Friday, January 30, 2009

Mendocino Brewing Co: Black Eye Ale

Today I was in the mood for a beer. Actually, today I was in the mood for a couple beers. However, rarely am I itching to mix two beers together into one glass. That being said, some breweries blend ales and stouts (or lagers and stouts, or even bitters and stouts) into one bottle to make what's know as a 'black and tan'.

At the store I noticed Mendocino Brewing Co has created a pre-packaged black and tan. This brew is a mix of their stout and strong ale ('Black Hawk' and 'Eye of the Hawk'). I've had most of Mendocino Brew Co's beers but never has it crossed my mind to combine any of their fine craft.

Once poured it's pretty obvious that the stout dominates the combination. The color is a very dark black mahogany topped off with a tan head. The flavors immediately hit the tongue with a very dry burnt malt taste reminiscent of many stouts and other dark dark beers. It's hard to find any hint of the hops which are proudly portrayed in the 'Eye of the Hawk'. There is a slight lime citrus flavor that can sorta be detected from a hop flavoring. But that's about its.

Overall, the 'black and tan' is a cool visual beverage when poured by the drinker. The stout, floating separated on top of the ale, makes for an attractive combo beer that is fun to make on occasion. However, if you take a strong stout like 'Black Hawk' and premix it to make a black and tan, the concoction just doesn't add anything to an already tasty beer. Since I know what these brews taste like separately, I would much rather enjoy them solo. Cheers.

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