"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: 272
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 oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just had this on tap at cambridge house brew pub earlier tonight. I was disappointed they still aren't brewing yet but it gave me a change to try this great beer. I've only had a couple black and tans before (saranac and Mississipi mud) and this one is far better. I can't believe its IPA level ABV wise.. taste was so damn smooth. Lots of flavors for your palette to wander around and just good overall.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The whole concept of black and tan in a bottle is a little strange, as you can give th varying layers effect, but this is a tasty beer nonetheless.

Pours a lighter fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a medium pace over clear ruby dark molasses brown color.

Nose of light and dark malts, some crystal, heavy crystal, a bit of roast, light crisp ale aromas at the same time, a bit of creamy malts, a bit of sweet sugar, caramel, and hint of toffee.

Taste starts more porter like, some nice creamy dark roasty malts, a bit of toffee, lots of caramel and bit of vanilla, a nice hearty robust ale flavor, which seems to get a little lighter as it goes, giving way to lighter crisp ale, with some bitterness and a bit of earthy herbal hops, a slight bit of minerality. Finishes a little sticky, lingering long bitter hop finish as well, dries a bit but still slightly sweet, more minerality and roasty malt flavors. A bit of chocolate malt very late.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is fair, with some stickyness on the finish, no real booze, a bit of sweetness, some light bitterness and herbal earthiness.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a big 2 finger width light tan foamy head. This retains very nicely and laces well too. Aroma is sweet chocolate and coffee with some fresh hop character behind it.

The taste is rich roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and molassas but finishes with a light twangy citrus and hop presence. The mouthfeel is light bodied, creamy, and immensely drinkable.

This is a nicely done and tasty Black&Tan from Berkshire that combines the best characteristics from both their Porter and Pale Ale. It's great to see more craft brewers releasing this style lately.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep, reddish brown color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very malty with elements of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and hints of vanilla & caramel.

T: Tastes of coffee & vanilla with roasted malt seem to be the most prevalent flavors with a background of brown sugar, caramel & chocolate. It has an extremely heavy malt character. Since this beer is all malty sweetness, that’s what stick around in the after-taste.

M: Very, very smooth with a little breadiness in the texture, heavy body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is kind of sticky due to the maltiness.

D: This one is very tasty, especially if you’re into the malty sweetness. It’s kind of filling, so it’s definitely a sipper, despite an ABV that is only in the 6% range.

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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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Photo of smcolw
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent three-finger, beige head that provides superior lace. Very dark brown (unable to shine light through) liquor.

Aromas of semi-sweet chocolate and hops. A small amount of coffee is also present.

Nice powerful flavors. Excellent blend of crystal/chocolate malts and hops. This is a full-bodied beer with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Typically, I'm not a fan of bottled Black & Tans because they do not have the same effect of the light lager and dark stout layering that is present from a tap pour. However, this should not detract from this flavorful brew, as this is simply an excellent beer.

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Photo of Jason
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bomber with a purchase before freshness date on the label.

Appearance: Deep hazy brown, tiny bubble creamy lace clings to the glass like a champ. Rings all the way down.

Smell: Sweet malty aroma, splash of vanilla … creamed coffee?

Taste & Mouthfeel: So creamy smooth, malty on the palate. The sprinkle of hop bitterness leaves a faded hop flavour. A ghost like steely malt flavour middle to end, the line between roasted and toasted malt is blurred in this brew. Ends up sweet in the end with an underlying toasted maltiness to hold thing together.

Notes: This has to be the best bottled black and tan I have had to date. So drinkable and the 6.3% abv is not noticeable at all. Very versatile, have it around for game time as a session brew or pair it with a chocolate dessert. Either way this one is a winner in my book.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm splitting a bottle of this tonight with hobbie100. Thanks Richard!

A: Very dark brown color with a thick, creamy, off-white head that leaves a thick coating of lacing all over the glass. Excellent appearance.

S: Faint aromas of malt, chocolate. Smells of a lager more as it warms. Hard to detect much.

T: This is easily the best of the Berkshire beers I've had so far. The flavors are gentle, but I get hints of milk chocolate and cream. The taste isn't huge, but it's great in its simplicity. The blend is done quite well, creating a pleasant and intriguing beer, in spite of the overall lack of complexity.

M: Creamy and smooth with a good carbonation level. A little bit of a tangy zip in the finish.

