"Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

very good
130 Reviews
"Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale"Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-03-2002

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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 274
Photo of Gauss
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks and smells like a porter, but you can taste the ale from the very first sip! This is a very good beer. I did not think I'd like these "pre-made" Black and Tan's but this is amazing. Even though it's a hot June day, it doesn't feel too heavy like a pure porter would, yet it fills you up more than an IPA would. Best of both worlds!

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber mahogany on the pour with a sufficiently long lasting light tan head. Malts are caramel forward throughout. Initial molasses cookie sweetness paralleled with light vanilla coffee roast, blueberry, cedar wood. Herbal hoppiness, tart blackberry finish. Creamy, smooth body. Fluffy and voluminous, med feel.

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A fresh 22 ounce pleasure poured pretty high into two pint glasses made both my wife and me real happy. B&T's her favorite beer style; IPA's mine. We both loved this beer. The "tan" part of the brew comes from an amber ale, so the malt is more forward than I expect in this style; but the surprise is a good one, and I now like black and amber better than black and tan. Hops bring a good harsh bitter to balance the sweet molasses malt in the 33% "Drayman's" porter in this mix. Head lasts all the way to the bottom. A beautiful brew! I'll try to upload the new label and new name for Berkshire's Private Stock "Shabadoo" black & tan ale, as it's more elegant than the old label on this page, with new Berkshire mountaintop logo over foaming mugs clinking.

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Photo of Phillip13
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very good Black & Tan Ale with just the right mix between porter and pale ale. It has both the smooth coffe flavor of a porter and bitter hoppy flavor of a pale ale. This beer was enjoyable from first sip to last.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

id like to see a whole lot more black and tan bottles and sold already blended. this is a good one, very very easy drinking with the lightness of the paler beer and the smoothness of the porter. I like that a lot, especially in an evening context, post dinner. this has a crimson hue to it, not nearly as dark as many, maybe even less than a 50/50 blend with the porter, amber in the light, heady and creamy, looking like an English mild of sorts. smells like a perfect blend of both pieces, the roast and the sweetness, the richness and the dryness, and the bitterness. its all there in the flavor too. I like the philosophy these guys have, making straight forward beer extremely well, and this is a great example of that idea in practice. its traditional all the way, and the quality is great. missing only a little more body for me, I like these a little more on the porter end, this one is squarely in the middle for those who like it lighter. bomber was gone in less than 15 minutes...

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Photo of scotorum
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Victory nonick.

a: Clear dark amber to copper with a finger thick tan head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Mild black coffee.

t: Smokey malt with some hop bite. Bitterness lingers slightly on an otherwise sweet to dry finish. Later some cedar notes come forward.

m; Light to medium with some wateriness. Good carbonation.

o; Just about dead on for a light porter. Easy drinking,

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've always liked Berkshire Brewing Company, they've made some great beers, but when I see them, this is always the one I go for. The appearance is a little thin, mostly a dark-ish brown with a light head but the smell disproves that and shows the beer to have nice hop and malt in it. The taste is a great balance of light flavor in the beginning with sweet malt and almost coffee flavors on the back of the tongue. For a company that makes a lot of good stuff, there always seems to be one or two of these guys in the fridge with everything else.

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Photo of mlichens
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not what I was expecting. Yes, I'll order a black and tan (half and half) in a bar once in a while and I applaud brewers playing around with recipes.

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler. Has a brown, almost foggy appearance.

I don't detect much of anything in the smell. Perhaps some vanilla a bit of coffee. Not overwhelming.

The taste is smooth, not too creamy and not at all carbonated. It's also not so overwhelming that I couldn't drink two or three of these.

I'll have to try it again.

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Photo of Dools9
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a pint glass

A: Pours with a thick, creamy off white colored head, leaving plenty of lacing on the glass. Color is a dark ruby brown.

S: Roasty, caramel, toffee brown bread, also some lighter crsip, grassy pale ale qualities of a traditional pale ale.

T: Taste is roasted maltiness, caramel and toffee, roasted coffee, a bit of a macha thing goin on, its on the sweeter side. Hops are earthy, crisp. a bit lemony and a bit grassy.

M: Medium feel, a bit creamy, carbonation is medium.

O: Pretty tasty stuff, BBC is very consistent with their brews, and i like this one quite a bit.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours brown with crimson highlights. Head is tan and doughy. Head retains very well too. Light strings of lacing are left by the dense head. Body is also quite clear.

S-Nose is surprisingly smoky. The Pale Ale and Porter both come out in the nose as well. Lightly chalky with plenty of breadiness and darker tastiness. Virtually no hoppiness. Well fruited. Sweet all the way.

