Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

968 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

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Ratings: 968 |  Reviews: 491
Photo of WhiteOak
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright light copper color with a good thick head and sticky lace.

S - Malt makes up most of the the aroma, with a touch of hops too.

T - The attack is of sweet malt flavor. Then the hop/fruity flavor takes the mid palate. The finish is bready, with a hint of alcohol.

M, D - Medium-full bodied with balanced carbonation and good drinkability.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, two fingers of fine head

Smell: grape and malt

Taste: sweet vinous hops with a prominent malt profile. Upon a second sip, I realized it is a highly hopped strong ale, if a little subdued in layered flavor, choosing instead to focus on hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body yet heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: the body and balance of this beer makes it go down quickly, however I find it a bit bland in its presence overall.

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Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not really sure why so many BAs are down on this beer, it's pretty enjoyable. Pours a nice average brown w/ nice head and decent lacing. This beer has a really nice nuttiness to it, it really brings this beer to life. I notice hints of caramel, toffee; bittersweet. Slightly hoppy, but not overboard; very malty. Well carbonated, works with the flavors. Drinkability is good at 8%.

Very enjoyable strong ale from Mendocino. I wouldn't say it's at the top of the style, but sure isn't at the bottom! Recommended.

Talk about a discount, check out the price.

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Photo of TheLVBeerGuy
2.35/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A-pours very similar to an unfiltered belgian wit, and has a frothy head which shrinks away quickly

S-very sweet nose with a slight hoppy bitterness to go with it. also has a slightly roasted character

T- a bit overwhelmingly dry with a too bitter hop middle. the finish tastes like you bit your lip and got some blood mixed in.

M-dry and bitter, not much appealing here

D-will never drink again

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Photo of kaseydad
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass and I am met with an orange copper colored ale with a foamy head that quickly...and I mean quickly dissolves. Tiny bubbles around the rim but not much else. The smell consists of slight malt, some floral and a little citrus. There is also alcohol in there as I breathed in deep, it was pretty sharp to the nose. The taste is very malty with an even maltier aftertaste. Not much else going on here though there is a slight alcohol finish which isn't masked very well. Mouthfeel is rather oily. I couldn't see myself putting more than one away at a sitting. I bought this from Trader Joe's as a single and maybe that has to factor into the overall grade here. I wanted to like this more but I just wasn't feeling it all....though I may try again under better stored conditions.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy but bright reddish-brown color with a nice amount of thick head. The head had okay retention and leaves behind a very nice amount of lacing.

S - Very sweet malts dominate the aroma. There is also just a touch of hops and fruity sweetness that mixes with the malt smells.

T - Flavor starts off with a building sweet malt flavor. However, it never really gets too strong. There is a nice hop flavor mixed with a little fruit flavor that cuts the malt flavor and creates a nice overall flavor. The aftertaste has zing of alcohol flavor to it and a little yeasty/bread flavor.

M - Medium-full bodied and a medium amount of carbonation. Even with the alcohol in the taste, it still stays nice and smooth and crisp in the mouth.

D - Fairly drinkable, especially given the 8% APV. There is a bit of the taste of alcohol that makes itself known, but the complex yet fairly well balanced flavors that join it are very enjoyable.

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Photo of Jaymad
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I get this every time it goes on sale. $12 for 12 is great deal.

A: My head, poured hard to 3+in faded rather quickly, lasting 2-3 minutes. I'm really not seeing much lacing here, no sip lines or anything. a bit dissapointing? Honey/whiskey color.

S: Slightly sweet malt at first, then kinda smelling fruits on subsequent sniffs.

T: This is what I really like about this beer. To me, this is a very balanced beer that has a full rounded malt and hop profile. The malt is more forward, and caramel as opposed to toasted. It's hard for me to pick out the hop flavors because they serve to just balance the sweetness and keep the finish crisp, but to me it's almost like a dash of orange bitters...

M: Enough carbonation to balance out the more viscous brew. As I chew a mouthful, the co2 releases and I taste more hops. Not too bad at all for an 8%.

