Black Eye Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

Black Eye AleBlack Eye Ale
Liked This Beer
3.64 w/ 203 ratings
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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Ratings: 203 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and a mild char aroma. Taste is much the same with a slight soy sauce taste 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 a pretty good beer that seems to be much more stout forward compared to the other beer it's blended with.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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 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 zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a brown/bronze color with a pillowy, three-finger head. Left some lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, malt and a hint of hops.

T - It tasted of roasted malt, chocolate and some spices.

M - It was soft and creamy. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good beer, but I guess it has been retired. Mendocino products just showed up here in Columbia, MO.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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 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 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 smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby mahogany where minimal light makes it through. Moderate head, but it lasts. Decent lace--kind of a combination of blanketing and ring lace.

Creamy dark malt aroma. No harsh black patent malt or coffee smells. Good chocolate nose. Lightly chalky.

Like a true black and tan--stout flavors are mitigated by a pale ale. My only complaint is the body which is on the thin side. The darker malts are light enough to allow the hop to pleasantly blend in. The aftertaste continues this blend and it lasts a long time.

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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.

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

dark brown color with nearly no light shining though. This gave way to a smallish, but near permanent head of light tan lacing that really just seemed to do the job quite nicely. Settling down it coated the glass and left large sticky lacing all throughout. Really a classic look for a dark porter, but we will see where this goes.

Aroma is hoppy as heck. Deep citrus and pine hops lead the charge here. Crisp, clean and definitely very full. I was quite impressed with the way this one was starting off now. Warming allowed some nice touches of roasted malt and light cocoa to balance in. First sip though left no doubt in my mind as to the direction this one was going in. Rich hop notes dominate every ounce of flavor here. Piercing at times with pine and grapefruit taking turns with the destruction of my taste buds.

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

Something tells me this isn't retired since I just picked a bottle up on 7/10/07, and the last time I visited the store did not have this in stock.
Presentation- poured at 50 degrees into a snifter from a 22oz brown bottle w/ no freshness dating.

A - Deep brown with a huge, rocky tan head. The head lasts and lasts, the lace is copious w/ good sticking qualities.

S - A chocolate and spice aroma w/ deeply roasted scents. The hops are noticeable w/ an earthy note.

M - A smooth and light medium body and sweet maltiness finishes slightly dry with moderate effervescence.

T - Toasted dry slightly course grain flavored. A smooth dark brown ale flavor is tossed about by a more hoppy bitter alter-ego. Nicely roasted w/ a light metallic flavor. A mellow mix of creamy and hoppy, the stout seems to lead the charge in this blend while the select ale adds depth and spice. Very much a tug of war between the two birds of prey. The taste is not a mismatch, but a nice shared ale experience.

D - Very drinkable as far as blended ales go. I consider it adventurous move since you don't see many bottled 'Black and Tans' any more and I like having the best of both worlds in one glass. I would recommend pairing w/ barbecued beef or cedar grilled salmon.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Honestly, en route to putting up $200 in beer purchases a little while back, I grabbed this intriguing little item so I could have a bottle in the basket (carts are for the weak and smart) that didn't have a cost in the double digits. Not a bad little investment. It pours a barely translucent dark ruby brown topped by a finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises chocolate powder, light roasted malts, and some very light coffee. The taste is nearly identical, though some creamy caramel flows nicely into the finish. The body is firm medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, creamy feel. Overall, nice bit o' brew, one that I would recommend as a not-so-roasty darker beer. Get some!

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +3%

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 jwc215
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pt. 6 oz. bottle:

Pours almost black with slight ruby hues and some clarity. A thin white head soon becomes a patch, leaving minimal spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of light chocolate/cocoa and a hint of coffee with a caramelish/grainy background.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with some chocolate/coffeeish notes. A boozy, slightly fruity background comes through. It's slightly acidic with some almost burnt edges. It has a sweet, slightly plastic-y, finish.

It is rather watery but holds up, leaving some residual sweetness on the palate.

It's an interesting blend of two brews. I've had both the Black Hawk Stout (which I thought was decent) and the Eye of the Hawk (good) - this is a mix of both. Not a bad "experiment" and the two work together fairly well, though in two somewhat different directions. I expected it to be a bit heftier. Anyway, it is smooth and "interesting" so it's worth trying, especially if you have had both the brews that were mixed together to make this.

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

I've never been a fan of the black and tan, or half and half, or what-have-you, and the whole concept seems pointless to me. Porter is good, as is stout, and if you've got an excellent ale, hooray! Why mess around with mixing them to make one less of what it should be?
But, as for this...Appearance: deep brown color, with a full, thick morass of toasted brownish foam.
Aroma: alert and lively, fresh and nutty, hints of cocoa.
Taste: mild, but still flavorful, full of nutty, slightly chocolatey sensations. Body is medium to full, flavor is smooth and fruity, finish is long and tasty.
A passable combo, but doesn't surpass what each beer is on it's own.
Thanks to el mocoso for the bottle!

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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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer is brown and dark and mostly clear. Big tan head of small and large bubbles that leaves lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is malty and slightly roasty with hints of small hops.

Is Black and Tan really a style? Not really. It's more of a marketing thing while many beers are blended, B&Ts are an odd concept and I'm not sure of the make up of this one and apparently are too lazy to use google. It's light in body and finishes like a porter with some mild sweetness at the front. The beer is boring overall but its quite drinkable. A passer on a highway, nothing to notice.

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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.

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

This beer may be retired, but it is still quite available. A little searching either at the store or online will get it for you if you are interested. I found mine at a whole foods in the Atlanta area. Not the greatest beer in their stable, but interesting. Pours a blackish brown with a thin head. Smell is roasty, followed by a yeasty tang and piney hops. The taste is smooth and malty up front, with spicy hops on the back end. Smooth and slightly sweet in the mouth, this is better than your average pre-mixed black and tan.

 528 characters

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 wrightst
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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Black Eye Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 40.9% out of 100 with 203 ratings
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