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Black Eye Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

155 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 201
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 7
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Black & Tan |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 155 | Hads: 201
Photo of ScreamForMe
2.06/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Popped this opened after a 3 store beer run today after being snowed in for days. Beer had a big head - much like my own. Mouthfeel was ok. While it's not bad, I can't find much to recommend it, either. It is rather drinkable. Very unremarkable. I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a dark brown with some brown and maybe even light brown highlights. Very little head.

Smells faintly of caramel malt, a bit of roasted chocolate to it, and a biting, kind of strange whiff of ... almost like rotting fruit.

Taste is pretty nasty. I have to admit, I was hoping for mere average-ness from a $2.50 bomber of a black and tan, but this was fairly wretched. Some nasty fruit tones, the roasted malt and caramel seem watered down and do not blend well. Thin mouthfeel. Drainpoured half the bottle.

Skip, skip, skip.

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Photo of oracle
2.49/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this bottle sitting in the fridge for about 4 or 5 months. Finally got around to drinking last night.

Beer poured dark almost opaque mahogany color with very little head that quickly disappated and left no lacing.

Perhaps this beer sat around too long, but it had a definate wine-like sourness to it that I just didn't care for at all.
Tasted slightly sweet along with the sourness, but I just couldn't make out distinct flavors.

Slightly oily mouthfeel.

I like most beers from Mendicino, but will not get this one again

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Photo of karst
2.54/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Eye Of The Hawk Ale blends two beers - Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Select Ale. Bomber has no best by / born on dates.

The resulting blend, comes across as predominately a stout in appearance and taste. Poured into a pint glass with tan 3 fingered head that fell but maintained a thin cover and ring with lace over a very dark brown ale with redish glints.

Aroma of caramel and some earthy stale hops (?). Never finding the hops leads me to wonder about the balance of the blend and or the age of this bottle.

I started the tasting looking for verification about that staleness in the aroma.
Basically finding sweet malt and an acceptable bitter stout finish. Higher carbonation and alcohol modify the medium thin mouthfeel. I am finding an oxidized, wet cardboard like flavor which pulls down my ratings. Not much complexity but finally with warming a chocolate favor emerges providing a much needed help drinkability.

If this is typical of this Black and Tan suggest you pass it up.

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Photo of theopholis
2.64/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- HUGE head with a fair amount of staying power. Head is a creamy, thick, off-white affair. Decent lacing. Body is dark, clear with ruby when held up to the light.

Aroma- Odd. Has an acrid sweetness. Also, a clean, minerally graininess. Not really a beer smell, but not overly objectionable.

Taste- A fairly soft malt sweetness up front, with some roasted grains and hop bitterness in the rear. the sweetness is a bit cloying.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Low CO2 level, which seems appropriate).

Drinkability- One of Mendocino Brewing's less successful brews.

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2.77/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Noticing this bomber on the shelf, and feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to take a flyer on this one. To be fair, I must first admit that I haven't had either of the 2 component beers of this blend in their singular form.
This pours with a dark brown, not black color and a somewhat fizzy head that dissipates into nothingness at an alarming rate. This smells a bit like a lager immersed with galenas. Not exactly a good sign.
This has a thick-ish mouthfeel with a toast-ish flavor. There is a bit of an acrid bitter taste that doesn't ring any familiar bells. I'm not picking up on any real deep flavors or intricacies resembling what I like from either stouts or ales, aside from the aforementioned toast-ish-ness. A galena-ish finish prevails. I don't really think they used them, but it sure tastes as such. The mouthfeel isn't bad, persay, but it doesn't really match the flavors very well, in my opinion. This becomes increasingly annoying as I drink the "Ultimate Blend." By the midway point, what is in my glass looks like flat RC cola that's sat in a glass for a week.
I haven't had the 2 beers separately to know for sure who the culprit is here. But, I've got the notion that we're all a little guilty here. So, Mendocino, up yours for making this. And, up mine for drinking it. I finished the bomber because I figured "What the fuck. I'm poor."

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep brown to black with a small head Nose is toasted, grainy and skunky with a caramel and a slight hint of coffee and chocolate but very little of it. The taste was just off. No real notes, no body, no charcater, no hops nothing but a skukned taste that was old and roasted. This beer should have never been brewed and glad its retired.

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Photo of nortmand
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black pour, with a reddish hue and good clarity. Pretty stable head, tan in color and around two persistent.

Smell is actually quite complex. I get an initial fruitiness from the interplay between the crystal malts and west coast hops. This is definitely the barleywine coming through. As you dig deeper into the scent, there is a definite backbone of chocolate and also some thick yeastiness

At first wash over the tongue, this beer tastes fantastic! A nice sweet maltiness starts it off, giving way to a nice sharp bitterness midtongue. There is also a crisp alcohol character at the side of the tongue at this point. There is also an overall calming chocolate presence that complements the other mingling flavors. Unfortunately, this gives way to an oxidized, wet cardboard like flavor by the back of the tongue. As you breathe out of your nose post swallow, an increasingly present metallic flavor suddenly blooms into full existence. Once all of this is done, all that is left is the increasingly bitter bitch of too much black patent.

