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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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

1,291 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1291
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%


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)
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Ratings: 1,291 | Reviews: 482 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of gotbeer
gotbeer

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 23:57:02 | More by gotbeer
Photo of oelergud
oelergud

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi transparent golden ruby body. Big airy hilly off-white head with a blueish reddish tint. Decent retention and good lace.
Sweet berry and fruity scent with just a hit of spice.
Delicious sweet berry taste with a balancing hop presence. Both complex and simple. A familiar comforting vegetable garden taste.
Medium to full body, decent coating.
Great drinkability, very delicious, this is a brew to drink cold, warmth kills this brew and this may have been what was going on with the lower reviews this beer has received, I dont know but that was my impression.

-Oelergud

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2007 23:54:39 | More by oelergud
Photo of MaltyGoodness
MaltyGoodness

Pennsylvania

2.08/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle

Pours a clear, light purple-ish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very light, with faint hints of berries. Becomes very boozy as it warms.

Nondescript light berry taste. No real malt or hop flavors to speak of. Bitter and dry at the finish with a pronounced booziness.

Medium body, light carbonation.

Well, this is by far the worst brew I've had from DFH. I feel cheated for shelling out $12 for this bottle. The fruit flavor is bland and subdued, and the only other flavor that really comes through is the alcohol. Pass on this one...

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2007 02:22:24 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of letsgopens
letsgopens

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This fruit beer pours a semi-translucent red with orange highlights and a thing light head.

The aroma is bitter and a bit fruity with hints of blueberry and blackberry but leaves something to be desired.

As for the flavor; I had high hopes but this beer was not as flavorful as I'd expected. Bright and fruity with hints of berry and citrus, but fairly mild.

The mouthfeel is light, with a fruity/acidic tang that creates a bit of a bite and a clean finish.

Overall Dogfish Head has created a solid fruit beer, but it was not what I was hoping for. I did, however, try it during a tasting that involved a lot of great 'Big' beers that may have overshadowed some of the Black & Blue's more subtle qualities. I would like to try it again and see if any of my opinions change.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2007 00:02:33 | More by letsgopens
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 16:28:19 | More by Billolick
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger white head that fades immediately leaving no lace. Clear amber with red tinge color. Sweet fruity nose. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet and sour, slightly fruity with raspberry, blueberry is hidden and so is the high ABV. Nice clean finish. Bottled 2/12/2007, $11.19 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Label has ABV at 10%.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 22:39:54 | More by jdhilt
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 12:03:01 | More by benmiliron
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright stop light red. Thin capping of fizzy whitish foam which doesn't last. The color is gorgeous though.

Aroma is quite light yet bright of pale berry, apple, twigs, and jell-o.

Taste is quitely placed with a berry-like kool-aid type flavor. Tangy, mildly zippy, sorta paled and soured, but hardly puckering, tender berry flavor ensues with a floating dryness of earth with red and purple grape skins.

Feel is a little below medium with a decent zip, tang, and torque of carbonation and flavor. A bit bland and boring in the finish, which does pick up a bit more dryness as it goes late, late, late into the night end of the airyness.

This seems like a good beer, but nothing really to spectacular hits me other then the style and mixture of ingredients that DFH has tried to induce into this ale. A one time try will do, other then that, its perhaps passable. Refreshingly zippy enough and mildly fruity but just not enough draw or character to really perk interest beyond the cool name and label.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 03:34:05 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful rose-colored beer with a light, fizzy pink head that reduces to a thin layer of foam.

It smells sweetly of grapes and berries with a hint of wine-like dryness.

The taste is light and tart with plenty of grape flavors mixed in. It has very little malt qualities, instead leaning to fruity flavors. But these flavors are subdued. This isn't like soda.

The body is crisp and light. The sparkling carbonation also adds to the lightness.

Overall this is a neat experiment and an excellent beer to get wine drinkers interested. It has a lot of champagne qualities, from the fizziness to the wine-like flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 02:45:44 | More by Shaw
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 02:24:39 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of nriech
nriech

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Off white head, lots of it. A very carbonated looking dark red brew.

Smell: More raspberry than blueberry. Sort of sweet smelling with just a tad bit of fruit and malt. Very mild.

Taste: Extremely mild tasting in flavor and ABV. I couldnt tell at all it was 11%. Malty with just a touch of sweet fruit. Not like any other blueberry or fruit beers that are overpowering and sickeningly sweet. This is actually drinkable. Light and not much in the way of aftertaste. A little tart at the end.

Overall a good balanced fruit beer. Just enough fruit to know what you are drinking, good masking of alcohol, easy to drink and a good strong beer for summer. I dont think I could make this a regular but maybe this should be on a rotating every other year schedule.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 16:25:33 | More by nriech
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 00:21:34 | More by smcolw
Photo of lehows
lehows

