Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,432 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,432
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 93
Gots: 185 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,432 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
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%
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 -6.3%
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
3/5  rDev -18%
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
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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
4.88/5  rDev +33.3%
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 +23%
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
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%
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
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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
3.1/5  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.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer tasted a lot like what I think Forte would taste like if you aged it for about two years. It is a mellow fruitiness that I found inoffensive, somewhat appealing, but not awefully exciting either. Not bad; and I'd recommend it.

This beer is reddish with a soapy head. It has a fruity sour cherry smell. Flavor is mellow sour cherries and this beer is not boozy or unpleasantly fruity (which was my impression of Forte). Mouthfeel is a bit watery.

I thought this beer was decent, but it may have been just a bit too mellow. A mix of half this and half Forte I think would be perfect!

Photo of Grundle20
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
The beer pours from light copper to medium amber in color. There's a minimal off white head to the beer the retreats quickly and leaves little lacing.

Smell:
For the most part I'm picking up sweet caramel malts but there are the faintest touches of blueberry skins, yes just the skins. A little lackluster honestly for a beer that's brewed with two rather potent fruits both in taste and smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again the fruit is taking more of a back seat than I expected, maybe that's what they were going for but it almost comes across as pointless. To start off there's more of the malt sweetness with a very tiny raspberry undertone. From front to back there's even smoothness and this flavor slowly just fades out to the end presenting very little interesting flavor notes. The finish hints at blueberries but it's again so faint. Sweetness sits in on the aftertaste with that odd blueberry skin touch.

Drinkability:
I'm really not feeling this beer and a 10% ABV isn't helping the drinkability either.

Bottom Line:
Not very fruity and kind of boring all gimmicks aside, probably my least favorite DFH beer I've ever had.

Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750.
Deep ruby color, almost purple. Looks absolutely great.

Smells like a toned down pale belgian, some spiciness, not as much fruit as expected.

Taste follows smell, very belgiany, and a bit fruity, but just less than I had hoped for. Not bad by any means though.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but good. Lot's a carbonation. Finishes clean and dry.

I did manage to finish off the 750 by myself as no one else was around. The first 20 oz went down easy, it got bland by the end.

Overall a really good beer, but I feel like the same flavor could be acheived at much lower abv. I'd drink it again, but I probably wouldn't pay for it.

Photo of Bighuge
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear light copper with a pink tint to it. Pours fizzy. A slight head forms and then is gone. Lacing is nonexistent.

Nose: Really not a lot going on here. Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. That's it folks.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste follows suit with the nose. Really not a lot of substance here. This is one of the most non-descript beers I've had in a while and it surprises me being that it's a 10% fruit beer. Berries mingle in the background lightly. Can't decipher the specific qualitites that would make them black raspberry or blueberry or whateverberry. Just get a light berry sense. Alcohol is surprisingly light as well. There's a sweetness to this beer, but of course it's quite subdued. The beer is light in body and on the lower end of the spectrum for carbonation.

Drinkablility: Fine. I'll drink it. More because of what I paid for it rather than what's inside the bottle. Probably the biggest disappointment I've experienced from DFH. A total 180 from their Red and White, which I thought was very good.

Photo of shark262
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a striking purple/rose color with 3 fingers of carbonation (used a champagne flute). High carbonation settles quickly with no lacing.

Slightly malty aroma is pushed forward with subtle scents of berries.

Fruity and crisp taste with berries providing a nice background (not overpowering). Nice hop spice combines with mellow tartness and dry finish. Alcohol presence warms the palette increasingly after each sip.

Sparkling mouthfeel with medium body.

Drinks easy. I could see the alcohol in this one creeping up on me rapidly.

Photo of kajerm
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 at South Philly Taproom. Pours a velvety blue-brown with about a finger and a half of white, lightly-lacing head.

Fruit is the main player in the aroma, with big helpings of both blackberries and blueberries, but this is still a beer (I don't know why DFH insists on calling its fruit beers "malt beverages")-- light fruity esters, yeast character, and a little bit of toffeeish malt are all present in both the flavor and aroma.

It's not that complex or exciting, but the balance on this one is nice, and I NEVER use the word "balance" to describe a DFH beer (other than 90-minute.) Fruitiness and tanginess are never overwhelming, nor is sweetness (a typical Dogfish Head flaw); this is certainly one of their better one-off bottlings.

Drinkability is decent, with the 11%ABV nearly impossible to detect anywhere but in your hangover.

Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one awhile ago from the local beer guy, have been meaning to drink it for sometime and today was its day.

A: It pours a pretty purplish red color with a nice two finger head that settles to one.

S: Nothing too special here. There is a definite yeasty maltiness to it with a hint of berry. To be honest the smell is so faint I can't tell you if I am smelling raspberry or blueberry.

