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Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

789 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 789
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 13
Gots: 23 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2000)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 04:17:49 | More by blitz134
Photo of ShamasUVA
ShamasUVA

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle that had been sitting in my basement for 8 months. Produced in Saratoga Springs, NY, I guess they contract there, poured into a large snifter. Appears a deep red, ever so slightly brown. Not entirely clear. A thin head, which stuck around.

Smell is of dark cherries, a hint of licorice, and a bit of smokiness (which also appears in Mendecino's IPA, perhaps it is from the yeast). Minimal hop aroma, perhaps due to the age.

Taste is rich, more sweet than malty. There is a great amount of hop bitterness here, but it does not overtake the sweetness, until the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and sticky. Excellent level of carbonation for the style.

As far as drinkability, there is a slight sweetness which is a bit cloying and detracts from the feeling of "one more." Perhaps a fresher sample would be more balanced, with more of the hop elements intact.

Overall this is a very solid beer, great for wintertime, with a cigar or as dessert.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 03:07:10 | More by ShamasUVA
Photo of dickroop
dickroop

Maryland

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm always perplexed by a "Mendocino Brewing" company whose bottle says "Saratoga Springs, NY", but wot the hay, it's not bad stuff. "Neck label reads: Rich, robust, and complex, with a ton of flavor. Legendary in California since 1984, the Eye has won many medals. Brewed traditionally.... Let you spirit soar."

Pours a clear dark-coppery amber with minimal head, there almost no lacing. The nose is limited and disappointing, mostly bready with some alcohol noticeable.

The taste is malt-dominated, sweet but with a bitter, clean finish. The flavor notes are a little fruity (maybe a little peach?), maybe a little citrus (lemony?) hops. If there's peachy flavor in there, it's more like canned peaches than fresh. Mostly, the alcohol comes through, not well masked. It's sort of as if you took a Heinekin and added a shot of peach brandy.

Mouthfeel is good, kind of buttery, solid, and a little chewey. A good moderate body, the satisfaction delivered here makes up for the cheesey aspects of the taste. As to drinkability, it's better than I would have expected - drinkable is not bad, one would be tempted to drink more of this high-ABV stuff than would be good for you. All in all, an OK brew to enjoy once in a while, nothing to rave about, but an acceptable, well-crafted product. I'm glad my local store carries the Mendocino line - I llike the pale ale pretty well, but I wish the line included a true IPA. I'll continue to buy the stuff because occasionally when the price is right.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 23:06:59 | More by dickroop
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

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

Appearance: clear copper color with a short fluffy head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and ripe red fruits are easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, light bread-like quality, pear, other ripe fruit sweetness, hint of alcohol, and a nice balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is quite short as some sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Drinkability: not a bad brew, but this is not a session beer either. Didn't excite me or disappoint me, so pretty average in my book.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 20:10:02 | More by Gavage
Photo of goschool
goschool

California

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

Appearance: The pour is hazy peach to copper with a small, disappearing white head.

Smell: The aroma is fruity, and I'm getting quite a but of mango. There are a bit of sweet malts and very little hops. It's fairly weak for a strong ale.

Taste: The flavor profile has mango and some other tropical fruit, grapes, caramel malts, brown sugar, and an alcohol bite. Hops never really enter the mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but lighter than most strong ales, with enough carbonation and rough finish care of the alcohol.

Drinkability: This would be much more interesting if it had a bit more of what it has and a lot more of what it lack.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 08:20:02 | More by goschool
Photo of TechMyst
TechMyst

Illinois

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

Hazy copper/brown. Aroma: sweet malts. crisp and refreshing. Bottle Conditioning gives soft carbonation. Since I don't care for this style, I was actually impressed that I enjoyed this brew so much. Definitely a sipper for me though, for taste as much as alcohol content. I'm really starting to like this brewing company more and more each time I try thier stuff. I would take this over Arrogant Bastard by Stone any day! Carmel, fruit, and banana tastes.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 17:54:42 | More by TechMyst
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

I want to preface this review by stating that I was caught unaware of the style. Nowhere on the label does it say the style or the abv level. For some reason I assumed it was a pale ale - never assume...

Pours amber with steadily rising carbonation giving it a thin white head that lasted quite some time for the abv level.

The smell was of sweet caramel wrapped around fruity, earthy, floral tones.

The taste was of sweet caramel upfront. Earthy, floral hops give it a crisp bitterness, but do not override the predominant maltiness. A lemony zest is in the finish. Alcohol peeks through enough to give it a strong character.

It's full-bodied, creamy and rich with alcohol dryness.

Although it's an American Strong ale, there are European, esp. English, influences - esp. in hop profile. And, although alcohol is noticeable, it is restrained. A nice "sipping" brew that is easy to more than "sip".

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 23:03:57 | More by jwc215
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured beer into tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was a light amber with a nice bubbly head. I was surprised though that no aroma to speak of came from that head. maybe a little fruity. Slightly bitter taste with a bit of alcohol burn at the finish. Will not purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 15:21:30 | More by Minkybut
Photo of tcfishler
tcfishler

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very bready nose. Also caramel and honeyed fruit.

