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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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1,437 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,437
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 96
Gots: 187 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,437 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beertracker
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Black & Blue pours up strongly with a thin pinkish-white head that barely rings the berry golden-pink champagne colored body. Poor retention. The aroma is alive with lots of berry fruitiness (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry) and lots of earthy spiciness. Almost perfumey with a low-moderate candied maltiness. Some phenols. Hot solventy alcohol. The flavor is a marriage of berry fruits & spicinessy supported by a soft malt character. Esters are reminiscent of apples, pears, or plums. Moderate peppery spiciness from the hops, as well as the yeast(s). Low bitterness. Dry with a extremely warming finish. This medium-light bodied specialty fruit beer has plenty of character, complexity, and strength but lacks harmony. I recommend cellaring this one for at least another year. Black & Blue is certainly a bruiser!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of everetends
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle acquired from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, Ga. Poured into over sized wine glasses.

A: Pours a very pretty color. A light copper with a touch of amber. The color has a pink hue to it that really adds the look. Very little head is present in the pour, and that which is there really has no retention. Minimal lacing and zero sheeting on the glass. This brew would have gotten higher marks in this area, but the only thing it really has going for it is the interesting color.

S: Smell really comes forward with some nice earthy scents from the yeast. Then comes the fruit. Serious presence of fresh blueberries and raspberries. There is so really really nice sourness in the aroma. Everything is really subtle and gentle.

T: Taste comes forth with the fruity goodness. Blueberries and Raspberries all very pleasant and gently sweet. There is a nice tartness to them as well. There is also a really nice earthiness coming from the yeast and touch of spice. Once again, everything is extremely subtle. Very gentle on the taste. Nothing crazy, but nothing bad.

M: This is a medium bodied brew that has an almost fizzy feel. Carbonation is very high. I can't tell if this adds to or takes away from this brew. Very nice tartness on the palate that leaves a touch of sour fruit in the mouth on the aftertaste. Pretty refreshing and clean.

D: This brew is nice and subtle, but my girlfriend passed out while drinking "her" beer and this was really hard to finish off the whole 750 with her down and out. The fruit becomes taxing and the tartness also. I would recommend drinking this with a dinner party or having at a tasting because it is worth trying but definitely for sharing.

Photo of blakesell
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found on tap at Bodega in Columbus for the Dogfish event held there 9/17/08.

Poured from the tap into a taster glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a hazy red with a thin nothing of a head that shows next to no presence. There's a bit of lacing and I'm hoping this beer delivers in the flavor from this poor appearance.

Smell- Blueberry and concord grape on the nose with substantial malt backbone and strong alcohol fumes wafting up to meet and burn the nose hairs. Blackberries were the scent I previously mistook for concord grape earlier when I wrote the review. How I could do that is pretty surprising, I hope it's not that end of summer cold that everyone is getting.

Taste- The berry flavor here on tap is much more pronounced and substantial than I remember from the bottle. Strong berries, strong alcohol. This is quite nice and lightly prickling. Hops are not here at all, and the malt is even and balanced. The beer tastes a whole lot like a revised Au Currant, the retired Dogfish brew.

Mouthfeel- Warming, medium bodied, highly carbonated, not overly puckering from the berry sweet/sourness and semi-smooth drinking.

Drinkability- It was a good beer to try once and move on to a different tap. It may not get revisited by me, but I can't say it was the beer's flaws that caused that. It's worth it for the fruity beer lovers out there.

Photo of abfraser
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


A: Golden amber hue, no head, no lacing

S: Straight fruit. Blueberries and raspberries as advertised.

T: Definite sweetness from the fruit but not overpowering. Really not much else other than the fruit taste, lots of blueberry/raspberry

M: Pretty long mouthfeel; a sipper

D: I wouldn't want anymore than a glass and that may be a little too much some times.

Overall, a good brew, not great. Too much fruit in all aspects for me to love it. I'd have everyone once in awhile with friends to change things up but probably wouldn't make it a regular

Photo of kcillini77
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in Illinois the last time I was back there, and I'm glad I didn't read all the reviews here beforehand, because they would have led me not to purchase it. I'm a big fan of blueberries AND black raspberries, and, of course, beer so when I saw it in the store I had to purchase it.

Pours a light red, almost a pink hue, with a lot of carbonation and minimal head.

Smell is tart blueberries, with some raspberry, and maraschino cherry.

Taste is deep, sweet malt, kind of like an abbey ale, with a tart raspberry taste on the swallow. No hops to speak of, but the tartness is followed by a warmth from the alcohol that is quite endearing.

