Black & Blue - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

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BA SCORE
83
good

513 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 513
Hads: 1,561
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 111
Gots: 247 | 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: 513 | Hads: 1,561
Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Bottled 2/12/07.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" lavender head over the slightly cloudy bright red brew. Head holds on well, with tons of slow-falling lace. Aroma is rich an d fruity, without the intensity that sometimes makes one think artificial. Taste is lightly malty, with somewhat generic fruitiness coming on in the middle, and becomes more blueberry as the flavor lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy, and drinkability is not bad for a fruit brew. I enjoyed this brew, but probably wouldn't revisit for the cost. Your mileage may vary. (630 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared on Christmas Eve. Poured in to tasting glasses.

A - Straw yellow in colour with one finger of white head.

S - Black raspberry with a slight blueberry aroma up front. A sweet bready malt backbone add some depth to the nose. Fairly sweet with a touch of sour/acidity present.

T - Blueberry up front with the black raspberry present but secondary - opposite to the nose. Sweet bready malts add a second layer to the palate. Slightly bitter but overall very sweet with a hint of sourness.

M - Light to medium body. Medium carbonation.

O - A good beer but definitely one to share. Very sweet. (601 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly pinkish red-brown color, with about an inch of slightly tan head that had medium retention and slight lacing.

A pleasant fruit aroma hits the nose, any sweetness is from fruit not malt. There is a slightly sharp tang behind the fruit flavor. The finish is a little sticky but not overly clingy.

A body that is smooth and a little light slides over the tongue. The drinkability is good, but maybe after a couple the sweetness might get to you. Overall a decent beer that's worth trying if you see it. (538 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle dated December of 2009. It poured a light amber with good reddish tint in the light. The head was slight and cream colored. The smell was amazing. It wreaked of raspberries, perhaps blackberries and was both sweet and tart. The taste was very good but doesn't quite hit the mark that the scent does. It makes you crave the berry accents. The mouthfeel is good as well, it's rather light to medium in body for the style. Its very drinkable. It is delicious and completely hides the alcohol. I love this beer and would greatly recommend it. If only it weren't so expensive but aged bottles are definitely worth it. (628 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Copper Mine.

This beer really surprised me in a nice way! It pours a reddish amber-brown with a small head and only so-so retention and lace so it’s not at all exceptional to look at. The nose has a good blackberry and blueberry presence as well as some sweet malt and light floral hops.

The flavor was very sweet and almost put this into the dessert category for me. Lots of intense fresh blue and blackberry flavor, a bit of grainy malt, some tannic notes, and very mild floral hops. Faint tartness. A hint of booze in the finish but nothing that lets on the 10% ABV.

Medium to slightly full-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slightly sticky overall mouthfeel. The freshness of the fruit flavor really made this an enjoyable beer for me. I’d like to try this in the bottle to see if it comes up to the same level of drinkability and tastiness.

Revisit: I don't like this anymore very much. Found the bottle to be too sweet and boozy and a chore to drink. Not awful but just not very appealing. These qualities would work better in a big stout but this one just gets too hot and syrupy after a few sips. (1,133 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright red color, thin white head.

S: Fruity aroma, raspberrys and blueberry sweetness on nose.

T: Smooth tartness for flavor, grape juice like texture. Dry palate, with lots of berries for flavor but is not to tart. Hops are hard to distinguish with the berry sweetness. There is some spiciness from hops but is faint and overpowrered by the juice sweetness , along with some woodiness.

M: Mouthful is rather thin with very little carbonation.

D: For a fruit beer drinks very nicely and wine-like. Not as good as the red and white though. (549 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Huge amount of sediment on a bottle that should have had plenty of time to settle. Light amber body. Nice white head hangs around throughout the, leaving a nice lace as the glass empties.

S – Huge, fresh blueberry note. Blackcurrant and a hint of tart raspberry. An incredible nose by fruit beer standards.

T – Nice blueberry note up front, but unfortunately the middle veers tart and dry before diving headlong into a huge cheery-Dimetapp off-flavor.

M – Rolling menthol / medicinal booze on the finish. Medium / light body. Overly carbonated imho.

O – The nose is fantastic, and the beer opens with a great berry flavor, but the medicinal backend sandbags this brew from really getting off the ground. (722 characters)

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

A: poured a reddish brown in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of bubbly head that let plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of berry character upfront in the aroma such as blackberries and blueberries with quite od bit of sweetness I am guessing is coming from the malts, it had a little grain coming through and juice like tones.

T: the blueberries and blackberries were just as potent on the palate alongside lots of grain flavor, semi sweet notes, juice qualities to it which makes me think they didn't put real fruit but also had a little grape character.

M: the brew was medium to light in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, grainy, slightly musty and crisp finish.

O: pretty decent fruit forward beer that just wasn't my cup of tea. It still was worth trying though. (833 characters)

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

This one poured a medium red colour with burnt orange edges. It also had a thin skim of fine, off-white foam and a ring of large bubbles that produced a bit of spotty lacing. The aroma was fruity, heavy on berry sweetness and a little yeasty. Mild bitterness with a lot of berry flavour up front, followed by earthy fruit skins and a slight tartness. A bit of malt provides some sweetness and there was a light alcohol flavour in the finish. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation. Slightly syrupy texture with a little warmth. Overall, the mouthfeel was a little dead. Decent for a big beer and impressive because the fruit really provides most of the character without seeming artificial. I split this one with my wife and she enjoyed it as well. (747 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body with a large foamy offwhite head.

