This column reviews a beer based on aroma, appearance, taste, and palate (mouthfeel). At the end of each review, we score the beer based on a five-star system (one star meaning you will likely regret ever drinking such a horrible concoction, five stars meaning it’s your new favorite beer, with two, three, and four stars falling somewhere in between). If any of you wonderful brewers would like to send me beer to review, I would happily accept your offer.
I like fruit. And I also like beer. But it’s not often that I look to consume both at the same time.
For this reason, I don’t normally go out of my way to find fruit beer. Sure, there are some great ones out there, but I usually find them either too sweet from the first sip, or I enjoy a few sips and then get sick of them.
But, in my continued effort to light out for some other beer territories, I figured I’d keep an open mind if I came across a fruit beer that seemed interesting. So, when I saw Dogfish Head’s Black & Blue, a Belgian-style ale brewed with blueberries and blackberries, I picked one up. After all, I’m a fan of Dogfish Head’s classic 90 Minute IPA, and I was interested to see if the addition of blackberries would mitigate some of the sweetness I normally find off-putting in so many fruit beers.
As you can see in the picture above, Black & Blue pours a really nice ruby red color. It has a very pleasant berry smell, which shouldn’t come as a surprise for obvious reasons. What did surprise me, however, was that the taste was actually more tart than I expected. Although the dominant flavor is one of blackberry, the subtle sweetness from the blueberries and the spicy, earthy quality that is typical of Belgian-style beers give Black & Blue a nice, well-balanced flavor profile. While some brewers will go cheap and opt for artificial flavoring, Dogfish Head opts for real berries, and it really shines through in the taste. It’s medium-bodied, has the standard Belgian carbonation level, and has a very smooth finish for a beer with a 10 percent ABV.
Overall, this is a good beer that I would definitely drink again at some point. With that said, one glass is plenty, and I found myself not really wanting to finish the rest of the 750 ml bottle. So my recommendation is to try to find a friend to split it with. With that said, if you’re looking for a unique fruit beer that isn’t too sweet, you could do a lot worse than Dogfish Head’s Black & Blue.
Little Utopia Rating: Three and a half out of Five
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ Hot Dog! Hot Dogs are in the News
♦ The Robot Nightmare I Have Every Night is Quickly Becoming Reality
♦ Viral Video of the Week: Baby Bruce Lee
♦ Don’t Tweet … Ever (Even if It’s Your Job)
♦ Beertopia: Terrapin’s Liquid Bliss