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Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version) - Ringwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version)Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 148
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 21.2%
Wants: 6
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ringwood Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PorterPounder on 08-20-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 148
Photo of pmcadamis
4.69/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A fluffy two finger head rises above a really deep and dark clear copper brew. Buttloads of super sticky lace is left on the glass. The khaki head shows really nice retention. This looks exactly how a pale ale should!

S - Deep toasty caramel malt with big toffee notes. Smells super malty and roasty like a big crusty cinnamon and raisin scone. Molasses, maple syrup, toffee, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Lots of really nice toasty toffee candy notes with a brilliantly autumnal hop character. What an outstanding aroma!

T - Again, lots of toffee and caramel with some autumn leaf hops. Toasty, malty, sweet, and very complex. Just like the nose, this taste reminds me of a big cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisin scone with a little bit of butter on it. The balance and complexity of the flavors presented here is astounding. I love the combination of toast, toffee, hay, butter (diacetyl), and raisins. This is so tasty that it's actually making me hungry.

M - Medium bodied with an aggressive level of carbonation for a British pale ale. I sort of like the tingly sensation, and the finish is sweet and very malty. I can feel residual sugars after swallowing, but 30-40 seconds later I feel a drying sensation. It's almost like it has two finishes....first sweet and coating, then of dry and gritty/hoppy. Nicely done.

D - I picked this up when making a few mix-a-sixes at the lesser of the two "good beer" stores in my town, and I wasn't really expecting all that much. This floored me. What a well made and expertly balanced brew! I could drink this all the time.

Note: I just noticed two things. First, my review is the highest so far and second, my bottle has notches indicating that it's best before December of '06, and it's now November of '07. Apparently, age does wonderful things for this brew despite the lower ABV. Maybe those toasty, earthy, butter notes are a result of a year of aging. Anyway, disregard the "best before" date on the bottle. Mine was a year past it's date and I found this beer to be quite outstanding.

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Photo of scootny
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I got this one I had no idea that there was an English version. As soon as I tasted it I knew it was not the same as the last bottle I had of Old Thumper (That one was Shipyard) . Huge white head that stays had me thinking hop fest. Not quite. Beautiful clear coppery honey fluid with gentle carbonation as it sits. Nose tells me this is not a USA brew. Sweet malt and toffee. A touch of butterscotch and floral hops. Taste is quintessential English pale ale. Big sweet toffee malt and toasted bread. Butterscotch again that flows into an mild dry earthy finish. A touch of mineral metal mixed with earth dryness and toasted grains lingering nicely, along with light sweetness and dark bread. Perfect carbonation is gentle and all over your mouth in a wonderful way.medium light weight makes this a great beer for sessioning in spite of the abv being higher than is typical. A grea,t easy drinking pale ale that is a cut above most. Proudly English in taste so many will miss just how good this is. it is not big and hoppy. If you want real English pale ale you'd do well here.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.49/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer, few British Pale Ale are available in Mexico and this is quite good. Looks amber-redish with a mild ivory crown. Smells very sweet but tastes bitter and refreshing. Medium body with low carbonation. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of sim0n17
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

SOO nice and fresh. You must try it at "The Furlong" if you're ever in Ringwood, Hants, England. It's a pub close enough to the brewery that they just roll the kegs over there. Beautifully round taste with a hint of a sweet aftertaste. Robust smell with a dark, nutty color. Great taste, aroma, and experience!!

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Photo of rgrholmes168
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Great head on this beer. Did not instantly disappear which is always a plus. The color is almost orange.

S- A great smell to this beer. I got a good sense of toffee/caramel.

T- Great taste, I was impressed with my first drink.

M- Very balanced beer, this is perfect.

D- Very drinkable. I can drink these beers all day long.

I highly recommend this beer. It is one of the best ales I have ever had.

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Photo of oelergud
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper body with an off-white to light tan head, decent carbonation but low retention and little lace.
Incredible smell, strong and spiced molasses and caramel with faint undertones of hop bitterness.
Taste is almost as strong as the scent. Caramel and sweet molasses of the malt with a well balanced hop counter that really comes through in the moderately long aftertaste.
Medium body with some good coating.
This is a brew that demands attention from the first sip which makes it an enjoyable beer but not something you can have all night, very interesting brew.


