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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 VALIS666
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I am not a fan of fruit flavored beer except for hints of the flavors, and this beer is like a fruit flavored wall of Marshall amps cranked up to 11. Dogfish Head makes some wonderful beers, they're one of my favorite brewers, but this is aggressive and obnoxious. The smell is nice -- mixed berries, I especially smell raspberry, but the taste is borderline unbearable. Tastes almost closer to a wine cooler than a beer it's so sweet and fruity. So unpleasant I poured about $7 worth of its 13 dollar bottle down the drain.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH tulip glass. 3 fingers of quick receding pinkish hued head. Color is really similar to that of a red Smells of yeast and tart blueberries.

Tart makes itself known in terms of flavor, and the yeast almost makes me think of a Belgian. It almost has a bitter aftertaste- which sort of reminds me of unripe berries. It is a little offputting, though doesn't ruin the beer. Having it be just a smidge sweeter would make it perfect.

As far as fruit beers go, it's just about equal parts fruit and beer- as opposed to others which tend to be pretty obvious which way that they lean (think Floris apple versus Elysian Pumpkin). Definitely an interesting effort from DFH, though not one I'd really get again. Fortunately for the sake of variety my wife digs it, so I'm sure I'll be back to review it again next year.

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Photo of mmcave
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottled on 2-12-07
Ignored beer advocate glass suggestion and poured into a Grolsch glass. Head levels out a good two centimeters off the surface with decent retention and delicate almost gray lacing. The body is red amber, with purple tones, bright red high lights and some peach/pink. Its moderately translucent, with good clarity, and tiny bubbles. The smell reminds me of fall immediately for some reason, maybe because I had Jiahu ( and this reminds me of that?) for the first time this fall, but I can not say for sure. I get no absolute traces of raspberry or blue berry, although I do get strong hints of berry, but what specifically I cannot discern. Malt is present with a weird dried corn note, plus very little hop aroma. As it warms the fruit becomes much more apparent almost sticky in my nostrils. Taste is slightly gummy or jammy alcohol is perceptible but by no means over powering. I taste hints of fruit in the beginning, a tinge of bitterness in the midsection and another flourish of berry character coupled with light malt on the finish. I didn’t notice the normal alcohol warmth you would immediately after taking a sip of something 10 abv, but it did ketch up with my soon after. For me the mouth feel was a bit unexpected on this, I thought there would be much more residual sugar left over from the fruit after fermentation. I get the feeling the fruit had so much fermentable sugar in it that it left a smaller amount of desirable fruit flavor and aroma, but in tern helped to boost the ABV so high. Very interesting, definitely not a sessionable beer, not because of the drinkable factor simply because of the ABV. Fun and interesting to try, but if it were available year round I doubt I’d buy it.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep sunset colors orange to rose with sparse
head and little to no lacing

S: Sweet berry nose with a slight alcohol aroma

T: Champaigne of beers for the summer (not to be
confused with High Life). The flavors of
natural berries over a syrup is evident.

M: Very jammy with great body and adequate

D: The ABV is the only thing that holds me back
for drinking it all afternoon.

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Photo of scott
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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

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Photo of semibaked
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass and shared with a friend.

A - Pours a rusty copper color with about a finger of white head with active carbonation and layers of sediment floated stagnant throughout the body. It was poured lightly into the glass.

S - Big smell of blackberry juice right away, some sourness but I don't get any blueberry smell at all, it also has a smell of hops but it is faint.

T - Heaps of blackberry juice sourness up front, the blueberry flavor taste a bit like blueberry muffins, has some fruit wine qualities.

M - Very light and crisp, slightly watery with prickly carbonation.

D - Glad I tried this one but probably won't be a regular one from me, pretty expensive too. This would be nice on a hot summer day though.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with 6DaysBottomOcean. Thanks!

Poured into my Stone RIS glass; amber colored, 3/4 inch thick tan head, a bit cloudy with active carbonation. Head dissipated quite quickly, and no lacing on the glass.

Aroma of raspberries, cherries, caramel malts, and I couldn't detect any hops.

Taste upfront is tart, with a slight hop bitterness. There is a raspberry flavor in the aftertaste and a slight metallic hop zing at the end.

Full bodied, thick and almost chewy. Carbonation was pretty active and it makes this a sipping brew.

