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Black Eye Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

197 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 8
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of qcitydarkstar
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown that appears ruby red when held to the light. An inch of tan, coffee-with-cream head developed, quickly settling to a thin layer of uneven foam. This beer has the same powerful malt scent of the Mendocino brewery's Eye of the Hawk Ale (which makes up presumably 50% of this limited blend). Additionally there are coffee and caramel notes.

The taste is of burnt coffee, macadamia nuts and whole grain brain. On of the most interesting aspects of this blend is the stout taste with a light ale drinkability or maybe a fine English Porter. As the glass warmed, sharp alcohol astringency became a player in the taste profile.

I really enjoy this offering, too bad it was only a one-off. I'll experiment and see if the blend was 50/50 and concoct my own Black Eye stash.

Photo of NEhophead
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Foamy, light tan head that fades to a less than intact sheet, and a few pools of bubbles. A few drops of spotted lacing. Deep brown, almost opaque glowing ruby in color.

Sweet caramel and toffee aromas with hints of vanilla. Roasted milk chocolate. Touches of ripe fruit: grape, plum, cherry.

Milk chocolate, light vanilla; unsweetened, bitter roasted malts. Plum and light cherry fruit esters in between milk/dark chocolate and whaffs of warming alcohol. A hint of hazlenut following a semi-rough, roasted bitterness.

Almost full bodied; a little robust for the style, but still creamy on the palate.

A pleasant Black and Tan; a bit heavier on the Black Hawk side of the equation with the abv% of the Eye of the Hawk. A good blend of two quality ales.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Riley's here in Madison for $3.99. My first blended black and tan from a bottle. Apparently this one is making a comeback tour. A mix of their Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Strong Ale.

Pour looks black and opaque at first, but when held to the light, reveals a transparent garnet body with a light khaki head. Nose is subtle toasted malts, with a bit of a metallic astringency. Taste is woody, bready malts, hints of burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate with a faint warming caramel finish from the strong ale. Nothing spectacular here, a predictably light stout/dark ale. Toasted malts/bitter coffee dominate the flavor palate of a rather unexiting style in general. Drinkable, but I'd probably prefer either a stout or a strong ale over a watered down blend of two mediocre versions of their styles. Worth a go I suppose.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Black Eye ale pours from the bottle a deep dark burnt brown with a thin bubbly khaki colored head atop. It forms a ring around the glass fairly quickly. Aromas of dark, roasty toasty malts with strong streams of sweet caramel, roasted nuts, chocolate and a nice smack of hoppiness. I'm really enjoying the layered aroma on this one.

First sip brings a wall of roasty, toasty maltiness upfront shrouded by chocolate, caramel, nuts and bready tones. A good helping of herbal, slightly citric hops hits on the way down. Burnt bread crusts...finishes with a slight bitterness. Overall, I find this to be a pretty nice black & tan.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sturdy maltiness that makes itself known. Carbonation works well throughout and makes this one quite easy to drink. A bomber is no problem. An easy drinking, flavorful brew that I wouldn't mind having on occassion.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark pecan brown that becomes red-orange-bronze with bright backlighting. The head is an attractive shade of golden ecru and has a firm, lathery texture as it loses altitude. Wide bands of thick, cobbled lace stick to the glass, further increasing the beer's attractiveness.

I liked the nose from two feet away. Now that I've given it my direct attention, it's something of a letdown. Black Eye is a mixture of an American stout and an American strong ale, but it doesn't smell like either one, much less a combination of the two. There's a little roasted malt, a glancing blow from hops... not much else.

Although it's better on the palate, it still isn't as forceful as it should be given the two styles of beer used. I haven't gone back to read my reviews of the individual beers (Black Hawk Stout and Eye Of The Hawk), but maybe they weren't all that powerful to begin with. In any case, this is still pretty tasty beer.

The size of the malt backbone is akin to an American porter. The flavor profile consists of roasted barley, dark chocolate and coffee. There's also a surprising amount of hoppiness that impresses me more and more with each passing ounce. I can't decide whether the beer is sweeter than it is bitter, or vice versa.

Even though it's enjoyable, at no point does that little voice in my head say 'hey, that's damn good beer'. Mixing a hugely roasted stout and an exceptional strong ale has the potential to be great, but this particular effort is considerably less than that.

The flavor profile opens up with warming, but my initial impressions haven't really changed. The mouthfeel is solidly medium and is well-mannered enough to encourage gulping rather than sipping.

