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Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Educational use only; do not reuse.

480 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 480
Hads: 906
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 19.28%
Wants: 21
Gots: 85 | 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 (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 480 | Hads: 906
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a solid golden amber with a white 2 finger head. Good retention. Resulting lace is thin, but consistent and sticky.

Smell - Smells of fruity esters and a bit of alcohol. Sweet bready malt undertone.

Taste - Caramel malt and fruity esters upfront. Apple and hints of citrus hoppiness. Pleasant, warming alcohol character. Somewhat bready. Great balance. Finishes with a continued caramel malt that lasts well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body; decent carbonation. Smooth, and entirely too drinkable for the 8% label.

Overall - Mendocino's flagship beer, and it's a great one. Strong, assertive and a completely American ale. Beautiful complexity. I've been drinking this beer for years, and it never disappoints. Sometimes comes with a touch more metallic taste than tonight, Not one for sessions; drink with caution.

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

Props to my buddy Evan for procuring this one for me...

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper colour with a reddish hue, thumb of soapy head with solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Musty caramel and grassy hops, hint of citrus, earthy undertones and a hint of peat.

T - The caramel malts come across nicely off the top offering upa dose of sweetness alongside some nice toasted bread notes and the leafy green hops. An english toffee flavour lingers alongside a sour citrus sweetness.

M - Medium bodied, extremely smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - This stuff is incredibly drinkable and loaded with flavour for the style. An unsuspecting gem that is highly recommended and I'm super stoked I got the opportunity to try it out.

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

A: copper-bronze with a little chill haze; slightly off-white head, good retention, leaves a bit of lace.

S: Sponge toffee, cotton candy, candied tropical fruit, hint of cider.

T: Grapefruit rind, sponge toffee, piny resin, papaya, good bitterness, really leaning towards a DIPA.

M: Light residual sweetness with a bit of hop acidity.

O: This 'American Strong' is boardering on a DIPA... and I like it.

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Photo of Brewmaster_Rick
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tons of heavy caramel malt, mild bitterness for balance, a bit of sweetness (probably due to high ABV) but very palatable. Fantastic stuff, one of my go-to beers. Apollo bittering, Cascade flavoring, Saaz aromatics. Like Red Tail Ale's big brother!!

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Photo of Daveychu
4.31/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Boozy as hell. Always at Trader Joes for seven dollars. How can I not like this? It tastes like very strong, pretty damn good beer. Um..also it's brown, nice lacing and smells like alcoholic candy. When I'm in the mood for some fancy strong Belgian business but don't want to drop ten bucks on less than a liter this is a fine fine option.

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Photo of oogenesis
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly light, but full bodied ale that reminds me of a good wheat brew with more OOMPH. Buttery, slightly fruity, with a floral aftertaste. The head on this brew is THICK and lasts quite a while. I prefer IPAs, but this might replace Lagunitas IPA as my go-to, everyday beer. Yum.

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Photo of rundocrun
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Body is a translucent amber-brown with orange highlights. Yields 2 fingers of light tan head. Retention is decent, though i'm left with a 1/4" of foam after about 3 minutes. Relatively small amount of lacing.

S - Lots of caramel malt in this one! Truckloads of raisins, sweet figs and prunes. Not much hop aroma to speak of. Almost candy-like. Smells a bit like cherry-flavored candy or syrup. As the beer warms I get some buttery diacetyl as well.

T - Sweet caramel and darkly toasted malt up front. Has a pleasant biscuity flavor as well. Some hop bitterness and earthy hop flavor is noticeable through the middle and the finish. Here and there I get some fruitiness. Has a slightly dry bready flavor of a beer utilizing dark roasted grains.

M - Medium-to-thick body. Surprisingly dry finish leaving me with a residual hoppy bitterness and a touch of toasted malt.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With all the one-off, barrel aged, high buck beers out there now it is nice to come across a classic US beer that sells for the same price as the regular line up , comes in 12 oz 6 packs and has been around since the first wave of craft brewing.

The beer is a mix of a Barley Wine and and an Old Ale with that caramelly malty flavour found in Dopplebocks. The nose is lovely hops mixed in with a deep burnt sugar note. I found the beer fairly complex but very drinkable. The sweetness in the finish was probably about right and never interfered with the next sip. Great beer that is very under the radar for Today's Craft drinker

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from a mixed 12 pack
A - slightly hazy orange amber with a one finger foamy head that leaves a little lacing.
S - strong barley and hop character with a dark fruity component.
T - definite fruity/barley wine character coming through in the taste even when still cold. Fits the description, almost like a blended old ale and barley wine combo.
M - moderately carbonated with a medium to heavy body that flows easily enough. Leaves just a slight lingering aftertaste that is pleasant.
D - a high abv that is not noticeable which might ease the drinking but this should be a slow drinker.
A distinct and clear old ale character comes through that is tempered by a hit of hops and a dallop of barley.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: orange hue with plenty of haze and what appear to be tons of tiny floaties. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam. Not too bad.

Smell: tropical fruity smell dominated by an overripe banana aroma, rather like banana bread. I'm not opposed to this aroma, but it's a bit on the sickly-sweet side and doesn't really appeal to me.

Taste: sweet malt with a lot more of that fruity banana flavor. This flavor profile works more for me in a hefeweizen or dunkelweizen than in a non-wheat strong ale like this. That said, it's not bad, and it's not as sickly-sweet as the aroma would suggest. Perhaps it's an acquired taste.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a great carbonation and very nice creaminess.

Overall: a very weird beer. I could see myself growing into it, but it tastes nothing like its "strong ale" label would suggest. I do kind of like it, though.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a room temperature imperial pint glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Somewhat short, white head that quickly went away and left a filmy residue. Color is a deep, beautiful amber. Beer is well-filtered and crystal clear.

