Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

513 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 513
Hads: 1,561
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 111
Gots: 248 | 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: 513 | Hads: 1,561
Photo of Stoneman78
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bomber from the DFH brewery in Milton, DE

a- pours a somewhat cloudy rose/amber hue, two fingers of off-white creamy head and fair lacing throughout

s- nose is surprisingly dominated by caramel malt with very subtle tones of the fruits after which it is named (raspberry and blueberry), light alcohol presence is in contrast with 11% abv

t- initial taste is of sweet malts followed by a brief fruit presence, aftertaste is subtle and of very short duration, somewhat reminiscent of a belgian style but only in passing

m- light-bodied and watery mouthfeel, lively carbonation that is a little overwhelming.

d- rather underwhelming offering, particularly for a fruit beer. I dont think i could even tell this was a 'fruit beer' in a blind taste test. This was good for a group beer tasting, but I probably won't go in for round two anytime soon. (864 characters)

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this it was a breath of fresh air and now it tastes really sour (and not in a good way). I love flemish sour ales, but this is sour in a putride way. This could be an infected bottle (but I don't think so). I will say that this is a 2007, but I doubt a year will kill this beer (at 10% abv - that's the percentage on the bottle).

This was poured into a duvel glass and the head was reduced to a thin lacing. Maybe this beer is just one that does not need aging.

The aroma is light citrus fruit with deep malt and vinous fruit underneath. The aroma is delightful - by far the best part about this beer. I hope this beer will be better next year as I really like it the first time I had it.

The taste is like sour cream and lemon juice mixed with water. I love DFH products so I finished it for them. Please, don't let me down anymore!

The mouthfeel was watery for 10%. I think with a little less attenuation we would have a really decent beer here.

With this percentage this is definately not that drinkable. (1,033 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.1/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 capped, label has a portrait of someone in a blue suit. 10 % abv, there was a date on the neck, but it has smeared and isn't readable.

Appearance: Pours clear and red, just a bit of purple highlights to it. Thin head, but good retention of that thin head.

Smell: Fairly subdued aroma, just a bit of belgian yeast notes, and some fruity tartness.

Taste: Hmm .. again, fairly subdued. There are some yeast notes in there, but not many .. and there is some tartness from the fruit, but it is subtle too.

Overall impression: This one is fairly average - and I seem to remember the price being well above average. It is fairly drinkable considering the high abv. (679 characters)

Photo of atigerlife
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect from this one...and still don't!

Pours a pinkish/red with creamy slightly off-white head. Lots of tiny carbonation rising. Good lacing. Interesting.

Aroma is of raspberries and some light blueberry. Horse aroma.

Taste is light blueberry, hay. Farm-like quality.

Medium body, cleansing, dry.

Ovrall, this is a decent attempt at a fruit beer, but lags far behind its Belgian brethren. Sort of hard to figure which direction this beer is going. Needs a more cohesive flavor profile. More fruit, less alcohol [which sneaks up on you]. (564 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a bottle of this one as a gift from my wife for some holiday or other. Poured a reddish-orange color with a slightly off-white head. Somewhat tart on the nose, with aromas of dark berries, alcohol and candi sugar. Medium bodied and tart, with flavors of dark berries, candi sugar and booze. (299 characters)

Photo of bbothen
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy reddish/rust color with a bubbly 1 finger deep red tinted head.

Faint fruitiness, yeast, sweet matliness. All faint aromas.

Tart berries, more black berry than blue, sugary, tastes like a blackberry sparkling....something. Inertesing for sure.

Slick, refeshing, zippy(did I really write that), moderately carbonated, medium bodied. 11% is very well hidden.

Well, the fact they serving size is 750 ml bottle means it's meant to be shared & talked about. I attempted to tackle it by myself. Couldn't do it. Put one of those air lock stoppers in it & will attempt the rest tomorrow.

Really glad I tried this. Not my favorite, but appreciated the interesting quality & out of the box craftmanship by Dogfish Head. Keep up the good work. (748 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glowing jack-o-lantern orange suffused with a hint of sunset coral red. Given the addition of red raspberries and blueberries, I expected a slightly different hue. The attractive cap is the color of lightly toasted marshmallow and is responsible for an average amount of average looking lace.

Several deep sniffs deliver little more than a generic 'Belgian ale' yeastiness. Perhaps a bit of berry-like fruitiness, but I probably wouldn't have gotten there on my own. It looks like this fruit beer will be on the subtle side rather that being a big, bruising brawler of an ale.

