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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

518 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 518
Hads: 1,576
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 117
Gots: 262 | 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
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Reviews: 518 | Hads: 1,576
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 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 kajerm
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 at South Philly Taproom. Pours a velvety blue-brown with about a finger and a half of white, lightly-lacing head.

Fruit is the main player in the aroma, with big helpings of both blackberries and blueberries, but this is still a beer (I don't know why DFH insists on calling its fruit beers "malt beverages")-- light fruity esters, yeast character, and a little bit of toffeeish malt are all present in both the flavor and aroma.

It's not that complex or exciting, but the balance on this one is nice, and I NEVER use the word "balance" to describe a DFH beer (other than 90-minute.) Fruitiness and tanginess are never overwhelming, nor is sweetness (a typical Dogfish Head flaw); this is certainly one of their better one-off bottlings.

Drinkability is decent, with the 11%ABV nearly impossible to detect anywhere but in your hangover.

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Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one awhile ago from the local beer guy, have been meaning to drink it for sometime and today was its day.

A: It pours a pretty purplish red color with a nice two finger head that settles to one.

S: Nothing too special here. There is a definite yeasty maltiness to it with a hint of berry. To be honest the smell is so faint I can't tell you if I am smelling raspberry or blueberry.

T: This one has some spice and fruitiness to it. Nothing really stands out though identifying exactly what it is I taste. It's not sweet at all in fact it has a nice tartness to it. I wish there was a more pronounced taste from the berries. On a good note it does hide the 10% ABV wonderfully.

M: Very nice here. There is a great bit of carbonation; it’s very creamy yet sparkling.

D: I can drink the whole bottle easily myself, but I will stop at that.

Overall: Not too bad, glad my beer guy kept one back for me to try. I missed out on the Red & White which is unfortunate since it gets really good reviews. This one is a pretty good fruit beer, but is somewhat lacking in taste. I with DFH would have put a little more berry punch in this one.

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

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.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 750ml bottle into the glass a dark amber with purple and red. A small fizzy white head develops and falls quickly. Lots of particulate in the brew which I'm guessing is from the fruit. Aromas start off with dark berries and light toasted grains. A bit of yeast in the nose as well as just a touch of herbal hops. Much more mellow than I expected.

First sip brings a light, somewhat grainy malt met by berry flavors. I can taste both hints of blackberry and blueberry but it's quite mellow overall. Flows down with a nice spicy yeast twang and a touch of herbal hops on the finish. A nice mix between bitter and sweet...the spiciness adds a nice dimension.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good carbonation. This one goes down really easily considering the abv and I could see it getting me in trouble if I drank too much. There's really no alcohol flavor at all in here. Overall, an interesting brew but it didn't really grab me enough to want to buy another bottle at the price point it sells for. There's many other things I would choose first.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reddish caramel color with a thin but dense head.
the aroma has the raspberry and blueberry aromas, along with carmel and some smells remeniscent of wheat beer. i'm getting some plum as well. there is also a subtle astringent smell in there too, not overpowering or overly distracting though. whisps of banana. a little medicinal.
the taste is fairly subtle for such a big beer. it's obviously got the raspberry and blueberry again that hits mid palate. also it has the same vaguely wheat character in the mouth. pretty sweet particularly towards the finsh. it does also have a fruity bitterness towards the back end, though it's probably bittering hops mingled with the fruit. the malts provide a caramel and vanilla base for the fruit.
fuller side of medium boied with fine but active carbonation.
decent drinkability, sort of a big sticky beer, but the alcohol is well hidden actually. overall, worth a try, but nothing i'd come back to.

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Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle.

Ale with black rasperries and blueberry puree.

Appearance is a pretty red color, like red raspberries actually, with good, white head and nice retention.

Aroma is light, with some berry sweetness. Not much going on here for me.

Taste is also fairly light and fruity, with just a touch of malt undertones. Not bad at all, but nothing that really grabbed me. Does do an excellent job of masking the 11% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with pretty good carbonation. This beer is quite drinkable for 11%, but was not interesting enough for me to want more than one glass.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

