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Blackbeard Ale - Virgin Islands Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blackbeard AleBlackbeard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

52 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 16.22%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Virgin Islands Brewing Co.
Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 40
Photo of kendrid
1.78/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I had this on a recent trip to St Thomas. When I ordered it the bartender warned me that the majority of people do not like it.

I couldn't finish even half of the bottle. My wife thought it taste like soy sauce. I found it very grassy/weedy.

Photo of clager
2.27/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Initially really liked the combination of burnt malt and apple cider flavor, however as it warmed up a bit it tasted more like rotten apples and I was unable to finish it.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce

Pours a clear amber with a white lacing for a head.

Smells of apples, some citrus, and a mild hop bitterness.

Flavor is unexpected. Tart like sour apples with a rich molasses and honey malt and a mild hop bitterness.

Medium body with a light tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

A strange ale, not what I was expecting. I liked it okay but looking at other reviews, I wonder if I got an off one since my flavor experience seems pretty unique. It'll probably be a long while before I get to try one again so I'll just have to go off what I know.

Photo of biboergosum
2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

355ml bottle. Minhas by way of the Virgin Islands.

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, thinly foamy pale beige head, which leaves a few streaks of sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly fades away.

It smells of faint caramel/bready malt, acrid orchard fruit, a certain familiar chemical runoff, and weedy, mildly skunky hops. The taste is nutty caramel malt, a more fresh-seeming apple and pear fruitiness, a soft hard water minerality, and earthy, weedy hops, that skanky rather surprisingly blown off.

The carbonation is pretty laid back, inert, even, the body on the lee side of medium weight, and kinf of tacky in its smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel, nuts, and fruit abetted by a burgeoning menthol alcohol.

More of an amber ale than a pale ale, with a modicum of restraint in terms of the Minhas house um, flavour. Anyways, hardly an exemplar of the style, but I'm sure this kills in St. Croix.

Photo of Sammy
2.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Self listed as an amber ale. Malty aroma. Lots of white lace on yellow golden. A little astringent, and corn. Bitter, even a tad sour and not so drinkable. I could have this on a 100 Fahrenheit day in a pinch.Thanks for sharing Josh. The bitterness is not from hops, a little dry.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber body with a thin half finger rapidly dissipating head.

S: caramel malts and milk chocolate.

T: heavy on the sweet caramel malts. Earthy hop notes, nice milk chocolate  and some mild dark fruit in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: drinkable and sweet. Almost like an amber ale meets a milk stout. Nice one to try while on st thomas.

Photo of Risser09
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a white wine glass · Fridge temp · probably 2011

Appearance: Pours a nice amber color with a 2" ivory head. Good retention. Some lacing.

Smell: Caramel, nougat, freshly crushed barley, earthy hop oils. Very English indeed.

Taste: More caramel, cereal grains, some bitterness, milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Nice, creamy texture that drinks very easily. A lingering bitterness rounds out this English style pale ale.

Drinkability: I expected much worse from this beer but it turned out to be a solid brew. It follows it's style guidelines perfectly, but doesn't offer anything too exciting. I would drink it if I ever visited the Virgin Islands.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

They used to carry this stuff at Trader Joe's I believe. Kinda of a dull gold and light amber appearance, about 3/4" head to it. Aroma was lacking hops. I thought navy beers were highly hopped?

Hop character stays behind, pale and caramel malt smoothness plays first chair here. Easy drinking, even a little chewy. Do they use some of that caribbean traded molassesin here? No freshness date available. Mild sweetness. Not bad, not exceptional, pretty much right down the middle for this one.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to plastic cup in St. Thomas, USVI on 6/3/11
*From notes

A: Rich and dark 24k gold. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head and passable lacing.

S: Cinnamon topped rice pudding, and dark spiced rum. Not a hint of hops or malt. It's really crazy, and I kinda dig it.

T: Heavy cream, milk chocolate and a heavy dose of nutmeg. I've never encountered a beer like it, regardless of style. Big time malt with a touch of smoke. The hops provide a slight hint of bitterness on the finish that really ties the brew together.

M: Rich. Almost too much considering the ABV. It's well carbonated and sports a good deal of weight.

O: Virgin Island's Blackbeard Ale is such a unique beer. It doesn't drink or taste like an English Pale Ale, and though the ABV is low, it isn't sessionable because it's so jam packed with a heavy spice bill.

Worth knocking a couple back while living the Pirate lifestyle in the islands.

Photo of corby112
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark colden copper/amber color with golden orange hues when held to a light and a frothy one finger yellowish beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Slightly toasted caramel malt aroma with hints of toffee, biscuit and faint earthy hops.

Medium bodied and much fuller than expected. Most of the carribean "craft" beers I've had so far have been slightly amped up macros/adjuncts but thi beer is pretty complex and well crafted. There a soft, crisp hop flavor up front that provides slight dryness/bitterness which lingers throughout over the sweet malt backbone into a dry finish. The hops are quickly countered mid-palate by a sweet malt backbone with hints of caramel, rye, toffee and biscuit. Very well balanced and although it's darker/heavier than expected, this beer is very quaffable in this tropical climate.

