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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.

852 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 476
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 17
Gots: 47 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 852 | Reviews: 476 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shabbtastic
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of RobH
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Writing this as I drink one for the first time. Not sure why I selected this bottle in the store given the label doesn't really say what it is other than "ale", but I sure am glad I picked it!

Truly lots of carbonation bubbles keeping the aroma alive. I thought it was an American Amber ale based on the color at first, but it is more copper-colored than "red".

I must say the taste suprises me in a very positive way. Something about the middle in this one...that's where it's packed with enticing flavors. A fruitiness to it that's inviting.

Maybe I got an exceptionally good bottle compared to some of the other reviews I've read, but this one I really like.

I haven't finished this bottle yet, but I know I will buy more. It's so drinkable I sort of wish the ABV weren't so high.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. An orange-amber color with a very small white head with short retention. The aroma was a mixture of caramel malt and some hops, possibly citrus, but nothing stood out. Pretty good flavor, mostly bitter and hoppy, with just a touch of sweetness. Average mouthfeel and carbonation, mostly dry, especially at the finish, and with a noticeable alcohol kick.

Photo of DmanGTR
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a coppery golden brown with a 1 inch head that disappeared to thin lace within a minute.

S - Malty with a whiff of fruity overtone. I can't call it skunky, but there was definitely something of that sort in the nose.

T - Currants, malts, plums, and a hoppy aftertaste. The combination is normally good but it just didn't taste right with this beer. Bittersweet aftertaste that lingered incessantly.

M - This feels a little thicker than the average macrobrew, a little less crisp and a little more "sit back an relax". Decent carbonation.

D - The smell and taste ruined this for me. I had to force myself to drink the entire glass. The alcohol is well hidden though.

Overall - I've had little success with Mendocino products. Maybe it's one of those "love it or hate it" beers, but I'm really not a fan. The Red Tail Ale is better than this one.

Photo of riboflavin88
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice copper color, like a new penny. Hardly any head or lacing on the way down, even with a vigorous pour. Its nose isn't very strong in my opinion, definite notes of malt and biscuits, maybe a little caramel, but nothing very prominent. Its taste is primarily malt with some slight coffee-caramel notes, very tasty and surprisingly bold. Mouthfeel is smooth, I prefer a little more carbonation, but don't get me wrong a very drinkable brew. For a $5.99 six-pack special at Binny's, this is a steal! Great beer, I will definitely try other brews from Mendocino Brewing Company.

Photo of argock
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass

A: Copper-orange with one-to-two finger head and tons of lacing

S: Dates, grapes, and phenolic alcohol odors give a sweet brandy aroma

T: A wonderful malt explosion with a cutting hops bitterness at the finish. Besides the sweet caramel and toasted malts, many subtle flavors are there too like cinnamon and vanilla. An earthy beer with a very alcoholic flavor that warms the belly. A great winter warmer.

M: Smooth for such a high ABV offering. Delicious long aftertaste. Small but ample amount of carbonation.

D: A very drinkable 8% ABV. Excellent beer and so smooth. A great companion to Red Tail Ale in the Mendocino arsenal.

Photo of Sylf
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very surprising taste. Great smell. Would recommend to friends as a "nice vacation" from their regular beer. Drinking in excessive amounts may get hard due to aftertaste. Wouldn't personally drink on a regular basis due to the rich elegant taste.

Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red tinted amber with big fluffy offwhite head. Smell: sweet and malty, dark fruit, yeasty, ever so slight noble-ish hops.
Taste: caramel and other malts, seems a bit English with a bit of diacetyl, fruity esters, bready and yeasty. Hops are present only in a vague citric rind flavor. Medium bodied, syrupy and sweet, but finishes clean. At 8% the alcohol is decently hidden. To me it comes off as an EPA + more malt and abv.

Photo of Murchmac
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've thought for a while this brand and label is played out. I wanted to try this beer to be open minded, and I was right.

I feel bad because I want them to be good, but it just isnt. It's like a homebrewed pabst blue ribbon. Others may like it, I do not.

Photo of Onslow
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

another surprise for me at the local bottleshop, went in and couldn't find anything new except for some asian and s. american lagers, chose this beer simply b'cuz there was nothing else avaliblbe plus this beer has got a bad rep with older bottles sneeking through at my local..review...

pours a light golden sand colour ... the lacing kicks ass, impressive... smell is of some honey, newtons, good sweet stuff
taste is simple yet fruity and down-able with class..


this brew is a hidden gem, and the price makes it a winner!

