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 DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a bomber fairly cheap so I picked one up at Shadyside Giant Eagle for $4.79

A - Well it looks like a mix of both ales since it's fairly dark (stout) but has a slight amber hue on the bottom (old ale) The head is a 1/4 inch creamy foam that is only slightly dark in color.

S - Well I get some slight oak and toffee from the Old ale side and also a solid bit of roast from the stout side. Should be interesting.

T - Taste is lighter than I expected but both are represented well mostly the stout side providing a nice roasty finish. It is very balanced.

M - Thinner than both the beers separately but easier to drink.

Overall I didn't have much expectation for this but it was a very tasty black and tan in fact one of the best I had so far (out of only a few) Try it if you like the style!

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Photo of Murrhey
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz beer poured in a Pilsner glass

A: Poured thick and dark, with a finger and a half head. Dark nut-brown, transparent with good carbonation. Thick lacing.

S: Smelled two distinct beers in here, not sure if that's what a black and tan is supposed to be like. Lighter hoppy smell and darker malty smell as well.

T: Tasty, not boozy like I expected. Darker than I had thought as well.

M: Good thickness, the best part of this beer.

O: My first black and tan, good experience. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Source/Serving: 22oz bottle

S: Smooth, almost creamy mocha below slightly rough piney, minty hops. Definitely nutty, in a nut extract sorta way.

T: Nicely balanced black and tan, and while I haven't had one in a while I'd say this is more complex in the hop arena than what I used to get on the East Coast. West Coast hops come through a bit, pine mostly, but not too much. Stout character is creamy, mocha, and chocolate and quite smooth and elegant. More nuttiness as I detected in the nose, which I like, and its quite prominent. Balanced is 65% to the stout side, but the nuttiness makes it interesting. While its not overwhelmingly great, and I'm not a huge B&T fan, you can tell it has good bones. It’s medium body is pleasant and not too heavy and the soft carbonation is right on for this style as its super smooth and more stout-like than hoppy ale-like.

Notes: Drinkable and pleasant with slightly more assertive hops than you find in East Coast blended Black and Tan's.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Black in color and totally opaque with brown rings around the bottom a very nice 1 inch tan head with good retention not great.

Smell: Upfront is a nutty note that seems to be a nut brown mixed with a stout so it creates a unique nuttiness. There is some roast to the beer as well and of course some chocolate notes smells exactly what a black n tan should smell like

Taste: The taste for me kind of falls short and kills this beer for me. It almost creates a cracker jack like flavor so there is some caramel and peanut notes to the beer that are trying to work in harmony with the chocolate but it is not working

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation and is just a bit dry interesting

Overall: To be honest I was hoping this one was going to be just a bit better in the flavor department. It wasnt bad but good either so it kind of let me down

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split this with my roomie. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours a dark, nearly opaque black. Head was minimal despite a vigorous pour. Lacing is half-assed at best. The smell is malty and sweet. Almost reminds me of a bock. The taste is actually pretty decent. It seems to have a pretty hefty cherry component somewhere, with some caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is pretty thin, and leaves behind a bit of a tart cherry aftertaste. Overall, this is an alright beer. I wouldn't seek it out, but...I can drink it.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown, almost black with nice marroon highlights when held up to the light. About a 1/2 finger tan head that fades really quickly and leaves virtualy no lacing.

S- Milk chocolate, raisins, dried cranberries, nice roasted malt notes. Perhaps just a back round hint of hops. Something is a touch citrusy on the far distant end of the nose.

T- Sour cherries covered in chocolate. Dried dark fruit... prunes, raisins, currants. Nice smokey malt notes with just a touch of bright citrusy hops.

M- The cocoa and bold malt tell your mouth STOUT... but it's a bit on the thin side. Nice smoky chocolate malts leave a great taste in your mouth, but somethings missing.

O- I really like Black Hawk Stout, and Eye of the Hawk seperately! This is a unique and bold attempt to bottle a black & tan. Imagine if you just put Guinness and Bass together in a bottle... yeah that! I was told I can order one of these fresh off of the tap right at the brewery near my house in Saratoga Springs. I might have to try it that way and review it again.

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

A: Pretty dark red-brown. Small head, decent retention.

S: Chocolate, prune, raisin, dark fruit.

T: Flavors of the ale and stout mix really, really well. This is the best black and tan I've ever had. Admittedly haven't had many of them, but still. Stout flavors really rush to the fore first, mellowing into the ale. Really want to try the Mendo stout now.

M: Somewhere between a stout and an ale...which I guess is exactly what they were going for.

O: Excellent value at ~$3 a 22oz. It actually tastes like a good beer. Not an award winner, but this is on a different planet when compared to most swill in this price range.

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

Appearance: Pours black with tan head. Light carbonation apparent.

Smell: Aroma not overwhelming, mainly roasted malts with slight notes of chocolate and prune.

