While in Cape Canaveral, Florida. I found a need for liquid refreshment and turned to the Liquor store next to the local Publix. As I have noted a number of times, I don’t really do any research and usually select a bottle based on its label art and name; the prettier the bottle or more dramatic the name, the better. Of course, along the way I have picked up a couple of truly dreadful beers that apparently invested all of the funding in the bottle design and didn’t save much for the actual product. In other instances, I have purchased a beer where the label really didn’t match the content and the beer didn’t have the enormous hop character that the name might have suggested or despite the pretty bottle art, jasmine shouldn’t ever be added to a beer. Anyway, I saw this bottle of Double Old Thumper Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company and it fit my requirements: shiny bottle with fancy art and a cool name.
Before we get to my review, here is what Shipyard has to say about the Old Double Thumper:
The big brother of the British Grand Champion beer Old Thumper. Double Old Thumper delivers a spicy hop aroma and brilliant deep copper hue. This beer has a complex malty finish with a dry Simcoe Hop bite.
I found the beer to be…
- Appearance: Cloudy amber with lots of lacing.
- Aroma: Hops, citrus (grapefruit) with blasts of caramel and syrup; almost a sweet sauce that you could put on ribs.
- Taste: Mild carbonation with too much sweetness on the front end and just too sour in the finish.
- ABV: 11.2%
This is a perfect example of where my lack of research comes back to bite me. A quick check at Beer Advocate or Rate Beer would have indicated that the Double Old Thumper is an English barleywine. While this might be a good representation of that style (it was really too out of balance to be anything better than good), I am not a fan of the style. I would like to say lesson learned, but I’m sure I’ll be back to buying the shiny bottles without due research again.