Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

520 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 118
Gots: 271 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of cpanossian
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong berry / peach aroma.

Not much carbonation. Off-white head that dies quickly. No lacing in my mug.
Orangey-red ale color.
The labels states ingredients include black rasberry and blueberry puree but the taste is more like a near flat peach lambic with a strong alcohol. Not quite sure what kind of meal I would pair this with - maybe some nice old world cheeses. Share the 25oz bottle with friends - one glass is enough per person.

 439 characters

Photo of Grundle20
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours from light copper to medium amber in color. There's a minimal off white head to the beer the retreats quickly and leaves little lacing.

For the most part I'm picking up sweet caramel malts but there are the faintest touches of blueberry skins, yes just the skins. A little lackluster honestly for a beer that's brewed with two rather potent fruits both in taste and smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again the fruit is taking more of a back seat than I expected, maybe that's what they were going for but it almost comes across as pointless. To start off there's more of the malt sweetness with a very tiny raspberry undertone. From front to back there's even smoothness and this flavor slowly just fades out to the end presenting very little interesting flavor notes. The finish hints at blueberries but it's again so faint. Sweetness sits in on the aftertaste with that odd blueberry skin touch.

I'm really not feeling this beer and a 10% ABV isn't helping the drinkability either.

Bottom Line:
Not very fruity and kind of boring all gimmicks aside, probably my least favorite DFH beer I've ever had.

 1,162 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in color, clear, with a bright soapy white head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong of berries, no surprise, and also shows some lemon and perfumy soapiness. Taste shows both raspberry and blueberry, mingling with a good sized malty sweetness, some crisp carbonation, esp when cold, and a dry and perfumy finish. Medium in body, nice dry finish. The alcohol is barely evident for its size, however all of th flavors seem to be fighting each other rather than blending well together. I like my fruit beers to either be slightly lighter in body, I found the bigger maltiness didn;t blend well with the berries, or to be more singularly focused on the fruit flavor, here things seem to be competing. Glad that dfh is pumping out new and different product, this one while interesting, isn't up my alley.

 820 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
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 TheodorHerzl
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This if my first review, but I bought this beer on the recommendation from a friend. My first taste was really a surprise since I was expecting a overly heavy fruit flavor, but my first four or five drinks were very nice, but after that the mouthfeel and drinkability began to fail on me. I still enjoyed this beer very much, but probably wouldn't purchase again.

It poured a deep purple/reddish color with a head that was gone within seconds and like I said before the first few drinks were very pleasant.

 510 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

 421 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
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 -15.5%
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 -15.8%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.6%
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 -16.6%
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 -16.8%
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 RickS95
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The look is nothing out of the ordinary with a very dark, burnt orange color. The head never really gets going from the pour. However, with an aggressive swirl, a thin white head can be seen. Moderate retention leaves a spotty lace.

It smells like it should with blackberry and blueberry dominating the nose. Blueberries dominate any dish they're in and this is no exception. On the plus side, it smells like the real thing and not some artificial flavoring.

Wow...can you say berries? I like the taste of blueberries, but this beer is bordering on over the top. The Belgian yeast and carbonation propel the fruity taste beyond just normal blueberry flavor. Near the finish is a spot of alcohol that attempts to tame the onslaught of blueberry taste, providing the only instance of balance in this most one-sided beer.

Sweet and then tart with crisp carbonation the whole way. Like the taste, the high ABV tries to temper the tartness but it really can't as the blueberry phenols impart a strong acidic quality that doesn't mix well with the carbonation.

Fortunately this isn't a crappy beer that's just made with some fruit juice. Some thought and quality ingredients (i.e. real fruit) went into this. That said, it's just not a great beer.

 1,259 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
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 -17.9%
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 -17.9%
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 -18.2%
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 -18.5%
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 -18.5%
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 -18.5%
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 -18.5%
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

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.