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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.

866 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 866
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 17
Gots: 52 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 | Reviews: 483 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear orangish yellow color with a small active head at first pour. The carbonation is assertive, and leaves quite a few bubbles rising, though the head is gone. No staying power in this one.

Aroma: Hops with some subtle malt is the only thing I get when the beer is really cold. I can pick up a bit of the alcohol as it warms, but the overall profile doesn't change much.

Taste: The flavor profile is lead by the hops, and then lets some caramel malt make its way to the forefront in the middle of the profile. The finish fades back into the bittering hops, and leaves you with a slightly metallic and bitter finish to linger.

Opinion: Well, this beer is in the BJCP guidelines as an IIPA...specifically as a Stock Ale like Arrogant Bastard. Because of this, I really had my hopes up. I wouldn't say that I was disappointed with this beer because it is a very tasty brew; however, if you are expecting the Bastard, you will be disappointed. This beer is clean and subtly flavorful. It is more for those newer to the strong ales than a seasoned hop-head. This is still a good beer, and one that I am sure I will drink again.

Photo of Onceeven
3.14/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip pint, the beer didn't offer much in the way of a head. Quarter of an inch, if that, quickly settling to nothing. No lacing to speak of. The beer is a lovely shade of burgundy, and crystal clear.
Aroma is bursting with fruity esters, raisins other dried fruits, as well as alcohol. Big malt presence. It lets you know what you're getting into.
Mouthfeel was slightly disappointing. Little carbonation, rather lackluster.
Taste is full of malted barley, and for me an over the top sweetness. Finishes spicy and dry. Interestering flavor profile, however, not really my thing.

All in all and interesting brew that is worth a try, but nothing I'd come back to.

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

Pours out an amber-orange color with a small head but many fine streaming bubbles. Sweet & malty aroma, with some grassy, woody hop notes. First taste is malty sweet, a tad syrupy, with a moderately round fruitiness. Hop bitterness is moderate to high but still balances on the low-side from the maltiness. Finishes pleasantly, with an emphasis on the malt. Thick bodied and a creamy texture. Not a bad beer, though not that interesting.

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

The head is thin and fizzy, and the beer amber in color.

First smell is of grassy hops and a metallic characteristic. Some malt sweetness is present, which imparts a light fruitiness. Upon taking a deep whiff, some ethanol is evident.

Carbonation is medium and the body is medium thin.

Taste is very much like the smell. Old, grassy hops are evident at first with a low to moderate malt fruitiness backing it up. Finish is some lingering metallic and malt notes.

This is not necessarily a bad beer, but it is a little boring.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, deep amber color with a thick tan head that retains OK. The aroma has musty grainy malt notes (like an altbier) with sweet molasses and ripe fruit notes in the background. Flavor is very malty with only traces of hops...the malt profile is toasty, bready, fruity (apple and pear come to mind) and lightly caramelly. Alcohol beomces noticeable as the beer warms and it slightly too apparent. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but there isnt enough carbonation imho. Drinkability is average. A descent but mediocre beer, which is generally the case with Mendocino brews i've had.

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

This Mendocino Stong ale is the first for me from this brewer, I went straight for the big ale, and glad I did.
It pours a nice full-bodied copper with a rather small light tan head. Lace was minimal.
The aroma was fruity with malted alcohol. The taste busted out with malts, caramel and a round out alcohol that tends to dry the mouth towards the finish.
This is a full bodied, meat & potato's brew. Its heavy but surprisingly smooth and drinkable at 8% abv. Very nice!

Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a medium amber body with a tiny head that quickly disappears and leaves no lacing

Smell: Smells like a doppelbock; lots of sweet caramel malt and dark fruits; clearly a dose of alcohol and a vague hint of hops

Taste: Starts out promising, with a rich malty, dark fruit base; the middle, however, falls apart into an indistinct flatness until the finish, where the bitter hops kick in; very odd, because I liked the beginning and the end

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous; not much carbonation

Drinkability: A peculiar beer that I enjoyed, on balance; I'll need to try this again sometime as there was something a bit weird about this bottle

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

Golden copper body with a decent, light khaki head. Smells of sweet malt: strawberries, candy, caramal chews, red-tailed hawk retinas. Hay and lemongrass bitterness with a dash of pepper. Sugary biscuit malt flavors up front. Some veggies and fruit (strawberries) duel. Orange marmalade resinous hops. Bitter finish with lingering sweetness. Medium-bodied with a somewhat sticky feel. Dry in the finish. Not bad, but not arrogant enough for me.

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 866 ratings.