Other two beers from the 12-pack:
Black Hawk Stout: A reminder that dark doesn't mean heavy. "The the intent was to create a Stout that did not overpower the palate," says the brewer. It's very dark, has a thick beige head that unfortunately fizzes away before you can fully admire it. Medium-bodied, I'd prefer a little less carbonation as the acidic CO2 element doesn't work for me in a stout. Roasty and very slightly burnt, it finishes dry. Nice stout, about as good as Red Tail Ale.
Eye of the Hawk: This one caught me by surprise. For whatever reason, I wasn't at all familiar with it, and had no idea what to expect. It's a strong ale at 8% ABV. Clear copper color, nearly headless. It reminds me of a barleywine with its slick, oily mouthfeel and soft carbonation. More malt than hops, it's perhaps a little too sweet. Eye of the Hawk has sort of a fruit brandy thing going on for me. The alcohol is hot, making this one a sipper. It also has some yeast in the bottom, which I didn't pour in.
I like it a lot and was kind of disappointed to see it receiving lesser reviews at the rating sites. What's also interesting is how all-over-the-place the descriptions are. Some say the alcohol is hidden, it's crisp or sessionable, others compare it to an ESB. I didn't get that at all.
For me, Eye of the Hawk validates the Mendocino 12-pack. It's just not the sort of beer you'd expect to find in one, and with the IPA, it gives it two good bigger beers alongside two nice sessionable ones.