D: D is for drinkable. These are great for everything and go well with food and/or company. I could drink one in 5 minutes and love it, but this should be a sipping beer if you wish to retain coherence. Does the job, deliciously and economically. Buy on sale and don't look back.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brownish orange, that leaves a slight head.

S: Mendocino hops right away, just a bit of fruityness to the scent

T: Very hoppy , and strong taste of alcohol, not sweet but somewhat more on the bitter side.

M: Medium body, dry

D:Not a beer I would drink on the regular, but would enjoy one another time.

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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.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I may not have given this all the highest ratings, but my initial reaction was "oh wow." This is a single I wish I had all they had (I think THESE were mis-marked at $1.49).

It's unique. Full bodied, well balanced, strong. Malty. This is one to add to the regulars.

I usually don't like heavy tasting bitter ales like this but this one has endeared itself to me. Mendocino is doing a good job!

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear amber with a slight orange tint. About a half finger of marshmallow smooth head, decent carbonation, good lacing too. Aroma carries some caramel malt, some cinnamon, some slight hops, but nothing too robust or pungent. Flavor profile is very upfront. Bursting with malt and some sweetness, carbonation really works well in this. Some alcohol notes in the finish, which is long and bitter in a good way. There's a nice creamy texture to this beer, and a heavy sweetness which paired well with the hops. A little malt forward, but very good beer and usually very well priced, so worth keeping around your fridge for sure.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden-amber color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is honey, caramel, tropical fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Taste is interesting...initially I get faded hops, followed by a bit of fruitiness. Then I get some honey and malt profile. The flavors are all very faint...and not very impressive. I think the 8% alcohol is well-hidden though. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy with an okay bite at the end. Drinkability is fair.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A rich amber with a thick creamy head that leaves good lacing.
S- Very malty, a bit of buttered popcorn, some fruit aromas.
T- Very rich sweet malts up front. A bit of fruity esters in there, pretty bready throughout.
M- Medium-Full bodied, slightly under normal carb it seems. Clean finish.
D- This beer hides the 8 pretty well. It's a good beer and at the price point is not a bad choice. Not the best in the style but it's still a decent option.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orangish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of caramel malt and assorted citrus. The flavor is toffee and dark fruit. The beer doesn't really taste like it smells. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Decent, but nothing special.

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Photo of carpezytha
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into "pint" shaped glass

A: Fairly clear honey. Decent head, little lacing left after fall.
S: Not a lot. Honeysuckle.
T: There is not a lot of there there. This beer does not have any distinctive taste to speak of, as far as I can tell. There is some orange peel, some barnyard funk even. The booze is obvious, and under it, while nothing really unpleasant comes up, nothing really pleasant does either. After three of these over the course of the afternoon I am still trying to figure out what flavor they were going for, if any. I may not be familiar enough with the style to make a good judgement on stylistic integrity. I actually did like it better after the second one, which is unusual for a beer that I initially dislike.
M: Active carbonation that lasts throughout the tasting. This helps a lot, because without it, and the prickly texture it garners, this would be a sub-par beer IMO.
D: For an 8% ABV beer, it should put out better than this. As it is, this is not something I would go out of my way to seek out again, although if someone went to their fridge and said "what do you want, a Newcastle or an Eye of the Hawk?" I would opt for this one. That is not saying much now is it?

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Photo of bunnyhustle
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip, pours a clear gold color with white head, some rention and lacing. Smell was strong of alcohol, some sweetness but mainly booze. Taste was strong of sweet malt and some sugar. Strong alcohol taste and warming sensation as it goes down, mouthfeel was pretty light given the booze. Overall not terrible but I won't be revisiting.

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Photo of madjr80
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance- dark copper color with very little head

Smell- smells very syrupy with too much alcohol. It smells very similar to any kind of imperial ale

taste- not so good. very malty/ sugary. hardly any hop character

mouthfeel- flat with sweet first sip followed by a bitter linger on the tongue.

too strong and bitter to make a session beer

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino Eye of the Hawk is sweet, slippery, and fleeting

It poured a nice dark copper color with no head. It left a crystal clear glass, with no lace at all. The smell and flavor were super sweet, dominated by a metallic booziness, reminiscent of a booze-soaked fruit cake. The feel was smooth, watery, and slippery with a bit of stickiness left behind. There was no bitterness whatsoever.

