Shipyard Double Old Thumper Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

235 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Shipyard Double Old Thumper AleShipyard Double Old Thumper Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chrisgn on 02-02-2011

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 235 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Old Thumper Ale, Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine. "…the big brother of the British Grand Champion beer Old Thumper. Available in the United States under a unique arrangement between England's Ringwood Brewery and Shipyard Brewing Company, Double Old Thumper is a real beast of a beer. Created by Shipyard's master brewer Alan Pugsley, DOT is deep brown in color with a spicy hop aroma and a warming malty finish. This beer …blah, blah, blah…" 11.2 % ABV.

Bright ruby red look, beautiful, creamy, lacy head atop. Very inviting. Urges me onward.

Aroma: sweetness, with a sting. Full, rich malt, kept pace by bracing booze. Leathery, cognac-y, caramel and a cornucopia of fruit (apple, melon, berries.). Complex, and rewarding. Love it.

Taste: Boom! Bam! Pow! Comes out swinging, this one, explodes on the palate. Spills out flavors aplenty, coats the palate with thick, malt, and powerful hops. It's a thumper, all right, a mammoth, a doozy, a ring-dinger. It hums, it roars, it simmers just before it singes, it warms before it burns.

Absolutely formidable, intense, and amazing. So rich, so complex, so round, so fully packed. Bright, fierce, indomitable. Mmmm. I like this. Ought to pick up more for the winter months. It's coming. Gonna need a big, wooly, warming ale like this.

 1,309 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice copper color with 1" beige head that fade to a mottled 1/4" head with lacing all the way down the glass

S-dark fruits, raisins and plums but not very strong extra points for 11.2% but you can't smell it

T-carmel malts with raisins just like the smell 11.2% but very well hidden

M-nice creamy carbonation

O-nice flavors and suprisingly easy drinking high alcohol beer

 418 characters

Photo of Boppar
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle (at 11.2% ABV, this truly is a "bomber") into a red wine glass, and for a refill, a pint glass.

A: Pours cloudy red brown with a finger or so of foamy off-white head a with soap bubbles. Solid head retention and good lacing once the foaminess has subsided.

S: Sweet malts, earthy hops, a faint alcohol spice.

T: Raisins, vanilla, and rum lead the charge. Mid-palate is a tad more subdued with notes of toffee and sweet bread. The finish is quite dry with a healthy dose of bittering hops and a sustained oakiness. That oak just won't quit. At no point in time does the 11.2% ABV present itself. This is the sort of beer that could easily lead to trouble, especially given the overly generous 22 oz serving size. The one factor that limits this to a "one and done" beer is the oaked-out bitterness.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, foamy, and slick.

O: Overall, this is a nice beer and one that would work nicely both for fans of barleywine, and those who favor bitters, ESB's, and brown ales but want something a little bigger.

 1,054 characters

Photo of asabreed
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Light peach-colored and fairly clear. Nice lacing.

Smell: A lot of booze is there. Some peach-esue fruit aromas. But highly, highly booze.

Taste: Again: never had the original, but this is booze city, so much so that I can't pick out anything distinctly. That said, it's enjoyable, and not a mishmash.

Mouthfeel: Thick and drenched, but this is the way, I think, that it's supposed to be.

Drinkability: This, to me, doesn't feel like a brew with this power. I've never had the original, so maybe that makes me not as much of an expert as I should be? I think balance is the key, and as much as I'm enjoying this, this isn't the case. Still, check it out.

 706 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I find it hard to believe this beer scored so low in other's ratings. It's both beautiful and scrumptious. It poured like a thick barley wine with a slow to emerge beige 1" head. In masstone it's a burnt sienna brown but held to the light there's a pretty hazy reddish tint. Smell is great with rich malt, caramel, and hops but not a slap in the face amount of them. Taste is delicious, kind of like candied hops. Rich, sweet, with caramel, toffee, and barley wine attributes. I don't always drink sweet or bold beers but I find this Old Thumper very appealing. And the 11.2% alcohol is well hidden, not a boozy burning mess in my opinion. I say nice job Shipyard.

