Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,552 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,552
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 241 | 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: 1,552 | Reviews: 523
Reviews by Jree261:
Photo of Jree261
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-Raspberry red to brown ale brown but not quite an amber with a white foam that has a maroon tint.

Smell-The blackberry and blueberry fruit is definitely dominant.

Taste-The fruit is much more subtle than something like a framboise that will leave a medicine after taste and a coated tongue.

Mouthfeel-Medium to full body of a lighter ale with good length on the finish.

Overall-Not bad. Definitely need the subtlety that this beer provides to be able to drink the fruit stuff. The Dogfish people don't typically let me down though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of StoutHearted
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color was very impressive, a gorgeous red amber topped with an inch of head. It produced a nice cherry wood smell that could be compared to watered -down Kool-Aid (if I were very cynical.) The taste was fruity without being sweet. It had a surprisingly light mouthfeel, but the alcohol makes its presence known later. I found it enjoyable, but like other Dogfish Heads, you don't want to take its deceptive lightness for granted- they pack a powerful punch. Each gulp was very airy as it went down, yet grants a buzz.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep sunset colors orange to rose with sparse
head and little to no lacing

S: Sweet berry nose with a slight alcohol aroma

T: Champaigne of beers for the summer (not to be
confused with High Life). The flavors of
natural berries over a syrup is evident.

M: Very jammy with great body and adequate
carbonation.

D: The ABV is the only thing that holds me back
for drinking it all afternoon.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 750ml bottle into the glass a dark amber with purple and red. A small fizzy white head develops and falls quickly. Lots of particulate in the brew which I'm guessing is from the fruit. Aromas start off with dark berries and light toasted grains. A bit of yeast in the nose as well as just a touch of herbal hops. Much more mellow than I expected.

First sip brings a light, somewhat grainy malt met by berry flavors. I can taste both hints of blackberry and blueberry but it's quite mellow overall. Flows down with a nice spicy yeast twang and a touch of herbal hops on the finish. A nice mix between bitter and sweet...the spiciness adds a nice dimension.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good carbonation. This one goes down really easily considering the abv and I could see it getting me in trouble if I drank too much. There's really no alcohol flavor at all in here. Overall, an interesting brew but it didn't really grab me enough to want to buy another bottle at the price point it sells for. There's many other things I would choose first.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
1.58/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Only available on tap at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub location, which is a good thing. This is a sour beer, and not in a good lambic way. Sour as in an off-tasting, bad-wine kind of way. Black & Blue seems to have a lot of characteristics of bad cheap wine, actually. It comes across as not being aged enough. Maybe if it was left to sit for a while it would mellow out, but as it stands now, this is an offensive-tasting, intrusive beer. The Black & Blue's cousin beer, "Red & White" was completely sold out in under a month, whereas B&B was still available, which should tell you something. Overpriced, too alcoholic, and difficult to finish. Avoid.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle with no date on the bottle. Poured into a tulip glass, this beer was a reddish hue with a small head. It had a sweet aroma. I couldn't detect any particular fruit. Taste was the same: sweet, but not much else. I think after drinking the bottle that maybe I could taste some backberry, but I,m not sure. No hint of blueberry. Some malt gave it a decent mouthfeel. This beer was too sweet for me.

Photo of marvin213
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with a pink tinge--and tons of floaties--I love the look! A fruit beer at 11%, it's sexy and alluring. Carbonation is solid, but I honestly wish I had more headies on this one; nevertheless, a great-looking beer!

A 2008 batch, the nose borders on sour--might be that blackberry puree that's been swirling for a couple years. The blueberry is also there but, in context of this strong ale medium, it's so unlike your status-quo blueberry beer. It's a candied sour tartness, and I like it.

A unique liquid, I think you could warm it on a skillet and pour it over a blondie. The taste is also on the sour side, but not in a eye-squinting, cheek-raising, mouth-puckering kind of way. Perhaps this could serve as a sour gateway beer. I really appreciate how it's over-ripened berries instead of a sour apple candy. Again, the strong (almost old-style) ale in which the fruties float seems like the ultimate medium. The combo is like sex in a bottle! A contrast of tough, strong power with...well, you get it. Consequently, it feels really good.

Drinkability is pleasant enough but, among its peers, this 11%er has to have a relative weakness. It's not that it's too strong, it's just that it's so unique and unlike other beers that you wouldn't typically make a long session of it. I mean, it IS a brew with blackberry and blueberry puree. It's another example of why Dogfish Head Brewery is iconic in craft brewing--a trail-blazing fruit beer!

