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 Beerandraiderfan
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A mix of gold, orange, copper, light brown and amber colors, decent 1" head on it, off white. Aroma was a little nutty, toffee, lacking hops for a good esb aroma.

Taste, mild, slightly bitter, not much though. Caramel and toffeee here, slightly thin mouthfeel. For what the nice head looked like, the beer felt a little flat, like one of those homebrews from the tap that is all foam at first, then when it settles, the liquid is all flat. A smidge of English yeast sweetness and musty-esque at the same time.

A decent beer, but not going out of my way to score this beer anytime soon.

 588 characters

Photo of kjyost
2.36/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle purchased at Happy Harry's Grand Forks, South from a mixed 12, undated. Poured into a perfect pint at ~4C

A: Light copper. White tea that laces.
S: Soapy, a bit of earthy hops, corn, butter.
T: Awful, muddled mess. Aren't ESBs supposed to be bitter? Movie popcorn butter, metallic, a hint of sweetness underneath this.
M: Biting carbonation and an awful lingering metallic nature...
O: Drainpour. Need I say more?

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Photo of Risser09
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter · fridge temp · 2011

Appearance: Pours an amber color with an interesting head. The sides of the base of the head are being joined by flowing carbonation from the bottom of the glass. I've never seen this before in a beer. It gives the beer a glowingly alive look. Great retention, a craterous head and some lacing.

Smell: Tons of excellent malt aroma. Fresh biscuits, caramel malt, toffe and that chewy caramel aroma that is so delicious.

Taste: More of the same. Delicious caramel flavor carries an umami like no other. Lingering bitterness is damn near perfect.

Mouthfeel: Deliciously sweet, succulent and smooth. This beer has a great mouthfeel. A nice, crispy finish with some alcohol trailing behind.

Overall: I am very surprised by how much I like this beer. I can see why it has such a following behind it for all these years. Nicely done.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a pint glass:

A: bright golden amber body, one finger white foamy head that dissipates within seconds

S: bready malts with some notes of fruit, yeast, and some caramel

T: bready yet toasty malts, some roasty faint caramel

M: medium, sessionable, very dry aftertaste and finish

O: this was a decent beer, however I'm unsure if I'd have it again

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Photo of taigor
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured dark copper slightly cloudy color with big head that quickly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Slight malts, caramel, slight fruits and floral scents as well.

T - Starts off sweet with malts, brown sugar, caramel and some fruits with a bitter hoppy dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

O - Just an average ESB with nothing special standing out. I would not recommend it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
1.65/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a pale orange-golden colour, with a bright and frothy white-yellow head that foams quite a bit, but stays solid enough, and forms some spectacular lacing. Light bodied, and to be honest, it looks a pretty generic English-style ale, but as generic English-style ales go, it's a good one.

Ooh, nose is full of overblown honeyed English malts. Sickly and sweet and potent, and making me turn my head away to gulp down some fresh air. It's all floral honey, and too much. Nothing to balance or pull it back. I just can't stand it, sorry.

Taste is no better, in fact, here, along with the honeyed cloying character is a buzzing chemical bitterness that almost reminds me of Pride of Ringwood, that most hated of Australian hops. Finish is dry and yeasty, giving no flavour at all to counteract the sickly aftertaste. I could go on further, but to be honest, I don't want to drink any more.

A pretty horrible beer. Cloying and sweet, and offensive where it's not purely cloying and sweet. Actively unpleasant. I don't get it.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Served at the Local in Saratoga Springs in a pint glass.

A: Pours a bright golden amber body with no head.

S: Bready malts with notes of ripen fruit, yeast, and a hint of caramel sweetness.

T: Toasted bready malts, like in the nose, is the main flavor here. There's a caramel sweetness balanced with some herbal hops and fruity esters. Finishes slightly dry.

M: No carbonation; medium body; very thin mouthfeel.

