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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 prg1976
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, reddish/purplish amber coloring. White to maybe slight pink head, leaves some slight lacing.

Smells like a red wine almost. Alcohol and berries.

Tastes very good. Fruity, but not overboard. The malts are there for support, and just a touch of alcohol in the background. Tart and a little spicy, like a belgian.

Not overly carbonated, the mouthfeel is good, maybe a little lingering alcohol taste.

Overall, very drinkable. I'm a little surprised at how much I like it. I thought it would be a "one and done", but I think I'll get this one again. (554 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Served in a snifter glass. Light amber in color. Bubbly.

S. A very interesting nose! Berries and hops and some other sweet elements sifting in the background.

T. Ultra sweet and the berry flavor overpowers the hops.

M. Light and takes a few sips to coat the palate. Very sweet aftertaste.

D. Very good session beer, but I would rather have something else for extended periods of drinking. (396 characters)

Photo of jsprain1
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Red-copper. Thin head disappates quickly. Little lace
S- The berries come through pretty well. A good bit more blueberry than blackberry is the first thing I notice. There is a bit of like a wheat note to it. Upon investigation apparently the base beer is a Belgian Golden, but it really has some witbier characterstics on the nose.
T- Syrupy berries, again more blueberries than black, though black comes through as well. Not too complex, but on the scale of fruit beers this a tasty one.
M- Sticky, low carbonation.
O- This is a good beer, and one I think a lot of wine drinkers might enjoy. I wouldn't call it complex by any means, and the Belgian golden base didn't really show up for me, but I think this is a pretty good example of what a fruit beer can be. (766 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from 750 ml bottle into goblet.

A - Beer is murky and a dark amber color with maybe a hint of purple. When held up to the light it appears more like medium orange color with some pink highlights. Tiny carbonation bubbles continuously rise though it. The off-white head is a thin but complete layer of tiny bubbles and it leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is light and inviting, consisting of malt, alcohol and fruit. The fruit aroma gives the impression of fresh berries, rather than yeast notes. It is hard to put my finger on the type of berry, but I would guess raspberries.

T - Like the aroma, the taste is subtle but is focused on fruit. Malt and alcohol are in the taste profile, but they are in the background with sweet berry fruit in the fore. The fruit flavor reminds me of a framboise limbic, but I don't get any sour notes from this beer. I get just a hint of nutty or grainy malt flavor later in the sip. No hops apparent. Very nice.

M - The body seems a little thin to me, although the lack of a cloying or mouthcoating feel does make the beer seem more drinkable despite its apparent sweetness. Carbonation and alcohol do not really contribute to the mouthfeel.

D - This beer is very approachable and drinkable. It has nice fresh fruit aroma and flavor but has enough complexity and beer notes to avoid seeming like fruit juice or a wine cooler. (1,388 characters)

Photo of Cord018
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a bottle I aged in my basement for a year. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A- Light amber color, thin head

S- black raspberry, blueberries. The smell is inviting and delicious! Really gets your attention.

T- I first tried this beer a year ago and liked it alot. Bought a newer bottle to compare it with as well. It ages well! New you pick up on the blueberry, black raspberry/blackberry flavor but there is also a sour, acidic taste as well. Aged the acidity fades away and the fruit flavors meld with the malty backbone very well. It does have a more boozy flavor but very smooth and drinkable.

M- medium body, smoother when aged.

O- I like this beer. This is a very enjoyable beer for people that like blueberry beer since this has actually blueberries and blackberries in it. Love the smell of it and how the flavors meld together. This ages very well, extremely happy with it after keeping it in my basement for a year (954 characters)

Photo of hdofu
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For a fruit beer I must say as with most dogfishes I never know what to expect but it's usally at worst a bit different but drinkable, at best its something incredible challenging our ideas of what beer is, and this beer was fruity, but at the same time it was beer, much like red and white. The coloring is ruby red and redish orange in spots with a white head. Smell is strong of fruit, like an unpasteurized cider The taste is of wheat with a strong finish of black raspberry and blueberry, as strong as it could be without making it taste unbeerlike. It has moderately bubbly feel not unlike sparkling wine. I think I could drink a few of these i they wern't so pricey (672 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle of this with my friend before we went to Brewtopia.

