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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

516 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 516
Hads: 1,567
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 113
Gots: 251 | 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: 516 | Hads: 1,567
Photo of Maxwell
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle has a nice thick paper on it, and an interesting colonial style painting of a man holding the beer, but it just doesn’t seem to excite me very much. This bottle has none of the minimalism of Dogfish Head’s normal bottles, nor any of the complexity of some of their higher end beers. The small lettering of the beer’s title is unfortunate, as its “black & blue” character could surely have been more played up and prominent in the design. The off-kilter dogfish symbol on the bottle’s neck is also kind of weird… Why not just place it on-kilter…? Overall I’m just not a huge fan of this bottle. It’s not a keeper.

This beer pours an amber/ruby red with a white head that carries a hint of purple within it, and is very thick and frothing with happy bubbles, which dissipates slowly, leaving a nice half-finger head and also light and sliding lacing that droops in lovely cloud patterns down the glass. The beer smells sweet and yeasty, with nice hints of the malts and stronger hints of sweet berries. I also detect a slight hint of wet dog, which is a little upsetting to the beer… that may just be the sour berries doing funky things with the wet smell of the beer, but it is a little strange to smell. Malts seem sweet and light, and a hop character is not even there as the berry bite takes its place. The beer tastes very sour with a metallic/citrus tinge in the back of the taste which comes partially from the booziness of the beer, but that doesn’t entirely explain the metal. The beer is almost wine-like with light berry accentuations, which means this is definitely a sipper, not a chugger. My initial thought is that I should have had this in a wine glass and not in the pint mug I used. There is also some syrupy flavor after the taste has washed over your mouth, and the bitter of the raspberry definitely lingers in the mouth. It is very harsh on the tip of the tongue with carbonation. It leaves the mouth very dry and desert-like the farther it goes on the tongue, but the very middle and tip seems to be cloying with a thick and sticky syrup feel. It also leaves more of a wine’s sweet fruity lingering in the mouth than a beer’s crispness. Overall I am not very impressed with this beer, especially for its $13 price tag. It has a nice sour taste, but there are also some stranger things in the taste, especially the metallic/citrus anomaly. The fruit just doesn't do nicely with this beer. I either want more fruit flavor, or less and more beer; but where they stand is not really working for me. I also don’t get much of the blueberry in the taste, which is disappointing. I suppose the raspberry is just too strong of a flavor, but I would have loved to have sensed some of the blueberry. The beer is a meh, and definitely not a recommended from me. Honestly, I just want more berry flavor from this and it just doesn’t deliver. (2,893 characters)

Photo of earthboundagain
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok DFH Black & Blue bottled in 2008 drank in 2010 almost two years old.

A bright orange with crimson highlights. The head is a dirty white and leaves some lacing.

Ok there is a big blast of spicy Belgian yeast in the nose, followed bye a general berry scent.

Ok we have some berry flavor mixed with a Belgian yeast profile, not much on the flavor department, and the base beer is that good either

Ok the feel is almost sticky, but is very thick and lacks on the bubble department.

This beer was not what I was expecting and could be a real winner. (553 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- very nice clarity-just like raspberry ice tea. Very good white head and soapy lacing. Nose- the berries are poking through here. Taste- turn for the worse- smooth enough for a >10% beer, but this really lacks character. Malts are quite sweet and the berry is there, but not prominent enough. Frankly- I thought this beer was the shits after the first glass, but I'm not one to drain pour so I soldiered on. It did improve as it warmed, but not a lot. There is some dryness from the belgian yeast and fruit sugars- touch of hops at the end.
Not impressed at all. Must rate as avoid if possible. I appreciate what DFH is all about and the chances they take, but this beer is not my thing. (703 characters)

Photo of scott
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

V.07
Highly anticipated.
Nice looking pour - fruit-like appearance with hue. Very aggressive carbonation, with tight white long lasting head.
Fruity/bready beer nose. Pleasant.
Hot & Heavy alcohol presence (too much for my liking), with a cloying barleywine distinction. Not as fruit/wine-like as I would have expected. Not refreshing. Not very complex. DFH hasn't impressed me in quite a while now. I think I'm done giving them the benefit of the doubt. And my money. (472 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2010.
Split with my wife and served in wine glasses.

This is a little bit like a blueberry/blackberry Cerise... Only not done as well in my opinion.
I REALLY like Cerise... This one isn't bad, but since fruit beers are my guilty pleasure, I tend to rate them a bit harder...