Photo of ImusBeer
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance, a light tan with a good off white head. Aromas of malty sweetness.

Taste is a lot of malt with slight bitterness along with some sweetness, a really nice mixture.

With a medium high carbonation, a really light feel on tongue, tingly. A good light ale with some malty flavour and slight bitterness, I could drink a few of these and enjoy each one.

Photo of chetripley
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from CBC Member Steve from his recent trip to the Virgin Islands. Thanks for the stowaway.

Poured a clear and bubbly amber hue into a pint glass from the bottle.

Smells of grain and fruit, a little yeast. Smells a little confusing, not a familiar smell.

Tastes were a lot better than the smells, grains and a little wetness, then a yeast presence, the the bitterness balancing out quickly leaving a slightly sweet finish.

Drinkable and the right amount of carbonation and smooth finish makes me happy I received this.

Can't wait to travel down there myself and experience it firsthand.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blackbeard Ale...got to try this in St. Thomas.

Appearance-pours a light brown, decent head comes up with heavy bubbles but dies down quickly. Ok but nothing special.

Smell-dried malt, lingering alcohol aroma, residual syrupy sweetness as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel-malt, alcohol and light chocolate flavors, more filling and layered than I expected. Decent taste, a little muddled but again more than you might think.

Drinkability-good flavor, fits the profile.

Overall-A pleasent suprise in the Virgin Islands, a flavorful pale ale, not perfect but there is more here than in ales with similar profiles.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shout out to Michelle for bringing this back from your vacation for me. Pours a mostly clear light brown color with a rich cap of fine-bubbled tan foam. Retention is good and lacing is moderate.

Smell is malted milk, cocoa and tart fruitiness. Not liking where this is heading, it does not smell very appetizing.

Taste is a bit better than the nose, but still has some oxidized cardboard and light fruit flavors. The malts are sweet and caramely, and there is a mild hop bitterness in the finish. Arrr...This does not seem to be a well brewed beer, matey...either that or this is an old bottle...both seem to be distinct possibilities.

Photo of tpd975
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Cigar City Brew for this one.

A: Pours a golden hue with a small head. No retention or lace.

S: Huge sweet caramel aroma with hints of grainy malt.

T: Bold caramel sweetness gives way to lightly toasted bread.

M: Medium in body okay carbonation.

D: Not bad. I had this one before on a trip to the Virgin Islands and it was one of the better offerings on the Island. That being said much better stuff back home.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle.
I got to try this in St.Thomas last month
Bright amber color with a creamy white head. Sweet banana aroma with some biscuity malt character.
Nice mouthfeel, creamy and smooth on the palate. Medium to light bodied. Bigtime banana flavours, notes of molasses and faint toffee. Dry grain notes and a raw hop bite at the end.
Drinkable

Photo of changeup45
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12/8/2006. Recently visited St. Thomas and got the chance to sample this beer. Hard to give it a true rating... I mean I could have been drinking Bud and would have loved it. Matter of fact I did have a bud that day :-) Something about being on some island, in the sun and away from work that makes all things better. Blackbeard Ale - Amber/copper colored, quite smooth with a definite maltiness to it. Slight hopiness with caramel mixed in there. Good overall beer that could possibly use a little extra kick to it. Easy to drink.

Photo of wolfer
3.37/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good dark amber color. Surprising actually because I had no idea what to expect. The beer was a gift and all the bottle says is Ale. I had no idea if it would be blond or dark. Dark amber it was.

Foam was decent but didn't stay to the end. Reminded me of some ales I've had in England (on a visit). Slightly fruity, perhaps currant/marmalade type flavors. Don't know if they came from the hops or the fermentation. This beer is also more sweet than hoppy/bitter. Good for one or two, but wouldn't want to drink more in one sitting due the sweetness.

No blatant off flavors, important for a beer from the tropics, although I could taste some pasteurization effects.

The taste is decent, although a lot of the subjective atmosphere is destroyed upon finding out the beer is actually from the states. At least thats the impression I get on the label "brewed under the supervision of VI Brewing Co. by VI Brewing Co., Cold Spring, MN." So the beer is apparently bottled in Minnesota....dissapointment. The beer itself is ok/good. I'd drink it again.

Photo of MTNboy
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- A little darker than amber. It is almost a dark brass color. It pours to form a nice off white head with a little bit of lace.

Smell- A very nice roasted fruit scent.

Taste- A good roasty bitter sweet beer that is somewhere between a pale ale and a porter.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and mildly chewy.

Drinkability- A good meal beer. That goes well with a meaty Caribbean meal. Such as stew or patties.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper body, good clarity (considering the darkness of the color), with a very off-white/light biege one finger head.

