Shipyard Old Thumper | Shipyard Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
82
good
746 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
Shipyard Old ThumperShipyard Old Thumper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
shipyard.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
746
Reviews:
389
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
13.74%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
81
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 746 |  Reviews: 389
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.

 250 characters

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

News flash: beware of names. It should come as no surprise to you that there is nothing "extra special" about this Extra Special Ale. If the label said "Pretty Darned Good Ale" I'd be more inclined to agree. Because it is pretty darned good. Nice hops presence, looks good in the glass, has a nice sweetness to balance the spicy hops. This won't knock your socks off, but you'll be pleased with your purchase nonetheless. Just don't be fooled by the label.

 456 characters

Photo of lehows
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poursa semi-hazy golden color with a beautiful head. Head was creamy and hung around till the beer was gone. Big aromas of buttery grain and floral hops waft up to the nose. Taste hits you with that buttery diacetyl, then you get the toasted grain, malt, and the floral hop quality. Creamy and slick mouthfeel. Great drinkabilty and a lovely brew from Alan Pugsley.

 365 characters

Photo of jettjon
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since “Shipyard Export” is not printed *anywhere * on the bottle, it took a bit of research to determine if I had the American or English version of this ale. Apparently “Pugsley Brewery” is a subdivision of Shipyard, or some such.

At any rate, pours into a deep wine goblet a clear honey color with a few tiny bubbles. One-finger head of tan foam quickly fades leaving a thin cap and solid ring with spotty lacing. Nose was rather disappointing with a vague honey, sweet malt character. Flavor was a pleasing surprise, however; A very good sweet ale-malt flavor precedes light tea/apple juice. Moderate hops finish. An extremely well-balanced ale; quite different from my experience with other cloying sticky-sweet ales. Mouthfeel is viscous, lightly carbonated, and delightfully smooth. All this adds up to drinkability that is very good, very smooth, and very enjoyable. Easily a sessionable brew.

Overall: One of the best ales I’ve tried, cheerfully recommended.

 977 characters

Photo of Suds
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Thumper pours a hazy copper-amber color with an average sized white head. The aroma has a toast fruit character. The fruitiness has a little apple and citrus. There’s a little grain and caramel malt in the aroma as well, and a background touch of butterscotch. The taste has a little more of the toasted character, and is very well balanced. Nice bitterness in the finish, and a slight slickness. Modest carbonation, and a medium-heavy mouthfeel. All in all, this is slightly better than average.

 501 characters

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

Appearance- Medium amber, very clear. Decent head, but falls very quickly. Just a little lace.

Aroma- Sweet earthy malts a little butteriness. VERY caramelly. Lots of butterscotch to.

Taste- Wow. Lots of butterscotch. Some toasted grain and caramel malts. Hop balance is very nice for style. More butterscotch in the after-taste. Lots of diacytal.

Mouthfeel- Medium body for style. A tad heavier than most beer drinkers are used to. Butterscotch taste makes it "feel" much heavier than it really is, Carbonation is appropriate for style.

Drinkability- Quite nice. A little more diacytal than most beer-drinkers will like, but a worthy effort all the same.

 671 characters

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

Amber translucent body with less than a half an inch of off-white head. Smells like bready, fruitty, and buttery. Tastes sweet, buttery, malty, and bready. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium to heavy body. Full-flavored and tasty, but well-ballanced with no one aspect overwealming another in this beer. Perfect example of a good ringwood yeast beer - take that how you want.

 371 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rather unhealthy looking body. A light pumpkin coloured orange hue. A near two fingers worth of head would rise, then gradually desist. Aroma mostly of fuggle and Kent Golding hops, some stale bready malt as well. A great deal of British style bittering hops seem to have been used. The beer also seems to have a little fruity character too, seems some oily hops have been faintly blended in. Not overly bitter on the finish, but leaves some trace. Carbonation is good from the bottle but the texture seems a little too coarse. Not overly tasty but still refreshing. I would rather a real British rendition, but this is still good!
Thanks Harry for the bottle!

