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Eye of the Hawk - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 837
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 41 | 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 ncbrewerbun
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a beer my wife brought back for me from her recent trip to San Francisco. It's the second time I had a chance to try it, and it's not a style I'm real familar with.

Poured a amber orange with an off-white head -- some lace.

Generally, a sweet malty aroma, but I also picked up some vegetal aromas

Flavor was skewed toward the malt side. The vegetal aroma I picked up translated some into the flavor. The alcohol is noticable but not a distraction.

Overall an interesting beer, but not the best one you'll drink. Worth a try.

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

This beer, with a large brown hawk’s head on the label, pours a pale orange color. It’s relatively clear, has low carbonation, and presents a thin, wispy, white head. The aroma is considerably fruity….apricot, plum, raisins….all mixed with a thick alcohol aroma and caramel. The foretaste is moderately sweet, but not quite as much as I’d expected from the smell. A moderate maltiness, mixed with a little grain makes the beer pleasantly drinkable. By the mid-taste, a spicy hop flavor sets in. The beer finishes on a fairly serious hop note. All in all, this is a solid and drinkable beer. Nothing particularly stands out as spectacular, but it certainly is enjoyable.

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

Did the Vulcan mind meld with this one on 5/15/2004. 10.5-oz. pour in a goblet at Redbones in Somerville, MA.

Light golden with ruby hues, very clear and quiet with little noticeable activity in the carbonation department. With that said, just a fine sheen of head was present in the king’s chalice, but in the end, nothing to speak of. Bouquet was made up of orange peel, fuzzy malt, and was almost overwhelmed by the alcohol. In the end, there was a nice malt flavor, but again, the pronounced alcohol seemed to do it in. Jammy, sticky mouthfeel that didn’t impress, and was a little biting.

Photo of FormatKid
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single picked up from Bacchus in Chattanooga.

I poured this into a standard pint glass, the body is a burnished orange color and an abundant head rolls up quickly and with vigor. Lacing sheets rather thickly on the glass. The body is somewhat active with small carbonation bubbles.

Smell is heavy on a caramelly malt scents. Flat odor of yeast is present with a small sprinkling of bitter aromas.

The taste on this one lends more to the malt side of things. Notes of dry apple register on the front of my palate. Middle is chewy with toasty, caramelly malts. Some fruity hop notes register in the finish. Mouthfeel is a good medium and works well with the taste.

A solid beer, one I hope to enjoy again.

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

Hazy, buttery orange-infused amber topped with a large beige head. It's a nice combination, the two colors complement one another quite well. The cap of foam has legs; I'm getting impatient waiting for it to depart so that I can actually smell the beer. Better than average lace puts the appearance squarely into the 'good' category.

The nose is nicely malty and contains sweet, dark caramel and dark fruit. The aroma intensity isn't gangbusters though, even after I've slurped some of the head away. More hops appear on the palate than I appreciated in the nose, but it's still not a very hoppy strong ale.

The flavor profile is dominated by toasted caramel and butterscotch candy flavors. I also appreciate fruity hops and spicy alcohol (that is really more felt than tasted). The body leans toward full and has a slick, light syrupiness about it. It definitely improves with warming since I'm able to pick up nuances in the bottom few ounces that weren't present in the top few.

Eye of the Hawk is one of Mendocino's better offerings, at least of the few that I've had to date. Even though American Strong Ales aren't near the top of my favorite style list, I thought this one was pretty good.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty interesting beer, but just not complete. Very minimal head and appeared to have no lacing. The color was a deep golden amber. There was a good amount of bottom carbonation which is common with strong ales. Aroma was kind of weak and all I could pick up was a little sweet malt smell. As far as taste goes, there was a lot of different flavors coming together as soon as it hits your mouth, but it wasn't neccessarilly a good thing. The finish is very dry with a heavy grain presence. The high ABV is hidden very dangerously and I can imagine a few pints of this has caused some dillemas.

Photo of HochFliegen
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a orange color with a nice head but it didnt last long. It quickly turned to a thin film ontop the beer.
The smell was mostly malt and carme with a slight hop note in the end.
The flavor was sweet with malt and a slight alcohol flavor and warming. The finish was nice and spicy with hops. The balance I thought was just right. A nice beer was a bit strong on the ABV side and you can feel it after one.

