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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

520 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 118
Gots: 271 | 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
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Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of phisig137
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

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Photo of peabody
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
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!

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Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

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Photo of npachl
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

I can get into the fruity beers (see New Glarus Serendipity), but this guy just lacks great flavor and feel. Dollars are better spent on other D-Fish beers.

 156 characters

Photo of ph2001
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

25.6 oz bottle in pint glass

thick hazy redcolor. finger of head that settles down into a thin layer. mild smell of sweet and sour berries, purple grapes.

sweet berry flavors over a strong bitterness. finsihes with a bite similar to cherry flavored cough syrup. there is a sour bitterness in the aftertaste. the 10% is hidden well. interesting, but not my thing i suppose. generaly unpleasant flavors to me.

 410 characters

Photo of weeare138
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
They don't do growlers of this but this was a special circumstance were we could via the kind folks at Rehoboth.
Appears a pinkish, purple toned, dense, muddy crimson with a small white head that quickly fizzles out. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is very vinous, with notes of over ripened blackberries, and sugary corn syrup. I would've thought this was simply a wine that hadn't fermented all the way out and had simply gone awry somewhere.
Taste is of the same winey, tart aromas that I struggle to accept.
Mouthfeel is tart, wine-like, mostly sour, and sticking to the sides of the tongue. There just doesn't seem to be any sort of balance in this brew.
It's like bad medicine mixed with a caramelized, concentrated wine mix. This is worse than the sacramental wine that we would taste when we were alter boys...blech!

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Photo of VALIS666
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I am not a fan of fruit flavored beer except for hints of the flavors, and this beer is like a fruit flavored wall of Marshall amps cranked up to 11. Dogfish Head makes some wonderful beers, they're one of my favorite brewers, but this is aggressive and obnoxious. The smell is nice -- mixed berries, I especially smell raspberry, but the taste is borderline unbearable. Tastes almost closer to a wine cooler than a beer it's so sweet and fruity. So unpleasant I poured about $7 worth of its 13 dollar bottle down the drain.

 524 characters

Photo of trickynicky
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I was curious to try this combination of black raspberries and blueberries but this just didn't do it for me. I found it to be too sweet, and although I have had far worse, this is not a beer I would have again.

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Photo of JayQue
2.33/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a good experience. Pours an amber/reddish color with a slightly off-white head. Less than average head retention. Smell is of fruit additives and malt.

Taste is bad. Stale fruit, malt and alcohol. This is not a beer that you would look forward to finishing. The alcohol buzz is the main attraction of this beer.

Mouthfeel is rich but there is a sour aftertaste....stale fruit and alcohol.

Drinkability is poor. This beer does not taste good, has a sour aftertaste and high abv.

I wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a clear, light purpleish pinkish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

S- Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. Not a whole lot here.

T- Sweet berry flavours over a strong bitterness also a little tart. The 10% abv is hidden well.
This just not my type of beer.

M- Light in body and also carbonation.

D- Still not a big fan of the fruity beers. I'd probably pass on this one again. Worth a try of course. Just not my style still.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.31/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear light copper with a pink tint to it. Pours fizzy. A slight head forms and then is gone. Lacing is nonexistent.

Nose: Really not a lot going on here. Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. That's it folks.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste follows suit with the nose. Really not a lot of substance here. This is one of the most non-descript beers I've had in a while and it surprises me being that it's a 10% fruit beer. Berries mingle in the background lightly. Can't decipher the specific qualitites that would make them black raspberry or blueberry or whateverberry. Just get a light berry sense. Alcohol is surprisingly light as well. There's a sweetness to this beer, but of course it's quite subdued. The beer is light in body and on the lower end of the spectrum for carbonation.

Drinkablility: Fine. I'll drink it. More because of what I paid for it rather than what's inside the bottle. Probably the biggest disappointment I've experienced from DFH. A total 180 from their Red and White, which I thought was very good.

 1,061 characters

Photo of _thekev
2.17/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pour is encouraging, copper-colored, and nice lacing. Carbonation adequate, but minimal.

Nose is fruity, potent, sweet. Not my kind of beer. Here goes...

Taste? I just... don't... know what to say. A glass full of sugar masking alcohol. Like sucking down a bottle of fermented blueberry syrup from IHOP.

Sorry DH. This one was a mistake.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.15/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Strawberry juice red with a small head, no lacing. Clear.

S - Smells like Saaz hop, amber and light malt, also smells like lager yeast (although I don't think this was lagered). Some faintly tart berry sugars. Smells like a tart Sam Adams lager.

T - Tart berried, light malt. A bland bitter aftertaste with a bit of undescernable berries. Not worth having.

M - Drying, thin, a tad harsh and ascerbic.

D - I won't bother with this ever again. A definite was of money and liver strength. Much better beers exist out there and for much less. Yet another drastically overpriced DFH offering.

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Photo of Shoegaze99
2.11/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink a fruity champagne I'd drink a fruity champagne.

