Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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527 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
527
Ratings:
1,614
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.45%
 
 
Wants:
120
Gots:
294
For Trade:
10
User Reviews
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Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 1,614
Photo of mjw2808
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy reddish purpleish blueish color with little head and no lacing. All I can really smell is berries. The taste is of sweet berries and a little brown sugar, and a slight bit of alcohol. I was surprised for barley being able to taste the alcohol since this is a 10% brew. The mouthfeel is good and its a drinkable beer. I made some girls who hate beer and only drink wine try it and they thought it was pretty good, as do I. Defnitely a solid beer from Dogfish head.

 470 characters

Photo of Agent1
4.67/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will be opening an aged 750 ml bottle of Black & Blue from 2007. This was a limited edition release, and this particular bottle has been aging for the past seven years. It definitely changes with each bottle and it surprises me every time. I plan on opening the remaining 750s every 6 months until there are gone (only 2 bottles left after this one). This is my third bottle.

Appearance - A rich, deep orange. Dark copper with bright white head. Great lacing, but thin head. Great carbonation and the bubbles remain very, very active. That being said, there is not a huge amount of head on this beer, but overall, it looks sexy.

Smell - Cherries and raspberry jam. Red wine and grape on the nose. Honey and cotton candy. Fermented fruits, which is pretty obvious because, quite literally, that is what this is. Quite sweet. Makes the mouth water in anticipation.

Taste - Lots of astringent tannins. A very stinging alcohol bite which is so shocking, sour, yet rewarding to the tongue. Big, bold fruits here: candied apple, grape peel, fermented cherries raspberries, blackberries, blood orange, strawberries and lemon (most likely a flavor given off from the fermented fruit -- almost sour). Great choice of yeast (definitely a high gravity yeast at work here, otherwise it wouldn't allow this beer to age this good -- possibly Belgian?). Extremely complex. Lots of other subtle layers such as cloves, coriander, tea leaves, brown sugar and rich barley. Very sour...nearing a lambic, but not quite. This is the closest beer I've had to mimic traits of red wine due to its acidity.

Mouthfeel - Very full bodied. Great carbonation with a thick, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel -- almost similar to cough syrup, but in the most pleasant way. This activates all areas of the mouth. Being slightly sour from the fermented fruits and sugars, this delivers a heavy, hard hitting, gustatory orgasm.

Overall - More like wine than beer at this stage. This is aging really well, and I'm willing to bet I wouldn't like this beer freshly bottled nearly as much as I do now. I'm sure it would be a solid beer, but I can see it being super sweet, jammy and heavy on the fresh fruits used. This is becoming darker in color and richer in malts, sugars and fruits. Very, very tasty and complex.

 2,276 characters

Photo of Kakaraht
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy reddish color, kinda like the inside of a blueberry. Medium head with nice lacing

S: Nice berry aroma with a hint of Belgian yeast.

T: Very subtle very smooth. The berry's blend very nicely into a sour saison like beer with warm sweet earthy notes and tart berry finish. I really like the smoothness of the flavors.

M: Medium carbonation and mouth feel,the flavors lingers nicely.

D: This is always a repeat beer for me, i find it perfect for sipping while sitting around a nice big campfire.

 511 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2007 aged 1 year. Dark amber light brown pour. Fruitier berry aroma and on the palate. I was told this wouldn't last a year, but it did so with greatness. The hop profile mellowed out and the flavors stayed strong. No sourness or cloying. Thinking about aging another one but with so many coming out I have even better choices. Another winner from DFH.

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Photo of BabyBastard
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in '09, pours a great dark brown and a bit tan. Very nice looking. Looks comparable to a dark Belgian strong ale. Not much head to start off with, sparse lacing throughout and nice cascading bubble abound. Did I mention this was nice looking? Surely whets the appetite. This seems to have a slight blue tinge to it, though I may be crazy.

Smell from the bottle seems to be strong berries. Has a great scent of malt and an odd fruitiness. Also smells hotly of alcohol, though my perception may be a bit off.

This tastes like a great, dark Belgian with very obvious overtones of blue berries. Has a strong malt backbone, but the dark fruit is what grabs the taste buds. Comes off slightly sweet as well.

This has very high carbonation, much like a German wheat beer or the like. Feels tingly and alive on the palate. The alcohol content also warms you greatly while being consumed. Truly a pleasure to drink this beer. One bottle may not be enough. Great drinkability for such a heavy hitter.