New York

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a redish tinted amber color with a tight white head. Wonderful aromas of dark berries and some mild floral hops. Smooth and creamy taste of rich yet mild blackberries and blueberries. Hops and malt make a well enough presence so that the beer is not too sweet. Well balanced and very drinkable for the ABV. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 23:28:17 | More by lehows
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Capped 750ml bottled on 02/12/07. Pours a slightly pinkish amber color with a small head. The aroma was mostly grain with just a hint of berries and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste was on the otherhand was just a mess. It tasted sort of like a bad berry wine. There was really not much malt or hops at all. The drinkability was low due to it being unbalanced and boozy. Overall, I am very dissapointed with this brew as I had such high expectations after the Red & White. Not reccomended.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 20:33:35 | More by cjgator3
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After recently enjoying the Red and White, I had big expectations for this brew. Though nice, it did not live up to the hype. The beer pours a 'grape-juice' looking ruby color with formitable retention that soon faded. The abundant aromas shows a blast of juicy berry character with a strong note of red wines and oak. The flavors show a berry, wine tartness, but lacks the intense flavors expected. The barrel gives a bold muskiness and earthiness (nearly horse blanket) which dominated the fresh fruits. The feel ended up a bit thin, although hiding the alcohols well. Finishes wiht a mild astringency and lambic quality. Nice, but just expected more.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 17:21:23 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Florian's. Translucent ruby-red body with a quarter inch of off-white head. Smell is weaker than expected, but consists mostly of blackberry with a hint of blueberry. Blue and black berries dominate the flavor as expected, with hints of caramel malt, making for a mostly sweet beer with a hint of sourness. Surprsisingly little alcohol present in the flavor. And while the body is atad syruppy, it;s oddly drinkable for such a big beer. Maybe getting this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 01:33:45 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 23:46:05 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, bottled on 2/12/07. The beer pours a red/purple/amber/brown color with a white/light pink head. Head retention and lacing are good. I can smell berries/fruit, not necessarily raspberries and blueberries but the aroma is fruity. The taste is sweet and tart berries with a bit of a medicinal flavor and malt, but no hops that I can taste. Taste does get a bit better as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick. The alcohol isn't noticable at first, but it does kick in later on. Drinkability is OK, but nothing special. Overall I think it's a decent beer, but a bit of a disappointment to me.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 23:04:34 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.1/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 19:25:49 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of mmcave
mmcave

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottled on 2-12-07
Ignored beer advocate glass suggestion and poured into a Grolsch glass. Head levels out a good two centimeters off the surface with decent retention and delicate almost gray lacing. The body is red amber, with purple tones, bright red high lights and some peach/pink. Its moderately translucent, with good clarity, and tiny bubbles. The smell reminds me of fall immediately for some reason, maybe because I had Jiahu ( and this reminds me of that?) for the first time this fall, but I can not say for sure. I get no absolute traces of raspberry or blue berry, although I do get strong hints of berry, but what specifically I cannot discern. Malt is present with a weird dried corn note, plus very little hop aroma. As it warms the fruit becomes much more apparent almost sticky in my nostrils. Taste is slightly gummy or jammy alcohol is perceptible but by no means over powering. I taste hints of fruit in the beginning, a tinge of bitterness in the midsection and another flourish of berry character coupled with light malt on the finish. I didn’t notice the normal alcohol warmth you would immediately after taking a sip of something 10 abv, but it did ketch up with my soon after. For me the mouth feel was a bit unexpected on this, I thought there would be much more residual sugar left over from the fruit after fermentation. I get the feeling the fruit had so much fermentable sugar in it that it left a smaller amount of desirable fruit flavor and aroma, but in tern helped to boost the ABV so high. Very interesting, definitely not a sessionable beer, not because of the drinkable factor simply because of the ABV. Fun and interesting to try, but if it were available year round I doubt I’d buy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 05:47:43 | More by mmcave
Photo of quasimoto
quasimoto

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this line of beers Sam has come out with. Finally a brewery that is giving me something new.
It is a ruby/purple red crystal clear beer with a faintly off pink head. The head was huge, but it dissapated quickly and only left a little bit of lace. The aromas are of strong raspberries, black berries, oak and some phenol alcohol. But only very faint phenols, as the regular alcohol comes in strong flanking the beer like the Viet Cong. The taste is very sweet raspberries, black berry fruity flavors along with the balance of woody oak. There is a lot of alcohol in the back ground, and as it warms it gets even stronger. Never the less, it doesnt leave that traditional alcohol burn on you palette. I think this would make a great reduction sauce for some vanila ice cream, and pound cake. Very nice. Once Again, Sam you've out done your self.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 23:31:36 | More by quasimoto
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great reddish/blue color. Nice thin white head. Reminds me of the one berlinner weisse I have had in my life. Good aroma-fruity with a mellow lactic type smell to it. Fruity and dry flavor. Some malt flavor. No real bitterness to it. Good sourness. The fruit/malt dominates. While the label says blueberries and blackberries neither stands out-just says fruit. Nice body for being 11%. Overall a nice beer. Doesnt really stand out in any way shape or form. I know they are 2 seperate beers and styles but the Red and White puts this away.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 22:39:23 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of phisig137
phisig137

Virginia

2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful deep amber brilliant ruby color, with a one finger head that is tinted a light pink. Decent retention leaves behind a bit of lace and a thin blanket of foam.

Aroma is filled with sweet fruity aromas, mostly of raspberry, but also a good amount of yeasty esters. Some medicinal aromas also come through.

Flavor is another story. Big blueberry flavors are abundant, along with some raspberry in there as well. No hops whatsoever to speak of, and almost no malt either. Medicinal flavors, astringent alcohol, and a lingering sweetness ruin the flavor on this one. Mouthfeel is sticky and thick. Drinkability is fairly low.

Quite a let down from DFH. This just lack balance and finese. After drinking the red and white, this was a disappointment. Almost reminds me more of "mad dog 20/20" than a fine DFH brew.

That is not to say that the beer is not made well. I think DFH did a good job considering what it is, and I respect them greatly for it. I just think perhaps this is one direction that extreme beer shouldn't venture much further.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 03:51:41 | More by phisig137
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 01:42:22 | More by Wildman
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a really clear reddish amber with three fingers of tan suds. Lots of lacing though
Not a lot of smell here. I get a dark bready aroma. No fruit here.
Taste is not good. Dirty sugar and nasty water.
The Red and White was better. This black and blue is gross and nasty.
Stay with the Red and White!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2007 21:20:21 | More by peabody
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,291 ratings.