Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

479 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 479
Hads: 901
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 21
Gots: 79 | 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 (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Eye of the Hawk Alström Bros
Reviews: 479 | Hads: 901
Photo of streetcommander
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of awinslow
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (313 characters)

Photo of watermelon
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (679 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
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 (345 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (434 characters)

Photo of krausen1989
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

visiting boulder, colorado so this beer has some competition. This brew poured nice with an amber/gold hue and with a nice head that lasted pretty long. smell wasn't all that great but def smelled of malt. taste was a good combo of sweet and bitter. and mouthfeel was excellent for the abv. overall it is a good beer and def look foreword to drinking this 12pack with good friends, cheers! (389 characters)

Photo of Beerswag
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alright, here we go strong ale. Appearance is a solid amber color. It smells of apricots and some hops. Tastes alcoholic, but sweet and nutty. For the ABV, I think it's worth is. I think it's a little unbalanced seeing as it lacks a stronger hop flavor and aroma, but overall it's a good buy. Maybe this is why the stock hasn't skyrocketed in the past couple of years. (368 characters)

Photo of beerbart
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd marry this beer if powers-that-be would legalize man-beer marriage. It's good every day. Just one, every day. Not too much anything, and entirely yummy.

Without hitting you over the head, and without withholding love. It's the kindness of strangers. Strangers who make really good ale. I might have to move to Mendocino.

Thanks, buds, here's to you. (357 characters)

Photo of bwolmarans
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

wonderful taste on the third bottle. I can't bring myself to write that the smell is particularly great, and yes the first bottle is metallic. but who cares, this is a sublime beer, and in the department all of us care about (I don't care how many fingers of head a beer has) this one tastes great on the last bottle, which for me, is three at 8% ABV. (351 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass with two fingers of head on a cloudy, dark straw colored body.
The aroma is metallic and grain. Not great.
The taste is nice with a strong maltiness, which is nicely balanced by the lemon/grapefruit bitterness.
The texture is crisp and smooth despite the boldness of the brew.
Besides the smell, this is a great ale. It's big but still quaffable, maybe to your detriment. (398 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronzed red with just a ring of head. Very hazy.

Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, and a slice of grapefruit. Or maybe pine. Lopsided malty, but very aromatic.

Bitter medicinal flavors with dry pine hops and candied caramel malts. A little papery and boozy with very light peppery spice. Attenuated for lack of promotable hops, nor rich toffee flavors. Scaled back, yet strong.

Medium body and medium carbonation. Lots of alcohol, however.

Pretty much what I was expecting. This could use some more hoppiness, or if it were an old ale or barleywine, some more oomph to the malts. (595 characters)

Photo of EnjoyTheFlavor
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to beer. Its easy to find, affordable, good abv and a good body and taste to it. This ranks up in my top 3 with Founders and Commodore Perry. Its hoppy, slightly bitter with a very med body. I rate this high because i consume it weekly but i really do recommend trying it if you have not. I have begun to find it in more and more supermarkets and party stores which means it is easy to find and affordable. As long as it does not get bought out by Anheuser i see a good future for this beer. (505 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split with my father-in-law (his choice).

A: Pours a couple shaded deep than copper with a couple fingers of light tan head that fade into a wispy film leaving a few streaks of lace down the glass.
S: Amber ale notes of caramel, metallic copper and pine resin mixed with stout notes of cocoa powder and anise.
T: Follows the nose with notes of copper amber ale flavors and caramel mixed with darker stout flavors of chocolate, licorice and toasted marshmallow. I get notes of citrus and pine hops in the finish and bready malt in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body, fizzy but fairly smooth carbonation, crisp and drying mouthfeel.
O: Better than I remember (sampled before BA), but still not my favorite. Interesting profile and idea but the outcome is a bit rough. (777 characters)

Photo of Guyute
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of booze to this one, can tell after a couple of bottles. Pours an orange, hazy color. Not a lot of hops to the aroma, a little more burning-ish, like malt liquor. Minimal head by height, but what's there is pleasant.

