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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 518 | Hads: 1,576
Photo of meeekyh
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well reviewed beer and generally well received. I tried it at a 'tasting' held by my local LQ (city law limits tastes to one ounce). It was inviting to both myself and my non-beer-drinking wife, and so I got a (750ml) bottle.

I opted for a tulip glass. The beer is a pretty deep red-amber color with a slightly blue tinted white head. It has a very nice head with good lacing. This is a beer with a unique appearance and it is good looking in the extreme.

The nose of this one resembles wine, tangy with complexity and both beer and wine-like smells and just a hint of the berries, which do present themselves more as the ale warms.

When you put it in your mouth is when you notice the berries. It has a distinct and yummy berry flavor, and no over-sweetness, it is actually dry. There is tangy, sweet, some grassy tastes and berries of both present varieties (blueberries and black raspberries). Aftertaste is a lingering wine-like dryness that is truly amazing in and of itself.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of full and the carbonation is high with many, tiny bubbles. The finish is the aforementioned wine-dryness. This is a pleasant presentation overall and something worth savoring.

Drinkability is surprisingly high for a 11% beer and in many ways this truly resembles a wine more than a beer.

I will say this, get some.


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Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice fruity smell. Pours a rich red/ amber color. Massive head with lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation. Just the right amount of fruity sweetness. Has a nice bite in the mouth and finishes extremely smooth and malty. There is a 10abv warming as it goes down the esophagus. I love it!!!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Black and Blue purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance: cloudy orange golden with a white, slight head.
smell: tart, buttery, rasberry, blueberry. Very nice.
taste: As the nose advertises. Good stuff.
Distinct carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable for a 10%'er.
I see fairly average ratings from more experienced folks. Maybe my palate is not refined enough, but this seems an exceptional brew.

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Photo of Twister00
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

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Photo of vtblackdog
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique and well balanced fruit beer.

The appearance is a slightly reddish golden in color. Didn't get a lot of head and disappears quickly.

The smell is a pleasant fruity alcohol. I catch the blackberry aroma.

Taste is a balanced alcohol with fruit. The fruit is just right for the balance.

Mouthfeel is moderate not light and not thick. I like it.

Overall a great beer for the style. However, at $10 a bottle only a few can afford to drink much of this one.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling. Haven't broken out the snifter in a while; this seems like a good candidate for it.

Pours into the snifter a sparkling goldish-amber. Head bubbles up and largely dissipates, though I can see it trying to replenish itself. This is, however, a minimally hopped 10% ABV beer, so it's not getting too far.

Cool, I can really smell the berries. I can smell a hint of sour musty wheat, almost as if this is some kind of "imperial lambic." Swirl it enough and a bit of alcohol muscles through and makes itself known. Oh yeah, extra points for smelling of real berries, not artificial flavoring.

Now this is fruit beer. Minimally sweet, there's a natural tart raspberry and blueberry pulp dominating. I understand why this beer is expensive - these days, real raspberries and blueberries aren't cheap, and it must have taken boatloads of them to make this beer. But back to the taste...beyond the obvious fruit, I sense a subtle wheat backing and *some* hop twang, though not much. Alcohol is absolutely nowhere. The big story here is the tart berry presence, as it should be. It's not quite a lambic, not quite a Belgian Strong Dark. I think this falls somewhere between the two, edging closer to lambic territory with the tart character. If you were afraid of this being too sweet, fear not.

It has a nice feel. Not at all syrupy and cloying as a 10% fruit beer probably could be.

Drinkability I would have to rate as very good. Like the Red & White, it doesn't drink at all like the strong beer that it is. Good job Sam.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot of good things about this beer and I'm glad to finally have the opportunity to try it.

A: Poured a deep red/purple color with a slight amount of head that disappeared fairly quickly.

S: (Like the bottle says) smells of black raspberries and blueberries. There was a slight hint of brown sugar as well.

T: Taste of berries, most distinctly blueberry and black raspberry, was unable to detect the distinct alcohol taste that other 10% abv beers have.

M: Medium amount of carbonation that tickles the roof of the mouth, but goes down very smoothly.

D: Would definitely have another, which is good, because I bought a bomber.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber in color, monster, rocky head sits atop this great looking beer. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Bits of raspberry and blueberry are the stars of the show, light and aromatic, I also get bits of toasted malt and some light booze in the backdrop. The fruit profile is nicely balanced.

Taste: The fruit up front is sour and tart, yet nicely aligned to a perfectly balanced malt profile. Blueberry, raspberry, some plum and bits of grape are all present. Has a bit of a wine consistency yet it shows of it's uniqueness with plenty of toasted malt in the finish. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a slightly dry mouthfeel, medium bodied yet light on the tongue.

