1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Shipyard Old Thumper - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

651 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 651
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 12
Gots: 25 | 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: 651 | Reviews: 377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dogbrick


3.63/5  rDev +0.6%

On draught in the terminal of the Orlando airport. One of the more entertaining names for a beer I have seen lately. Pours a light amber color with a thin white head. Nice lacing. Aroma is malty with a nice fruit bouquet. Buttery caramel malt flavor was nicely sweet over a medium body. Very light hops in the finish. Not too complex but solid.

04-28-2003 06:26:45 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


4.22/5  rDev +16.9%

I have a special place in my heart for Shipyard, it was the first craft brew brewery I was introduced to. When I was younger Old Thumper was not as apealing, but over the years I have grown to love it. It pours a very light copper color with little carbonation bubbles. The head is very yellowish and it recedes very quickly leaving some more white color lace on the side of the glass. The smell was very buttery with scent of hops and bitter. The taste had some unsweet caramel and the Ringwood was extremely prevelant. My mother always used to say that Old Thumper tasted like a rope from a ship and I feel that for this "extra special" bitter it is a huge compliment. Its bit is huge and distinct.

04-09-2003 22:09:31 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of ADR


4.03/5  rDev +11.6%

Clear bright amber appearance, head settles to a skim within 40 seconds and leaves scant lace on the pint glass. Brown sugar and maple malty aromas with cinnamon notes. Quite a bit of smooth caramel and more maple in the taste, a little diacetyl mid mouth, and an astringent and well-balanced hoppy close. Finish is slightly lemony with elements of baking spices. Impressively balanced and drinkable, perhaps slightly more body and mouthfeel is in order. Overall, this is a pretty nice Extra Special Bitter...

03-30-2003 11:39:15 | More by ADR
Photo of Bighuge


4.15/5  rDev +15%

Best Before July, 2003.

Beautiful clear copper color. A thin off-white head actuall sticks around for awhile. The lacing is minimal, but adequate. The aroma is dry, woody, buttery and fruity. Not bad at all. This beer has a nice body to it. Medium-full. And carbonated on the low end of the spectrum making more drinkable and more like a cask serving. It turns out that the nose was a good indicator of what was about to happen on the palete. Woody. Cedar-like dryness. Fruity to an extent (apples?). And nice and bitter. It's not an IBU monster, but the bitterness is apparant and nice. And the buttery/butterscotch characteristic is present as well in small doses. The lingering bitterness keeps begging me to drink more and more....

03-22-2003 21:28:29 | More by Bighuge
Photo of mzwolinski


4.47/5  rDev +23.8%

Crystal clear, light copper in color, with a thin, off-white head. Aroma of caramely malt, sweet and toffee-like, with a bit of a fruity boquet. Somewhat toasty malt flavor, with an apple-like fruitiness mid-palate, followed by a nice earthy bitter finish. Ringwood yeast really lends an interesting character to the finish/aftertaste. A good beer -- rather like a slightly beefed-up English pale.

02-13-2003 21:01:48 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of CharlesRiver


4.22/5  rDev +16.9%

Third and final cask ale that I had at the Coat of Arms. Copper orange in color, a bit cloudy, with a nice 1/2 inch head. The smell is pure hops. The taste is citrus and hops all the way but not out of balance due to the slightly sweet malt flavor. I love this style and it was a great pleasure to have this on cask. This ale just takes over your mouth. I could have sat there all night and enjoyed many more.

01-19-2003 16:55:24 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of BeerAngel


4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Pours a clear copper color with a massive off-white 3-finger head. The aroma consists of a very pleasant fruity ester and mellow malts and light alcohol. The taste has fruity flavors blended with sweet bread notes and light caramel. The hops are a little light, but not far off for an ESB. This is a light to medium bodied brew and finishes just slightly dry. Very enjoyable brew! Thanks again to budgood1 for sending this my way. Cheers!

01-14-2003 19:42:46 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of ZAP


4.1/5  rDev +13.6%

Interesting and tasty....the nose is slightly alcoholic....fruity, floral and spicy at the same time..a real unique smell...I want to say almost like dried leather, fresh carnations and overripe apples.. ...great flavor...malty breadiness....a light hop spiciness is prevelant too....body is medium....high drinkability....very tasty and drinkable...a very good beer...