DFH Black & Blue is average beer that needs a major infusion of flavor. However much berry puree was used could have been doubled. At least. The shortage of berry flavor wouldn't be so much of an issue if the base beer (which is a Belgian golden ale) was more accomplished. Unfortunately, it comes across as a ham-handed attempt at the real thing. It takes a great deal more than a Trappist yeast strain to be successful brewing Belgian-style beer.

No matter what the brewery claims, the mouthfeel is nowhere near Belgianesque. It's too thick and too gently carbonated. Since I like that combination in most styles, the score is above average.

Black & Blue is yet another Dogfish Head offering that promises much more than it delivers. Audaciousness is an admirable trait, but at some point a brewery has to come through with killer beer. Bottom line: a good idea wasted. (1,452 characters)

Photo of goldbot
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle, stamped as being bottled on 02/12/07. That makes this beer almost 3 years old. I found it at a beer store in Manhattan, and did not notice the bottled date when I bought. Considering it is a fruit beer, I would not have bought it if I had known. Still, I figure it will be an interesting beer to taste anyway.

Poured into a large wine glass.

It poured a golden amber color, very hazy with lots of yeast particles suspended in the beer. Minimal off-white head, a slight amount of lacing.

Smells almost completely of bread with some yeast aromas. There is a hint of raisin-like smell. It is almost sour-smelling, not very great. The smell does not make me very anxious for the taste of this one. No hint whatsoever of any blueberry or blackberry this was brewed with.

Tastes like lots more bread, although in a much better way than I expected. Some roasted malt flavors, with a good amount of sweetness on the back end. Again, there is a slight hint of fruit, but it is definitely not identifiable as blueberry or blackberry.

The mouthfeel is thick, almost creamy. The off smells and lack of fruit or balance on the palate makes it not too drinkable.

This beer definitely should not have sat for this long. It is not terrible for sure, it is just very muted as far as smell and taste go. I am actually surprised that it is as good as it is for a 3 year old fruit beer. I will be on the lookout for a fresh bottle sometime, and will give this one a new review when I do. (1,488 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007: bottled 2/13/07

A: Pours a honey golden with red hue. Less than one finger loose foam slowly dissipates, eventually leaving broken surface of the same. Little visible bubbles.

S: Blackberries and blueberries well here. Below this is a malt backbone. Nothing special. Slightly tart.

T: Very sweet. I was hoping that over the years, the beer would maybe enjoy a little souring, but it seems no infection here. Maybe even not a live bottle.

M: Medium body with light and spritely carbonation. Like a thinned down syrup. Sticks in the mouth a bit. Not too much though.

D: This ale is drinkable, but would prefer more tartness from the berries if at all possible. (679 characters)

Photo of Osiris9588
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ruby-copper colored and clear; decent head that gives a partial lace on the glass.

Interestingly, the initial smell I get is tomotoes. Lots of malt, very little hop,

Very dry initial taste that transforms into an unsuspected sweetness. A good body that gives an unexpected fullness. Rather bland, missing an interesting component of compexity.

I love the attempt, but I think it misses the mark. (404 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle, 2008 stamped on the neck.
Hazy orange with a pinkish hue.
Aroma is sour bread with loads of fruit in the background.
Flavor starts with some yeasty notes, then the fruit sets in. Blueberries dominate for me with the blackberries fading in and out, going back and forth from sweet to tart.
Finish starts out dry, but by the end of the second glass it is starting to get a NutraSweet like character to it.
Bottle is probably best shared with a couple friends. (473 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this one up in Chitown.

Pours a clear red/cranberry juice colour, huge off white head forms, laces pretty well, good retention. Smell is caramel, citrus, blackberry moonshine. Taste is sweet, malt liquor, fruits, alcohol, some berry but mostly overpowering sweetness and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost thin flavour, high to medium, almost prickly carbonation, alcohol burn, weak finish, not too exciting. Can't say I enjoyed this much. Thanks Lexx! (497 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2009...

- Nice ruby/violet glow to a caramel colored.. clear ale. Light fizzy white head down to a bubbly almost wine-like state.

- Little boozy, somer definite berry notes riding over a caramel sweet blanket... little wine like, and slightly medicinal for me.

- Medicinal berry flavor, alcohol is present... some caramel notes.. syrupy...

- Bit drying, thin to medium bodied....

- Overall not impressed. I like many fruit beers, but this one is off the mark in flavor... very medicinal and funky. (513 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of John_adam2002: Poured a medium brown/reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet grain is kind of weird. Taste is dominated by sweet malt with an unrefined grain taste which didn’t really agree with my taste buds. Body is pretty average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I couldn’t really taste much fruit or hops in this beer contrary to what the label advertised. Overall, I thought this was not bad but it wasn’t even close to being as great as what the label lead me to expect. (584 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My review before we went to A.C. for the fight. Pours a ruby clear color with a white fizzy heading that turned out very flat. An all around flat looking drink,no lacing,no heading that stuck around.

