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

very good
274 Ratings
"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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Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 130
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a slow to emerge 1" head which dissipated to 1/4". In the glass in masstone it looks dark like a stout and it was only during the pour the tan contributor could be seen. Flavor also was stout all the way with chocolate and coffee. Granted the body was much lighter. In fact the beer this most reminded me of was the Dixie Blackened Voodoo I reviewed which had the look and taste along stout lines but a much lighter body.

Hey, I quite enjoyed this and could drink it all the time.

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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 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 Homebrew35
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this $4 bomber into a Sam Adams glass, with an awesome three finger head. This then disapates to a solid half finger head, with bubbles streaming from the bottom holding a nice small cap the while time. Smells of sweet carmel, slight chocolate and toffee, faint roasted smell. Tastes of carmel and chocolate great transition of flavor sweet and mellow to a slight bitterness with some vanilla somewhere in there. Highly drinkable for a 6.5 abv. I'd buy this again for this price.

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Photo of TommyW
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black body with a white head that doesn't stick much.

S- Bit of roasted flavor, vanilla and a touch of spice from hops.

T- Slight roasted flavor with a slight notes of caramel and a spicy hops rounding things out. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all.

M- Creamy feel on a medium body.

D- Really nice black and tan; bottled locally makes it a great fresh brew.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown with a picture-perfect white creamy foam. Where's my camera? This looks perfect enough to take a picture and seems a shame to drink, but I must.

Very sticky foam remains.

Strong roasted smell, hints off chocolately malt - similar to the Drayman porter.

Taste begins dark roasted and concludes surprisingly clean. BBC strikes a perfect balance.

Smooth finish, light bitter at the conclusion.

Encore! Very drinkable.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a well carbonated brown with a huge billowy beige head. Big gobs of lace.

Cocoa and toasted malt aromas.

Milk choclate and cocoa powder, with some light coffee and toasted malt. Light bitterness in there somewhere, but more swet than bitter. Decent balance. Not overdone.

A bit too carbonated, but it still works. Medium body with lots of bubbles.

Overall, a one and done bomber. Easy to drink, but cream and cocoa will get old after 22 oz. Very decent.

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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 steve8robin
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this bottle on a whim. This will be my first Black and Tan...

A: Deep ruby purple with no murk lurking inside the color. Thick off-white head that fades at a decent rate. Good.

S: Hmm, a lot less going on in the scent than I would have liked. I only get some oaky bitter hops blended with some hints of banana and sugary malts. Ok.

T: Kind of a strange blend of flavors. Some sweet malts blended with some roasty bitter hops. Seems like a decent cigar beer. A little watery blended with booze in the middle and hints of milky chocolate and coffee bean on the backend. Good.

M: A little too much carbonation. Leaves some decent flavors on the palate. Good.

D: Surprisingly easy drinker. Definitely very good.

All in all, this is a surprising beer. It was much better than expected. I might buy this brew again. Definitely try if you like the style, and I think everyone should try this at least once. Way to go Berkshire!

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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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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 morebeergood
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bomber at Whole Foods Dedham for $3.99. Poured into standard pint glasses. Dark brown color. Thick white head. Nice surge of carbonation at the top. Good amount of lacing. Smell was a bit like milky coffee. Taste was of chocolate and subtle roasted coffee beans. Flavors came off to me as a lot like a smooth porter. Mouthfeel was nice, it was silky and smooth. Abv is hidden well. I could have had a few of these. Would love to try this on tap or on nitro.

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

Had this mainly because it was on nitro-tap, at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland.

A: Had a good off white head and a lot of nice lacing.

S: Malty, sweet, roasted nuts.

T: Like your typical Black & Tan. A weak stout, or a stronger lager. Reminded me a bit of a black lager. Had a nice nutty, almost salty, aftertaste.

M: Nice and smooth. Nitro-tap hardly disappoints in the mouthfeel category.

D: Very high. Tasty and pretty low alcohol at 6.5%.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flatbread Pizza in Canton.

A - A think black body with an off white head.

S - Roasted malts.

T - Soo hard to describe. A balanced malty goodness with that deep rich stout flavour mixed in. Love the taste of this beer. I've been having this on tap along with the cabin fever religously at flatbread. I love this style and I wish there were more of them available on tap in my area.

M - A nice middle ground for the style. Couldn't be more balanced.

D - Soo easy to drink. Would have guessed a much lower abv. Love this on tap. Only had it in a bottle once a couple years ago.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a walnut brown body with copper hues and a slowly developing, creamy, off white head that is quite perseverant as it hangs around for a while before finally giving way to a filmy, sticky lacing.

Aroma consists of caramel malt, biscuit, sweet milk chocolate, and possibly yeast.

Flavor is quite good. An immediate fruity sweetness hits the palate, but has no staying power immediately giving way to the cocoa powder, and caramel malt. The very back of the palate finds just faded hop bitterness, earthy if anything.

Medium to light in body with medium carbonation, very smooth, and even creamy.

Pretty good beer, although tough to compare to anything else since it is somewhat of a limited 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 JimmieFrisbee
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass from 22 oz. bomber, refrigerated.

