Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue
BA SCORE
3.68/5
Good
1,624 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#33,840
Reviews:
530
Ratings:
1,624
pDev:
15.49%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
296
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,624 |  Reviews: 530
Photo of crossovert
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle.

It pours a nice blueberry purple color. The head is fizzy and white but holds surprisingly well. It doesn't leave any lacing though.

It doesn't have too much smell, a faint hint of berries, but that is it.

The flavor is a bit more exciting. There is a nice tart berry flavor, not overwhelming, but enough to be interesting. The sweetness is at a nice subtle level, very nice considering the abv, I was expecting it to be sweeter. They have the sweetness level nailed but this one needed a bit more fruitiness.

Overall a solid fruit beer form Dogfish Head.

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Photo of lovindahops
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, grabbing big dfh bottles like crazy today! Everything is disappearing off the shelves! Someone said there is a tv show or something!

A- a reddish amber look with a good white head

S- a lift of sweet and sour berries compiled with spice. A little far from an ale. Alcohol is there

T- major spice on the tongue of sweet flavor that is sweet with dried berries. The dryness grows exponentially and is topped off with the alcohol. Good taste for a malted beverage

M- spiky on the tongue like a prickle busch. Ouch

D- wow, you can slam this. Dfh making another drinkable brew for the ladies!... And me

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Photo of matjack85
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this 750ml brown bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL for $9.99. Not a bad price for a large sized Dogfish Head product.

Despite the name "Black & Blue" for the black raspberry and blueberry puree inside, this beer pours neither black, blue, or any other purple berry color. Instead it pours a cloudy, reddish/brown color with a fast disappearing ½-finger of white head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is all black raspberry.

Lots of black raspberry flavor and not as much blueberry, but the fruits and malts definitely dominate the taste here. Some tartness and funky yeast flavors keep it from being cloyingly sweet, and a touch of alcohol is also present. Not much hop presence at just 25 IBU's.

As others have said, it's more wine-like than beer-like with medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed it and appreciated the genuine fruit taste as opposed to fruit flavorings. It's a nice sipper, but I still like the Belgian lambics a lot better.

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Photo of Spider889
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally had this on tap tap at the brewery, and I thought I really liked it at the time. This is still an interesting beer once in a while, but the second time around I wasn't as nearly impressed. However, I have no idea how old it is... DFH seems to want to put "bottled in 2010" as the dating style on many beers these days, and the place I bought this at has sold old beer before. I have also heard of people aging this beer due to the abv, but over time, the fruit flavors will only fade. In short, this may have been 10 months old, and an assuredly fresh bottle might taste better.

Pours a cloudy blood orange color with a red glow to it, in the wider part of the glass it turns toward maroon or light violet. Nice small head and good spotted lacing.

Smells of strawberries, freshly washed wet raspberries, and of spicy peppery Belgian yeast. Also some slightly sweet, sharp alcohol on the nose.

The flavor is slightly sour, very tart. There are green fruit notes and lots of blueberry. The Belgian yeast takes over quickly though and begins to overpower the fruit flavors. Cracked white pepper, orange peel , and coriander.

Hot alcohol also tends to overwrite the more delicate fruitiness. It's not unappealing or undrinkable, but also much less hidden than the average DFH beer. Above average carbonation, and dry on the finish.

I drank almost the entire 750ml myself, so yeah, it's pretty drinkable.

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Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
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 +4.1%
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 -4.1%
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 -0.5%
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 +8.7%
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 +8.7%
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 -11.4%
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 +7.3%
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%
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 +1.6%
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%
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 -0.3%
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 -2.7%
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 -0.8%
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 +3.3%
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 +3.8%
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 -27.2%
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 -14.4%
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 -1.9%
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%
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 +35.1%
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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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,624 ratings