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Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

756 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 756
Reviews: 461
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2000)
View: Beers (28) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 756 | Reviews: 461 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Psilo707


4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Actually looks pretty bland upon pouring into clear mug. Head and lacing are both minimal and I'm wondering if I... somehow... poured it wrong? But wait, that's stupid. Nevermind. Yeah, not too much of an appearance factor here.

S: Now that's what I'm talking about. How many times can you remember a beer that had a medicore appearance but had a great smell? Well this is one of the top runners in that category for me right now. A nice sense of floral arrangement and citrusy scents waft into the nostrils and this is very inviting.

T: The taste of this brew is by -far- the highest rated aspect of the entire thing. There is absolutely no coppery or weird aftertaste, and it hits your tongue in a prime way the instant you take a sip. This is good stuff for sure. Love the taste of it. As it smells, floral citrus and hops. Good stuff.

M: Both creamy and thin at the same time. I kind of expected it to last in the mouth longer than it does but it dissipates really quickly in a way. Not a bad thing, but definitely not a memorable thing either.

Overall: This is a strange American Strong Ale for me. It's lighter, thinner, and less-bodied than most of the same substyle. But it comes with a taste that is amazing and thanks to this taste, the entire brew is propelled into -worth the purchase- status. It's sense of hoppiness while still retaining an orange/semi-malty/inviting appeal is very prominent, and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know what a GOOD -Strong Ale- tastes like from an American microbrewery. A- !!

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2012 02:44:25 | More by Psilo707
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy orange/peach/amber body beneath a foamy off-white head. Good head retention. Decent lacing with spots and splashes of lace left all about.

The aroma delivers some yeastiness, yeasty fruitiness, and caramel-accented malt and breadiness with just a hint of grassy/leafy hops in the background.

In the mouth it's medium-full bodied... but not quite creamy. Median carbonation.

The flavor delivers what the nose suggests with a bready, softly toasty, and gently caramelish malt lightly garnished with yeasty fruitiness and skirted by earthy/floral hops. It's solidly bitter, and the alcohol is somewhat noticeable leaving it with an edge in the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2008 12:50:30 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a pint glass. Hazy brownish orange in texture with just a bit of lace.

S. Malts and not much else.

T. A smooth malty note, some mineral water and metallic tinges. The slightest notion of earthy hop. Not bad but not very good either.

M. Medium bodied and smooth and crisp.

D. Went down very easily, quite drinkable I would say.

Overall: A decent effort but I will not be seeking this out again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2008 23:19:27 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Offa


4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is tasty,, full in feel, very enjoyable, and very smooth.

Amber, it has a largeoff-white head that lasts a long time and leaves some nice lace.

It has a pleasant, flowery, bready aroma with toasty grain, honey, hints of caramel, citrus, and earth, as well as a light alcoholic element lurking underneath.

The taste is somewhat sweet and spicy-zesty with a light bitterness slowly becoming present. It has rather sweet caramelly, toasty bread with light yeast element, a hint of winey-fruitiness, and a full, but smooth, lightly spicy alcoholic warmth. It's really best on tap, but it doesn't go all that well with some foods.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2008 17:43:49 | More by Offa
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What a travesty. This beer was once a favortie of mine; I went to the brewpub summer anniversity party every year for good times and, more importantly, the annual unveiling of the new Eye of the Hawk. At one time this beer was very, very limited. It was only available at the Brewpub in Hopland, and even then only some of the time. The current version is barely a shadow of its former self.

The beer pours a solid copper amber color with fair head retention and virtually no lacing. On the nose this beer smells very sweet and malty. To no great surprise, flavors on the palate replicate the nose. This beer is excessivly sweet and malty with no noticeable underlying hoppy bitterness to hold up all that malt. The beer is only 8% abv, but yet it still tastes heavy and tiring to drink. This beer tastes like a simple, one dimensional, overly sweet amber. Extremely disappointing, espescially in light of what this beer once was and has now become. I doubt I will ever again buy anything from Mendocino brewing.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2008 19:57:58 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of shabbtastic

New York

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a crisp clear copper color with a white two finger head. Tons of sticky lacing.

S - Sweet toasted malt up front, hops kinda linger in the back, very solid for an ASA!

T - Malt bomb, but in a very good way. Tangling between the caramel maleness and biscuit maleness it pleased my taste buds. Notes of citrus hops followed by the warming of the alcohol finish.

