Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

746 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 746 |  Reviews: 389
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a mixed 12 pack. Pours a nice amber with a decent off-white head.

Smells of fruit, butter, and some light brown sugar notes

Taste is of some firm malt, toasty bread, butter, hops and fruit. You get the alcohol too, and it is a good thing.

Chewy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

You can put a few of these down, if the flavors above are your thing. The butter is a turn off for some, but I like it. Nothing in your face here. Well made, and of the 5 styles from Shipyard that I've tried, this is my favorite.

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

Cask conditioned and hand drawn into a pint glass at the Blue Anchor Pub in Delray Beach, Fl.

A: A beautiful golden and copper with a slight haze. This brew presented a nice 1 finger head which is better than I expected from a cask drawn ale. It eventually settles down to a thin layer, eventually.

S: The nose was a combination of toasted bread malts, mild yeast, and a sweetness that hinted at dark berries. This beer also hinted at some indistinguishable spices on the nose. Really approachable and inviting.

T: A subdued beginning which slowly opens up with the toasted bread malts and hints of the spice and yeast. The palate transitions nicely from tart to bitter as the hops build up and continue gaining steam to the bitter end. The finish provides a hint of the 5.9% ABV which is a great surprise.

M: A creamy texture that is no doubt provided by the lack of carbonation.

D: I haven't had a drawn beer in years and this was the perfect compliment to a rainy south Florida afternoon. The cask conditioning seems to add a complexity to the beer in the depth of flavors, the intermingling of the different palate components are layered nicely. I'd like to find a bottle of this stuff to compare apples to apples.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A: Pours a clear perfect amber color with a white soapy head of about 1/2". Head retention is fair, but does recede to a few bubbles and a fat white ring. No real lacing to note.

S: Interesting aromas of both malt and hops are predominant on the nose.

T&M: The first rush is that of caramel malts, somewhat dry, with hop bittering following immediately. Weight and texture are moderate to light with carbonation to match. The flavors on the other hand are rather full and robust - rather enjoyable and a little unexpected. The finish is a bit dry with a bitter linger.

D: Flavorful and enjoyable, with rich bold flavors of malt clashing with precise bitter hops. They do indeed clash, as they are not matched. This is a good thing for this brew and it works, and although there is good balance, it is not necessarily smooth. Nice. I would definitely look for this one again.

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

12-ounce bottle with a 'best before' date clearly notched, poured into my DFH pint glass yields a clear amber body capped with a three-finger mountain of creamy white foam that retains at a sheet and leaves patchy lacing.

Smells fruity with an earthy note.

Taste is lightly sweet with biscuity malt and tangy citrus, grassy hops and hay with an earthy mineral note and a crisp and mildly bitter finish. Nicely balanced.

Light-medium bodied, smooth with refreshing carbonation.

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

From a freshly tapped firkin at the General Sutter Inn in Lititz, PA.

A: The ale has a dark, concentrated apple juice amber color, looking rather robust but approachable. Less than a finger's worth of head was quick to disappear.

S: The aromas coming out of the glass are much maltier (as compared to the Chamberlain). The nose has banana nut bread aromas with a touch of Cheerio graininess.

T: The complex breadiness that came through in the nose is readily apparent here. Caramel and toffee mix with the aforementioned banana nut bread in a swirling taste. Green, slightly tart fruits add further flavor to the body. Hops pop up periodically and add a fresh tea and tobacco flavor, subtle but enough to make their presence known.

M: The mouthfeel is malty with a great spectrum of flavors. You'll enjoy slowly sipping on this one, I did.

D: The alcohol is a little higher here, so drinkability suffers a tad. I'd still be happy with another pint or two.

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Photo of papaglide
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks-nice white spongy head. Lingering. Nice copper colored brew.

smell-malty, earthy sweetness. Very light hop to the nose.

taste- rich and malty with biscuit and some small hop overtones. Faint touch of alcohol and hop bitterness to the finish. Surprisingly the hop finish dominates what would be an otherwise malty beer.

mouthfeel-Creamy to the palate and not overly carbonated.

drinkability-good. maybe too rich to label a session beer but good none the less.

