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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

1,430 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,430
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 92
Gots: 182 | 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: 1,430 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppymeal
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in color, clear, with a bright soapy white head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strong of berries, no surprise, and also shows some lemon and perfumy soapiness. Taste shows both raspberry and blueberry, mingling with a good sized malty sweetness, some crisp carbonation, esp when cold, and a dry and perfumy finish. Medium in body, nice dry finish. The alcohol is barely evident for its size, however all of th flavors seem to be fighting each other rather than blending well together. I like my fruit beers to either be slightly lighter in body, I found the bigger maltiness didn;t blend well with the berries, or to be more singularly focused on the fruit flavor, here things seem to be competing. Glad that dfh is pumping out new and different product, this one while interesting, isn't up my alley.

Photo of khiasmus
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- A reddish amber with cream-colored head that settles quickly. Clarity is good.

S- Some sweet malt, almost like an eisbock nose with a bit of raspberry and some blueberry in the back.... but more yeast than fruit, it seems. And a good bit of alcohol.

T- DMS, yeast, sulfur, initially. There are some fruits, some blueberries, a hint of strawberry, some malt and faint hops. But the three flavors mentioned first are the predominant ones... After you drink it a few minutes, the fruit comes out some more in the aftertaste, but is accompanied by a strong cloying sweetness and yeast finish. ugh.

M- A good, smooth mouthfeel. Medium low carbonation and a fairly clean finish, if you can get past the flavor.

D- I won't have it again. A disappointment... just too much of some strange yeast.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish or even pinkish amber. Litlle head and no lacing, but a fascinating color. The smell is still a little hot, but beyond the alcohol is a hit of yeast and dry dark berries. The taste is also quite yeasty and there are more dark berry flavors. Not sweet at all, rather the flavor is more jammy as found in a wine. The blueberries are more prominent tasting the black raspberry, at least initially, but as it warms the raspberry becomes more evident. Dry and very drinkable, but definitely a big beer. I like it.

Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear reddish purple color with a thick and fluffy 3"+ pinkish white head that lasted a while. This is one interesting looking beer IMHO.

Smell: there is a soft aroma of berries and little else is detectable.

Taste: this is not your usual fruit beer. Loads of dark berries, red grapes, a hint a vanilla, little to no bitterness, and some hints of alcohol are the main flavor components.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry throughout. The aftertaste is brief and filled with berry tones. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a unique fruit beer that is definitely worth trying because of the nice flavors, but to me this is a "one bottle, one time of year" beer - and if it comes out next year I'll probably pick one up.

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I poured this beautifuly ruby amber brew into my brand new DFH pint glass out of its 750ml bottle.

Like I mentioned, the body was an intriguing ruby amber and its head was light and slippery; not much retention.

The beer's aroma hints of its told BLACK raspberry and BLUEberry with some amazing malt characteristics.

Anyone weary of a beer with way too much fruit shall be freed of such fear. This is a tastefully disciplined brew with tactful fruit flavoring.

An outstanding pro for this beverage is its 10% ABV and its unbelievably coy drinkability.

Photo of ccrida
2.08/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my St. Feuillien Goblet, the Black & Blue has a fluffy egg shell head on top of a light purple body with slight chill haze and lots of bubbles.

This smells like malt liquor and less so berries. As it warms, the malt liquor nose becomes vodka.

Taste is on the thinner side and also mainly malt liquor with a soft and sweet berry essence. Initially bitter and sharp, it falls apart to a sharp metallic finish. As it warms, the booziness gets increasingly more vodka like.

Mouthfeel is on the light side and creamy, probably the best facet of this sub par brew.

Drinkablity is questionable at best. While it was cold, it actually went down easy enough and drank much lighter then it's 11%. Once it warmed, it was so gross I desperately put ice-cubes in my first glass! That actually saved it, and I put the rest of the bottle in the freezer for awhile. So ice-cold, it drinks like an over-priced wine cooler. Warmer, it's rough - think grape kool-aide and cheap vodka!

