Black & Blue | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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83
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1,620 Ratings
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Black & BlueBlack & Blue
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

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

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

25 IBU

Added by ggaughan on 08-23-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,620
Reviews:
530
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.45%
 
 
Wants:
122
Gots:
293
For Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,620 |  Reviews: 530
Photo of SLeffler27
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A thin head drops to a ring of lace over a hazy, maroon beer that leaves a film on the oversized wine glass. One definitely sees evidence of the addition of grapes.

Presents primarily with tart vinegar, followed by some peat, with grapes and cherry in the background.

Vinegar overwhelms the other flavors, but one can find evidence of grapes with the alcohol being second most prominent.

A slick texture coats the palate with fizzy carbonation and a cross between metal and moderate astringency.

My previous foray with this beer is remembered more fondly than this tasting. However, Black and Blue is worth a try, but the strong vinegar and high alcohol profile makes this one hard to finish.

date consumed: 5 Oct 2008

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 12/4/12

Bottled in 2012B

The appearance of the beer is a sharp copper and rust with a two and a half finger head of fluffy, rose-hinted foam. The head dissipates slowly, leaving webs of lace along the way. Wispy retention and good lace overall.

The aroma has an abundance of the black raspberry; a lot more that the blueberry puree. I don't know if it's the fact that this has black raspberry instead of red raspberry, but this has a cleaner, more natural raspberry aroma than most beers I've come across that use the fruit. As it warms and opens up, blueberry adds a modest layer and the raspberry seems jammy in view of the dusty and toasted grains.

The flavor is a more compact representation of the aroma. It packs a fair amount of flavor, but it's more focused and less inclined to wander. Raspberry is at the fore, but is starts right off with a jam note, though it isn't nearly as sugary as I'd expect from a DFH beer of 10% abv. The grain center is well-proportioned with the fruit additions. Blueberry has a bit more at state here, mostly on the finish. Again, I'm shocked at how sweet this is not.

While the sweetness isn't out of control, this critter does not want for sugar. That said, the sugars inform the feel more than the flavor. The body is a heavy medium with some sticky sugars. Hints of alcohol are woven in as well, though it is impressive that this isn't overly boozy either. Carbonation is appropriately balanced with the body.

This is the first time trying this beer; this is a good thing because I likely would have spent a lot of money on it over the past several years.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 750ml bottle into the glass a dark amber with purple and red. A small fizzy white head develops and falls quickly. Lots of particulate in the brew which I'm guessing is from the fruit. Aromas start off with dark berries and light toasted grains. A bit of yeast in the nose as well as just a touch of herbal hops. Much more mellow than I expected.

First sip brings a light, somewhat grainy malt met by berry flavors. I can taste both hints of blackberry and blueberry but it's quite mellow overall. Flows down with a nice spicy yeast twang and a touch of herbal hops on the finish. A nice mix between bitter and sweet...the spiciness adds a nice dimension.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good carbonation. This one goes down really easily considering the abv and I could see it getting me in trouble if I drank too much. There's really no alcohol flavor at all in here. Overall, an interesting brew but it didn't really grab me enough to want to buy another bottle at the price point it sells for. There's many other things I would choose first.

 1,079 characters

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

A - Red-purple body, with a cloudy cast, and a light pink head and huge lacing.

S - Berries are front, with a mild sweet note.

T - Following the nose, with a tart berry flavor, and a slightly sweet close.

M - Strong carbonation and tart flavor defuse the sweetness.

O - A pleasant, strong beer that hides its burly ABV and delivers a strong fruit flavor.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orangish pink color like a late day sunnyset. There is a two finger soapy white head whiches recedes to skim and leaves some lacing on the sides. Very nice long very inviting. The aroma is of sweet blueberries and blackberries with a hint of graininess. The smell is very inviting. Not a complex smell but a very good smell. The taste follows the nose exactly. A big blueberry and blackberry taste with a hint of malt to balance out the flavors. Sweet and smooth taste very good, very nice. The mouthfeel is of moderate carbonation and is slightly dry, kinda wine like. Overall it is a very good beer, nice taste for a fruit beer, upper ratings there, but the smell is very nice. This is a beer I would seek out again and again.

