Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue
1,624 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: 1,624 |  Reviews: 530
Photo of corby112
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark ruby/cherry red that is completely opaque with a thin fizzy slightly pink head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Very minimal spots of lacing.

Slightly sour fruit berry aroma with some tart funkiness, spice and dark berries. The blackberries and blueberries are prominent but there is also a bit of raspberry.

Very carbonated up front with some slight sour acidic tartness with a sweet medium body that is dominated by dark berry fruit and a slightly spicy finish. The alcohol is very well masked making this beer pretty quaffable. The sweetness of the blackberries and blueberries is no cloying or artificial which is always a plus but is still a bit too much for my liking. An interesting experiment but not something I would seek out again, especially at the high price point.

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Photo of digr
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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 JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DIM sent this to me as an extra in an already epic box... Dan says he isn't trading.. believe him... I need the proper PA connection... Thanks Dan.. this was shared with my Bro... My pour is into MNFG...

1" foamy head.. sorta light pink head .. hazy orange brew... descent lacing and cap.

We were ready for this one... and were not expecting too much.. Smells like "beer" with some dark berries....

Flavor is better... big and smooth.. the berries are sorta mild... blackberry I think is the bigger player.. but as it warms.. I get a bit of tannic notes that Steven says is from the blueberry skin.... I can agree.. I guess....

I just wanted to be able to pick out a "base beer"... No dice.. It just makes me think of a big ole' clean beer hit hard with berries..

Steven and I tried to enjoy it.. thankfully.. it was the last beer of the night.. I am just not digging it.. I know how much this badboy costs... I appreciate the opportunity.. but.... I will damn sure never buy one. Dan... you are a true BA.. and almost certainly my favorite BA.. A good PA brother.

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Photo of froghop
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pour is a clear, reddish-orange with a small egg-shell head, and a little lacing.

smell of berry, yeast, sour malt, some citrus, spice, and pepper.

taste is sweet and tart, thin, berry is definitely in there, sour malt in the back, and spice, end is sour, dry, and a little bitter.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another aged bottle of DFH, see how this compared to the Red & White.

Pours a dark amber, I almost want to say there's some blue in there, but I don't think there is, good amount of carbonation but minimal lacing along the glass, seems a bit too fizzy for it to stick.

Smell is mostly malt with a slight tinge of berry aroma, not overwhelming like others and not picking up that artificial sweetness either.

Taste is mostly malty with a mild berry presence but obviously noticeable, blueberries are usually subdued anyway but the blackberries provide a slight tartness, not overkill on the fruit aspect and dodges the artificially sweet line and walks the natural goodness line instead.

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Photo of dbexpert
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ChillMike
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice reddish amber color with a slightly off white head that goes away fairly quickly and doesn't appear to leave too much lacing.

S: Very much like a wine, the blue and blackberry scents are very apparent and overall a very sharp smelling beer.

T: Blueberry is the first thing I taste, followed by a nice mellow malt, then onto the blackberry finsh, pretty fruity all together but not too bad. Was hoping for a little bit more hop flavor.

MF: Nice medium bodied beer, a bit lacking in the carbonation but nothing too bad. Goes down very nicely.

D: Pretty drinkable beer, though I think that this would be better of shared amongst friends.

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Photo of chasebrownyeah1
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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 njmoons
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a big fruit beer fan, but I decided to give it a try as I have been curious about berries in beer (except raspberries which are relatively common).

Poured a very dark golder brown with a moderate head that had some staying power.

The aroma definitely had the berry smell, but still smelled like a beer. I think in a lot of fruit beers the fruit distracts from the beer aroma and flavor for that matter.

The taste was that of a strong ale. There is a little berry flavor on the front end of the taste, and through the taste the berry flavors take over are are most noticeable on the finish.

The mouthfeel was as expected for a high alcohol beer brewed on fruit, and for a fruit beer I found it highly drinkable.

Overall I am still not a fan of fruit beers, but this was pretty good.

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Photo of bbeane
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... copper colored with a thick off white head. Very little activity with lots of sediment

S- Smells more like a wine than beer... fruity with a definate presense of alcohol

T- Very smooth, sweet, malty tasting start with a dry sour finish. Almost tastes like a combination of a red wine and a belgian style beer. Defiantely taste the high abv in the finish

M- Pretty smooth start with a sour alcoholic finish

D- A tasty beer, but a bit sweet... as well has high in alcohol to be drinking to much at one shot


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Photo of gmcfarre
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into St. Bernardus Chalice

A - Pours a very translucent ruby red color with amber and orange tints. Head is fairly small and disappears quickly, leaving a thin layer at the edges. Laces well but falls quickly.

S - Nice mild blue & blackberry scent that adds but doesn't distract from some common "Belgian golden ale" scents: good grassy malt, coriander & spice, traditional belgian yeast. 10% alcohol starts to shine through as beer warms.

