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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.

520 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,587
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 118
Gots: 271 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,587
Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a nice light purple/red color with nice head and good lacing.

S: Great aroma from the blueberries/blackberries. There is a sweet/tart smell as well.

T: The berry taste is less pronounced on the taste than on the smell. It is sweet and a nice change of pace compared to many other DFH beers. It was a perfect BBQ beer.

M/D: It is a little thick, but in a good way, not in a heavy stout way. It has good carbonation and I put down a good bit of the 750ml bottle. It is great to split among a couple of people where you each get a glass or so.

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Photo of tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a one inch of head. Nice retention. Smells of black raspberries and blueberries. Both are equally noticeable. There's also a hint of yeast. Taste is blueberries first and the black raspberries coming in second, but both have equal contribution again here. Despite all the fruit, it's not overly sweet. The alcohol is noticeable as the beer warms, but it adds warmth and takes nothing from the flavor. Well carbonated, crisp, smooth, very drinkable.

At 10% this beer is scary drinkable. This is one of the best fruit beers I have ever had. I'll definitely pay the price tag for this again.

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Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey sinner stemware. It poured a murky, reddish/orange color. The color looks pretty much like it has some dark blue fruit mixed in. It started off with a thick, pillowy white head to it but it faded after a minute or so. It did leave a bit of lacing as I drank it though.

The aroma not surprisingly has a pretty big fruit aspect to it. Both of the blueberry and blackberry come through pretty nicely. I get a little bit of a honey and caramel sweetness to it as well. Pretty good aroma for a fruit centered beer.

The taste also shows a lot of the berry characteristics to it. The blueberry and the blackberry mix pretty well together and give it a pretty good fruit juice like quality. It's definitely on the sweet side, but isn't cloyingly sweet. The taste is pretty much all about the fruit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a bit above average. Drinkability was good, it was a pretty good fruit centered beer with some good and fresh berry flavors. It had a fruit juice like quality to it that was pretty good. Overall a pretty decent beer, and a very good beer of the style.

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Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy purple head that fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a light blueberry scent with very little malt aroma. The alcohol is also well hidden. The taste is decent. It has a mild fruit flavor that boasts of black raspberries and blueberries. The malt bill seems quite simple and lacking character. I understand this is a fruit beer, but it really doesn't do much for me. The mouthfeel is average. It's a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a real letdown. I was hoping for something bold, but it really didn't live up to the hype.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/21/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code imprinted on the neck of the bottle itself. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Kinda of a grape soda looking pour. Not super purple, but enough to notice. 1/2 inch bbubbly head which soon fades leaving minor lace streaks.

Smell- Definite blueberry nose. Couldn't define the blackberry, but a nice fruity and mildly bready blueberry nose.

Taste- Fruity, not to the point of a lambic (Lindemans), but a nice dose of a tad syrupy blueberry and blackberry mixture. Mild malty backbone and a bit nutty on some sips. Hops pretty much non-existant. 10%??? Really didn't hit me that hard.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation which lessens as it warms. A touch sticky and a tad syrupy and thick. Sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Perfectly fine brew. Liked it, but probably wouldn't buy it again...especially for the $14.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a large white head. The aroma is full of blueberries, with some tannic red wine notes and a little bit of toffee and caramel.

The flavor is also very fruity. I get a lot of blackberry and blueberry notes, as well as some grape and red wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor, although I don't think the beer is barrel aged. The alcohol is noticeable but is not overwhelming.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn.

Appearence is much lighter than expected given the ingredients and the name of this beer. The color is olympic medal gold with a touch of faded orange sticking out. A flimsy cap that becomes nothing and leaves nothing.

Smell is quite pungent. I do get alot of berries, black over blue. But I also get a big heaping of grape. And it's not just grape, this smells exactly like grape jolly ranchers. After I smelt it, that's all I could get out of it.

Taste is quite bold and filled with sweet berry flavor. The problem is that it comes off artificial and that is because of the grape jolly rancher that engulfs this here beer. I get anice hit of backberry and grape, the blueberry, not so much.

