Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

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

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Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 1,618
Photo of awall422
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this for xmas, thanks Sean!

Poured a dark copper with a light tan head that diminished quickly. Very active carbonation.

I got hints of blackberry in the aroma, but not as much of the berries as i expected. Pleasant, but not terribly interesting.

Taste is a bit sweet at first, but grew tart on the swallow. Would not guess there's 11% ABV behind this.

Kind of light and a bit fizzy for a big beer.

Pretty easy to drink, considering the strength of the beer.

Overall, I don't know why exactly, but it left me wanting more. I think maybe sub-consciously when you open a dig fancy bottle you're expecting to get blown away by either flavor, aroma, or both. This beer did neither, so it seemed a bit disappointing, but it's certainly not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance-poured a light copper color with pink tone to it. A thin light fluffy head that faded quick.

Smell- very nice aroma of sour blueberries and black raspberries. Also getting some nice earth notes as well.

Taste- Blue and raspberries up front. The berries are bit on the tart side but in a good way. Also getting some earthy spice flavors as well. All the flavors are very subtle but well balanced.

mouth feel-a medium body beer with a very high carbonation level. But I think that the high carbonation level works in this beer. Very clean and refreshing

Drink ability- a very good beer. the only bad thing about this one is the price @ $15 it is a little out of my price range.

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

The color was very impressive, a gorgeous red amber topped with an inch of head. It produced a nice cherry wood smell that could be compared to watered -down Kool-Aid (if I were very cynical.) The taste was fruity without being sweet. It had a surprisingly light mouthfeel, but the alcohol makes its presence known later. I found it enjoyable, but like other Dogfish Heads, you don't want to take its deceptive lightness for granted- they pack a powerful punch. Each gulp was very airy as it went down, yet grants a buzz.

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Photo of kurtissellen
4.76/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow I was blown away by this one!! Awesome peachy-red color as I poured it into an oversized wine glass. About one fingers worth of peachy white head with a good amount of lacing present as the glass emptied. A bitter smell to it at first and later on noticed a strong alcohol scent. It had the most amazing taste, both a sweet and bitter raspberry flavor first followed by a tart blueberry ending. Simply delicious I could drink this all day long. Didn't notice the alcohol at all, very deceiving, as I finished the bottle it began to hit me. I've got to get my hands on another one of these. This is the best beer I've had in a while!

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Photo of luvND
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 25oz capped bottle with French looking dude on label
A: Great fluffy white head with good retention
S: Tart berry, cant really say blue or rasp or whatever, also some apple and pear, and a little bready
T: Really nice, not nearly as tart as I expected (although I recently had a Festina Peche, so the sour meter was set pretty high from that). Berry/fruit comes through nicely with good bready malt backbone, no hops to speak of, alcohol is detectable but certainly not what youd expect at 10%. Pleasant fruity lingering aftertaste
M: Nice, a little sticky
D: One big bottle is plenty of this one
Notes: Nice beer, much less tart than I expected. Not a big fruit beer lover, but this was a good brew from a great brewery.

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Photo of trill
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours ruby red with a pinkish head that falls to 1/8". Smell is rich malt with vinous and blueberry notes, and a touch of yeast. Taste is mostly Belgain yeast, biscuity malt, and alcohol. Where'd the fruit go? There is a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of a tripel, but no flavors I'd identify as fruity, aside from a vague winey dryness at the end. Mouthfeel is appropriately thick for the ABV/style, without being syrupy. Pretty light on its feet for 10%ABV.

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Photo of telecomz
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If you like fruit beers this one is a pleaser. That said, I like fruit beers but this one is not DFH's best. OK aroma. Non-descript berry aroma and taste. Wish there was a bit more maltiness here to balance the fruit.

Easy driner despite the ABV. NOT HOT AT ALL. Other reviews cite hotness. I did not experience that.

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Photo of CopperTopBrews
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours: A rose color with a pink head. Pretty good lacing

Smell: Lots of ester, very fruity and sweet.

Flavor: Lots of fruit. Drinks more like a wine. Quite yeasty and following with a lot of ester. I started to drink this while it was still pretty cold out of the fridge, but as it warmed up the fruit really showed itself in the nose and on the tongue. Made it much nicer to drink.

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Photo of vtblackdog
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique and well balanced fruit beer.

The appearance is a slightly reddish golden in color. Didn't get a lot of head and disappears quickly.

The smell is a pleasant fruity alcohol. I catch the blackberry aroma.

Taste is a balanced alcohol with fruit. The fruit is just right for the balance.

Mouthfeel is moderate not light and not thick. I like it.

