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

Big bubbly off-white head on cloudy grapefruit coloured body. Carbonation bubbles. An interesting tartness that is overcome by maltiness. I understand the tartness comes through in fresher bottle,this one was one year bottle from Crushinator. A good bitterness, very drinkable, creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable.Thick lace left in glass. (336 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and berry aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors. (531 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 metter98
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured cloudy amber in color with a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. Lots of yeast particles are visible floating throughout my snifter glass.
S: The nose is filled with moderate aromas of blackberries and blueberries.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by the tart and somewhat sweet flavors of blackberries and blueberries. There are also some notes of the underlying malts, but bitter flavors from hops are not detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth due to a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden but the high level of fruity flavors makes this beer one to be sipped. (647 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate reddish brown color with a light head and not too much lacing, but a decent amount of retention. Both the nose and the taste are pretty much consumed by the berry additions, although there is a bit of booze in there as well. Drinks fairly well at the moment, though I'm guessing this would get much better as it mellows out a bit with some age. (383 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a ruby color and a modest head that fades to a ringlet and leaves the ocasional clump of lace

Smell: More blackberry than blueberry but loads of fruit with an almost floral character

Taste: Opens with a fruit jam flavor that progresses to add a moderate amount of tartness; a bit herbal, underneath, but again, as in the aroma, the blackberry is much more pronounced than the blueberry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a somewhat spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing, with a nice bit of tartness, but lacks the complexity I would have expected (584 characters)

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

unfairly underappreciated. this is a great beer, well made and fun. it looks pinkish and foamy, with a nice richness and good bubbling. smells like a Belgian blond, but has some great germal elements. malty with a fruity element, the blueberries stronger than the black berries in smell and taste, almost tart. the malt meshes amazingly well with the berries, a cool combo and definitely something different. yeasty, but the carbonation is huge, and so is the body, better and better as it warms up. love the fruit here, like no other. and the alcohol content is entirely invisible. how in gods name is this thing over 10% abv? just feels like a session beer. overall a great mix of fruit flavor and taste, nose of baby feet a little, but a real high quality brew here. (769 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured poured out as a purplish red color with a foamy pink/white head on top. The head settles and doesn't leave much lacing at all. The smell of the beer is fruity, yeasty and has a little funk to it. The taste of the beer is a lot like wine in my opinion. I think the berries used in it give off an interesting flavor once fermented in this brew. The mouthfeel is semi-thick like most of the DfH big bottles are. Overall this beer is decent, I can't say that I've wanted or needed to have it since the first and only time I drank it. If I was at a party and someone had it I would totally drink it again. (617 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.7%
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. (584 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glowing jack-o-lantern orange suffused with a hint of sunset coral red. Given the addition of red raspberries and blueberries, I expected a slightly different hue. The attractive cap is the color of lightly toasted marshmallow and is responsible for an average amount of average looking lace.

Several deep sniffs deliver little more than a generic 'Belgian ale' yeastiness. Perhaps a bit of berry-like fruitiness, but I probably wouldn't have gotten there on my own. It looks like this fruit beer will be on the subtle side rather that being a big, bruising brawler of an ale.

DFH Black & Blue is average beer that needs a major infusion of flavor. However much berry puree was used could have been doubled. At least. The shortage of berry flavor wouldn't be so much of an issue if the base beer (which is a Belgian golden ale) was more accomplished. Unfortunately, it comes across as a ham-handed attempt at the real thing. It takes a great deal more than a Trappist yeast strain to be successful brewing Belgian-style beer.

No matter what the brewery claims, the mouthfeel is nowhere near Belgianesque. It's too thick and too gently carbonated. Since I like that combination in most styles, the score is above average.

Black & Blue is yet another Dogfish Head offering that promises much more than it delivers. Audaciousness is an admirable trait, but at some point a brewery has to come through with killer beer. Bottom line: a good idea wasted. (1,452 characters)

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

750ml bottle that was purchased god knows when by me. I have had it in the cellar forever and just got around to it tonight. Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 08/18/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy, reddish tinted liquid coming through almost immediatly. Small whispy heado f white crashed down quick and left nothing in its wake. Subtle side glass lace, but unremarkable.

The aroma was loaded down with fruit. Berries of all sorts, Blueberries and blackberries dominant, with a touch of light grassy hops and some light grain. The flavor was all about fruit though. Staright up berry juice here, rich and very sweet, but nowhere near overpowering. This was extremely good, easily drinkable with a light body, good carbonation and very well hidden alcohol. Long drawn out fruit finish, lightly dry and easily pleaseant,

Overall one of the better fruit beers i have had. I was really shocked by how good this one was. I would have no objection to having this again at any time. Really very solid and one of the good ones from DFH. (1,061 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was two weeks shy of a year old when sampled.

A - Two fingers of white head with a slight pink tinge on a clear, reddish orange body. Decent head retention, but not much lace.

S - Malty and slightly sour with notes of currants and some spicy yeast aromas. A little bit of vanilla as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front with some warm alcohol notes. Boozy, fruity notes follow with a vanilla character that nicely compliments the berries, as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and cinnamon. An assertive acidity balances the fruit in the finish along with a good dose of hop bitterness that lasts well into the dry, vinous finish.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy body, with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusually nice fruit beer, in that it has a great deal of fruit character but balances the berry character with just the right amount of acidity to avoid becoming cloyingly sweet. While this beer has some distinct alcohol notes, they have become quite mellow and never lead one to suspect that the alcohol content is as high as it is. Overall a very pleasant beer that is very drinkable, considering its wine like strength.

This would be an excellent dessert beer and I suspect that it would be able to stand up to an even longer cellaring. (1,286 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Beelow's.