 664 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Gold foil on cap which was glued on like crazy.

Poured into old Stein #42, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear copper brew. Head fizzes away rather quickly, with chunky lacing. Aroma is boozy with pine hops.

Taste is syrupy sweet to start, strong pine prickling in the middle, and a warm alcohol close than intensifies over time. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay as well. Seems like everything in this brew is intensified from the original Old Thumper, for better or worse.

 567 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: half finger head. Nice amber color and murky.

S: mild grapefruit, touch of lemon and orange.

T: lots of grapefruit and citrus in the initial and lingering taste. Floral and cinnamon notes

M: moderate to full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Thick.

Overall: Certainly not your everyday beer, This one tries to accomplish many tastes with a heavy alcohol content.

 365 characters

Photo of Briken
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear sharp orange amber, nice tight tan head with great retention. Floral lager aroma. Toasted malt with peppery hop with lightly sweet finish and hop linger. Notes of toffee and biscuit. Slick feel with light stickiness.

Hops and toastiness start to dominate after awhile and may benefit from some aging. It is an amazingly drinkable beer for 10%, not too heavy feel and little alcohol in taste and warming. I really don’t think it’s worth the expense at this point but possibly in a year or 2.

 501 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with half a finger of white head on a hazy, dark copper body. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves good lace.

S - Fruity notes of red apple, cinnamon and plum, with some caramel.

T - Caramel notes up front with a bit of medicinal clove. Lots of toffee and burnt caramel in the middle that fades to cinnamon and clove in the finish.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation and a sweet finish.

D - Quite a big, heavy beer. The sugar character is as cloying as one would expect with some oddly strong, spicy notes that further enhance the effect and make it even more of a sipping beer. Not a drain pour, but not particularly enjoyable either, about what I have come to expect from Shipyard.

 717 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Good blanketing lace after a modest head. The brew has a deep copper color. Nearly clear.

Sweet, strong brown sugar aroma. To the nose, the alcohol is surprisingly muted.

The alcohol is quite present in the taste. Also, there is a bittering hop that I didn't notice in the smell. The swallow and aftertaste is very warming. I think it is too much of a "good" thing. I would not categorize this as an ESB. I think it is far too potent. Barley Wine is a better description. The body matches this well: Rich mouthfeel with enough carbonation to prevent it from being cloy. In the end, there's too much alcohol to make this work.

 628 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a weizen glass.

pours a deep amber tone with a touch of haze; fairly aggressive pour yields a 2" creamy/frothy head. great retention and significant lacing on display. great looking beer.

nose is interesting. malt-forward and sweet with dark fruits and candied sugar. reminiscent of a sweet BSDA.

flavor is good, better than i was expecting having perused a few other reviews. malt-forward with significant sweetness - though not cloyingly so - with some balancing bitterness and notes of fruit, spice, butterscotch, and booze. mouthfeel is on the full size; adequate carbonation.

overall this is not a bad brew at all; i can see where it wouldn't appeal to some but IMO it's certainly worth i try.

 724 characters

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Thumper is a beer that I really enjoy,having it on cask in Kennebunkport was a thrill,I just wonder why this beer was made,but I actually kinda liked it.Poured into an imperial nonic a rich copper color with a thinner but well retained head.The ringwood yeast brings the big buttery notes along with gummy fruit esters and sweet alcohol,flavors are buttery caramel and big sweet alcohol,the hops are really subdued.To me this is a ringwood yeast dominated English Barleywine with its big sweetness and alcohol.I like this beer as a sipper but its not overly complex in nature,Iam glad I tried it.

 600 characters

Photo of seand
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light brown color with a layer of eggshell white head with small bubbles. A thin layer retains well, leaving pretty good lacing.

S: Dark, thick, and sweet. Caramel, along with foral notes.

T: Heavy sweetness and heavy hops. Not really subtle or balanced, but lots of flavor. There's a touch of something that feels almost savory mid-palate that I can't quite place. Finishes dry with bitter hops

M: Medium body, thin for the ABV, medium carbonation.