T-Pleasant. Starts off Porter then the Pale kicks in. Also there is a light, airy grassy hoppiness Lightly chalky and sweet with a hint of smoke. Toasted bread with more residual sweetness. Toffee and coffee. I think the Porter shows up a bit more in the aroma.

M-Medium bodied with a softer, buzzing carbonation. A bit syrupy. Drinks easily enough. Very light bitterness.

O/D-Decent. As far as a Black & Tan goes, this one is pretty legit. But its still nothing to fawn over. Just a mostly sweet brew with both Porter and Pale characteristics. Wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice ruby red-brown with a big, foamy, off-white head. Good lace and retention.

S: Malty, smoky, fruity, with a hint of hops.

T: Everything I expected from reading the description on the bottle. The best of their Pale Ale and Porter. Great hop presence up front with a slightly sweet, malty finish.

M: Highly delicious and drinkable.

O: My first of the style but I imagine it's at the top of the list. Well done beer that's fresh, fun and easy to drink.

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Photo of Duff27
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half inch very light tan head on a brown body. Clumpy lacing. Nice head retention.

Some roasty notes.

Get some chocolate in there, roastiness. Nice and drinkable. Perhaps a slight coffee twang from the porter portion.

Very carbonated, medium mouthfeel.

First forray into the black and tan reviewing and i think this is a good one. Very easy drinking with a good relative flavor. Thanks r94uconn!

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Photo of quirkzoo
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says brewed by "Chris and Gary" I am Chris and my dad is Gary so it caught his eye as we wandered the beer aisle.

Pours dark, dark brown with one finger of off white head.

The smell is interesting, lots of roasted malts up front with some citrus hops behind it. I took a couple more whifs and realized that the black and tan is the original black IPA. Very reminiscent of a toned down version of Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous.

The taste followed the nose with some roastiness up front and then a strong hop presence in the middle with a decent amount of bitterness.

Very easy drinking, went great with dinner. It had good flavor but wasn't overpowering.

Overall nice beer to pair with food but it won't really blow your mind on its own.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a bomber of Shabadoo for dessert after Easter feast.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy deep rootbeer brown, cardboard head leaves nice lacing and forms a decent creamy film.

S: Coffee, roasted malts, milk chocolate.

T: Toffee, coffee with cream, coco too, a touch of bitterness maybe a hint of lemon citrus hops, this ones very sweet and "english" tasting. Pretty straightforward but quite tasty.

M: Light but creamy, very soft, rich but light if that makes sense. Very good. Sessionable.

O: Great dessert beer, probably would go well with breakfast too. Not complex but very enjoyable. I will have to try more of berkshires porters/stouts.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled on April 7, 2012 at the annual Keene, NH Beerfest, a fundraiser for youth hockey. This had a lovely mahogany amber brown pour with ruby red highlights. the nose is entirely sweet with caramel malts and a little cocoa due to the Porter influence. The body was medium. The taste was bountiful with sweet caramel malts but the Porter half of this Black & Tan is not quite as evident in the flavor. Still, a decent, likable beer.

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Photo of tylerprince
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Hazy dark amber/coffee color with off white head, one finger. Weak lacing.

S: Smells pilsenery. Coppery fruitiness with some banana; cherry.

T: Belgian-like fruitiness gives way to a mild porter-like coffee finish. Some earthy spice at the end is nice, but unforunately mingles with a banana-like skunkiness. Too much emphasis on the lighter ale for me; BBC does a great job with their darker beers and I would have liked to have seen that aspect highlighted.

M: Crispy, foamy finish. No booziness. Extremely filling - for the price on my stomach, I would expect more flavor.

O: Böring. I'm gonna stop trying BBC's lighter offerings and stick to their porters and stouts.

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reminiscent of a mild porter, I enjoyed this one courtesy of a BA beer trade. Malty with mild hops, some roast flavors, little head and no lacing. On the lighter side for a dark beer with a wet middle and no noticeable alcohol presence. Not hoppy. Solidly good, just not great. It is worth drinking. I'd definitely drink it again.

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to somebody for sending this bottle my way in a BIF a long time ago.

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet and roasty malts

T - Like the nose theres some chocolate and coffee from the black and some caramel from the tan

M - This beer has a thin body with light carbonation to it

O - To me this beer was just ok it wasn't bad but nothing that really makes me want more I'm glad I had the chance to try it but not really worth hunting down to me

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mikro in Hamden about a month ago. From notes.

Pours a fairly dark brown color with an inch of tan head that leaves ok lacing.

Mild aromas which hint at the origins of this beer. Pronounced malt notes jump at first, second is the roasted malt with some molasses, then finishes with a touch of hops.

