Eye of the Hawk | Mendocino Brewing Company

967 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: 967 |  Reviews: 491
Photo of bifrostguard
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear light amber color with a quickly dissipating off white head. Some carbonation bubbles rising throughout.

S - Sweet caramel malt, yeast, hops.

T - Mild tasting with sweet malts running the show. Balanced out nicely with some hop hop presence to give it only a mildly sweet finish. Alcohol is detectable as well as some yeasty flavors.

M - Thin

D - Less filling and although not remarkable it tastes good as well. Not great, but not bad considering the low price and high ABV. Once those things are considered, I will be having this one again.

 555 characters

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

clear amber, similar to red tail ale. very short head fades to a ring and leaves thinly scattered lace.

sweet and fruity (guava? fresh plums), some brown sugar, apple cider. the smells are subdued at first but improve and increase markedly as the brew warms.

a take 'er easy brew, but an easy brew to drink. flavor follows aroma, plus caramelized bread crust. something like a fruity, sweeter ale version of a maibock. then mild citric bitterness carries into the lingering finish. mid-palate it's also reminiscent of certain rums.

medium body, but with a syrupy quality. low carbonation but it's not sorely missed.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce bottle poured into an Imperial pint willi becher glass yields a clear tangerine-tinted copper body with a thin cap of fine-bubbled foam the hue of ivory, tinted with a little orange. The head recedes rather quickly, but the brew leaves legs on the glass, along with a bit of spotty lacing.

The smell is toasty malts with caramel, dark fruit, and a solid, spicy whiff of alcohol.

The taste is malty-sweet with a hint of plums, a semisweet pale/caramel malty backbone and a fair bit of peppery alcohol that brings a warming sensation to the drinker.

The drink is on the full side of medium-bodied with sparse carbonation and a silky feel. Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of SouthLoopSuds
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light Brown to Amber color, creamy head.

S: Raisins and other fruit.

T: Bold with hops, tangy with a bit of a bite, a bitter after taste.

MF: Full

D: Not bad, but a little too bitter for my taste. perhaps the strong alcohol content over powers the rest of the flavors. I probably wouldn't reach for another six pack of it.

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

Poured into pint glass from bottle with no DBD. Appearance is a clear, rich amber color topped by a thin white head. The head falls to a thin crown. The aroma is sweet and malty with some accompanying fruits, grape and orange.

The taste is very good, sweet caramel with strong hop flavor. It is very tangy. The mouthfeel is rich and medium bodied with good tartness. This is an easy drinker, pretty smooth.

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Photo of Overlord
2.19/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I am somewhat shocked by the high reviews.

Pours a golden orange. Small white foam head. Smells weird. Sweetened grass? This is a strong ale?

Taste is bad. Almost like a chemical sweetness. Obliterates any malt or hops there might be. Rancid aftertaste. Somewhat watery.


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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear deep amber hue with a very thin off white head that settles to almost nothing.

Lots of caramel and raisins in the aroma, along with a little bit of alcohol.

Toasty malts with a little bit of brown sugar mixed in. Light hop flavors, with some warming alcohol. Full bodied with decent carbonation. The finish is the lingering caramelized malts.

Not a bad strong ale. Hard to say how it should be since it's a Strong Ale, and not really a specific style. It reminds me a bit of an Old Ale. Recommended.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an attractive amber-brown, with a creamy white head.

S: Lots of fruit, I want to say like red grapes and maybe pears. Hints of sweet malts.

T: A splash of rich and sweet malts at first, then followed with a fruity hop character that is quite lively. The hops recall orange rind, and spice flavors like allspice. The finish has an odd sour/yeasty flavor that brings to mind sourdough. A sort of dryly alcoholic background is present throughout, certainly owing to the 8% abv.

M: Fairly clean and full-bodied. Carbonation is on the active side, finishes a bit dry.

D: This one is tasty and certainly unique, but with such a pronounced hop/orange rind presence and an 8% abv, it's really not the first thing I'd reach for on a hot day.

 749 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.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt orange color, some off white head. Slight floral aroma. Really malty, slight nutty & biscuity, but mostly sweet. Has a strong kicker bite to it that I didn't need and reduced drinkability for me. One of these was plenty for me. Just a little too sweet and strong tasting to keep me coming back.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A warm and deep amber... a few shades above brown sugar. About half a finger of white head, almost no retention.

S: Sweet and sugary. A yeasty aroma and some touches of alcohol spiciness.

T + M: Sweet, a bit spicy and sticky. The flavour is a little hot, but rich. enough that it would mellow out fairly nicely. A bit of a "watered down barleywine" quality to it in some ways. Fortunately, it doesn't go so far as to become cloying and hard to drink.

D: Does alright, as implied above. At a bigger 8%, it's not a swigger, but not too shabby. Worthy of another round.

 575 characters

Photo of jwinship83
2.73/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- amber in color with a quickly vanishing head.

S- very malty and sweet. no trace of alcohol. very mild.

T- like a barleywine, but a bad one. kind of syrupy, mild fruit taste, and a bitter medicinal aftertaste.

M- kind of syrupy and no CO2 issues

D- the rather bad taste makes me never want to try this again, but it wasnt terrible or anything and i had no trouble finishing it.

 385 characters

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

Deep clear auburnish orange with a big lid of fairly creamy beige coloring. It comes through with good strength bringing caramel and toasted malts with some dark fruit and butterscotch. Herbal-spicy hops in moderation. It's not bad, kind of like a lightish barleywine, but it's not really complex either. Better than most Mendocino brews.