Slick, almost oily mouthfeel as the tongue is swathed in this beer gives way to the fizz of overcarbonation.

One could easily drink a bottle of this, but it isn't something that I would seek out. Except the price is fair, and like Mendocino's other brews, it'll do at the end of the month when the wallet is thin.

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Photo of mickeymac
2.96/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Ultimate Blend. Uh, OK. This reminds me a bit of the pre-fab peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are being peddled to frazzled mothers these days.

"We live in hectic times when every minute counts. Sure, you'd love to enjoy a Black and Tan, but who has time to mix a stout and a golden ale? Don't worry; we've done it for you. Just pop the top, pour it into a glass, and sit back and relax."

I'll admit to being a "blended beer" novice, but this just isn't working for me. It looks more or less like a stout, smells like a mediocre porter, and tastes like compromise. It doesn't taste completely offensive. It just tastes like something struggling to figure out what it is.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It may well be my first US Blended Beer, but this is not a practise I am unfamiliar with, for I came across it often in the UK, even in Cask Form. But if Mendocino brew two decent beers, then why mix them !!???? Hmm… Answers on a Postcard Please.
Offered in a huge 1 Pt 9 fl.oz. green glass receptacle, akin to a stumpy Champagne bottle. It is a dark black muddy looking offering that lets little light through its body. Nice big carbondioxidious head (yes - I made that word up), that has a light pale cream color and reminded me of the liquid “expanding foam” that I used to insulate pipes with in England. Malty introduction that offered more characteristics from the Black Hawk Stout than the Eye of the Hawk, which is a real shame for me as I prefer the latter as a "stand-alone" beer. Starts like a Stout – finishes with a hoppy bitterness but sadly a very short finish. It just doesn’t quite feel right somehow. It has everything - yet seems as though it is missing something. A confused beer for me.
As my Science Teacher would say - Interesting experiment, 9/10 for sheer effort – but 2/10 overall, because you reached the wrong conclusion.
“The Ultimate Blend” – I think not. I like Scotch Whisky, and the best stuff is Single Malt, that is to say, it is “Unblended”. I will continue to stick with this principle when I drink beer.
Mendocino should do the same, when making it, I think.

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with thick head that falls quickly. Aroma is dark woody, slightly chalky. The flavor is dismayingly thin. Woody, chalky, roasted malt, with a woody, cherrylike feel. The finish is super dry, not particularly pleasant,. A disappointing offering.

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Photo of bboven
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color with a thin head and a little bit of lacing. Dark but clear.

Lots of two row and roasty malt in the nose. No hops.

Some residual sweetness, lots of roast flavor.

Good carbonation, moderate stickiness.

It's pretty good for the price; I pick it up from time to time.

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Photo of enfield249
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark ruby red in color, no head and a very thin band of foam.

S - Not getting much. Some roasted malt smell.

T - Lots of roast flavors, coffee, and a little bit caramel.

M - Sharp from the CO2, and some strong astringency down the middle of my tongue.

D - Not bad, but kinda boring. For the price I paid ($2/22oz) it's pretty good, but I would not seek it out.

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Photo of rmmm16
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a finger of tan head, very little lacing stays behind. Some hints of chocolate and coffee beans hit the nose, but not strongly. Flavor begins with burnt chocolate and ends with some hop bitterness. Not much special to this beer really, other than how easy it is to drink.

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Photo of Enola
3.14/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was leary of this beer. But I must say that is is a very good Black & Tan. I have had both beers that make up this mixture and was not fond of either so it is odd I would like this.

The beer is dark brown. A little light gets through. There is a tan head that dissipated into a thin head with a little lacing. The smell got a lower score simply because there is not much there. The taste is heavy on roasted grain notes and coffee. The mouthfeel is smooth and the drinkability is good. If you can find it still, try it if you are a fan of this style.

*Edit: As this beer warms, the drinkability and mouthfeel both go downhill quick.

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Photo of JamesS
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown color with some nice head and lacing. Nearly neutral scent, not much there except a slight malty sweetness. Nice taste, good mixture, hints of burnt grain, but really nothing outstanding; nothing great, nothing bad. Goes down very smoothly, especially as a higher ABV black & tan. A bit expensive, though, for an average beer.

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Photo of drseamus
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm not usually impressed with the Mendocino offerings. Just putting my potential bias out front.

A: Deep red with a tan head. It's hard to judge how a black and tan should look but this is decent.

S: It smells sweet like most Mendocino beers. That is not a particularly good thing.

T: The beer is initially very sweet but it fades fairly quickly leaving only a moderately high sweetness. There is a pico-touch of roast and some maltiness but nothing really to speak of. That said, aside from the initial blast of sweetness it also isn't offensive in any manor. Better than the Talon barleywine for sure.

M: Medium bodied. Nothing special.

D: It's not bad but it's not great. I wouldn't go back for it again nor would I turn it away.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a dark reddish brown color with a quarter inch of foamy tan head.

