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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,457 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,457
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 103
Gots: 191 | FT: 6
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: 1,457 | Reviews: 493
Photo of BMoney575
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-13-09
Bottled on 2-10-07

Pours much lighter than expected, a super cloudy orange/red. A fizzy head starts, but fades quickly. Lacing is thin and short-lasting.

Smell is very fruity, thick and sweet. Very wine-like and complex as it settles, strong grape and apple juice comes through. A little aged, in a good, caramelized sugar way.

Taste is super sour at first, very, very grape-y, followed by a slight blueberry and lots of light malt. The alcohol adds a warming, wine-y finish, with a very dry and tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very thick, yet highly carbonated. A great combo.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, considering the abv.

Overall, I'm not sure if age has done this one well, but it's still a tasty beer and a very pleasant change.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A thin head drops to a ring of lace over a hazy, maroon beer that leaves a film on the oversized wine glass. One definitely sees evidence of the addition of grapes.

Presents primarily with tart vinegar, followed by some peat, with grapes and cherry in the background.

Vinegar overwhelms the other flavors, but one can find evidence of grapes with the alcohol being second most prominent.

A slick texture coats the palate with fizzy carbonation and a cross between metal and moderate astringency.

My previous foray with this beer is remembered more fondly than this tasting. However, Black and Blue is worth a try, but the strong vinegar and high alcohol profile makes this one hard to finish.

date consumed: 5 Oct 2008

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

2008 Bottle aged about 8 months in a temperature controlled wine cellar.

A: This one pours a murky reddish brow with orange highlights near the base of a tulip and a purplish hue elsewhere. Nice tight foamy off-white head with OK retention, leaving dots and legs of lacing as it seeps to a ring.

S: Sweet ripe blueberries, tart blackberries, belgian yeast, and a hint of sourness.

T: Sweet and tangy malts up front, followed by some slightly tart berries, and then contrast by a spicy yeasty finish. Alcohol is noticeable but fairly well blended into the various flavors.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied, almost syrupy, but more slippery with mild carbonation.

D: I buy about a half dozen Black & Blues every year and always look forward to them. I haven't found anything else like it. A good bottle to split with a friend or loved one.

Photo of wingman14
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light brown with reddish tints with a nice white head that fades fast. The smell is of tart fruit, a few sweet notes, some wheat and yeast notes as well. I expected the smell to be a little more potent. The taste starts tart with a hint of sweet, lots of berries, finishes with the wheat notes and has a long tart aftertaste, very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is smooth a good blend of flavor, a medium-light body, nice carbonation. The drinkability is good, a nice balance and not an overemphasis on the fruit make this one a good session beer. The high ABV might steer you away from too many. Worth checking out, especially fruit beer and saison fans.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife picked out a few "big and fancy" beers and put them in a wine case wrapped up for Christmas... we cracked into them early, and enjoyed this one together since she is a big fan of the fruit beers.

A - Cloudy brown brew with a reddish cast and a nice long-lasting two finger head. This one looks less than fruity, but a tad more reddish than a "normal" brew. Pretty good looking stuff!

S - Tart blueberry skin, caramel, honey, and toffee malt. A whiff of alcohol and some nice leafy hops round things out. This is thankfully low on the sugar and fruit. It smells really well balanced.

T - A little bit more sugar and blueberry on the palate, this is still far from a cloying fruit bomb. On the contrary, this is a unique and complex brew that focuses more on the tart and acidic aspects of a blueberry than the sugary sweet juice. I was really worried that this would be a fruity, sugary disaster, but I had faith in Dogfish Head and they came through for me since this is a nice and complex brew that avoids the fruit beer trap of excessive "girlishness."

M - Medium bodied with some obvious alcohol attenuation and a syrupy feel that detracts a bit from the overall experience. Carbonation is unusually low, and that doesn't help the overly heavy sweetness by any means.

D - Honestly, this is very refined and complex, but the cloying syrupy mouthfeel kinda kills if for me. NOt bad, and totally worth the experience... but this its not something that I'll revisit anytime soon. My wife didn't like it because it wasn't fruity and sugary enough, and while I can appreciate this offering, I thought it was a bit too sweet/sour for me. It's okay.

Photo of cleeze
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've yet to be disappointed by a DFH brew...

This baby poured a nice mahogany color with a hint of purple. Decent head that disappeared rather quickly to show some bad ass lacing.

Smell was as fruity as they come. As soon as I opened the brew a whiff of berries is very strong. Also after a second whiff, I picked up on some malty alcohol goodness.

Yummmy... Tart berry goodness at first. Warms my belly too on this cold winter day. The yeasty taste contrasts great with the sweet berry taste. the 10% is amazingly masked.

Great drinkability for a fruit beer.

Photo of magictrokini
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-purple-brown pour with a short, sticky head. Alcoholic fruity aroma. The blueberries and blackberries hit you immediately, but are soon followed by a malt-liquor like flavor mixed with fake sugary fruits. The alcohol is not masked at all. Somewhat disappointing. I thought the guy on the bottle looked like Jimmy Stewart with a black eye.

Photo of wcudwight
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice color. Sort of a ruby/orange. Thin wispy head and little lace. I give it a 4 on color alone.
Smells of blackberries, bannana, and alcohol. Not really a complex aroma but it stills smells good.
Has a bit of a red wine flavor to it with some blackberry tartness. Good depth to the flavor but a bit boozy for a fruit beer.
Crisp oily mouthfeel.
This is a slow sipper. I liked the flavor of the beer but still had a hard time finishing the glass.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle with stamp of "Bottled on 2/12/2007". This beer is 1.5 years old, so I thought it was definitely time to crack it open.

Pours a true brown with red highlights. Slightly hazy with a unique pinkish tan 1 inch head. I poured this one into my over-sized cabernet glass. Head dissipates quickly leaving a nice, long, gooey wall of lacing - quite nice!

I pick up on a wave of light tartness. This is followed by sweet smells of berries and malts.

Much like the nose suggests, only stonger. This is a medium bodied beer with a medium flavored mix of sweet berries, yeast and sweet malts. The beer finishes wet on my palate and syrupy at times. When cold, the beer hides the 10% ABV extremely well.

For it's age, I think it held up well. This is a nice example of a fruit beer. Recommended, but the price can be a deterrent.

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

750ml

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.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,457 ratings.