S - A big bouquet of raspberries and blueberries. Fresh, sweet, tangy fruit aromas. Floral hop notes.

T - Tangy fruit with a buttery back note. Sweet splash of soft fruit liquor and tangy hops. Fruit-like acidity, akin to apple skin. Blueberry and dark fruit present here. Tangy starches and spiced alcohol bring depth to this beers flavors.

M - Warming, drying medium body. Clean on the palate and the carbonation buzzes the tongue.

O - Plenty of fruit in the nose and mouth. The starchy, buttery flavors add a different dimension here. (596 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this one up in Chitown.

Pours a clear red/cranberry juice colour, huge off white head forms, laces pretty well, good retention. Smell is caramel, citrus, blackberry moonshine. Taste is sweet, malt liquor, fruits, alcohol, some berry but mostly overpowering sweetness and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost thin flavour, high to medium, almost prickly carbonation, alcohol burn, weak finish, not too exciting. Can't say I enjoyed this much. Thanks Lexx! (497 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
2.31/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear light copper with a pink tint to it. Pours fizzy. A slight head forms and then is gone. Lacing is nonexistent.

Nose: Really not a lot going on here. Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. That's it folks.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste follows suit with the nose. Really not a lot of substance here. This is one of the most non-descript beers I've had in a while and it surprises me being that it's a 10% fruit beer. Berries mingle in the background lightly. Can't decipher the specific qualitites that would make them black raspberry or blueberry or whateverberry. Just get a light berry sense. Alcohol is surprisingly light as well. There's a sweetness to this beer, but of course it's quite subdued. The beer is light in body and on the lower end of the spectrum for carbonation.

Drinkablility: Fine. I'll drink it. More because of what I paid for it rather than what's inside the bottle. Probably the biggest disappointment I've experienced from DFH. A total 180 from their Red and White, which I thought was very good. (1,061 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Capped 750ml bottled on 02/12/07. Pours a slightly pinkish amber color with a small head. The aroma was mostly grain with just a hint of berries and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste was on the otherhand was just a mess. It tasted sort of like a bad berry wine. There was really not much malt or hops at all. The drinkability was low due to it being unbalanced and boozy. Overall, I am very dissapointed with this brew as I had such high expectations after the Red & White. Not reccomended. (491 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red color, which is that of raspberries and blueberries. Nice hue. Thick two-finger head that fades down a bit.

Aroma is full of raspberry and blueberry in the nose with a bit of tartness peeking out.

Taste is smooth and tart with raspberry and blueberry on the tongue. The flavors don't linger long though. What feels like wheat shows up in the middle.

Mouthfeel is not too sweet nor tart. Finishes kind of dry too. Alcohol is well-hidden. Easy to drink.

A very nice beer that doesn't go overboard on the fruit. A sipper but the alcohol is so well-hidden, you should step back and savor it anyway. (618 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been dying to try this beer. Especially since I haven't been able to get a bottle in Illinois. But when I made a quick trip to Indianapolis, what do I see at Kahn's.

The very preety fruit juice colorings make up for the lack of head, the bubbling isn't bad either. I was expecting a more pronounced berry aroma, but was a little let down when the nose came up a little short. I was glad I could smell the blackberries, but the blueberries seemed to be a bit obscured. The taste was alright, especially considering the fruits don't overpower the overall taste of the beer. I could taste the Belgian malts as well as the black and blue berries. Very smooth palate. But overall a little blander than I expected. I'm glad I tried this beer. But it was a little sub-par. (774 characters)

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

A: Cloudy red/amber color. Poured a 3 finger bubbly red-tinted head with good retention. Laced in even rings. Decanted continually.

S: Sweet fruit, yeast and a slightly sour aroma.

T: Fruity and slightly sour like wine. Berry flavors are not too overdone. Bittering hops provide a nice balance. Warming alcohol.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Nice blaance for the style.

D: Interstingly drinkable. Its a sipper - watch the ABV; alcohol presence more prominent as it warms. (480 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, bottled on 2/12/07. The beer pours a red/purple/amber/brown color with a white/light pink head. Head retention and lacing are good. I can smell berries/fruit, not necessarily raspberries and blueberries but the aroma is fruity. The taste is sweet and tart berries with a bit of a medicinal flavor and malt, but no hops that I can taste. Taste does get a bit better as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick. The alcohol isn't noticable at first, but it does kick in later on. Drinkability is OK, but nothing special. Overall I think it's a decent beer, but a bit of a disappointment to me. (616 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a syrupy dark amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of berries - both blue and rasp, as advertised. Underneath the fruitiness are hints of syrupy sweet malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Thick and sweet malt flavors kick things off and are almost immediately overwhelmed by tons of berry flavors. The berry flavors start off slightly tart but sweeten fairly quickly. The sweet flavors intensify through to the ending.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is just not very good. I struggled to finish what I could and didn't finish my glass.