Smell is sweet with a slight sweetness. A little berry and that's about it.

Taste again a little toasty malts and a heavier sugary taste. More of a darker berry fruit is present and not much else.

Mouth is full bodied and very heavy feeling on the palate. Little carbonation almost flat like a wine. Surprisingly for 10% ABV this isn't all that heavy.

Drink is ok. I probably wouldn't get this again but it was worth a try. (627 characters)

Photo of trill
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours ruby red with a pinkish head that falls to 1/8". Smell is rich malt with vinous and blueberry notes, and a touch of yeast. Taste is mostly Belgain yeast, biscuity malt, and alcohol. Where'd the fruit go? There is a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of a tripel, but no flavors I'd identify as fruity, aside from a vague winey dryness at the end. Mouthfeel is appropriately thick for the ABV/style, without being syrupy. Pretty light on its feet for 10%ABV. (465 characters)

Photo of IKHOURY
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber in color with a slighty purplish brown tint. Aromas of Blueberries, citrus fruits such as grapfruits and lemons, along with some yeasty bread dough smells. The flavor is very interesting starting off with lots of Blueberries with the raspberries not showing up until the very end. Plenty of tart citrus and sour dough flavors show up between all the berry fruits. The beer seems to have lots of fruit in the aroma and flavor but no sweetness to balance out the sour. The carbonation comes off a little light. The alcohol seems more apparent in the beer compared to othe DFH fruit themed beers I have tried. A very interesting beer that I'm glad I tried, but not one I would run out to get again (705 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

February 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour yields a three finger thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, reddish-plum colored brew that shows a lightly hazy, pinkish tinged, full red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite strange, it smells a bit green, perhaps a bit like completely un-ripened berries, with almost a leaf-like note to it. Behind this is some thin, grain-like character that is a bit grassy but with a touch of toast character to it. Quite a surprising aroma, with a bit of time it almost completely smells like thin malt.

The beer is quite full on the tongue, but does have a substantial carbonation which causes the beer to foam up as it crosses my tongue. The carbonation though does not really counteract the thick, viscous feel of this brew. As one might have guessed the beer is quite sweet, it is quite fruity as well but not in the way I would expect. Reminiscent of green grapes, sweet raisins, and a sort of fruity sharpness that seem most likely derived from the blueberries. The sweetness is not entirely fruit based as there is some substantial sweet malt character here; it is clean, like the sweetness from converted, but unfermented pale malt wort and it couples with lightly toasted grain notes and a soft biscuit character. This is quite a clean tasting brew, while the fruit is not more than a non-distinct berry-like character, both it and the malt are very cleanly expressed without much in the way of yeast or fermentation character.

This certainly hides its alcohol content quite well, other than being from Dogfish head, I never would have guessed it was 10% abv. This is really not all that great. I find it interesting how non-descript the fruit flavors in this beer were; I expected this from the blueberries, but figured I would get a good presence from the black raspberries. The aroma is almost completely devoid of fruit, except for an herbal, green grape character that is noticeable from time to time. I could imagine this being fermented by a characterful yeast and actually being quite good, as it is though it is a bit too bland for my taste buds. It is very well brewed / controlled and there is certainly not anything offensive about this beer (as long as you like sweet things).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (2,326 characters)

Photo of Traquairlover
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into snifters.

A = Dark pink, the color of a rose wine with a small white head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing on the surface, light to medium carbonation of small bubbles.

S = Yeasty phenolic smells predominate with smells of overripe fruits and berries, also too much evidence of the alcohol. This might reflect that this is a new bottle and this may improve with age. I will try to remember to update next year if that is the case.

T = Bitter tastes of unripe berries combine with plasticine and overripe fruit smells to result in an odd combination of flavors and smells all going on at once. I think this might be capable of enjoying balance with more time in cellar, but it is kind of a wreck right now. It has various elements each of which is good, but they do not seem to combine well enough. Had to give this at least average though both because their are some good tastes going on and because I do get the sense this will age out well.

M = Medium bodied, good frothy carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = I think this one is definitely one to go with food and I suspect spicy food, not sure I want it again just to sit around and drink though. (1,184 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper colored body that shows a nice red when held to light. The head is a bright white but quick-lived.

S - The aroma of apricot is prevalent and not all that becoming.

