1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
-
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,398 | Reviews: 486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%

This bottle was two weeks shy of a year old when sampled.

A - Two fingers of white head with a slight pink tinge on a clear, reddish orange body. Decent head retention, but not much lace.

S - Malty and slightly sour with notes of currants and some spicy yeast aromas. A little bit of vanilla as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front with some warm alcohol notes. Boozy, fruity notes follow with a vanilla character that nicely compliments the berries, as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and cinnamon. An assertive acidity balances the fruit in the finish along with a good dose of hop bitterness that lasts well into the dry, vinous finish.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy body, with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusually nice fruit beer, in that it has a great deal of fruit character but balances the berry character with just the right amount of acidity to avoid becoming cloyingly sweet. While this beer has some distinct alcohol notes, they have become quite mellow and never lead one to suspect that the alcohol content is as high as it is. Overall a very pleasant beer that is very drinkable, considering its wine like strength.

This would be an excellent dessert beer and I suspect that it would be able to stand up to an even longer cellaring.

nickfl, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

WVbeergeek, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

Dfh Black n Blue

in a St. Bernardus chalice.

hazy orange pink, little head...

sweet fruity nose, blod orange, mandarin, vibrany, zesty, big hops, ...now along comes the rapsberry, but the blueberry isn't as prominent, ....hey, wait, there's some...

what kind of beer is this? what is it supposed to be, what is it trying to be? Tasty and refreshing, to a point, but ...lacks...a lot. Just doesn't have a cohesive character. Missing some malt character, for one thing. All I'm getting is the fruit. And the 10% abv. Nothing terribly wrong with that, especially if what you want is a boozy fruit brew, and you know I always applaud experiments and innovation, so hear, hear, for that.

Just not altogether crazy about this one. Good, but not great. Enjoyable, though. Specially at the end, when the expectations wear off.

feloniousmonk, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%

Picked this up at Thirsty's in York back in July, just pulled it out of the fridge. Decanted cool into a snifter, thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing it w/ me.

A - A hazed red grape juice shade similar to the color of blackberry and blueberry puree as expected w/ a full light 2 fingers of head w/ an ultrafine bead. The head falls rapidly and adds confetti-like lacing on the snifter.

S - A boozy, malty aroma w/ subtle hints of fruit and a round creamy note w/ yeasty fullness.

M - Smooth creaminess blends into a slightly fruity sweetness w/ a touch of tart berry notes and full carbonation w/ no bitterness to speak of.

T - A malty taste w/ creamy and pils flavors w/ sweet and full ale flavors w/ a booziness that doesn't hide and a gradually emerging fruit flavor. A similar taste to malt liquor w/ a more sophisticated taste, both more flavorful in malt w/ a softer yeast taste that is augmented by the blackberry and blueberry puree. The sugars seem to have been mostly fermented out though since it is more of a strong wine clash w/ beer flavor and the sweet berry taste is somewhat an afterthought. The finish has a dry flavor of booze coming in tandem.

D - A bit of a berry bruiser w/ a full malt and alcoholic influence. The dry texture makes for an easy to drink beer, yet it still shows the 10% abv fully. I like how the fruit is not overly sweet and it still has beer character w/ the cooler taste you might usually associate w/ fruit beer. This is one I would drink again and again, yet not very drinkable as far as sessionability goes. One of the better fruit ales I have had since the black + blueberry flavor actually adds to the taste of the ale.

Slatetank, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

On tap at the brewpub in Rehoboth beach, beer is reddish and clear with almost no head, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, strong, cherries, mild Belgian yeast.

Beer is thick and sweet, strong with a lot of cherry flavors. Very strong, very in my face. It is a little harsh but finishes fine, lingering fruitiness. Very sweet.

drabmuh, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

unfairly underappreciated. this is a great beer, well made and fun. it looks pinkish and foamy, with a nice richness and good bubbling. smells like a Belgian blond, but has some great germal elements. malty with a fruity element, the blueberries stronger than the black berries in smell and taste, almost tart. the malt meshes amazingly well with the berries, a cool combo and definitely something different. yeasty, but the carbonation is huge, and so is the body, better and better as it warms up. love the fruit here, like no other. and the alcohol content is entirely invisible. how in gods name is this thing over 10% abv? just feels like a session beer. overall a great mix of fruit flavor and taste, nose of baby feet a little, but a real high quality brew here.

StonedTrippin, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

I had this in a 750mL bottle, and kept it in my fridge for just a little too long I think. Still good. Kind of tasted like a sweet tripel. Poured semi-cloudy, orange-brown with a nice white head. Fresh fruit on the nose. I got hit with the alcohol in the taste right away, which made the blueberry a bit harsh and acidic. Followed up by bright malty sweetness with some light sugars reminiscent of a Belgian tripel, and a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and a bit harsh, but I could tell it was because I let it sit in the fridge too long, so I can't really blame the beer.

Rifugium, May 03, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

WesWes, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a large white head. The aroma is full of blueberries, with some tannic red wine notes and a little bit of toffee and caramel.

The flavor is also very fruity. I get a lot of blackberry and blueberry notes, as well as some grape and red wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor, although I don't think the beer is barrel aged. The alcohol is noticeable but is not overwhelming.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Nov 07, 2011
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 smcolw
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%

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.

smcolw, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18%

February 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour yields a three finger thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, reddish-plum colored brew that shows a lightly hazy, pinkish tinged, full red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite strange, it smells a bit green, perhaps a bit like completely un-ripened berries, with almost a leaf-like note to it. Behind this is some thin, grain-like character that is a bit grassy but with a touch of toast character to it. Quite a surprising aroma, with a bit of time it almost completely smells like thin malt.

