Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue
1,625 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,625 |  Reviews: 530
Photo of semibaked
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass and shared with a friend.

A - Pours a rusty copper color with about a finger of white head with active carbonation and layers of sediment floated stagnant throughout the body. It was poured lightly into the glass.

S - Big smell of blackberry juice right away, some sourness but I don't get any blueberry smell at all, it also has a smell of hops but it is faint.

T - Heaps of blackberry juice sourness up front, the blueberry flavor taste a bit like blueberry muffins, has some fruit wine qualities.

M - Very light and crisp, slightly watery with prickly carbonation.

D - Glad I tried this one but probably won't be a regular one from me, pretty expensive too. This would be nice on a hot summer day though.

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Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a chalice.

A: a good looking dark amber color, small amount of creamy white head. Mild lacing.

S: raspberry & blueberry dominance. Very sweet, still quite pleasant.

T: sweet & fruity start to finish, but not excessively so given the style. Raspberry taste lingers to the very end. Enjoyable and refreshing for a warm winter day like today.

M: medium-bodied and a little creamy. Average carbonation.

D: really good for a big beer like this, but I'd expect nothing less from DFH. Sam & co are masters of hiding booze in these big beers.

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Photo of farrago
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hardly any head at all, even with a somewhat aggressive pour, gone quickly with no lacing to be seen. Murky orange rust color with some brownish orange brick hues too, brightens a touch around the rims. The berry scents come through clearly in the nose, however, these are nowhere near being dominant, grapefruit and tangerine citrus there, raw brown sugar, peat moss, lighter yeasty bread dough, sweeter maltiness more apparent as it warms. Full-bodied, dry, sour and borderline acidic, really gives your palate a nice twist. As in the nose the berry flavors knit into the whole and not clumsily obvious, not a "dumb" fruit beer. More herbaceous qualities here, match up nicely with the sour grapefruit and lemon component. Presents sufficient apple, apricot, pear fruit as well as honey and yeast to keep the sourness in check. Carbonation is light but contributes when it has to in order to continue forward progress. Given its genre there's a limit to its inherent complexity, that accounted for, sticks to the script well and can't fault the execution.

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Photo of prg1976
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, reddish/purplish amber coloring. White to maybe slight pink head, leaves some slight lacing.

Smells like a red wine almost. Alcohol and berries.

Tastes very good. Fruity, but not overboard. The malts are there for support, and just a touch of alcohol in the background. Tart and a little spicy, like a belgian.

Not overly carbonated, the mouthfeel is good, maybe a little lingering alcohol taste.

Overall, very drinkable. I'm a little surprised at how much I like it. I thought it would be a "one and done", but I think I'll get this one again.

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Photo of marvin213
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with a pink tinge--and tons of floaties--I love the look! A fruit beer at 11%, it's sexy and alluring. Carbonation is solid, but I honestly wish I had more headies on this one; nevertheless, a great-looking beer!

A 2008 batch, the nose borders on sour--might be that blackberry puree that's been swirling for a couple years. The blueberry is also there but, in context of this strong ale medium, it's so unlike your status-quo blueberry beer. It's a candied sour tartness, and I like it.

A unique liquid, I think you could warm it on a skillet and pour it over a blondie. The taste is also on the sour side, but not in a eye-squinting, cheek-raising, mouth-puckering kind of way. Perhaps this could serve as a sour gateway beer. I really appreciate how it's over-ripened berries instead of a sour apple candy. Again, the strong (almost old-style) ale in which the fruties float seems like the ultimate medium. The combo is like sex in a bottle! A contrast of tough, strong power with...well, you get it. Consequently, it feels really good.

Drinkability is pleasant enough but, among its peers, this 11%er has to have a relative weakness. It's not that it's too strong, it's just that it's so unique and unlike other beers that you wouldn't typically make a long session of it. I mean, it IS a brew with blackberry and blueberry puree. It's another example of why Dogfish Head Brewery is iconic in craft brewing--a trail-blazing fruit beer!

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a unique beer to say the least. This Belgium style Golden Ale brewed with black raspberry and blueberry puree is a must try for any serious beer lover. The label art comes from the portrait painter David Larned from Pennsylvania, accompanied by his wife Sarah, they are both huge Dogfish Head fans. This interesting brew pours garnet color with a thin white fizzy head. Aromas of black raspberry and blueberry are the most pronounced along with hints of citrus. The palate is not dominated by the fruit like you would think, it is definitely there but it is different than you expect. The fruit is balanced with a nice amount of malts, a great acidity and fine bubbles that are almost Champagne like. If you are looking for something new and interesting to try, this is it.

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Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a syrupy dark amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of berries - both blue and rasp, as advertised. Underneath the fruitiness are hints of syrupy sweet malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Thick and sweet malt flavors kick things off and are almost immediately overwhelmed by tons of berry flavors. The berry flavors start off slightly tart but sweeten fairly quickly. The sweet flavors intensify through to the ending.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is just not very good. I struggled to finish what I could and didn't finish my glass.

