Talon Double IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

very good
23 Reviews
Talon Double IPATalon Double IPA

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 10-25-2012

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 103
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high light beige head that has very good retention properties and took a long time to settle down, leaving a thick layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pine resin hops are present in the nose along with some hints of citrusy and floral hops.
T: This beer definitely tastes strong and you get heavy doses of caramel malts and bitterness from the hops, the latter of which also contributes notes of pine resin, orange citrus, and floral hops in the flavors. There are also some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied, slightly crisp, and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Some warming from the alcohol is present.
O: This beer is definitely a slow sipper given its strength and the presence of alcohol in the taste and mouthfeel. It delivers a substantial amount of bitterness, but the flavors from the hops aren't quite as interesting as some of the other beers in this style.

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Photo of zeff80
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Poured a hazy, orange color with amber highlights. It had a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam that left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - Smelled of caramel, toffee, pine and floral notes.

T - Good roasted malt flavor and piney bitterness, but to much sweetness and booziness.

M - Crisp but also a little sticky sweetness. A medium to full bodied mess.

O - A little too hot for my taste. Seems a little unbalanced.

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Copious amounts of lacing, good head retention

S: Bready, pears, pineapple shows once warm

T: Follows the nose, some pine & pineapple there as well up front. Pineapple & lemons as this warms along with resiny pine notes, some caramel & a touch of boozeyness on the back of the throat. Finishes piney, with a little bready & caramel sweetness, some grapefruit & a bit of boozey tangerine

MF: Medium bodied with some stickyness, soft carbonation & nicely balanced

A good stab at the style & more than I expected from these guys as of late. Drinks fairly easy. Glad I took a chance on this one!

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Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed orange amber colored beer with a tall white colored head.

Smells sweet and hoppy with a citrus and wood aroma. Some lemon aroma it has a little sourness in the scent.

Starts out savory and bitter with a savory flavor. Strong tea and wood with a sweet after taste. Warming in the chest you can tell this is 10% Still the flavor doesn't change and provide many subtleties.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall, this is OK but nothing very special, worth a one time try.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant amber under a 2” sudsy cream colored foam colar that slowly descends to a thick film while coating the side of the glass.
S: Big hop nose with minty, resiny pine notes.
T: Starts with a lightly sweetened malt and then alcohol and hops take over with a long lasting bitterness
F: Creamy, medium carbonation, a little above medium body, with alcohol warming that grows as you drink.
O: This is a nice bitter elixir for people who drink their bourbon straight up.

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Photo of barczar
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper with a frothy 2 inch cream head that lingers. Eventually leaves sticky sheets of lacing.

Sweet caramel malt, pine, resin, and muted grapefruit form the initial aroma. Grapefruit becomes more dominant as it warms, and notes of onion surface, along with catty hops.

Citrus and resin dominate the initial sip, becoming fairly bitter mid palate, and the flavor definitely ends on the bitter side. For Mendocino and a dipa, I really thought malt sweetness would be overwhelming. Grapefruit, lime, and orange pith are fairly substantial, almost puckering, throughout. The caramel malt backbone merely ties together the citrus and resiny bitter, piney hops.

Body is fairly full, with carbonation on the light side of moderate, and significant alcohol warmth.

Lots of hop flavoring and bitterness. It's fairly hot, but I didn't feel that the malt overwhelmed. The hop character becomes a little perfumey as it warms, which is slightly offputting. Not the most complex, but a solid offering. The bitterness is a little more than I prefer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice medium amber color with tons of carbonation bubbles streaming up through the brew, leaving a one finger height of a white foamy head on the surface of the brew. The head of the beer has a fantastic level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of tropical fruit smells of papaya, mango, tangerine and a bit of pineapple. Along with the tropical fruits, are some notes of a caramel sweetness as well, adding to the overall sweet aroma. Other than the sweet though, there is also a nice bit of an earthy/woody and pine hop as well as some very light hop notes of a more grapefruit nature.

