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Mendocino Black IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mendocino Black IPAMendocino Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

110 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 110
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 03-19-2013

Brewed with orange peel
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by BucannonXC5:
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: 12-oz. mug
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $7.49 for a 6-pack
Purchased: May 28, 2014
Consumed: May 29, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured an almost pitch-black color with two fingers of frothy tan head. Drooping, layered lacing along the sides of the glass. Average retention.

Smelled dark chocolate brownie, black coffee, dark espresso, vanilla, toffee, caramel, light smoky fire, fudge, crayon and nutty malts. Kind of digging it, but reminding me more of a dark porter or light stout than a dark IPA.

Tasted pretty average compared to the smell. Got bitter black coffee, espresso, dark vanilla, dark fudge, smoky fire, crayon and bitter, roasty nuts. Missing something. Just OK.

Full-to-medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

This beer got worse as it went down. I’d say I won’t have it again, but I still have five left in this six-pack. Any takers?

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a pint glass a deep garnet color with a half finger off white head atop,good color clarity in the pour.Smells of roast,earth,tea leaves,and some gummy fruitiness,and more leafy hops are there and linger but don't play a big role,somewhat of a different aroma for the style.Roasty and earthy up front with some molasses-like sweetness coming into play,mild orange peel and leafy tea hop flavors in the finish.There is a bunch of different stuff going on in this beer,Iam still trying to grasp everything.Not bad but unlike any ABA I have had.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.99/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

The Black IPA aka American Black Ale seems to have a solid foothold within American beer culture now. Mendocino goes off on a limb a bit with the addition of orange peel, which completely complements the style. Are we looking at a Black White Ale here? Seriously good drinking.

STYLE: American Black Ale
ABV: 6.0%
AVAILABILITY: Seasonal

LOOK: Dark ruddy brown, good showing of lace

SMELL: Oranges, pithy, zest, toasted grain, hint of alcohol, herbal, clean

TASTE: Semi-dank, orangey, toasty, faintly roasty, smooth, bready, nutty, assertive bitterness, hoppy, kiss of alcohol, carob, resin, orange peel finish

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark crimson ruby almost black hued body with a big tan head forming thick after a vigorous pour, the head provides speckled even lacing down the sides of my pint glass. Aroma earthy herbal mint with a hint of dark chocolate earthiness. Flavor wise it hits like an earthy vegetal hop garden minimally dark roasts with a bitter finish come on. Mouthfeel is dry too dry, with an earthy dankness that leaves me wanting more balance overall it's beer that needs fine tuned.

Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz undated but just purchased bottle poured into a snifter. Pours dark mahogany, looking nearly black and opaque in the glass. Clear with no sediment. Small and short-lived tan head leaves some splotchy lacing.

Aroma: unusual but with some chocolate malts and subdued hops. Hints of grapefruit rind, lemon and orange peel, as well as some more savory elements like garlic.

Taste: The hop flavor is rather low for style, as per the nose. Nonetheless, there are grassy/earthy notes from the hops as well as a touch of pine. Rather earthy throughout, with a nice orange peel note that lingers past the finish, along with a more dominant grapefruit peel bitterness and a hint of coffee.

Mouthfeel: plenty of carbonation, giving the medium-full body some tingling liveliness.

O: Given the IPA label, it needs more hop flavor. Interesting IPA variant with the addition of orange but, like many black IPAs, IMO, the sensory qualities done quite gel. I recommend a bit warmer serving temperature than for a typical IPA.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep cordovan brown with a light tan finger width head. Good retention. Leaves a thin layer of microbubbles covering the surface. Nice lacing around the glass, with good stick.

Smell - Cocoa and stale coffee grounds, with orange zest that doesn't quite mesh.

Taste - Continues where the smell left off; stale coffee with touches of cocoa and cigarette ash. Funky, misplaced sweetness. Hop character is weak by comparison, only managing to impart the slightest touch of citrus throughout, and a near undetectable bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy. Goes down easy enough.

Overall - Damn, and I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mess. The malt profile simply doesn't work, and the lack of a strong hop punch only magnifies the problem. Sorry Mendocino, this one's a miss.

Photo of socon67
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark copper pour with a decent amount of lacinbg. Opaque look with some visible carbonation.

S - Some smell of citrus, Pine Sol, and an earthy hop scent. However nothing really seems inviting and this is more like a mass produced faux craft.

T - Mild hoppy flavor and a dash of citrus tartness. Finish is clean and has a mellowed bitterness. Not really a black IPA as advertised, but a pretty pleasant tasting beer anyway.

