Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

510 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,558
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 110
Gots: 245 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,558
Photo of CooperEllis
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a 2009 bottle from....I'll get back to you when I have that sheet open.

Into pint glass.

Nice pour with a deep amber that is a touch cloudy in the center but brighter to the edges. Starts with a thick offwhite head that leavs half sticky lacing and a rim of tight bubbles at the end.

The initial burst of aroma is wonderful, very full of berries, a little bit of malt and a touch of booze. But it evaporated leaving only an overripe berry aroma that is fine, but flat.

The taste is similarly flat. There is a bit of malt, a touch of floral underneath but exceptionally strong 'juice' component. There's nothing exceptional here, if I drink the entire 750ml I imagine I'll have heartburn.

Very nice mouthfeel. It's well carbed, and that helps the juice flavor fizzle on the palate rather than staying as flat as it did in the nose. A little booze bite at the death is also welcome.

(138th) (904 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
2.73/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn.

Appearence is much lighter than expected given the ingredients and the name of this beer. The color is olympic medal gold with a touch of faded orange sticking out. A flimsy cap that becomes nothing and leaves nothing.

Smell is quite pungent. I do get alot of berries, black over blue. But I also get a big heaping of grape. And it's not just grape, this smells exactly like grape jolly ranchers. After I smelt it, that's all I could get out of it.

Taste is quite bold and filled with sweet berry flavor. The problem is that it comes off artificial and that is because of the grape jolly rancher that engulfs this here beer. I get anice hit of backberry and grape, the blueberry, not so much.

Feel is a strong medium and the carb is a bit lighter than the Red and White counterpart. I was burping up Jolly ranchers long after I finished this so the artificial flavor stays a bit. A bit of alcohol to but not hot. I did not enjoy this so much. To fake tasting and everytime I taste candy in my beer, it's a huge turn off. (1,051 characters)

Photo of Retail1LO
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had 3 bottles of this along with 3 bottles of Red & White on a fishing trip to the Finger Lakes. Must say, I liked the Red & White better. At any rate, this is a fine fruit beer. The fruit is very pronounced in both nose and mouthfeel. Very sweet in my opinion. This would be a fine after dinner/dessert beer. The 10% is hardly noticeable. This one could sneak up on you quickly. Not so sure I'll revisit this in the future, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. (454 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
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! (1,560 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Black & Blue is a clear, solid golden ale topped with a dense sand colored head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a super fruity aroma of fresh black raspberries and blueberries. It's a little sweet, a little floral and there's a whiff of light grain. It's medium bodied and lively. The finish is pretty clean and a little astringent. It's a little sweet and fairly bitter. There's a little sourness. It tastes more like fruit wine than fresh fruit. The black raspberry is pretty prominent at the start of the taste. It gets progressively more bitter as the finish approaches. It's mostly juniper and alcohol by the finish. Berries linger in the aftertaste. It has qualities of an old ale, a mead, a melomel and a sahti. It's very unique! It tastes a little boozy, so I wouldn't say this is for chugging, but it's enjoyable, unique and pretty classy. (879 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes taken during playoff hockey. This was a 2008 vintage.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip a reddish grapeskin crystal clear colour with a fizzy super tiny head that left a thin halo.

S - Super sweet blueberry juice and skin aromas with some nice malts. The ABV is present on the nose as well.

T - Pretty good with super sweet blueberry notes. Its painfully obvious that this is a 10%+ ABV beer as intermixed with the sweetness is a strong alcohol kick.

M - Low carbonation and somewhat syrupy. As in everything else, the ABV is present.

O - I can dig this brew. Its kinda like a blueberry barleywine. Not sure if a few more years would have made it all mellow out but if that ABV can tone down a bit this would be a really nice beer. (752 characters)

Photo of mavbrew
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish copper color with a two finger thick, slightly off-white head that slowly dissipates. Lacing is sparse, but sticks around throughout.

S: Massive raspberry and blueberry and fruit pie scent to it. Very sweet and natural smelling. Literally just like fresh picked fruit baking in the oven.

T: Very sweet and fruity. Tastes just like it smells. Very strong raspberry and blueberry flavors coming through with the slightest bit of malts just before the finish, which is a bit boozy.

M: Thin medium bodied beer with average carbonation. The feel is fruity, very fruity.

D: I wouldn't say this is a great beer, but for what they are trying to do here, they really nailed it. This is a fruit beer and everything about it screams fruity, berry goodness. If you're looking for a fruity, interesting beer, give this one a try. (841 characters)

Photo of TheCervezaChica
4.67/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since this beer has fruits in it I am already happy to drink it. I love the blueberry and blackberry taste that I get from it. I have had the chance to try this beer on tap as well as from the bottle, and I am usually happiest drinking something on draft.

