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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

520 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 118
Gots: 271 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of CopperTopBrews
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours: A rose color with a pink head. Pretty good lacing

Smell: Lots of ester, very fruity and sweet.

Flavor: Lots of fruit. Drinks more like a wine. Quite yeasty and following with a lot of ester. I started to drink this while it was still pretty cold out of the fridge, but as it warmed up the fruit really showed itself in the nose and on the tongue. Made it much nicer to drink.

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Photo of vtblackdog
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique and well balanced fruit beer.

The appearance is a slightly reddish golden in color. Didn't get a lot of head and disappears quickly.

The smell is a pleasant fruity alcohol. I catch the blackberry aroma.

Taste is a balanced alcohol with fruit. The fruit is just right for the balance.

Mouthfeel is moderate not light and not thick. I like it.

Overall a great beer for the style. However, at $10 a bottle only a few can afford to drink much of this one.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

5 words to describe it: Tart, Red Wine, Effervescent, Jam, Bread

Paired it with: n/a

Should have paired it with: Sweet grilled cheese— maybe brie and jam? Grilled pork, Fried Chicken (and other picnic foods.)

Drink it if you like: Lambics, Kirs/Kir Royals, Fruit beers, Pinot Noir, Sangria

A few other thoughts: Because of the fruit sugars and fermentation process, this guy takes on characteristics of red wine, which makes for something super interesting and not too sweet. It would be awesome to take a 750mL bottle on a summer picnic.

Watch out, though, for the ABV— a very well-disguised 10%.

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Photo of Mandark
1.79/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was really excited to try this, though fruit beers are not necessarily my favorite style. Alas. Though it pours a nice amber-cherry color, the smell is enigmatic, confusing: if you didn't know what style this was supposed to be, you wouldn't be able to tell as this just seems acidic and kind of bland.

OK, well, it could taste better than my nose tells me it will. Again, alas. Everything rushes together into a mash, a swirl of "meh" leaning towards "ugh!". There's no separation of flavors, complexity sacrificed in favor of....confusion. What is this? It tastes like an attempt, a not-quite-finished great idea. The mouthfeel is astringent, weak.

An earlier reviewer mentioned that it might mature to good things if left alone and perhaps that's the case. As it is, this bottle turned me off completely. Especially having had the wonderful DFH/Stone/Victory Saison Du BUFF a couple of hours beforehand.

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Photo of frothyhead
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orangish pinkish red into a snifter with a one finger off-white, pink-tinged head. A little murky with some mild lacing.

Nose is mostly yeasty with some alcohol bite, some peppery spice, and a little blueberry. More blueberry and bit of sourness is released with a good swirl.

Mouth is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation and a bit of dryness. Perhaps just a tad thin for the blast of flavor that it's going to present.

Taste is sweet and fruity, blueberry with some mild hop bitterness, bready yeast and a nice sour tartness keeping it all together. Alcohol very well hidden.

Overall a tasty and refreshing brew. Carbonation and subtle dryness does a good job of making this refreshing and keeping you coming back for another sip. For 11% ABV, I'll definitely find myself drinking this too quickly. Another unique and fully enjoyable brew from Dogfish.

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Photo of digr
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a "grapey" red hue with a 1.5 cm foam head (slight pinnk color to the foam).

S - Mild Belgian style yeast smell (fruity + esters) and berry smell. Small amount of hop aroma.

T - Front taste of fruit and berries mixed with the golden Belgian style of the beer. Finishes with a dry feeling and mild hop overtones.

M - decent mouthfeel from the Belgian style. Finishes Dry. Some acidity from the fruit.

D - Fairly easy to drink. The bottle says 10% ABV. however this is hid real well as there is zero hint of alcohol hotness. The Fruit effect will determine drinkability based on personal preferences.

Overall - a decent brew if you like fruit beers. I personally prefer my fruit beers to be sours. For me there may be a bit too much hops compared to the fruit flavors. There seems to be an imbalance in the overall beer. But if you like fruit beers that are subtle and not too sweet, then you may really like this one.

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Photo of chasebrownyeah1
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Black and Blue ABV: 10% Bottled: 2009D

A: Pours a dark, orange, red color. Very beautiful look, almost looks like a fruit juice with the pulp. The head foams up, but then shortly falls to a minimal to no head. The lacing is very noticable. Sticks to the glass the moment I pour, all the way to the finish.

S: Smells of a wine scent. Has a very sweet smell, which lingers from the berry assortment that is brewed upon this beer. The smell is advertising.

T: Definitely can taste the black and blueberry assortment. Also, taste like a very good white wine. Very sweet and malty.

M-D: This is a beer that I believe would be for a special occasion. If you like wine, I think that this beer could be put in the place of it. When taking a sip, the beer is very smooth. Once the liquid touches the tongue, the flavors just hits you like a ton of bricks.

