Double Old Thumper Ale | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Double Old Thumper AleDouble Old Thumper Ale
Double Old Thumper AleDouble Old Thumper Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 236
Photo of scotorum
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Bought in Feb. 2014 and cellared. Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Translucent copper with an inch thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam surrounded by a thick ring, and spotty lacing.

s: Caramel malt and alcohol.

t: Luscious caramel malt up front with a moderate hop and alcohol bite. A little throat burn follows a swallow early on. Sweet finish. Very high 11% ABV is nicely offset and complemented.

m: Medium to full, very good body and substantial carbonation tingle.

o; A marvelous brew for this time of year, warming and tasty, although at this point perhaps closer to a Wee Heavy than a barleywine since it seems short on significant dark fruit flavors, although some plumlike notes do appear as it warms. As is a great sipping malty treat, at least with nearly two years age on it.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant rich amber crownd by a ferocious 3” clingy, cream colored foam collar. S: Malt, spicy hops and alcohol. T: Aggressive malt, hops and alcohol. F: Medium full body, medium carbonation. O: A very full flavored, strong beer.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It took a second impression on this to pick up some subtleties. First impression was mostly imbalanced burning alcohol. As a big fan of the single Thumper, I'm surprised they can pull some of the malty goodness up at this ABV. This gets more exciting as it warms, and complex fruity flavors develop. Finish still has a bit of an alcohol bite, but it's a pretty big beer!

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

High octane, full-bodied and very flavorful.The earthy notes are balanced well with a fullness of fruit tastes that is very impressive. I have been sitting here pondering how many distinct fruit flavors i can pick out of this beer. It is wonderfully complex.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: hazy; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: sweet malt, caramel, alcohol;

T: sweet malt and caramel up front; burnt sugar from mid-palate through the finish with light bitterness at the very end; hides the alcohol very well - unexpected after the nose;

M: a little syrupy; moderate carbonation - a little tingly;

O: got very little hop profile in either the nose or the flavor;

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shipyard Double Old Thumper has a thin, cream-colored head, a murky, rust-red-copper appearance, noticeable bubble streams, and splotchy lacing left behind. The aroma is of rich, fig or dates, sweet malts, and white bread crust. Taste is of strong, sweet, boozy malt, intense hop bitterness, and rich, candied fruit (think of fruitcake). Mouthfeel is medium, and Shipyard Double Old Thumper finishes alcohilic and sip-able.


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Photo of travolta
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Appearance: Whipped up, light caramel head, frothy. Toasted ruby color when held to the light. Great, sticky, spotted lacing. Good head retention.

Nose: Fig, caramel, toffee, dark fruit bread, with a little vinegar and brandy at the end.

Taste: A nice combination of bitter and sweet toffee with tons of fig. Dark sweet bread with hot alcohol at the end.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but likely from the January 2011 initial release(282 10 bottle manufacture code). Pours hazy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, cherry, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, cherry, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, cherry, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice English barelywine style. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruit yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of barczar
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%

Huge toffee and toasted caramel aroma, with fruity esters and higher alcohol. Flavor is less sweet than aroma indicates. Fruity character overwhelms somewhat.

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Photo of Boto
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%

22oz. bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy amber color. There was about a finger of a frothy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. It has a nice nose. It has a subdued sweetness. Some caramel, toffee, a touch of chocolate, perhaps even a bit of smokiness. The taste is good. Just a bit of sweetness. Some caramel, dark fruits, breadiness, faint chocolate, raisin. I get a little something new with each sip. I would definitely buy again!

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Photo of tigg924
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: tan in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted English malt

Taste: toasted English malt, caramel, light fruit

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: I like this style and this one is about average as to what I have had. Very malty, but nothing really jumps out like others I have had in the style. I will pass on this in the future.

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Photo of mac31
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz'er to English style pint glass. (Go with a snifter or tulip for this one.)

Big malty, spicy, boozy entry. Moderate sweetness. Big caramel and Burnt/charred brown sugar. Fruity, plumy/figiness (from malts). Firm citrus- grapefruit, orange, slight tangerine notes. Bold black pepper spiciness. Woody, earthy dampness noted from hops. Pale muted malts lie in the background. Decent amount of smokiness detected. Hoppy clean bitterness. Minimal hoppy resins stick to the palate. Slight cereal graininess in the finish. Carbonation is adequate, non contributory. Alcohol warms as it travels. Overall, the booziness, bittering hoppy qualities, and increased spiciness make this beer a little too high octane for the average craft beer drinker, especially for an English beer. The beer definitely has it's moments, just won't be appreciated by most. To me, it's as if an English brewer was asked to make an American Barleywine. Interesting. I'll have another.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Quick Review: A really great example of an english barelywine. Big on the dark fruits (raisins, dates, and plums) and a sweet toffee malt. Mild hop presence. Alcohol is hidden well. The feel is great with a soft/chewy texture. Great balance as it never is close to cloying even with it being so malt forward and having an 11% abv. Just a great barleywine, nothing more and nothing less.

