Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,548 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,548
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 241 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,548 | Reviews: 522
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours an orange/mauve with a very flat white head of almost a finger. Receding rapidly, it leaves no lace behind and has only a thin collar and single circle of foam in the center of the Belgian glass. I like the color though.

Aroma - an indistinct fruitiness, faint yeast, and a rumbling of alcohol beneath it all. With some worthwhile effort, I can identify the raspberry.

Taste - an initial burst of yeast, quickly swept over by the fruit flavors. No definite flavor there, and then that is washed away by warm and enveloping alcohol. On the aftertaste, after some delay, the raspberry makes a nice statement, lingering past the booziness. With warming I get more of the blueberry. It took some time but eventually everything plays out on the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, a bit of fruit/alcohol slickness and a medium to medium-full body.

Drinkability - a sort of Imperial Fruit Beer, this is tasty and potent like Genesis 10:10, yet more elegant like Quelque Chose. Though an expensive bottle, I'd purchase it again.

Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pretty, lightly hazy light pekoe orange tea. Nice large near white head slow to leave. Tons of fine bubbled lace.

S - First thing I smell is the fruit and booze. Frankly, it reminds me a little of a mixed berry cider I made, which is not a good sign. Malt present but fainter.

T - Sweetness from the malt and the fruit battling it out, a little cloying.

M - Thick, sweetish, not very good balance.

D - A nice one to try as very different, but I don't know if I will get much past the first few sips.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

A- Body is a hazy dark magenta that pours with a fluffy light pink head. Head settles to <1/2 a finger and retains this well. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Bubbles steadily rise to the top and haziness is light.

S- Smells exactly as this beer should smell. Blackberries and Blueberries. Not too sweet or tart.

T- The flavor is pretty consistent the whole way through. The the black & blue berries are the main characters without a doubt. A slight alcohol warmth looms in the background to add a touch of balance.

M- Low carbonation and medium weight body. Not as thick as a lambic but not light and spritzy like most fruit ales.

D-Falls somewhere between imperial lambic and classic fruit ale on the fruit beer scale. Besides the presence of fermented fruit this really has no resemblance of a wine to me whatsoever. The 10% abv is also very well hidden and this one drinks like it is 6%. This is definitely one of the better fruit beers out there that I have tried.

Photo of thecheapies
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Martell cognac snifter.

Light mulberry body with pink and orange hues. Decent clarity. Slick little layer of white head. Looks nice. 4.0

Musty fruit aromas of blueberry, artificial strawberry, and white grape. Wheaty malts, booze heat, and a prominent yeast phenol. 3.5

Terribly boozy is my first thought. Semi-sweet berry fruit notes mashed with that signature DFH yeast component. A little spicy and searingly hot at first with a blackberry/tart raspberry fruit middle, and finishing with some red wine notes. I guess the finish is the biggest reward. That, and if I actually finish this glass. 2.5

Feels glossy thick with medium-high carbonation. Heady and filthy hot. 2.0

A big boo-boo for Dogfish Head Brewing. A beer that's completely unnecessary. 10% witbiers are not for me. Kudos if you can finish a whole 750ml of this stuff. 2.5

Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter, appears a deep purple/red with decent clarity and sticky white head. Aroma feature Belgian esters paired with mild indiscernible berry character. Some tannic like red wine notes come through as well. Taste again feature mild berry with a mellow tartness. The fruit has a syrupy flavor and clashes with the base beer. Notes of a Belgian pale are present, not a whole lot of character. Overall, this beer is kind of blah, the fruit character comes across as syrupy and almost medicinal while the base beer is rather mom descript. Mouthfeel is highly carbed and somewhat heavy on the feel. Overall, would not come back to this one.

Photo of pat61
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours cloudy reddish amber under a 1” finely bubbled off white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass through the whole drink.
S: More blackberry on the nose than blueberries, spice, and fruit.
T: The blackberries and blue berries taste like real berries and not like a syrup. The blackberries come out up front and the blueberries come out more on the finish. The fruity funky Belgian yeast flavors are a little off on their own like that out of place person at a party – sometimes they connect and sometimes they don’t. There is a little grape or white wine thing going on as well. A light bitter hop accent provides some balance to the sweetness of the beer.
M: A big beer with a luscious, creamy body and slightly above average but very soft carbonation.
O: This is a sipping beer – it’s a touch to sweet to drink a lot of. It has a lot of interesting elements but they do not always come together.

Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007: bottled 2/13/07

A: Pours a honey golden with red hue. Less than one finger loose foam slowly dissipates, eventually leaving broken surface of the same. Little visible bubbles.

S: Blackberries and blueberries well here. Below this is a malt backbone. Nothing special. Slightly tart.

T: Very sweet. I was hoping that over the years, the beer would maybe enjoy a little souring, but it seems no infection here. Maybe even not a live bottle.

M: Medium body with light and spritely carbonation. Like a thinned down syrup. Sticks in the mouth a bit. Not too much though.

D: This ale is drinkable, but would prefer more tartness from the berries if at all possible.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess I was expecting this to have a bluer tint, but its color is entrancing enough. Can't even begin to describe what color it is, I guess a burnt rusty dark orange will have to do. The head is off-white leaning toward a very watered-down, faded version of the beer's color, and it's an inch-thick and holding on forever, staying thick for the duration. With some sips, thick gobs of lace stick the the sides. I don't know how this will fare in the other categories, but it looks fantastic.

A variety fruits come to the nose, if not exactly the fruits that were used in the beer. Definitely various berries, but also some melon and various things like peaches and lemon. Also detecting a Belgian-like yeast, or something Belgian-ish...a faintly funky thing, which indicates there may be something tart happening in the flavor. Hmm.

Not a ton of tartness in the flavor, actually, but a generous touch of alcohol. The black raspberry and blueberry puree certainly come through, and they taste completely natural, which is appreciated (and hardly the norm for fruit beers). Some backup provided by sugar cookie dough malts. The fruit essence is a tad overwhelmed by the alcoholic nip. The experience is improved by a milky sweetness, which carries over into the mouthfeel, which is creamy and silky--a rounded thing just carbonated enough to deliver some textural depth.

I like this, although flavor counts most, and there's a little something missing that I can't put my finger on. I want to like it more, as DFH has my eternal respect and support for their many experimental and often stellar experiments. Still worth a try, although the high price tag might point many people toward other "must try" beers that won't do as much damage to the finances.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling this brew with Stopper. Pouring at cellar temp into a snifter, the beer pours a clear chestnut with some ruby highlights and a thin eggshell white head that goes to an edge layer and islands quickly.
Aroma is fruity with blueberry and caramel and perhaps banana? Is this a weizenbock? Didnt expect that.
First sip reveals an average body and average carbonation. The beer is caramel malt and some berries too, a little tart. No hints of hops or actually ABV either. Well hidden booze. The beer is interesting, but not sure if Id pay the price for the bottle again.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black & Blue pours a cloudy dark amber with a small, creamy head on top. The foam fades slowly leaving behind lines and spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is fruity and a little bit sour. Notes of blueberry dominate, however there's an essence of white wine blended in. It's very refreshing.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a soft carbonated tingle on the palate. The flavor is wine like. Fruity notes of blueberry and grape are balanced with a hint of pale malt and bready yeast. It's very dry on the palate and slightly tart. A hint of floral hops finishes off each sip. Once gone the fruity blueberry flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty fruit beer that would go great with a gourmet meal. It seemed a little thin on the palate, but otherwise very well done.

Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a bottle of this one as a gift from my wife for some holiday or other. Poured a reddish-orange color with a slightly off-white head. Somewhat tart on the nose, with aromas of dark berries, alcohol and candi sugar. Medium bodied and tart, with flavors of dark berries, candi sugar and booze.

Photo of jsanford
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear ruby-red/brown with a foamy, slightly pinkish head. Lively carbonation.

S - Berries, Belgian yeast, coriander, pepper, orange peel.

T - Light caramel malt backbone with tart berries, more Belgian yeast, more coriander and white pepper. Fairly sweet.

M - Medium bodied but a bit syrupy. Still rather crisp and refreshing. No apparent ABV.

