Monday, February 15, 2010

Shipyard Old Thumper

Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Co.
Style: ESB
Location: Portland, ME
Brewery Website
Rating: A

The Shipyard Brewing Company's Ringwood Brewery Old Thumper Extra Special Ale (now that's a mouthful!) is an American-brewed version of a champion British beer. The master brewer at Shipyard was mentored by the founder of Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, and he now produces a version of the Old Thumper at Shipyard.

The Old Thumper is a golden amber color with a faint hint of red. It pours with a thick, bubbly white head. The nose is fruity with sourdough bread notes as well. One the palate, the Shipyard Old Thumper has some acidity up front with bread and some bitter hops flavors. These are underscored by complex notes of caramel, dark chocolate and tart berries. As the acidity fades, the bread and bitter notes linger through the finish. The Old Thumper has a light-to-moderate body with a juicy mouthfeel. This is a damn good beer, but it does have a distinctive flavor (similar to sourdough) that may turn some people off. If you enjoy ESB's, this is one of the great ones.

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