Photo of shark262
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a striking purple/rose color with 3 fingers of carbonation (used a champagne flute). High carbonation settles quickly with no lacing.

Slightly malty aroma is pushed forward with subtle scents of berries.

Fruity and crisp taste with berries providing a nice background (not overpowering). Nice hop spice combines with mellow tartness and dry finish. Alcohol presence warms the palette increasingly after each sip.

Sparkling mouthfeel with medium body.

Drinks easy. I could see the alcohol in this one creeping up on me rapidly.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

large capped Belgian style bottle, bottling date etched onto bottle, nice/fresh beer is good. Pours a great looking ruby/berry color with a raspberry tinged head, leaves some spotty lacing upon a moderate swirl. Fruity, lightly sugary nose. This one is sweet and fruity, as expected, berries, jam up front. Light, summery brew, would be nice as an apperatif or with a warm weather lunch/dessert. Champagne with a strawberry in it like qualities. When judged as a dessert beer, I think this one would at the top of the charts. Nice creation, crafted with skill and care from DFH.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a large white head. The aroma is full of blueberries, with some tannic red wine notes and a little bit of toffee and caramel.

The flavor is also very fruity. I get a lot of blackberry and blueberry notes, as well as some grape and red wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor, although I don't think the beer is barrel aged. The alcohol is noticeable but is not overwhelming.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-purple-brown pour with a short, sticky head. Alcoholic fruity aroma. The blueberries and blackberries hit you immediately, but are soon followed by a malt-liquor like flavor mixed with fake sugary fruits. The alcohol is not masked at all. Somewhat disappointing. I thought the guy on the bottle looked like Jimmy Stewart with a black eye.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very interesting beer. It's got an amber color that is quite cloudy. It has a nice head that sticks around for a bit and has a slight purple tint to it. Very unique. You can smell the hints of black & blue berries which is quite nice.

It's got a sharp taste of fruit, it reminds me almost of a fruity wine. The alcohol is very warming but not over powering at all.

I got this is in a 1pt 9.6oz bottle, a great bottle to sip on throughout the night. Overall another great Dogfish Head brew!

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 Osiris9588
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, capped, bottled 2/12/07. Pours a ruddy, pale amber. The white head is quite pillowy, but recedes quickly, leaving a ring of small-bubbled lacing.

The smell is very yeasty, along with stong, sweet grain and faint berry. The grain and malt dominates the flavor, along with nearly cloying honey and sugar. There really not as much berry as I'd expected--a pretty faint spice black and raspberry nearing the finish. The alcohol nearly overwhelms it.

The mouth is rather syrupy, though this shouldn't really be surprising. But it's not as well balanced as I would have liked, and the alcohol is overdone. Defintely not one of my favorites from DFH. If looking for sweeter brew, the Midas Touch or Chateau Jihau are superior.

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of far333
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear copper colored with a ruby tightly bubbled head that slowly recedes to a fine cap.

A low aroma of yeastiness and fruit, but tough to discern the type of fruit without knowing.

Yeasty flavors upfront, phenolic and footy, hints of fruit come through, would like a bit more. Tough to discern berries, seems mostly blueberry emerging. Spicy bite in the finish. Yeast dominates too much for me, which detracts from the ex-berry-ence.

Photo of kpantz
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: A surprisingly accessible beer from these guys. Pleasant warm weather beer, but nothing mindblowing.

Appearance: A purple-tinged ruby pour, fairly clear. Frothy head is a pale pink. Yes, pink. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Malts and fruit. Pretty simple aroma here. Definite berry presence.

Taste: Honestly? It's relatively weak in the palate department, at least as far as DFH goes. It's one of those cases where the flavors feel a little "far away," though what of it I do get is fairly refreshing and pleasant. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, but you do get the warming sensation that tells you that you shouldn't be pounding it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fervent carbonation attacks the tongue. It's pretty consistent with some of the other fruit beers I've had, so I'd imagine it was intentional. Not too thick or syrupy.

Drinkability: Pretty easygoing. Light flavors and body make this a pretty refreshing ale. That said, the flavors aren't prevalent enough to hold my interest for too long.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Marked "Bottled in 2011", into a Gouden Carolus chalice glass.

Pours a translucent amber color with a one finger head that dissipates fairly quick and leaves moderate lacing. Gentle carbonation.

Extremely fruity aroma, very sweet with strong notes of blueberry.

The intense fruity aroma carries into the taste. Extremely powerful fruit notes combined with bready malt make this one very sweet. Blueberry is easily discernible and the blackberries are in the back. Ends with a touch of grain and some alcohol warming when the beer is warmer in temperature.

