Black & Red
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,129
Ranked #47,345
3.33 | pDev: 27.33%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Notes: Black & Red is a velvety smooth, dry-minted stout with a serious fruit problem! The huge portion of heavily roasted grains brings a dry, chocolatey character that contrasts Black & Red's sweet, fruity, full body.

As you tilt your glass, you'll notice that the black color you are perceiving is actually a very deep red and that the rich creamy foam has a tinge of pink to it. Black & Red starts off roasted and warming with a robust mintiness from 100 pounds of organic mint (from our friends at Washington's Green Grocer) added to the secondary fermentation and finishes out sweet and smooth.
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 315 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of yarnbomb
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%

Damn near undrinkable. Had this at a beer tasting dinner in DE- it was served with flourless chocolate cake and even that wasn't able to save this wreck.

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yarnbomb from Vermont, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of DVMin98
2.26/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Mac's Southend in Charlotte, NC

All I can say is when I smelled it, I wanted ice cream. Very minty, but not my ideal beer smell. One taste is all I could take because I don't want mint in my beer. Just not my thing, I guess. At the next table, the guy couldn't get enough of it.

Appearance was about average. Not much of a head.

Smell was overpowering mint.

Taste was just a minty mess.

Mouthfeel was decent

I shoulda poured it into the other dude's glass.

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DVMin98 from North Carolina, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Oakenator
4.83/5  rDev +45%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite Dogfish beers - extremely unique and a taste that is not for everyone. This brew was tap poured into a growler and consumed about 4 months after pour. The growler kept this brew perfectly. Pours almost black with a nice cream colored head - held up to the light I see a reddish tint to the dark color. Aroma is mint and slight berry. Flavor is deep with dark malts - maybe some chocolate, red licorice, raspberry and slight alcohol heat on the back end. For those that like to try different brews - this is a must have!

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Oakenator from Pennsylvania, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with no head and a very opaque, black body. No lace.

S - Strong peppermint with a hint of roasted gainin the background.

T - Syrupy malt and spicy mint up front. more of the same in the middle with a hot cinnamon and licorice note coming on. Finishes with warm alcohol, syrupy sweet malt and more of the spicy, minty character.

M - A really thick, syrupy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Te drink ability of this one may very much depend on how you feel about black licorice. While the aroma is all peppermint, the flavor is much more anise and cinnamon like almost similar to a red hot candy. Really odd and while I enjoyed it I dont know that I would drink it again Andy I'm glad it wasnt served in anything larger than a snifter.

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nickfl from Florida, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
3.57/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: no head on a jet black body.

S: mint, mostly peppermint, dominates the aroma with subtle roasted malt notes.

T: the mint dominates this beer. Again this is mostly peppermint and some green mint that perks up the sinuses. Light roasted malts and dark chocolate come late in te finish. Lots of black licorice throughout.

M: oily body which feels thin with light carbonation.

Overall: another beer from this brewery that grows on you as you drink it. The mint is just way too dominate for me to enjoy this in any significant quantity.

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kylehay2004 from Illinois, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 10-oz. tulip-shaped glass at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

A: Dark, near black color that shines with a deep, blood red hue when held to the light. A faint trace of bubbly carbonation rimmed the glass.

S: Sweet, minty and fruity with an herbal hop aroma and hints of anise.

T: Intense, bold fruity flavors throwing hints of raspberry and blackberry collide with an herbal, effervescent mint flavor. The black malts add some roast char, but the anisette and licorice root flavors crop up the most. Amog the fruity esters is a distinct, tart blend of apples, cherries and lactose. A burning, fruity and boozy flavor ushers in the somewhat syrupy and hot finish.

M: Slick, bold and hot with alcohol and fruity esters, this stout does manage some dry, minty moments on the palate.

O: A very bold, decadent stout for the adventurous fruit beer enthusiast. I can't really decide if I did or didn't like it, much the same as Fort. There's no secret about the 10.5% ABV in there, but the intrepid blend of mint, fruit and tart flavors pairs nicely with the rich stout.

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Gambrinus1184 from Connecticut, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at World of Beer in Raleigh. Served in a snifter

A - arrived pitch black with a thin layer of soft brown head that has great retention

S - sour, chocolate, mint, tart, medicine

T - medicine, cherries, mint, chocolate, alcohol, tart, sour

M - full bodied, smooth, warm

This is an odd beer. Part of me liked it but part of me was put off by the medicinal notes. The mint/cherry/chocolate notes are pleasing up front but then finish with a tart almost sour note which is also off putting. If you like fruit stouts this is a good beer. If you're a a purist, then this isn't for you.

