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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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

517 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 517
Hads: 1,571
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 114
Gots: 252 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 517 | Hads: 1,571
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)

Photo of NoahSYGG
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am a huge fan of dfh beers. This wasnt my favorite. It was a thick cloudy beer with a golden color. i didnt really get the raspberry or blueberry aroma. a little but not really. the flavor was sour. didnt taste like fruit. a little bit of an alcohol flavor. mouthfeel syrupy sweet. drinkablity low. will never drink again. (324 characters)

Photo of Jree261
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-Raspberry red to brown ale brown but not quite an amber with a white foam that has a maroon tint.

Smell-The blackberry and blueberry fruit is definitely dominant.

Taste-The fruit is much more subtle than something like a framboise that will leave a medicine after taste and a coated tongue.

Mouthfeel-Medium to full body of a lighter ale with good length on the finish.

Overall-Not bad. Definitely need the subtlety that this beer provides to be able to drink the fruit stuff. The Dogfish people don't typically let me down though. (546 characters)

Photo of dawg
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bomber into a glass. Poured relatively flat but did have some tangy carbonation. Smelld like fruits and veggies. Sour like a labmic blend. I expected a lighter body. This was massive and syraupy. No hops, just berries.

Second pour from the bomber was from up high. Results yielded a nice head that remained for awhile. Alcohol presence came through as it warmed. More sweetness and dark fruit characteristics. (420 characters)

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

split this with the folks during mother's day dinner...

poured from the bottle to some tulip glasses: forms a short lived, half-finger soapy head. the body is somewhat funny looking red-amber color. somewhat reminds me of fruit juice or a soda almost. didn't notice much in the way of lacing.

smells lightly of berries. the berries are a bit sweet in aroma, but there is also tartness - not quite sourness in the nose. it's interesting, but there isn't much in the way of malts or other smells.

the taste is actually better than i expected. by far. i was thinking it would be more artificial and somewhat fake. but this was actually not too sweet, somewhat tart, and a touch of bitterness. not very beery in flavor, but it was a nice fruit taste. i imagine a nice fruit wine might taste similar, which wouldn't be bad. can barely taste that 10% abv in there.

medium bodied, and carbonated enough to make it interesting. not prickling more fizzy, which also helps the overall enjoyment.

easy to drink for 10% abv like i mentioned before. and the taste is not offensive or overpowering. i could have more than one glass, but not more than one bottle of this joker. (1,167 characters)

Photo of dbexpert
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. golden amber color with good carbonation(tight, fine, bubbles), can't explain why but swear their is a blue tinge running through the amber

S. A subtle sweet malt nose carrying the essences of black raspberry and blueberry, and just enough hop to give the aroma a balance

T. Solid malt structure quickly balanced by subtle hops allow the fruits to play on the palate, First blueberry, then the raspberry/black raspberry notes following. The finish is persistent and pleasant

M. Sweet malt with berry, balanced by slight acidity keeping the finish crisp

D. Obviously availibility and price dictate the amount you can purchase but definitly drinkable, the 10% abv comes across as subtle.

Definitly worth finding and purchasing!!!
Those who don't like fruited beer stay away!! (781 characters)

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

A- nice amber color

S- sweet fruit esters, bright fruit berry, faint hops. strawberry, grapes, and plum.

T- early tart berries, somewhat balanced by malts

M- light, not syrupy

D- a great end of the night beer, fruity and tart flavor that does well by itself

First review so forgive some inexperience. A nice beer for late in the night and drinking alone. Wouldn't pair very well with food, but does well alone. (415 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (367 characters)

Photo of JohnnyS17
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had recently tried Dogfish Head’s Red & White and loved it. Then, I heard that they had a “sister” brew called Black & Blue and I had to run out and get it. We are getting quite patriotic with the color choices here and I like it. Amuricah!

The beer pours a transparent brown tinted with a strong pink hue. Actually, it looks pretty cool when I pick up my glass because it tints my hands red. Anyway, the beer pours about a two finger tall head that retains a nice lacing along the glass throughout the drink. The head also has a slight pink tint too it, which is quite unique. Outside of the fact that pink is not considered very masculine or normal for a beer, it is a very interesting façade.

The black & blue [sic] berries punch you in the nose on the first whiff. The blueberries are definitely more distinct. The aroma assemblage is not very complex outside of that. The taste is very similar to any other blueberry beer I have had in the past. It leads with a refreshing sweetness and then finishes with a distinct tartness. I hear that DfH uses real berries instead of artificial flavorings. That allows the distinct taste to ferment into the beer, which I would assume adds to the ABV. I wonder how much the quality of the berries can influence the variation in the taste of the beer. To conclude on the taste, it is good, but not unique in my opinion.

This beer is very light bodied and packs a light carbonation. It leaves a coating in your mouth that I am not extremely fond of. That coating parts with a lingering fermented berry taste.

Overall, I choose Red & White. I think Black & Blue lacks a uniqueness to separate itself from other blueberry-flavored beers. I could probably get a six-pack of another blueberry beer for the same price as I paid for this bottled pint and get a very similar taste. That being said, I have had some blueberry-flavored wheats that are artificially flavored and taste nothing like blueberries. This beer is not that hopeless. (1,991 characters)

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

Poured into a goblet from a bomber bottle.

A-Huge white frothy head with long lasting retention. Nice thick lacing around the glass. Has a dark amber color.

S-Smells of blueberries and rasberries(as expected). It has sort of a blueberry waffle smell with a hint of hoppyness to it. The blueberries smell very sweet.

