Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,546 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,546
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 239 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,546 | Reviews: 521
Photo of shadow1961
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of Lupe
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber/dark honey color, slightly hazy, with a white head. The head quickly falls to a thin sheet and leaves little lace behind.

Complex malty aroma of sour cherries, berries, vanilla, and honey upfront. Caramel and bready malt make up the backbone. Some yeasty funk is also present along with light alcohol and oak.

Starts with a mild sweetness that fades to a fruity sourness with lingering berry flavors and bitterness. Lots of sour fruit and mild oak. A small dose of funky Belgian yeast and alcohol spice ties things down. Finishes dry. Alcohol is well hidden.

Smooth and initially crisp and thin, but gets sticky and thick on the tongue after a few swallows. Light-medium in body with mild carbonation.
Good undrinkability for the abv, but a too unbalanced for more than a bottle.

Not bad, but nothing special. Hard to distinguish the individual berry flavors, and gets cloying after a while.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of this from Capone's in Norristown, Pa and split it with a buddy. We poured it into two mugs.
Appearance: A pretty ruby and translucent body with a white head accented with red highlights, low lacing yet great retention.
Smell: Strong aroma of blueberry puree, it smelled like blueberry pie.
Taste: Blueberry, very very sweet, there wasn't much bittering going on.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth.
Drinkability: Splendid.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer sluices from the 750ml bottle a slightly chill hazed golden amber color with a bright white creamy two fingered head that settles quickly leaving a thin blanket of lace to seal off the glass. Nose has a sweet and sour note, spicy with a modest hint of the berries, hints of fusel alcohol, and at 11 percent ABV, no wonder. Start is ambrosial, fair to middling malt presence, and a mild tartness from the black raspberries, but not overly so, top is light to medium in feel. Finish carries on the sweet and tart duo, hops understated, and the alcohol present but well hidden, acidity benign and the aftertaste dry and tart. I’ve learned to like this style, and “Dogfish Head” has been the reason why, a “Marvelous” brewery.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Imstillthegman and 1000 Miles (or East/West again) BIF.

Hard to determine the color here. It is either dark amber verging on brown or a red colored ale depending on how you look at it. Smallish off-white head forms and then falls.

In the smell I pickup wine and grapes with oak the very first thing. There is the sour funk that I smell in most wines just to remind you that no matter the technology it is all basically grape juice gone bad. Vanilla is present but is just a trace compared to Bourbon barrel beers. There is a LOT of wood and wine tannin scent here almost as if they used a spent red wine barrel. I don't smell the blackberries or the blue berries but I do get a trace of raspberry.

The taste begins a little sweet with a sourness at the end and a little peach aftertaste. Strong wood flavor and sour fruit like unripe nectarines and granny smith apple. Vaguely berry flavored but not really, far less than DFH Fort for instance.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this guy at the DFH brewery in DE. Poured a color I can't really explain. Depending on how it was held up to the light, it was red, orange, gold, brown or even pink. The foamy white head was small and left little lacing on the glass.
The smell was extrememly complex; sour cherry, vanilla, honey come out first and then caramel malts and dark frutits as it warms. Excellent.
Sweet and sour fruits cominate the taste, but caramel malts creep slowly in, along with alcohol, honey, and even some wood.
There isn't much initial 'bite' in the MF, but rather a mild sweetness fades to something alittle more bitter. The feel ends up pleasantly sweet and smooth.
Although it is masked relatively well, the ABV does make this a sipping beer. Still a great and interesting berw; things I have come to expect and enjoy from DFH.

Photo of Freshie
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber color. White wispy head.

Smell is fruity. Berries.

Taste is sweet and syrupy. A bit sticky in the throat. Berry flavor is strong. Hops is light, and overwhelmed by the sweet malt backbone.

Somewhat mediocre and unbalanced. But still, rather drinkable.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours an orange/mauve with a very flat white head of almost a finger. Receding rapidly, it leaves no lace behind and has only a thin collar and single circle of foam in the center of the Belgian glass. I like the color though.

Aroma - an indistinct fruitiness, faint yeast, and a rumbling of alcohol beneath it all. With some worthwhile effort, I can identify the raspberry.

Taste - an initial burst of yeast, quickly swept over by the fruit flavors. No definite flavor there, and then that is washed away by warm and enveloping alcohol. On the aftertaste, after some delay, the raspberry makes a nice statement, lingering past the booziness. With warming I get more of the blueberry. It took some time but eventually everything plays out on the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, a bit of fruit/alcohol slickness and a medium to medium-full body.

Drinkability - a sort of Imperial Fruit Beer, this is tasty and potent like Genesis 10:10, yet more elegant like Quelque Chose. Though an expensive bottle, I'd purchase it again.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: 02/13/07, so this one’s been aging for a little less than half a year…

Pours a brownish, reddish color with a noticeable purple tinge as well. The fruit flavors are done exceptionally well here: while the mellow but authentic blueberry and raspberry are present throughout, they shine the most in the delicious finish where the rest of the palate’s slightly alcoholic malt sweetness has subsided. Some subdued vinous character helps to round things out.

Not bad at all, though mine may have mellowed a bit with age. But, I’d be willing to bet that a fresher bottle would be just as good.

Recommended…

Photo of Drew966
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black & Blue pours an orange color with a white head from a brown 750 ml bottle. The aroma is quite muted, perhaps some berry, but mostly just malt. The taste is mostly malt, no hops to be found. And surprisingly little fruit to be found either. There is a hint of berry, which mostly was noticeable in the aftertaste, but it's not nearly as bold as I would hope from this brewer. It's not bad, but it's not what I had expected or hoped for from them either. Worth trying.

