Dogfish Head is a brewery that needs no introduction, but per the requirements of Tenemu you get one anyway.

Started in 1995 by Sam Calagione in Rehoboth Beach, Del.,1 Dogfish Head has been a pioneer in the craft beer movement. While the company is probably most known for its IPAs such as 60 Minute, 90 Minute and the 120 Minute, Dogfish Head is also known for its willingness to explore different and unique flavor combinations in their beers. Dogfish Head brews over 145,000 barrels of beer every year along with over 200 different varieties, including bottled beers, draft-only seasonals, brewpub exclusive beers and collaborations.

Dogfish Head Black Blue Bottle

Back in 2007 Black & Blue was first released and from then on it has become a yearly staple. According to Dogfish Head, Black & Blue, “is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with black raspberries 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 label for Black & Blue is very interesting, and according to Dogfish Head’s site, it’s actually a portrait of the painter who did the label for their beer, Red & White, David Larned.

Pouring Black & Blue into the Teku produced a really cloudy, but beautiful mess with a lot of sediment floating about. Two or so fingers of bright-white head ended up formed after the pour, which linger for a good while. There is a bit of sediment floating about that partially cascaded to the bottom of the glass, while some settles on top.

Dogfish Head Black Blue

The aroma on Black & Blue is really interesting, there is not a lot of either blackberry, or blueberry present, but you could pick up some faint hints of their tartness. What was there was a very strong, chardonnay like smell, which was not terrible, but it would have been nice had this beer had the fruit shining through more.

The first sip of Black & Blue is definitely the best and unfortunately it was really downhill from there. It is a fairly refreshing and crisp beer with a nice amount of tartness that kept things interesting. However, even at it’s best, the fruit flavor just isn’t there, there is a fruit-like tartness present, but don’t believe you would be able to pick out blueberry or blackberry if you didn’t read it on the label. What is really interesting about the beer is it tastes akin to a chardonnay or zinfandel wine. After a few sips it starts having a medicinal taste like cough medicine, and this flavor profile takes complete control of the beer after a short time.

The mouth feel of Black & Blue made it seem like drinking a sparkling wine of sorts. There was a good amount of carbonation, but it left your mouth in a Sahara Desert-like state, this stuff is extremely dry and after drinking it for a good bit, it just beats your tongue down with the dryness. It quickly went from a fairly refreshing beer to something you need to pair with a glass of water.

Dogfish Head Black & Blue
BREWERY: Dogfish Head Brewery
LOCATION: Milton, Del.
STYLE: Fruit beer
ABV: 10 percent
IBU: 25
PRICE: $15.99
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottle
All in all, not the greatest effort from Dogfish Head. It would be going too far to say it’s a bad beer, but it would be a greater stretch to say it’s a good beer. An overall lack of either of the berry flavors, a mouth feel that hardly resembles beer and really just a beer that leaves you wanting more in the aspect of flavor, carbonation, aroma, mouthfeel and truly the overall way the components work together as a beer. At around $15 per bottle there are just far too many beers out there that are better for the price.. There just were not enough standout qualities in any category for this beer to warrant itself as a “must try.”
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