Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version) | Ringwood Brewery

75 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version)Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version)

Brewed by:
Ringwood Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PorterPounder on 08-20-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 164
Photo of Chinon01
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Head like a chocolate shake. Sustained which coats with some lacing. Color more at coca cola.

Smell - Milky sweet malt.

Taste - Mineral, woody and cocoa sweet malt. Pleasant hop finish.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Near perfect but there is a bit too much sweetness, almost cloying.

 298 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes, circa 02/08.

Smells delightful - malty richness and fruit hop splash. Some malt toastiness too.

Golden straw, good clarity, nice little head.

Crisp malt toast and light caramel sweetness. Plenty of hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol on a well carbonated medium-thick body. Superb balance with all that great tasting hop bitterness. Winds with more intense English-like biscuit malt.

A paradigm example of an ESB I say (based on my very limited experiences and tastings, mind you). Very tasty. I'll definitely seek this one out again soon.

 557 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time to try this beer in its bottled version - don't know what to expect... BB 04/12/08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: light copper in colour, topped with a tight, thick, creamy light beige froth with superb retention; moderate+ level of carbonation.
S: besides being slighlty dusty due to the thick froth, the aroma is richly fruity (papaya, ripe apples, tangerine, plum-jam, with a touch of banana... almost tropically-fruity in a sense!), toffee-ish, and slightly sticky... Lots of malts with accompanied sweetness on the nose, but not w/o a healthy dose of fruit sourness overall.
T: a mouthful of toffee-ish malts, caramel, nuts, and a touch of coconut-shaving comes on top of a little oily-estery taste typical of most strong Premium Bitter, then gradually leading towards more mixed ripe fruits, spicy hops, roast tea (with sugar)... An Oloroso-sherry-like dry-ish sweet aftertaste lingers with a flat texture of moderate-level bitterness that is however very chewy and dry in the end. M&D: the texture is not too fizzy at all but quite refreshing to keep this strong ale light enough to quaff, while the little trace of alc. on the palate certainly helps. What's more, the overall aftertaste gets more and more bitter as the drinking goes, making it really enjoyable and quaffable.

 1,320 characters

Photo of rgrholmes168
4.48/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Great head on this beer. Did not instantly disappear which is always a plus. The color is almost orange.

S- A great smell to this beer. I got a good sense of toffee/caramel.

T- Great taste, I was impressed with my first drink.

M- Very balanced beer, this is perfect.

D- Very drinkable. I can drink these beers all day long.

I highly recommend this beer. It is one of the best ales I have ever had.

 405 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange brown with a little bit of light tan head that leaves a good lacing on the way down. Nose is metallic and almost like mild orange peels. Flavor is strong with a tangy citrus edge that pinches the sides of your mouth. There does seem to be a smooth and slight caramel flavor to it as well. I wish I could give this one a 3.75 for flavor. After a while, there seems to be a bit of a nutty aftertaste to it. Feel has a nice bubble to it. It is drinkable yes. A good beer. Just not a stellar one. Worth trying I think.

 535 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at the Abbey Brewing pub in Miami Beach. Copper colored and clear, thinnest of heads. The aroma is somewhat toasty, a nice bready smell. The flavor hits the nail on the head, it has the fresh baked bread in it with just a touch of fruity esters, honest to God this tastes like I'm having it at a pub in London. A velvetty smooth mouthfeel provided by the cask conditioning and beer engine, near perfect mouthfeel. I could drink this for hours, until I puked, passed out, or almost impossibly lost interest.

 525 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.69/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A fluffy two finger head rises above a really deep and dark clear copper brew. Buttloads of super sticky lace is left on the glass. The khaki head shows really nice retention. This looks exactly how a pale ale should!

S - Deep toasty caramel malt with big toffee notes. Smells super malty and roasty like a big crusty cinnamon and raisin scone. Molasses, maple syrup, toffee, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Lots of really nice toasty toffee candy notes with a brilliantly autumnal hop character. What an outstanding aroma!

T - Again, lots of toffee and caramel with some autumn leaf hops. Toasty, malty, sweet, and very complex. Just like the nose, this taste reminds me of a big cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisin scone with a little bit of butter on it. The balance and complexity of the flavors presented here is astounding. I love the combination of toast, toffee, hay, butter (diacetyl), and raisins. This is so tasty that it's actually making me hungry.

M - Medium bodied with an aggressive level of carbonation for a British pale ale. I sort of like the tingly sensation, and the finish is sweet and very malty. I can feel residual sugars after swallowing, but 30-40 seconds later I feel a drying sensation. It's almost like it has two finishes....first sweet and coating, then of dry and gritty/hoppy. Nicely done.

D - I picked this up when making a few mix-a-sixes at the lesser of the two "good beer" stores in my town, and I wasn't really expecting all that much. This floored me. What a well made and expertly balanced brew! I could drink this all the time.

Note: I just noticed two things. First, my review is the highest so far and second, my bottle has notches indicating that it's best before December of '06, and it's now November of '07. Apparently, age does wonderful things for this brew despite the lower ABV. Maybe those toasty, earthy, butter notes are a result of a year of aging. Anyway, disregard the "best before" date on the bottle. Mine was a year past it's date and I found this beer to be quite outstanding.

