Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

745 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: 745 |  Reviews: 389
Photo of jmalex
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I heard about Shipyard on the Brewing Network podcast and figured I'd pick up something from them. For my last beer of 2007, I'll be drinking this.

APPEARANCE: Pours a somewhat hazy golden amber into a shaker pint glass. The head is just darker than white and modest in size. What it lacks in height, it has in retention though. It lasts pretty well and eventually drops to a hearty collar with patchwork bubbly patches.

SMELL: Some mild aromas come out of this, and they're nicely balanced between malt and hops. It's bready and toasty with a slight noble hop aroma. Another smell comes out that is foreign to me. A product of the ringwood yeast, perhaps?

TASTE: The flavor is much more slanted toward the malty side with a large toasted malt aroma dominating. That weird flavor is there too, and I figure it HAS to be from the yeast. So I have to trust that the yeast did it's job. Hops come out more in the finish, and they're spicy and pungent.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light bodied and a lower level of carbonation. This seems appropriate for style.

DRINKABILITY: Eh, it's alright, I suppose. It could be sessioned but the ABV is on the higher side for that. I probably would switch to something else, but at least this one goes down very easy.

This beer wasn't exactly my thing. It's certainly not bad, and I'd get this again if my other options were limited. At least I got to see what Shipyard's beers were like, and I won't even rule out getting another one again.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber with a quickly fading but sticky head.

A floral smell with some hop backing.

Pretty strong malt flavoring, hops aren't too noticeable, a pretty earthy beer and the ringwood shows through. This beer is also rather slick, a bit too much diacetyl.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.72/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

only the second time i've found this beer, i forgot how much i love old thumper.

A- 1 1/2in creamy dense off-white head becomes chunky as it settles to 1/8in disk leaving patches and blankets of doily type lace everywhere. brew is clear golden copper amber and despite it's moderate ABV, i can see swirls of alcohol peacefully floating like the waves of a subaquatic ocean.
(in the magic hue seperator, its golden tan in the stem and red-copper-amber in the bowl)

S- malty and tropical fruit melon, fig, apple, mango? we'll call it creamy fruit. marshmallow, pound cake, toasted buttery caramel diacetyl, and just enough woody earthy hop fragrance to keep it from smelling like a dessert.

NOTE: the fruity aromas are nice, but as the bro said, the taste of this yeast or whatever the hell creates the distinctive flavor of this beer, is simply amazing. i've given out samples and it seems to be a hit or miss love me or hate me no in-betweens. and when you burp it tastes like fruit punch. but this is not a 'fruity' beer by any means.

T- earthy woody bread sweetness right away combined with herbal hop bitterness giving way to sweet cake, apple pie (NO cinnamon), tropical fruits like papaya or mango with marshmallow, a touch of cocoa perhaps from the chocolate malt blend, butterscotch, and a lingering dry hop finish that tapers off smoothly leaving a clean feeling on the palate.

MF- creamy velvet smooth medium carbonation, slightly astringent makes a clean mouth feel, pleasant burps.

D- i have to drive 30min. to get this beer but it's worth every drop. perfect blend of malt and hops leaning only maybe 5% toward the malty side.

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Photo of jspruit
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this beer down in Florida at Case & Keg because of its Maine ties. I am not a big fan of this style, but I thought that I would give it a shot based on my brother's advice.

Pours with a nice amber color and a 2 finger head that settles down pretty quick.

There is a bit of a yeasty smell initially along with some gentle spices.

The taste is a bit dry for me with some sweetness and some tannon hints-earthy maybe? I didnt detect too much hops, but there was some light maple taste.

The mouthfeel is nice, not too full, but plenty of taste-it just happens not to be my favorite.

I think that this could be a nice example of an ESB, but I dont know really too much since it isnt my style.

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

pours a slightly cloudy honey color with a two finger beige head and sheets of sticky lace to the finish. nice flowery fruity nose. very malty toasty grainy taste. medium bodied with a crisp sharp carbonation. very dry but enjoyable. this is the first time i have seen this beer and the first time trying it. i will buy it again.

