1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,437 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,437
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 97
Gots: 187 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006

Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,437 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ajlvt
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Gehrig
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at a beach house in The Outer Banks in North Carolina, written from notes.

Orange with mahogany trim in color, Black and Blue is a lot more blue in taste. Though the malt content is good and ably represented in the taste, both in smell and flavor, blueberry rules the day. I find that the DFH version differs from the excellent Dark Horse Blueberry in its somewhat sour flavor. It's not off-putting, and actually coalesces fairly well with the caramel and coffee malts. But a bit more sweetness while keeping it from veering into syrupy sweetness would have improved this significantly., particularly since the malt flavors provided a nice bite already.

It's a nice after-dinner beverage, something I moderately enjoyed. Yet, in all, DFH Black and Blue isn't quite my cup o'tea.

Photo of pirmannt1
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Massbmx
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of lovindahops
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, grabbing big dfh bottles like crazy today! Everything is disappearing off the shelves! Someone said there is a tv show or something!

A- a reddish amber look with a good white head

S- a lift of sweet and sour berries compiled with spice. A little far from an ale. Alcohol is there

T- major spice on the tongue of sweet flavor that is sweet with dried berries. The dryness grows exponentially and is topped off with the alcohol. Good taste for a malted beverage

M- spiky on the tongue like a prickle busch. Ouch

D- wow, you can slam this. Dfh making another drinkable brew for the ladies!... And me

Photo of Lob
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of gpblackgt
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of rowew
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 capped, label has a portrait of someone in a blue suit. 10 % abv, there was a date on the neck, but it has smeared and isn't readable.

Appearance: Pours clear and red, just a bit of purple highlights to it. Thin head, but good retention of that thin head.

Smell: Fairly subdued aroma, just a bit of belgian yeast notes, and some fruity tartness.

Taste: Hmm .. again, fairly subdued. There are some yeast notes in there, but not many .. and there is some tartness from the fruit, but it is subtle too.

Overall impression: This one is fairly average - and I seem to remember the price being well above average. It is fairly drinkable considering the high abv.

Photo of drtth
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This is the 2010 bottling.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear dark reddish orange color with a 1" light tan head that soon recedes to a thin layer of foam and a ring around the glass. The thin layer persists for a very long time and sipping leaves both a sheet of foam on one side of the glass and scattered irregular patches of lacing on the other.

Smell: The aroma leaves no doubt there are blackberries and blueberries used in this beer. It is an interesting aroma in that it definitely has some of each with both the slightly tart astringent aroma of the blackberries tickling the nasal passages while the rich full blueberry character smoothes it out and rounds it off.

Taste: At first the flavors don't live up to the fruitiness of the nose. I'm hoping as the beer warms this will smooth out and show more fruit character. At the moment I'm getting fruit only briefly before tartness takes over. While this is clearly a beer best drunk at cool room temperature for the fruit, for me the flavors don't live up to the nose until after the beer has warmed some. I don't pick up much alcohol with this one except from the warming effects

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied and both smooth and sticky on the tongue. However there is plenty of light persistent prickly carbonation. The finish is long but pretty non-descript. There's some bitterness here but it is not from the hops. As the sweetness disappears it leaves a tart acidity that is more fruity sour than hop bitter.

Drinkability: While I'm willing to finish this beer I'm not eagerly looking forward to each sip. Nor do I anticipate that I'll go out of my way to have this beer again. In fact I'm thinking that I'll probably not drink it again. I can see how some may like this beer, but its just doesn't work for me.

Note, 30 Dec., 2013: Had a glass of this last night and found myself enjoying it more this time than I had when I reviewed it. The fruits came through nicely and the whole seemed more drinkable that I gave it credit for.

Photo of HollyHops
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of roadhouse
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appears reddish orange in color with a one and a half inch light peach colored head that sinks to a centimeter thick skim and holds up well leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma is moderately fruity with hints of blackberry and blueberry but not much else to speak of. Even then it's still kind of faint for some reason.

The taste has a sugary sweetness up front that is overtaken by the flavors of the berries. It gets more tart as it progresses but never goes too far. Not much trace of it being 10% ABV. A little boring in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, nice creamy texture.

This stuff is alright, I wouldn't buy it again though. Pretty easy to drink, just not that interesting.

Photo of wcudwight
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice color. Sort of a ruby/orange. Thin wispy head and little lace. I give it a 4 on color alone.
Smells of blackberries, bannana, and alcohol. Not really a complex aroma but it stills smells good.
Has a bit of a red wine flavor to it with some blackberry tartness. Good depth to the flavor but a bit boozy for a fruit beer.
Crisp oily mouthfeel.
This is a slow sipper. I liked the flavor of the beer but still had a hard time finishing the glass.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 750 mL bottle to wine glass. Bottled in 2010.

