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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,290 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1290
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.12%


Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: ggaughan on 08-23-2006)
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Ratings: 1,290 | Reviews: 481 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dashmartino
dashmartino

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this sucker on a disgustingly hot day in June of 2008 at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE. Four beers on tap that day for people to sample. First ths sixty, then the ninety. Then the lady brings out a pitcher of this beautiful reddish stuff with a nice head on it. Wow, what is that?!?! Poured into a plastic cup, swigged it down. Wowee! First thought that came to mind: lambic. Very easy drinking beer that tasted like a Lindeman's Framboise, but not disgustingly sweet or filling. This stuff is mind blowing. Should have got a case! Another winner from DFH!

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2009 23:20:15 | More by dashmartino
Photo of Dixonian
Dixonian

Texas

4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. Poured into a goblet.

Small amount of head that dissapated quickly leaving nothing behind. Delicious berry aroma.
Tastes almost like a lambic only lighter and without the funk. Blueberry comes through strongest especially on the after taste.
Not too heavy-Dogfish are masters of hiding high ABV as well as making one of a kind brews.

I'm not the biggest fan of the mingling of fruit and beer but I very much enjoyed this.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2010 04:09:09 | More by Dixonian
Photo of BabySnakes
BabySnakes

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red orange hue with a quickly disappearing head

smells like black raspberry and blueberry, even blueberry pie. go figure. Sweet Malts come thru, couldnt say which malts. Also a boozy aroma

warm boozyness hits along with the aforementioned fruits. Sweet maltiness (honey?) maybe even a mead-ish character.

Boozy, tingly mouthfeel, but heavy.

Overall, a really nice unique fruit beer. It reminds me of a light bodied mead. I was expecting something insane from DFH, but you pretty much get what you read on the label, which is nice. Just unexpected from my point of view.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 23:54:19 | More by BabySnakes
Photo of shark262
shark262

Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a striking purple/rose color with 3 fingers of carbonation (used a champagne flute). High carbonation settles quickly with no lacing.

Slightly malty aroma is pushed forward with subtle scents of berries.

Fruity and crisp taste with berries providing a nice background (not overpowering). Nice hop spice combines with mellow tartness and dry finish. Alcohol presence warms the palette increasingly after each sip.

Sparkling mouthfeel with medium body.

Drinks easy. I could see the alcohol in this one creeping up on me rapidly.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 00:17:40 | More by shark262
Photo of melloashello
melloashello

Tennessee

4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm sipping on my second glass of this fine beer as I write this review. Let me just say, this beer is excellent. The pour was amazing, it just shines with beautiful color and the aroma is incredible. I'll be honest, after I finish this glass, I shall pour another and maybe another. The drinkability is out of this world. I love this beer. Another awesome job from Dogfish.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 04:18:03 | More by melloashello
Photo of jester5120
jester5120

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into DFH snifter

A- Poured nice bronze color with a slight purple hugh. creamy white head about an inch thick quickly disapeared.

S- sweet smell of fresh berries. very tiny hint of citrus to it as well

T- strong berry flavor with some sourness coming from the yeast. The citrus in the smell carries through in the taste. Very little bite from the alcohol considering this beer is 10%

M- Medium mouthfeel. maybe on the full bodied side if anything.

O- a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect the sweetness without the alcohol bite. Very smooth well balanced beer

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 20:55:48 | More by jester5120
Photo of Shoegaze99
Shoegaze99

New Jersey

2/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink a fruity champagne I'd drink a fruity champagne.

Dogfish Head is know for their "off-centered" beers. It's one of the primary appeals of the brewery and one of the reasons why I'll consistently get their product. But their penchant for experimentation means they sometimes miss the mark. And this one is a big miss.

This bottle was a year old when we cracked it; served the beer in wine glasses. Poured a quite lovely reddish color with a tiny head. The brew was murky but in an appealing way. It LOOKED great.

The aroma was ... well, it was not the aroma of beer. Smelled like a glass of champagne. The aroma of raspberry and blueberry were very much present. The smell "sparkled." Still, I rated it decently because while it didn't smell like beer it was still a pleasant aroma.

