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: 1,559
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 111
Gots: 246 | 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: 510 | Hads: 1,559
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a clear dark red color with a huge head and lots of lacing.

Smell – Raspberries and blueberries are in the nose, which I give a lot of credit for (these are often hard to small in fruit beers). Kind of a sweet scent, with bit of yeast.

Taste – I can also taste the raspberries and blueberries, which is very good. But the beer itself is neither sweet nor sour, but slightly bitter, which doesn’t complement the berry flavor well.

Mouthfeel – Nice carbonation, and very easy drinking for a 10%abv. I cannot taste or feel the alcohol.

Drinkability – I like the berry flavor, but the slight bitterness takes away somewhat from overall drinkability. (680 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a brandy snifter. "Bottled in 2012A 10:04."

A: Light frothy head. Cranberry-coloured ale which is rather translucent.

S: Grainy and plain.

T: Interesting and excellent! At the beginning, it's got the pleasant, yeasty graininess of a Belgian Pale Ale, but then tart raspberry kicks in and makes it puckery and interesting. I can see the blueberries too, especially in the sweeter endtaste. The maintaste is sweet, malty, and fruity (surprise).

M: Smooth and lightly spicy.

O: I like it. It's good -- maybe not great -- but very good. Recommended. I may not have it again, but I'm glad I had this one. I do like Dogfish Head, very much. (671 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Flute]

The pour was a clear reddish peach with a huge pale pink fizzy head that dissipated rather quickly and produced some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a sweet caramel malt and a funky Belgian yeast with notes of Blackberry, Blueberry and had a mellow wine presence.

The taste was sweetly acidic throughout with a strong berry presence and a nice bitter sourness along with a mild alcohol warming sensation towards the finish. The flavor hung around for a good long while with the bitter-sweet fruity taste mellowing as time went on.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a strong dry texture and a good strong lively carbonation.

Overall a very unique tasting brew, with just enough sweet and sour to mellow the harsh bitterness and allow for the fruity esters to prevail...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (849 characters)

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

A- Pours a semi-hazy golden hue with definite blue notes that darken it up a little bit. Small head that retains and laces very well.

S- Semi-sweet berry scents are prominent. Hints of boozy undertones in there too. Slight hints of Belgian yeast give a semi-bitter scent profile.

T- Starts of semi-sweet, then the Belgian yeast flavor profile takes over. Slight bitterness transfers into a more bitter, biting alcohol flavors. Blueberry flavor intermingles the whole way.

M- Thick and sticky on the palate. Too heavy in the ABV department for the style. Low levels of carbonation.

Overall, this is too boozy to be enjoyed over long periods of time. With a ABV turned down a few notches, this would be a very solid beer, but the smell and flavor profiles tend to take over. (776 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is slightly purple from golden - to be expected. Good lacing on the glass but head disappated quickly. Smell is more blackberry heavy than blueberry. Taste is consistent with the smell. Slightly boozy taste but the ABV tips that off. Great for a nightcap. (261 characters)

Photo of thain709
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a ruby body that had some clarity to it as well as some slow carbonation bubbles...the head was white and thin to begin with and fell to hardly visible ring

S - This one is full of fruity notes...lots of berries going on...slightly tart and juicy blackberries and blueberries...there is also a slight wine characteristic to the nose

T - The beer is also full of fruity notes from start to finish...the berries really stand out on the palate...the blackberries provide a sweet, deeper flavor while the blueberries lend a little bit of a tartness while also being sweet...there is a quick presence of the yeast strain, but it doesn't provide a spiciness which is nice...I didn't get any alcohol in the finish, which was also nice

M - Medium bodied...slight tingly carbonation, sweet, slightly tart and dry

O - Dogfish did a nice job with this one...I didn't find the alcohol presence, but I'm sure an entire bomber would do me in...great berry flavors with a small supporting cast in the background (1,016 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours pink and settles into the glass as a clay red color. Virtually no head from the beginning, just some white bubbles on the top.

S- Smells like a wine or a sparkling cider. Blueberries and blackberries are noticeable, along with a musty aroma.

T- Berries are really all that come through, along with the slightest light malt presence.

M- High carbonation level allows this to drink like a sparkling cider.

