Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

512 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 512
Hads: 1,561
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 111
Gots: 247 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006

Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 512 | Hads: 1,561
Photo of Shoegaze99
2.11/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink a fruity champagne I'd drink a fruity champagne.

Dogfish Head is know for their "off-centered" beers. It's one of the primary appeals of the brewery and one of the reasons why I'll consistently get their product. But their penchant for experimentation means they sometimes miss the mark. And this one is a big miss.

This bottle was a year old when we cracked it; served the beer in wine glasses. Poured a quite lovely reddish color with a tiny head. The brew was murky but in an appealing way. It LOOKED great.

The aroma was ... well, it was not the aroma of beer. Smelled like a glass of champagne. The aroma of raspberry and blueberry were very much present. The smell "sparkled." Still, I rated it decently because while it didn't smell like beer it was still a pleasant aroma.

But the taste. Ugh, the taste. Judged as a BEER and not as another beverage it's hard to judge this one favorably. The brew was light-bodied bordering on thin. The bright, active carbonation and heavy fruits tasted more of champagne than beer. There is a *touch* of beer in the finish, but only a little. The tart of the raspberry was countered by the blueberry, but they didn't merge well with the overall package. Four of us tried it and the agreement was universal; this tasted like a fruity champagne, not beer.

Which is fine if you like champagne. I don't.

I've had many ups and a few stray downs with Dogfish Head's experiments. Even the downs I at least appreciated the experience and enjoyed having my expectations turned on their head.

But not this time. I'd rather drink a macro lager than this. Really. Huge thumbs down. (1,640 characters)

Photo of phiberoptik
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into white wine glasses because unfortunately we do not have any better glassware to sip this wonderful brew. Pours a cran-apple color, almost a pink amber with a light thin head.

I get a lot of red raspberries in the nose along with the maltiness and of course you can smell the alcohol as well.

The taste to me is all red raspberries. I eat red and black raspberries quite often and I dont get as much black raspberry in the taste, despite them being in the beer. Maybe my palate is just not that strong at differentiating. I might say there is some blueberry but it definitely doesnt come off as fresh blueberries. What do I know though. There is malt, yeast, and almost a tart cherry to it, faintly like a Belgian-style ale. Lots of alcohol in the throat, but of course this is a 10% ABV brew.

Mouthfeel is watery but tingles across the tongue from a lot of carbonation, almost like a champagne.

I could drink this for a lot of different reasons but its not highly drinkable due to the carbonation and alcohol level. It makes me burp, but it doesnt bother me.

For the price I wont buy up the store but if I see another bottle, I am most likely going to snag it. (1,195 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007: bottled 2/13/07

A: Pours a honey golden with red hue. Less than one finger loose foam slowly dissipates, eventually leaving broken surface of the same. Little visible bubbles.

S: Blackberries and blueberries well here. Below this is a malt backbone. Nothing special. Slightly tart.

T: Very sweet. I was hoping that over the years, the beer would maybe enjoy a little souring, but it seems no infection here. Maybe even not a live bottle.

M: Medium body with light and spritely carbonation. Like a thinned down syrup. Sticks in the mouth a bit. Not too much though.

D: This ale is drinkable, but would prefer more tartness from the berries if at all possible. (679 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Yet again, thank you cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a cloudy reddish orange color. Produced lots of white bubbles.

(S)- Dark fruits of blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry with a lightly dry oakiness.

(T)- Same as the smell. Has a nice profile of raspberry and blueberry with hints at a pomegranate too.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A good complex fruit profile. Smooth.

(D)- Crisp and refreshing. Great fruit profile, yet sort of straightforward. Still enjoyable and tasty. Definitely a good fruit beer (558 characters)

Photo of Kakaraht
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy reddish color, kinda like the inside of a blueberry. Medium head with nice lacing

S: Nice berry aroma with a hint of Belgian yeast.

T: Very subtle very smooth. The berry's blend very nicely into a sour saison like beer with warm sweet earthy notes and tart berry finish. I really like the smoothness of the flavors.

M: Medium carbonation and mouth feel,the flavors lingers nicely.

D: This is always a repeat beer for me, i find it perfect for sipping while sitting around a nice big campfire. (511 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this bottle w/ a buddy. This is my second time enjoying this unique brew. Pours a purple w/ red hints, not really what you see everyday in a beer, looks great. I can smell blueberries, blackberries, vanilla. Those characterisitics are very noticeable in the taste as well. Pretty malty w/ a tart sweetness. Finishes sharp, well carbonated. Drinkability is good, but since it's borderline cloyingly sweet, it loses a point. The taste will have you coming back for more; alcohol is masked, but it's still dangerously drinkable. Awesome brew!