 750 characters

Photo of NonicPanic
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into 8oz snifter.

Strawberry red hue with a light tan head that fizzles to a thin rim along the glass.

Light grain with an abundance of alcohol. Some blueberry is in there. Mild phenols.

The blueberries and raspberries don't make it in much. Most of the flavor to me is the high alcohol. Some phenols are in there too. The flavor reminds me of a Belgian Ale, not sure if that was the intent or not. The finish is the lingering alcohol and berry flavors.

This beer would make a good crossover for anybody who likes wine. Fruit flavors with the right amount of alcohol to make it familiar. I think the phenols may throw them off a little. I felt this one was a bit acerbic for my tastes.

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Photo of Drew966
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black & Blue pours an orange color with a white head from a brown 750 ml bottle. The aroma is quite muted, perhaps some berry, but mostly just malt. The taste is mostly malt, no hops to be found. And surprisingly little fruit to be found either. There is a hint of berry, which mostly was noticeable in the aftertaste, but it's not nearly as bold as I would hope from this brewer. It's not bad, but it's not what I had expected or hoped for from them either. Worth trying.

 472 characters

Photo of garuda
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 2012 vintage at the brewpub.

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Photo of bigpoppa67
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GJ40
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A - Red with a haze and particles floating throughout. A thick head with a reddish tint.

S - Fruity and sweet. A bit like a Flemish red but not as tart.

T - Slightly sweet with a mild sourness / tartness and some alcohol presence. I love Flemish reds ands this has a hint of that but also adds a sweetness to balance that aspect. I liked this beer more and more as it went on.

M - Good consistency with a moderate carbonation.

D - Good, smooth and easy to drink.

I've loved DFH for some time now but I've hesitated to try their more creative brews. This was a step in that direction. And while I prefer hops to anything else, they really show some depth in their beers.

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Photo of Wayne17
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of RoryOMoore
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got this in a flight of 4 aged beers at dogfish head
2009 bottled, drinking 2017
Look - copper and thin
Smell - sour and tart funkiness
Taste - definitely taste the blue and blackberries, pretty funky
Feel - thin syrup almost no carbonation
Overall - interesting. It'll be cool to re check this out at home and see what I say different

 336 characters

Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this on the strenghth of DFH other beers. I really enjoyed Red and White; however, The Black and Blue left me wanting more. The beer was served in a wide mouth wine goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer indeed appears like what you would expect blackbeer/ blueberry juice to look like. A 2 finger white head crest the beer. The head has very little staying power and resolves to a thin ring of foam.

Smell: The beer has a rather weak berry aroma. The Raspberry and Blueberry are not particularly intense. A bit of earthyness plays at the back of the smell.

Taste: A very muted berry flavor peaks out underneath the flavor of a malt liquor. The beer has a vaguely medicinal cough syrup sort of flavor. The alcohol is very boozey and not really worked into the flavor. This just doesnt work for me.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a meduim body. The beer is very medicinal and boozey in mouthfeel. As stated previously this beer doesnt really work for me. The beer was drinkable and nowhere near a sink pour; however, the beer just doesnt work for me on so many levels. I got a drinking experience from this similar to having berry extract added to my malt liquor. With that said I know the beer is experimental. I have enjoyed numerous experimental brews. I will most likely buy another DFH experimental beer. Thanks for continueing to push the envelope.

 1,386 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2010.
Split with my wife and served in wine glasses.

This is a little bit like a blueberry/blackberry Cerise... Only not done as well in my opinion.
I REALLY like Cerise... This one isn't bad, but since fruit beers are my guilty pleasure, I tend to rate them a bit harder...