 1,004 characters

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

A- nice amber color

S- sweet fruit esters, bright fruit berry, faint hops. strawberry, grapes, and plum.

T- early tart berries, somewhat balanced by malts

M- light, not syrupy

D- a great end of the night beer, fruity and tart flavor that does well by itself

First review so forgive some inexperience. A nice beer for late in the night and drinking alone. Wouldn't pair very well with food, but does well alone.

 415 characters

Photo of mt24turner
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance- nice pretty red hue

smell- not much aroma to this beer, slight blackberry and malt sweetness

taste- nice malt sweetness and beligiany funkyness and complexity, somewhat winelike acidity ,finishes tart with lingering berry flavors, alcohol is perfectly hidden beware.

mouthfeel- medium-full mouthfeel

overall- definately a great beer, and unlike many dogfish specialties i will definately consider buying it again

 429 characters

Photo of VMWhelan
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Pours a reddish orange with a thick white frothy head. Head has shades of orange as well. Great lacing.

Nose is mostly the fruit (blueberries and raspberries) on top of some malt. Smells tart but sweet with some caramel and yeast notes.

Taste is again dominated by the fruit. Hits tart at first and the malt and some bready/yeastyness comes through after, almost reminiscent of a warm blueberry muffin. Some booziness in this one but its not overpowering, as it mixes with the tartiness very well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is medium-high. Slightly dry.

Drinkability is high. There's a good amount of booze in this one, but its very enjoyable and goes down easy. Not hard to kill the 750mL alone, but at 10%abv, you need to be careful.

 796 characters

Photo of mexikrainian
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a McChouffe tulip.

Appearance: orange-amber with moderate white head and excellent lacing.

Aroma: potent fruity, floral scent with strong cherry notes.

Taste: tart, strong fruity taste up front with smooth, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: interesting flavor. definitely worth trying again but i can't have it on a regular basis. don't drink too cold---you'll miss the unique character.

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Photo of bwd110
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: This beer pours a brighter than expected copper brown. Little to no head, minimal lacing. Doesn't appear that this one is overly carbonated. Nice dark fruit hues when held up to light. It does look appealing.

S: Dark fruits, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry dominate. Though I do catch hints of tropical fruits as well. Mango comes to mind. Aroma is subtle, nothing bold jumps at out you, but a pleasant nose nevertheless. Also smells rather vinous.

T: Nice, subtleties here. More complex the more I consumed. Inoffensive dark fruit flavors of the aforementioned, does have a very vinous quality. You can taste the alcohol here, but in this instance I think it fits well with the other qualities of this brew. Well balanced. Very sweet and sugary with only a touch of tartness. Overall pleasing taste.

M: Medium body, creamy feel. Low carbonation, no real alcohol burn, but it is noticeable

D: This would be more of a desert beer for me, or even a nightcap. Couldn't see drinking more than a glass or two here.

 1,058 characters

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

Poured a deep red color, smells like wine - fruit, blueberries, and alcohol scents. It tastes like like a mix between wine and beer, that's the best way to describe it. It has a light malt taste and strong taste of blueberries/rasberries with a light earthy hop finish. I could barely tell this was 11% and my friend and I were saying if it wasn't $8 a glass we'd be tossing these back.

Overall, an interesting beer. Not something I'd go out of my way to try again, but it was nice to try.

 491 characters

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I poured this beautifuly ruby amber brew into my brand new DFH pint glass out of its 750ml bottle.

Like I mentioned, the body was an intriguing ruby amber and its head was light and slippery; not much retention.

The beer's aroma hints of its told BLACK raspberry and BLUEberry with some amazing malt characteristics.

Anyone weary of a beer with way too much fruit shall be freed of such fear. This is a tastefully disciplined brew with tactful fruit flavoring.

An outstanding pro for this beverage is its 10% ABV and its unbelievably coy drinkability.

 564 characters

Photo of kcillini77
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in Illinois the last time I was back there, and I'm glad I didn't read all the reviews here beforehand, because they would have led me not to purchase it. I'm a big fan of blueberries AND black raspberries, and, of course, beer so when I saw it in the store I had to purchase it.

Pours a light red, almost a pink hue, with a lot of carbonation and minimal head.

Smell is tart blueberries, with some raspberry, and maraschino cherry.

Taste is deep, sweet malt, kind of like an abbey ale, with a tart raspberry taste on the swallow. No hops to speak of, but the tartness is followed by a warmth from the alcohol that is quite endearing.

