Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Black & BlueBlack & Blue

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries -- rather than artificial flavoring -- the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast -- the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea -- feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

25 IBU

Added by ggaughan on 08-23-2006

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Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 1,614
Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rose to amber in color, with a fair amount of clarity. Light pink head billows on the pour, receding eventually to thin surface, medium edge head. Lacing is significant.
Nose is Belgian yeast, banana-y esters, mainly. As the beer warms, there is a flower blossom scent that comes on. Some whiffs I get some berry, but not all and not strong. Others times there is a strange mix of tart and funk that has a wet cardboard note to it.

Taste starts like a Belgian pale or saison, dry with light carbonation, and an earthy, lightly herbal taste. Little banana, but that is replaced with blackberry tartness - lightly combined with a sweeter blueberry taste. These flavors are nicely represented, but they combine with the farmhouse taste (yeast funkiness?) in a slightly odd way. This becomes less noticeable at warmer temps. Feel also improves at a certain temp, carbonation is fine throughout, but the palate is treated to a smooth beer as the carbonation fades a tad later in the pour.

A decent offering, but the combination of Belgian yeast with the berries created a slightly too weird taste to get a better score from me.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours pink and settles into the glass as a clay red color. Virtually no head from the beginning, just some white bubbles on the top.

S- Smells like a wine or a sparkling cider. Blueberries and blackberries are noticeable, along with a musty aroma.

T- Berries are really all that come through, along with the slightest light malt presence.

M- High carbonation level allows this to drink like a sparkling cider.

O- If the goal was for a berry-based sparkling cider-like beer, they nailed it. This tastes nothing like a traditional beer, but is good for what it is.

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Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black & Blue is a lighter copper color. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Backlighting gives it an orange appearance. A soft white head covers the top. It rises to nearly a finger, before falling quickly. Perhaps a little too much abv. Lacing was surprisingly thick and sticky. Interesting to say the least.

The nose is alright. It features earthy and grainy notes throughout. Berry notes are relatively strong. No big shock there. I’m pleased to report that they’re not overpowering. Let’s hope that holds true for the flavor. Belgian jumps into the mix and certainly adds character to the mix. Alcohol comes through quite strong. A little too strong. All in all, it smells pretty good.

The flavor is a little less impressive. It kicks off with a sweet, malty flavor. I’m guessing pale malt. Earthy and grainy notes are definitely noted. Berry flavors are quite strong. I don’t have anything against Blackberry or Blueberry. I love both. But, their presence doesn’t really add a great deal. Doesn’t taste bad, but not exactly good either. Belgian yeast tastes pretty good and keeps things floating. Alcohol is strong in flavor, and is just a tad warm. Finishes grainy, fruity, and a little warm.

Black & Blue has a medium body. Carbonation is mid-range. It feels nice and smooth. Probably one its stronger points. It doesn’t go down too bad for a big beer, but a 750 is a bit much. A 12 oz. would be a better serving size.

Black & Blue is just an okay release from Dogfish Head. It’s not a complete disaster, but a couple of tweaks would help – primarily less berry flavor and less alcohol flavor/warmth. If you’re into berry flavored beverages, you just might like it. Irrespective of your taste, it is worth a least once.

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Photo of Boto
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: this one pours a hazy Ruby tinged Amber color. Just a wisp of an off White head. Good nose. A bit musty. Red wine grape notes. Light Candi sugar, other fruits, malts. The taste is very good. Malty, a slight funkiness, touch of red wine flavors. Some blackberry also. Unique and good.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled In: 2011

A: Pours a very nice dark copper-red color with dark red tinges throughout

S: Smells like ripe berries, specifically blueberries and blackberries. Expected, of course. Not much else aside from the berries, which is nice for a fruit beer

T: Same as the smell, along with a nice peppery alcohol towards the back end that helps to make this not too sweet of a beer. Fairly simplistic, but that’s how fruit beers should be (at least in my opinion)

M: Medium-heavy body with a nice amount of carbonation that washes over the taste buds and cleanses them for the next sip

D/O: Pretty much nothing but fruit throughout this one, which is ideal. Nothing fancy, just a nice mix of berries and beer. Yum

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Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one awhile ago from the local beer guy, have been meaning to drink it for sometime and today was its day.

