Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

513 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 513
Hads: 1,561
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 111
Gots: 247 | 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 bshanly
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber with a pink/strawberry hue. Creamy off white head with a good retention and lacing. Looks delicious. I love beer.

Smell: I don't love fruit beers so much. Smells sweet and tart, lots of yeast, no hops. Are there hops in this thing?

Taste: Really tart upfront. Pretty heavy alcohol, long finish. Yeast is actually pretty tasty but the tartness isn't for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, not too crisp, not too heavy.

I like subtle flavors and heavy on the anything tends to make me miss the point. This beer did that. However, I think paired with the right food it could be delicious but on its own this wasn't for me. (644 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly pinkish red-brown color, with about an inch of slightly tan head that had medium retention and slight lacing.

A pleasant fruit aroma hits the nose, any sweetness is from fruit not malt. There is a slightly sharp tang behind the fruit flavor. The finish is a little sticky but not overly clingy.

A body that is smooth and a little light slides over the tongue. The drinkability is good, but maybe after a couple the sweetness might get to you. Overall a decent beer that's worth trying if you see it. (538 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012B vintage. New style embossed 750 ml bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Really deep dark amber/red body with a purple tint. A fluffy three finger head formed and settled down to a neat cap. Great amount of lacing and retention.

S - Sweet and super fresh berries. Actually smells like raspberries and not the blackberries and blueberries it uses. A bit of yeast and malt and lots of noticeable alcohol on the finish.

T - A whole lot of raspberries and a bit of blueberries. Super sweet and astringent. This is followed by a smooth malty presence and finally some lingering alcohol warmth. Aftertaste is a bit medicinal. Surprisingly for a DFH beer, no hop presence. Mouth feel is syrupy and coating. Carbonation is a bit low.

O - Comes off like a tamed version of Fort. Lots of berry flavors, somewhat of an earthy and medicinal finish, way too much alcohol. Like most big DFH beers, I think this is meant to be aged to calm down a bit. I hate to make this comparison as I love DFH, but berry flavored malternative beverage... (1,038 characters)

Photo of jettjon
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the capped 750ml bottle stamped 2/13/07, into a wine goblet. Color is dark mahogany with lively carbonation from tiny bubbles, beneath a one-finger dark tan head that quickly fades to a thin cap and scattered lacing. Pretty good looking. Nose of sweet malt with mild raspberry/fruit hints; rather neutral overall, even when warm. Tastes of sweet malt and hints of dark fruit, along with a bit of bready yeast. 10% ABV is well-masked. There’s a lingering dry dark berry finish, kind of like blueberry pie. Mouth is semi-viscous and smooth with mild carbonation. Drinkability is just OK, drinkable but unimpressive. Not a beer I would want to drink a lot of; I’m glad I was sharing this $15 bottle with a friend.

Overall: Like many of DFH’s specialty beers, this one is interesting and pricey and overall not terribly remarkable. I only bought it because it was a limited release; I vastly prefer DFH’s more established offerings such as their 90 Minute IPA. Worth trying for obsessive completists such as myself, or if you just love niche craft beers. (1,062 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy purple head that fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a light blueberry scent with very little malt aroma. The alcohol is also well hidden. The taste is decent. It has a mild fruit flavor that boasts of black raspberries and blueberries. The malt bill seems quite simple and lacking character. I understand this is a fruit beer, but it really doesn't do much for me. The mouthfeel is average. It's a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a real letdown. I was hoping for something bold, but it really didn't live up to the hype. (615 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pretty, lightly hazy light pekoe orange tea. Nice large near white head slow to leave. Tons of fine bubbled lace.

S - First thing I smell is the fruit and booze. Frankly, it reminds me a little of a mixed berry cider I made, which is not a good sign. Malt present but fainter.

T - Sweetness from the malt and the fruit battling it out, a little cloying.

M - Thick, sweetish, not very good balance.

