"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 jrallen34
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into my De Struise glass... Pours a dark brown in the middle, but the outer is a much lighter brown that detracts. A nice light tan head, looks great, good retention and lacing... The aroma is super sweet, tons of molasses, strangely like rootbeer, vanilla, chocolate, a hint of a wet dog finish. Not offensive, just too sweet, not my thing.... The taste is wet dog and alcohol with a hint of coffee on the finish. Lots of malt on this, work like qualities to the taste... The mouthfeel is really flat.

This is really bad, to the point of not being drinkable. Big time pass for me.

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Photo of kelticblood
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much of a head, but had a ton of lacing. I tried to pour real hard to stir up the carbonation to produce a big head, but it didn't work to good. The color is a very dark red. It's not quite black because you can still see through it. Aroma is all sweet malt. No real hop aroma or taste. There is a very slight bitterness. The mouthfeel is dry and not carbonated enough. It does have a watery texture. It goes down smooth and is drinkable, but could use more hops and carbonation. I would also like to taste more roasted malt flavors to give it a touch of a coffee taste. I'd rather pour my own black&tan than buy one already done for me.

I agree with Doomcifer when he says "It's like a REALLY heavy brown ale".

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Photo of wyllder
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Longhorn Steakhouse. 22oz big glass.

Pours a midrange, musky brown. Translucent but hazey with no head to speak of and some slight lacing.

Smell is small, some slight hop aroma with a light undertone of a malty toffee character.

Taste is average for a black & tan. A slight hit of hops on the top of the palate, the malt comes in quickly, perhaps too quickly and balances out with a fairly pleasant caramel/toffee flavor. Flavor dissipates too quickly, leaving little aftertaste and a somewhat watery mouthfeel.

It's inoffensive enough to be drinkable in large quantities, and is worth a try.


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Photo of bornridiculous
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One thing of note on this beer is its beautiful appearence, dark caramel coloring, and nice thick head. Not much of a smell, however notes of roasted barley and crystal malts are present. It tastes great however it seems there is clearly more black than tan, almost tasting similar to a porter. Normal mouthfeel, nothing special with a clean finish. It's good, and I will drink the entire bomber it came in, however I could not make this a session beer.

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Photo of beernut7
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a big fan of bottled black & tans, and this one failed to change my views. This one was kind of like a dark brown ale with an overuse of hops and strong aftertaste.

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Photo of cbutova
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out an extremely dark brown with a one finger head. The head is pretty creamy and light tan in color, with decent retention. Some medium lacing is left behind as I drink this one. Smell is very, very weak. I just pick up some faint roasted malts and thats about it, even when I smell the bottle, it's strange considering the taste. This is one of the weirdest tasting beers I have ever had, it might be too warm but I don't think so. Lots of good roasted malts, definitely some earthy hops, some alcohol, some rye like grains. The balance is pretty well done, some sweets in there too. Mouthfeel is moderate bodied with nice carbonation for the style and some alcohol warming. Not sure about drinkability here, the flavors are starting to get a bit too much after my first glass of the bomber. The price was great but Im not sure I will be having this one again.

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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 ViveLaChouffe
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours reddish-brown and hazy with a small tan head. Smells of caramel and sweet malt.

Tastes of caramel malt. Tastes malty sweet. Very sweet and tastes a bit of candy corn. Mouthfeel is sticky and lingering. This is OK but it does not quite do it for me. Too syrupy sweet and malty for me. Not very balanced for my tastes, even for a black and tan.

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Photo of portia99
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a clear and very deep amber, almost brown, with reddish highlights. A full finger of thick creamy head sits on top for a long time...good staying power and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S - Mild aroma overall. Some roasty malt notes up front, some caramel, some grassy hops...overall balanced to the sweet side. Sorta like an amber with a bit too much roastiness. As it warms a berry like sweetness kicks in too. Kinda like the style itself, seems to me that this beer doesn't know what it wants to be.

