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Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper
746 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 746 |  Reviews: 389
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is amazing!!! It is a lovely copper color with almost no head. The smell is tangy and a bit with the hoppy spiciness. Taste is mild, not bitter, but not malty sweet either, rather a bit like unsweetened fruit. I like it a lot. This beer is supremely drinkable, one of the better ESB I have had. Definitely buy again.

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Photo of jizdepski
2.51/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this esb has a reddish golden appearance under a tan head. not much lacing. smells kind of musty with notes of hops and grain. not a whole lot on the nose end of things. taste is a little strange. the hops and malts mingle together in an indistinguishable fashion. its a bit watery, with an earthy bitterness all the way through with a hop/malt bittersweetness ( a little dry) on the finish. seems to be lacking something, it just feels unbalanced. the ale is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. i'd say its about average for the style on drinkability. i'm not a huge esb person, but i don't find anything really redeeming about this one.

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Photo of crossovert
2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is my first ESB. Comes in a 12 fluid ounce bottle with a cool looking twist-off cap. Can't tell about the best by date, I hope it is Aug 7 09 and not Aug 2007.

Pours with a nice 2 finger head into my pint glass, with a dark amber body.

Smell is a bit peculiar, I have not come across this scent before. Smells bitter, with some malt and paper scent.

The taste is a bit watery, with some astringent bitterness. This one isn't very full on flavor, mostly just bitterness.

Not sure what to think of this beer, it definitely tastes English and it definitely is unique. I didn't really enjoy it though.

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Photo of BierFan
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark hazy amber with a small off-white head that displays great retention. Lacing is also pretty nice.

Smell: Kind of has a raisin smell to it. Very sweet.

Taste: Sweet dark and fruity. Bitterness is there, but not as big as I would like.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Thumper ESA...

Appearance is a nice smooth pour of mild amber color fluid with a quarter inch think head that falls to a froth leaving sticky lacing.

Smell is smokey malts, ringwood yeast, carmel and brown suger upfront...maybe a mild scent of sweetness.

Taste is of very prononced yeast with a thick malt backbone. Second wave is a toasted carmel flavor that sticks to the tongue.
Medium body that leaves the palete dry and amused.

Good every once and a while but not something i'd look for again.

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Photo of albern
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a smallish off white head not much lacing or retention going on. The nose is loaded with caramel flavors and Old English Toffee, butterscotch, some diacetyl, and there is definitely the aroma of the ringwood yeast.

The taste is really toffeed up, very caramelly, very roasted flavors, and a huge dose of the ringwood yeast. This is an interesting, very flavorful, very full palated beer. There are some syrupy sweet maltish notes going on, and this seems to be quite sweet overall, with few hops to balance this out. There is some background citrus notes, not much carbonation overall, just some old fashioned syrupy English style toffee, syrupy overall, sweet, a touch biting, and very low carbonation, with lots of the ringwood yeast to tickle the mouth as well. Interesting and flavorful.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears burnt orange in color, small fizzy head with no real lacing.

Smells like floral hops and bready malt.

Taste is pretty well balanced, caramel, biscuity malt and a moderate bitterness. Strong malt presence with a vague roasted character.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied.

Overall drinkability is good. This is an easy drinking beer from Shipyard.

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Photo of bcastine
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber to an Imp. pint glass.

A: Burnt orange, lots of bubbles, i finger off white head that dissipated into a white skim with spotty lacing

S: Vanilla really hits me

T: tastes of vanilla, and butter slightly sweet, earthy hops balance it out.

M: light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

D: This is very drinkable, its hard to lay off. This maybe my favorite shipyard offering. Call me crazy but this really reminds me of ommegang abbey ale, to me its a thinner less creamy, more sessionable version of it. I will be getting this again.

 561 characters

Photo of argock
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Enjoy by date on label. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.60.

A: Honey-gold with 1-finger, off-white head with decent retention and spittles of lace down the glass.

S: The fruity Ringwood yeast works really well with this style and this beer. Light fruity aromas including pear and apple blend with assertive herbal, earthy hops

T: The flavor is varied and complex -- and delicious. A cornucopia of flavors including light fruits, honey, vanilla, and floral, earthy hops with accentuation courtesy of the Ringwood yeast.

M: Body is medium with active carbonation. Aftertaste is fruity and spicy hops.

D: A really fine brew from Shipyard, a brewery that has been hit-or-miss for the most part. This one is a big hit and I will be looking around for this one a bit more.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off the tap this beer was a clear, honey-gold color. The one-finger, beige head displayed good retention especially as a skim and the lacing was also very good. The aroma was dry and malt dominated with notes of caramel malt, sweet dough, bready malt and a light sourness. The flavors were a good balance of caramel malt and toffee sweetness with hoppy bitterness. Sweeter than many ESBs but a good session beer. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium and the carbonation was light/medium.