This beer really is a nice mix of stout and pale ale. Neither of the two over powers the other. The stout isn't overly charred, but lends some nice robust roasted notes as well as some molasses. The pale ale keeps things lights and gives a kick of hops at the end.

Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy as expected.

Really nice beer here from Berkshire. Gives black and tans a good name!

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber Bottle purchased on my trip up to Mass. Label reads that this is a blend of Berkshire Ale and Drayman's Porter. I also brought home a growler of the Porter...very nice!

This beer has a wonderful appearance, with a voluminous head that indicates some darker malts are present. Deep, deep amber color, verging on brown, with some gorgeous ruby highlights. Nice amount of lacing on the tulip glass I am using.

Fairly fruity nose, with many opportunities to pick out aromas. I am getting vanilla, brandied cherries, melon...as you can see, it is quite sweet in the nose.

The taste echos the smell with some sweet flavors of caramel and chocolate. There is a little bitterness right in the middle, and the acridness of the roasted malts is subdued by the lighter ale cutting through. I think this is a great example of the style and I am really enjoying this beer! It finishes with a touch of wood-tinged maltiness.

The texture of this beer is quite smooth. Oily mouthfeel, with quite fine carbonation. The beer is full-bodied and has definitely retained some sugars.

Overall, we have a winner here! A fine Black and Tan that does a good job of showcasing the better qualities of each contributing beer. On top of being an excellent beer, we can all feel good about picking up this bottle for 10% of all gross sales of this beer will be donated to the Food Bank of Western Mass. Hunger is a true issue in our world, and I am proud to be drinking a beer from a company that recognizes our local issues with hunger.

Cheers Chris and Gary!

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Photo of abgba121
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark brown color, a little lighter than other porters thin head, but a lingering lace

S: smells sweet and chocolatey, almost no hop aroma

T: Sweet, chocolate and a tiny bit of hops, the 6.3 isn't even noticeable, very easy to go down

M: slightly thick, good carbonation

O: Good beer, I like the combo and it drinks very smooth.

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a BBC true pint glass.

A - Pours 1.5" head that is khaki colored with wisps of lacing prevalent on the glass. A translucent dark brown brew with a slight amber tone. Love the name.

S - Coffee and licorice are the first wisps that come through followed by bourbon and dark chocolate. Not at all hop-forward, but smells like it will be a malty beer. Some smokey aromas as well.

T - The bourbon is less prevalent in this aspect, but the strong malt character ambushes. The smoky character is more noticeable here as well. Some dark chocolate and licorice in the aftertaste.

M - The slight bourbon and smokey elements remain on the tongue for awhile. Full-bodied, but not viscous...some Drayman's Porter character. Slight caramel notes as well.

O - Yet another great beer from the BBC line-up. Very happy that they are local and I can enjoy these great beers fresh. This is a blend of the Drayman's Porter and the Berkshire Ale...any combination of their solid beers is a winner in my book.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellant beer with strong chocolate aroma that hits you even before you drink it. The color of the beer is a very dense blackness that seems like a black hole where no light will penetrate. Once you take a swallow you definitely know why black holes are dense. This very thick beer tastes like a very thick Belgian chocolate shake. Had this beer at The Scuffer Steak & Ale House, in Burlington, VT.

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Photo of Sam21
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Purchased for $3.75. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance – Clear mahogany body with a tan head. Good retention and lacing. Really nice color.

Smell – All the best from their pale and porter. Fruity esters showing strawberries and orange. Contrasting aromas of caramel, chocolate, and dark roasted malts.

Tastes – Starts fruity with heavy notes of strawberries and orange jam. This sweetness is leveled out by an array of toasted, roasted and chocolate malt that cut through the sweetness just enough to create balance. Finish is sweet with dark roast coffee and chocolate that linger.

Mouthfeel – Shabadoo sports a medium body. Carbonation is moderate and tickles the tongue. Subtle creaminess.

Drinkability – This is a great member of the Berkshire lineup. They have created something unique and tasty out of two very solid beers. The fruity malts of the Traditional Pale Ale are highlighted and complimented nicely by the Draymans Porter’s dark roasty character. Solid.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a foamy two finger head. Very chunky foam on top, left some nice thick lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malt, some coffee, chocolate, and a little bit of caramel.

T: The most obvious flavors are roasted/toasted malt, some coffee, and vanilla. There are some hints of chocolate and caramel.

M: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Nice and smooth though.

O: Quite nice, lots of malt going on here, really no hops. Not a fast drinker, but an interesting departure from most of the normal beers out there.

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"Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 274 ratings.
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