Photo of Atron67
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-poured a reddish ale color with a pretty big head that lasted awhile big lacing too

S- a nice strong fruit smell from the black rasberries, can smell some sweet malts

T- has a very strong sweet smell, although the flavors blend very well together giving something very enjoyable, its very tastey and i enjoyed leaving it on the tongue awhile as the flavors washed over the tongue

M- medium body with high carbonation, leaves a lingering warmth on the tongue

D- solid beer with a great blending of flavors

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of John_adam2002: Poured a medium brown/reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet grain is kind of weird. Taste is dominated by sweet malt with an unrefined grain taste which didn’t really agree with my taste buds. Body is pretty average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I couldn’t really taste much fruit or hops in this beer contrary to what the label advertised. Overall, I thought this was not bad but it wasn’t even close to being as great as what the label lead me to expect.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle with a "bottled on" date of 02/12/07. It leaves a one finger off-white head that fades to a foam ring at the edge, and there is a small amount of spotty lacing. The body is a reddish amber.

Smell - berries and toasty malt, and saltine cracker-like wheat malt.

Taste - like the smell, a not too strong taste of berries washing over toasty malt at times, and saltine cracker wheat malt at others. Well hidden alcohol. Slightly tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not great. It goes well with food or dessert, it is not really a session beer, and its high abv would rule out sessionability in any case.

Photo of Viggo
3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this one up in Chitown.

Pours a clear red/cranberry juice colour, huge off white head forms, laces pretty well, good retention. Smell is caramel, citrus, blackberry moonshine. Taste is sweet, malt liquor, fruits, alcohol, some berry but mostly overpowering sweetness and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost thin flavour, high to medium, almost prickly carbonation, alcohol burn, weak finish, not too exciting. Can't say I enjoyed this much. Thanks Lexx!

Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been dying to try this beer. Especially since I haven't been able to get a bottle in Illinois. But when I made a quick trip to Indianapolis, what do I see at Kahn's.

The very preety fruit juice colorings make up for the lack of head, the bubbling isn't bad either. I was expecting a more pronounced berry aroma, but was a little let down when the nose came up a little short. I was glad I could smell the blackberries, but the blueberries seemed to be a bit obscured. The taste was alright, especially considering the fruits don't overpower the overall taste of the beer. I could taste the Belgian malts as well as the black and blue berries. Very smooth palate. But overall a little blander than I expected. I'm glad I tried this beer. But it was a little sub-par.

Photo of Keith238
4.85/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank God I took a cab from the ferry when I arrived in Delaware. This was love at first sip. A buddy and I tried our best to finish off the supply at the Rehoboth bar but sadly failed. I made sure to pick up a case on my return trip to the ferry (yes a case!)

Nice berry taste with both the black and blue berry flavors coming through. A dark ruby color and a velvety finish. I prefer drinking it from a snifter rather than the squat water glass you are provided at the bar. The alcohol (10%) let it's presence be known but it didn't overpower anything. You missed out if you didn't get any this year. Lets hope they brew it again in 2008.

Photo of Franchise
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Photo of Flyer
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent purplish red with a blackberry aroma. The flavor is "all fruit all the time," and yet the fruit isn't too intense -- it's nicely crisp, and the alcohol makes its presence felt. It has a sour, bitter-crisp finish. For me fruit beers are a not a staple, but a great change of pace, and in that context this is recommended.

Photo of oakbluff
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- very nice clarity-just like raspberry ice tea. Very good white head and soapy lacing. Nose- the berries are poking through here. Taste- turn for the worse- smooth enough for a >10% beer, but this really lacks character. Malts are quite sweet and the berry is there, but not prominent enough. Frankly- I thought this beer was the shits after the first glass, but I'm not one to drain pour so I soldiered on. It did improve as it warmed, but not a lot. There is some dryness from the belgian yeast and fruit sugars- touch of hops at the end.
Not impressed at all. Must rate as avoid if possible. I appreciate what DFH is all about and the chances they take, but this beer is not my thing.

Photo of mynie
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bomber (is it sold any other way?)

Pours--oh well, hmm... I-it's nothing, really, only I was kinda hoping it would be black or blue. It's more of a cloudy brown, though, like a dark Belgian ale.

Smells of light berries with a mild malt kick. I can pick up the raspberries, all right, but the blueberries aren't as intense as I'd hoped. Still, pretty nice, well balanced without going too far in either the hyper-alcoholic Belgian direction or the hyper-fruity fruit beer direction.

Tastes very much like it smells only with a great deal of the balance lost somewhere in the shuffle. Nicely sweet, very fruity, backed up by a mildly bittersweet malt.

Incredibly drinkable, for its potency, but not as cool as I hoped it would be. Still, hats off (as always) to Dogfish Head for trying something new.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bomber from the DFH brewery in Milton, DE

a- pours a somewhat cloudy rose/amber hue, two fingers of off-white creamy head and fair lacing throughout

s- nose is surprisingly dominated by caramel malt with very subtle tones of the fruits after which it is named (raspberry and blueberry), light alcohol presence is in contrast with 11% abv

t- initial taste is of sweet malts followed by a brief fruit presence, aftertaste is subtle and of very short duration, somewhat reminiscent of a belgian style but only in passing

m- light-bodied and watery mouthfeel, lively carbonation that is a little overwhelming.

d- rather underwhelming offering, particularly for a fruit beer. I dont think i could even tell this was a 'fruit beer' in a blind taste test. This was good for a group beer tasting, but I probably won't go in for round two anytime soon.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,546 ratings.