Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

518 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 518
Hads: 1,576
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 117
Gots: 263 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 518 | Hads: 1,576
Photo of Dixonian
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
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 +17.7%
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

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

 403 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a champagne glass.

A: Poured a rose and orange colored amber with a nice, fluffy head of white foam atop the soft brew. A steady jet stream of carbonation rose from the center of the glass.

S: Smells floral and spicy, with hints of berry, wood and hop resins. A little zesty and funky yeast makes its way in as well.

T: Initially, this brew tastes like a Belgian abbey ale, sweet and zesty yet dry at first, with strong floral hop and sugary sweet fruit esters. The blackberry is more muted than the raspberry flavors, which are still soft and delicately sweeten the floral hop bitterness of the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and bursting with bubbles.

D: Very, very tasty for a higher ABV fruit beer. The berry combination drinks like pinot noir juice added to a well-crafted Belgian pale ale. Excellent on its own but it also went well with baked salmon in a lemon-tomato reduction. Preferred to the Red & White.

 963 characters

Photo of drowninginhops
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9.6 oz bottle poured into tankard.

A: Hazy reddish plum in color. Slightly off white head, two finger head that lasted the entire beer and left a well laced glass. Looks very interesting.

S: On opening it I smelled the raspberry then blueberry notes. Smells real not made artificially.

T: Pour was a little off so i dove in to lap the overflowing head i was greeted by an effervescent medially of blueberry and raspberry. Blueberry and raspberry are at the front of the palate with sweet malt rounding out the end.

M: Nice middle ground for this beer not too thick not too thin and well carbonated. Made me crave cheerios which I eat with either blueberry, blackberry or raspberry depending on what I have. So that is a point in its court.

D: Would,d be a great desert beer or you could... nah this is nice anytime. On another note it made em crave Cheerios which I eat with blue, black or raspberries.

 915 characters

Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle dated December of 2009. It poured a light amber with good reddish tint in the light. The head was slight and cream colored. The smell was amazing. It wreaked of raspberries, perhaps blackberries and was both sweet and tart. The taste was very good but doesn't quite hit the mark that the scent does. It makes you crave the berry accents. The mouthfeel is good as well, it's rather light to medium in body for the style. Its very drinkable. It is delicious and completely hides the alcohol. I love this beer and would greatly recommend it. If only it weren't so expensive but aged bottles are definitely worth it.

 628 characters

Photo of tzieser
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The one I had was bottled on 2/13/07.

Poured a nice amber color with blue undertones. A small head subdued into a thin lacing around the glass

Smelled slightly winy with malts in the background. Very faint smells of fruit (blueberry)

Tastes delicious-- especially for a bottle that's almost 2 years old (2009). Extremely malty forefront gives way to a smooth sweetness brought on by the aforementioned blueberry/blackberry. The idea of using blue and blackberry is outstanding- doesn't tarnish this at all. Doesn't cover any of the great maltiness.

Feels great in the mouth-- perfectly carbonated when served chilled

Drinkability is outstanding. I wouldn't mind having another bottle of this.

Overall give it a shot. Its expensive, but definitely worth a try. I think ill try red and white next time.

 806 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this bottle w/ a buddy. This is my second time enjoying this unique brew. Pours a purple w/ red hints, not really what you see everyday in a beer, looks great. I can smell blueberries, blackberries, vanilla. Those characterisitics are very noticeable in the taste as well. Pretty malty w/ a tart sweetness. Finishes sharp, well carbonated. Drinkability is good, but since it's borderline cloyingly sweet, it loses a point. The taste will have you coming back for more; alcohol is masked, but it's still dangerously drinkable. Awesome brew!

This definitely isn't your ordinary beer.. but the flavors alone make this very worthy. These are the kind of beers I expect from DFH. Well done, recommended!

 705 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2007 aged 1 year. Dark amber light brown pour. Fruitier berry aroma and on the palate. I was told this wouldn't last a year, but it did so with greatness. The hop profile mellowed out and the flavors stayed strong. No sourness or cloying. Thinking about aging another one but with so many coming out I have even better choices. Another winner from DFH.