Gotta love it when your local bars get some cool kegs. This case in point pours a partly hazy sunset rusted gold topped by a finger of glowing bone foam. The nose comprises blackberries, light blueberries, very light banana, mild biscuit, light sourdough, and a pinch of allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, the berries matched by some Belgian yeast-infused bread and a hint of orange peel and light grass. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, a pretty nice beer, one that I could see going well with plenty of foods (muffins and lamb dishes spring to mind). (666 characters)

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

Tasted at the Dance Of The Seven Ales event at the GreyLodge Pub in Philadelphia on 6/7/07. 750ml bottle. Notes:
Crimson tinged amber robe. Little to no head at the pour, and what's left dissipates quickly. Fruity in the nose, but not nearly as bold as you might expect. The flavor is sugary, but not sweet. And it's not boldly fruity. There's some black raspberry, but not so much blueberry. Jam like. It's only subtly tart, and it could stand a little tartness to balance the sugary side. The alcohol is present though, although it's not rough and actually seems to work within the dextrinous flavor and body. Interesting. Drinkable. More of an apertif or nightcap beer. (674 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/13/2010 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a odd-shaped glass that I'm not even going to try to describe.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong smell of berries as you would expect along with light malts but not much else.

T: The taste likewise begins and ends with strong flavors of blueberries and blackberries. The malt character is a bit on the thin side which seems to enhance the berries. The hops presence is very mild, but there's still a decent balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Kind of tasty compared to most fruit beers, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's certainly one of the better fruit beers that I've had. (927 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Thirsty's in York back in July, just pulled it out of the fridge. Decanted cool into a snifter, thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing it w/ me.

A - A hazed red grape juice shade similar to the color of blackberry and blueberry puree as expected w/ a full light 2 fingers of head w/ an ultrafine bead. The head falls rapidly and adds confetti-like lacing on the snifter.

S - A boozy, malty aroma w/ subtle hints of fruit and a round creamy note w/ yeasty fullness.

M - Smooth creaminess blends into a slightly fruity sweetness w/ a touch of tart berry notes and full carbonation w/ no bitterness to speak of.

T - A malty taste w/ creamy and pils flavors w/ sweet and full ale flavors w/ a booziness that doesn't hide and a gradually emerging fruit flavor. A similar taste to malt liquor w/ a more sophisticated taste, both more flavorful in malt w/ a softer yeast taste that is augmented by the blackberry and blueberry puree. The sugars seem to have been mostly fermented out though since it is more of a strong wine clash w/ beer flavor and the sweet berry taste is somewhat an afterthought. The finish has a dry flavor of booze coming in tandem.

D - A bit of a berry bruiser w/ a full malt and alcoholic influence. The dry texture makes for an easy to drink beer, yet it still shows the 10% abv fully. I like how the fruit is not overly sweet and it still has beer character w/ the cooler taste you might usually associate w/ fruit beer. This is one I would drink again and again, yet not very drinkable as far as sessionability goes. One of the better fruit ales I have had since the black + blueberry flavor actually adds to the taste of the ale. (1,673 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

I had this in a 750mL bottle, and kept it in my fridge for just a little too long I think. Still good. Kind of tasted like a sweet tripel. Poured semi-cloudy, orange-brown with a nice white head. Fresh fruit on the nose. I got hit with the alcohol in the taste right away, which made the blueberry a bit harsh and acidic. Followed up by bright malty sweetness with some light sugars reminiscent of a Belgian tripel, and a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and a bit harsh, but I could tell it was because I let it sit in the fridge too long, so I can't really blame the beer. (639 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dfh Black n Blue

in a St. Bernardus chalice.

hazy orange pink, little head...

sweet fruity nose, blod orange, mandarin, vibrany, zesty, big hops, ...now along comes the rapsberry, but the blueberry isn't as prominent, ....hey, wait, there's some...

what kind of beer is this? what is it supposed to be, what is it trying to be? Tasty and refreshing, to a point, but ...lacks...a lot. Just doesn't have a cohesive character. Missing some malt character, for one thing. All I'm getting is the fruit. And the 10% abv. Nothing terribly wrong with that, especially if what you want is a boozy fruit brew, and you know I always applaud experiments and innovation, so hear, hear, for that.

Just not altogether crazy about this one. Good, but not great. Enjoyable, though. Specially at the end, when the expectations wear off. (825 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 jwc215
2.81/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass:

Pours (no, not black and blue) a reddish orange with a thin white head that recedes. Interesting color.

The smell is of blueberry and raspberry. Mild. Smells something like a fruity wine cooler.

The taste is of blueberry juice and some raspberry. Both of which are syrupy and mild. A caramelish sweetness is there, as well. For as sweet as it could be, fortunately it is not. There is some balance to it, but not more flavor. Ho-hum finish, if there is a finish at all.

Light-bodied, with an initial effervescence that fades.

To its defense, the alcohol is pretty well-covered, with it adding just a touch of dryness. It went down pretty somewhat quickly, but I wonder if it was the search for more flavor that made it so "drinkable". The problem with this beer is more in the "lacking" than anything "off". Drinkable enough to try - but not to get again. (897 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2012A. Pours moderately cloudy orange copper color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tart raspberry, blueberry, grape, raisin, clove, light molasses, red wine, and earthy yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with a good balance of yeast esters with the big authentic fruit notes; with a nice malt/spicy ester balance as well. Taste of tart raspberry, blueberry, grape, raisin, clove, light molasses, bread, red wine, and earthy yeast spiciness. Fair amount of fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart raspberry, dark fruits, clove, light molasses, bread, red wine, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of fruit flavors; with a good balance of malt/yeast spiciness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a slick and moderately syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial Belgian fruit beer. Nice complexity of fruit flavors and balance of spicy yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on for a 10% brew. A very enjoyable offering. (1,380 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)

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