Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Shipyard Double Old Thumper Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Double Old Thumper AleShipyard Double Old Thumper Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 230
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: chrisgn on 02-02-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (53) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 104 | Hads: 230
Photo of morimech
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazy, dark amber color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. A lot of lacing is left down the glass.

Lovely aroma of herbal/floral hops complimented by rich malt aromas of caramel, toffee, brown bread, and butterscotch. No sign of alcohol. Smells very British.

The hops and malt hold their own against the alcohol for the most part. Nice hop flavors that are herbal, floral, and earthy. Plenty of malt sweetness with caramel and bready notes. Bitterness is moderate. Alcohol makes its appearance in the finish with flavor and warmth as it is a little boozy at the end.

Rich and smooth body. Nice carbonation that lends a smooth texture. Good big beer feel.

This beer excels at maintaning its British roots while taking on American boldness. A very good strong ale.

 827 characters

Photo of Blackwolf
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

A- Poured a copper/amber clear body, one finger tight white head, little retention that settled into a thin cap. very little carbonation with some uniform can be seen on the sides of the glass just under the head. Not much lacing.

S- Aggressive. Lots of caramel, candied sugar/toffee, sweet roasted malt and lots of ethanol. The beer screams alcohol content right off the back... Not very complex, and again seemingly overwhelming with the alcohol content. This could have been balanced a bit more in all honesty.

T- The taste was also aggressive from the get go, but as this beer opens up so does the flavor. Caramalts, candied sugar, figs, very light on the spiced hop finish... Just a bit too subtle, but it is detectable. Lots of alcohol, and again when the beer opens up, so does the booziness.

MF- Full body, sticky and creamy. Lots of warming on the finish.

O- Taking the style into consideration not bad at all, but this is a very aggressive ESB that could use some more balance to it. Worth a try I suppose.

 1,058 characters

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

Slightly hazy, dark honey colored body; thick, sticky, creamy off-white head. Butterscotch and caramel sweetness in the aroma overall, with just a faint hint of the alcohol content in the background. Big malt sweetness with some alcohol taste and bitterness near the end. Medium-heavy body; rather soft with carbonation.

A pretty good high ABV malt bomb. I certainly got the "warming malty finish" described on the bottle label, but not any "spicy hop aroma". Still, there is plenty of good stuff going on with this beer. Definitely not a session brew, but does go down well while watching some Sunday football...

 614 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. I know I've had this beer a little while, but I just don't remember exactly how long so I have no idea how old it is (no date on the bottle). Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy dark copper color with an inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is nice and malty, the brew smells like caramel, toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit and some bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some booze, nuts, and a bit of spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and slick with a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew. I'd like to try this fresher in the future, but I definitely liked this beer with some age on it.

 758 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy dark amber brew, a high fluffy warm off-white head that leaves much lacing and has big curtains.

Smelling like cardamom wheat buns, nuts, sherry.

Starting sweet bread (or buns), Marzipan and cardamom and brown sugar, then bitter cherry seeds.

Medium carbonation, thick, oily and sticky, a big body and slow dry finish.

It has potential, this one, but does not really deliver. A bit to much bitterness and stickyness.

 427 characters

Photo of ginemesis
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a reddish orange, a semi-lingering head with a slight lacing

S- Very malty with a prune fragrance. Matches the taste.

T- Very mild with elements of prune. Deceptively strong alcohol as it is 11%. Incredibly strong aftertaste, full of prune. Not bitter.

M- Texture is creamy and pleasant.

O- It's a good beer, but would be better classified as an old aie.

 368 characters

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a nonic:

A: hazy brown/orange/copper body gives a one finger off-white/caramel colored head that slowly dies to half a finger within a minute. No carbonation is seen rising, and barely any lacing is around the sides of the glass.

S: some strong caramel and malt notes accompanied with some slight alcohol aroma, slight hops in the background

T: sweet through the caramel and breadiness, slightly roasty nuttiness comes out, the alcohol comes out stronger as the beer warms.