Drinkability: Another big time winner from Dogfish Head. One of the best fruit beers out there, very nicely balanced and the first time I've liked a beer with blueberry flavorings. Excellent all around, seek it out for sure!

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into St. Bernardus Chalice

A - Pours a very translucent ruby red color with amber and orange tints. Head is fairly small and disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer at the edges. Laces well but falls quickly.

S - Nice mild blue & blackberry scent that adds but doesn't distract from some common "Belgian golden ale" scents: good grassy malt, coriander & spice, traditional belgian yeast. 10% alcohol starts to shine through as beer warms.

T - Starts slightly sweet and gets more so in a second, the fruit puree certainly adds some sweetness to this brew. Grassy and floral. High carbonation and slightly tart and fruity finish leaves a nice tingle on the tongue. A tiny bit sour. Fruit is a compliment and doesn't overwhelm like most fruit beers. Very nice.

M - High carbonation with a medium body and slightly sweet, slightly cloying finish. Never bitter.

D - Really nice offering from Dogfish Head that is certainly worth picking up & sampling. Share the 750 with a friend and exhalt in your good karma while sipping a very nice & unique beer.

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Photo of tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a one inch of head. Nice retention. Smells of black raspberries and blueberries. Both are equally noticeable. There's also a hint of yeast. Taste is blueberries first and the black raspberries coming in second, but both have equal contribution again here. Despite all the fruit, it's not overly sweet. The alcohol is noticeable as the beer warms, but it adds warmth and takes nothing from the flavor. Well carbonated, crisp, smooth, very drinkable.

At 10% this beer is scary drinkable. This is one of the best fruit beers I have ever had. I'll definitely pay the price tag for this again.

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Photo of tzieser
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The one I had was bottled on 2/13/07.

Poured a nice amber color with blue undertones. A small head subdued into a thin lacing around the glass

Smelled slightly winy with malts in the background. Very faint smells of fruit (blueberry)

Tastes delicious-- especially for a bottle that's almost 2 years old (2009). Extremely malty forefront gives way to a smooth sweetness brought on by the aforementioned blueberry/blackberry. The idea of using blue and blackberry is outstanding- doesn't tarnish this at all. Doesn't cover any of the great maltiness.

Feels great in the mouth-- perfectly carbonated when served chilled

Drinkability is outstanding. I wouldn't mind having another bottle of this.

Overall give it a shot. Its expensive, but definitely worth a try. I think ill try red and white next time.

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Photo of BB1313
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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!

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Photo of Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2007 aged 1 year. Dark amber light brown pour. Fruitier berry aroma and on the palate. I was told this wouldn't last a year, but it did so with greatness. The hop profile mellowed out and the flavors stayed strong. No sourness or cloying. Thinking about aging another one but with so many coming out I have even better choices. Another winner from DFH.

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Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle dated December of 2009. It poured a light amber with good reddish tint in the light. The head was slight and cream colored. The smell was amazing. It wreaked of raspberries, perhaps blackberries and was both sweet and tart. The taste was very good but doesn't quite hit the mark that the scent does. It makes you crave the berry accents. The mouthfeel is good as well, it's rather light to medium in body for the style. Its very drinkable. It is delicious and completely hides the alcohol. I love this beer and would greatly recommend it. If only it weren't so expensive but aged bottles are definitely worth it.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep sunset colors orange to rose with sparse
head and little to no lacing

S: Sweet berry nose with a slight alcohol aroma

T: Champaigne of beers for the summer (not to be
confused with High Life). The flavors of
natural berries over a syrup is evident.

M: Very jammy with great body and adequate

D: The ABV is the only thing that holds me back
for drinking it all afternoon.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a champagne glass.

A: Poured a rose and orange colored amber with a nice, fluffy head of white foam atop the soft brew. A steady jet stream of carbonation rose from the center of the glass.

S: Smells floral and spicy, with hints of berry, wood and hop resins. A little zesty and funky yeast makes its way in as well.

T: Initially, this brew tastes like a Belgian abbey ale, sweet and zesty yet dry at first, with strong floral hop and sugary sweet fruit esters. The blackberry is more muted than the raspberry flavors, which are still soft and delicately sweeten the floral hop bitterness of the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and bursting with bubbles.

D: Very, very tasty for a higher ABV fruit beer. The berry combination drinks like pinot noir juice added to a well-crafted Belgian pale ale. Excellent on its own but it also went well with baked salmon in a lemon-tomato reduction. Preferred to the Red & White.

