Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

510 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,559
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 111
Gots: 246 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,559
Photo of Keith238
4.85/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank God I took a cab from the ferry when I arrived in Delaware. This was love at first sip. A buddy and I tried our best to finish off the supply at the Rehoboth bar but sadly failed. I made sure to pick up a case on my return trip to the ferry (yes a case!)

Nice berry taste with both the black and blue berry flavors coming through. A dark ruby color and a velvety finish. I prefer drinking it from a snifter rather than the squat water glass you are provided at the bar. The alcohol (10%) let it's presence be known but it didn't overpower anything. You missed out if you didn't get any this year. Lets hope they brew it again in 2008. (643 characters)

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, PA. during their Groundhog's Day event.

A- A nice amber color with a thin white head.

S- Smelled fairly sweet and fruity. Blueberries and raspberries. A little yeast and alcholic too.

T- Malty and sweet up front. Like the smell the blueberries and raspberries were prevalent. Couold also taste some yeast tartness and spiciness. A bit of alcohol as it warmed.

M- Medium bodied. Some carbonation.

D- Not a bad beer. I just don't think the fruity beers are my thing. (529 characters)

Photo of njmoons
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a big fruit beer fan, but I decided to give it a try as I have been curious about berries in beer (except raspberries which are relatively common).

Poured a very dark golder brown with a moderate head that had some staying power.

The aroma definitely had the berry smell, but still smelled like a beer. I think in a lot of fruit beers the fruit distracts from the beer aroma and flavor for that matter.

The taste was that of a strong ale. There is a little berry flavor on the front end of the taste, and through the taste the berry flavors take over are are most noticeable on the finish.

The mouthfeel was as expected for a high alcohol beer brewed on fruit, and for a fruit beer I found it highly drinkable.

Overall I am still not a fan of fruit beers, but this was pretty good. (790 characters)

Photo of bgjohnston
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a big bottle of this with my sister in law, who was in town for a visit.

Poured a cloudy pale bluish/pinkish color, with a nice white head. Smelled berry-like, with a hint of the yeasty belgian ale smell I remember very clearly from a previous bottle of Red & White. Taste was interesting, starting with a mild blueberry flavor before shifting over to a more conventional belgian triple flavor. The dominant flavor was very reminiscent of Red & White as well.

Overall this is a nice example of a belgian style fruit beer. It is not as high-octane as Fort, making it more drinkable, and seems to be a bit more harmonious flavor combination than Red & White. Of the 3 fruity beers mentioned in this review, this one gets second place. (741 characters)

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a unique beer to say the least. This Belgium style Golden Ale brewed with black raspberry and blueberry puree is a must try for any serious beer lover. The label art comes from the portrait painter David Larned from Pennsylvania, accompanied by his wife Sarah, they are both huge Dogfish Head fans. This interesting brew pours garnet color with a thin white fizzy head. Aromas of black raspberry and blueberry are the most pronounced along with hints of citrus. The palate is not dominated by the fruit like you would think, it is definitely there but it is different than you expect. The fruit is balanced with a nice amount of malts, a great acidity and fine bubbles that are almost Champagne like. If you are looking for something new and interesting to try, this is it. (778 characters)

Photo of ph2001
2.52/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

25.6 oz bottle in pint glass

thick hazy redcolor. finger of head that settles down into a thin layer. mild smell of sweet and sour berries, purple grapes.

sweet berry flavors over a strong bitterness. finsihes with a bite similar to cherry flavored cough syrup. there is a sour bitterness in the aftertaste. the 10% is hidden well. interesting, but not my thing i suppose. generaly unpleasant flavors to me. (410 characters)

Photo of schoolcb
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a sample last night at the brewpub in Rehoboth. I'm normally not a fan of fruit beers but had to try this one. WOW. Belgian Strong with blackberries and blueberries. Berries very noticeable in the aroma/flavor, but I don't know if I didn't know what they were that I would have been able to tell. Very well balanced between maltiness and fruit flavor. Don't think I could drink a full pint, but this is a perfectly executed fruit beer. (439 characters)

Photo of drowninginhops
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9.6 oz bottle poured into tankard.

