1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

789 Ratings

(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)
View: Beers (29) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Eye of the Hawk Alström Bros
Ratings: 789 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerguy101


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber brown color, small white foamy head. Aroma is malty, fruity and sweet. Full Bodied American Strong Ale. Very malty with a lot of malt sweetness. Hops are spciy. Rich taste smooth beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Afterttaste is slightly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2003 01:49:43 | More by beerguy101
Photo of jcalabre


3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on draft at Hollingshead in Orange, CA on 13 September 2003.
Appearance: This pours a slightly hazy orange-ish/ amber-ish color with a small white head.
Aroma. The nose is malty with a hint of hops.
Overall: The word that comes to mind is 'lackluster'. I really had some high expectations because this is a 'special edition' type of beer. It was no better, in my opinion, than most amber ales.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2003 16:51:02 | More by jcalabre
Photo of nomad


2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a transparent glowing orange, looking like a beacon. Had a soupy head of bare bubbles and stringy lace. Pretty bare. Smelled of sweet barley, a dough scent, and some funky hop scents that sometimes popped up - they were reminiscent of hop leaves and oil. California meets Britain, so far.

Tasted of a smidge of sweet barley and then hop oil, seemingly pretty simple. To be more exact, it had a long fresh whole hop flavor, green and pungent with oil that wrapped the flavors around my tongue, leaving salty and yeasty deposits all over the back of my mouth before the flavor profile disappeared. To speak objectively, it has the strength of an old ale and the characteristics of a british pale ale. To speak subjectively, it was far from attractive.

I’m pretty generous and optimistic, and try to review according to the standard of a style and not my personal whim. I am never capricious, and am open enough to have been charmed by styles I don't like, but this beer absolutely sucks.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2003 19:08:41 | More by nomad
Photo of tar


3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking bottle with a cool looking hawks head in profile. Pours a nice amber with a 1.5 finger thick foamy head. The aroma is not particularly strong, slightly sweet—maybe a hint of fruity. Smooth and richly malty, with sweetness in the finish, this is a very nice tasting beer with some good complexity. Very drinkable and an overall good beer which I look forward to tasting again.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2003 14:05:32 | More by tar
Photo of woemad


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I asked what this was the bartender told me it was a pale ale. Therefore I was very surprised by what I recieved. Not disappointed, however, as it was quite tasty.
Color was a very orangy amber with a very small head that soon diappeared. No lacing at all. Smelt of sweet candyish malt. Taste was of sweet malt, with a mild hoppiness in the background. Mouthfeel was o.k., nothing to write home about. This is a very sweet, drinkable beer, and could probably lead someone to consume a lot of it and end up trashed.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2003 05:48:23 | More by woemad
Photo of RoyalT


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange body with a decent head.

Smell – Sweet malt and fruits dominate the nose of this one.

Taste – Big malt sweetness to say the least. It tastes more like a light type of caramel, but whatever it is, it is strong, chewy, gooey, and sticky. This is what I think of as a classic, strong old ale. Solid ABV (8.0), big malt, a smidgen of hops for balance, and lots and lots of sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Low carbonation in accordance with the style. This one sticks to your teeth.

Drinkability – This is like drinking (highly alcoholic) candy. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2003 00:45:54 | More by RoyalT
Photo of elmocoso


3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Warning: This is a review of a special release millennium bottle. It is 3+ years old, in a green 22 or so oz. bottle. Also, the whereabouts and handling of the bottle, for the past 3+ years is unknown to the reviewer. It may have been abused.

I got this bottle from a friend. Its a millennium edition and has been floating around god knows where for the past 3 years. For some reason, they put it in a green bottle. Bad move on any brewery's part, especially for a high alcohol beer, a special edition beer, and a large bottle beer - all three things that might cause a beer drinker to store it.

I was pretty worried about the condition of this beer, not knowing its history. I contacted the brewer, wondering if the millennium edition was a special recipe, and after a lengthy and disappointing wait, he finally responded and said it was the same beer as the regular EotH, only in a collectible bottle, with a collectible label.

anyhoo, on to the beer.

It poured a coppery orange with a pert little head that soon died. I was surprised to see that there was a clumpy sediment floating around in it, which i don't usually mind, but some of the clumps here were quite large and menacing.

The brew smelled very much like a, surprise, barlywine: sharp, sweet, hoppy (cascade?), fruity, malty and mouthwatering.

The taste was a sleepy bitterness, with a biting carb tipped tongue.

Vacent on some buds, overwhelming on others. I have a feeling this beer has mellowed with time.