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal-clear copper hue with a weak one and half finger off-white head. Lots of crystal malts and toasted aroma, with a healthy backing of cirtusy american hops. The flavor starts with a bland two-row taste and progresses to light caramel and a hint of buscuit. The aftertaste holds some mild citric hop flavor and a moderate bitterness that manages to balance the mellow malt sweetness but you really have to search for the hops and the overall taste is sort of blah; especially for 8% ABV. The alcohol dries the palate and eliminates most residual sweetness without drying the mouthfeel too much but the alcohol character sticks out a bit too much considering the lack of malt and hop presence. Light-ish in body with medium-high carboantion- this beer drinks more like a boozed up amber ale. Good drinkability for the style despite the apparent ABV. A passable Strong ale at a good price, but easily forgotten among more memorable examples of the style.

Photo of Ricochet
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one was beads in the pour. Good sign. No head and very little lace. It looked good as their amber. Almost the same with a little less cloudiness. Smelled like butterscotch and slight malt and an alcohol finish. Appetizing. Thick mouth, with sweet butterscotch aftertaste also a little grapefruit. Very nice. It was as balanced as strong ale could be. High APV but don't tell who's drinking because they wouldn't know. Malt, strong hops but not bitter, almost like maple syrup without the sweet. Slight licorice note tasted, and this was chewy and rounded.

Man, this goes down well, and seems to be the best of the sampler pack and the best I've had so far from Mendocino.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with very minimal head. Nose is like sugary malts. Thick with a syrup tone as well. Flavor is thick with a syrup quality as well. I guess that appeals to the feel as much as anything else. Pretty nice, though the alcohol is a bit much. And the thick syrup tones aren't really helping either. I wonder if this could smooth out over time.

Photo of slatetupelo
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amberish copper color with about a finger of white head with some lacing.

S - Sorta of a sweet caramel malt aroma with some hops presence , just not very prominent.

T - Some sweet accents to begin with caramel I guess, followed by some bitter hops. The alcohol is hidden really well.

D -This beer goes down really smooth and the alcohol is very unnoticeable to me, I could down quite a few of these before getting in over my head. My buddy is out cold right now because of underestimating the abv of this beer. Good thing, because we got some funny pictures!!!

Photo of avalon07
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this from a bottle to mug. Gave a nicely thick head that lasted a fair amount of time. It had an cloudy, amber appearance. Not overly cloudy, but certainly not clear.

Had a pleasantly sharp smell with some of the sugary elements being apparent. Presence of hops without a doubt.

The taste was pretty bitter, mainly due to the hops. Had a smooth finish with some taste of caramel in there. Not bad.

This wasn't an overly carbonated beer, but it did seem to be just right. It gives a little bite, but doesn't necessarily last.

On the whole, this is a decent beer. I'm not a huge fan of beers with overly hoppy flavors, but I can still appreciate it on some level.

Photo of drperm
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A light, mostly clear, redding presentation in the glass. A really complex nose: tobacco and some vibrant floral/hoppy notes that get my juices flowing. The flavors: also complex, leading to a smarmy, slightly syrupy finish, and yet I cannot say no. Wunderbar!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, honey, some fruit and spice, along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out malty and sweet with flavors of honey, caramel, spice and some dark fruit. There’s a decent presence of hops bitterness and a hearty malt character, but seems to lack as far as balance is concerned. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, there are certainly more flavor stronger beers that I would prefer over this one. I don’t think I would choose this beer again unless my choices were very limited.

Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good, interesting sample from a respectable brewing company... this strong American Ale delivers well, pouring a copper brown color with minimal head... smell is typical of a strong ale, with a caramel, butter nose pulling through with a slightly "oil" presence... taste was complete bread and butter flavors, with some light caramel and a nutty, grainy taste... nice robust flavor that was a pleasure to drink... good mouthfeel and easy drinkability for an 8% ABV... don't notice the alcohol so much... flavors of the brew tend to dominate the palate... good stuff... I really enjoyed this one... Recommended...

