Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
83
good
1,620 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Black & BlueBlack & Blue
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU

Added by ggaughan on 08-23-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,620
Reviews:
530
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.45%
 
 
Wants:
122
Gots:
293
For Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,620 |  Reviews: 530
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was two weeks shy of a year old when sampled.

A - Two fingers of white head with a slight pink tinge on a clear, reddish orange body. Decent head retention, but not much lace.

S - Malty and slightly sour with notes of currants and some spicy yeast aromas. A little bit of vanilla as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front with some warm alcohol notes. Boozy, fruity notes follow with a vanilla character that nicely compliments the berries, as well as spicy yeast notes of clove and cinnamon. An assertive acidity balances the fruit in the finish along with a good dose of hop bitterness that lasts well into the dry, vinous finish.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy body, with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusually nice fruit beer, in that it has a great deal of fruit character but balances the berry character with just the right amount of acidity to avoid becoming cloyingly sweet. While this beer has some distinct alcohol notes, they have become quite mellow and never lead one to suspect that the alcohol content is as high as it is. Overall a very pleasant beer that is very drinkable, considering its wine like strength.

This would be an excellent dessert beer and I suspect that it would be able to stand up to an even longer cellaring.

 1,286 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/13/2010 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a odd-shaped glass that I'm not even going to try to describe.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong smell of berries as you would expect along with light malts but not much else.

T: The taste likewise begins and ends with strong flavors of blueberries and blackberries. The malt character is a bit on the thin side which seems to enhance the berries. The hops presence is very mild, but there's still a decent balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Kind of tasty compared to most fruit beers, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's certainly one of the better fruit beers that I've had.

 927 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange to amber in color. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to virtually nothing. Minimal lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of berries - blackberry and blueberry - on top of some malts and Belgian yeast.

T: The taste of this beer is very similar to the smell with both sweet and tart berry flavors dominant - blackberry and blueberry. Light flavors from the malts as well as just a hint of the Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: The beer is a little sweet for my palate but it hides the alcohol very well. This is more of a sipping beer than an easy drinker or a sessionable beer.

 732 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

I had this in a 750mL bottle, and kept it in my fridge for just a little too long I think. Still good. Kind of tasted like a sweet tripel. Poured semi-cloudy, orange-brown with a nice white head. Fresh fruit on the nose. I got hit with the alcohol in the taste right away, which made the blueberry a bit harsh and acidic. Followed up by bright malty sweetness with some light sugars reminiscent of a Belgian tripel, and a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and a bit harsh, but I could tell it was because I let it sit in the fridge too long, so I can't really blame the beer.

 639 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey sinner stemware. It poured a murky, reddish/orange color. The color looks pretty much like it has some dark blue fruit mixed in. It started off with a thick, pillowy white head to it but it faded after a minute or so. It did leave a bit of lacing as I drank it though.

The aroma not surprisingly has a pretty big fruit aspect to it. Both of the blueberry and blackberry come through pretty nicely. I get a little bit of a honey and caramel sweetness to it as well. Pretty good aroma for a fruit centered beer.

The taste also shows a lot of the berry characteristics to it. The blueberry and the blackberry mix pretty well together and give it a pretty good fruit juice like quality. It's definitely on the sweet side, but isn't cloyingly sweet. The taste is pretty much all about the fruit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a bit above average. Drinkability was good, it was a pretty good fruit centered beer with some good and fresh berry flavors. It had a fruit juice like quality to it that was pretty good. Overall a pretty decent beer, and a very good beer of the style.

 1,145 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Huge amount of sediment on a bottle that should have had plenty of time to settle. Light amber body. Nice white head hangs around throughout the, leaving a nice lace as the glass empties.

S – Huge, fresh blueberry note. Blackcurrant and a hint of tart raspberry. An incredible nose by fruit beer standards.

T – Nice blueberry note up front, but unfortunately the middle veers tart and dry before diving headlong into a huge cheery-Dimetapp off-flavor.

