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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 BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body with a large foamy offwhite head.

S - A big bouquet of raspberries and blueberries. Fresh, sweet, tangy fruit aromas. Floral hop notes.

T - Tangy fruit with a buttery back note. Sweet splash of soft fruit liquor and tangy hops. Fruit-like acidity, akin to apple skin. Blueberry and dark fruit present here. Tangy starches and spiced alcohol bring depth to this beers flavors.

M - Warming, drying medium body. Clean on the palate and the carbonation buzzes the tongue.

O - Plenty of fruit in the nose and mouth. The starchy, buttery flavors add a different dimension here.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber clear body with a slight purple hue that glows in the light. There is a creamy off-white head that is thick and last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft berry hint that is not specific to any one type of fruit. There is a light yeast and raw grain note in the finish.

T- This beer has a soft dry berry flavor with a not of raw grain and a hint of field corn in the background. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note and a dry carbonic acid note. There is a hint of bitterness from hops in the finish which takes on a Nobel and pine note when it warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that comes through when it warms. The tight fizz and dry note really make a clean finish.

D- There are some subtle hints of fruit but not much of interest in this beer. It could use more flavor of some sorts but the alcohol is very smooth for such a big beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 7.5 dL capped bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The ale pours with a thick billowy white head that consumes three plus fingers in the glass, easily overwhelming the body of the beer. As the head recedes, it does not lace. The body of the beer is a red-blue hybrid color, light and clear with a definite purple tint. Very unusual, I don't think I've seen a beer take on this hue. You have to see it to understand it.

S: The nose has the sweetness of a fruit juice undercut by a grainy malt profile with hints of sour tart fruit. Much like the color, the blueberry/blackberry aroma is unique.

T: The first sip surprised me with its solid grainy cereal body. I was expecting all fruit all the time so the chewy malt was nice. Those malts are a nice foundation for the fruits, contrasting with the tartness of the fruits. Those fruits are quite sweet at times before yielding to a more tart element. At the end of the sip, some alcohol warmth comes through but it is very minimal, leaving me to wonder where it is at throughout the glass. There is a sweeter yeast flavor blanketing the beer from start to finish.

M: The strength of the fruits is pleasant, livening the mouth with flavors that are rarely seen in a beer. The alcohol, while not evident until the end, leaves it mark quickly.

D: This 10% beer (per the label) is a whopper that you may want to share with someone. The fruit flavors are strong but don't mistake this for a sugary sweet experience, this beer is big and bad with a lot of swagger.

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Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle dated December of 2009. It poured a light amber with good reddish tint in the light. The head was slight and cream colored. The smell was amazing. It wreaked of raspberries, perhaps blackberries and was both sweet and tart. The taste was very good but doesn't quite hit the mark that the scent does. It makes you crave the berry accents. The mouthfeel is good as well, it's rather light to medium in body for the style. Its very drinkable. It is delicious and completely hides the alcohol. I love this beer and would greatly recommend it. If only it weren't so expensive but aged bottles are definitely worth it.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Copper Mine.

This beer really surprised me in a nice way! It pours a reddish amber-brown with a small head and only so-so retention and lace so it’s not at all exceptional to look at. The nose has a good blackberry and blueberry presence as well as some sweet malt and light floral hops.

The flavor was very sweet and almost put this into the dessert category for me. Lots of intense fresh blue and blackberry flavor, a bit of grainy malt, some tannic notes, and very mild floral hops. Faint tartness. A hint of booze in the finish but nothing that lets on the 10% ABV.

Medium to slightly full-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slightly sticky overall mouthfeel. The freshness of the fruit flavor really made this an enjoyable beer for me. I’d like to try this in the bottle to see if it comes up to the same level of drinkability and tastiness.

Revisit: I don't like this anymore very much. Found the bottle to be too sweet and boozy and a chore to drink. Not awful but just not very appealing. These qualities would work better in a big stout but this one just gets too hot and syrupy after a few sips.

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Photo of corby112
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright red color, thin white head.

S: Fruity aroma, raspberrys and blueberry sweetness on nose.

T: Smooth tartness for flavor, grape juice like texture. Dry palate, with lots of berries for flavor but is not to tart. Hops are hard to distinguish with the berry sweetness. There is some spiciness from hops but is faint and overpowrered by the juice sweetness , along with some woodiness.

M: Mouthful is rather thin with very little carbonation.

