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Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

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489 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: 489 | Ratings: 938
Photo of delta490
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a cloudy orangey-red with a creamier white head that has minor retention but leaves a little lacing. The aroma is mild, with only some nondescript malt sweetness. The taste has a little more oomph, as there are some nice dark fruit notes and dark bread malt flavors. The body has a nice weight to it, with a smooth finish.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.53/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mendocino Eye of the Hawk has a thin, cream-colored head, a murky, copper appearance, strong bubble streams, and very little lacing left behind. The aroma is of pungent, rich, sweet, spiced bread, and dark bread crust. Taste is of sugar, caramel, dark bread crust, light fruits (dates or figs), some bitterness, and noticeable alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Mendocino Eye of the Hawk finishes wet, sweet, and heavy.


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Photo of barczar
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear deep copper, with a foamy khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin layer of foam.

Sweet caramel malt and floral hops form the initial aroma. Smells like treacle. Slightly nutty notes emerge.

Flavor is also sweet, with toffee notes emerging mid palate, carrying into a light citrus, moderately dry finish. Caramel malt dominates, but the citrus prevents the beer from being cloying.

Body is fairly thick, with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Malt dominant, and not the most complex strong ale, but it's got enough citrus and bittering hops to redeem it somewhat.

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Photo of rolanduzer
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a darker amber color with minimal head. The smell is sweeter and nutty. The beer is not really that sweet in taste and has an interesting flavor profile of nutty brown and some roasted barley. At 8% ABV, this beer sells a lot cheaper than beers in the same ABV range.
I really liked the taste when it first hits your mouth. There was a hint of something metallic in the aftertaste, but like an earthy metallic, not like an old tin can. The aftertaste kept me from giving this beer a higher rating, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I will keep some at home. This would go well with any foods cooked on the grill, especially a good burger.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been one of my favorites for a while now. The coppery red brew looks irresistible when poured into a pint glass. Warm or chilled, this particular beer delivers a excellent taste with hints of malted barely.
This is a great hoppy beer. I especially like how the brewers managed to create a beer with 8 percent alc content without the overwhelming taste of the alcohol.
I would recommend this to a friend. Also a great recommendation to anyone looking for a nice, hoppy beer or one with an above average alcohol content.

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours dark amber and cloudy like a thunderstorm, with lacings and an off white foamy head, that dissapates well. It has a caramal malt aroma, a pleasent taste of caramal/malt, with a twinge of metal taste and spikes of hops and pie crusts. It has bit of an edge when drink, but goes down well, and isn't to feeling.

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Photo of Brenden
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mildly clouded pale orange brew sits in my glass, activity from the pour swirling heavily to form a solid head, creamy in substance, that achieves a full finger and rests there easily, nearly keeping its full height for the whole of the session as it drops sticky patching.
Lots of dark fruits notes with a sweetness that isn't too sugary, a hint of alcohol that isn't too boozy that plays well, a touch of leaf, a bit of caramel, bread, and a bit of grains in the finish make for a full, fairly rich and nicely complex beer. A bit more (not very much) on the hoppy side in the aroma would have added an extra dimension. The flavor brings a bit more with further integration and some linger in the finish.
This beer is bready in the feel, not too thick but with a combination of "moist," sweet and dry that works well in its medium body.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Eye of the Hawk is much better than I anticipated. The beer poured a slightly a hazy copper with thin white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is sweet with biscuit like malt. The taste is a well balanced strong ale like semi sweet bread. The mouthfeel is fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall....possibly one of the better strong ales I've had...given that I am not a strong ale fan.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4.25 - Beautiful amber color that I really can't deny. Clear as day, nice white head that dissipates and leaves great lacing when it does.
S - 4 - It smells like vanilla, coconut, hint of floral hops/soap. The smell as a whole is very mild though.
T - 4 - mild vanilla, caramel, bready flavor. Some undefined hop bitterness balances it out.
M - 4 - medium mouthfeel. It's pretty full bodied for the way it looks. Alc is covered nicely at 8%. The aftertaste is a sweet caramel/bitter hop.
O - 4 - It's nothing amazing, I just can't find anything that's really wrong with it. It's got a nice sweet/creamy taste from the malt, which is almost perfectly balanced by the hops, there's just not much complexity. I guess that's what it is: It's a very simple american strong ale that's light on the hops. I honestly kinda like it, and would probably buy it again, especially for the price:ABV ratio.

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Photo of OnTheWater
1.71/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Quite the let down. Threw a few Eye of the Hawks into a make your own 6 pack from my local, and I could not finish the first one and poured out the remaining two. Tasted like soap at times and even my wife agreed it was not worth drinking. I love almost any craft beer, and am enjoying a Mt. Saint Helena Palisades Pale Ale right now, so I am not sure what went wrong with the Eye of the Hawk, it seemed to have a bland taste with no distinctive aroma whatsoever, and the occasional aforementioned soap taste.

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Photo of streetcommander
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in one pint lager glass at 55F

Malt, caramel, brown sugar, ...oak, and maybe molasses? Doesn't matter, for 8.0 ABV, this is stupid quaffable and unbelievably well balanced.

MEDOCINO DOES IT RIGHT. This holds particularly true when considering the price.

If they packaged this in a bigger bottle and put a fancy cork and label on it, BA would rate it world class.

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Photo of awinslow
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Reasonably good tasting high alcohol content Ale. No heavy hops bitterness found in IPAs to cover up the extra alcohol content. For really good flavor, best to go to the brewery and get a growler of " Red Eye" once offered as a blend they can fill your growler half and half with Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk.