This definitely isn't your ordinary beer.. but the flavors alone make this very worthy. These are the kind of beers I expect from DFH. Well done, recommended! (705 characters)

Photo of velvetimagery
4.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml capped bottle poured into a tulip.

purple-ish colored with light, fizzy head.

Smelled strongly of berries, slightly earthy and smokey.

The brew was amazingly easy to drink. Very smooth with a slightly tart finish. I am traditionally not a fan of fruit flavored beers because of their tendancy to be very sweet and tart. Black and Blue was much more subtly flavored - I'm guessing due to the use of pureed fruit insteed of just flavoring.

Overall I thought it was very easy to drink and I enjoyed every aspect of the brew. I will definitely be buying this again. (572 characters)

Photo of Twister00
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy red-ish orange hues, light head.

S - You can really smell the blackberries and blueberries.

T - Fruity with a sour after taste. Not strong tasting you can still taste the beer through the fruit.

M - Good carbonation, light.

D - Drank the 750ml by myself so I would say its very drinkable. (307 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy reddish purple with a medium white head and seafoam lacing.

S- Blueberries, blackberries, toffee

T- Malts, sweet and tart, toffee, blueberries and a blackberry finish.

M- Warm, very well balanced. Nothing overpowering. Dry finish.

D- Very drinkable. Fruity but well balanced. Not overly sweet. Delicious. (316 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a large burgundy wine glass, and the brew produced about a two finger thick and off white colored cranium. Body appearance is hazy with a brownish red color.

Aroma is a bit light with hints of blue berry, and slight toffee.

I was pleased with the taste. I guess I was expecting a malternative type of drink, but this really melds together quite well between the malt and the fruit. Definitely not sour, the taste has a more malty sweetness to it with hints of toffee and the berry kind of kicks in as if it replaced the hops.

Carbonated moderately with a dry overall feel. There is a bit of alcohol warmness in the end. (641 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a tulip. Deep reddish amber with good glarity. The smallish off-white cap of foam fairly quickly shrinks to a collar of froth with a skim floating in the middle. Surprisingly decent lacing is left behind.

Fairly strong berry aromas with some husky grain and a vaguely Belgian yeastiness. Tastes pretty much as advertised, sweet blueberry up front, tarter blackberry in the finish, with the somewhat elusive yeastiness lurking about. A certain crisp grainy quality keeps it from becoming too sticky (the modest carbonation gets no credit for helping out). For a "big" beer, ABV-wise, there doesn't seem to be a ton going on. Seems like there could be potential with a few tweaks.

Overall impression: Pleasant enough, but rather forgettable. (751 characters)

Photo of psycle
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a red amber which was a bit surprising for a blackberry/blueberry brew. Decent head. Smells like the berries. Good taste to this. Can detect both the blackberries and blueberries. Slightly sour finish with a bit of the alcohol. Almost like wine in the mouth.

Easily had a couple glasses of this. A must share with dinner or after. (344 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle.

It pours a nice blueberry purple color. The head is fizzy and white but holds surprisingly well. It doesn't leave any lacing though.

It doesn't have too much smell, a faint hint of berries, but that is it.

The flavor is a bit more exciting. There is a nice tart berry flavor, not overwhelming, but enough to be interesting. The sweetness is at a nice subtle level, very nice considering the abv, I was expecting it to be sweeter. They have the sweetness level nailed but this one needed a bit more fruitiness.

Overall a solid fruit beer form Dogfish Head. (581 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, grabbing big dfh bottles like crazy today! Everything is disappearing off the shelves! Someone said there is a tv show or something!

A- a reddish amber look with a good white head

S- a lift of sweet and sour berries compiled with spice. A little far from an ale. Alcohol is there

T- major spice on the tongue of sweet flavor that is sweet with dried berries. The dryness grows exponentially and is topped off with the alcohol. Good taste for a malted beverage

M- spiky on the tongue like a prickle busch. Ouch

D- wow, you can slam this. Dfh making another drinkable brew for the ladies!... And me (605 characters)

Photo of matjack85
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this 750ml brown bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL for $9.99. Not a bad price for a large sized Dogfish Head product.

Despite the name "Black & Blue" for the black raspberry and blueberry puree inside, this beer pours neither black, blue, or any other purple berry color. Instead it pours a cloudy, reddish/brown color with a fast disappearing ½-finger of white head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is all black raspberry.