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tdm168 from Pennsylvania, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: This is a big thick black color with red hues around the top of it with a very short and thin tan colored head that leaves little to no lacing as the beer is consumed.
S: Smells of booze, sweet malts, hints of chocolate, vinous fruits, some coffee, toffee, wine, and then some spices I couldn't put my finger on.
T: Tastes of sweet malts, a huge berry/wine flavor mixed with chocolate, coffee, and then some minty-ness to it to finish it off. Really interesting flavors here.
M: Rich, thick, warming, perfect amount of carbonation, heavy feeling.
D: Overall it was a really interesting beer and worth a try because all those flavors shouldn't mix, but they do and it's really nice.

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erosier from Connecticut, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to mikesgroove to sharing this one with me! Served from growler into a Three Floyds imperial pint. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, raspberry, strawberry, soy sauce, and mint. The flavor was of sweet malt, raspberry, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, alcohol, and mint. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The berry aspect of this one was very intense and likely covered up a lot of subtle flavors going on in this one. I really wish this one would have toned back on the berry. However, it didn’t completely kill the brew though. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance.

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thagr81us from South Carolina, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With surpressed roasted qualities and heightened succulent and savory notes of sherry and fruit; all give this Imperial Stout a richer and sweeter base but with a constant veil of mint.

Very rich appearances of dark, dark brown but with some tawny red hues giving a nearly blood-like gaze. Low carbonation allows for a thick appearance of dense but low-lying head that skirts the edges of the glass and replacing the ability to lace with the legging that's normally reserved for cognac.

Very sweet, fruity, and savory aromas borrow notes from chocolate and coffee, but also raspberry, port wine, sherry, brownies, and soy sauce. A spicy overtone seems somewhat of alchol and of spearmint.

Flavors are much the same, but with the sweeter and richer taste than even the nose suggests. Raspberries, blackberries, coffee, vinous wines, red grapes, sherry/port, soy sauce, brownie batter, and a savory meaty/bready taste to boot. Mint, alcohol, rose, oaky tannins, almost-bourbon flavors decorate in a very spicy balance that leaves behind the roast of Stouts and introduces the oxidized notes of fruit and dark grains instead.

Very robust to texture as well, largely due to the low carbonation that allows the liquid to sit heavily on the tongue while coating the mouth evenly. No attempt at dryness other than the alcohol thinning effect and minty warming/cooling evaporative feel in the throat. Still, the near-cloying malty and fruity weight provides an extended finish of chocolate and soy sauce.

This is one of the first beers to come along that reminds me of Sam Adam's early experiments with their Triple Bock. Very savory, rich, robust, and ultimately complex and with the overcast of mint. I find the minty elements somewhat distracting and would have probably enjoyed the beer more without this complicated layer.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
2.61/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours black, black, black. Tannish head is about a finger high. Hangs around for a while. Leaves lace rings.

S-Smells like peppermint. Boozy. Artificial berries. The nose is making me nervous. Smells hot, cloying, and artificial. Well, let's see...

T-Yuck. Huge peppermint. Mint leaves are followed by chocolate and a sickening fake berry flavor. Tastes like someone melted mint gum, berry Jolly Ranchers, and mixed it with cough syrup. Had trouble choking this one down. Boozy.

M-Thick. Dry. Syrup. Cough syrupy to be more exact. Mild carbonation.

O/D-These DFH beers always make me nervous. I really, really did not enjoy this. I cannot stand those super-sugary artificial fruit flavors, especially in such a thick bodied stout. Not my thang.

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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had onbtap at the gulu-gulu cafe in Salem ma

A- looks black with a 1 finger tan/chocolate head and nice lacing.

S- first sniff knocks you back with potent mint blast. Woah then after the initial shock a pungent framboise like raspberry scent comes through, with a touch of almost red wine smell, and faint chocolate aroma. In hate mint, but the smell is intense and interesting. I feel as though there is a slight alcohol Oder, bu that may be the mint.

T- deep rasp up front, the mint is there but in the background, then in the mid palate and after swallowing the mint really breaks through. Loads of fresh raspberry, overall reminds me of a chocolate rasp mint

M- full bodies and minimally carbonated, not very drinkable, but
I'm not sure that's because o the mouth feel, probably more the intense flavor.

O- a very interesting beer, I do not like mint, and I feel like if I did I would love this, I do feel however that it is much more a fruit beer then a stout. But a interesting and unique choice certainly worth trying. Not very drinkable but a good desert beer.

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PeterIngemi from Massachusetts, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of BeerMaverick
4.32/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap last night at the Redbones DFH tap takeover, so I'll do a brief review since I don't have the beer in front of me.

