Old Thumper
Shipyard Brewing Company

Old ThumperOld Thumper
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Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #93
Ranked #26,617
3.59 | pDev: 13.93%
Jan 25, 2021
Mar 02, 2001
Old ThumperOld Thumper
Notes: Old Thumper Extra Special Ale was created in 1979 by veteran British brewer, Peter Austin, founder of the Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, England and mentor to Shipyard's master brewer Alan Pugsley. A British Grand Champion beer, Old Thumper is a non-traditional English Bitter, brewer in the US solely by Shipyard.
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3.94 by pcbnumber1 from England on Jan 25, 2021
Photo of Cashbail
4.39/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Cashbail from New Hampshire

Pours clear copper with a medium creamy head. Tastes malty and refreshing with a bright bitter edge. Low carbonation. At 5.6% this is a great beer to have with dinner. Flavorful but not overpowering.

Dec 31, 2020
Photo of Rlhj
4.94/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Rlhj from New Hampshire

Extraordinary in its balance. Doesn't do too much, but neither is it lifeless.

Jan 01, 2020
Photo of Bradders17
4.62/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Bradders17 from Maine

Great beer first tasted after a log days skiing on Sunday River. Went down a treat I can tell you

Nov 27, 2019
3.54 by O-Meg from New York on Jul 22, 2019
3.04 by Arg914 from New York on Jul 22, 2019
3.77 by DarrellK from Florida on Jun 20, 2019
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by SierraNevallagash from Maine

Pours a deep, hazy, tarnished copper hue, with a finger of very light beige foam, that recedes at a moderate pace, leaving little-to-no lacing behind. Some visible effervescence continuously rising.

Nose: Really interesting malt character going on. There's a sweet, musty, slightly tangy bread dough aroma, with a really nice toasted buttered crust. There's also some light, grainy, crackery pilsner-esque malt going on. The yeast is lending both tangy sourdough notes, as well as lightly fruity notes. There's some very subtle hoppy florals in thr background, but in true English fashion, they are a gentle nuance, and it isn't fighting for the spotlight.

Palate: A clean, bready sweetness greets the palate right out of the gate. It isn't cloying or overbearing in any way, but it's an undeniable sweetness. That bread dough quickly gives way to a lighter, crisper, toasted grain foundation, that makes you think neither entirely pilsner nor pale ale. At this point, the incredibly gentle hop florals come into play, bringing faint notes of lemon, orange, and honeysuckle. The grains become increasingly toasty, and a mild bitterness appears that tastes not like it's a byproduct of hopping, but rather the charry bitterness you get from burned toast. It's a toasty bitterness. As we approach the finish, the flavour becomes buttery, just as though you've bitten into a piece of buttered toast that was just slightly over-toasted, and topped with just a little bit of honey. Finish continues on, becoming increasingly dry, and lingering with the taste of buttered wheat toast.

Mouthfeel/Body: The body of this ale caught my attention from the first sip. To match its rich buttery flavour, there is definitely some richness to the body. Slightly creamy, similarly to a hefeweizen, slightly round and soft, like a toasty beer should be, yet still retaining this incredible crispness, leaving it rich and satisfying, but still refreshing and very drinkable. It's more crisp than full, but it manages to find a spot between both, without sacrificing anything. A medium-plus effervescence lends more to the crisp drinkability of it.

Overall: Blind, I would never guess this to be from Shipyard's lineup. I've had several Shipyard offerings, and I have been disappointed by each and every one of them. This beer makes me give them some credit back. It's well crafted. How they can brew something of this quality alongside Pumpkinhead, I cannot understand, but I see absolutely no major flaws with this beer whatsoever. It isn't lifechanging in anyway, but no one drinks this type of ale expecting an epiphany. It delivers everything it's supposed to, and it does so very well. A perfectly good English Extra Special Ale.

