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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

518 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 518
Hads: 1,576
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 117
Gots: 262 | FT: 9
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: 518 | Hads: 1,576
Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear but thick dark tan body with a small off-white/tannish head.

Nose is very malty with fresh grain and some yeast smells. Some light root and twig type notes. Very faint honey and even fainter fruits notes. Light touches of corn-like grain that give an almost malt-liquor type smell. For a beer that says blackberry and blueberry right on the label, those smells are nonexistent.

Taste is full bodied and nice and thick. Very strong alcohol notes with a muted but very present fruity acidic tartness. A very husk like grain taste dominates. The fruit comes through a lot more in the taste than the nose. It's a very nondescript berry flavor though. You can tell it's dark berries like blue or black, as it has strong fruity notes and a mild sugary tartness, but no one flavor sticks out. There's a present tart bitterness that flows throughout. It balances the malt very nicely. As it warms a little bit of a raisin note starts to sneak out.

What an odd beer. It tastes like a "40" mixed with a berry lambic. Not to bad, but not a beer I'd pay for again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber clear body with a slight purple hue that glows in the light. There is a creamy off-white head that is thick and last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft berry hint that is not specific to any one type of fruit. There is a light yeast and raw grain note in the finish.

T- This beer has a soft dry berry flavor with a not of raw grain and a hint of field corn in the background. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note and a dry carbonic acid note. There is a hint of bitterness from hops in the finish which takes on a Nobel and pine note when it warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that comes through when it warms. The tight fizz and dry note really make a clean finish.

D- There are some subtle hints of fruit but not much of interest in this beer. It could use more flavor of some sorts but the alcohol is very smooth for such a big beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Bottled 2/12/07.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" lavender head over the slightly cloudy bright red brew. Head holds on well, with tons of slow-falling lace. Aroma is rich an d fruity, without the intensity that sometimes makes one think artificial. Taste is lightly malty, with somewhat generic fruitiness coming on in the middle, and becomes more blueberry as the flavor lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy, and drinkability is not bad for a fruit brew. I enjoyed this brew, but probably wouldn't revisit for the cost. Your mileage may vary.

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Photo of dawg
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bomber into a glass. Poured relatively flat but did have some tangy carbonation. Smelld like fruits and veggies. Sour like a labmic blend. I expected a lighter body. This was massive and syraupy. No hops, just berries.

Second pour from the bomber was from up high. Results yielded a nice head that remained for awhile. Alcohol presence came through as it warmed. More sweetness and dark fruit characteristics.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, capped, bottled 2/12/07. Pours a ruddy, pale amber. The white head is quite pillowy, but recedes quickly, leaving a ring of small-bubbled lacing.

The smell is very yeasty, along with stong, sweet grain and faint berry. The grain and malt dominates the flavor, along with nearly cloying honey and sugar. There really not as much berry as I'd expected--a pretty faint spice black and raspberry nearing the finish. The alcohol nearly overwhelms it.

The mouth is rather syrupy, though this shouldn't really be surprising. But it's not as well balanced as I would have liked, and the alcohol is overdone. Defintely not one of my favorites from DFH. If looking for sweeter brew, the Midas Touch or Chateau Jihau are superior.

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Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other night. Yet another impressive "extreme" beer from Sam C.

The beer pours an amber brown color, with very good head retention and nice lacing. The nose is pretty closed, though I get a hint of ginger and malt. The beer has a very nice rich mouthfeel, with flavors of honey, butter and melon. There is a soft creaminess on the palate, and the beer has a smooth, lingering finish. The abv. is really well disguised in this beer. Knowing Sam, I figured it would be up there, but this does not taste like a beer with an 11% abv. Absolute amazing. Another winner from DFH.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of gotbeer
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm hit or miss with DFH's offerings, and I didn't expect a lot from this one to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it.

The appearance was good. A deep reddish color, but a light head that faded with no lacing.

The smell didn't blow me away. It hinted at some sweetness. The taste wasn't overwhelming of fruit (which I like) and just gave a hint of blueberry and blackberry in the sweetness as you sipped. Not much in the line of hops, and the alcohol is somewhat evident. This was a pleasant beer to sip over a couple of hours. It would make a nice dessert beer.

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Photo of oelergud
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi transparent golden ruby body. Big airy hilly off-white head with a blueish reddish tint. Decent retention and good lace.
Sweet berry and fruity scent with just a hit of spice.
Delicious sweet berry taste with a balancing hop presence. Both complex and simple. A familiar comforting vegetable garden taste.
Medium to full body, decent coating.
Great drinkability, very delicious, this is a brew to drink cold, warmth kills this brew and this may have been what was going on with the lower reviews this beer has received, I dont know but that was my impression.