I'm a hophead, but I really liked this one. Probably the best fruit beer I've ever had.

 743 characters

Photo of DousedInStout
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep amber with white head. The head dissipates to small beading over several sips. The aroma is of blackberry jam, ripe blueberries, and a spiciness from the Belgian yeast. The taste is sweet and fruity, but not cloying. A little bit of caramel malt, and just enough hops to balance. The alcohol is present, but it's not super boozey for 10%. The carbonation is medium to low, and very fine. Overall, a nicely brewed, strong fruit beer.

 452 characters

Photo of branimal9
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley's Greenville 5/20/2010.

Clear, bright reddish orange in color. Nice lacing. Berries, berries & more berries on the nose. Black berry does dominate, however. Lambic-style sour in the taste, with mouth-coating consistency. Estery. Nice warming finish.

 267 characters

Photo of jsp2
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an odd, amber mixed with blue and red. Cloudy with bubbles releasing, and a very thick creamy head that reduces very slowly. Bottle says bottled in 2009 and has a picture of a creepy looking guy wearing a fancy blue coat. Pretty unique color to this brew.

Fruity, yeasty aroma with blueberries, roses, and cloves, very sweet and strong aroma.

Taste is rich with malty sweetness, spicy yeast followed by a tart berry flavor. Well balanced from the tartness of the berry with a malt sweetness. Alcohol is present in the aftertaste but not overwhelming at all. Maybe a faint bit of hops that blends well with the berry tartness.

Pretty low carbonation, rich with a lot of body. Silky and not cloying.

Yet another very unique brew from DFH. Each aspect of this brew is executed wonderfully compared to other fruit beers. Expect lots of Belgian and berry flavors but still a drinkable product that is not too sweet.

 921 characters

Photo of Bauzen
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber/copper in color.

Smells as tart as it tastes - sharp, obnoxious, fruit kicking your ass and overpowering any aspect of beer that might be beneath the berries.

Mouthfeel is best described as taking a bunch of tart blackberries, shoving them in your mouth and having nothing to wash them down with for an hour.

My friend brought me a bottle of this stuff - and I wish I'd have known to age it. Seems like the only positive reviews come from vintage bottles - mine was certainly not a vintage. Assuming the fruit mellows out, I can imagine this being a nice beer... I strongly suggest letting it sit if you want a more enjoyable experience.

 646 characters

Photo of NoahSYGG
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am a huge fan of dfh beers. This wasnt my favorite. It was a thick cloudy beer with a golden color. i didnt really get the raspberry or blueberry aroma. a little but not really. the flavor was sour. didnt taste like fruit. a little bit of an alcohol flavor. mouthfeel syrupy sweet. drinkablity low. will never drink again.

 324 characters

Photo of Jree261
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-Raspberry red to brown ale brown but not quite an amber with a white foam that has a maroon tint.

Smell-The blackberry and blueberry fruit is definitely dominant.

Taste-The fruit is much more subtle than something like a framboise that will leave a medicine after taste and a coated tongue.

Mouthfeel-Medium to full body of a lighter ale with good length on the finish.

Overall-Not bad. Definitely need the subtlety that this beer provides to be able to drink the fruit stuff. The Dogfish people don't typically let me down though.

 546 characters

Photo of dawg
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bomber into a glass. Poured relatively flat but did have some tangy carbonation. Smelld like fruits and veggies. Sour like a labmic blend. I expected a lighter body. This was massive and syraupy. No hops, just berries.

Second pour from the bomber was from up high. Results yielded a nice head that remained for awhile. Alcohol presence came through as it warmed. More sweetness and dark fruit characteristics.

 420 characters

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

split this with the folks during mother's day dinner...

poured from the bottle to some tulip glasses: forms a short lived, half-finger soapy head. the body is somewhat funny looking red-amber color. somewhat reminds me of fruit juice or a soda almost. didn't notice much in the way of lacing.

smells lightly of berries. the berries are a bit sweet in aroma, but there is also tartness - not quite sourness in the nose. it's interesting, but there isn't much in the way of malts or other smells.

the taste is actually better than i expected. by far. i was thinking it would be more artificial and somewhat fake. but this was actually not too sweet, somewhat tart, and a touch of bitterness. not very beery in flavor, but it was a nice fruit taste. i imagine a nice fruit wine might taste similar, which wouldn't be bad. can barely taste that 10% abv in there.

medium bodied, and carbonated enough to make it interesting. not prickling more fizzy, which also helps the overall enjoyment.

easy to drink for 10% abv like i mentioned before. and the taste is not offensive or overpowering. i could have more than one glass, but not more than one bottle of this joker.