O- If the goal was for a berry-based sparkling cider-like beer, they nailed it. This tastes nothing like a traditional beer, but is good for what it is. (570 characters)

Photo of circus_cat
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Used a DFH snifter.

A: Pours an opaque red color (closer to amber when held up to the light). I got about two fingers of a soapy bright white head which quickly disappeared to just a sliver.

S: The berries are very loud. I get a tart natural blackberry blueberry smell followed by some breadiness.

T: It tastes a lot like it smells except you realllly get booze on the taste. It kind of burns going down.

M: Very effervescent on the tongue with a clean finish. Again, you get that alcohol feel.

Edit: I feel like I didn't do this beer justice in the review or the score, so I adjusted the score accordingly. Like many people on B.A., I'm not the biggest veggie/fruit beer fan and sometimes my reviews will reflect that bias (sidenote, dudes, please stop saying that fruit beers are "girly." I'm a woman and it makes me feel really unwelcome in the craft beer enthusiast community when gender is used as a benchmark for how good or bad beer is). This beer accomplished exactly what it is meant for. It's a good seasonal beer and you can tell they used real berries instead of fake flavoring. Would I rather have a robust porter or an IPA? Sure. But if I were looking for a fruit beer with some actual complexity, this is a really excellent one. (1,250 characters)

Photo of confer
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It looks like port with an off-white ring around it.
The smell is ale-like with a sweet berry background.
The taste is nothing but the berry blend with small alcohol burn included.
Very light in the feel, champagne-like.
I like a good fruit beer and this one fits the bell for me. More wine tasting than beer tasting, but a good sipper. (336 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pour looks a couple shades lighter than cranberry juice with a finger of off-white foam on top. Head slowly faded onto a fuzzy film that lasted the whole beer through. Clinging patches of lace present.
S: Huge notes of raspberry puree fill my nose. I get a hint of tartness, a splash of red apples, and maybe the suggestion of blueberries. This beer is also pretty boozy smelling, with volatile alcohol vapors coming though noticeably. Touch of yeast or bready malt smell from the base beer as well.
T: Again, booze is almost the first thing I notice. Raspberry dominates the fruit, but blueberries are more noticeable than the nose. Apple, bread crust, yeast, and caramel, and wood are also present. I get a hint of chocolate in the aftertaste as well. Interesting flavors, definitely not a straight forward rasp/blueberry fruit beer. The base Belgian golden ale are still noticeable to some degree.
M: Medium-full body, bubbly carbonation on the palate but disappears quickly, with a thick, viscous, and greasy mouthfeel. Finish is thankfully not too wet. For being such a big beer I am surprised that the mouth isn't hot. Other than the viscosity I'm not getting any hint of alcohol. Credit where credit is due.
O: If this was about 5% less abv and was crisp and dry, I would drink this beer regularly. As it is now, this is a big, boozy, fruit influenced golden ale that is worth checking out, but not my favorite drinking beer. (1,467 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub in Rehoboth beach, beer is reddish and clear with almost no head, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, strong, cherries, mild Belgian yeast.

Beer is thick and sweet, strong with a lot of cherry flavors. Very strong, very in my face. It is a little harsh but finishes fine, lingering fruitiness. Very sweet. (337 characters)

Photo of zaphodchak
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber body, fine white trace of head.

Musty, dry blueberry and trace cocoa... quite nice on the nose.

Big flavor, blue/blackberry. Not super sweet nor tart, but faintly dry. Really quite nice, and you wouldn't necessarily guess this was 10%.

Thick with a bit of fluff.

Nice bold fruit beer-- not sugary, not too dry or sour, gets the flavor well. (358 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle has a nice thick paper on it, and an interesting colonial style painting of a man holding the beer, but it just doesn’t seem to excite me very much. This bottle has none of the minimalism of Dogfish Head’s normal bottles, nor any of the complexity of some of their higher end beers. The small lettering of the beer’s title is unfortunate, as its “black & blue” character could surely have been more played up and prominent in the design. The off-kilter dogfish symbol on the bottle’s neck is also kind of weird… Why not just place it on-kilter…? Overall I’m just not a huge fan of this bottle. It’s not a keeper.

