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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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 jasonjlewis
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a couple fingers worth of head with some decent retention.

Blue and black berries with some malt backbone

Taste: sweet caramel malts with black and blue berry sweetness. Sourness is mild. Some dry tanning lies thrugh the back. These don't go that well with the berry tones. They create some off flavors. As the beer warms these balance out a little bit

Fullness on the palate. moderate carbonation.

The dry tannins don't compliment the fruty tones of the beer. This makes for some off flavors that effect drinkability. (528 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with the gf, mine into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a bright, copper-ruby body that turns peach in the light. Small, white yeast particles float throught the clear body. Carbonation level is quite impressive, despite the poorly retained, peachy white head that recedes to a foamy collar. I'll blame it on the ABV... Aroma has a little bit of fruit, but not nearly enough. It's more of a belgian-esque malty aroma with some light grasses and hops.

The flavor decently blends cidery-sour notes, spicy hops, pale malts, and some fruity bitterness provided by a hint of raspberry. A champagne-like bubbliness coats the palate, as Black & Blue finishes dry and sweet. I've gotta commend DFH on masking the alcohol, as its barely noticable. Verdict: Not a great beer, the price certainly drops the drinkability down a bit, but it was enjoyable. (847 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy purple head that fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a light blueberry scent with very little malt aroma. The alcohol is also well hidden. The taste is decent. It has a mild fruit flavor that boasts of black raspberries and blueberries. The malt bill seems quite simple and lacking character. I understand this is a fruit beer, but it really doesn't do much for me. The mouthfeel is average. It's a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a real letdown. I was hoping for something bold, but it really didn't live up to the hype. (615 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pretty, lightly hazy light pekoe orange tea. Nice large near white head slow to leave. Tons of fine bubbled lace.

S - First thing I smell is the fruit and booze. Frankly, it reminds me a little of a mixed berry cider I made, which is not a good sign. Malt present but fainter.

T - Sweetness from the malt and the fruit battling it out, a little cloying.

M - Thick, sweetish, not very good balance.

D - A nice one to try as very different, but I don't know if I will get much past the first few sips. (507 characters)

Photo of BirdFlu
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this in bottle about a year ago and wasn't overall too impressed, so I decided I needed to try it at the DFH brewpub this weekend on tap to see if I'd feel any differently about it. I didn't too much really.. The appearance is fairly nice with a cloudy, reddish-orange color that looks sort of like grapefruit juice. Aroma is mildly sweet but quite faint. Similar was same as I remember, a bit of berry-like sweetness but it seemed to have more of an acrid, acidic-like fruit sweetness to me, like cranberry or grapefruit more than blue or black berries. There is a bit of the blue in the aftertaste but you really need to look for it. The mouthfeel is very crisp with the carbonation and on the thinner side of moderate heaviness, so its easy to drink in that aspect, but theres a slightly unpleasant aftertaste right after swallowing. Overall, still a bit disappointing, but its definitely not bad and has to be appreciated for being organic, where many breweries might just add blueberry-flavored chemical sweetner to make it taste like blueberries. (1,058 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a ruby red – pink color with a fluffy pink hued head. The head fades rather quickly to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is very berry-white wine in nature. There is a big presence of a green grape/white wine aroma mixed with a moderately strong blackberry smell. There are lighter hints of some blueberry and yeast mixed in as well. As stated before, quite white wine like.

Taste - Just like the nose hinted at, the flavor is very semi-sweet white wine like. Its starts out with a white grape flavor some breadiness and a strong presence of tannins. These flavors create a base for the beer which lasts the whole taste through. The berry flavors come more toward the middle. They begin lighter, but strengthen throughout the taste experience. At the end a bitter sweet berry flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Very light in body with a slightly higher than average level of carbonation. It is appropriate and very nice for the wine like flavors of the beer.

Overall – Not really what I am looking for when I am looking for a beer. It is a good wine alternative if that is what you are looking for; sorta a white wine-beer hybrid. (1,232 characters)

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle.

Ale with black rasperries and blueberry puree.

Appearance is a pretty red color, like red raspberries actually, with good, white head and nice retention.

