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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)
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Ratings: 756 | Reviews: 461 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

burnt amber with a nice brownish tint, a huge billowing off white head faded albeit reluctantly to leave behind a ton of sticky lace puring down the sides of the glass.

The smell was odd, I had half expected a strong IPA and not a Strong ale, but that was no bother. Lots of hoppy tones, pine and citrus but the biggest players were by far caramel and a burnt sugary almost molasses like aroma.;l, also deppicted some earthy tree bark type aroma. The taste followed suit, earthy caramel tones with a definate hop presence and a sweetness that lay on the palate for a good long while. The feel was a little thin and slick, for the amount of flavor present

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 16:02:38 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BucannonXC5


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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It was my third Mendocino beer of the night and all looked similar. This one was slightly darker then the Red Tail and a bit more than the Blue Heron. Color was copper amber. Maybe ¾ inches of head. Healthy amount of lacing. Sporadic film on the sides.

Some red malts with a fruity background on the nose. Also got some caramel and toffee smell in there.

First thought on the taste was smooth, toffee malts up front. There was a somewhat bitter finish with a strong alcohol bite.

Medium body. Creamy, sticky texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish. Definitely the best part.

I really liked this overall, the best of the three I’ve tried so far (EDIT: was the best of the four). So smooth.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 09:58:59 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of tone77


3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some alcohol. Taste taste is also on the malty side, alcohol is present, some fruits as well. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a high quality and an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 14:15:44 | More by tone77
Photo of jjchristiano

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a very solid beer and is a real bargain compared to similar offerings from others. I pay $7 for a six pack at the local discount liquor store.

Poured into my favorite oversized water/wine glass.

appearance - an amberish less carbonated glass of beer after the pour.

smell - malty

taste - a little sweet but not too much

overall - good enough to have gone back for more a couple times now.

If you like the Yards "Beers of the Revolutions" series you'll like this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 01:23:09 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Harpoon Hibernian Ale pint glass.

The color is a slightly cloudy brownish/orange with a finger and a half of foamy webby head with lots of space and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell has a nice malty aroma with some interesting maple like aroma in the nose. There is some peanut brittle aroma there as well and seem to be giving a lot of co2 as well.

The taste is a little off with some slight dirty maple flavor that could be the fault of the glass. There is a nice dark malt flavor that is holding some nice interesting buttery flavor that is keeping me drinking.

The feel of this beer is smooth but does have a bit of an off aftertaste. There is a nice sweetness that comes back after some time that makes up for it. and is drinking well.

This beer seems to have some great potential to go further than what I am experiencing in my glass right now. My glass may be dirty and I'm sure that may be taking away from the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 23:26:41 | More by Duhast500
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a rudy amber color, with a one inch head that slowly reduces leaving minimal lacing down the sides.

Has a butter, malty aroma, with sweet apricot, mulled spices and yeast.

Starts creamy, buttery even, with plenty of malt, yeast and spice. Nutmeg, honey, cardamon, this tastes a lot like a Christmas ale though it is not marketed as one. Finishes with a bit of peppery hops.

Medium bodied, this starts smooth and slick before finishing with peppery bite.

Much better than I thought this would be, it is very similar to Great Lakes' Christmas Ale, though the finish and aftertaste are not as good as that beer. Of course, the similarlity is in one respect unsurprising, as they both are strong ales. Still, strong ales differ so much that the similarlities between the two are notable.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 20:59:24 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of ZenAgnostic


3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - Hazy light amber body. Big, loose offwhite head with decent stick and good retention.

Smell - Grass and some corn. Mild hoppiness and maltiness.

Taste - Grassy hoppiness. Some metal. Generally pretty mild.

Mouthfeel - Head offers some effervescence. Cleanses the palate without being solvent. Mild hoppy prickle.

Overall Drinkability - In terms of style perhaps this is an American Strong Ale, but it's much more mild than any of the others in the style I've had. Enjoyable nevertheless.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 19:39:36 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of elgiacomo


3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, unknown date, although a very recent delivery. Served at around cellar temperature.

Pours clear copper with a one finger light tan head that leaves just a bit of lacing and recedes to an island and ring. Before long there is basically no head and looks nearly flat.

Aroma is fruity malt, dates, plums, cherries, some grains, caramel, toffee, a bit of wood. Good strength.

Flavor is quite sweet and malty, a lot of fruit, cherries, plums, dates, figs, etc, some caramel and toffee, some earthy and yeasty notes as well. Not much alcohol which is surprising for the level of ABV on this. Still...rather sweet, but just avoids becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, creamy, sticky, moderate carbonation.

Pretty good ASA. Special ordered a case of this for a customer who gifted me a bottle so I could try it and offer suggestions for other beers based on this. I’m certainly thankful for the chance to try a new beer and it’s pretty good stuff overall, especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 00:41:44 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of Derranged

New York

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 pack for $6.49. No freshness date on the bottle. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark amber color with a thick white head. Retention on the glass.

S- Kind of fruity. Floral notes, hops, caramel and heavy on the malt.

