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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,291 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1291
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
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Ratings: 1,291 | Reviews: 482 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

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

split a 26 ounce bottle with a friend, split into pint glasses
A-pours a light red color with a thin head
S-very sweet with fruit notes
t-sweet right from the start, but it is well balanced with hints of berries
m&d-very drinkable, not overly sweet, nice carbonation, not very filling
Overall-A very good fruit beer. This is well balanced and a fun beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 00:47:52 | More by bonkers
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 18:23:42 | More by cleeze
Photo of wingman14


4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 01:25:58 | More by wingman14
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 00:59:00 | More by BMoney575
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

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

I found some bottles of this upstairs at the liquor store I work at. So when I had this on-tap before (unreviewed), I found it to be alright.

But this was really good. Probably because it was aged. There the taste wasn't very complex upfront, but it had a nice sourness towards the end of the taste. It was pretty darn tasty.

I then poured some more from the fridge a little later. I can definitely pick out some blueberry taste.

I agree with one of the previous reviewers. This beer needs more fruit. I think the underlying ale doesn't seem to complex though. But with the sourness/whatever at the end of the sip, I was tempted to give it a 4.5 on taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 03:56:58 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hardly any head at all, even with a somewhat aggressive pour, gone quickly with no lacing to be seen. Murky orange rust color with some brownish orange brick hues too, brightens a touch around the rims. The berry scents come through clearly in the nose, however, these are nowhere near being dominant, grapefruit and tangerine citrus there, raw brown sugar, peat moss, lighter yeasty bread dough, sweeter maltiness more apparent as it warms. Full-bodied, dry, sour and borderline acidic, really gives your palate a nice twist. As in the nose the berry flavors knit into the whole and not clumsily obvious, not a "dumb" fruit beer. More herbaceous qualities here, match up nicely with the sour grapefruit and lemon component. Presents sufficient apple, apricot, pear fruit as well as honey and yeast to keep the sourness in check. Carbonation is light but contributes when it has to in order to continue forward progress. Given its genre there's a limit to its inherent complexity, that accounted for, sticks to the script well and can't fault the execution.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 04:42:59 | More by farrago
Photo of adamette


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

Had on tap an hour ago at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio, an "on tap limited availability" offering. Cost of $6.25, poured into a 10 ounce snifter. Thanks to my father in law for buying me this one as we are celebrating the recent birth of my twin daughters (born April 8th).

A Little head over a cloudy copper body. Good look. I did not expect a big head with the high ABV and the fact that it is a fruit beer. 4.0

S Nice, gentle blueberry smell without the heat of alcohol that I expected. 4.0

T The rather high ABV presented itself well in the taste, however, but it was welcomed along with that continued gentle blueberry taste. 4.0

M Pleasingly syrupy, big. 4.5

D Good for the high ABV, I finished every last drop. 4.0

Notes: A treat to find this one on tap. Thanks again Mr. P!

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2010 00:41:54 | More by adamette
Photo of vandemonian


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

Dogfish Head Black & Blue is a tasty berry-flavoured beer. A lot of people hate on fruit beers, so if you're a fan of them then you'll like this.

A: Orange-pink colour and a 1 cm head that fades to decent lacing. 4

S: The smell is blueberries and some yeast. 4

T: The taste is all blueberries and yeast into a blueberry and alcohol aftertaste. Tasty. 4

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: Fruity and enjoyable. 4

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 02:00:35 | More by vandemonian
Photo of CFHMagnet


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

Marked "Bottled in 2011"

A. Poured a finger of creamy, off white head. Body is a nice amber color. Head retention is a decent frosting on top. Lacing is nice as well.

S. Maltiness starts off the nose, and quickly gives way to a cocktail of fruit flavors. I smell grape and mixed berry aromas. Floral undertones emerge near the end.

T. Floral tones start her off, and then it's all about the fruit. I taste blueberry and blackberry, but still taste a slight haunting grapiness in there.

M. Medium bodied, well carbonated, this beer is refreshing. It's my first beer home after working a 12-hour day, and it hits the spot.

