Martha's Vineyard Ale
Bad Martha Brewing Co.

Martha's Vineyard AleMartha's Vineyard Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #284
Ranked #43,739
3.48 | pDev: 12.07%
Bad Martha Brewing Co.
Massachusetts, United States
Martha's Vineyard AleMartha's Vineyard Ale
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WoodBrew
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My old neighbor and good friend from Oswego gave me a bottle of this beer. It poured a slightly murky amber with virtually no head and no lace. The scent had a nice caramel malt quality. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with malt backbone and slight hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall its a decent beer.

 363 characters

Photo of kimlhurst
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Clear dark amber color. Very little collar ay pour that fades quickly to no collar but does have noticeable carbonation. Slight sweet bready aroma. Starts with sweet bready taste that fades into a slight bitter taste.

 217 characters

Photo of DrMullet
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper/amber with minimal head and scanty lacing.
Smell is sweet caramel and some dark fruit.
Taste is caramel malt quickly followed by strong grape leaf finish.

 174 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber to brown color. Clear. Like all of their beers, almost no head (rim bubbles) and only a couple of spots for lace.

Sweet, caramel malt aroma. Very British, like a Mild.

Sweet and smooth flavor of darker Crystal malts. Light earthy tones. Pretty good spritz compared to the other Bad Martha offerings, but the body is still very rich. There’s a moderate hop touch in the swallow but not enough to create a long aftertaste.

 439 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.14/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottleneck label describes English malts, New England hops and grape leaves from Nantucket. That would make me never buy this beer. Thanks dad for picking this up for me.

Rust color with a fleeting white head. Smells like anis and marmalade. Takes super fruity with a minimal bitter to rein in the sweetness.

Not bad

 322 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Draft poured on tap at Port Bistro, first draft off of the keg

Translucent brown with thin taupe foam layer, good lacings

Not much aroma

Malt base, whiff of cocoa, improved as it came to room temperature

Fizzy in the mouth


 232 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
2.37/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Red-orange in color with great clarity. Creamy and fine-bubbled beige head retains at a half-inch crown. Patchy lacing.

S: Caramel and brown molasses, a bit of toast and burnt crust, pervasive grainy pull. Faint whiffs of cranberry chutney and grape jam. tough to distinguish the grape leaves from the hops, but they both do pretty much the same job in brining a spicy/herbal balance.

T: Grape leaves pull through in a big way on the taste, bringing a strange and acidic bitterness that hampers everything. Caramel, brown molasses, burnt toast, and even a bit of coffee from the malt body. Peppery. Wild berry jelly and maybe a hint of orange peel. Tea leaves. peppery, bitter, and acidic grape leaf finish is not very pleasant.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy with a coating residual feel. Fine carbonation has a stiff little scrub.

O: I'm not going to sugar coat it, this beer is pretty awful. The base beer is an overly sweet malt bomb that lacks any nuance and does little to even resemble a good ESB. The grape leaves take it into a tailspin and it crashes and burns hard. To have this beer as a flagship is a death sentence.

 1,167 characters

Photo of hopsputin
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a: its a dark caramel color with some lighter notes towards the bottom of the glass. pours 1 finger tan head, but that had faded to a thin film since i began to write this

s: caramel and toffee, a very faint yeast spice, earthy grains, and a hint of brown sugar

t: light caramel and toffee upfront followed by an earthy tea-like bitterness. a bit of a grainy flavor in here as well. tons of malt. this finishes with a little bit of spice - clove and pepper

m: on the heavier side of medium. not too much carbonation

o: billed as an ESB, this doesn't seem quite right. its a bit richer than it should be for the style. this reminds me more of a Vienna Lager, to be honest. other than that, its a pretty mediocre brew, nothing to go chasing after...but better than some of the offerings elsewhere on the Vineyard

 822 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, nuts, some honey, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty but not too heavy malt character up front. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel, honey and fruit come in. The hops presence is on-target for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to pound down for a long time.

 772 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Who is this "Martha", anyway? This stuff pours a clear amber-tawny topped by a finger of faded khaki foam. The nose comprises toasted caramel, candied orange peel, and perfumy flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything here is sweeter, more flowery. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice little beer, nothing to write home about, but nothing really off about it, either.

 504 characters

Photo of kitch
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer brought back to Hong Kong for me as part of a filler for a six pack. Bottled on 2 October 2014. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: It poured a hazy dark amber colour with an extremely light head that disappears fast leaving small spotty lacing.
S: Apple and grape tea followed by caramel malts.
T: Sweet-ish but not too sweet, grape, plum, light caramel.
M: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.
O: It was interesting and I have to admit better than expected. The reason being that the bottle itself looked rather dull. If I was picking, it would not be a beer I would pick off the shelf. Having said that, I enjoyed the carbonation and the fact that it wasn’t too sweet.

 692 characters

Photo of rorjets
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Found this at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, with it's incredible selections of beer. Although it claims to be a beer from Martha's Vineyard, it's actually contract brewed at Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, MA. This ale created a creamy head when poured from the bottle, that sustained itself while I drank it, with some nice lacing. My initial taste reaction was one of good balance between caramel-tinged sweetness and a leafy vegetable flavor. So perhaps they really did add grape leaves from the vineyard as they claim on the bottle. The finish had a subtle bitterness. I have to admit I also like the wicked Mermaid on the label, with her 'bad' tatoo, and the saying on the cap! My overall opinion - Get Bad! A deeelicious ale that I would buy again, despite the fact it is a bit of a marketing gimmick that isn't really brewed out on the island.

 850 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Cap wisdom "convince a strange you're an astronaut."

Pours a nice fizzy fluffy almost 2 finger head, offwhite tan head, that fades at a med pace bit of lacing, over a beer that is much darker than I expected, a ruby almost maroon brown colored murky beer.

Nose has a nice hop profile for an ESB, earthy grassy herbal leafy, little black tea and fruity tea as well, but with that is a big sweet malt, candy syrupy caramel malts, toffee even, a little honey apple tea thing. Almost like a new England take on English ESB from 1700 when they only had molasses as a base.

Taste brings more bitter hops, but those are quickly drowned out by sweet candy smooth malts, plenty of caramel, rich, nutty, toffee, candy caramel notes, fair sweetness overall. Grassy earthy herbal hops take a back seat unfortunately, little herbal tea again, but all drowned by the sweet caramel candy malts. Finish is sticky sweet but drier, lihgt lingering herbal hops, lots more caramel lingering.

MOuth is med bod, smooth caramel feel, and lots of carbonation.

Overall OK, but not really a nice ESB, more like a bitter brown ale, a lot more like a brown ale than ESB, which is not really the style I was hankering for unfortunately. I understand pushing boundaries, but it only goes so far when you go completely into a different style.

 1,316 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: cocoa and tangerine

Taste: cocoa, milk chocolate, and a bit of tangerine

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium-high carbonation, sweet with slight bitterness

Overall: First offering I have had from this brewery and I like it. Relatively complex and sweeter for the style. I am glad I picked up a six.

 378 characters

Martha's Vineyard Ale from Bad Martha Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 69 ratings