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Photo of bruachan
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

it's a light copper drink and very sticky when in lacing form

not a bad brew, but a little short on a couple of things. the mouthfeel isn't terrible but slides into a bit of hop tea at the end. the aroma is good, with a significant hop bouquet bringing currant and dried flowers to the party. the caramel pokes through, but i think it could be more assertive

requisite touch of diacetyl and a smidgen of roastiness, but the flavor falls a little short

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Photo of Durge
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Jax Deli & Ale House in Lake Mary, Florida. Poured a clear copper color with a thin but stead white head and good lace. It had a light citrus and cereal aroma with a touch of malt. The flavor comes on as a tastey brown sugar, but has an interesting tartness mixed in with some maple touches. An orange/citrus hops background that comes through a well carbonated brew for a very refreshing and drinkable pint. Sort of a summer styled beer with a spicey/pumpkin flavor, a bit peppery at the finish. It did seem to lose its distinctiveness at the end a little but overall this was a very nice choice. Will look forward to another and recommended for most anyone to try.

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Photo of sudz42
2/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I should have known better than to try this again, but in a moment of desperation I picked up a couple 22 oz's at the brewery.

Although it's highly praised here, at least one reviewer remarked on the sweet "watered down Scotch Ale" taste and I couldn't agree more. This beer pours thick, slogs around in the glass like motor oil, smells acrid, is highly overcarbonated as are all Shipyard products (except what they produce for Gritty's distribution, which are better products--go figure), tastes like concentrated sour malt, with an overpowering bitter aftertaste, and not of the kind associated with a floral IPA.

I hope they'll credit my second unopened 22 oz. because this one's going down the drain. Might be good to cook bratwurst in.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap @ Stone's Bistro in Escondido, CA

A- clear bronzed straw, 1 finger white head, good retent

S- buttery, biscuit, malty, toasted malt, butterscotch

T- buttery, bready, slightly spicy, balanced, butterscotch, and toasted malts

M- lively carbonation, medium body, smooth with a slight stickiness in after

D- balanced, easy drinking, sessionable, ESB thats worth a pint

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

Poured an attractive amber/copper color with a tremendous frothy white head. Aroma is fruity, smells somewhat of pears. Taste is similar, it is fruity and also of berries. Mouthfeel is pleasant as is the amount of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. This 22 oz bomber wont be around long. Decent effort from Ringwood Brewery.

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

Pours easily with an initially three finger thick, frothy, tan colored head that sits atop a clear, cranberry stained, copper colored beer. The aroma is fairly fruity with notes of apples, pears and berries in evidence. A kiss of herbal hops, bready grain, some caramelized malt sugars and a woody sort of not provide a soft balance to the up front fruit notes.

The taste is quite fruit focused as well; flavors of pears, plums and berries all are quite evident up front through to a lingering note in the finish. Bready / biscuit like notes, sweet / lightly caramelize malt sugars. This has a solid hop character to it as well. Nothing like a brash American use of hops, but they form a solid counterpoint in this beer; the hop flavors are a touch grassy, definitely herbal with a slight menthol edge, some soft citrus notes and a definite bitterness that runs throughout the flavor profile. Light and quaffable with just enough heft to the body to keep thing interesting and to carry the fruit and hop notes.

This might be one of the more enjoyable beers I have had from Shipyard; the Ringwood yeas has not been abused here and provides a nice complexity to this beer. The aroma is perhaps not a perfect mesh of aromatics, but the flavor of this beer just melds together quite well and makes for a beer that I am really enjoying the prospect of quaffing a full 22oz bottle. I have finally been pleasantly surprised by the Ringwood yeast, especially since the American craft brewing scenes (especially when bottled) seems to have been one story of abuse of this yeast after another.

Purchased: Bevmo, Palmdale CA

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

light copper in color almost like a watered rust with an average head that shrank relatively quick but did hang around throughout the sitting. sweet smelling combined with that of something foul, hard to say. Mouthfeel was light and easy drinking although not what I expected for a bitter, this to me ,resembled a watered down scotch ale. Not my style.