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Photo of Mr-Cyphyr
4.6/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour into wide mouth clear pint beer glass ... nice color, great aroma, nice small bubble head .. first taste .. OMGosh, one word: Freak'n Awesome .. continued sipping, enjoying the aroma, the bitter but smooth hoppiness .. reminded me of a Barley Wine. I let it sit for a while, and warm up .. and it just got better, topping in flavor well into the high 50's, low 60's .. never got bad.. good from the 1st sip to the last. Now on my top 10, no, top 5!

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Photo of BradC
4.42/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip, dark hazy amber color with a thin head and nice lacing.

Smells of buttery toffee, vanilla, caramel, not much hop aroma.

Taste of sweet caramel, toffee, some vanilla and fruitiness with firm hop bitterness in the finish. Alcohol is there but not overbearing.

Full bodies mouthfeel, low carbonation. Heavy but not cloying.

Overall, a nice barleywine. Don't have a ton of experience with the style but this has a great sweet malt backbone, just enough hops and alcohol. I'd hunt this one down again.

NOTE: bottle was from 2012, aged about 16 months.

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Photo of Offa
4.41/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent bareywine.

Deep copper brown, it has a small pale tan head slowly shrinking to a thin lasting foamy top, veneer, with rich foamy ring.

Aroma is candied wood, caramelised bread crust and dried fruits, hint of sherry.

Taste is rich, full of brandied, candied fruits, caramelised bread, spicy raisiny character, some woody-peppery bitterness & bite supporting a rich sweetness. Feel is full, not too oily or thick, a bit lively, lots of rich toast in aftertaste.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this at Wegman's in Mechanicsburg, poured chilled from the bomber into a goblet.

The color is deep honey amber with moderate haze and thick cream cap with fine bead. The lace sticks in a ring pattern with good retention in general. The smell is very fruity with a light apple skin and mild sweet stone fruit ester with some light caramel and subtle oxidized sherry-like note with an almost prune-like dried fruit sweet aroma. The feel is decent with moderate bitterness and medium carbonation with thick body and creamy texture of yeast with moderate sweetness and alcohol in the finish.

The taste has a a woody hop flavor mixed with a honey/caramel taste from the malt which is sweet but not cloying, a bit of yeast fruitiness comes through but alcohol flavor soon takes over with some oxidation present in the taste. I liked this for the most part, it is not very cohesive and kind of hits you randomly with hops adding a spiced impact yet a nice dose of malt sweetness is present. Iike the concept more than the actual flavor

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Photo of Omnium
3.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Cloudy amber with a finger of light khaki head, sudsy, decent rings of lacing though./
S - Very sweet caramel malts, dark pine scent, earthy, herbal, ash, oak.
T -Sweet and boozy, spicy hop resin, aggressive pine, kinda soapy, burnt oak chips.
M - Cloyingly sweet and bitter.
O - Eh not really good, just too much of everything, the bourbon barrel version of this is much better.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle purchased by Mom and Dad in Maine, and given to me as a souvenir. Sorry mom and dad, but this one sucked.

Pours a clear weak-looking amber color, with a small half inch head and no lacing, really.

Smells like alcohol, with some leafy hops, and overly sweet malts.

This is one unbalanced and unpleasant barleywine. I can't really expect too much from Shipyard, though. Quite sugary in the malt department, a bit of burnt brown sugar, some stale tasting leafy hops, and heaps of booze. Ugh.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet syrupy gross mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

This one's pretty atrocious, honestly. Don't buy it.

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Photo of mychalg9
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full review on this one because I feel like a small injustice has been done with some of these low reviews.

Bought a bomber on a whim because I'd never heard of this one. Pours a dirty brownish red with a nice whitish-tan head that recedes fast but leaves decent lacing.
Smells like a barleywine should: leathery dark fruits with some booziness. Taste is more of the same, sweet dark fruits throughout, mellows out at the end which I usually take as a sign of weakness, though in this one it feels right. Mouthfeel is great, perfect amount of carbonation with a medium to full body.

Hot damn this is a great, full flavored sipping barleywine. I will certainly look for this again, as I feel like I paid ~$8 for the 22 oz bottle. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new barleywine to try.

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Photo of brureview
4.24/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is highly underrated. It's an excellent beer served warm in a snifter.

The beer poured a nice copper color into a snifter. Served warm at about 50F.
1/2F head.