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Photo of drseamus
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottled date on this one was 2/13/07, so it had almost exactly 4 months aging. It pours a very dark rich red color with no head. There are visible bubbles rising from the bottom of my DFH snifter. The only smell I get off of this is a wine-type aroma and it isn't very strong. I like that the fruit is fairly subtle, or at least not with the usual accompanying sweetness. The raspberries are up front, and as they fade out the blueberries step to the front. It's almost hard to think of this as a beer as it tastes and feels more like a wine. I do get a bit of malt flavor in the background, but just a very little bit. I like this beer for what it is and I'm interested to see if aging will change it at all. My guess is that it will probably only hold it's own or go downward.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 12 oz sample. The beer is a deep rose to light red color with a tight 2 finger that falls to a nice coating over top of the brew. Clarity is moderate and there is a small carbonation running through the glass. The aroma is giving me definite blackberry fruityness that sits over a base that reminds me of wheaty beers, and is the same as I have found in the Red and White and Fort. The flavor is a little subdued to me. The fruityness is dominant, but it is also interrupted by a detectable alcohol character. It really seems to be somewhat distant in the flavor category. I'd like a more prevalent character. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, with a mild carbonation. I think the alcohol character works towards making the beer feel more thin. Overall, I am finding this beer interesting. It delivers what I expected, just not in the quantities as far as flavor goes.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in color, clear, with a bright soapy white head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong of berries, no surprise, and also shows some lemon and perfumy soapiness. Taste shows both raspberry and blueberry, mingling with a good sized malty sweetness, some crisp carbonation, esp when cold, and a dry and perfumy finish. Medium in body, nice dry finish. The alcohol is barely evident for its size, however all of th flavors seem to be fighting each other rather than blending well together. I like my fruit beers to either be slightly lighter in body, I found the bigger maltiness didn;t blend well with the berries, or to be more singularly focused on the fruit flavor, here things seem to be competing. Glad that dfh is pumping out new and different product, this one while interesting, isn't up my alley.

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Photo of khiasmus
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- A reddish amber with cream-colored head that settles quickly. Clarity is good.

S- Some sweet malt, almost like an eisbock nose with a bit of raspberry and some blueberry in the back.... but more yeast than fruit, it seems. And a good bit of alcohol.

T- DMS, yeast, sulfur, initially. There are some fruits, some blueberries, a hint of strawberry, some malt and faint hops. But the three flavors mentioned first are the predominant ones... After you drink it a few minutes, the fruit comes out some more in the aftertaste, but is accompanied by a strong cloying sweetness and yeast finish. ugh.

M- A good, smooth mouthfeel. Medium low carbonation and a fairly clean finish, if you can get past the flavor.

D- I won't have it again. A disappointment... just too much of some strange yeast.

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

Pours a reddish or even pinkish amber. Litlle head and no lacing, but a fascinating color. The smell is still a little hot, but beyond the alcohol is a hit of yeast and dry dark berries. The taste is also quite yeasty and there are more dark berry flavors. Not sweet at all, rather the flavor is more jammy as found in a wine. The blueberries are more prominent tasting the black raspberry, at least initially, but as it warms the raspberry becomes more evident. Dry and very drinkable, but definitely a big beer. I like it.

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Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of ClassicBrad
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I poured this beautifuly ruby amber brew into my brand new DFH pint glass out of its 750ml bottle.

Like I mentioned, the body was an intriguing ruby amber and its head was light and slippery; not much retention.

The beer's aroma hints of its told BLACK raspberry and BLUEberry with some amazing malt characteristics.

Anyone weary of a beer with way too much fruit shall be freed of such fear. This is a tastefully disciplined brew with tactful fruit flavoring.

An outstanding pro for this beverage is its 10% ABV and its unbelievably coy drinkability.

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Photo of ccrida
2.11/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my St. Feuillien Goblet, the Black & Blue has a fluffy egg shell head on top of a light purple body with slight chill haze and lots of bubbles.

This smells like malt liquor and less so berries. As it warms, the malt liquor nose becomes vodka.

Taste is on the thinner side and also mainly malt liquor with a soft and sweet berry essence. Initially bitter and sharp, it falls apart to a sharp metallic finish. As it warms, the booziness gets increasingly more vodka like.

Mouthfeel is on the light side and creamy, probably the best facet of this sub par brew.

Drinkablity is questionable at best. While it was cold, it actually went down easy enough and drank much lighter then it's 11%. Once it warmed, it was so gross I desperately put ice-cubes in my first glass! That actually saved it, and I put the rest of the bottle in the freezer for awhile. So ice-cold, it drinks like an over-priced wine cooler. Warmer, it's rough - think grape kool-aide and cheap vodka!

Going into this, I feared I was spending $14 for a fruity malt liquor, and my fears were confirmed. Once again Dogfish Head suckered me into ponying up way to much another one of their failed experiments. I'm beginning to really resent this brewery, in spite of their occasional hits. Kinda like Microsoft software, I'm tried of paying for the privilege of beta testing. Resist the temptation, it may sound good and has a cool label, but is definitely not recommended!