 338 characters

Photo of kinger
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one to normally turn down a good seasonal I quickly grabbed a sixer. Pours a medium dark bronze color with strong carbonation and a surprisingly ample head that leaves little lacing. Aroma is a sturdy mixture of slightly bitter hops and sweet malt, could be stronger. Slightly full mouthfeel with a biting finish. The flavor is questionable. I like a strong beer with lots of bite, but this one is on and off again with me. There is a dominant malt presence and an equally dominate hop presence that leads to a balance which is good but the high abv really tends to interfere. If this one gets too warm it really becomes tough to get down. Overall I did like this strong ale but I have to be ready for it and in the proper mood to thoroughly enjoy it.

 755 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a pint glass. Hazy brownish orange in texture with just a bit of lace.

S. Malts and not much else.

T. A smooth malty note, some mineral water and metallic tinges. The slightest notion of earthy hop. Not bad but not very good either.

M. Medium bodied and smooth and crisp.

D. Went down very easily, quite drinkable I would say.

Overall: A decent effort but I will not be seeking this out again.

 420 characters

Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a hefty brew. The amber color is medium dark like you would expect from this type of strong ale. The bottled version has very little head when poured into a cool glass, but it gives off a pleasant but subtle nose. The taste is good, with a mild sweetness on the palate followed by a mildly bitter finish, not especially hoppy for a strong ale. The best feature of this brew is a lovely mouthfeel, which is thick, smooth, and seems to expand gracefully in your mouth. This combination makes it a great beer to drink one glass slowly, but it's too heavy to go for more.

 575 characters

Photo of glid02
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold color with a hint of amber when you hold it up to the light. There's not much of a head.

The smell is malty with a good amount of sweetness.

The taste is decently sweet with a slightly metallic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. The beer is pretty thick and it goes down smoothly.

The drinkability is good. It's smooth enough and the sweetness isn't overpowering.

This beer is a great deal - 6 bucks for a sixer. It's a good go-to beer when the wallet is a little thin.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured a very foamy, lingering thick head on an amber body. Smell was definitely sweet, with some soft floral tones, both of which came through strong in the taste. Caramel also prevalent. Had a medium hop bitterness, but a mouth-coating aftertaste that just hung on really, really powerfully. Wasn't terrible, but it was mighty strong. Nice, except that aftertaste.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Reddish ice-tea color, thin creamy off white head.

S: Pleasant fruity caramel aroma with a touch of citrus.

T: Starts out sweet, but finishes with a big dry floral hop bite with some sourness. Thins out in the end and leaves a bitter sour hop tang and coating on tongue. There was some alcohol burn on the back of the throat.

M: Creamy caramel, oily texture, good maltiness and mouthful with a bitter hop finish.

D: Moderate drinkability.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown body with an orange tint supports two fingers of a light tan head with a texture that is too soda-like. For all its initial lather, the retention is all-too brief, and the lacing non-existent. Solid malty aromas--caramel, molasses, a bit of berry, chocolate. Fine and somewhat complex taste, bring the aromas present to the fore in the flavor. There is a somewhat nutty flavor that is enjoyable. However, despite a nice, creamy taste, the texture is rather thin for what I like in a strong ale. Perhaps more hops would do the trick, rounding out mouthfeel. Good and smooth, this is easy to consume.

Not the best strong ale, but not exactly a disappointment either. Good and worth trying.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Pours a deep hazy golden color with a thin head. Spotty lacing throughout. Nice bottle conditioned carbonation yields a constantly refreshed surface.

Smells of piney hops and damp peat, feathering into carbonated hop oils. Taste was initially unimpressive but improved quickly. Butterscotch malt up front with nice roasted malt complexity in the finish, ever so slightly chewy and with a bit of hops. Feel and drinkability surprised me given the ABV, or I guess I should say, the ABV surprised me given the drinkability! I was half way through before I looked up, thinking I had an APA in my glass.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden orange, little head, which dissipates fast. Little carbonation is present too.

S - Peach, honey, cardamom, pear, and light alcohol.

T - Pretty much the same as above, less the alcohol. Note, the pear is not acetyl tasting.

M - Pscked with fruit flavor, yet great. No alcohol or warming presence.

D - Such a deceiving beer. Boasts flavors for session beers, yet has the alcohol presence to kick your butt.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish amber color with an off-white head that forms into a ring of lace. The aroma is very malty with some dark fruits and alcohol. The taste is pretty thick and syrupy with a big malty base with some hops coming through in the finish and a long warming sensation from the high ABV. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with a moderate level of carbonation. Overall, Eye of the Hawk is a pretty decent brew that is worth a shot.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Deep clear copper, with a small 1/4 inch head that dissipated quickly to nothing, leaving no lace. Somewhat expected with high ABV.

S - Caramel, butterscotch, toffee, and a hint of raisin all hit me at once. Deep, rich, and brilliant.

T - Big sweet malt that grows from early to mid palate, filled with dark baked bread, almonds, caramel, brown sugar, and hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Begins drying out late palate, with a quick burst of earthy hops. Slight bitterness and alcohol in the aftertaste, though alcohol is well hidden.

M - Moderate carbonation with a nice light to medium body. A little less carbonation may have brought out the malt fully, but may also have rendered this brew a bit cloying.

D - I could probably get through a few of these very easily. A little on the sweet side, and definitely a bit strong, it's still a flavorful and light enough beer to have a few of.

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Photo of kevinglin
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a straight sided glass. No date on the bottle.

Amber colored, very clear with an off-white head that didn't stick around too long.

A bready, malt aroma with a bit of woody spice. Taste followed suit, with a mild hop bite in the aftertaste and a bit of warming from the 8% ABV.

Medium body with somewhat of a slick mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer, not my favorite. If you like malty beers, you will probably like this one.

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Eye of the Hawk from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 967 ratings.
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