This beer is a tad pricey, but I suppose since they use so much fruit and the ABV is pretty high then that would justify it. I am happy to have one of these beers and move on because it will definitely have you feeling nice pretty quickly.

This is another beer that it is a shame that DFH doesn't brew this beer year round, but good things come to those who wait.

The mouthfeel on this beer is wonderful and the fruit overpowers the alcohol enough so that you really can't taste it. The nose on it is very enticing. This is another great beer brewed by DFH. (819 characters)

Photo of drowninginhops
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
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 Supes
4.65/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a hazy reddish plum color. About a pinky worth of head that disapears after about 45 seconds. Real inviting look to it.

Smell- A little sweet malt. Really big fruit notes that make me say WOW. I get mostly raspberries. I can tell its real fruit and lots of it not some fake flavoring.

Taste- Wow again. So much fruit rushing towards me. Sweet as expected but not so much where I had trouble finish the bottle. I get raspberries in the begging with a little tartness and finsh agian with a touch of blueberries. A real jammy like quality that I find to be fantastic.

Mouthfeel- A good medium body with a decent creamy finish.

Overall- I do love fruit beers. Its a preferred style of mine. Knowing that though I havent tried a hole lot of them. But that being said this is one of my favorites so far. Everything seemed to work well. I cant wait to find more. (881 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a slightly hazy copper with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like sweet blueberries and wild Belgian yeast, with some slightly tart blackberries and candi sugar and fresh wheat.
T: It tasted like tart blackberries and sweet blueberries, with sour yeast and spicy saison hops and a bit of fresh wheat. It had a light and clean aftertaste that was a bit dry.
M: It was slightly thick and viscous with lots of carbonation. Decent.
D: This was a very nice beer with good balance of sweet and tart. It could maybe be a bit more bold, but the alcohol was very well hidden so it was dangerously easy to drink. Great beer for any season, and could be really fun with food pairing. I enjoyed this better than Red & White. (729 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy, deep amber-red with a hint of blue. Thin bubbly white head.

Smell. Blackberry, floral hops and a little caramel and toasty grain. Smells good.

Taste: Sweet blueberries and tart blackberries. Some toasty grain creeps up and finishes pretty nicely with lots of fruit and a little booze.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with lively medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice berry flavours with great body and nice level of sweetness for what's going on in this one. Just a little boozy, but it's forgivable ;-) (528 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 Rizalini
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulip...

A - A semi-murky copper color pours out leaving an off white head, and some pretty nice lacing!

S - Definately berries, and mixed with the alcohol aroma kinda smells a little like Robatusin! Maybe a real strong wine cooler or something.

T - Warming berries is the first impression. Slightly malty, with some spicy yeasty notes too.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but very carbonated... almost fizzy

O - Hmm, this beer is very different in a good way. This beer lives up to the name, and what it's supposed to be. (556 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: amber body, 2 finger big head, solid lacing

S: big aroma of blueberries, blackberries, hint of malt

T: same as the nose, but slight tart dry finish

M: med body, big carbonation

O: It was interesting and glad I tried it, but
do not think I will be aching for this beer again.

GOOD, NOT A MUST HAVE! (306 characters)

Photo of jale
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours a garnet with a dime of white head.

S: Huge berry fruit aroma like a soda pop. Just a hint of malt.

T: Taste is berry fruits with a wine cooler taste and considerable alcohol heat. I'm not sure what this beer is trying to be. I get very little malt or anything else but the berries and alcohol.

M: Fizzy like a wine cooler.

O: I did not like this beer. (407 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Previously sampled in bottle, which came across as very muted without much standout charachter. This draft version was exactly what i was hoping for.

Pours a clean and clear coppery gold color, small cap of white head, lingers and leaves a touch of lacing. Scent is dominated by the promised notes of blueberry and blackberry, faint notes of alcohol follow with a moderate amount of grahmn cracker sweetness. Taste again is fruit forward, especially at serving temp. Blueberry is at the front with a light tartness, blackberry and faint hints of concentrated grape juice. Slightly cloying by time the 10oz is over. A grahmn crackery sweetness seems to intensify as the drink warms, a little spice comes out as well. Alcohol is quite noticeable. Medium bodied, carbonation is moderate, lightly dry. Overall i prefered this to the bottle, the fruit stood out more, even though the beer felt more one dimensional. (911 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Marked "Bottled in 2011"

A. Poured a finger of creamy, off white head. Body is a nice amber color. Head retention is a decent frosting on top. Lacing is nice as well.

