Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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83
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1,620 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
1,620
Reviews:
530
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.45%
 
 
Wants:
122
Gots:
293
For Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,620 |  Reviews: 530
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.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crimson tinged amber color with a head that is a bit of a pink cast beige. The head fades fairly quickly but leaves very nice splashy lace.

The aroma is super fruity with very fresh berry and wine like notes. It has an ever so slight tartness that triggers memories of lambic in my head, even though it really does not smell like a lambic at all. It also carries aromas of raisin and dried cherry, as well as some spicy Belgian yeast notes.

The flavor is quite sweet and fruity with plenty of vinous flavors. It has a pretty good amount of berry character with a nice hint of tartness. The spicy yeast plays well with all this sweetness and helps create an experience that is fairly well balanced. This beer has a definite alcohol hit, which contributes to its wine like presentation.

The body is medium with a nice smoothness even though it has a decent amount of carbonation. It finishes a bit sweet, but it is not too cloying.

As mentioned before, this brew drinks more like a wine then a beer, but I find it goes down quite well. I have had this beer a few times before and always thought it was better with food. I think this is one of DFH's more successful tangents.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate reddish brown color with a light head and not too much lacing, but a decent amount of retention. Both the nose and the taste are pretty much consumed by the berry additions, although there is a bit of booze in there as well. Drinks fairly well at the moment, though I'm guessing this would get much better as it mellows out a bit with some age.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - Poured a deep reddish amber with a yeasty head that vanished relatively quick. The color really doesn't match the smell or flavor.

P - Spicey berries with a strong alcohol bite. Like a blackberry dessert drink. The spices really compliment the berry smell. Very unique and inviting. The highlight of this beer is the incredible aroma.

T - Not quite as impressive as the nose leads to believe. The berry flavor also takes a bit of a back-seat to the alcohol. Really more of a wine than a beer in the way it tastes.

M - Pretty vibrant. Leaves a berry-ish but drying afterfeel. Way more wine-like than beerlike. Different for sure.

D - You gotta give it to DFH for continuously pushing the envelope on what beer can be. That being said, this is a great one to try and could be a great replacement to the bottle of wine for a dinner party, but all in all not something that I would ever pick up in a 6'er if it were available.

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

A: Cloudy red/orange. Medium head, medium lacing

S: Blackberry, blueberry and other notes of dark fruits. Some malty scent and some alcohol present in the aroma. Smells like a great fruit beer, nothing special though

T: Immediately tastes like a white zinfindel. Notes of blackberry, raspberry and blueberries are present but not very strong. Definitely on the malty side, and the maltiness is nice with the fruit aroma. The alcohol taste is masked by the fruitiness. Still, nothing particularly special

M: Bitter fruits, malty mouthfeel, light on the hops, well balanced in general, and not a very penetrating flavor

D: Drink it like wine.

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

This beer was cracked open in celebration of catching a cold the night before Halloween and mixing pseudo-amphetamine derivatives with alcohol. I'm such a sucker for big bottles of DFH. The bottle will be paired with a broccoflower and penne al dente dish and given its alleged wine-like qualities I think it will be quite refreshing and summery.

Appearance:
Blood orange to ruby red in the light. There isn't much of a head that forms, however an initial white head of about a centimeter's width did form while pouring. The light also reveals a tremendous amount of particulate matter diffused within the beer with no settling time in sight. This is exciting; I am much more a fan of living/non-filtered beers. Ample carbonation rises through the particles to give the beer some fair lacing down the glass.

Smell:
Incredible floral sweetness followed by a pungent stinging alcohol. I would certainly know at this point that fruits were added to this beer. I am also sensing a competing yeast smell that gives me hope that beer does actually exist within this beer.

Taste:
It's pretty good. The first comparison I make is to a tart fruit wine, but it also makes for an almost balanced beer, a little bit top heavy with the "black and blue" additives. Smooth for casual drinking or sipping. Complex, sweet, tart, and a decent ale underneath it all. I would treat this beer as more of a wine (not a barely wine) than a beer, but I give respect to something that pushes limits of its own being.