 2,048 characters

Photo of praufs01
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance – Clear copper with off-white head.

Aroma – Light hop aroma with hints of molasses and toffee.

Palate – Smooth medium mouth feel.

Flavor – Light brown sugar taste up front that heavier toffee finish.

Final thoughts – There is nothing really special about this brew. It’s not bad its just nothing special.

 325 characters

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

Clear brown brew with lighter highlights, lots of streamers from bottom to top. Average head, maybe one finger, retention is okay. Lacing is spotty.

Served warm, there's a notable beery aroma, very archetypal for fermented barley with hop. There's some tangy citric punch in there, along with some sweet malt.

Flavor is very smooth, but a bit odd. There is still some citrus, and the caramel malt is evident. A darker fruity flavor pops in a lot, like a bigger bitter. Slightly nutty.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, just fine for a pale ale. Everything works out nicely here, very respectable and drinkable beer.

 621 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear amber-orange color. Thick creamy off-white head lingers and laces the glass nicely.

Smell: A rather unusual smell that takes a few moments to adjust to. Oranges and berries are most prominent, with some indistinct spices.

Taste: Malty with some hop undertones. Plenty of fruit blended into the flavor, like oranges, apples, and berries. The aftertaste is an odd sweetly-bitter taste ("bitter-sweet" doesn't seem appropriate here).

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and fairly smooth. A bit too zesty -- different than most carbonation.

Drinkability: Probably not a good session beer, as it's unusual in a few respects, but it's nice for having one or two.

Certainly an interesting beer, with a unique smell and taste. I enjoy it a lot, but it's not the type of thing I'd want to have too often. A good "novelty" to have on occasion.

 915 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1997

Pours a clear, reddish-hued amber, with an off-white head that barely rises above the surface, and quickly fizzles out.
Zero lacework remains above the placid surface.
Aromatics are fruity and malty, accented with notes of butterscotch and toffee.
Ripe apples drizzled with caramel.
Mouthfeel is light and meagerly carbonated. Slightly juicy and chewy.
The pallet has a nice "english" malt flavor. Juicy, meaty, and quite smooth. Light caramel notes and fruity undertones, with some mild oxidation.
Finishes quickly and without much fanfare, a minimal bitterness takes the edge off a light sweet note.
One thing that is missing from the UK version vs the Shipyard one..The big butter component. Much more subdued in the original version and allows the beer to be much more drinkable.
The beer seems to have a "softer" quality to it as well. Perhaps the water is lacking some of the hardness of the Portland, Maine sister beer.

 952 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice honey color. Thin head, with some retention, and lacing. Smell is sweet and malty. The body is on the thin side with carbionation. Taste is sweet all the way through. Maybe a bit of hops in the finish. Nice honey after taste. Not "extra special", but not bad.

 272 characters

Photo of
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle with a best before date of 1/07. Poured a clear gold color, with a modest white head. Aroma was faint citrus hops, with just a touch of malt. Taste was bitter, followed by a sweet I can only describe as bubblegum. Maybe a little bit of grapefruit. Bubblegum flavor faded some as the beer warmed, but not enough. Beer was light in body, highly carbonated, and quite drying. Overall, I just didn't like it. I tried three of these over the course of a week, and just couldn't get anywhere with it. If the bubblegum flavor went away, I think I would be singing it's praises, but as it stands, no more for me.

 617 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great British session bitter, just a tad high on the abv at 5.6% - but that’s the only nick picking issue.

Starts superb; chill hazed pumpkin yellow, topped by a massive ivory head. Great lacing all the way down.

Aromas of malted barley, however on the meager side. Proper taste of toasted malts, hints of an earthly leather balanced with a light hop accent. Flows down well for the entire mni-bomber, I could drink several easily.

 445 characters

Photo of GreenCard
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light copper, great clarity, thick layer of bubbly off-white foam, good head retention

Aroma: malt, strawberries, sweet apples, Ringwood yeast, herbally hops, roasted hazelnuts

Flavor: mellow toasty malt sweetness, slight acidity; a pleasantly fruity combo of zesty pear-skin hop flavor, unripe green plums, and prunes; finishes dryish with a scrumptious lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, mild carbonation, minerally texture

Other comments: I tried this beer many years ago when I was at university in Boston (Mass.). Really liked the name and label, that's what drew me in. Turned out to be a pretty good beer, too. Still a good beer, a great beer even. Perhaps one of my favorite all-purpose British ales. When I visited Ringwood Brewery, I found out that the one you get in the US is actually brewed by Shipyard.

Update Dec. 2008: I have just done a side-by-side comparison of UK Old Thumper and US Old Thumper. The UK version is definitely the best. It is smoother, more aromatic, a bit fruitier (pineapple?), more caramelly and biscuity, but it is a bit cloudy in comparison to the US version (I presume they filter it). The US version has less head, is drier tasting, a bit more hoppy/bitter, less balanced, and not as lively or complex.