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Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.09/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle

Pours a clear, light purple-ish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very light, with faint hints of berries. Becomes very boozy as it warms.

Nondescript light berry taste. No real malt or hop flavors to speak of. Bitter and dry at the finish with a pronounced booziness.

Medium body, light carbonation.

Well, this is by far the worst brew I've had from DFH. I feel cheated for shelling out $12 for this bottle. The fruit flavor is bland and subdued, and the only other flavor that really comes through is the alcohol. Pass on this one...

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Photo of letsgopens
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This fruit beer pours a semi-translucent red with orange highlights and a thing light head.

The aroma is bitter and a bit fruity with hints of blueberry and blackberry but leaves something to be desired.

As for the flavor; I had high hopes but this beer was not as flavorful as I'd expected. Bright and fruity with hints of berry and citrus, but fairly mild.

The mouthfeel is light, with a fruity/acidic tang that creates a bit of a bite and a clean finish.

Overall Dogfish Head has created a solid fruit beer, but it was not what I was hoping for. I did, however, try it during a tasting that involved a lot of great 'Big' beers that may have overshadowed some of the Black & Blue's more subtle qualities. I would like to try it again and see if any of my opinions change.

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Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

large capped Belgian style bottle, bottling date etched onto bottle, nice/fresh beer is good. Pours a great looking ruby/berry color with a raspberry tinged head, leaves some spotty lacing upon a moderate swirl. Fruity, lightly sugary nose. This one is sweet and fruity, as expected, berries, jam up front. Light, summery brew, would be nice as an apperatif or with a warm weather lunch/dessert. Champagne with a strawberry in it like qualities. When judged as a dessert beer, I think this one would at the top of the charts. Nice creation, crafted with skill and care from DFH.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger white head that fades immediately leaving no lace. Clear amber with red tinge color. Sweet fruity nose. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet and sour, slightly fruity with raspberry, blueberry is hidden and so is the high ABV. Nice clean finish. Bottled 2/12/2007, $11.19 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Label has ABV at 10%.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $11.99 for a 25.6 fl oz. bottle. (Spent my poker winnings, else I'd really struggle with this price.)

Poured into a DFH snifter. Lovely scarlet/violet color. Perfectly clear. Nice big bubble, white foam on top. Surprisingly not much in the smell. Some fruity/flowery sweetness, but overall the smell is lacking. Taste is very nice though. Heavy berry and malt interplay - the malts very reminiscent of Raison d'Etre. Sweetness from the fruit is noticeable, but enough has been fermented out to leave a good amount of bitterness to back things up. Little to no hop bitterness/aroma. Mouthfeel is a bit winey, high carbonation gives a bit too much foam.

A good offering, but I'll not be a repeat buyer. Nice to see something new from DFH.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright stop light red. Thin capping of fizzy whitish foam which doesn't last. The color is gorgeous though.

Aroma is quite light yet bright of pale berry, apple, twigs, and jell-o.

Taste is quitely placed with a berry-like kool-aid type flavor. Tangy, mildly zippy, sorta paled and soured, but hardly puckering, tender berry flavor ensues with a floating dryness of earth with red and purple grape skins.

Feel is a little below medium with a decent zip, tang, and torque of carbonation and flavor. A bit bland and boring in the finish, which does pick up a bit more dryness as it goes late, late, late into the night end of the airyness.

This seems like a good beer, but nothing really to spectacular hits me other then the style and mixture of ingredients that DFH has tried to induce into this ale. A one time try will do, other then that, its perhaps passable. Refreshingly zippy enough and mildly fruity but just not enough draw or character to really perk interest beyond the cool name and label.

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Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful rose-colored beer with a light, fizzy pink head that reduces to a thin layer of foam.

It smells sweetly of grapes and berries with a hint of wine-like dryness.

The taste is light and tart with plenty of grape flavors mixed in. It has very little malt qualities, instead leaning to fruity flavors. But these flavors are subdued. This isn't like soda.

The body is crisp and light. The sparkling carbonation also adds to the lightness.

Overall this is a neat experiment and an excellent beer to get wine drinkers interested. It has a lot of champagne qualities, from the fizziness to the wine-like flavors.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A clear ruby pour. Large white head that settled quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Berries and grapes. Some sweet malt. Not much going on here.

Taste: The berries grapes and malts are all present and not much else. A little astringent taste comes through in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but feels very light on the tongue. Active carbonation.