M – Rolling menthol / medicinal booze on the finish. Medium / light body. Overly carbonated imho.

O – The nose is fantastic, and the beer opens with a great berry flavor, but the medicinal backend sandbags this brew from really getting off the ground.

 722 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ruby-copper colored and clear; decent head that gives a partial lace on the glass.

Interestingly, the initial smell I get is tomotoes. Lots of malt, very little hop,

Very dry initial taste that transforms into an unsuspected sweetness. A good body that gives an unexpected fullness. Rather bland, missing an interesting component of compexity.

I love the attempt, but I think it misses the mark.

 404 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish-purple body with thin, short-lived off-white head.

Smell: A fairly delicate aroma of blackberry juice, blueberry syrup, and sweet-smelling malts.

Taste: Void of the striking, juicy fruitiness I was hoping for, I'm disappointed to find it was merely a faint, awkward candyish berry sweetness. Finishes tart and medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Mouthfeel is sticky, approaching syrupy. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: The real loser in all of this is me, as I still have another bottle of this stuff waiting for me at home.

 563 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a nice light purple/red color with nice head and good lacing.

S: Great aroma from the blueberries/blackberries. There is a sweet/tart smell as well.

T: The berry taste is less pronounced on the taste than on the smell. It is sweet and a nice change of pace compared to many other DFH beers. It was a perfect BBQ beer.

M/D: It is a little thick, but in a good way, not in a heavy stout way. It has good carbonation and I put down a good bit of the 750ml bottle. It is great to split among a couple of people where you each get a glass or so.

 598 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glowing jack-o-lantern orange suffused with a hint of sunset coral red. Given the addition of red raspberries and blueberries, I expected a slightly different hue. The attractive cap is the color of lightly toasted marshmallow and is responsible for an average amount of average looking lace.

Several deep sniffs deliver little more than a generic 'Belgian ale' yeastiness. Perhaps a bit of berry-like fruitiness, but I probably wouldn't have gotten there on my own. It looks like this fruit beer will be on the subtle side rather that being a big, bruising brawler of an ale.

DFH Black & Blue is average beer that needs a major infusion of flavor. However much berry puree was used could have been doubled. At least. The shortage of berry flavor wouldn't be so much of an issue if the base beer (which is a Belgian golden ale) was more accomplished. Unfortunately, it comes across as a ham-handed attempt at the real thing. It takes a great deal more than a Trappist yeast strain to be successful brewing Belgian-style beer.

No matter what the brewery claims, the mouthfeel is nowhere near Belgianesque. It's too thick and too gently carbonated. Since I like that combination in most styles, the score is above average.

Black & Blue is yet another Dogfish Head offering that promises much more than it delivers. Audaciousness is an admirable trait, but at some point a brewery has to come through with killer beer. Bottom line: a good idea wasted.

 1,452 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that was purchased god knows when by me. I have had it in the cellar forever and just got around to it tonight. Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 08/18/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy, reddish tinted liquid coming through almost immediatly. Small whispy heado f white crashed down quick and left nothing in its wake. Subtle side glass lace, but unremarkable.

The aroma was loaded down with fruit. Berries of all sorts, Blueberries and blackberries dominant, with a touch of light grassy hops and some light grain. The flavor was all about fruit though. Staright up berry juice here, rich and very sweet, but nowhere near overpowering. This was extremely good, easily drinkable with a light body, good carbonation and very well hidden alcohol. Long drawn out fruit finish, lightly dry and easily pleaseant,

Overall one of the better fruit beers i have had. I was really shocked by how good this one was. I would have no objection to having this again at any time. Really very solid and one of the good ones from DFH.

 1,061 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes:

I am continuing with my bottle purge and when a friend said that he wanted to come over and say goodbye before heading off to graduate school at U of FL, I decided to break out something that had recently surfaced from the depths of my cellar.

