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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.

822 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 822
Reviews: 471
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 14
Gots: 33 | 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: 822 | Reviews: 471 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

merlin48, Feb 07, 2004
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.


Charthepirate, Jan 17, 2004
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.

GreenWBush, Jan 14, 2004
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.

WesWes, Dec 24, 2003
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.

WetCoaster, Dec 15, 2003
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.

jdhilt, Dec 04, 2003
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.

oelergud, Nov 12, 2003
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.

AtLagerHeads, Oct 29, 2003
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.

beerguy101, Sep 22, 2003
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.

jcalabre, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of nomad
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

nomad, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of tar
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

tar, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of woemad
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

woemad, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

RoyalT, Sep 02, 2003
Photo of elmocoso
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

elmocoso, Aug 18, 2003
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

oberon, Aug 11, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Boilermaker88, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

BeerResearcher, Jun 10, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

Darkale, Apr 16, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Scooter77, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of hyuga
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

hyuga, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of greebz
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

greebz, Mar 13, 2003
Photo of pezoids
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

pezoids, Mar 07, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Dogbrick, Mar 06, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 03, 2003
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 822 ratings.