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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.

656 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 656
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 12
Gots: 26 | 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: 656 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.3/5  rDev -8.6%

Presentation: 22 ounce bomber with a twist off cap and fully recessed body that accommodates a 360° label. The main label has the same design as that of the 12 ounce version pictured in the BA database. Labeled as “Ringwood Old Thumper Extra Special Ale” this is the version of the UK based brew from the Hampshire Brewers. The reverse of the label explains this in a little more detail. No strength or freshness date listed. Confusingly (for a West Coaster at least) listed as ‘Hand Brewed and Bottled by Pugsley Brewing LLC, Portland, Maine’ yet listed in the database as Shipyard Brewing in the same location. Just semantics for one and the same I am sure.

Appearance: Gorgeously reassuring gloopy pour that precipitates a creamy off-white head atop a deep amber-copper body that is perfectly clear in appearance. The head is sticky and persistent, to the point of arrogance as it fastidiously remains attached to the side walls of my Imperial Glass Mugs.

Nose: Classic Ringwood. Sweet malts, fresh dough, baked bread, toffee popcorn and some ester qualities all set amidst a buttery aroma. Hops in the last third with some bitterness late in the aroma.

Taste: See above. The aromas really constitute the tastes here. Lots of sweet malts and toffee, crisp yet chewy. Nuts and some darks fruits all buttered with a liberal coating of esters and diacetyl that is slightly annoying but not out of place. Grainy finish with a hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A chewy brew indeed. Thick toffee malts give the Old Thumper a viscous feel, but the buttery aspects lend a sickly feel on the tongue long term.

Drinkability: A decent bitterness in the finish rescues this brew from an early and sickly sweet malt toffee flavored diacteyl buttery grave. Decent enough but a tad cloying at times.

Overall: A solid tasty brew, good but not great. Having had the UK version on Cask, the UK version from the bottle (same label but with a black background) and the US version from the bottle, I have to say that I find the US version way too “buttery”. The UK version (on Cask at least) has a deeper malt profile and much less of the estery butter feel, with a more pronounced dark fruitiness. Not sure I would invest in this one again to be honest.

07-20-2004 07:19:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.53/5  rDev +25.5%

Two fingers of yellowy-tan, thick, solid, foamy head sit atop the clear, deep amber body. Nice. Thin swoops of lacing. The nose is sweet caramel and butterscotch. Mmmm. Apples accompany the thick, malty butterscotch body. Caramel and nuts dominate the mildly bitter finish. There's a pleasant, bready aftertaste. Just delicious. Really rubs me the right way.

07-01-2004 20:26:45 | More by kbub6f
Photo of Mitchster


3.13/5  rDev -13.3%

Pours out to a clear, deep caramel, forming a modest light beige head with average retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is quite "beery", with a very English pale nose to it...diacetyl, mellow and round English hops, butterscotch, caramel grains. Mouthfeel is bright with a medium-dense body. Taste begins with a sweet, lightly spicy hop flavor, which is quickly replaced by a strong honey flavor, caramel, and brown sugar middle...cane sugar towards the end of the middle, with a mild earthy bitterness and lingering honey and crystal malt notes in the aftertaste. Finish is dry and woody. Thankfully no fusels, which usually go hand in hand with diacetyl. Alcohol is a bit peppery in the finish.

An interesting brew...VERY English characteristics. Not quite my cup of tea, as I'm not a fan of diacetyl and English hops. ESB lovers would enjoy this. One is plenty enough for me.

06-27-2004 00:53:19 | More by Mitchster
Photo of kfoss99


3.13/5  rDev -13.3%

One pint six oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Purchased at the brewery.

Appearance - Clear orange/red color.

Smell - slightly citrus, with yeast in the background

Tate - Well balanced, but I pick up something like a mix between smokiness and orange rind in beers using Ringwood yeast, it was very present here and it over powered any complexity that the bottle label boasts of.