Malt also dominates the palate, but the sweetness itself is restrained. Flavor profile very similar to the nose, with perhaps a little more citrus thrown in as well. Very round mouthfeel. A little bitterness sneaks up on the finish, then grows in the aftertaste. This bitterness also

Drinkability is perhaps its best attribute. Definitely a value for the high drinkability/ABV ratio.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2006 23:27:37 | More by tcfishler
Photo of treehugger02010
treehugger02010

Pennsylvania

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

I got this 12 ounze bottle from a Mandeocino Mixed case. I poured it into a pint glass. Therer was 1 - 2 fingers of head which had super retention. Faster at first, but the head was never actually gone. The smell was sweet and hoppy. The color was a dark redish amber. The taste was bitter, but not overpowering. Very drinkable. Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 00:05:56 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an sparkling honey color with a fair amount of carbonation and a soapy head that fades to a fractured ring. The aroma is lightly sugary, breezy fruits with the slightest twang of alcohol and a faint sugar cookie-like maltiness. Pale sweet malts, spicy, grape and apple skin flavors and the notion of alcohol. Strangely enough, it almost seems to have some bock-like flavors in it. Slight faded butterscotch warmth. I find this to be a difficult beer to describe. Maybe closer to an old ale...sort of? Mouthfeel has a rindy acidity...dry, medium-ish mouthfeel and a moderate bitterness.

Not bad, but it lacks complexity...needs more oomph. It has the impresion of a strong ale, but no deep, remarkable flavors to enforce it. At first I thought this had a lot of British characteristics but now, I don't know...its interesting, but not in the kind of way that I'll pick this up again.

On the plus side, I find myself drinking this rather quickly just trying to figure this thing out; after a couple of these, the ol' noggin starts to get a bit numb. :-)

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 03:33:13 | More by wedge
Photo of tastybeer
tastybeer

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is a nice, clear copper auburn speckled by many surface seeking carbonation bubbles. Head is a nice creamy topping and holds a good thick retention. Aroma lacks a little, mostly in hops. There is a semi-solid fruity maltiness to it. Doesn't have that huge american strong ale nose I've become accustomed too, but not bad. There is a bit of a grape-like dryness to the nose over the fruit and sweet caramel maltiness. Has a somewhat British feel too. Taste is smooth and malty with an alcohol that blends, and hides in the dark fruits/grapiness. The hop bitterness, combined with energetic carbonation needs some more hop (not fruit) flavor and more heavy yummy malt to balance it. Right as the flavors start to leave the palate there's a grape skin-like bitterness. Body is a medium and could certainly carry more weight. The carbonation gives some texture, but overall this is slick, smooth and softly coating. Drinakbility isn't bad given the high abv.

Not bad really, and very different. Almost like a weak barleywine. I'd get it again if there were a sweet beer sale. Overall I think it needs more fullness with both the malts and the hops to fully fit the strong ale title. I think that would help the fruitiness to blend more, as well as the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 02:49:32 | More by tastybeer
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

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

Nice dark orange color. Much darker than I expected. Little amount of head that leaves very little trace. Fairly clear.

Has that alcohol-heavy strong ale smell. Has a slightly nutty malt scent. The aroma is weaker than I expected but that's not a bad thing.

Has the alcohol-heavy but malt-dominant taste, with a hint of sourness to it. Not much hop character. Has a toasted flavor to it. Cozy.

The flavor sits on the tongue for a bit. Not too thick, but certainly not watery. Actually has a smooth, buttery feel. The high alcohol content is apparent, but doesn't detract from the fine flavor. Might be a bit much for a school night, but is an above-average beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 02:07:54 | More by williamherbert
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured with about one finger of creamy tan head that lasted about two minutes. The brew itself is a reddish hue, about the color of cranberry raspberry juice. No lacing.

S - Red grapes, dates, a bit of caramel malt. There is some "clean" aroma, but all around the beer is just really lacking in the aroma department..

T - There really isn't any sweetness here as I would have expected. It is has a very dry malt flavor, but mostly the taste is of grassy hops. The aftertaste is of grassy hops and a mild medicinal bitterness. Abv is present, but not easily noticeable.

M - Carbonation is rather high, making the beer a tad harsh. It has a medium viscosity. It is a pretty refreshing beer.

D - Very easy to drink. It is too strong to session, but I am really surprised how quickly I found the bottom of my glass. It is a bland hoppy flavor, so I imagine it would pair with food rather easily. It is not a terrible beer or anything, it just fails to impress all around the board. Well, except for this category.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 02:56:25 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of Goldorak
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 athensbeermaster
athensbeermaster