A: Pours wwith a 1 1/2 finger sudsy and creamy off white head. The medium dark cranberry colored body is brilliantly clear and sparkling with crimson in front of light. Really gorgeous color. Lacing is spotty.

S & T: Light malts of cereal and straw. The hops are indistinguisable for me since the black and blueberry aroma and flavor is abundant. The yeast contribution marries incredibly well with the fruit. Additional flavors of raspberry, white grape and green apple. Above average sweetness but no where near being dangerously sweet, which I appreciate greatly. Absolutely no alcohol is noticeable on the nose, palate or in the mouthfeel. This is possibly the best-concealed 10% brew out there. Seriously, I'd give this beer to a 6 month old child.

M: Medium-light body and semi thin with a super fine lively and fizzy carbonation. Semi tart and lightly astringent.

D: I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed Black & Blue. It is very palatable, not something for constant imbibement, of course, but it has it's time and place. Would be a good beer for wine heads.

Photo of Beertracker
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Black & Blue pours up strongly with a thin pinkish-white head that barely rings the berry golden-pink champagne colored body. Poor retention. The aroma is alive with lots of berry fruitiness (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry) and lots of earthy spiciness. Almost perfumey with a low-moderate candied maltiness. Some phenols. Hot solventy alcohol. The flavor is a marriage of berry fruits & spicinessy supported by a soft malt character. Esters are reminiscent of apples, pears, or plums. Moderate peppery spiciness from the hops, as well as the yeast(s). Low bitterness. Dry with a extremely warming finish. This medium-light bodied specialty fruit beer has plenty of character, complexity, and strength but lacks harmony. I recommend cellaring this one for at least another year. Black & Blue is certainly a bruiser!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of PDXHops
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a tulip. Deep reddish amber with good glarity. The smallish off-white cap of foam fairly quickly shrinks to a collar of froth with a skim floating in the middle. Surprisingly decent lacing is left behind.

Fairly strong berry aromas with some husky grain and a vaguely Belgian yeastiness. Tastes pretty much as advertised, sweet blueberry up front, tarter blackberry in the finish, with the somewhat elusive yeastiness lurking about. A certain crisp grainy quality keeps it from becoming too sticky (the modest carbonation gets no credit for helping out). For a "big" beer, ABV-wise, there doesn't seem to be a ton going on. Seems like there could be potential with a few tweaks.

Overall impression: Pleasant enough, but rather forgettable.

Photo of brycevolk
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fair sized head which surprised me for some reason. It holds up well and leaves behind good lace work. Has a slightly murky amber color.

Smells wine like, fruits ( grapes, blueberry?), I can't detect much else, maybe a bit of alcohol.

Tastes similar to the nose, tart and sweet. Very different, glad to have tried it.

Photo of leinie13
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful rose-colored beer with a light, fizzy pink head that reduces to a thin layer of foam.

It smells sweetly of grapes and berries with a hint of wine-like dryness.

The taste is light and tart with plenty of grape flavors mixed in. It has very little malt qualities, instead leaning to fruity flavors. But these flavors are subdued. This isn't like soda.

The body is crisp and light. The sparkling carbonation also adds to the lightness.

Overall this is a neat experiment and an excellent beer to get wine drinkers interested. It has a lot of champagne qualities, from the fizziness to the wine-like flavors.

Photo of BB1313
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this bottle w/ a buddy. This is my second time enjoying this unique brew. Pours a purple w/ red hints, not really what you see everyday in a beer, looks great. I can smell blueberries, blackberries, vanilla. Those characterisitics are very noticeable in the taste as well. Pretty malty w/ a tart sweetness. Finishes sharp, well carbonated. Drinkability is good, but since it's borderline cloyingly sweet, it loses a point. The taste will have you coming back for more; alcohol is masked, but it's still dangerously drinkable. Awesome brew!

This definitely isn't your ordinary beer.. but the flavors alone make this very worthy. These are the kind of beers I expect from DFH. Well done, recommended!

Photo of Jason1337
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of calcnerd
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of larryi86
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottled 2010 poured in a snifter

A- A nice red/amber color with an off white one finger head with hints of orange.

S- Over fermented blueberries and raspberries, not the best smell in the world, reminds me more of a wine smell.

T- Sweet, sweet, and sweet. The taste is mostly blueberries with a hint of tartness from the raspberries.

M- It is smooth and a little on the lighter side.

D- This does not feel like a beer, but it is not bad. If you do get a bottle be ready to split it with someone because half a bottle is all that one person needs in a night.

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.