The beer looks like a nice fruit beer-- pinkish orange in color with a small white head. Nice thick and oily legs but no lacing and weak retention.
Smells like a wild berry Belgian golden ale mixed with blackberry Clearly Canadian sparkling water... It has some positives and some negatives... The flavor has an off-putting mineral/chalky quality that I'm not the biggest fan of-- although as it warms that goes away a bit (or perhaps I grow accustomed to it?!)
The beer starts of with some raspberry, black cherry, and light blueberry notes before finishing REALLY dry and kicking forth waaay too much yeast character. The finish lingers with a little boozy warmth that isn't entirely unpleasant-- but that stands out in a big way because the flavor profile isn't big enough to support this level of booziness. More fruit flavor would be awesome-- maybe triple the blueberry and double the blackberry.

The beer has a slight syrupy feel to it with an oiliness on the finish. More carbonation would help.

Overall-- this beer is too boozy, not flavorful enough, and in need of more carbonation. lots could be improved on--- but if this were my homebrew I would be eager to play with it. I certainly wouldn't stop here, I'd reconfigure the recipe and try to make something spectacular. I do harbor a slight concern that the base beer is the wrong platform off of which to build this recipe, but perhaps more fruit, and a bit more sweet malt action could save it. (1,750 characters)

Photo of DeanMoriarty
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 750 ML bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a Tripel Karmeliet branded tulip glass - thanks fellas!

A: Pours a hazy amber hue with a decent head that dissipates quickly leaving a minor amount of lacing in its tracks.

S: Smells like mixed berry cool aid and not much more - no yeast, malt or hop presence what so ever - didn't expect much hop character, but where's the rest of the depth to this brew ???

T: Berry and booze with a hint of malt is all I get (a lot like berry flavored jolly ranchers with no end to the sweetness) - completely lost on this one...

M/D: Medium to full bodied, very chewy, with a creamy finish. Difficult to drink more than a small glass - too sweet and thick. Very weird for the style. (771 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- A reddish amber with cream-colored head that settles quickly. Clarity is good.

S- Some sweet malt, almost like an eisbock nose with a bit of raspberry and some blueberry in the back.... but more yeast than fruit, it seems. And a good bit of alcohol.

T- DMS, yeast, sulfur, initially. There are some fruits, some blueberries, a hint of strawberry, some malt and faint hops. But the three flavors mentioned first are the predominant ones... After you drink it a few minutes, the fruit comes out some more in the aftertaste, but is accompanied by a strong cloying sweetness and yeast finish. ugh.

M- A good, smooth mouthfeel. Medium low carbonation and a fairly clean finish, if you can get past the flavor.

D- I won't have it again. A disappointment... just too much of some strange yeast. (802 characters)

Photo of jwc215
2.81/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass:

Pours (no, not black and blue) a reddish orange with a thin white head that recedes. Interesting color.

The smell is of blueberry and raspberry. Mild. Smells something like a fruity wine cooler.

The taste is of blueberry juice and some raspberry. Both of which are syrupy and mild. A caramelish sweetness is there, as well. For as sweet as it could be, fortunately it is not. There is some balance to it, but not more flavor. Ho-hum finish, if there is a finish at all.

Light-bodied, with an initial effervescence that fades.

To its defense, the alcohol is pretty well-covered, with it adding just a touch of dryness. It went down pretty somewhat quickly, but I wonder if it was the search for more flavor that made it so "drinkable". The problem with this beer is more in the "lacking" than anything "off". Drinkable enough to try - but not to get again. (897 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Capped 750ml bottled on 02/12/07. Pours a slightly pinkish amber color with a small head. The aroma was mostly grain with just a hint of berries and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste was on the otherhand was just a mess. It tasted sort of like a bad berry wine. There was really not much malt or hops at all. The drinkability was low due to it being unbalanced and boozy. Overall, I am very dissapointed with this brew as I had such high expectations after the Red & White. Not reccomended. (491 characters)

Photo of Wildman
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark red color and formed a pure white bubbly head that disappeared leaving trace lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of berries and not much else present. The flavor was of blackberries and raspberries with some medicinal aspects to it. It has a fairly light body to it and the finish was tart. It's hard to review Dogfish's experitmental offerings since they always go to the extreme, which isn't necessarily the best wasy to approach a brew. (484 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Martell cognac snifter.

Light mulberry body with pink and orange hues. Decent clarity. Slick little layer of white head. Looks nice. 4.0

Musty fruit aromas of blueberry, artificial strawberry, and white grape. Wheaty malts, booze heat, and a prominent yeast phenol. 3.5

Terribly boozy is my first thought. Semi-sweet berry fruit notes mashed with that signature DFH yeast component. A little spicy and searingly hot at first with a blackberry/tart raspberry fruit middle, and finishing with some red wine notes. I guess the finish is the biggest reward. That, and if I actually finish this glass. 2.5

Feels glossy thick with medium-high carbonation. Heady and filthy hot. 2.0

A big boo-boo for Dogfish Head Brewing. A beer that's completely unnecessary. 10% witbiers are not for me. Kudos if you can finish a whole 750ml of this stuff. 2.5 (858 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One and a half fingers of creamy off white head with great retention given the ABV and some spotty lacing.