A: Pours a dark amber body with an off-white head with pretty solid retention. Head dies down later on to leave a nice lacing on top of the beer. Lacing was evident along the sides of the glass throughout the beer.

S: Smelled of sweet berries. Hints of raspberries with the tartness of Blueberries and Blackberries.

T: Taste was very similar to the smell. String blueberry and blackberry tartness with hints of a raspberry sweetness to balance. The strong berry taste did well to hide the high alcohol in the berry. The aftertaste was slightly flat and tasteless, but the initial taste is very strong with the berry notes.

M: Decent mouthfeel; a little on the thin side, but crisp.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. More like drinking juice than drinking beer, I'd say. has the consistency and mouthfeel of a brew, but the berry taste does well to make this beery easy to drink and hard to put down. Excellent! (980 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was two weeks shy of a year old when sampled.

A - Two fingers of white head with a slight pink tinge on a clear, reddish orange body. Decent head retention, but not much lace.

S - Malty and slightly sour with notes of currants and some spicy yeast aromas. A little bit of vanilla as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front with some warm alcohol notes. Boozy, fruity notes follow with a vanilla character that nicely compliments the berries, as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and cinnamon. An assertive acidity balances the fruit in the finish along with a good dose of hop bitterness that lasts well into the dry, vinous finish.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy body, with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusually nice fruit beer, in that it has a great deal of fruit character but balances the berry character with just the right amount of acidity to avoid becoming cloyingly sweet. While this beer has some distinct alcohol notes, they have become quite mellow and never lead one to suspect that the alcohol content is as high as it is. Overall a very pleasant beer that is very drinkable, considering its wine like strength.

This would be an excellent dessert beer and I suspect that it would be able to stand up to an even longer cellaring. (1,286 characters)

Photo of shadow1961
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head Black and Blue pours a finger of creamy foam over
a slightly cloudy bright amber brew. Carbonation is steady, and the
nose is vinous and slightly funky (in a good way), with berry notes.
The flavor is... good. A bit of maltiness, a bit of fruitiness, and a long
dry finish with a tiny bite of hop and alcohol. Mouthfeel is clean and
dry. Though the alcohol by volume is a very nice 10%, it is always
in control and only makes itself felt as a pleasant warming sensation.
At no time do the additions of black raspberry and blueberry mentioned
on the label impart a cloying sweetness- rather, they only add to the depth,
complexity, and dryness of this particular brew. This is yet another beer
you can serve to wine lovers- or is it a wine for beer lovers? In the end it
doesn't matter- the only rule that matters is taste, and this one is good. (857 characters)

Photo of simpliciter
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light reddish copper. thin white head.

S - sweet fruits dominate.

T - very sour --- not a yeast sour, but a fruit acid sour. no real hop character. lightly bubbly mouthfeel finishes with a sour linger. For a fruit beer, this is excellent, hence the 4.5 score.

M - big, but not coating. fits well with the beer.

D - dangerously drinkable in warm weather. gives no hint of the ABV. (389 characters)

Photo of Antg8989
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was really expecting to be blow away by this; and again high expectations do not yield the greatest results. This is not a bad beer by any means. But it certainly is not great. Pours a deep amber with a red/orange hint. The head sticks around for a little bit. The aroma is more of blackberries than blueberries. It's got a very tart taste which certainly lingers for some time. It feels tingly and champagne like. Would I buy it again? No. Is it a must try? Not really - unless you want to try all that Dogfish Head has to offer. It's alright, but not worth the $15. (570 characters)

Photo of jester5120
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into DFH snifter

A- Poured nice bronze color with a slight purple hugh. creamy white head about an inch thick quickly disapeared.