Taste – The taste begins, as the nose would have suggested, with a good deal of sweet tropical fruits and caramel sweetness. The tropical fruits are just what the nose depicted with tangerine, mango, and papaya all there, but in also contained some other fruity tastes of a light melon variety as well. Along with the sweeter flavors, the beer also bolsters a rather nice doughty taste right up front, which creates a nice base for all the flavors to lie on. Soon after the initial tastes some hop flavors started to be sensed, with a bit of a pine hop flavor. Other hops join the taste more toward the middle with some more grassy/haylike and earthy/woody flavors piling onto the taste. The hops grow stronger to the end, counteracting some of the sweetness a little bit and bringing a bit more of an IPA flavor to the brew. Toward the very end some of the booze from the 10 % abv can be detected, bringing about a nice level of warmth. With the combination of flavors that is left on the tongue at the end, one is left with a quite satisfying, fruity and sweet, slightly warming and moderately hoped doughy flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is quite thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side even in light of all the carbonation bubbles seen streaming through the brew. The lower carbonation and thicker body are fantastic for all the big flavors of the brew, soaking the tongue in all the robust flavors.

Overall – Though not a hop powerhouse, this big, sweet, and robust IPA was very pleasurable to drink. And while a bit of warming alcohol was sensed on the tongue, it wasn’t a lot in light of the 10 % abv. but just enough to keep you in check. Overall this beer was very easy drinking and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a clear caramel color with three fingers of dense and heavy off-white head that slowly faded into a thick film leaving a network of sticky clinging lace.
S: Huge fresh notes of citrus rind and pineapple hops with undertones of sugary malt. Leafy, citrusy and fresh.
T: Follows the nose with tons of citrus, a splash of pine, and a good dose of sugary caramel and candied fruit. Finish is sweet and almost syrupy, and the aftertaste is bitter and slightly warming.
M: Medium-full body, heavy, viscous mouthfeel, slick and warming with boozy alcohol.
O: A heavy hitter of a dipa. Unfortunately the double digit alcohol shows its presence and this beer is a bit rough as it warms. Good but too many better on the market.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #71 (December 2012):

An aggressive and old-school American Double IPA here and well-named one, as this beer rips out your palate and then flies off to regurgitate it into the mouths of its frenzied young. It’s combo of 5 malts and 6 hops creates a unique experience too. Anyone who touts themselves as a true hophead should seek this beer now.

STYLE: American Double IPA
ABV: 10.0%

LOOK: Bright copper, frothy, creamy head with staying power

SMELL: Pine, resin, floral, citrus peel, toffee, bread, alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, viscous, syrupy, sweet malts, sticky, resiny, leafy, raw, gritty, pine, grapefruit, alcohol heat, melon, bready, ashy, bone dry finish

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: into a tulip, deep amber with orange hue, full tan head with clingy lace; great persistence

S: pine and resin hops and sweet maltiness; citrus on the nose more than on the tongue

T: lots of resinous pine flavors, earthy and deep, chewy caramel malts; some suggestions of butterscotch, toffee; bitter-sweet

M: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky/chewy, smooth and bitter aftercoat

O: back-and-forth between malt and hops - its sweet malt caramel, then its bitter hop pine resin - balanced nicely, full feeling and satisfying - not one you're gonna gulp down. Maybe a little too sweet for me, but the bitterness always crept in right after, moderating the sugars somewhat

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Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange-tinted amber, cloudy with a thick off-white head that has good retention and leaves some nice soapy lacing. The aroma is malt forward, with fig and raisin and just a hint of floral hops. The taste is closely matched with the aroma but with a more robust bitterness. The body has a great weight to it with just a little bite from the hops. This reminded me of an English-style IPA, which I thoroughly enjoy.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: A little different than what I am used as far as looks are concerned, most DIPAs have a slight haze to it this one is straight clear amber nothing too impressive here. Light bubbles on the body creating an over-sized off-white head in the beginning settling to just below a finger's length.

Smell: Strong hops, and very floral scent. Smells pretty good but the feel comes and goes.

Taste: Heavy hops, and pine. This brew is pretty bitter and evidently strong. It's easy to like but then again easy to hate. It leaves me in slight limbo because I like it but lacks some qualities which I think DIPAs should have. Lacks complexity, it's a very one dimensional beer.

