Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

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Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

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837 Ratings

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Ratings: 837
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 43 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 837 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ypsifly
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated 12oz into a mug.

Clear amber with an off white head that rises up quickly and then falls to a thin layer of foam that leaves spotty lacing.

Smells of fruity hops with some malt in the background. Clean.

Nice balance of malt, hops, and yeast. I can taste a bit of the alcohol, but it adds to the complexity.

Full but not chewy or oily mouthfeel. Goes down too easy for a beer this strong.

Photo of donnebaby
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unclear dark orange body. Head is thin rising and falls fast to scant remains. Nose is malty and alcoholic, a bit sour.

Bittering hops dominate a not very full malt body. Sour, bitter apples and black cherries. Earthy and dirty in its bitterness. Lightly spicy in its alcohol. Develops in drinkability as it warms but no amazing complexity or flavor. High carbonation, bitter rough after.

Kind of cool "strong ale" that alot of people out here in California seem to regard as a "classic" beer.

Photo of IceAce
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden / copper with two fingers of rapidly dissapating off-white foam. Nose is dominated by earthy malts and a faint backdrop of yeast.

Entry is smooth with zippy carbonation along the sides of the tongue and cheek. Midtaste is all-malt with a finish that begins with a crisp hop bite and a long malt fade, leaving a residual sweetness on the lips.

The 8.0% ABV is well-hidden and mouthfeel is good.

Photo of TongoRad
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a tall, dense, two-finger tan head.

Aroma is faint with suggestions of toasty malt, caramel and some mild fruity esters. It's nice, but it requires a lot of swirling and coaxing to come out.

Flavor is dominated by the rich malt. Slight fruit and warming alcohol linger in the background. Bitterness provides just the right amount of balance.

This is a pretty strong ale, but an easy drinking one as well. It could be more complex, but that is made up for with a certain smoothness.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear filtered amber hues under a beige white slick of foam leaving light lattice lace.

Clean vegetal malt aroma like celery and red apple malts.

First swigs: Can't get over the apple skin. Ripe red apples, cidery. Mixed hops in the background.

Feel is medium bodied, becomes cloying. Slightly estery and awl-kee-hawl in the feel.

Last swigs: 8.0 % ABV hidden, apple malty. From a growler filled at the Saratoga NY brewery.

Photo of mschofield
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a red-amber topped with a one finger creamy light tan head, leaves rings of lacing.
Fruity, bread and herb aroma, with some toffee.
Harsher taste than aroma, citrus zest, biscuit, floral, caramel, and then some burnt caramel, orange.
Medium bodied, ok drinkability.

Photo of padjo1
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the most underrated of American Strong Ales, Mendocino Brewing Co's Eye of the Hawk provides a great opportunity to sample domestic microbrews that are on par with Fuller's finest. The color is a caramel amber, topped off with a foamy white head that gives off a bouquet of rich malt. This dissipates quickly though. The hefty body makes up for this, providing an excellent mouthfeel that feels silky when held in for a bit. As you swallow the mellow hops become apparent as they are sweetened by the robust malt.
The experienced is topped off with warming sensation of the 7% alcohol per volume that has had an incognito dispostion up to this point, offering no hint of its presence in the scent or the taste. Definitley worth a strong recommendation.

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice off-cream colored head. Clear. Neutral amber color.

The aroma leans closer to the malt than the hop. There are buttery alcohol smells also.

Very strong alcohol essence. I try not to have anything influence my rating but I had to check to see the style. This is very true to the strong ale category. I like that the hop is present to counter the slightly sweet flavor. Relatively high carbonation for the style--rich with an oily alcohol body.

I'd love to try this in a flight of strong ales. My gut feeling is that this would be an above average entry. Slightly more hoppy than I'm used to, but that fits into my preference anyway.

Photo of ybnorml
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very clean amber beer with a big off white head. Has a light flowery aroma with a sweet malty background. The flavor has a sweet candy note that lands on the center of your tongue. Then the hops bite at the back of your throat and a bit of alcohol warms you on the finish.

Photo of rastaman
2.23/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Poors a bit ugly, massive blotchy head. Dissaponting, not much going on, tinny, hoppy and short, not what i’d consider and American Strong Ale. Man these Mendocino beers are all driving me insane, i was dissapointed every time, this was dull, especially for the style.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a hazy copper with a thin white collar of a head.

Smell: The smell is zest and full of citrus notes. The alcohol is hidden, but still present.

Taste and Mouthfeel: At first the beer is extremely mellow and smooth. Then once it works your taste buds a bit, it becomes super spicy, but not really an alcohol spicyness. This beer is sharp and to the point, and almost taste like a barleywine to me. The mouthfeel is full and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Attempt number 1 of 4 at Mendocino for me, and I'm impressed already. This is a solid beer that is pretty unique to itself. Almost an Arrogant Bastard type kick to it. Will cellaring help this? I guess I'm going to find out. Try this beer.

Photo of SheepNutz
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a medium copper color with one finger of head that dies off rather quickly. There is minimal lacing left on the glass. The smell is malty and sweet. There is some caramel to it, and a touch of honey. The taste is also very sweet at first, with some more honey and white grape. The finish is nice and hoppy. The mouthfeel is decent, just a little grainy. The drinkability is good for an 8% brew though. Thanks to Chris (clvand0) for this brew!

