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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,397 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,397
Reviews: 486
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 80
Gots: 171 | 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:
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 added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Domingo
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%

Blueberry and Raspberry...but over 10%ABV? Interesting! Hopefully worth the $12 price tag.
Pours a reddish color that's leaning toward tan. A decent head forms with any aggressive pouring, but it's not a monster. A little bit of yeast can be seen floating around, even though I did leave the last little bit in the bottle.
Smells like a Belgian fruit beer. Not really getting a ton of blueberries, but mainly raspberry and yeastiness.
The initial taste is like they infused a tripel with raspberries. There's a definite Belgian yeastiness, but the finish is sweet and sour with raspberries. It reminds me a tiny bit of New Belgium's Frambozen, but with the body of a tripel or strong golden ale, rather than brown. Not getting much in the way of blueberries, but that's okay with me. They're not really strong unless they're by themselves after all. Finish is sour, but not quite puckering like some can be.
Mouthfeel's thick, but at this level of potency, that's a good thing. If it didn't have the carbonation, it could come across as cloying or even just flat. As it stands, the effervescence brings the fruit flavors out, but keeps the maltiness and yeast flavors intact.
I split a bottle of this and it was just the right size. I'm not sure I could drink or want more right away, but I'd certainly buy it again in a heartbeat.

Good stuff!

Domingo, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

750ml bottle

Pours an orange amber with a slight reddish tint. Little to no head with no retention.

Smells of candied blueberries and black raspberries. Slightly sour.

Sour fruit taste, kinda has a sweet, candied malt that balances out the sour flavor of the fruit. Overall, not bad, but not something I rave about. Feels like two beers poured together.

Light, crisp and a sour.

Not bad if you don't mind the sour fruit, but for me, it's quite a bit too much.

This beer feels a little too much like two beers in one. Good flavors but just not quite what I was looking for.

ColForbinBC, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.1/5  rDev +12%

The color was very impressive, a gorgeous red amber topped with an inch of head. It produced a nice cherry wood smell that could be compared to watered down Capri Sun. The taste was fruity without being sweet. It had a surprisingly light mouthfeel, but the alcohol makes its presence known later. I found it enjoyable, but like other Dogfish Heads, you don't want to take its deceptive lightness for granted- they pack a powerful punch. Each gulp was very airy as it went down and came with a punch of alcohol.

jayrod20, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

A - pours a hazy, orange pink with a bit of a head which seems to subside fairly soon

S - sweet malt and sweet fruit, hints of yeast and alcohol

T - the berry taste is definitely there and takes center-stage compared to the malt and yeast, finishes fruity with hints of alcohol

M - medium bodied with a bit of carbonation

D - enjoyable, but I don't think I could do more than 1 glass in a sitting (split the 750 mL with my gf, who was a big fan of it last year). My gf seems to think this isn't as good as last year's, but I have nothing to compare it to, so who knows what the difference could be? Might pick up another bottle at some point (would still totally have on draft), but with the cost of beer recently I may end up skipping the second bottle. Still, worth a shot I'd say.

ruckzuck, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of kurtissellen
4.8/5  rDev +31.1%

Wow I was blown away by this one!! Awesome peachy-red color as I poured it into an oversized wine glass. About one fingers worth of peachy white head with a good amount of lacing present as the glass emptied. A bitter smell to it at first and later on noticed a strong alcohol scent. It had the most amazing taste, both a sweet and bitter raspberry flavor first followed by a tart blueberry ending. Simply delicious I could drink this all day long. Didn't notice the alcohol at all, very deceiving, as I finished the bottle it began to hit me. I've got to get my hands on another one of these. This is the best beer I've had in a while!

kurtissellen, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
3/5  rDev -18%

750ml bottle poured into snifters.

A = Dark pink, the color of a rose wine with a small white head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing on the surface, light to medium carbonation of small bubbles.

S = Yeasty phenolic smells predominate with smells of overripe fruits and berries, also too much evidence of the alcohol. This might reflect that this is a new bottle and this may improve with age. I will try to remember to update next year if that is the case.

T = Bitter tastes of unripe berries combine with plasticine and overripe fruit smells to result in an odd combination of flavors and smells all going on at once. I think this might be capable of enjoying balance with more time in cellar, but it is kind of a wreck right now. It has various elements each of which is good, but they do not seem to combine well enough. Had to give this at least average though both because their are some good tastes going on and because I do get the sense this will age out well.

M = Medium bodied, good frothy carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = I think this one is definitely one to go with food and I suspect spicy food, not sure I want it again just to sit around and drink though.

