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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,403 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,403
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 82
Gots: 172 | 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: 1,403 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful rose-colored beer with a light, fizzy pink head that reduces to a thin layer of foam.

It smells sweetly of grapes and berries with a hint of wine-like dryness.

The taste is light and tart with plenty of grape flavors mixed in. It has very little malt qualities, instead leaning to fruity flavors. But these flavors are subdued. This isn't like soda.

The body is crisp and light. The sparkling carbonation also adds to the lightness.

Overall this is a neat experiment and an excellent beer to get wine drinkers interested. It has a lot of champagne qualities, from the fizziness to the wine-like flavors.

Shaw, May 04, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A clear ruby pour. Large white head that settled quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Berries and grapes. Some sweet malt. Not much going on here.

Taste: The berries grapes and malts are all present and not much else. A little astringent taste comes through in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but feels very light on the tongue. Active carbonation.

Drinkability: I could see this being a nice refreshing summer beer if it weren't for the ABV.

stereosforgeeks, May 04, 2007
Photo of cichief
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- A deep red, almost as dark as a wine, with a little whit head.

S- Fruity, especially of berries, tart.

T- Fruity, with a slight sourness of berries. A fresh blackberry flavor. No noticeable alcohol burn.

M- Smooth, thick, tiny bubbles. Sour but not too tart.

D- Unfortunately it is too powerful to have much of, maybe as a dessert on a special ocassion.

cichief, May 03, 2007
Photo of nriech
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Off white head, lots of it. A very carbonated looking dark red brew.

Smell: More raspberry than blueberry. Sort of sweet smelling with just a tad bit of fruit and malt. Very mild.

Taste: Extremely mild tasting in flavor and ABV. I couldnt tell at all it was 11%. Malty with just a touch of sweet fruit. Not like any other blueberry or fruit beers that are overpowering and sickeningly sweet. This is actually drinkable. Light and not much in the way of aftertaste. A little tart at the end.

Overall a good balanced fruit beer. Just enough fruit to know what you are drinking, good masking of alcohol, easy to drink and a good strong beer for summer. I dont think I could make this a regular but maybe this should be on a rotating every other year schedule.

nriech, May 02, 2007
Photo of smcolw
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ruby-copper colored and clear; decent head that gives a partial lace on the glass.

Interestingly, the initial smell I get is tomotoes. Lots of malt, very little hop,

Very dry initial taste that transforms into an unsuspected sweetness. A good body that gives an unexpected fullness. Rather bland, missing an interesting component of compexity.

I love the attempt, but I think it misses the mark.

smcolw, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of lehows
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a redish tinted amber color with a tight white head. Wonderful aromas of dark berries and some mild floral hops. Smooth and creamy taste of rich yet mild blackberries and blueberries. Hops and malt make a well enough presence so that the beer is not too sweet. Well balanced and very drinkable for the ABV. Recommended.

lehows, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Capped 750ml bottled on 02/12/07. Pours a slightly pinkish amber color with a small head. The aroma was mostly grain with just a hint of berries and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste was on the otherhand was just a mess. It tasted sort of like a bad berry wine. There was really not much malt or hops at all. The drinkability was low due to it being unbalanced and boozy. Overall, I am very dissapointed with this brew as I had such high expectations after the Red & White. Not reccomended.

cjgator3, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After recently enjoying the Red and White, I had big expectations for this brew. Though nice, it did not live up to the hype. The beer pours a 'grape-juice' looking ruby color with formitable retention that soon faded. The abundant aromas shows a blast of juicy berry character with a strong note of red wines and oak. The flavors show a berry, wine tartness, but lacks the intense flavors expected. The barrel gives a bold muskiness and earthiness (nearly horse blanket) which dominated the fresh fruits. The feel ended up a bit thin, although hiding the alcohols well. Finishes wiht a mild astringency and lambic quality. Nice, but just expected more.

BEERchitect, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Florian's. Translucent ruby-red body with a quarter inch of off-white head. Smell is weaker than expected, but consists mostly of blackberry with a hint of blueberry. Blue and black berries dominate the flavor as expected, with hints of caramel malt, making for a mostly sweet beer with a hint of sourness. Surprsisingly little alcohol present in the flavor. And while the body is atad syruppy, it;s oddly drinkable for such a big beer. Maybe getting this one again.