But the taste. Ugh, the taste. Judged as a BEER and not as another beverage it's hard to judge this one favorably. The brew was light-bodied bordering on thin. The bright, active carbonation and heavy fruits tasted more of champagne than beer. There is a *touch* of beer in the finish, but only a little. The tart of the raspberry was countered by the blueberry, but they didn't merge well with the overall package. Four of us tried it and the agreement was universal; this tasted like a fruity champagne, not beer.

Which is fine if you like champagne. I don't.

I've had many ups and a few stray downs with Dogfish Head's experiments. Even the downs I at least appreciated the experience and enjoyed having my expectations turned on their head.

But not this time. I'd rather drink a macro lager than this. Really. Huge thumbs down.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 14:30:27 | More by Shoegaze99
Photo of jxhill
jxhill

New York

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, white head. Deep burnt orange color w/ some haze. Estery and alcoholic smell. Fizzy and fruity flavor with very little malt character. The tartness is pleasant but not cloying/ very clean finish. Not much lacing.

This beer is not my favorite DFH offering by a long shot, but as a fruit beer it was pleasant and tasty. With its lack of malt beery flavors, it reminds me of bit of a framboise lambic.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 00:38:17 | More by jxhill
Photo of tubdog13
tubdog13

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the bomber into a large wine glass, bottle was from 08, but I know it's been in the fridge at the store I got it at since then...onto the review

with a slow pour this produced no head with light white bubbles around the edge. Slow carbonation with a nice cloudy ice tea color. Stuffed my nose into the glass and smells of light malt filled my nose. First sip produced a nice and smooth malt taste, couldn't find the berries I was waiting for so I let it sit for awhile to let it come to tempature, after that I picked up nice berrie taste to go with the malt. It left my mouth a little dry, but not to much that I thougt I should get water. Being 10-11% abv this was going down smooth, will really try to pick up another one of these and try to make it to dfh to try it on tap. Another great selection from the brewers at dfh, applause, applause

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 00:07:38 | More by tubdog13
Photo of jthor018
jthor018

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden orange. About a finger of thick head.
S: I get the berry scent and not much alcohol.
T: To die for. At sip tastes like alcohol with the berry scent making my brain think this should be berry taste and ends on a berry note.
M & D: I could drink this like juice (and am!). Get a bit of carbonation on sip and it is amazing. The scent and aftertaste make this easy to drink. First bottle I sipped. Second bottle I am drinking like a bum with his Thunderbird. I can't get enough of this!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 03:50:08 | More by jthor018
Photo of Supes
Supes

Arizona

4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a hazy reddish plum color. About a pinky worth of head that disapears after about 45 seconds. Real inviting look to it.

Smell- A little sweet malt. Really big fruit notes that make me say WOW. I get mostly raspberries. I can tell its real fruit and lots of it not some fake flavoring.

Taste- Wow again. So much fruit rushing towards me. Sweet as expected but not so much where I had trouble finish the bottle. I get raspberries in the begging with a little tartness and finsh agian with a touch of blueberries. A real jammy like quality that I find to be fantastic.

Mouthfeel- A good medium body with a decent creamy finish.

Overall- I do love fruit beers. Its a preferred style of mine. Knowing that though I havent tried a hole lot of them. But that being said this is one of my favorites so far. Everything seemed to work well. I cant wait to find more.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 20:42:24 | More by Supes
Photo of samoblue
samoblue

California

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First had this on Thanksgiving evening, but if you were there you would understand that I don't remember much from the latter parts of that night, so thought I would give this another try. Bottle purchased from beer room at Whole Foods-Bowery on 2/13 and poured into the snifter I purchased at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Gaithersburg, MD last weekend.

Pours a deep, cloudy amber--almost like a cup of black tea. Head was minimal, and disappeared almost immediately.

Aroma - grapefruit, some alcohol

Taste - It's tart. I guess I get some fruit flavor--blueberry--early on, but roll it around your tongue and that 11% alcohol definitely comes out. A little bit of something like grass clippings, which I think is strange because I would guess this beer isn't that aggressively hopped.

Mouthfeel - That tartness stays with you, long after the glass is gone. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - I would never want to drink more than one bottle--or even more than one glass--of this in a sitting.

