Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

510 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,559
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 111
Gots: 246 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006

Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,559
Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy red color with a thick foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is good. Sweet blackberry aroma. BlackBerry taste up front with blueberry at the end. Belgium yeast. Decent beer but a little on the fruity side. Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. (279 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 03/07/15.

Appearance: Pours deep amber with a lot of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with a slight pinkish hint. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A very fruity and fairly sweet Belgian style aroma with a big scent of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, and clove. Big juicy scent of real blackberry and blueberry. Also some fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and fig. Bready hints of wheat, straw, biscuit, and cracker. Sweet hints of sugar as well. A very solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sweet Belgian style taste with a big presence of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with some funk and spice notes of clove and pepper. Fruity notes of blackberry and blueberry juice. Belgian style fruit notes of banana, pear, apple, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of sugar. Malt notes of biscuit, wheat, straw, and cracker. Hops are very light. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy and slightly sticky with a drying finish. Alcohol is masked very well.

Overall: A very solid twist on a big Belgian style ale. Good taste of real berries that blend well with the Belgian spice and fruit notes. (1,323 characters)

Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Something wasn't quite right about this one...positioned somewhere between a fruit ale and a lambic, it didn't really seem to pull off being either of those styles very well. Bold fruit taste, but somewhat light. The fruit beer lover may find something to appreciate about it. (276 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head's Black & Blue a couple weeks ago for $12.99 at The Lager Mill. I've been meaning to try this one for a while and it sounds a little interesting, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 750ml Bottle into a Teku.

A- The label looks ok, it's well done and it's a little eye catching. It poured a red orange color that took on more of a red color when held to the light and it had a little over two fingers worth of creamy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I like the color.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the Belgian yeast being the first to show up it imparts some typical banana and clove like aromas that are followed by a light herbal aroma. Up next comes a light malty aroma that's followed by the berries which impart a nice and natural berry aroma. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, but I think the yeast could be toned down just a little and I wouldn't mind a little more malty aromas.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with yeast still being the first to show up and it imparts the same aspects that it did in the aroma and it's the flavor that sticks out the most in this beer. Up next comes a slight herbal aspect that goes into the malts which show up a little more than they did in the aroma. On the finish comes the berries which are little lighter than they were in the aroma and they impart the same aspect with no bitterness and a little bit of sweetness taking it's place and it had a very yeast forward aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but I wish the berries showed up more.

M- Smooth, crisp, slightly sticky, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was a decent example of the style, but I think it's much more of a Belgian style Strong Ale than a fruit beer since the yeast is the most dominating aspect and the berries don't show up till the end and they aren't that assertive. This beer has ok drinkability, one glass is enough for me, I don't have the urge to drink more than that, but i think I'll be able to drink the full bottle. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance, this is one good looking beer. What I like the least about this beer was the balance, I need more berries and less yeast. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but I wouldn't turn down a glass. I can't say I would highly recommend it, but it's worth a try if you really like Belgian Style Strong Ales. All in all this beer wasn't bad, but it wasn't too impressive and it comes close to falling right in the middle. It's not a favorite from this brewery and it's pretty close to being average for the style. I appreciate the effort, but I think a little work on the balance would do wonders for this beer, better luck next time. (3,076 characters)

Photo of Johnd8
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did a vertical between a new 2015, and a bottle shop shelf dusty from 2014 bought a month ago; It was not exposed to sun light, just fluorescent light and room temps.
Other then what is likely slight recipe and fruit differences, the 2014 only had a couple of not offensive flavor differences. It was more berry forward and a bit rounder in flavor (348 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color, with a huge three finger off white foamy head. There is a lot of carbonation and a soapy lacing. The odor is fruity, dark berries, spices, clove, woods, orange peel. The taste is very raspberry, berry, apple, sweet, barely any alcohol, peach, orange, spices, clove, crisp up front, barely any bitterness, a little sour throughout. (367 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap. Looked dark in the glass. Could have been purple. Spicy aroma. Tons of blueberry taste. I’m not too much into these styles of beers, although this one was decent. Does hide the 10% ABV pretty well. (207 characters)

Photo of ARoman
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a shaker. The aroma is as advertised -blueberries and blackberries - with a coriander and clove hint. The beer is a clear, dark blueberry-purple hue with a thin, pink, fuzzy soap head that has okay retention and a light lace (extra points for unique coloring). The thick oily beer is a medium high sweet and medium bitter bitter mix with a light sour. There’s an abundant, light fizz carbonation to help the medium full body go down. The flavor strikes as a blueberry and blackberry muffin with a peppery clove spice. It finishes crisp and peppery with grass, bread, and tart berries. The aftertaste is clean and astringent with just a hint of spice and tart berries. (695 characters)

Photo of EMV
4.21/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at champs in State College, PA - poured into a snifter.