A: It pours a pretty purplish red color with a nice two finger head that settles to one.

S: Nothing too special here. There is a definite yeasty maltiness to it with a hint of berry. To be honest the smell is so faint I can't tell you if I am smelling raspberry or blueberry.

T: This one has some spice and fruitiness to it. Nothing really stands out though identifying exactly what it is I taste. It's not sweet at all in fact it has a nice tartness to it. I wish there was a more pronounced taste from the berries. On a good note it does hide the 10% ABV wonderfully.

M: Very nice here. There is a great bit of carbonation; it’s very creamy yet sparkling.

D: I can drink the whole bottle easily myself, but I will stop at that.

Overall: Not too bad, glad my beer guy kept one back for me to try. I missed out on the Red & White which is unfortunate since it gets really good reviews. This one is a pretty good fruit beer, but is somewhat lacking in taste. I with DFH would have put a little more berry punch in this one.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber orange color with goodclarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Wheaty, bready, blueberry, blackberry, and a little yeasty.

Taste: Love the sweet fruity sweetness with bready and wheaty malts, and yeastiness. Almost like a blueberry and blackberry angel food cake. Crazy.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a bit dry, some fruit sweetness, medium to high carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: I like the fruit character that steps up this golden ale. Will always look for more of this in the future.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling this brew with Stopper. Pouring at cellar temp into a snifter, the beer pours a clear chestnut with some ruby highlights and a thin eggshell white head that goes to an edge layer and islands quickly.
Aroma is fruity with blueberry and caramel and perhaps banana? Is this a weizenbock? Didnt expect that.
First sip reveals an average body and average carbonation. The beer is caramel malt and some berries too, a little tart. No hints of hops or actually ABV either. Well hidden booze. The beer is interesting, but not sure if Id pay the price for the bottle again.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black & Blue pours a cloudy dark amber with a small, creamy head on top. The foam fades slowly leaving behind lines and spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is fruity and a little bit sour. Notes of blueberry dominate, however there's an essence of white wine blended in. It's very refreshing.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a soft carbonated tingle on the palate. The flavor is wine like. Fruity notes of blueberry and grape are balanced with a hint of pale malt and bready yeast. It's very dry on the palate and slightly tart. A hint of floral hops finishes off each sip. Once gone the fruity blueberry flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty fruit beer that would go great with a gourmet meal. It seemed a little thin on the palate, but otherwise very well done.

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Photo of Oakenator
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is slightly purple from golden - to be expected. Good lacing on the glass but head disappated quickly. Smell is more blackberry heavy than blueberry. Taste is consistent with the smell. Slightly boozy taste but the ABV tips that off. Great for a nightcap.

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

750ml bottle into imperial pint glass on 11/12/08. Shared with brewslut.

A - Hazy, deep rusty orange body with a reddish tint and almost one finger of bubbly off-white head and plenty of active carbonation bubbles darting to the surface. Head settled into a quarter inch of creamy retention that deposited a bit of lace on the glass.

S - Extremely fruity nose with apparent blackberry, raspberry and blueberry right up front. Fruit aroma appears to be authentic rather than artificial. Sweet malts are complemented by a mild sour tang and a more subtle yeasty character.

T - This is definitely not as sweet as I had anticipated. There is quite a bit of sourness present to complement the sweetness of the berries. Some bready and caramel malt notes emerge in the backend. No noticeable bitterness to mention.

M - Medium body with a mild syrupy - yet slick - texture and moderate carbonation. Surprisingly, this brew is not overly sweet or cloying at all. For 10% ABV, the alcohol is barely noticeable. Finish blends sweet and sour characteristics on the palate.

