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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.

865 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 865
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 17
Gots: 51 | 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.
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Ratings: 865 | Reviews: 483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

Photo of Dizzy
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark amber, it poured a little cloudy but they may be due to the fact I missed the fact its bottle conditioned so I ended up with a lot of chunks in it. Smells like malt, a lot of it. Taste is carmel and malty sweetness, almost full body to it. I would definatly reccomend this.

Photo of Beerzebub
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A slow high pour gave 2 fingers of white head, going down to a thin, but attractive and persistent scum. Really hazy copper beer, enticing look. A fruity yeastiness on the nose reminds me instantly, but vaguely, of Belgian ale. It also has a certain barnyard element, but pleasant.

This is certainly not like a Belgian, but it plays in some intersections between that and other styles. The taste is mildly medicinal and bandage-like, with some baby animals presenting themselves. There's some alcohol in the air. Is this a baby Belgian animal who snuck into a camper's schnapps? Or, it could be compared to a veterinarian's office in which Irish whiskey is being served. I like it, but this is not an everyday drink.

Photo of Solomon420
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured an orangish amber, almost honey like colour. Not clear but not too hazy either, murky appearance. Which is good, I like beers that are a bit murky...thats where the flavour lies... The head, 2 fingers worth, fell quickly after the pour, only thing left was a small ring of foam around the edges. The aroma displayed a wonderful bouquet of citrus, wood, and some alcohol. The taste followed well with the aroma as I could taste some lemony wood flavours mixed with faintness of alcohol and hops. The aftertaste was dry and had an alcohol bite. Great beer and very drinkable for sure.

Overall a pleasure to drink and I am glad I picked up a 6er of this stuff as I will definately be enjoying another here soon! A must try for anyone liking a drinkable beer.

Photo of Hunter
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Zero head development on the pour, then an anemic one flares up briefly before retreating. Beer is bright copper in color, slight haze, little carbonation.

smell: Sweet malt, caramel.

taste: Rich malt dominates, some notes of spice and hop. Reminiscent of Fat Tire and/or Sam Adams, but cleaner and more complex. Clean finish.

mouthfeel: Sharp on the tongue, some degree of aftertaste.

drinkability: Not bad at all. Worth a look.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking amber colour wit ha mid-range semi-creamy head that leaves minimal marks on the glass.

The aroma is strong-ish, with dark berries, wood, some caramel sweetness and malt dominating, and at times being a bit overpowering.

The flavour hits on all of the aromas in varying ways: the wood and berry flavours mix in the initial flavour rush where the wood quickly gives way to a sweeter berry/caramel mix and the finish throws some earth and a touch of alochol into the mix. Body is medium and a touch chewy overall.

This one was pretty good, if not a bit unexpected. Flavour and balance are pretty good for the most part. This is a decent Strong Ale.

Photo of jmz62565
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark orange amber with a cloudy look to it and almost no head. The smell is very strong with malt,alcohol, and bread yeast. This smells like an ESB or barleywine. The taste is slightly metalic which is abit unpleasant, but the flavors include sweet malt, creamy toffee,alcohol,a small amount of dark fruits and hops. The m/f is medium and with a metalic taste the flavors don't quite mix well. This is a decent beer that sneaks up on you. Enjoy this one safely.

Photo of Vancer
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid performer, this one was a tasty and smooth killer – I was thinking it was around 6%, but the after brew hot flash meant it was higher, yeah, at 8%.

A good amber / orange pour with a quick dying ivory head. Resinous notes in the aroma.

Taste ? Like an English PA, malty, rich and smooth. On the sweet side, with notes of fruits and a winter spice finish. Full bodied, it might be tough to drink in the summer heat, but quick a pleasant cold weather sipper.

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

Eye of the Hawk pours a medium brown--almost coppery--color with a small white head. This is a murky-looking beer, with little visibility through the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells very sweet with an over the top roast malt aroma. Caramel and toffee notes are also pleasant on the nose.

Taste is full and malty. There is a bit of hop bitterness at the back of the swallow. The sting of alcohol is also noted on the tongue. This is not a terribly smooth or balanced brew.

Mouthfeel is biting and somewhat bitter. It is pretty full and high in carbonation. A strong presence on the palate.

Overall, this is a somewhat odd beer. Almost like a barleywine, without the complexity usually typical of that style. Despite the strong alcohol content, this is pretty drinkable brew. Not the best strong ale, but not bad either.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.51/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow - if there was ever a "why bother?" beer, this might be it...

The pour was fine, a deep coppery gold with a good healthy white head. The foam falls flat in a few minutes and leaves only a bit of lacing on the glass.

Not much nose to speak of. There's nothing offensive but besides some light grain notes and a bit of indeterminate hops there's nothing in the aroma. Put your nose in the glass and you know you're drinking a beer but that's about it.