Mouthfeel:
Sip-able and smooth. The beer is good at colder temperatures, but you could also drink it warmed up. Strong on the fruit with an even stronger ABV hiding up its sleeve. I like how this beer presents itself and would say it's got more going on than most "average" beers do.

Drinkability:
I like this beer (even though it's hard to call it an actual beer) and find it quite drinkable. I would have preferred this beer on a warm summer night, but such is life when living so close to Canada. I am always game for a DHF 750mL and gain tremendous happiness from sharing it with people that matter, so I would suggest the same to you.

Cheers.

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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 heebes
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint bottled 2010

Pours a hazt reddish amber with huge slightly pink foamy head leaving a nice sticky lacing.
The nose is sweet malts, a berry scent from the blue and black berries, some booze.
The taste is big on tart berries, some upfront fruit bitterness long finish getting hot at the end. Definately a different approach for a beer. Mouthfeel is moderate, medium mouthfeel becomes chewy a bit.
Overall this was fun to try, as it always is with the folks from Dogfish Head. Drinkability is moderate though, at 10% and being bottle in the stadard big beer pint as per DFH specialty brews.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One and a half fingers of creamy off white head with great retention given the ABV and some spotty lacing.

3.0 S: Smells more like a saison than anything else. Musty and funky. The raspberry and blueberry come through, but not in epic proportions. It's not bad or anything, but it's far too weak for a brew this strong.

2.5 T: Taste is also a bit boring. The only thing that comes through well is the alcohol. Fruitiness is there, but is rather muted like some bullshit fruit beer from some bullshit brewpub. I expect more from DFH. There's some funkiness again, but not enough of that either.

3.0 M: Mouthfeel is medium-ish. However, the carbonation isn't spritzy enough and the beer lays somewhat dead on the tongue. Not particularly creamy or smooth either.

2.5 D: Definitely not one of DFH's best. The only thing good about this is the appearance, but in the scheme of things important, that doesn't mean much. Boring smell, boring taste, boring mouthfeel. Thus, not very drinkable and worse if you factor in price.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is an amber/deep red. It has a thin cream colored head. The smell is strong pundget and fruity, sweet and tangy. At first sip it is malty, sweet and smooth. You can taste the tangy-ness, bitterness, and sweetness that black raspverries and blueberries pack in the back end of the beer, you can almost taste the 'skin' of the fruit. This beer isn't as sweet as you would expect like most fruit beers. Overall, pretty good.

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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.

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Photo of BierFan
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Light tan head has a slight pinkish hue. Hazy dark reddish body.

Smell: Like a really quality fruit beer. Slightly tart. Raspberry and blueberry are not easily detected, instead it's just a general mingled "berry" aroma.

Taste: Good tart berry flavors that linger on the tongue.

Overall good, but there are better fruit beers at a better price.

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a ruby color and a modest head that fades to a ringlet and leaves the ocasional clump of lace

Smell: More blackberry than blueberry but loads of fruit with an almost floral character

Taste: Opens with a fruit jam flavor that progresses to add a moderate amount of tartness; a bit herbal, underneath, but again, as in the aroma, the blackberry is much more pronounced than the blueberry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a somewhat spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing, with a nice bit of tartness, but lacks the complexity I would have expected

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a ruddy amber tone with a good amount of haze to it... finger-plus white head quickly dissipates into a collar around the glass. while the retention is so-so, it demonstrates some pretty decent lacing.

nose is an interesting bouquet of blueberry, rasberry, and sweet malts; has a tangy, almost white-wine like quality... taste follows up with the blue- and rasberry flavors preceding the malt. not as sweet as i was expecting (a good thing)... pretty nice balance. alcohol and a touch of bitterness in the finish. not absolutely delicious, but i'm definitely enjoying it. tasty. different.

full-bodied, chewy mouth-feel with medium-low carbonation. with this type of flavor profile, personally i'm not going to have a lot of it, but i would be more than open to a revisit at some future point.

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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 afksports
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Amateur review incoming...

