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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,422 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,422
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 90
Gots: 179 | 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:
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 added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,422 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of szmnnl99
4/5  rDev +9.3%

szmnnl99, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a hazy orangish copper color. It has a nice 2-finger slightly off-white head on it. The head has decent retention and it leaves behind some nice lace on the glass.

S - It has a big beer scent which is to be expected. There are a lot of scents of blueberry, blackberries, and raspberries. There is also some honey sweetness and some belgian yeast.

T - There is a lot of blackberry and blueberry flavor up front. There is some nice candied sweetness and belgian yeast in the background. There are are also some spices and honey flavors present.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some sourness, but it is balanced out by the sweetness. A bit of alcohol warmth on the back end.

O - This has good drinkability. It goes down easy and the flavor is very nice. Overall, I thought this was a very nice fruit beer. It has just the right amount of sweetness to perfectly balanced out the fruit. Definitely worth a try. I would buy this again.

JizackFH, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of brheuer
4/5  rDev +9.3%

brheuer, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of xenjoiii
4/5  rDev +9.3%

xenjoiii, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of gio540
4/5  rDev +9.3%

gio540, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of marvin213
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with a pink tinge--and tons of floaties--I love the look! A fruit beer at 11%, it's sexy and alluring. Carbonation is solid, but I honestly wish I had more headies on this one; nevertheless, a great-looking beer!

A 2008 batch, the nose borders on sour--might be that blackberry puree that's been swirling for a couple years. The blueberry is also there but, in context of this strong ale medium, it's so unlike your status-quo blueberry beer. It's a candied sour tartness, and I like it.

A unique liquid, I think you could warm it on a skillet and pour it over a blondie. The taste is also on the sour side, but not in a eye-squinting, cheek-raising, mouth-puckering kind of way. Perhaps this could serve as a sour gateway beer. I really appreciate how it's over-ripened berries instead of a sour apple candy. Again, the strong (almost old-style) ale in which the fruties float seems like the ultimate medium. The combo is like sex in a bottle! A contrast of tough, strong power with...well, you get it. Consequently, it feels really good.

Drinkability is pleasant enough but, among its peers, this 11%er has to have a relative weakness. It's not that it's too strong, it's just that it's so unique and unlike other beers that you wouldn't typically make a long session of it. I mean, it IS a brew with blackberry and blueberry puree. It's another example of why Dogfish Head Brewery is iconic in craft brewing--a trail-blazing fruit beer!

marvin213, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of zaphodchak
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber body, fine white trace of head.

Musty, dry blueberry and trace cocoa... quite nice on the nose.

Big flavor, blue/blackberry. Not super sweet nor tart, but faintly dry. Really quite nice, and you wouldn't necessarily guess this was 10%.

Thick with a bit of fluff.

Nice bold fruit beer-- not sugary, not too dry or sour, gets the flavor well.

zaphodchak, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of akorsak
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 7.5 dL capped bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The ale pours with a thick billowy white head that consumes three plus fingers in the glass, easily overwhelming the body of the beer. As the head recedes, it does not lace. The body of the beer is a red-blue hybrid color, light and clear with a definite purple tint. Very unusual, I don't think I've seen a beer take on this hue. You have to see it to understand it.

S: The nose has the sweetness of a fruit juice undercut by a grainy malt profile with hints of sour tart fruit. Much like the color, the blueberry/blackberry aroma is unique.

T: The first sip surprised me with its solid grainy cereal body. I was expecting all fruit all the time so the chewy malt was nice. Those malts are a nice foundation for the fruits, contrasting with the tartness of the fruits. Those fruits are quite sweet at times before yielding to a more tart element. At the end of the sip, some alcohol warmth comes through but it is very minimal, leaving me to wonder where it is at throughout the glass. There is a sweeter yeast flavor blanketing the beer from start to finish.

M: The strength of the fruits is pleasant, livening the mouth with flavors that are rarely seen in a beer. The alcohol, while not evident until the end, leaves it mark quickly.

D: This 10% beer (per the label) is a whopper that you may want to share with someone. The fruit flavors are strong but don't mistake this for a sugary sweet experience, this beer is big and bad with a lot of swagger.

akorsak, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of shand
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a snifter.

This looks about standard for a big fruit beer, a golden red color with a tiny head. Aroma is about what I'd expect from a 10% alcohol brew brewed with tons of blueberries and blackberries. Taste? Berries and booze. with a bit of malt. What else would you expect? Mouthfeel is on the thicker side of medium, with prickly carbonation. Drinkability is very good. Overall, a great "extreme" fruit beer, there's a ton of fruit in this high alcohol beer.

shand, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of jdhilt
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger white head that fades immediately leaving no lace. Clear amber with red tinge color. Sweet fruity nose. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet and sour, slightly fruity with raspberry, blueberry is hidden and so is the high ABV. Nice clean finish. Bottled 2/12/2007, $11.19 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Label has ABV at 10%.

jdhilt, May 05, 2007
Photo of Naugros
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A reddish orange hue with a tan head that has a pink tinge to it. A finger's width head forms and bubbles down to a thinner version and then disappears altogether after the first sip, leaving a ring of foam and a surface haze. No appreciable lacing.

