Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,548 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,548
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 241 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,548 | Reviews: 522
Photo of Krakistophales
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of seedyone
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of kpantz
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of bwd110
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of foggylovesbeer
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Just purchased a 750ml of this new seasonal from Dogfish, bottled on date of 2/12/07. Was looking forward to this one, but this brew let me down.
It poured nicely, developed a decent size head and had a nice purple/ruby color. There was little head retention. Had a nice smell and initial taste was good, not overpowering on the fruit, although it did leave me actually wanting to taste more of the berries. The mouthfeel fell flat and left a chalky feeling on the back of my tounge. It's not a bad beer, but my high standards for Dogfish left me expecting to be blown away by this one and it did nothing of the sort.

Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750.
Deep ruby color, almost purple. Looks absolutely great.

Smells like a toned down pale belgian, some spiciness, not as much fruit as expected.

Taste follows smell, very belgiany, and a bit fruity, but just less than I had hoped for. Not bad by any means though.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but good. Lot's a carbonation. Finishes clean and dry.

I did manage to finish off the 750 by myself as no one else was around. The first 20 oz went down easy, it got bland by the end.

Overall a really good beer, but I feel like the same flavor could be acheived at much lower abv. I'd drink it again, but I probably wouldn't pay for it.

Photo of alkemy
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured amber with a hint of redness out of my 750ml bottle. For me, the raspberries and blueberries dominated the scent. Very nice lambic tartness, but I really didn't get much of a malt note. I actually enjoyed the fact that the taste of alcohol was prevalent in this one. It seemed to balance the taste. I really like the idea of this brew, but I would rather have had the berry mixed with a porter or a stout.

Photo of far333
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear copper colored with a ruby tightly bubbled head that slowly recedes to a fine cap.

A low aroma of yeastiness and fruit, but tough to discern the type of fruit without knowing.

Yeasty flavors upfront, phenolic and footy, hints of fruit come through, would like a bit more. Tough to discern berries, seems mostly blueberry emerging. Spicy bite in the finish. Yeast dominates too much for me, which detracts from the ex-berry-ence.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma - Sweet with a very wine like aroma. Fruity with a touch of citrus.

Appearance - Cloudy light brown color. Light tan head that continues to stick around after the pour.

Taste - The most wine like beer I've ever tasted. Very much like the Chateau Jihau without the lightness. Black & Blue did have a dry finish. The finish however did have a strange bitter aftertaste that isn't complimentary to the beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - Not something I would try again. Not my kind of beer. At 10% ABV though this beer is a kick to the head.

Photo of russwbeck
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Surprisingly looks like the Red & White version. I was expecting a different appearance. It is definitely a littler more dark, almost purple, but overall very similar.

S: Smells a lot like black raspberries. Very fruity aroma, but I'm missing the blueberries to be honest.

T: Very fruity, almost tart. However, the fruitiness does not appear immediately, only as an aftertaste.

MF: Heavy and carbonated, can taste the alcohol, making it more like a wine than a beer.

D: As was with the Red & White, the 10% ABV makes the drinkability low for me. Also, while I love black raspberries, the taste with the alcohol was a little overpowering.

Photo of dtivp
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured an orange copper color with a nice white head. Nice lacing on the pint glass as the head disappeared.

The aroma was dominated with blueberry and blackberry with a hint of the alcohol.

The taste was dominated with the berries with some malt and the alcohol was there reminding you of the 11% ABV.

Mouth feel was very smooth, a lot of carbonation and a nice warming feel from the alcohol.

If you like the fruit tasting beers this is very drinkable, however, it was too much berry for my taste.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A thin head drops to a ring of lace over a hazy, maroon beer that leaves a film on the oversized wine glass. One definitely sees evidence of the addition of grapes.

Presents primarily with tart vinegar, followed by some peat, with grapes and cherry in the background.

Vinegar overwhelms the other flavors, but one can find evidence of grapes with the alcohol being second most prominent.

A slick texture coats the palate with fizzy carbonation and a cross between metal and moderate astringency.

My previous foray with this beer is remembered more fondly than this tasting. However, Black and Blue is worth a try, but the strong vinegar and high alcohol profile makes this one hard to finish.

date consumed: 5 Oct 2008

Photo of Fish113d
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

*Poured chilled from a champagne bottle into a large snifter glass

Pours an amber-red color with a big white bilioughy lacy head that begins to dissipate rather quickly.

Very fruity nose...cranberries or blackberries come to my nose as well as the blueberries. light aroma really...disappointing.

Sipping reveals almost a lambic tartness. Sour cherries or blackberries come right away. Some brown maltiness also comes in, but the majority of the sip is dominated by the tart fruits. The finish reveals the blueberries which help balance out the tartness of the black rasberries.

The feel of a belgian; champagne feel with a smoother finish than expected. Not as fizzy. Enjoyable.