 676 characters

Photo of mshallah
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the North End Suprette in Manch-Vegas,NH at a great discount, $10.99/case. This beer is to me, a New England classic. 12oz bottle label and bottle cap display the mean-eyed wild boar graphic(looks great on the back of a t-shirt too). Pours clear copper with a white head that dissipates to a ring and stays the duration. Aroma and flavor for me is a combination of the ingredients resulting in a complex profile. Ale fruitiness(apricot), yeast diacetyl(caramel), butter/sugar cookie maltiness, all balanced with hop bitterness like the salt added to a caramel candy brightening the flavor. This complexity is what I look for in an ESA/ESB and is what makes this a great choice for so many roasted meat dishes or just on it's own. The subtle mouthfeel of the fine bubble carbonation lets you know right away this is no mass market yellow fizz but a great session beer.

Note- This beer was reviewed 11-05-06 with an Oct-06 best before date and it still tastes fresh! For even more complexity and strength try Shipyard Prelude.

 1,040 characters

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

A great pint!
Drawn from the cask so only a little carbonation and at room temp.
A thin head topped off the pint of amber/gold.
Yeast and a bit of hop to the nose
The surprise was the taste....more fruity than expected and malty as well with a citrus bite. A slight butter taste too. Truely a full drinking experience at room temp.
Mouthfeel is substantial but not too much to keep one from drinking more.
I love bitters of the English kind and this will be on my favorite list!

 485 characters

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask tapped fresh in Orlando. A bitter English ale. Dark golden color with slight haze and zero head. Low carbonation (in style) with a fresh, bitter taste. The freshness of this cask really shone through with some active yeast aromas and flavors evident. Low alcohol (in cask) makes for a nice session beer.

 311 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a dark, orange -- almost amber -- color. Very little head or carbonation whatsoever. Definitely has the appearance of an ale.

The aroma is of a malty, subdued English ale. Slight yeast flavor creeps up.

Sweet, flat ale flavor. Very pleasant and fruity. Has a sweet aftertaste. Does not taste strong or "alcoholic" to me at all.

Not too thick, not too watery. Perfect feel, like a cask-ale. It goes down very easily. Extremely easy to drink and smooth.

 465 characters

Photo of Neehan
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bronze with a sizeable head and a small amount of retention in the glass. A very fruity aroma is noted: a combination of citrusy, tangy, and sweet. A unique taste with strong herbal flavoring coming through with sweetness, but lacking bite. Undertones of bubble gum flavors. A mild mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and slight complexity. Drinkability is limited by the sweetness and the amount of herbal flavoring.

 425 characters

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

Poured a dark copper with a small white head. Not much retention, save for some small, silky lacings.

The aroma is repugnant and deters from wanting to enjoy this brew. Outside of any malt characters there are no flattering analogies that I can make for this beer and I will refrain from comment.

Sweet malt and with grape flavors up front mingle with a bitter, hoppy finish. Nothing spectacular and nothing offensive.

Decent mouthfeel, well carbonated with a light to medium body. Drinkability suffers from the non-stellar taste coupled with the sub-par aroma.

This is not the ESB that you want to try. There are much better examples of the style available.

 670 characters

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

Pours a burnt orange with not much head and fairly active carbonation. The head diminishes quickly to nothing. Very pretty coloring, though.

Bready notes as well as floral hops on the nose, as well as a slight citrus-sweet smell and some earthy tones.

Taste...ahh! Initially slightly sour like white wine and a little bitter, it quickly warms up to a very nice fresh-baked bread mouthfull, before finishing with some pronounced smoky flavor. Faint bitterness remaining after the swallow, but it disapates fairly quickly and leaves only a slightly astringent feeling. Taste is very good overall.

Mouthfeel is also excellent, perhaps a bit heavy on the carbonation up front, but it quickly balances. Overall, not cloying or sickening despite the big bread taste. Very enjoyable, and something I'll probably get again.

Very different than what I usually buy (don't see alot of ESB's other than Red Hook, which doesn't count), but very good, and the change of pace is refreshing.