M - Sessionability on this is solid. Has enough flavor to pair will with food and compliment nicely. Some carbonation, and leaves a mild raspy feel on the palate.

O - As with so many of the Mendocino beers, this is a decent beer but at the price point and with so many superior options, why would someone select this?

Photo of Gryphon69
3.01/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A- Dark brown with a orange tint

S- Very fruity, lots of plum and apricots, also some orange with faint traces of chocolate and light coffee. Doesn't match what I think of a black IPA.

T- Earthy with the a mixture of the smells. I didn't notice much if any alcohol and ,the if any bitterness it was also very low.

M- average carbs, wasn't overly heavy, but did have a decent smoothness.

O- First the good - I liked the look and it has a interesting smell.
I personally did not care for this ones taste, seemed very muted with no pizzaz. I tend to like my drink to let you know its there. Seems a very muddled mixture of flavors.

Photo of CMUbrew
3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body with a small, khaki colored head that retains as a long lasting thin cap.

S: The nose is light in both the black and IPA areas. Light, old coffee roastiness meets a small amount of citrus hop. Dark fruitiness seems to dominate though.

T: Citrusy hops on the front end, followed by a roastiness that slowly builds almost into a coffee flavor.

M: Light, maybe a touch watery.

O: Not bad. The beer manages to display all the elements needed in a black IPA, but doesn't do it as well as could be done. Still enjoyable enough though.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.49/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Found this mixed at matched at my local House of 1,000. Into a pint glass
A - Pretty good start so far a 1/2 inch of mocha head sticky lacing is nice. Beer itself is pretty close to what a Black IPA should look like... Black
S - Well it's mostly malt so I could understand the hate. Chocolate and orange peel highlighting. I take a sip.
T - Their is a mild bitterness to the finish with some roasted malts and a touch of dried orange peal. Other than that kind of boring.
M - Best part of the beer its smooth with a light to medium body.

Overall nothing worth seeking out and would much rather have their imperial stout. Still it's always nice to try something new.

Photo of silverking
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a deep brown with a reddish tinge. It has a fluffy light tan head with excellent retention and nice lacing.

S- Roasted malt, citrus, piney hops.

T- Orange and cocoa, reminds me of chocolate covered orange peel, followed by grapefruit and citrus rind with a nice amount of bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, with moderately high levels of prickly carbonation.

O- Not bad, I would buy this again.

Photo of BB1313
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through. Nice off-white head, nice retention, nice lacing. The aromas are full of coffee and chocolate malts. There are hints of grapefruit rind and orange peel. There are very subtle hints of onion and garlic. First sip and I'm blasted with roasted coffee. The coffee really seems to dominate. There's a nice hop bitterness, but this one lack hop flavor. Despite not having an intense hop flavor, there's a nice grassy/leafy quality. There's also a touch of pine resin. Pretty earthy. There are citrus notes, but they definitely hide in the background. Mouthfeel is really nice. It's light and has very active carbonation. It becomes fluffier and creamier the more I drink. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's pretty quaffable.

Not bad, but nothing that really wowed me. They did nail the coffee aspect, I was just hoping for more hop flavor. The potential is definitely there, I just wish it was more vibrant.

Photo of predikit
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours dark, almost completely black. Leaves a nice dark tan head that recedes relatively slowly, leaves minimal lacing behind.

Smell like chocolate, and some citrusy hops.

There is a lot going on in the flavor here, sweet at the start, chocolate notes come through, which then takes on a very roasted tone. The bitterness shows up towards the end and through the finish, the aftertaste is the worst thing here, with some minor aspirin in the mix.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, decently smooth going down.

Not a terrible brew, has some good points, but with the off flavors the aftertaste ruins the entire experience. Would not buy this again.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is very dark caramel brown. Two fingers of very dense, buttery, lightly tanned head dissipated slowly, leaving a webwork of foam along the glass and a creamy cap and lacing.

Smell: The usual suspects, though a touch faint. Grapefruit, orange, and a touch of pine. Underneath are hints of a malty foundation: caramel, toffee, and cocoa. Honestly, there really is not much there.

Taste: The flavor makes up for the lackluster smell. It is nothing intense, but it is superbly balanced. The grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest come on strong at first, then pine spice emerges. Counterbalancing the citrus and spice is toasted malts, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a touch of cocoa. A dash of roasted malts offer a nice bite that complements the bitterness from the hops. Tropical fruit comes into play late, as well as some dark fruit cherry. A little odd, but very tasty. The zest lingers, probably due to the orange peel used during brewing.

