Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
522 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 522 | Ratings: 1,607
Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a reddish hue and a fluffy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of sweet berries, candy sugar, higher alcohols, lightly phenolic. The taste is not really what I expected from the nose. Lacking is much in the way of berry sweetness. I get a bit of tartness mixed with a malty sweetness before I feel the twinge of alcohol descend from my lips down my gullet splashing into my stomach. Tart sticky mouthfeel, medium to thick body, medium level of carbonation. I have mixed feelings about this one. I found the tartness and the flavor tasty, but the alcohol burn was a bit to much for me. Maybe an aged bottle of this would be better? I don't think I liked it well enough to put forth the effort to age though.

 754 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a one inch of head. Nice retention. Smells of black raspberries and blueberries. Both are equally noticeable. There's also a hint of yeast. Taste is blueberries first and the black raspberries coming in second, but both have equal contribution again here. Despite all the fruit, it's not overly sweet. The alcohol is noticeable as the beer warms, but it adds warmth and takes nothing from the flavor. Well carbonated, crisp, smooth, very drinkable.

At 10% this beer is scary drinkable. This is one of the best fruit beers I have ever had. I'll definitely pay the price tag for this again.

 615 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dfh Black n Blue

in a St. Bernardus chalice.

hazy orange pink, little head...

sweet fruity nose, blod orange, mandarin, vibrany, zesty, big hops, ...now along comes the rapsberry, but the blueberry isn't as prominent, ....hey, wait, there's some...

what kind of beer is this? what is it supposed to be, what is it trying to be? Tasty and refreshing, to a point, but ...lacks...a lot. Just doesn't have a cohesive character. Missing some malt character, for one thing. All I'm getting is the fruit. And the 10% abv. Nothing terribly wrong with that, especially if what you want is a boozy fruit brew, and you know I always applaud experiments and innovation, so hear, hear, for that.

Just not altogether crazy about this one. Good, but not great. Enjoyable, though. Specially at the end, when the expectations wear off.

 825 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body with a large foamy offwhite head.

S - A big bouquet of raspberries and blueberries. Fresh, sweet, tangy fruit aromas. Floral hop notes.

T - Tangy fruit with a buttery back note. Sweet splash of soft fruit liquor and tangy hops. Fruit-like acidity, akin to apple skin. Blueberry and dark fruit present here. Tangy starches and spiced alcohol bring depth to this beers flavors.

M - Warming, drying medium body. Clean on the palate and the carbonation buzzes the tongue.

O - Plenty of fruit in the nose and mouth. The starchy, buttery flavors add a different dimension here.

 596 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Huge amount of sediment on a bottle that should have had plenty of time to settle. Light amber body. Nice white head hangs around throughout the, leaving a nice lace as the glass empties.

S – Huge, fresh blueberry note. Blackcurrant and a hint of tart raspberry. An incredible nose by fruit beer standards.

T – Nice blueberry note up front, but unfortunately the middle veers tart and dry before diving headlong into a huge cheery-Dimetapp off-flavor.

M – Rolling menthol / medicinal booze on the finish. Medium / light body. Overly carbonated imho.

O – The nose is fantastic, and the beer opens with a great berry flavor, but the medicinal backend sandbags this brew from really getting off the ground.

 722 characters

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

large capped Belgian style bottle, bottling date etched onto bottle, nice/fresh beer is good. Pours a great looking ruby/berry color with a raspberry tinged head, leaves some spotty lacing upon a moderate swirl. Fruity, lightly sugary nose. This one is sweet and fruity, as expected, berries, jam up front. Light, summery brew, would be nice as an apperatif or with a warm weather lunch/dessert. Champagne with a strawberry in it like qualities. When judged as a dessert beer, I think this one would at the top of the charts. Nice creation, crafted with skill and care from DFH.

 578 characters

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

On tap at the brewpub in Rehoboth beach, beer is reddish and clear with almost no head, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, strong, cherries, mild Belgian yeast.

Beer is thick and sweet, strong with a lot of cherry flavors. Very strong, very in my face. It is a little harsh but finishes fine, lingering fruitiness. Very sweet.

 337 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/21/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code imprinted on the neck of the bottle itself. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Kinda of a grape soda looking pour. Not super purple, but enough to notice. 1/2 inch bbubbly head which soon fades leaving minor lace streaks.

Smell- Definite blueberry nose. Couldn't define the blackberry, but a nice fruity and mildly bready blueberry nose.

Taste- Fruity, not to the point of a lambic (Lindemans), but a nice dose of a tad syrupy blueberry and blackberry mixture. Mild malty backbone and a bit nutty on some sips. Hops pretty much non-existant. 10%??? Really didn't hit me that hard.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation which lessens as it warms. A touch sticky and a tad syrupy and thick. Sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Perfectly fine brew. Liked it, but probably wouldn't buy it again...especially for the $14.