May 16, 2019
3.75 by bluehende from Delaware on Apr 23, 2019
3.54 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Nov 27, 2018
3.97 by SargeC from California on Aug 06, 2018
3.75 by VivaTheHate from Massachusetts on Jun 27, 2018
3.87 by cdub70085 from Connecticut on Jun 10, 2018
Photo of Stoven5
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Stoven5 from Pennsylvania

Every visit to Maine means drinking Shipyard beers and Old Thumper is one of them. I do like the English version better but this is still up there. A beer not hidden by hops some thing you can taste and enjoy a few with out the very high alcohol content.

May 19, 2018
3.53 by HungarianCount from California on Apr 07, 2018
3.5 by ScottP from New Hampshire on Jul 29, 2017
3.54 by Prost76 from New Hampshire on Jul 14, 2017
3.25 by Kurzman from Rhode Island on Jun 30, 2017
3.83 by colbywatts from Maine on May 30, 2017
3.75 by Hall22 from Connecticut on May 16, 2017
3.88 by brewnme from Maine on May 06, 2017
3.55 by Beginner2 from Illinois on Jan 27, 2017
3.77 by DoubleMalt from New York on Oct 30, 2016
3.24 by SweetChicken from Massachusetts on Aug 22, 2016
Photo of mikeg67
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by mikeg67 from New Jersey

On tap at the brewery. Pours copper with fluffy white head. Aroma is of caramel malt and red berries. Body is medium and smooth. Earthy hops, honey, caramel malt and red fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and semi-dry. Average brew.

Jul 25, 2016
3.25 by jschwamb from Pennsylvania on Jul 18, 2016
3.75 by Icemann383 from New York on Jul 11, 2016
3.46 by Abe_Froman from Massachusetts on Jul 10, 2016
3.69 by edthehead from New York on Jun 02, 2016
3.5 by a77cj7 from South Dakota on May 08, 2016
Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.17/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia

Pours a very nice caramel amber color into a pint glass with plenty of head but dissipates quickly. Very little carbonation and lacing. The smell is quite boozy and overwhelming. The initial taste is bold, boozy that leaves quickly and turns malty, nutty and slightly caramel with a bitter dry finish. This is a bold, but sometimes a little harsh brew. It mellows out a little as it warms too.

Mar 14, 2016
2.75 by Hopstout from Minnesota on Mar 05, 2016
3.5 by ssimpson89 from Illinois on Feb 23, 2016
2.98 by jsh420 from Illinois on Feb 14, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

Light auburn appearance, solid 1" of head. Toffee, old wood, nuttiness, but dearth of hops.

This is very mild, not really bitter. Old Burton school. Stale toffee. Like a pumped up Newcastle with a different yeast.

Jan 18, 2016
3.63 by Zylod from West Virginia on Jan 02, 2016
3.75 by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts on Oct 31, 2015
Photo of MaineBrewing
4.16/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MaineBrewing from Maine

A - Pured a brilliantly clear yellow, light amber, orange highlights. One finger loose head lasted but a minute. The beer still appears lively with the short lived head, having an ever present cap of foam that kept the brew lively looking. The brew left a little bitty lacing, but still a step up from some other shipyard products that I've had where lacing is non existent.

S - Very malt forward in aroma, some light almost pilsner malt notes with tones of biscuity overtones, just and overall sweet and very british nose, hints of caramel maybe even slight toffee. Hops are present in a subdued fashion with a spike of fuggel-ish spicey pine rounding it out.

T - This is one of the most balanced beers I've had from shipyard yet. It has the british malt flavors that dominates with a biscuity sweetness, the hops are still prevalent with earthy and spicey flavor also providing ample bitter rounding it out. The finish is where the signature shipyard yeast and its love or hate diacetyl character creeps up, but is kept well in check. I think its a much more balanced then lighter offerings such as export and chamberlain pale.

M - Mouthfeel is nondescript, just average in body and carbonation, goes down easy.

O - This is a great example of a traditional British ESB, brewed with british malt, british yeast, in traditional open fermentation, all in my home town. I've been keeping this beer in my fridge lately, and plan on continuing, this is definitely a staple for me.

Oct 27, 2015
4.76 by Etoh on Sep 12, 2015
3.27 by GFD400 from New York on Sep 06, 2015
Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 759 ratings