Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Educational use only; do not reuse.

892 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 892
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 20
Gots: 71 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 892 | Reviews: 489
Reviews by EastCoastHawkeye:
More User Reviews:
Photo of keithmurray
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance - clear copper color with beige head

Smell - molasses, caramel, oak

Taste - molasses, caramel, oak, nuts

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, not much complexity to the flavor

Overall - nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing about it was particularly memorable either. Fans of the style might want to give it a shot

Price Point - $2.25/12 oz bottle

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%

This is a very decent brew. With the hefty 8% abv that isn’t detectable. The light mouthfeel is a throw off of some of the flavors that shine through. This reminds me of what a candy beer would be. Almost like a medicinal fruit syrup followed by bready malt and slight hoppy finish. Though nothing screams excellence, this brew is still worthy.

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange with a real nice medium creamy,sticky head,aroma is deeply fruity with a slightly hop background.I realy like the maltiness of this beer also there is some alcohol notes that come thru in the finish.A whisky like taste stays in the mouth after each sip.Iam very impressed with this beer,very enjoyable.

Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange body with a decent head.

Smell – Sweet malt and fruits dominate the nose of this one.

Taste – Big malt sweetness to say the least. It tastes more like a light type of caramel, but whatever it is, it is strong, chewy, gooey, and sticky. This is what I think of as a classic, strong old ale. Solid ABV (8.0), big malt, a smidgen of hops for balance, and lots and lots of sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Low carbonation in accordance with the style. This one sticks to your teeth.

Drinkability – This is like drinking (highly alcoholic) candy. Well done.

Photo of blitz134
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this one a little while now. Never realized it was a strong ale actually.

No head at all on the pour. Some white bubbles came up but they disappeared almost immediately. Clear caramel colored body. Color is good on this one, as well as clarity but it just lacks any head or retention.

Sweet caramel malts dominate, lots of raw candy sugar comes through as well. Sweet overall with some floral hops. Hints of sweet alcohol come up as well. Smells okay, not too complicated though.

Taste is sweet again. The malts come through differently in the flavor though. They are a bit more biscuity and sweet roll like. Hops are different as well and offer up some herbalness in there with the floral hops found in the aroma. Still pretty sweet overall with lots of processed sugar coming through. Alcohol makes it a little rough around the edges.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I usually expect for the style. Carbonation levels are okay and adds some crispness while on the tongue.

Okay drinkability, not what I consider a standout of the style. The taste is okay but something about it keeps this from being really easy to put down, it might be the raw sugar flavors.

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date, but it's got a pretty cool looking hawk on the label.

Appearance: Clear, rich amber with nice carbonation activity that creates a consistent creamy lace head.

Smell: Big fruity aromas. Fresh, sweet pale malt notes.

Taste: Huge dose of sweet, rich malts. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, smooth and extremely robust. Lively carbonation foams up the palate with an assertive alcohol presence, fruity esters and a delicious rind-like hop flavour that helps to balance/cut through the huge malt profile and dry alcohol flavour. You can really taste the unique yeast strain towards the end. Apart from a "yeasty" flavour, it has a semi-bready flavour that pulls through and enhances the malt flavours. Finishes rather clean given all that is going on.

Notes: Hot damn! Complex, balanced, dangerously drinkable. A force to be reckoned with, in its own right. Consume with respect.

Photo of generallee
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has no freshness date or abv%.

Appearance: From the pour I got a tall creamy off white colored head. This covers a deep amber brew with good clarity. As I drank the tall head slowly faded out to just a light ring around the edge of the glass which left a little slick lacing.

Smell: There is a rich malty character in the nose with a mix of bready and candy like notes. Hop notes are slight and way off in the background.

Taste/Palate: The flavor matches the aroma with a sweet candy like, almost fruity malt base. Inside there is a well hidden abv and some mild floral/spicy German lager like hop notes. It finishes smooth and feels smooth (somewhat slick) on the palate with soft carbonation.

Notes: This is a well made ale with a well hidden 8%abv that can sneak up on you.