T- Very sweet, heavy on the malts, caramel, hops, little citrus and an alternating bitter aftertaste. No detectable booze.

M- Surprisingly smooth for the abv, but very thick with medium carbonation. Goes down easy. Left lips numb with a sticky, very bitter taste on it.

O- Pretty good beer. Surprisingly easy to drink, but b/c of the sweetness I wouldn't have too many of these in one sitting. This won't be a regular for me as I don't think its sold in NY, I've only seen it in a Total Wine in NJ. I would drink again and I look forward to the two bottles I have left.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 11:41:03 | More by Derranged
Photo of DrDemento456


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

A - Deep amber hue with about a half inch of creamy off white head.

S - Smells of a typical old ale, slight oak, biscuit sweetness, hops, and a touch of caramel.

T - Not very boozy and drinks with sweetness of caramel and malts with a touch of hops in the finish. Balanced.

M - Medium to heavy it was pretty nice.

Overall my favorite is still Hibernation ale due to it being very hopped and aged. But this was a pretty sweet offering in a variety case. It was good.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 05:37:04 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Patrickbrusil


3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a solid offering. Big florally sweet notes In the aroma and a nice pale golden color.

Huge malty sweetness hits your palate but is not overly brutal. Very drinkable and dangerously so. Could stand to be slightly more balanced in my book but it doesn't stop it from being tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 04:45:01 | More by Patrickbrusil
Photo of codfeast


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle to pint.

A: Murky gold, Thin head that stuck around for most of the beer, minimal lacing.

S: Malt, yeast, hints of caramel and dark fruits, and booze.

T: Starts with big malt flavors, caramel and biscut. Hops comes in at the end with some alcohol heat.

M: Medium body and carbination, farily smooth and creamy.

O: Hard to put my finger on it. I like it enough but it's far from great. Has a bock feel to it with the malty boozy ascepts. Would never buy all six but as long as trader joe's allows us to break six packs I'll keep picking up bottles at $1.25 for a malt and booze craving.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 18:22:47 | More by codfeast
Photo of EricCioe


3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours clear gold with a small eggshell head that dies down to a ring and an island. On the nose there is a combination of caramel malt, wet grain, and a good bit of dark fruit. In the mouth, those same notes shine through, most notably the wet grain, but from nowhere there emerges a hop presence. The dark fruit, which was what I thought best in the nose, is strangely absent. The body is pretty viscous for the style, with a medium finish of wet grain and hops.

Overall, this is a decent beer, but I wish that more had been made of the dark fruit present in the nose.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 02:03:40 | More by EricCioe
Photo of womencantsail


3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours an opaque amber/copper color with a thin ring of off-white head.

S: Mostly smells like overly sweet fruits and caramel. Some table sugar and brown sugar, maybe a bit of toffee, too. A light note of vanilla.

T: Mostly sweet fruits. A bit of grape and berries, maybe some plums. Sweet caramel and brown sugar are present as is some toasted bread. A touch watery on the finish, however.

M: Medium bodied with only a medium level of carbonation.

O: Better than what I had expected, but my small pour was enough.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 05:02:15 | More by womencantsail
Photo of mactrail


3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very sweet and simple at first sip. A touch of woodiness. Something like hamster pee in the nose, and I don't mean that in a good way. Slight touch of hops does little to balance the rather insipid pale malt flavor. Mouthfeel is the best quality, with a creamy light richness. Slight tanginess in the flavor, a hint of honey, and a bit of scratchy hops. Attractive golden color in the chalice with a touch of amber.

I can't see much to recommend this, but it was on sale at my favorite San Diego beer store, Likicker's in OB for $2.99. At that price, just add a bottle of IPA for a cheap date.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 05:22:40 | More by mactrail
Photo of BeefyMee


3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Good looking deep coppery body. Pretty good head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: Big and malty but maybe a little too much. Buttery rotting grain and some alcohol.

T: Big improvement in flavor. Still a malt monster but it picks up a nuttiness that gives the huge malt bill something to hang its hat on. Alcohol isn't too noticeable. Finishes slightly tangy.

M: Nice and rich but carbonation is more assertive than I'd like.

A good to great beer overall. I'd like to try it on tap sometime.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 22:45:08 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of DrJay


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a dense, off-white head. Great retention, thick, streaky lacing. Citrus and grassy hop aroma, oranges, bready and fruity. Very rich and creamy in texture, medium bodied, quite fruity with moderate bitterness. A little bready with some alcohol warmth and flavour in the finish, along wit grassy hops. Caramel sweetness throughout. I enjoyed it and would purchase it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 04:09:39 | More by DrJay
Photo of zest4itall


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden honey color, maybe a little darker copperish...Great creamy head...nice and lacy . It just stayed with it too!
It had a nice clean fresh smell, hops...and roasted malt.
Had a good oaky flavor...nice balance between the maltiness and the bitterness of the hops. A really good beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 01:14:58 | More by zest4itall
Photo of magictacosinus


3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: A cloudy, orange-amber color with loads of carbonation. I actually mistook this for a double IPA at first. Poured with virtually no head to speak of.