The smell is immediately blackberries and alcohol with some yeast beneath it all, but the yeast is definitely there.

Berries up front and liquor on the palate with a little bit of a bitter bite at the end. The malts hint at caramel sweetness. Fruity and sweet, like bubblegum, is the overall impression. It almost reminds me of a weakly flavored rum punch.

There's enough carbonation to allow you to enjoy the sweetness of the beer. Without it, this would be cloying and have a "thick", syrupy feel to it.

This is an enjoyable beer and one that I'd get again, unlike DFH's Red & White. The alcohol is not masked, but that might be intentional in order to balance the fruitiness.

Naugros, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of Thickfreakness
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle properly cellared and dated 2009 D. Poured into my NEW DFH signature glass.

A- A ruddy reddish, copper color. Bits of berry and yeast sediment floating in the glass. Decent pink hue head that clings to the glass in places as it fades. Awesome carbonation up the center from this new style glass!!!

S- Sweet & Sour berries, pungent yeastiness... A touch of alcohol hotness even after 2 years in the dungeon! Smells like real blueberry and blackberry's... not like the liquid extract that some use! Nice acid sourness mixed with the sweet malts. Not very complex, but I don't think it was supposed to be! This one is all about the berries!!!

T- Fresh squeezed berries!!! Sweet and sour bite that never lets go! The yeast throws itself into the party and gives some banana and figgy notes, but the sour fruit slams you in the face and lets you know that this is a berry forward brew!

M- Still a ton of carbonation after 2 years! NICE!!! The sweetness and sour of the berry blend well, and really lean forward on your tongue. A nice yeastiness that seems to keep it all in check. Again, you're not gonna be looking for all the flavors that a Quad, IIPA, or RIS bring. But for what it is, and what it's supposed to represent... it's really nice!

O- A really nice fruit forward brew! Love the berry/carbonation POP!!! For what it's supposed to be and do... I'd say it's very good for the style it represents! Pair this with a fresh berry/spinach/blue cheese salad, A cheese and fruit plate, or blueberry jam glazed grilled chicken w/ coconut couscous!

Thickfreakness, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of fastsrt
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle to a wine glass.
A: deep amber, slowly dissipating head
S: fruity, berries and a hint of booze.
T: berries all the way, for 10% there was no booze bite.
M: light, refreshing, with a dry finish the alcohol is well hidden
D: this reminds me of a iambic, this beer carried a high price tag for what i got, i would say its worth trying but not drinking all the time, and i probably would not buy again, I made a black and tan out of the last glass which was off the charts.

fastsrt, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of branimal9
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley's Greenville 5/20/2010.

Clear, bright reddish orange in color. Nice lacing. Berries, berries & more berries on the nose. Black berry does dominate, however. Lambic-style sour in the taste, with mouth-coating consistency. Estery. Nice warming finish.

branimal9, May 24, 2010
Photo of heebes
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint bottled 2010

Pours a hazt reddish amber with huge slightly pink foamy head leaving a nice sticky lacing.
The nose is sweet malts, a berry scent from the blue and black berries, some booze.
The taste is big on tart berries, some upfront fruit bitterness long finish getting hot at the end. Definately a different approach for a beer. Mouthfeel is moderate, medium mouthfeel becomes chewy a bit.
Overall this was fun to try, as it always is with the folks from Dogfish Head. Drinkability is moderate though, at 10% and being bottle in the stadard big beer pint as per DFH specialty brews.

heebes, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Portertime
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a hearty brew with a nice ABV. Poured a dark sunset red color no black nor blue though. Smells like sour raspberries and blueberries with a kiss of oak. Tastes of ripe and sour raspberries and blueberries. I little tart for my taste. I enjoyed this one chilled in a bubbler.

Portertime, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of bsend
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a 13 oz. pour from my server in a Dogfish Head tulip glass.

Appearance: Moderate copper colored beer with mixes of berry red undertones. Minimal amounts of white head, and little lacing on the side. The beer lets in decent amounts of light.

Smell: Mix of alcohol, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and bits of mild hop.

Taste: Blackberry and blueberry flavor at the beginning, and minimum amounts of alcohol that becomes more apparent as it gets warmer.

Mouthfeel: Slightly dry, and warmth of alcohol. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Despite the high abv, easily drinkable. Wonderful brew.

