Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

966 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: 966 |  Reviews: 491
Photo of Jayli
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 11/6

A: This beer pours a clear rich amber color with a 1/4 inch of white head. Head recedes quickly with minimal spotty lacing.

S: Nose is sweet maltiness, some dark fruits, touch of grains.

T: Taste is overflowing with the caramel malts up front. WOW. A touch of toffee and dark fruits keep the start and middle of this beer quite sweet. Grains come in towards the middle and end with a touch of nuttiness.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation, nice creamy feel to the beer.

D: This is a nice beer, very sweet upfront which could detract from the drinkability for me, but overall, a beer I would have again.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up as a single to give it a go...

Very murky dull brownish liquid with a slow forming head... Looks like brackish rusty water... Hmmm...

Sweet malty aromas roll off of this...super sweet much like a doppelbock...not in a good way though... Its weird... There are no hops here at all...

Very sweet sticky malts all the way.. Whew... I'm struggling here... Very one dimensional

Man... I struggled with this one... Its a mess.. Super sweet and cloying and the malts have no hop presence to support them..

Won't be picking this one up again...

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Photo of devilben02
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For some reason I feel like there's something wrong with me that I don't really like this beer. "Eye of the Hawk" is just a cool name. The logo on the bottle of a red hawk conveys respectability, and the brewery's crest gives a sense of authority. On top of that, this is a higher-alcohol offering from the brewery, and boozier is better, right?

The first impression sure is good, with deep reddish copper color and a fluffy white head. The aroma is less impressive, with the malty sweetness and hints of dried fruit up front giving way a boozy fragrance that is almost like a fortified wine. The flavor is again skewed towards the malty side, the beer having a dry sweetness, and the alcohol is again apparent on the finish. The body is a bit thin, which helps this beer go down easier than it would seem with the boozy character.

The overall impression is much like a mild barleywine that is a little young, and therefore needs to rest for a couple of months to calm some of the alcohol heat. Like I said, Mendocino did a good job setting the stage for this to be a success with the name and branding, but it just doesn't deliver.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle in Chimay chalice

A: Pours a transparent brownish red with a white head that barely hangs around. A nice amount of lacing as it goes down.

S: there is an assertive bombardment of malts on the nose. Little to no hop presence. A slight presence of alcohol on the tail end. Notes of molasses and dark fruits.

T: Like the nose, there is a very dominant malt presence. The initial taste is very sweet which transforms into heat from the alcohol. The alcohol is not overwhelming for 8%, but it is definitely present. This beer is pretty straight forward with sweet malts and alcohol to follow. It lacks balance.

M: this is thin, sticky, and a bit sharp on the tongue

D: in my opinion, this is an unbalanced malt bomb which takes away drinkability points. It does come at a very reasonable price (6.99/6pk),however it is not something I can see myself drinking a lot of.

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Photo of droomyster
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with a small tan head. Smells sweet, strong aromas of toffee and Turkish coffee. Flavors are heavy on the sweet, caramely malts, insufficiently backed by whatever sort of hops it has. It tastes pretty good if I think of it as a winter warmer or non-sessionable, post-dinner ale.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.48/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz. brown bottle, chilled, served in a pint glass. No freshness date.

Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a 1/4" of white head that settles quickly. No sign of lacing.

Aroma smells of amped up cereal malts and caramel. Possibly a twinge of wet cardboard.

Flavor is bitter and hot. Pale malt base is overwhelmed with old earthy hops. There is a white bread and yeast taste on the finish. This tastes like some of the strong euro lagers I reviewed a while back just to try things from other countries. It tastes pretty aweful.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body, low in carbonation. Drinkability is poor. I really wish I hadn't been tempted by the 12 pack on sale. Not worth the $12.99 I paid. Hopefully it's just a freshness issue and this might taste better from the brewery.

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Photo of Pinto21
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Low head on the pour, about 1 finger. Light amber color to it. Kinda pale ale like.

Alcohol aroma, but not off putting or powerful. Some sweet honeyesk malt to it.

Pale malt taste. Some herbal/citrus hops. a bit of alcohol too. Semi-sweet, not too much though. A touch of yeastyness too.