Taste: Inititally the stout comes through with flavors similar to that of the aroma. Chocolate notes quickly dissapate into a balanced mix of malt bitterness and hops.

Mouthfeel: Body is rather light considering the style and especially lively.

I think if I were to choose I would rather have an eye of the hawk or black hawk stout alone as opposed to this blend. Instead of craving another sip I find myself craving the more complex flavors of a nice stout, which the black eye cannot live up to.

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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 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 huxcrunner
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is black with a tan head with good retention and average lacing

Smell is of carmel malts with a hint of chocolate bitterness

Taste is very good it is smooth with tastes of chocolate/coffee bitterness it has a little bit of a bite aftertaste but overall the flavors of this beer complement it well

This has a good body it is a little bite aftertaste that makes it a little less than smooth but still very average

Overall I really liked this beer it is worth the try it was a good my I would definitely repeat and would recommend it to people who like porters/stouts

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

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a red brown with a soft white head, fair retention, nice colour.

S: Chocolate, prune, raisin, dark fruit.

T: Roasted malt flavour initially the stout really comes out first. The strong ale gives a phenolic fruity alcoholic character. The flavours actually mix quite well together. Nice notes of coffee and earthy hops on the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, clean, smooth, dry, ethanol is moderately apparent.

D: Nice beer, at $2.79 a bomber this is a really good value brew.

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Photo of tko741
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black-amber with a two-finger head that lasted only a few moments. Head disappeared and no lacing was left on the glass.

Smells of rich raisin, tobacco, and sticky-sweet malty goodness. Hops are nowhere to be found.

First sip was a bit metallic, but soon after improved. Tastes like how it smells...a dry maltiness, with lots of bitter coffee, dark cherry, and tobacco. Leaves a slightly acidic aftertaste.

Nothing really noteworthy about the mouthfeel...gets a bit foamy when agitated in the mouth, goes down smooth and loose.

This Black + Tan has a decent chance of being ordered again, but the slightly acidic, dry aftertaste will get tiresome.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured the entire contents of a Bomber bottle into a 24oz. mug. The head was just brimming at the top and was the color of chocolate mousse. The beer was near-black in color and largely opaque, due mostly to the color.

The smell was malty caramel with toasted notes. None-too aromatic.

The taste is creamy, like a good stout, but finishes with a small little nip. It is smokey with a distinctly toasted-malt flavor. A slight fruit flavor lingers in the mouth after the swallow as well.

The mouthfeel is a tad watery and thin, but the swallow is where it really picks up character and substance.

All in all, a great beer to finish up a day spent out in the cold: ice climbing, skiing or snowshoeing. This beer refreshes, and I could definitely see myself going back for more!

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Photo of yesyouam
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino Black Eye Ale is just on the edge of brown and black. The big, fluffy, beige head has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a slightly sweet, roasty aroma, with tangy malt on the nose. There are notes of brown sugar and something slightly herbal. It's medium bodied and smooth. The finish is a little scratchy and metallic. It's a little sweet, a little bitter; good balance. It tastes roasty with notes of dark chocolate, licorice and black cherry. The rumbly, boozy finish makes it taste stronger than it is. Green bitterness provides the aftertaste. It's reasonably complex; not for chugging.

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Photo of mwa423
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark brown with a couple fingers of dark tan head that disappeared quickly. There are some ruby hints when you hold it up to light.

S - The smell is exceptionally strong caramel, dark malt, some roasted malt and a bit of chocolate and coffee.

T - The taste is pretty heavily skewed towards the "black" and very little of the "tan". There is a lot of roasted malt and some hints of coffee and caramel.

M/D - This is a very easy drinking black and tan, but by no means a great example. Very heavily skewed to the dark side. Mouthfeel is on the thin side but it is a refreshing beer.

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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 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 fropones
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A nice dark reddish brown with about 1 finger of beige head with decent retention.

S - Nice aroma of caramel malt and dark chocolate. Some dark fruits here as well. Nothing special.

T - Some roastiness up front with sweetness following behind. Some stale bread taste to it as well. Not much hops detectable. Tastes some of a BSDA with the roastiness and fruitiness. I haven't had either beer that is part of this blend, but I hope they are better on their own than they are together.

M - Very watery, especially for a blend of a strong ale and a stout.

D - Pretty mild and drinks well. A sessionable beer.

All in all, not a terrible beer, especially for the $2 I payed. Hopefully the Talon I bought with it for $3 will be better.

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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 gordavidson
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep, dark brown that is borderline black. The head is a very light brown and sort of thin and splotchy. Not too bad.

S- Smells like a very nice aged stout. Dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee. Sweet and slightly roasty. Very appealing.

T- Sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, smoke, and some grassy hops.

M- A nice carbonation level. Clean and smooth.

D- A great hoppy stout that drinks nicely. More flavorful that many beers at this ABV. Quite the steal at less than $4 a bomber too.

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