Final Thoughts - Really enjoyed this brew. Excellent for the style, and high abv. I really enjoyed this limited release brew (as the tap stated) without having to go to Dogfish Head's brew pub. Kudos to Dogfish Head.

bsend, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a unique beer to say the least. This Belgium style Golden Ale brewed with black raspberry and blueberry puree is a must try for any serious beer lover. The label art comes from the portrait painter David Larned from Pennsylvania, accompanied by his wife Sarah, they are both huge Dogfish Head fans. This interesting brew pours garnet color with a thin white fizzy head. Aromas of black raspberry and blueberry are the most pronounced along with hints of citrus. The palate is not dominated by the fruit like you would think, it is definitely there but it is different than you expect. The fruit is balanced with a nice amount of malts, a great acidity and fine bubbles that are almost Champagne like. If you are looking for something new and interesting to try, this is it.

WhatsNewinBooze, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a medium red, poofy white head, fizzy thick lace. Pinkish red overall.

S: Lots of coriander/wit initially, but gives way to a beautiful pure raspberry, shades of New Glarus.

T: A different beer to put into words. Lots of blueberries and tannic character upfront. Sweetens out with a blood orange/raspberry finish.

M: A bit boozy, but these imperial wits always have it. Fairly smooth, some biting carbonation.

D: As one of the beers I've personally hyped to hell in my head, it didn't really live up to it. In the end though I liked it quite a bit, better than Red and White for me, a unique flavour.

Halcyondays, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is richly fruity and somewhat malty with an undertone of yeast. It pours a clear coppery amber with a fairly thick but not persistent head. Flavor is more like a good apple cider than a beer, and has a decided alcohol bite. There are hints of molasses and raspberry as well. Texture is rather edgy and a little fizzy, and aftertaste is a little tart.

Cyberkedi, May 23, 2009
Photo of ggaughan
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth. I took a day off from work to drive down to DFH to try both this and the Red & White. Worth the long trip. I categorized this beer as a fruit beer although DFH calls it a golden Belgian style ale. Since there was no option for that, I thought a fruit beer was the nearest thing.

The beer poured a deep red/purple color, very dense and with some fruit specs floating around in the body. It almost looked like the fruit was pureed in the beer. Very interesting look. There was a nice medium pink head which led to solid lacing on the glass. The head and body look very similar to what a Lindeman's Framboise would look like but the beers are no comparison as there is real fruit in this one.

Upon your first sniff of this beer it is pretty evident that it was brewed with a ton of fruit, about 300 lbs of fresh blackberries and blueberries to be exact. The taste is spicey, a bit tart and definitely led by blueberries and supported by the blackberries. You can also get a touch of the hops on the backend that round out this beer and a strong bit of carbonation running through. Although the fruit and spice blend well to form a pretty smooth, not too sweet beer, you definitely get the high abv burn on this one, more so than with the DFH Red & White. Although this beer is pretty extreme from the amount of fruit added and the high abv, it is suprisingly drinkable and smooth and worth a try if you can get it before it runs out.

ggaughan, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of matjack85
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this 750ml brown bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL for $9.99. Not a bad price for a large sized Dogfish Head product.

Despite the name "Black & Blue" for the black raspberry and blueberry puree inside, this beer pours neither black, blue, or any other purple berry color. Instead it pours a cloudy, reddish/brown color with a fast disappearing ½-finger of white head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is all black raspberry.

Lots of black raspberry flavor and not as much blueberry, but the fruits and malts definitely dominate the taste here. Some tartness and funky yeast flavors keep it from being cloyingly sweet, and a touch of alcohol is also present. Not much hop presence at just 25 IBU's.

As others have said, it's more wine-like than beer-like with medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed it and appreciated the genuine fruit taste as opposed to fruit flavorings. It's a nice sipper, but I still like the Belgian lambics a lot better.

matjack85, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of SHODriver
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2012

A: pours a deep red to light brown into a DFH snifter with a finger of white head that recedes to a small mat and collar
S: smells of pale malt and fruity esters along with some blackberries and blueberries
T: smooth malty sweetness yields to some big blueberry and raspberry flavors along with a bit of alcohol. aftertaste is more berry flavors
M: light to medium in body with slightly prickly carbonation and a non drying finish
O: pretty good, lets the fruit shine and packs a nice punch. the last time I had it it must have been older because it seemed to have the flavors blend a little better

SHODriver, May 31, 2012
Photo of JayS2629
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy reddish purple with a medium white head and seafoam lacing.

S- Blueberries, blackberries, toffee

T- Malts, sweet and tart, toffee, blueberries and a blackberry finish.

M- Warm, very well balanced. Nothing overpowering. Dry finish.

D- Very drinkable. Fruity but well balanced. Not overly sweet. Delicious.

JayS2629, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours an auburn rosé color. Has a white fizzy head that reduces to a thin pool on top. Decent lacing down the sides.

Has a tart, almost sour berry smell. Blueberry smell is very evident.

Tastes as tart as it smells, pucker up! Very crisp and light, especially considering the high alcohol content. A nice berry taste to it, as much the raspberry as the blueberry. While I'm not a fan of fruit beers, thus one tastes good.

As much like wine as beer, I'd drink this like a bottle of wine; uncork it, drink it, appreciate it, then have again at a later date.

TheHoppiest, May 02, 2010
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,422 ratings.