I'm a hophead, but I really liked this one. Probably the best fruit beer I've ever had.

Photo of armock
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tdt560 for hooking this up in a trade.

A - Poured a ruby copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is a little sweet with blueberry fruitiness

T - Is better than it smells definitely one of the better beers from this style the blueberry comes out its a little tart but good

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - I think that this would make a good dessert beer to sip on fruit beers aren't my favorite style but the random things that DFH puts out are always worth trying once

Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that was purchased god knows when by me. I have had it in the cellar forever and just got around to it tonight. Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 08/18/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy, reddish tinted liquid coming through almost immediatly. Small whispy heado f white crashed down quick and left nothing in its wake. Subtle side glass lace, but unremarkable.

The aroma was loaded down with fruit. Berries of all sorts, Blueberries and blackberries dominant, with a touch of light grassy hops and some light grain. The flavor was all about fruit though. Staright up berry juice here, rich and very sweet, but nowhere near overpowering. This was extremely good, easily drinkable with a light body, good carbonation and very well hidden alcohol. Long drawn out fruit finish, lightly dry and easily pleaseant,

Overall one of the better fruit beers i have had. I was really shocked by how good this one was. I would have no objection to having this again at any time. Really very solid and one of the good ones from DFH.

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I smelled it I immediately thought of Purple Haze.
The taste was very similar too. You get a mouthful of blueberries and blackberries on every drink. The alcohol content/ flavor tastes a little getting used to but the taste is worth it. Great red hazy color. I highly recommend this beer for any season. its worth the price to try it at least once.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

A- Body is a hazy dark magenta that pours with a fluffy light pink head. Head settles to <1/2 a finger and retains this well. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Bubbles steadily rise to the top and haziness is light.

S- Smells exactly as this beer should smell. Blackberries and Blueberries. Not too sweet or tart.

T- The flavor is pretty consistent the whole way through. The the black & blue berries are the main characters without a doubt. A slight alcohol warmth looms in the background to add a touch of balance.

M- Low carbonation and medium weight body. Not as thick as a lambic but not light and spritzy like most fruit ales.

D-Falls somewhere between imperial lambic and classic fruit ale on the fruit beer scale. Besides the presence of fermented fruit this really has no resemblance of a wine to me whatsoever. The 10% abv is also very well hidden and this one drinks like it is 6%. This is definitely one of the better fruit beers out there that I have tried.

Photo of SteveO1231
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

picked up a 750ml bottle from yankee spirits in sturbridge.

pours a light ruby color with golden highlights. thick foamy off-white/pinkish head that settles pretty quick.

this brew has an incredible fruity/floral aroma. i get more of a blackberry and sour cherry smell, i'm not picking up any blueberries. faint smell of flower petals, some yeast, and smell of alcohol almost numbs the nostrils. reminds me of a raspberry lambic.

full bodied, with a syrupy texture that leaves a slick feeling between the tongue and roof the mouth. mild carbonation yet a slight sting in the back end probably from the booze.

the taste is initially very sweet, tastes a lot like the boxed wine the mother used to drink, very fruity, wine/ wine cooler like. light and crisp with a bitter taste grape skin in the finish. the blackberries are more pronounced in the after taste.

i don't hate it but i don't love it. really, drinking this beer felt more like i was drinking a cheap wine. it was nice to taste some thing different but i don't see myself drinking this one regularly.


Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a clear, light purpleish pinkish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

S- Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. Not a whole lot here.

T- Sweet berry flavours over a strong bitterness also a little tart. The 10% abv is hidden well.
This just not my type of beer.

M- Light in body and also carbonation.

D- Still not a big fan of the fruity beers. I'd probably pass on this one again. Worth a try of course. Just not my style still.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big bubbly off-white head on cloudy grapefruit coloured body. Carbonation bubbles. An interesting tartness that is overcome by maltiness. I understand the tartness comes through in fresher bottle,this one was one year bottle from Crushinator. A good bitterness, very drinkable, creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable.Thick lace left in glass.

Photo of becktone
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 7-4-08

Eye: Totally red. Very clear and red, blood red. Head is creamy, lacing superb and retention is great. Can I tell you more, no...Its as simple as that, straight forward and good.

Nose: Aroma is nice and strong. Blue and blackberries are very evident. Behind that is some belgian style brew, I think that its mostly the yeast character that gives it this "tone," there is also some belgian style malt character behind this, pale malts, sweet and rich. This is by far the most complex fruit beer I've ever smelt, however, I'm not going to really consider this a fruit beer. More likely I'd consider it an Belgian/American Strong. Its only fermented with fruit, I don't see it as being an active ingredient that is alone responsible for carrying the beers aroma, and flavor. Nice deep aroma, could be more complex-malt more forward, in better balance with the fruit, more hops, but hey....