T - I'm a bit disappointed here. I'm a fan of a blueberries, black raspberries and of course beer. Combine the three and I would hope to find a harmonious flavor fit for the gods. The flavor combinations here are interesting but not all that tasty. You have a beginning of mild malt and then a move to a dark bitter middle also hosting a strange, slightly pungent fruitiness. The finish has an uncomfortable
blueberry-plum combination that makes it difficult to keep drinking.

M - The feel of this beer is by far is highest characteristic. The feel of the brew is soft and smooth with a hint of abrassive catchiness allowing each pull to be its own journey. It contradicts the flavor by begging me to keep drinking.

~ Overall I'd say this beer is certainly something you should consider trying. I don't recommend you run out today and try to find a bottle. But, if you come accross one and can find it for a reasonable price (less than $11.99 which is what I paid for the 25.6 ounce bottle I purchsed) then I suggest you add it to your cart. At any rate its an interesting beer, the bottle labeling is artistically considerate and its brewed by a fine brewery. (1,341 characters)

Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle has a nice thick paper on it, and an interesting colonial style painting of a man holding the beer, but it just doesn’t seem to excite me very much. This bottle has none of the minimalism of Dogfish Head’s normal bottles, nor any of the complexity of some of their higher end beers. The small lettering of the beer’s title is unfortunate, as its “black & blue” character could surely have been more played up and prominent in the design. The off-kilter dogfish symbol on the bottle’s neck is also kind of weird… Why not just place it on-kilter…? Overall I’m just not a huge fan of this bottle. It’s not a keeper.

This beer pours an amber/ruby red with a white head that carries a hint of purple within it, and is very thick and frothing with happy bubbles, which dissipates slowly, leaving a nice half-finger head and also light and sliding lacing that droops in lovely cloud patterns down the glass. The beer smells sweet and yeasty, with nice hints of the malts and stronger hints of sweet berries. I also detect a slight hint of wet dog, which is a little upsetting to the beer… that may just be the sour berries doing funky things with the wet smell of the beer, but it is a little strange to smell. Malts seem sweet and light, and a hop character is not even there as the berry bite takes its place. The beer tastes very sour with a metallic/citrus tinge in the back of the taste which comes partially from the booziness of the beer, but that doesn’t entirely explain the metal. The beer is almost wine-like with light berry accentuations, which means this is definitely a sipper, not a chugger. My initial thought is that I should have had this in a wine glass and not in the pint mug I used. There is also some syrupy flavor after the taste has washed over your mouth, and the bitter of the raspberry definitely lingers in the mouth. It is very harsh on the tip of the tongue with carbonation. It leaves the mouth very dry and desert-like the farther it goes on the tongue, but the very middle and tip seems to be cloying with a thick and sticky syrup feel. It also leaves more of a wine’s sweet fruity lingering in the mouth than a beer’s crispness. Overall I am not very impressed with this beer, especially for its $13 price tag. It has a nice sour taste, but there are also some stranger things in the taste, especially the metallic/citrus anomaly. The fruit just doesn't do nicely with this beer. I either want more fruit flavor, or less and more beer; but where they stand is not really working for me. I also don’t get much of the blueberry in the taste, which is disappointing. I suppose the raspberry is just too strong of a flavor, but I would have loved to have sensed some of the blueberry. The beer is a meh, and definitely not a recommended from me. Honestly, I just want more berry flavor from this and it just doesn’t deliver. (2,893 characters)

Photo of earthboundagain
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok DFH Black & Blue bottled in 2008 drank in 2010 almost two years old.

A bright orange with crimson highlights. The head is a dirty white and leaves some lacing.

Ok there is a big blast of spicy Belgian yeast in the nose, followed bye a general berry scent.

Ok we have some berry flavor mixed with a Belgian yeast profile, not much on the flavor department, and the base beer is that good either

Ok the feel is almost sticky, but is very thick and lacks on the bubble department.

This beer was not what I was expecting and could be a real winner. (553 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- very nice clarity-just like raspberry ice tea. Very good white head and soapy lacing. Nose- the berries are poking through here. Taste- turn for the worse- smooth enough for a >10% beer, but this really lacks character. Malts are quite sweet and the berry is there, but not prominent enough. Frankly- I thought this beer was the shits after the first glass, but I'm not one to drain pour so I soldiered on. It did improve as it warmed, but not a lot. There is some dryness from the belgian yeast and fruit sugars- touch of hops at the end.
Not impressed at all. Must rate as avoid if possible. I appreciate what DFH is all about and the chances they take, but this beer is not my thing. (703 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.