Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,549 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,549
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 241 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,549 | Reviews: 522
Photo of jsprain1
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Red-copper. Thin head disappates quickly. Little lace
S- The berries come through pretty well. A good bit more blueberry than blackberry is the first thing I notice. There is a bit of like a wheat note to it. Upon investigation apparently the base beer is a Belgian Golden, but it really has some witbier characterstics on the nose.
T- Syrupy berries, again more blueberries than black, though black comes through as well. Not too complex, but on the scale of fruit beers this a tasty one.
M- Sticky, low carbonation.
O- This is a good beer, and one I think a lot of wine drinkers might enjoy. I wouldn't call it complex by any means, and the Belgian golden base didn't really show up for me, but I think this is a pretty good example of what a fruit beer can be.

Photo of Rizalini
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulip...

A - A semi-murky copper color pours out leaving an off white head, and some pretty nice lacing!

S - Definately berries, and mixed with the alcohol aroma kinda smells a little like Robatusin! Maybe a real strong wine cooler or something.

T - Warming berries is the first impression. Slightly malty, with some spicy yeasty notes too.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but very carbonated... almost fizzy

O - Hmm, this beer is very different in a good way. This beer lives up to the name, and what it's supposed to be.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: amber body, 2 finger big head, solid lacing

S: big aroma of blueberries, blackberries, hint of malt

T: same as the nose, but slight tart dry finish

M: med body, big carbonation

O: It was interesting and glad I tried it, but
do not think I will be aching for this beer again.

GOOD, NOT A MUST HAVE!

Photo of jale
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours a garnet with a dime of white head.

S: Huge berry fruit aroma like a soda pop. Just a hint of malt.

T: Taste is berry fruits with a wine cooler taste and considerable alcohol heat. I'm not sure what this beer is trying to be. I get very little malt or anything else but the berries and alcohol.

M: Fizzy like a wine cooler.

O: I did not like this beer.

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Previously sampled in bottle, which came across as very muted without much standout charachter. This draft version was exactly what i was hoping for.

Pours a clean and clear coppery gold color, small cap of white head, lingers and leaves a touch of lacing. Scent is dominated by the promised notes of blueberry and blackberry, faint notes of alcohol follow with a moderate amount of grahmn cracker sweetness. Taste again is fruit forward, especially at serving temp. Blueberry is at the front with a light tartness, blackberry and faint hints of concentrated grape juice. Slightly cloying by time the 10oz is over. A grahmn crackery sweetness seems to intensify as the drink warms, a little spice comes out as well. Alcohol is quite noticeable. Medium bodied, carbonation is moderate, lightly dry. Overall i prefered this to the bottle, the fruit stood out more, even though the beer felt more one dimensional.

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Marked "Bottled in 2011"

A. Poured a finger of creamy, off white head. Body is a nice amber color. Head retention is a decent frosting on top. Lacing is nice as well.

S. Maltiness starts off the nose, and quickly gives way to a cocktail of fruit flavors. I smell grape and mixed berry aromas. Floral undertones emerge near the end.

T. Floral tones start her off, and then it's all about the fruit. I taste blueberry and blackberry, but still taste a slight haunting grapiness in there.

M. Medium bodied, well carbonated, this beer is refreshing. It's my first beer home after working a 12-hour day, and it hits the spot.

O. Didn't know what to expect going into this, DFH is phenomenal, but blueberry beer? But it works, it tastes good, and it's definitely refreshing. Good stuff!

Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Marked "Bottled in 2011", into a Gouden Carolus chalice glass.

Pours a translucent amber color with a one finger head that dissipates fairly quick and leaves moderate lacing. Gentle carbonation.

Extremely fruity aroma, very sweet with strong notes of blueberry.

The intense fruity aroma carries into the taste. Extremely powerful fruit notes combined with bready malt make this one very sweet. Blueberry is easily discernible and the blackberries are in the back. Ends with a touch of grain and some alcohol warming when the beer is warmer in temperature.

Medium bodied beer with gentle carbonation.

It's actually not half bad. The alcohol is a little high which gives off some wine like characteristics and makes it a little tough to punch through a bomber. Still miles ahead of Blackberry Witbier by Sam Adams, though. Pretty decent, albeit one-sided.

Photo of JLeege
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft- into a snifter

Appearance- Pours an amber/copper color with a creamy white head. Good retention and lace for such a big beer.

Smell- Strong aromas of blueberry and raspberry, very sweet. Slightly bready and earthy, a little Belgian spice from the yeast.

Taste- Follows the aroma well. Strong blueberry and raspberry flavors, tastes natural, you can tell there are no sweeteners added rather fermented sugars from the REAL fruits. There is an earthiness throughout as well. Very sweet, but I do not find this to be cloying. And I am very admit about a graham cracker flavor in this as well. Nice lingering fruit on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Medium/full body with medium carbonation. ABV’s hid well, for 10%.