Overall I was a bit disappointed by this beer but knowing DFH's track record (by no means a bad one) I should have expected nothing less than something intense and out of the norm. I won't buy this again but I could see some liking it - worth a shot if you like fruit beers and know what you're getting yourself into. (1,077 characters)

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

Pours a golden amber color with good carbonation; not totally translucent but close.

Aromas of subtle sweet malt on the nose carrying the essences of various berries and just enough hop character to give the aroma a balance.

Tastes begins with solid malt that is quickly balanced by subtle hops that allow the fruits to play on the palate, berries throughout. The finish is persistent and pleasant.

Fairly above average sweet malts dominate the mouthfeel; berries are delicious, help the beer finish tart/crisp.

Slightly overpriced and harder to find that most Dogfish Head brews. ABV is also kinda much but if non of the above are problems for you, seek it out. (666 characters)

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

The beer sluices from the 750ml bottle a slightly chill hazed golden amber color with a bright white creamy two fingered head that settles quickly leaving a thin blanket of lace to seal off the glass. Nose has a sweet and sour note, spicy with a modest hint of the berries, hints of fusel alcohol, and at 11 percent ABV, no wonder. Start is ambrosial, fair to middling malt presence, and a mild tartness from the black raspberries, but not overly so, top is light to medium in feel. Finish carries on the sweet and tart duo, hops understated, and the alcohol present but well hidden, acidity benign and the aftertaste dry and tart. I’ve learned to like this style, and “Dogfish Head” has been the reason why, a “Marvelous” brewery. (736 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at the "Hops for Hope" charity tasting.

A - Poured a distinct amber with a slight layer of head. Kind of expected a hazy blue due to thinking it was a "fruit" beer
S - Mostly blueberries. Raspberries and alcohol followed but mildly.
T - Not overwhelmingly alcohol taste, mostly a mild fruit backbone, but it seems out of place for a beer. Kind of too much.
M - Actually thinner than expect for 10 percent but flavors were very boozy.
D - Well I wanted to try these beers for a reason, to sample extreme beers on the cheap. This accomplished this as this was my second favorite along side of a few others of 6 beers sampled. (633 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes taken during playoff hockey. This was a 2008 vintage.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip a reddish grapeskin crystal clear colour with a fizzy super tiny head that left a thin halo.

S - Super sweet blueberry juice and skin aromas with some nice malts. The ABV is present on the nose as well.

T - Pretty good with super sweet blueberry notes. Its painfully obvious that this is a 10%+ ABV beer as intermixed with the sweetness is a strong alcohol kick.

M - Low carbonation and somewhat syrupy. As in everything else, the ABV is present.

O - I can dig this brew. Its kinda like a blueberry barleywine. Not sure if a few more years would have made it all mellow out but if that ABV can tone down a bit this would be a really nice beer. (752 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy/creamy, long-lasting head (more than what you normally find with fruit/vegetable beers). Very good lacing.

S: A strong, sweet aroma of fruit and malt.

T: The blueberries and raspberries make a very strong impression, but there is also a trace of light malt. A vibrant, fruity flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Surprisingly not slick. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of fruit/vegetable beers, but this one is very well made and extremely drinkable. (612 characters)

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

750ml split with the lady love, while i pack for south africas

appearance: pours into a snifter, bright amber body with a light beige froth and little retention...this one glows with fruity tones

smell: a nice sugary-tart nose, raspberry puree, blueberry and other berries, cane sugar, sweet tarts

taste: sweet tarts, mostly raspberry puree, blue and blackberries, sugary sweet and lightly astringent. better than reviews indicate and the lady enjoys it

mouthfeel: light and tart

drinkability: easy street for the abv (522 characters)

Photo of ccrida
2.11/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my St. Feuillien Goblet, the Black & Blue has a fluffy egg shell head on top of a light purple body with slight chill haze and lots of bubbles.

This smells like malt liquor and less so berries. As it warms, the malt liquor nose becomes vodka.

Taste is on the thinner side and also mainly malt liquor with a soft and sweet berry essence. Initially bitter and sharp, it falls apart to a sharp metallic finish. As it warms, the booziness gets increasingly more vodka like.

Mouthfeel is on the light side and creamy, probably the best facet of this sub par brew.

Drinkablity is questionable at best. While it was cold, it actually went down easy enough and drank much lighter then it's 11%. Once it warmed, it was so gross I desperately put ice-cubes in my first glass! That actually saved it, and I put the rest of the bottle in the freezer for awhile. So ice-cold, it drinks like an over-priced wine cooler. Warmer, it's rough - think grape kool-aide and cheap vodka!

Going into this, I feared I was spending $14 for a fruity malt liquor, and my fears were confirmed. Once again Dogfish Head suckered me into ponying up way to much another one of their failed experiments. I'm beginning to really resent this brewery, in spite of their occasional hits. Kinda like Microsoft software, I'm tried of paying for the privilege of beta testing. Resist the temptation, it may sound good and has a cool label, but is definitely not recommended! (1,466 characters)

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.