 359 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a one inch of head. Nice retention. Smells of black raspberries and blueberries. Both are equally noticeable. There's also a hint of yeast. Taste is blueberries first and the black raspberries coming in second, but both have equal contribution again here. Despite all the fruit, it's not overly sweet. The alcohol is noticeable as the beer warms, but it adds warmth and takes nothing from the flavor. Well carbonated, crisp, smooth, very drinkable.

At 10% this beer is scary drinkable. This is one of the best fruit beers I have ever had. I'll definitely pay the price tag for this again.

 615 characters

Photo of gmcfarre
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into St. Bernardus Chalice

A - Pours a very translucent ruby red color with amber and orange tints. Head is fairly small and disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer at the edges. Laces well but falls quickly.

S - Nice mild blue & blackberry scent that adds but doesn't distract from some common "Belgian golden ale" scents: good grassy malt, coriander & spice, traditional belgian yeast. 10% alcohol starts to shine through as beer warms.

T - Starts slightly sweet and gets more so in a second, the fruit puree certainly adds some sweetness to this brew. Grassy and floral. High carbonation and slightly tart and fruity finish leaves a nice tingle on the tongue. A tiny bit sour. Fruit is a compliment and doesn't overwhelm like most fruit beers. Very nice.

M - High carbonation with a medium body and slightly sweet, slightly cloying finish. Never bitter.

D - Really nice offering from Dogfish Head that is certainly worth picking up & sampling. Share the 750 with a friend and exhalt in your good karma while sipping a very nice & unique beer.

 1,075 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of Twister00
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 307 characters

Photo of vtblackdog
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 1,539 characters

Photo of Daktyls
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot of good things about this beer and I'm glad to finally have the opportunity to try it.

A: Poured a deep red/purple color with a slight amount of head that disappeared fairly quickly.

S: (Like the bottle says) smells of black raspberries and blueberries. There was a slight hint of brown sugar as well.

T: Taste of berries, most distinctly blueberry and black raspberry, was unable to detect the distinct alcohol taste that other 10% abv beers have.

M: Medium amount of carbonation that tickles the roof of the mouth, but goes down very smoothly.

D: Would definitely have another, which is good, because I bought a bomber.

 643 characters

Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber in color, monster, rocky head sits atop this great looking beer. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Bits of raspberry and blueberry are the stars of the show, light and aromatic, I also get bits of toasted malt and some light booze in the backdrop. The fruit profile is nicely balanced.

Taste: The fruit up front is sour and tart, yet nicely aligned to a perfectly balanced malt profile. Blueberry, raspberry, some plum and bits of grape are all present. Has a bit of a wine consistency yet it shows of it's uniqueness with plenty of toasted malt in the finish. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a slightly dry mouthfeel, medium bodied yet light on the tongue.

Drinkability: Another big time winner from Dogfish Head. One of the best fruit beers out there, very nicely balanced and the first time I've liked a beer with blueberry flavorings. Excellent all around, seek it out for sure!

 980 characters

Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice fruity smell. Pours a rich red/ amber color. Massive head with lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation. Just the right amount of fruity sweetness. Has a nice bite in the mouth and finishes extremely smooth and malty. There is a 10abv warming as it goes down the esophagus. I love it!!!

 293 characters

Photo of meeekyh
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
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.


 1,346 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

 1,810 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of berpwillie
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

 508 characters

Photo of dashmartino
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
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!

 568 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from DFH pours a light eggplant color with a blue hue essence leaving a orange/blue head thick and frothy. The aroma is tart, horse blanket, grassy, doughy, barnyard ripened fruit. Appearence is picture perfect. The taste is boozey upfront, sweet blueberry, apple, apricot, wheat tart bite followed by a smooth alcohol feel on the back of the palate. This is a great brew overall solid fruity boozey brew made for sipping.

 436 characters

Photo of quasimoto
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

 852 characters

Photo of Kakaraht
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy reddish color, kinda like the inside of a blueberry. Medium head with nice lacing

S: Nice berry aroma with a hint of Belgian yeast.

T: Very subtle very smooth. The berry's blend very nicely into a sour saison like beer with warm sweet earthy notes and tart berry finish. I really like the smoothness of the flavors.

M: Medium carbonation and mouth feel,the flavors lingers nicely.

D: This is always a repeat beer for me, i find it perfect for sipping while sitting around a nice big campfire.

 511 characters

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.