T - Starts slightly sweet and gets more so in a second, the fruit puree certainly adds some sweetness to this brew. Grassy and floral. High carbonation and slightly tart and fruity finish leaves a nice tingle on the tongue. A tiny bit sour. Fruit is a compliment and doesn't overwhelm like most fruit beers. Very nice.

M - High carbonation with a medium body and slightly sweet, slightly cloying finish. Never bitter.

D - Really nice offering from Dogfish Head that is certainly worth picking up & sampling. Share the 750 with a friend and exhalt in your good karma while sipping a very nice & unique beer.

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Photo of hdofu
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For a fruit beer I must say as with most dogfishes I never know what to expect but it's usally at worst a bit different but drinkable, at best its something incredible challenging our ideas of what beer is, and this beer was fruity, but at the same time it was beer, much like red and white. The coloring is ruby red and redish orange in spots with a white head. Smell is strong of fruit, like an unpasteurized cider The taste is of wheat with a strong finish of black raspberry and blueberry, as strong as it could be without making it taste unbeerlike. It has moderately bubbly feel not unlike sparkling wine. I think I could drink a few of these i they wern't so pricey

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Photo of dtivp
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured an orange copper color with a nice white head. Nice lacing on the pint glass as the head disappeared.

The aroma was dominated with blueberry and blackberry with a hint of the alcohol.

The taste was dominated with the berries with some malt and the alcohol was there reminding you of the 11% ABV.

Mouth feel was very smooth, a lot of carbonation and a nice warming feel from the alcohol.

If you like the fruit tasting beers this is very drinkable, however, it was too much berry for my taste.

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Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured a slightly pinkish red-brown color, with about an inch of slightly tan head that had medium retention and slight lacing.

A pleasant fruit aroma hits the nose, any sweetness is from fruit not malt. There is a slightly sharp tang behind the fruit flavor. The finish is a little sticky but not overly clingy.

A body that is smooth and a little light slides over the tongue. The drinkability is good, but maybe after a couple the sweetness might get to you. Overall a decent beer that's worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found some bottles of this upstairs at the liquor store I work at. So when I had this on-tap before (unreviewed), I found it to be alright.

But this was really good. Probably because it was aged. There the taste wasn't very complex upfront, but it had a nice sourness towards the end of the taste. It was pretty darn tasty.

I then poured some more from the fridge a little later. I can definitely pick out some blueberry taste.

I agree with one of the previous reviewers. This beer needs more fruit. I think the underlying ale doesn't seem to complex though. But with the sourness/whatever at the end of the sip, I was tempted to give it a 4.5 on taste.

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

I guess I was expecting this to have a bluer tint, but its color is entrancing enough. Can't even begin to describe what color it is, I guess a burnt rusty dark orange will have to do. The head is off-white leaning toward a very watered-down, faded version of the beer's color, and it's an inch-thick and holding on forever, staying thick for the duration. With some sips, thick gobs of lace stick the the sides. I don't know how this will fare in the other categories, but it looks fantastic.

A variety fruits come to the nose, if not exactly the fruits that were used in the beer. Definitely various berries, but also some melon and various things like peaches and lemon. Also detecting a Belgian-like yeast, or something Belgian-ish...a faintly funky thing, which indicates there may be something tart happening in the flavor. Hmm.

Not a ton of tartness in the flavor, actually, but a generous touch of alcohol. The black raspberry and blueberry puree certainly come through, and they taste completely natural, which is appreciated (and hardly the norm for fruit beers). Some backup provided by sugar cookie dough malts. The fruit essence is a tad overwhelmed by the alcoholic nip. The experience is improved by a milky sweetness, which carries over into the mouthfeel, which is creamy and silky--a rounded thing just carbonated enough to deliver some textural depth.

I like this, although flavor counts most, and there's a little something missing that I can't put my finger on. I want to like it more, as DFH has my eternal respect and support for their many experimental and often stellar experiments. Still worth a try, although the high price tag might point many people toward other "must try" beers that won't do as much damage to the finances.

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Photo of apbarwood
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Reddish, orangish color with a decent white head that hung around for a while. Nice lacing throughout.

Smell- Nice fruity notes of blueberry and and to a lesser extent blackberry.

Taste- Bursting with flavors of blackberry and blueberry with a bracing hop bitterness holding it together. I've read other reviews saying that the flavors were vague but I'm not sure what the problem was. Even if I hadn't read the bottle I would have tasted the blue and blackberry immediately, it's pretty noticeable. At any rate, while the flavors are there, it's not the greatest blend. Pleasant but nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel- Fairly light and highly carbonated. Wasn't as sweet as I expected which was probably a good thing.

Drinkability- By itself, not the best ever, especially for the price. There was nothing that set this apart from other fruit beers in my estimation. Would have been really nice with a desert, especially a cheese cake. By itself, it left a little to be desired.

