Eye of the Hawk
Mendocino Brewing Company

Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #262
Ranked #38,490
3.68 | pDev: 13.59%
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk
View: Beers
Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 977 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JustCamIt
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought on sale recently not knowing brewery has been defunct for over a year.

A: hazy rust-orange with tan scant head

S: floral, nutmeg, and pound cake

T: caramel, golden raisins, and a hint of spruce resin

M: mediumish-light with a fair quantity of carbonation

O: A simple straightforward low hops ale. Easy, too easy, drinking at 8.0 abv. Quaffed a serving in a few minutes before dinner then had another during dinner.

Disappointed I discovered this a year after production ended.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad beer. Had aged from 2014 in 2018. Tastes like a standard American Strong Ale. Malty with notes of dark fruit, though not very boozy. Could have mistaken for a Belgian dubbel easily.

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Photo of BigD
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very sad to say tha Mendocino Brewing Co. just went out of business, and my favorite offering is no longer available. It has been in my rotation for quite a few years, after deciding I liked it better than Red Tail Ale. Mendocino Brewing is located in my region of the country and was one of the early micro brews in Ca, Red Tail Ale was one of the first micro brews I ever tried, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale became my go to for many years, until Lagunitas IPA replaced it. I will miss it.

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Photo of goodbeergoodfood
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look it's an orange a dark Amber.
Smell is caramel, brown sugar, citris , spruce and Bubblegum.
Tastes very sweet caramel bitter combination.
Mouthful is quite effervescent good thing go to the tongue nice carbonation good overall mouth feel.
Overall this is a pretty good beer if you like this type of Red Ale Style Beer you should like this but do you think it's a bit too sweet but it has a good flavor

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a semi-rugged dark amber/red color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Not much lace, seemed somewhat filmy yet bubbly and gone within seconds.
The aroma had some sweet caramel/toffee smooth malts, light nuttiness, light wafer and ended with a little bit of grassy to citrusy hops.
The flavor was moderately sweet pulling some bitterness in from the faint citrusy hops. Nice aftertaste of those malts, hops seem barely a part of the aftertaste, but I didn't mind.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV seemed to be as projected. Malty leaning finish.
Overall, pretty good as an American strong ale. I could come back to.

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Photo of ordybill
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a slightly cloudy amber color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is slight hops and sweet yeast. The taste is malt and hops. A very good beer.

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Photo of HaoleBoy
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from a 22 oz. bomber into an imperial pint
-beautiful slightly hazy amber with a creamy off-white head
-malt, slightly sweet nose
-sweet, crisp, and "malty" with a vague hint of citrus
-nice carbonation, a bit of an astringent finish (not a bad thing)
-very delicious and potentially dangerous given its 8% ABV. Fortunately, I only bought one bomber.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle. I couldn't find a date of any kind.

Pours a 24 karat gold with a substantial head of foam that shrinks to aboot a quarter inch. Some nice lacing.

I get caramel malt, fruity hops, some booze in the smell.

Caramel malt and fruity tastes up front, mild bitterness mid palate, sweetish finish along with some alcohol and alcohol burning.

Medium body and carbonation.

A bit of a different bird here. I enjoyed the bottle and may pick up another.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got as a gift! 12oz bottle served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a tiny 1/2" high white head that films out within a minute or two. Very dark gold colour and unfiltered

S- Nice hops and malt. Sweet

T- Heavy malt and sugar. Decent hops but light unfortunately. Heat and slight spice. Hope this was not an old one.

M- Dry and tart

O- Not a bad imperial ale but not great either. Does a few things well like malt but hops too light. Just needs some tweaking to the recipe.

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with....... Grilled salmon with a cream dill sauce (add butter to the cream) and light veggies such as asparagus or fiddleheads on the side. It's that time of year for spring leeks too!


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Photo of kitschiguy
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Writing as I drink.

Poured a cloudy, light brown with no head.

Nose is nice with lots of fruit and malt.

Palate is good. Complex with fruitcake, molasses, becoming sweet with an alcohol presence on the finish and fairly hoppy.

Mouth is quite good.

Overall this is an interesting beer, complex with some unusual flavours and aromas. Very nice.


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Photo of gandres
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
A: golden amber orange liquid, minimal white foam goes away, lacing
A: grains
T: medium bitterness
MF: lively carbonation, long nice finish
OA: good beer, ok to repeat, not to look for
Drank: April 24, 2016

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Brown pour, minimal 1/5" off white head. Booze came hard in the aroma, some malty caramel and toffee notes.

Taste can be similar to a lighter bigfoot when fresh and hoppy, a malty booze driven bitterness less so when older. Its cool they make a beer in this format that is this strong and affordable. Has the usual old school c hop formula for almost all Mendocino beers.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

A: Clear amber. 1 finger high foam.
S: Mildly caramelized malts. Light citrus.
T: Medium caramelized malty. Moderate bitterness. Slightly citrus. Dry but has some hints of sweetness.
M: Moderate body. Moderate carbonation.
O: I suspected it's American strong ale, but actually it's similar to English styles. I prefer to have more complex and stronger flavor and aroma given the relative high alcohol content. Fairly nice for the price though.

