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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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1,448 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,448
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 100
Gots: 188 | 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: 1,448 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of midaszero
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle

A - Hazy amber with one finger of white head and a little lacing

S - Blue and black berries that is sweet and tart. Noticeable alcohol

T - Articifial berry (blue and black) flavor with some malt presence

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Better than fort but the flavor is to artificial to be enjoyable

Photo of roadhouse
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appears reddish orange in color with a one and a half inch light peach colored head that sinks to a centimeter thick skim and holds up well leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma is moderately fruity with hints of blackberry and blueberry but not much else to speak of. Even then it's still kind of faint for some reason.

The taste has a sugary sweetness up front that is overtaken by the flavors of the berries. It gets more tart as it progresses but never goes too far. Not much trace of it being 10% ABV. A little boring in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, nice creamy texture.

This stuff is alright, I wouldn't buy it again though. Pretty easy to drink, just not that interesting.

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

750ml bottle into imperial pint glass on 11/12/08. Shared with brewslut.

A - Hazy, deep rusty orange body with a reddish tint and almost one finger of bubbly off-white head and plenty of active carbonation bubbles darting to the surface. Head settled into a quarter inch of creamy retention that deposited a bit of lace on the glass.

S - Extremely fruity nose with apparent blackberry, raspberry and blueberry right up front. Fruit aroma appears to be authentic rather than artificial. Sweet malts are complemented by a mild sour tang and a more subtle yeasty character.

T - This is definitely not as sweet as I had anticipated. There is quite a bit of sourness present to complement the sweetness of the berries. Some bready and caramel malt notes emerge in the backend. No noticeable bitterness to mention.

M - Medium body with a mild syrupy - yet slick - texture and moderate carbonation. Surprisingly, this brew is not overly sweet or cloying at all. For 10% ABV, the alcohol is barely noticeable. Finish blends sweet and sour characteristics on the palate.

D - I heard mixed reviews about this brew, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. However, I found this to be a flavorful beer with a nice sourness and authentic berry character. I admire the fact that DFH really tries to push the brewing envelope. Not everything is going to be outstanding, but you have to respect them for going against the grain. With that said, I found this brew to be quite drinkable.

Photo of Soozy
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep red color, smells like wine - fruit, blueberries, and alcohol scents. It tastes like like a mix between wine and beer, that's the best way to describe it. It has a light malt taste and strong taste of blueberries/rasberries with a light earthy hop finish. I could barely tell this was 11% and my friend and I were saying if it wasn't $8 a glass we'd be tossing these back.

Overall, an interesting beer. Not something I'd go out of my way to try again, but it was nice to try.

Photo of atigerlife
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect from this one...and still don't!

Pours a pinkish/red with creamy slightly off-white head. Lots of tiny carbonation rising. Good lacing. Interesting.

Aroma is of raspberries and some light blueberry. Horse aroma.

Taste is light blueberry, hay. Farm-like quality.

Medium body, cleansing, dry.

Ovrall, this is a decent attempt at a fruit beer, but lags far behind its Belgian brethren. Sort of hard to figure which direction this beer is going. Needs a more cohesive flavor profile. More fruit, less alcohol [which sneaks up on you].

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this it was a breath of fresh air and now it tastes really sour (and not in a good way). I love flemish sour ales, but this is sour in a putride way. This could be an infected bottle (but I don't think so). I will say that this is a 2007, but I doubt a year will kill this beer (at 10% abv - that's the percentage on the bottle).

This was poured into a duvel glass and the head was reduced to a thin lacing. Maybe this beer is just one that does not need aging.

The aroma is light citrus fruit with deep malt and vinous fruit underneath. The aroma is delightful - by far the best part about this beer. I hope this beer will be better next year as I really like it the first time I had it.

The taste is like sour cream and lemon juice mixed with water. I love DFH products so I finished it for them. Please, don't let me down anymore!

The mouthfeel was watery for 10%. I think with a little less attenuation we would have a really decent beer here.

With this percentage this is definately not that drinkable.

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

I am a huge fan of dfh beers. This wasnt my favorite. It was a thick cloudy beer with a golden color. i didnt really get the raspberry or blueberry aroma. a little but not really. the flavor was sour. didnt taste like fruit. a little bit of an alcohol flavor. mouthfeel syrupy sweet. drinkablity low. will never drink again.

Photo of bbothen
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy reddish/rust color with a bubbly 1 finger deep red tinted head.

Faint fruitiness, yeast, sweet matliness. All faint aromas.

Tart berries, more black berry than blue, sugary, tastes like a blackberry sparkling....something. Inertesing for sure.

Slick, refeshing, zippy(did I really write that), moderately carbonated, medium bodied. 11% is very well hidden.

Well, the fact they serving size is 750 ml bottle means it's meant to be shared & talked about. I attempted to tackle it by myself. Couldn't do it. Put one of those air lock stoppers in it & will attempt the rest tomorrow.

Really glad I tried this. Not my favorite, but appreciated the interesting quality & out of the box craftmanship by Dogfish Head. Keep up the good work.

Photo of rowew
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 capped, label has a portrait of someone in a blue suit. 10 % abv, there was a date on the neck, but it has smeared and isn't readable.

Appearance: Pours clear and red, just a bit of purple highlights to it. Thin head, but good retention of that thin head.

Smell: Fairly subdued aroma, just a bit of belgian yeast notes, and some fruity tartness.

Taste: Hmm .. again, fairly subdued. There are some yeast notes in there, but not many .. and there is some tartness from the fruit, but it is subtle too.

Overall impression: This one is fairly average - and I seem to remember the price being well above average. It is fairly drinkable considering the high abv.

Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance-poured a light copper color with pink tone to it. A thin light fluffy head that faded quick.

Smell- very nice aroma of sour blueberries and black raspberries. Also getting some nice earth notes as well.

Taste- Blue and raspberries up front. The berries are bit on the tart side but in a good way. Also getting some earthy spice flavors as well. All the flavors are very subtle but well balanced.

mouth feel-a medium body beer with a very high carbonation level. But I think that the high carbonation level works in this beer. Very clean and refreshing

Drink ability- a very good beer. the only bad thing about this one is the price @ $15 it is a little out of my price range.

Photo of JayQue
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a good experience. Pours an amber/reddish color with a slightly off-white head. Less than average head retention. Smell is of fruit additives and malt.

Taste is bad. Stale fruit, malt and alcohol. This is not a beer that you would look forward to finishing. The alcohol buzz is the main attraction of this beer.

Mouthfeel is rich but there is a sour aftertaste....stale fruit and alcohol.

Drinkability is poor. This beer does not taste good, has a sour aftertaste and high abv.

I wouldn't buy this one again.

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.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,448 ratings.