Once the cap had been Pop!ped, I employed a gentle pour so as not to disturb any potential lees. Color was a pinkish-amber with a good bit of floaties in evidence. Nose had a great preserve-like fruitiness. I would have guessed blueberry, but black or red raspberry? I cannot say for sure. My late-paternal grandmother grew red raspberries in her garden, hence my allusion to preserves. I got a skim of pinkish wisps for head. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was of mixed berries, very fruity, but hard to discern which ones were involved in the production of this beer. Label read 10% ABV, but it was as mellow as all get-out! I recently drank some aged Fort, and despite its age, it was still rather hot. This was very pleasant by comparison. Finish was semi-dry and actually more vinous that beer-like. Wild!

 1,078 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Thirsty's in York back in July, just pulled it out of the fridge. Decanted cool into a snifter, thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing it w/ me.

A - A hazed red grape juice shade similar to the color of blackberry and blueberry puree as expected w/ a full light 2 fingers of head w/ an ultrafine bead. The head falls rapidly and adds confetti-like lacing on the snifter.

S - A boozy, malty aroma w/ subtle hints of fruit and a round creamy note w/ yeasty fullness.

M - Smooth creaminess blends into a slightly fruity sweetness w/ a touch of tart berry notes and full carbonation w/ no bitterness to speak of.

T - A malty taste w/ creamy and pils flavors w/ sweet and full ale flavors w/ a booziness that doesn't hide and a gradually emerging fruit flavor. A similar taste to malt liquor w/ a more sophisticated taste, both more flavorful in malt w/ a softer yeast taste that is augmented by the blackberry and blueberry puree. The sugars seem to have been mostly fermented out though since it is more of a strong wine clash w/ beer flavor and the sweet berry taste is somewhat an afterthought. The finish has a dry flavor of booze coming in tandem.

D - A bit of a berry bruiser w/ a full malt and alcoholic influence. The dry texture makes for an easy to drink beer, yet it still shows the 10% abv fully. I like how the fruit is not overly sweet and it still has beer character w/ the cooler taste you might usually associate w/ fruit beer. This is one I would drink again and again, yet not very drinkable as far as sessionability goes. One of the better fruit ales I have had since the black + blueberry flavor actually adds to the taste of the ale.

 1,673 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Beelow's.

Gotta love it when your local bars get some cool kegs. This case in point pours a partly hazy sunset rusted gold topped by a finger of glowing bone foam. The nose comprises blackberries, light blueberries, very light banana, mild biscuit, light sourdough, and a pinch of allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, the berries matched by some Belgian yeast-infused bread and a hint of orange peel and light grass. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, a pretty nice beer, one that I could see going well with plenty of foods (muffins and lamb dishes spring to mind).

 666 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a reddish hue and a fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of sweet berries, candy sugar, higher alcohols, lightly phenolic. The taste is not really what I expected from the nose. Lacking is much in the way of berry sweetness. I get a bit of tartness mixed with a malty sweetness before I feel the twinge of alcohol descend from my lips down my gullet splashing into my stomach. Tart sticky mouthfeel, medium to thick body, medium level of carbonation. I have mixed feelings about this one. I found the tartness and the flavor tasty, but the alcohol burn was a bit to much for me. Maybe an aged bottle of this would be better? I don't think I liked it well enough to put forth the effort to age though.

 754 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body with a large foamy offwhite head.

S - A big bouquet of raspberries and blueberries. Fresh, sweet, tangy fruit aromas. Floral hop notes.

T - Tangy fruit with a buttery back note. Sweet splash of soft fruit liquor and tangy hops. Fruit-like acidity, akin to apple skin. Blueberry and dark fruit present here. Tangy starches and spiced alcohol bring depth to this beers flavors.

M - Warming, drying medium body. Clean on the palate and the carbonation buzzes the tongue.

O - Plenty of fruit in the nose and mouth. The starchy, buttery flavors add a different dimension here.

 596 characters

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,620 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.