O: This was a nice beer but the mouthfeel was all wrong. Although I enjoyed it and would try it again, my husband hated it because of the lack of carbonation. Perhaps if the mouthfeel was better it would have gotten higher scores.

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

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A – Pours a perfectly clear golden color with two fingers of stark white head that quickly settle down. Spotty lacing.

S – Nice fruit smell, grapes and almost a champagne like smell.

T – Much like the smell it definitely has some champagne qualities. Nice grape flavor comes through that lends a bit of sweetness to it. Buttery. Just a touch of bitterness with a malt backbone to finish it off.

M – Medium bodied with lively carbonation that makes it crisp on the palate.

O - Pretty decent brew here with unique flavor. I wasn’t sure what to expect after the aroma came on but it has a odd balance of flavors that is pretty tasty. Unique one for me and well worth a try.

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Photo of fx20736
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into British Pint glass.

Thin on mouthfeel

Medium orangish-amber with a 1 finger offwhite head that leaves a respectable amount of lacing.

Nose is of baked shortbread with a slight candied fruitiness.

Taste: broad caramel maltiness with a warming alcohol changes over to a restrained English Hop bitterness. There is a chalky, slightly metallic aftertaste that is not strong.

Notes: a nice ESB,

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer and it's hard for me to believe it doesn't score higher on BA. Poured a 2" custard yellow colored head. Clear golden color to the body. Smells of malt and mild hops. Taste is surprisingly full of treats with rich cocoa and toffee. There's a persistent and unique bitter finish. Nice.

 308 characters

Photo of mattboyer182
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours an amber hue with thin head that dissipates quickly.

S - light smell. Some fruits and alcohol notes. Maybe even some licorice.

T - the taste is mostly fruity long lasting and some maltiness all around.

M - mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

O - definitely not my style of beer. But I enjoy the fruit flavors in it.

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Photo of weller1js
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours a clear, deep amber, moderately carbonated, bubbly white foam that dissolves with a more-creamy ring of lacing.

smell: only faint aroma of hops, no other discernible scents, it takes a pretty deep whiff just to pick up on the hops.

taste: begins buttery and toasty, yields very quickly into the bitter attributes of the hops, very bitter, but is somewhat evened-out but the malt notes; as to be expected, bitterness lingers on the palate long after the finish.

overall: the scent is misleading, but when the emphasis is bitters in the taste, scent is irrelevant; well balanced with character and bitters.

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

12oz 2010 bottle I picked up in Maine last year consumed today with a nice plate of bacon sausage!

Appearance: Pours a standard caramel orange with a small white crown that shows little retention or lace.

Smell: Ringwood fruitiness and moderately sweet caramel.

Taste: Same as nose with a bit of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: Goes down easy.

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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 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 donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

@ Harry's Burger, Providence RI

Misty amber to a golden pear color. Frothy lace that leaves several drippy rings. Stubborn retention like a snowdrift.

Aroma is fruitcake and buttery diacetyl. Tastes is more fruit fest marmalade sweetness. The bitter seems more toned down than other reviews would have lead me to believe. It's there though, in a earthy, tea-like way. Mildly resinous mouthfeel.

In New England Old Thumper is known as "the Shipyard beer that isn't that bad." It's pretty good actually.

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

Had it on cask at the Blue Anchor pub in DelRay Beach FL. Nice setting, an old English pub, reconstructed on the site. The beer poured a bright clear orange color with a medium size off white head and light lacing. Head retention a bit less than average.

Smell is mild maltiness, a little caramel,mostly bready

Taste is mild maltiness,when combined with a smooth and crisp mouthfeel make this a good, if slightly strong, session beer.

Very pleasant, but not a standout in any way

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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 patreely12
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear copperish golden. half an inch of white sudsy head. minimal lacing. a good bit of visible carbonation.

S - good whiff of sweet pale malts, very bready. some hints of caramel, light citrus and a bit of spice. there's a faint hint of hop presence but the majority of the aroma is based on those bready malts.