 906 characters

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

Shared on Christmas Eve. Poured in to tasting glasses.

A - Straw yellow in colour with one finger of white head.

S - Black raspberry with a slight blueberry aroma up front. A sweet bready malt backbone add some depth to the nose. Fairly sweet with a touch of sour/acidity present.

T - Blueberry up front with the black raspberry present but secondary - opposite to the nose. Sweet bready malts add a second layer to the palate. Slightly bitter but overall very sweet with a hint of sourness.

M - Light to medium body. Medium carbonation.

O - A good beer but definitely one to share. Very sweet.

 601 characters

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highmarks for feel and drinkability. It drinks like a smooth wine, where other smooth fruit beers are simply juice-like. The flavor, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It's just bland. There's mellow, light malt profile with a touch of blueberries, but that's it. It might be a decent, in not expensive, gateway beer for wine drinkers.

 337 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a reddish brown in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of bubbly head that let plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of berry character upfront in the aroma such as blackberries and blueberries with quite od bit of sweetness I am guessing is coming from the malts, it had a little grain coming through and juice like tones.

T: the blueberries and blackberries were just as potent on the palate alongside lots of grain flavor, semi sweet notes, juice qualities to it which makes me think they didn't put real fruit but also had a little grape character.

M: the brew was medium to light in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, grainy, slightly musty and crisp finish.

O: pretty decent fruit forward beer that just wasn't my cup of tea. It still was worth trying though.

 833 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ok, this one pours a funny color. Burgundy/blue/black...not sure. Kind of a light ruby foam. Weird.
Smells like stale blueberries, metal and strawberry. I can't quite make it out, but it isn't bad...just odd.
I'm taken back by the taste. Off balance of berries (black and blue I assume). The metallic hint is back. Moves from thin to syrupy. Perhaps i expect too much from DFH, but this is not very good. A nice attempt, though.

 430 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy purple head that fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a light blueberry scent with very little malt aroma. The alcohol is also well hidden. The taste is decent. It has a mild fruit flavor that boasts of black raspberries and blueberries. The malt bill seems quite simple and lacking character. I understand this is a fruit beer, but it really doesn't do much for me. The mouthfeel is average. It's a full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a real letdown. I was hoping for something bold, but it really didn't live up to the hype.

 615 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear reddish purple color with a thick and fluffy 3"+ pinkish white head that lasted a while. This is one interesting looking beer IMHO.

Smell: there is a soft aroma of berries and little else is detectable.

Taste: this is not your usual fruit beer. Loads of dark berries, red grapes, a hint a vanilla, little to no bitterness, and some hints of alcohol are the main flavor components.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry throughout. The aftertaste is brief and filled with berry tones. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a unique fruit beer that is definitely worth trying because of the nice flavors, but to me this is a "one bottle, one time of year" beer - and if it comes out next year I'll probably pick one up.

 749 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a large white head. The aroma is full of blueberries, with some tannic red wine notes and a little bit of toffee and caramel.

The flavor is also very fruity. I get a lot of blackberry and blueberry notes, as well as some grape and red wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor, although I don't think the beer is barrel aged. The alcohol is noticeable but is not overwhelming.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 517 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Berts. Definite fruitiness, fruit juice sweetness, definite berry presence. Sweet nose and taste, smooth finish for a high abv fruit beer.

 150 characters

Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle dated December of 2009. It poured a light amber with good reddish tint in the light. The head was slight and cream colored. The smell was amazing. It wreaked of raspberries, perhaps blackberries and was both sweet and tart. The taste was very good but doesn't quite hit the mark that the scent does. It makes you crave the berry accents. The mouthfeel is good as well, it's rather light to medium in body for the style. Its very drinkable. It is delicious and completely hides the alcohol. I love this beer and would greatly recommend it. If only it weren't so expensive but aged bottles are definitely worth it.

 628 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to drseamus for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Bottled on 2/12/07

Poured into a DFH glass a nice clear/clean golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, blueberries, black raspberries, some spices, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, then some tangyness from the berries, slight spice, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very very well in this one. Very drinkable, I like this one as well as the Red/White brew.

 543 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn.

Appearence is much lighter than expected given the ingredients and the name of this beer. The color is olympic medal gold with a touch of faded orange sticking out. A flimsy cap that becomes nothing and leaves nothing.

Smell is quite pungent. I do get alot of berries, black over blue. But I also get a big heaping of grape. And it's not just grape, this smells exactly like grape jolly ranchers. After I smelt it, that's all I could get out of it.