Tongue: Tannins from the berries are apparent, they do give some balance to the beer however, as I really don't taste or feel any hops and bitterness. Nice sweet malt taste, hard to take apart under the berries, both black and blue, make a nice combo. I usually don't like blueberries in beer, however, this, perhaps because its mixed with blackberries, is great. Fruit flavor and tannins are a large part of this beer, though malt is huge too. Lots of Belgian characteristics in both malt and yeast character. This wouldn't be all that great if the malt and yeast characters didn't come through and cut as they do. Most fruit beers are all about fruit, this one is about everything...great.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Again, light on carbonation as should be a brew with high alcohol like this. Alcohol is hidden pretty well in the feel and taste of this brew, much better than in Red and White and Fort. Really this is one I could drink all night, nice and easy going down, slight alcohol balance-that is in the flavor of the brew it helps to balance it out-but it's a good brew to sit down and just chill with, finish the growler watch some movies...Got it for a good price, 23.99 for a 2L growler, when a 750 bottle is 12.99...now that's about two beers for 12.99 as opposed to 5-6 for 23.99. Bout a dollar or two cheaper for the growler. This isn't something I'd regularly pick up, its good but I'm not all that crazy about it. Check it out if you like Dogfish Head though. Great beer, one of the better fruit beers that I've had.

Photo of tmitch75
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received as a gift... Cheers Adam. Nonetheless, I wish it came in a smaller bottle considering the ABV.

Thick amber color, opaque, with ample white head of small bubbles that drops to just an uneven dusting.

Tart sour smell of berries and apples.

Sweet berry flavor with some tart apple. Very sweet. The lack of hops is not surprising, but the lack of alcohol flavor is considering the 11% ABV.

Medium body or a little over, a touch syrupy but fizzy at the same time.

Surprisingly good considering the fruit and high alcohol. Quite a good one, cheers to Dogfish Head.

Tasted on 6/30/08.

Photo of cbros
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- 25 oz bottle with a made on 2008 date on side of the bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Poured a dark purple/plum color with small head that fizzeled into a white lace that disappeared by the end. No activity going on in the glass.

Smell- Hints of the blackberry/blueberry puree. You could also smell the hops.

Taste- There were hints of the fruit but it was not overwhelming in taste. It had a nice smooth feel in the beginning that turned almost sour as it passed down your mouth. You could taste the hoppy bitterness in the finish. I thought that the berry mix would be more prevalent but its sublty was a pleasant surprise. If anything the berry mixture helped ease the strong alcohol presence.

Overall an interesting beer. I picked this up as an afterthought while at the beer store. I am not big on fruit beers, even though I do appreciate the lambics now and again. To me this was sort of in the middle. It wasn't a true lambic and it wasn't a true strong ale(even though it was powerful). I am hard pressed to place this beer in any one category and becasue of that I find it difficult to compare to others. I probably would not get this particular one again but I look forward to trying other products that Dogfish Head has to offer.

Photo of luvND
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 25oz capped bottle with French looking dude on label
A: Great fluffy white head with good retention
S: Tart berry, cant really say blue or rasp or whatever, also some apple and pear, and a little bready
T: Really nice, not nearly as tart as I expected (although I recently had a Festina Peche, so the sour meter was set pretty high from that). Berry/fruit comes through nicely with good bready malt backbone, no hops to speak of, alcohol is detectable but certainly not what youd expect at 10%. Pleasant fruity lingering aftertaste
M: Nice, a little sticky
D: One big bottle is plenty of this one
Notes: Nice beer, much less tart than I expected. Not a big fruit beer lover, but this was a good brew from a great brewery.

Photo of GJ40
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A - Red with a haze and particles floating throughout. A thick head with a reddish tint.

S - Fruity and sweet. A bit like a Flemish red but not as tart.

T - Slightly sweet with a mild sourness / tartness and some alcohol presence. I love Flemish reds ands this has a hint of that but also adds a sweetness to balance that aspect. I liked this beer more and more as it went on.

M - Good consistency with a moderate carbonation.

D - Good, smooth and easy to drink.

I've loved DFH for some time now but I've hesitated to try their more creative brews. This was a step in that direction. And while I prefer hops to anything else, they really show some depth in their beers.