MrHurmateeowish, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of crookedhalo
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. ABV listed as 10% on the label, but who's counting when it's that strong? Pours up the color of a Manhattan, or like iced tea with a splash of cranberry in it. Light pink head holds nicely for a while. Subtle berry aroma with whiffs of alcohol and a medarate grainy aroma to it. I can tell I served this one up too cold so I'm going to come back to it in about 10 minutes. I can definitely pick up on the berry content now that it's warmed a bit, noticeably the blueberry (I love fresh blueberries, one of the reasons I had to try this beer). This beer certainly does have an alcoholic warmth to it. After a couple of sips, my stomach feels a touch warmed. The berry flavor is subtle, taking a back seat to a malty, grainy tasting beer. No descernable hop aroma or flavor to take note of, although there is a organic vegetal quality to the beer, but not hops. Carbonation seems a bit subtle due to the medium-to-thick body of the beer. Initially malty and sweet, with a faint tartness near the finish. I mentioned that I love blueberries and I'm just delighted that this beer kept its flavor in check. I've been disappointed with any other blueberry beer I've tried because they always taste like a Jelly Belly jellybean or if Kool-Aid made a blueberry flavor. Sam keeps reinventing his line of beers like Madonna keeps reinventing herself, only difference is that Sam is God and Madonna only thinks she is.

crookedhalo, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, bottled on 2/12/07. The beer pours a red/purple/amber/brown color with a white/light pink head. Head retention and lacing are good. I can smell berries/fruit, not necessarily raspberries and blueberries but the aroma is fruity. The taste is sweet and tart berries with a bit of a medicinal flavor and malt, but no hops that I can taste. Taste does get a bit better as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick. The alcohol isn't noticable at first, but it does kick in later on. Drinkability is OK, but nothing special. Overall I think it's a decent beer, but a bit of a disappointment to me.

bluejacket74, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle with no date on the bottle. Poured into a tulip glass, this beer was a reddish hue with a small head. It had a sweet aroma. I couldn't detect any particular fruit. Taste was the same: sweet, but not much else. I think after drinking the bottle that maybe I could taste some backberry, but I,m not sure. No hint of blueberry. Some malt gave it a decent mouthfeel. This beer was too sweet for me.

lordofthewiens, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of mmcave
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottled on 2-12-07
Ignored beer advocate glass suggestion and poured into a Grolsch glass. Head levels out a good two centimeters off the surface with decent retention and delicate almost gray lacing. The body is red amber, with purple tones, bright red high lights and some peach/pink. Its moderately translucent, with good clarity, and tiny bubbles. The smell reminds me of fall immediately for some reason, maybe because I had Jiahu ( and this reminds me of that?) for the first time this fall, but I can not say for sure. I get no absolute traces of raspberry or blue berry, although I do get strong hints of berry, but what specifically I cannot discern. Malt is present with a weird dried corn note, plus very little hop aroma. As it warms the fruit becomes much more apparent almost sticky in my nostrils. Taste is slightly gummy or jammy alcohol is perceptible but by no means over powering. I taste hints of fruit in the beginning, a tinge of bitterness in the midsection and another flourish of berry character coupled with light malt on the finish. I didn’t notice the normal alcohol warmth you would immediately after taking a sip of something 10 abv, but it did ketch up with my soon after. For me the mouth feel was a bit unexpected on this, I thought there would be much more residual sugar left over from the fruit after fermentation. I get the feeling the fruit had so much fermentable sugar in it that it left a smaller amount of desirable fruit flavor and aroma, but in tern helped to boost the ABV so high. Very interesting, definitely not a sessionable beer, not because of the drinkable factor simply because of the ABV. Fun and interesting to try, but if it were available year round I doubt I’d buy it.

mmcave, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of quasimoto
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this line of beers Sam has come out with. Finally a brewery that is giving me something new.
It is a ruby/purple red crystal clear beer with a faintly off pink head. The head was huge, but it dissapated quickly and only left a little bit of lace. The aromas are of strong raspberries, black berries, oak and some phenol alcohol. But only very faint phenols, as the regular alcohol comes in strong flanking the beer like the Viet Cong. The taste is very sweet raspberries, black berry fruity flavors along with the balance of woody oak. There is a lot of alcohol in the back ground, and as it warms it gets even stronger. Never the less, it doesnt leave that traditional alcohol burn on you palette. I think this would make a great reduction sauce for some vanila ice cream, and pound cake. Very nice. Once Again, Sam you've out done your self.

quasimoto, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great reddish/blue color. Nice thin white head. Reminds me of the one berlinner weisse I have had in my life. Good aroma-fruity with a mellow lactic type smell to it. Fruity and dry flavor. Some malt flavor. No real bitterness to it. Good sourness. The fruit/malt dominates. While the label says blueberries and blackberries neither stands out-just says fruit. Nice body for being 11%. Overall a nice beer. Doesnt really stand out in any way shape or form. I know they are 2 seperate beers and styles but the Red and White puts this away.

lackenhauser, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of phisig137
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful deep amber brilliant ruby color, with a one finger head that is tinted a light pink. Decent retention leaves behind a bit of lace and a thin blanket of foam.

Aroma is filled with sweet fruity aromas, mostly of raspberry, but also a good amount of yeasty esters. Some medicinal aromas also come through.

Flavor is another story. Big blueberry flavors are abundant, along with some raspberry in there as well. No hops whatsoever to speak of, and almost no malt either. Medicinal flavors, astringent alcohol, and a lingering sweetness ruin the flavor on this one. Mouthfeel is sticky and thick. Drinkability is fairly low.