Georgia

2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The first impression was what a good price for a high gravity beer in a 6 pk. format. When I poured the beer into a 16 oz. pint glass
there was almost no head. The nose was very mellow. And the color was a little strange. The first flavor detected was a metallic-coppery taste. mid palate got a little better with a hint of roasted almonds. The finish was bitter and was over quickly. I do like these guy's black&tan in 22oz.btl. Once again for being inexpensive high gravity beer you get what you pay for !!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 19:50:00 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a rather light amber with a thin head that was quickly dissapating. Aroma was barely there, but what I could pick up was well balanced hops and malt. Taste is a little too on the malty side for my liking. If a beer is going to be higher in alcohol, I need enough hops along side them, and this one did not do it for me. This one was perculier to say the least, it was easy to drink, yet difficult. Smooth, but not. This almost seemed like a light barlywine. As is the case for me with most barlywines, it tastes good at first, but gets a little bit worse with each passing sip.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 05:10:15 | More by atsprings
Photo of Winter
Winter

Wisconsin

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear auburn in color with a tan head that settles to a sudsy surface ring. Aroma of orange citrus, hops and malt. The mouthfeel is soft and medium in body. Things start off with a dry caramel maltiness. A crisp hop bitterness follows. Robust, almost "oak" flavor ensues midway. There is a light citrus hoppiness buried in the back that carries into the finish. Alcohol at 8.0% is hardly noticeable.

This was good, but l wasn't blown away by it. Complex and worth visiting again. Perhaps Eye of the Hawk is one to grow on you.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 01:37:48 | More by Winter
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This has a soapy 1/2 finger head over a slightly hazy dull bronze brew. Has large bubbles and a few arcs of loose lace.

Dirty earth scent. Heavy on the malt, light on the hops. This is slightly vegetal and funky in the nose. Dark fruits also.

Starts out with a big hit of sweet caramel malt follwed by a nice snap of hops and a sweet finish. Vegetal chacracter is present in the taste also, and it's sort of intruding on the experience. I do like the nice hop finish though.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good amout of carbonation and obvious alcohol presence, but I wouldn't want to drink more than one. It's just not that appealing.

I like the brown sugar malt sweetness that precedes the hoppy finish, but the canned carrot vegetal notes are unwelcome. Not a bad ale, but this one is not for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2006 02:23:21 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of Rudgers73
Rudgers73

New York

4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass I "borrowed" from a local bar.

A- Crystal clear, reddish-orange hues. Mostly red. Looks a lot like an irish red. Not much head, very calm. Slight carbonation.

S- The smell is very clean and pleasant. Very aromatic: fruity, floural, cherries, maybe cinnamon?, bready, malty.

T- Starts out sugary sweet and ends up a little bitter and hoppy. Smooth, clean, soft flavor. This is really well made. The middle is the strongest malt flavor and that 8% ABV is hidden completely. It actually tastes like a nice abbey ale blended with a mild APA. The rich, sweet, smooth taste joined with a ripe, hoppy twist. I like this beer.

M- Creamy and smooth like an APA but sooo easy to drink. Such an interesting beer.

D- This is like drinking kool-aid so be careful. I'm glad I tried this one. I took a strong liking to it at my first taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 14:48:23 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle- color of honey , with a orange white head - nose of malty , caramel , red fruit , ginger , and slight hopps – taste of orange blossom , malts , caramel , and slight citrus – body medium , and slightly carbonated – aftertaste of orange , and hopps

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2006 03:06:54 | More by stephendr
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a light copper color with a two finger head that subsides to a frothy ring. A bit of lacing.

S: Sweet smell of malt and toffee.

T: Malty and buttery up front followed with a grainy astringency.

M: Medium-bodied and slick with moderate-high carbonation.

D: I'd drink it if given to me (which it fortunately was), but I wouldn't buy it.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 01:48:54 | More by klewis
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

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

Eye of the Hawk pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Nice aroma, some floral hop as well as malts are noticeable. Nice hop flavor, alcohol is a little noticeable to me. Has some bite to it. I couldn't drink a whole lot of these, but definitely not bad at all. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 23:20:49 | More by Drew966
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the pour this looks like an amber ale, with a big fruity nose. What looks like an innocent amber ale is anything but on the tongue, however, with a big hit of sweet malty flavor, finished clean with just enough hops to make it balanced and bitter at the end. Almost too sweet for my taste, although you wouldn't know it to be 8% abv as clean and smooth as it is.

I'm really not sure I could have more than one of these at a time, maybe 2 if I really wanted a short evening. Tasty but strong.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2006 20:57:32 | More by number1bum
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

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

From the sixer and out of a 12oz. brown bottle and into a mid-size tulip pours a medium amber-gold with an orange hue ale, sporting a finger plus of just off-white bubbly head. There is a light sediment haze and ultra tiny carbonation bubbles yet the head disappears rapidly and theres not a lace too be found, almost reminds me of Thomas Hardy's in this respect.

To the nose comes an earthy , grainy malt aroma with a grassy hop note and some alcohol as well. Smells like a malt bomb?

The flavor starts out sweet and malty, much sweeter than it smells. It is a floral and alcohol kind of sweetness that eventually gets snuffed by the bitterness of the hops and winds down to a really clean finish. Quaffable, yet a bit on the potent side...be aware of this!

A highly drinkable, medium to heavy bodied Strong Ale that demands a bit of respect or else...definetely recommended, try it!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2006 06:46:49 | More by scottoale
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 789 ratings.