Overall I was a bit disappointed by this beer but knowing DFH's track record (by no means a bad one) I should have expected nothing less than something intense and out of the norm. I won't buy this again but I could see some liking it - worth a shot if you like fruit beers and know what you're getting yourself into.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Black and Blue purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance: cloudy orange golden with a white, slight head.
smell: tart, buttery, rasberry, blueberry. Very nice.
taste: As the nose advertises. Good stuff.
Distinct carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable for a 10%'er.
I see fairly average ratings from more experienced folks. Maybe my palate is not refined enough, but this seems an exceptional brew.

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Photo of TommyW
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber/gold body with a sticky, white head.

S- Some fruity sweetness along with some phenols from the Belgian yeast.

T- Fruity sweetness with notes of black and blue berries and orange, some spices like coriander and some phenols. The finish is slightly dry and yeasty.

M- Medium body with a smooth feel.

D- Dogfish head never disappoints in creating an interesting beer; this is no exception. Definitely worth trying, but probably something I wouldn't go back for too often.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot of good things about this beer and I'm glad to finally have the opportunity to try it.

A: Poured a deep red/purple color with a slight amount of head that disappeared fairly quickly.

S: (Like the bottle says) smells of black raspberries and blueberries. There was a slight hint of brown sugar as well.

T: Taste of berries, most distinctly blueberry and black raspberry, was unable to detect the distinct alcohol taste that other 10% abv beers have.

M: Medium amount of carbonation that tickles the roof of the mouth, but goes down very smoothly.

D: Would definitely have another, which is good, because I bought a bomber.

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Photo of mjw2808
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of chumba526
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a slightly reddish purplish color with a sizeable amount of head that disappears quickly. The smell has sweetness to it; there is a natural smell of berries. there is also a bit of an alcohol smell present. The taste tastes strongly of berries, the sweet/ tartness of the berries are balanced with a slight brown sugar like flavor. The alcohol I smell is not present in the taste. The balance of sweetness and tartness is nicely done in this beer. Overall a nice berry beer that's worth trying at least once.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH tulip glass. 3 fingers of quick receding pinkish hued head. Color is really similar to that of a red Smells of yeast and tart blueberries.

Tart makes itself known in terms of flavor, and the yeast almost makes me think of a Belgian. It almost has a bitter aftertaste- which sort of reminds me of unripe berries. It is a little offputting, though doesn't ruin the beer. Having it be just a smidge sweeter would make it perfect.

As far as fruit beers go, it's just about equal parts fruit and beer- as opposed to others which tend to be pretty obvious which way that they lean (think Floris apple versus Elysian Pumpkin). Definitely an interesting effort from DFH, though not one I'd really get again. Fortunately for the sake of variety my wife digs it, so I'm sure I'll be back to review it again next year.

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Photo of taxguyjase
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this pours a really beautiful amber/nectar color, looking very rich and proper like the guy on the label. Even with the light head, this is thick beer. The lacing is light and drops pretty quick. There is sweetness to the aroma - mostly subtle berries. The flavor is unique - there is a thick, crispy malt taste combined with a tart sweetness from the berries utilized in the beer. Expect the beer to hit hard at first, then blend itself in the background. No hint of alcohol on this, which was unexpected for a 10% ABV brew. There is great mouth coverage and heavier body to this one, with crispy carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer, even though it's not one I'd get often, it was fun for a special occasion (or just to enjoy once in a blue moon).

Appearance - 4.5/5.0 - Amber nectar color, looks rich and thick, light head, lacing is light and drops fast
Smell - 3.5/5.0 - Sweetness, berries, but a bit subtle
Taste - 4.0/5.0 - Thick crispy malt, tart sweetness, cidery, hit of flavor up front - different but flavorful, no hint of alcohol for a 10% beer
Feel - 4.5/5.0 - Definite thickness, great mouth coverage, crisp carbonation
Drinkability -3.5/5.0 - Very good, but not one you have all the time - fun for special occasions

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Photo of fastsrt
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle to a wine glass.
A: deep amber, slowly dissipating head
S: fruity, berries and a hint of booze.
T: berries all the way, for 10% there was no booze bite.
M: light, refreshing, with a dry finish the alcohol is well hidden
D: this reminds me of a iambic, this beer carried a high price tag for what i got, i would say its worth trying but not drinking all the time, and i probably would not buy again, I made a black and tan out of the last glass which was off the charts.

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Photo of Docer
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2009...

- Nice ruby/violet glow to a caramel colored.. clear ale. Light fizzy white head down to a bubbly almost wine-like state.

- Little boozy, somer definite berry notes riding over a caramel sweet blanket... little wine like, and slightly medicinal for me.

- Medicinal berry flavor, alcohol is present... some caramel notes.. syrupy...

