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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,411 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,411
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 85
Gots: 174 | 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: 1,411 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hellmeh
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Hellmeh, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of 21Maestro8
4.5/5  rDev +23%

21Maestro8, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of cheefdaddy1
4.5/5  rDev +23%

cheefdaddy1, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +23%

scott2269, May 24, 2012
Photo of dren74
4.5/5  rDev +23%

dren74, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Gww1864
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Gww1864, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of quasimoto
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this line of beers Sam has come out with. Finally a brewery that is giving me something new.
It is a ruby/purple red crystal clear beer with a faintly off pink head. The head was huge, but it dissapated quickly and only left a little bit of lace. The aromas are of strong raspberries, black berries, oak and some phenol alcohol. But only very faint phenols, as the regular alcohol comes in strong flanking the beer like the Viet Cong. The taste is very sweet raspberries, black berry fruity flavors along with the balance of woody oak. There is a lot of alcohol in the back ground, and as it warms it gets even stronger. Never the less, it doesnt leave that traditional alcohol burn on you palette. I think this would make a great reduction sauce for some vanila ice cream, and pound cake. Very nice. Once Again, Sam you've out done your self.

quasimoto, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of theleechster
4.5/5  rDev +23%

theleechster, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of JCicero08
4.5/5  rDev +23%

JCicero08, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of KJ2013
4.5/5  rDev +23%

KJ2013, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of BMan33
4.5/5  rDev +23%

BMan33, May 10, 2013
Photo of TheSteak22
4.5/5  rDev +23%

TheSteak22, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of Crumpetsnbeer
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Crumpetsnbeer, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of meeekyh
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well reviewed beer and generally well received. I tried it at a 'tasting' held by my local LQ (city law limits tastes to one ounce). It was inviting to both myself and my non-beer-drinking wife, and so I got a (750ml) bottle.

I opted for a tulip glass. The beer is a pretty deep red-amber color with a slightly blue tinted white head. It has a very nice head with good lacing. This is a beer with a unique appearance and it is good looking in the extreme.

The nose of this one resembles wine, tangy with complexity and both beer and wine-like smells and just a hint of the berries, which do present themselves more as the ale warms.

When you put it in your mouth is when you notice the berries. It has a distinct and yummy berry flavor, and no over-sweetness, it is actually dry. There is tangy, sweet, some grassy tastes and berries of both present varieties (blueberries and black raspberries). Aftertaste is a lingering wine-like dryness that is truly amazing in and of itself.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of full and the carbonation is high with many, tiny bubbles. The finish is the aforementioned wine-dryness. This is a pleasant presentation overall and something worth savoring.

Drinkability is surprisingly high for a 11% beer and in many ways this truly resembles a wine more than a beer.

I will say this, get some.

Slainte!

meeekyh, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of Johninte983
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Johninte983, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of RebornStussy
4.5/5  rDev +23%

RebornStussy, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Arsenal0328
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Arsenal0328, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red-capped big bottle into a Duvel tulip. 10% ABV on the label. 2008 B for the bottling date.

Appearance: Peach-colored with hints of amber, and an off-white head that leaves a lot of sparse lacing in rounds without a lot of clumping or anything.

Smell: Lots of interesting things going on here. Initial lambic sourness, sour fruits, yeast, some candi sugar, some blueberry aromas that thankfully don't smell like extract, and some mild medicinal phenols. Almost like a fruit beer meets a saison meets a lambic, in a great way, with tons of stuff to take in as it warms.

Taste: Awesome sourness of the fruits coupled with mild medicinal phenols, yeast, earthiness, along with some sweeter flavors such as vanilla and banana, with a semi-sweet, yet semi-dry, and obviously hard to explain, finish, leaving earthiness, mild phenols, sour fruit, and banana, coupled with pie-filling sweetness. Very bizarre and singular and pretty awesome overall.

Mouthfeel: At first I thought it was a bit watery, and I think it is, which it almost needs to be... if there were more carbonation, the subtlety of the sourness, fruit, and phenols wouldn't come through as well. And it still remains medium-bodied, even on the lighter side, and hugely coating without seeming that way, if that makes sense.

Drinkability: I'm surprised that this isn't rated higher, as I was kind of blown away, and this is coming from someone who isn't the biggest fan of fruit beers. But this is wonderfully sour (but in a mild and not overbearing way in the least), complex, and it doesn't seem like alcohol's present at all, even as it warms. Yes, at the around $12 price tag, this is a treat, but I enjoyed it a lot, and I'm not sure I've had a beer quite like it before. DFH lately is hitting all the right notes for me... keep it up.

asabreed, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another aged bottle of DFH, see how this compared to the Red & White.