M: heavy and carbonation is definitely felt, not sessionable

O: this thing is a beast, not only will I be drinking water after this, but my palate feels wrecked. Oh well, no big deal. Just curious, I wonder if this is more of a barleywine? I'd probably only have this again on special occasions or see if I could find it on tap somewhere.

 822 characters

Photo of codsmith
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy dark orangish copper with a finger high, creamy, off-white head.

S: Strong caramel and malt character, along with a medium-high alcohol aroma. It is missing the hop characteristic that is supposed to go along with the style.

T: Heavy alcohol taste with low-medium bitterness to finish it off. It has a caramel sweetness with some bready flavor.

M: Full bodied and filling. Moderate carbonation. High alcohol warmth

O: This really doubles the style guidelines for this beer, so its hard to really judge it based on the style, but the alcohol taste is a little too overwhelming. I would really consider this much closer to an English Barleywine.

 657 characters

Photo of ExtraStout
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that left lacing down the sides of the glass.

There are moderate aromas of sweetness in the nose along with some hints of butter and caramel.

Like the smell, the initial taste has a lot of malty sweetness, but this is slowly balanced off by a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops.

IT feels medium- to full-bodied and slightly viscous on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Considering its strength (which I love) the beer isn't that difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 598 characters

Photo of BostonHops
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a weizen glass.

pours a deep amber tone with a touch of haze; fairly aggressive pour yields a 2" creamy/frothy head. great retention and significant lacing on display. great looking beer. nose is interesting. malt-forward and sweet with dark fruits and candied sugar. reminiscent of a sweet BSDA.

flavor is good, better than i was expecting having perused a few other reviews. malt-forward with significant sweetness - though not cloyingly so - with some balancing bitterness and notes of fruit, spice, butterscotch, and booze. mouthfeel is on the full size; adequate carbonation.

overall this is not a bad brew at all; i can see where it wouldn't appeal to some but IMO it's certainly worth a try.

(originally reviewed: 07-12-2011)

 758 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish orange pour with 2 fingers of lighter cream head. Head doesn't last long and lacing is faint.

Nose is malt, grain, hot spice, alcohol, and a hint of burnt caramel.
Also a stale smell to it.

Taste is potent. Lots of grain. Very earthy. Medium dry finish, with just a bit of sticky sweetness creeping back in. Slightly oily. Spicy, with a bit of hot pepper. Alcohol is also very obvious.

Feel is quite thick and rich. Heavy.

This probably should come in a smaller bottle. I know 22's are meant to share, but why can't we get a 7oz of this instead?

 559 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a creeiply bright and vibrant red colour, don't see a lot of beers quite reach that pre-school red paint colour but here it is. Head is whispy, slightly off-white-to-beige. Lace is decent; not all that sticky. Pretty good though.

Smells reasonably sweet, but very subdued, with subtle stone fruit notes, a touch of metallic aroma, maybe some smoke and some rubber. FAirly fresh, with a hint of tartness. Ultimately, though, a bit weak, especially for the strength.

Taste is wow, quite a lot more potent. Starts off in typical bitter territory with a touch of American hoppiness to it, but gets a big boozey-fruit character midway that flaunts its stuff right to the end. Quite big, with an almost cognac whiff and some sour cherry notes. Oh, it's really quite odd. Like there's not much malt but a great deal of booze on there. Really gets more intense at the back, building to a slight rubbery flavour. Weird and quite intense. Not without its likeable points but I think it's a bit overcooked.

Decent fullness, not a lot of texture. Present most prominent on the boozey back; not bad.

Bit weird, a bit odd but there's plenty of salvageable material here, and I wish I just warmed to this more readily.

 1,213 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley CA. Brought to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeeroronotobe.

Pours a hazed reddish amber colour, with a fine, slightly bubbly head of off-white. Minimal lacing. Body is goopy and gelatinous, and hold carbonation as though it has lost the will to rise to the surface. Looks decent overall.

Nose is, unfortunate, for want of a better word. Really pronounced vegetative, almost weedy aroma, giving hints of earth, bark and mulch. Some malty sweetness to offset it, but it really doesn't help the aroma overall.

