Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

389 Reviews
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Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 03-02-2001

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Reviews: 389 | Ratings: 741
Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good cask ale, courtesy of Abbey Brewing and Raymond in Miami Beach. Good easy drink in a place where beer does not freeze. Bitterness,clean, a bit of fruit, grass a session ale. And of course, the ringwood yeast. Medium mouthfeel. Nicely hopped. Better than its imitators.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear honey orange with a 2 inch slightly orange-white head that fades to a foamy cap. Small spots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of honey and some fruit notes. Taste is of grain, corn flakes, slight honey, and a subdued herbal hop flavor on the finish. Mild astringent bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. A good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good ESB and my first beer from Shipyard. Pretty enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has balanced flavors of toasted and fruity malts along with some notes of butter and caramel plus faint hints of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable. I really liked the mix between the fruity yeast and biscuit malts.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought as part of the Shipyard mixed 12 pack sampler.

I must come out and say I'm not a big fan of ESB's to begin with, but this one wasn't too bad. The best part about was its drinkability, going down smooth and easy. The taste is a little too malty for my liking and the aroma and appearance are subpar but its a good drinker.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid yet clear brown with copper and golden highlights. Highly carbonated and retention is fading. Smells malty, toasty, caramelly, and bitter. Tastes quite malty and caramelly. Toasty, bready, and slightly fruity and nutty. Hopped to allow slight flavor and bitter for balance. Light notes of butter pop-corn follow in the body. Finishes sweet and simple. Better than I thought.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear amber body with a luscious and creamy head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Butterscotch diacetyl with a very subtle touch of fruity hops; a touch of apple, perhaps

Taste: Nice malty, but woodsy diacetyl base that sticks around while the hops come and go

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The sweet diacetyl limits the drinkability for me; not bad, but not something I want to drink in any quantity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with an average size head with average retention. Aroma of light caramel malt with a weird yeasty flavour which kind of clash with the malt. Taste is mostly dominated by semi-weak malt with some weird yeast finish which doesn’t really fits well. I wasn’t too fond of this one but it seems to be a recurring theme with my taste buds and Shipyard yeast.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of off white head settles quickly and leaves nice lace. The body is dark copper colored with good clarity.

S - Mildly fruity yeast along with medium malt and a hint of caramel.

T - Malt and yeast fruit, followed quickly by spicy hops and moderate bitterness. The finish is a bit rough with some harsh hop bitterness and charcoal malt notes.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Fairly drinkable, though the astringency and harsh finish kind of hurt the sessionability.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is on tap at Mc'Couls Public House here in G-boro,pours a deep copper with a light soapy looking head.Aroma is much more fruity on tap than in the bottle with a little biscuit in there as well,taste is very buttery with a big lingering fruitiness,alot more umph on tap.I like this beer alot more on tap thats for sure alot more flavorful.

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Photo of jlindros
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask at sea dog brew pub northborough.

Light fizzy bubble head fades semi quickly, decent lacing, over hazy nectar orange colored beer.

Nose light herbal almost earthy hops, more UK style bittering hops, typical brewery house hops, light toasty pale malts, light musty fruit I think from the yeast, hint of copper malts.

Taste starts similar, herbal almost vegetative hops, hint earthy, decent bitterness, bit grassy. Malts are softer thanks to the cask, light toasty copper malts, bit pale malt flavor. Then light fruits, just a touch of a fruity herbal flavor from combined yeast and hops. I also get a hint of oxidation again from cask I think, and a very slight possible diacetyl with a hint of butter and slight slimy feel. Finish has decent bitterness, soft malts, dry semi clean, hint of that bitter and bit of herbal hops.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, litte carb but typical for cask.

Overall not bad, typical house hops which are not my fav but i can't blame them if thats what they like, decent malts, nice long bitter finish, just a bit of oxidation and hint of possible diacetyl throws it off a bit.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, orange-ish/copper body displays dozens of streams of tiny bubbles rising steadily towards its creamy off-white head. The retention is great, and it maintains a short creamy cap throughout the entire pint; as well as leaving some nice lace. The nose displays the typical Ringwood yeast signature of gentle buttery diacetyl amidst a caramelish malt and some earthy hops. It's quite pleasant and welcomes you back to the pint with each ensuing sip. It's lightly crisp but also mildly creamy in the mouth due to it's fine and moderate carbonation and light/medium body. The flavor delivers a mildly buttery, nutty, and caramel/toffee-ish malt upfront; followed by a quick flash of fruit and then some more nuttiness. Earthy hops emerge (must be Fuggles!) towards the swallow as the bitterness rises. It finishes dry with some ligering earthy hop amidst a wide but low-key bitterness and some residual buttery biscuit-like malt. It's very well-balanced with a firm bitterness that keeps it from becoming cloying, yet allows the malt character to come through clearly.Well done! For those who find a touch of buttery diacetyl pleasing, this is a great session ale (with the exception of it's slightly high alcohol at 5.7%).