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

Picked up a sample of this at TJ's recently.

This orange colored ale did not pour much of a head and is leaving a sticky residue down the pint. Smell is of lemons and alcohol. Taste is sweet malts, a little hop character and high alcohol. Not an overly complex beer and it does not hide the ABV well. Mouthfeel is fairly full. It is a fairly drinkable beer. I have paired this with Chili as i was thinking this was a PA or IPA. May be better the next time with another less spicy food.

Photo of granger10
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an orangish copper color with a small light yellow head. The smell is of lots of toasted malts with caramel being most noticeable and then a huge hop strike hits my nose. The body looks and is medium in thickness. The flavors in this beer balance each other out well enough. There is a very sweet caramel taste up front followed by some spicy hops. The finish seems a bit weak but I notice some bitterness after I take a breath. This seems more like a british pale ale as opposed to an old ale imo. The alcohol is not noticeable at all in taste, I can't believe it's 8%! But it did knock me out for the night. All in all this is a beer worth trying but nothing to get too excited about.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden color. Good head formation(1 1/2") drops to thin covering with nice lace.
Smell is hops & lemon.
Taste is hoppy, a little malt, then noticeable alcohol.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, smooth, lightly effervescent.
Drinkable? Yes, but only if you like an IPA, which I'm not a fan of.

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

Saratoga Springs rendition...clear amber color, thinish pale yellow head that's down to a skim in 30 seconds. Dots for lace. Lightly malty aroma, a lot of brown sugar tone. Medium mouthfeel. Sugary start, lower carbonation lends a malty impression with slight intrusion of a lemon rind sense around the edges. Monolithic in flavor, similar beginning to end with an iced tea statement. Could have used a little more complexity for interest to me, but drinkable and hiding its alcohol content fairly well. No indications of building extreme sourness that I pick up from Saratoga Spa Red Tail Ale...

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

A nice surprise. Light copper colored, off-white head with good R&L. Aroma lets you know that something different is on the way. You can smell the big cherry and banana esters with the accompanying alcohol in the background. Caramel is huge. The spicy hops try to poke through the thick liquid, but don't. It is well-balanced though it leans towards the sweet side. Big bodied but that and the 8% somehow do not hinder the drinkability. Semi-reminiscent of Old Foghorn, but less alcohol flavor and much more rounded.

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

The beer poured pale amber golden. The head was white and lasted a long time to lace the glass.

The aroma was sweet malt and caramel. Slight fruitiness.

The flavor was sweet with a good bitterness to balance so the beer does not become cloying. Also some fruitiness was in the flavor and some sherrylike flavors.

The finish was just off dry and with a definite alcohol warming. The body was medium-full.

12 ounce bottle. Purchased in TN. Watch out, the alcohol in this puppy will sneak up on you...

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

Pours a copper colored ale with some fine suspended yeast.

Smell is very malty; hops and caramel smell show up too. Fruit aroma shows up, plum smell I think.

Taste is sweet with some hops and a spicy flavor. Bitterness finishes the sweet start. High Alcohol content warms tour stomach and throat.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, just be sure you know it's an 8% brew.

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

Very bready and grainy, Eye of the Hawk is a wonderfully British interpretation of the style. Classic, really, with candied malts tinged with alcohol all the way through. As it warms, the beer picks up some unpleasant distillate qualities, but, all in all, a true old ale. A weakness of malts prevents this from being an epic beer as some old ales can be and at times it comes off more as a pub-style bitter. By pint's end, however, the alcohol has kicked in and you can see, indeed, how good a beer this really is. I wouldn't cellar this one, though.

Relax, relax.

Photo of merlin48
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange with a one finger head that quickly drops to some ring lacing. Grapefruit and piney hops dominate the aroma. Alcohol burn is the initial sensation in the mouth, of this medium bodied and moderately carbonated ale. Caramel malt sweetness is the first impression on tasting, but bitter piney hops and alcohol quickly obliberate any semblance of malt balance here. Piney and floral hops run the show here, and there is also an earthy mustiness present in the background. Alcohol becomes a distraction toward the end, and is not at all hidden. Aftertaste is slightly astringent. Not really bad, but not one of my favorites.