D: Very drinkable. Not terribly exciting, but I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. Fluffy tan-white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves lace down the entire glass. Aroma is of coffee, toffee, a bit of roasted malt. Nice smelling beer! Taste is malty, chocolate toffee and coffee with some slight alcohol bite in the finish. Body is medium, mouthfeel is medium to thin, carbonation is ample. Great tasting easy drinking brew. Tastes and smells great!

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

Pours a clear and pretty dark brown with a creme head. The nose is nutty. Flavor brings much of the same. Nice nutty and mild earthy tones. Overall sweetness is there as well. feel is smooth on liquid and carbonation is appropriate it seems. Black & tan? Sure, okay. Might as well be a brown ale to me. And a tasty one at that.

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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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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased up north. Poured into a tulip. Beer is brown and mostly clear but has a thin head of small off white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

The aroma overall is weak. It's mildly roasty mildly sweet.

Beer is pretty light in body and easy drinking. There is some mild bitterness at the back from the roasted grain but not from hops. The overall herbal and hop character is practically absent. This beer screams for some hop character but it's not there.Bo erall it's an OK beer from a fiction style. I wouldn't turn it down if offered again but I wouldn't bother buying it again.

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

Thanks goes out to ampzilla for this brew.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with lots of caramel. The taste is malty/caramel, the finish is dry with a slight bitter tone. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Black and Tan brew, it's pretty tasty. Thanks Andrew.

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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 akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to damienblack for this 650 mL bottle.

A: The B&T is a dark brown color, cola with a kick. A thin band of white foam arises from the pour and just sits there.

S: The aroma is caramel and chocolate mixed with bready grains. Stronger caramel aromas verge on vanilla.

T: The ale is pleasant, a combination of nuttiness and caramel. A touch of hops and not much more pops up.

M: The mouthfeel is decent, fuller on the malt side, resulting in a smoother drink.

D: The B&T style is tough to pin down. The flavors don't set the world aflame but they rarely disappoint. This is nice and average.

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

Lightly hazed reddish brown colour with a thin dark beige cap. Spotty lace and good head retention. Fruity aroma with a fair bit of chocolate, cotton candy sweetness, toffee, nuts, light leafy hops. Same in the flavour, but with more of a dry cocoa rather than chocolate character. Bitterness was mild up front and lingered in the finish. Notes of toffee and caramel, dried fruits, and light hops. Medium/light bodied with carbonation a little lower than average gave it a smooth mouthfeel. Good stuff. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown color with a nice two-finger head. Aroma is rich and roasty, as well as malty. Taste is once again leaning more towards the stout, even though the lager (or is it ale?) shows through just as well here. Smooth, clean finish with all the roastiness of a stout. Easy to mistake this one for a Schwartzbier. Very drinkable and a very good example of its' style.

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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 Jwale73
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured the color of cola with a slightly lighter consistency to the pour. Quarter inch off-white cap speckled with copious ringlets. Clarity is poor - some light penetration and translucency when backlit. Some lacing, but weak legs. Picked up some pale malt in the nose, as well as roasted coffee and a light fruity ester towards the back. Taste follows nose with the addition of some mild hops bittering detectable in the middle. Mouthfeel is between light and medium with carbonation that provides a slight burn across the back of the tongue and roof of the mouth. Easy drinking and flavorful with a good body and can't beat the price. I typically don't care for bottled black and tans, but this one is pretty tasty.

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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 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 twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of Cuzco in a recent local BIF, muchas gracias. Pours a medium brown color with a large, tight-bubbled tan head. Retention is pretty nice and leaves some well constructed lace patterns on the glass.

Nose is more on the porter side of things and leaves the lighter pale ale behind for the most part. Quenticentail dark fruits with some hot chocolate sweet malts, maybe even a marshmallow or two thrown in for good measure. Somewhat grainy with a bit of husk as it warms.

This could be dealt as a porter, but the thin body and easy-drinking manner would give it away pretty easily. Dry, roasted husk malts blend with a sweet grainyness from the pale ale to give this one an uncommonly smooth mouthfeel. There is more than enough hops to dry out the finish and they even provide a nice bit of floral/herbaceous flavor. Slight astringency is the only issue I have with this beer, and that is very minor. Pretty nice brew here, and easily the best Black & Tan I have had. Recommended, for sure.

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"Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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