D - A nice one to try as very different, but I don't know if I will get much past the first few sips. (507 characters)

Photo of BirdFlu
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this in bottle about a year ago and wasn't overall too impressed, so I decided I needed to try it at the DFH brewpub this weekend on tap to see if I'd feel any differently about it. I didn't too much really.. The appearance is fairly nice with a cloudy, reddish-orange color that looks sort of like grapefruit juice. Aroma is mildly sweet but quite faint. Similar was same as I remember, a bit of berry-like sweetness but it seemed to have more of an acrid, acidic-like fruit sweetness to me, like cranberry or grapefruit more than blue or black berries. There is a bit of the blue in the aftertaste but you really need to look for it. The mouthfeel is very crisp with the carbonation and on the thinner side of moderate heaviness, so its easy to drink in that aspect, but theres a slightly unpleasant aftertaste right after swallowing. Overall, still a bit disappointing, but its definitely not bad and has to be appreciated for being organic, where many breweries might just add blueberry-flavored chemical sweetner to make it taste like blueberries. (1,058 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a ruby red – pink color with a fluffy pink hued head. The head fades rather quickly to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is very berry-white wine in nature. There is a big presence of a green grape/white wine aroma mixed with a moderately strong blackberry smell. There are lighter hints of some blueberry and yeast mixed in as well. As stated before, quite white wine like.

Taste - Just like the nose hinted at, the flavor is very semi-sweet white wine like. Its starts out with a white grape flavor some breadiness and a strong presence of tannins. These flavors create a base for the beer which lasts the whole taste through. The berry flavors come more toward the middle. They begin lighter, but strengthen throughout the taste experience. At the end a bitter sweet berry flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Very light in body with a slightly higher than average level of carbonation. It is appropriate and very nice for the wine like flavors of the beer.

Overall – Not really what I am looking for when I am looking for a beer. It is a good wine alternative if that is what you are looking for; sorta a white wine-beer hybrid. (1,232 characters)

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle.

Ale with black rasperries and blueberry puree.

Appearance is a pretty red color, like red raspberries actually, with good, white head and nice retention.

Aroma is light, with some berry sweetness. Not much going on here for me.

Taste is also fairly light and fruity, with just a touch of malt undertones. Not bad at all, but nothing that really grabbed me. Does do an excellent job of masking the 11% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with pretty good carbonation. This beer is quite drinkable for 11%, but was not interesting enough for me to want more than one glass. (600 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 wagenvolks
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with the gf, mine into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a bright, copper-ruby body that turns peach in the light. Small, white yeast particles float throught the clear body. Carbonation level is quite impressive, despite the poorly retained, peachy white head that recedes to a foamy collar. I'll blame it on the ABV... Aroma has a little bit of fruit, but not nearly enough. It's more of a belgian-esque malty aroma with some light grasses and hops.

The flavor decently blends cidery-sour notes, spicy hops, pale malts, and some fruity bitterness provided by a hint of raspberry. A champagne-like bubbliness coats the palate, as Black & Blue finishes dry and sweet. I've gotta commend DFH on masking the alcohol, as its barely noticable. Verdict: Not a great beer, the price certainly drops the drinkability down a bit, but it was enjoyable. (847 characters)

Photo of apbarwood
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (1,000 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a couple fingers worth of head with some decent retention.

Blue and black berries with some malt backbone

Taste: sweet caramel malts with black and blue berry sweetness. Sourness is mild. Some dry tanning lies thrugh the back. These don't go that well with the berry tones. They create some off flavors. As the beer warms these balance out a little bit

Fullness on the palate. moderate carbonation.

The dry tannins don't compliment the fruty tones of the beer. This makes for some off flavors that effect drinkability. (528 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish color with ruby hues. One inch of light tan head sits on top with decent retention and some lacing.

The aroma is subtle. A general berry fruitiness and not much else.

Taste is ok. A slightly bitter berry flavor, and some spices. The 10% ABV is hidden alright in this beer, better than the Red and White at least.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate to low. High alcohol taste slows consumption, but other flavors are nice. (493 characters)

Photo of benmiliron
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $11.99 for a 25.6 fl oz. bottle. (Spent my poker winnings, else I'd really struggle with this price.)