01-13-2003 22:10:05 | More by ZAP
Photo of purplehops


3.9/5  rDev +8%

Old Thumper poured a deep golden orange with a thin white head. The head slowly dissipated to a thin ring around the edge of the glass; leaving little or no lace. The aroma was nice and malty with carmel and spicy hop notes. The taste starts with a rich creamy maltiness upfront and finishes with a slightly drier malt flavor with hints of citrus and floral yeast notes. The aftertaste comes back with a little of the malt sweetness balanced well with some hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very creamy and soft. This ale makes for a very nice everyday ale.

12-14-2002 02:23:57 | More by purplehops
Photo of budgood1


3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

pours a copper color with a creamy off-white head that laces the glass. very nice appearance. big toasty malts in the aroma, with an english hop presence in there as well. smooth toasted malts provide ample flavor. a smooth and slightly buttery finish. exceedingly buttery and smooth in profile. hop balance makes this brew a great and easy drinking, great tasting bitter. many pints of this would be awesome!

12-11-2002 23:43:03 | More by budgood1
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +10.8%

This was the beer at Federal Jack's that was cask conditioned. Nice copper color, with a good thick head to accompany it. Tasted supurb, good blend with the hops and the malts. Easy drinking, a nice sweet mellow taste.

12-02-2002 10:23:37 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of aracauna


3.55/5  rDev -1.7%

Head is sandy and slightly yellowish tint. Body is a pale copper. The aroma is lemon, butter and malt with the occasional wisp of butterscotch. The first sip is big toasty malt and caramel. Next sip is lemon with an earthy flavor. The third sip is water. The flavor is a bit thin after that, but not bad. Definite sting from the carbonation.

11-26-2002 23:49:05 | More by aracauna
Photo of jackndan


4.4/5  rDev +21.9%

Shipyard Old Thumper, cask conditioned at the Map Room. Huge head, thick, thick lace all the way to the bottom. Looks like Scotch (according to my note). Why, was this ever a fantastic beer, well balanced malts and very assertive hops. The most notable part of this beer, however, was how easy it was to drink. It was exceptionally smooth, with a slight alcohol warmth at the end. Very nice!

11-26-2002 19:50:01 | More by jackndan
Photo of Murph


4.35/5  rDev +20.5%

Pours a great looking bright copper color with a creamy off-white head of tiny bubbles that lace the glass and make the beer look absolutely delicious. Nice toasty malts in the aroma but there is also a fairly generous hop presence in there as well, not over the top, but nicely balancing. Smooth toasty malts with an almost roasty flavor. Bitterness jumps in about half way through with some nice goldings and others. Smooth and slightly buttery finish that is fine for the style IMHO. Definitely exceedingly smooth and nicely medium bodied that just makes this beer an almost perfect session brew. I would love to find this on cask some day, a joy to drink.

Cheers to my friend JohnnyP in his Maine Beer Month

11-22-2002 18:31:07 | More by Murph
Photo of Lupe

New York

3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a dark amber color with an off white head that leaves minimal lace. Malty aroma with some carmel and hops in the backround. Light-medium in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Starts malt sweet with citrus (lemon) and floral notes, these flavors fade as the hop presence makes itself known. Finishes with a nice bite but not too bitter. Pretty good brew.

11-13-2002 12:57:42 | More by Lupe
Photo of MaineBeerMan


4.85/5  rDev +34.3%

Amber brown color with a big head of foam that left rings on the glass with each sip. Aroma of malty sweetness with some hops in the background and a bit of caramel.
Nice creamy mouthfeel with a big malty sweetness up front, well balanced by just enough hop bitterness. Malt flavors tend toward caramel with a bit of sweet hazelnut in the back. Finish is just a twinge of hoppy citrus that balances well with the malt character of the beer.
This is yet another of my favorite local beers, I don't know how far the Shipyard distribution is, but it is worth looking for.
As a side note, this is sometimes available cask conditioned, and if you ever have the chance to try it this way it is truly spectacular.