A very dark brown brew with a light brown head (~1/2"). Very sweet chocolately smell with loads of mint on the nose. Some coffee, cinnamon, and caramel here as well. Taste-wise, pretty much liquid Andes mint-chocolate candy. Tons of chocolate and mint notes that completely dominate this beer leaving no room for anything else. In terms of mouthfeel, nothing much except for the lingering mint. This beer is fantastic as a dessert beer, but you have to be in the mood for a dessert beer. I personally love Andes candies, so this beer was a spot-on dessert brew IMO.

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BeerMaverick from Connecticut, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at memphis taproom. The pour is dark, decent head. The aroma is sweet, fruity, minty. The first sip is very minty, fruity. I was very surprised to find out it was a RIS. No discernable alcohol, full bodied and it drank way too easy. A surprising beer, I really enjoyed it.

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bonkers from New Jersey, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Prime 16.

A: Black body, thin tan head. Standardly attractive stout.

S: Andes mints. Pure, simple, enjoyable. Doesn't smell like beer at all, but it's still rather pleasant.

T: Opens with pure mint, but as it warms some chocolate and booze join the party. The alcohol is of the standard DFH nail polish remover type, but I don't really dislike that. A touch of raspberry shows up on the aftertaste, and I wish there were more. I can't score it higher than average, but it's not terrible.

M: Moderate-to-full body, with carbonation to match. Solid.

O: This one was unique and fascinating, but didn't cohere at all. With more raspberry and chocolate it could have been great, but as it is the booze and mint just overwhelm everything else. I'll give it points for originality, but I could never stomach an entire glass.


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woosterbill from Kentucky, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
3.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Batdorf in Annville PA. Served chilled in a standard pint.

The color is opaque used motor oil black with no head and look is completely still. The smell while not inviting is still not bad, there is a minty sweet aroma which also carries with it a dark fruity tinge with strong burnt malt odor and mild roasted grain undertone. The smell has a dark chocolate + peppermeint type combo which is kind of candy-like. The feel is thick and syrupy but in a good way w/ a clean minty presence which is cool wihth lightly sugar accented and full bodied. The mild alcohol is subtle for the strength and there is a fruit accent.

The dry and burnt grain flavor is first in the sequence of tastes with a mild cocoa and mint comes rushing to the forefront immediately after with huge mouthwash quality like I just drank a stout and scope at the same time. The taste would not be bad except the amount of alcohol makes it seem more medicine-like that it is. The mint does seem to take some of the intensity of the alcohol away along with some dark chocolate tastes w/ mild astringency from the dark malt which really comes as an afterthought. Very strange to notice the fruit which is in the description but just seems there to cut the mint. The alcohol is really downplayed by the flavor of the mint w/ moderately deep roasted flavor and slight cocoa with the berry sweetness, pretty disjointed actually.

Overall while this may be a stout, you don't really get much of that in this, the overwhelming mint gives a sort of mint liquer effect with the stout an afterthought and it is sad since I get the impression I would have liked this if it had not been given such a heavy handed dose of mint which makes it seem like cough syrup near the finish.

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Slatetank from Pennsylvania, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of biglite351
2.61/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - considerable blood red around the edges. Short off-white head.

S - smells like Peppermint Paddy with a touch of raspberry. Not enough like a stout to me.

T - mint, raspberry, chocolate. Tastes like a liquified candy bar, not like a beer.

M - thin but covers well. Mild tingle on tongue.

O - pass. To dessert like.

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biglite351 from Pennsylvania, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of MsRif
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at TJ's in Paoli, PA. Pours a nearly black color (deep, dark brown) with dark red on the peripheral. Thin off-white head that receded quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Aroma of mint, licorice, chocolate and booze. Tasted of mint, chocolate, raspberries, licorice and booze...I think the mint actually made it taste more boozy to me. As it came up in temperature it was a lot smoother and well-balanced. This is quite a beer and honestly not something I would have often...still tasty though on occasion.

Weird mouthfeel. Warming and sort of syrupy but still a little thin. I guess I'd say medium bodied, which is disappointing for the style. Definitely a unique brew...good, but could be better.

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MsRif from Pennsylvania, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of burnstar
4.24/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black with a nice head. Smell is absolutely outrageous peppermint. Some sweet chocolate and dark fruit as well. Tastes is sweet, chocolatey, minty, and fruity. Tastes like a peppermint patty made with raspberry infused chocolate. Literally. Heavy mouthfeel. If drinkability was still a rating category on BA I would give this a 1.5. It's extremely boozy and heavy and after about 6 oz of this I really would have preferred a "normal" beer. And maybe a nap too. With that said, this is incredibly tasty stuff. It would be awesome to have just a little on a winter night, after dinner on Christmas etc. etc. I also think this is a beer that started with a crazy idea and actually came out pretty well. Not something I'd want to drink too often and certainly not in quantity. But well worth trying.