Poured into a DFH snifter. Lovely scarlet/violet color. Perfectly clear. Nice big bubble, white foam on top. Surprisingly not much in the smell. Some fruity/flowery sweetness, but overall the smell is lacking. Taste is very nice though. Heavy berry and malt interplay - the malts very reminiscent of Raison d'Etre. Sweetness from the fruit is noticeable, but enough has been fermented out to leave a good amount of bitterness to back things up. Little to no hop bitterness/aroma. Mouthfeel is a bit winey, high carbonation gives a bit too much foam.

A good offering, but I'll not be a repeat buyer. Nice to see something new from DFH. (747 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Out of a very sophisticated, wine-like bottle this rather expensive offering was a hazy pink/orange color like a ripe grapefruit. The head was off-white and thin, the retention not very good and the lacing scattered. Odd looking brew... The aroma was semi-sweet, a combination of blueberries that gave it a musty quality, mandarins that gave it a tart note and some sourness and a bit of spices made more zesty by the hints of alcohol. For 11% this was rather subdued. The flavors again struck me as odd. Where were they going with this thing? It started with fruit puree, pulpy and rich before it went more tart in a gooseberry-like way along with a lot of alcohol and some sugars that tried to balance it out. Neither the blueberry or raspberry came through clearly for me and I kept feeling like the alcohol was rubbing other flavors out. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium/full and the carbonation good. It was much more acidic that I would have guessed and though it mellowed out by the time I was finished with it I just wouldn't ever recommend it, especially for the price. (1,088 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife picked out a few "big and fancy" beers and put them in a wine case wrapped up for Christmas... we cracked into them early, and enjoyed this one together since she is a big fan of the fruit beers.

A - Cloudy brown brew with a reddish cast and a nice long-lasting two finger head. This one looks less than fruity, but a tad more reddish than a "normal" brew. Pretty good looking stuff!

S - Tart blueberry skin, caramel, honey, and toffee malt. A whiff of alcohol and some nice leafy hops round things out. This is thankfully low on the sugar and fruit. It smells really well balanced.

T - A little bit more sugar and blueberry on the palate, this is still far from a cloying fruit bomb. On the contrary, this is a unique and complex brew that focuses more on the tart and acidic aspects of a blueberry than the sugary sweet juice. I was really worried that this would be a fruity, sugary disaster, but I had faith in Dogfish Head and they came through for me since this is a nice and complex brew that avoids the fruit beer trap of excessive "girlishness."

M - Medium bodied with some obvious alcohol attenuation and a syrupy feel that detracts a bit from the overall experience. Carbonation is unusually low, and that doesn't help the overly heavy sweetness by any means.

D - Honestly, this is very refined and complex, but the cloying syrupy mouthfeel kinda kills if for me. NOt bad, and totally worth the experience... but this its not something that I'll revisit anytime soon. My wife didn't like it because it wasn't fruity and sugary enough, and while I can appreciate this offering, I thought it was a bit too sweet/sour for me. It's okay. (1,657 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. ABV listed as 10% on the label, but who's counting when it's that strong? Pours up the color of a Manhattan, or like iced tea with a splash of cranberry in it. Light pink head holds nicely for a while. Subtle berry aroma with whiffs of alcohol and a medarate grainy aroma to it. I can tell I served this one up too cold so I'm going to come back to it in about 10 minutes. I can definitely pick up on the berry content now that it's warmed a bit, noticeably the blueberry (I love fresh blueberries, one of the reasons I had to try this beer). This beer certainly does have an alcoholic warmth to it. After a couple of sips, my stomach feels a touch warmed. The berry flavor is subtle, taking a back seat to a malty, grainy tasting beer. No descernable hop aroma or flavor to take note of, although there is a organic vegetal quality to the beer, but not hops. Carbonation seems a bit subtle due to the medium-to-thick body of the beer. Initially malty and sweet, with a faint tartness near the finish. I mentioned that I love blueberries and I'm just delighted that this beer kept its flavor in check. I've been disappointed with any other blueberry beer I've tried because they always taste like a Jelly Belly jellybean or if Kool-Aid made a blueberry flavor. Sam keeps reinventing his line of beers like Madonna keeps reinventing herself, only difference is that Sam is God and Madonna only thinks she is. (1,422 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Flute]

The pour was a clear reddish peach with a huge pale pink fizzy head that dissipated rather quickly and produced some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a sweet caramel malt and a funky Belgian yeast with notes of Blackberry, Blueberry and had a mellow wine presence.

