1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,455 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,455
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 103
Gots: 191 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,455 | Reviews: 493
Photo of MMAJYK
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of maddogruss
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of awall422
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of trill
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fair sized head which surprised me for some reason. It holds up well and leaves behind good lace work. Has a slightly murky amber color.

Smells wine like, fruits ( grapes, blueberry?), I can't detect much else, maybe a bit of alcohol.

Tastes similar to the nose, tart and sweet. Very different, glad to have tried it.

Photo of shadow1961
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head Black and Blue pours a finger of creamy foam over
a slightly cloudy bright amber brew. Carbonation is steady, and the
nose is vinous and slightly funky (in a good way), with berry notes.
The flavor is... good. A bit of maltiness, a bit of fruitiness, and a long
dry finish with a tiny bite of hop and alcohol. Mouthfeel is clean and
dry. Though the alcohol by volume is a very nice 10%, it is always
in control and only makes itself felt as a pleasant warming sensation.
At no time do the additions of black raspberry and blueberry mentioned
on the label impart a cloying sweetness- rather, they only add to the depth,
complexity, and dryness of this particular brew. This is yet another beer
you can serve to wine lovers- or is it a wine for beer lovers? In the end it
doesn't matter- the only rule that matters is taste, and this one is good.

Photo of Lupe
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber/dark honey color, slightly hazy, with a white head. The head quickly falls to a thin sheet and leaves little lace behind.

Complex malty aroma of sour cherries, berries, vanilla, and honey upfront. Caramel and bready malt make up the backbone. Some yeasty funk is also present along with light alcohol and oak.

Starts with a mild sweetness that fades to a fruity sourness with lingering berry flavors and bitterness. Lots of sour fruit and mild oak. A small dose of funky Belgian yeast and alcohol spice ties things down. Finishes dry. Alcohol is well hidden.

Smooth and initially crisp and thin, but gets sticky and thick on the tongue after a few swallows. Light-medium in body with mild carbonation.
Good undrinkability for the abv, but a too unbalanced for more than a bottle.

Not bad, but nothing special. Hard to distinguish the individual berry flavors, and gets cloying after a while.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of this from Capone's in Norristown, Pa and split it with a buddy. We poured it into two mugs.
Appearance: A pretty ruby and translucent body with a white head accented with red highlights, low lacing yet great retention.
Smell: Strong aroma of blueberry puree, it smelled like blueberry pie.
Taste: Blueberry, very very sweet, there wasn't much bittering going on.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth.
Drinkability: Splendid.
Don't drink and review.

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

The beer sluices from the 750ml bottle a slightly chill hazed golden amber color with a bright white creamy two fingered head that settles quickly leaving a thin blanket of lace to seal off the glass. Nose has a sweet and sour note, spicy with a modest hint of the berries, hints of fusel alcohol, and at 11 percent ABV, no wonder. Start is ambrosial, fair to middling malt presence, and a mild tartness from the black raspberries, but not overly so, top is light to medium in feel. Finish carries on the sweet and tart duo, hops understated, and the alcohol present but well hidden, acidity benign and the aftertaste dry and tart. I’ve learned to like this style, and “Dogfish Head” has been the reason why, a “Marvelous” brewery.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PopeDX and StoutHearted for the chance to check this one out!

Didn't have any reservations to try a new DFH creation and this one was built to spill. Usually these types of Fruit Beers send the true brew dudes a-runnin' but once again DFH prooves to be king of the hill and I don't know how. This viscous liquid was just a deluge of raspberry maple syrup over pancakes in a tulip glass...period. Delicious nose that matched the flavor aspect every sip of the way. And NO DFH doesn't pay me to be so resolute in my findings but Lordy-Lawd how nice if they did!

In conclussion my fellow Americans, Black & Blue will infuse you with the zest to put up aforementioned bundting on your porch and Vote for Sam!

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Imstillthegman and 1000 Miles (or East/West again) BIF.

Hard to determine the color here. It is either dark amber verging on brown or a red colored ale depending on how you look at it. Smallish off-white head forms and then falls.

In the smell I pickup wine and grapes with oak the very first thing. There is the sour funk that I smell in most wines just to remind you that no matter the technology it is all basically grape juice gone bad. Vanilla is present but is just a trace compared to Bourbon barrel beers. There is a LOT of wood and wine tannin scent here almost as if they used a spent red wine barrel. I don't smell the blackberries or the blue berries but I do get a trace of raspberry.

The taste begins a little sweet with a sourness at the end and a little peach aftertaste. Strong wood flavor and sour fruit like unripe nectarines and granny smith apple. Vaguely berry flavored but not really, far less than DFH Fort for instance.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this guy at the DFH brewery in DE. Poured a color I can't really explain. Depending on how it was held up to the light, it was red, orange, gold, brown or even pink. The foamy white head was small and left little lacing on the glass.
The smell was extrememly complex; sour cherry, vanilla, honey come out first and then caramel malts and dark frutits as it warms. Excellent.
Sweet and sour fruits cominate the taste, but caramel malts creep slowly in, along with alcohol, honey, and even some wood.
There isn't much initial 'bite' in the MF, but rather a mild sweetness fades to something alittle more bitter. The feel ends up pleasantly sweet and smooth.
Although it is masked relatively well, the ABV does make this a sipping beer. Still a great and interesting berw; things I have come to expect and enjoy from DFH.

Photo of Freshie
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber color. White wispy head.

Smell is fruity. Berries.

Taste is sweet and syrupy. A bit sticky in the throat. Berry flavor is strong. Hops is light, and overwhelmed by the sweet malt backbone.