Mouthfeel - Sharp carbonation that stuck around. I would have preferred it to be a little smoother.

Drinkability - I'll have to try this on cask at the Great Lost Bear, but I was disappointed with the bottled version. Maybe my expectations were too high, as this is regarded as one of Shipyard's best products.

06-12-2004 22:39:39 | More by kfoss99
Photo of hobbes2112


3.15/5  rDev -12.7%

12 oz. bottle

Pours a dark orange/light red with a massive straw tinted head.

Aroma is fresh, the major players are alcohol, crab apple, faint barley smell too.

Taste is fairly straight forward, smooth and creamy with well rounded elements. Strong bitter hops in the finish. I didn't really get a hold of the apple from the aroma like some people have.

Mouthfeel is decent. Carbonation is a bit sparky which really pushes up the tastes in the middle of the palate. Hits you with a dryness right in the cheeks and roof of your mouth.

Drinkability would stay average. The beer has its good and bad points but I would opt for another beer when I am in this price range again.

06-10-2004 03:40:11 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

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.

06-02-2004 13:26:11 | More by oberon
Photo of granger10


2.08/5  rDev -42.4%

This beer poured a nice deep amber color with a medium white head but then things took a turn for the worse. Smell was really strong on the diacetyl and sour as hell. The body was quite watery imo and the flavors seemed out of place. Malts were overlysweet and the hops seemed really faded. Once again that strong sour taste came about again. I think it was from the yeast. I don't know if this is a result of improper storage or b/c it was past it's best by date (only by a month though) or that is just the way that yeast strain is supposed to taste. But this beer was really sour and untolerable.

06-02-2004 12:47:56 | More by granger10
Photo of Zorro


4/5  rDev +10.8%

Pours a clear amber/orange brew.

Smell is tart and ciderish, mild malt and a hint of apple in the scent.

Taste is smoky and woody, not what you would expect at all from the smell. Ale fruitiness comes through after the initial hit of smoke. Taste really is more of a 4.25 than a 4. Just enough bitterness to round out the brew.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

Super drinkable brew, I got this bottle from Hi Time in Costa Mesa so I know that it was stored correctly. A flavorful brew that isn't harsh and keeps on appealing to your tongue far more than any simply over hopped brew.

05-28-2004 03:25:11 | More by Zorro
Photo of CRJMellor


3.4/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours crystal clear light amber with minor white head formed and leaves chunks of clingy lace on the pint glass.
Aroma of toffe, hazelnut, tea leaves and some resiny hop notes.
Flavor of caramel, burnt brown sugar and phenol alcohol hit with some floral hop tastes.
Mouthfeel is sweet malt upfront that quikcly turns to a biscuity middle and finishes with a hard water metallic bitterness.
Drinkability is very average, this is one that should have stayed on cask locally.

04-06-2004 03:12:07 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of merlin48


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

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.

04-04-2004 06:08:47 | More by merlin48
Photo of grynder33


3.5/5  rDev -3%

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.

03-26-2004 00:35:23 | More by grynder33
Photo of scriabin


3.45/5  rDev -4.4%

I was a little leery based on the aroma, but was pleasantly surprised by this smooth ale. Old thumper has a nice amber color and a decent head. I found the taste to be well balanced for a bitter beer, with a bit of sweetness and hops. It has a nice refreshing quality to it that I'm sure will be a great complement to some grilled food come summertime.

03-22-2004 01:59:43 | More by scriabin
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +21.3%

One of my favorite all-time beers. It pours a tarnished copper in color, like the color of antique, stained furniture. Like that furniture, the smell makes me think of old and history. It pours clean with little head and the lace consistently clings to the side of the glass. The flaovr is slightly buttery with hints of apples; almost apple cider but no where near the taste of hard cider. It's best served at room temperature and at first feels odd on the tongue because it is gnerally flat, but that is the appeal of the beer.

