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Black Eye Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2001

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Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 203
Photo of ThomasWSpinrad
4.77/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Something a little special. Bourbon cask conditioned Black Eye from the Mendocino east coast brewery, served at Saratoga Beer week. Very crisp. Very tasty. Coffee and chocolate notes overlaid with woodsy oak and sweet bourbon, sufficient hops. Much better mouth feel than the straight on tap Black Eye.

Excellent with food. I would follow this beer anywhere.

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Photo of drpimento
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good beer whatever style it is or it's being called. Poured with a great, foamy, frothy, thick, tan head that lasts and lace. Color is a clear to almost opaque very dark brown. Aroma is a clean roast, malt, toffee, cocoa. Flavor is like aroma plus bittersweetness stands out. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor, of medium length. And leaves me with a wish for another swallow. Session beer.

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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 togasports
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, especially when made on site, it has a great blend of the stout and the eye of the hawk, which is one of the best beers that mendocino makes. The taste is crisp and smooth, and it has a great blend of the flavors of the stout, and of the eye of the hawk.

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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.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very impressed with this one! Sad that it was simply a one-off release. The colour was much darker than I had expected. I was thinking a little bit darker than Newcastle, but this poured nearly black. The smell is pretty malty with a "chewy" stewed prune smell and just a tiny amount of hops hiding in the back. Very appealing smell. The hops lay siege to your taste buds immediately upon your first sip. So much for their weakness in the smell. There is a wonderful roasted malt that leaves a dryness in your mouth on the finish. Nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is very smooth with only a slight hint of carbonation. Very nicely produced brew. I'm sadened it will be no more.

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Photo of shabbtastic
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a growler with a buddy last week, reviewed from notes.

A - Poured a dark brown light white fluffy head with great retention. Minimal lacing with wonderful carbonation.

S - Roasted chocolate malt nose with a nice hop backing.

T - Mild roast to the malts of chocolate and toffee. Very smooth and balanced. A complex flavor of roasted malt and dark fruits.

M - Smooth and full bodied. Very warming with a moderate 6.5 abv that seemed stronger.

D - Easy drinking, I haven't been disappointed with Mendocino at all. Clearly one of the most underrated breweries out there. Highly recommended.

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Photo of donmonkey1
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black with a nice tan head, good head retention.

Smell: Sweet malty molasses with chocolate and nuts. Also a bit toasted.

Taste: The taste was really good. It was like the smell, but way weaker taste than I expected. It was not nearly as sweet as I expected (which was good). There was mostly a roasted, toasted, nutty molasses taste that was weak, but actually really good.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin and watery.

Drinkability: I love this beer and it's very easy to drink.

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Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As described on the label: "The Ultimate Blend". It is a blend of Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Select Ale which doesn't fit an exact style type...we'll go with Black and Tan.

It pours from a 22oz. brown bomber a very dark brown (nearly black) with a light tan 1/2" head. Good carbonation and delicate lace give a good appearance indeed.

Roasty, chocolaty sweet malt nose, with dark fruity and booze like undertones...smells like it's barrel-aged, although there's no mention of it. Reminds me of an RIS for the most part, aroma wise.

Nice earth-laden, mildly sweet malty backbone with excellent chocolate flavors coming though midway, followed by some dark ripe fruit, brown sugar and molassas. Excellant complex flavor extravaganza going on here...very tasty to my suprise.

Healthy big body with smoothness and a good warming from the alcohol which seems stronger than the 6.5% stated on the label.

Super drinkable and I definetely recommend grabbing some if you see it, I know I will.

Good job Mendocino Brewing!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in Sept. '07, but mistakenly reviewed it under the Cali. brewery, where it was listed as 'retired'.
22oz bomber,served in a pint glass.

A - deep brown color with a big fluffy tan head that settled to a layer, leaving plenty of sticky lacing on my glass.

S - roasted malt aroma, slight aroma of espresso coffee.

T - good roasted coffee and malt flavors, little bitterness, nicely balanced B & T.

M - medium bodied, good amount of carbonation.

D - not a brew I could drink all night, but I could put back a few of these very easily.

Final Note: this brew may be a 'rotating release' but you can always buy Black Hawk Stout & Eye of the Hawk and make your own version of this tasty B & T.

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Photo of Mancer
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle poured out a hazy dark brown body with a one finger high light brown head. The head dissipated fairly quickly to a halo of lace that remained for the rest of the beer. The initial aromas were of coffee malts, dark fruits (prunes perhaps,) and light aroma of burnt caramel. The initial flavors were of roasted coffee beans, roasted caramel, bitter hops, and finished with roast. The brew was slightly sweet and had a light to medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this beer was excellent. The price was perfect at $2.99 and the flavors really popped. This is really a gem to find in a store and I am blown away by this brewery. I must try more!

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Photo of ybnorml
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown/black beer with some mahogony highlights. Has a big foamy tan head and great lace. The aroma has a strong coffee character with an almost equal bittersweet chocolate backbone. Big roasted malt flavor right up front. With every sip the coffee and chocolate characters exchange place in the dominance of the taste.
I picked up this bottle (22oz) for $2.29...what a deal!
too bad they retired this tasty treat...maybe if I had tried it earlier I would have bought more.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly pure black light bodied color with a great sampling of tannish/brown head.
Smell is highly caramely with some roasted malts involved. The stout definately overpowers here.
This is a solid black and tan, it's not like going to the bar and getting a poured black n tan as the stouts roasts overpower most of the flavor, but some caramel from the select ale comes through well in the taste and finish.
Drinks great very sessionable.

