Black Eye Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale
203 Ratings
Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Ratings: 203 |  Reviews: 156
Reviews by mattmaples:
Photo of mattmaples
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a blend of Eye of the Hawk and Black Hawk. Now I really like both of those beers (especially the EOTH) but I really don't think this is a good blend. It's not bad but I don't think they complement each other well. The Eye of the hawk tends to make the stout to hoppy and the stout drops the intensity of the Eye of the Hawk. Nice concpet but in this case I don't think it worked all that well.

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More User Reviews:
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was definitely more black than tan. The head came up nicely but went bye-bye in a NY minute.

Smell – Nice stouty coffee and chocolate aromas. It’s subtle, but the pleasing aroma along with some good sugary notes shows better promise than ‘ol Mississippi Mud.

Taste – Ah, my first official “good” Black & Tan. The malt characteristics are very strong, much stronger than I got from the nose. The coffee is there but gives way to some roasty malts and some quality cocoa. There’s also a light lager or ale flavor.

Mouthfeel – Mildly carbonated and just right on medium-bodied. The plethora of flavors here mixed well to create a nice, pleasing sensation in the mouth.

Drinkability – My first really drinkable Black & Tan. The style seems to be the whipping boy of microbrews, but Mendocino did it justice by mixing their Eye of the Hawk with their Black Hawk Stout.

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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.

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Photo of Beerswag
3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber is a blend of Eye of the Hawk ale and Black Hawk stout. Pours dark, not quite opaque. Clear, with garnet hues when held to the light. One finger, beige head retains well and leaves attractive sheets of lace down the imperial pint glass.
Aroma is muted, with dark roasted, malty notes of coffee and chocolate, and grapefruit hops.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a moderate hops bite. This blend did not have a feel of a watered down, stout, to its credit.
Taste began dry and pinecone hop bitter. Dark roasted malt flavors of bittersweet chocolate emerge early on, and the hops soften into grapefruitiness midway through. Bitter, chocolate malt ends up as the dominant flavor, with a pleasant grapefruit, hop background. Very tasty, overall.
Excellent for a blended beer. Very drinkable, and a bit of fun trying to pick up the characteristics of the stout and ale used here. Nice!

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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.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly good. Pours dary brown with a short tan head. Great lacing. Aroma of burnt coffee, nuts, toasted rye, and some cocoa. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt in the front that blends slowly with a malty caramel and peppery hop back. Creamy mouthfeel that is a little thin.

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

Mendocino Black Eye Ale is a pretty average beer. The roastiness of the "Black" was not very pronounced with little acrid, coffee, or chocolate. The "tan" provides a nice clean crisp body. This beer doesn't have a distinct flavor or a special character, but unoffensive and easy to drink.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite a good black and tan. Way better than Guinness and Harp together.

Looks deep dark brown, not quite black, smells earthy. Drinks smooth, and yet has a good hop and bitterness quality. Pour me another, because this is a highly drinkable beer.

Had my first one at the brewery, was a little skeptical of how it would taste out the bottle, but its damn good. A value too, as it can be had for less than $5 a bomber.

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

Saratoga Springs version...dark, dark brown with mahagony highlights. Tan head with a creamy texture. Laces in thin sheets on the glass. Doughy aroma, lightly oily with a hop sense. Starts roasty, lots of mixed grain, a bit of smokiness. Well-balanced approach, pithy hoppiness asserts mid mouth, decent marriage with dark grain. Slight coffee on the finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat compromised, slightly wavering and watery at the end. A bend of Black Hawk and and Eye of the Hawk Old Ale, it seems that the Stout is bringing most everything other than alcohol to the table here -- but at the same time being a little light in texture.

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Photo of rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Ian for this brew. I actually preffered this to their stout. Palate is nice and soft, smooth. Toffee/careml flavours to start of with, with a roasty finish. Decent amount of hops in the finish. Medium bodied, nice balanced flavours. Soft mouthfeel, a tasty beer
(Bottle- GBBF 03')

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Photo of DarrellK
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of degerbah
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very fark brown with tan colored head. EXtremely strong malt smell to the beer. Mainly smells of caramel with some choclate as well, but the smell is intense. The beer is extremely sweet, possibly a little over-sweet. Just a little bit of roasted malt aftertaste as well. Overall the beer is a little thick for easy drinking and the sweetness is a little too much for my taste.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Discovered in a small liquor store in Carbondale, Ill. and enjoyed throughout a week of sweltering heat and humidity.

Poured a very dark amber, almost black with a tan full two finger head that melted rather slowly.

Aroma was sweet porter-like toasted malts, a touch of hops, then definite alcohol.

Taste was lightly sweet dark toasted malt as in a good Irish Stout and then the sweetness of the American Strong Ale blends in and then mellows to a hoppy drying and alcohol warmth.

I enjoyed this beer immensely. I found the balance achieved with the two Mendicino brews to be a perfect blend and this has now become my favorite "Black & Tan". Since it is unavailable where I live, I will be blending it myself at home.
Refreshing dry stout.
Flavorful toasted malts.
Nice hoppy finish.
Great Alcohol buzz.
$2.19 a bomber.


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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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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep brown. The head is an off-white or light tan and is 2 fingers thick. The head has good staying power, but eventually gives way to an unyielding, sticky lace.

Smell - Roasted coffee notes, a bit of caramel. Both beers are certainly present in the aroma.

Taste - Faint coffee roast to start, followed by some nice, sweet caramel notes.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-Medium body, fitting carbonation. Goes down fairly smooth. This should be thicker. I blame the Black Hawk.