Photo of Charthepirate
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When drinking this beer I wasn't especially impressed. Smell is very neutral Theres a sharp flavor of Caramel on the malt side, but not much else. Hops are nice, grapefruit bitter, but not enough to balance out the heavy malt caramel. even worse, the hop flavor, which is floral and spicy seems to clash with the caramel flavor.

I didn't think much of this beer till I realized that it was 8.0 percent alchohol. Wow, it simply has a fantastic hiding of the alchohol.

For that the drinkability goes way up.


Photo of GreenWBush
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love Mendocino brewing company, but I know they've had distribution and continuity errors of late. Unfortunately, I can no longer regularly get offerings from this brewery and I think that this particular selection fell victim to the aforementioned maladies.

This beer pours out a strangely neon orange color with no head at all. Its copper hues are reflected in the taste - I can't help but notice the bitter taste of pennies.

This beer has a nice strength and level of bitterness, but was over carbonated and suffered from the soda-esque flavor that Heineken often has. In fact, I couldn't help but think this beer was some sort of other-dimensional Heineken.

I really think I would like this beer in its ideal state; its hoppiness, well-concealed ABV, and drinkability appeal to me. But as it is, I have to grade quite low. I'll re-review if I can find a better sample.

Photo of WesWes
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a lacey white head. The aroma is plain. It has the scent of lots of pale malts and an elevated abv. . The taste is decent. It has a very malty flavor. It tastes of pale and carapils malts and a high abv. . The mouthfeel is suspect. It is a medium bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. The beer is an average drinker. It's not bad, but it's also not that great either.

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

Appearance: A somewhat cloudy burnt amber. A moderate pour produced a thin, white head that disappeared almost instantly. A small amount of lacing was present throughout. Okay, but no prom queen.

Smell: Hmmm. Despite a very high malt content, the beer has an extremely hoppy, almost IPA-like nose. I know the malt is there, I know others say it's there, but it’s just not here.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow, HERE'S the malt. Starts with a big, sweet, doughy, malty richness. The malt soon gives way to a bracing hop bitterness and the beer finishes with a slightly warming caramel/alcohol pop. The mouthfeel is terrific, a smooth, chewy, though not overly heavy body with a smooth, fine carbonation—good stuff.

Drinkability: For a surprisingly big beer (8 percent ABV), it’s well balanced, quite tasty and remarkably drinkable. It gives the (false) impression that one could drink it all day. However, for those not aware of the serious punch this beer packs, it’s a ninja assassin—NOT recommended as a party or session brew!

The label describes this beer as “rich, robust and complex, with a ton of flavor.” Almost. The beer is not at all complex; it’s MALT! HOPS! Done. However, it does deliver nicely on the rest of its promise. A very tasty, satisfying brew. Just watch out for the bite.

Photo of jdhilt
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two-fingered off-white head that goes slowly and leaves some of lace. Light amber color. Light-medium carbonation. Hoppy/malty nose. Starts hoppy, has a strange quick sweetness in the middle, finishes with a lingering hoppy aftertaste. Light to medium bodied.

Photo of oelergud
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label white/blue/yellow, shows a red hawk in profile. Nice clear amber body, generous carbonation and a white head with good retention.
Malty fragrance that carries a hint of alcohol.
Very malty tasty, crips and clean with a sweet overtone, hops come through at the end and stays for a while but only if you pay attention to it, some caramel in there too and a little good earthiness.
Feels very smooth, round and full bodied. Creamy and very thick. Excellent drinkability unless you are a real lightweight, however even seasoned beeradvocates should use a little caution so I guess it's right there in the middle, not quite a barleywine but a good brew as an introduction to one.

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

A dark amber brew with nice head retention and good lace. The nose is very malty and hints of some spicy hops to help balance the malt. The flavor is fully malty and full with mild spice hopping to add to the sweetness of the malt. Good creamy mouthfeel with a decent finish. Good drinkability and enjoyable for the style.

Photo of beerguy101
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of jcalabre
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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