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Shipyard Old Thumper - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

707 Ratings

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Ratings: 707
Reviews: 382
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 12
Gots: 48 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 03-02-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 707 | Reviews: 382
Photo of IntriqKen
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Matchez from Vermont rated this beer as:

"Crystal clear copper amber in the glass this ale has a bitter citrus (lemony) hop aroma with hints of butterscotch. The first drink starts with a slight sweet bread taste followed by a strong bitter hop bite. The bitterness lasts through to the finish leaving a dry crisp mouth feel. "

I can't add to this...it is EXACTLY my impression of this brew. Matchez was the only one who noted the citrus (lemony) hop aroma with butterscotch that I found so pronounced immediately on opening the bottle...even before I poured it into a glass.
I enjoyed this bitter emmensly...the dry hop finish that seems to last in your mouth may be an American version of the original, but I liked it.

"Here - Here"

Update...over two years later and I have to say this is still one of my favorite beers of all time. Definitely the best session beer I've had and I enjoy it as often as I can when I can find it fresh.

Photo of EStreet20
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from the Captain's Collection variety 12 pack poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - A light golden color with a two finger off white head resulting from a hard pour. The head clings to the glass at the top as it begins to dissipate. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet malts balance with some piny hops.

T - Sweet malts on the initial sip with some well balanced hop bitterness coming through. Well balanced and finishes dry. Pretty good.

M - A smooth feeling bitter.

D - Pretty good. Nothing earth shattering but some pretty good flavors and the nice balance make for a very nice session ESB.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice golden color with a finger and a half of fluffy white head over top. Very little carbonation is apparent and clarity is excelent. Nose is interesting. I get a buttery and lighter toasty malt overtone, with a touch of grain sharpness. Very light earthy British hops play in the background, but not as much as I would like. Not really grabbing my attention here. Flavor is a bit soapy. There is a butteryness, light graineyness and toastyness, and moderate hop bitterness that are not melding well together. Bitterness hangs on nicely on the finish. Aftertaste is a touch bready/toasty as well. Aftertaste is better than the beer itself, burps are the same way. Feel is solid moderate with a light carbonation. Good for the style. Drinkability is just okay. Its not doing a whole lot to get my overly interested. I don't think I would have it again.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours an amber gold hue, with a touch of haze. Dense and creamy three finger head, excellent retention, and spotty lacing. Malty nose, toasted malt, nuts, and rose-like alcohol. Tart sherry flavor is stronger than the toasty malt and makes any hops present difficult to detect. Aftertaste is dry and corky like cheap blush. Slow and tiny flow of carbonation, and a medium body. The freshness date is unclear, or it may have been oxidized, but if this is the way the brewer's intended it to taste, then its a bad attempt at the style. The vinous bite throws the flavor out of balance and harshens the mouthfeel, then becomes astringent in the finish. But I'd love to get a sample I can be sure is fresh!

Photo of matchz
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear copper amber in the glass this ale has a bitter citrus (lemony) hop aroma with hints of butterscotch. The first drink starts with a slight sweet bread taste followed by a strong bitter hop bite. The bitterness lasts through to the finish leaving a dry crisp mouth feel.

It’s been years since I last had Old Thumper and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed this brew.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poued, the color was a deep golden yellow, with an orange hue and very little foam.

The smell of hops and lightly roasted malts filled the nose, with a hint of spices. The taste was on the lightly hoppy side with just a hint of roasted malts and spice.

An average balanced ale that was not overly tart. This would be a good summer quincher!

Photo of putnam
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grade A Fancy maple syrup colored liquid gives a translucent sheet of white and a noseful of sweet caramel creme and butter. Mouthfuls are fat and filled with flavors of vanilla, roasted nutshells, candied lemon peel, red apple skins and wholemeal biscuit crust. The mild acidity helps launch a drying trail of bitterness that keeps it tidy. Spent tea leaves weasel in later. This beer is a charmer. It would be interesting to see how it shows next to Fuller's London Pride or Adnam's SSB. My guess is a little bare boned but solid as a sibling overall.