D - I heard mixed reviews about this brew, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. However, I found this to be a flavorful beer with a nice sourness and authentic berry character. I admire the fact that DFH really tries to push the brewing envelope. Not everything is going to be outstanding, but you have to respect them for going against the grain. With that said, I found this brew to be quite drinkable.

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Photo of JayQue
2.33/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a good experience. Pours an amber/reddish color with a slightly off-white head. Less than average head retention. Smell is of fruit additives and malt.

Taste is bad. Stale fruit, malt and alcohol. This is not a beer that you would look forward to finishing. The alcohol buzz is the main attraction of this beer.

Mouthfeel is rich but there is a sour aftertaste....stale fruit and alcohol.

Drinkability is poor. This beer does not taste good, has a sour aftertaste and high abv.

I wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours an orange/mauve with a very flat white head of almost a finger. Receding rapidly, it leaves no lace behind and has only a thin collar and single circle of foam in the center of the Belgian glass. I like the color though.

Aroma - an indistinct fruitiness, faint yeast, and a rumbling of alcohol beneath it all. With some worthwhile effort, I can identify the raspberry.

Taste - an initial burst of yeast, quickly swept over by the fruit flavors. No definite flavor there, and then that is washed away by warm and enveloping alcohol. On the aftertaste, after some delay, the raspberry makes a nice statement, lingering past the booziness. With warming I get more of the blueberry. It took some time but eventually everything plays out on the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, a bit of fruit/alcohol slickness and a medium to medium-full body.

Drinkability - a sort of Imperial Fruit Beer, this is tasty and potent like Genesis 10:10, yet more elegant like Quelque Chose. Though an expensive bottle, I'd purchase it again.

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

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

A- Body is a hazy dark magenta that pours with a fluffy light pink head. Head settles to <1/2 a finger and retains this well. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Bubbles steadily rise to the top and haziness is light.

S- Smells exactly as this beer should smell. Blackberries and Blueberries. Not too sweet or tart.

T- The flavor is pretty consistent the whole way through. The the black & blue berries are the main characters without a doubt. A slight alcohol warmth looms in the background to add a touch of balance.

M- Low carbonation and medium weight body. Not as thick as a lambic but not light and spritzy like most fruit ales.

D-Falls somewhere between imperial lambic and classic fruit ale on the fruit beer scale. Besides the presence of fermented fruit this really has no resemblance of a wine to me whatsoever. The 10% abv is also very well hidden and this one drinks like it is 6%. This is definitely one of the better fruit beers out there that I have tried.

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Photo of ckollias
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A reddish-amber color with a one-and-half finger white head that turns in a nice white lace.

S: A very thick, sweet, berry aroma with hints of citrus fill the nostrils.

T: A very sweet beer that hides the alcohol well. The berries are present throughout and with the aftertaste. It is almost wine-like.

M: Medium body and medium-carbonation. Pretty light for such a high alcohol beer.

O: A very interesting fruit beer. Nothing I could drink 3 or 4 of, but a nice sipping beer.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pretty, lightly hazy light pekoe orange tea. Nice large near white head slow to leave. Tons of fine bubbled lace.

S - First thing I smell is the fruit and booze. Frankly, it reminds me a little of a mixed berry cider I made, which is not a good sign. Malt present but fainter.

T - Sweetness from the malt and the fruit battling it out, a little cloying.

M - Thick, sweetish, not very good balance.

D - A nice one to try as very different, but I don't know if I will get much past the first few sips.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter, appears a deep purple/red with decent clarity and sticky white head. Aroma feature Belgian esters paired with mild indiscernible berry character. Some tannic like red wine notes come through as well. Taste again feature mild berry with a mellow tartness. The fruit has a syrupy flavor and clashes with the base beer. Notes of a Belgian pale are present, not a whole lot of character. Overall, this beer is kind of blah, the fruit character comes across as syrupy and almost medicinal while the base beer is rather mom descript. Mouthfeel is highly carbed and somewhat heavy on the feel. Overall, would not come back to this one.