O. Didn't know what to expect going into this, DFH is phenomenal, but blueberry beer? But it works, it tastes good, and it's definitely refreshing. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 02:40:57 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of Pencible


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

A: This poured a slightly hazy copper with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like sweet blueberries and wild Belgian yeast, with some slightly tart blackberries and candi sugar and fresh wheat.
T: It tasted like tart blackberries and sweet blueberries, with sour yeast and spicy saison hops and a bit of fresh wheat. It had a light and clean aftertaste that was a bit dry.
M: It was slightly thick and viscous with lots of carbonation. Decent.
D: This was a very nice beer with good balance of sweet and tart. It could maybe be a bit more bold, but the alcohol was very well hidden so it was dangerously easy to drink. Great beer for any season, and could be really fun with food pairing. I enjoyed this better than Red & White.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 14:50:57 | More by Pencible
Photo of tipfortap

New York

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

5 words to describe it: Tart, Red Wine, Effervescent, Jam, Bread

Paired it with: n/a

Should have paired it with: Sweet grilled cheese— maybe brie and jam? Grilled pork, Fried Chicken (and other picnic foods.)

Drink it if you like: Lambics, Kirs/Kir Royals, Fruit beers, Pinot Noir, Sangria

A few other thoughts: Because of the fruit sugars and fermentation process, this guy takes on characteristics of red wine, which makes for something super interesting and not too sweet. It would be awesome to take a 750mL bottle on a summer picnic.

Watch out, though, for the ABV— a very well-disguised 10%.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2013 16:04:25 | More by tipfortap
Photo of Gusler


4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2007 20:22:51 | More by Gusler
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 01:47:03 | More by OStrungT
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

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

750 ml bottle. Bottled on 2-13-07 sampled 1-13-07 during the Giant's game.

A: Looks like someone mixed beer and merlot. Minimal head with a purplish tinge to what head there was.

S: Wine, grapes and a slightly musty smell.

T: Sweet grapes, very wine like. I was trying to figure out what else there was then it hit me. Grape flavored bonkers. One of the best candies of the 80s. I should give it a 5 just for that.

M: Med body with a slightly syrupy feel. Minimum carbonation.

D: For 10% it goes down easy. I had a bottle last summer and I drank it too quickly. Learned my lesson and took my time with this one. Despite all the grapes it was not overly sweet. Dogfish strikes again. They keep pushing the envelope.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 15:15:54 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of kcillini77


4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 03:22:03 | More by kcillini77
Photo of seanpachefddfa


4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 02:51:13 | More by seanpachefddfa
Photo of BabySnakes


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

Red orange hue with a quickly disappearing head

smells like black raspberry and blueberry, even blueberry pie. go figure. Sweet Malts come thru, couldnt say which malts. Also a boozy aroma

warm boozyness hits along with the aforementioned fruits. Sweet maltiness (honey?) maybe even a mead-ish character.

Boozy, tingly mouthfeel, but heavy.

Overall, a really nice unique fruit beer. It reminds me of a light bodied mead. I was expecting something insane from DFH, but you pretty much get what you read on the label, which is nice. Just unexpected from my point of view.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 23:54:19 | More by BabySnakes
Photo of lackenhauser


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

Great reddish/blue color. Nice thin white head. Reminds me of the one berlinner weisse I have had in my life. Good aroma-fruity with a mellow lactic type smell to it. Fruity and dry flavor. Some malt flavor. No real bitterness to it. Good sourness. The fruit/malt dominates. While the label says blueberries and blackberries neither stands out-just says fruit. Nice body for being 11%. Overall a nice beer. Doesnt really stand out in any way shape or form. I know they are 2 seperate beers and styles but the Red and White puts this away.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 22:39:23 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Shaw


4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 02:45:44 | More by Shaw
Photo of neenerzig


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

Split a bottle of this with two friends. This beer pours a clear deep amber red color. Nice white head an inch thick when poured. Eventually settles to a good surface cover with good lacing. Fruity aromas are certainly present along with malty alcohol undertones and also alcohol. This beer is sweet upfront with fairly heavy fruit flavors followed by the malts and the alcohol, although the taste of alcohol is well masked for a beer of this caliber. Perhaps a bit of spice is also present. Has a sort of dry aftertaste. Has a crisp and smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Definitely becomes more drinkable as it warms a bit. Another good offering from Dogfish Head.


Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 01:12:44 | More by neenerzig
Photo of gunnerman


4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, pours an amber orange color with minimal pink head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Smell is sweet berries and fruit also a bit of bread in the nose. Taste hits my tongue with a tarte taste of berries and a bit of malt character, little carbonation but quite smooth, it has a unique taset and one I truly enjoyed. This was a fine and different offering very good, I was expecting it to not be as good as it was. Drinkability is very high for such a high abv on a beer this went down smooth and under control, I could drink this fine beverage all day long.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 00:23:02 | More by gunnerman
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks goes out to drseamus for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Bottled on 2/12/07

Poured into a DFH glass a nice clear/clean golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, blueberries, black raspberries, some spices, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, then some tangyness from the berries, slight spice, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very very well in this one. Very drinkable, I like this one as well as the Red/White brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2008 23:31:12 | More by Wasatch
Photo of hellcatsjg


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

Appearance: Dark reddish orange with a nice off white head that may have a tint of red in it. Bit of lacing as you go.

Smell: Sour raspberry and malt with a bit of vanilla and maybe a bit of oak.

Taste: Sour raspberry up front gives way to a malt flavor with a hint of blueberry. The vanilla and oak from the nose are present in the aftertaste. The sour flavors linger throught the sip.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness and medium carbonation. Taste of nice sweet and sour fruits linger after the swallow.

Drinkability: Very good fruit beer, with nice bit of complexity and sweetness. High ABV could be daunting to some. My main worry about this beer is the $14 price tag. Would buy again, but not for that price.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 00:35:45 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of dirtylou


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

750ml split with the lady love, while i pack for south africas

appearance: pours into a snifter, bright amber body with a light beige froth and little retention...this one glows with fruity tones

smell: a nice sugary-tart nose, raspberry puree, blueberry and other berries, cane sugar, sweet tarts

taste: sweet tarts, mostly raspberry puree, blue and blackberries, sugary sweet and lightly astringent. better than reviews indicate and the lady enjoys it

mouthfeel: light and tart

drinkability: easy street for the abv

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 02:04:16 | More by dirtylou
Photo of becktone


4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 7-4-08

Eye: Totally red. Very clear and red, blood red. Head is creamy, lacing superb and retention is great. Can I tell you more, no...Its as simple as that, straight forward and good.

Nose: Aroma is nice and strong. Blue and blackberries are very evident. Behind that is some belgian style brew, I think that its mostly the yeast character that gives it this "tone," there is also some belgian style malt character behind this, pale malts, sweet and rich. This is by far the most complex fruit beer I've ever smelt, however, I'm not going to really consider this a fruit beer. More likely I'd consider it an Belgian/American Strong. Its only fermented with fruit, I don't see it as being an active ingredient that is alone responsible for carrying the beers aroma, and flavor. Nice deep aroma, could be more complex-malt more forward, in better balance with the fruit, more hops, but hey....

Tongue: Tannins from the berries are apparent, they do give some balance to the beer however, as I really don't taste or feel any hops and bitterness. Nice sweet malt taste, hard to take apart under the berries, both black and blue, make a nice combo. I usually don't like blueberries in beer, however, this, perhaps because its mixed with blackberries, is great. Fruit flavor and tannins are a large part of this beer, though malt is huge too. Lots of Belgian characteristics in both malt and yeast character. This wouldn't be all that great if the malt and yeast characters didn't come through and cut as they do. Most fruit beers are all about fruit, this one is about everything...great.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Again, light on carbonation as should be a brew with high alcohol like this. Alcohol is hidden pretty well in the feel and taste of this brew, much better than in Red and White and Fort. Really this is one I could drink all night, nice and easy going down, slight alcohol balance-that is in the flavor of the brew it helps to balance it out-but it's a good brew to sit down and just chill with, finish the growler watch some movies...Got it for a good price, 23.99 for a 2L growler, when a 750 bottle is 12.99...now that's about two beers for 12.99 as opposed to 5-6 for 23.99. Bout a dollar or two cheaper for the growler. This isn't something I'd regularly pick up, its good but I'm not all that crazy about it. Check it out if you like Dogfish Head though. Great beer, one of the better fruit beers that I've had.

Serving type: growler

07-06-2008 03:14:23 | More by becktone
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,291 ratings.