D - Medium drinkability. I split this bottle with a few friends and was perfectly happy with my portion. Definitely gets more cloying as you drink, but an interesting and unique brew nonetheless.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 12 oz sample. The beer is a deep rose to light red color with a tight 2 finger that falls to a nice coating over top of the brew. Clarity is moderate and there is a small carbonation running through the glass. The aroma is giving me definite blackberry fruityness that sits over a base that reminds me of wheaty beers, and is the same as I have found in the Red and White and Fort. The flavor is a little subdued to me. The fruityness is dominant, but it is also interrupted by a detectable alcohol character. It really seems to be somewhat distant in the flavor category. I'd like a more prevalent character. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, with a mild carbonation. I think the alcohol character works towards making the beer feel more thin. Overall, I am finding this beer interesting. It delivers what I expected, just not in the quantities as far as flavor goes.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was cracked open in celebration of catching a cold the night before Halloween and mixing pseudo-amphetamine derivatives with alcohol. I'm such a sucker for big bottles of DFH. The bottle will be paired with a broccoflower and penne al dente dish and given its alleged wine-like qualities I think it will be quite refreshing and summery.

Appearance:
Blood orange to ruby red in the light. There isn't much of a head that forms, however an initial white head of about a centimeter's width did form while pouring. The light also reveals a tremendous amount of particulate matter diffused within the beer with no settling time in sight. This is exciting; I am much more a fan of living/non-filtered beers. Ample carbonation rises through the particles to give the beer some fair lacing down the glass.

Smell:
Incredible floral sweetness followed by a pungent stinging alcohol. I would certainly know at this point that fruits were added to this beer. I am also sensing a competing yeast smell that gives me hope that beer does actually exist within this beer.

Taste:
It's pretty good. The first comparison I make is to a tart fruit wine, but it also makes for an almost balanced beer, a little bit top heavy with the "black and blue" additives. Smooth for casual drinking or sipping. Complex, sweet, tart, and a decent ale underneath it all. I would treat this beer as more of a wine (not a barely wine) than a beer, but I give respect to something that pushes limits of its own being.

Mouthfeel:
Sip-able and smooth. The beer is good at colder temperatures, but you could also drink it warmed up. Strong on the fruit with an even stronger ABV hiding up its sleeve. I like how this beer presents itself and would say it's got more going on than most "average" beers do.

Drinkability:
I like this beer (even though it's hard to call it an actual beer) and find it quite drinkable. I would have preferred this beer on a warm summer night, but such is life when living so close to Canada. I am always game for a DHF 750mL and gain tremendous happiness from sharing it with people that matter, so I would suggest the same to you.

Cheers.

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 03/07/15.

Appearance: Pours deep amber with a lot of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with a slight pinkish hint. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A very fruity and fairly sweet Belgian style aroma with a big scent of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with hints of funk, pepper, and clove. Big juicy scent of real blackberry and blueberry. Also some fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and fig. Bready hints of wheat, straw, biscuit, and cracker. Sweet hints of sugar as well. A very solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sweet Belgian style taste with a big presence of blackberries and blueberries. Belgian yeast with some funk and spice notes of clove and pepper. Fruity notes of blackberry and blueberry juice. Belgian style fruit notes of banana, pear, apple, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of sugar. Malt notes of biscuit, wheat, straw, and cracker. Hops are very light. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy and slightly sticky with a drying finish. Alcohol is masked very well.

Overall: A very solid twist on a big Belgian style ale. Good taste of real berries that blend well with the Belgian spice and fruit notes.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with the gf, mine into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a bright, copper-ruby body that turns peach in the light. Small, white yeast particles float throught the clear body. Carbonation level is quite impressive, despite the poorly retained, peachy white head that recedes to a foamy collar. I'll blame it on the ABV... Aroma has a little bit of fruit, but not nearly enough. It's more of a belgian-esque malty aroma with some light grasses and hops.

The flavor decently blends cidery-sour notes, spicy hops, pale malts, and some fruity bitterness provided by a hint of raspberry. A champagne-like bubbliness coats the palate, as Black & Blue finishes dry and sweet. I've gotta commend DFH on masking the alcohol, as its barely noticable. Verdict: Not a great beer, the price certainly drops the drinkability down a bit, but it was enjoyable.

Photo of nickd717
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in DC.

Pours a great clear purplish-amber color with a two-finger pinkish head that fizzes a bit at first but ends up sticking around in some form for awhile.

