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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.

810 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 810
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 30 | 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: 810 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jackndan
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

jackndan, Feb 26, 2003
Photo of Maestro
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Maestro, Feb 19, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Admiraldinty, Feb 10, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Mitchster, Feb 10, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Gusler, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of LarryV
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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.

LarryV, Dec 23, 2002
Photo of BeerManDan
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

BeerManDan, Nov 01, 2002
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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 ??

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 18, 2002
Photo of bcm119
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium amber in color with a sticky head that leaves a nice lattice on the glass. Interesting aroma of damp hay, musty grain, and fruity esters. The nose is alcoholic, carrying a strongly fruity malt sweetness. Concentrated flavors of bready pale malt come through towards the end before the hops clean up the finish. It leaves a nice aftertaste of biscuit malt. I'd like to taste the hops a little more, but overall an OK beer, and it looks great with that gummy head.

bcm119, Oct 03, 2002
Photo of marc77
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy orange amber in hue, covered by a persistent off white bumpy head. Web like lace is left. The aroma is comprised of light fruity esters, sweet caramel, biscuit malt, an earthy hop nose w/ hints of woodiness. Subdued diacetyl butterscotch is present as well. Fruity sweetness hits the palate at first, then is ensued by notes of buttery toffee and toasty malt. Lightly tart yeast esters and moderate hop bitterness emerge mid palate. A bit light in body, but the all around smooth nature of this brew lends excellent drinkability. Finishes quite clean, w/ mild breadiness fading quickly. Eye of the Hawk is a flavorful, somewhat understated but highly drinkable strong ale. Very enjoyable.

marc77, Aug 27, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty decent brew.... Poured a golden/copper color, with a small, fine, creamy head, but very little lace. I picked up some hoppiness in the nose, but it was quite understated. Mouthfeel was fairly good; nothing to detract from the drinking at all. I found a big, bready malt backbone in this one, and the hoppiness at the finish has a citrusy tartness to it. As it warms, more malt notes show through, in the way of some caramel. Prosit!!!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Bierman9, Aug 18, 2002
Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flower hop nose with a big handful of malt. Pale hazy look with a white head. Very malty taste with a nice smooth mouth. The finish has a hop bite with a huge alcohol tongue. This beers warm finish comforts the soul.

frank4sail, Aug 12, 2002
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 810 ratings.