper with a thin, lasting patch. Small-bubbled carbonation contiunally rises to the top (but doesn't do much for the head.)

The smell is of caramel, with a nutty/earthy background.

The taste is of caramel sweetness upfront. A bit grainy. Buttery diacetyl is noticeable. English hops give some balance to it. Alcohol peeks through. Ringwood yeast makes itself known from start to finish. Finishes semi-dry.

The feel is light, smooth and crisp. (A bit thinner than I would like, but not watery.)

A decent ESB, and would be sessionable but for just a touch too high on alcohol. Still, easy drinking for a couple or so..

jwc215, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a light copper color with medium off-white head that lingered thru mid-glass and left okay lacing. Not really much here in either the aroma or the flavor, as I was having trouble picking out anything in particular. Mouthfeel was bland, and the finish never was the bitterness I would expect from an ESB. Not a bad drinking beer, just a disappointing ESB.

kimcgolf, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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 Newglarusguy
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

News flash: beware of names. It should come as no surprise to you that there is nothing "extra special" about this Extra Special Ale. If the label said "Pretty Darned Good Ale" I'd be more inclined to agree. Because it is pretty darned good. Nice hops presence, looks good in the glass, has a nice sweetness to balance the spicy hops. This won't knock your socks off, but you'll be pleased with your purchase nonetheless. Just don't be fooled by the label.

Newglarusguy, Feb 15, 2007
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 jettjon
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since “Shipyard Export” is not printed *anywhere * on the bottle, it took a bit of research to determine if I had the American or English version of this ale. Apparently “Pugsley Brewery” is a subdivision of Shipyard, or some such.

At any rate, pours into a deep wine goblet a clear honey color with a few tiny bubbles. One-finger head of tan foam quickly fades leaving a thin cap and solid ring with spotty lacing. Nose was rather disappointing with a vague honey, sweet malt character. Flavor was a pleasing surprise, however; A very good sweet ale-malt flavor precedes light tea/apple juice. Moderate hops finish. An extremely well-balanced ale; quite different from my experience with other cloying sticky-sweet ales. Mouthfeel is viscous, lightly carbonated, and delightfully smooth. All this adds up to drinkability that is very good, very smooth, and very enjoyable. Easily a sessionable brew.

Overall: One of the best ales I’ve tried, cheerfully recommended.

jettjon, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of Suds
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Thumper pours a hazy copper-amber color with an average sized white head. The aroma has a toast fruit character. The fruitiness has a little apple and citrus. There’s a little grain and caramel malt in the aroma as well, and a background touch of butterscotch. The taste has a little more of the toasted character, and is very well balanced. Nice bitterness in the finish, and a slight slickness. Modest carbonation, and a medium-heavy mouthfeel. All in all, this is slightly better than average.

Suds, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Medium amber, very clear. Decent head, but falls very quickly. Just a little lace.

Aroma- Sweet earthy malts a little butteriness. VERY caramelly. Lots of butterscotch to.

Taste- Wow. Lots of butterscotch. Some toasted grain and caramel malts. Hop balance is very nice for style. More butterscotch in the after-taste. Lots of diacytal.

Mouthfeel- Medium body for style. A tad heavier than most beer drinkers are used to. Butterscotch taste makes it "feel" much heavier than it really is, Carbonation is appropriate for style.

Drinkability- Quite nice. A little more diacytal than most beer-drinkers will like, but a worthy effort all the same.

theopholis, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber translucent body with less than a half an inch of off-white head. Smells like bready, fruitty, and buttery. Tastes sweet, buttery, malty, and bready. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium to heavy body. Full-flavored and tasty, but well-ballanced with no one aspect overwealming another in this beer. Perfect example of a good ringwood yeast beer - take that how you want.

MrHurmateeowish, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rather unhealthy looking body. A light pumpkin coloured orange hue. A near two fingers worth of head would rise, then gradually desist. Aroma mostly of fuggle and Kent Golding hops, some stale bready malt as well. A great deal of British style bittering hops seem to have been used. The beer also seems to have a little fruity character too, seems some oily hops have been faintly blended in. Not overly bitter on the finish, but leaves some trace. Carbonation is good from the bottle but the texture seems a little too coarse. Not overly tasty but still refreshing. I would rather a real British rendition, but this is still good!
Thanks Harry for the bottle!