 1,275 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great dark coppery color and a full two finger head that lasts.A real nutty hop filled smell.The taste is a creamy nutty,carmel like flavor,very good.This has a nice medium feel thats very drinkable and one of the better ales around.
I bought this at Tully's in Wells ME and was recommended to try it.Nice call !!!

 317 characters

Photo of buckiflyer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a single bottle I picked up, normally stick to US micros but liked the bottle art so I thought why not. Poured a light amber clear color. Thick head with lacing. Sweet malty smell. Buttery taste with a smooth malty finish, a well balanced beer. Good stuff.

 268 characters

Photo of oelergud
4.44/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper body with an off-white to light tan head, decent carbonation but low retention and little lace.
Incredible smell, strong and spiced molasses and caramel with faint undertones of hop bitterness.
Taste is almost as strong as the scent. Caramel and sweet molasses of the malt with a well balanced hop counter that really comes through in the moderately long aftertaste.
Medium body with some good coating.
This is a brew that demands attention from the first sip which makes it an enjoyable beer but not something you can have all night, very interesting brew.


 587 characters

Photo of mortarit
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Thumper thump me alright frrom it's taste. It says extra special ale. Went I swiged it, it did have a different taste than I am used to from ales.
The ale is much lighter than normal too.

Hardly any head at all.

Drinking it out of a tall beer glass.


I think it would be a good converisation beer.

 323 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - copper orange poured into a pilsner glass. A finger of cream-colored head creates a solid film of lace on the glass. Mad bubble action keeps a thin blanket on top of the beer.

Aroma - sweet malts, slightly crackery, slight metallic-like aroma as well but more like it's part of the beer, not tainted.

Taste - sweet and buttery malt, mmm mmm good. A shot of hops on the swallow do more than just balance. They settle in for several moments with a subdued but controlling bitterness. The finish is warm and slightly bitter with a touch of alcohol peeking through at times, giving it an almost whiskey-like aftertaste. Very good!

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, feels right for the style.

Drinkability - ESBs aren't on my short list of stock beers, but I did enjoy this one. I'd have it again.

 808 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01/11/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Oakland, CA

Presentation- 22 oz bomber with no dates, poured into my 24 oz glass mug.

Appearance- Nice golden amber pour with a gi-mungous white foamy head. Excellent lacing as well.

Smell- Mostly heavy caramel malt notes with a tad of fruityness.

Taste- Major caramel malt action with a touch of bitter fruity hops in the background.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, but a bit watery in the finish.

Drinkability- Reminds me of a watery poor man's SNPA. Nothing special, but not bad. Probably won't need to try again though.

 585 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The head came up nicely, covering a clear orangish brown body.

Smell - The aroma here was quite nice. It reminded me a bit of Old Stock. The fruits especially came on strong. The summertime melons mixed well with the darker raisins and plums. The oranges and cherries were lighter, and all this was soaked in several types of sugars (brown being my favorite) and alcohol. The lightly-toasted malt base brought up the rear.

Taste - The fruits really came out at the taste. This is not a heavy-hitter but more of an easy-drinker. It is very sweet and sugary with lots of fruits competing for the drinker's attention. This is like a malty fruit juice and, again, a nice alcohol compliment (especially considering that the ABV is kind of light for the style).

Mouthfeel - Incredibly smooth. The mouthfeel was my favorite part of this ale. It was medium-bodied but very sweet with a nice alcohol twinge. This had my saliva glands working overtime.

Drinkability - If there's such a thing as a session Strong/Old Ale this is it.

Comments - This was a very unique take on the style. I can see how some might consider it to "lightweight," but I enjoyed the interpretation that resulted in the nice, easy-drinking ale. A big, appreciative BA thanks to xlperro for sending this my way. With only ten reviews to date on the site, this one was a real find.

Update - I logged the 11th review of this beer on March 2004 and at that time it was listed as a Strong/Old Ale and sure enough it has since been reclassified properly as an EPA. I didn't find as much fruit here as I did 6 years ago and the yeast is much more pronounced, but in any event this is a nice, easy drinker.

 1,681 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright copper body capped by a nice crown of off-white foam. Energetic lacing down the glass.

The nose is maltty and also hints of firm fruit notes. Caramel drifts through the malt.

The flavor is fully malty with some nice bittering in the front and tailing sweetness. Short aftertaste reminds of caramel malt base.

The feel is medium with a nice finish that is less than crisp, but does not linger. A nicely drinkable brew.

 435 characters

Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange gold color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and caramel. A medium bodied ale, Malts are mild, slightly sweet and fruity. Apples and vanilla. Hops are very dry and somewhat floral. There is a very distinct orange flavor to this beer. Slightly bittering, and there is a strange aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and a touch astringent.

 398 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had a mostly diminishing medium sized cremy ivory head with fine-large bubbles.The body was clear with lively carbonation.The hue was amber and the nose was that of fruits and spices.The flavor was bitter, hoppy and it had a slight aftertaste to it.The mouthfeel was tingly on my tongue, smooth and medium bodied.This beer left a good lacing on the sides of my glass.

 377 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Ringwood Old Thumper (UK Version) from Ringwood Brewery
3.67 out of 5 based on 164 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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