S- sweet smell of fresh berries. very tiny hint of citrus to it as well

T- strong berry flavor with some sourness coming from the yeast. The citrus in the smell carries through in the taste. Very little bite from the alcohol considering this beer is 10%

M- Medium mouthfeel. maybe on the full bodied side if anything.

O- a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect the sweetness without the alcohol bite. Very smooth well balanced beer (571 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very interesting beer. It's got an amber color that is quite cloudy. It has a nice head that sticks around for a bit and has a slight purple tint to it. Very unique. You can smell the hints of black & blue berries which is quite nice.

It's got a sharp taste of fruit, it reminds me almost of a fruity wine. The alcohol is very warming but not over powering at all.

I got this is in a 1pt 9.6oz bottle, a great bottle to sip on throughout the night. Overall another great Dogfish Head brew! (491 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 03/07/15.

Appearance: Pours deep amber with a lot of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with a slight pinkish hint. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A very fruity and fairly sweet Belgian style aroma with a big scent of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, and clove. Big juicy scent of real blackberry and blueberry. Also some fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and fig. Bready hints of wheat, straw, biscuit, and cracker. Sweet hints of sugar as well. A very solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sweet Belgian style taste with a big presence of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with some funk and spice notes of clove and pepper. Fruity notes of blackberry and blueberry juice. Belgian style fruit notes of banana, pear, apple, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of sugar. Malt notes of biscuit, wheat, straw, and cracker. Hops are very light. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy and slightly sticky with a drying finish. Alcohol is masked very well.

Overall: A very solid twist on a big Belgian style ale. Good taste of real berries that blend well with the Belgian spice and fruit notes. (1,323 characters)

Photo of JLeege
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft- into a snifter

Appearance- Pours an amber/copper color with a creamy white head. Good retention and lace for such a big beer.

Smell- Strong aromas of blueberry and raspberry, very sweet. Slightly bready and earthy, a little Belgian spice from the yeast.

Taste- Follows the aroma well. Strong blueberry and raspberry flavors, tastes natural, you can tell there are no sweeteners added rather fermented sugars from the REAL fruits. There is an earthiness throughout as well. Very sweet, but I do not find this to be cloying. And I am very admit about a graham cracker flavor in this as well. Nice lingering fruit on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Medium/full body with medium carbonation. ABV’s hid well, for 10%.

Overall- I really like this beer, I like fruit beers in general and this is one of the better ones I have had, especially ringing in at 10%. Slap a New Glarus label on this and I bet it would rate out to an “A-” average at least. Cheers Dogfish, nice job on this one! (992 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy/creamy, long-lasting head (more than what you normally find with fruit/vegetable beers). Very good lacing.

S: A strong, sweet aroma of fruit and malt.

T: The blueberries and raspberries make a very strong impression, but there is also a trace of light malt. A vibrant, fruity flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Surprisingly not slick. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of fruit/vegetable beers, but this one is very well made and extremely drinkable. (612 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi transparent golden ruby body. Big airy hilly off-white head with a blueish reddish tint. Decent retention and good lace.
Sweet berry and fruity scent with just a hit of spice.
Delicious sweet berry taste with a balancing hop presence. Both complex and simple. A familiar comforting vegetable garden taste.
Medium to full body, decent coating.
Great drinkability, very delicious, this is a brew to drink cold, warmth kills this brew and this may have been what was going on with the lower reviews this beer has received, I dont know but that was my impression.

-Oelergud (581 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PopeDX and StoutHearted for the chance to check this one out!

Didn't have any reservations to try a new DFH creation and this one was built to spill. Usually these types of Fruit Beers send the true brew dudes a-runnin' but once again DFH prooves to be king of the hill and I don't know how. This viscous liquid was just a deluge of raspberry maple syrup over pancakes in a tulip glass...period. Delicious nose that matched the flavor aspect every sip of the way. And NO DFH doesn't pay me to be so resolute in my findings but Lordy-Lawd how nice if they did!

