Beer Type: Golden Ale ABV: 10% IBUs: 25 Tried on draught.
Their Description: “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 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.”
The Reality: As described, this is a fairly straightforward beer. There is a faint smell of berries coming from the glass, and the flavor is of a smooth golden ale that is replete with the taste of fresh blackberries and blueberries. The freshness means the berries are tart not sweet, and that’s how this beer finishes. The aftertaste is clean and this beer drinks nice and mellow with nothing out of balance. The 10% ABV hides behind the tart dry characteristics of the berries.
Final Verdict: I like what Dogfish Head set out to do here. It’s complex without being complicated. They took a really good golden ale and aged it on fresh blackberries and blueberries, and it’s damn good. The taste of the berries is so fresh you feel like they must be floating in the glass, and the tartness is so crisp it drinks like a half-sour. It’s not pretentious, it doesn’t try too hard and it works. With the immense popularity surrounding the Marvel cinematic universe, I’m surprised Dogfish Head didn’t see the marketing opportunity of sponsoring a character. The could’ve made Black & Blue the official beer of Black Bolt (King of the Inhumans). After all, those are his colors…