Medium bodied beer with gentle carbonation.

It's actually not half bad. The alcohol is a little high which gives off some wine like characteristics and makes it a little tough to punch through a bomber. Still miles ahead of Blackberry Witbier by Sam Adams, though. Pretty decent, albeit one-sided.

Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly cloudy, light reddish brown color, with a thin, but fluffy off white head. The head has a slight red tint to it. It fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a slightly grainy aroma. The fruit aromas are very subtle. Some blueberry and raspberry aroma. It has a sweet malty aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Very subtle fruit flavor. Slightly grainy, with a sweet malty aroma. The alcohol content is detectable in the flavor.

This beer leaves a slightly grainy aftertaste. It is a litle undercarbonated.

This beer would probably not make the best session beer. It is high in alcohol. The flavor is good though.

Overall: Thanks HimerMan for giving me the chance to try this one. Although not quite what I expected, it was good. I love everything I have ever had from Dogfish Head.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A clear ruby pour. Large white head that settled quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Berries and grapes. Some sweet malt. Not much going on here.

Taste: The berries grapes and malts are all present and not much else. A little astringent taste comes through in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but feels very light on the tongue. Active carbonation.

Drinkability: I could see this being a nice refreshing summer beer if it weren't for the ABV.

Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a syrupy dark amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of berries - both blue and rasp, as advertised. Underneath the fruitiness are hints of syrupy sweet malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Thick and sweet malt flavors kick things off and are almost immediately overwhelmed by tons of berry flavors. The berry flavors start off slightly tart but sweeten fairly quickly. The sweet flavors intensify through to the ending.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is just not very good. I struggled to finish what I could and didn't finish my glass.

Overall I was a bit disappointed by this beer but knowing DFH's track record (by no means a bad one) I should have expected nothing less than something intense and out of the norm. I won't buy this again but I could see some liking it - worth a shot if you like fruit beers and know what you're getting yourself into.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber clear body with a slight purple hue that glows in the light. There is a creamy off-white head that is thick and last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft berry hint that is not specific to any one type of fruit. There is a light yeast and raw grain note in the finish.

T- This beer has a soft dry berry flavor with a not of raw grain and a hint of field corn in the background. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note and a dry carbonic acid note. There is a hint of bitterness from hops in the finish which takes on a Nobel and pine note when it warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that comes through when it warms. The tight fizz and dry note really make a clean finish.

D- There are some subtle hints of fruit but not much of interest in this beer. It could use more flavor of some sorts but the alcohol is very smooth for such a big beer.

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 apbarwood
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Reddish, orangish color with a decent white head that hung around for a while. Nice lacing throughout.

Smell- Nice fruity notes of blueberry and and to a lesser extent blackberry.

Taste- Bursting with flavors of blackberry and blueberry with a bracing hop bitterness holding it together. I've read other reviews saying that the flavors were vague but I'm not sure what the problem was. Even if I hadn't read the bottle I would have tasted the blue and blackberry immediately, it's pretty noticeable. At any rate, while the flavors are there, it's not the greatest blend. Pleasant but nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel- Fairly light and highly carbonated. Wasn't as sweet as I expected which was probably a good thing.

Drinkability- By itself, not the best ever, especially for the price. There was nothing that set this apart from other fruit beers in my estimation. Would have been really nice with a desert, especially a cheese cake. By itself, it left a little to be desired.

Photo of ggaughan
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth. I took a day off from work to drive down to DFH to try both this and the Red & White. Worth the long trip. I categorized this beer as a fruit beer although DFH calls it a golden Belgian style ale. Since there was no option for that, I thought a fruit beer was the nearest thing.

The beer poured a deep red/purple color, very dense and with some fruit specs floating around in the body. It almost looked like the fruit was pureed in the beer. Very interesting look. There was a nice medium pink head which led to solid lacing on the glass. The head and body look very similar to what a Lindeman's Framboise would look like but the beers are no comparison as there is real fruit in this one.

Upon your first sniff of this beer it is pretty evident that it was brewed with a ton of fruit, about 300 lbs of fresh blackberries and blueberries to be exact. The taste is spicey, a bit tart and definitely led by blueberries and supported by the blackberries. You can also get a touch of the hops on the backend that round out this beer and a strong bit of carbonation running through. Although the fruit and spice blend well to form a pretty smooth, not too sweet beer, you definitely get the high abv burn on this one, more so than with the DFH Red & White. Although this beer is pretty extreme from the amount of fruit added and the high abv, it is suprisingly drinkable and smooth and worth a try if you can get it before it runs out.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,552 ratings.