Appearance: Very amber with a tinge of the orangey type of look that makes you expect a fruity beer. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing exceptional either. Small head that dissipates quickly, solid carbonation throughout, seems like a dirty iced tea.

Smell: Strong smell of berries. Not much else there.

Taste: Berries are prominent, blue and black (hence the name), but not much else, and a bit too sour for the type of flavor you'd expect from blueberries. Sorta fails the way many blueberry smoothies do.

Mouthfeel: Solid and crisp. Very clean. Steady with other fruit beers.

Drinkability: The combination of the high abv's, the dirty iced tea look, the sweet berry smell, and the gross sour flavor on the tastebuds make this a difficult beer to have too much of. Wish I had a taste of this before I bought a whole 22oz. bottle.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong berry / peach aroma.

Not much carbonation. Off-white head that dies quickly. No lacing in my mug.
Orangey-red ale color.
The labels states ingredients include black rasberry and blueberry puree but the taste is more like a near flat peach lambic with a strong alcohol. Not quite sure what kind of meal I would pair this with - maybe some nice old world cheeses. Share the 25oz bottle with friends - one glass is enough per person.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought it was redder as I was pouring, but really just a nice orange color. Head's not much, but there's some decent lacing going on. The nose is a bit shy of what I would consider strong and interesting. Notes of a slightly tart Belgian yeast reside along with the light fruity sweetness of an American flavored wheat beer, which sort of all run in together for me.

Not much flavor seems to come from the berries, with the base golden ale doing slightly better. The yeast does the job, bringing some ester notes of banana and clove alongside the phenolic hints of pepper, but the berry sweetness that jumps in at the outset fades far too quickly, leaving memories that are mixed at best. The mouthfeel is overly thick, coating the tongue and palate where this beer might be preferable with some more scrubbing.

With warming, the berry flavor emerges much more, and I've bumped up the taste score to reflect. I can taste that deepness of flavor that one notes in just-past-ripe blueberries in addition to the lighter raspberry notes. Not too bad in the flavor department. The over-ripe note is accentuated by the high alcohol, however.

Pretty decent overall, definitely more interesting than a stock golden ale or fruit beer, but the payoff isn't quite all there.

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Photo of earthboundagain
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok DFH Black & Blue bottled in 2008 drank in 2010 almost two years old.

A bright orange with crimson highlights. The head is a dirty white and leaves some lacing.

Ok there is a big blast of spicy Belgian yeast in the nose, followed bye a general berry scent.

Ok we have some berry flavor mixed with a Belgian yeast profile, not much on the flavor department, and the base beer is that good either

Ok the feel is almost sticky, but is very thick and lacks on the bubble department.

This beer was not what I was expecting and could be a real winner.

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Photo of jthor018
4.97/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden orange. About a finger of thick head.
S: I get the berry scent and not much alcohol.
T: To die for. At sip tastes like alcohol with the berry scent making my brain think this should be berry taste and ends on a berry note.
M & D: I could drink this like juice (and am!). Get a bit of carbonation on sip and it is amazing. The scent and aftertaste make this easy to drink. First bottle I sipped. Second bottle I am drinking like a bum with his Thunderbird. I can't get enough of this!

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

Pours a golden amber color with good carbonation; not totally translucent but close.

Aromas of subtle sweet malt on the nose carrying the essences of various berries and just enough hop character to give the aroma a balance.

Tastes begins with solid malt that is quickly balanced by subtle hops that allow the fruits to play on the palate, berries throughout. The finish is persistent and pleasant.

Fairly above average sweet malts dominate the mouthfeel; berries are delicious, help the beer finish tart/crisp.

Slightly overpriced and harder to find that most Dogfish Head brews. ABV is also kinda much but if non of the above are problems for you, seek it out.

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Photo of demo3210
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a murky dark amber with a small faint head on top.

Smell is soft sweet blueberry jam and fresh raspberries. That is all.

Taste is more-than-semi-sweet and also fruity, but still tastes like a respectfully good brew. Has a dark side to the taste that makes it very full body tasting. Tastes good, but nothing distinctly amazing. The fruits are blended quite well to make it a surprisingly good tasting fruity beer (for once!). The taste is not overly sweet at first, but over time it becomes sweeter; however, it does not become too sweet, but pushes it perhaps just a tad too much for a beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and a little crisp. Feels somewhat heavy.