M - Medium bodied with a strong carbonation feel.

D - There's allot going on in this one! Pretty complex than the smell has you think. Very drinkable, and mighty tasty. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2008 14:42:11 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of jayfarley3


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap in a pint glass at, has a cloudy dark amber color to it. smells sweet and malty with only a slight hop aroma to it. tastes very smooth for the 8% abv and is medium-bodied. drinkability is good. paired very well with my club sandwhich i had with it for lunch.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2007 23:49:28 | More by jayfarley3
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light brownish amber, a thin ring of lace, again with the biker pour, maybe I should shave my goatee and start wearing suits to bars...

Smell: Grainy, wheat, some interesting fusel alcohols, hops were too elusive for my nose to pick up.

Taste: Yeasty, banana-like esters, which mixed with the very prevalent alcoholic buzz, it's almost like a pina colada. Some spicy hops in the tail end. This Beer is hard to pin down.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2006 00:02:18 | More by Goldorak
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear filtered amber hues under a beige white slick of foam leaving light lattice lace.

Clean vegetal malt aroma like celery and red apple malts.

First swigs: Can't get over the apple skin. Ripe red apples, cidery. Mixed hops in the background.

Feel is medium bodied, becomes cloying. Slightly estery and awl-kee-hawl in the feel.

Last swigs: 8.0 % ABV hidden, apple malty. From a growler filled at the Saratoga NY brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2005 05:12:01 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Did the Vulcan mind meld with this one on 5/15/2004. 10.5-oz. pour in a goblet at Redbones in Somerville, MA.

Light golden with ruby hues, very clear and quiet with little noticeable activity in the carbonation department. With that said, just a fine sheen of head was present in the king’s chalice, but in the end, nothing to speak of. Bouquet was made up of orange peel, fuzzy malt, and was almost overwhelmed by the alcohol. In the end, there was a nice malt flavor, but again, the pronounced alcohol seemed to do it in. Jammy, sticky mouthfeel that didn’t impress, and was a little biting.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2004 20:50:15 | More by Truh
Photo of jcalabre


3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on draft at Hollingshead in Orange, CA on 13 September 2003.
Appearance: This pours a slightly hazy orange-ish/ amber-ish color with a small white head.
Aroma. The nose is malty with a hint of hops.
Overall: The word that comes to mind is 'lackluster'. I really had some high expectations because this is a 'special edition' type of beer. It was no better, in my opinion, than most amber ales.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2003 16:51:02 | More by jcalabre
Photo of woemad


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I asked what this was the bartender told me it was a pale ale. Therefore I was very surprised by what I recieved. Not disappointed, however, as it was quite tasty.
Color was a very orangy amber with a very small head that soon diappeared. No lacing at all. Smelt of sweet candyish malt. Taste was of sweet malt, with a mild hoppiness in the background. Mouthfeel was o.k., nothing to write home about. This is a very sweet, drinkable beer, and could probably lead someone to consume a lot of it and end up trashed.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2003 05:48:23 | More by woemad
Photo of Jason


4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2001 00:34:14 | More by Jason
Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours dark amber and cloudy like a thunderstorm, with lacings and an off white foamy head, that dissapates well. It has a caramal malt aroma, a pleasent taste of caramal/malt, with a twinge of metal taste and spikes of hops and pie crusts. It has bit of an edge when drink, but goes down well, and isn't to feeling.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 20:59:13 | More by ChristopherWIU-UTPA
Photo of Brenden


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 20:54:45 | More by Brenden
Photo of WoodBrew


3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Eye of the Hawk is much better than I anticipated. The beer poured a slightly a hazy copper with thin white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is sweet with biscuit like malt. The taste is a well balanced strong ale like semi sweet bread. The mouthfeel is fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall....possibly one of the better strong ales I've had...given that I am not a strong ale fan.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 23:34:56 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of ISmith87


