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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.

874 Ratings

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Ratings: 874
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 18
Gots: 59 | 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 (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 483
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!

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

Fizzy white head that doesn't hold too well. Faint, condensed lacing with little strength. A hazy orange, burnt copper color.

A very sweet, rich caramel aroma with whaffs of alcohol soaked fruit: tart apple, orange, plum. Tones of chocolate and light toffee.

Semi-sweet chocolate and toffee at first; mellow and creamy. Slight fruit tartness: cherry, plum, apple, and lemon with a hefty raisin flavor. Milk and dark chocolate accompanied by a warming oak and alcohol presence. The finish is dry and ends without much of an aftertaste.

Medium bodied; rich, mellow. Very smooth for the style.

A very subdued version of the style. At 8% abv, the flavors are present, but very mild. A very drinkable Strong Ale that would serve as a great introduction to the style for those who haven't had the pleasure thus far.

Photo of Stimack
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours to a copper color with a small head that did not have great retention but did leave slight amounts of lace of the top of the glass. The aromas are of malt and alcohol that are dominant. The noticeable taste is of alcohol along with malt flavors of caramel. Over all this is a good brew, very smooth with a surprisingly 8 % Abv. This is a very good brew, just need to watch your self with the high ABV as it does not drink like it!

Photo of Pegasus
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy deep golden color, with a large white head, and thick broken lacing, head retention is good.

Aroma: Slightly toasty malt notes, with mildly sweet undertones, and grassy hop notes.

Taste: Lightly sweet caramel malt with toasty notes and a strong, spicy alcohol presence. Citrus and pine hops manifest throughout the taste. The finish is rather sweet, with a lingering hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A quite pleasant example of the style. With the very well-concealed 8.0% ABV, it would be quite easy to overindulge.

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

This beer poured a clear reddish/amber color with a small 1/4 inch head. Aroma was almost non-existent, just a sweet smell with a touch of alcohol. Taste was malty sweet with a little bit of hop flavor and a caramel-like finish. This beer was quite drinkable despite it's strength, which could be dangerous if you were having a few. All in all this beer tasted very average to me and I can't quite tell what Mendocino is trying to put forth here. I know it's been around for a long time, but is it a barleywine? A winter warmer/Old ale? Either way, it's tasty enough that I will drink it again in the future.

Photo of denjen
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dennis: I have to say that for the price and quality, this is by far my favorite Mendocino brew yet. The aroma really isn't there much, just your typical malty beer smell. I caught a little bit of alcohol in it myself. The taste is quite plesant, it rolls in with an assertive malty/barley wine-ish hello, and then exits with a slightly hoppy and alcoholy feel. Over all, not the most amazing beer in the planet, but respectable for doing what it does right and for the amazing value (8% at 5.29 is a steal folks, you'd be crazy not to try this).
Jen: I find this to be an extremely unique beer. It has a nice blend of caramel maltiness that is accompanied by a twinge of alcohol. It reminds me a a good barleywine without the syrupy texture. It is quite easy to drink and has a dry end with a soothing aftertaste that isn't overwhelming. For the $$, this is a definite "try at least once" where it may become a "staple" beer in our fridge.

Photo of spoots
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a deceptively powerful beer, and while I would dearly like to rank it higher, the taste reminds me too much of Buckhorn, the ultra cheap beer that fueled so many college binges 20 or so years ago.

A - Gorgeous. Orange/amber which simply glows under a strong light. Yummy!

S - Smells exactly like it tastes. Sort of cloyingly sweet with notes of pool water, brown sugar and port wine. A very curious aroma.

T - See above. This beer is too sweet for my taste. I'd like to see a little more hop presence, which might balance out the sweetness.

M - Smooth, with a little bit of astringency because of the high ABV.

D - I can see drinking too damn much of this beer and paying for it in a big way tomorrow.

Overall, a pretty decent effort, but the sweetness is offputting. Not an attribute I expected from this beer.

Photo of Backer2004
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm. . . . an American Strong Ale? I guess this makes sense since it seemed to me a pretty weak IPA with an 8% ABV. With the new Pop the Cap law in place, I found this for $4 a bottle which wasn't too bad. Light on the hoppiness, nice amber color, higher than average carbonation. Didn't seem to strong but you can still feel it if you've had a few others beforehand. Not bad at all . . . just nothing too impressive.

Photo of Mark
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orangey amber, head disapated rather fast and lacing was pretty nil. Strong malty aroam with alcohol notes. Strong malt profile, with some sweetness. Subtle hopping. Thick and creamy. Strong, kinda crept up on me. A decent beer but as with most Mendocino brews a bit unsatisfying. This is personally frustrating as I like that their beers have English leanings. Sadly they just don't quite get pull it off.