Overall, it's OK, and certainly interesting; worth trying, but I wouldn't want to have it all that often. It's kind of a harsh beer, and would probably be best in fairly small portions.

 650 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My nightcap beer, and the beer that made me make malt granola.

Reviewed from notes.

Appearance-Dark ruby red with a 2 finger tan head. Nice sticky lacing and pretty good retention.

Smell-Very very sweet. Theres gotta be tons of sugars in this brew. Lots of dark fruits, I get alot of cherry. Bitterness comes through as well, very awkward.

Taste-Best way to describe this is a Quad meets a Belgian IPA. Lots of dark fruits and cherry. Very hoppy and bitter. Bitterness not lingering like I thought it would. ALOT of booze in there, and it shows when you take your first and last sip. Booze really came out when it got close to room temp. Definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel-Very hot and can get hard to drink. Rough on the tongue. Full bodied

Overall-This is not an everyday beer, and I don't want to drink more then maybe 8 oz at a time.(I couldn't finish the 11oz that I poured) A creative beer but not very drinkable.

 922 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 22oz bottle is split between two glasses, mine being an Old Thumper logo glass. Slightly translucent caramel colored liquid with a big yellowish head of bubbles and foam. Lots of clinging carbonation on the bottom of the glass and a few streams of tiny bubbles rising within. Swirling the glass leaves an oily slick with patchy foam.

Strong aroma has elements of British ale yeast, English hops and crystal sugars. Swirling the glass releases a wave of scents.

Alcohol and sugars are very apparent in the the flavor. Some bitterness in the finish, but its the alcohol and sweetness that lingers.

Full bodied, average carbonation. Lots of stickiness. The oily slick on the sides of the glass can be felt coating my mouth.

This is an average extreme beer from Shipyard. I don't enjoy it as much as Smashed Pumpkin or some members of Pugsley's Signature Series. Double Thumper won't replace regular Old Thumper for me, especially when its on cask at the Great Lost Bear.

 973 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an attractive clear coppery red-brown with a fairly thick and somewhat persistent pale coppery-tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. Strong aroma is malty and a little yeasty with a firm overtone of apple brandy. Sharp, malty flavor has a strong brandy tang and hints of hoppy bitterness and caramel, with just a whisper of fruity sweetness. Ragged texture is fairly fizzy and leaves behind a mild but persistent tingle.

 426 characters

Photo of cpolking
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper colored with brown and ruby. There is a quarter inch of creamy off-white head that leaves light lacing down the glass.

The aroma is very fruity, lots of jammy apricot and some aromatic and tropical fruit notes. The taste is sweet, but not cloyingly so, there is a good balancing bitterness on the finish.

This is a slightly sweet, dense scone slathered in a sweet, but tangy apricot jam. This is delicious and exceeds my expectations, especially for its high ABV, it is immensely drinkable.

 507 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.27/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle - Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber body with a foamy, creamyish, near-white head.

Smell: Fusel-scented aroma that, beyond the stinging wafts, are some hints of earthy hops and sugary malts.

Taste: Sweet sugary on the front edge, with a bit of buttery caramel, some toast, and some chocolate. Then some hot alcohol tones and the earthen, herbal hops and plenty of bitterness. Then, while some fruity esters (raisins, mostly) are making there way in, as well as a rebound of sweetness, a bolt of well vodka hits making for a hard, harsh, unclean finish. Lingering tongue-singing heat and bitterness. Guh.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A ghastly brew that's downright hard to drink. Instead of a Double Thumper, I'd rather have had two Thumpers. I was a bit leery of this one once I saw the ABV listing, but thought to myself, "How bad could it be?" Pretty bad, apparently.

 964 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with some friends into a couple snifters.
Poured a clear amber, faintly reddish with about an inch and a half of head. The aroma has a dark sweetness. An earthy must with some prunes and red grapes. The taste has a lot of dark fruity malts a large amount of sweetness and an alcohol bite on the finish. Dry and slightly sour for the finish but overall very sweet and dark.