L: Pours a deep reddish mahogany color with a generous white head.

S: Fruits and berries, blackberry, blueberry, and maybe a hint of sour cherry. Mild spicyness as well... cloves and cinnamon.

T/F: Tastes very much the way it smells. Fruity and refreshing. Not too sweet with a slight tartness at the finish reminding me of cherry (although the dominant flavors are definitely blueberry and blackberry). Very smooth and moderately carbonated.

O: I don't usually go in for the fruit beers but since it was Dogfish head I gave it a go and was not disappointed. Very refreshing and crisp, and great to drink as we're entering the summer months. I'd have it again. (741 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber to a snifter

Pour is ruby red with 2 fingers of thick white foam. Foam fades quickly with tight lace. Medium carbonation

Smell is all berries. Blackberry and blueberry mostly. Smell is almost like grandmas preserves! Very nice!

Taste follows nose well. All fruit with little bitterness. Very tart like tart cherries and blackberries. Nice complement to the nose of the beer.

Feel is nice and light. Surprising for the high abv. No boozyness at all to the taste. Very smooth and refreshing. Absolutely brilliant for a strong beer. Feel might be the best part of this beer.

Overall this is great. No surprise dogfish hits another home run. (660 characters)

Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice fruity smell. Pours a rich red/ amber color. Massive head with lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation. Just the right amount of fruity sweetness. Has a nice bite in the mouth and finishes extremely smooth and malty. There is a 10abv warming as it goes down the esophagus. I love it!!! (293 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish hued gold beer kicked up foam. Smells very fruity certainly of blueberries and blackberries sweet and a bit tart in odor akin to a natural mixed berry jam. Taste is more on the tart side with a bit of sweetness around the edges. Definitely getting the 'real' blueberries and raspberries. The Belgian elements of this beer stays well under the radar and the only presence is a subtle crackers malt. Medium body. Overall this is enjoyable. I don't find it too sweet and I get the real berry taste, it's not seeming cloying or sugary. I'd revisit this beer occasionally. (576 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter, appears a deep purple/red with decent clarity and sticky white head. Aroma feature Belgian esters paired with mild indiscernible berry character. Some tannic like red wine notes come through as well. Taste again feature mild berry with a mellow tartness. The fruit has a syrupy flavor and clashes with the base beer. Notes of a Belgian pale are present, not a whole lot of character. Overall, this beer is kind of blah, the fruit character comes across as syrupy and almost medicinal while the base beer is rather mom descript. Mouthfeel is highly carbed and somewhat heavy on the feel. Overall, would not come back to this one. (649 characters)

Photo of npachl
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

I can get into the fruity beers (see New Glarus Serendipity), but this guy just lacks great flavor and feel. Dollars are better spent on other D-Fish beers. (156 characters)

Photo of Wilshade
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian Style Golden Ale
ABV: 10%
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: A beautiful translucent amber with a thick, creamy, off white head with substantial staying power. (Yes, I was careful with my pour.) Very active effervescence in the head and body.

Smell: Berries and more berries. Very pleasant.

Taste: Definitely tasting the berries with some floral hints. Very flavorful and surprisingly well balanced. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouth feel: Tingly on the tongue, but smooth on the whole palette.

Overall: Pretty beer with a nice bouquet and a distinct berry taste. High ABV is very well hidden. . (605 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle:
Pours a rose to amber in color, with a fair amount of clarity. Light pink head billows on the pour, receding eventually to thin surface, medium edge head. Lacing is significant.
Nose is Belgian yeast, banana-y esters, mainly. As the beer warms, there is a flower blossom scent that comes on. Some whiffs I get some berry, but not all and not strong. Others times there is a strange mix of tart and funk that has a wet cardboard note to it.

Taste starts like a Belgian pale or saison, dry with light carbonation, and an earthy, lightly herbal taste. Little banana, but that is replaced with blackberry tartness - lightly combined with a sweeter blueberry taste. These flavors are nicely represented, but they combine with the farmhouse taste (yeast funkiness?) in a slightly odd way. This becomes less noticeable at warmer temps. Feel also improves at a certain temp, carbonation is fine throughout, but the palate is treated to a smooth beer as the carbonation fades a tad later in the pour.

A decent offering, but the combination of Belgian yeast with the berries created a slightly too weird taste to get a better score from me. (1,150 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Bright red-orange. A little hazy--a close look reveals many small particles in the beer. Lots of head (though I may have poured it a little too quickly). Head is tan colored with the tiniest hint of red to it. Visible carbonation is sparse

Smell - 4.25/5
Smells like a Belgian (I don't know all the terms to describe that). It's got that light malt taste with a little spiciness. Also slightly sweet, and I think I can get tiny hints of that berry fruit flavor. The sweetness of the fruit combined with the belgian aspects makes this smells almost like a trippel or a quad.

