Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

490 Reviews
Eye of the HawkEye of the Hawk

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2000

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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 962
Photo of kitekid
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
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 +6.3%
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 +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 +1.9%
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 -5.8%
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 -9.1%
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 +6.9%
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 +36.1%
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 -24.2%
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 +26.4%
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 +13.5%
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 +24.5%
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 +22.6%
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 -5.5%
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 +14%
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 +30.3%
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 -1.4%
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 -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 -6.1%
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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Photo of 31Sam13
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old friend from when I lived in Mendocino/ Humboldt. This has a very thick mouth feel and hides its alcohol well. A very malty, caramel-like taste that is quite unique. I love it's color.

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Photo of i4ourgot
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very strong malt flavor some hops to back it up but overall very malt forward. Lots of caramel and bready/ biscuit notes . Very full bodied beer much richer than I would anticipate based on the color.

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Photo of 9to
5/5  rDev +37.7%

Eye of the Hawk boasts an amazing 8.0% ABV, but you wouldn't know that from the taste.

Head-lovers and carbonation-aficionados beware! This is a rich, no-frills ale.

Poured cold, even as sloppy as you can, creates the smallest head with light lacing. (Poured warm, on the other hand, and this one comes alive).

Drank cold, it's malty with a touch of hops. It's rich, sweet, bordering almost on a Baltic porter without molasses and darkness.

It's my favorite beer because it brings no nonsense with its flavor, and it doesn't make you pay with burps and air in your stomach. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerSnobRobinson
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Eye of the Hawk pours a red-brown with a big two-finger head which dissipates quickly leaving a thin white cap. Not a whole bunch going on in the flavor department. A quite strong caramel/malt flavor which masks the high ABV quite well. Almost a medicinal malt flavor. Aroma is strongly malt based. Not a well balanced malt flavor but not bad. I first tried it at the 2011 Minnesota Autumn Brew Review. The brewery rep gave my uncle and I a bottle under the table and was quite personable. Left a good impression of Mendicino Brewing for me. I'd drink this again and would be interested in trying some more of their offerings.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%

This is a very decent brew. With the hefty 8% abv that isn’t detectable. The light mouthfeel is a throw off of some of the flavors that shine through. This reminds me of what a candy beer would be. Almost like a medicinal fruit syrup followed by bready malt and slight hoppy finish. Though nothing screams excellence, this brew is still worthy.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Appearance - clear copper color with beige head

Smell - molasses, caramel, oak

Taste - molasses, caramel, oak, nuts

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, not much complexity to the flavor

Overall - nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing about it was particularly memorable either. Fans of the style might want to give it a shot

Price Point - $2.25/12 oz bottle

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 962 ratings.
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