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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

517 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 517
Hads: 1,570
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 114
Gots: 252 | 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:
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: 517 | Hads: 1,570
Photo of CFHMagnet
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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! (786 characters)

Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (873 characters)

Photo of JLeege
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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! (992 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
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. (1,785 characters)

Photo of jester5120
4.28/5  rDev +16%
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 (571 characters)

Photo of bshanly
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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... (1,262 characters)

Photo of pburland23
3.8/5  rDev +3%
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. (801 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +35.5%
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! (354 characters)

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (662 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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! (657 characters)

Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
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 (717 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (722 characters)

Photo of VMWhelan
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (408 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.
A) Pours with a big white head that slowly settles. Sticky lacing at the edge of the glass and on the drink down. Clear body. Copper in color. Active carbonation.
S) Delightful aromatics - the blueberry and blackberry combination. Subtle grainy-ness.
T) Sweet berry across the palate at first then moves to a nutty and caramel maltyness with berry subtleties. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish and aftertaste.
M) Medium body. A present alcohol warmth in the finish. Mostly dry across the palate.
O) A well crafted brew. The fruit flavors are quite authentic and not sugary imposters. I will finish this bottle myself and if I had more I'd probably drink it. (677 characters)

Photo of ckollias
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A reddish-amber color with a one-and-half finger white head that turns in a nice white lace.

S: A very thick, sweet, berry aroma with hints of citrus fill the nostrils.

T: A very sweet beer that hides the alcohol well. The berries are present throughout and with the aftertaste. It is almost wine-like.

M: Medium body and medium-carbonation. Pretty light for such a high alcohol beer.

O: A very interesting fruit beer. Nothing I could drink 3 or 4 of, but a nice sipping beer. (483 characters)

Photo of nukem5
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes last week when visiting Dogfish Brewpub:Served in snifter

A: Poured a rich dark amber color with some heavy lacing down sides of my glass.

S: Aroma is of a berry berry sweetness of fruits and malts.

T: Black and Blue indeed, Full of Blackberry and blueberry taste.The flavor is huge in this one and a solid malt backbone to make this one not just a malt beverage but a great beer.

M: Medium bodied with a slight estery/alchoholic taste.

O: I would definitly buy this again, will have to check out a bottle of it at home sometime.

Cheers! (560 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip in a couple parts. 2011 vintage.

Appearance: Medium brown in color with some blue highlights. A nice two finger, white and sticky head. Impressive lacing and good retention.

Aroma: The blueberries definitely are assertive here. Sweet blueberry notes definitely stand out. A little tart blackberry note, but it is definitely overwhelmed here. Not a ton else.

Taste: Big blueberry essence gives way to sweet caramel malt and surpirsingly bitter hops. The hops don't really lend a citrus note but are just bittering. The resulting flavor comes off very medicinal and astrigent at times. When the backing notes do not dominate, the blueberry really shines and is nice but most of the time, the medicinal flavors overwhelm.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and rather syrupy.

Overall, some nice blueberry notes that are at times overwhelmed by too many medicinal notes. The blackberry also really never comes through. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not really worth getting more than once in my opinion. (1,065 characters)

Photo of JohnnyS17
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had recently tried Dogfish Head’s Red & White and loved it. Then, I heard that they had a “sister” brew called Black & Blue and I had to run out and get it. We are getting quite patriotic with the color choices here and I like it. Amuricah!

The beer pours a transparent brown tinted with a strong pink hue. Actually, it looks pretty cool when I pick up my glass because it tints my hands red. Anyway, the beer pours about a two finger tall head that retains a nice lacing along the glass throughout the drink. The head also has a slight pink tint too it, which is quite unique. Outside of the fact that pink is not considered very masculine or normal for a beer, it is a very interesting façade.

The black & blue [sic] berries punch you in the nose on the first whiff. The blueberries are definitely more distinct. The aroma assemblage is not very complex outside of that. The taste is very similar to any other blueberry beer I have had in the past. It leads with a refreshing sweetness and then finishes with a distinct tartness. I hear that DfH uses real berries instead of artificial flavorings. That allows the distinct taste to ferment into the beer, which I would assume adds to the ABV. I wonder how much the quality of the berries can influence the variation in the taste of the beer. To conclude on the taste, it is good, but not unique in my opinion.

This beer is very light bodied and packs a light carbonation. It leaves a coating in your mouth that I am not extremely fond of. That coating parts with a lingering fermented berry taste.

Overall, I choose Red & White. I think Black & Blue lacks a uniqueness to separate itself from other blueberry-flavored beers. I could probably get a six-pack of another blueberry beer for the same price as I paid for this bottled pint and get a very similar taste. That being said, I have had some blueberry-flavored wheats that are artificially flavored and taste nothing like blueberries. This beer is not that hopeless. (1,991 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.