Taste - 3.75/5
Strong blueberry and blackberry flavor tempered by a yeasty belgian malt flavor. Hints of spices typical in a Belgian. A high level of sweetness, but very well balanced by the rest of the beer. Overall this tastes like a Belgian Dubbel/Trippel/Quad/something in that ballpark. It's a nice Belgian, but nothing special. I would have liked stronger berry flavors. The berry flavors are quite weak.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Fairly smooth, has a medium amount of medium-light carbonation. Moderately crisp.

Overall - 4/5
This was a tasty beer but the blueberry and blackberry flavors were a little too subtle for my liking. I would have liked a stronger berry flavor. Besides the berry aspect, it's a quite nice Belgian ale. (1,362 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber orange color with goodclarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Wheaty, bready, blueberry, blackberry, and a little yeasty.

Taste: Love the sweet fruity sweetness with bready and wheaty malts, and yeastiness. Almost like a blueberry and blackberry angel food cake. Crazy.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a bit dry, some fruit sweetness, medium to high carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: I like the fruit character that steps up this golden ale. Will always look for more of this in the future. (729 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours cloudy reddish amber under a 1” finely bubbled off white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass through the whole drink.
S: More blackberry on the nose than blueberries, spice, and fruit.
T: The blackberries and blue berries taste like real berries and not like a syrup. The blackberries come out up front and the blueberries come out more on the finish. The fruity funky Belgian yeast flavors are a little off on their own like that out of place person at a party – sometimes they connect and sometimes they don’t. There is a little grape or white wine thing going on as well. A light bitter hop accent provides some balance to the sweetness of the beer.
M: A big beer with a luscious, creamy body and slightly above average but very soft carbonation.
O: This is a sipping beer – it’s a touch to sweet to drink a lot of. It has a lot of interesting elements but they do not always come together. (929 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a orangish color, at times looking purplish, reddish, or yellowish at parts. a finger or two of a white head with low retention but leaving behind a very slight lacing. a hazy clarity to it.

Smell: strong belgian yeast, with clove making itself immediately known.definite berry, but hard to pinpoint the type, blueberry being the most prominent. somewhat vinous.

Taste: opens with berries, certainly some blackberries and blueberries I can pick out, but the taste isn't limited to those. certainly some white grape taste. the alcohol kicks in and takes over the taste before the berries fully develop, but the alcohol is never astringent. belgian yeast plays around in the background. notes of clove and other phenols.

Mouthfeel: full bodied. definitely a good balance on the sweetness.

Overall: a solid fruit beer but not quite top tier. the fruit/belgian yeast clash just a little bit too much. it could be nice with either more fruit flavor or less phenols. other than that the amount of alcohol is nice but takes away a little to much since the fruits don't fully develop. (1,102 characters)

Photo of bluehende
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I was not a fan of the blueberry backberry along with belgian yeast. I thought the fruit flavors were done real well. I just wish they had put this in a wit. (159 characters)

Photo of trickynicky
2.43/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I was curious to try this combination of black raspberries and blueberries but this just didn't do it for me. I found it to be too sweet, and although I have had far worse, this is not a beer I would have again. (212 characters)

Photo of JDW4195
4.56/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Is this a beer??? It definitely is a treat for beer drinkers. Medium Sweetness, the fruit comes through like a red wine. Like nothing I've ever drank before. I'd recommend it for a change of pace, or nice splurge buy one afternoon. (231 characters)

Photo of thedoubler55
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

A: Pours a bright red in color, with a nice frothy pink head at the top that leaves some nice sticky lacing around the glass.

S: Lots of berrys and white grapes, Strong scent of white wine. The rasberry is very prominent on the first sniff.

T: The taste is just like the nose, but lots of white wine on the tongue, the berrys come though on the tail end of the sip, and a sour note in there as well.

M: Light bodied, high carbonation, almost juice like with carbonation.

O: Not a bad brew from Dogfish, if it wasnt for the rasberry and blueberry puree I probably wouldnt like this beer because it taste a lot like white wine and I am not a fan of white wine. Very sweet and fizzy. (688 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Beelow's.

Gotta love it when your local bars get some cool kegs. This case in point pours a partly hazy sunset rusted gold topped by a finger of glowing bone foam. The nose comprises blackberries, light blueberries, very light banana, mild biscuit, light sourdough, and a pinch of allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, the berries matched by some Belgian yeast-infused bread and a hint of orange peel and light grass. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, a pretty nice beer, one that I could see going well with plenty of foods (muffins and lamb dishes spring to mind). (666 characters)

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.