Pours a dark amber, I almost want to say there's some blue in there, but I don't think there is, good amount of carbonation but minimal lacing along the glass, seems a bit too fizzy for it to stick.

Smell is mostly malt with a slight tinge of berry aroma, not overwhelming like others and not picking up that artificial sweetness either.

Taste is mostly malty with a mild berry presence but obviously noticeable, blueberries are usually subdued anyway but the blackberries provide a slight tartness, not overkill on the fruit aspect and dodges the artificially sweet line and walks the natural goodness line instead.

deltatauhobbit, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of berpwillie
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a sparkling clear amber color. lots of fizzy carbonation, average fluffy -fizzy head followed with good lacing. very berry smell with a taste that follows much the same. has a bit of a light fruity wine flavor to it. very easy to drink, alcohol is not the least bit noticable. thin fizzy feel and very sweet, probably to sweet to drink in bulk but could definitely drink every day. first beer i drank that could quench my thirst. could drink this shit at half-time-F@#$ gatorade pass me a black & blue.

berpwillie, May 03, 2010
Photo of dashmartino
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this sucker on a disgustingly hot day in June of 2008 at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE. Four beers on tap that day for people to sample. First ths sixty, then the ninety. Then the lady brings out a pitcher of this beautiful reddish stuff with a nice head on it. Wow, what is that?!?! Poured into a plastic cup, swigged it down. Wowee! First thought that came to mind: lambic. Very easy drinking beer that tasted like a Lindeman's Framboise, but not disgustingly sweet or filling. This stuff is mind blowing. Should have got a case! Another winner from DFH!

dashmartino, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Black and Blue purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance: cloudy orange golden with a white, slight head.
smell: tart, buttery, rasberry, blueberry. Very nice.
taste: As the nose advertises. Good stuff.
Distinct carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable for a 10%'er.
I see fairly average ratings from more experienced folks. Maybe my palate is not refined enough, but this seems an exceptional brew.

cindyjeffsmith, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of Twister00
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy red-ish orange hues, light head.

S - You can really smell the blackberries and blueberries.

T - Fruity with a sour after taste. Not strong tasting you can still taste the beer through the fruit.

M - Good carbonation, light.

D - Drank the 750ml by myself so I would say its very drinkable.

Twister00, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of vtblackdog
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique and well balanced fruit beer.

The appearance is a slightly reddish golden in color. Didn't get a lot of head and disappears quickly.

The smell is a pleasant fruity alcohol. I catch the blackberry aroma.

Taste is a balanced alcohol with fruit. The fruit is just right for the balance.

Mouthfeel is moderate not light and not thick. I like it.

Overall a great beer for the style. However, at $10 a bottle only a few can afford to drink much of this one.

vtblackdog, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of Patrick999
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling. Haven't broken out the snifter in a while; this seems like a good candidate for it.

Pours into the snifter a sparkling goldish-amber. Head bubbles up and largely dissipates, though I can see it trying to replenish itself. This is, however, a minimally hopped 10% ABV beer, so it's not getting too far.

Cool, I can really smell the berries. I can smell a hint of sour musty wheat, almost as if this is some kind of "imperial lambic." Swirl it enough and a bit of alcohol muscles through and makes itself known. Oh yeah, extra points for smelling of real berries, not artificial flavoring.

Now this is fruit beer. Minimally sweet, there's a natural tart raspberry and blueberry pulp dominating. I understand why this beer is expensive - these days, real raspberries and blueberries aren't cheap, and it must have taken boatloads of them to make this beer. But back to the taste...beyond the obvious fruit, I sense a subtle wheat backing and *some* hop twang, though not much. Alcohol is absolutely nowhere. The big story here is the tart berry presence, as it should be. It's not quite a lambic, not quite a Belgian Strong Dark. I think this falls somewhere between the two, edging closer to lambic territory with the tart character. If you were afraid of this being too sweet, fear not.

It has a nice feel. Not at all syrupy and cloying as a 10% fruit beer probably could be.

Drinkability I would have to rate as very good. Like the Red & White, it doesn't drink at all like the strong beer that it is. Good job Sam.

Patrick999, May 02, 2008
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,411 ratings.