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Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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

1,448 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,448
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.85%
Wants: 100
Gots: 188 | FT: 7
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
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Ratings: 1,448 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oso
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of u2carew
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.
A) Pours with a big white head that slowly settles. Sticky lacing at the edge of the glass and on the drink down. Clear body. Copper in color. Active carbonation.
S) Delightful aromatics - the blueberry and blackberry combination. Subtle grainy-ness.
T) Sweet berry across the palate at first then moves to a nutty and caramel maltyness with berry subtleties. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish and aftertaste.
M) Medium body. A present alcohol warmth in the finish. Mostly dry across the palate.
O) A well crafted brew. The fruit flavors are quite authentic and not sugary imposters. I will finish this bottle myself and if I had more I'd probably drink it.

Photo of redleg411
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BlissJunkie
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of alpinebryant
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light raspberry color with some hazy fruity blue

Smell - Sweet winecooler aroma with raspberry the msot present

Taste - Very sweet, to cover the 10% abv. Raspberry notes mixed with more subtle blueberry, relatively dry finish. Doughy finish from the yeast.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - It is drinkable. As it comes in a wine bottle, it may actually be more appropriately served from one. Tastes more like a wine than a beer.

Photo of sbricker
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of M1A2
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I maintain it's tough to review fruit beers. This one is just kind of in-keeping with the style in general (with a few exceptions). One consistent, fairly straight-forward sweet flavor (raspberries, in this case) that comes to kick aside the other flavors and aromas in the brew. It's not bad, and I didn't mind drinking a touch of it. However, it's a missed opportunity, as they could have run with some more interesting tart or sour flavors. Overall, alright, but nothing too complex or interesting (which is a total miss for DFH, a brewery that specializes in "interesting").

Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of dagubna
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gorgeous bright red with a slightly pink head. Subtle nose of berries. Champagne like effervescence. Big full mouth feel. Bright berry. Some medicinal syrup like burn on be back end. Sweet cherries, blueberries. Strawberries. Clove and coriander remind you its a Belgian pale ale. Peppery spiciness. Flavors all blend together really nice. Tart finish. Pretty subtle for such a big berry beer. Nice. Nothing spectacular though. Not worth the price tag.

Photo of bmjivi221
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of zoso1967
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crimson tinged amber color with a head that is a bit of a pink cast beige. The head fades fairly quickly but leaves very nice splashy lace.

The aroma is super fruity with very fresh berry and wine like notes. It has an ever so slight tartness that triggers memories of lambic in my head, even though it really does not smell like a lambic at all. It also carries aromas of raisin and dried cherry, as well as some spicy Belgian yeast notes.

The flavor is quite sweet and fruity with plenty of vinous flavors. It has a pretty good amount of berry character with a nice hint of tartness. The spicy yeast plays well with all this sweetness and helps create an experience that is fairly well balanced. This beer has a definite alcohol hit, which contributes to its wine like presentation.

The body is medium with a nice smoothness even though it has a decent amount of carbonation. It finishes a bit sweet, but it is not too cloying.

As mentioned before, this brew drinks more like a wine then a beer, but I find it goes down quite well. I have had this beer a few times before and always thought it was better with food. I think this is one of DFH's more successful tangents.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.15/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Strawberry juice red with a small head, no lacing. Clear.

S - Smells like Saaz hop, amber and light malt, also smells like lager yeast (although I don't think this was lagered). Some faintly tart berry sugars. Smells like a tart Sam Adams lager.

T - Tart berried, light malt. A bland bitter aftertaste with a bit of undescernable berries. Not worth having.

M - Drying, thin, a tad harsh and ascerbic.

D - I won't bother with this ever again. A definite was of money and liver strength. Much better beers exist out there and for much less. Yet another drastically overpriced DFH offering.

Photo of BMoney575
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-13-09
Bottled on 2-10-07

Pours much lighter than expected, a super cloudy orange/red. A fizzy head starts, but fades quickly. Lacing is thin and short-lasting.

Smell is very fruity, thick and sweet. Very wine-like and complex as it settles, strong grape and apple juice comes through. A little aged, in a good, caramelized sugar way.

Taste is super sour at first, very, very grape-y, followed by a slight blueberry and lots of light malt. The alcohol adds a warming, wine-y finish, with a very dry and tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very thick, yet highly carbonated. A great combo.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, considering the abv.