A: Hazy reddish plum in color. Slightly off white head, two finger head that lasted the entire beer and left a well laced glass. Looks very interesting.

S: On opening it I smelled the raspberry then blueberry notes. Smells real not made artificially.

T: Pour was a little off so i dove in to lap the overflowing head i was greeted by an effervescent medially of blueberry and raspberry. Blueberry and raspberry are at the front of the palate with sweet malt rounding out the end.

M: Nice middle ground for this beer not too thick not too thin and well carbonated. Made me crave cheerios which I eat with either blueberry, blackberry or raspberry depending on what I have. So that is a point in its court.

D: Would,d be a great desert beer or you could... nah this is nice anytime. On another note it made em crave Cheerios which I eat with blue, black or raspberries. (915 characters)

Photo of mjw2808
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy reddish purpleish blueish color with little head and no lacing. All I can really smell is berries. The taste is of sweet berries and a little brown sugar, and a slight bit of alcohol. I was surprised for barley being able to taste the alcohol since this is a 10% brew. The mouthfeel is good and its a drinkable beer. I made some girls who hate beer and only drink wine try it and they thought it was pretty good, as do I. Defnitely a solid beer from Dogfish head. (470 characters)

Photo of Agent1
4.67/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will be opening an aged 750 ml bottle of Black & Blue from 2007. This was a limited edition release, and this particular bottle has been aging for the past seven years. It definitely changes with each bottle and it surprises me every time. I plan on opening the remaining 750s every 6 months until there are gone (only 2 bottles left after this one). This is my third bottle.

Appearance - A rich, deep orange. Dark copper with bright white head. Great lacing, but thin head. Great carbonation and the bubbles remain very, very active. That being said, there is not a huge amount of head on this beer, but overall, it looks sexy.

Smell - Cherries and raspberry jam. Red wine and grape on the nose. Honey and cotton candy. Fermented fruits, which is pretty obvious because, quite literally, that is what this is. Quite sweet. Makes the mouth water in anticipation.

Taste - Lots of astringent tannins. A very stinging alcohol bite which is so shocking, sour, yet rewarding to the tongue. Big, bold fruits here: candied apple, grape peel, fermented cherries raspberries, blackberries, blood orange, strawberries and lemon (most likely a flavor given off from the fermented fruit -- almost sour). Great choice of yeast (definitely a high gravity yeast at work here, otherwise it wouldn't allow this beer to age this good -- possibly Belgian?). Extremely complex. Lots of other subtle layers such as cloves, coriander, tea leaves, brown sugar and rich barley. Very sour...nearing a lambic, but not quite. This is the closest beer I've had to mimic traits of red wine due to its acidity.

Mouthfeel - Very full bodied. Great carbonation with a thick, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel -- almost similar to cough syrup, but in the most pleasant way. This activates all areas of the mouth. Being slightly sour from the fermented fruits and sugars, this delivers a heavy, hard hitting, gustatory orgasm.

Overall - More like wine than beer at this stage. This is aging really well, and I'm willing to bet I wouldn't like this beer freshly bottled nearly as much as I do now. I'm sure it would be a solid beer, but I can see it being super sweet, jammy and heavy on the fresh fruits used. This is becoming darker in color and richer in malts, sugars and fruits. Very, very tasty and complex. (2,276 characters)

Photo of Kakaraht
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy reddish color, kinda like the inside of a blueberry. Medium head with nice lacing

S: Nice berry aroma with a hint of Belgian yeast.

T: Very subtle very smooth. The berry's blend very nicely into a sour saison like beer with warm sweet earthy notes and tart berry finish. I really like the smoothness of the flavors.

M: Medium carbonation and mouth feel,the flavors lingers nicely.