Photo of Beerswag
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into pilsner glass. $2.99 at Sprouts Market
Appearance is a hazy nice burnt sienna(orange)color. Smell is of malt and hop balance "eye" or center of the malt/hop/wheat flavor profile, decent lacing.Taste-malt and dark chocolate with apricots, wheat and bitey hop at the finish. Orange peel, dank, complexity is there..medium to heavy mouthfeel. For this, I feel Summer Strong ale. salmon or corn chowder, or blue-cheese burgers.

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Killer beer, killer not meaing good though. This is a good beer in a way but a bit devious with the 8% abv. We get this beer served in full pints around Boston at regular beer prices, an evil beer to love.

Photo of merlin48
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange with a one finger head that quickly drops to some ring lacing. Grapefruit and piney hops dominate the aroma. Alcohol burn is the initial sensation in the mouth, of this medium bodied and moderately carbonated ale. Caramel malt sweetness is the first impression on tasting, but bitter piney hops and alcohol quickly obliberate any semblance of malt balance here. Piney and floral hops run the show here, and there is also an earthy mustiness present in the background. Alcohol becomes a distraction toward the end, and is not at all hidden. Aftertaste is slightly astringent. Not really bad, but not one of my favorites.

Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: red/brown in color, 1/3 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: caramel and toasted malt

Taste: caramel, toasted malt, and citrus hops towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium/high carbonation, sweet with a slightly bitter backbone

Drinkability: A slightly above average strong ale. I like the caramel taste, but nothing I would rush to get again. I could have a couple of this sweet and malty beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orangish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of caramel malt and assorted citrus. The flavor is toffee and dark fruit. The beer doesn't really taste like it smells. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Decent, but nothing special.

Photo of Byeast
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear copper/amber , inch of tan foam that dissipates to a thin lasting layer.

Smell: a malty nose with some fruity esters , bit of alcohol.

Taste: a nice big and "robust" malty body , sweetness is kept in check with a pleasant alcohol and orange peel raw hop. Some fruity esters in there , as well as a yeasty character to the finish.

Mouthfeel: full bodied

Drinkability: A very drinkable and balanced Strong Ale , especially for its ABV. Fair amount of malty complexity and quality. A welcome sight.

Photo of PsychoJedi
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a filmy copper color with little head. The smell is a crisp fruity smell that is not too strong or not too weak. The taste is like the smell: fruity that is not too strong and not too weak. There is a little after taste, but nothing a true bear drinker would frown at. I could drink a good bit of this. Verdict: try it.

Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber with more red than brown, and a bubbly white head. Nice lacing. Crisp aroma of malt and strong Saaz hops. Clean malty taste that pops out of the glass. Nice blend of the Saaz bitter and Cascade citrus. Tastes a little like an ESB in that regard. Alcohol is well hidden. Very nice.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz. long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear, medium amber/coppery color with a creamy,pillowy white head with good retention leaving a ring of lace around the top of the glass with spotty lacing the rest of the way down.

Very fruitty aroma with some light candied maltiness,very pleasing not much hop aromas present.

Fruity tasting,toffee,with pleasing tartness and a bit of grassiness. A good bittersweet finish leaves a dry tart taste on the palate.

Medium body with some creaminess,tangy,juicy,leaving a puckering sensation on the palate. Good taste,enjoyable could drink a few of these. A good solid drinker could session a few of these. Worth a try.

Noticed this was listed as an american strong ale would have guessed it was an amber ale the alcohol was very well hidden. Being listed as a strong ale might have lower the overall score a bit,but i really enjoyed this beer overall.
Would never have guessed this beer was 8%.

Photo of BenHesk12
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye of the Hawk American Strong Ale, or "Hawks" as me and my buddies like to call it, is an instant classic. My first experience with this beer was at a social occasion where after taking a few sips, I realized I was drinking something special. It was a huge surprise to see printed on the side of the bottle 8% alcohol. This is a strong ale with a sturdy mouthfeel, and an appropriate and sippable bitterness you would expect from this style. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, with the alcohol content of malt liquor, whats not to like? Overall its just one of those beers that you're happy to drink any time, any place, without getting too fancy or stealing the spotlight. The best thing about this beer though, by far, is the value. $6.50 for a 6 pack at Trader Joes. YES! Overall just a great beer that is a refreshing change from the hophead trend, with great value and flavor that keeps you interested without overdoing it.