Taste is quite bold and filled with sweet berry flavor. The problem is that it comes off artificial and that is because of the grape jolly rancher that engulfs this here beer. I get anice hit of backberry and grape, the blueberry, not so much.

Feel is a strong medium and the carb is a bit lighter than the Red and White counterpart. I was burping up Jolly ranchers long after I finished this so the artificial flavor stays a bit. A bit of alcohol to but not hot. I did not enjoy this so much. To fake tasting and everytime I taste candy in my beer, it's a huge turn off.

 1,051 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

February 2007 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour yields a three finger thick, light tan colored head that sits on top of a dark, reddish-plum colored brew that shows a lightly hazy, pinkish tinged, full red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite strange, it smells a bit green, perhaps a bit like completely un-ripened berries, with almost a leaf-like note to it. Behind this is some thin, grain-like character that is a bit grassy but with a touch of toast character to it. Quite a surprising aroma, with a bit of time it almost completely smells like thin malt.

The beer is quite full on the tongue, but does have a substantial carbonation which causes the beer to foam up as it crosses my tongue. The carbonation though does not really counteract the thick, viscous feel of this brew. As one might have guessed the beer is quite sweet, it is quite fruity as well but not in the way I would expect. Reminiscent of green grapes, sweet raisins, and a sort of fruity sharpness that seem most likely derived from the blueberries. The sweetness is not entirely fruit based as there is some substantial sweet malt character here; it is clean, like the sweetness from converted, but unfermented pale malt wort and it couples with lightly toasted grain notes and a soft biscuit character. This is quite a clean tasting brew, while the fruit is not more than a non-distinct berry-like character, both it and the malt are very cleanly expressed without much in the way of yeast or fermentation character.

This certainly hides its alcohol content quite well, other than being from Dogfish head, I never would have guessed it was 10% abv. This is really not all that great. I find it interesting how non-descript the fruit flavors in this beer were; I expected this from the blueberries, but figured I would get a good presence from the black raspberries. The aroma is almost completely devoid of fruit, except for an herbal, green grape character that is noticeable from time to time. I could imagine this being fermented by a characterful yeast and actually being quite good, as it is though it is a bit too bland for my taste buds. It is very well brewed / controlled and there is certainly not anything offensive about this beer (as long as you like sweet things).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

 2,326 characters

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.

 1,069 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Served in a snifter glass. Light amber in color. Bubbly.

S. A very interesting nose! Berries and hops and some other sweet elements sifting in the background.

T. Ultra sweet and the berry flavor overpowers the hops.

M. Light and takes a few sips to coat the palate. Very sweet aftertaste.

D. Very good session beer, but I would rather have something else for extended periods of drinking.

 396 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a medium red, poofy white head, fizzy thick lace. Pinkish red overall.

S: Lots of coriander/wit initially, but gives way to a beautiful pure raspberry, shades of New Glarus.

T: A different beer to put into words. Lots of blueberries and tannic character upfront. Sweetens out with a blood orange/raspberry finish.

M: A bit boozy, but these imperial wits always have it. Fairly smooth, some biting carbonation.

D: As one of the beers I've personally hyped to hell in my head, it didn't really live up to it. In the end though I liked it quite a bit, better than Red and White for me, a unique flavour.

 630 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Imstillthegman and 1000 Miles (or East/West again) BIF.

Hard to determine the color here. It is either dark amber verging on brown or a red colored ale depending on how you look at it. Smallish off-white head forms and then falls.

In the smell I pickup wine and grapes with oak the very first thing. There is the sour funk that I smell in most wines just to remind you that no matter the technology it is all basically grape juice gone bad. Vanilla is present but is just a trace compared to Bourbon barrel beers. There is a LOT of wood and wine tannin scent here almost as if they used a spent red wine barrel. I don't smell the blackberries or the blue berries but I do get a trace of raspberry.

The taste begins a little sweet with a sourness at the end and a little peach aftertaste. Strong wood flavor and sour fruit like unripe nectarines and granny smith apple. Vaguely berry flavored but not really, far less than DFH Fort for instance.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Meh an OK beer but not one I would buy. There is just nothing all that great about this beer. If I am going to buy a DFH fruit beer it is going to be Fort or Red & White.

 1,168 characters

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

Pours a reddish or even pinkish amber. Litlle head and no lacing, but a fascinating color. The smell is still a little hot, but beyond the alcohol is a hit of yeast and dry dark berries. The taste is also quite yeasty and there are more dark berry flavors. Not sweet at all, rather the flavor is more jammy as found in a wine. The blueberries are more prominent tasting the black raspberry, at least initially, but as it warms the raspberry becomes more evident. Dry and very drinkable, but definitely a big beer. I like it.

 524 characters

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,607 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!