Black Eye Ale was a worthy experiment in mixing. I don't believe, however, that it's superior to either beer individually. Mendocino Brewing Company has rarely impressed me, so it's not that surprising that a mating of two of their 'good but not great' beers would produce an offspring of the same general quality.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice concept blending a strong ale with a stout I think,pours a near black except for some ruby highlights with a thin almond colored head.Aromas and flavors of this beer lend more to the stout side of this beer,aromas are roasty and unsweetened chocolate with a touch of hops but subdued.Like the flavors going on lightly smokey and caramelly with a touch of alcohol zip in the finish.Not an outstanding beer but not bad I would have again.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kinda like a hoppy porter in a lot of ways... pretty stouty in a lot of ways. Coffee roastedness and mouthfeel dominate.
It is easy to see where the "black" part comes into play but harder to detect the "tan".
I've not tried Eye of the Hawk nor Black Hawk stout so I am not the most educated reviewer regarding this blend.
Pretty tasty though.
Very "Californian" as I have come to understand California made beers to be (though the bottle DOES say Saratoga Springs, NY... a confuzzlement).
Another "retired" beer but it seems to me that you can get yourself the components that make this brew and easily mix up a batch yourself.
I certainly intend to try.

Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very appetizing looking ale in my Imperial pint mug, very dark almost total blackness, topped by a rather bubbly,frothy tan head, that sticks. The aroma is a bit subdued but is rather pleasant and mainlly of malts, dark roasted. Thids is actually not a bad tasting beer, mostly burnt,roasty oat like flavours with a nice hoppy undertones and a pleasant alcohol sensation near the end , some faint fruitiness throughout. Very pleasant on the palate..its a very varied mouthfeel,nice. I liked this unusual ale..the first beer from this brewery that has impressed me.

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.

Photo of GClarkage
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/20/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Sacramento, CA

Presentation- No dating on this 22oz bomber. Poured into my 24 oz glass mug.

Appearance- Has that opaque black color that you get from mixing a dark and light brew. Average foamy head and light lacing.

Smell- Smells good enough. A bit malty and a bit hoppy all in one. Maybe a bit of fruit bitterness in the hops.

Taste- Tastes like a black and tan as well. Much more bitterness than I imagined though. I know I don't get this much bitterness when I used the regular Guiness and Bass. A bit too much IMO. Still very drinkable. Tastes like they used 3/4 ale and 1/4 stout.

Mouthfeel- Wish it was a bit more creamy and a bit less carboanted.

Drinkability- About average for a black and tan. Surely blows away Mississippi Mud, but then, what doesn't? I can make a better one on my own though. Still, worth a try.

Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry and slightly metallic scent that boasts of pale, crystal, black, and roasted malts. The taste is decent as well. It has a dry and malty flavor that boasts of stout malts and a warming finish. It also has a metallic off-flavor that really brings the taste down. It lingers in the aftertaste with the black malt earthiness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a beer with great potential. It's a fine concept, but the metallic character ruins it for me. It drinks decent, but this will be the last one I buy.

Photo of WMBierguy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first beer from this brewery, and is also one of my first black & tans. This poured a dark brown, and created a nice head that lingered for a few minutes. The taste is rather strange and bitter sweet, but pleasant. It has a clean taste, with very little hint of alcohol in its flavor (surprising for something with 6.5% ABV). I was pleased with this beer, and I recommend that you try it.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color with some thin lines of red highlights; bubbly tan head, streaky lacing noticeable. The aroma is somewhat toasty – toasted wheat bread, some caramel undertones. Sweet and perky; pinpricks of hops are tucked into the body, along with chocolate, black licorise and coffee beans. After the introduction, it takes on a thick, smoky feel, warming releases more of the mentioned flavorings. Espresso and hazelnut tastings, just a tinge of bitterness rolling off the tongue, there is a semi-belly-warming affect. All in all, this is not a bad effort for a style that’s hard to find (bottled).

Photo of sulldaddy
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

scored from watermelonman. Thanks!
The beer is a 22 oz bomber and I am drinking a room temp in a pint glass. The beer pours clear rich brown with a rocky tan head foaming up very large even with a gentle pour. The head fades very quickly to an edge layer. The beer exhibits some ruby tints when held to a light. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee with light grassy hops mixing in. I also get some general roasted malt and actually a bit of dark fruit. FIrst sip reveals an average body and very fine carbonation. Flavor is fairly mild but roasted malt and chocolate are present with a bit of brown sugar sweetness. Very easy to drink with no hint of ABV. Pretty nice brew overall.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark ruby color when held to strong backlight. Thick mocha cap is less than a finger but steadfast. Thin sheets of lace.

Aroma - grainy with a fair dose of darkly roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Smells good but could use more intensity.

Taste - good roasted grain and malt taste. Coffee comes through around the swallow, along with some balancing hops. Finishes slightly bitter, pairing well with the fading coffee element.

Mouthfeel - full-feeling but not overly heavy. Good carbonation, a little to the active side.

Drinkability - goes down easy and has lots of rich flavor, I will have to try the two beers that make up this tasty creation.

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.

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."

Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this beer back from a trip to Tennessee. ...turns out I can get it here now. Oh well. Pour a brown color with a very tall head that has decent retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very subdued, but roasted malts. The flavor is much more smooth than I expected. Very well blended. Has a mouthfeel that is thin for a stout and thick for a lighter beer. Finish is bitter. Good beer.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown, letting just enough light through to let me know its is brown. The head is about 3 fingers, tan and leaves a nice bit of lace as it retreats. The nose is a bit subdued, with hints of roasted notes coming through. The flavof is nice. There is a good harmony between the roasted character from the 'black' and the sweet caramel from the "tan" in this one. The finish is a good coffee bitter that keeps me going back for more. The feel is a shade shy of moderate, but it works for this beer. Drinkability is also good on this one. I will definately try both of the beers blended to make this one.

Photo of Globetrotter
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at One Stop Liquors in Johnson City, Tennessee, and had it shipped via air freight to Moscow. Comes in a brown bomber with a silver label featuring a black and a brown hawk. This product is a blend of Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Ale, the latter of which I've had the pleasure of trying. No freshness or ingredient info.

Pours a clear burgundy under a 1.5 finger light beige head that has a very nice creamy consistency and settles very slowly, leaving great lace. The nose is fairly mild at first, with a bit of rasted nut and caramel, getting stronger as the brew warms. The mouth is well carbonated and fairly heavy. The first taste demonstrates that this is a good blend, with caramel malts and roasted nuts followed by a distinct espresso bitter. There is a very tingly sensation on the tongue, even after the liquid is gone, thanks to the hops. There is a quite bitter lasting impression, with a note of sweet caramel behind. The espresso impression might be a bit strong for some, but I would gladly have another.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears much like a stout, extremely dark brown body, but there is a little more translucency than most stouts. Big off-white head, that fades to a rocky surface. Smell is slightly of coffee, and roasted malt, but there is a trace of doughiness and hops. Taste has a rich coffee flavor that is strongly cut with hops. This beer is definitely different enough to represent and affirm the black & tan is worthy of it’s own style.

Photo of winomark
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red showing. Thick, light brown head. Smells of mild chocolate, coffee, and carbonation. Good balance of roasted malts and a crisp, dry finish. Flavorful mouthfeel; not too heavy. A good session beer. Hope to try this one again. Worth a try.

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber bottle, with no freshness dating noted.. Pours dark molasas ark amber, white head, that dissolves to a tiny bubble film and leaves typical lacing. Nose is malty, with a hint of cocoa. Blend of two fine brews results in a middle of the road, brownish ale, nothing too spectacular in the result. Quaffable, sessioner.

Photo of Skidz
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving size: 22 oz bomber.

Pours out dark orange-brown and sits a deep chocolate brown, reminiscent of black, forming a good sized light tan head, flimsy, with some fair lacings.

Smells nice and roasty with a touch of smoky tangy and sweet aromas. Dashings of cocoa powder and light brown sugar. Malts dominate, but hops present a fair amount of aroma, light citric tones but a more herbal and spicy character.

Tastes roasted and malty up front with just a touch of smokiness. Light coffee flaovr with chocolate and caramel seeping through. Faint hint of fruity esters consisting of apples and pears. Adequate bitterness midway through the finish which dashes the tounge with pepper and tea leaves, leaving your mouth with a nice roasted aftertaste.

Smooth in the mouth, nice even carbonation. Medium-full body handles the light load of flavors well.

Drinkable? Yes. Enjoyable? Yes. A good combination? Not necessarily. Combine two decent beers and you get a decent beer, no big surprise. Still, it goes down smooth and provides some nice flavors for you to reflect on.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label Lore: Attractive Reynolds Wrap foil motifed dual labeled 22 oz double duecer. Neck label explains the blend of red & stout.

Clear yet dark purple mahogany without any carbonation under a cloud like frothy khaki surface of the moon cratered pour into me pint. Plenty of visible lattice lace in the pint. Liquid dessert appearance. It looks good, but this is all down hill from here.

Scents are getting to me nose from two feet away. Bold malty roasted scents.

First Swigs: A watered down porter-esque roasted malty barley foamy creamy feel. Sweet table sugarmalt fronts followed by some hops balance. A bit of red-ale flavors barely win out. Having had both of these blends so many times, my tongue is confused.

Becomes clogged in the blended sense. Brown, red, stout. This never gets out of the gate.

Last Swigs: What do you get when you mix a red and a stout? A red stout! Is that good? Best aspects are the appearance and label. Too bad that accounts for doodlie skittle. Otherwise, a forgettable blend that is reserved for the curious. Otherwise, enjoy a black ‘n tan traditionally. Roasted light cocoa at best. 6.5% ABV is nice. Too bad that this isn't great because Bob Craven, the manager of MENDOCINO gave me the bottle personally. He is such a beer appreciator. #6 on the style list with 30 reviews.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Black Eye Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.