After all is said and done, this wasn't a bad experience. it was a decent BW. I have made a note to review a current bottle and will do so.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2003 18:13:52 | More by elmocoso
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange with a real nice medium creamy,sticky head,aroma is deeply fruity with a slightly hop background.I realy like the maltiness of this beer also there is some alcohol notes that come thru in the finish.A whisky like taste stays in the mouth after each sip.Iam very impressed with this beer,very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2003 20:54:24 | More by oberon
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another find at Trader Joe's. Beer poured an amber color with a thin head kept alive by a constant stream of bubbles.
Nice fruity, malty smell with a hint of hops. Taste was very pleasing - good malts and some caramel to start, understated hops in the dry finish, and well hidden alcohol content. The mix was a fine balance.
I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was. I went back for a second and began to wonder why I was getting a bit wobbly near the end when I noted the ABV. This beer can really sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2003 10:38:10 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of BeerResearcher


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

I'm not sure that this ale fits into the barley wine style, but it's certainly a strong ale. It pours a dull amber color with a fading 1" white head that settles to a thin coat. Not much sticky lace. There's an equal aroma of sweet malt, hops and alcohol. The fairly full malt reveals sweet caramel notes. Highly hopped with citrusy and spicy bitterness. Slightly astringent and strongly alcoholic. This is one powerfully flavored ale!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2003 16:33:00 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of Darkale


4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised by the reviews of this beer; many were below 4, and that is too low, I think. This is a complicated, strong, interesting beer.

Very hoppy aroma, with a large, smooth, and long-lasting head. Cloudy orange in color. Crisp, very crisp, with a malty middle and an edge of fruit and hops.

Nice to taste a strong American barley wine that does not have that sickly sweet dark caramel maltiness. I am going to find some more of these, and make sure that my initial positive response was not a fluke!

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2003 18:48:56 | More by Darkale
Photo of Scooter77


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

If I didn’t read the beer style on the site, I would never have guessed this is a strong ale. The alcohol is so well hidden. It pours a dark orange/amber color with a medium white head that only hangs around for a few minutes and then fades away leaving just the slightest bit of lace. Bold floral hop aromas emerge from the glass followed by the scent of citrus peel. There’s virtually no alcohol aroma present at all. There’s a lovely bittersweet taste that intermixes with light carbonation to create a very well balanced mouthfeel. I swear, I could never taste the alcohol. But watch out it’ll sneak up on you quick and before you realize it…BAM! A sucker-punch come flying up from the back and knocks your socks off.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2003 06:37:39 | More by Scooter77
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An orangish brew, a little on the dark side. Slightly hazy. A medium-sized head forms on top and stays, but only for a few minutes. The aroma is a very acidic hoppy one, with a backbone of bready malt. A little alcohol is noticeable too. Flavors include a good amount of hop bitterness in areas, again a bit acidic. Malt is biscuity and bready. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. This beer improves greatly as it warms. Finish is dry and hoppy. Not a bad effort. It resembles something Belgian in subtle ways. Interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 01:50:16 | More by hyuga
Photo of greebz

New Hampshire

2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer due to my familiarity with Red Tail and Blue Heron, both of which I liked. Like other reviewers, I was not aware that this was a strong ale while I was drinking it as the alcohol is well hidden. Perhaps that explains my disappointment with it. It had nice copper color with a head that died rather quickly. More of a malty flavor, didn't notice much in the way of aroma or hops. It was an ok beer, er I mean strong ale, perhaps I may have to give it another chance.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2003 15:41:47 | More by greebz
Photo of pezoids


3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper color and was a bit cloudy. Bright head which left quickly. I didn't know this was a strong beer when I picked it out. The smell is malty with some sourness in the aroma. Heavy and rich tasting but not too much, as with some other barleywines I've had. There's a hop presence but it seems muted by the malt flavor. The alcohol is hidden. A pretty decent strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2003 17:10:38 | More by pezoids
Photo of Dogbrick


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

From Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA. Took me 2 Mendocino brews to catch the bird theme. Cool! Pours a light amber color with a thin light beige head. Aroma is malty with a hint of alcohol. Flavors of malt and caramel dominate, with a little hops lingering. Finish is somewhat dry. ABV is well hidden. Pretty straightforward beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2003 08:16:45 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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

Had no idea this baby had a higher ABV, that is until I finished it off last night around my fourth beer. You can't even detect the high alcohol in this brew, which can be kind of dangerous. Pours an orange/amber with a copper head that billows pretty thick and eventually settles out. The forefront of flavor is the hop character, and then the malt crashes through (biscuit, caramel?). A very rich and complex ale, that starts with a sweet fruit tone, and then the bitterness of the hop resins marches in to blend quite a well balanced ale. I was also getting a hint of honey, in the finish. Mouthfeel is intriguing, very full just due to the amount of flavor. Medium bodied and overall very delightful ale. Drinkability is fair, but there is alot going on here, kinda complex and high in alcohol to keep throwing these down.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2003 10:21:36 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of jackndan