Photo of alexskovan
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale amber with an inch of off-white head, very pretty in the glass. Sharp sweet floral aroma, with toasted malt as well, very inviting. Taste is a slow caramel wave in the mouth with hops tickling in the background and all of it crashing to a pleasing, mildly bitter finish.

A very nice ale.

Photo of bigremy
1.86/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I sadly didn't like this beer for some reason. The appearance was alright, your average amber in color. The aroma didn't impress me either and wasn't very appealing. The mouthfeel didn't do much for me, and I found the taste to be lacking in character. There was a strong finish to it, but I thought it overpowered any flavors lingering from the initial taste and there was too much carbonation. Definitely not my favorite choice for a Strong Ale, but others seem to like it.

Photo of Foxman
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy orangey amber with fair to middling carbonation. A finger of light tan head sinks soon to traces of foam. Sprigs of lacing bloom on the inside of the glass.

The aroma is sweet with toasted malt, whispering of caramel and berry. The hops are present with a tinny spiciness, not necessarily pepper or citrus. A soft doughiness comes through as well.

Upon tasting, the malt is a healthy mix of candy sugar, caramel, and berry fruit. The hops are more pervasive here with a mild citrus passage and some pepper as well. Molasses, vanilla, and a smokey note come before a flex of alcohol. Baked biscuit and a lash of residual sweetness cede to a more raw and dry bitterness in a lingering finish. It's not really blended so much as coexistent, but it has a fun nature.

Medium bodied, it does have a slightly oily flow, but this is washed away in the wake of an unexpectedly stinging onslaught of carbonation.

It's a lot busier than just the aroma would have one believe. And it's not really blended, in spite of the multi-tiered complexity. But it's one of those rare birds that can still be enjoyed in spite of a less than organized approach. And despite the ABV, which is warm and active on the palate and thereafter, it's never a chore to drink down. This is a solid brewery, and I think they took some chances in brewing this beer. For the most part, those chances work in their favor.

Photo of tonistruth
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- clear auburn brew sporting a 1 finger, taunt, off white head, good retention, sheets of white lacing appear of sides of the glass

S- toasted grains, caramel, dried fruits, floral, perfume alcohol

T- well balanced, toasted malts, fruity malt characters, leafy hops with some raw oils, woody, faint alcohol at finish

M- smooth and partially oily medium body with very subtle alcoholic heat at finish.

D- mellow brew that nicely balanced and decently complex, solid offering.

Photo of praufs01
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance –Clear copper color with a frothy off-white head.

Aroma – Sweet pineapple fruit smell.

Palate – Smooth with moderate carbonation.

Flavor –Carmel and fruit with a light cleansing hop finish.

Final thoughts – Nice brew but a little out of balance. Could use a slightly stronger hop finish.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dingy, medium amber color with reddish orange hues in the light. Semi transparent. Minimal head after semi conservative pour with no lacing at all down the glass.

S- Hoppy smell jumping out of the glass. Also is sugary sweet on the nose. I sense some sour grapes mixed with apples and sourdough bread.

T- Sweet like maple syrup. Also pick up the bitter hop oil and alcohol. I also taste citrusy fruit (grapefruit?) and molasses.

M- Medium to thin and oily. Stinging carbonation on the back of the tongue, and soft up front.

D- A little too sweet and syrupy for a session beer. However, I really enjoyed this beer as my first of the day. 1-2 is all a man would need to get his *feel* of this one.

I feel that I do like this beer, but it does not have sessionability. It is very sweet almost like a wine. It tastes very sweet which to me is not appealing in a beer, but somehow I like it.

Photo of NitroGen
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation - 12 oz. Brown Bottle

Appearance – Pours brilliant, deep and clear amber with a tight white foamy head that slowly dissipates to a light thin cover and lacing down the entire glass.

Smell – Surprisingly clear malt that is deep and sweet leaving a robust smell of alcohol with no hints of herbs or grains.

Taste – Starts with lots of carbonation that although it is at 8% ABV I found to be very smooth, well balanced leaving a light crisp aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Well balanced as it hits the entire mouth with a smooth and pleasant aftertaste that grows with a more pronounced alcohol closer to the bottom of the glass.

Drinkability – I like this ALE and would recommend to anyone looking for a great tasting beer. I could see sticking with this for an afternoon tailgating or a night out with friends. The only caveat is that I would need to remind myself that this is a strong ale as the Hawk will not say a thing.

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.