M - Rather thin in body, somewhat watery in feel. Carbonation is light to medium and definitely ensuring the thin feel. Just kinda ehhh...nothing special.

D - Hard to believe this is 6.3%. No hint of alcohol and this is just a smooth easy beer. Character of this beer is all over the place and leaves me wanting more "identity?". I don't know it's plenty drinkable, but it doesn't really hit the spot. It's a worthy beer but just wouldn't be at the top of my list of goto beers.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a dark, nutty body and a fine-bubbled head that leaves a dusting and some nice lacing. Smells of lightly dusty, vanilla-inflected malts with an indistinct creaminess, but it's a light, rather lackluster aroma. On the palate, stout sourness starts things off, then some roasted malt astringency creeps in by the mid-palate. The finish is robustly bitter, with a bit of a clay-like, earthy flavor. Mouthfeel is a touch overcarbonated and a bit acidic on the finish. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but nothing special in any way.

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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 albern
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pretty dark mahogany color with a creamy but smallish tan head, and some lacing. The aroma is a tad sharp, with some sweet malts, some roasted notes, and a slight ABV smell, similar to an alcohol soaked liqueur steeped in heavy fruits. The aroma is okay, but not overly inviting.

The taste is somewhat creamy, it has a nice roasted, slightly charred caramel maltiness. There is a particular hop bite to the beer, that is a bit strong for what would normally be a stout or porter, the "dark" part. The hoppy bite comes from the "tan" part of this duo. This isn't a bad beer, but there is a definite ABV presence that compromises an otherwise decent beer. There is a tinge of the ABV throatiness that just shouldn't be there. The beer is medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, not bad not my favorite Berkshire either.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black, but not very tan... and the head is gorgeou, as is the carbonation.

Smell: Smells pretty much like a porter... roasted malts, but not too sweet and a slight flowery kick.

Taste: Tastes like it smells, and doesn't exactly resemble a black and tan... unfortunately, but expected.

Mouthfeel: Fairly bitter and a little too commanding for my palate; this brew is not what I wanted it to be. I wish it were sweeter and had a varying consistency.

Drinkability: Easy to quaff a bomber, but that's probably because there aren't any outstanding or unusual traits.

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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 jneiswender
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber bottle into a long hefe glass.

Mocha colored head that dissipates after a few minutes. Dark walnut color.

Strong smell of molasses.

Not a bad taste. Sweet front with a nice hop finish.

Not a bad tasting beer but a little on the heavy side. Good, but I don't know how much of these I could drink in a night. I would wait and get this done by a bartender in front of you. Thats the only reason I don't think this deserves to have too much of a high rating.

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Photo of Todd
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a 1pt 6oz brown bomber bottle.

Tawny brown in colour, ruby edges and topped with a beige head that's creamy, firm, slightly sticky and retains very well. Big malty nose, fruity, touch of over-ripe pineapple -- pleasant aroma.

Quite the malty sweet brew, with an backbone that reminds me of chocolate-coated malted milk balls. Deep fruity flavours; tropical with some distinct honey dew melon popping out in a juicy kind of way. Tight, sharp-ish carbonation cuts the palate and allows the hops the break thru cleanly with its leaf, cheese, wood and earth notes; also a mild splash of citrus thrown into the mix. Slight oxidation in this sample with obvious wet paper flavours (the month is matked on the bottle, but not the year). Finish is a bit dry, with some residual hop flavour and feel.

Personally, I don't know how you can bottle and label something as a "black & tan"? -- it lacks the skillful pour and visible seperation achieved at bars. This aside I found the offering to be very drinkable, smooth, malty and leaning towards the sweet side -- like their other brews.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Appearance- Pours a thick brown black color which comes up bubbling and leaves trails of really sticky lace. Decent looking beer in the pint glass.