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Photo of jmz62565
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great dark coppery color and a full two finger head that lasts.A real nutty hop filled smell.The taste is a creamy nutty,carmel like flavor,very good.This has a nice medium feel thats very drinkable and one of the better ales around.
I bought this at Tully's in Wells ME and was recommended to try it.Nice call !!!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml new bottle and label (to the one shown at 22nd Aug 2010), best before 30 Jun 2011, reviewed 22 Aug 2010.

Poured twice into my 'La Chouffe' stemmed tulip (because it is my current favourite tasting glass): Deep brown, dark amber (who decided this was a Pale Ale?) in colour with an off-white, dirty cream coloured foaming head. Good, thick lacing was produced on each pour as the beer level sank down the glass.

The aroma was of warm semi-sweet brown bread malts, Christmas spices and plenty of hops. In short it had the smell of a good Winter Warmer.

The taste carried on with the Winter Warmer trends, spicey, warming and rich in malts, the hop content hiding behind the alcoho,l which came through as the beer warmed in the glass.

The body was full and wholesome, the beer far too easy to drink, the 5.6%ABV isn't full in your face, but as mentioned, it does appear as the beer warms, making this a lovely 'fireside' beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at the Abbey Brewing pub in Miami Beach. Copper colored and clear, thinnest of heads. The aroma is somewhat toasty, a nice bready smell. The flavor hits the nail on the head, it has the fresh baked bread in it with just a touch of fruity esters, honest to God this tastes like I'm having it at a pub in London. A velvetty smooth mouthfeel provided by the cask conditioning and beer engine, near perfect mouthfeel. I could drink this for hours, until I puked, passed out, or almost impossibly lost interest.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - copper orange poured into a pilsner glass. A finger of cream-colored head creates a solid film of lace on the glass. Mad bubble action keeps a thin blanket on top of the beer.

Aroma - sweet malts, slightly crackery, slight metallic-like aroma as well but more like it's part of the beer, not tainted.

Taste - sweet and buttery malt, mmm mmm good. A shot of hops on the swallow do more than just balance. They settle in for several moments with a subdued but controlling bitterness. The finish is warm and slightly bitter with a touch of alcohol peeking through at times, giving it an almost whiskey-like aftertaste. Very good!

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, feels right for the style.

Drinkability - ESBs aren't on my short list of stock beers, but I did enjoy this one. I'd have it again.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Bronze; effervescent; big, lasting head

Aroma: Malty; peppery; hoppy; slight apple aroma

Taste: Juicy malt; tangy fruit; bitter hop start; finishes dry and hoppy, but extremely well balanced; delicious

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The head came up nicely, covering a clear orangish brown body.

Smell - The aroma here was quite nice. It reminded me a bit of Old Stock. The fruits especially came on strong. The summertime melons mixed well with the darker raisins and plums. The oranges and cherries were lighter, and all this was soaked in several types of sugars (brown being my favorite) and alcohol. The lightly-toasted malt base brought up the rear.

Taste - The fruits really came out at the taste. This is not a heavy-hitter but more of an easy-drinker. It is very sweet and sugary with lots of fruits competing for the drinker's attention. This is like a malty fruit juice and, again, a nice alcohol compliment (especially considering that the ABV is kind of light for the style).

Mouthfeel - Incredibly smooth. The mouthfeel was my favorite part of this ale. It was medium-bodied but very sweet with a nice alcohol twinge. This had my saliva glands working overtime.

Drinkability - If there's such a thing as a session Strong/Old Ale this is it.

Comments - This was a very unique take on the style. I can see how some might consider it to "lightweight," but I enjoyed the interpretation that resulted in the nice, easy-drinking ale. A big, appreciative BA thanks to xlperro for sending this my way. With only ten reviews to date on the site, this one was a real find.