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Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale ale color, with hints of purple in the light. Shallow, red-tinted head.
S - Strong blueberry aromas, and a heavy malt aroma.
T - The fruit is actually more subtle on the tongue than on the nose, but the tartness from the fruits is strong. The malt definitely doesn't stand up to the tartness.
M - Short finish, spicy on the tongue, and a little grainy.
D - Tartness limits this to a shared 750ml bottle, though a strong, maduro cigar helps to balance out the overall flavor of the beer.

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Photo of sirpsycho
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml. bottle. Poured an medium amber, small head that disappeared quickly. Aroma was almost non exsistent. Couldn't distinguish any blackberry's or blueberry's, nor could my wife. Had a medicinal taste to it. The only positive I could say is that the alcohol was well hidden. I have a bottle that I will cellar and try at a later date, hopefully for a better a review.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Surprised by how much I liked this beer. Made me rethink Dogfish Head. The dark color with fruit tends to throw me off, but this beer was quite exceptional. Highly recommended.
Surprised by how much I liked this beer. Made me rethink Dogfish Head. The dark color with fruit tends to throw me off, but this beer was quite exceptional. Highly recommended

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Photo of samoblue
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First had this on Thanksgiving evening, but if you were there you would understand that I don't remember much from the latter parts of that night, so thought I would give this another try. Bottle purchased from beer room at Whole Foods-Bowery on 2/13 and poured into the snifter I purchased at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Gaithersburg, MD last weekend.

Pours a deep, cloudy amber--almost like a cup of black tea. Head was minimal, and disappeared almost immediately.

Aroma - grapefruit, some alcohol

Taste - It's tart. I guess I get some fruit flavor--blueberry--early on, but roll it around your tongue and that 11% alcohol definitely comes out. A little bit of something like grass clippings, which I think is strange because I would guess this beer isn't that aggressively hopped.

Mouthfeel - That tartness stays with you, long after the glass is gone. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - I would never want to drink more than one bottle--or even more than one glass--of this in a sitting.

I'm a big fan of pretty much everything Sam Calagione does, but I'm not sure I'll go this route again. No regrets on trying it, but not sure I'll be picking up any more bottles of this.

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Photo of Johnd8
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did a vertical between a new 2015, and a bottle shop shelf dusty from 2014 bought a month ago; It was not exposed to sun light, just fluorescent light and room temps.
Other then what is likely slight recipe and fruit differences, the 2014 only had a couple of not offensive flavor differences. It was more berry forward and a bit rounder in flavor

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Photo of simpliciter
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light reddish copper. thin white head.

S - sweet fruits dominate.

T - very sour --- not a yeast sour, but a fruit acid sour. no real hop character. lightly bubbly mouthfeel finishes with a sour linger. For a fruit beer, this is excellent, hence the 4.5 score.

M - big, but not coating. fits well with the beer.

D - dangerously drinkable in warm weather. gives no hint of the ABV.

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Photo of luchris80
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting Notes: Stored in the wine fridge (51 degrees +/-) and served in an oversized wine glass.

Aroma: Full malty sweetness and a prominent fruit nose (raspberry with an apple-like tartness/acidity).

Appearance: Medium brown color with slight red tone (coppery orange when held to light). Slight cream color head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving some trail (legs). Clear with very slight haze (possibly chill).

Flavor: Even berry/fruit flavor (blueberry) on a light malty, sweet background. Some sourness/acidity towards finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high, champagne-like carbonation. Smooth, but quite crisp at finish. Some warmth on back of tongue/throat.

Overall Impressions: Drinks like a crisp, dry(ish) champagne. Aroma suggested a bit more punch than what flavor was. Really came close to what I expected from the label description.

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Photo of Secondfiddle7
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A little bit boozy. Hey it's 10% ABV. No doubt, the fruit purée comes through loud and clear. There is a clear blackberry and blueberry taste. The big bottle is shareable. Pairs well with roast duck or roasted vegetables. Ages well. I've kept a bottle downstairs for a year or two and it smooths as it ages. Doesn't need to be ice cold, goes down real well at just below room temp.

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Photo of BabySnakes
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red orange hue with a quickly disappearing head

smells like black raspberry and blueberry, even blueberry pie. go figure. Sweet Malts come thru, couldnt say which malts. Also a boozy aroma

warm boozyness hits along with the aforementioned fruits. Sweet maltiness (honey?) maybe even a mead-ish character.

Boozy, tingly mouthfeel, but heavy.

Overall, a really nice unique fruit beer. It reminds me of a light bodied mead. I was expecting something insane from DFH, but you pretty much get what you read on the label, which is nice. Just unexpected from my point of view.