D: For a fruit beer drinks very nicely and wine-like. Not as good as the red and white though.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Bottled 2/12/07.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" lavender head over the slightly cloudy bright red brew. Head holds on well, with tons of slow-falling lace. Aroma is rich an d fruity, without the intensity that sometimes makes one think artificial. Taste is lightly malty, with somewhat generic fruitiness coming on in the middle, and becomes more blueberry as the flavor lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy, and drinkability is not bad for a fruit brew. I enjoyed this brew, but probably wouldn't revisit for the cost. Your mileage may vary.

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Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly pinkish red-brown color, with about an inch of slightly tan head that had medium retention and slight lacing.

A pleasant fruit aroma hits the nose, any sweetness is from fruit not malt. There is a slightly sharp tang behind the fruit flavor. The finish is a little sticky but not overly clingy.

A body that is smooth and a little light slides over the tongue. The drinkability is good, but maybe after a couple the sweetness might get to you. Overall a decent beer that's worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a medium red colour with burnt orange edges. It also had a thin skim of fine, off-white foam and a ring of large bubbles that produced a bit of spotty lacing. The aroma was fruity, heavy on berry sweetness and a little yeasty. Mild bitterness with a lot of berry flavour up front, followed by earthy fruit skins and a slight tartness. A bit of malt provides some sweetness and there was a light alcohol flavour in the finish. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation. Slightly syrupy texture with a little warmth. Overall, the mouthfeel was a little dead. Decent for a big beer and impressive because the fruit really provides most of the character without seeming artificial. I split this one with my wife and she enjoyed it as well.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy red/amber color. Poured a 3 finger bubbly red-tinted head with good retention. Laced in even rings. Decanted continually.

S: Sweet fruit, yeast and a slightly sour aroma.

T: Fruity and slightly sour like wine. Berry flavors are not too overdone. Bittering hops provide a nice balance. Warming alcohol.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Nice blaance for the style.

D: Interstingly drinkable. Its a sipper - watch the ABV; alcohol presence more prominent as it warms.

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Photo of rudzud
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes taken during playoff hockey. This was a 2008 vintage.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip a reddish grapeskin crystal clear colour with a fizzy super tiny head that left a thin halo.

S - Super sweet blueberry juice and skin aromas with some nice malts. The ABV is present on the nose as well.

T - Pretty good with super sweet blueberry notes. Its painfully obvious that this is a 10%+ ABV beer as intermixed with the sweetness is a strong alcohol kick.

M - Low carbonation and somewhat syrupy. As in everything else, the ABV is present.

O - I can dig this brew. Its kinda like a blueberry barleywine. Not sure if a few more years would have made it all mellow out but if that ABV can tone down a bit this would be a really nice beer.

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Photo of Viggo
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this one up in Chitown.

Pours a clear red/cranberry juice colour, huge off white head forms, laces pretty well, good retention. Smell is caramel, citrus, blackberry moonshine. Taste is sweet, malt liquor, fruits, alcohol, some berry but mostly overpowering sweetness and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost thin flavour, high to medium, almost prickly carbonation, alcohol burn, weak finish, not too exciting. Can't say I enjoyed this much. Thanks Lexx!

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Photo of Bighuge
2.31/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear light copper with a pink tint to it. Pours fizzy. A slight head forms and then is gone. Lacing is nonexistent.

Nose: Really not a lot going on here. Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. That's it folks.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste follows suit with the nose. Really not a lot of substance here. This is one of the most non-descript beers I've had in a while and it surprises me being that it's a 10% fruit beer. Berries mingle in the background lightly. Can't decipher the specific qualitites that would make them black raspberry or blueberry or whateverberry. Just get a light berry sense. Alcohol is surprisingly light as well. There's a sweetness to this beer, but of course it's quite subdued. The beer is light in body and on the lower end of the spectrum for carbonation.

Drinkablility: Fine. I'll drink it. More because of what I paid for it rather than what's inside the bottle. Probably the biggest disappointment I've experienced from DFH. A total 180 from their Red and White, which I thought was very good.

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Photo of pat61
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours cloudy reddish amber under a 1” finely bubbled off white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass through the whole drink.
S: More blackberry on the nose than blueberries, spice, and fruit.
T: The blackberries and blue berries taste like real berries and not like a syrup. The blackberries come out up front and the blueberries come out more on the finish. The fruity funky Belgian yeast flavors are a little off on their own like that out of place person at a party – sometimes they connect and sometimes they don’t. There is a little grape or white wine thing going on as well. A light bitter hop accent provides some balance to the sweetness of the beer.
M: A big beer with a luscious, creamy body and slightly above average but very soft carbonation.
O: This is a sipping beer – it’s a touch to sweet to drink a lot of. It has a lot of interesting elements but they do not always come together.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been dying to try this beer. Especially since I haven't been able to get a bottle in Illinois. But when I made a quick trip to Indianapolis, what do I see at Kahn's.