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burnstar from Pennsylvania, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 4.00 ten ounce pour at Beer Nutz in Fox Chapel. Poured into a dogfish head goblet.

A - Looks pretty impressive a nice solid black stout with a finger or two of head. It looks thick and carbonated with a simple swirl you get more bubbly dark mocha head.

S - Bat shit crazy this stuff smells like a york peppermint patty! Smooth bakers chocolate with an assertive mint smell that dominates even minutes after the glass is gone. Slight berry sweetness as well.

T - Very weird at first since the first couple sips were mint forward but as it grew on me I get a nice chocolate finish with some sweet berries taking the edge off any cloying peppermint.

M - The best part of this beer it was medium to heavy bodied but I detected no ABV burn whatsoever. Love this "one off"

Overall I believe this may be the best beer I have had all year and was glad that not everyone loves it since it was still on tap for me to try. Great work Sam!

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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of jsanford
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the DFH Brewpub as part of a flight.

Pours a fairly dark black with brownish edges and swirls of haze. Big nose of mint, chocolate, and berry. Very candy-like, reminds me a bit of a minty chocolate cordial. Taste is very similar to the nose, almost overwhelming flavors of mint and berry with a big chocolate backbone. Very unique. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a medium-full body and a big of burn from the booze. A very interesting beer, not sure if I'd enjoy a large serving but the little taste I had was nice.

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jsanford from Georgia, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

dark as night with a small cap of tan that appeared right on the top, settling down slowly it leaves a touch of side lacing and a nice bit of foam around the edges. Ten minutes in the top is bare though and only some light lacing on the sides remains. Aroma is sweet, licorice and brown sugar, hints of chocolate coming together nicely, but missing that little bit of push to really throw it over the top for me. Smooth, creamy and full bodied it started to grow on me as the session wore on. Bitter, dark German chocolate, coffee, hints of something else, fruit, maybe but probably not. Hard to place but there is something else there providing another flavor of some sort that is hard to discern. Dry finish with a light alcohol

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mikesgroove from South Carolina, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of anyhoodle
1.45/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I realize going in that I'm in opposition to the average review, and I'll also give that it may be me...but...if you value your taste buds, avoid this like the plague. This $7 "pint" just became my most expensive drain pour. I hate wasting beer, good or otherwise, and DFH has given me plenty of pleasant surprises with brews that are off-the wall, but, and I'm sorry Sam, this is a colossal, monumental "FAIL".

A - dark opaque black/brown (dim light) w/ a creamy dark brown head. At first I thought it was on nitro, but the tap wasn't right. At this point I'm looking forward to the beer.
S - this is where things started going off the track, very medicinal smelling. It reminded me of old school cough know...the kind without the sweet, fruity flavor added to mask the nastiness.
T - OMG!...WTF!!! super sweet, followed by a nasty licorice medicine flavor. I can not identify the flavors, but an hour later I can't get the taste out of my mouth, and it's not something I'm enjoying. I managed to force down about half of my "pint, and gave up. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING would entice me to try this again.
D - NEVER AGAIN, even in my next life.
M - appearances are deceiving, but I guess i was expecting something thick and chewy to go along with the creamy appearance of the pour...wrong, thin and watery.
O - What can I say that I haven't already? This brew has set a new standard for me. I have the ultimate beer to compare too. I can not imagine a (craft) beer that I would rate worse than is. Is there a rating lower than an "F"?

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anyhoodle from Pennsylvania, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours a deep dark brown that's pretty much black and completely opaque with mahogany edges and a half finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind. 

Sweet, spicy aroma with a decent balance of sweet and roasted malt, floral hops and a strong herbal presence. Subtle licorice along with some chocolate, pepper and pine needle.  Very strange.

Medium bodied but on the thinner end with a balance of earthy, herbal spice, sweet malt and vinous fruit. Lots of pepper and strong mint countered by sweet chocolate, boozy sweetness and dak fruit especially cherry, plum and grape. Really odd combination of flavors.  I didn't like this beer butni really didn't dislike it either. The flavor profile was so strange that I kept going back for more. Before I knew it the glass was empty.

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corby112 from Pennsylvania, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black and Red delivers what is promises. Mint chocolate. 2 oz of it is delicious but 16 is way too much.

A: Black with good lacing. 4.5

S: Smells of mint and maybe chocolate. Very interesting. 4

T: Malty into mint and alcohol. The finish tastes of chemical/alcohol. Too much mint? 3.5

M: Slightly foamy. 4

O: 3.5

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vandemonian from Maryland, Nov 27, 2011
Black & Red from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 315 ratings