T: This one has some spice and fruitiness to it. Nothing really stands out though identifying exactly what it is I taste. It's not sweet at all in fact it has a nice tartness to it. I wish there was a more pronounced taste from the berries. On a good note it does hide the 10% ABV wonderfully.

M: Very nice here. There is a great bit of carbonation; it’s very creamy yet sparkling.

D: I can drink the whole bottle easily myself, but I will stop at that.

Overall: Not too bad, glad my beer guy kept one back for me to try. I missed out on the Red & White which is unfortunate since it gets really good reviews. This one is a pretty good fruit beer, but is somewhat lacking in taste. I with DFH would have put a little more berry punch in this one.

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highmarks for feel and drinkability. It drinks like a smooth wine, where other smooth fruit beers are simply juice-like. The flavor, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It's just bland. There's mellow, light malt profile with a touch of blueberries, but that's it. It might be a decent, in not expensive, gateway beer for wine drinkers.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 750ml bottle into the glass a dark amber with purple and red. A small fizzy white head develops and falls quickly. Lots of particulate in the brew which I'm guessing is from the fruit. Aromas start off with dark berries and light toasted grains. A bit of yeast in the nose as well as just a touch of herbal hops. Much more mellow than I expected.

First sip brings a light, somewhat grainy malt met by berry flavors. I can taste both hints of blackberry and blueberry but it's quite mellow overall. Flows down with a nice spicy yeast twang and a touch of herbal hops on the finish. A nice mix between bitter and sweet...the spiciness adds a nice dimension.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good carbonation. This one goes down really easily considering the abv and I could see it getting me in trouble if I drank too much. There's really no alcohol flavor at all in here. Overall, an interesting brew but it didn't really grab me enough to want to buy another bottle at the price point it sells for. There's many other things I would choose first.

Photo of kmo1030
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reddish caramel color with a thin but dense head.
the aroma has the raspberry and blueberry aromas, along with carmel and some smells remeniscent of wheat beer. i'm getting some plum as well. there is also a subtle astringent smell in there too, not overpowering or overly distracting though. whisps of banana. a little medicinal.
the taste is fairly subtle for such a big beer. it's obviously got the raspberry and blueberry again that hits mid palate. also it has the same vaguely wheat character in the mouth. pretty sweet particularly towards the finsh. it does also have a fruity bitterness towards the back end, though it's probably bittering hops mingled with the fruit. the malts provide a caramel and vanilla base for the fruit.
fuller side of medium boied with fine but active carbonation.
decent drinkability, sort of a big sticky beer, but the alcohol is well hidden actually. overall, worth a try, but nothing i'd come back to.

Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy purple head that fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a light blueberry scent with very little malt aroma. The alcohol is also well hidden. The taste is decent. It has a mild fruit flavor that boasts of black raspberries and blueberries. The malt bill seems quite simple and lacking character. I understand this is a fruit beer, but it really doesn't do much for me. The mouthfeel is average. It's a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a real letdown. I was hoping for something bold, but it really didn't live up to the hype.

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle.

Ale with black rasperries and blueberry puree.

Appearance is a pretty red color, like red raspberries actually, with good, white head and nice retention.

Aroma is light, with some berry sweetness. Not much going on here for me.

Taste is also fairly light and fruity, with just a touch of malt undertones. Not bad at all, but nothing that really grabbed me. Does do an excellent job of masking the 11% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with pretty good carbonation. This beer is quite drinkable for 11%, but was not interesting enough for me to want more than one glass.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish-purple body with thin, short-lived off-white head.

Smell: A fairly delicate aroma of blackberry juice, blueberry syrup, and sweet-smelling malts.

Taste: Void of the striking, juicy fruitiness I was hoping for, I'm disappointed to find it was merely a faint, awkward candyish berry sweetness. Finishes tart and medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Mouthfeel is sticky, approaching syrupy. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: The real loser in all of this is me, as I still have another bottle of this stuff waiting for me at home.

Photo of drseamus
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottled date on this one was 2/13/07, so it had almost exactly 4 months aging. It pours a very dark rich red color with no head. There are visible bubbles rising from the bottom of my DFH snifter. The only smell I get off of this is a wine-type aroma and it isn't very strong. I like that the fruit is fairly subtle, or at least not with the usual accompanying sweetness. The raspberries are up front, and as they fade out the blueberries step to the front. It's almost hard to think of this as a beer as it tastes and feels more like a wine. I do get a bit of malt flavor in the background, but just a very little bit. I like this beer for what it is and I'm interested to see if aging will change it at all. My guess is that it will probably only hold it's own or go downward.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,432 ratings.