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle that I bought yesterday, but a few months past the 2013 BB date notched on the label. Served in a snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with modest bone-colored head that soon reduces to a partial, thin coat and a ring but leqves very good lacing. .

S: Light toast and roasted grains with browned butter.

T: Also a bit buttery but not objectionable. Solid malt base with clear presence of some spicy hops. Mildly bitter.

M: Light carbonation; medium+ body; light tongue bite.

O: Decent ESB. Flavor intensified and improved with warming.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, hops and a little citrus.

T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of caramel and nuts. Then a good hops presence comes in and provides some balance. There's also a mild background flavor of citrus. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, decent kick, not too filling, good representation of style, this is nice mild beer with enough substance to make it worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a copper-orange with one or two fingers of bubbly white head that receded to almost nothing. Aroma of yeast, grain, and a touch of corn. Grainy, biscuity taste, with some must, and finishes nice and smooth, with a pleasant hop bitterness. Light-medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable, but not memorable enough that I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Best Enjoyed Before: July 09. Wait, that's tomorrow! We haven't a moment to waste.

Appearance: Fairly clear, mahogany-hued body with a small-sized, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Toasty, biscuity nose with fair notes of light caramel, nuts, fruit, and spicy-scented English hops.

Taste: Well-toasted pale maltiness with some biscuity leanings, a faint touch of nuttiness, and a caramel sweetness to it. Light fruitiness. A modest, appropriate amount of clean bitterness from the earthy, spicy English-minded hops. Splash of Darjeeling tea. I must say, the buttery Ringwood yeast is fairly restrained, well-behaved even. Finishes lightly crisp, semi-dry, and with a lingering hint of zesty spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Gee whiz, that was a pleasant surprise! Well-rounded, well-balanced, and with just the right amount of flavor and ease of drinkability. Now, generally, I find the Shipyard brews to be rather lackluster and somewhat cheerless, but this one really hit the spot.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling orange-copper with a few dozen citrus pulp-like floaters swirling within and being buoyed by the effervescent carbonation. The head is lightly toasted marshmallow in color, hangs around a while and is a better than average lace maker.

The nose is evenly balanced between significantly toasted pale malt and earthy, English hops (my guess would be Goldings). There's also a sweet, buttered bread aroma that works well in the grand scheme of things since it stays to the shadows. The aroma sheds its initial shyness with warming and develops wonderfully nutty, buttered toffee notes.

Old Thumper is bold, almost chaotic, in the mouth. My fear was that it would be another average, under-malted, under-hopped, under-interesting American take on the English ESB style. I was wrong. The brash nature of the flavor profile won't be everyone's cup of tea since it pushes the boundaries of the style. It's hard to say, however, exactly where that pushing is taking place.

Toasted, woody, tea-like, fruity, bitter, herbal, spicy... all the bases are covered, as well as the pitcher's mound and both coach's boxes. Hops are more prominent than malt, but I have a feeling the yeast strain is the wildcard, the mysterious secret ingredient that gives this beer its wacky (but delicious) personality. Although I can still appreciate diacetyl, it's a non-factor due to the generous hop load. The finish is pleasantly bitter with a piquant, herbal spiciness.

The mouthfeel is up to the task at hand, keeping the beer in proximity to the taste buds long enough for it to deliver the payload and not a moment longer. I can't decide if a bigger, firmer mouthfeel would be a boon or not. Nah, it's fine as is.

I believed Old Thumper ESA to be an English beer until I glanced at the label just before popping the cap and saw Shipyard Brewing Company. Turns out it's something of a U.S.-U.K. hybrid (check out the website for details); which is, I guess, why it's called an ESA rather than an ESB or an APA. Whatever you call it, call it good beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in a mixed sixer primarily for the name. I figured something called old thumper could not possibly be that bad, it just sounded good. Cool looking bottle, lets see where this goes...

A - Very clear, reddish amber with a touch of golden color. Decent one inch head faded quick, left no lace, little carbonation

S - Musty bready grains with a touch of corn, maybe some bitterness inside but rather average.

T - More of the same, musty grain and a wet bread kinda taste, somewhat bitter at the finish, but a euro hop bitter. Not very complex. Very long aftertaste that was actually quite bitter,.

M - Kinda slick, decent enough carbonation, but fdid not have any real pop to it.

D - Decent enough, would not be the first beer I turned to in a pinch, but was not terrible at all. Overall pretty decent drinkability and totally sessionable.

Not bad, average down the line. Lagers and ales are a dime a doezen, just did not stand out to me.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on cask at the General Sutter Inn Cask Ale night in Lititz, Pa. Served chilled in an Imperial pint glass.