Taste is similar, but here it starts to make a little more sense. Big, prickly English hop bitterness through the centre, giving herbal and woody flavours before punctuating the finish with a brisk punchy dot. Some rounded English malt characters give a slightly husky note which roughens the palate, but adds some basis.

Feel is slightly too chewy and thick for what it is: in fact, the flavours seem to struggle to hold on for as long as the feel wants them to.

Overall, this is a beer of contrasts. There are some really interesting things to it, and some things that just don't work at all. I like the really strong English bitterness, but I feel as though that would have been better utilised in a beer half its strength.

 1,299 characters

Photo of Suds
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is a light chestnut color with a thin white head. It's a glassy-clear liquid, essentially still, a malt and hop aroma. Dark grain, ethanol, toasted wood, and spicy hops. The spiciness carries over to the flavor, which is unfortunately disjointed. It's a jumble of sweetness, nearly independent of the malt, and alcoholic hotness. Fresh and sharp bitterness is a fleeting sensation. The finish is lingering, sweet, and warm. It's full in body and very intense.

 469 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – dark red/medium brown in color, maybe a little hazy, with about a finger and a half’s worth of frothy khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – dark and roasted, malty, almost with a whisky-like edge to it.

Taste – dark and strong. There’s a heavy mix of hop and malt at first, but then you’re blown away by abv, and that’s just in the beginning. It melds next into a whisky-like quality and finishes bittersweet, with a tinsy bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, not leaning too heavily toward the watery or creamy sides.

Overall – interesting brew. Tastes a bit like a strong beer mixed with scotch or whisky. It’s a good mix though. Good-tasting and interesting to think about.

 786 characters

Photo of TPONY51
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been in the cellar for about 8 months and I wish I had tried it sooner because I love it. Beautiful orange and amber color. The smell is sweet and boozey with some biscuit and sweet fruit. The taste is by no way balanced yet flows pretty well and is interesting. It goes from quick biscuit to fruit with a (in my opinion) smooth hop and a nice boozey finish. The mouth feel is slick and comforting and the finish lingers long enough but doesn't over stay its welcome. Over all if i saw it on a menu or in a store I would make the purchase without hesitation.

 558 characters

Photo of JmBrkr
2.44/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's been a while since I've had this brew, but I felt I should warn others. Unless you are a big fan of Old Thumper and want to meet his older meaner bi-polar brother, don't touch this stuff. I found it to be poorly balanced. I love strong hops and strong bodied beers, but from start to finish this beer comes across as ambitious yet, unkempt and not well thought out.
As a friend out it, "It's just too...double, and not enough thumper."

 440 characters

Photo of sjverla
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nose: Very sweet. Dark fruit. Jam-like with a little yeast and hot alcohol.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, deep ruby. A thin head skims the top and sticks to the sides.

Taste: Plenty of booze in this. Very tart and really yeasty. A little musty and bitter on the back end. Assertive burnt malt notes.

Overall: Less "thump" than I was hoping for. Unless they're referring to the sound you make when you hit the ground.

 416 characters

Photo of danmcg62
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a pint glass. Pours an orangey brown color with a smallish white head. Good looking brew.

S-Very biscuity. There's also figs, raisins. Mild spice hop aroma, mild malt as well. I like this.

T-Very spicy hops, finishes rather malty like the label says. Like the smell there is figs and raisins.

M-Thick and chewy. Spicy and malty.

O-Overall this a very good brew. I dig the smell and taste of the beer. I know this is an amped up version of the Old Thumper Ale, but I thought this was more close to the Export Ale. I think this would pair well with some BBQ.

 575 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Old Thumper Ale, Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine. "…the big brother of the British Grand Champion beer Old Thumper. Available in the United States under a unique arrangement between England's Ringwood Brewery and Shipyard Brewing Company, Double Old Thumper is a real beast of a beer. Created by Shipyard's master brewer Alan Pugsley, DOT is deep brown in color with a spicy hop aroma and a warming malty finish. This beer …blah, blah, blah…" 11.2 % ABV.