Overall a good brew, but nothing to knock your socks off. Drinkable up to a point - its 10% abv will put you on your ass so I'm glad I split the bottle with my girlfriend. She loved this brew!

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Photo of berpwillie
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a sparkling clear amber color. lots of fizzy carbonation, average fluffy -fizzy head followed with good lacing. very berry smell with a taste that follows much the same. has a bit of a light fruity wine flavor to it. very easy to drink, alcohol is not the least bit noticable. thin fizzy feel and very sweet, probably to sweet to drink in bulk but could definitely drink every day. first beer i drank that could quench my thirst. could drink this shit at half-time-F@#$ gatorade pass me a black & blue.

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Photo of lehows
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a redish tinted amber color with a tight white head. Wonderful aromas of dark berries and some mild floral hops. Smooth and creamy taste of rich yet mild blackberries and blueberries. Hops and malt make a well enough presence so that the beer is not too sweet. Well balanced and very drinkable for the ABV. Recommended.

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Photo of bierguru
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - redish color slight purplish color to it thick slight blue color to the head that holds throughout the drink

S - smell was disappointing i expected a stronger blueberry smell but was only hinted smelt more tart like raspberry

T - was very interesting kind of sweet with a slight tartness to if first thing i tasted was the blueberries and then an after taste of the black raspberry very interesting

M - i want to describe it as heavy beer felt very thick not to much carbonation and there are little little bits of fruit

D - for me i must drink it cold not chilled and thats do to the fact the raspberry flavor comes out more which i did not care for to much

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Photo of cleeze
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've yet to be disappointed by a DFH brew...

This baby poured a nice mahogany color with a hint of purple. Decent head that disappeared rather quickly to show some bad ass lacing.

Smell was as fruity as they come. As soon as I opened the brew a whiff of berries is very strong. Also after a second whiff, I picked up on some malty alcohol goodness.

Yummmy... Tart berry goodness at first. Warms my belly too on this cold winter day. The yeasty taste contrasts great with the sweet berry taste. the 10% is amazingly masked.

Great drinkability for a fruit beer.

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Photo of imasloth
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a large pinkish head, almond coloured as it dissipates and leaving fine lacing. Beer itself is reddish amber in color.

S- Tart and slightly sweet, even vinous.

T- Like a blueberry wine ... with some very nice tartness. Dry blackberry finish.

M- Dry, silky. Medium-bodied with good carbonation feel.

O- A very nice beer. Not sure they hit it out of the park, especially for the cost ... but one you should try.

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

Appearance: Off white head, lots of it. A very carbonated looking dark red brew.

Smell: More raspberry than blueberry. Sort of sweet smelling with just a tad bit of fruit and malt. Very mild.

Taste: Extremely mild tasting in flavor and ABV. I couldnt tell at all it was 11%. Malty with just a touch of sweet fruit. Not like any other blueberry or fruit beers that are overpowering and sickeningly sweet. This is actually drinkable. Light and not much in the way of aftertaste. A little tart at the end.

Overall a good balanced fruit beer. Just enough fruit to know what you are drinking, good masking of alcohol, easy to drink and a good strong beer for summer. I dont think I could make this a regular but maybe this should be on a rotating every other year schedule.

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Photo of ojiikun
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up the clearly stamped 2008 Feb vintage as a fith. Pops and pours wiht nearly no hiss or head, but only just. A small amount in a rather big wineglass gives a red, red colour with peach-tinged edges. What little head we have is off-orange. Crystal-clear body after a 30-second chill haze cleared itself.

Smell is floral with tons of berries and lots of non-malt sugars. Blueberries, of course, and something like white tea. Vinous. Rose hips. As it warms, a few caramel-ey malts come out.

Taste is quite tart, a little sweet, and still very floral. Some nice, dry farm-ey yeast notes, as well. Citrus peel finish. Odd funk in the middle that I can't quite place. Booze hides pretty well.

Mouthfeel is a little uninteresting. A little sticky, a little thin, not much carbonation when cold, improves a bit as it warms.

I'm just not sure about this one. It's a fantastically original recipe, but I'm not sure the execution is as spot-on as it could be. I wish the boys from Milton had taken this more down the route of the Fort and made it more of a wine. I figure some age might also improve things considerably.

