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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 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

 579 characters

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!

 747 characters

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.

 497 characters

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.

 666 characters

Photo of TangTKE402
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!

 780 characters

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.

 608 characters

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.

 601 characters

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.

 385 characters

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.

 444 characters

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.

 738 characters

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.

 420 characters

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.

 492 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Pours very black, with a fizzy tan head that quickly bubbles away. Lacing lasts in thin but craggy rings.

Smell is very interesting, huge stout malt, very sweet, followed by fruity hop finish.

Taste is exactly what you'd expect, a thick, hoppy stout. Not alot going on, but still tasty.

Mouthfeel is nice, the carbonation is lighter, but maybe a little too thin.

Drinkability is good, big, unique flavors with a very pleasant contrast.

Overall, different, and well worth a try.

 492 characters

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.

 741 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber. I like the artwork and brewer's note, but give me freshness dating.

Poured into a pint, the beer is black with brown and red highlights. Nice tan head with good lacing.

The nose is of roasted malts, dark fruit and brown sugar. It is nice and inviting.

The taste tracks the smell but there is less emphasis on the roasted components and more on the dark fruits (raisins and plums) and brown sugar. The beer is slightly on the sweet side. About halfway through you get a hint of coffee, bakers choclate and maybe a whisper of wood smoke.

The mouth is a bit thin, but drinkability is decent. The sweetness may limit you to a couple of glasses. This is a pretty good "pre-mixed" black & tan. I would buy and consume on an occasional basis. The price was $3.09 at Sam's in Downers Grove and that is a good deal.

 833 characters

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

Oddly contradictory.

A= dark chestnut brown, little head.

S= instant memories of the shoe-shine arcade at the mall when I was a kid. Interesting, innovative, mysterious whiffs of hops florals and caramel malts and who knows what else.

T= similar to the Scent, with odd tastes and mouth feels going on randomly. Dry hops bitters with slight natural sweetness from malts. I can't say I'm really enjoying the taste as much as I'm enjoying the challenge of the mystery.

M= feels good, a light mix of natural sweetness, caramel hints and modest bitters.

D= there just isn't enough here overall to inspire me to drink more than a glass. At US$3.99 for a 22-ounce in 2009, I'll probably look elsewhere for my beer next time around. Still, worth the try.

 751 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a dark brown with some brown and maybe even light brown highlights. Very little head.

Smells faintly of caramel malt, a bit of roasted chocolate to it, and a biting, kind of strange whiff of ... almost like rotting fruit.

Taste is pretty nasty. I have to admit, I was hoping for mere average-ness from a $2.50 bomber of a black and tan, but this was fairly wretched. Some nasty fruit tones, the roasted malt and caramel seem watered down and do not blend well. Thin mouthfeel. Drainpoured half the bottle.

Skip, skip, skip.

 535 characters

Photo of JamesS
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown color with some nice head and lacing. Nearly neutral scent, not much there except a slight malty sweetness. Nice taste, good mixture, hints of burnt grain, but really nothing outstanding; nothing great, nothing bad. Goes down very smoothly, especially as a higher ABV black & tan. A bit expensive, though, for an average beer.

 350 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tall Moon River mug.

A - Dark mahogany with ruby edges when held up to the light, medium tan head breaks down slowly. Minimal lacing/sheeting.

S - Sweet bread and caramel up front. Some dark chocolate notes with a faint floral hop in the background.

T - More roasted and dark than the smell gives away... The chocolate sweetness is there with a little pale ale hop bite at the end. A dark brew that finishes light. Nice.

M - The carbonation is a bit muted, and the beer lingers a little with aftertaste of coffee.

D - @ 6.5% this one won't lay you down after a bomber, so fairly high. I enjoyed this beer very much.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a very strange head...big bubbles with the dark beer visible as if the head were pocked with craters. Colors are dark brown with mahogany and ruby hues. A sizeable frothy ring retains and the lacing is okay at first, becoming less apparent with just a couple of minutes. There are lots of floaties in this brew.
S: very sweet malts on the nose. Dark fruits are ripe and some sweet berries without the acidic flair at the end. Milk chocolate and toasty.
T: not terribly malty like I expected from the nose. Each sip starts with some toasted malt and ends in a citrus tang from the hops, a character I couldn't pull from the nose. Hot milk and bitter cocoa in there, too.
M: medium body and medium carbonation.
D: not a fan of the milky aftertaste, but this brew isn't bad!

 778 characters

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.

 520 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with thick head that falls quickly. Aroma is dark woody, slightly chalky. The flavor is dismayingly thin. Woody, chalky, roasted malt, with a woody, cherrylike feel. The finish is super dry, not particularly pleasant,. A disappointing offering.

 256 characters

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