 490 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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 tronester
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber/brown with a thin off-white head. Smell is of over-ripe fruit. Taste is upfront English malt character, a hint of butter, nice earthy hops in the finish. Nice bitterness, finishes clean. Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth, high carbonation for the style. Quite drinkable, it would be easy to drink several of these. I would like to try the Old Thumper from Ringwood side by side as a comparison.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to mikereaser for this brew.

Best By: Jan 08

Pours a nice hazy amber color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, with some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, bitter, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it out.

 359 characters

Photo of illidurit
2.55/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Clear orange amber color with a fizzy off-white head. Standard ESB aroma of cookie-ish malt, bread crusts, and light earthy hops. Flavor is thin, watery, and mineral. The maltiness is muted and there are no hops to be found. Tastes a lot like mineral water actually. The finish is absurdly short and very astringent. This beer sucks all the moisture off the tongue, leaving a non-hop bitterness. Not very good.

 410 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of anchordrinker
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper with a little head that dissipates to almost nothing quickly.

S- Brown sugar/sweet caramel aromas dominate with some fruity undertones

T- Very bread-y, like sweet whole grain/oat bread followed by an ever-so-slight bitterness. Not very complicated, but very pleasant.

M- Light bodied, with a light carbonation that suits it well.

D- Very drinkable while still being flavorful. Could session this one all night.

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Photo of BierBreath305
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass. Nice chubby finger of head and a beautiful, somewhat cloudy, orange-amber color. Smell is of wheat and slight citrus notes that come out more as you drink. Bitter yet with a slightly malty taste. Clean hoppy finish, that isn't too strong and barely leaves an aftertaste. My first Shipyard beer and I must say, I like it.

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Photo of jadpsu
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an update review done while at the Shipyard Brewery 6/27/11. Previous score was a 3.95.

Not familiar with Ringwood yeast but it seems to be to my likeing. I enjoyed this ale.

long Neck bottle with best before date of Dec. 2011.
Pours a less than clear orange/amber in colour with a nice off white sticky head.
Aroma: Sweet malts and with some fruits and flowery hops.
Taste: Nice and crisp with a creamy sweet malt flavor. Citrus, orange rind hops with some sweet bready malts. Sweet up front and finshes with a dry and with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Well carbonated, enjoyed this beer and found it to be my favorite from the Shipyard offering.

I guess I liked the first time around, but obviously found it even more likeable than the prior pour.

 762 characters

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

A - Nice golden color. Poured in glass gave me only about a finger or so of head that quickly shrank to a nice coating on top.

S - Toasted bread with a bit of buttery diacetyl. Also some sweet fruit like grape juice.

T - The diacetyl comes forward right away but not overpowering. Some sweetness from it. Hop bitterness hiding in the back.

M - Smooth and light. Doesn't taste that high in alcohol.

D - While not a style I drink much of, it is refreshing and easy going down.

 479 characters

Photo of irishtjb11
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

i really like this beer.

its got a nice light amber/dark orange color. nice fluffy white head that will fade away, but will at least keep an o around the glass.

nice sweet smell, nice malts. lots of bread, biscuit, and butter flavors floating around as well.

taste is super smooth. right away hit with a nice buttery bread flavor, followed by a balanced bitterness that really leaves the beer well rounded. it is what it is, nothing wild, nothing unusual. just a nicely balanced, english bitter.

awesome session beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Shipyard brewed 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of Aug '09. Sampled on March 2, 2009.

A - I like the copper-amber tone with a slight beige head that fizzles momentarily. Lacing is about average.

S - The aroma is of sweet fresh malts and a little fruity.

T - Decent mouthfeel with sugar sweet malts and a hint of caramel in the flavor. It ends with a unique faint hoppy sensation.

I remember having the original Old Thumper about twenty years ago but now all I can find in my area is the Shipyard brewed version. Still, Shipyard carries it off in a good way but perhaps it is a bit sweeter than the original.

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Photo of dippy
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a nice session brew.

Some nice lacing on the glass amber in color with a nice tan head that stuck around.

It was kind of applely. It is a sweet and earthy brew. Kindy woody, Like an english tea.

I want to find this on tap somewhere. might be fun.

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Photo of JayNH
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a clear copper with a small foamy head.

S- Toasty malts, tea-like hops, diacetyl is relatively mild.

T- A very earthy dirty bitter taste. A bit of toasty biscuity malt. That damn sour green apple taste shows up in the finish. Really could use some more malt to balance the brew out better.

M- Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

D- Decent. Once is enough for me though. This brew definitely is best served at room temp.

 432 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of nebula1999
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pulled from cask into standard pint glass at The Wharf Pub, 37 Bowens Wharf, Newport RI.

I make a point to visit The Wharf Pub each time I go to Newport just to have this beer. Last tasted on Columbus Day Weekend 2008.

Rocky head fading to nearly flat. Slightly cloudy appearance. Aromas of caramel, light fruit, grass, wood and even the slightest hint of peat which I found unusual. Smooth maltiness and subtle hop presence. Chewy mouthfeel that coats the mouth, but not offensively. Not a lot of cask offerings out there, and it is always nice to stop by for a pint of this one.

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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 746 ratings
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