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to clvand0 for this one. It pours a ever so slightly golden amber color wtih a 2 finger head that falls to coat the beer very well. The nose is big sweet raisin, caramel and alcohol. The strong ales are not my favorite creation, but I'm willing to keep giving them a chance. The flavor is nice. The sweetness is not cloying, like I am used to. The raisin and caramel are very nice together, its almost roastey, but not quite. The feel is thick and slightly creamy, almost velvety. This is a nice beer. The strong flavors are not offensive. Good show.

Photo of Reidrover
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ok it was with trepidation that i picked up a 12 oz single of this. I have been less than impressed by this brewery in the past.
Appearance..well its slighly lighter in colour than i would expect from the style. its amber with a lovelly frothy white head.
The aroma is quite average..for one so strong,it is basically neutral.
Taste is very very sweet..and little else until i get residual bitterness in the after taste.
Mouthfeel again average..tending to thin,.
Huh again a beer from this brewery has let me down, this is definatlly the last for me..maybe I just don't "get" their style.
whatever a bland beer for 8.0%

Photo of walleye
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the bottle poured a hazy, cloudy orange with off white head with some lacing. aroma, white bread, ginger, citrus, caramel, hops, malts, hints of alcohol. flavor, malts, sourness, hops,. dry mouthfeel, alcohol hints of caramel. this wasn’t to bad of a beer.

Photo of HardTarget
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Brown bottle with no date and advice to “use opener”
Aroma: Dark malt extract. A whiff of pine as well, but thick malt is the word here.
Appearance: No head at all, hazy bronze/orange glass.
Flavor: Barley wine strength, rich malt is held in check with a citric hop. Citric taste leaned toward lemon and orange.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body, long lingering oily finish.
Overall Impression: The flat carbonation drug down scores a bit. The heavy hand also took some from drinkability. Beyond that, it has a great rich malt taste, mostly hidden alcohol and a big smooth hearty taste. Recommended!

Photo of TastyTaste
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper red color, proud off-white head, somewhat creamy in appearance. Alcohol and sweet carmel mals are evident in the nose. Taste is very rich and bready, big hop finish, alcohol accents the other flavors nicely. Very good, extremely drinkable, even with the higher ABV.

Photo of Erniek
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice sweet maltiness with a well accented hop bitterness. Seems strong on first sip but warms and becomes much more enjoyable as you get through the glass. At first I did not think this would be as good as it got the more I drank it. Nice sweet malt aroma with very little head retention.

Photo of BrewMan13
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a see-through burnt umber with a moderate 1-finger off-white head which quickly dissipates. Not much lacing. Has a slightly sweet malty-smoothness up front which then sort of stays in the background, followed by a slight (less then you would probably expect from a strong ale) hop-bite and a hint of alcohol in the finish. Also something that doesnt taste quite right somewhere in there, kind of like a metallic taste. Not all that hearty, but an easy to drink strong ale. Sessionability only limited by the abv. Nothing spectacular out of the bottle, but I had it on tap at the brewery and it was excellent, like a totally different beer. Much more pleasant, fuller flavor and creaminess. I had it at the brewery first, and thats what prompted me to get a 6er. This is of course, a review of the bottled version, and as such gets mediocre marks. Though it is enjoyable, theres nothing all that special here and I cant see myself getting it again for quite awhile. It does have a great abv:price ratio though, averaging about $6/6-pack.

Photo of AlexJ
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

In college I called this "Eye of the Fade", at 8% it was one of the strongest beers available in a small, mountain town in the Poconos.
Pours a clear amber color with ample beige head that quickly sizzles away to nothing. Extremely malty nose, sweet caramel, light spice, and big alcohol sharpness. Taste is similar, very malty with a noticable alcohol kick. Astringent and unbalanced. Needs more hops and less alcohol. The ale version of a malt liquor? Kind of hard to drink more than 1/2 a bottle.

Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fellow brewclub member gave me this one to try. Pours a light amber color with a medium head and good retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malty and sweet and has some apparent alcohol. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Plenty of enjoyable malts and lots of raisin. Some other fruits as well and the alcohol warms a lot. A little hot. Full body. The alcohol diminishes the drinkability a bit.

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

This poured out amber with a tall white head. Decent lacing was left around the glass as it was consumed. Aroma was malty sweet with a good amount of earthy hops in it. There were notes of smoke and a bit of fruit to it as well. The taste was similar with malt sweetness being big upfront before a balancing earthy hoppiness came through. Alcohol was present but didn’t affect the taste negatively. Body is about medium. Drinkability was pretty good. This is a fairly solid beer that while not too exciting is still pretty enjoyable.

Photo of aracauna
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is fairly malty. I came into it thinking it was an American Pale Ale, and finding out that it’s a strong ale explains some things. There really weren’t the hops I was expecting. There’s some bitterness in the back, but it’s mostly malt and a little alcohol (well hidden) as it warms.

Photo of SetarconeX
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is what I wish all easily available beer was. Not really priced any higher than the macros, but cloudy, malty, and with a nice, but not too overwhelming dash of hops.

The exact balance of hops is really what I like about this one. A lot of brewers with an ale this strong would go a bit hop crazy, but while there are certainly some nice-quality hops in this one, they're a tad restrained. The malts are fronted on the taste, and it has a wonderful yeasty quality on the nose.

Good beer. Give it a try.

Photo of kbub6f
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A small, frothy, dirty white head on a hazy, orange-amber beer. Kind of stinky: a little sweet barbershop and a little sour fruit. Front is hoppy bitter, peppery, spicy. Thick, sweet caramel malt in the middle with a fruity bitter, tobacco, alcohol, sourish finish. This is a nice, spicy hop ale with a thick, rich, malty core. Good.

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.