Photo of bigdeuce
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Foamy head, pretty good rocky one at that, with nice copper color to the beer. Smell, not much to go on, but mouthfeel and taste!! Great tasting fruity, almost caramel, taste upfront. Nice light hoppy finish on the backend. Very pleasing quaff! Also I've noticed, tastes much better lukewarm than cold. Very bready, malty beer. Actually a nice beer for the October weather, terrificly refreshing and full tasting bitter. I've had Shipyard before and they've all been good, but this may be the best one I've had yet.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear, light orangish amber color with a small (1/8”) head at first pour that disappeared while I was looking for a place to put the empty bottle down. Bummer...I missed it. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Toasty British malts lead the aroma profile. There is some British variety hops shining through in there also, along with a noticeable minerally presence...Sulfates I presume.

Taste: British malts rule the flavor profile as well. The minerally presence is not what I expected it to be...which is a good thing. There is a buttery/caramelly presence that is a huge player in the flavor, and mostly rules the show. The finish is sweet from the malt, but there is an assertive bitterness from the hops that lingers long after the swallow. It would be hard to say that it is balanced toward the hops, but that is the last thing you notice. The beer could definitely use some more carbonation to roll over the palate a bit smoother.

Opinion: Well, I first have to admit that British style beers are not my favorite, so I am probably not the best reviewer to listen to on these styles. This isn’t a bad beer for what it was intended to be. It is definitely a British ESB. I probably prefer their Fuggles IPA over this one.

Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a medium copper color with slightly off-white moderate head. Difficult to revive with swirling. Smell is malty, bread-like, slightly sweet. Taste is caramel, toffee, malt with nice sweetness and a slight hop presence. Finish if mostly walt, with a bit of bitterness that quickly disappears. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy drinking beer.

Photo of baiser
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/brown colour, with an off white head, ok lacing. Sweet, crisp malt flavours, with some caramel, dark fruit and subtle hops. Some fruity esters and grainy finish. Overall, a very balanced beer. Smooth mouthfeel, easy to drink. Very good session ale.

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear amber body with a luscious and creamy head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Butterscotch diacetyl with a very subtle touch of fruity hops; a touch of apple, perhaps

Taste: Nice malty, but woodsy diacetyl base that sticks around while the hops come and go

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The sweet diacetyl limits the drinkability for me; not bad, but not something I want to drink in any quantity

Photo of Ricochet
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good head, amber average, looks like a standard pale. Head didn't last. Smell was a little hops and a little alchohol but seemed a slight bit better than average. Mouth was good with a nice creamy twinge and hoppy profile that finished very clean , not as bitter. Tasted good. Hops were there, malt was rich and added to the taste with alchohol to give it zip but not overpowering the other flavors and even slight raisin taste, but mostly the malts make this complex.

Drinkability: This was a bit cheaper to buy than it tasted so it was a good buy for taste/price ratio. I don't think it quite lived up to some of the American ESB's I've had but was more like the imports but for $2-$3 less, again, made this a good buy.

Photo of tastybeer
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange with white cream head that doesn't last. Some nice lacing. Smells kind of hoppy with buttery yeast and malts. Tastes smooth with with a instant bitterness that fades quick into a sweet buttery malt and grainy hop sensation. Finishes with slight bitterness balenced nicely by malts. A good beer that would be more average without the 'ringwood' buttery yeast. Good mouthfeel too and easy to drink.

Not bad for any season. Well balenced.

Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a hard time finding this review log as it kept coming up (UK Version) and on the label I don't see anything about the shipyard brewing but the bottle matches the picture so here we are.

Copper color that is transparent with mild carbonation. Nice fluffy swiss coffee head that holds its own. Sporadic, sliding lace.

Smelled alot of toasted/bready malts. Had to dig a bit for the hop presence but it was there in the background.

This comes across with more bitterness than first expected. The malts quickly devour any lingering effects. A nice woody though and it finishes fairly sweet with a twinge of fruit and a crisp finish.

Buttery mouthfeel is enjoyable to me so I had to mark up for that along with the crisp finish.

Notes: I would definately pick this up again. A nice representation of an ESB although there are others I'd rather have, the price is right, and its well put together.

Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a moderate copper color, with a decent head, and a bit of a cover that hangs around a while.

Aroma is smooth and creamy, very light hops, and some sweetness. Flavor, though, is disappointing. A decent malt profile, but the creaminess (is that buttery diacytl?) is just off. Finishes with a moderate hoppiness- not bad, but not exciting. Does not impress me.

Tough for me to finish the beer. Glad it was a gift, rather than a purchase of a whole six pack.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling orange-copper with a few dozen citrus pulp-like floaters swirling within and being buoyed by the effervescent carbonation. The head is lightly toasted marshmallow in color, hangs around a while and is a better than average lace maker.