Update - I logged the 11th review of this beer on March 2004 and at that time it was listed as a Strong/Old Ale and sure enough it has since been reclassified properly as an EPA. I didn't find as much fruit here as I did 6 years ago and the yeast is much more pronounced, but in any event this is a nice, easy drinker.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light copper, great clarity, thick layer of bubbly off-white foam, good head retention

Aroma: malt, strawberries, sweet apples, Ringwood yeast, herbally hops, roasted hazelnuts

Flavor: mellow toasty malt sweetness, slight acidity; a pleasantly fruity combo of zesty pear-skin hop flavor, unripe green plums, and prunes; finishes dryish with a scrumptious lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, mild carbonation, minerally texture

Other comments: I tried this beer many years ago when I was at university in Boston (Mass.). Really liked the name and label, that's what drew me in. Turned out to be a pretty good beer, too. Still a good beer, a great beer even. Perhaps one of my favorite all-purpose British ales. When I visited Ringwood Brewery, I found out that the one you get in the US is actually brewed by Shipyard.

Update Dec. 2008: I have just done a side-by-side comparison of UK Old Thumper and US Old Thumper. The UK version is definitely the best. It is smoother, more aromatic, a bit fruitier (pineapple?), more caramelly and biscuity, but it is a bit cloudy in comparison to the US version (I presume they filter it). The US version has less head, is drier tasting, a bit more hoppy/bitter, less balanced, and not as lively or complex.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes, circa 02/08.

Smells delightful - malty richness and fruit hop splash. Some malt toastiness too.

Golden straw, good clarity, nice little head.

Crisp malt toast and light caramel sweetness. Plenty of hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol on a well carbonated medium-thick body. Superb balance with all that great tasting hop bitterness. Winds with more intense English-like biscuit malt.

A paradigm example of an ESB I say (based on my very limited experiences and tastings, mind you). Very tasty. I'll definitely seek this one out again soon.

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Photo of Chinon01
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Head like a chocolate shake. Sustained which coats with some lacing. Color more at coca cola.

Smell - Milky sweet malt.

Taste - Mineral, woody and cocoa sweet malt. Pleasant hop finish.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Near perfect but there is a bit too much sweetness, almost cloying.

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Photo of STEG
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into sam smiths pint glass. It has a wonderful translucent appearance dark orange with red tints with a nice 1 finger off white head that has fairly good retention. A hoppy aroma with vanilla and caramel is the prominent smell at the nose. It has a hoppy start with vanilla with a little bit of raisins and cherries as the aftertaste. Has a creamy mouthfeel that is slightly carbonated. Very drinkable, a great session beer.

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Photo of BWH3
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep gold ale with 2 finger white head. The beer is largely still and clear. Retention is fantastic.

S/T: Toasted, slightly buttery and a hint of nuts (like a fresh buttered biscuit) combine with the fruity/orange peel and peppery notes of this yeast strain. The hops are hearty earth like bitterness that slightly tips the balance in favor of the bitters in the aftertaste. Crisp, dry, slightly fruity finish.

M: Still light medium bodied beer with great retention.

D: A must for all lovers of English bitters. Not as fantastic as Fullers ESB but certainly in a class above many of the elder staesman in this category including Bass and Old Speckled Hen

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Photo of Vancer
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great British session bitter, just a tad high on the abv at 5.6% - but that’s the only nick picking issue.

Starts superb; chill hazed pumpkin yellow, topped by a massive ivory head. Great lacing all the way down.

Aromas of malted barley, however on the meager side. Proper taste of toasted malts, hints of an earthly leather balanced with a light hop accent. Flows down well for the entire mni-bomber, I could drink several easily.