What I found most impressive was how well it paired with spicy, sweet Chinese food. A nice surprise/happy accident. A bit too much ABV though, two is enough for the night. (395 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Something tells me a crappy Survivor cover band tried to make their own mark with this diddy...and failed... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises buttery caramel, biscuit, light cinnamon, and a vague sense of very mild grass. The taste holds notes of orange peel, caramel, lightly-toasted biscuit, and a touch of fennel. Things seem limp, uninspired (whatever that friggin' means...). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a weak little beer, one that lacks any discernible character worth paying attention to. (680 characters)

Photo of deaconoflove
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber brown with no head (probably too cold). Aroma has caramel, cider, w/ some alcohol sharpness to it. The taste is caramel candy, piney (although I just finished cleaning up tons of pine needles) with a tart bitterness. There is some fruitiness in there.
Feels a little sticky sweet as goes the style. Definitely a sippy beer. Nice. (335 characters)

Photo of BenHesk12
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (925 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good lookin' out going out to my local in-person trader, Tone77, for providing me with this one. I used to drink this pretty routinely as part of our tailgating pre-game warm-up for Pitt games as students. The mixed 12-pack case was a good deal and we ran through a lot of it about a decade ago. Since then, I have not indulged until now.

From the bottle: "This award winning brew is Handcrafted to perfection."; "A Premium American Classic from a Pioneer Brewing Legend."

My pour provided me with a thick finger of dense, tawny head with decent retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose smelled like a Sugar Daddy bar - very caramel! Mouthfeel was medium, kind of prickly in its carbonation and the heat was immediate. Phew! Once I got past that, the caramel sweetness was about as much as I could handle. Dang, but this was making me sweat. Finish was semi-sweet as the yeast had converted much of the sugar into alcohol. Wow! And to think that we used to swig this like water ... (1,008 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy amber gold and produced a white creamy one finger high head. It dissipated with spotted lacing.
The smell is very sweet, like honey and fruit. Some hops in the background.
Tasting this beer, I am reminded of mead. Lots of honey notes up front, combined with a fruity hop flavor of apple as well as a caramel and malt backbone. This balanced combination follows through the hole tasting.
Nice medium to heavy bodied beer, very sweet in taste, but also very drinkable. (490 characters)

Photo of Mosstrooper
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy pale amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates quickly, yielding a thick wall of lace.

Smell: Lots of fruit- apple, oranges, and sweet white grape with mild bready notes.

Taste: Begins with sweet apple and bitter orange peel flavors, before rounding out to a sweet breadiness. Finish is citric with a balanced, toasty bitterness and a nutty hint.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with balanced, natural carbonation and a sticky finish.

Overall: A very good, complex beer. Deceptively drinkable at 8% ABV, so watch out! (602 characters)

Photo of Tolosa
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

That is one heavy hitter of a beer.

A : Nice deep gold, dense head, but you've probably seen sexier. Hawk logo is as tacky as a trailer park Halloween party. Bottle is pleasantly plump, tho.

S : This is where it begins to be interesting. Smells a bit hoppy but, wait, what is this alcohol I feel in the background ?

T : Did anyone poured a slint of jack Daniel's in my beer while I was looking away ?!? This is an incredibly boozy beer, the alcohol flavor burst into the palate. Mind you, not cheap alcohol, bit a high quality one. Way above any of those beers already mixed with alcohol. This level of warmth and taste in a beer is quite something.

Mouthfeel : You will not be able to gulp this one, because every gulp is like a jab from Mike Tyson, only much much much more enjoyable.

Overall : Incredible, has to be tasted to be believed. A beautiful beer, plain, boozy and bold. For the brave only, as it will knock your socks off after 2 bottles. (957 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a toasted straw color with a thick layer of billowy white foam.

There’s a light lemony hop aroma with a sodium bicarbonate zing. The flavor has more lemon, with a slight pine-resin hint on the finish. As it warms a delicate honeyed sweetness emerges.

No indication that it’s 8% ABV.

This was a welcomed surprise and one of the more enjoyable bird beers from Mendocino. (387 characters)

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 479 ratings.