D: This is always a repeat beer for me, i find it perfect for sipping while sitting around a nice big campfire. (511 characters)

Photo of Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2007 aged 1 year. Dark amber light brown pour. Fruitier berry aroma and on the palate. I was told this wouldn't last a year, but it did so with greatness. The hop profile mellowed out and the flavors stayed strong. No sourness or cloying. Thinking about aging another one but with so many coming out I have even better choices. Another winner from DFH. (359 characters)

Photo of BabyBastard
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in '09, pours a great dark brown and a bit tan. Very nice looking. Looks comparable to a dark Belgian strong ale. Not much head to start off with, sparse lacing throughout and nice cascading bubble abound. Did I mention this was nice looking? Surely whets the appetite. This seems to have a slight blue tinge to it, though I may be crazy.

Smell from the bottle seems to be strong berries. Has a great scent of malt and an odd fruitiness. Also smells hotly of alcohol, though my perception may be a bit off.

This tastes like a great, dark Belgian with very obvious overtones of blue berries. Has a strong malt backbone, but the dark fruit is what grabs the taste buds. Comes off slightly sweet as well.

This has very high carbonation, much like a German wheat beer or the like. Feels tingly and alive on the palate. The alcohol content also warms you greatly while being consumed. Truly a pleasure to drink this beer. One bottle may not be enough. Great drinkability for such a heavy hitter. (1,004 characters)

Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice fruity smell. Pours a rich red/ amber color. Massive head with lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation. Just the right amount of fruity sweetness. Has a nice bite in the mouth and finishes extremely smooth and malty. There is a 10abv warming as it goes down the esophagus. I love it!!! (293 characters)

Photo of mt24turner
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance- nice pretty red hue

smell- not much aroma to this beer, slight blackberry and malt sweetness

taste- nice malt sweetness and beligiany funkyness and complexity, somewhat winelike acidity ,finishes tart with lingering berry flavors, alcohol is perfectly hidden beware.

mouthfeel- medium-full mouthfeel

overall- definately a great beer, and unlike many dogfish specialties i will definately consider buying it again (429 characters)

Photo of VMWhelan
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Pours a reddish orange with a thick white frothy head. Head has shades of orange as well. Great lacing.

Nose is mostly the fruit (blueberries and raspberries) on top of some malt. Smells tart but sweet with some caramel and yeast notes.

Taste is again dominated by the fruit. Hits tart at first and the malt and some bready/yeastyness comes through after, almost reminiscent of a warm blueberry muffin. Some booziness in this one but its not overpowering, as it mixes with the tartiness very well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is medium-high. Slightly dry.

Drinkability is high. There's a good amount of booze in this one, but its very enjoyable and goes down easy. Not hard to kill the 750mL alone, but at 10%abv, you need to be careful. (796 characters)

Photo of mexikrainian
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a McChouffe tulip.

Appearance: orange-amber with moderate white head and excellent lacing.

Aroma: potent fruity, floral scent with strong cherry notes.

Taste: tart, strong fruity taste up front with smooth, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: interesting flavor. definitely worth trying again but i can't have it on a regular basis. don't drink too cold---you'll miss the unique character. (464 characters)

Photo of bwd110
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: This beer pours a brighter than expected copper brown. Little to no head, minimal lacing. Doesn't appear that this one is overly carbonated. Nice dark fruit hues when held up to light. It does look appealing.

S: Dark fruits, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry dominate. Though I do catch hints of tropical fruits as well. Mango comes to mind. Aroma is subtle, nothing bold jumps at out you, but a pleasant nose nevertheless. Also smells rather vinous.

T: Nice, subtleties here. More complex the more I consumed. Inoffensive dark fruit flavors of the aforementioned, does have a very vinous quality. You can taste the alcohol here, but in this instance I think it fits well with the other qualities of this brew. Well balanced. Very sweet and sugary with only a touch of tartness. Overall pleasing taste.