Smell: Full and fruity, with a strong malty taste and a sweetness of all booziness. The hops balance the smell quite well, giving off hints of oranges, mangoes, sugar cane and coriander.

Taste: Tastes much maltier than expected, but still has an overpowering sweetness that is perhaps due to the high ABV. There is virtually no overbearing hoppiness in this beer, which is disappointing. Nevertheless, it still is quite fruity in taste, despite lack of bitterness. However, as it warms up, it sadly became slightly nauseating to drink for me due to the high sweetness.

Mouthfeel: To this beer's advantage, it's very easy to drink due to low bitterness and high watery content. It remains refreshing in nature and creamy on the palate. Normally I find strong ales to be ruinous on my taste buds, but this holds no such effect. Plus, there are loads of carbonation in its feel, which makes it a fun drink to sip.

Overall: A good beer, but one that appears to be more of a high-alcoholic pale ale than a strong ale. The taste is nicely malty and fruity, but it needs more IBUs! I personally enjoy a higher hoppiness with stronger beers. However, it's worth a try, and definitely flavorful enough that it could become more regular in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 02:08:37 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of fx20736

New York

2.3/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Pint Glas

2 inch off white head on top of a deep coppery garnet, modestly carbonated.

Aroma: Caramel malt, fruitiness like apples and a slight floral hoppiness.

Taste: Powerful sweet maltiness comes on in on a woosh. Back taste has a medicinal alcoholic ester with a buttery diacetyl aftertaste.

Notes: Too strong, too sweet. Too Alcoholic. Combination of esthers & diacetyls remind me of vanilla extract and caramel apples. I would classify this as an Imperial English Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 00:37:05 | More by fx20736
Photo of ckollias


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Mahogany colored ale with blonde highlights on the side. Has a one-finger white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Strong malty aroma surrounded by a fruity tang that fills the nostrils.

T: Sweet malty flavor with a nice caramel background. Has a yeasty finish towards the end. Alcohol is present but is masked brilliantly by the malt.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Well balanced American strong ale. A nice sipping beer @ 8 % alcohol by volume, although you can’t tell it is 8%.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 03:47:37 | More by ckollias
Photo of kindestcut

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Mendocino Eye of the Hawk pours a bright red with a vibrant off-white head that lingers past the first minute and first few sips.

The aroma is a combination of sweet malt with notes of citrus. The alcohol is definitely evident at first sniff, however not overpoweringly so.

The first taste is dominated by caramel sweetness. The citrusy, bitter hops balance the taste. And then there's the alcohol. For an 8% beer, this one is incredibly drinkable. While the alcohol is not hidden by any means, this not a boozy beer. The mouthfeel is nice, given the active carbonation.

Overall, I'd say this is a very good beer. My one complaint is the big starburst on the 6-pack screaming "8% Alc./Vol." If the main selling point if your beer is that it'll get you drunk quickly, then what does that say about the taste? It's a better beer than that.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 23:18:48 | More by kindestcut
Photo of theboozecruise


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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. It's a reddish orange color, clear with a couple fingers of slightly off-white head.

The aroma is a good blend of caramel malt and bitter hops. It's a well balanced nose that's very inviting.

The taste is mostly hoppy up front then a more malty warmth later through on the sip. Definitely more bitter hop flavor than the smell indicates, with a mostly pine flavor and hints of grapefruit.

It's bitter on the end and full bodied.

A very nice beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 23:20:04 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of AmericanGothic


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a pretty copper orange color with no cloudiness. One finger of ecru head with good retention and lace.

S: Sweet bread and stewed fruits, good stuff.

T: Sweet fruit (mellow banana) up front yields to a sweet malty flavor. The first couple of sips had a metallic twang that was a bit annoying but not serious and also didn't last for more than maybe the first minute of the glass. Once past that flaw, this is good but not great. There are some gentle mineral notes that emerge on the finish about 1/4 way through the glass. A slight vinous quality overall which grows as the beer warms, but the alcohol is well hidden. Minimal complexity. Touch of bubble gum near the end.

M: Medium heavy, considerable creaminess.

O: A good but not great beer. I did enjoy this and would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 23:30:46 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of DoubleJ


1.95/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Gosh, I don't remember the last time I had a Mendocino BC beer. I remember that I didn't like it, so let's hope Eye of the Hawk is at least better. On to the beer:

Dark orange peel color with a big, frothy head that leaves a lot of webbed lacing around the glass. Does anyone have secented candles nearby, because I don't know what I'm smelling. It's a little stinky at first, then spicy alcohol that's enough to decongest your nose, and something that's most resemblant to sour apple. Oh no, not again....

It happened again. There's some sweetness, like a cough syrup sweetness, that hits first. Yep, a little sweet, then it's all downhill. Spicy, alcoholic, over carbonated, and plain bitter are among the themes to this underwhelming brew. As times goes on, the beer's sweetness has an extended life and the carbonation tails off a little. At times, I can taste sour melon. Still, that won't make the beer good, it will only make the beer less bad.

Let me be honest, I wanted to poke the eye out of the hawk as I was drinking it. There's no way that I would recommend this as a beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 06:22:56 | More by DoubleJ
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.