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Photo of gunnerman
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, pours an amber orange color with minimal pink head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Smell is sweet berries and fruit also a bit of bread in the nose. Taste hits my tongue with a tarte taste of berries and a bit of malt character, little carbonation but quite smooth, it has a unique taset and one I truly enjoyed. This was a fine and different offering very good, I was expecting it to not be as good as it was. Drinkability is very high for such a high abv on a beer this went down smooth and under control, I could drink this fine beverage all day long.

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

Split a bottle of this with two friends. This beer pours a clear deep amber red color. Nice white head an inch thick when poured. Eventually settles to a good surface cover with good lacing. Fruity aromas are certainly present along with malty alcohol undertones and also alcohol. This beer is sweet upfront with fairly heavy fruit flavors followed by the malts and the alcohol, although the taste of alcohol is well masked for a beer of this caliber. Perhaps a bit of spice is also present. Has a sort of dry aftertaste. Has a crisp and smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Definitely becomes more drinkable as it warms a bit. Another good offering from Dogfish Head.


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Photo of scott
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Highly anticipated.
Nice looking pour - fruit-like appearance with hue. Very aggressive carbonation, with tight white long lasting head.
Fruity/bready beer nose. Pleasant.
Hot & Heavy alcohol presence (too much for my liking), with a cloying barleywine distinction. Not as fruit/wine-like as I would have expected. Not refreshing. Not very complex. DFH hasn't impressed me in quite a while now. I think I'm done giving them the benefit of the doubt. And my money.

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Photo of Phatz
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mughugger for sharing this bottle with me. You are a good friend.
This did not turn out to as amazing as I had hoped but it was a good and interesting beer worth trying.

Appearance: Pours a grape juice red with a white head that has decent retention and speckled lacing.

Smell: An immediate burst of berries, fruit, vinous red wine and touch of sugar, oak and a light suggestion of alcohol for an 11% beer.

Taste: Like the nose, there is a berry flavor black and red and a grape note in a light body not so much like a red wine but more like a Arbor Mist or a cheap fruit champagne. It has a dry tart finish that is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth as I mentioned it is bubbly with a dry tart finish.

Drinkability: It is a classy sipping beer best to share with friends over dinner. Small serving would be more suitable enjoyed in a champagne flute at a nice dinner. Then move on to something more special after dinner. That is my suggestion.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this on the strenghth of DFH other beers. I really enjoyed Red and White; however, The Black and Blue left me wanting more. The beer was served in a wide mouth wine goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer indeed appears like what you would expect blackbeer/ blueberry juice to look like. A 2 finger white head crest the beer. The head has very little staying power and resolves to a thin ring of foam.

Smell: The beer has a rather weak berry aroma. The Raspberry and Blueberry are not particularly intense. A bit of earthyness plays at the back of the smell.

Taste: A very muted berry flavor peaks out underneath the flavor of a malt liquor. The beer has a vaguely medicinal cough syrup sort of flavor. The alcohol is very boozey and not really worked into the flavor. This just doesnt work for me.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a meduim body. The beer is very medicinal and boozey in mouthfeel. As stated previously this beer doesnt really work for me. The beer was drinkable and nowhere near a sink pour; however, the beer just doesnt work for me on so many levels. I got a drinking experience from this similar to having berry extract added to my malt liquor. With that said I know the beer is experimental. I have enjoyed numerous experimental brews. I will most likely buy another DFH experimental beer. Thanks for continueing to push the envelope.

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Photo of jettjon
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the capped 750ml bottle stamped 2/13/07, into a wine goblet. Color is dark mahogany with lively carbonation from tiny bubbles, beneath a one-finger dark tan head that quickly fades to a thin cap and scattered lacing. Pretty good looking. Nose of sweet malt with mild raspberry/fruit hints; rather neutral overall, even when warm. Tastes of sweet malt and hints of dark fruit, along with a bit of bready yeast. 10% ABV is well-masked. There’s a lingering dry dark berry finish, kind of like blueberry pie. Mouth is semi-viscous and smooth with mild carbonation. Drinkability is just OK, drinkable but unimpressive. Not a beer I would want to drink a lot of; I’m glad I was sharing this $15 bottle with a friend.

Overall: Like many of DFH’s specialty beers, this one is interesting and pricey and overall not terribly remarkable. I only bought it because it was a limited release; I vastly prefer DFH’s more established offerings such as their 90 Minute IPA. Worth trying for obsessive completists such as myself, or if you just love niche craft beers.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.