Aroma is light, with some berry sweetness. Not much going on here for me.

Taste is also fairly light and fruity, with just a touch of malt undertones. Not bad at all, but nothing that really grabbed me. Does do an excellent job of masking the 11% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with pretty good carbonation. This beer is quite drinkable for 11%, but was not interesting enough for me to want more than one glass. (600 characters)

Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Something wasn't quite right about this one...positioned somewhere between a fruit ale and a lambic, it didn't really seem to pull off being either of those styles very well. Bold fruit taste, but somewhat light. The fruit beer lover may find something to appreciate about it. (276 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012B vintage. New style embossed 750 ml bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Really deep dark amber/red body with a purple tint. A fluffy three finger head formed and settled down to a neat cap. Great amount of lacing and retention.

S - Sweet and super fresh berries. Actually smells like raspberries and not the blackberries and blueberries it uses. A bit of yeast and malt and lots of noticeable alcohol on the finish.

T - A whole lot of raspberries and a bit of blueberries. Super sweet and astringent. This is followed by a smooth malty presence and finally some lingering alcohol warmth. Aftertaste is a bit medicinal. Surprisingly for a DFH beer, no hop presence. Mouth feel is syrupy and coating. Carbonation is a bit low.

O - Comes off like a tamed version of Fort. Lots of berry flavors, somewhat of an earthy and medicinal finish, way too much alcohol. Like most big DFH beers, I think this is meant to be aged to calm down a bit. I hate to make this comparison as I love DFH, but berry flavored malternative beverage... (1,038 characters)

Photo of jettjon
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the capped 750ml bottle stamped 2/13/07, into a wine goblet. Color is dark mahogany with lively carbonation from tiny bubbles, beneath a one-finger dark tan head that quickly fades to a thin cap and scattered lacing. Pretty good looking. Nose of sweet malt with mild raspberry/fruit hints; rather neutral overall, even when warm. Tastes of sweet malt and hints of dark fruit, along with a bit of bready yeast. 10% ABV is well-masked. There’s a lingering dry dark berry finish, kind of like blueberry pie. Mouth is semi-viscous and smooth with mild carbonation. Drinkability is just OK, drinkable but unimpressive. Not a beer I would want to drink a lot of; I’m glad I was sharing this $15 bottle with a friend.

Overall: Like many of DFH’s specialty beers, this one is interesting and pricey and overall not terribly remarkable. I only bought it because it was a limited release; I vastly prefer DFH’s more established offerings such as their 90 Minute IPA. Worth trying for obsessive completists such as myself, or if you just love niche craft beers. (1,062 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly pinkish red-brown color, with about an inch of slightly tan head that had medium retention and slight lacing.

A pleasant fruit aroma hits the nose, any sweetness is from fruit not malt. There is a slightly sharp tang behind the fruit flavor. The finish is a little sticky but not overly clingy.

A body that is smooth and a little light slides over the tongue. The drinkability is good, but maybe after a couple the sweetness might get to you. Overall a decent beer that's worth trying if you see it. (538 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is a clear, reddish-orange with a small egg-shell head, and a little lacing.

smell of berry, yeast, sour malt, some citrus, spice, and pepper.

taste is sweet and tart, thin, berry is definitely in there, sour malt in the back, and spice, end is sour, dry, and a little bitter. (283 characters)

Photo of bshanly
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber with a pink/strawberry hue. Creamy off white head with a good retention and lacing. Looks delicious. I love beer.

Smell: I don't love fruit beers so much. Smells sweet and tart, lots of yeast, no hops. Are there hops in this thing?

Taste: Really tart upfront. Pretty heavy alcohol, long finish. Yeast is actually pretty tasty but the tartness isn't for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, not too crisp, not too heavy.

