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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,397 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,397
Reviews: 486
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 80
Gots: 172 | 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:
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 added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Massbmx
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Massbmx, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of NonicPanic
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

NonicPanic, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of Jhfinn
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Jhfinn, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of valarking
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

valarking, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Wildman
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

This beer poured a dark red color and formed a pure white bubbly head that disappeared leaving trace lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of berries and not much else present. The flavor was of blackberries and raspberries with some medicinal aspects to it. It has a fairly light body to it and the finish was tart. It's hard to review Dogfish's experitmental offerings since they always go to the extreme, which isn't necessarily the best wasy to approach a brew.

Wildman, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of WDJersey
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

WDJersey, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of sbanacho
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

sbanacho, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of gwdavis
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

gwdavis, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Chrisdslap
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Chrisdslap, May 10, 2012
Photo of spikechiquet
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

spikechiquet, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of bkwhoppa66
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

bkwhoppa66, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of khiasmus
2.78/5  rDev -24%

A- A reddish amber with cream-colored head that settles quickly. Clarity is good.

S- Some sweet malt, almost like an eisbock nose with a bit of raspberry and some blueberry in the back.... but more yeast than fruit, it seems. And a good bit of alcohol.

T- DMS, yeast, sulfur, initially. There are some fruits, some blueberries, a hint of strawberry, some malt and faint hops. But the three flavors mentioned first are the predominant ones... After you drink it a few minutes, the fruit comes out some more in the aftertaste, but is accompanied by a strong cloying sweetness and yeast finish. ugh.

M- A good, smooth mouthfeel. Medium low carbonation and a fairly clean finish, if you can get past the flavor.

D- I won't have it again. A disappointment... just too much of some strange yeast.

khiasmus, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of jwc215
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%

Poured into an oversized wine glass:

Pours (no, not black and blue) a reddish orange with a thin white head that recedes. Interesting color.

The smell is of blueberry and raspberry. Mild. Smells something like a fruity wine cooler.

The taste is of blueberry juice and some raspberry. Both of which are syrupy and mild. A caramelish sweetness is there, as well. For as sweet as it could be, fortunately it is not. There is some balance to it, but not more flavor. Ho-hum finish, if there is a finish at all.

Light-bodied, with an initial effervescence that fades.

To its defense, the alcohol is pretty well-covered, with it adding just a touch of dryness. It went down pretty somewhat quickly, but I wonder if it was the search for more flavor that made it so "drinkable". The problem with this beer is more in the "lacking" than anything "off". Drinkable enough to try - but not to get again.

jwc215, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of DeanMoriarty
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%

Picked up a 750 ML bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a Tripel Karmeliet branded tulip glass - thanks fellas!

A: Pours a hazy amber hue with a decent head that dissipates quickly leaving a minor amount of lacing in its tracks.

S: Smells like mixed berry cool aid and not much more - no yeast, malt or hop presence what so ever - didn't expect much hop character, but where's the rest of the depth to this brew ???

T: Berry and booze with a hint of malt is all I get (a lot like berry flavored jolly ranchers with no end to the sweetness) - completely lost on this one...

M/D: Medium to full bodied, very chewy, with a creamy finish. Difficult to drink more than a small glass - too sweet and thick. Very weird for the style.

DeanMoriarty, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of scott
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%

V.07
Highly anticipated.
Nice looking pour - fruit-like appearance with hue. Very aggressive carbonation, with tight white long lasting head.
Fruity/bready beer nose. Pleasant.
Hot & Heavy alcohol presence (too much for my liking), with a cloying barleywine distinction. Not as fruit/wine-like as I would have expected. Not refreshing. Not very complex. DFH hasn't impressed me in quite a while now. I think I'm done giving them the benefit of the doubt. And my money.

scott, May 29, 2007
Photo of AleWatcher
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%

Bottled in 2010.
Split with my wife and served in wine glasses.

This is a little bit like a blueberry/blackberry Cerise... Only not done as well in my opinion.
I REALLY like Cerise... This one isn't bad, but since fruit beers are my guilty pleasure, I tend to rate them a bit harder...

The beer looks like a nice fruit beer-- pinkish orange in color with a small white head. Nice thick and oily legs but no lacing and weak retention.
Smells like a wild berry Belgian golden ale mixed with blackberry Clearly Canadian sparkling water... It has some positives and some negatives... The flavor has an off-putting mineral/chalky quality that I'm not the biggest fan of-- although as it warms that goes away a bit (or perhaps I grow accustomed to it?!)
The beer starts of with some raspberry, black cherry, and light blueberry notes before finishing REALLY dry and kicking forth waaay too much yeast character. The finish lingers with a little boozy warmth that isn't entirely unpleasant-- but that stands out in a big way because the flavor profile isn't big enough to support this level of booziness. More fruit flavor would be awesome-- maybe triple the blueberry and double the blackberry.

The beer has a slight syrupy feel to it with an oiliness on the finish. More carbonation would help.

Overall-- this beer is too boozy, not flavorful enough, and in need of more carbonation. lots could be improved on--- but if this were my homebrew I would be eager to play with it. I certainly wouldn't stop here, I'd reconfigure the recipe and try to make something spectacular. I do harbor a slight concern that the base beer is the wrong platform off of which to build this recipe, but perhaps more fruit, and a bit more sweet malt action could save it.

AleWatcher, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Maxwell
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%

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.

Maxwell, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of oakbluff
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%

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.

oakbluff, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%

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.

stereosforgeeks, May 04, 2007
Photo of earthboundagain
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%

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.

earthboundagain, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Docer
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%

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.

Docer, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of cdkrenz
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%

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.

cdkrenz, May 02, 2010
Photo of heddar33
3/5  rDev -18%

heddar33, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of tugg407
3/5  rDev -18%

tugg407, Jan 10, 2012
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.