M: Medium body, creamy feel. Low carbonation, no real alcohol burn, but it is noticeable

D: This would be more of a desert beer for me, or even a nightcap. Couldn't see drinking more than a glass or two here. (1,058 characters)

Photo of Soozy
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a deep red color, smells like wine - fruit, blueberries, and alcohol scents. It tastes like like a mix between wine and beer, that's the best way to describe it. It has a light malt taste and strong taste of blueberries/rasberries with a light earthy hop finish. I could barely tell this was 11% and my friend and I were saying if it wasn't $8 a glass we'd be tossing these back.

Overall, an interesting beer. Not something I'd go out of my way to try again, but it was nice to try. (491 characters)

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I poured this beautifuly ruby amber brew into my brand new DFH pint glass out of its 750ml bottle.

Like I mentioned, the body was an intriguing ruby amber and its head was light and slippery; not much retention.

The beer's aroma hints of its told BLACK raspberry and BLUEberry with some amazing malt characteristics.

Anyone weary of a beer with way too much fruit shall be freed of such fear. This is a tastefully disciplined brew with tactful fruit flavoring.

An outstanding pro for this beverage is its 10% ABV and its unbelievably coy drinkability. (564 characters)

Photo of kcillini77
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in Illinois the last time I was back there, and I'm glad I didn't read all the reviews here beforehand, because they would have led me not to purchase it. I'm a big fan of blueberries AND black raspberries, and, of course, beer so when I saw it in the store I had to purchase it.

Pours a light red, almost a pink hue, with a lot of carbonation and minimal head.

Smell is tart blueberries, with some raspberry, and maraschino cherry.

Taste is deep, sweet malt, kind of like an abbey ale, with a tart raspberry taste on the swallow. No hops to speak of, but the tartness is followed by a warmth from the alcohol that is quite endearing.

I'm a hophead, but I really liked this one. Probably the best fruit beer I've ever had. (743 characters)

Photo of DousedInStout
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep amber with white head. The head dissipates to small beading over several sips. The aroma is of blackberry jam, ripe blueberries, and a spiciness from the Belgian yeast. The taste is sweet and fruity, but not cloying. A little bit of caramel malt, and just enough hops to balance. The alcohol is present, but it's not super boozey for 10%. The carbonation is medium to low, and very fine. Overall, a nicely brewed, strong fruit beer. (452 characters)

Photo of branimal9
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley's Greenville 5/20/2010.

Clear, bright reddish orange in color. Nice lacing. Berries, berries & more berries on the nose. Black berry does dominate, however. Lambic-style sour in the taste, with mouth-coating consistency. Estery. Nice warming finish. (267 characters)

Photo of jsp2
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an odd, amber mixed with blue and red. Cloudy with bubbles releasing, and a very thick creamy head that reduces very slowly. Bottle says bottled in 2009 and has a picture of a creepy looking guy wearing a fancy blue coat. Pretty unique color to this brew.

Fruity, yeasty aroma with blueberries, roses, and cloves, very sweet and strong aroma.

Taste is rich with malty sweetness, spicy yeast followed by a tart berry flavor. Well balanced from the tartness of the berry with a malt sweetness. Alcohol is present in the aftertaste but not overwhelming at all. Maybe a faint bit of hops that blends well with the berry tartness.

Pretty low carbonation, rich with a lot of body. Silky and not cloying.

Yet another very unique brew from DFH. Each aspect of this brew is executed wonderfully compared to other fruit beers. Expect lots of Belgian and berry flavors but still a drinkable product that is not too sweet. (921 characters)

Photo of Bauzen
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber/copper in color.

Smells as tart as it tastes - sharp, obnoxious, fruit kicking your ass and overpowering any aspect of beer that might be beneath the berries.

Mouthfeel is best described as taking a bunch of tart blackberries, shoving them in your mouth and having nothing to wash them down with for an hour.

My friend brought me a bottle of this stuff - and I wish I'd have known to age it. Seems like the only positive reviews come from vintage bottles - mine was certainly not a vintage. Assuming the fruit mellows out, I can imagine this being a nice beer... I strongly suggest letting it sit if you want a more enjoyable experience. (646 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.