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Photo of dashmartino
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this sucker on a disgustingly hot day in June of 2008 at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE. Four beers on tap that day for people to sample. First ths sixty, then the ninety. Then the lady brings out a pitcher of this beautiful reddish stuff with a nice head on it. Wow, what is that?!?! Poured into a plastic cup, swigged it down. Wowee! First thought that came to mind: lambic. Very easy drinking beer that tasted like a Lindeman's Framboise, but not disgustingly sweet or filling. This stuff is mind blowing. Should have got a case! Another winner from DFH!

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Photo of Dixonian
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. Poured into a goblet.

Small amount of head that dissapated quickly leaving nothing behind. Delicious berry aroma.
Tastes almost like a lambic only lighter and without the funk. Blueberry comes through strongest especially on the after taste.
Not too heavy-Dogfish are masters of hiding high ABV as well as making one of a kind brews.

I'm not the biggest fan of the mingling of fruit and beer but I very much enjoyed this.

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Photo of Wilshade
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian Style Golden Ale
ABV: 10%
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: A beautiful translucent amber with a thick, creamy, off white head with substantial staying power. (Yes, I was careful with my pour.) Very active effervescence in the head and body.

Smell: Berries and more berries. Very pleasant.

Taste: Definitely tasting the berries with some floral hints. Very flavorful and surprisingly well balanced. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouth feel: Tingly on the tongue, but smooth on the whole palette.

Overall: Pretty beer with a nice bouquet and a distinct berry taste. High ABV is very well hidden. .

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Photo of shark262
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a striking purple/rose color with 3 fingers of carbonation (used a champagne flute). High carbonation settles quickly with no lacing.

Slightly malty aroma is pushed forward with subtle scents of berries.

Fruity and crisp taste with berries providing a nice background (not overpowering). Nice hop spice combines with mellow tartness and dry finish. Alcohol presence warms the palette increasingly after each sip.

Sparkling mouthfeel with medium body.

Drinks easy. I could see the alcohol in this one creeping up on me rapidly.

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Photo of melloashello
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm sipping on my second glass of this fine beer as I write this review. Let me just say, this beer is excellent. The pour was amazing, it just shines with beautiful color and the aroma is incredible. I'll be honest, after I finish this glass, I shall pour another and maybe another. The drinkability is out of this world. I love this beer. Another awesome job from Dogfish.

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Photo of jester5120
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into DFH snifter

A- Poured nice bronze color with a slight purple hugh. creamy white head about an inch thick quickly disapeared.

S- sweet smell of fresh berries. very tiny hint of citrus to it as well

T- strong berry flavor with some sourness coming from the yeast. The citrus in the smell carries through in the taste. Very little bite from the alcohol considering this beer is 10%

M- Medium mouthfeel. maybe on the full bodied side if anything.

O- a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect the sweetness without the alcohol bite. Very smooth well balanced beer

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Photo of Shoegaze99
2.11/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink a fruity champagne I'd drink a fruity champagne.

Dogfish Head is know for their "off-centered" beers. It's one of the primary appeals of the brewery and one of the reasons why I'll consistently get their product. But their penchant for experimentation means they sometimes miss the mark. And this one is a big miss.

This bottle was a year old when we cracked it; served the beer in wine glasses. Poured a quite lovely reddish color with a tiny head. The brew was murky but in an appealing way. It LOOKED great.

The aroma was ... well, it was not the aroma of beer. Smelled like a glass of champagne. The aroma of raspberry and blueberry were very much present. The smell "sparkled." Still, I rated it decently because while it didn't smell like beer it was still a pleasant aroma.

But the taste. Ugh, the taste. Judged as a BEER and not as another beverage it's hard to judge this one favorably. The brew was light-bodied bordering on thin. The bright, active carbonation and heavy fruits tasted more of champagne than beer. There is a *touch* of beer in the finish, but only a little. The tart of the raspberry was countered by the blueberry, but they didn't merge well with the overall package. Four of us tried it and the agreement was universal; this tasted like a fruity champagne, not beer.

Which is fine if you like champagne. I don't.

I've had many ups and a few stray downs with Dogfish Head's experiments. Even the downs I at least appreciated the experience and enjoyed having my expectations turned on their head.

But not this time. I'd rather drink a macro lager than this. Really. Huge thumbs down.

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Photo of jxhill
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, white head. Deep burnt orange color w/ some haze. Estery and alcoholic smell. Fizzy and fruity flavor with very little malt character. The tartness is pleasant but not cloying/ very clean finish. Not much lacing.

This beer is not my favorite DFH offering by a long shot, but as a fruit beer it was pleasant and tasty. With its lack of malt beery flavors, it reminds me of bit of a framboise lambic.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.