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Photo of younger35
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this brew up from Casanova's in Hudson Wisconsin for around $13. I've wanted to try this for awhile and I finally pulled the trigger. Better be good since I could have got a bottle and a half more of New Glarus's Raspberry Tart or Belgium Red instead. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a lovely pinkish red with a nice big one finger fluffy white head that has some serious staying power. A nice cap and collar remains leaving loads and loads of lacing.
Smell- The nose starts with some definite fruitiness but if the label didn't tell me the fruits, I'd have never known. Matter of fact I definitely would have guessed cherry because this beer smells a lot like Founders Cerise. I've made fruit beers (blueberry, cherry and raspberry) and they've all smelled just like this because I fermented the fruit in the primary and secondary. Some light biscuity malt hides underneath the fruit but that's about it for the nose.
Taste- Hmmm... Tastes a lot like the first raspberry homebrew I ever made too; weak and disappointing. Except you couldn't taste the alcohol in my brew. Fruity for sure but way too weak for my liking (spoiled by New Glarus, I know). Again, no specific fruit is really detectable. Some dirty sort of yeast hides behind all fruitiness as does a bit of raw grainy malt. A tiny amount of bitterness in the finish as the hops cut some of the fruity sweetness.
Mouthfeel- Light body with a crisp zesty feel from fairly intense carbonation.
Drinkability- Well I usually find that a light bodied beer without an excess of sweetness or bitterness in a high alcohol environment, usually isn't the most drinkable brew. This beer follows that trend. The fruit needs jacked up quite a bit for this brew to hit the goodness its price tag promises. If you see this brew for $4.99 a 750mL, pick it up. At regular price I'd avoid.

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Photo of erosier
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours an orangey-copper color from the bottle with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts and then a big berry aroma with a kick of alcohol at the end.
T: Has a nice solid toasted malt base with a really nice, almost winelike, berry flavor: Blueberries and Blackberries of course. The alcohol is certainly present in the taste which makes it even more of a wine-like beer.
M: Very rich, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Not very drinkable for the style, but since DFH is hardly one to fit a style, this is a very drinkable beer even with the amount of alcohol.

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Photo of jxhill
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, white head. Deep burnt orange color w/ some haze. Estery and alcoholic smell. Fizzy and fruity flavor with very little malt character. The tartness is pleasant but not cloying/ very clean finish. Not much lacing.

This beer is not my favorite DFH offering by a long shot, but as a fruit beer it was pleasant and tasty. With its lack of malt beery flavors, it reminds me of bit of a framboise lambic.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmmm slightly diappointed....

appearance: golden, unexpected, I thought it would have been more blue and fruity. lambic style

smell: no hops, lots of berries

taste: wasn't as loaded as i thought. definitly taste the black and blue berries

mouthfeel: meduim bodied

drinkability: it was OK. I'm not a big fruit beer person but when I do I want it to actually be a fruit dominated beer.

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Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle split whith rtratzlaff poured into two DFH Signature glasses a crisp dark orange with a decent off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is dominated by berries with slight sweet malts poking through. The taste is very tart berry flavor against sweet malts and slight booze. The beer is on the heavy side of medium, but the 11% is fairly well hidden. This is one I'd wanted to try for a while, and, while not as good as its Red & White sibling, it does not disappoint.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750.

A- Much darker than expected, a rich copper color. Minimal, but active head. Fizzy Fizzy.

S- Smells like juice. Rich berry fruit emanates, which makes sense.

T- Very very nice. The fruit sweetness and tartness are very well represented, and the playful exchange back and forth completely masks the alcohol. Amazing, well-balanced.

M- More like carbonated fruit juice than beer. Still, tasty and a delight to sip.

D- Very high, considering the alcohol content. This stuff is a joy to drink. I'm loving DFH 750s more and more.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with 6DaysBottomOcean. Thanks!

Poured into my Stone RIS glass; amber colored, 3/4 inch thick tan head, a bit cloudy with active carbonation. Head dissipated quite quickly, and no lacing on the glass.

Aroma of raspberries, cherries, caramel malts, and I couldn't detect any hops.

Taste upfront is tart, with a slight hop bitterness. There is a raspberry flavor in the aftertaste and a slight metallic hop zing at the end.

Full bodied, thick and almost chewy. Carbonation was pretty active and it makes this a sipping brew.

Overall a good brew, but nothing to knock your socks off. Drinkable up to a point - its 10% abv will put you on your ass so I'm glad I split the bottle with my girlfriend. She loved this brew!

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a champagne glass.

A: Poured a rose and orange colored amber with a nice, fluffy head of white foam atop the soft brew. A steady jet stream of carbonation rose from the center of the glass.

S: Smells floral and spicy, with hints of berry, wood and hop resins. A little zesty and funky yeast makes its way in as well.

T: Initially, this brew tastes like a Belgian abbey ale, sweet and zesty yet dry at first, with strong floral hop and sugary sweet fruit esters. The blackberry is more muted than the raspberry flavors, which are still soft and delicately sweeten the floral hop bitterness of the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and bursting with bubbles.

D: Very, very tasty for a higher ABV fruit beer. The berry combination drinks like pinot noir juice added to a well-crafted Belgian pale ale. Excellent on its own but it also went well with baked salmon in a lemon-tomato reduction. Preferred to the Red & White.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,624 ratings