Immediate wafting of stone fruit, apricot, and raisin. There are American and British hops in this beer, so it has somewhat of a British beer consistency and aroma.

Mouth feel- very carbonated-perhaps too much.

Taste is heavy fruit-raisin, apricots, stone fruits finished with a heavy alcoholic finish.

In general an excellent beer. Perhaps other reviewers served it too cold or in a glass which doesn't enhance the English Barley Wine consistency.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance- Pours a deep amber-orange color with a small white head. The head fades very fast leaving a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma was very sweet and bready. The sweet is of toffee and caramel with a whole lot of a candied sugar. The bready smell is doughy and biscuity with a little bit of roastiness. Along with these is a big boozy smell of bourbon creating a sweet warming smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins very sweet and thick with lots of caramel and toffee upfront. Some orange flavors come toward the tongue soon after the initial taste as well as sweet bready taste. The orange citrus is later joined by some lemon which bitter the brew lightly. An alcohol taste comes to the tongue along with time as well bringing a lighter bourbon taste to the brew. The bourbon grows stronger being joined by a little bit of hop. When these are mixed with the thick sweeter and sugary tastes, a warming boozy taste is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is super creamy and thick with a carbonation level that is very low. This is quite appropriate for the sweeter flavors of the brew as well as for making a nice slow sipper in light of all the booziness in the brew.

Overall – A sweet but enjoyable barley wine. A nice slow sipper and worth a try.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

bottle is over a year old, been stored in the cellar since purchased in early 2012 (probably a 2011 bottle release)

a murky amber/orange in color with a finger of off-white head. smells of lots of sweet malt, caramel, honey, very boozy nose, raisins, plum, dates. yeesh, as far as flavor goes it is very rough around the edges.. an oxidized wine-like flavor up front, lots of harsh alcohol flavors, almost a bourbon-like feel.. tastes of olives, grapes, figs, sweet malt backbone with a lingering bitterness that's almost rust-like. full body medium amount of carbonation.

this is definitely not what i was expecting. the name led me to believe it'd be an old ale. this site classifies it as an english barleywine.. i guess in all honesty, it's in between both.. it's high abv/malty profile is like a barleywine, the boozyness is like an old ale.. but the harshness is just repelling honestly.

well, at least i cleared a bottle from the cellar.

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Photo of Skarod
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not quiet sure why this reviews so low. I really enjoyed this beer
malty caramel smell with a bit of a bourbon on the back of the taste
just a bit of bitter but the malt and the booze balances very nicely
bottle went down dangerously easy
not a huge fan of regular old thumper but this I will buy again

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top, screw-top cap with foil, nice label, with some nice info about the beer on the back. Shipyard's website says this beer has been brewed since 2010, and I'm pretty sure I picked this brew up in Rock Island, IL when we were there for my wife's school's homecoming back in 2010, so I'm thinking this is between 2-3 years old. Poured into my Black Sheep half-pint stemmed goblet.

Appearance: Just slightly hazed sienna beer, which shows a warm burnt orange hue when held up to the light. Capped by a light tan cap with pretty nice retention, especially considering this beer's strenth and its age.

Smell: This is brewed with British pale m alt, crystal, and a bit of chocolate as well, with three English hop varieties, some Simcoe for finishing, and the classic Ringwood yeast; on the nose, this is sweet, with a bit of caramel, sweet toasty malt, estery yeast, and pleasant (golden) fruity alcohol notes in the back. Balances malt, fruit, and alcohol nicely; just what I look for in a non barrel-aged English-style barleywine.

Taste: Fruit and alcohol lead here, with some lingering hop bitterness and perhaps even a bit of flavor. There are light notes of caramel, as well as a ghostly hint of toast, but more in terms of golden fruit (slightly underripe peach stands out) and a sort of candy sweetness. The remaining hop presence, along with the 11.2% abv keep this from becoming cloying on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, smooth.

Overall: I'm actually really surprised this beer is as bitter as it still is; it isn't over-the-top by any means, but if the bitterness has lingered this well, I bet it was truly a beast when fresh. I, for one, have absolutely no problem with the Ringwood yeast, when used properly, and definitely enjoy a few of Shipyard's offerings (Barleywine, Fuggles IPA). This beer is a decent English-style strong ale/barleywine, for sure, though I'd really like the bigger caramel and malty notes present in the aromas to trasnfer onto the palate a bit better. A bit more malt emerges as this nears room temperature, but the fruity, yeasty, and alcohol notes are still firmly in charge here, backed by a firm, substantial hop presence. I don't remember the exact price, but I do believe this was under $10 for a bomber. At that price, it's not a bad beer, though I have to say I'd likely pick Shipyard's Barleywine over this if given the choice between the two.

Overall: B = 84

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Double Old Thumper Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 236 ratings