Photo of treyrab
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.6oz bottle

A: Very hazy amber color that does not look appetizing at first. Barely no head on this one

S: Smell of tart berries, mostly blueberries and raspberries, or blackberries and some minor hops and grains

T: The lack of carbonation really destroyed this one. Perhaps it was a bad batch, but the flavor was not very good. Very berry flavors and odd malt flavors

M,D: The mouthfeel and drinkability were low on this one

Overall, I would give this one more try, but it was not very good due to its odd malt taste and lack of carbonation.


Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml split with the lady love, while i pack for south africas

appearance: pours into a snifter, bright amber body with a light beige froth and little retention...this one glows with fruity tones

smell: a nice sugary-tart nose, raspberry puree, blueberry and other berries, cane sugar, sweet tarts

taste: sweet tarts, mostly raspberry puree, blue and blackberries, sugary sweet and lightly astringent. better than reviews indicate and the lady enjoys it

mouthfeel: light and tart

drinkability: easy street for the abv

Photo of CWiggins
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I missed out on trying this brew last year because I decided to "come back [to Sam's Quik Stop] in a day or two and pick one up." Needless to say, the supply was depleted when returned two days later. This year I was not to be denied, so I purchased a bottle upon our first encounter just a month ago. I debated aging the bottle for a while, but what would be the point when I haven't tasted any version yet? Here goes.

It pours a dark amber into my Dogfish snifter, with a lean white head that lasts all of twenty seconds. The aroma is of, no kidding, berries and alcohol, but the combination seems to emit a tomato-like essence that reminds me of canned tomatoes like my mother use to put up. Very interesting, and a little off-putting. Intense flavors of rich, ripe fruit (mainly raspberries) push through the malts and sweeten the tongue in the center of the taste experience. One detects more malts and alcohol at the finish; hops are barely present, if at all. It's certainly not overly fizzy, and the body is medium. Overall, it's a nice brew, but the sweet, fruity flavors may make it difficult to pair with food. Actually, now that I've said that, this beer may be akin to a French-style rosé wine, so a nice pairing may not be out of the question. Bon appetite!

Photo of ph2001
2.52/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

25.6 oz bottle in pint glass

thick hazy redcolor. finger of head that settles down into a thin layer. mild smell of sweet and sour berries, purple grapes.

sweet berry flavors over a strong bitterness. finsihes with a bite similar to cherry flavored cough syrup. there is a sour bitterness in the aftertaste. the 10% is hidden well. interesting, but not my thing i suppose. generaly unpleasant flavors to me.

Photo of weasbri
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange color, just a tinge of pink creeping in, good off-white head that really disappears quickly. Fruity aroma, light malt maybe. Not much there.
I kept expecting the taste to reflect the berries (blue and rasp), but didn't really get there. I get the sweet and bitter flavors of some berry in there, but most prominently malt with decent hop bitterness.
It's not that it's a bad beer per se, it's just that I was expecting it to be fruitier. In its defense, the fruitiness did increase somewhat as it warmed, but it's still just not quite what I was looking for.

Photo of RomanW70
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Julian's, Providence. Really liked this one. Pours reddish gold with no head. Arome is of sweet berries with a wine finish. I thought the fruits were really well integrated with a very nice vineous quality. Some warming alcohol on the finish. I also thought the bottle version was a little too sweet, but this doesn't seem to be the case on tap.

Photo of dstc
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a warm, golden brown/ruby color. Off-white head that falls leaving little or no lace.

Smells sweet and full of berries.

Yep, tastes sweet and full of berries. As it warms it gets even sweeter, too much so.

Smooth in the mouth with very light carbonation and a slight alcohol bite.

Sorry hippk9 but my wife bought the last two bottles of Red & White (which I love too) in Ft. Myers. She also got me this bottle of Black & Blue to try. Not as impressed. A little too sweet and berry-like for me. Pleasant but the big bottle was almost too much.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with the gf, mine into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a bright, copper-ruby body that turns peach in the light. Small, white yeast particles float throught the clear body. Carbonation level is quite impressive, despite the poorly retained, peachy white head that recedes to a foamy collar. I'll blame it on the ABV... Aroma has a little bit of fruit, but not nearly enough. It's more of a belgian-esque malty aroma with some light grasses and hops.

The flavor decently blends cidery-sour notes, spicy hops, pale malts, and some fruity bitterness provided by a hint of raspberry. A champagne-like bubbliness coats the palate, as Black & Blue finishes dry and sweet. I've gotta commend DFH on masking the alcohol, as its barely noticable. Verdict: Not a great beer, the price certainly drops the drinkability down a bit, but it was enjoyable.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.