I like subtle flavors and heavy on the anything tends to make me miss the point. This beer did that. However, I think paired with the right food it could be delicious but on its own this wasn't for me. (644 characters)

Photo of weasbri
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange color, just a tinge of pink creeping in, good off-white head that really disappears quickly. Fruity aroma, light malt maybe. Not much there.
I kept expecting the taste to reflect the berries (blue and rasp), but didn't really get there. I get the sweet and bitter flavors of some berry in there, but most prominently malt with decent hop bitterness.
It's not that it's a bad beer per se, it's just that I was expecting it to be fruitier. In its defense, the fruitiness did increase somewhat as it warmed, but it's still just not quite what I was looking for. (567 characters)

Photo of NoahSYGG
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am a huge fan of dfh beers. This wasnt my favorite. It was a thick cloudy beer with a golden color. i didnt really get the raspberry or blueberry aroma. a little but not really. the flavor was sour. didnt taste like fruit. a little bit of an alcohol flavor. mouthfeel syrupy sweet. drinkablity low. will never drink again. (324 characters)

Photo of JohnnyS17
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had recently tried Dogfish Head’s Red & White and loved it. Then, I heard that they had a “sister” brew called Black & Blue and I had to run out and get it. We are getting quite patriotic with the color choices here and I like it. Amuricah!

The beer pours a transparent brown tinted with a strong pink hue. Actually, it looks pretty cool when I pick up my glass because it tints my hands red. Anyway, the beer pours about a two finger tall head that retains a nice lacing along the glass throughout the drink. The head also has a slight pink tint too it, which is quite unique. Outside of the fact that pink is not considered very masculine or normal for a beer, it is a very interesting façade.

The black & blue [sic] berries punch you in the nose on the first whiff. The blueberries are definitely more distinct. The aroma assemblage is not very complex outside of that. The taste is very similar to any other blueberry beer I have had in the past. It leads with a refreshing sweetness and then finishes with a distinct tartness. I hear that DfH uses real berries instead of artificial flavorings. That allows the distinct taste to ferment into the beer, which I would assume adds to the ABV. I wonder how much the quality of the berries can influence the variation in the taste of the beer. To conclude on the taste, it is good, but not unique in my opinion.

This beer is very light bodied and packs a light carbonation. It leaves a coating in your mouth that I am not extremely fond of. That coating parts with a lingering fermented berry taste.

Overall, I choose Red & White. I think Black & Blue lacks a uniqueness to separate itself from other blueberry-flavored beers. I could probably get a six-pack of another blueberry beer for the same price as I paid for this bottled pint and get a very similar taste. That being said, I have had some blueberry-flavored wheats that are artificially flavored and taste nothing like blueberries. This beer is not that hopeless. (1,991 characters)

Photo of Freshie
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber color. White wispy head.

Smell is fruity. Berries.

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

Somewhat mediocre and unbalanced. But still, rather drinkable. (268 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 Krakistophales
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me preface with this statement: I love dogfish head brews, with 90 minute, Squall, Chateau Jiahu, Burton Baton, Sahtea, and World Wide Stout being among my favorite craft brews.

A: It pours a light red, pretty translucent with just a rim lacing and a slight head with first pour.

S: It has a light, fruity, berry sort of smell. Pretty one dimensional, but I'm not good at smelling things anyway.

T: Honestly, it hits me like a strong raspberry lambic. It's very tart and is almost like a raspberry champagne. For the amount of berries described in the fermentation, I would expect sweetness, but it's more tart, dry, and raspberry than anything else. I'm trying to find the blueberry, but I just can't. Maybe a bit of it lingers in the aftertaste, but it's almost nonexistent.

M: This is nice and fizzy with not much lingering, and what I would expect out of a berry ale.

O: This is surprisingly good. It's light, refreshing, but I would've liked more:

Sweetness
Blueberry...anything
Balance...it's VERY tart.

If I saw this again where I usually frequent, I would buy it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it. (1,126 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black & Blue is a lighter copper color. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Backlighting gives it an orange appearance. A soft white head covers the top. It rises to nearly a finger, before falling quickly. Perhaps a little too much abv. Lacing was surprisingly thick and sticky. Interesting to say the least.

The nose is alright. It features earthy and grainy notes throughout. Berry notes are relatively strong. No big shock there. I’m pleased to report that they’re not overpowering. Let’s hope that holds true for the flavor. Belgian jumps into the mix and certainly adds character to the mix. Alcohol comes through quite strong. A little too strong. All in all, it smells pretty good.