-Smell 4.0: Big barley notes in this bouquet. I also smell hints of clover honey and light caramel.

-Taste 4.5: Front is cool liquid and slightly salty. Middle is the unmistakable kick of pure barley and other grains. Finish is caramel, barley, hops and another small indication of brine. Aftertaste is long, very hoppy and pleasant. I also note more flavors of grains and grasses. Delicious.

-Mouthfeel 4.5: Carbonation level is almost perfect. Very skilled manipulation of the conditioning that leads to a heightened enjoyment of the beer.

-Overall 4.0: Excellent ale. This beer has a relatively high ABV (8%), but it is unnoticeable. This would make a fantastic session beer and is just an all around very dependable ale. Recommended.

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Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a thin layer of off white head that's loose and soft and quickly fades to lacing. The nose has a very intense caramel aroma with an underlying bready, malt note. The flavor is bready and sweet with an intense caramel flavor which is followed by a light fruity note of apples and dark fruit. There is a piny, bitter hop character that tries to add balance to the sweet, caramel. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated with a crisp finish.

This is an alright beer. It's not great. It's a little unbalanced. It's like a sweet, caramelly amber ale that has been intensely hopped. I probably won't have this one again.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
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- !!

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Photo of duderus123
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glass type: Chalice

Appearance - A dark amber color, fizzy carbonation, a little murky. The head didn't stick around at all.

Smell - Bring the beer to your nose. Note the beer's aromatic qualities. Malts: sweet & caramelly scent Hops: The hops profile smell kind of floral and citrus . I can acutally smell yeast in this one

Taste - There is definately a good balance of flavor here. Hops are pronounced, but not overpowering. Malt flavor is apparent. Yeast is strong in this one. The ale is sweet and has a nectar or honey like quality to it.

Mouthfeel - Medium-heavy. its sticky on the pallet. Smooth, but a little too fizzy.

Overall - When I drink a Strong Ale I expect DARK colors, hefty body, and a hops profile that kicks you in the teeth. This is mellow and flavorful. Not true to the style but a good Ale. It doesn't taste like an 8% brew, but its still good.

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Photo of diabecktic
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I get 2 fingers of white head with a hard pour. The beer has a nice, dark orange hue to it; it's translucent, but difficult to see through. Head eventually dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a decent rim behind. Lacing is adequate.

Aroma is floral and very, very yeasty. Pleasant overall, but very strong.

Sweet, caramel-like malt is best appreciated up front. Hoppiness adds some bite as the temperature increases. Yeast is very strong and most apparent towards the back end of the tasting. At 8% ABV, the alcohol remains well-hidden.

The medium-heavy density and lively yeast compliment each other nicely and result in excellent mouthfeel. Though the %ABV is fairly high, the alcohol isn't strong on the palate; this makes the beer very drinkable.

Though not the most visually appealing brew, the taste, alcohol content, and cost more than make up for the lack of aesthetic pleasantry. As far as I'm concerned, the yeastiness seems to be the most apparent aspect of this beer. I have no idea which strain was used to make this beer, but it must be fairly unique because I can't recall having any other beer which is even remotely similar. Some may find it overpowering, but I find it intriguing; when you couple this with the price, it's hard suggest against at least a sampling.

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Photo of RoadLizard
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive enjoyed most of the Mendocino offerings and this is no exception. The color was dark orange & rustic. The head was fluffy at first but didnt last partcularly long. Minimal or no lacing in the glass. Served at about 50 degrees or so.

Has a bready, balanced flavor with a good mix of a little hop presence thats followed by just enough maltiness to level it off. Not very complex but that can be a good thing. This is an easy beer to drink down but you need to watch it with an ABV of 8%! Its a great example of a classic, strong American ale which is exactly what I was expecting. As i made my way through the glass I detected just a hint of citrus which added to the enjoyment. Good beer. Not much else to say.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from long neck bottle. Dark amber color. Head diminishes quickly and looks slightly hazy in the glass.
Odor is fruity with citrus and malt. Some grain odor is present as well.
Taste is floral and citrus at first. Some sweet and caramel notes come trough.
Mouth feel is light and pleasant.
Overall a strong beer, but does not taste so.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Oranghish yellow in color with a 1/4 inch white head and ok retention with some circular lacing

Smell: Slightly malty and bready

Taste: There is a little bit of citrus with malty sweetness to it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation

Overall: Not bad but a bit lack luster

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty/grainy with some slight corn aromas. Taste is of malt/grain and some fruity and citrus zest flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too memorable.

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Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle, no date present, into a Snifter.

A: Poured a nice one fingered head. This is a nice dark rust and mahogany like color. Constant rising carbonation with nice lacing.

S: Has a nice malt smell; fig-like, but definitely not strong. This smells buttery, but it was a sweetness that I can't place; possible maltness. This was a nice smelling beer, but not strong smelling in anyway.

T: This oddly reminds me of a Dubbel (Chimay) in it's taste. Its malty sweet with a smooth alcohol taste catching the tail end of this beer. The alcohol is nice here, it feels like it's blended nicely to mask it. That alcohol definitely makes its appearance, but it comes and goes quite amazingly. I wish other heavier drinks could make their alcohol nice and smooth like this one does. A spice like appearance does come, but it comes with the alcohol at the same time. With the spice coming at this time its odd to identify it while drinking.

M: The body is definitely sticky smooth and the carbonation is moderate.

O: This is something I could use as NyQuil because it could put me to sleep without me even planning on it. This was my first tasting from this brewery and if their other brews are just as nice as this one then I will pick up other from them when I see them. The taste and price makes it possible for a special occasion, but it could be used for just another night drinking though.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
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

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of jjchristiano
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.