Traquairlover, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of drumrboy22
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Kasteel chalice. Bottled on 2/13/07, just over a year old. Beer was a hazy, light purple color with a one finger, off white, creamy head. Moderate carbonation and minimal lacing.

Aroma was malt with light fruit. Aroma was very earthy and organic.

Taste was light fruits, not overpowering at all. Maybe the past year has smoothed this one out. Lightly sour and tart finish.

This one went down very easily. The alcohol is hidden very well.

drumrboy22, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of billybob
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

pours a bright ruby copper color with a two finger white puffy head that hold well but minimal lacing. smells better from the bottle than from the glass which is kind of funky. malty taste with blackberry and blueberry blending well. mouthfeel and carbonation ok. thought the red and white much better.

billybob, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Thanks goes out to drseamus for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Bottled on 2/12/07

Poured into a DFH glass a nice clear/clean golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, blueberries, black raspberries, some spices, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, then some tangyness from the berries, slight spice, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very very well in this one. Very drinkable, I like this one as well as the Red/White brew.

Wasatch, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%

Glowing jack-o-lantern orange suffused with a hint of sunset coral red. Given the addition of red raspberries and blueberries, I expected a slightly different hue. The attractive cap is the color of lightly toasted marshmallow and is responsible for an average amount of average looking lace.

Several deep sniffs deliver little more than a generic 'Belgian ale' yeastiness. Perhaps a bit of berry-like fruitiness, but I probably wouldn't have gotten there on my own. It looks like this fruit beer will be on the subtle side rather that being a big, bruising brawler of an ale.

DFH Black & Blue is average beer that needs a major infusion of flavor. However much berry puree was used could have been doubled. At least. The shortage of berry flavor wouldn't be so much of an issue if the base beer (which is a Belgian golden ale) was more accomplished. Unfortunately, it comes across as a ham-handed attempt at the real thing. It takes a great deal more than a Trappist yeast strain to be successful brewing Belgian-style beer.

No matter what the brewery claims, the mouthfeel is nowhere near Belgianesque. It's too thick and too gently carbonated. Since I like that combination in most styles, the score is above average.

Black & Blue is yet another Dogfish Head offering that promises much more than it delivers. Audaciousness is an admirable trait, but at some point a brewery has to come through with killer beer. Bottom line: a good idea wasted.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

02/21/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code imprinted on the neck of the bottle itself. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Kinda of a grape soda looking pour. Not super purple, but enough to notice. 1/2 inch bbubbly head which soon fades leaving minor lace streaks.

Smell- Definite blueberry nose. Couldn't define the blackberry, but a nice fruity and mildly bready blueberry nose.

Taste- Fruity, not to the point of a lambic (Lindemans), but a nice dose of a tad syrupy blueberry and blackberry mixture. Mild malty backbone and a bit nutty on some sips. Hops pretty much non-existant. 10%??? Really didn't hit me that hard.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation which lessens as it warms. A touch sticky and a tad syrupy and thick. Sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Perfectly fine brew. Liked it, but probably wouldn't buy it again...especially for the $14.

GClarkage, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

Dfh Black n Blue

in a St. Bernardus chalice.

hazy orange pink, little head...

sweet fruity nose, blod orange, mandarin, vibrany, zesty, big hops, ...now along comes the rapsberry, but the blueberry isn't as prominent, ....hey, wait, there's some...

what kind of beer is this? what is it supposed to be, what is it trying to be? Tasty and refreshing, to a point, but ...lacks...a lot. Just doesn't have a cohesive character. Missing some malt character, for one thing. All I'm getting is the fruit. And the 10% abv. Nothing terribly wrong with that, especially if what you want is a boozy fruit brew, and you know I always applaud experiments and innovation, so hear, hear, for that.

Just not altogether crazy about this one. Good, but not great. Enjoyable, though. Specially at the end, when the expectations wear off.

feloniousmonk, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%

Had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, PA. during their Groundhog's Day event.

A- A nice amber color with a thin white head.

S- Smelled fairly sweet and fruity. Blueberries and raspberries. A little yeast and alcholic too.

T- Malty and sweet up front. Like the smell the blueberries and raspberries were prevalent. Couold also taste some yeast tartness and spiciness. A bit of alcohol as it warmed.

M- Medium bodied. Some carbonation.

D- Not a bad beer. I just don't think the fruity beers are my thing.

Jerzdevil1116, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%

This bottle was two weeks shy of a year old when sampled.

A - Two fingers of white head with a slight pink tinge on a clear, reddish orange body. Decent head retention, but not much lace.