Pretty drinkable for 8%

Well crafted solid drinking ale. Not great but solid.

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Photo of NeutroMan
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy rusty dark amber color with a half-finger foamy white head that recedes rather quickly.

Smell: There's a lot going on here, I'll try to break it down. Malts are very conspicuous, pretty sweet and caramel-y. Some fruitiness, too, mostly raisin, plum, pear and maybe some pomegranate.

Taste: Sweet malts hit you hard up front. Fruity esters are consistent with the smell, with pear, plum, and some green apple, too. Wonderful, resiny hops linger on the tongue. Alcohol is definitely present, but doesn't detract from this excellent beer.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth and well-structured. Not a lot of carbonation, but this one has been sitting on the shelf for over a year, so that may have something to do with it.

Drinkability: Very high, especially considering the robustness and complexity of this brew. I'm bummed this is my last one; this offering from Mendocino will definitely be on the list for the next beer run.

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Photo of BraveUlysses
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: thin, foamy head that disappears rather quickly with a yellowy gold color that is only a tiny bit cloudy.

Aroma: smells slightly of hops with a hint of Belgian flavors and almost has a scent of a lager style beer.

Taste: Very well-balanced with the hops bitterness coming late in the taste but well mixed with a sweetness at the same time. Subtle malt character helps with balance.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying. Right about where a beer should be (depending what you're looking for of course).

Drinkability: Excellent...this is the type of beer that is very tasty and can warrant the drinking of a full six-pack in one evening. Also, the 8.0% alcohol is very sneaky...drinks more like a 6.5% ABV, although there's a slight warming from the alcohol after each sip. Very solid beer.

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Photo of albern
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a bit boozy, and it really lingers into the aftertaste. The ABV is not particularly well hidden so beware. The beer pours a fairly clear dark copper amber color with a slightly creamy head, some lacing, some retention. The nose has a full bouquet of sweet malts, florals, sweet caramel notes, a tiny bit of chickory cherry aromas. The bready nose is very nice.

The taste is a tad sharp, with lots of boozy soaked florals, some caramel flavors, a medium body, and just too much alcohol in the finish to be a crowd pleaser for me. The beer is very sweet, maybe a touch cloyingly so, with warming alcohol notes and just too much booziness too. This strong ale is a bit too sweet and a bit too full of the ABV for my tastes.

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Photo of Amalak
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got as part of a variety 12 pack.
A- Rusty color to it, No real bubbles, but a good foamy head and lacing.
S- Slight malt taste to it, but not too powerful.
T- Very malty taste to it. Fairly dry taste. I really can decipher anything else to it. Leave a tinglyness in the mouth. Not impressed, even if it's not bad. I just don't think that there's anything special about this beer.

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Photo of jbennett1919
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a nice lingering two finger head.

Smells of biscuits, bread, caramel and malts.

The taste presents lots of bread and caramel flavored malts, with a hint of nuttiness and raisin. The alcohol is detectable but not so obvious that it detracts from the flavor.

The mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy and sweet, but not so bad that I do not enjoy the beer.

I rather like this beer. I would not want to make a session of this ale or drink probably more than two in one sitting, but I would not hesitate to pickup another 6er of this beer.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Light brown/amber coloring with not a great amount of head and only a little lacing

Smell: Not sure exactly what the smell is but it seems to be more of a nutty smell, but not particularly good. It also has a hint of citrus to it but not much.

Taste: Again a nutty flavor with a good amount of alcohol present. It does have a decent taste but nothing that is exceptional.

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Photo of northaustin
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pilsener glass (i know its inappropriate but i had no fresh glasses).
pours a clear copper with about two fingers of white head that disappears quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

just a sweet smell. not really anything to write home about. a bit of heat on the nose but it isnt so heavy and is actually kind of nice.

taste doesnt have much besides sweetness either. there is a nice balance in the beginning when it first hits the mouth, but when its goin down all i can taste is the sweet.

mouthfeel is guess what????
not so sticky that its unenjoyable but just sticky.

the beer is very sessionable. fans of beers that are sweet but not over the top sweet should really enjoy this beer. the 8% abv is masked very well and i enjoy it.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours an orange-red color with a small, quickly disappearing off-white head, no lacing. Aroma is caramel malts, raisins, honey, and a touch of alcohol but kinda weak overall. Flavor is similar, caramel malts, a touch of grain, pear, alcohol, and a touch of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is fairly lively with a weird metallic/alcoholic finish, medium body. Not a bad beer but not great.

