Blackbeard Ale | Virgin Islands Brewing Co.

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Blackbeard AleBlackbeard Ale
60 Ratings
Blackbeard AleBlackbeard Ale

Brewed by:
Virgin Islands Brewing Co.
Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2001

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Ratings: 60 |  Reviews: 42
Reviews by Risser09:
Photo of Risser09
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date. Neck label reads "Blackbeard (? - 1718) The most fierce and notorious of Carribean pirates, he was particulary fond of the waters off the Virgin Islands. Blackbeard's journal states that confusion and plotting developed if his men were sober. But, all was calm when they had enough ale." Skull and cross-swords cap.

Appearance: Bright amber in colour with a creamy white head.

Smell: Sweet banana aroma with biscuity malts.

Taste: Nice mouthfeel, creamy and smooth on the palate. Medium to light bodied. Bigtime banana flavours, notes of molasses and faint toffee. There's a dry crispness in the middle, almost wheat-like, that mingles with a soft, lemony/floral/herbal hop bitterness. Dry grain notes and a raw hop flavour at the end.

Notes: A surprise and pleasant change amongst the lagers and stouts of the Carribean. A most outstanding, unique and fine crafted ale. 5.2%abv.

Purchased and reviewed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

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Photo of cam477
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of wattoclone
4.75/5  rDev +40.5%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.63/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

 972 characters

Photo of Sammy
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle with a cool pirate ship label. Contract brewed by Gluek in Cold Springs, MN (fresh water is indeed a rare commodity in the Virgin Islands). Pours a hazy straw color with a small white head. Aroma of light hops, some nice clean ale yeast, and a touch of sweet malt. Malt is more noticeable on the palate, accompanied by a light, sweet fruity flavor and a touch of dry hops. Body is appropriate for a warm-weather beer - not too heavy. Great for combating the absurdly oppressive heat and humidity of the USVI in July.

 549 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of DESTRO
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a lovely amber with a small white head letting loose aromas of banana, fruits and malt. taste is a light and refreshing dose of malt, banana and slight kick of hops. nothing very complex, but just does a great job of providing a enjoyable yet simple taste. the mouthfeel is light and refreshing and when served ice cold its just the perfect hot weather beer. at 5.99 a sixer its a steal. a fine solid ale.

oh and the caps have a skull and cross swords on them, that rules.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 297 characters

Photo of Murph
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright copper color with a good looking off white head that lasts nicely. Smell is of some nice creamy malt with some mellow hopping in the background and a slight diacetyl aroma. Taste starts off with some creamy maltiness with some muted diacetyl flavors before it goes nicely bitter at the end. Smooth and creamy, this is definitely a very drinkable brew. This is somewhat of a strange beer, it seems to be somewhat of a cross b/w and EPA and an APA. It has some characteristics of both. None the less this is a damn fine brew and well worth trying.

 571 characters

Photo of ArtZan
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of jaydoc
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MooseBoose
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear amber color with a decent fluffy head.

Smell is mostly malty with a honey-like aroma as well, some other odd sweet notes interrupt.

Taste is a mixture of malt and honey, kind of reminds me of Honey Brown, hops balance is rather absent, decent body and carbonation and fairly easy going down in the island heat.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.33/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

 637 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of wolfer
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 1,050 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with a thick off-white head that fades to a paper-thin layer in a couple of minutes. Lively carbonation with lots of broken lace. Fruity aroma of ripe bananas and perhaps a hint of apple peel, also a little malt. Taste begins with a really sharp sting of carbonation, nice biscuit malt flavor, hops rise at the middle of the taste, but finish mildly. A nicely-done pale ale.

The bottle label notes "Brewed under supervision of Virgin Islands Brewing Co., St. Croix, USVI by VIAC, St. Paul, MN", so this may not be the same as the product produced in St. Croix.

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Photo of gunnerman
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in the Blackbeard store at Downtown St. Thomas. Pours a nice amber color with white head that leaves sticky lacing to the pint glass. Smell was of a nice fruity blend, reminded me of a hefeweizen type of smell.
Taste is of mixed fruits, some citrus hops with some banana thrown in there , it was very tasty with little carbonation. I could drink this all day very refreshing in the hot afternoon sun, it went down pretty smooth.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back for me by friends who recently went on a cruise to the Virgin Islands.
Poured amber with a one-finger head that eventually became a fairly thick lacing.
The smell was of banana and toffee. Some fruity hops were in the background.
The taste was of banana, toffee and some general fruitiness (though not overly so). It was sweet, but some bitterness became intermingled as the drink progressed. It was more complex and medium bodied than I would have suspected from an island brew.
It was well-balanced, and refreshing for a summer day or an island vacation. But, I can easily drink it year-round. If it were available around here, I would get it occassionally.
Overall, a good and interesting brew!

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blackbeard 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.

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Photo of kendrid
1.78/5  rDev -47.3%
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.

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Blackbeard Ale from Virgin Islands Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 60 ratings
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