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Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear black beer with red highlights.

Smell is first of Greek Olives, molasses and caramel show up later, also has a nice dark roasted malt scent. Perfume smell, I can't shake that smell of Greek oil cured black olives smell.

Taste is sweet and smoky, Like Greek Olives. Tasty has a fruitiness too it. This is the PERFECT brew for a Mediterranean Breakfast. This with fresh bread, feta cheese and olives, PERFECTION!

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable works well with Olive oil rich foods.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black with thin brown head. Nose is notably malty-roasty, with some nougat in there too.

Thin body is disappointing, but roasted malt & light chocolate flavors are pleasing. Hops provide a nice balance.

I can't help but wonder if the stout is the winner here and the "tan" is bringing down the beer a little.

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Photo of atsprings
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 22oz mug a nice almost black with a decent diminishing head. The aroma was of roasted malts and burnt caramel. The taste was an interesting blend of roasted malts, caramel malts and some earthy hops lingering in the background. The beer was medium bodied and was very refreshing for a dark beer on a hot summer night. This one is rather enjoyable and probably one of the best beers I've had by Mendocino.

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Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a nice creamy head that sticks well and leaves a dancing pattern of lace

Smell: Very modest aroma, a bit of roast and some grain

Taste: Starts with a mouthful of rich chocolate with undertones of smoked malt and a hint of alcohol; after the swallow, the malt bill returns to the fore with a mocha character that is complemented by the touch of strong ale alcohol lingering unobtrusively underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somwhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Didn't expect to care for this as I have never been that impressed by Mendocino beers; unlike other reviewers, I think this beer is greater than the sum of its parts; not sure whether it is retired but that would be a shame

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Photo of colts9016
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug at 40 degrees.

Appearance: A nice light tan head that has a 2 finger head with some retention. The body of the beer is a dark mahogany color with garnet highlights. The clarity of the beer is opaque with some highlights.

Nose: A nice toasted malt with chocolate, espresso, chocolate, and some floral aroma. In the background of the beer there is some citrus and wood.

Taste: A nice toasted malt with chocolate, espresso, chocolate, and floral hops. There are some fruity esters, wood, light burnt character, some melanoids, and light alcohol.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonate, rich and smooth. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium. This is a tasty beer, well rounded flavors and easy to drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed as a Black and Tan, I guess because it is a blend of a Stout and a Pale Ale. But, the flavors are much better than expected from most failed attempts of a B and T. I'd rather describe the beer as a firm American Stout with a heavy malt undertone. Or, as a Strong American Ale with a firm roasted character. I beleived that the individual beers of Eye of the Hawk and Black Hawk were good, but were a bit characterless. The blending of the two became a powerful, bold, sweet, and well balanced brew. The color was a very dark brown with faint amber highlights. Held firm retention. And, left a strong malt flavor and aroma that became almost syrupy. The hops balanced nicely, leaving a bold and crisp brew. Great for those cool spring nights. Hate to see that it is retired.

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Photo of ryanismean
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown, looks like it could be a porter, with a light tan head that recedes slowly and clings to my glass.

The aroma is mostly dark caramel malt, with hints of gingerbread and graham crackers. Very little hop presence, but inviting. Each sip seems to make my lips stick together in a sweet and not-unpleasant way. Roasted grain flavors cut through, leaving a lingering bready sweetness on the palate. Just a touch of bitterness on the back end to balance this out, which seems to be as much from the black malt as from the hops.

Mouthfeel toes the line; not chunky, but not so thin as to be unpleasant. Probably a sessionable brew, but the caramelly malt flavor is strong and would stand up well to a nice rare steak with funky gorgonzola and a red wine demi-glace.

All in all a very tasty brew, will definitely look for this in the future.

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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.

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

Dark brownish black; big tan head

Chocolate/coffee/sweet smells; some hop bitterness

Taste & Mouthfeel
Interesting! Definitely a mix of flavors; bitter all the way through; chocolate and malts at first and middle, followed by a hop finish; nice and balanced, sweet and tasty; good level of carbonation; medium bodied; creamy texture

It's like a light tasting stout, but filled out and balanced with the bitter ale side coming through; knowing what it is while drinking it, I can really appreciate it (if in a blind taste test, I might just think it's a weak stout)

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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.

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

Appearance- A nice dark brown hue combined with a 2 finger head poured into a Family Guy mug.

Smell- Mostly roasted malts mixed with light coffee creamer.

Taste- Starst out with a mix between roasted and smokey malst with a light mocha middle and ended with a creammy hop character.

Mouthfeel- A nice crisp malt palate, slightly chewy. But nothing like a god stout.

Drinkability- A little to string to be an session beer. But worth about 3 22oz bombers a day.

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

Dark brownish black with a minimal tan head, very short. It smells like alcohol and tastes like alcohol despite the 6.5% ABV. It also seems to have a malty quality I usually detect in barleywines with an aftertaste like your standard stout. Carbonation is prickly on the tongue. This is a good blend and a very good value. This bottle can;t be more than a year old because I didn't see it on the shelves when I was at this particular store last year.

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Black Eye Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 203 ratings.
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