Overall- I really like this beer, I like fruit beers in general and this is one of the better ones I have had, especially ringing in at 10%. Slap a New Glarus label on this and I bet it would rate out to an “A-” average at least. Cheers Dogfish, nice job on this one!

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black & Blue is a lighter copper color. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Backlighting gives it an orange appearance. A soft white head covers the top. It rises to nearly a finger, before falling quickly. Perhaps a little too much abv. Lacing was surprisingly thick and sticky. Interesting to say the least.

The nose is alright. It features earthy and grainy notes throughout. Berry notes are relatively strong. No big shock there. I’m pleased to report that they’re not overpowering. Let’s hope that holds true for the flavor. Belgian jumps into the mix and certainly adds character to the mix. Alcohol comes through quite strong. A little too strong. All in all, it smells pretty good.

The flavor is a little less impressive. It kicks off with a sweet, malty flavor. I’m guessing pale malt. Earthy and grainy notes are definitely noted. Berry flavors are quite strong. I don’t have anything against Blackberry or Blueberry. I love both. But, their presence doesn’t really add a great deal. Doesn’t taste bad, but not exactly good either. Belgian yeast tastes pretty good and keeps things floating. Alcohol is strong in flavor, and is just a tad warm. Finishes grainy, fruity, and a little warm.

Black & Blue has a medium body. Carbonation is mid-range. It feels nice and smooth. Probably one its stronger points. It doesn’t go down too bad for a big beer, but a 750 is a bit much. A 12 oz. would be a better serving size.

Black & Blue is just an okay release from Dogfish Head. It’s not a complete disaster, but a couple of tweaks would help – primarily less berry flavor and less alcohol flavor/warmth. If you’re into berry flavored beverages, you just might like it. Irrespective of your taste, it is worth a try...at least once.

Photo of jester5120
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
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

Photo of bshanly
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber with a pink/strawberry hue. Creamy off white head with a good retention and lacing. Looks delicious. I love beer.

Smell: I don't love fruit beers so much. Smells sweet and tart, lots of yeast, no hops. Are there hops in this thing?

Taste: Really tart upfront. Pretty heavy alcohol, long finish. Yeast is actually pretty tasty but the tartness isn't for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, not too crisp, not too heavy.

I like subtle flavors and heavy on the anything tends to make me miss the point. This beer did that. However, I think paired with the right food it could be delicious but on its own this wasn't for me.

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers and a half worth of slightly fizzy off-white colored head... Modest retention at best gives way to a full veil of misty lace and a moderately thick collar... A vibrant orangish amber color... Minimal traces of very small bubbled carbonation can be seen under close investigation... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A tremendous mix of blueberries and raspberries to start... Very authentic fruit aromas... A bit of candied sugars... A very faint Belgian yeast scent... Perhaps some faint traces of orange zest... A touch of honey... The fruit is the dominant player, but is far from overpowering...

T - A lot more of the complexity on the palette... Candied sugars... Belgian yeast... Some light touches of wheat... The fruit flavors are slightly more artificial, but still rather pleasant... A very subtle spiciness lies beneath the surface... Perhaps a bit cloying overall...

M - Medium bodied... Very light whimsical carbonation which fits the beer perfectly... Sticky... Sleek... Lively...

D - A unique blend of styles that challenges the senses... The nose is more fruit than Belgian... The palette is more Belgian than fruit... Enjoyable all the way around... The only complaint is that this on is ever so slightly cloying...

Photo of pburland23
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4 ounce bottle into my Dogfish Head signature glass.

Beer pours a hazy, coppery orange with almost two towering fingers of bright white head. Good head retention and some nice lacing as well.

Beer smells like a blueberry muffin. The blueberry smell is definitely present, but it's not overwhelming. Pretty nice smelling fruit beer.

The taste is also headlined by blueberry and blackberry. There's a touch of Belgian yeasty spiciness and some mild malt sweetness as well. The aftertaste is a little funky.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice fount of carbonation. I think the DFH Signature glass does a nice job of producing additional carbonation.

Overall, a pretty nice effort for a fruit beer. The berry aroma and taste is well presented. Nice beer for a warm spring night.

Photo of AdamBear
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-cloudy amber with a thick cream colored head that thins out and leaves some good lacing

S-black raspberries and blue berries are faint but evident. it smells like a very sweet and juicy black raspberry/blue berry muffin. as the head thins, the aroma really comes out. smells quite tasty.

T-wow, i've had this before, but i absolutely do not remember loving it this much. it comes in tasting like black raspberry and blue berry yogurt and has a long matching after-taste. with the after-taste i'm also detecting a bit of nice belgian spice. the flavors seem to be of high quality. there are no negative tastes. this is a great and tasty beer.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dryer finish.

O-i had this a very long time ago, and in my memory it was a miss of a beer. maybe my taste buds have matured, but wow i'm loving this. i wish it weren't so expensive because i could buy a case of this and drink it. this bottle might not be for sharing because it goes down so easily, especially considering the ABV. this is extremely good and definitely quaffable.

Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour on draft at Coffee District, also numerous bottles at home.

This is how a fruit beer should be, soft flavors with amazing bouquet of dark fruit, but the alcohol backbone to round it out into a fine, fine beer. Dogfish just knows how to do these different beers correctly, love just about everything from them. This is in my top 5 of favorite beers!

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet from a bomber bottle.

A-Huge white frothy head with long lasting retention. Nice thick lacing around the glass. Has a dark amber color.

S-Smells of blueberries and rasberries(as expected). It has sort of a blueberry waffle smell with a hint of hoppyness to it. The blueberries smell very sweet.

T-Has a sweet blueberry taste, but not as sweet as the smell. That maybe a good thing.

M-I felt as if this was a medium bodied beer with some mild carbonation.

O-overall I think this is a great fruit beer. I don't think I could drink this everyday, but it would be nice to have on a mild summer night with some vanilla ice cream on the side.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first fruit/vegetable beer. The beer pours a coppery amber and is clear in color. The head builds fast, but dissipates just as fast, leaving little lacing.
The smell is rather sweet and full of berry taste, like expected.
The taste is sweet up front, those raspberry and blueberry flavors dominating the opening. In the middle those berry notes will be somewhat influenced by some kind of hop, but are still dominating the taste. At the end those ever present berries mellow out in a soft way.
This is certainly not my favorite beer style, but I think that this beer is very greatly crafted and is exactly what it is supposed to be. A fruit beer!

Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to snifter. Beer looks good. Not that I'm sure what it should look like, but it had the depth representative of black and blue berries, so it's gotta be labeled "good" at minimum. The bouquet was also good; the fruit was well-represented. Taste was excellent. The flavors poured through nicely. Mouthfeel was good; definitely a sipper. Overall, a good beer that I'll definitely be ordering again.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled In: 2011

A: Pours a very nice dark copper-red color with dark red tinges throughout

S: Smells like ripe berries, specifically blueberries and blackberries. Expected, of course. Not much else aside from the berries, which is nice for a fruit beer

T: Same as the smell, along with a nice peppery alcohol towards the back end that helps to make this not too sweet of a beer. Fairly simplistic, but that’s how fruit beers should be (at least in my opinion)

M: Medium-heavy body with a nice amount of carbonation that washes over the taste buds and cleanses them for the next sip

D/O: Pretty much nothing but fruit throughout this one, which is ideal. Nothing fancy, just a nice mix of berries and beer. Yum

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Huge amount of sediment on a bottle that should have had plenty of time to settle. Light amber body. Nice white head hangs around throughout the, leaving a nice lace as the glass empties.

S – Huge, fresh blueberry note. Blackcurrant and a hint of tart raspberry. An incredible nose by fruit beer standards.

T – Nice blueberry note up front, but unfortunately the middle veers tart and dry before diving headlong into a huge cheery-Dimetapp off-flavor.

M – Rolling menthol / medicinal booze on the finish. Medium / light body. Overly carbonated imho.

O – The nose is fantastic, and the beer opens with a great berry flavor, but the medicinal backend sandbags this brew from really getting off the ground.

Photo of VMWhelan
4.63/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Pours a reddish orange with a thick white frothy head. Head has shades of orange as well. Great lacing.

Nose is mostly the fruit (blueberries and raspberries) on top of some malt. Smells tart but sweet with some caramel and yeast notes.

Taste is again dominated by the fruit. Hits tart at first and the malt and some bready/yeastyness comes through after, almost reminiscent of a warm blueberry muffin. Some booziness in this one but its not overpowering, as it mixes with the tartiness very well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is medium-high. Slightly dry.

Drinkability is high. There's a good amount of booze in this one, but its very enjoyable and goes down easy. Not hard to kill the 750mL alone, but at 10%abv, you need to be careful.

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of goblue3509
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orangish pink color like a late day sunnyset. There is a two finger soapy white head whiches recedes to skim and leaves some lacing on the sides. Very nice long very inviting. The aroma is of sweet blueberries and blackberries with a hint of graininess. The smell is very inviting. Not a complex smell but a very good smell. The taste follows the nose exactly. A big blueberry and blackberry taste with a hint of malt to balance out the flavors. Sweet and smooth taste very good, very nice. The mouthfeel is of moderate carbonation and is slightly dry, kinda wine like. Overall it is a very good beer, nice taste for a fruit beer, upper ratings there, but the smell is very nice. This is a beer I would seek out again and again.

Photo of vandemonian
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Black & Blue is a tasty berry-flavoured beer. A lot of people hate on fruit beers, so if you're a fan of them then you'll like this.

A: Orange-pink colour and a 1 cm head that fades to decent lacing. 4

S: The smell is blueberries and some yeast. 4

T: The taste is all blueberries and yeast into a blueberry and alcohol aftertaste. Tasty. 4

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: Fruity and enjoyable. 4

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,549 ratings.