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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 apbarwood
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Reddish, orangish color with a decent white head that hung around for a while. Nice lacing throughout.

Smell- Nice fruity notes of blueberry and and to a lesser extent blackberry.

Taste- Bursting with flavors of blackberry and blueberry with a bracing hop bitterness holding it together. I've read other reviews saying that the flavors were vague but I'm not sure what the problem was. Even if I hadn't read the bottle I would have tasted the blue and blackberry immediately, it's pretty noticeable. At any rate, while the flavors are there, it's not the greatest blend. Pleasant but nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel- Fairly light and highly carbonated. Wasn't as sweet as I expected which was probably a good thing.

Drinkability- By itself, not the best ever, especially for the price. There was nothing that set this apart from other fruit beers in my estimation. Would have been really nice with a desert, especially a cheese cake. By itself, it left a little to be desired.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice reddish amber color with a slightly off white head that goes away fairly quickly and doesn't appear to leave too much lacing.

S: Very much like a wine, the blue and blackberry scents are very apparent and overall a very sharp smelling beer.

T: Blueberry is the first thing I taste, followed by a nice mellow malt, then onto the blackberry finsh, pretty fruity all together but not too bad. Was hoping for a little bit more hop flavor.

MF: Nice medium bodied beer, a bit lacking in the carbonation but nothing too bad. Goes down very nicely.

D: Pretty drinkable beer, though I think that this would be better of shared amongst friends.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour on draft at Coffee District, also numerous bottles at home.

This is how a fruit beer should be, soft flavors with amazing bouquet of dark fruit, but the alcohol backbone to round it out into a fine, fine beer. Dogfish just knows how to do these different beers correctly, love just about everything from them. This is in my top 5 of favorite beers!

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Photo of RomanW70
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Julian's, Providence. Really liked this one. Pours reddish gold with no head. Arome is of sweet berries with a wine finish. I thought the fruits were really well integrated with a very nice vineous quality. Some warming alcohol on the finish. I also thought the bottle version was a little too sweet, but this doesn't seem to be the case on tap.

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Photo of bsend
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a 13 oz. pour from my server in a Dogfish Head tulip glass.

Appearance: Moderate copper colored beer with mixes of berry red undertones. Minimal amounts of white head, and little lacing on the side. The beer lets in decent amounts of light.

Smell: Mix of alcohol, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and bits of mild hop.

Taste: Blackberry and blueberry flavor at the beginning, and minimum amounts of alcohol that becomes more apparent as it gets warmer.

Mouthfeel: Slightly dry, and warmth of alcohol. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Despite the high abv, easily drinkable. Wonderful brew.

Final Thoughts - Really enjoyed this brew. Excellent for the style, and high abv. I really enjoyed this limited release brew (as the tap stated) without having to go to Dogfish Head's brew pub. Kudos to Dogfish Head.

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Photo of taxguyjase
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this pours a really beautiful amber/nectar color, looking very rich and proper like the guy on the label. Even with the light head, this is thick beer. The lacing is light and drops pretty quick. There is sweetness to the aroma - mostly subtle berries. The flavor is unique - there is a thick, crispy malt taste combined with a tart sweetness from the berries utilized in the beer. Expect the beer to hit hard at first, then blend itself in the background. No hint of alcohol on this, which was unexpected for a 10% ABV brew. There is great mouth coverage and heavier body to this one, with crispy carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer, even though it's not one I'd get often, it was fun for a special occasion (or just to enjoy once in a blue moon).

Appearance - 4.5/5.0 - Amber nectar color, looks rich and thick, light head, lacing is light and drops fast
Smell - 3.5/5.0 - Sweetness, berries, but a bit subtle
Taste - 4.0/5.0 - Thick crispy malt, tart sweetness, cidery, hit of flavor up front - different but flavorful, no hint of alcohol for a 10% beer
Feel - 4.5/5.0 - Definite thickness, great mouth coverage, crisp carbonation
Drinkability -3.5/5.0 - Very good, but not one you have all the time - fun for special occasions

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Photo of kpantz
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: A surprisingly accessible beer from these guys. Pleasant warm weather beer, but nothing mindblowing.

Appearance: A purple-tinged ruby pour, fairly clear. Frothy head is a pale pink. Yes, pink. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Malts and fruit. Pretty simple aroma here. Definite berry presence.

Taste: Honestly? It's relatively weak in the palate department, at least as far as DFH goes. It's one of those cases where the flavors feel a little "far away," though what of it I do get is fairly refreshing and pleasant. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, but you do get the warming sensation that tells you that you shouldn't be pounding it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fervent carbonation attacks the tongue. It's pretty consistent with some of the other fruit beers I've had, so I'd imagine it was intentional. Not too thick or syrupy.

Drinkability: Pretty easygoing. Light flavors and body make this a pretty refreshing ale. That said, the flavors aren't prevalent enough to hold my interest for too long.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong berry / peach aroma.

Not much carbonation. Off-white head that dies quickly. No lacing in my mug.
Orangey-red ale color.
The labels states ingredients include black rasberry and blueberry puree but the taste is more like a near flat peach lambic with a strong alcohol. Not quite sure what kind of meal I would pair this with - maybe some nice old world cheeses. Share the 25oz bottle with friends - one glass is enough per person.

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Photo of Keith238
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%
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.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of njmoons
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of bgjohnston
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of ph2001
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

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Photo of StretchZep
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
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!!!

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Photo of schoolcb
4.12/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of drowninginhops
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of mjw2808
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Agent1
4.67/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

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Photo of Kakaraht
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

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Photo of BabyBastard
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of mt24turner
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
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

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color, with a huge three finger off white foamy head. There is a lot of carbonation and a soapy lacing. The odor is fruity, dark berries, spices, clove, woods, orange peel. The taste is very raspberry, berry, apple, sweet, barely any alcohol, peach, orange, spices, clove, crisp up front, barely any bitterness, a little sour throughout.

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Photo of VMWhelan
4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
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.

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