This is an example of a nice ESB: malty with very small but noticeable hop overtone to it with a nice, tight although chewy finish.

The more of it that you drink , the dryer it seems to get with each one. Interesting.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz bomber. Pours a deep golden/copper with a thin head and light lacing. Carbonation is light to moderate.

Buttery malts on the nose and somewhat floral, similar to a red ale.

Taste is rich and malty, yet well balanced. Feel is relatively smooth and creamy for the style, finishing with a slight lingering bitterness.

Decent drinkability, smoother than most ESB's I've tasted, though the style seems a bit too encompassing for me.

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Photo of mltobin
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An individual 12-oz bottle was purchased at the local package store in Rockland, Maine.

Upon being poured into a pint glass, it appears to be a nice amber color with a medium sized head.

The smell is malty and slightly sweet and rich.

The taste is a bit robust with character but pleasant overall.

Mouthfeel is good, but not great, leaves an after-taste that makes you want to keep on eating.

Drinkability is average, goes well with spicy or strong foods.

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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.

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

Pours a nice clean golden color. The head is not too thick but pretty rich. As the beer settles the head keeps a nice ring around the glass with some clouds of foam that float around like inner tubes in a pool.

Smell is slighly grassy, a bit of honey sweetness, fresh bread and butter along with some malt bitterness.

Tasting this beer will tell you why its one of the Shipyard brews that people do rave about. Its well balanced and smooth with a nice refreshing taste. Very creamy mouthfeel and rich in malt sweetness but balanced well with a nice, yet faint hop bite. Its slightly bitter and crisp in the finish as well.

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Photo of dsa7783
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single, 12 ounce bottle just purchased for $1.49 from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
Pours a cloudy, bright-orange hue with a decent-sized head that soon receded and left a fair amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Dusty, malty aroma with slight hints of citrus and florals...
Taste had a definite bread and butter characteristic to it, along with a malty nuttiness and a hint of florals and citrus thrown into the mix...
Creamy, rich mouthfeel to match... one of Shipyard's better brews in my opinion...
Good level of drinkability as well, went down easily with no alcohol or bitterness detected...
Good stuff...

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Transparent copper. Head is minimal and light lacing.

S- Malty and caramel like with a light hoppy aroma. Smells are buttery and bready.

T- Caramel malt and nice bittering hop. Sweet and somewhat buttery again with some hints of smoke and toffee.

M- Medium to thin and medium to high carb.

D- Not overly drinkable as most of this style are. Just OK.

Overall- Not my favorite of the style, but all in all not too bad. The aspects of the beer are all over the place and inconsistant.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.39/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Look - Nice artwork and design. Pours yellow-brown and settles dark amber in the glass. Clear and almost no head. Little to no carbonation.

Smell - Smells strong and bitter, yet appetizing and mouth watering.

Taste - Incredible! Perfect creaminess with a decent bite.

Mouthfeel - The only thing left is a slight bitterness on the sides of your tongue, average here.

Drinkability - Above average, creamy and satisfying, could have a few of these without an issue.

Another great beer by Shipyard. I'm thoroughly impressed.

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Photo of WJVII
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a burnt caramel color with a light tan 1/2 in head that didn't last long but had some good lacing on the glass. The smell was rather floral with some hints of sweetness and some slight oak notes. The taste was a bit malty with some of the slight sweet floral tones hitting the back of my throat. It was a semi thick brew with a minimal bitter taste in the finish. Decent brew but nothing over the top exciting.

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Photo of avalon07
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a nice amber color and a somewhat thick consistency. Also had a half inch head and good lacing.

Not a hugely inspired smell, but not bad either. Malt, some sweets, a little hops.

The malt was the main ingredient I tasted here. Also, there were sugary elements (caramel?). Not a bad taste, but it didn't blow me away.

There was an OK amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Decent mouthfeel.

This is a solidly drinkable beer. It didn't wow me, but it was worthy.