Beautiful brown/orange body with generous chocolate-milk head.

Smells sweet and roasty. Not exactly complex, but nice.

Tastes roasty, creamy, with some sweetness. There's a little bit of bitterness that reminds me of whatever hops Bass uses.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Easily drinkable -- very easy.

Simple beer. One to really enjoy without thinking about very much.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber aquired at some hole-in-the-wall bottle shop @ the MA/NH border.

A- A wonderful cascade, a nice creamy head, and instant lacing. A bit lighter in color than I was expecting, a chestnut brown, a few shades darker than Newcastle.

S- Creamy sugary malty... smells good. Not too strong, but still inviting.

T- Follows the nose... rich, sweet, creamy malts. Very tasty and entirely quaffable. A supremely tasty (pre-mixed) black + tan. Not too much depth but more than enough good flavor to stay on the positive side.

M- Medium-bodied, creamy, smooth, like velvet. Enough carbonation to keep things moving.

D- High. Been a while since I enjoyed a good black and tan... and this is def. one of them! Glad I got a 2nd bomber, I will be going back for more of this. A supremely tasty, easy drinkin', and all around good brew.


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Photo of donniecuffs
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is very difficult to find a good specimen of this style pre-mixed (and in bottles, which I subsequently sampled as well), so I am always a little skeptical. This one, however, knocked my socks off. It poured dark, but settled out lighter towards the bottom, with a decent head...all pretty surprising. The smell included cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, toffee, and vanilla, and the taste was an excellent balance of all of these flavors. I was super impressed. The feel was creamy, yet not overpowering, so as to allow sessioning. A very pleasant surprise overall.

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

Pours dark brown and gets a bit lighter at the bottom of the glass almost as though it was blended off the tap. Smells like both a porter and a lager, as crisp as a nose gets. the taste is consistent all the way through, some coffee, or perhaps chocolate flavor, and some lagerish "paleness" if you will. The mouth-feel starts off smooth and becomes very crisp as it goes on to the finish. Goes down so smooth and easy, in my humble opinion the best bottled Black & Tan out there.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel color with an oatmeal colored low frothy head.

Low aroma of caramel and toasted malts.

Flavor of roasty malt, caramel and licorice, faint hints of smoke and leather. Gets more complex as it warms, with cocoa and essence of dried leaves emerging, moving to fig and raisin. Good bitterness balances, but dark rich flavors eclipse any hoppy flavors.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, a bit syrupy. Finish warms the cheeks.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber in a 20oz nonic.

Appearance: This black & tan pours a beautiful deep mahogany in color, lots of red highlights, huge billowing head softly rests atop a deep, acentric body. Lacing down the glass is excellent.

Smell: Earth like elements and some hops are first detected through the nose, a bready like maltiness is here in the backdrop, a true black and tan in the nose. Crystal malt & a nice dose of fruit pairings in here make this one very authentic for a bottled black and tan.

Taste: Caramel malt, cereal grains, wheat, some ginger, small bits of coriander and malt spice blend perfectly with a well balanced amount of hoppy florals. Fruits here range from a dark plum, a bit of prune and some small doses of citrus. Ever expanding all around and really flows beautifully from malt to hops. I've had black & tans plenty of times, and traditionally the ones at the bar are bland but this is what it should be! Excellent use of ingredients blends without swaying to one side and making you think this isn't two beers blended into one.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, not as heavy as your traditional Guinness/Harp mix, even carbonation is fair to the tongue, bitterness is slightly here from the hops but makes for a "bittersweet ending" for such a wonderful beer.

Drinkability: In a bottle or on the tap, probably the best representation of a black and tan I've had the pleasure of having. Berkshire blends two beers correctly into one without throwing you to one side. Malt lovers and even hop lovers can rejoice at last! The picture perfect blend of what a black and tan should be. And at $3.50 a bomber, you can save a trip to the bar and having a nasty B&T made by some moron who probably drinks Coors anyway! Recommended!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to brothercannon for bringing this back from VT. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my nonic pint glass. Shabadoo appears a translucent deep chestnut color with at least two fingers of creamy ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of medium roasted grains, earthy bitter hops, slightly nutty, both milk and dark chocolates, caramelized malts, and a touch of mild coffee as it warms. The ale is approaching full bodied with ample carbonation. Finish is bittersweet. Great stuff. Thanks again Tim!

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

Apperance: Poured a reddish brown color, clear. Two finger frothy khaki head with an aggressive pour. Good retention. Some nice lacing.

Smell: Smells of sweet fruity hops. Some hints of darker malts, but not much. Possibly even chocolate/coffee in the malts.

Taste: Definitely tastes like a black and tan. The strong hop fragrance in the nose is much milder in the taste; not biting or intense really, in a good way. Mild malts (coffee and caramel) blend well. Overall, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth. Some carbonation, but more like a stout in feel than an ale or lager. Creamy even.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. Balanced from start to finish with a taste that lingers for the right amount of time. Not a strong beer in flavor, but it excels over a wide spectrum. Easy to drink and very smooth.

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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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