Old Thumper
Shipyard Brewing Company

Old ThumperOld Thumper
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Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #105
Ranked #26,237
3.59 | pDev: 13.93%
Nov 22, 2022
Mar 02, 2001
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.14 by not2quick from Missouri

Nov 22, 2022
Rated: 3 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Oct 16, 2022
Rated: 3.68 by shelby415 from Oregon

Jul 18, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by pcbnumber1 from England

Jan 25, 2021
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Reviewed by Cashbail from New Hampshire

4.39/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
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Rated by Rlhj from New Hampshire

4.94/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Extraordinary in its balance. Doesn't do too much, but neither is it lifeless.
Jan 01, 2020
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Rated by Bradders17 from Maine

4.62/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Great beer first tasted after a log days skiing on Sunday River. Went down a treat I can tell you
Nov 27, 2019
Rated: 3.54 by O-Meg from New York

Jul 22, 2019
Rated: 3.04 by Arg914 from New York

Jul 22, 2019
Rated: 3.77 by DarrellK from Florida

Jun 20, 2019
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Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 3.75 by bluehende from Delaware

Apr 23, 2019
Rated: 3.54 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Nov 27, 2018
Rated: 3.97 by SargeC from California

Aug 06, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by VivaTheHate from Massachusetts

Jun 27, 2018
Rated: 3.87 by cdub70085 from Connecticut

Jun 10, 2018
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Reviewed by Stoven5 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 3.53 by HungarianCount from California

Apr 07, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Jul 29, 2017
Rated: 3.54 by Prost76 from New Hampshire

Jul 14, 2017
Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 761 ratings