The taste was sweetly acidic throughout with a strong berry presence and a nice bitter sourness along with a mild alcohol warming sensation towards the finish. The flavor hung around for a good long while with the bitter-sweet fruity taste mellowing as time went on.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a strong dry texture and a good strong lively carbonation.

Overall a very unique tasting brew, with just enough sweet and sour to mellow the harsh bitterness and allow for the fruity esters to prevail...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (849 characters)

Photo of everetends
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle acquired from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, Ga. Poured into over sized wine glasses.

A: Pours a very pretty color. A light copper with a touch of amber. The color has a pink hue to it that really adds the look. Very little head is present in the pour, and that which is there really has no retention. Minimal lacing and zero sheeting on the glass. This brew would have gotten higher marks in this area, but the only thing it really has going for it is the interesting color.

S: Smell really comes forward with some nice earthy scents from the yeast. Then comes the fruit. Serious presence of fresh blueberries and raspberries. There is so really really nice sourness in the aroma. Everything is really subtle and gentle.

T: Taste comes forth with the fruity goodness. Blueberries and Raspberries all very pleasant and gently sweet. There is a nice tartness to them as well. There is also a really nice earthiness coming from the yeast and touch of spice. Once again, everything is extremely subtle. Very gentle on the taste. Nothing crazy, but nothing bad.

M: This is a medium bodied brew that has an almost fizzy feel. Carbonation is very high. I can't tell if this adds to or takes away from this brew. Very nice tartness on the palate that leaves a touch of sour fruit in the mouth on the aftertaste. Pretty refreshing and clean.

D: This brew is nice and subtle, but my girlfriend passed out while drinking "her" beer and this was really hard to finish off the whole 750 with her down and out. The fruit becomes taxing and the tartness also. I would recommend drinking this with a dinner party or having at a tasting because it is worth trying but definitely for sharing. (1,700 characters)

Photo of Dodt
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

decided to pick this up out as my first foray into dogfish head
poured from the bottle into a pint glass
appearance amber in color with a puffy white head that stays for a while
smell nice note of blackberry and blue berry
taste the berry notes are very mild
mouthfeel a bit tart (280 characters)

Photo of gskitt
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh. This is a beer that is not sure what it wants to be. Pours an attractive reddish color, impressive head with some decent lacing. Not as much berry scent on the nose as one would expect. It is there but its not strong. Tastes of fermented raspberries, not much hops or too much of anything else. Mouthfeel is ok, not syrupy like I expected. Ok beer, nothing I would go out and buy again. (390 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm hit or miss with DFH's offerings, and I didn't expect a lot from this one to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it.

The appearance was good. A deep reddish color, but a light head that faded with no lacing.

The smell didn't blow me away. It hinted at some sweetness. The taste wasn't overwhelming of fruit (which I like) and just gave a hint of blueberry and blackberry in the sweetness as you sipped. Not much in the line of hops, and the alcohol is somewhat evident. This was a pleasant beer to sip over a couple of hours. It would make a nice dessert beer. (595 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,077 characters)

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

A- Peachy, burnt orangelike color with bright white head that has a grayish tint to it. Nontransparent. One of the weirdest colors of beer I have ever seen.

S- Fruity like raspberries, peaches, apples, and definitely the wine-like blueberries. Small hint of alcohol is present too.

T- Same raspberries and blueberries (obviously) and a funky fruit backbone that I really cannot describe. The alcohol is slightly warming and the finish is somewhat bitter and dry.

M- Medium thickness and carbonation is moderately high.

D- Sweet and wine like. Not a beer that I would like to drink alot of because of that.

Overall- Another "envelope pusher" from DFH. Neat and different, but just not a great beer IMO. Carries more wine like qualitites, but might be something special if paired with the right dinner. I appreciate what these guys do everytime they try something different, just for the fact that they are breaking the mold. (929 characters)

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