The beer is quite full on the tongue, but does have a substantial carbonation which causes the beer to foam up as it crosses my tongue. The carbonation though does not really counteract the thick, viscous feel of this brew. As one might have guessed the beer is quite sweet, it is quite fruity as well but not in the way I would expect. Reminiscent of green grapes, sweet raisins, and a sort of fruity sharpness that seem most likely derived from the blueberries. The sweetness is not entirely fruit based as there is some substantial sweet malt character here; it is clean, like the sweetness from converted, but unfermented pale malt wort and it couples with lightly toasted grain notes and a soft biscuit character. This is quite a clean tasting brew, while the fruit is not more than a non-distinct berry-like character, both it and the malt are very cleanly expressed without much in the way of yeast or fermentation character.

This certainly hides its alcohol content quite well, other than being from Dogfish head, I never would have guessed it was 10% abv. This is really not all that great. I find it interesting how non-descript the fruit flavors in this beer were; I expected this from the blueberries, but figured I would get a good presence from the black raspberries. The aroma is almost completely devoid of fruit, except for an herbal, green grape character that is noticeable from time to time. I could imagine this being fermented by a characterful yeast and actually being quite good, as it is though it is a bit too bland for my taste buds. It is very well brewed / controlled and there is certainly not anything offensive about this beer (as long as you like sweet things).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

XmnwildX12, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a medium red, poofy white head, fizzy thick lace. Pinkish red overall.

S: Lots of coriander/wit initially, but gives way to a beautiful pure raspberry, shades of New Glarus.

T: A different beer to put into words. Lots of blueberries and tannic character upfront. Sweetens out with a blood orange/raspberry finish.

M: A bit boozy, but these imperial wits always have it. Fairly smooth, some biting carbonation.

D: As one of the beers I've personally hyped to hell in my head, it didn't really live up to it. In the end though I liked it quite a bit, better than Red and White for me, a unique flavour.

Halcyondays, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -18%

beernads, May 18, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%

Appearance: pours a clear reddish purple color with a thick and fluffy 3"+ pinkish white head that lasted a while. This is one interesting looking beer IMHO.

Smell: there is a soft aroma of berries and little else is detectable.

Taste: this is not your usual fruit beer. Loads of dark berries, red grapes, a hint a vanilla, little to no bitterness, and some hints of alcohol are the main flavor components.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry throughout. The aftertaste is brief and filled with berry tones. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a unique fruit beer that is definitely worth trying because of the nice flavors, but to me this is a "one bottle, one time of year" beer - and if it comes out next year I'll probably pick one up.

Gavage, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

02/21/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code imprinted on the neck of the bottle itself. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Kinda of a grape soda looking pour. Not super purple, but enough to notice. 1/2 inch bbubbly head which soon fades leaving minor lace streaks.

Smell- Definite blueberry nose. Couldn't define the blackberry, but a nice fruity and mildly bready blueberry nose.

Taste- Fruity, not to the point of a lambic (Lindemans), but a nice dose of a tad syrupy blueberry and blackberry mixture. Mild malty backbone and a bit nutty on some sips. Hops pretty much non-existant. 10%??? Really didn't hit me that hard.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation which lessens as it warms. A touch sticky and a tad syrupy and thick. Sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Perfectly fine brew. Liked it, but probably wouldn't buy it again...especially for the $14.

GClarkage, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +9.3%

oriolesfan4, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

imperialking, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

InspectorBob, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a cloudy dark ruby/cherry red that is completely opaque with a thin fizzy slightly pink head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Very minimal spots of lacing.

Slightly sour fruit berry aroma with some tart funkiness, spice and dark berries. The blackberries and blueberries are prominent but there is also a bit of raspberry.

Very carbonated up front with some slight sour acidic tartness with a sweet medium body that is dominated by dark berry fruit and a slightly spicy finish. The alcohol is very well masked making this beer pretty quaffable. The sweetness of the blackberries and blueberries is no cloying or artificial which is always a plus but is still a bit too much for my liking. An interesting experiment but not something I would seek out again, especially at the high price point.

corby112, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of weeare138
2.45/5  rDev -33.1%

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
They don't do growlers of this but this was a special circumstance were we could via the kind folks at Rehoboth.
Appears a pinkish, purple toned, dense, muddy crimson with a small white head that quickly fizzles out. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is very vinous, with notes of over ripened blackberries, and sugary corn syrup. I would've thought this was simply a wine that hadn't fermented all the way out and had simply gone awry somewhere.
Taste is of the same winey, tart aromas that I struggle to accept.
Mouthfeel is tart, wine-like, mostly sour, and sticking to the sides of the tongue. There just doesn't seem to be any sort of balance in this brew.
It's like bad medicine mixed with a caramelized, concentrated wine mix. This is worse than the sacramental wine that we would taste when we were alter boys...blech!

weeare138, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

Highmarks for feel and drinkability. It drinks like a smooth wine, where other smooth fruit beers are simply juice-like. The flavor, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It's just bland. There's mellow, light malt profile with a touch of blueberries, but that's it. It might be a decent, in not expensive, gateway beer for wine drinkers.

tempest, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

Billolick, May 06, 2007
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,398 ratings.