The Beer List: Dogfish Head Black and Blue

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Welcome back to The Beer List at The No Seatbelt Blog! It is here that I recommend some outstanding brews to beer fans everywhere, every Sunday. Whether you’re doing yardwork, watching your favorite football team kick ass or get slaughtered on the gridiron, or are just simply kicking back, you could use a beer. Every week, you get a review of a high-quality beer that I truly like, or even love – you’ll find no bottom-of-the-barrel swill here. So, without further ado, let’s pop one open and enjoy!

For a second week in a row, Delaware’s own Dogfish Head is getting the treatment, this time for their utterly delicious Belgian-style beer known as Black and Blue. You’ll find that the title of this beer is fairly self-explanatory, as it is brewed with real, pureed blackberries and blueberries, which are added to the mix just before fermentation.  The scent of both of those dark fruits hits your nose upon the pour, on the sweet side. The sip, however, reveals a bit of tartness, but not aggressively so. Blueberries can certainly cause that pain you experience in your teeth when they are especially tart, but the spectrum of ingredients here balances the beer out to prevent that. I’m all about balance in the beers that I drink. While I don’t mind a particular ingredient taking the lead in taste, I like to know that something else is there to keep it in check.

Dogfish Head recommends pairing Black and Blue with spicy pork (which is probably awesome), toasted nuts, and chocolate (something to which this beer absolutely lends itself). On the brewer’s official website, you can find pairing recommendations for all of their beers, and they’re always interesting to read, consider, and maybe even try. Glassware recommendations are also present, as each unique beer will smell and taste different depending on the shape and style of glass into which it is poured. Dogfish Head recommends pouring Black and Blue into a snifter for best results. You can even find comparable wines for some of their beers!

Black and Blue pours a cloudy, dark orange color, and the carbonation level is fairly low, making it a smooth drink. The alcohol-by-volume is a whopping ten percent on this one, so it’s best to share this large bottle with a friend, lest you wake up the next morning wishing you hadn’t taken the roughly pint and nine ounce brew all on your own.  Check Black and Blue’s page on Dogfish Head’s website for distribution information. It’s a specialty beer, so it may not always be easy to find in your neck of the woods. Depending on how much you’re used to spending on a good beer, the price tag on this one may or may not startle you – I usually see it in the mid-to-high teens. However, at least when you have some spare scratch to spend, it is worth every penny.

Black and Blue is one of Dogfish Head’s high-quality, high-priced specialties, and I highly recommend it to fans of the brewer, of fruit-based beers, or simply of truly good beers. If you see it in your local booze joint, pick it up. Until next week, bottoms up!

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