Lots of black raspberry flavor and not as much blueberry, but the fruits and malts definitely dominate the taste here. Some tartness and funky yeast flavors keep it from being cloyingly sweet, and a touch of alcohol is also present. Not much hop presence at just 25 IBU's.

As others have said, it's more wine-like than beer-like with medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed it and appreciated the genuine fruit taste as opposed to fruit flavorings. It's a nice sipper, but I still like the Belgian lambics a lot better. (986 characters)

Photo of Spider889
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally had this on tap tap at the brewery, and I thought I really liked it at the time. This is still an interesting beer once in a while, but the second time around I wasn't as nearly impressed. However, I have no idea how old it is... DFH seems to want to put "bottled in 2010" as the dating style on many beers these days, and the place I bought this at has sold old beer before. I have also heard of people aging this beer due to the abv, but over time, the fruit flavors will only fade. In short, this may have been 10 months old, and an assuredly fresh bottle might taste better.

Pours a cloudy blood orange color with a red glow to it, in the wider part of the glass it turns toward maroon or light violet. Nice small head and good spotted lacing.

Smells of strawberries, freshly washed wet raspberries, and of spicy peppery Belgian yeast. Also some slightly sweet, sharp alcohol on the nose.

The flavor is slightly sour, very tart. There are green fruit notes and lots of blueberry. The Belgian yeast takes over quickly though and begins to overpower the fruit flavors. Cracked white pepper, orange peel , and coriander.

Hot alcohol also tends to overwrite the more delicate fruitiness. It's not unappealing or undrinkable, but also much less hidden than the average DFH beer. Above average carbonation, and dry on the finish.

I drank almost the entire 750ml myself, so yeah, it's pretty drinkable. (1,416 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey sinner stemware. It poured a murky, reddish/orange color. The color looks pretty much like it has some dark blue fruit mixed in. It started off with a thick, pillowy white head to it but it faded after a minute or so. It did leave a bit of lacing as I drank it though.

The aroma not surprisingly has a pretty big fruit aspect to it. Both of the blueberry and blackberry come through pretty nicely. I get a little bit of a honey and caramel sweetness to it as well. Pretty good aroma for a fruit centered beer.

The taste also shows a lot of the berry characteristics to it. The blueberry and the blackberry mix pretty well together and give it a pretty good fruit juice like quality. It's definitely on the sweet side, but isn't cloyingly sweet. The taste is pretty much all about the fruit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a bit above average. Drinkability was good, it was a pretty good fruit centered beer with some good and fresh berry flavors. It had a fruit juice like quality to it that was pretty good. Overall a pretty decent beer, and a very good beer of the style. (1,145 characters)

Photo of zoso1967
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crimson tinged amber color with a head that is a bit of a pink cast beige. The head fades fairly quickly but leaves very nice splashy lace.

The aroma is super fruity with very fresh berry and wine like notes. It has an ever so slight tartness that triggers memories of lambic in my head, even though it really does not smell like a lambic at all. It also carries aromas of raisin and dried cherry, as well as some spicy Belgian yeast notes.

The flavor is quite sweet and fruity with plenty of vinous flavors. It has a pretty good amount of berry character with a nice hint of tartness. The spicy yeast plays well with all this sweetness and helps create an experience that is fairly well balanced. This beer has a definite alcohol hit, which contributes to its wine like presentation.

The body is medium with a nice smoothness even though it has a decent amount of carbonation. It finishes a bit sweet, but it is not too cloying.

As mentioned before, this brew drinks more like a wine then a beer, but I find it goes down quite well. I have had this beer a few times before and always thought it was better with food. I think this is one of DFH's more successful tangents. (1,184 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate reddish brown color with a light head and not too much lacing, but a decent amount of retention. Both the nose and the taste are pretty much consumed by the berry additions, although there is a bit of booze in there as well. Drinks fairly well at the moment, though I'm guessing this would get much better as it mellows out a bit with some age. (383 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - Poured a deep reddish amber with a yeasty head that vanished relatively quick. The color really doesn't match the smell or flavor.

P - Spicey berries with a strong alcohol bite. Like a blackberry dessert drink. The spices really compliment the berry smell. Very unique and inviting. The highlight of this beer is the incredible aroma.

T - Not quite as impressive as the nose leads to believe. The berry flavor also takes a bit of a back-seat to the alcohol. Really more of a wine than a beer in the way it tastes.

M - Pretty vibrant. Leaves a berry-ish but drying afterfeel. Way more wine-like than beerlike. Different for sure.