Drinkability: I could see this being a nice refreshing summer beer if it weren't for the ABV.

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Photo of cichief
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- A deep red, almost as dark as a wine, with a little whit head.

S- Fruity, especially of berries, tart.

T- Fruity, with a slight sourness of berries. A fresh blackberry flavor. No noticeable alcohol burn.

M- Smooth, thick, tiny bubbles. Sour but not too tart.

D- Unfortunately it is too powerful to have much of, maybe as a dessert on a special ocassion.

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Photo of nriech
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Off white head, lots of it. A very carbonated looking dark red brew.

Smell: More raspberry than blueberry. Sort of sweet smelling with just a tad bit of fruit and malt. Very mild.

Taste: Extremely mild tasting in flavor and ABV. I couldnt tell at all it was 11%. Malty with just a touch of sweet fruit. Not like any other blueberry or fruit beers that are overpowering and sickeningly sweet. This is actually drinkable. Light and not much in the way of aftertaste. A little tart at the end.

Overall a good balanced fruit beer. Just enough fruit to know what you are drinking, good masking of alcohol, easy to drink and a good strong beer for summer. I dont think I could make this a regular but maybe this should be on a rotating every other year schedule.

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Photo of smcolw
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ruby-copper colored and clear; decent head that gives a partial lace on the glass.

Interestingly, the initial smell I get is tomotoes. Lots of malt, very little hop,

Very dry initial taste that transforms into an unsuspected sweetness. A good body that gives an unexpected fullness. Rather bland, missing an interesting component of compexity.

I love the attempt, but I think it misses the mark.

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Photo of lehows
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a redish tinted amber color with a tight white head. Wonderful aromas of dark berries and some mild floral hops. Smooth and creamy taste of rich yet mild blackberries and blueberries. Hops and malt make a well enough presence so that the beer is not too sweet. Well balanced and very drinkable for the ABV. Recommended.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Capped 750ml bottled on 02/12/07. Pours a slightly pinkish amber color with a small head. The aroma was mostly grain with just a hint of berries and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste was on the otherhand was just a mess. It tasted sort of like a bad berry wine. There was really not much malt or hops at all. The drinkability was low due to it being unbalanced and boozy. Overall, I am very dissapointed with this brew as I had such high expectations after the Red & White. Not reccomended.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After recently enjoying the Red and White, I had big expectations for this brew. Though nice, it did not live up to the hype. The beer pours a 'grape-juice' looking ruby color with formitable retention that soon faded. The abundant aromas shows a blast of juicy berry character with a strong note of red wines and oak. The flavors show a berry, wine tartness, but lacks the intense flavors expected. The barrel gives a bold muskiness and earthiness (nearly horse blanket) which dominated the fresh fruits. The feel ended up a bit thin, although hiding the alcohols well. Finishes wiht a mild astringency and lambic quality. Nice, but just expected more.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Florian's. Translucent ruby-red body with a quarter inch of off-white head. Smell is weaker than expected, but consists mostly of blackberry with a hint of blueberry. Blue and black berries dominate the flavor as expected, with hints of caramel malt, making for a mostly sweet beer with a hint of sourness. Surprsisingly little alcohol present in the flavor. And while the body is atad syruppy, it;s oddly drinkable for such a big beer. Maybe getting this one again.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. ABV listed as 10% on the label, but who's counting when it's that strong? Pours up the color of a Manhattan, or like iced tea with a splash of cranberry in it. Light pink head holds nicely for a while. Subtle berry aroma with whiffs of alcohol and a medarate grainy aroma to it. I can tell I served this one up too cold so I'm going to come back to it in about 10 minutes. I can definitely pick up on the berry content now that it's warmed a bit, noticeably the blueberry (I love fresh blueberries, one of the reasons I had to try this beer). This beer certainly does have an alcoholic warmth to it. After a couple of sips, my stomach feels a touch warmed. The berry flavor is subtle, taking a back seat to a malty, grainy tasting beer. No descernable hop aroma or flavor to take note of, although there is a organic vegetal quality to the beer, but not hops. Carbonation seems a bit subtle due to the medium-to-thick body of the beer. Initially malty and sweet, with a faint tartness near the finish. I mentioned that I love blueberries and I'm just delighted that this beer kept its flavor in check. I've been disappointed with any other blueberry beer I've tried because they always taste like a Jelly Belly jellybean or if Kool-Aid made a blueberry flavor. Sam keeps reinventing his line of beers like Madonna keeps reinventing herself, only difference is that Sam is God and Madonna only thinks she is.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.