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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 fightingirishcmk
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

A: Poured into a pint glass and had a deep amber hue. A good almost 2 finger head was obtained, and it lasted and left a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: It seemed to be a little weak in the smell department. What I could smell was some malts, carmel and butterscotch.

T: I had a little trouble discerning the taste. It honestly wasn't too strong of a taste, again mostly malts. Somewhat buttery as well.

M: Rather thick and creamy, moderate carbonation. I did enjoy the way this felt in my mouth as it was somewhat chewy but moderately refreshing.

D: Not a bad beer at all, just not stellar either. Might be a good session beer as it has a fairly neutral but sweet taste. It didn't kill my palate like the peche I had after it.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12 oz chilled bottle into a pint glass a nice honey/amber color allowing a small, thin, surface layer to appear atop the body, but quickly fading to a slight edge layer around my glass.

Bitterly hoppy aroma with some scent of fresh cut grass, along with a slight biscuit scent, and a bit of sugary malts that reminds me of wheat.

Sipping is rather pleasant. Sweeter than expected with a nice caramel malt flavor; not as bitter as expected, which may hurt it's ratings as far as style goes. However, the hops are apparant (sp.) and the flavor of grass comes through at the finish just a little.

Feel is above average. The carbonation is rather prickly up front and stings my tongue a bit, but the body is light-to-medium with a nice crisp finish. This will make a nice session brew.

Very drinkable, even for a Strong Bitter brew. Maybe not bitter enough to represent the style very well, and maybe would be better suited for an amber ale, but nice drinkability.

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Photo of Maerzen
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. This was my random, off the shelf, didn't know anything about pick from my latest visit to City Beer Store. Being more of a lager fan I am always a bit leary of picking up an ale I know nothing about. I have to say that this was a nice surprise and I will definitely get this again. The beer pours a semi-opaque, orange/gold color with a good head that leaves a small bit of head through the entire glass. Not much in way of lacing. The smell could use some work. Not much going on here. Some hints of malt and bread but very slight. The taste is a very nice mixture of fruit and biscuit, with a nice hops presence that only adds to the over all flavor instead of trying to dominate. Nice creamy feel in the mouth. As I've already written, I will definitely have this again. It's always great to try something new and find something one really likes.

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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.

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

Another Town and Country offering, on to the beer:

Poured into a glass, it's orange to copper in color as it glows in the dining room. This "bitter" was barely bitter at all. I first though this was a plae ale because it was so low. A very sweet beer with caramel and butterscotch, with an indirect nutty taste. The feel was firm and lush. If you're not into an inbalanced ESB, this may not be for you. Otherwise, try it for yourself.

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Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with carbonation that lingers a bit. Aroma has more of a fruity, malty character to it. The flavor is somewhat sweet and malty, somewhat chewy and just a tad bitter. Not quite strong in that area but interesting regardless. Definitely drinkable but not a mind-blowing beer.

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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 number1bum
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber. Light tan head and good lacing, which clings to the sides of the glass; nice. Smell is caramel malts, toasted grain, some hops. Taste is a nice balance of malt sweetness and bittering hops. Again toasted grain and caramel/honey sweetness, and a bit buttery. A fruity touch is evident, as well. A hit of bitter hops finishes out the back end and remains through the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied.

I really enjoyed this...definitely recommended.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear copper color. There was not much head and the little present was soon gone. The aroma is faint but somewhat sweet and malty. The taste is initially quite malty but then the bitterness becomes apparent. There is a slight bitter aftertaste and a dry finish. The mouthfeel is full. I’d consider this a well balanced and interesting beer. I wouldn’t consider this a session beer, but it is quite drinkable.

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

Poured to a light copper color with medium off-white head that lingered thru mid-glass and left okay lacing. Not really much here in either the aroma or the flavor, as I was having trouble picking out anything in particular. Mouthfeel was bland, and the finish never was the bitterness I would expect from an ESB. Not a bad drinking beer, just a disappointing ESB.

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

Poured amber from a 12 oz bottle with a medium whtie head that was gone quickly and left moderate lacing. Nose of malts, nuts, hops. Mouthfeel was medium and flavors contained some fruits. Finish was medium and has some spicyness. A very decent brew.

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Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 745 ratings.
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