Feel is a strong medium and the carb is a bit lighter than the Red and White counterpart. I was burping up Jolly ranchers long after I finished this so the artificial flavor stays a bit. A bit of alcohol to but not hot. I did not enjoy this so much. To fake tasting and everytime I taste candy in my beer, it's a huge turn off.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

February 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour yields a three finger thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, reddish-plum colored brew that shows a lightly hazy, pinkish tinged, full red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite strange, it smells a bit green, perhaps a bit like completely un-ripened berries, with almost a leaf-like note to it. Behind this is some thin, grain-like character that is a bit grassy but with a touch of toast character to it. Quite a surprising aroma, with a bit of time it almost completely smells like thin malt.

The beer is quite full on the tongue, but does have a substantial carbonation which causes the beer to foam up as it crosses my tongue. The carbonation though does not really counteract the thick, viscous feel of this brew. As one might have guessed the beer is quite sweet, it is quite fruity as well but not in the way I would expect. Reminiscent of green grapes, sweet raisins, and a sort of fruity sharpness that seem most likely derived from the blueberries. The sweetness is not entirely fruit based as there is some substantial sweet malt character here; it is clean, like the sweetness from converted, but unfermented pale malt wort and it couples with lightly toasted grain notes and a soft biscuit character. This is quite a clean tasting brew, while the fruit is not more than a non-distinct berry-like character, both it and the malt are very cleanly expressed without much in the way of yeast or fermentation character.

This certainly hides its alcohol content quite well, other than being from Dogfish head, I never would have guessed it was 10% abv. This is really not all that great. I find it interesting how non-descript the fruit flavors in this beer were; I expected this from the blueberries, but figured I would get a good presence from the black raspberries. The aroma is almost completely devoid of fruit, except for an herbal, green grape character that is noticeable from time to time. I could imagine this being fermented by a characterful yeast and actually being quite good, as it is though it is a bit too bland for my taste buds. It is very well brewed / controlled and there is certainly not anything offensive about this beer (as long as you like sweet things).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a reddish hue and a fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of sweet berries, candy sugar, higher alcohols, lightly phenolic. The taste is not really what I expected from the nose. Lacking is much in the way of berry sweetness. I get a bit of tartness mixed with a malty sweetness before I feel the twinge of alcohol descend from my lips down my gullet splashing into my stomach. Tart sticky mouthfeel, medium to thick body, medium level of carbonation. I have mixed feelings about this one. I found the tartness and the flavor tasty, but the alcohol burn was a bit to much for me. Maybe an aged bottle of this would be better? I don't think I liked it well enough to put forth the effort to age though.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highmarks for feel and drinkability. It drinks like a smooth wine, where other smooth fruit beers are simply juice-like. The flavor, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It's just bland. There's mellow, light malt profile with a touch of blueberries, but that's it. It might be a decent, in not expensive, gateway beer for wine drinkers.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a medium red, poofy white head, fizzy thick lace. Pinkish red overall.

S: Lots of coriander/wit initially, but gives way to a beautiful pure raspberry, shades of New Glarus.

T: A different beer to put into words. Lots of blueberries and tannic character upfront. Sweetens out with a blood orange/raspberry finish.

M: A bit boozy, but these imperial wits always have it. Fairly smooth, some biting carbonation.

D: As one of the beers I've personally hyped to hell in my head, it didn't really live up to it. In the end though I liked it quite a bit, better than Red and White for me, a unique flavour.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Served in a snifter glass. Light amber in color. Bubbly.

S. A very interesting nose! Berries and hops and some other sweet elements sifting in the background.

T. Ultra sweet and the berry flavor overpowers the hops.

M. Light and takes a few sips to coat the palate. Very sweet aftertaste.

D. Very good session beer, but I would rather have something else for extended periods of drinking.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Imstillthegman and 1000 Miles (or East/West again) BIF.

Hard to determine the color here. It is either dark amber verging on brown or a red colored ale depending on how you look at it. Smallish off-white head forms and then falls.

In the smell I pickup wine and grapes with oak the very first thing. There is the sour funk that I smell in most wines just to remind you that no matter the technology it is all basically grape juice gone bad. Vanilla is present but is just a trace compared to Bourbon barrel beers. There is a LOT of wood and wine tannin scent here almost as if they used a spent red wine barrel. I don't smell the blackberries or the blue berries but I do get a trace of raspberry.

The taste begins a little sweet with a sourness at the end and a little peach aftertaste. Strong wood flavor and sour fruit like unripe nectarines and granny smith apple. Vaguely berry flavored but not really, far less than DFH Fort for instance.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a reddish brown in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of bubbly head that let plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of berry character upfront in the aroma such as blackberries and blueberries with quite od bit of sweetness I am guessing is coming from the malts, it had a little grain coming through and juice like tones.