The beer looks like a nice fruit beer-- pinkish orange in color with a small white head. Nice thick and oily legs but no lacing and weak retention.
Smells like a wild berry Belgian golden ale mixed with blackberry Clearly Canadian sparkling water... It has some positives and some negatives... The flavor has an off-putting mineral/chalky quality that I'm not the biggest fan of-- although as it warms that goes away a bit (or perhaps I grow accustomed to it?!)
The beer starts of with some raspberry, black cherry, and light blueberry notes before finishing REALLY dry and kicking forth waaay too much yeast character. The finish lingers with a little boozy warmth that isn't entirely unpleasant-- but that stands out in a big way because the flavor profile isn't big enough to support this level of booziness. More fruit flavor would be awesome-- maybe triple the blueberry and double the blackberry.

The beer has a slight syrupy feel to it with an oiliness on the finish. More carbonation would help.

Overall-- this beer is too boozy, not flavorful enough, and in need of more carbonation. lots could be improved on--- but if this were my homebrew I would be eager to play with it. I certainly wouldn't stop here, I'd reconfigure the recipe and try to make something spectacular. I do harbor a slight concern that the base beer is the wrong platform off of which to build this recipe, but perhaps more fruit, and a bit more sweet malt action could save it.

 1,750 characters

Photo of gonzo000
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Disappointed - too much coriander, not enough black and blue (Berry that is).

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Photo of peabody
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a really clear reddish amber with three fingers of tan suds. Lots of lacing though
Not a lot of smell here. I get a dark bready aroma. No fruit here.
Taste is not good. Dirty sugar and nasty water.
The Red and White was better. This black and blue is gross and nasty.
Stay with the Red and White!

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Photo of swanfungus
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MaseFace
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of drtth
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This is the 2010 bottling.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear dark reddish orange color with a 1" light tan head that soon recedes to a thin layer of foam and a ring around the glass. The thin layer persists for a very long time and sipping leaves both a sheet of foam on one side of the glass and scattered irregular patches of lacing on the other.

Smell: The aroma leaves no doubt there are blackberries and blueberries used in this beer. It is an interesting aroma in that it definitely has some of each with both the slightly tart astringent aroma of the blackberries tickling the nasal passages while the rich full blueberry character smoothes it out and rounds it off.

Taste: At first the flavors don't live up to the fruitiness of the nose. I'm hoping as the beer warms this will smooth out and show more fruit character. At the moment I'm getting fruit only briefly before tartness takes over. While this is clearly a beer best drunk at cool room temperature for the fruit, for me the flavors don't live up to the nose until after the beer has warmed some. I don't pick up much alcohol with this one except from the warming effects

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied and both smooth and sticky on the tongue. However there is plenty of light persistent prickly carbonation. The finish is long but pretty non-descript. There's some bitterness here but it is not from the hops. As the sweetness disappears it leaves a tart acidity that is more fruity sour than hop bitter.

Drinkability: While I'm willing to finish this beer I'm not eagerly looking forward to each sip. Nor do I anticipate that I'll go out of my way to have this beer again. In fact I'm thinking that I'll probably not drink it again. I can see how some may like this beer, but its just doesn't work for me.

Note, 30 Dec., 2013: Had a glass of this last night and found myself enjoying it more this time than I had when I reviewed it. The fruits came through nicely and the whole seemed more drinkable that I gave it credit for.

 2,125 characters

Photo of Hessian257
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of adamette
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap an hour ago at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio, an "on tap limited availability" offering. Cost of $6.25, poured into a 10 ounce snifter. Thanks to my father in law for buying me this one as we are celebrating the recent birth of my twin daughters (born April 8th).

A Little head over a cloudy copper body. Good look. I did not expect a big head with the high ABV and the fact that it is a fruit beer. 4.0

S Nice, gentle blueberry smell without the heat of alcohol that I expected. 4.0

T The rather high ABV presented itself well in the taste, however, but it was welcomed along with that continued gentle blueberry taste. 4.0

M Pleasingly syrupy, big. 4.5

D Good for the high ABV, I finished every last drop. 4.0

Notes: A treat to find this one on tap. Thanks again Mr. P!

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Photo of CBrodbeck
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jfstilling
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Black & Blue from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,620 ratings.
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