2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye of the hawk: pours a fairly hazy, reddish golden beer. Nice looking head, some retention. This has a shockingly sweet aroma, although not at all unpleasant. The taste is unusual, there seem to be a lot of hops fighting their way to the top, but not quite getting there. The malt taste seems a little cloying, but flat. Kind of leaves me not really liking this beer. Edited to add: Barley wine? I was thinking maybe an APA. Huh, they hide the booze well.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2003 19:53:46 | More by jackndan
Photo of Maestro


3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't think Mendocino meant this to be a barley wine. Strong Ale is more accurate for this brew. There seems to be a good nose on this beer that reminds me of other barley wines I have had; lots of malt and a smoky aroma. The taste is decent but has a bit of an astingent taste that is not quite desirable. There seems to be a nice hopiness to the beer and a good warming effect. There is a consistent malt character throughout. However, that astringency seems to overpower. Not bad but not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 16:11:29 | More by Maestro
Photo of Admiraldinty


4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber with a fair sized off-white head. Smells of apple and (white raisin?) or grape. Very medicinal and alcohol tasting (almost like a cough syrup). This is not necessarily a bad thing, although I don't go looking for that flavor in a beer. Pretty hoppy. Has a very nice mouthfeel - fairly smooth and thick. The drinkability suffers as a result of the fairly high alcohol content. Holy crap, this is a dangerous beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2003 18:16:30 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of Mitchster


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a brilliant beautiful light orange/amber color, a decent beige head with some flimsy lace, large bubbles (giving the impression that it was force carbonated, but there was a smidge of yeast in the bottle), and mild to moderately carbonated. Aroma is fruity hops, apple juice, white raisins, slightly waxy like an unscented candle, notable cloves, and lots of sugary crystal malt. Taste is rich and robust, with a firm, yet mildly cloying mouthfeel. Starts with a spicy hop tang, leading into a firm, sweet, caramel malt body, a potent kick of alcohol with some annoying fusels, and ending in a predominately sweet grain and mild bittering hop finish.
I suspect this beer is fermented with something similar to Wyeast 3056 Bavarian Wheat yeast, as it has both American Ale and German Wheat characteristics. Pleasant, but the alcohol doesn't jibe very well with the rest of the beer, hampering it's drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2003 16:18:17 | More by Mitchster
Photo of Gusler


3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour a limpid golden amber color, with a bit of dross suspended throughout the glass, I happen to like the taste the decocted sediment gives the beer, so I do not filter it out as many do. Head is massive in size, creamy in texture and the resultant lace is a thick clinging sheet to seal off the glass. Aroma of sweet malt dominates, with a hint of sweet country butter and a quite fresh and pleasing nose. Start is sweet, middling top and a serious acidic bite and pleasant hop spicy presence. Aftertaste dry and lingering, a decent drinking beer and could be considered a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2003 08:01:36 | More by Gusler
Photo of LarryV


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

Poured a hazy orangish color with little head. Fruity aroma. Hops are subdued but present. Kind of fruity, but not terribly so. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Leaves a bit of a lattice down the side of the glass. Minimal carbonation. A solid brew, tasty and for an 8% alchohol brew, hides it quite well. I could drink a few of these easily.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2002 13:36:54 | More by LarryV
Photo of BeerManDan


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light golden color with little to no foam. The aroma was very mild with a hint of hops and spices. I tasted a hint of spices with a grainy finish. There was a slight bitterness on the palate, but, the finish disapated quickly.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2002 21:30:54 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, Orangey peach color, that was slightly disturbing. A nice 3" head that laced the glass wel,l as it settled down - the slightly off white color of the beer-surf was a veiled hint and invitation to guess the high strength of this beer. Too late - like an agitated child in class, the nose couldn't wait to prematurely give me the answer - 8% ABV. Powerful alcoholic smack in the aroma that had me braced for the first mouthfull, erm... sip. I was very surpised at how well balanced this beer is, I expected an alcoholic blanket on taste. But not so, a very fruity, malty introduction reasonably good mouthfeel that reminded me of freshly baked bread for soem reason, and a finish that had a slight sweetness to it - but nothing sickly, just a nice warming finish that gently reminded you this beer is for sipping.
Really Nice beer this !
- I have the Black Eye (blended) Ale to review next, wonder if the character of this beer will be destroyed by the Black Hawk Stout ??

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2002 19:06:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 789 ratings.