Bright ruby red look, beautiful, creamy, lacy head atop. Very inviting. Urges me onward.

Aroma: sweetness, with a sting. Full, rich malt, kept pace by bracing booze. Leathery, cognac-y, caramel and a cornucopia of fruit (apple, melon, berries.). Complex, and rewarding. Love it.

Taste: Boom! Bam! Pow! Comes out swinging, this one, explodes on the palate. Spills out flavors aplenty, coats the palate with thick, malt, and powerful hops. It's a thumper, all right, a mammoth, a doozy, a ring-dinger. It hums, it roars, it simmers just before it singes, it warms before it burns.

Absolutely formidable, intense, and amazing. So rich, so complex, so round, so fully packed. Bright, fierce, indomitable. Mmmm. I like this. Ought to pick up more for the winter months. It's coming. Gonna need a big, wooly, warming ale like this.

 1,309 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice copper color with 1" beige head that fade to a mottled 1/4" head with lacing all the way down the glass

S-dark fruits, raisins and plums but not very strong extra points for 11.2% but you can't smell it

T-carmel malts with raisins just like the smell 11.2% but very well hidden

M-nice creamy carbonation

O-nice flavors and suprisingly easy drinking high alcohol beer

 418 characters

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle (at 11.2% ABV, this truly is a "bomber") into a red wine glass, and for a refill, a pint glass.

A: Pours cloudy red brown with a finger or so of foamy off-white head a with soap bubbles. Solid head retention and good lacing once the foaminess has subsided.

S: Sweet malts, earthy hops, a faint alcohol spice.

T: Raisins, vanilla, and rum lead the charge. Mid-palate is a tad more subdued with notes of toffee and sweet bread. The finish is quite dry with a healthy dose of bittering hops and a sustained oakiness. That oak just won't quit. At no point in time does the 11.2% ABV present itself. This is the sort of beer that could easily lead to trouble, especially given the overly generous 22 oz serving size. The one factor that limits this to a "one and done" beer is the oaked-out bitterness.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, foamy, and slick.

O: Overall, this is a nice beer and one that would work nicely both for fans of barleywine, and those who favor bitters, ESB's, and brown ales but want something a little bigger.

 1,054 characters

Photo of asabreed
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Light peach-colored and fairly clear. Nice lacing.

Smell: A lot of booze is there. Some peach-esue fruit aromas. But highly, highly booze.

Taste: Again: never had the original, but this is booze city, so much so that I can't pick out anything distinctly. That said, it's enjoyable, and not a mishmash.

Mouthfeel: Thick and drenched, but this is the way, I think, that it's supposed to be.

Drinkability: This, to me, doesn't feel like a brew with this power. I've never had the original, so maybe that makes me not as much of an expert as I should be? I think balance is the key, and as much as I'm enjoying this, this isn't the case. Still, check it out.

 706 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I find it hard to believe this beer scored so low in other's ratings. It's both beautiful and scrumptious. It poured like a thick barley wine with a slow to emerge beige 1" head. In masstone it's a burnt sienna brown but held to the light there's a pretty hazy reddish tint. Smell is great with rich malt, caramel, and hops but not a slap in the face amount of them. Taste is delicious, kind of like candied hops. Rich, sweet, with caramel, toffee, and barley wine attributes. I don't always drink sweet or bold beers but I find this Old Thumper very appealing. And the 11.2% alcohol is well hidden, not a boozy burning mess in my opinion. I say nice job Shipyard.

 664 characters

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Gold foil on cap which was glued on like crazy.

Poured into old Stein #42, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear copper brew. Head fizzes away rather quickly, with chunky lacing. Aroma is boozy with pine hops.

Taste is syrupy sweet to start, strong pine prickling in the middle, and a warm alcohol close than intensifies over time. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay as well. Seems like everything in this brew is intensified from the original Old Thumper, for better or worse.

 567 characters

Shipyard Double Old Thumper Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.