Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,547 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,547
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 110
Gots: 240 | 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: 1,547 | Reviews: 521
Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18.3%
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

Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  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 tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +15%
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 Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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 corby112
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark ruby/cherry red that is completely opaque with a thin fizzy slightly pink head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Very minimal spots of lacing.

Slightly sour fruit berry aroma with some tart funkiness, spice and dark berries. The blackberries and blueberries are prominent but there is also a bit of raspberry.

Very carbonated up front with some slight sour acidic tartness with a sweet medium body that is dominated by dark berry fruit and a slightly spicy finish. The alcohol is very well masked making this beer pretty quaffable. The sweetness of the blackberries and blueberries is no cloying or artificial which is always a plus but is still a bit too much for my liking. An interesting experiment but not something I would seek out again, especially at the high price point.

Photo of weeare138
2.46/5  rDev -33%
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!

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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 John_M
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
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 jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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%.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 7.5 dL capped bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The ale pours with a thick billowy white head that consumes three plus fingers in the glass, easily overwhelming the body of the beer. As the head recedes, it does not lace. The body of the beer is a red-blue hybrid color, light and clear with a definite purple tint. Very unusual, I don't think I've seen a beer take on this hue. You have to see it to understand it.

S: The nose has the sweetness of a fruit juice undercut by a grainy malt profile with hints of sour tart fruit. Much like the color, the blueberry/blackberry aroma is unique.

T: The first sip surprised me with its solid grainy cereal body. I was expecting all fruit all the time so the chewy malt was nice. Those malts are a nice foundation for the fruits, contrasting with the tartness of the fruits. Those fruits are quite sweet at times before yielding to a more tart element. At the end of the sip, some alcohol warmth comes through but it is very minimal, leaving me to wonder where it is at throughout the glass. There is a sweeter yeast flavor blanketing the beer from start to finish.

M: The strength of the fruits is pleasant, livening the mouth with flavors that are rarely seen in a beer. The alcohol, while not evident until the end, leaves it mark quickly.

D: This 10% beer (per the label) is a whopper that you may want to share with someone. The fruit flavors are strong but don't mistake this for a sugary sweet experience, this beer is big and bad with a lot of swagger.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.