Well, I bought it again, and it was excellent this time around, too. The Malty character of this beer is huge and mouthfilling, yet it still manages to finish balanced and clean. MMM, the ringwood yeast is amazing.

 1,205 characters

Photo of stephendr
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color – white frothy medium head – nose of yeast , malt , bread , and cloves – taste of malts , yeast , cereals , grains , bitter chocolates , and sour red fruit – cream raw body , dry style – aftertaste slightly bitter , malts , and yeast

 256 characters

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

The pour is darkish copper. The nose is a lighter, moderately fruitier, take on an old ale. Okay, here is the diacetyl that this brew is infamous for having. A buttery and estery flavor meets light grains, fruit, and hop bitterness for an odd flavor profile. It's part old ale, part ESB, part Land o' Lakes butter, and a drop of an average American pale wheat ale.

There was a big thread about Ringwood yeast, Pugsley breweries, and Shipyard that sparked my curiosity. It's not bad, but I'm glad I didn't buy an entire six-pack.

 532 characters

Photo of dustylong
3.22/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter golden color with a reddish hue (poured from a bottle into a mug). This beer has a smaller head with little retention, and almost no lacing. Has a very sweet, fruity smell to it. This is a very sweet tasting beer, very malty with a nice balance of hops, and fairly bitter. This beer has a moderate feel in the mouth, with a lighter smount of carbonation. Overall, a fairly good, tasty beer, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

 443 characters

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

Pours with 0.75 inches of foamy white head shrinking to a thin miniscus after 45 seconds. Deep yellow, amber body with orange and reds on the edges when held to light.

Sweet hops immediately on the nose. Very floral and sweet. Notes of wheat malts and a toasted malt in the end. Notable scents of molasses and honey balancing the smooth hop aroma.

Tangy hops are the first noticeable flavor which is quickly mellowed by a malty sweetness. After the malty sweetness, hops re-appear for an IPA-like long finish. Notable honey on entry before the rush of hops. Earthy, charcoal senses mingling with the hoppy finish. Pretty complex for the style and price-point.

Excellent effervesence initally and a nice amount of body for an ESB. Unfortunately, it is a little oily.

Drinkability is good. The beer is sensibly priced, tasty and complex enough to entertain. A good session brew.

 892 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Bill's Chowder house in Wells, Maine (very close to Tully's beer and wine store!)

Lookin' Brownish-amber, clear, not cloudy. Frothy foamy white head, nice intricate lacing. Looks pretty dang good.

Smells: Sweet-barley malt, oaty and kinda wheaty.

Taste's of: Honey-malt, yiesty, slight hop. Overall: Good balance.

Feels like a well carbonated, yet flat-ish feeling brew. Bitter then sweet back-of-mouth feel and aftertaste.

Decent brew with a nice Phish-n-chip dinner.

 493 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice clean amber color with an inch of head.

Smell was a nice mix of toasted grains and buttery yeast.

A nice mix in flavor of light toasted malts and buttery diacetyl before being quickly overtaken by a nice slighlty bitter floral hop.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated and slighty oily.

Overall not to bad, the diacetyl isn't as overwhelming as some of the other Shipyards I have had.

 402 characters

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

Old Thumper
Well it is better than the Shipyard Export anyways. I found this to be a fairly clean beer with substantiation in taste and body. The yeast in the nose and the yeasty “bite” on the tongue are a little rough and take away from the overall pleasure.
Overall this beer reminds me of a classic British Pale Ale.

 323 characters

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

Pours burnished copper with a huge frothy head that diminishes quickly to a marshmello like ring.

Smell is sweetly malty and fruity. Apple and pear. Hints of caramel nuttiness and a woody aroma.

Taste is caramel malt and an earthy nuttiness. Hops add a very nice grassy herbal quality. Finish is crisp and dry. Flavors are robust, buttery and balanced. Although I would have to give the hops a slight edge in aggressiveness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. creamy and smooth.

I found this beer to be quite enjoyable. Very nicely done.

 545 characters

Shipyard Old Thumper from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 746 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.
  • Our Events

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

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