Smell-coffee, toffee, ale malt, lots of carbonation, fusel smells as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel-thick up front but evens out later on. Malty up front, hops are really hidden but I do detect what I think is Chinook. Alcohol appears as well, goes down ok, more like a brown ale than a black and tan.

Drinkability-fine sessioner beer, I see nothing wrong with it.

Overall- I think beers like this are sort of gimmicky, I'm not sure this is a true black and tan, it tastes more like a brown ale with some malt changes to it. Still, a fine beer from a good brewing company.

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Photo of edchicma
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown appearance, small head with minor lacing. Light malty aroma. Tasted a bit like a dark lager IMHO. Slight coffe notes...sweet with a light tartness at the finish. Somewhat chewy in the mouthfeel, with a lack of overall smoothness. Not as good as others I've had by them.

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Photo of corey0212
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours sort of a murky chestnut color with an off-white head that sticks around and leaves a ton of lacing. Roasty coffee notes with a bit of fresh hops in the nose as well. Taste of coffee grounds, a hint of vanilla and chocolate. Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a little too much carbonation for my taste. I love BBC, and I'm glad I got to around to trying this one, but not my favorite Berkshire brew.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice head with good retention and the lacing looks very good as well. The color is light black and brown. Smell is a little sweet roastiness, almost like a baltic porter only not overpowering with sweetness. The taste is light and clean. I can pick up the slight roastiness in the aftertaste with some lager-like flavors. The mouthfeel is a little harsh and fizzy. Overall it was good to try, but I don't think I would have this right away...too many other beers out there. This wasn't bad.

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Photo of SeussMD
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Flatbread in Canton, CT. (If you're ever in the neighborhood --- you know the rest.) But that was months ago, so I picked up a 22-oz. bomber at my friendly neighborhood package store.

Poured into: My cat's water bowl. What, beer is not for cats? I just wanted to share. OK, then a standard pint glass it is.

Appearance: Black and tan. The black is not very black, more of a deep brown. But the tan is tan. Head starts big and frothy, then recedes to 1/8th inch.

Smell: Maybe it's this particular bottle/batch, but not much of an aroma going on here. Some chocolate, a slight undercurrent of cherry.

Taste: a little flat, sad to say. Some malt and fruit (cherry, I think, maybe pear) up front, honey on the back end. I recall a more complex experience on tap.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Assertive level of carbonation.

Very drinkable. I could have a few pints of this and be a very happy man indeed. Because after a pint or so it's got a decent kick.

Overall? Good, as everything I've tried from BBC has been. But not off-the-charts good, like their Lost Sailor IPA. I think it's like this: Some beer is just better on tap. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, for example, is phenomenal on tap, but surprisingly average out of the bottle. I think Shabadoo might be a better on-tap beer, too. So next time, I guess I'll just buy a keg instead.

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

A dark coffee brown color, fairly opaque with a medium tan head and full lace. Has a coffee soda sort of smell (Moxie?), nutty. Tastes of thin coffee with a touch of tart apple and a bit of charcoal. Very drinkable but may be a bit sour to some tastes. Medium to thin feel. Pretty lively carbonation. Nothing exciting but well worth a try. Berkshire is gaining my respect with each new try.

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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 DrunkMcDermott
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber Bottle. As advertised, a mix of stout and pale ale characteristics. Pours a nice, stoutlike creamy head. Odor is stoutish, too, but with the fruity characteristic of a pale ale. Taste predominates with stout notes; roasty and smoky. But the pale ale side contributes fruity esters, and some sherry and cherry notes. Its description would suggest a porter, but it's not quite one of those. Perhaps needs to be a style of its own.

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Photo of Billolick
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Typical BBC bomber, pours dark amber, dark tan head, typical retention and then just a hint of lace to be found. Light cola nose. Notes of vanilla, amber grains, some more light cola. Sort of unexciting in a middle of the road sort of way. Just kinda bland. So so Brown ale or a watery porter. Would do as a sessioner, or marinade.

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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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