This beer pours an amber/ruby red with a white head that carries a hint of purple within it, and is very thick and frothing with happy bubbles, which dissipates slowly, leaving a nice half-finger head and also light and sliding lacing that droops in lovely cloud patterns down the glass. The beer smells sweet and yeasty, with nice hints of the malts and stronger hints of sweet berries. I also detect a slight hint of wet dog, which is a little upsetting to the beer… that may just be the sour berries doing funky things with the wet smell of the beer, but it is a little strange to smell. Malts seem sweet and light, and a hop character is not even there as the berry bite takes its place. The beer tastes very sour with a metallic/citrus tinge in the back of the taste which comes partially from the booziness of the beer, but that doesn’t entirely explain the metal. The beer is almost wine-like with light berry accentuations, which means this is definitely a sipper, not a chugger. My initial thought is that I should have had this in a wine glass and not in the pint mug I used. There is also some syrupy flavor after the taste has washed over your mouth, and the bitter of the raspberry definitely lingers in the mouth. It is very harsh on the tip of the tongue with carbonation. It leaves the mouth very dry and desert-like the farther it goes on the tongue, but the very middle and tip seems to be cloying with a thick and sticky syrup feel. It also leaves more of a wine’s sweet fruity lingering in the mouth than a beer’s crispness. Overall I am not very impressed with this beer, especially for its $13 price tag. It has a nice sour taste, but there are also some stranger things in the taste, especially the metallic/citrus anomaly. The fruit just doesn't do nicely with this beer. I either want more fruit flavor, or less and more beer; but where they stand is not really working for me. I also don’t get much of the blueberry in the taste, which is disappointing. I suppose the raspberry is just too strong of a flavor, but I would have loved to have sensed some of the blueberry. The beer is a meh, and definitely not a recommended from me. Honestly, I just want more berry flavor from this and it just doesn’t deliver. (2,893 characters)

Photo of _thekev
2.17/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pour is encouraging, copper-colored, and nice lacing. Carbonation adequate, but minimal.

Nose is fruity, potent, sweet. Not my kind of beer. Here goes...

Taste? I just... don't... know what to say. A glass full of sugar masking alcohol. Like sucking down a bottle of fermented blueberry syrup from IHOP.

Sorry DH. This one was a mistake. (341 characters)

Photo of imasloth
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a large pinkish head, almond coloured as it dissipates and leaving fine lacing. Beer itself is reddish amber in color.

S- Tart and slightly sweet, even vinous.

T- Like a blueberry wine ... with some very nice tartness. Dry blackberry finish.

M- Dry, silky. Medium-bodied with good carbonation feel.

O- A very nice beer. Not sure they hit it out of the park, especially for the cost ... but one you should try. (422 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012B vintage. New style embossed 750 ml bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Really deep dark amber/red body with a purple tint. A fluffy three finger head formed and settled down to a neat cap. Great amount of lacing and retention.

S - Sweet and super fresh berries. Actually smells like raspberries and not the blackberries and blueberries it uses. A bit of yeast and malt and lots of noticeable alcohol on the finish.

T - A whole lot of raspberries and a bit of blueberries. Super sweet and astringent. This is followed by a smooth malty presence and finally some lingering alcohol warmth. Aftertaste is a bit medicinal. Surprisingly for a DFH beer, no hop presence. Mouth feel is syrupy and coating. Carbonation is a bit low.

O - Comes off like a tamed version of Fort. Lots of berry flavors, somewhat of an earthy and medicinal finish, way too much alcohol. Like most big DFH beers, I think this is meant to be aged to calm down a bit. I hate to make this comparison as I love DFH, but berry flavored malternative beverage... (1,038 characters)

Photo of magine
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH goblet.

Pours a clear dark cherry amber, with a pint tinted thick fluffy head with tons of tight bubbles. Lots of grate lace remains, surrounded by a patch thick layer. Good looking brew.

Brew smells of tons of berries, dark fruits, Belgian flare for sure; yeasts. Sweet malts. Good nose.

Brew tastes creamy smooth; spicy heat in the middle and the finish. High abv lingers. Dark fruits, yeasty malts thicken it up. Semi dry finish. Good full body and flavors.

The best fruit beer I have had so far; full body, great flavors and has lots of kick to it. Never been the biggest fans of these type of brews, but this one is great. Great fruit brew here, another stud from DFH. (695 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange to amber in color. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to virtually nothing. Minimal lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of berries - blackberry and blueberry - on top of some malts and Belgian yeast.