Photo of wingnutter
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty solid beer across the board. Has a fruity/sweetness that took me by surprise. Lots of malt with a citrusy lemondrop bite in the middle. I notice a bit of hops near the finish and in the aftertaste.

Alcohol is well hidden but will sneak up on you if youre not careful.

A good offering of an ASA from Mendocino. Maybe my favorite Mendocino brew.

Tastes good, not too pricey, high ABV and easy to find. Whats not to like?

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

12oz brown bottle brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY. This stuff is cheap up here! This poured a beautiful rich amber color with some insane carbonation. I saved a serious overflow with my amazing sucking powers. The head is fluffy/air and white. The smell is nice, sweet and fruity. The taste is nice and malty, the alcohol is there in taste though. This is yeasty and fruity. For the abv this is VERY drinkable. If you told me this was 8% alcohol i would not have believed you. Very drinkable.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino- Eye of the Hawk

Appearance- cloudy orange with a huge billowy white head. Looks very carbonated.
Smell- caramel and malt. Sweet and sugary.
Taste- Huge caramel and malt. Nice but a little sweet. Alcohol is present.
Mouthfeel- smooth at first but the alcohol starts to permiate through the roof of the mouth.

Overall- a nice sweet beer but the alcohol isn't hidden very well. A nice beer never the less.

Photo of DogFood11
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had no fears picking up this beer as it was from a brewery that in my book doesn't have a bad offering. Solid across the board.

Decent white fizzy head that falls to a thin cover. lacing is sporadic and not much to see. Light copper color and medium carbonation level.

caramel, some light layered fruitiness in the nose. This has a nice kick to it at 8% but its well hidden within the fruit profile. Hops are leafy with a touch of citrus cutting through. has a sharp almost IPA type tail end and somehow has enough malts to finish with a touch of sweetness.

different levels to the mouthfeel, Dry towards the middle, slick at the end. I found myself looking forward to the next pull and the next beer. That = high drinkability to me. If you haven't dabbled in the Mendocino brewery yet give it a shot. Nothing floors me but they are all well worth the price and keep me coming back because they are well crafted and this is no exception.

Photo of beersarang
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper fading into amber with a light tan head. Head is spotty and holds fairly well. Mildly sticky.

Slight orange rind and sharp aroma of some kind, hard to trace or predict.

Huge caramel and malt, starts almost cloyingly sweet and hits with a quick but assertive bitterness reminiscent of mild citrus. Sweetness comes back and leaves a bready yeasty sweet finish with dashes of alcohol here and there.

Medium bodied with considerable carbonation.

Not particularly my cup of tea, but a lot of unique and powerful flavors in this one, all vying for control. I would have liked a little restraint in the sweetness department.

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

Pours a cloudy golden/amber color, some carbonation, nice little head, a nice bit of lacing afterwards. Scents of malt mostly with some fruity textures. I like the taste of this ASA, it's not like a Arrogant Bastard, but very nice. A little hoppy with a trace of alcohol and sweetness. Medium body. Very drinkable at the ABV, this is a different kind of ASA in my book. Would recommend if you get a chance to buy/try it.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a great looking fluffy head that sticks around for quite some time over the dark amber colored liquid. Shows a decent carbonation.

Smells malty with some nice fruity esters and a moderate dosage of grassy herbal hops. Not a very powerful nose, but smells quite good for what it's worth.

The taste reminds me of a strong English bitter. Has a buttery caramel malt flavor with some light fruitiness in the back. The hops are quite mellow, but they are definitely there. A pinch of alcohol shows up in the finish along with the hops.

The mouthfeel is creamy and buttery but somewhat thinner in body. Very crisp, clean, and quenching for a strong ale. Worth a try, for sure, but not something I would go out of my way for again.

Photo of qcitydarkstar
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale pours a deep honey color with little head, like another reviewer said, maybe a 1/4 of an inch.

Initial taste -- Powerful alcohol taste that relaxes to the pleasant bite of a pungent English tea with grapefruit notes. The high alcohol (8%) is not balanced well and creates an acidic bite on the tongue and lips.

Finish -- Mild finish with a slightly musty aftertaste. As this ale warms, detectable hop flavors are released that overpower this mustiness.

I paid $5.99/six 12oz. bottles and for that price would purchase this beer again. It is not an outstanding creation, but for the money, it is a quality session beer if you want to get yourself into trouble.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.