T-Has a sweet blueberry taste, but not as sweet as the smell. That maybe a good thing.

M-I felt as if this was a medium bodied beer with some mild carbonation.

O-overall I think this is a great fruit beer. I don't think I could drink this everyday, but it would be nice to have on a mild summer night with some vanilla ice cream on the side. (662 characters)

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Black & Blue pours brilliant reddish amber color, with fine carbonation. The off-white foam rises to one finger thick, but dissipates fairly quickly. From the bottom of my Chimay glass, there's a constant stream of carbonation rising throughout this glass. Even as I'm pouring I can smell some of the fruity esters rising from the brew.

The nose is dominated by an overwhelming amount of fruit, I can't pick up any sense of hops at all. There's just a little bit of candy-malt in the background, but the nose is heavily controlled by the fruitiness from the raspberries and blueberries.

The first few sips are pretty intense, and by intense, I mean super fruity and sweet. The first little bit of the Black and Blue are really, really fruit driven, and almost framboise lambic-ish. After I get a few sips under my belt and it warms up a little bit, I can pick out more of the complexity of the brew. There's now a significant malty character in the background, and the alcohol is coming through more and more as it warms to room temperature.

At first, I was significantly unimpressed by this Black and Blue from Dogfish. After a few sips in, I'm coming around a bit. It's pretty drinkable, relatively light in body, and probably pretty mass-appealing. I'm still not in love with the Black and Blue, but it is growing on my slowly. (1,337 characters)

Photo of awall422
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this for xmas, thanks Sean!

Poured a dark copper with a light tan head that diminished quickly. Very active carbonation.

I got hints of blackberry in the aroma, but not as much of the berries as i expected. Pleasant, but not terribly interesting.

Taste is a bit sweet at first, but grew tart on the swallow. Would not guess there's 11% ABV behind this.

Kind of light and a bit fizzy for a big beer.

Pretty easy to drink, considering the strength of the beer.

Overall, I don't know why exactly, but it left me wanting more. I think maybe sub-consciously when you open a dig fancy bottle you're expecting to get blown away by either flavor, aroma, or both. This beer did neither, so it seemed a bit disappointing, but it's certainly not a bad beer at all. (775 characters)

Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance-poured a light copper color with pink tone to it. A thin light fluffy head that faded quick.

Smell- very nice aroma of sour blueberries and black raspberries. Also getting some nice earth notes as well.

Taste- Blue and raspberries up front. The berries are bit on the tart side but in a good way. Also getting some earthy spice flavors as well. All the flavors are very subtle but well balanced.

mouth feel-a medium body beer with a very high carbonation level. But I think that the high carbonation level works in this beer. Very clean and refreshing

Drink ability- a very good beer. the only bad thing about this one is the price @ $15 it is a little out of my price range. (690 characters)

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

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 Kool-Aid (if I were very cynical.) 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, yet grants a buzz. (521 characters)

Photo of kurtissellen
4.76/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow I was blown away by this one!! Awesome peachy-red color as I poured it into an oversized wine glass. About one fingers worth of peachy white head with a good amount of lacing present as the glass emptied. A bitter smell to it at first and later on noticed a strong alcohol scent. It had the most amazing taste, both a sweet and bitter raspberry flavor first followed by a tart blueberry ending. Simply delicious I could drink this all day long. Didn't notice the alcohol at all, very deceiving, as I finished the bottle it began to hit me. I've got to get my hands on another one of these. This is the best beer I've had in a while! (636 characters)

Photo of luvND
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 25oz capped bottle with French looking dude on label
A: Great fluffy white head with good retention
S: Tart berry, cant really say blue or rasp or whatever, also some apple and pear, and a little bready
T: Really nice, not nearly as tart as I expected (although I recently had a Festina Peche, so the sour meter was set pretty high from that). Berry/fruit comes through nicely with good bready malt backbone, no hops to speak of, alcohol is detectable but certainly not what youd expect at 10%. Pleasant fruity lingering aftertaste
M: Nice, a little sticky
D: One big bottle is plenty of this one
Notes: Nice beer, much less tart than I expected. Not a big fruit beer lover, but this was a good brew from a great brewery. (724 characters)

Photo of trill
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours ruby red with a pinkish head that falls to 1/8". Smell is rich malt with vinous and blueberry notes, and a touch of yeast. Taste is mostly Belgain yeast, biscuity malt, and alcohol. Where'd the fruit go? There is a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of a tripel, but no flavors I'd identify as fruity, aside from a vague winey dryness at the end. Mouthfeel is appropriately thick for the ABV/style, without being syrupy. Pretty light on its feet for 10%ABV. (465 characters)

Photo of telecomz
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If you like fruit beers this one is a pleaser. That said, I like fruit beers but this one is not DFH's best. OK aroma. Non-descript berry aroma and taste. Wish there was a bit more maltiness here to balance the fruit.

Easy driner despite the ABV. NOT HOT AT ALL. Other reviews cite hotness. I did not experience that. (318 characters)

Photo of CopperTopBrews
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours: A rose color with a pink head. Pretty good lacing

Smell: Lots of ester, very fruity and sweet.

Flavor: Lots of fruit. Drinks more like a wine. Quite yeasty and following with a lot of ester. I started to drink this while it was still pretty cold out of the fridge, but as it warmed up the fruit really showed itself in the nose and on the tongue. Made it much nicer to drink. (384 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.