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Photo of drowninginhops
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9.6 oz bottle poured into tankard.

A: Hazy reddish plum in color. Slightly off white head, two finger head that lasted the entire beer and left a well laced glass. Looks very interesting.

S: On opening it I smelled the raspberry then blueberry notes. Smells real not made artificially.

T: Pour was a little off so i dove in to lap the overflowing head i was greeted by an effervescent medially of blueberry and raspberry. Blueberry and raspberry are at the front of the palate with sweet malt rounding out the end.

M: Nice middle ground for this beer not too thick not too thin and well carbonated. Made me crave cheerios which I eat with either blueberry, blackberry or raspberry depending on what I have. So that is a point in its court.

D: Would,d be a great desert beer or you could... nah this is nice anytime. On another note it made em crave Cheerios which I eat with blue, black or raspberries.

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Photo of Johnd8
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did a vertical between a new 2015, and a bottle shop shelf dusty from 2014 bought a month ago; It was not exposed to sun light, just fluorescent light and room temps.
Other then what is likely slight recipe and fruit differences, the 2014 only had a couple of not offensive flavor differences. It was more berry forward and a bit rounder in flavor

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with a bit of pale malt and a hint of booze.

T - Starts off with some blackberry and blueberry sweetness with some pale malt. Through the middle, some lightly bready malt comes through with some light yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with some pale malt and a touch of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very fruit forward, but the overall beer is really nice and interesting. I like the balance.

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Photo of Dixonian
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. Poured into a goblet.

Small amount of head that dissapated quickly leaving nothing behind. Delicious berry aroma.
Tastes almost like a lambic only lighter and without the funk. Blueberry comes through strongest especially on the after taste.
Not too heavy-Dogfish are masters of hiding high ABV as well as making one of a kind brews.

I'm not the biggest fan of the mingling of fruit and beer but I very much enjoyed this.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this Fruit Beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a blueish/purplish color, produced a thick white head, retention was average and lacing was minimal. The aroma of this ale consisted of malted barley and sour fruit juice. This is a full bodied beer, 10% ABV. - Thankfully, I had the St. Charles Whisker Biscuit to assist me with this. A sweet malted grainy cereal base that gives way to tart fruits (blueberry and black raspberry) - it is actually a nice balance between sweet and tart- The issue I have with many fruit beers is that they are all sweet from start to finish- This ale does a great job to balancing the sweetness from the malted grain with the tartness of the berries. Another note here is how easy to drink this is- This is a big beer but very easy to drink. Don't be ashamed to grab this fruit beer and share this with a friend.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 03/07/15.

Appearance: Pours deep amber with a lot of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with a slight pinkish hint. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A very fruity and fairly sweet Belgian style aroma with a big scent of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, and clove. Big juicy scent of real blackberry and blueberry. Also some fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and fig. Bready hints of wheat, straw, biscuit, and cracker. Sweet hints of sugar as well. A very solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sweet Belgian style taste with a big presence of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with some funk and spice notes of clove and pepper. Fruity notes of blackberry and blueberry juice. Belgian style fruit notes of banana, pear, apple, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of sugar. Malt notes of biscuit, wheat, straw, and cracker. Hops are very light. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy and slightly sticky with a drying finish. Alcohol is masked very well.

Overall: A very solid twist on a big Belgian style ale. Good taste of real berries that blend well with the Belgian spice and fruit notes.

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

On draft- into a snifter

Appearance- Pours an amber/copper color with a creamy white head. Good retention and lace for such a big beer.

Smell- Strong aromas of blueberry and raspberry, very sweet. Slightly bready and earthy, a little Belgian spice from the yeast.

Taste- Follows the aroma well. Strong blueberry and raspberry flavors, tastes natural, you can tell there are no sweeteners added rather fermented sugars from the REAL fruits. There is an earthiness throughout as well. Very sweet, but I do not find this to be cloying. And I am very admit about a graham cracker flavor in this as well. Nice lingering fruit on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Medium/full body with medium carbonation. ABV’s hid well, for 10%.

Overall- I really like this beer, I like fruit beers in general and this is one of the better ones I have had, especially ringing in at 10%. Slap a New Glarus label on this and I bet it would rate out to an “A-” average at least. Cheers Dogfish, nice job on this one!

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Photo of avalon07
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy/creamy, long-lasting head (more than what you normally find with fruit/vegetable beers). Very good lacing.

S: A strong, sweet aroma of fruit and malt.

T: The blueberries and raspberries make a very strong impression, but there is also a trace of light malt. A vibrant, fruity flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Surprisingly not slick. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of fruit/vegetable beers, but this one is very well made and extremely drinkable.

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