10-12-2002 22:06:19 | More by MaineBeerMan
Photo of beerboy21


4.22/5  rDev +16.9%

This deep copper colored beauty is a N.E. classic. The Ringwood is loud and clear, and I'm loving it! The sweetness from the malt is prefectly balanced out by the hops, which on the finish, gently wrap around the tongue and linger. Shear bliss. I'm dying for some homemade chicken pot pie.. double the leeks please!!

08-17-2002 17:02:58 | More by beerboy21
Photo of StevieW


4.4/5  rDev +21.9%

On tap at Coasters Pub in Melbourne...Rich deep copper to tan color. Thick white foamy head. Nice bitter hop bite to the smell...Your mind starts racing with anticipation, this is going to be good. Subtle malty sweetness, then a super strong bitter hop taste makes a great combination. Bitterness stays strong to the finish. Slightly grainy toward the end, but incredibly creamy and smooth on tap. Can't help but smile, as this one goes down. I have also had the bottled version recently, and thought the flavors were slightly less noticable, but not enough to do another review. Still a very good beer bottled, and magic on tap.

08-01-2002 11:39:54 | More by StevieW
Photo of psugrad98


3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

Dark amber with off white head. Full aroma with more malt character than hops. Taste is rich and floral with a flower-like taste with smooth malt following. Rich mouthfeel, somewhat creamy. Taste. Finishes nicely.

07-02-2002 06:37:05 | More by psugrad98
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -18.8%

Deep amber color with a pale creamy white head. Slight sweet malt nose but lacks hops. Upon first taste there is much malt sweetness followed by slight bitterness, but not even close enough to balence the "bitter" brew. Quite smooth and a good look to the lace. This brew lacks true crisp bitterness. There is a good smooth malt base but nothing wows the tongue. I had this in the Orlando Airport Brew Pub.

06-14-2002 08:39:22 | More by frank4sail
Photo of packetknife


3.88/5  rDev +7.5%

Golden orange, off-white head that didn't hold but was full. Hay and citrus on the nose. The hops stand out nicely, sharp finish. Slight bitterness sticks to the roof of your mouth.

05-31-2002 16:54:40 | More by packetknife
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +10.8%

From the bottle (22MAY02), a bit darker golden in color, still with a small head; no lace. Grainy, bready malt nose with undertones of citrus like hops. Medium body/tongue. Malty to start, with grapefruit-hops as the closer. After drinking a few more of these, I think I'm beginning to get the Ringwood yeast flavor. Pretty good!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

*** ***

Had this on tap (20JAN02)... Nice golden color, with a small head. Had a mild nose with some hop spiciness coming through. Medium bodied and feel on the tongue. Malty sweetness to start fading to a nice hop sharpness. Pretty nice bier! (Original scores not noted).


05-22-2002 17:06:25 | More by Bierman9
Photo of cokes


4/5  rDev +10.8%

One of those all-around good beers. This one is quite unique with the dominant ringwood yeast profile. It adds a nice buttery and smooth profile atypical to many other ESB's.
It pours a solid amber with a nice white head that slowly diminishes to just a faint trace. Smells of the yeast as well as the bitter hop blast that manifests in the tastebuds. This is quite lovely on the palate. The subtle carmel malt balances this dynamic brew quite nicely. This is a special treat that could also be a session without any problem. A unique brew that does the fundamentals well.
Overall, this comes recommended.

03-22-2002 04:02:20 | More by cokes
Photo of hbis2gut

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

What can I say? Ringwood yeast is well...um....unique.
It makes this beer unique as well. It's a nice attempt at a different beer considering all of the similar schwag that gets thrown at us. With that said though, it's hard for me to ignore the faintly soapy character of this beer.

03-05-2002 17:19:12 | More by hbis2gut
Photo of John

New York

3.6/5  rDev -0.3%

One of my first out of the ordinary beers. Solid English style special bitter. Good malty backbone. Some semi-buttery notes are present. Hops are reserved, but adequate enough to balance. Good quaffability. Thumper originates from the Ringwood Brewery in England and is now Shipyard's flagship brew.

09-24-2001 13:15:14 | More by John
Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.