Eye of the Hawk lacked flavor and feel, and left nothing memorable behind.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a thin white head tops the brew which dissipates with very minimal lacing. The color is a bronze/gold/yellow.

The scent I get is a floral hoppiness, very springtime and a small amount of citrus. Not too much malt but it's smooth and refreshing on the nose.

The flavors are very mellow, not a trace of alcohol and mostly a backround malt impartation. The hops are not bitter at all, they are straight up aroma and the fill the palate with a nice flowery plant-like flavor.

The mouthfeel is pretty solid, nice and thick and bready which makes it slide down quite easily.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours golden opaque with a slight head and a little bit of lacing and visible bubbes.

smell is just pretty much absent - the bros say big, juicy fruit??? wtf? really - all i pick up are some slightly grainy malts, a little lagery smell, a little wine character and some booze.

taste is really pretty nice for a strong ale - not much hops in here, a bit of dry hop on the finish - sweetish, smooth but a little sticky on the mouthfeel for me personally.

drinkability has to be good, cause this is darn drinkable for an 8% beer - wow! sneaks up on you after a couple!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle without a freshness date. Pours a very clear copper color with a modest cap of light tan head. Retention is average and lacing is pretty good.

Nose is raisins, brown sugar and toffee maltiness. Alcohol is big, as is the fruitiness. Little bit of malted milk balls and lactose sweetness. Could use some hops in here for sure.

Taste is actually pretty smooth. The alcohol, deep malts and bitter finish combine for Mendocino's best beer for my tastebuds. Dark fruits come on in the middle and are spiked with a bit of brown bread yeastiness shortly thereafter. Sweet, but not overboard and has a medium body. Could use some creaminess and more integration of the flavors. Although this is an ASA, I do not think this would age well at all. Not bad overall, I could drink one of these every now and again.

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Photo of Mubbly
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden-orange color. Medium speed pour gives a medium head, semi-quickly fading away to a bubble blanket. Not much going on here for lacing.

Sweet smell. Yeasty Belgian sweetness... fruity alcohol. Very pleasant smell.

Tasting malty sweetness with a minimal hop twinge. Belgian yeast qualities paired with alcohol burn, which actually goes good together. Not crazy about overly "hot" beers, but the yeast seems to help out here. Grapefruit-like bitterness lingers on the tongue at the finish, fading into sweet malt.

Hot & fizzy on the tongue. Medium feel. Nice, but gets hot fast.

Could drink a couple of these. Fairly easy going down & pretty refreshing. Not bad.

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Photo of Rommy
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass, a darker brownish gold with a nice, rich head that leaves lacing down to the last drop. Fantastic smell, a bit of caramel with some fruits, but not overpowering at all. Strong, firm taste, a bit more than medium body but by far not heavy at all. ABV is 8%, but tastes like a very good 6% ABV! A bit of hops taste, but not bitter. An overall high quality beer that everyone should try, it is by far a cut above your average beers out there! Highly recommended.

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Photo of matjack85
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.49. No freshness date found.

The beer poured a clear coppery red-orange amber color and made a nice creamy 1½ finger head that lasted a few minute before receding. It also left plenty of lace on the glass.

Nice smell of caramel malts and fruits.

Lots of caramel malt and orange juice sweetness balanced with a sufficient dose of Cascade and Saaz hop bitterness. I like this a lot.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with only moderate carbonation, leading to an overall smooth texture.

The drinkability is high despite the 8% abv. The only trace of alcohol is in the aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a light white head, average retention.

S: Light caramel, grainy notes.

T: Good caramel malt flavours. Definitely a bit boozy, but not hot though it can get distracting at times. Hopping is very minor.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, EtOH is present.

D: Quite easy to drink. Kind of an ale malt liquor but a better taste.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 968 ratings.
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