S - Malty and slightly sour with notes of currants and some spicy yeast aromas. A little bit of vanilla as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front with some warm alcohol notes. Boozy, fruity notes follow with a vanilla character that nicely compliments the berries, as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and cinnamon. An assertive acidity balances the fruit in the finish along with a good dose of hop bitterness that lasts well into the dry, vinous finish.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy body, with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusually nice fruit beer, in that it has a great deal of fruit character but balances the berry character with just the right amount of acidity to avoid becoming cloyingly sweet. While this beer has some distinct alcohol notes, they have become quite mellow and never lead one to suspect that the alcohol content is as high as it is. Overall a very pleasant beer that is very drinkable, considering its wine like strength.

This would be an excellent dessert beer and I suspect that it would be able to stand up to an even longer cellaring.

nickfl, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%

A: Bright red color, thin white head.

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

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

M: Mouthful is rather thin with very little carbonation.

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

beerthulhu, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%

Picked this up at Thirsty's in York back in July, just pulled it out of the fridge. Decanted cool into a snifter, thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing it w/ me.

A - A hazed red grape juice shade similar to the color of blackberry and blueberry puree as expected w/ a full light 2 fingers of head w/ an ultrafine bead. The head falls rapidly and adds confetti-like lacing on the snifter.

S - A boozy, malty aroma w/ subtle hints of fruit and a round creamy note w/ yeasty fullness.

M - Smooth creaminess blends into a slightly fruity sweetness w/ a touch of tart berry notes and full carbonation w/ no bitterness to speak of.

T - A malty taste w/ creamy and pils flavors w/ sweet and full ale flavors w/ a booziness that doesn't hide and a gradually emerging fruit flavor. A similar taste to malt liquor w/ a more sophisticated taste, both more flavorful in malt w/ a softer yeast taste that is augmented by the blackberry and blueberry puree. The sugars seem to have been mostly fermented out though since it is more of a strong wine clash w/ beer flavor and the sweet berry taste is somewhat an afterthought. The finish has a dry flavor of booze coming in tandem.

D - A bit of a berry bruiser w/ a full malt and alcoholic influence. The dry texture makes for an easy to drink beer, yet it still shows the 10% abv fully. I like how the fruit is not overly sweet and it still has beer character w/ the cooler taste you might usually associate w/ fruit beer. This is one I would drink again and again, yet not very drinkable as far as sessionability goes. One of the better fruit ales I have had since the black + blueberry flavor actually adds to the taste of the ale.

Slatetank, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%

750 ml bottle. Bottled on 2-13-07 sampled 1-13-07 during the Giant's game.

A: Looks like someone mixed beer and merlot. Minimal head with a purplish tinge to what head there was.

S: Wine, grapes and a slightly musty smell.

T: Sweet grapes, very wine like. I was trying to figure out what else there was then it hit me. Grape flavored bonkers. One of the best candies of the 80s. I should give it a 5 just for that.

M: Med body with a slightly syrupy feel. Minimum carbonation.

D: For 10% it goes down easy. I had a bottle last summer and I drank it too quickly. Learned my lesson and took my time with this one. Despite all the grapes it was not overly sweet. Dogfish strikes again. They keep pushing the envelope.

aerozeppl, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%

A- Peachy, burnt orangelike color with bright white head that has a grayish tint to it. Nontransparent. One of the weirdest colors of beer I have ever seen.

S- Fruity like raspberries, peaches, apples, and definitely the wine-like blueberries. Small hint of alcohol is present too.

T- Same raspberries and blueberries (obviously) and a funky fruit backbone that I really cannot describe. The alcohol is slightly warming and the finish is somewhat bitter and dry.

M- Medium thickness and carbonation is moderately high.

D- Sweet and wine like. Not a beer that I would like to drink alot of because of that.

Overall- Another "envelope pusher" from DFH. Neat and different, but just not a great beer IMO. Carries more wine like qualitites, but might be something special if paired with the right dinner. I appreciate what these guys do everytime they try something different, just for the fact that they are breaking the mold.

MMAJYK, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%

Split a bottle of this with my friend before we went to Brewtopia.

A: Pours a dark amber body with an off-white head with pretty solid retention. Head dies down later on to leave a nice lacing on top of the beer. Lacing was evident along the sides of the glass throughout the beer.

S: Smelled of sweet berries. Hints of raspberries with the tartness of Blueberries and Blackberries.

T: Taste was very similar to the smell. String blueberry and blackberry tartness with hints of a raspberry sweetness to balance. The strong berry taste did well to hide the high alcohol in the berry. The aftertaste was slightly flat and tasteless, but the initial taste is very strong with the berry notes.