The taste is equally unimpressive. There's absolutely nothing bad about the flavors - no diacetyls, no stale hops, no excessive sweetness or bitterness. The problem is that the most positive thing I can say about the flavor is that there aren't any negatives. There's a golden grain flavor - lightly toasted bread, a reasonable amount of residual sweetness (but not too much) and only the lightest touch of hops. If you're a hop lover you might want to skip this "Strong Ale" but if you're a macro drinker moving upwards, this is a baby step towards craft brews.

Mouthfeel is fine - the higher final gravity leaves this a medium bodied beer with a somewhat slick feel on the palate. Mild carbonation is enough to save the beer from being too sticky but no real bitterness at the end to finish each sip.

It's hard to be so tough on this beer because there's nothing really wrong about it but there's nothing to recommend it either. What's most disappointing is the utter lack of character - it's just a plain old average ale that could have come from anywhere.

Photo of danielharper
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Strong Bros. Liquor Store, Fayetteville, TN.

A: Brown-amber coloration, transparent with white bubble-filled head.

S: Malty aroma, a bit nutty, sort of like an ESB. Nice grains, almost bready.

T: Flavor sort of like a bock, bready and grainy with a nice caramel finish.

M: Mouthfeel moderate, but chewy.

D: Overall reasonably drinkable -- would buy again.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.37/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Boy, this American strong is REALLY good!! Little hops on the back end. Very malty and the weird part is, you cannot even notice the way it goes down. One of the smoothest beers I've had the honor of tasting. Nice malty caramel smell and taste and drinks like an Oktoberfest. Highly recommended!

Photo of ski271
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, medium-dark copper with a very small off-white head that quickly diminishes to a very thin film. The smell is of moderate citrus, floral hops, sweet malts. Good balance. The taste is a bit more on the malty side. Caramel, brown sugar and bread, with yeast showing up toward the finish and some light citrus on the finish. It has a medium body, dry texture and moderate carbonation. This one is 8%?! You really can’t tell. The good balance covers up that fact well. Nice beer, worth a try.

Photo of gdogalishus
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark golden color with a medium sized head. The carbonation level was very mild and the head subsided quickly into the remainder of the beer.
The aroma was particulary well balanced and had hints of sweet malt and bitter hops that flip flopped in the nose, each taking the dominant spot in the aroma back and forth.
The flavor was good with the balance toward the hoppy bitterness. A clean easy drinking ale.

Photo of phisig137
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, with little head.

Aroma is filled with malt, and a hint of adjunct grains. Caramel and corn oddly seem prevalent. Almost has a malt liqour like aroma

Thankfully, the flavor is much better. Caramel, aromatic malts, a hint of roasted malts, and a bit of hoppy bitterness. Alcohol is hidden well, considering the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but drinkability is high, considering the percentage. An enjoyable brew, but I've had better from Mendocino.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mug:

Appearance: Poured a amberish pumpkin hue with an off-white head that didn't stack up much,but maintained a small ring around my glass. Has a cloudiness to this beer.Nice beading inside, but no traces of laceing to be found.

Smell: Has a wheaty biscuit aroma with a stale stench among the spicy and herbal notes.Alcohol is noticed but not too strong.

Taste: The flavors are big alcohol, sweet malt,vague hops and subtle spiciness that I just can't seem to pin point.

Mouthfeel: Slick,oily, and creates a sticky alcoholic film in my mouth.

Drinkability: For a beer that doesn't have any complexity at all,no big notes other than alcohol it is a beer that I think I could drink on occasion.Overall, it is not bad.Worth a try in my book.


Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After drinking sub-par beers all weekend, this tasted fabulous! Though not the perfect specimen of Strong Ales, It has a full flavor with a serious body, alcohol, and strength. Tastes big on malts that work toward caramel, toast, syrup, and dried fruits. Hops contribute a mild earthy, pine-ey flavors on top of solid bittering. The beer falls a little out of balance with the alcoholic heat--quite fusal under a moderat (not full) body. Flavors are solid, but body is shallow. Also lacks complexity and depth for style. Needs better melding and aging. Still, worth a shot.

Photo of Enola
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a light golden color with a touch of redness. Not much head. The smell is sorta like a spiced beer. I was dissapointed in the taste. There is a horrible bitterness that is just too much to overlook. The mouthfeel is revolting. If I ever get through this beer I will never have another one of these. Not the worst beer I have ever had but it sure ain't near the top.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light to copper amber with only a fizzy foam to show for it. Only a few bubbles aminute trying to make a break for the surface is what I can call lacing for this beer. Smell is a dry hop bitter flower with some sweet and sour malts and a little alcohol. The flavor profile is liek a dry and bitter watermelon eventually lettign teh amber malts meld with a little alcoholic warmth at the finish.