Overall a great beer for the style. However, at $10 a bottle only a few can afford to drink much of this one.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

5 words to describe it: Tart, Red Wine, Effervescent, Jam, Bread

Paired it with: n/a

Should have paired it with: Sweet grilled cheese— maybe brie and jam? Grilled pork, Fried Chicken (and other picnic foods.)

Drink it if you like: Lambics, Kirs/Kir Royals, Fruit beers, Pinot Noir, Sangria

A few other thoughts: Because of the fruit sugars and fermentation process, this guy takes on characteristics of red wine, which makes for something super interesting and not too sweet. It would be awesome to take a 750mL bottle on a summer picnic.

Watch out, though, for the ABV— a very well-disguised 10%.

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Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Something wasn't quite right about this one...positioned somewhere between a fruit ale and a lambic, it didn't really seem to pull off being either of those styles very well. Bold fruit taste, but somewhat light. The fruit beer lover may find something to appreciate about it.

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Photo of Mandark
1.79/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was really excited to try this, though fruit beers are not necessarily my favorite style. Alas. Though it pours a nice amber-cherry color, the smell is enigmatic, confusing: if you didn't know what style this was supposed to be, you wouldn't be able to tell as this just seems acidic and kind of bland.

OK, well, it could taste better than my nose tells me it will. Again, alas. Everything rushes together into a mash, a swirl of "meh" leaning towards "ugh!". There's no separation of flavors, complexity sacrificed in favor of....confusion. What is this? It tastes like an attempt, a not-quite-finished great idea. The mouthfeel is astringent, weak.

An earlier reviewer mentioned that it might mature to good things if left alone and perhaps that's the case. As it is, this bottle turned me off completely. Especially having had the wonderful DFH/Stone/Victory Saison Du BUFF a couple of hours beforehand.

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Photo of frothyhead
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orangish pinkish red into a snifter with a one finger off-white, pink-tinged head. A little murky with some mild lacing.

Nose is mostly yeasty with some alcohol bite, some peppery spice, and a little blueberry. More blueberry and bit of sourness is released with a good swirl.

Mouth is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation and a bit of dryness. Perhaps just a tad thin for the blast of flavor that it's going to present.

Taste is sweet and fruity, blueberry with some mild hop bitterness, bready yeast and a nice sour tartness keeping it all together. Alcohol very well hidden.

Overall a tasty and refreshing brew. Carbonation and subtle dryness does a good job of making this refreshing and keeping you coming back for another sip. For 11% ABV, I'll definitely find myself drinking this too quickly. Another unique and fully enjoyable brew from Dogfish.

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

A - Pours a "grapey" red hue with a 1.5 cm foam head (slight pinnk color to the foam).

S - Mild Belgian style yeast smell (fruity + esters) and berry smell. Small amount of hop aroma.

T - Front taste of fruit and berries mixed with the golden Belgian style of the beer. Finishes with a dry feeling and mild hop overtones.

M - decent mouthfeel from the Belgian style. Finishes Dry. Some acidity from the fruit.

D - Fairly easy to drink. The bottle says 10% ABV. however this is hid real well as there is zero hint of alcohol hotness. The Fruit effect will determine drinkability based on personal preferences.

Overall - a decent brew if you like fruit beers. I personally prefer my fruit beers to be sours. For me there may be a bit too much hops compared to the fruit flavors. There seems to be an imbalance in the overall beer. But if you like fruit beers that are subtle and not too sweet, then you may really like this one.

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Photo of chasebrownyeah1
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Black and Blue ABV: 10% Bottled: 2009D

A: Pours a dark, orange, red color. Very beautiful look, almost looks like a fruit juice with the pulp. The head foams up, but then shortly falls to a minimal to no head. The lacing is very noticable. Sticks to the glass the moment I pour, all the way to the finish.

S: Smells of a wine scent. Has a very sweet smell, which lingers from the berry assortment that is brewed upon this beer. The smell is advertising.

T: Definitely can taste the black and blueberry assortment. Also, taste like a very good white wine. Very sweet and malty.

M-D: This is a beer that I believe would be for a special occasion. If you like wine, I think that this beer could be put in the place of it. When taking a sip, the beer is very smooth. Once the liquid touches the tongue, the flavors just hits you like a ton of bricks.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale ale color, with hints of purple in the light. Shallow, red-tinted head.
S - Strong blueberry aromas, and a heavy malt aroma.
T - The fruit is actually more subtle on the tongue than on the nose, but the tartness from the fruits is strong. The malt definitely doesn't stand up to the tartness.
M - Short finish, spicy on the tongue, and a little grainy.
D - Tartness limits this to a shared 750ml bottle, though a strong, maduro cigar helps to balance out the overall flavor of the beer.