Aroma is caramel, Belgian yeast, spice, vinous notes, blueberry and blackberry. Smells pretty nice.

On the flavor, a mildly sweet (much less than you'd expect for DFH) caramel malt backbone is balanced with a rich blueberry and blackberry flavor that lends a restrained tartness to the beer. Belgian yeast and spice are present as well.

High carbonation, which I think is appropriate for this beer. Medium body.

Overall a surprisingly good fruit beer. I expected a sweet, syrupy mess, but it wasn't like that at all. Drinkability is above average.

Photo of matjack85
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this 750ml brown bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL for $9.99. Not a bad price for a large sized Dogfish Head product.

Despite the name "Black & Blue" for the black raspberry and blueberry puree inside, this beer pours neither black, blue, or any other purple berry color. Instead it pours a cloudy, reddish/brown color with a fast disappearing ½-finger of white head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is all black raspberry.

Lots of black raspberry flavor and not as much blueberry, but the fruits and malts definitely dominate the taste here. Some tartness and funky yeast flavors keep it from being cloyingly sweet, and a touch of alcohol is also present. Not much hop presence at just 25 IBU's.

As others have said, it's more wine-like than beer-like with medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed it and appreciated the genuine fruit taste as opposed to fruit flavorings. It's a nice sipper, but I still like the Belgian lambics a lot better.

Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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

S- Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. Not a whole lot here.

T- Sweet berry flavours over a strong bitterness also a little tart. The 10% abv is hidden well.
This just not my type of beer.

M- Light in body and also carbonation.

D- Still not a big fan of the fruity beers. I'd probably pass on this one again. Worth a try of course. Just not my style still.

Photo of JayQue
2.33/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a good experience. Pours an amber/reddish color with a slightly off-white head. Less than average head retention. Smell is of fruit additives and malt.

Taste is bad. Stale fruit, malt and alcohol. This is not a beer that you would look forward to finishing. The alcohol buzz is the main attraction of this beer.

Mouthfeel is rich but there is a sour aftertaste....stale fruit and alcohol.

Drinkability is poor. This beer does not taste good, has a sour aftertaste and high abv.

I wouldn't buy this one again.

Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle split whith rtratzlaff poured into two DFH Signature glasses a crisp dark orange with a decent off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is dominated by berries with slight sweet malts poking through. The taste is very tart berry flavor against sweet malts and slight booze. The beer is on the heavy side of medium, but the 11% is fairly well hidden. This is one I'd wanted to try for a while, and, while not as good as its Red & White sibling, it does not disappoint.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: amber body, 2 finger big head, solid lacing

S: big aroma of blueberries, blackberries, hint of malt

T: same as the nose, but slight tart dry finish

M: med body, big carbonation

O: It was interesting and glad I tried it, but
do not think I will be aching for this beer again.

GOOD, NOT A MUST HAVE!

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers and a half worth of slightly fizzy off-white colored head... Modest retention at best gives way to a full veil of misty lace and a moderately thick collar... A vibrant orangish amber color... Minimal traces of very small bubbled carbonation can be seen under close investigation... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A tremendous mix of blueberries and raspberries to start... Very authentic fruit aromas... A bit of candied sugars... A very faint Belgian yeast scent... Perhaps some faint traces of orange zest... A touch of honey... The fruit is the dominant player, but is far from overpowering...

T - A lot more of the complexity on the palette... Candied sugars... Belgian yeast... Some light touches of wheat... The fruit flavors are slightly more artificial, but still rather pleasant... A very subtle spiciness lies beneath the surface... Perhaps a bit cloying overall...

M - Medium bodied... Very light whimsical carbonation which fits the beer perfectly... Sticky... Sleek... Lively...

D - A unique blend of styles that challenges the senses... The nose is more fruit than Belgian... The palette is more Belgian than fruit... Enjoyable all the way around... The only complaint is that this on is ever so slightly cloying...

Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber orange color with goodclarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Wheaty, bready, blueberry, blackberry, and a little yeasty.

Taste: Love the sweet fruity sweetness with bready and wheaty malts, and yeastiness. Almost like a blueberry and blackberry angel food cake. Crazy.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a bit dry, some fruit sweetness, medium to high carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: I like the fruit character that steps up this golden ale. Will always look for more of this in the future.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,548 ratings.