One bottle is enough for me; not what I was really hoping for from this brew, and it's another example of DFH falling short on their fruit beers to me.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a reddish hue and a fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of sweet berries, candy sugar, higher alcohols, lightly phenolic. The taste is not really what I expected from the nose. Lacking is much in the way of berry sweetness. I get a bit of tartness mixed with a malty sweetness before I feel the twinge of alcohol descend from my lips down my gullet splashing into my stomach. Tart sticky mouthfeel, medium to thick body, medium level of carbonation. I have mixed feelings about this one. I found the tartness and the flavor tasty, but the alcohol burn was a bit to much for me. Maybe an aged bottle of this would be better? I don't think I liked it well enough to put forth the effort to age though.

Photo of midaszero
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle

A - Hazy amber with one finger of white head and a little lacing

S - Blue and black berries that is sweet and tart. Noticeable alcohol

T - Articifial berry (blue and black) flavor with some malt presence

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Better than fort but the flavor is to artificial to be enjoyable

Photo of SteveO1231
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

picked up a 750ml bottle from yankee spirits in sturbridge.

pours a light ruby color with golden highlights. thick foamy off-white/pinkish head that settles pretty quick.

this brew has an incredible fruity/floral aroma. i get more of a blackberry and sour cherry smell, i'm not picking up any blueberries. faint smell of flower petals, some yeast, and smell of alcohol almost numbs the nostrils. reminds me of a raspberry lambic.

full bodied, with a syrupy texture that leaves a slick feeling between the tongue and roof the mouth. mild carbonation yet a slight sting in the back end probably from the booze.

the taste is initially very sweet, tastes a lot like the boxed wine the mother used to drink, very fruity, wine/ wine cooler like. light and crisp with a bitter taste grape skin in the finish. the blackberries are more pronounced in the after taste.

i don't hate it but i don't love it. really, drinking this beer felt more like i was drinking a cheap wine. it was nice to taste some thing different but i don't see myself drinking this one regularly.

cheers!

Photo of magictrokini
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-purple-brown pour with a short, sticky head. Alcoholic fruity aroma. The blueberries and blackberries hit you immediately, but are soon followed by a malt-liquor like flavor mixed with fake sugary fruits. The alcohol is not masked at all. Somewhat disappointing. I thought the guy on the bottle looked like Jimmy Stewart with a black eye.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was supposed to be my 750th review, with it being a 750 ml. bottle and all....but alas it was not meant to be. I found another review I had forgot to write...oh well.

this is my 3rd anniversary BA brew.

A bright reddish-amber color, clean and vibrant as can be. An off-white head, 1" high has usual retention and very bubbly.

The nose is pretty simple: Raspberry framboise with a bit more malt charecter. Wild-yeastiness, white pepper and raspberries.

A tart fruitiness hits first, to sum this one up is easy: Raspberry framboise minus the smooth finish! A light bodied, tart-fruity ale with only simple depth and not much complexity. The malt has a cloying, woody finish.

The bloke on the label looks mighty proud of himself, and so am i for getting to review # 750 on the exact day I started this journey 3 years ago exactly.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a 2009 bottle from....I'll get back to you when I have that sheet open.

Into pint glass.

Nice pour with a deep amber that is a touch cloudy in the center but brighter to the edges. Starts with a thick offwhite head that leavs half sticky lacing and a rim of tight bubbles at the end.

The initial burst of aroma is wonderful, very full of berries, a little bit of malt and a touch of booze. But it evaporated leaving only an overripe berry aroma that is fine, but flat.

The taste is similarly flat. There is a bit of malt, a touch of floral underneath but exceptionally strong 'juice' component. There's nothing exceptional here, if I drink the entire 750ml I imagine I'll have heartburn.

Very nice mouthfeel. It's well carbed, and that helps the juice flavor fizzle on the palate rather than staying as flat as it did in the nose. A little booze bite at the death is also welcome.

(138th)

Photo of douceman
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I think I got hyped up for this beer thinking it would be something really great. I love blueberry beers and I love Dogfish, so I thought it would be a great combo. So when I opened the bottle, I didn't think the smell was great, but they don't all smell great so that was whatever. The pour was good and the appearance was a good hardy beer. When it came to tasting I think it was just something that I didn't expect, so I didn't love it. Wasn't bad, but I'm not sure if I'll buy again soon. Mouthfeel was actually nice. Overall I gave it a 3 because it just wasn't for me.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Hazed copper-gold. Head is bubbly and bright-white. Carbonation is solid and adds a nice element to the beer.

Smell: Obliterated blueberries and blackberries. Slightly tart with a good punch of fruit juice sweetness. Hint of Belgian yeast adds a small funkiness. Very fruity and sweet.

Taste: Belgian yeast hits first. Fruit is nice and sweet and brings a fleshy real blueberry flavor. Hints of blackberry round out the fruit flavor. Spice from the yeast is a little distracting. Some malt sweetness as well. A little doughy.

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium with a solid carbonation. A little dry on the finish.

Overall: One of the better fruit experiments from Dogfish Head. The yeast messes with the profile of the fruit. Nice fleshy fruit. Decent.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,548 ratings.