Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

965 Ratings
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 965 |  Reviews: 491
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty/grainy with some slight corn aromas. Taste is of malt/grain and some fruity and citrus zest flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too memorable.

 459 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of Knapp85
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours out as a golden yellow color with a light haze to it. The head was white and fizzled away within a few minutes. The smell was grainy and semi sweet. There wasn't much hop aroma. The taste was grainy too and didn't really have much going on in it. The mouthfeel was decent but this beer really isn't something I'd wanna have again.

 346 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.02/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 pack of this for $8.99

Pours a cloudy brown color, very small almost unnoticeable head and no lacing. Medium body to it... no off tastes to be found, although nothing "tasty" about it either. Besides a hint of alcohol, it's hard to even classify what this tastes like, or what kind of beer style this even is. Goes down smooth and is pretty drinkable though. Really, it's just an odd beer... It's easy to drink for it's 8% ABV but I feel without a style category it's kind of lost out there in terms of taste and what to expect from it. Not bad, but hard to recommend.

 580 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After drinking sub-par beers all weekend, this tasted fabulous! Though not the perfect specimen of Strong Ales, It has a full flavor with a serious body, alcohol, and strength. Tastes big on malts that work toward caramel, toast, syrup, and dried fruits. Hops contribute a mild earthy, pine-ey flavors on top of solid bittering. The beer falls a little out of balance with the alcoholic heat--quite fusal under a moderat (not full) body. Flavors are solid, but body is shallow. Also lacks complexity and depth for style. Needs better melding and aging. Still, worth a shot.

 573 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Now that I'm past the "drink now, rather than later" beers from this summer's cross-border shopping cache, time to dive into some of the stronger stuff.

This beer pours a clear pale golden copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and yet somewhat soapy beige head, which leaves some thin layered lace around the glass in its fairly hasty wake.

It smells weakly of honeyed caramel malt, slightly sour green apple, some additional muddled dark bruised fruit, faint savoury spices, and leafy, kind of perfumed hops. The taste is big bready, nutty, and moderately biscuity caramel malt, with a rather isolated booze edge, and bitter leafy, ethereally piney, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is average in its bearing, just a trilling frothiness for the most part, the body medium-full in weight, generally smooth, and actually a tad creamy. It finishes well off-dry, and warm, the sweet biscuity malt still standing tough, and in the background, under-heralded hops help the booze keep things more or less balanced.

A pretty innocuous, and yet drinkable strong ale, even if the alcohol doesn't come across as seamlessly integrated. Nothing over the top, but just a straight-up, plain, and solid malt-friendly pop.

 1,241 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a medium amber body with a tiny head that quickly disappears and leaves no lacing

Smell: Smells like a doppelbock; lots of sweet caramel malt and dark fruits; clearly a dose of alcohol and a vague hint of hops

Taste: Starts out promising, with a rich malty, dark fruit base; the middle, however, falls apart into an indistinct flatness until the finish, where the bitter hops kick in; very odd, because I liked the beginning and the end

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous; not much carbonation

Drinkability: A peculiar beer that I enjoyed, on balance; I'll need to try this again sometime as there was something a bit weird about this bottle

 664 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a copper/burgandy color with a white, one-finger head. Left a small amount of lace.

S - It smelled of malt, hops and fruit.

T - It tasted of malt, spicy hops and dried fruit.

M - It was crisp and had a sharp bite. A warm alcohol presence and a medium-bodied beer.

D - A good tasting beer. My first of the style and I like the spicy hop flavor mixed with malt and dried fruit flavors. Reminds me of a good Belgian beer.

 438 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

 322 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy orange/peach/amber body beneath a foamy off-white head. Good head retention. Decent lacing with spots and splashes of lace left all about.

The aroma delivers some yeastiness, yeasty fruitiness, and caramel-accented malt and breadiness with just a hint of grassy/leafy hops in the background.

In the mouth it's medium-full bodied... but not quite creamy. Median carbonation.

The flavor delivers what the nose suggests with a bready, softly toasty, and gently caramelish malt lightly garnished with yeasty fruitiness and skirted by earthy/floral hops. It's solidly bitter, and the alcohol is somewhat noticeable leaving it with an edge in the finish.

 665 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, honey, some fruit and spice, along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out malty and sweet with flavors of honey, caramel, spice and some dark fruit. There’s a decent presence of hops bitterness and a hearty malt character, but seems to lack as far as balance is concerned. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, there are certainly more flavor stronger beers that I would prefer over this one. I don’t think I would choose this beer again unless my choices were very limited.

 845 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very sweet and simple at first sip. A touch of woodiness. Something like hamster pee in the nose, and I don't mean that in a good way. Slight touch of hops does little to balance the rather insipid pale malt flavor. Mouthfeel is the best quality, with a creamy light richness. Slight tanginess in the flavor, a hint of honey, and a bit of scratchy hops. Attractive golden color in the chalice with a touch of amber.

I can't see much to recommend this, but it was on sale at my favorite San Diego beer store, Likicker's in OB for $2.99. At that price, just add a bottle of IPA for a cheap date.

 595 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single - $1.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark amber body with a thin, white head. Not too dissimilar to their Red Tail Ale I had only moments ago.

Smell: Toasted grains and caramel-scented malts enlivened with notes of apricot and orange peel with a very, very minor woody background note.

Taste: Pale malts layered with a big dose of sugary, toasty caramel candy sweetness transitions into a fair amount of dried apricot fruitiness. Orange-laden citrus and spicy hops with plenty of bitterness (though never overbearing). Hint of cedar. Minor touches of acidity and alcohol warmth in the drying, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Ever so slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Worth a try. A reasonably well-balanced, cost effective American Strong Ale.

 854 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a huge fan of this brewery ( at least for the last 7 years or so ), so this was a roll of the dice even when in a mixed sixer,,,

Pours amber/orange with a pinky of tan head, falls off quickly. Average head retention & lacing

S: Caramel, toffee & a bit of smoke

T: Some brown bread, figs, leafy hops & dryness up front. Herbal hops, oakyness & a bit vanilla are there as this warms. Finishes figgy, oaky, dry, & with jammy booze notes

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty nice balance, got stickier as this warmed

Drank pretty easy, nothing stellar here, but session worthy, & easily the best from these guys I've had in a long... time

 653 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 1,207 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 965 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.