S. Maltiness starts off the nose, and quickly gives way to a cocktail of fruit flavors. I smell grape and mixed berry aromas. Floral undertones emerge near the end.

T. Floral tones start her off, and then it's all about the fruit. I taste blueberry and blackberry, but still taste a slight haunting grapiness in there.

M. Medium bodied, well carbonated, this beer is refreshing. It's my first beer home after working a 12-hour day, and it hits the spot.

O. Didn't know what to expect going into this, DFH is phenomenal, but blueberry beer? But it works, it tastes good, and it's definitely refreshing. Good stuff! (786 characters)

Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Marked "Bottled in 2011", into a Gouden Carolus chalice glass.

Pours a translucent amber color with a one finger head that dissipates fairly quick and leaves moderate lacing. Gentle carbonation.

Extremely fruity aroma, very sweet with strong notes of blueberry.

The intense fruity aroma carries into the taste. Extremely powerful fruit notes combined with bready malt make this one very sweet. Blueberry is easily discernible and the blackberries are in the back. Ends with a touch of grain and some alcohol warming when the beer is warmer in temperature.

Medium bodied beer with gentle carbonation.

It's actually not half bad. The alcohol is a little high which gives off some wine like characteristics and makes it a little tough to punch through a bomber. Still miles ahead of Blackberry Witbier by Sam Adams, though. Pretty decent, albeit one-sided. (873 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 prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black & Blue is a lighter copper color. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Backlighting gives it an orange appearance. A soft white head covers the top. It rises to nearly a finger, before falling quickly. Perhaps a little too much abv. Lacing was surprisingly thick and sticky. Interesting to say the least.

The nose is alright. It features earthy and grainy notes throughout. Berry notes are relatively strong. No big shock there. I’m pleased to report that they’re not overpowering. Let’s hope that holds true for the flavor. Belgian jumps into the mix and certainly adds character to the mix. Alcohol comes through quite strong. A little too strong. All in all, it smells pretty good.

The flavor is a little less impressive. It kicks off with a sweet, malty flavor. I’m guessing pale malt. Earthy and grainy notes are definitely noted. Berry flavors are quite strong. I don’t have anything against Blackberry or Blueberry. I love both. But, their presence doesn’t really add a great deal. Doesn’t taste bad, but not exactly good either. Belgian yeast tastes pretty good and keeps things floating. Alcohol is strong in flavor, and is just a tad warm. Finishes grainy, fruity, and a little warm.

Black & Blue has a medium body. Carbonation is mid-range. It feels nice and smooth. Probably one its stronger points. It doesn’t go down too bad for a big beer, but a 750 is a bit much. A 12 oz. would be a better serving size.

Black & Blue is just an okay release from Dogfish Head. It’s not a complete disaster, but a couple of tweaks would help – primarily less berry flavor and less alcohol flavor/warmth. If you’re into berry flavored beverages, you just might like it. Irrespective of your taste, it is worth a try...at least once. (1,785 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 bshanly
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber with a pink/strawberry hue. Creamy off white head with a good retention and lacing. Looks delicious. I love beer.

Smell: I don't love fruit beers so much. Smells sweet and tart, lots of yeast, no hops. Are there hops in this thing?

Taste: Really tart upfront. Pretty heavy alcohol, long finish. Yeast is actually pretty tasty but the tartness isn't for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, not too crisp, not too heavy.

I like subtle flavors and heavy on the anything tends to make me miss the point. This beer did that. However, I think paired with the right food it could be delicious but on its own this wasn't for me. (644 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers and a half worth of slightly fizzy off-white colored head... Modest retention at best gives way to a full veil of misty lace and a moderately thick collar... A vibrant orangish amber color... Minimal traces of very small bubbled carbonation can be seen under close investigation... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A tremendous mix of blueberries and raspberries to start... Very authentic fruit aromas... A bit of candied sugars... A very faint Belgian yeast scent... Perhaps some faint traces of orange zest... A touch of honey... The fruit is the dominant player, but is far from overpowering...

T - A lot more of the complexity on the palette... Candied sugars... Belgian yeast... Some light touches of wheat... The fruit flavors are slightly more artificial, but still rather pleasant... A very subtle spiciness lies beneath the surface... Perhaps a bit cloying overall...

M - Medium bodied... Very light whimsical carbonation which fits the beer perfectly... Sticky... Sleek... Lively...

D - A unique blend of styles that challenges the senses... The nose is more fruit than Belgian... The palette is more Belgian than fruit... Enjoyable all the way around... The only complaint is that this on is ever so slightly cloying... (1,262 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.