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

2008 Bottle aged about 8 months in a temperature controlled wine cellar.

A: This one pours a murky reddish brow with orange highlights near the base of a tulip and a purplish hue elsewhere. Nice tight foamy off-white head with OK retention, leaving dots and legs of lacing as it seeps to a ring.

S: Sweet ripe blueberries, tart blackberries, belgian yeast, and a hint of sourness.

T: Sweet and tangy malts up front, followed by some slightly tart berries, and then contrast by a spicy yeasty finish. Alcohol is noticeable but fairly well blended into the various flavors.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied, almost syrupy, but more slippery with mild carbonation.

D: I buy about a half dozen Black & Blues every year and always look forward to them. I haven't found anything else like it. A good bottle to split with a friend or loved one.

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Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to snifter. Beer looks good. Not that I'm sure what it should look like, but it had the depth representative of black and blue berries, so it's gotta be labeled "good" at minimum. The bouquet was also good; the fruit was well-represented. Taste was excellent. The flavors poured through nicely. Mouthfeel was good; definitely a sipper. Overall, a good beer that I'll definitely be ordering again.

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

From notes - consumed 11/23/11

A - Pours a light reddish brown with two finger head.

S - Fruity esters, blueberry, grains.

T - Starts off somewhat tart with noticable alcohol presence. Sour cherries, blueberry, raspberry puree. Some clove in there as well.

M - Medium with light to medium carbonation.

O - Decent fruit beer. Not quite up to New Glarus standards but glad I got to split this bottle with a friend. Nothing stands out too much.

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Photo of earthboundagain
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok DFH Black & Blue bottled in 2008 drank in 2010 almost two years old.

A bright orange with crimson highlights. The head is a dirty white and leaves some lacing.

Ok there is a big blast of spicy Belgian yeast in the nose, followed bye a general berry scent.

Ok we have some berry flavor mixed with a Belgian yeast profile, not much on the flavor department, and the base beer is that good either

Ok the feel is almost sticky, but is very thick and lacks on the bubble department.

This beer was not what I was expecting and could be a real winner.

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Photo of prg1976
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, reddish/purplish amber coloring. White to maybe slight pink head, leaves some slight lacing.

Smells like a red wine almost. Alcohol and berries.

Tastes very good. Fruity, but not overboard. The malts are there for support, and just a touch of alcohol in the background. Tart and a little spicy, like a belgian.

Not overly carbonated, the mouthfeel is good, maybe a little lingering alcohol taste.

Overall, very drinkable. I'm a little surprised at how much I like it. I thought it would be a "one and done", but I think I'll get this one again.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is an amber/deep red. It has a thin cream colored head. The smell is strong pundget and fruity, sweet and tangy. At first sip it is malty, sweet and smooth. You can taste the tangy-ness, bitterness, and sweetness that black raspverries and blueberries pack in the back end of the beer, you can almost taste the 'skin' of the fruit. This beer isn't as sweet as you would expect like most fruit beers. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of Flyer
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent purplish red with a blackberry aroma. The flavor is "all fruit all the time," and yet the fruit isn't too intense -- it's nicely crisp, and the alcohol makes its presence felt. It has a sour, bitter-crisp finish. For me fruit beers are a not a staple, but a great change of pace, and in that context this is recommended.

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Photo of weasbri
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange color, just a tinge of pink creeping in, good off-white head that really disappears quickly. Fruity aroma, light malt maybe. Not much there.
I kept expecting the taste to reflect the berries (blue and rasp), but didn't really get there. I get the sweet and bitter flavors of some berry in there, but most prominently malt with decent hop bitterness.
It's not that it's a bad beer per se, it's just that I was expecting it to be fruitier. In its defense, the fruitiness did increase somewhat as it warmed, but it's still just not quite what I was looking for.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml in a st. bernardus glass
A:pours a light kriek like color, little to no head
S: mostly berry, pretty up front and delivers as promised
T: berry berry berry, the belgian yeast comes through at the end of a sip but the fruit is up front, a bit tart
M: surprisingly thick given that it vaguely resembles a rosé in color, a tad oily but not in a bad way just not an expected one
O: only my 3rd dogfish head beer, it's interesting but not incredible, not something I could have often and not sure I would buy it again but I would not turn it down

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Photo of gotbeer
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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Photo of jayrod20
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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