Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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510 Reviews
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Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,559
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 111
Gots: 246 | 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: 510 | Hads: 1,559
Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of alkemy
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of far333
3.21/5  rDev -13%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (588 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of dtivp
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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 (723 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (838 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (754 characters)

Photo of midaszero
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
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 (331 characters)

Photo of SteveO1231
3.17/5  rDev -14.1%
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! (1,075 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (842 characters)

Photo of CooperEllis
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
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) (904 characters)

Photo of douceman
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of cpanossian
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong berry / peach aroma.

Not much carbonation. Off-white head that dies quickly. No lacing in my mug.
Orangey-red ale color.
The labels states ingredients include black rasberry and blueberry puree but the taste is more like a near flat peach lambic with a strong alcohol. Not quite sure what kind of meal I would pair this with - maybe some nice old world cheeses. Share the 25oz bottle with friends - one glass is enough per person. (439 characters)

Photo of Grundle20
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours from light copper to medium amber in color. There's a minimal off white head to the beer the retreats quickly and leaves little lacing.

For the most part I'm picking up sweet caramel malts but there are the faintest touches of blueberry skins, yes just the skins. A little lackluster honestly for a beer that's brewed with two rather potent fruits both in taste and smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again the fruit is taking more of a back seat than I expected, maybe that's what they were going for but it almost comes across as pointless. To start off there's more of the malt sweetness with a very tiny raspberry undertone. From front to back there's even smoothness and this flavor slowly just fades out to the end presenting very little interesting flavor notes. The finish hints at blueberries but it's again so faint. Sweetness sits in on the aftertaste with that odd blueberry skin touch.

I'm really not feeling this beer and a 10% ABV isn't helping the drinkability either.

Bottom Line:
Not very fruity and kind of boring all gimmicks aside, probably my least favorite DFH beer I've ever had. (1,162 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in color, clear, with a bright soapy white head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong of berries, no surprise, and also shows some lemon and perfumy soapiness. Taste shows both raspberry and blueberry, mingling with a good sized malty sweetness, some crisp carbonation, esp when cold, and a dry and perfumy finish. Medium in body, nice dry finish. The alcohol is barely evident for its size, however all of th flavors seem to be fighting each other rather than blending well together. I like my fruit beers to either be slightly lighter in body, I found the bigger maltiness didn;t blend well with the berries, or to be more singularly focused on the fruit flavor, here things seem to be competing. Glad that dfh is pumping out new and different product, this one while interesting, isn't up my alley. (820 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter, appears a deep purple/red with decent clarity and sticky white head. Aroma feature Belgian esters paired with mild indiscernible berry character. Some tannic like red wine notes come through as well. Taste again feature mild berry with a mellow tartness. The fruit has a syrupy flavor and clashes with the base beer. Notes of a Belgian pale are present, not a whole lot of character. Overall, this beer is kind of blah, the fruit character comes across as syrupy and almost medicinal while the base beer is rather mom descript. Mouthfeel is highly carbed and somewhat heavy on the feel. Overall, would not come back to this one. (649 characters)

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This if my first review, but I bought this beer on the recommendation from a friend. My first taste was really a surprise since I was expecting a overly heavy fruit flavor, but my first four or five drinks were very nice, but after that the mouthfeel and drinkability began to fail on me. I still enjoyed this beer very much, but probably wouldn't purchase again.

It poured a deep purple/reddish color with a head that was gone within seconds and like I said before the first few drinks were very pleasant. (510 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle with no date on the bottle. Poured into a tulip glass, this beer was a reddish hue with a small head. It had a sweet aroma. I couldn't detect any particular fruit. Taste was the same: sweet, but not much else. I think after drinking the bottle that maybe I could taste some backberry, but I,m not sure. No hint of blueberry. Some malt gave it a decent mouthfeel. This beer was too sweet for me. (421 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bomber from the DFH brewery in Milton, DE

a- pours a somewhat cloudy rose/amber hue, two fingers of off-white creamy head and fair lacing throughout

s- nose is surprisingly dominated by caramel malt with very subtle tones of the fruits after which it is named (raspberry and blueberry), light alcohol presence is in contrast with 11% abv

t- initial taste is of sweet malts followed by a brief fruit presence, aftertaste is subtle and of very short duration, somewhat reminiscent of a belgian style but only in passing

m- light-bodied and watery mouthfeel, lively carbonation that is a little overwhelming.

d- rather underwhelming offering, particularly for a fruit beer. I dont think i could even tell this was a 'fruit beer' in a blind taste test. This was good for a group beer tasting, but I probably won't go in for round two anytime soon. (864 characters)

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this it was a breath of fresh air and now it tastes really sour (and not in a good way). I love flemish sour ales, but this is sour in a putride way. This could be an infected bottle (but I don't think so). I will say that this is a 2007, but I doubt a year will kill this beer (at 10% abv - that's the percentage on the bottle).

This was poured into a duvel glass and the head was reduced to a thin lacing. Maybe this beer is just one that does not need aging.

The aroma is light citrus fruit with deep malt and vinous fruit underneath. The aroma is delightful - by far the best part about this beer. I hope this beer will be better next year as I really like it the first time I had it.

The taste is like sour cream and lemon juice mixed with water. I love DFH products so I finished it for them. Please, don't let me down anymore!

The mouthfeel was watery for 10%. I think with a little less attenuation we would have a really decent beer here.

With this percentage this is definately not that drinkable. (1,033 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.1/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 capped, label has a portrait of someone in a blue suit. 10 % abv, there was a date on the neck, but it has smeared and isn't readable.

Appearance: Pours clear and red, just a bit of purple highlights to it. Thin head, but good retention of that thin head.

Smell: Fairly subdued aroma, just a bit of belgian yeast notes, and some fruity tartness.

Taste: Hmm .. again, fairly subdued. There are some yeast notes in there, but not many .. and there is some tartness from the fruit, but it is subtle too.

Overall impression: This one is fairly average - and I seem to remember the price being well above average. It is fairly drinkable considering the high abv. (679 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.