Nose has big biscuits, maybe with a bit of jam on them (strong sweet note).

Taste begins with a smack of malt sweetness, quickly balanced by some earthy hops. Undercurrent of fruitiness. Nice light hop bite at swallow. Light, fairly clean finish.

Light mouthfeel. maybe a step toward medium, but still appropriate for tropical consumption.

Good drinkability. Might need a water or two mixedin during a tropic session.

As tropical vacation beers go, not bad. Little sorry that the bottling is done on the mainland US though. Nice gift shop on St. Thomas.
If you're cruising through, make sure to give it a try.

Photo of rebel1771
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with an off white head that fades quickly.

Faint aroma of malts with a hint of ripe fruits.

Light bodied flavor consisting of biscuity malts and a touch of hops near the end.

This is kind of a no brainer beer. This is not overly complex, just sit back and enjoy.

Photo of jettjon
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear amber-brownish color with no carbonation to speak of. Good one-finger head of tight creamy tan foam, slow fade down to a thick cap and ring, good lacing. Nice looking brew. Nose of faint molasses and light malts. Pretty subdued. There’s a definite molasses flavor along with a toasted malt flavor and a bit of smoke. The molasses-malt flavor is quite distinctive, a bit like spiced rum, which is probably what the brewers were going for with the Caribbean-styled ale. There’s a light bitter finish. Mouth is smooth, semi-creamy, with moderate carbonation, pleasant on the palate. Drinkability is good; it’s a tasty brew and feels good. Definitely sessionable.

Overall: Definitely something different, the molasses adds and intriguing element and is well-utilized. This one would be cool for a pirate-theme party or similar. Good conversation beer, and a good example of tweaking style. Best served a bit warm, this one is definitely worth a try for something a bit different.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amberish brown and clear with a small off white head. Aroma is of fresh toast, a nice sweet malty breadiness. Taste shows some sprite like sweetness but not overpowering, biscuity, and a decent dry hoppy grassiness in the finish that also shows some burnt rubber qualities. Light to medium body is balanced by a small spiciness on the tongue from the hops. Brought a sixer of this back home. This beer was a nice local find on vacation (in a pretty barren beer area) and a decent change of pace after other 'locals' such as Presidente and Carib.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks hoppymeal... it wasn't too cold after all!

glowing crystal amber with bubbles rising.. taut head with fiery wisps of solid lace. not quite the fizzy yellow mess i was expecting from a VI brew.

very nice aroma of caramel malts, accented aggressively by a salty, fresh-baked pretzel note. something slightly yeasty in the end, but overall this beer screams bock in the nose. are we sure this is an english pale ale? i think someone needs to check their facts on this one.

easy drinking and appropriately sweet.. perhaps a bit metallic in the end. definitely some super dark fruits, date mash and fig compote, in the initial sip. finishes with a bit of candy corn and the taste of human blood.. which is never good. could this be due to the excessively cold temperature this beer reached on my doorstep? quite possible, but the brew has potential either way. warmth actually helps to quell this off note, and bring out the milk chocolate-meets-caramel nuttiness that defines these types of brews. not much to say about this beer in terms of complexity, but it surely surpassed my expectations. would revisit, would be especially excited to find this brew when/if stranded in the virgin islands.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Blackbeard's journal states that confusion and plotting developed if his men were sober. But all was calm when they had enough ale."

--Blackbeard Ale neck label

Fiery bronze-like orange with polished brass highlights; the perfect color for a pirate ale. The orange-tinted beige cap is the picture of quality as well. It's softly creamy, displays a blunted mesa as it melts, and deposits ragged rings of lace on the glass. So far, so good.

If you like balanced noses on your pale ales, then this one should be right up your alley. There's a suggestion of caramel malt, along with a whiff of butter and a handful of musky, earthy, undoubtedly English, hops. The aroma is okay, but is nothing to shout about.

That's pretty much how I feel about the flavor as well. The first thing that strikes me is how tart it is. Not overly so, but more so than in most beer of this style. Sweet, bitter and sour effectively cancel one another out, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It does keep the beer from having a flavor hook though, and keeps it from having a distinctive personality.

I'll still go with a mixture of pale and caramel malts (Munich too?) and I haven't changed my mind about the English hops. More hop flavor and more hop bitterness would definitely be a good thing. A cargo hold's worth of Fuggles would fix this sucker right up. Buttered toast still comes to mind, although it isn't as buttery as I had feared.

While there isn't anything special about the mouthfeel, there isn't anything wrong with it either. It falls into the broad range of acceptable for the style in that it's light-medium and is judiciously carbonated.

Blackbeard Ale is a decent enough English pale ale. Too bad it isn't an 8% English strong ale with overtones of (yo ho ho and a bottle of) rum. Now that's a beer that I could sink my teeth into. I'd like to thank my WTF (World Traveling Friend) for bringing me this bottle from the Virgin Islands. Long may she roam.

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Blackbeard Ale from Virgin Islands Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.