I'm a big fan of pretty much everything Sam Calagione does, but I'm not sure I'll go this route again. No regrets on trying it, but not sure I'll be picking up any more bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 23:17:32 | More by samoblue
Photo of Mandark
Mandark

Illinois

1.73/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was really excited to try this, though fruit beers are not necessarily my favorite style. Alas. Though it pours a nice amber-cherry color, the smell is enigmatic, confusing: if you didn't know what style this was supposed to be, you wouldn't be able to tell as this just seems acidic and kind of bland.

OK, well, it could taste better than my nose tells me it will. Again, alas. Everything rushes together into a mash, a swirl of "meh" leaning towards "ugh!". There's no separation of flavors, complexity sacrificed in favor of....confusion. What is this? It tastes like an attempt, a not-quite-finished great idea. The mouthfeel is astringent, weak.

An earlier reviewer mentioned that it might mature to good things if left alone and perhaps that's the case. As it is, this bottle turned me off completely. Especially having had the wonderful DFH/Stone/Victory Saison Du BUFF a couple of hours beforehand.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 06:22:24 | More by Mandark
Photo of IKHOURY
IKHOURY

Nevada

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber in color with a slighty purplish brown tint. Aromas of Blueberries, citrus fruits such as grapfruits and lemons, along with some yeasty bread dough smells. The flavor is very interesting starting off with lots of Blueberries with the raspberries not showing up until the very end. Plenty of tart citrus and sour dough flavors show up between all the berry fruits. The beer seems to have lots of fruit in the aroma and flavor but no sweetness to balance out the sour. The carbonation comes off a little light. The alcohol seems more apparent in the beer compared to othe DFH fruit themed beers I have tried. A very interesting beer that I'm glad I tried, but not one I would run out to get again

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 18:59:47 | More by IKHOURY
Photo of VALIS666
VALIS666

New Hampshire

2.36/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 07:29:07 | More by VALIS666
Photo of tipfortap
tipfortap

New York

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

5 words to describe it: Tart, Red Wine, Effervescent, Jam, Bread

Paired it with: n/a

Should have paired it with: Sweet grilled cheese— maybe brie and jam? Grilled pork, Fried Chicken (and other picnic foods.)

Drink it if you like: Lambics, Kirs/Kir Royals, Fruit beers, Pinot Noir, Sangria

A few other thoughts: Because of the fruit sugars and fermentation process, this guy takes on characteristics of red wine, which makes for something super interesting and not too sweet. It would be awesome to take a 750mL bottle on a summer picnic.

Watch out, though, for the ABV— a very well-disguised 10%.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2013 16:04:25 | More by tipfortap
Photo of demo3210
demo3210

Maine

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

Appearance is a murky dark amber with a small faint head on top.

Smell is soft sweet blueberry jam and fresh raspberries. That is all.

Taste is more-than-semi-sweet and also fruity, but still tastes like a respectfully good brew. Has a dark side to the taste that makes it very full body tasting. Tastes good, but nothing distinctly amazing. The fruits are blended quite well to make it a surprisingly good tasting fruity beer (for once!). The taste is not overly sweet at first, but over time it becomes sweeter; however, it does not become too sweet, but pushes it perhaps just a tad too much for a beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and a little crisp. Feels somewhat heavy.

Drinkability is okay. Sometimes it's too rich like molasses and other times it seems just right. Can't drink very many of these. The drinkability is somewhat confusing to the personality of this beer because the body is so substantial and filling it makes you think winter, but the taste is so sweetly delicate (although robust as well) that it makes you think summer. Summer to me is typically a more drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:38:00 | More by demo3210
Photo of jmichaeldesign
jmichaeldesign

Colorado

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750.
Deep ruby color, almost purple. Looks absolutely great.

Smells like a toned down pale belgian, some spiciness, not as much fruit as expected.

Taste follows smell, very belgiany, and a bit fruity, but just less than I had hoped for. Not bad by any means though.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but good. Lot's a carbonation. Finishes clean and dry.

I did manage to finish off the 750 by myself as no one else was around. The first 20 oz went down easy, it got bland by the end.