Mouth: Very sticking, putting this glass down and pairing it with sharp cheddar the after floral feel just doesn't go away. Medium with a slight dry finish.

Overall: if you want to try to just to try it it won't hurt. Keep in mind it goes for roughly ten bucks a bottle and there's a lot better out there in that price range. Definitely could use some tweaking but still not a loss. Salud!

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle with my FW snifter glass
Reviewed on 03/27/2014

A: Mendocino Talon pours a blurry orange-gold body with visible hop and yeast byproducts floating about. A large mass of thick khaki meringue forms over with ample hang time to it. A nice trellis work of lace is left behind on the glass afte reach sip.

S: Bold pine hops and pale malt aromatics dominate the nose. Toasty and bready with some caramel like sweetness and a faint alcohol presence. There is a bit of earthy spice hops underneath as well. Definitely has me thinking a malt bomb at first but there are some decent evergreen hop aromas as well.

T: Whoa…a big boy for sure. Juicy floral and dank at first with a firm malt breadiness riding all throughout. The IBU’s drive an immense bitter bite across the palate with some lightly nuanced pine and citrus hop character. Hits a bit on the sweeter side with its caramel spiced whip. More orange zest coming through in the flavor it seems followed by a very noticeable alcohol showing towards the finish. Resinous and lingering. A rather aggressive brew in every fashion. Malt, Hops, and ABV’s. Still enjoyable but fairly unbalanced.

M: The beer has a moderate to heavier filling aspect on account of the chewy caramel malts. Slightly offset but the cut of a high resinous bitterness. Nice drying touch in the finish with a long lasting linger. In the end the feel is a bit coarse.

D: This was actually better than I was expecting for the price. It is pretty unbalanced with the heavy handed use of malt and hops but still rather fun to drink. Nothing I will go picking up again anytime soon but wouldn’t turn one down if offered. My standards can get lower.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber into duvel glass. no date printed on the bottle.

darkish mahogany amber look, thin wispy head. smells of dark fruit, oak, soap, spicy herbal hops. on second wiff, a lot of latex and grain alcohol. almost like rubbing alcohol. taste is somewhat an improvement, still a prevalent rubbing alcohol taste. the hops are satisfyingly bitter, but with a numbing cocoa leaf flavor that isn't very appealing. husky grain, oak, and some sweet barleywine-like malt comes through.

I was disappointed in how seemingly one dimensional the hop flavor was in this one. if it were a barleywine I might rate it higher, but even then it doesn't excel. still, I don't feel ripped off in the slightest. it puckered my lips but not in the way I was hoping.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- copper color, half inch head, nice lacing

Smell- piney hops, malt

Taste- piney hops, malt, well balanced

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. Definitely a good one. I like the piney hops a lot. I would definitely like to have this one again.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Translucent dark golden color with some visible effervescence. A healthy two finger head in an off-white shade. Looks great, the clarity really does it for me.

Aroma: Sugar coated barley, toasted and caramel malts. Not very hop forward in the nose but I can tell they are there, hidden beneath the surface. Sort of piney and just a little earthy with some citrus poking through as well.

Taste: There is a lot going on in this one. The first half is more malt dominated with a mix of crystal, caramel, pepper, and toasted flavors. They sort of meld together into a nice toffee flavor but without the sweetness and then the pepper flavor comes at the end with the hops. When the hops take over they give a mixed bag of flavors; earth, pine, orange rind, and a hint (and I mean a hint) of pineapple. Just looked up the recipe and they add five types of grain and six types of hops, so definitely as complex as it seems but also easily enjoyable. Hats off to the brewer(s) who keeps the 10% ABV completely hidden. The 100 IBUs also seems a little hidden which is unfortunate but really not too much of a stretch. The finish is dry but not overly so. A balanced IPA is something no hop head really wants but when a balanced Double IPA comes around it is exactly what a hop head like myself is looking for. Talon Extra Select is very well balanced, letting each ingredient come out on its own while maintaining a somewhat easygoing flavor overall.