 388 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden peach/orange in color. You can almsot see through it. The head doesn't linger at all. It begins an off yellow color but has little retention.

Has a fruity, malty scent. Not citrusy like some ales, but red or dark fruit notes. Kind of like candy apple from the festivals.

The taste is similar to the smell in that you can pick up the dark fruits, but there is also some alcohol that comes through.

It's slightly rough on the palate. There is plenty of bitter and heat from the alcohol. It starts off sweet from the fruits, but then immediately the bitter and heat takes over.

I'm glad to have tried this beer. It's not really my style of beer, but it's something I'd drink again.

 698 characters

Photo of emmasdad
2.04/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reading about this one on a Beer Advocate forum, I was very excited to try it. I got the opportunity when I saw it on the shelf at BevMo in San Diego. Wow! To be completely honest, this beer was terrible. Aromas of sweet malt, butter and alcohol. Similar on the palate, medium bodied and loaded with diacetyl. The alcohol kept me going on the bottle, but it wasnt fun.

 368 characters

Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found a bottle of this at my local grocer and couldn't resist trying it. I guess if Old Thumper is an ESB (s for special), then Double Old Thumper is an ESB (s for strong). In any case it was good but not as complex as I would have wanted for a beer of that strength.

Poured a deep amber with a nice, one inch head. Active carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass the entire time.

Smell was of fruit and spice.

Flavor was surprisingly not complex and quite hot on the alcohol. Somewhat of a disappointment.

Overall I'd say that this beer was worth trying and I'd probably also try it on draft if i see it but I won't see it out.

 644 characters

Photo of DaveHS
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a thin amber/maple syrup color with less than an inch of thin, off white head. Fades quickly, leaving thin, inconsistent rings of lacing.

S- The nose is packed with fruit aromas, especially pear, strawberry and fig. This is accompanied by a sweetness reminiscent of butterscotch, and spicy, boozy aromas.

T/M- The thin, almost vinous mouthfeel threw me off at first, given the buttery malt character. But before long all you will be able to taste is a barrage of intensely bitter hoppiness. The fruit notes in the nose are practically nonexistent in the flavor profile. Honestly, I think they overdid it on the hops (which is easy to do when you’re working with Simcoe) but it’s a minor complaint.

O- By the time I finished this, I wasn’t so sure about the vinous qualities I initially picked up on in the mouthfeel. Once the hops kick in, it feels much heavier and drier, but there are occasional traces of the initial mouthfeel, probably attributable to the high Alcohol By Volume. The finish is bitter and lingering. This one’s a mixed bag.

 1,062 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Old thumper goes back to the roots and genesis of my beer geekdom back in the mid-late 90's. So the DT is pretty interesting to me.

A clear, dark-brown amber and a heady off-white foam that goes down slow.

A nice, spicey herbal hop aroma that is very nice along with a slight tang, butery caramel malt and buzzy heat tingle in the nose.

Earthy, spicey and dry hop flavor comes on first. complex slightly bitter effect and a dry bite and then medium-bodied maltiness takes over with leather and tobacco flavor's, only slightly sweet with a layer of smoke and caramel as the bold, earthy hop flavor's come and go. The complexity is very high with multi layers of malt and hop flavor's all in good balance. The flavor's morph and mutate and then an assertive heat rides in but it falls into the mix as the taste slowly changes.

This one is a beastie beer that is WAY to easy to drink !

 892 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich amber color with a nice tan Baily's colored foamy head.

S - Very nice scent, elegant, smooth and vanilla-y

T - Strong and rich flavor. Almost has a Robitussin taste to it. Very unique. Big booze flavor. I'm having Lamb for dinner, I thought it would be a nice choice for the day... Compliments flavors very nicely.

M - Heavy body and very strong.

D - Good drinkablity, draws me back for the next sip...

Thanks for the trade Andy! Good brew, very glad I got to try it!


 492 characters

Shipyard Double Old Thumper Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 235 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More