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

12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer is a very clear, medium copper/amber color with a bit of an orange hue. Off-white head is about 1/4 inch when poured. Settles very quickly to a thin surface layer and then to practically nothing at all. Leaves very little lacing. Has a sweet malty aroma followed by a hint of hops. Not a very interesting smell at all. Has a sweet, malty taste upfront with bits of caramel and a touch of citrus with light hops. Has a crisp and sort of creamy mouthfeel. medium body with moderate carbonation. Quite drinkable. A good beer here, but nothing I'd go out of my way to track down again.


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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 beeragent
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer pours a light copper/orange, forming a 1/4 inch off-white head. Nothing much by the way of lacing. The aroma is a bit light, but seems to be very malty, with a hint of fruit? The flavor is like tasting those butterscotch candies, but alcoholic. Nice buttery flavor up front, along with caramel and toffee flavors. Just like drinking candy. Smooth easy mouthfeel. Delicious flavor, decent abv., and smooth finish make for a highly drinkable ale. Overall, after reading a few reviews, I had high hopes, but after trying it myself, it was even better than expected. This is definitely going into the rotation!

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Photo of Patrick999
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I enjoyed this on cask, I sought it out in the bottle for comparison.

A - Poured a more clear amber into my goblet. Head didn't last that long, no lacing apparent.

S - I still smell the nice toffee/butter cakey aromas, like a coffee cake.

T - More of an ESB here than it was on cask, when it came across as a good session brown. More balanced with a substantive hop twang balancing the buttery malts. Doesn't taste quite as luxuriously malt-driven as it did on cask.

F - Crisp and a bit burpy with a prickly, slightly soapy feel. The much softer cask version will always win out with me on feel.

D - Tasty and not overtly strong, but seems to fill me up quickly. I wouldn't want more than one bomber, but still a good effort from Shipyard/Ringwood.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on cask from the beer engine, which usually really elevates my opinion of a beer...but with this beer it was elevated to merely OK, which makes me doubtful how good it would be when NOT on the beer engine. However, my experience with it was alright, but not far above average, if at all.

Appearance was quite good - gold and clear with a nice 3 cm head. Aroma didn't have a lot to it...if I sniffed really hard and deeply I got just a touch of hoppy non-descript fruitiness. Flavor was more of the same. Some non-descript bitterness, nicely balanced, but with only a wiff of fruitiness. Not much really all that exciting in there. Mouthfeel was pretty dry but unremarkable.

I wouldn't really recommend this beer. Nothing against it, I just didn't find anything particularly special in that glass.

I had this from the beer engine at Abbey Brewing in Miami Beach.

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

Poured a hazy amber, with an off white head, ok lacing. Sweet, crisp malt flavours, with some caramel, dark fruit and subtle hops. Some fruity esters and grainy finish. You can tell this is an English ale all the way by the malts and hops. Overall, a very balanced beer. Smooth mouthfeel, easy to drink.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a variety case from Beer Zoo.

I have high expectactions for this beer so lets see what happens.

As i pour the beer the headgoes about 2 fingers and has a good lingering power of about 20 seconds. It looks light copper with traces of clear crisp amber highlites.

I cant really smell any fruity esters but i can tell there is a hint of something andi cant quite put my nose on it. It does have a vinegar smell to it as well.

The taste is very bitter like a ESP should be and has some lingering power. The vinegar is more pronounced. I think i taste traces of apple....reminds me of granny smith apples. I could be wrong.

Bursting with hops in the mouth and the bitterness stays behind to let me know it was there.

It goes down pretty smooth, i expected it to be a lil rough and gaggy because of the vinegar/apple taste but it was very decent and i def would like a six pack of this in the future.

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Photo of spiffysamurai
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color was close to a golden amber. It looked more gold though. The head was an off shade of white and enough was there. Not bad, but not great.

S: There is a balance of malt and hops. It reminds me of bread and toast. One could definely smell the noble hop aroma. This product had Ringwood written all over it.

T: Upon first try, all I coulld taste is malts. There was a side taste of large toasted malt aroma. Ringwood is all I could think of. While it is not bad, it was not the best shipyard I have had. There was a little spice in there, but not much.

M:Mouth feel for the medium gold was alright. Nothing great but above average.

D: ITs an alright beer to sit and have a social interaction with. The ABV is a little higher but not bad at all. Overall it is a fair beer and an alright Shipyard product.

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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 746 ratings.
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