Mouthfeel: Like velvet which is surprising for the style. I was expecting a palate thrashing but it is quite pleasant. Between medium and full in body. Decently drinkable but a tad cloying because of the dry finish.

Final Thoughts: Perhaps I'm just in a good mood but I find myself thoroughly pleased with this one. I could compare it to many great DIPAs and American Strong Ales that have come before it, but that wouldn't make it any less unique. A job well done by Mendocino Brewing Company. I will seek out more of their offerings if they are on par with Talon Extra Select. Would I drink it again? Considering the modest price point ($5.99, not bad for a bomber these days…) I'm thinking yes.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into my snifter. I've never had anything by (or heard of) this brewery, so I'm pretty excited to try it. Recommended by the staff at my favorite local bottle shop.

A - big head on the forced pour, thick, but recedes quickly. Really good looking beer though, dark oranges and reds. Looks more like a barleywine than a DIPA.

S - there's a pleasant profile hidden here, but the first thing I smell is dirty tap water. There's a lot of alcohol too -- I can tell it's going to be syrupy.

T - meh, too bitter, too thick, too alcoholic. I just don't like it.

M - viscous consistency, clings to the mouth, booze, booze, booze. It drinks hot.

O - not too much to say that hasn't already been said. I won't be getting this again, certainly not worth $7 a bomber.

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Photo of dippy
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fun beer. Big hops.

Off white head 3 fingers after a hard pour. Tan and stuck to the glass. Brew is a muddled reddish brown.
The smell makes you think it might be a balanced beer. Almost oaky. Floral.

Taste is not balanced. People are crazy saying it is. Get ready to ride the pine! Lots of pine and citrus. A dryness to it as well. Lots of different hops at play here.

Try this on if you want a different look at a double IPA.

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Photo of MisterGone
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 into tulip. Orange, coppery gold with a white head. The aroma has many hallmarks of the DIPA we expect. This one with more piney-floral, than citrus nose. However, there is big booze in there, too. The flavor continued the piney-floral hop profiles as dominant. Add to that a pretty light malt that gets swallowed up by alcohol in the finish.

Honestly, I think this has potential, but I am used to DIPAs that bring big hops, balanced with notable malts that sneak the booze in. I do wonder what it might taste like out of the tap in Hopland...

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

A-Dark gold with good appearance overall.
S-Huge on earthy and piney. Some light lemon citrus.
T-Very bitter and cloying. Not your friendliest DIPA.
M- Medium; I find it cloying and flawed.
O- I think the body could be lightened and the aroma of the beer accentuated. Double IPAs have been done better by other breweries.

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Photo of hoping4hopps
4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was in deep contimplation about the beer that I was going to drink last night. It was a battle between the local and the new. With such clout taking up my ability to decide I grabbed a cryptic looking bottle of dipa opened on a family day out it tasted of citrus and dank fruit with a mild toasted malt feel. Overall great beer would drink again.

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Photo of Brewmaster_Rick
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz., $6.99. Pours a beautiful, clear, rich copper with medium co2 presence. Aroma is grapefruit, pine, mango, caramel malt, and with a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is chewy (in a good way). Taste is slightly boozy, caramel malt, some toffee, a very light (and pleasant) presence of diacetyl; pine, grapefruit, bubblegum, tropical fruit, and spice contributed by the large array of hops. Huge winner in my book, will definitely purchase again.

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Photo of CragWizard
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Solid B grading.

Purchased as a 22oz.

Poured into my new Dogfish head Spiegelau glass.

Love this brewery, huge fan of the 'Red Tail' and the 'Eye of the Hawk' brews. First time I've tried the Talon surprisingly, I've heard mixed reviews on it for quite some time now. I was really impressed with the appearance actually, carbonation was great, head retention was impressive, really thick deep head on that son bitch. Color was a nice reddish/Orange haze. Smell was a little weak, Picked up some pine and citrusy aromas. Down the hatch was intense, as to be expected i guess considering it's a 10% DIPA. Really piney, floral and dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Nothing really out of the ordinary on this beer for me, It's decent for what it is.

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Talon Double IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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