Drinkability: This is good stuff, plain and simple. In terms of bitterness, it is not going to blow anybody away. But the flavor is awesome!

Photo of TMoney2591
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A black IPA brewed with orange peel? Sure, like Mikey, I'll try anything... This stuff pours a clear midnight sienna topped by over a finger of dusty khaki foam. The nose comprises onion, light leek, garlic salt, light paprika (it took me a bit of sniffing around the spice rack to figure this one out properly), a few drops of molasses, and light mixed greens. If I wanted this shit, I would've kept my nose in the spice rack... The taste holds notes of pine resin, mild dark chocolate powder, bitter greens, a hint of maple syrup, and a dash of garlic. Like the usual black IPA's that don't sit well with me, the roast and the hops don't meld, but rather clash, just not as badly as elsewhere, thankfully. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a relatively smooth feel. Overall, I can't cotton this beer, really. It smells atrocious and the taste doesn't sit well on my tongue.

Photo of WestHam973
4.68/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very Drinkable for a Black IPA, the hops balance nicely and don't overpower the nice Black Lager taste

Photo of khargro2
1.73/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Received from a friend who had the Beer of the Month Club. Poured into a standard pint glass.

L: Dark, murky liquid. Tan head that does not linger.

S: Malty, hint of citrus. Maybe black licorice.

T: Something tastes off. I've had several Black IPAs. Some are hoppier than others, but this one is overpowered by malt.

F: The best part of this beer is the slight linger of roasty aftertaste.

O: Overall, roasty malt was a theme of this beer. I ended up drain pouring the end of the beer due to lack of balance. I checked the bottle for signs of oxidation, but none were evident.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mocha, almost black. Moderate head and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and citrus.

Taste: Roasted malts and orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with a bitter finish.

The Verdict: Fair. Drinkable, but nothing to make it worth recommending other than the price. Pretty tame, though more flavor does come out as it warms… but that’s not saying a lot.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an almost opaque super dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight cocoa, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt and citrus flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but there is bit too much unbalanced bitterness present in my opinion.

Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yum! I love this! It's super dark, full of flavor and just delicious. Not for the faint of heart, perhaps, but delicious nonetheless. I would drink this any day of the week, for the flavor. It's not exactly a "thirst quencher," in the sense that there is a lot of bitterness and dark flavor, but the richness is what makes it tasty!

Photo of elNopalero
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a solid jet-coffee black with tan colored foam.

There’s not a big aroma and what’s there you have to hunt for, but I get a nice piney citrus note atop some ashy roast. It’s understated and muted.

The flavor comes across with a piney citrus grapefruit-note. There’s a muddled mess—it’s roasty! it’s hoppy! it’s smooth! it’s malty!—which in this case works. No, it’s not a hoppy porter, or an overly malty (dark) IPA, and no it’s not a dank grapefruit bomb, but yes, I liked it.

I’d have it again and as of this moment it might be my favorite of the Mendocino brews I’ve tried.

Photo of 3PuttPar
3/5  rDev -11%

Heavy and hard to drink. Gives a great style a bad name.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This one pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a ruby caramel color with a slightly sunkissed tan colored head. Decent head on this one, nice retention, minimal lacing.

Aroma is kind of lacking. Not much to speak off other than "beer". Some light roasted coffee and caramel, but that is about it.

Roasty and chocolatey. There are certainly some coffee flavors in this one; cant tell if it is coffee or coffee type grains. The bottle indicates this one has orange peel and coriander, but I taste No orange or coriander. Smooth and balanced. Like the carbonation. Nice bitterness, different yet drinkable. Body is light to medium. Nice warm weather beer.

Photo of hosehead83
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Dark brown/black in color, with a generous head of tan, airy foam.
Aroma-Faint notes of piney hops, orange zest
Taste-Mix of dark toasted malt, piney hops, and orange peel, with underlying coffee bitterness that follows to the finish. Decent flavor but a bit unbalanced and muddled upon warming.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown, near black body capped with an inch of light beige froth.

Smell: Humble chocolate notes trying to dodge the ever so slightly harsh charry, ashen roasted malt scents. The hops, a bit leafy, mainly toss off touches of citrus and pine needle.

Taste: Roasted malts, charred nuts with some lighter touches of bitter chocolate. Minor creosote hints throughout. Pine and citrus notes (be it from the hops or added orange peel) with a medium degree of bitterness. Drying, ashy, astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Like its Mendocino brethren, it's just sorta okay.

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Mendocino Black IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.