The nose is evenly balanced between significantly toasted pale malt and earthy, English hops (my guess would be Goldings). There's also a sweet, buttered bread aroma that works well in the grand scheme of things since it stays to the shadows. The aroma sheds its initial shyness with warming and develops wonderfully nutty, buttered toffee notes.

Old Thumper is bold, almost chaotic, in the mouth. My fear was that it would be another average, under-malted, under-hopped, under-interesting American take on the English ESB style. I was wrong. The brash nature of the flavor profile won't be everyone's cup of tea since it pushes the boundaries of the style. It's hard to say, however, exactly where that pushing is taking place.

Toasted, woody, tea-like, fruity, bitter, herbal, spicy... all the bases are covered, as well as the pitcher's mound and both coach's boxes. Hops are more prominent than malt, but I have a feeling the yeast strain is the wildcard, the mysterious secret ingredient that gives this beer its wacky (but delicious) personality. Although I can still appreciate diacetyl, it's a non-factor due to the generous hop load. The finish is pleasantly bitter with a piquant, herbal spiciness.

The mouthfeel is up to the task at hand, keeping the beer in proximity to the taste buds long enough for it to deliver the payload and not a moment longer. I can't decide if a bigger, firmer mouthfeel would be a boon or not. Nah, it's fine as is.

I believed Old Thumper ESA to be an English beer until I glanced at the label just before popping the cap and saw Shipyard Brewing Company. Turns out it's something of a U.S.-U.K. hybrid (check out the website for details); which is, I guess, why it's called an ESA rather than an ESB or an APA. Whatever you call it, call it good beer.

Photo of rajendra82
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, Old Thumper looked quite attractive, with its clear golden amber color, smallish off-white head, active carbonation, and average lacing. The aroma was of a nondescript fruity and nutty nature with a spicy and floral hop presence. The taste was well balanced between the sweet and fruity malt with the flavor of caramel coated red delicious apples, and a bitter hoppyness with a pomegranate like astringency. The mouthfeel was buttery (with salt) and bone dry, typical of many English bitters. Very easy to drink and sessionable, despite the nearly 6% ABV. Well crafted Maine brewed English beer, now available in Georgia.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: copper- but not a dep copper. Frothy head, but it didn't stay long. Some, but not a lot of lacing.

Smell: malt and hops notes.

Taste: Ringwood gone wild. Waaay too buttery. Hops present at first, but they aren't strong enough. Not noticeable later on either. No biscuity notes. Caramel flavors engulfed in a tsunami of diacteyl. A buttery mess.

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber brown color. Little carbonation, with a one inch head that disapated to a thin head.

Smells malty with hints of hops and bitters. Very aromatic.

Malty is the only flavor right off, with a slow mix of hops and bitters. Good session brew, especially if you like a malty beverage.

A little thick on the mouthfeel, not overly chewy however.

Good brew, enjoy with a nice steak.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid yet clear brown with copper and golden highlights. Highly carbonated and retention is fading. Smells malty, toasty, caramelly, and bitter. Tastes quite malty and caramelly. Toasty, bready, and slightly fruity and nutty. Hopped to allow slight flavor and bitter for balance. Light notes of butter pop-corn follow in the body. Finishes sweet and simple. Better than I thought.

Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arrived in a pint glass clear amber in color with a 1/2" off-white head. The aroma was very mild, consisting of bread and caramel with a hint of bitterness. The flavor slightly malty and bready, with caramel and nut tones. Hints of lemon zest, some mild bitterness and buttery tones round it out.

Mouthfeel was smooth at the start and finish. Medium bodied. Drinkability is down a bit as the bready and buttery tones are acceptable for a pint or two, but one could get tired of it.

Photo of Naes
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Old thumper is golden brown with plenty of carbonation stuck to the side of the glass. The head is white and quickly disappears.

A very hop filled aroma. It’s bitter yet a bit fruity.

This beer is not nearly as bitter as I was expecting (judging by the aroma). It starts off bitter and finishes sweet and fruit like.

The mouth feel is a bit over carbonated.

This one is a semi easy drinking beer. If not for the carbonation factor, I could probably have another.

Photo of hungryghost
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper colored, leaning a little towards yellow. Good carbonation and head make for decent lacing.
Biscuity yeast aroma, malts and maybe some floral hops.
The flavor comes right out with a sweet malt, and a hint of caramel that mixes well with the slightly dry hop end. Feels buttery but still has an edge to it.
Well balanced and very drinkable.

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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.