In conclussion my fellow Americans, Black & Blue will infuse you with the zest to put up aforementioned bundting on your porch and Vote for Sam! (718 characters)

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent beer from DH. I poured this into a belgian glass because of the Belgian strong ale style description on the website instead of the recom from BA as a fruit beer. It's really a Belgian ale and should be treated as such, including let it warm up a bit, instead of a fruit beer because it's different from most fruit beers you've tasted.

Starts with a raspberry read color with black, copper, and gold highlights through the beer. Very unique. The head pour barely off white with amazingly tight bubbles that linger a bit before falling to a film that covers the top of the glass. The nose is yeasty and pungent but in a good way. Not much fruit until you taste it and the Black and Blue come out strong but balance with the malt and yeasty taste underneath. As mentioned above, it's taste is unique and blend the oft-not-well-done-in-beer blueberry with the blackberry mitagates the overwhelming of the beer plus the Belgian characteristics are strong enough to balance the two. Doesn't taste hot, but sure glad I was at home talking to the wife when the 11% kicked in--just finished and hoping there's not too many typos in this review.

Another interesting and well done beer by DH. Can't say much more than that except cheers. (1,252 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber to a snifter

Pour is ruby red with 2 fingers of thick white foam. Foam fades quickly with tight lace. Medium carbonation

Smell is all berries. Blackberry and blueberry mostly. Smell is almost like grandmas preserves! Very nice!

Taste follows nose well. All fruit with little bitterness. Very tart like tart cherries and blackberries. Nice complement to the nose of the beer.

Feel is nice and light. Surprising for the high abv. No boozyness at all to the taste. Very smooth and refreshing. Absolutely brilliant for a strong beer. Feel might be the best part of this beer.

Overall this is great. No surprise dogfish hits another home run. (660 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.31/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this Fruit Beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a blueish/purplish color, produced a thick white head, retention was average and lacing was minimal. The aroma of this ale consisted of malted barley and sour fruit juice. This is a full bodied beer, 10% ABV. - Thankfully, I had the St. Charles Whisker Biscuit to assist me with this. A sweet malted grainy cereal base that gives way to tart fruits (blueberry and black raspberry) - it is actually a nice balance between sweet and tart- The issue I have with many fruit beers is that they are all sweet from start to finish- This ale does a great job to balancing the sweetness from the malted grain with the tartness of the berries. Another note here is how easy to drink this is- This is a big beer but very easy to drink. Don't be ashamed to grab this fruit beer and share this with a friend. (867 characters)

Photo of Johnd8
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did a vertical between a new 2015, and a bottle shop shelf dusty from 2014 bought a month ago; It was not exposed to sun light, just fluorescent light and room temps.
Other then what is likely slight recipe and fruit differences, the 2014 only had a couple of not offensive flavor differences. It was more berry forward and a bit rounder in flavor (348 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with a bit of pale malt and a hint of booze.

T - Starts off with some blackberry and blueberry sweetness with some pale malt. Through the middle, some lightly bready malt comes through with some light yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with some pale malt and a touch of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very fruit forward, but the overall beer is really nice and interesting. I like the balance. (693 characters)

Photo of Dixonian
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. Poured into a goblet.

Small amount of head that dissapated quickly leaving nothing behind. Delicious berry aroma.
Tastes almost like a lambic only lighter and without the funk. Blueberry comes through strongest especially on the after taste.
Not too heavy-Dogfish are masters of hiding high ABV as well as making one of a kind brews.

I'm not the biggest fan of the mingling of fruit and beer but I very much enjoyed this. (463 characters)

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep sunset colors orange to rose with sparse
head and little to no lacing

S: Sweet berry nose with a slight alcohol aroma

T: Champaigne of beers for the summer (not to be
confused with High Life). The flavors of
natural berries over a syrup is evident.

M: Very jammy with great body and adequate
carbonation.

D: The ABV is the only thing that holds me back
for drinking it all afternoon. (403 characters)

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