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

Ok...we have a whole lot going on here.
Pours med reddish amber with a small head that disappears quickly to a lacy ring that holds through the drink.
Aroma is malty....a little citrus, a little bread...mostly malty.
Mouthfeel is rich due to fine carbonation that fills the mouth (not really noticable in the pour)...a little oily from the yeast.
Taste is mostly sweet malts and bread, followed with a small burst of hops (was expecting more) that balances out the flavors.
Alcohol aftertaste...thank goodness, otherwise you would be inclined to drink a whole lot of these in one sitting.
Nice beer...a potential headache maker...but really interesting with a lot going on in it.

Photo of wcudwight
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden amber color with a cream colored 2 finger head that doesn't retain. Lot's of carbonation bubbles.

The highlight of this beer is the smell. I get buttered biscuits, fruit, oatmeal and a faint whiff of alcohol.

The taste is biscuit heavy with a bitter alcohol finish and a lingering aftertaste. Not much going on in the middle. Not as hoppy as I was expecting or hoping.

Lot's of carbonation in the mouth for better or worse.

Not very drinkable due to the off-putting finish in the taste.

Overall this seems like the brewers priority was to make a bigger beer and not necessarily a better beer. I'll finish my sixer, but I don't think I will purchase again.

Photo of jwff
1.78/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours very fizzy with a light orange hue... goodbye head! Smell is syrupy, and something I usually only experience with Sam Adams beers. I get a little alcohol in the whiff but mostly grain. Smells almost malt liquory.

Taste is something akin to club soda with mild fruit flavorings. Very very syrupy. Very carbonated and tasteless with hints of fruit. I've had a lot of beer and this is probably the least "beer" tasting brew I've had. Tastes like a very poorly made mix drink.

I'd only call this drinkable if you have an attachment to the high abv. Alcohol isn't TOO apparant, but that doesn't make up for blandness. Seriously tastes like an under-syruped coke from Burger King, while being too syrupy at the same time (I know, it confuses me too). Avoid this one.

Photo of Ueberales
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed as an American Strong Ale, but more appropriate as an Imperial IPA.
Aroma: Malty nose, with estery overtones. Distinctly sweet nose, with no hint of the amount of alcohol this beer delivers.

Appearance: Beautiful copper-red with a small, but persistent head. Slight haze, but appropriate in my opinion for this beer.

Flavor: A bit cloying, but tries to be balanced with bittering hops that come on strong towards the end of the taste. Hop bitterness lingers. Perhaps just a bit of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Full body, no hop astringency at all. Quite pleasant when combined with the subtle carbonation.

Overall Impression: This is a rather big beer. With the initial maltiness, it almost tends towards an American Barleywine more than an IPA, but the hops are definitely there. Very good beer, and certainly better than some of the other Mendocino beers.

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

Pours a copper/rust. I couldn’t get more than about a half inch of head out of it. Smell is somewhat yeasty but not unpleasant. Taste is very lightly hoppy and almost sweet. Mouthfeel is full and moderately rich. Very drinkable for an 8% ABV. Happy that I got last six pack on the shelf but I’ll be sure not to drink it all at once. i don’t see this as being a great session beer but it should be a good kick-start or even a night cap. Paid $4.99 for a sixpack. A good bang for the buck.

Photo of bditty187
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, peachy coppery-brown in hue, for some reason the liquid doesn’t seem all that “Strong Ale”-like. Oh well. Fizzy white head, some of the bubbles are translucent; at the apex the foam was two fingers tall. Head retention was fair; the foam quickly fizzled to a thin, soapy cap (naked in spots). There was no subsequent lacing; bummer! I am not too impressed with the appearance but most of my criticisms are purely subjective (mainly the color concerns) but the head issues are a real problem. In sum, it is average.

Soft nose; I detect spicy tropical fruit (it is a lovely blend) and some alcohol. The malt seems to add only a smidge of caramel. I would like to have a chatter nose; I need more malt, more depth, more hops, and more alcohol. I’m not asking for much, am I? I can’t think of a Strong Ale with such a wimpy nose and thus I can’t call it inviting.

The palate offers everything I want in the style; sadly none of the elements arrive in bulk. Upfront is a sweet and tasty blend of tropical fruit (mangos, oranges, kiwi, and melon). In the middle a nice brown sugar flavor, a kiss of molasses and caramel maltiness develops. Quickly some faint fruitiness follows and by the finish a red apple/purple grape meets spicy alcohol arrives. The aftertaste is sugary sweet but not cloying. The alcohol is well-hidden… so are most of the complexities. While this is not a bad beer it is fairly flavorless when compared to some of its kin. This might be harsh but what is the difference between this beer and Malt Liquor?

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation but the mouthfeel is a tad small, IMO. It is workable but boring.

Sure this beer is drinkable; in fact it is too easy to drink for the style. I am not all that impressed. Strong Ale is a favorite style of mine but this offering bores me. I have no qualms drink it, I mean it tastes fine but like I said before, compared to kin this beer is a bit lame. But I am picky. Overall, it is a solid beer but forgettable. Maybe it would be a good introduction beer into the style? Nevertheless, I need to thank my Uncle Rick and Aunt Kathy for sending me this beer from NM. Thanks!

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.