M: Decent mouthfeel; a little on the thin side, but crisp.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. More like drinking juice than drinking beer, I'd say. has the consistency and mouthfeel of a brew, but the berry taste does well to make this beery easy to drink and hard to put down. Excellent!

maddogruss, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of awall422
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%

Got a bottle of this for xmas, thanks Sean!

Poured a dark copper with a light tan head that diminished quickly. Very active carbonation.

I got hints of blackberry in the aroma, but not as much of the berries as i expected. Pleasant, but not terribly interesting.

Taste is a bit sweet at first, but grew tart on the swallow. Would not guess there's 11% ABV behind this.

Kind of light and a bit fizzy for a big beer.

Pretty easy to drink, considering the strength of the beer.

Overall, I don't know why exactly, but it left me wanting more. I think maybe sub-consciously when you open a dig fancy bottle you're expecting to get blown away by either flavor, aroma, or both. This beer did neither, so it seemed a bit disappointing, but it's certainly not a bad beer at all.

awall422, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18%

February 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour yields a three finger thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, reddish-plum colored brew that shows a lightly hazy, pinkish tinged, full red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite strange, it smells a bit green, perhaps a bit like completely un-ripened berries, with almost a leaf-like note to it. Behind this is some thin, grain-like character that is a bit grassy but with a touch of toast character to it. Quite a surprising aroma, with a bit of time it almost completely smells like thin malt.

The beer is quite full on the tongue, but does have a substantial carbonation which causes the beer to foam up as it crosses my tongue. The carbonation though does not really counteract the thick, viscous feel of this brew. As one might have guessed the beer is quite sweet, it is quite fruity as well but not in the way I would expect. Reminiscent of green grapes, sweet raisins, and a sort of fruity sharpness that seem most likely derived from the blueberries. The sweetness is not entirely fruit based as there is some substantial sweet malt character here; it is clean, like the sweetness from converted, but unfermented pale malt wort and it couples with lightly toasted grain notes and a soft biscuit character. This is quite a clean tasting brew, while the fruit is not more than a non-distinct berry-like character, both it and the malt are very cleanly expressed without much in the way of yeast or fermentation character.

This certainly hides its alcohol content quite well, other than being from Dogfish head, I never would have guessed it was 10% abv. This is really not all that great. I find it interesting how non-descript the fruit flavors in this beer were; I expected this from the blueberries, but figured I would get a good presence from the black raspberries. The aroma is almost completely devoid of fruit, except for an herbal, green grape character that is noticeable from time to time. I could imagine this being fermented by a characterful yeast and actually being quite good, as it is though it is a bit too bland for my taste buds. It is very well brewed / controlled and there is certainly not anything offensive about this beer (as long as you like sweet things).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of trill
3/5  rDev -18%

Pours ruby red with a pinkish head that falls to 1/8". Smell is rich malt with vinous and blueberry notes, and a touch of yeast. Taste is mostly Belgain yeast, biscuity malt, and alcohol. Where'd the fruit go? There is a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of a tripel, but no flavors I'd identify as fruity, aside from a vague winey dryness at the end. Mouthfeel is appropriately thick for the ABV/style, without being syrupy. Pretty light on its feet for 10%ABV.

trill, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%

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

DrJay, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%

This beer pours a slightly cloudy, light reddish brown color, with a thin, but fluffy off white head. The head has a slight red tint to it. It fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a slightly grainy aroma. The fruit aromas are very subtle. Some blueberry and raspberry aroma. It has a sweet malty aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Very subtle fruit flavor. Slightly grainy, with a sweet malty aroma. The alcohol content is detectable in the flavor.

This beer leaves a slightly grainy aftertaste. It is a litle undercarbonated.

This beer would probably not make the best session beer. It is high in alcohol. The flavor is good though.

Overall: Thanks HimerMan for giving me the chance to try this one. Although not quite what I expected, it was good. I love everything I have ever had from Dogfish Head.

OStrungT, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%

Pours a couple fingers worth of head with some decent retention.

Blue and black berries with some malt backbone

Taste: sweet caramel malts with black and blue berry sweetness. Sourness is mild. Some dry tanning lies thrugh the back. These don't go that well with the berry tones. They create some off flavors. As the beer warms these balance out a little bit

Fullness on the palate. moderate carbonation.

The dry tannins don't compliment the fruty tones of the beer. This makes for some off flavors that effect drinkability.

jasonjlewis, Dec 11, 2007
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.