T: The taste of this beer is very similar to the smell with both sweet and tart berry flavors dominant - blackberry and blueberry. Light flavors from the malts as well as just a hint of the Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: The beer is a little sweet for my palate but it hides the alcohol very well. This is more of a sipping beer than an easy drinker or a sessionable beer. (732 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice 1.5 finger head with excellent retention on a clear amber with copper hues body. Excellent lacing.

S: grape and blueberries. Caramel and toasted malts in the background.

T: finally a fruit beer which is still a beer. The blueberry and blackberries come and go and lingers in the finish with caramel malts, yeasty, spices and peppery zest. This one is a little too sweet only a little tart.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a little too sweet. Still one of the better fruit beers I have tried. (521 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Copper Mine.

This beer really surprised me in a nice way! It pours a reddish amber-brown with a small head and only so-so retention and lace so it’s not at all exceptional to look at. The nose has a good blackberry and blueberry presence as well as some sweet malt and light floral hops.

The flavor was very sweet and almost put this into the dessert category for me. Lots of intense fresh blue and blackberry flavor, a bit of grainy malt, some tannic notes, and very mild floral hops. Faint tartness. A hint of booze in the finish but nothing that lets on the 10% ABV.

Medium to slightly full-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slightly sticky overall mouthfeel. The freshness of the fruit flavor really made this an enjoyable beer for me. I’d like to try this in the bottle to see if it comes up to the same level of drinkability and tastiness.

Revisit: I don't like this anymore very much. Found the bottle to be too sweet and boozy and a chore to drink. Not awful but just not very appealing. These qualities would work better in a big stout but this one just gets too hot and syrupy after a few sips. (1,133 characters)

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

Bottle from 2012

A: pours a deep red to light brown into a DFH snifter with a finger of white head that recedes to a small mat and collar
S: smells of pale malt and fruity esters along with some blackberries and blueberries
T: smooth malty sweetness yields to some big blueberry and raspberry flavors along with a bit of alcohol. aftertaste is more berry flavors
M: light to medium in body with slightly prickly carbonation and a non drying finish
O: pretty good, lets the fruit shine and packs a nice punch. the last time I had it it must have been older because it seemed to have the flavors blend a little better (616 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 chefhatt
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. It has a nice rich auburn color body with just a small white head that leaves a nice lace down the glass. The smell has a nice berry aroma to it. The taste is a little tart to start then the berries come in on the middle of the tongue and gives it a nice like sweet flavor. I get like a white wine finish on the back of the tongue. Very nice mouth feel, very little after taste. Overall this is very different and i really like this beer. (496 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Bottling. Pours a clear, pinkish amber color with a large white head that takes some time to go down. Scent is very berry-forward...quite inviting actually. Smells like fresh raspberries and blackberries with a hint of tartness. Lovely aroma. Taste is initially just a bit tart, but quickly turns to alcohol flavor. There is some definite booziness to this (nowhere near Fort, but noticeable booziness). Belgian yeast flavors with some spice and dark malt. You still get some pleasant raspberry and blackberry...not really picking up the blueberry. Finish is warming and sweet. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied. Although it drinks fairly light, the puree and booziness makes it feel much more heavy. Drinkability is fair. Overall, I was very skeptical going into this because I tried Fort not to long ago and hated it. This one could definitely use without the intense alcohol flavor, but it is an enjoyable beer. The nose especially. (938 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a ruby red – pink color with a fluffy pink hued head. The head fades rather quickly to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is very berry-white wine in nature. There is a big presence of a green grape/white wine aroma mixed with a moderately strong blackberry smell. There are lighter hints of some blueberry and yeast mixed in as well. As stated before, quite white wine like.

Taste - Just like the nose hinted at, the flavor is very semi-sweet white wine like. Its starts out with a white grape flavor some breadiness and a strong presence of tannins. These flavors create a base for the beer which lasts the whole taste through. The berry flavors come more toward the middle. They begin lighter, but strengthen throughout the taste experience. At the end a bitter sweet berry flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Very light in body with a slightly higher than average level of carbonation. It is appropriate and very nice for the wine like flavors of the beer.

Overall – Not really what I am looking for when I am looking for a beer. It is a good wine alternative if that is what you are looking for; sorta a white wine-beer hybrid. (1,232 characters)

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