3.0 S: Smells more like a saison than anything else. Musty and funky. The raspberry and blueberry come through, but not in epic proportions. It's not bad or anything, but it's far too weak for a brew this strong.

2.5 T: Taste is also a bit boring. The only thing that comes through well is the alcohol. Fruitiness is there, but is rather muted like some bullshit fruit beer from some bullshit brewpub. I expect more from DFH. There's some funkiness again, but not enough of that either.

3.0 M: Mouthfeel is medium-ish. However, the carbonation isn't spritzy enough and the beer lays somewhat dead on the tongue. Not particularly creamy or smooth either.

2.5 D: Definitely not one of DFH's best. The only thing good about this is the appearance, but in the scheme of things important, that doesn't mean much. Boring smell, boring taste, boring mouthfeel. Thus, not very drinkable and worse if you factor in price. (1,092 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
2.73/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn.

Appearence is much lighter than expected given the ingredients and the name of this beer. The color is olympic medal gold with a touch of faded orange sticking out. A flimsy cap that becomes nothing and leaves nothing.

Smell is quite pungent. I do get alot of berries, black over blue. But I also get a big heaping of grape. And it's not just grape, this smells exactly like grape jolly ranchers. After I smelt it, that's all I could get out of it.

Taste is quite bold and filled with sweet berry flavor. The problem is that it comes off artificial and that is because of the grape jolly rancher that engulfs this here beer. I get anice hit of backberry and grape, the blueberry, not so much.

Feel is a strong medium and the carb is a bit lighter than the Red and White counterpart. I was burping up Jolly ranchers long after I finished this so the artificial flavor stays a bit. A bit of alcohol to but not hot. I did not enjoy this so much. To fake tasting and everytime I taste candy in my beer, it's a huge turn off. (1,051 characters)

Photo of cbl2
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

4/7/2007 $11.99 750 mL 10.00% Bottled on 2/12/07 (three days after Red & White).

Appearance:

Pours a clear brown with what can only be described as violet highlights. Topped by a quarter inch of tight white head (also with a purple hue), that is slow to settle.

Aroma:

Sweet dark berries, reminiscent of Au Courant or Sam Adams Boysenberry wheat. Lacks the complexity and subtle nuances of Red & White.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Dry astringent metallic/medicinal berry flavors, with a strong Robitussin sensation that summons up deep buried memories of the most horrible illnesses, and almost makes me gag. What happened here? Red & White was phenominal, the best large beer DFH has done in while. This is a chore to suck down, and may meet a watery grave in my drain before long. Alcohol becomes apparent a few sips in, with a bit of hotness that goes straight to the head. (886 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish-purple body with thin, short-lived off-white head.

Smell: A fairly delicate aroma of blackberry juice, blueberry syrup, and sweet-smelling malts.

Taste: Void of the striking, juicy fruitiness I was hoping for, I'm disappointed to find it was merely a faint, awkward candyish berry sweetness. Finishes tart and medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Mouthfeel is sticky, approaching syrupy. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: The real loser in all of this is me, as I still have another bottle of this stuff waiting for me at home. (563 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a tulip. Deep reddish amber with good glarity. The smallish off-white cap of foam fairly quickly shrinks to a collar of froth with a skim floating in the middle. Surprisingly decent lacing is left behind.

Fairly strong berry aromas with some husky grain and a vaguely Belgian yeastiness. Tastes pretty much as advertised, sweet blueberry up front, tarter blackberry in the finish, with the somewhat elusive yeastiness lurking about. A certain crisp grainy quality keeps it from becoming too sticky (the modest carbonation gets no credit for helping out). For a "big" beer, ABV-wise, there doesn't seem to be a ton going on. Seems like there could be potential with a few tweaks.

Overall impression: Pleasant enough, but rather forgettable. (751 characters)

Photo of treyrab
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.6oz bottle

A: Very hazy amber color that does not look appetizing at first. Barely no head on this one

S: Smell of tart berries, mostly blueberries and raspberries, or blackberries and some minor hops and grains

T: The lack of carbonation really destroyed this one. Perhaps it was a bad batch, but the flavor was not very good. Very berry flavors and odd malt flavors

M,D: The mouthfeel and drinkability were low on this one

Overall, I would give this one more try, but it was not very good due to its odd malt taste and lack of carbonation.

RJR (575 characters)

Photo of afksports
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Amateur review incoming...

Appearance: Very amber with a tinge of the orangey type of look that makes you expect a fruity beer. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing exceptional either. Small head that dissipates quickly, solid carbonation throughout, seems like a dirty iced tea.

