Mendocino Black Eye Ale

Also From This Brewery

“Psst. Hey there. Yeah, you. Are you interested in buying some beer? We have a special today. That’s right. A special. Two for the price of one, that is. That’s because you get two beers rolled into one in every bottle of Mendocino Brewing’s Black Eye Ale. And yeah, you’d better buy some. Because, you know, a bottle of Black Eye Ale beats a real one anytime.

Humorous Beer Geek Interlude
A man walks into a bar and asks for a Black Eye. The bartender, a bit perplexed, shrugs and says “Whatever you say, bub” and socks him straight away in the left eye. The beer geek, undeterred, gets up from the floor determined to get his beer, but decides it might be better to order another brand. “Ok, Ok, he says,” give me a Shiner instead.” The bartender, a bit perplexed, shrugs and says “Whatever you say, bub”......

And Now We Continue with Your Regularly Scheduled Beer Review, Already in Progress

….the famous Black Eye Ale. In fact, Black Eye Ale is a blend of two different beers from Mendocino, Black Hawk Stout and Eye of the Hawk Select , a hoppy pale ale. Such a blend is known as a Black and Tan, the most common example of which is a blend of Bass ale and Guinness stout. An expert barkeep can pour a blend of the two that allows the lighter Bass to rest at the bottom of your glass while the darker Guinness (which is lighter thanks to the nitrogen infused into the liquid during the pour) rises to the top. This is something you can’t experience with a bottled half and half. Still, you can get a halfway decent beer this way.

Mendocino Black Eye Ale pours to a dark brownish black color; still, it’s not opaque, and if you hold it up the light you will see some pass through. A thick creamy head forms atop the brew, and a decided roastiness comes through in the nose. Sipping the brew reveals an average body and mouthfeel. Right away, however, you’ll get some very roasty espresso notes going on that intensify into the finish.

That’s where the beer sort of goes into two strange directions. Obviously, mixing a stout with a pale ale is going to give you a lighter beer than a stout alone might be. And that’s what I get in the finish, as the beer seems to thin out on the tongue. But while the body peters out a bit, the flavor certainly doesn’t. That’s because there’s a really interesting interaction on the tongue between the minty-herbal hop bitterness from the excellent Eye of the Hawk and the roasty bitterness from the Black Hawk stout.

An interesting beer overall, and one worthy of three and a half stars in truth. For Epinions purposes, I suspect it’s closer to three, and will rate accordingly. Like all Mendocino beers though, it’s a bargain at just $2.49 for a 22 ounce bomber.