Overall a really good beer, but I feel like the same flavor could be acheived at much lower abv. I'd drink it again, but I probably wouldn't pay for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2007 01:57:47 | More by jmichaeldesign
Photo of psycle
psycle

New York

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

This poured a red amber which was a bit surprising for a blackberry/blueberry brew. Decent head. Smells like the berries. Good taste to this. Can detect both the blackberries and blueberries. Slightly sour finish with a bit of the alcohol. Almost like wine in the mouth.

Easily had a couple glasses of this. A must share with dinner or after.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 05:26:36 | More by psycle
Photo of bshanly
bshanly

New York

3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber with a pink/strawberry hue. Creamy off white head with a good retention and lacing. Looks delicious. I love beer.

Smell: I don't love fruit beers so much. Smells sweet and tart, lots of yeast, no hops. Are there hops in this thing?

Taste: Really tart upfront. Pretty heavy alcohol, long finish. Yeast is actually pretty tasty but the tartness isn't for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, not too crisp, not too heavy.

I like subtle flavors and heavy on the anything tends to make me miss the point. This beer did that. However, I think paired with the right food it could be delicious but on its own this wasn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 02:59:04 | More by bshanly
Photo of foggylovesbeer
foggylovesbeer

Delaware

3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Just purchased a 750ml of this new seasonal from Dogfish, bottled on date of 2/12/07. Was looking forward to this one, but this brew let me down.
It poured nicely, developed a decent size head and had a nice purple/ruby color. There was little head retention. Had a nice smell and initial taste was good, not overpowering on the fruit, although it did leave me actually wanting to taste more of the berries. The mouthfeel fell flat and left a chalky feeling on the back of my tounge. It's not a bad beer, but my high standards for Dogfish left me expecting to be blown away by this one and it did nothing of the sort.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 17:45:08 | More by foggylovesbeer
Photo of Supadup21
Supadup21

New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased in early fall of 2011, and chilled in my fridge for a couple months. Poured out of a 750ml big bottle and drank from the DFH snifter/crunk-glass. First time trying Black & Blue. Not usually a fan of fruit beers, but this one was pretty good.

Nice berry aroma, could even smell it when it was being poured. 10% ABV, but you really don't get the alcohol taste or burn. Seems like it could be a sessionable beer, but the abv might creep up on you. Strong yeasty flavor from Belgian yeast on back end. Overall, another good beer from a great brewery.... would try it again next year.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 23:35:26 | More by Supadup21
Photo of CopperTopBrews
CopperTopBrews

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 21:29:02 | More by CopperTopBrews
Photo of TheCervezaChica
TheCervezaChica

Vermont

4.7/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since this beer has fruits in it I am already happy to drink it. I love the blueberry and blackberry taste that I get from it. I have had the chance to try this beer on tap as well as from the bottle, and I am usually happiest drinking something on draft.

This beer is a tad pricey, but I suppose since they use so much fruit and the ABV is pretty high then that would justify it. I am happy to have one of these beers and move on because it will definitely have you feeling nice pretty quickly.

This is another beer that it is a shame that DFH doesn't brew this beer year round, but good things come to those who wait.

The mouthfeel on this beer is wonderful and the fruit overpowers the alcohol enough so that you really can't taste it. The nose on it is very enticing. This is another great beer brewed by DFH.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 22:42:27 | More by TheCervezaChica
Photo of Cord018
Cord018

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a bottle I aged in my basement for a year. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A- Light amber color, thin head

S- black raspberry, blueberries. The smell is inviting and delicious! Really gets your attention.

T- I first tried this beer a year ago and liked it alot. Bought a newer bottle to compare it with as well. It ages well! New you pick up on the blueberry, black raspberry/blackberry flavor but there is also a sour, acidic taste as well. Aged the acidity fades away and the fruit flavors meld with the malty backbone very well. It does have a more boozy flavor but very smooth and drinkable.

M- medium body, smoother when aged.

O- I like this beer. This is a very enjoyable beer for people that like blueberry beer since this has actually blueberries and blackberries in it. Love the smell of it and how the flavors meld together. This ages very well, extremely happy with it after keeping it in my basement for a year

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 23:08:31 | More by Cord018
Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,290 ratings.