Going into this, I feared I was spending $14 for a fruity malt liquor, and my fears were confirmed. Once again Dogfish Head suckered me into ponying up way to much another one of their failed experiments. I'm beginning to really resent this brewery, in spite of their occasional hits. Kinda like Microsoft software, I'm tried of paying for the privilege of beta testing. Resist the temptation, it may sound good and has a cool label, but is definitely not recommended!

Photo of gunnerman
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, pours an amber orange color with minimal pink head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Smell is sweet berries and fruit also a bit of bread in the nose. Taste hits my tongue with a tarte taste of berries and a bit of malt character, little carbonation but quite smooth, it has a unique taset and one I truly enjoyed. This was a fine and different offering very good, I was expecting it to not be as good as it was. Drinkability is very high for such a high abv on a beer this went down smooth and under control, I could drink this fine beverage all day long.

Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with two friends. This beer pours a clear deep amber red color. Nice white head an inch thick when poured. Eventually settles to a good surface cover with good lacing. Fruity aromas are certainly present along with malty alcohol undertones and also alcohol. This beer is sweet upfront with fairly heavy fruit flavors followed by the malts and the alcohol, although the taste of alcohol is well masked for a beer of this caliber. Perhaps a bit of spice is also present. Has a sort of dry aftertaste. Has a crisp and smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Definitely becomes more drinkable as it warms a bit. Another good offering from Dogfish Head.

Eric

Photo of scott
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

V.07
Highly anticipated.
Nice looking pour - fruit-like appearance with hue. Very aggressive carbonation, with tight white long lasting head.
Fruity/bready beer nose. Pleasant.
Hot & Heavy alcohol presence (too much for my liking), with a cloying barleywine distinction. Not as fruit/wine-like as I would have expected. Not refreshing. Not very complex. DFH hasn't impressed me in quite a while now. I think I'm done giving them the benefit of the doubt. And my money.

Photo of Phatz
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mughugger for sharing this bottle with me. You are a good friend.
This did not turn out to as amazing as I had hoped but it was a good and interesting beer worth trying.

Appearance: Pours a grape juice red with a white head that has decent retention and speckled lacing.

Smell: An immediate burst of berries, fruit, vinous red wine and touch of sugar, oak and a light suggestion of alcohol for an 11% beer.

Taste: Like the nose, there is a berry flavor black and red and a grape note in a light body not so much like a red wine but more like a Arbor Mist or a cheap fruit champagne. It has a dry tart finish that is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth as I mentioned it is bubbly with a dry tart finish.

Drinkability: It is a classy sipping beer best to share with friends over dinner. Small serving would be more suitable enjoyed in a champagne flute at a nice dinner. Then move on to something more special after dinner. That is my suggestion.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of nlmartin
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this on the strenghth of DFH other beers. I really enjoyed Red and White; however, The Black and Blue left me wanting more. The beer was served in a wide mouth wine goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer indeed appears like what you would expect blackbeer/ blueberry juice to look like. A 2 finger white head crest the beer. The head has very little staying power and resolves to a thin ring of foam.

Smell: The beer has a rather weak berry aroma. The Raspberry and Blueberry are not particularly intense. A bit of earthyness plays at the back of the smell.

Taste: A very muted berry flavor peaks out underneath the flavor of a malt liquor. The beer has a vaguely medicinal cough syrup sort of flavor. The alcohol is very boozey and not really worked into the flavor. This just doesnt work for me.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a meduim body. The beer is very medicinal and boozey in mouthfeel. As stated previously this beer doesnt really work for me. The beer was drinkable and nowhere near a sink pour; however, the beer just doesnt work for me on so many levels. I got a drinking experience from this similar to having berry extract added to my malt liquor. With that said I know the beer is experimental. I have enjoyed numerous experimental brews. I will most likely buy another DFH experimental beer. Thanks for continueing to push the envelope.