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Photo of thecheapies
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Martell cognac snifter.

Light mulberry body with pink and orange hues. Decent clarity. Slick little layer of white head. Looks nice. 4.0

Musty fruit aromas of blueberry, artificial strawberry, and white grape. Wheaty malts, booze heat, and a prominent yeast phenol. 3.5

Terribly boozy is my first thought. Semi-sweet berry fruit notes mashed with that signature DFH yeast component. A little spicy and searingly hot at first with a blackberry/tart raspberry fruit middle, and finishing with some red wine notes. I guess the finish is the biggest reward. That, and if I actually finish this glass. 2.5

Feels glossy thick with medium-high carbonation. Heady and filthy hot. 2.0

A big boo-boo for Dogfish Head Brewing. A beer that's completely unnecessary. 10% witbiers are not for me. Kudos if you can finish a whole 750ml of this stuff. 2.5

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Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007: bottled 2/13/07

A: Pours a honey golden with red hue. Less than one finger loose foam slowly dissipates, eventually leaving broken surface of the same. Little visible bubbles.

S: Blackberries and blueberries well here. Below this is a malt backbone. Nothing special. Slightly tart.

T: Very sweet. I was hoping that over the years, the beer would maybe enjoy a little souring, but it seems no infection here. Maybe even not a live bottle.

M: Medium body with light and spritely carbonation. Like a thinned down syrup. Sticks in the mouth a bit. Not too much though.

D: This ale is drinkable, but would prefer more tartness from the berries if at all possible.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with a bit of pale malt and a hint of booze.

T - Starts off with some blackberry and blueberry sweetness with some pale malt. Through the middle, some lightly bready malt comes through with some light yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of blackberry and blueberry with some pale malt and a touch of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very fruit forward, but the overall beer is really nice and interesting. I like the balance.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: amber body, 2 finger big head, solid lacing

S: big aroma of blueberries, blackberries, hint of malt

T: same as the nose, but slight tart dry finish

M: med body, big carbonation

O: It was interesting and glad I tried it, but
do not think I will be aching for this beer again.


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Photo of Metalmonk
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
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 nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a clear, light purpleish pinkish color with a small white had that fades. Almost no lacing on the glass.

S- Faint hints of berry. Sweet malts in the distance. Not a whole lot here.

T- Sweet berry flavours over a strong bitterness also a little tart. The 10% abv is hidden well.
This just not my type of beer.

M- Light in body and also carbonation.

D- Still not a big fan of the fruity beers. I'd probably pass on this one again. Worth a try of course. Just not my style still.

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Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers and a half worth of slightly fizzy off-white colored head... Modest retention at best gives way to a full veil of misty lace and a moderately thick collar... A vibrant orangish amber color... Minimal traces of very small bubbled carbonation can be seen under close investigation... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A tremendous mix of blueberries and raspberries to start... Very authentic fruit aromas... A bit of candied sugars... A very faint Belgian yeast scent... Perhaps some faint traces of orange zest... A touch of honey... The fruit is the dominant player, but is far from overpowering...

T - A lot more of the complexity on the palette... Candied sugars... Belgian yeast... Some light touches of wheat... The fruit flavors are slightly more artificial, but still rather pleasant... A very subtle spiciness lies beneath the surface... Perhaps a bit cloying overall...

M - Medium bodied... Very light whimsical carbonation which fits the beer perfectly... Sticky... Sleek... Lively...

D - A unique blend of styles that challenges the senses... The nose is more fruit than Belgian... The palette is more Belgian than fruit... Enjoyable all the way around... The only complaint is that this on is ever so slightly cloying...

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper to amber in color with plenty of floaties within. There's a quarter inch of creamy beige on top. The nose is an assault of very tart blackberries and blueberries along with some tart Belgian yeast. The taste is a blend of sweet blueberries, tart blackberries, and tart Belgian yeast. The mouth is fairly carbonated and dry.

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Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,614 ratings.
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