Dogfish Head is know for their "off-centered" beers. It's one of the primary appeals of the brewery and one of the reasons why I'll consistently get their product. But their penchant for experimentation means they sometimes miss the mark. And this one is a big miss.

This bottle was a year old when we cracked it; served the beer in wine glasses. Poured a quite lovely reddish color with a tiny head. The brew was murky but in an appealing way. It LOOKED great.

The aroma was ... well, it was not the aroma of beer. Smelled like a glass of champagne. The aroma of raspberry and blueberry were very much present. The smell "sparkled." Still, I rated it decently because while it didn't smell like beer it was still a pleasant aroma.

But the taste. Ugh, the taste. Judged as a BEER and not as another beverage it's hard to judge this one favorably. The brew was light-bodied bordering on thin. The bright, active carbonation and heavy fruits tasted more of champagne than beer. There is a *touch* of beer in the finish, but only a little. The tart of the raspberry was countered by the blueberry, but they didn't merge well with the overall package. Four of us tried it and the agreement was universal; this tasted like a fruity champagne, not beer.

Which is fine if you like champagne. I don't.

I've had many ups and a few stray downs with Dogfish Head's experiments. Even the downs I at least appreciated the experience and enjoyed having my expectations turned on their head.

But not this time. I'd rather drink a macro lager than this. Really. Huge thumbs down.

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Photo of ccrida
2.11/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my St. Feuillien Goblet, the Black & Blue has a fluffy egg shell head on top of a light purple body with slight chill haze and lots of bubbles.

This smells like malt liquor and less so berries. As it warms, the malt liquor nose becomes vodka.

Taste is on the thinner side and also mainly malt liquor with a soft and sweet berry essence. Initially bitter and sharp, it falls apart to a sharp metallic finish. As it warms, the booziness gets increasingly more vodka like.

Mouthfeel is on the light side and creamy, probably the best facet of this sub par brew.

Drinkablity is questionable at best. While it was cold, it actually went down easy enough and drank much lighter then it's 11%. Once it warmed, it was so gross I desperately put ice-cubes in my first glass! That actually saved it, and I put the rest of the bottle in the freezer for awhile. So ice-cold, it drinks like an over-priced wine cooler. Warmer, it's rough - think grape kool-aide and cheap vodka!

Going into this, I feared I was spending $14 for a fruity malt liquor, and my fears were confirmed. Once again Dogfish Head suckered me into ponying up way to much another one of their failed experiments. I'm beginning to really resent this brewery, in spite of their occasional hits. Kinda like Microsoft software, I'm tried of paying for the privilege of beta testing. Resist the temptation, it may sound good and has a cool label, but is definitely not recommended!

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.09/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle

Pours a clear, light purple-ish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very light, with faint hints of berries. Becomes very boozy as it warms.

Nondescript light berry taste. No real malt or hop flavors to speak of. Bitter and dry at the finish with a pronounced booziness.

Medium body, light carbonation.

Well, this is by far the worst brew I've had from DFH. I feel cheated for shelling out $12 for this bottle. The fruit flavor is bland and subdued, and the only other flavor that really comes through is the alcohol. Pass on this one...

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Photo of Higravity
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I was really looking forward to having a brew-pub only beer on my travels to Rehobeth Beach, but this was not what I wanted. The premiss for this beer was taking a belgian-like recipe with a strain of yeast and during primary fermentation feeding blueberries and blackberries everydayto the yeast beasties. Man was this a painfull thing like almost all of their spirits. Bruise color no real head. Smells like boozy berries. Tastes like bad berries wine. Yuck, maybe they will be able to turn this around the next time they make it like they did with Fort.

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Photo of Mandark
1.79/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was really excited to try this, though fruit beers are not necessarily my favorite style. Alas. Though it pours a nice amber-cherry color, the smell is enigmatic, confusing: if you didn't know what style this was supposed to be, you wouldn't be able to tell as this just seems acidic and kind of bland.

OK, well, it could taste better than my nose tells me it will. Again, alas. Everything rushes together into a mash, a swirl of "meh" leaning towards "ugh!". There's no separation of flavors, complexity sacrificed in favor of....confusion. What is this? It tastes like an attempt, a not-quite-finished great idea. The mouthfeel is astringent, weak.

An earlier reviewer mentioned that it might mature to good things if left alone and perhaps that's the case. As it is, this bottle turned me off completely. Especially having had the wonderful DFH/Stone/Victory Saison Du BUFF a couple of hours beforehand.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
1.58/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Only available on tap at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub location, which is a good thing. This is a sour beer, and not in a good lambic way. Sour as in an off-tasting, bad-wine kind of way. Black & Blue seems to have a lot of characteristics of bad cheap wine, actually. It comes across as not being aged enough. Maybe if it was left to sit for a while it would mellow out, but as it stands now, this is an offensive-tasting, intrusive beer. The Black & Blue's cousin beer, "Red & White" was completely sold out in under a month, whereas B&B was still available, which should tell you something. Overpriced, too alcoholic, and difficult to finish. Avoid.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.