"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 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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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 LithcfieldHills
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, $3.99, poured into glasses for me and a friend.

A - dark mahogony. Lacing sticks to the end.

S - Sweat and malty, with a ting of bitter fruit - grapefruit maybe. Nothing spectacular.

T & M - Malty taste, some nice hop bite to balance. Solid but not spectacular. Mouthfeel was great - creamy, carbonated, coats the tongue.

D - Not sure I would consider this a session beer, but would be a nice way to finish the day while reading a book.

Overall - a better than average brew, but nothing really remarkable.

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

The look is a dark Coca-Cola brown/black. Head? We hardly knew ye; disappears almost as soon as it shows up. It's darker at the top than at the bottom. Lighter brown down below.

The smell is a mild coffee, but with a lagery base. It's like a mild stout (obviously, right?). Major burnt malt, though.

The taste is roasted, but also smooth. It's almost to the point of burnt. It has a smoky flavor (goes well with beef jerky). Typically, it is a roasted-malt stout tempered by a not-bad lager.

The feel is more lagery than portery/stouty. It's creamy but not super-thick. The taste is good but a little slight. Doesn't quite commit to either side, and though it's fine, it feels like it skimped out a tad.

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

Sampled this cask pulled version on tap while hiding from the summer heat in American Flatbread. A decent khaki head topped this brew and fizzed away after few minutes to a clingy ring. Moderate lacing. The liquid was a dark brown color with ruby highlights that appeared against sunlight. The nose was toffee and maple. The flavors were quite enjoyable, sweet like caramel at first, almost like an alcoholic root beer. Then some alcohol esters come through, followed by some subtle vanilla, roasted malt, then a bit of semi-sweet chocolate (think Nestle chocolate chips) just before the long coffee finish. Distinctly layered flavors and quite complex. Reminds me of a fortified wine or a bourbon, especially as it warmed up. Very light carbonation (but that's the casking) and smooth for the same reasons. Challenging and enjoyable.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber bottle into a Ten Penny Ale glass.

A: Poured a blackish-brown with a thick cap of tan foam which left an awesome lace.

S: Smells of roasted caramel malt and some distinct pine and herbal hops int he nose.

T: Taste is a little too sweet and creamy, but it's an enjoyable blend of dry and sweet roasted coffee and caramel malts, combined with some light bitter floral hops.

M: Mouthfeel is a little creamy up front, but finishes a little dry and weak.

D: A pretty tasty brew, probably best served as a dessert beer along with brownies or chocolate chip cookies. The over 6% ABV is not felt or tasted at all, masked with a good balance of flavors.

A good black and tan mix, but not the best I've had. It was a little too sweet at times, but still went down smooth. I still prefer Dirty Penny or Mississippi Mud, or just a real black and tan in a pub.

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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 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 jcdiflorio
4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle served in a nonic.Big thanks for the send from Sudsdog,my Berkshire connection.

Deep mahogany color,almost black with ruby red highlights in the light,looks opaque normally.
Very generous thick/dense light tand head with good retention.
Very appealing aroma as it nears my nose.like this one already. Nice firm complex malt nose with a smokey earthyness,roasty with lot a carmell that has a good burnt quality to it,with dark fruity notes also.
Dark fruitiness at the start with a tart berry-like note. Very balanced and complex maltiness,well blended together.Perfect malt taste with nothing really standing out.Wonderfull crisp dry finish woody with some dusty chocolate to it.
Amazingly smooth and creamy. Liquid velvet had to shake the bottle and check for the widget when i was finished.Wasn't in there. Just an extremely drinkable beer to me anytime of the year. Not and extreme beer in anyway,just sooo smooth it has to be admired.

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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 ph2001
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle in pint glass

it poured smoothly with a decent amount of head. its a deep chocolate carmel color.

its very smooth. there is a subtle sweetness that leaves quickly. the bite is balanced nicely with the creamy feel to it. the head laces the glass nicely.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a red tint to it with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that sticks around for a long time before settling. It laces the glass very nicely on the way down. The aroma is of deep roasted malts and sweeter toasted ones underneath some hints of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. The taste is the same as well. Nice mix of malts that give it a bittersweet base underneath subtle hints of chocolate and coffee rounded off by a nice but slight hoppy bitterness. Really nice black and tan. The mouthfeel was very crisp and warming which makes for a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought home with me from a mid-November '07 trip to Boston. I'm surprised it lasted this long in my fridge without being consumed.

Unique appearance, kind of muddy and murky looking. Medium off-white head. Soft aroma mostly consisting of sweet and roasted malt. The flavor had a little more complexety to it. Medium bodied with roasted malt and a good amount of bitterness from the hops. A satisfying beer that's dark, but not too heavy. BBC does it again...

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Photo of currysage1
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking brew, ruby brown colored with a cream head thats high initially then sinks and clings very well, to much left for lacing with this one.

Raisins, and sweet malt with the smell, taste adds a touch of toffee and some light bitterness. Light alcoholic twinge.

Mouth feel is nice not too thick not too thin, Carbonation feels good on the tongue.

Drinkability is high on this one, the alcohol is hidden very well. I want another...

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