Drinkability is okay. Sometimes it's too rich like molasses and other times it seems just right. Can't drink very many of these. The drinkability is somewhat confusing to the personality of this beer because the body is so substantial and filling it makes you think winter, but the taste is so sweetly delicate (although robust as well) that it makes you think summer. Summer to me is typically a more drinkable beer.

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Photo of StephenRich
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dogfish Head may be known for many things along with crafting some of the best beer in the world. One thing I certainly recognize is the amount of big beers that they so enthusiastically brew. Dogfish Head actually brews more different beers, and a larger quantity of beers than any other brewery in North America which are over 9%. So you should not be surprised by now when I review another 10% beer by this industry leading brewery.

This time, it is the Black & Blue, their Belgian style golden ale fermented with tons of pureed blackberries and blueberries. It uses the same yeast as the Red & White which is also 10%, but is a Belgian Type Wit fermented with Pinot Noir juice.

This beer is a big fruit beer in pure Dogfish Head fashion. This is not a fruit beer that just smells like it, or has that obviously artificial or excessively sugary taste - this is yet another Dogfish masterpiece that gets both men and women begging for more. Really, I've seen it.

The Black and Blue is 10% abv as I mentioned and comes in a large 750ml capped wine shaped bottle. The artist who designed the label also did the Red & White, and is a long time Dogfish Head supporter.

Open the Black & Blue up cool around 8C (45F). Any colder and you will loose the malt and complexity in the beer, but too warm and you will loose the quenching and refreshing characteristics which it does possess. The pour is very lively rushing bubbles and carbonation to every corner of the glass. It is building a rich ruby pink beer with shades of glowing red and shimmering copper. Initially a nice frothy and airy white head was lifted over the beer, but it faded fast to a slick film not dense enough to cover the shade of the deep pink liquid below.

The nose is sweet with a grape and wine like presence. It shows tart blackberries and raspberry sweetness with a note of mulled spice, sweet earth and complex Belgian yeast. The same sort of complexity I got in the Red & White. The fruit though is not sugar sweet, it is a soft wave in front of a pale malt backbone showing light toast, caramel and hints of vanilla. Overall its very soft and shows wafts of funk, but nothing to wild.

Big carbonation lifts this beer onto your tongue in waves of smooth pale malts and soft ripe fruits. The base of this beer is for sure a strong Belgian Golden Ale showing light toffee, earth, hay field and yeast. Spices like clove and pepper are detectable and add a crispness to the overall mouthfeel. The fruit is soft, but it is also everywhere.

It glides over top of the malts bringing silky fresh aromas and sweet to tart flavors. Green grapes with the skin, freshly cut apples, tart blackberries and raspberries and a delicate mashed banana all show warmth and subtle flavors. I was hoping for a stronger blueberry flavor, but it is such a mellow and soft flavor in the first place, it seems as if it has been overshadowed by just about everything else.

Gentle hops add a touch of citrus zest and bitter finish witch does help add balance and maturity to the beer. Not that it is overly sweet, but it did need the hint of bitter to make it satisfyingly crisp. And it is. The finish is short and sweet with added yeast complexity and notes of spice.

I am willing to bet, as Sam Calagione (Founder and President of Dogfish Head) often mentions, that this beer will be best in two years. The fruit should come to the forefront a touch as the yeast dries the beer out crating what I expect to be a more tart and spicier drink. Right now though it is easy to enjoy on its own or with almost any sort of cheese, pasta, pizza, fried fish or cheesecake. MMMmm, try it with cheesecake!

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Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a definite blue/purple tinged color with a slight purple head. Fruit smell along with a slight belgian yeast. The taste is a touch more alcoholic than I was expecting but it is fairly smooth nonetheless. Belgian ale taste with a nice fruit finish. Light/medium mouthfeel. As a fruit beer I just wish it had a stronger fruit profile.

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