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Photo of jonnyroyal
4.94/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was brewed in 2005 and cellared for 11 years.

Fresh, this beer is a great red ale. However after ten years of age this beer imparts the same flavors and nose as some of the great Belgians and still holds a perfect volume of carbonation. Being aged in perfect conditions, fluctuating slowly between the extremeties of 45 and 62 degrees, this ale has developed a rich raisin flavor while maintaining a crisp water finish and full mouthfeel.

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Photo of retry4z
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bomber into a snifter. No freshness date. Copper color with no head, tinny smell, along with some ripe fruit and vanilla. Taste of peach marmalade, some fuji apple, and a hidden hop character. High carbonation. Way too malty for a strong ale without the adequate hop balance. Nothing like Double Bastard or other more contemporary strong ales; more like an imperial pale lager stripped of the hops. Would take Lagunitas Sucks any day over this. The only redeeming quality is the price (around $4). Only bought because it was listed as an example of the American Strong Ale style on a beer styles poster.

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Photo of Jfn
4.59/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great imperial ale and is one of my go-to beers. Pours a great bronze color and great balanced taste. Despite an 8% alc/vol you can hardly tell it packs a punch. A smooth beer during anytime of the year.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: darker amber with hazy, effervescent body; small frothy head after aggressive pour into a flute glass, dissipates quickly; decent lacing; better than expected for high ABV.

Smell: very faint aromas; sweet malts with a slight candi sugar aroma, a lot like a tripel; faint hops; smells good, but you have to search for it

Taste: sweet malts with a good hop kick to balance it out; dried fruits in the mid; finishes semi-sweet with the hops lingering. Excellent beer.

Mouthfeel: rich and creamy

Remarks: very good beer; you can tell it's a US beer, but reminds me of a good Belgian ale; definitely buy again. EDIT: less like a Belgian as it warms up; more like a barley wine

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Photo of Manswellz
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hell of a find at my local Trader Joe's, had to go back for more. Very good tasting and strong Imperial Ale. Hits harder than any other 8% abv beer I've tried.

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Photo of blackd0g
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Simply 1 of the best. I told a friend, "this is the only beer I've found that will give me a buzz after drinking just one 12 ounce bottle" ... he knew exactly what I meant... then we drank 3 and stayed home for a while

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Photo of FLima
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy amber copper color with a thin dark beige head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of caramel, orange jelly, apple puree, herbal hops and some pine.
Flavor with notes of caramel malt, molasses, pine, overripe oranges, floral and citrus hops and Brazilian pequi fruit. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium towards full body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8% abv is well inserted.
This Strong American Ale has a nice hoppines, but I was expecting a bigger malt or fruit complexity. If you don’t attain to details you risk to say it is a fancy malt liquor. Still it is an interesting brew, and if you like hops, caramel and jam, here you find a match.

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Photo of phlegming
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Eye of the Hawk is quite underrated in my opinion. It is a terrific malty, just hoppy enough strong ale. Mouthful is great. More of a warm weather sipper, it can be enjoyed all year round. And I can buy a sixer for under 8 bucks. Outstanding.

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Photo of DaveCS
4.73/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is honestly one of my favorite beers of all time. It is a very deep and rich American Strong Ale that is full of malty flavor and thick mouthfeel. Not too much hops on the front of back and it finishes sweet. It is a definitely good beer in my opinion.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep reddish amber producing 2 fingers of soap foam frothy, beige, somewhat lasting head that leaves a only a little lacing. Aroma is sweet with toasted malts, treacle, nuts & a hint of raisin backed a thin hint of floral hops. Taste is sweet but less so than in the nose, caramel, roast, nuts & raisin. Finish is toast, roast & metallic with some hop character in the form of a nice bitterness that's accentuated by the alcohol & intense roast. Aftertaste is metallic, lightly bitter & astringent. Alcohol presence is low for the ABV but is present in the form of bitterness and spice. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, some spicy prickle, wet, slick & astringent in the aftertaste.

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Photo of pianoguy
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from the beer of the month club...

Pours a cloudy orange-brown, with a slightly off white 3/4 inch head. Decent lacing.

Smells are not overly prominent, but what I do smell is mainly malts . Primarily a sweet applesauce smell.

Taste has the sweet malts out in front. A heavy alcohol taste in the middle and a (very) slight bitter hop finish

Feel is crisp and full

Over all an interesting malt forward (but still an ale) sort of beer.
And of course the 8.0 ABV doesn't hurt either !!

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Photo of BeerLovinWoman87
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured cold from bottle to pub style pint glass. Color is a dark reddish Amber. Has about a one inch head of white foam that seems to be sticking around (I'm drinking it while reviewing). Strong taste of malt and caramel. I got this beer as part of a build your own six pack at the liquor store. I love to try new beers, and hadn't heard of this one, so I thought, for $1.60 it can't hurt to try it. It was money well spent. I am enjoying this beer, and would drink it again any time. Can't believe it's 8% AVB!

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 977 ratings