03-15-2004 23:05:15 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of jsolack


3.9/5  rDev +8%

Poors thick and clear... color is like natural honey, dark orange/yellow. Head is very thick with lots of lacing.

Smells clean and slightly sweet. Kind of a mild smell, but that could just be because of all the head!

Taste is strong in mouth. Has a bittern initial taste which then gives way to a grainy finish. Ovearll it's nice.

Feels really nice in mouth. Has thick bubbly texture.

Overall a really solid beer. Tastes good and goes down fairly smooth. Has some bitterness that may it difficult to have a bunch.

03-08-2004 20:41:04 | More by jsolack
Photo of mschofield


3.45/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours a clear copper-amber with a three finger rocky off white head.
Fruity, sweet aroma. Banana, the yeast is very prevalent in the aroma.
Slightly tough (rough edged) toffee taste, fruity, buttery, toasted malt, butterscotch.
Light side of medium bodied. Not terribly pleasing to me, I'd pass on having it again.

03-04-2004 23:34:37 | More by mschofield
Photo of ElGordo


3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

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.

02-08-2004 05:22:18 | More by ElGordo
Photo of AragornUnplugged

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

Shiny deep amber on the pour here folks, fluffy white head likes to stay on for awhile. Good clarity. Starts off with a nice malt smell, vague oak in there. Light body, very easy to drink, flavors never really peak, they seem content to mingle with the crowd mostly. Nice beer, good stuff, would drink more if I could.

01-11-2004 22:33:17 | More by AragornUnplugged
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +10.8%

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is of pale and sweet crystal malts along with fruity yeast scent. The taste is good. It's smooth and creamy with a bitter aftertaste. It has a sweet malty flavor that tastes awesome. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It drinks well; a good beer from the Shipyard.

01-05-2004 19:49:56 | More by WesWes
Photo of LuckySevens82


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

12 oz. Bottle

Poured a dark amber with a small head that didn't last long.
Smelled of strong hops and dark malts.
Tastes pretty good. Bitter, but not overwhelming. Hops comes along somewhere in mid-sip which is a nice change from the somewhat overwhelming sweet taste of the beer. Easy to drink and if you can find it not too expensive either.

Overall an okay beer

12-31-2003 01:49:56 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of BeefyMee


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

This is a pretty good one. The taste is multi-layered and seemed to shift from bitter to a buttery flavor as I descended the glass. Aftertaste is bold and aromatic. There is a muted hops flavor somewhere toward the end of the sip. Good straight through to the last sip. A solid brew that would likely make a nice session beer.

12-21-2003 00:17:14 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of Sixpack595


4.2/5  rDev +16.3%

One of my favorite versions of this style. Copper colored with a fair bit of head that drops off quickly to little more than a ring around the edge of the glas. Buttery diaceytl and caramel aroma. Crisply bitter with caramel and brown sugar sweetness.

12-17-2003 06:30:08 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


2.9/5  rDev -19.7%

We were sampling this at our homebrew club meeting, so I barely got more than a sip. But heck, that's enough for a certified beer judge, so I guess I can make do. Caramelly malt flavor. A little cidery. Taste is more like an English bitter, with hops coming up later in the sip. Nice, though.

12-11-2003 16:58:44 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of scottum


3.9/5  rDev +8%

Served a nice deep almost slightly hazy amber with a full lacey head. A nice full munching malt backbone is what this brew is about. English style almost all the way. Mild hops. Certainly one of the better examples of how to brew with Ringwood yeast. Worth a sample.

11-08-2003 00:18:13 | More by scottum
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.9/5  rDev +8%

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.

11-05-2003 16:49:51 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Mark


4.08/5  rDev +13%

Deep golden color was topped by a off white head that lasted nicely, however lacing was poor. Noce freah aroma of malt, with some sweetness, hop aroma was mild. Typically smooth finish as befits English beer. Good malt and hop balance with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is on the light side, and this is a very drinkable ale. Not bad.

11-04-2003 03:26:14 | More by Mark
Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.