D - You gotta give it to DFH for continuously pushing the envelope on what beer can be. That being said, this is a great one to try and could be a great replacement to the bottle of wine for a dinner party, but all in all not something that I would ever pick up in a 6'er if it were available. (954 characters)

Photo of YouSkeete
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy red/orange. Medium head, medium lacing

S: Blackberry, blueberry and other notes of dark fruits. Some malty scent and some alcohol present in the aroma. Smells like a great fruit beer, nothing special though

T: Immediately tastes like a white zinfindel. Notes of blackberry, raspberry and blueberries are present but not very strong. Definitely on the malty side, and the maltiness is nice with the fruit aroma. The alcohol taste is masked by the fruitiness. Still, nothing particularly special

M: Bitter fruits, malty mouthfeel, light on the hops, well balanced in general, and not a very penetrating flavor

D: Drink it like wine. (645 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was cracked open in celebration of catching a cold the night before Halloween and mixing pseudo-amphetamine derivatives with alcohol. I'm such a sucker for big bottles of DFH. The bottle will be paired with a broccoflower and penne al dente dish and given its alleged wine-like qualities I think it will be quite refreshing and summery.

Appearance:
Blood orange to ruby red in the light. There isn't much of a head that forms, however an initial white head of about a centimeter's width did form while pouring. The light also reveals a tremendous amount of particulate matter diffused within the beer with no settling time in sight. This is exciting; I am much more a fan of living/non-filtered beers. Ample carbonation rises through the particles to give the beer some fair lacing down the glass.

Smell:
Incredible floral sweetness followed by a pungent stinging alcohol. I would certainly know at this point that fruits were added to this beer. I am also sensing a competing yeast smell that gives me hope that beer does actually exist within this beer.

Taste:
It's pretty good. The first comparison I make is to a tart fruit wine, but it also makes for an almost balanced beer, a little bit top heavy with the "black and blue" additives. Smooth for casual drinking or sipping. Complex, sweet, tart, and a decent ale underneath it all. I would treat this beer as more of a wine (not a barely wine) than a beer, but I give respect to something that pushes limits of its own being.

Mouthfeel:
Sip-able and smooth. The beer is good at colder temperatures, but you could also drink it warmed up. Strong on the fruit with an even stronger ABV hiding up its sleeve. I like how this beer presents itself and would say it's got more going on than most "average" beers do.

Drinkability:
I like this beer (even though it's hard to call it an actual beer) and find it quite drinkable. I would have preferred this beer on a warm summer night, but such is life when living so close to Canada. I am always game for a DHF 750mL and gain tremendous happiness from sharing it with people that matter, so I would suggest the same to you.

Cheers. (2,146 characters)

Photo of telecomz
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If you like fruit beers this one is a pleaser. That said, I like fruit beers but this one is not DFH's best. OK aroma. Non-descript berry aroma and taste. Wish there was a bit more maltiness here to balance the fruit.

Easy driner despite the ABV. NOT HOT AT ALL. Other reviews cite hotness. I did not experience that. (318 characters)

Photo of heebes
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint bottled 2010

Pours a hazt reddish amber with huge slightly pink foamy head leaving a nice sticky lacing.
The nose is sweet malts, a berry scent from the blue and black berries, some booze.
The taste is big on tart berries, some upfront fruit bitterness long finish getting hot at the end. Definately a different approach for a beer. Mouthfeel is moderate, medium mouthfeel becomes chewy a bit.
Overall this was fun to try, as it always is with the folks from Dogfish Head. Drinkability is moderate though, at 10% and being bottle in the stadard big beer pint as per DFH specialty brews. (594 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One and a half fingers of creamy off white head with great retention given the ABV and some spotty lacing.

3.0 S: Smells more like a saison than anything else. Musty and funky. The raspberry and blueberry come through, but not in epic proportions. It's not bad or anything, but it's far too weak for a brew this strong.

2.5 T: Taste is also a bit boring. The only thing that comes through well is the alcohol. Fruitiness is there, but is rather muted like some bullshit fruit beer from some bullshit brewpub. I expect more from DFH. There's some funkiness again, but not enough of that either.

3.0 M: Mouthfeel is medium-ish. However, the carbonation isn't spritzy enough and the beer lays somewhat dead on the tongue. Not particularly creamy or smooth either.

2.5 D: Definitely not one of DFH's best. The only thing good about this is the appearance, but in the scheme of things important, that doesn't mean much. Boring smell, boring taste, boring mouthfeel. Thus, not very drinkable and worse if you factor in price. (1,092 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 512 ratings.