4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4.25 - Beautiful amber color that I really can't deny. Clear as day, nice white head that dissipates and leaves great lacing when it does.
S - 4 - It smells like vanilla, coconut, hint of floral hops/soap. The smell as a whole is very mild though.
T - 4 - mild vanilla, caramel, bready flavor. Some undefined hop bitterness balances it out.
M - 4 - medium mouthfeel. It's pretty full bodied for the way it looks. Alc is covered nicely at 8%. The aftertaste is a sweet caramel/bitter hop.
O - 4 - It's nothing amazing, I just can't find anything that's really wrong with it. It's got a nice sweet/creamy taste from the malt, which is almost perfectly balanced by the hops, there's just not much complexity. I guess that's what it is: It's a very simple american strong ale that's light on the hops. I honestly kinda like it, and would probably buy it again, especially for the price:ABV ratio.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 22:40:18 | More by ISmith87
Photo of OnTheWater


1.68/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Quite the let down. Threw a few Eye of the Hawks into a make your own 6 pack from my local, and I could not finish the first one and poured out the remaining two. Tasted like soap at times and even my wife agreed it was not worth drinking. I love almost any craft beer, and am enjoying a Mt. Saint Helena Palisades Pale Ale right now, so I am not sure what went wrong with the Eye of the Hawk, it seemed to have a bland taste with no distinctive aroma whatsoever, and the occasional aforementioned soap taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 01:17:53 | More by OnTheWater
Photo of streetcommander


4.36/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in one pint lager glass at 55F

Malt, caramel, brown sugar, ...oak, and maybe molasses? Doesn't matter, for 8.0 ABV, this is stupid quaffable and unbelievably well balanced.

MEDOCINO DOES IT RIGHT. This holds particularly true when considering the price.

If they packaged this in a bigger bottle and put a fancy cork and label on it, BA would rate it world class.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 02:27:18 | More by streetcommander
Photo of awinslow

New York

3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Reasonably good tasting high alcohol content Ale. No heavy hops bitterness found in IPAs to cover up the extra alcohol content. For really good flavor, best to go to the brewery and get a growler of " Red Eye" once offered as a blend they can fill your growler half and half with Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 20:57:10 | More by awinslow
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A: Beautiful amber color with a 4 finger beige head that had excellent retention and left lacing all around the sides of the glass.

S: Smell of malts and sour green apples dominate as well raisons.

T: Can taste raisons and carmel malts. Alcohol is really well hidden even when this warms up. Could use a bit more hops to balance it out.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Takes a while to drink just as it should.

O: This is one of my goto beers. I can get a 6 pack for around $8 and it taste delicious. This beer has opened the minds of many of my non craft beer drinking friends. I cant recommend this beer enough.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 23:17:16 | More by watermelon
Photo of MDDMD


3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-light amber color with a decent off-white head and some lacing

S-malt, caramel, dark fruit, spice, light pine

T-toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, light pine, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth, alcohol somewhat notable

O-good flavors int this beer, has flavors that remind me of an good scotch ale

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 22:07:45 | More by MDDMD
Photo of Cylinsier


3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a slightly hazy amber gold, off-white lacing for a head retains well.

Smells of honey, apple, and mild pine.

Tastes of slightly bitter piney hops, some honey and maple sweetness, lightly nutty malts, and a bit of citrus.

Medium to light body with a light fizzle of carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Pretty decent ale, hides its strength well, but the flavor doesn't live up to the aroma. Definitely worth trying if you don't have to pay too much for it. Not my favorite but I'm enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 22:11:41 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of N3rdM3t4l


3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle into chilled shaker pint

A: beautiful partly cloudy golden brew. Looks like honey in a glass. Lots of tiny bubble but no discernable head. Splotcy foam on top but a hefty ring around the glass of white foam.

S: at first floral bright hops followed by sweet notes mostly raison. Not as malty smelling as I expected based on descriptions I have read. But pleasant nonetheless.

T: overall very expertly balanced. Opens malty and slightly sweet followed by more of that bright floral hop I got on the nose. Flows excellently. Finishes with a twang of bitter and an alcohol burn on the very end that reminds you it is a strong ale.

M: solid medium body, not too thick and not too thin. Excellent

O: at $1.75 for the bottle I call that a steal. American Strongs are so all over the map I never know what to think. This is fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 20:39:37 | More by N3rdM3t4l
Photo of TheMarkE


3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Murky amber with a good head that sticks around. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel hops.

Taste: Caramel and toffee, pine hops, and just hint of citrus. Sweeter than expected.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, not much of an aftertaste to it.

The Verdict: Good beer. It's a little on the sweet side of being balanced, with just enough hops to keep it honest. The high alcohol content is well hidden beneath the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 21:53:19 | More by TheMarkE
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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.