- Bit drying, thin to medium bodied....

- Overall not impressed. I like many fruit beers, but this one is off the mark in flavor... very medicinal and funky.

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Photo of tubdog13
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the bomber into a large wine glass, bottle was from 08, but I know it's been in the fridge at the store I got it at since then...onto the review

with a slow pour this produced no head with light white bubbles around the edge. Slow carbonation with a nice cloudy ice tea color. Stuffed my nose into the glass and smells of light malt filled my nose. First sip produced a nice and smooth malt taste, couldn't find the berries I was waiting for so I let it sit for awhile to let it come to tempature, after that I picked up nice berrie taste to go with the malt. It left my mouth a little dry, but not to much that I thougt I should get water. Being 10-11% abv this was going down smooth, will really try to pick up another one of these and try to make it to dfh to try it on tap. Another great selection from the brewers at dfh, applause, applause

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Photo of goldbot
3.07/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle, stamped as being bottled on 02/12/07. That makes this beer almost 3 years old. I found it at a beer store in Manhattan, and did not notice the bottled date when I bought. Considering it is a fruit beer, I would not have bought it if I had known. Still, I figure it will be an interesting beer to taste anyway.

Poured into a large wine glass.

It poured a golden amber color, very hazy with lots of yeast particles suspended in the beer. Minimal off-white head, a slight amount of lacing.

Smells almost completely of bread with some yeast aromas. There is a hint of raisin-like smell. It is almost sour-smelling, not very great. The smell does not make me very anxious for the taste of this one. No hint whatsoever of any blueberry or blackberry this was brewed with.

Tastes like lots more bread, although in a much better way than I expected. Some roasted malt flavors, with a good amount of sweetness on the back end. Again, there is a slight hint of fruit, but it is definitely not identifiable as blueberry or blackberry.

The mouthfeel is thick, almost creamy. The off smells and lack of fruit or balance on the palate makes it not too drinkable.

This beer definitely should not have sat for this long. It is not terrible for sure, it is just very muted as far as smell and taste go. I am actually surprised that it is as good as it is for a 3 year old fruit beer. I will be on the lookout for a fresh bottle sometime, and will give this one a new review when I do.

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber picked up in FL.

S: Malty sweetness with faint fruits detected. Almost like a sparkling wine.

A: Deep amber color with a lasting head.

T: Sweets come through along with a zing similar to a malt beverage or wine cooler. Notes of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or any other acidic berry fruit.

M: Creamy and slightly sour. Reminds me of the sourness in a Saiison's finish.

D: Very sweet. Halfway through my first glass and I know I couldn't have more than a pint. Could be refreshing on a summer day though.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber in color, monster, rocky head sits atop this great looking beer. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Bits of raspberry and blueberry are the stars of the show, light and aromatic, I also get bits of toasted malt and some light booze in the backdrop. The fruit profile is nicely balanced.

Taste: The fruit up front is sour and tart, yet nicely aligned to a perfectly balanced malt profile. Blueberry, raspberry, some plum and bits of grape are all present. Has a bit of a wine consistency yet it shows of it's uniqueness with plenty of toasted malt in the finish. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a slightly dry mouthfeel, medium bodied yet light on the tongue.

Drinkability: Another big time winner from Dogfish Head. One of the best fruit beers out there, very nicely balanced and the first time I've liked a beer with blueberry flavorings. Excellent all around, seek it out for sure!

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Photo of luchris80
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
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 jbriggs7036
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
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 Cakanator
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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 melloashello
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm sipping on my second glass of this fine beer as I write this review. Let me just say, this beer is excellent. The pour was amazing, it just shines with beautiful color and the aroma is incredible. I'll be honest, after I finish this glass, I shall pour another and maybe another. The drinkability is out of this world. I love this beer. Another awesome job from Dogfish.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially an intriguing twist on a golden ale with berries that ends a bit dull, albeit with a reliable drinkability and tart tone.

Presentation: 750 ml. Classic-retro design around the painted portrait of a Flemish-like male character holding a cup of the brew. Bare one liner noting the three main ingredients of the beer. Shows bottling (2009 H), and Alc. by Vol. (10%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Medium amber with a short lived head, leaving a memory on the surface and no lacing.

S - Sweet and fresh aromas of fruits, citrus with the berries coming in the end of the range. All of them in a rather subdued manner with a faint malt sense combined with an emerging tartness.

T - Small sweet tone with a note of berries and a gentle sour character towards the end.

M - Crisp with generous carbonation on a medium to light body.

D - Initially it feels rather drinkable but gets a bit dull since it does not feel very exciting or memorable.

Notes: One of the least inspiring offerings from DFH for my liking. Both beer and design try to have a pretended seriousness with a tongue in cheek tone, but in the end like the portrait revival on the label it feels a bit blah. They can and typically do better, not a bad brew by any means but there is little really memorable here.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,625 ratings