Overall, I'm not sure if age has done this one well, but it's still a tasty beer and a very pleasant change.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Beautiful peach/ruby body with a thin white head. A perfect mix of orange, red and pink.

s: Slightly funky, wonderfully fruity. Berries abound.

t: Fruity with a musky, bitter bite in the finish. Not as much tartness as I had anticipated. Seems like a pretty mellow belgian ale with a nice berry layer thrown on top.

m: Very active on the tongue, feels almost like a seltzer.

d: Hard to believe its so strong. The berry sweetness is balanced out brilliantly by the musky bite in the finish. The fruit is more subtle than I had expected, but I am happy with the result. Won't pay $14 for another bottle, but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of GuttaMane138
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of BierFan
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Light tan head has a slight pinkish hue. Hazy dark reddish body.

Smell: Like a really quality fruit beer. Slightly tart. Raspberry and blueberry are not easily detected, instead it's just a general mingled "berry" aroma.

Taste: Good tart berry flavors that linger on the tongue.

Overall good, but there are better fruit beers at a better price.

Photo of kingmaker
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Dogleg
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of StephRai
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of IBUnit63
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 shared with the beautiful bride - poured into a Portsmouth snifter. Bottled in 2009.

Pours a slightly murky yet carbonated honey/bourbon/copper color with hints of purple fruits. There are yeasty wisps atop this deal and nice sparse lacing. Carbonation is apparent but not huge.

I detect a fair amount of sourness - not necessarily Brett but something close? In the background are the dark berry fruits along with a fair lot of husky light caramelized malt and some sprightly alcohol.

OK, the notion of infection goes away for the most part on the taste - we are left with a little tinniness on the front court and some definite feel of blueberry skins and the black raspberries. This is a step up from first impressions - there's light fruity booze and the ABV and aging are coming into play with warmth. Still, on the finish there's a little carbonated sweetness that's not exactly in the Boone's farm zone but is definitely a style tweener. Not a true strong dark ale, not a lambic...it's not bad but the "jack of all trades, master of none" rap may be at least a touch relevant here.

Palate feel is kind of nice with this one. It has some carbonation, berry and citric zip to it but the huskiness of a high-gravity strong ale...with a bit of hop pininess to match. It tingles on the tongue and back of the palate even after warmth. Much lighter than its ABV heft suggests. Not too bad.

I don't like to pour a snifter of beer, drink it and say, "wow, I have all that left in the bottle?" I'm not there with this, but it is a project to put this whole thing down. Not an unenjoyable project but as a judge on Iron Chef once said about Iron Chef Sakai (sic?) and his lobster with masatake (sic?) mushrooms, "I don't think I'm enjoying this quite as much as the Iron Chef intended me to enjoy this." It's well-crafted for what it is...by the way, what is it, anyway? It's a moderately enjoyable little piece of confusion...not that I'd know from experience but if you got stoned and instead of listening to the Dead you listened to technohouse all night and you actually enjoyed it a bit, that would be close. Again...confusion.

Photo of ridgeline23
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of cdkrenz
2.99/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper colored body that shows a nice red when held to light. The head is a bright white but quick-lived.

S - The aroma of apricot is prevalent and not all that becoming.

T - I'm a bit disappointed here. I'm a fan of a blueberries, black raspberries and of course beer. Combine the three and I would hope to find a harmonious flavor fit for the gods. The flavor combinations here are interesting but not all that tasty. You have a beginning of mild malt and then a move to a dark bitter middle also hosting a strange, slightly pungent fruitiness. The finish has an uncomfortable
blueberry-plum combination that makes it difficult to keep drinking.

M - The feel of this beer is by far is highest characteristic. The feel of the brew is soft and smooth with a hint of abrassive catchiness allowing each pull to be its own journey. It contradicts the flavor by begging me to keep drinking.

~ Overall I'd say this beer is certainly something you should consider trying. I don't recommend you run out today and try to find a bottle. But, if you come accross one and can find it for a reasonable price (less than $11.99 which is what I paid for the 25.6 ounce bottle I purchsed) then I suggest you add it to your cart. At any rate its an interesting beer, the bottle labeling is artistically considerate and its brewed by a fine brewery.

Photo of Casey3236
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,448 ratings.