Photo of jettjon
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the capped 750ml bottle stamped 2/13/07, into a wine goblet. Color is dark mahogany with lively carbonation from tiny bubbles, beneath a one-finger dark tan head that quickly fades to a thin cap and scattered lacing. Pretty good looking. Nose of sweet malt with mild raspberry/fruit hints; rather neutral overall, even when warm. Tastes of sweet malt and hints of dark fruit, along with a bit of bready yeast. 10% ABV is well-masked. There’s a lingering dry dark berry finish, kind of like blueberry pie. Mouth is semi-viscous and smooth with mild carbonation. Drinkability is just OK, drinkable but unimpressive. Not a beer I would want to drink a lot of; I’m glad I was sharing this $15 bottle with a friend.

Overall: Like many of DFH’s specialty beers, this one is interesting and pricey and overall not terribly remarkable. I only bought it because it was a limited release; I vastly prefer DFH’s more established offerings such as their 90 Minute IPA. Worth trying for obsessive completists such as myself, or if you just love niche craft beers.

Photo of taez555
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear but thick dark tan body with a small off-white/tannish head.

Nose is very malty with fresh grain and some yeast smells. Some light root and twig type notes. Very faint honey and even fainter fruits notes. Light touches of corn-like grain that give an almost malt-liquor type smell. For a beer that says blackberry and blueberry right on the label, those smells are nonexistent.

Taste is full bodied and nice and thick. Very strong alcohol notes with a muted but very present fruity acidic tartness. A very husk like grain taste dominates. The fruit comes through a lot more in the taste than the nose. It's a very nondescript berry flavor though. You can tell it's dark berries like blue or black, as it has strong fruity notes and a mild sugary tartness, but no one flavor sticks out. There's a present tart bitterness that flows throughout. It balances the malt very nicely. As it warms a little bit of a raisin note starts to sneak out.

What an odd beer. It tastes like a "40" mixed with a berry lambic. Not to bad, but not a beer I'd pay for again.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm amber clear body with a slight purple hue that glows in the light. There is a creamy off-white head that is thick and last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a soft berry hint that is not specific to any one type of fruit. There is a light yeast and raw grain note in the finish.

T- This beer has a soft dry berry flavor with a not of raw grain and a hint of field corn in the background. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note and a dry carbonic acid note. There is a hint of bitterness from hops in the finish which takes on a Nobel and pine note when it warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that comes through when it warms. The tight fizz and dry note really make a clean finish.

D- There are some subtle hints of fruit but not much of interest in this beer. It could use more flavor of some sorts but the alcohol is very smooth for such a big beer.

Photo of ppoitras
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Bottled 2/12/07.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" lavender head over the slightly cloudy bright red brew. Head holds on well, with tons of slow-falling lace. Aroma is rich an d fruity, without the intensity that sometimes makes one think artificial. Taste is lightly malty, with somewhat generic fruitiness coming on in the middle, and becomes more blueberry as the flavor lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy, and drinkability is not bad for a fruit brew. I enjoyed this brew, but probably wouldn't revisit for the cost. Your mileage may vary.

Photo of dawg
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bomber into a glass. Poured relatively flat but did have some tangy carbonation. Smelld like fruits and veggies. Sour like a labmic blend. I expected a lighter body. This was massive and syraupy. No hops, just berries.

Second pour from the bomber was from up high. Results yielded a nice head that remained for awhile. Alcohol presence came through as it warmed. More sweetness and dark fruit characteristics.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, capped, bottled 2/12/07. Pours a ruddy, pale amber. The white head is quite pillowy, but recedes quickly, leaving a ring of small-bubbled lacing.

The smell is very yeasty, along with stong, sweet grain and faint berry. The grain and malt dominates the flavor, along with nearly cloying honey and sugar. There really not as much berry as I'd expected--a pretty faint spice black and raspberry nearing the finish. The alcohol nearly overwhelms it.

The mouth is rather syrupy, though this shouldn't really be surprising. But it's not as well balanced as I would have liked, and the alcohol is overdone. Defintely not one of my favorites from DFH. If looking for sweeter brew, the Midas Touch or Chateau Jihau are superior.

Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other night. Yet another impressive "extreme" beer from Sam C.

The beer pours an amber brown color, with very good head retention and nice lacing. The nose is pretty closed, though I get a hint of ginger and malt. The beer has a very nice rich mouthfeel, with flavors of honey, butter and melon. There is a soft creaminess on the palate, and the beer has a smooth, lingering finish. The abv. is really well disguised in this beer. Knowing Sam, I figured it would be up there, but this does not taste like a beer with an 11% abv. Absolute amazing. Another winner from DFH.

Photo of StoutHearted
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color was very impressive, a gorgeous red amber topped with an inch of head. It produced a nice cherry wood smell that could be compared to watered -down Kool-Aid (if I were very cynical.) The taste was fruity without being sweet. It had a surprisingly light mouthfeel, but the alcohol makes its presence known later. I found it enjoyable, but like other Dogfish Heads, you don't want to take its deceptive lightness for granted- they pack a powerful punch. Each gulp was very airy as it went down, yet grants a buzz.

Photo of gotbeer
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm hit or miss with DFH's offerings, and I didn't expect a lot from this one to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it.

The appearance was good. A deep reddish color, but a light head that faded with no lacing.

The smell didn't blow me away. It hinted at some sweetness. The taste wasn't overwhelming of fruit (which I like) and just gave a hint of blueberry and blackberry in the sweetness as you sipped. Not much in the line of hops, and the alcohol is somewhat evident. This was a pleasant beer to sip over a couple of hours. It would make a nice dessert beer.

Photo of oelergud
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi transparent golden ruby body. Big airy hilly off-white head with a blueish reddish tint. Decent retention and good lace.
Sweet berry and fruity scent with just a hit of spice.
Delicious sweet berry taste with a balancing hop presence. Both complex and simple. A familiar comforting vegetable garden taste.
Medium to full body, decent coating.
Great drinkability, very delicious, this is a brew to drink cold, warmth kills this brew and this may have been what was going on with the lower reviews this beer has received, I dont know but that was my impression.

-Oelergud

Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.08/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle

Pours a clear, light purple-ish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very light, with faint hints of berries. Becomes very boozy as it warms.

Nondescript light berry taste. No real malt or hop flavors to speak of. Bitter and dry at the finish with a pronounced booziness.

Medium body, light carbonation.

Well, this is by far the worst brew I've had from DFH. I feel cheated for shelling out $12 for this bottle. The fruit flavor is bland and subdued, and the only other flavor that really comes through is the alcohol. Pass on this one...

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

This fruit beer pours a semi-translucent red with orange highlights and a thing light head.

The aroma is bitter and a bit fruity with hints of blueberry and blackberry but leaves something to be desired.

As for the flavor; I had high hopes but this beer was not as flavorful as I'd expected. Bright and fruity with hints of berry and citrus, but fairly mild.

The mouthfeel is light, with a fruity/acidic tang that creates a bit of a bite and a clean finish.

Overall Dogfish Head has created a solid fruit beer, but it was not what I was hoping for. I did, however, try it during a tasting that involved a lot of great 'Big' beers that may have overshadowed some of the Black & Blue's more subtle qualities. I would like to try it again and see if any of my opinions change.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

large capped Belgian style bottle, bottling date etched onto bottle, nice/fresh beer is good. Pours a great looking ruby/berry color with a raspberry tinged head, leaves some spotty lacing upon a moderate swirl. Fruity, lightly sugary nose. This one is sweet and fruity, as expected, berries, jam up front. Light, summery brew, would be nice as an apperatif or with a warm weather lunch/dessert. Champagne with a strawberry in it like qualities. When judged as a dessert beer, I think this one would at the top of the charts. Nice creation, crafted with skill and care from DFH.

Photo of jdhilt
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger white head that fades immediately leaving no lace. Clear amber with red tinge color. Sweet fruity nose. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet and sour, slightly fruity with raspberry, blueberry is hidden and so is the high ABV. Nice clean finish. Bottled 2/12/2007, $11.19 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Label has ABV at 10%.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.