Somewhat mediocre and unbalanced. But still, rather drinkable.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.15/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Strawberry juice red with a small head, no lacing. Clear.

S - Smells like Saaz hop, amber and light malt, also smells like lager yeast (although I don't think this was lagered). Some faintly tart berry sugars. Smells like a tart Sam Adams lager.

T - Tart berried, light malt. A bland bitter aftertaste with a bit of undescernable berries. Not worth having.

M - Drying, thin, a tad harsh and ascerbic.

D - I won't bother with this ever again. A definite was of money and liver strength. Much better beers exist out there and for much less. Yet another drastically overpriced DFH offering.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 7.5 dL capped bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The ale pours with a thick billowy white head that consumes three plus fingers in the glass, easily overwhelming the body of the beer. As the head recedes, it does not lace. The body of the beer is a red-blue hybrid color, light and clear with a definite purple tint. Very unusual, I don't think I've seen a beer take on this hue. You have to see it to understand it.

S: The nose has the sweetness of a fruit juice undercut by a grainy malt profile with hints of sour tart fruit. Much like the color, the blueberry/blackberry aroma is unique.

T: The first sip surprised me with its solid grainy cereal body. I was expecting all fruit all the time so the chewy malt was nice. Those malts are a nice foundation for the fruits, contrasting with the tartness of the fruits. Those fruits are quite sweet at times before yielding to a more tart element. At the end of the sip, some alcohol warmth comes through but it is very minimal, leaving me to wonder where it is at throughout the glass. There is a sweeter yeast flavor blanketing the beer from start to finish.

M: The strength of the fruits is pleasant, livening the mouth with flavors that are rarely seen in a beer. The alcohol, while not evident until the end, leaves it mark quickly.

D: This 10% beer (per the label) is a whopper that you may want to share with someone. The fruit flavors are strong but don't mistake this for a sugary sweet experience, this beer is big and bad with a lot of swagger.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours an orange/mauve with a very flat white head of almost a finger. Receding rapidly, it leaves no lace behind and has only a thin collar and single circle of foam in the center of the Belgian glass. I like the color though.

Aroma - an indistinct fruitiness, faint yeast, and a rumbling of alcohol beneath it all. With some worthwhile effort, I can identify the raspberry.

Taste - an initial burst of yeast, quickly swept over by the fruit flavors. No definite flavor there, and then that is washed away by warm and enveloping alcohol. On the aftertaste, after some delay, the raspberry makes a nice statement, lingering past the booziness. With warming I get more of the blueberry. It took some time but eventually everything plays out on the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, a bit of fruit/alcohol slickness and a medium to medium-full body.

Drinkability - a sort of Imperial Fruit Beer, this is tasty and potent like Genesis 10:10, yet more elegant like Quelque Chose. Though an expensive bottle, I'd purchase it again.

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

Bottled: 02/13/07, so this one’s been aging for a little less than half a year…

Pours a brownish, reddish color with a noticeable purple tinge as well. The fruit flavors are done exceptionally well here: while the mellow but authentic blueberry and raspberry are present throughout, they shine the most in the delicious finish where the rest of the palate’s slightly alcoholic malt sweetness has subsided. Some subdued vinous character helps to round things out.

Not bad at all, though mine may have mellowed a bit with age. But, I’d be willing to bet that a fresher bottle would be just as good.

Recommended…

Photo of Drew966
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black & Blue pours an orange color with a white head from a brown 750 ml bottle. The aroma is quite muted, perhaps some berry, but mostly just malt. The taste is mostly malt, no hops to be found. And surprisingly little fruit to be found either. There is a hint of berry, which mostly was noticeable in the aftertaste, but it's not nearly as bold as I would hope from this brewer. It's not bad, but it's not what I had expected or hoped for from them either. Worth trying.

Photo of Atron67
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-poured a reddish ale color with a pretty big head that lasted awhile big lacing too

S- a nice strong fruit smell from the black rasberries, can smell some sweet malts

T- has a very strong sweet smell, although the flavors blend very well together giving something very enjoyable, its very tastey and i enjoyed leaving it on the tongue awhile as the flavors washed over the tongue

M- medium body with high carbonation, leaves a lingering warmth on the tongue

D- solid beer with a great blending of flavors

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent beer from DH. I poured this into a belgian glass because of the Belgian strong ale style description on the website instead of the recom from BA as a fruit beer. It's really a Belgian ale and should be treated as such, including let it warm up a bit, instead of a fruit beer because it's different from most fruit beers you've tasted.

Starts with a raspberry read color with black, copper, and gold highlights through the beer. Very unique. The head pour barely off white with amazingly tight bubbles that linger a bit before falling to a film that covers the top of the glass. The nose is yeasty and pungent but in a good way. Not much fruit until you taste it and the Black and Blue come out strong but balance with the malt and yeasty taste underneath. As mentioned above, it's taste is unique and blend the oft-not-well-done-in-beer blueberry with the blackberry mitagates the overwhelming of the beer plus the Belgian characteristics are strong enough to balance the two. Doesn't taste hot, but sure glad I was at home talking to the wife when the 11% kicked in--just finished and hoping there's not too many typos in this review.

Another interesting and well done beer by DH. Can't say much more than that except cheers.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of John_adam2002: Poured a medium brown/reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet grain is kind of weird. Taste is dominated by sweet malt with an unrefined grain taste which didn’t really agree with my taste buds. Body is pretty average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I couldn’t really taste much fruit or hops in this beer contrary to what the label advertised. Overall, I thought this was not bad but it wasn’t even close to being as great as what the label lead me to expect.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,455 ratings.