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Photo of ThickestHead
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled pint glass.
Comes a light copper hue, mostly clear just a touch of haze. Gave me a thin off-white head with spotty lacing.
Smells of a fruity apple scent and some caramel malts.
Tastes malty and doughy yet not really all that 'sweet'. Has a kind of astringent thing going on but the alcohol is still hidden.
It's a smooth, medium body that still manages to be grainy somehow. A little under carbonated IMHO.
I like this stuff and will certainly try it again. Nice brew.

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Photo of Thur123
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle into a Val-Dieu snifter

a- A dark ruby amber color. A little white head formed but did not last. Slow carbonation that seems to be rather flat.

s- A malty kid of cherry smell. Sweet with maybe some dates and liqouice.

glug glug glug
t- Slightly toasty malts with some heavy sweetness and a bit of the alcohol taste as well. Pretty good, balanced and drinkable.

m- A little think and heavy for my palate but still good. Could use a little more carbonation by my taste.

Good, also it has a good amount of hooch in it, which I like and admire. Sessionable and tastey and deadly. would drink again.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear deep amber color. The head is an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma caramelized malt, candied apples, grapefruit, and citrus. This aroma has good complexity, and good intensity. But overall I like it, because it keeps me thinking. The taste is hoppier than the aroma. There is still considerable malt, but the hop bitterness and taste are thoroughly in charge. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with carbonation that I think is slightly too high for the style, but it doesn't really get in the way. Overall, this is a nice beer, but I hesitate to call it good.

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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

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Photo of wd40
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the recommendation of a friend. I found it lacked much in the way of a nose. The alcohol was not all that well hidden and that made me not want to finish it. Hops were present but not particularly interesting or worthy of note. Very average beer

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

A: Normal, a lot like Sam Adams. Nothing special though.
S: Sweet, nutty and biscuity. Kind of like syrup and biscuits for you guys who grew up in the the deeep south.
T: The taste isn't as good as it smells. I was sorely displeased and wished I had chosen something different....I almost don't like it.
M: Eh...about the same...nothing special. I'd rather have a Sam Adams.
D: I could drink it all night...I could also drink water all night, I'd prefer this because of the buzz.

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Photo of illidurit
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Golden orange with a lot of small sediment floating around. Nice thick light beige head leaves a bit of lacing. Aroma is rather ESB-like, with cookie-ish malt and earthy hops. Not a lot of strength for an 8% beer. Flavor is pale and crystal malty with iced tea notes and a cookie sweetness that comes on mid-palate. Finish is watery and metallic. Thinnish body, a little astringent, very dry. Inoffensive but boring. Just about what you'd expect from a Mendocino beer.

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Photo of BeerMark
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company pours a dark amber with a very small head. The smell is of bread and malts. Taste is pleasant with a nice combination of malts, caramel, and hops. A well balanced beer and not a hopbomb. I find this beer quite nice and I could sit down with a few.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance, via the weak head retention is not up to par with rest of beer. Pours hazy amber with a tan head with mostly small tight bubbles. Head retention is poor.
Has fruity aroma with some raisens (?) in it.
Taste is malty smooth and yeasty with a mild tang and a little bitter at the finish.
Mouthfeel is light on carbonation and hops. Creamy.
Only my first but easier to drink than any beer I have ever had with this high an ABV (8%). The high alcohol content is well masked in the complexity of the malt hop abundance and balance.

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Photo of PsychoJedi
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a filmy copper color with little head. The smell is a crisp fruity smell that is not too strong or not too weak. The taste is like the smell: fruity that is not too strong and not too weak. There is a little after taste, but nothing a true bear drinker would frown at. I could drink a good bit of this. Verdict: try it.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 966 ratings.
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