Overall - This is a pretty good Black and Tan, especially as pre-bottled B&T's go. I can't help thinking, though, that Mendocino would be better served using their Imperial Stout as opposed to the Black Hawk.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black & Tan in a bottle...what's the point? The tap version seems the only way to go, but I have an open mind and an empty glass. Let's fill it...

I suppose if you mixed anything black and anything tan, you'd get this dark brown color, it's glassy, glossy and looks a bit like root beer with all its ruby shading. The nearly two-inch head is fluffy and creamy...takes it's freaking time to settle, and that's cool by me.

Whoa! The aroma hits like a ton of bricks. Not that it's extremely hoppy or insanely boozy (it's neither), but it's distinctive. I'm having a hard time breaking down its fine points, but it reminds of a baltic porter, somewhere between Baltika and Perkuno's Hammer, maybe...definitely hugely malty and inviting as hell.

Flavor's not nearly as good as the aroma, but it's good. There's a gorgeous gooey maltiness happening, which is hit upside the head with something salty, and hops that seem a bit dead, or at least unnecessary amidst the big malt trying to shine through. A dry finish keeps the malt kicking in ghostlike form. Not bad, and the thin yet carbonated mouthfeel somehow works. [NOTE: Glad this was a big first impressions were not great...then it got, near the end of the bottle, it seems pretty darn good. It's not the 6.5% talking, either, as my tolerance is sturdier than that.]

It's interesting. The aroma is wonderful, big and brownie-like, you really feel like you're in for a treat, and then the collision happens (consider the style). Still, I was sold by the end of the bottle. Mendocino stuff is typically very affordable, so there's no reason not to try it. They call this Black & Tan "The Ultimate Blend", but as likable is it is, they've got serious competition from Black Sabbath & Bongs, Orange & Vanilla, and Baseball & Sunday Afternoons.

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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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mendocino's Black Eye Ale pours a very very dark mahogany brown body beneath a full head of frothy tan foam. The head retention is quite good, and although it eventually drops to a thin creamy cap, it still leaves some very nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is fairly basic, but that's kind of expected of a blend. It's caramelish and cereal-like with chocolate and hints of dark malt and mild roastiness here and there. Quite nice.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp with a median carbonation. Standard.

The flavor displays some very nice notes of soft roastiness and chocolate upfront, followed by sweeter toffee and caramel as it warms. A flash of yeasty fruitiness appears, and carries over to the finish, but bitterness and a bit of dark malt acidity take flight at mid-palate. It finishes dry and acidic with a lingering note of almost-burnt roastiness and some yeasty fruitiness (berries, some cherry, dark fruit). A very very light touch of alcohol is present, which is odd because it's not really that strong... perhaps it's being carried over from the Eye of the Hawk.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured two fingers of head on a black body. Looks nice.
The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and a little coffee. Pretty good except for a slight metallic note.
The taste is watered down roasted malt with metallic undertones. There's a mild bitterness at the end.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
An easy drinker. The metallic notes took some points away, but not good overall.

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Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this back in NC late July.

Poured mahogany with a 2 fingers tan head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Slight toasted malt & some choclate

T: Slight choclate & some fruittyness up front. Light coffee notes & grainyness. I also got raisins as it warmed. Finished with a slight oakyness, some fruit notes & more choclate

MF: Medium bodied with good carbonation, more hops needed balance-wise

This drank okay, about middle of the road for black & tans

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Photo of bditty187
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, shiny black in hue with easily apparent ruby influences. I did not need to hold the glass to a light to notice the crimson. It is a lovely color, I suppose. The head was beige in color and a healthy finger in height. The head retention was excellent as it only faded a smidge. The remaining head lasted for the entire consumption. Impressive. And this says nothing about the sheeting lace that was produced. Awesome! As the label states it is a mix of Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk but the nose doesn’t provide aromas that would lead me to the same conclusion. In other words, I can’t detect the roasty qualities; aside from a weak suggestion of chocolate but this was only at the back. The beginning is airy, then mineraly, and then weakly hoppy. The bouquet is apathetic, I mean purely pointless. It is not inviting because it doesn’t say a word. The palate has many of the qualities of the nose. That is not necessarily a good thing. Why? I can’t taste the stout, aside from a weak coffee-chocolate note at the finish that lingers into the aftertaste. This is pleasant but a bit weak. Luckily the other beer in this “Ultimate Blend” has enough flavors to keep me interested. There is a modest citrusy bite of hops. Caramel notes. As mentioned previously the stout qualities are found in the aftertaste and this melts wonderfully with the bitter afterglow. Obviously this is not a traditional Black-n-Tan but it works and quite well I might add. It is not World Class but it is tasty, especially considering it only set me back $1.99 for a bomber. This is a good quaffer, session beer material (okay, aside from the 6.50% abv) and tasty enough to match with a juicy burger. Medium in body, modest carbonation, the mouthfeel is decent, nothing special but it is not a hindrance either. It could be a tickle fuller. I consumed the bomber with ease. I purchased this beer in Minneapolis, MN. This is a good, simple beer. Worth a try.

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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 nms1987
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice color.
Looks black in the glass from a distance but as it is pouring in there you see the copper outline from the Eye of the Hawk Ale.

The smell is more hoppy than anything though. West Coast style hoppage for sure. Some floral notions.

This stuff looks like a stout and smells like a pale ale.

Tastes really nice. You get some of that roasted grain stout body and smoothness but it has a great crisp finish.

This stuff should get some wider distribution. It succeeds in a couple of different ways.

Good stuff.

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Black Eye Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 203 ratings