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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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1,514 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,514
Reviews: 514
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 108
Gots: 229 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,514 | Reviews: 514
Photo of Lucular
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Disappointed by the lack of berry flavor. Some raspberry in the smell and almost none at all in the taste.

Photo of ARoman
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of EMV
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of Safa1
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Weird. Delicious. Fruit. Strong. Dogfish makes better but most others will not match this.

Photo of Gear54
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +21%
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!!!

Photo of asvahn
4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nice, clean start to finish w/ more of the fruit flavor than the unnecessary sweetner. 2 Thumbs up!

Photo of JackieTH
3.56/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of 50marathons
4.48/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer!! Great fruit aroma and flavor.

Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of largadeer
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tastes like a blend of Chimay and NyQuil.

Photo of npachl
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

Photo of Wilshade
4.11/5  rDev +12%
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. .

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

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.

Photo of mchegash
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of martyl1000
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampled upstairs at Coopers Tavern

Photo of Bingja18
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Flat out doesn't taste good at all.

Photo of gonzo000
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Disappointed - too much coriander, not enough black and blue (Berry that is).

Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of bluehende
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of garuda
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 2012 vintage at the brewpub.

Photo of trickynicky
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
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.

Photo of JDW4195
4.56/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,514 ratings.