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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

1,398 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,398
Reviews: 486
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 80
Gots: 171 | 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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« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,398 | Reviews: 486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big bubbly off-white head on cloudy grapefruit coloured body. Carbonation bubbles. An interesting tartness that is overcome by maltiness. I understand the tartness comes through in fresher bottle,this one was one year bottle from Crushinator. A good bitterness, very drinkable, creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable.Thick lace left in glass.

Sammy, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -18%

t0rin0, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and berry aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18%

djrn2, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate reddish brown color with a light head and not too much lacing, but a decent amount of retention. Both the nose and the taste are pretty much consumed by the berry additions, although there is a bit of booze in there as well. Drinks fairly well at the moment, though I'm guessing this would get much better as it mellows out a bit with some age.

Thorpe429, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured cloudy amber in color with a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. Lots of yeast particles are visible floating throughout my snifter glass.
S: The nose is filled with moderate aromas of blackberries and blueberries.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by the tart and somewhat sweet flavors of blackberries and blueberries. There are also some notes of the underlying malts, but bitter flavors from hops are not detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth due to a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden but the high level of fruity flavors makes this beer one to be sipped.

metter98, May 30, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a ruby color and a modest head that fades to a ringlet and leaves the ocasional clump of lace

Smell: More blackberry than blueberry but loads of fruit with an almost floral character

Taste: Opens with a fruit jam flavor that progresses to add a moderate amount of tartness; a bit herbal, underneath, but again, as in the aroma, the blackberry is much more pronounced than the blueberry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a somewhat spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing, with a nice bit of tartness, but lacks the complexity I would have expected

brentk56, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18%
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.

Phyl21ca, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
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.

BEERchitect, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Texasfan549, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that was purchased god knows when by me. I have had it in the cellar forever and just got around to it tonight. Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 08/18/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy, reddish tinted liquid coming through almost immediatly. Small whispy heado f white crashed down quick and left nothing in its wake. Subtle side glass lace, but unremarkable.

The aroma was loaded down with fruit. Berries of all sorts, Blueberries and blackberries dominant, with a touch of light grassy hops and some light grain. The flavor was all about fruit though. Staright up berry juice here, rich and very sweet, but nowhere near overpowering. This was extremely good, easily drinkable with a light body, good carbonation and very well hidden alcohol. Long drawn out fruit finish, lightly dry and easily pleaseant,

Overall one of the better fruit beers i have had. I was really shocked by how good this one was. I would have no objection to having this again at any time. Really very solid and one of the good ones from DFH.

mikesgroove, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9.3%

kjkinsey, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +9.3%

GRG1313, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice 1.5 finger head with excellent retention on a clear amber with copper hues body. Excellent lacing.

S: grape and blueberries. Caramel and toasted malts in the background.

T: finally a fruit beer which is still a beer. The blueberry and blackberries come and go and lingers in the finish with caramel malts, yeasty, spices and peppery zest. This one is a little too sweet only a little tart.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a little too sweet. Still one of the better fruit beers I have tried.

kylehay2004, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

jaydoc, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish-purple body with thin, short-lived off-white head.

Smell: A fairly delicate aroma of blackberry juice, blueberry syrup, and sweet-smelling malts.

Taste: Void of the striking, juicy fruitiness I was hoping for, I'm disappointed to find it was merely a faint, awkward candyish berry sweetness. Finishes tart and medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Mouthfeel is sticky, approaching syrupy. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: The real loser in all of this is me, as I still have another bottle of this stuff waiting for me at home.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured poured out as a purplish red color with a foamy pink/white head on top. The head settles and doesn't leave much lacing at all. The smell of the beer is fruity, yeasty and has a little funk to it. The taste of the beer is a lot like wine in my opinion. I think the berries used in it give off an interesting flavor once fermented in this brew. The mouthfeel is semi-thick like most of the DfH big bottles are. Overall this beer is decent, I can't say that I've wanted or needed to have it since the first and only time I drank it. If I was at a party and someone had it I would totally drink it again.

Knapp85, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Beelow's.

Gotta love it when your local bars get some cool kegs. This case in point pours a partly hazy sunset rusted gold topped by a finger of glowing bone foam. The nose comprises blackberries, light blueberries, very light banana, mild biscuit, light sourdough, and a pinch of allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, the berries matched by some Belgian yeast-infused bread and a hint of orange peel and light grass. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, a pretty nice beer, one that I could see going well with plenty of foods (muffins and lamb dishes spring to mind).

TMoney2591, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -18%

JAHMUR, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Dance Of The Seven Ales event at the GreyLodge Pub in Philadelphia on 6/7/07. 750ml bottle. Notes:
Crimson tinged amber robe. Little to no head at the pour, and what's left dissipates quickly. Fruity in the nose, but not nearly as bold as you might expect. The flavor is sugary, but not sweet. And it's not boldly fruity. There's some black raspberry, but not so much blueberry. Jam like. It's only subtly tart, and it could stand a little tartness to balance the sugary side. The alcohol is present though, although it's not rough and actually seems to work within the dextrinous flavor and body. Interesting. Drinkable. More of an apertif or nightcap beer.

NeroFiddled, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/13/2010 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a odd-shaped glass that I'm not even going to try to describe.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong smell of berries as you would expect along with light malts but not much else.

T: The taste likewise begins and ends with strong flavors of blueberries and blackberries. The malt character is a bit on the thin side which seems to enhance the berries. The hops presence is very mild, but there's still a decent balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Kind of tasty compared to most fruit beers, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's certainly one of the better fruit beers that I've had.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

RblWthACoz, Oct 21, 2012
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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,398 ratings.