Photo of ironlung
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. No freshness date. Into Chimay snifter...

Pours a bright amber/orange with a nice white head that makes an exit rather quickly. My nose makes out notes of fruit and alcohol. A rather nice smelling blend that can be detected as soon as the bottle is opened. Taste is sweet malt up front with grassy hops and alcohol in the finish. The rather thin mouthfeel is lacking for such a "big" brew, but that steps up the drinkability. I'd never know this was an 8% brew if it wasn't printed on the label!

Overall this is the best beer so far that I've picked up at Trader Joes. If your looking for good beer on a budget(and who isn't theese days?)you've gotta give this one a shot!

Photo of Dizzy
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark amber, it poured a little cloudy but they may be due to the fact I missed the fact its bottle conditioned so I ended up with a lot of chunks in it. Smells like malt, a lot of it. Taste is carmel and malty sweetness, almost full body to it. I would definatly reccomend this.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out looking average brown, minimal head. Strong alcohol and caramel presence in the aroma.

Tastes hoppy when fresh, malt tones jump out the older it gets. Fairly easy drinking for its size abv, but this stuff has been described as liquid quaaludes before, it tends to knock you down, maybe because it tends to be served in larger size formats (6pack, pints etc. . . ).

Nothing to complain about, gets the job done, thick malt bill, plenty of hops, cheap and available. Kind of the middle ground between red tail ale and the Talon barleywine of theirs. Has that almost trademark Mendo taste going for it like all of their beers.

Photo of ADR
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saratoga Springs rendition...clear amber color, thinish pale yellow head that's down to a skim in 30 seconds. Dots for lace. Lightly malty aroma, a lot of brown sugar tone. Medium mouthfeel. Sugary start, lower carbonation lends a malty impression with slight intrusion of a lemon rind sense around the edges. Monolithic in flavor, similar beginning to end with an iced tea statement. Could have used a little more complexity for interest to me, but drinkable and hiding its alcohol content fairly well. No indications of building extreme sourness that I pick up from Saratoga Spa Red Tail Ale...

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had no idea this baby had a higher ABV, that is until I finished it off last night around my fourth beer. You can't even detect the high alcohol in this brew, which can be kind of dangerous. Pours an orange/amber with a copper head that billows pretty thick and eventually settles out. The forefront of flavor is the hop character, and then the malt crashes through (biscuit, caramel?). A very rich and complex ale, that starts with a sweet fruit tone, and then the bitterness of the hop resins marches in to blend quite a well balanced ale. I was also getting a hint of honey, in the finish. Mouthfeel is intriguing, very full just due to the amount of flavor. Medium bodied and overall very delightful ale. Drinkability is fair, but there is alot going on here, kinda complex and high in alcohol to keep throwing these down.

Photo of glid02
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold color with a hint of amber when you hold it up to the light. There's not much of a head.

The smell is malty with a good amount of sweetness.

The taste is decently sweet with a slightly metallic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. The beer is pretty thick and it goes down smoothly.

The drinkability is good. It's smooth enough and the sweetness isn't overpowering.

This beer is a great deal - 6 bucks for a sixer. It's a good go-to beer when the wallet is a little thin.

Photo of rastaman
2.25/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Poors a bit ugly, massive blotchy head. Dissaponting, not much going on, tinny, hoppy and short, not what i’d consider and American Strong Ale. Man these Mendocino beers are all driving me insane, i was dissapointed every time, this was dull, especially for the style.

Photo of Brenden
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mildly clouded pale orange brew sits in my glass, activity from the pour swirling heavily to form a solid head, creamy in substance, that achieves a full finger and rests there easily, nearly keeping its full height for the whole of the session as it drops sticky patching.
Lots of dark fruits notes with a sweetness that isn't too sugary, a hint of alcohol that isn't too boozy that plays well, a touch of leaf, a bit of caramel, bread, and a bit of grains in the finish make for a full, fairly rich and nicely complex beer. A bit more (not very much) on the hoppy side in the aroma would have added an extra dimension. The flavor brings a bit more with further integration and some linger in the finish.
This beer is bready in the feel, not too thick but with a combination of "moist," sweet and dry that works well in its medium body.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 892 ratings.