Quite a let down from DFH. This just lack balance and finese. After drinking the red and white, this was a disappointment. Almost reminds me more of "mad dog 20/20" than a fine DFH brew.

That is not to say that the beer is not made well. I think DFH did a good job considering what it is, and I respect them greatly for it. I just think perhaps this is one direction that extreme beer shouldn't venture much further.

phisig137, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of Wildman
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark red color and formed a pure white bubbly head that disappeared leaving trace lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of berries and not much else present. The flavor was of blackberries and raspberries with some medicinal aspects to it. It has a fairly light body to it and the finish was tart. It's hard to review Dogfish's experitmental offerings since they always go to the extreme, which isn't necessarily the best wasy to approach a brew.

Wildman, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of peabody
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a really clear reddish amber with three fingers of tan suds. Lots of lacing though
Not a lot of smell here. I get a dark bready aroma. No fruit here.
Taste is not good. Dirty sugar and nasty water.
The Red and White was better. This black and blue is gross and nasty.
Stay with the Red and White!

peabody, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of cbl2
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

4/7/2007 $11.99 750 mL 10.00% Bottled on 2/12/07 (three days after Red & White).

Appearance:

Pours a clear brown with what can only be described as violet highlights. Topped by a quarter inch of tight white head (also with a purple hue), that is slow to settle.

Aroma:

Sweet dark berries, reminiscent of Au Courant or Sam Adams Boysenberry wheat. Lacks the complexity and subtle nuances of Red & White.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Dry astringent metallic/medicinal berry flavors, with a strong Robitussin sensation that summons up deep buried memories of the most horrible illnesses, and almost makes me gag. What happened here? Red & White was phenominal, the best large beer DFH has done in while. This is a chore to suck down, and may meet a watery grave in my drain before long. Alcohol becomes apparent a few sips in, with a bit of hotness that goes straight to the head.

cbl2, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ok, this one pours a funny color. Burgundy/blue/black...not sure. Kind of a light ruby foam. Weird.
Smells like stale blueberries, metal and strawberry. I can't quite make it out, but it isn't bad...just odd.
I'm taken back by the taste. Off balance of berries (black and blue I assume). The metallic hint is back. Moves from thin to syrupy. Perhaps i expect too much from DFH, but this is not very good. A nice attempt, though.

Mebuzzard, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of kpantz
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: A surprisingly accessible beer from these guys. Pleasant warm weather beer, but nothing mindblowing.

Appearance: A purple-tinged ruby pour, fairly clear. Frothy head is a pale pink. Yes, pink. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Malts and fruit. Pretty simple aroma here. Definite berry presence.

Taste: Honestly? It's relatively weak in the palate department, at least as far as DFH goes. It's one of those cases where the flavors feel a little "far away," though what of it I do get is fairly refreshing and pleasant. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, but you do get the warming sensation that tells you that you shouldn't be pounding it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fervent carbonation attacks the tongue. It's pretty consistent with some of the other fruit beers I've had, so I'd imagine it was intentional. Not too thick or syrupy.

Drinkability: Pretty easygoing. Light flavors and body make this a pretty refreshing ale. That said, the flavors aren't prevalent enough to hold my interest for too long.

kpantz, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of foggylovesbeer
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Just purchased a 750ml of this new seasonal from Dogfish, bottled on date of 2/12/07. Was looking forward to this one, but this brew let me down.
It poured nicely, developed a decent size head and had a nice purple/ruby color. There was little head retention. Had a nice smell and initial taste was good, not overpowering on the fruit, although it did leave me actually wanting to taste more of the berries. The mouthfeel fell flat and left a chalky feeling on the back of my tounge. It's not a bad beer, but my high standards for Dogfish left me expecting to be blown away by this one and it did nothing of the sort.

foggylovesbeer, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This if my first review, but I bought this beer on the recommendation from a friend. My first taste was really a surprise since I was expecting a overly heavy fruit flavor, but my first four or five drinks were very nice, but after that the mouthfeel and drinkability began to fail on me. I still enjoyed this beer very much, but probably wouldn't purchase again.

It poured a deep purple/reddish color with a head that was gone within seconds and like I said before the first few drinks were very pleasant.

TheodorHerzl, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of bigbelcher
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very unimpressive beer from Dogfish Head. Pours a dark purple, berry like color, flavor and taste was just so so, no better, no worse than any other fruit beer. C'mon Sam, show us the love. Beer had at GABF in Denver so only a small sample. Poured by Sam the man himself.

bigbelcher, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of Higravity
1.83/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I was really looking forward to having a brew-pub only beer on my travels to Rehobeth Beach, but this was not what I wanted. The premiss for this beer was taking a belgian-like recipe with a strain of yeast and during primary fermentation feeding blueberries and blackberries everydayto the yeast beasties. Man was this a painfull thing like almost all of their spirits. Bruise color no real head. Smells like boozy berries. Tastes like bad berries wine. Yuck, maybe they will be able to turn this around the next time they make it like they did with Fort.

Higravity, Sep 11, 2006
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,403 ratings.