The very preety fruit juice colorings make up for the lack of head, the bubbling isn't bad either. I was expecting a more pronounced berry aroma, but was a little let down when the nose came up a little short. I was glad I could smell the blackberries, but the blueberries seemed to be a bit obscured. The taste was alright, especially considering the fruits don't overpower the overall taste of the beer. I could taste the Belgian malts as well as the black and blue berries. Very smooth palate. But overall a little blander than I expected. I'm glad I tried this beer. But it was a little sub-par.

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Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red color, which is that of raspberries and blueberries. Nice hue. Thick two-finger head that fades down a bit.

Aroma is full of raspberry and blueberry in the nose with a bit of tartness peeking out.

Taste is smooth and tart with raspberry and blueberry on the tongue. The flavors don't linger long though. What feels like wheat shows up in the middle.

Mouthfeel is not too sweet nor tart. Finishes kind of dry too. Alcohol is well-hidden. Easy to drink.

A very nice beer that doesn't go overboard on the fruit. A sipper but the alcohol is so well-hidden, you should step back and savor it anyway.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Yet again, thank you cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a cloudy reddish orange color. Produced lots of white bubbles.

(S)- Dark fruits of blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry with a lightly dry oakiness.

(T)- Same as the smell. Has a nice profile of raspberry and blueberry with hints at a pomegranate too.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A good complex fruit profile. Smooth.

(D)- Crisp and refreshing. Great fruit profile, yet sort of straightforward. Still enjoyable and tasty. Definitely a good fruit beer

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at the "Hops for Hope" charity tasting.

A - Poured a distinct amber with a slight layer of head. Kind of expected a hazy blue due to thinking it was a "fruit" beer
S - Mostly blueberries. Raspberries and alcohol followed but mildly.
T - Not overwhelmingly alcohol taste, mostly a mild fruit backbone, but it seems out of place for a beer. Kind of too much.
M - Actually thinner than expect for 10 percent but flavors were very boozy.
D - Well I wanted to try these beers for a reason, to sample extreme beers on the cheap. This accomplished this as this was my second favorite along side of a few others of 6 beers sampled.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a seethru coppertinted red with two-finger white head that dies quickly and leaves a little bit of sticky lace. While there are some tart berries in the taste, this is mostly a sweet drink. Blackberries, blueberries dominate over some raspberries and possibly some other sweet malts as this is like drinking a lambic. A pretty good drink, but I can only stomach so much of this in one sitting.

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Photo of claspada
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber color with good carbonation; not totally translucent but close.

Aromas of subtle sweet malt on the nose carrying the essences of various berries and just enough hop character to give the aroma a balance.

Tastes begins with solid malt that is quickly balanced by subtle hops that allow the fruits to play on the palate, berries throughout. The finish is persistent and pleasant.

Fairly above average sweet malts dominate the mouthfeel; berries are delicious, help the beer finish tart/crisp.

Slightly overpriced and harder to find that most Dogfish Head brews. ABV is also kinda much but if non of the above are problems for you, seek it out.

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Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a syrupy dark amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of berries - both blue and rasp, as advertised. Underneath the fruitiness are hints of syrupy sweet malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Thick and sweet malt flavors kick things off and are almost immediately overwhelmed by tons of berry flavors. The berry flavors start off slightly tart but sweeten fairly quickly. The sweet flavors intensify through to the ending.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is just not very good. I struggled to finish what I could and didn't finish my glass.

Overall I was a bit disappointed by this beer but knowing DFH's track record (by no means a bad one) I should have expected nothing less than something intense and out of the norm. I won't buy this again but I could see some liking it - worth a shot if you like fruit beers and know what you're getting yourself into.

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Photo of avalon07
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy/creamy, long-lasting head (more than what you normally find with fruit/vegetable beers). Very good lacing.

S: A strong, sweet aroma of fruit and malt.

T: The blueberries and raspberries make a very strong impression, but there is also a trace of light malt. A vibrant, fruity flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Surprisingly not slick. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of fruit/vegetable beers, but this one is very well made and extremely drinkable.

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