A - A gently hazed copper w/ a 1/4 tan head that settles to nothing and won't revive w/ swirling

S - A slightly musty, bruised fruit aroma w/ a git of spicey yeast and bready malt scents

M - A very nice crisp hop and spice note w/ subtle booze and tannic grapeskin feel w/ slight tang in the finish

T - A mostly bitter flavor w/ cherry and dry malt. The malt has a biscuit-like nutty taste and the hops are spiced w/ mellow earthy and tart flavors in the background. The ringwood yeast really plays a role in the up front slight sour taste that is fruity. There is a light caramel malt flavor that lingers

D - A fine ale w/ a smooth lively spiced flavor w/ a nice tangy yeast and citrus zest aspect. There is a nice toasty malt that keeps this in balance and the cask version is a nice surprise adding to the overall experience of this beer for me

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Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light amber color with tinge of orange. Modest head than softens to a single (but tight) bubble layer. Nice ring lace

Malt sugar aroma (some caramel); very light hop and touch of alcohol to the nose.

This is a malty yet dry offering. The hop shows up toward the swallow and lasts a long time in the aftertaste. There's a prickly creaminess to the body. The subtle sourness and strong carbonation counterbalance the otherwise rich liquor.

I would love to see this beer drawn from a tap. It has the makings of a classic English Ale, but from the bottle it isn't quite there.

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Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown long neck with a twist off cap. Midnight blue label with a red banner of "OLD THUMPER" running across the emblem of a boar, Extra Special Ale is also on the emblem. "Best Before Date" clearly scored.

Appearance: Barely hazy tawny amber in colour with a cake of a head that sticks quite well.

Smell: Sweet malt, earth, fruity esters, light hop and diacetyl up the nose.

Taste: Medium bodied, crisp malt with a creamy malt palate. Alcohol is faintly prevalent with some fruity ester involved. Powerful malt flavours of toasted biscuit, sweetness, husk, grain, fruitiness and some diacetyl try to match a brash layered hop bitterness and flavour that goes somewhat even with the chewy malt mouth feel. Finally, a somewhat balanced aftertaste lingers with hop flavour, dry grain and residual fruit esters.

Notes: WOW! You have to love what the ringwood yeast does to this beer! If not you'll hate it.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Fuck that New Thumper noise! Anyway, this stuff pours a clear bronze topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises earthy greens, light banana, toffee, and a touch of buttery biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a kiss of Connecticut tobacco and light grapefruit peel. The buttery character is toned down a decent bit. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice ESB, nothing close to special, but something fairly drinkable and generally enjoyable.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Paul Pendyck GEN Sutter Cask Night special. We are so lucky to have this event on a monthly basis and the selections are always superb. I adore this beer and yet, this was the first occasion that I got to try it out of a gravity-fed cask. Usually, it is in bottle form.

Despite coming from a gravity pour, it still produced a finger of foamy ecru head with good retention. The color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a grassy quality, underlain by a mild sweetness. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a bitterness that put me in mind of freshly mown grass or hay. The finish was definitely herbal. This was much different than what I remember getting out of a bottle. It was quite good, and yet, I preferred the Chamberlain of the two presented on this evening. Go figure.

Another review, this time from a handpump:

The pull produced a finger of deep tan head with decent retention. Nose was mildly sweet with a slight graham cracker-like edge. Color was a bright medium amber. To see that kind of clarity in a cask ale is simply amazing. The mouth feel was very creamy. The taste was slightly bitter, but in a most pleasant way that would appeal to even a casual beer drinker. The finish was dry, butter, quenching. I really miss being up in PORME. The finish reminded me of the scent released when rubbing fresh hops between one's hands.

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Photo of tdm168
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - orange with a soft, bubbly head that leaves a little lacing

S - apple, fruity

T - apple, bread, caramel

M - light to medium bodied, crisp

This is a very disappointing beer. It's all esters and simple fruity flavors. I guess it showcases the Ringwood yeast, but there is absolutely no depth nor balance. The fruit is so intense it's cloying which slows the drinkability and bored me. I definitely won't be having this beer again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a shaker pint glass.

Foamy head of two fingers high, receds well into the pint. Body is a clear, crystal clear orange amber with little carbonation.

I smell very little, perhaps some bitter orange bitters in sense but not much. Nothing faulty.

Taste is a mild like marmalade and orange. Faint bread finish with a dry DRY bread and yeast. Rooftop dry mouth a little, takes the mouthfeel score a little down.

Overall pretty solid ESB. Fairly balanced, mildly bready and nicely fruity.

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Photo of jwc215
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed copper with a thin, lasting patch. Small-bubbled carbonation contiunally rises to the top (but doesn't do much for the head.)

The smell is of caramel, with a nutty/earthy background.

The taste is of caramel sweetness upfront. A bit grainy. Buttery diacetyl is noticeable. English hops give some balance to it. Alcohol peeks through. Ringwood yeast makes itself known from start to finish. Finishes semi-dry.

The feel is light, smooth and crisp. (A bit thinner than I would like, but not watery.)

A decent ESB, and would be sessionable but for just a touch too high on alcohol. Still, easy drinking for a couple or so..

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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 741 ratings.
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