 1,167 characters

Photo of dbexpert
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. golden amber color with good carbonation(tight, fine, bubbles), can't explain why but swear their is a blue tinge running through the amber

S. A subtle sweet malt nose carrying the essences of black raspberry and blueberry, and just enough hop to give the aroma a balance

T. Solid malt structure quickly balanced by subtle hops allow the fruits to play on the palate, First blueberry, then the raspberry/black raspberry notes following. The finish is persistent and pleasant

M. Sweet malt with berry, balanced by slight acidity keeping the finish crisp

D. Obviously availibility and price dictate the amount you can purchase but definitly drinkable, the 10% abv comes across as subtle.

Definitly worth finding and purchasing!!!
Those who don't like fruited beer stay away!!

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Photo of JohnnyS17
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had recently tried Dogfish Head’s Red & White and loved it. Then, I heard that they had a “sister” brew called Black & Blue and I had to run out and get it. We are getting quite patriotic with the color choices here and I like it. Amuricah!

The beer pours a transparent brown tinted with a strong pink hue. Actually, it looks pretty cool when I pick up my glass because it tints my hands red. Anyway, the beer pours about a two finger tall head that retains a nice lacing along the glass throughout the drink. The head also has a slight pink tint too it, which is quite unique. Outside of the fact that pink is not considered very masculine or normal for a beer, it is a very interesting façade.

The black & blue [sic] berries punch you in the nose on the first whiff. The blueberries are definitely more distinct. The aroma assemblage is not very complex outside of that. The taste is very similar to any other blueberry beer I have had in the past. It leads with a refreshing sweetness and then finishes with a distinct tartness. I hear that DfH uses real berries instead of artificial flavorings. That allows the distinct taste to ferment into the beer, which I would assume adds to the ABV. I wonder how much the quality of the berries can influence the variation in the taste of the beer. To conclude on the taste, it is good, but not unique in my opinion.

This beer is very light bodied and packs a light carbonation. It leaves a coating in your mouth that I am not extremely fond of. That coating parts with a lingering fermented berry taste.

Overall, I choose Red & White. I think Black & Blue lacks a uniqueness to separate itself from other blueberry-flavored beers. I could probably get a six-pack of another blueberry beer for the same price as I paid for this bottled pint and get a very similar taste. That being said, I have had some blueberry-flavored wheats that are artificially flavored and taste nothing like blueberries. This beer is not that hopeless.

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Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet from a bomber bottle.

A-Huge white frothy head with long lasting retention. Nice thick lacing around the glass. Has a dark amber color.

S-Smells of blueberries and rasberries(as expected). It has sort of a blueberry waffle smell with a hint of hoppyness to it. The blueberries smell very sweet.

T-Has a sweet blueberry taste, but not as sweet as the smell. That maybe a good thing.

M-I felt as if this was a medium bodied beer with some mild carbonation.

O-overall I think this is a great fruit beer. I don't think I could drink this everyday, but it would be nice to have on a mild summer night with some vanilla ice cream on the side.

 662 characters

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Black & Blue pours brilliant reddish amber color, with fine carbonation. The off-white foam rises to one finger thick, but dissipates fairly quickly. From the bottom of my Chimay glass, there's a constant stream of carbonation rising throughout this glass. Even as I'm pouring I can smell some of the fruity esters rising from the brew.

The nose is dominated by an overwhelming amount of fruit, I can't pick up any sense of hops at all. There's just a little bit of candy-malt in the background, but the nose is heavily controlled by the fruitiness from the raspberries and blueberries.

The first few sips are pretty intense, and by intense, I mean super fruity and sweet. The first little bit of the Black and Blue are really, really fruit driven, and almost framboise lambic-ish. After I get a few sips under my belt and it warms up a little bit, I can pick out more of the complexity of the brew. There's now a significant malty character in the background, and the alcohol is coming through more and more as it warms to room temperature.

At first, I was significantly unimpressed by this Black and Blue from Dogfish. After a few sips in, I'm coming around a bit. It's pretty drinkable, relatively light in body, and probably pretty mass-appealing. I'm still not in love with the Black and Blue, but it is growing on my slowly.

 1,337 characters

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,614 ratings.
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