Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

744 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 744 |  Reviews: 389
Photo of gunnerman
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured bomber into pint glass, color is amber in appearance with a fluffy white head that leaves some good lacing on glass. Smell is very malty with hints of citrus hops in the background. Taste is of malt with a strong bitter flavor, I can really taste the malt in it has a strong taste to this ole thumper.
This is a beer I can drink maybe one of at a time the bomber took along time to finish because of the strong taste of malt, which Im not a big fan of.

 460 characters

Photo of shapudding
2.58/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Warm and dark honey colored with a thick and creamy egg-shell head that laid in a nice heavy layer across the top of the pint glass after the pour. Not much of an aroma through the entire pint, only a bit of malt, maybe a tiny touch of light orange rind. Carbination is noticable, but not too much for this one. Very crisp tasting, astringent. Getting alot of diacetyl -buttery and nutty. Deep scotch whiskey flavor more as it warms. Bit of peppery bite in the back of the tongue that just hangs on. The bitterness is not extreme, and I do like bitters. I cannot place what exactly is turning me off on this one, I cannot place what it is that I do not agree with, and just cannot enjoy this fully for some reason. Definately better as it warms and the buttery flavors come out. I am thinking that the Erie beers may need to be brought out in another season, I think they may be more of a summer brew for me.

 908 characters

Photo of scottg
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a thin white head that leaves nice lacing, highly carbonated. Sweet malty, fruity, floral smell. Crisp fruit taste up front, very smooth malt with a dry finish and a nice hoppy aftertaste. The Ringwood yeast is great. Smooth mouthfeel with excellent drinkability. This is what an English Bitter should taste like.

I would be very interested in finding the Ringwood Brewery version of this beer.

 473 characters

Photo of psugrad98
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with off white head. Full aroma with more malt character than hops. Taste is rich and floral with a flower-like taste with smooth malt following. Rich mouthfeel, somewhat creamy. Taste. Finishes nicely.

 219 characters

Photo of Sixpack595
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite versions of this style. Copper colored with a fair bit of head that drops off quickly to little more than a ring around the edge of the glas. Buttery diaceytl and caramel aroma. Crisply bitter with caramel and brown sugar sweetness.

 251 characters

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear amber with decent head retention.

Smells mostly of sweet malts, not too complex.

Taste is of bready malt and some sweet sugary notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Overall, a very drinkable, smooth beer. Good session potential.

 296 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - A good level of sweetness

Appearance - From the cask this beer looked amazing. A orange amber color and a half inch white head that wasn't going anywhere.

Taste - A fruit like sweet maltiness with not too much hops. A delicious beer I really enjoyed.

Notes - As this thing warmed from cellar temperature it didn't improve.

 333 characters

Photo of CSeavey64
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of TheBirdSanc
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of BeefyMee
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good one. The taste is multi-layered and seemed to shift from bitter to a buttery flavor as I descended the glass. Aftertaste is bold and aromatic. There is a muted hops flavor somewhere toward the end of the sip. Good straight through to the last sip. A solid brew that would likely make a nice session beer.

 326 characters

Photo of Gator_Nation
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a rather uninspiring cloudy golden with a thin white head - even with a vigorous pour the one finger of foam barely forms before it breaks down.

The nose is pretty inviting with a good amount of fruity esters and a grassy Noble hop as well.

Flavor is good - some rich caramel malts and lots of English Ale fruity notes. Strongest are Peaches and Apricots but there are also hints of apple and plum. Just the teeniest bit of diacetyl is in the flavor - if I hadn't specifically been looking for it I would have just assumed it was a musty Golding. Speaking of Goldings - there's a nice bitter finish courtesy of some variety of Goldings. The hop flavors are quite herbal, grassy and a little bit peppery.

The beer is medium bodied and carbonation is a bit on the light side. Mouthfeel is a little bit oily and there isn't enough hops to finish on a dry note. For an ESB I'd have expected a dryer finish.

This is a pretty good ESB and if it were on the beer list in a pub or restaurant I'd certainly consider drinking it again. Not something I'll be pining for but if one were put down in front of me I'd certainly drink it.

 1,146 characters

Photo of ububru
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of eberkman
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber with a rocky, 2-finger cream-colored head that has beautiful retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. Very inviting looking. The nose is far from overwhelming, but presents inviting notes of toasted malts and some hops. Taste is dominated by toasty malts with some caramel and a nice buttery diacetyl presence -- something I love in an English-style ale. A modest hop presence at the end providing a little bit of balance and punch to it, with some faint fruitiness in the middle. Medium bodied and fairly snappy in the mouth -- decent drinkability too. Interesting enough to hold my attention and pairs well with a lot of casual meals.

Not quite Fullers ESB, but great for the price. I will certainly get this again.

 760 characters

Photo of maxk
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Skwalk47
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of speter
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper with two-finger tight-bubble head that quickly fades to a thin layer, leaving moderate lacing.

S: There's Ringwood in them there beer! It heavily dominates the nose, to the point of blocking anything other than some light biscuit from the malt.

T: Nicely bitter overall, but there is a metallic twang just past the center that hits the front of your tongue in a rather unpleasant way. The finish, however, has a nice hop bitterness that draws you in for more, in spite of the metal.

M: Nice and creamy. The initial carbonation is too heavy, but some swirling takes care of that.

D: Not a bad bitter, but the Ringwood yeast is distinctive to the point where you love or hate it.

 705 characters

Photo of Wedcat
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BadBadger
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I had this as a cask conditioned ale at the Jolly Drayman in Bethel Maine. This was my first cask conditioned ale so I can't compare it to other CC ales. But this was truely an outstanding ale. It arrived in the pint glass with a small and receeding head. The color is a slightyly hazy amber. It is very smooth and tasty, with a nice malty flavor and very pleasant mouthfeel. A great brew: I can't speak for the bottled version, but if the cask conditioned is available, do not hesitate to give this a try. You will enjoy!

 527 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Easy to find beer here in these parts but I haven't had this in a while. Made by Shipyard. Pours a nice copper-orange color. Smell is a weak sweet smell. Taste is a bit malty, slight butter taste and a little bit citrusy, not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is ok. A nice session beer, most of Shipyard's beer are good session beers and this is one of the better ones.

 360 characters

Photo of rabsten
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle with a best by date of - mercy - Feb '05. Cloudy amber, one finger head that dissipates quickly. Good, solid lacing, however.

Smell is sweet malt with a vinegary undertone that I'm going to assume is due to the age of this bottle.

Tastes just like it smells. Malt up front, some mild hop bitterness, but a definite acetic acid undertone. There're a lot of indications how this would taste if it were fresh, but it's not.

Mouthfeel and drinkablity are average. Nothing special. Again, not the bottle to judge with.

Well, this is an old bottle and it shows. I've had some old bottles of other things lately that held up a lot better, including some Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, which is the same style and was even older. My other Shipyard experiences have been uniformly positive, so I will definately give this another chance.

 872 characters

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, a fine bitter ale with a slightly buttery mouthfeel. This dark, golden-amber ale from the good old Portland Shipyard may be their best brew; it is complex and tantalizing, from the ringwood yeast taste (very full) which balances off the citrusy hops to the toffee finish edged with just the right slice of bitterness, there's a lot to like about this ale. Thankfully, it's a local favorite for me; I'll be having more of this.

 432 characters

Photo of WesFoxlove
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Alek
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 744 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More