The flavor is a little less impressive. It kicks off with a sweet, malty flavor. I’m guessing pale malt. Earthy and grainy notes are definitely noted. Berry flavors are quite strong. I don’t have anything against Blackberry or Blueberry. I love both. But, their presence doesn’t really add a great deal. Doesn’t taste bad, but not exactly good either. Belgian yeast tastes pretty good and keeps things floating. Alcohol is strong in flavor, and is just a tad warm. Finishes grainy, fruity, and a little warm.

Black & Blue has a medium body. Carbonation is mid-range. It feels nice and smooth. Probably one its stronger points. It doesn’t go down too bad for a big beer, but a 750 is a bit much. A 12 oz. would be a better serving size.

Black & Blue is just an okay release from Dogfish Head. It’s not a complete disaster, but a couple of tweaks would help – primarily less berry flavor and less alcohol flavor/warmth. If you’re into berry flavored beverages, you just might like it. Irrespective of your taste, it is worth a try...at least once. (1,785 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/11/2008 (bottled 2/12/07):

Pours an amber brown-red color. Huge foamy white head, good lacing & lasting. Fruity sweet aroma, some blueberries. Some dark fruit but not too strong, some raisins. Floral sweet aroma, sugary like a belgian. Some malty taste, blueberry or blackberry, fresh. Hides the alcohol pretty well. Light and pretty easy to drink. (360 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

08/07/13 On tap. Just a taste. Not quite the fruitiness I'd hoped for. All in all a good tasting brew but I was expecting to be gob smacked and that didn't happen. I guess that's what I get for hyping myself up. This is one those that may just fare better from a bottle. Worth a second chance. (293 characters)

Photo of kpantz
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: A surprisingly accessible beer from these guys. Pleasant warm weather beer, but nothing mindblowing.

Appearance: A purple-tinged ruby pour, fairly clear. Frothy head is a pale pink. Yes, pink. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Malts and fruit. Pretty simple aroma here. Definite berry presence.

Taste: Honestly? It's relatively weak in the palate department, at least as far as DFH goes. It's one of those cases where the flavors feel a little "far away," though what of it I do get is fairly refreshing and pleasant. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, but you do get the warming sensation that tells you that you shouldn't be pounding it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fervent carbonation attacks the tongue. It's pretty consistent with some of the other fruit beers I've had, so I'd imagine it was intentional. Not too thick or syrupy.

Drinkability: Pretty easygoing. Light flavors and body make this a pretty refreshing ale. That said, the flavors aren't prevalent enough to hold my interest for too long. (1,016 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, bottled on 2/12/07. The beer pours a red/purple/amber/brown color with a white/light pink head. Head retention and lacing are good. I can smell berries/fruit, not necessarily raspberries and blueberries but the aroma is fruity. The taste is sweet and tart berries with a bit of a medicinal flavor and malt, but no hops that I can taste. Taste does get a bit better as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick. The alcohol isn't noticable at first, but it does kick in later on. Drinkability is OK, but nothing special. Overall I think it's a decent beer, but a bit of a disappointment to me. (616 characters)

Photo of bwd110
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: This beer pours a brighter than expected copper brown. Little to no head, minimal lacing. Doesn't appear that this one is overly carbonated. Nice dark fruit hues when held up to light. It does look appealing.

S: Dark fruits, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry dominate. Though I do catch hints of tropical fruits as well. Mango comes to mind. Aroma is subtle, nothing bold jumps at out you, but a pleasant nose nevertheless. Also smells rather vinous.

T: Nice, subtleties here. More complex the more I consumed. Inoffensive dark fruit flavors of the aforementioned, does have a very vinous quality. You can taste the alcohol here, but in this instance I think it fits well with the other qualities of this brew. Well balanced. Very sweet and sugary with only a touch of tartness. Overall pleasing taste.

M: Medium body, creamy feel. Low carbonation, no real alcohol burn, but it is noticeable

D: This would be more of a desert beer for me, or even a nightcap. Couldn't see drinking more than a glass or two here. (1,058 characters)

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