T/M - the center stage of this beer's flavor goes to the sweet breadiness of the pale malts. hints of caramel, orange rind-like citrus and a very light peppery spice give the beer some added flavor and personality. the hops are more pronounced than in the nose. they add some bitterness, but they really take the backseat. light bodied and moderately high carbonation.

Overall this is an average beer, but I liked it a lot. really easy to drink, sessionable even. sometimes you don't want a beer with big abrasive hop flavor, old thumper provides simple, refreshing malt all the way.

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Photo of mhpalmer
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my tasting tulip. Best before 10/2011 marked on label (currently 05/2011).

A - very clear, coppery orange color. Thin, fluffy off-white head, about 1/4-finger thick. Looks like soft meringue, with a mix of big and small bubbles.

S - I smelled this even as I poured it. Bright and slightly citrusy, hints of apricot and banana. Smells very sweet and mildly spicy, and not hoppy at all.

T - Tastes very much like it smells, but there's a more noticeable hop character and bitterness. The hop flavor is pronounced yet not overbearing, and is of the woody/flowery variety.

M - The alcohol is somewhat noticeable as a slight heat when swallowed, and upon exhalation. Good level of carbonation, my tongue tingles after swishing it a bit.

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Photo of Duff27
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very nice and frothy one inch white head on top of a amber/light orange beer. A couple dozen steams of effervescence float upward. Above average lacing as well as head retention. Nice looking beer.

S- Smells like burnt caramel.

T- Sweet(!) malt backbone. Some citrus, toffee, more sweet caramel than anything.

M- Slightly syrupy with adequate carbonation.

D/O- This one left me undecided as to my overall opinion of it. Would like to revisit sometime down the road again to help decide.

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

Old Thumper is a crystal clear, very sparkling golden ale with a thin, blotchy, off white head that has excellent retention and lacing. It has a very sweet, syrupy aroma. It smells like... treacle. It's medium bodied, pretty lively and foamy in the mouth with a dry, starchy finish. It tastes pretty sweet, like the aroma. It's a little resiny and a green bitterness cleans up the taste at the finish. A little sweetness lingers. It's a little too sweet to session but it's not too bad for a single pint.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A clear dark copper with an inch of foamy white head.

S - I get some caramel, malt, with a bit of hops and lemon zest.

T - Wow I believe this is the best ESB I ever had! Starts off sweet with a bit of toffee malt then rounds to a citrus rind of hops. Finishes sweet with a sweet caramel malt.

M - Light to medium. I liked how well this one drank.

Overall I am curious how the double old thumper drinks but the alcoholic in me wonders, why drink the double when I can enjoy a few singles with less ABV burn?

If I could find this again at a six pack price I would enjoy it. Great ESB!

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Photo of TryThemAllOnce
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was predictably going to like this if it was done well, as I have always enjoyed the style. Did not disappoint! Wonderful cinnamon color, clear and sparkling looking through the pint glass, with about one finger of foam, that lasted a minute or so.

Aroma was quite pleasant, sweet with a bit of peppery spice. And the taste, wow... very well balanced with maltiness, crisp hop finish. It made my tongue happy. You can taste the alcohol bite just enough, and the flavors linger well after the glass was empty.

I enjoyed this beer, and will definitely buy again. Think I will have another one now.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Clear, effervescent bright yellow-orange color. Two fingers of tan head with average retention and some streaks of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Hints of citrus/lemon, pale malt, and some butterscotch.

Taste: A bit of lemon kicks things off up front which then fades into a sweet pale and caramel malt taste. Slightly yeasty middle which then fades into a light piney hop bitterness. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium with medium to high carbonation. Very clean.

Drinkability/Overall: Very sessionable and easy to drink. Has a refreshing quality to it.

Final Notes: A solid choice for a session or summertime beer. Not too filling, you could easily have a few of these in a setting. Not the best ESB I've ever had, but it really hits the spot after working up a sweat doing the Lindy Hop!

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