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

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A: Beautiful amber color with a 4 finger beige head that had excellent retention and left lacing all around the sides of the glass.

S: Smell of malts and sour green apples dominate as well raisons.

T: Can taste raisons and carmel malts. Alcohol is really well hidden even when this warms up. Could use a bit more hops to balance it out.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Takes a while to drink just as it should.

O: This is one of my goto beers. I can get a 6 pack for around $8 and it taste delicious. This beer has opened the minds of many of my non craft beer drinking friends. I cant recommend this beer enough.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-light amber color with a decent off-white head and some lacing

S-malt, caramel, dark fruit, spice, light pine

T-toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, light pine, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth, alcohol somewhat notable

O-good flavors int this beer, has flavors that remind me of an good scotch ale

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a slightly hazy amber gold, off-white lacing for a head retains well.

Smells of honey, apple, and mild pine.

Tastes of slightly bitter piney hops, some honey and maple sweetness, lightly nutty malts, and a bit of citrus.

Medium to light body with a light fizzle of carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Pretty decent ale, hides its strength well, but the flavor doesn't live up to the aroma. Definitely worth trying if you don't have to pay too much for it. Not my favorite but I'm enjoying it.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle into chilled shaker pint

A: beautiful partly cloudy golden brew. Looks like honey in a glass. Lots of tiny bubble but no discernable head. Splotcy foam on top but a hefty ring around the glass of white foam.

S: at first floral bright hops followed by sweet notes mostly raison. Not as malty smelling as I expected based on descriptions I have read. But pleasant nonetheless.

T: overall very expertly balanced. Opens malty and slightly sweet followed by more of that bright floral hop I got on the nose. Flows excellently. Finishes with a twang of bitter and an alcohol burn on the very end that reminds you it is a strong ale.

M: solid medium body, not too thick and not too thin. Excellent

O: at $1.75 for the bottle I call that a steal. American Strongs are so all over the map I never know what to think. This is fantastic.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Murky amber with a good head that sticks around. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel hops.

Taste: Caramel and toffee, pine hops, and just hint of citrus. Sweeter than expected.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, not much of an aftertaste to it.

The Verdict: Good beer. It's a little on the sweet side of being balanced, with just enough hops to keep it honest. The high alcohol content is well hidden beneath the flavor.

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Photo of krausen1989
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

visiting boulder, colorado so this beer has some competition. This brew poured nice with an amber/gold hue and with a nice head that lasted pretty long. smell wasn't all that great but def smelled of malt. taste was a good combo of sweet and bitter. and mouthfeel was excellent for the abv. overall it is a good beer and def look foreword to drinking this 12pack with good friends, cheers!

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Photo of Beerswag
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into pilsner glass. $2.99 at Sprouts Market
Appearance is a hazy nice burnt sienna(orange)color. Smell is of malt and hop balance "eye" or center of the malt/hop/wheat flavor profile, decent lacing.Taste-malt and dark chocolate with apricots, wheat and bitey hop at the finish. Orange peel, dank, complexity is there..medium to heavy mouthfeel. For this, I feel Summer Strong ale. salmon or corn chowder, or blue-cheese burgers.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alright, here we go strong ale. Appearance is a solid amber color. It smells of apricots and some hops. Tastes alcoholic, but sweet and nutty. For the ABV, I think it's worth is. I think it's a little unbalanced seeing as it lacks a stronger hop flavor and aroma, but overall it's a good buy. Maybe this is why the stock hasn't skyrocketed in the past couple of years.

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Photo of beerbart
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd marry this beer if powers-that-be would legalize man-beer marriage. It's good every day. Just one, every day. Not too much anything, and entirely yummy.

Without hitting you over the head, and without withholding love. It's the kindness of strangers. Strangers who make really good ale. I might have to move to Mendocino.

Thanks, buds, here's to you.

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Photo of bwolmarans
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

wonderful taste on the third bottle. I can't bring myself to write that the smell is particularly great, and yes the first bottle is metallic. but who cares, this is a sublime beer, and in the department all of us care about (I don't care how many fingers of head a beer has) this one tastes great on the last bottle, which for me, is three at 8% ABV.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass with two fingers of head on a cloudy, dark straw colored body.
The aroma is metallic and grain. Not great.
The taste is nice with a strong maltiness, which is nicely balanced by the lemon/grapefruit bitterness.
The texture is crisp and smooth despite the boldness of the brew.
Besides the smell, this is a great ale. It's big but still quaffable, maybe to your detriment.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronzed red with just a ring of head. Very hazy.

Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, and a slice of grapefruit. Or maybe pine. Lopsided malty, but very aromatic.

Bitter medicinal flavors with dry pine hops and candied caramel malts. A little papery and boozy with very light peppery spice. Attenuated for lack of promotable hops, nor rich toffee flavors. Scaled back, yet strong.

Medium body and medium carbonation. Lots of alcohol, however.

Pretty much what I was expecting. This could use some more hoppiness, or if it were an old ale or barleywine, some more oomph to the malts.

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Photo of EnjoyTheFlavor
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to beer. Its easy to find, affordable, good abv and a good body and taste to it. This ranks up in my top 3 with Founders and Commodore Perry. Its hoppy, slightly bitter with a very med body. I rate this high because i consume it weekly but i really do recommend trying it if you have not. I have begun to find it in more and more supermarkets and party stores which means it is easy to find and affordable. As long as it does not get bought out by Anheuser i see a good future for this beer.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 938 ratings.
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