Smell: Strong smell of berries. Not much else there.

Taste: Berries are prominent, blue and black (hence the name), but not much else, and a bit too sour for the type of flavor you'd expect from blueberries. Sorta fails the way many blueberry smoothies do.

Mouthfeel: Solid and crisp. Very clean. Steady with other fruit beers.

Drinkability: The combination of the high abv's, the dirty iced tea look, the sweet berry smell, and the gross sour flavor on the tastebuds make this a difficult beer to have too much of. Wish I had a taste of this before I bought a whole 22oz. bottle. (859 characters)

Photo of sirpsycho
2.66/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml. bottle. Poured an medium amber, small head that disappeared quickly. Aroma was almost non exsistent. Couldn't distinguish any blackberry's or blueberry's, nor could my wife. Had a medicinal taste to it. The only positive I could say is that the alcohol was well hidden. I have a bottle that I will cellar and try at a later date, hopefully for a better a review. (370 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gorgeous bright red with a slightly pink head. Subtle nose of berries. Champagne like effervescence. Big full mouth feel. Bright berry. Some medicinal syrup like burn on be back end. Sweet cherries, blueberries. Strawberries. Clove and coriander remind you its a Belgian pale ale. Peppery spiciness. Flavors all blend together really nice. Tart finish. Pretty subtle for such a big berry beer. Nice. Nothing spectacular though. Not worth the price tag. (452 characters)

Photo of jale
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours a garnet with a dime of white head.

S: Huge berry fruit aroma like a soda pop. Just a hint of malt.

T: Taste is berry fruits with a wine cooler taste and considerable alcohol heat. I'm not sure what this beer is trying to be. I get very little malt or anything else but the berries and alcohol.

M: Fizzy like a wine cooler.

O: I did not like this beer. (407 characters)

Photo of phisig137
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful deep amber brilliant ruby color, with a one finger head that is tinted a light pink. Decent retention leaves behind a bit of lace and a thin blanket of foam.

Aroma is filled with sweet fruity aromas, mostly of raspberry, but also a good amount of yeasty esters. Some medicinal aromas also come through.

Flavor is another story. Big blueberry flavors are abundant, along with some raspberry in there as well. No hops whatsoever to speak of, and almost no malt either. Medicinal flavors, astringent alcohol, and a lingering sweetness ruin the flavor on this one. Mouthfeel is sticky and thick. Drinkability is fairly low.

Quite a let down from DFH. This just lack balance and finese. After drinking the red and white, this was a disappointment. Almost reminds me more of "mad dog 20/20" than a fine DFH brew.

That is not to say that the beer is not made well. I think DFH did a good job considering what it is, and I respect them greatly for it. I just think perhaps this is one direction that extreme beer shouldn't venture much further. (1,067 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.58/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ok, this one pours a funny color. Burgundy/blue/black...not sure. Kind of a light ruby foam. Weird.
Smells like stale blueberries, metal and strawberry. I can't quite make it out, but it isn't bad...just odd.
I'm taken back by the taste. Off balance of berries (black and blue I assume). The metallic hint is back. Moves from thin to syrupy. Perhaps i expect too much from DFH, but this is not very good. A nice attempt, though. (430 characters)

Photo of peabody
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a really clear reddish amber with three fingers of tan suds. Lots of lacing though
Not a lot of smell here. I get a dark bready aroma. No fruit here.
Taste is not good. Dirty sugar and nasty water.
The Red and White was better. This black and blue is gross and nasty.
Stay with the Red and White! (310 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this on the strenghth of DFH other beers. I really enjoyed Red and White; however, The Black and Blue left me wanting more. The beer was served in a wide mouth wine goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer indeed appears like what you would expect blackbeer/ blueberry juice to look like. A 2 finger white head crest the beer. The head has very little staying power and resolves to a thin ring of foam.

Smell: The beer has a rather weak berry aroma. The Raspberry and Blueberry are not particularly intense. A bit of earthyness plays at the back of the smell.

Taste: A very muted berry flavor peaks out underneath the flavor of a malt liquor. The beer has a vaguely medicinal cough syrup sort of flavor. The alcohol is very boozey and not really worked into the flavor. This just doesnt work for me.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a meduim body. The beer is very medicinal and boozey in mouthfeel. As stated previously this beer doesnt really work for me. The beer was drinkable and nowhere near a sink pour; however, the beer just doesnt work for me on so many levels. I got a drinking experience from this similar to having berry extract added to my malt liquor. With that said I know the beer is experimental. I have enjoyed numerous experimental brews. I will most likely buy another DFH experimental beer. Thanks for continueing to push the envelope. (1,386 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.