Aroma of caramel, toffee, faint raisins, roasted malts, and chocolate.

The taste is rather thin and bland. The caramel, malts , and chocolate are there but quite subdued. Light hoppy bitterness and black pepper at the finish.

Light bodied, crisp, and moderately carbonated.

Drinkable, but bland.

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Photo of MerkinMan
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Black Eye Ale is a good standby beer at 1.99 for a 24oz. It is nothing special, but not bad. The appearance and smell are much better than what you would normally expect from a beer at this price. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and dissapointing.

I give this beer a good score for drinkability since it is relatively smooth; it is not going to shock anyone.

If this beer was more expensive, I probably would not reccomend it. I would rather reccomend another beer with a little more character. In short, for the price this is a great beer. Take away the value, and you have something that does not have much character but may be good for people who do not like stronger beers.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$1.45 / Pint Bottle
County Market
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - It offers a 1/4 inch or so of pale tan head. The body is a dark brown, almost black color. It has a watery look to it.

Smell - There is a coffee scent at first and then a move to a sweet cherry aroma.

Taste - There is a brown sugar aftertaste. It has a coffee flavor with overtones of a sweetness. There is a hint of caramel and fruit. It seems to be a bit much for me.

Mouthfeel - It is certainly a watery texture at first sip. There is a moderate to firm harshness as it flows toward the back of my throat. The finish is a bit uncomfortable.

~ There is something a bit strange to this brew. I can't pinpoint it but I recognize the oddity. I would like to give it a try straight from the tap someday.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Not bad. Not great.

A good effort at bottling a black and tan.

It pours a dark burnt brown. Good head that disappears quickly. Little to no lacing. Scent is mostly stout. Coffee, burnt toast and strong malts as well. There is also alcohol on the nose.

Flavors are also mostly stout. The ale gets lost from this ale. Again some burnt toast, creamy espresso and a small amount of chocolate. There is a slight ale finish and after taste. I really am losing the ale. The balance is a little bit off.

Good mouth feel. Chewy and rich. A very smooth drinking black and tan.
A thought. Maybe black and tans should not be bottled? Poured from the tap to order seem better to me than this one. Anyway this is a good effort at bottling one.

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Photo of denjen
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dennis: Eye of the hawk is such a favorite beer of mine, that when I say this beer I was very excited. Combining Black Hawk Stout and it should have been a home run. Obviously since I've made that statement you can guess how I feel, not really disappointed, but rather let down. The aroma is sweet strong malts, with a very strong taste in you mouth with a woody under taste. I suspect that if I made a black and tan with eye of the hawk and another amber beer it would taste like this exactly, but somehow I had hoped it would be just something more than a blend. Not bad at all, but really what do you gain from taking two great brews and making one mediocre out of them?
Jen: So I was expecting a lot more from this beer, being that the "bird" series is usually pretty decent. This one just seems to fall short. The aroma, which seems to consist mostly of roasted malts, is very light and barely there. It tastes of more roasted malts with a slight coffee and bitter chocolate backbone to it. It seems to have a very mild hop ending, that I almost didn't catch. To me, this feels thrown together. I wouldn't say this is terrible, but I won't be hunting it down.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark brown with some light coming through on the edges. Three finger light brown head sticks around for a couple of minutes and falls to a thin cap. Moderate lacing.

S - More simple than I'd expected. Huge buttery aroma with a touch of brown sugar. Roasted character with a touch of coffee as well.

T - Coffee/caramel sweetness comes in early palate leading into a fruity and almost vanilla flavor. Roasted flavors and bitterness quickly take hold late palate and leave a lingering bittersweet flavor. Some heat from the alcohol is noticable.

M - Medium bodied, but very highly carbonated. Body is decent but the carbonation really needs to be toned down.

D - Eh, this beer does little to excite me. It's not bad, but it's fairly uninteresting which is a shame because I really liked the Eye of the Hawk. The flavors just don't mesh terribly and this brew ends up tasting like a strange porter.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a snifter
A: pours a deep brown that does not allow any light to permeate, pours with a nice finger of very active and fizzy head which dissipates rapidly, leaves
S: nice scent, gentle notes of dark fruits with a slight sweetness behind it
T: taste pretty much mirrors the scent with some nice coccoa notes which add a nice depth
M: a very smooth brew on the palate, virtually no carbonation tingle, leaves the mouth cleanly
O: I was a bit weary of buying this bottle simply because it looks kind of cheap and tacky at face value, also I had no idea how long it had been sitting on the shelf for since there was no bottling date, quite pleasantly surprised by this well balanced beer

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black Eye Ale

Appearance- Dark black with a ruby red hue. Thick creamy head. Big lacing on the glass.
Smell- Lighty roasted coffe beans. Hints of malt and choccolate.
Taste- first sip was pure alcohol, but after that initial shock it was a nice blend of malty hop and coffee.
Mouthfeel- light, slightly watery. Flavor blossoms after each gulp. Smooth with a mild bitterness.

Overall- A nice Black & Tan that stayed a little too conservative. Not bad, worth the $2.75 for a bomber!!

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Black Eye Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.