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Photo of sirpsycho
2.66/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml. bottle. Poured an medium amber, small head that disappeared quickly. Aroma was almost non exsistent. Couldn't distinguish any blackberry's or blueberry's, nor could my wife. Had a medicinal taste to it. The only positive I could say is that the alcohol was well hidden. I have a bottle that I will cellar and try at a later date, hopefully for a better a review.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
4.61/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Surprised by how much I liked this beer. Made me rethink Dogfish Head. The dark color with fruit tends to throw me off, but this beer was quite exceptional. Highly recommended.
Surprised by how much I liked this beer. Made me rethink Dogfish Head. The dark color with fruit tends to throw me off, but this beer was quite exceptional. Highly recommended

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Photo of samoblue
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First had this on Thanksgiving evening, but if you were there you would understand that I don't remember much from the latter parts of that night, so thought I would give this another try. Bottle purchased from beer room at Whole Foods-Bowery on 2/13 and poured into the snifter I purchased at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Gaithersburg, MD last weekend.

Pours a deep, cloudy amber--almost like a cup of black tea. Head was minimal, and disappeared almost immediately.

Aroma - grapefruit, some alcohol

Taste - It's tart. I guess I get some fruit flavor--blueberry--early on, but roll it around your tongue and that 11% alcohol definitely comes out. A little bit of something like grass clippings, which I think is strange because I would guess this beer isn't that aggressively hopped.

Mouthfeel - That tartness stays with you, long after the glass is gone. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Drinkability - I would never want to drink more than one bottle--or even more than one glass--of this in a sitting.

I'm a big fan of pretty much everything Sam Calagione does, but I'm not sure I'll go this route again. No regrets on trying it, but not sure I'll be picking up any more bottles of this.

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Photo of Johnd8
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Did a vertical between a new 2015, and a bottle shop shelf dusty from 2014 bought a month ago; It was not exposed to sun light, just fluorescent light and room temps.
Other then what is likely slight recipe and fruit differences, the 2014 only had a couple of not offensive flavor differences. It was more berry forward and a bit rounder in flavor

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Photo of Secondfiddle7
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A little bit boozy. Hey it's 10% ABV. No doubt, the fruit purée comes through loud and clear. There is a clear blackberry and blueberry taste. The big bottle is shareable. Pairs well with roast duck or roasted vegetables. Ages well. I've kept a bottle downstairs for a year or two and it smooths as it ages. Doesn't need to be ice cold, goes down real well at just below room temp.

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Photo of simpliciter
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light reddish copper. thin white head.

S - sweet fruits dominate.

T - very sour --- not a yeast sour, but a fruit acid sour. no real hop character. lightly bubbly mouthfeel finishes with a sour linger. For a fruit beer, this is excellent, hence the 4.5 score.

M - big, but not coating. fits well with the beer.

D - dangerously drinkable in warm weather. gives no hint of the ABV.

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Photo of luchris80
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting Notes: Stored in the wine fridge (51 degrees +/-) and served in an oversized wine glass.

Aroma: Full malty sweetness and a prominent fruit nose (raspberry with an apple-like tartness/acidity).

Appearance: Medium brown color with slight red tone (coppery orange when held to light). Slight cream color head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving some trail (legs). Clear with very slight haze (possibly chill).

Flavor: Even berry/fruit flavor (blueberry) on a light malty, sweet background. Some sourness/acidity towards finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high, champagne-like carbonation. Smooth, but quite crisp at finish. Some warmth on back of tongue/throat.

Overall Impressions: Drinks like a crisp, dry(ish) champagne. Aroma suggested a bit more punch than what flavor was. Really came close to what I expected from the label description.

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Photo of BabySnakes
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red orange hue with a quickly disappearing head

smells like black raspberry and blueberry, even blueberry pie. go figure. Sweet Malts come thru, couldnt say which malts. Also a boozy aroma

warm boozyness hits along with the aforementioned fruits. Sweet maltiness (honey?) maybe even a mead-ish character.

Boozy, tingly mouthfeel, but heavy.

Overall, a really nice unique fruit beer. It reminds me of a light bodied mead. I was expecting something insane from DFH, but you pretty much get what you read on the label, which is nice. Just unexpected from my point of view.

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Photo of dashmartino
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this sucker on a disgustingly hot day in June of 2008 at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE. Four beers on tap that day for people to sample. First ths sixty, then the ninety. Then the lady brings out a pitcher of this beautiful reddish stuff with a nice head on it. Wow, what is that?!?! Poured into a plastic cup, swigged it down. Wowee! First thought that came to mind: lambic. Very easy drinking beer that tasted like a Lindeman's Framboise, but not disgustingly sweet or filling. This stuff is mind blowing. Should have got a case! Another winner from DFH!

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,618 ratings.
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