biegaman, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of mshallah
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the North End Suprette in Manch-Vegas,NH at a great discount, $10.99/case. This beer is to me, a New England classic. 12oz bottle label and bottle cap display the mean-eyed wild boar graphic(looks great on the back of a t-shirt too). Pours clear copper with a white head that dissipates to a ring and stays the duration. Aroma and flavor for me is a combination of the ingredients resulting in a complex profile. Ale fruitiness(apricot), yeast diacetyl(caramel), butter/sugar cookie maltiness, all balanced with hop bitterness like the salt added to a caramel candy brightening the flavor. This complexity is what I look for in an ESA/ESB and is what makes this a great choice for so many roasted meat dishes or just on it's own. The subtle mouthfeel of the fine bubble carbonation lets you know right away this is no mass market yellow fizz but a great session beer.

Note- This beer was reviewed 11-05-06 with an Oct-06 best before date and it still tastes fresh! For even more complexity and strength try Shipyard Prelude.

mshallah, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of rusbry
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great pint!
Drawn from the cask so only a little carbonation and at room temp.
A thin head topped off the pint of amber/gold.
Yeast and a bit of hop to the nose
The surprise was the taste....more fruity than expected and malty as well with a citrus bite. A slight butter taste too. Truely a full drinking experience at room temp.
Mouthfeel is substantial but not too much to keep one from drinking more.
I love bitters of the English kind and this will be on my favorite list!

rusbry, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask tapped fresh in Orlando. A bitter English ale. Dark golden color with slight haze and zero head. Low carbonation (in style) with a fresh, bitter taste. The freshness of this cask really shone through with some active yeast aromas and flavors evident. Low alcohol (in cask) makes for a nice session beer.

GooberMcNutly, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of williamherbert
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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 Neehan
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bronze with a sizeable head and a small amount of retention in the glass. A very fruity aroma is noted: a combination of citrusy, tangy, and sweet. A unique taste with strong herbal flavoring coming through with sweetness, but lacking bite. Undertones of bubble gum flavors. A mild mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and slight complexity. Drinkability is limited by the sweetness and the amount of herbal flavoring.

Neehan, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper with a small white head. Not much retention, save for some small, silky lacings.

The aroma is repugnant and deters from wanting to enjoy this brew. Outside of any malt characters there are no flattering analogies that I can make for this beer and I will refrain from comment.

Sweet malt and with grape flavors up front mingle with a bitter, hoppy finish. Nothing spectacular and nothing offensive.

Decent mouthfeel, well carbonated with a light to medium body. Drinkability suffers from the non-stellar taste coupled with the sub-par aroma.

This is not the ESB that you want to try. There are much better examples of the style available.

Estarrio, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of Graebner
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange with not much head and fairly active carbonation. The head diminishes quickly to nothing. Very pretty coloring, though.

Bready notes as well as floral hops on the nose, as well as a slight citrus-sweet smell and some earthy tones.

Taste...ahh! Initially slightly sour like white wine and a little bitter, it quickly warms up to a very nice fresh-baked bread mouthfull, before finishing with some pronounced smoky flavor. Faint bitterness remaining after the swallow, but it disapates fairly quickly and leaves only a slightly astringent feeling. Taste is very good overall.

Mouthfeel is also excellent, perhaps a bit heavy on the carbonation up front, but it quickly balances. Overall, not cloying or sickening despite the big bread taste. Very enjoyable, and something I'll probably get again.

Very different than what I usually buy (don't see alot of ESB's other than Red Hook, which doesn't count), but very good, and the change of pace is refreshing.

Well, I bought it again, and it was excellent this time around, too. The Malty character of this beer is huge and mouthfilling, yet it still manages to finish balanced and clean. MMM, the ringwood yeast is amazing.

Graebner, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of stephendr
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color – white frothy medium head – nose of yeast , malt , bread , and cloves – taste of malts , yeast , cereals , grains , bitter chocolates , and sour red fruit – cream raw body , dry style – aftertaste slightly bitter , malts , and yeast

stephendr, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of BadBadger
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I had this as a cask conditioned ale at the Jolly Drayman in Bethel Maine. This was my first cask conditioned ale so I can't compare it to other CC ales. But this was truely an outstanding ale. It arrived in the pint glass with a small and receeding head. The color is a slightyly hazy amber. It is very smooth and tasty, with a nice malty flavor and very pleasant mouthfeel. A great brew: I can't speak for the bottled version, but if the cask conditioned is available, do not hesitate to give this a try. You will enjoy!

BadBadger, Aug 30, 2006
Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.