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Photo of wl0307
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time to try this beer in its bottled version - don't know what to expect... BB 04/12/08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: light copper in colour, topped with a tight, thick, creamy light beige froth with superb retention; moderate+ level of carbonation.
S: besides being slighlty dusty due to the thick froth, the aroma is richly fruity (papaya, ripe apples, tangerine, plum-jam, with a touch of banana... almost tropically-fruity in a sense!), toffee-ish, and slightly sticky... Lots of malts with accompanied sweetness on the nose, but not w/o a healthy dose of fruit sourness overall.
T: a mouthful of toffee-ish malts, caramel, nuts, and a touch of coconut-shaving comes on top of a little oily-estery taste typical of most strong Premium Bitter, then gradually leading towards more mixed ripe fruits, spicy hops, roast tea (with sugar)... An Oloroso-sherry-like dry-ish sweet aftertaste lingers with a flat texture of moderate-level bitterness that is however very chewy and dry in the end. M&D: the texture is not too fizzy at all but quite refreshing to keep this strong ale light enough to quaff, while the little trace of alc. on the palate certainly helps. What's more, the overall aftertaste gets more and more bitter as the drinking goes, making it really enjoyable and quaffable.

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Photo of AEK
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle poures into a Young's pint pot

A. Red with an orange tint. A hazy beer with a tan coloured head that soon disappeared.

N. Biscuity malt, toffee/caramel noted dominate with some fruity notes bouncing around.

T. Sweet malt is quickly balanced out by the citrus hop bitterness. I am getting a very slight taste of raisins and possibly some plumminess towards the finish. The bitter finish is quite long.

M. Lightly carbonated, medium body.

D. A very nice beer that conceals its ABV very well. A good session beer and, if you haven't tried this one before it is worth seeking out.

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Photo of Zimbo
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been about 20years or so I've last had this. And that was on cask. Didn't really understand it at the time and then never saw it again. Thanks to the 2007 Marston buy out its easier to find. About time I gave it another go.

Has a hazy orange glow with some light fluffy head which slowly grows in the glass. To the taster it begins slightly spritzy and crisp before being hit by a rough spicy straw like bitterness. Such is the bitterness that it virtually prevents your palate from detecting anything else. Despite some descriptions I've read I detected no fruit whatsoever. Very uncompromisingly dry and unique giving your tongue lovely lashings of bitterness which leaves a wonderfully austere coating in your mouth for quite some times. A very English bitterness too. Real intensity without being heavy. Really fine.

Really enjoyed that. Another tasty bottled British beer. Am I seeing the beginning of a trend here?

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow-orange with a thin white head that remains.
Smell is buttery, rich malts with a little bit of hops. Some faint, light fruits as well.
Taste is buttery malts, with a sublte hop wave following. The malts carry to the finish, become more bready and slightly toasted towards the finish. More light fruits on the finish--banana in particular.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a fairly low level of carbonation. Nice, smooth finish.
Drinkability is very good. Very well-rounded.

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Photo of huxcrunner
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden to light brown color with about 2 fingers if white head with and average lacing good carbinationgood full body good aroma of malts good full mouthfeel overall I really enjoyed this beer and would recommend it especially if you like english style beer

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2010.

Appearance : coppery color, with white foamy head (not persistent).
Smell : cereal and hops aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : fruity and caramel notes, well balanced with hops.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English Strong Bitter.

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear apple juice color with plenty of carbonation running up the inside of the glass. Surprisingly not a lot of head presented, I had to work kind of hard to get a finger of it. Decent lacing hangs around on the side of the glass, though.

The nose isn't incredibly aromatic, but I can still pick out a decent amount of fruits. Apples are present, as well as bananas and maybe pear; the fruits are accompanied by a malty aroma as well.

This has a nice flavor, not really intense, but it's pleasurable. The fruits that presented themselves in the nose show up again on the tongue, primarily apples and pears and a new citrus flavor. The fruits only show up after a nice prelude of pale and caramel malts up front. A small amount of spicy hop flavor stops by on the tail end of the beer, but doesn't stay long.

Has a nice light, crisp mouthfeel that is accompanied by a high amount of carbonation. Smooth on the tongue and has a little zip of alcohol too. Good stuff.

Overall, a flavorful, easy drinker that is very sessionable. The nose could've been a little better and it could've given me a little more head (teehee) but overall the taste and mouthfeel were enjoyable. A nice English Pale.

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Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version) from Ringwood Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.