T: the blueberries and blackberries were just as potent on the palate alongside lots of grain flavor, semi sweet notes, juice qualities to it which makes me think they didn't put real fruit but also had a little grape character.

M: the brew was medium to light in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, grainy, slightly musty and crisp finish.

O: pretty decent fruit forward beer that just wasn't my cup of tea. It still was worth trying though.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared on Christmas Eve. Poured in to tasting glasses.

A - Straw yellow in colour with one finger of white head.

S - Black raspberry with a slight blueberry aroma up front. A sweet bready malt backbone add some depth to the nose. Fairly sweet with a touch of sour/acidity present.

T - Blueberry up front with the black raspberry present but secondary - opposite to the nose. Sweet bready malts add a second layer to the palate. Slightly bitter but overall very sweet with a hint of sourness.

M - Light to medium body. Medium carbonation.

O - A good beer but definitely one to share. Very sweet.

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Photo of weeare138
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
They don't do growlers of this but this was a special circumstance were we could via the kind folks at Rehoboth.
Appears a pinkish, purple toned, dense, muddy crimson with a small white head that quickly fizzles out. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is very vinous, with notes of over ripened blackberries, and sugary corn syrup. I would've thought this was simply a wine that hadn't fermented all the way out and had simply gone awry somewhere.
Taste is of the same winey, tart aromas that I struggle to accept.
Mouthfeel is tart, wine-like, mostly sour, and sticking to the sides of the tongue. There just doesn't seem to be any sort of balance in this brew.
It's like bad medicine mixed with a caramelized, concentrated wine mix. This is worse than the sacramental wine that we would taste when we were alter boys...blech!

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to drseamus for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Bottled on 2/12/07

Poured into a DFH glass a nice clear/clean golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, blueberries, black raspberries, some spices, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, then some tangyness from the berries, slight spice, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very very well in this one. Very drinkable, I like this one as well as the Red/White brew.

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Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DIM sent this to me as an extra in an already epic box... Dan says he isn't trading.. believe him... I need the proper PA connection... Thanks Dan.. this was shared with my Bro... My pour is into MNFG...

1" foamy head.. sorta light pink head .. hazy orange brew... descent lacing and cap.

We were ready for this one... and were not expecting too much.. Smells like "beer" with some dark berries....

Flavor is better... big and smooth.. the berries are sorta mild... blackberry I think is the bigger player.. but as it warms.. I get a bit of tannic notes that Steven says is from the blueberry skin.... I can agree.. I guess....

I just wanted to be able to pick out a "base beer"... No dice.. It just makes me think of a big ole' clean beer hit hard with berries..

Steven and I tried to enjoy it.. thankfully.. it was the last beer of the night.. I am just not digging it.. I know how much this badboy costs... I appreciate the opportunity.. but.... I will damn sure never buy one. Dan... you are a true BA.. and almost certainly my favorite BA.. A good PA brother.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Huge amount of sediment on a bottle that should have had plenty of time to settle. Light amber body. Nice white head hangs around throughout the, leaving a nice lace as the glass empties.

S – Huge, fresh blueberry note. Blackcurrant and a hint of tart raspberry. An incredible nose by fruit beer standards.

T – Nice blueberry note up front, but unfortunately the middle veers tart and dry before diving headlong into a huge cheery-Dimetapp off-flavor.

M – Rolling menthol / medicinal booze on the finish. Medium / light body. Overly carbonated imho.

O – The nose is fantastic, and the beer opens with a great berry flavor, but the medicinal backend sandbags this brew from really getting off the ground.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body with a large foamy offwhite head.

S - A big bouquet of raspberries and blueberries. Fresh, sweet, tangy fruit aromas. Floral hop notes.

T - Tangy fruit with a buttery back note. Sweet splash of soft fruit liquor and tangy hops. Fruit-like acidity, akin to apple skin. Blueberry and dark fruit present here. Tangy starches and spiced alcohol bring depth to this beers flavors.

M - Warming, drying medium body. Clean on the palate and the carbonation buzzes the tongue.

O - Plenty of fruit in the nose and mouth. The starchy, buttery flavors add a different dimension here.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.