Special Edition - White Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

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Special Edition - White AleSpecial Edition - White Ale

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149 Ratings
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Ratings: 149
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 05-20-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 120
Reviews by mobyfann:
Photo of mobyfann
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $4.99 for a 6-pack at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH...

The beer pours a golden colored base with a large white head, limited head retention and a few specks of lacing throughout. The aroma is a floral mix of lemon, brown sugar, and some smokey spices (cumin, coriander?).

The taste is full of carbonation, matches with the aroma notes and feels like a hefeweizen mixed with a spicy chardonnay. Fairly easy on the mouth yet bubbly and a nice session beer if you can handle the carbonation.

Final Thought: This was a very unique beer that is most likely subject to a mass amount of scrutiny. I thought it was above average all around.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange-yellow with suspended sediment.

A lot of coriander on the nose(almost too much) with a pretty straight for orange and lemon citrus.

Zesty lemon, coriander, yeast, caramel maltiness as it warms. Banana, vanilla?

Well made beer that's easy to session and pretty true to the belgian style.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why all the mixed reviews for this beer. This is a fine summer ale, definitely one of the best I've had. In fact, this one reminds me so much of Samuel Adams Summer Ale its crazy. The smell, taste, mouthfeel... all extremely similar. I'd like to try the two side-by-side.

There's a lot of lemon & citrus in the nose, with malt underneath. The beer is a pale color, but a healthier pale, not the washed-out-sun-bleached pale of BMC. The taste is crisp, also citrusy, refreshing. Mostly malt is detectable, with very minimal hops noticeable, if at all.

I could drink this over and over. And I will, if they release it next year. A solid whitbier.

Photo of Billolick
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info. Pours into my tulip and basically looks the way a wit should, super cloudy dull and yellowy. Near white head that would be better with some longer retentive powers and then leaves a bit of none too sticky lace. This one is loaded with citric blasts of lemon flavor in the nose and then following through into the flavor. that pretty much all I experienced, more and more lemon. Lacks the complexity of the higher scoring examples of the style. Decent summer quencher.

Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewed with spices, color, and style in the Wit tradition, has the same Special Edition marking as the recent Winter Ale...Saratoga Springs, NY bottling. Very hazy light orangey yellow with suspended sediment. Head rises to 1/2 an inch for a minute. Looping ring laces. Slight citron aroma, a sense of angel food cake. Body is medium, carbonation fine in impression and slightly prickly. Fluffy cotton candy, slightly glue-ish with gentle citrus candy to accompany it. Yeasty sweet baked bread comes through at the end. No fall of in flavor, good persistence of texture as well. Though there's not a lot, more of a distinct tone of orange in the aftertaste. Pretty good rendition for style.

Photo of chinchill
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle

Clear golden body; lots of visible carbonation.

Feel: very crisp, lively carbonation. Medium body is surprisingly ful for style.

Spicy aroma.

Flavorful with a bit too much coriander; Some lime peel flavor; spicy; mildly bitter; fanitly tart.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.57/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This milky-cloudy brew is the color of pineapple juice with maybe a splash of OJ added, and the head is a two finger starch white affair that shows nice retention. Some wet foamy lace is left on the glass too. This brew is one of the cloudiest that I've ever seen! Nice!

S - Orange and lemon rind, lemonade, spring-fresh laundry detergent, and lots of yeast. Lemon chiffon pie, lemon bars (those cookie-like things), and pina colada mix. There are some hints of spicy clove and white pepper too. This smells outstandingly fresh ...like laundry hung out to dry on a beautiful spring day.

T - Wow! Spicy, tangy, lemon rind and orange peel jump out of the glass and on top my tongue! This reminds me of a lemon shake up that you can buy while waiting in line for the Raging River ride at Six Flags! This is peppery, citrusy, and fresh...like lemonade infused with pepper and cloves. There are some lemongrass hops and loads of really fruity yeast notes too. This tastes like on of those stick-candy things with the spirals on them (the kind that they sell at Amish shops)...nobody probably knows what the hell I'm talking about, but this tastes like those things.

M - Medium bodied, with some candle wax heft on the palate, and playful carbonation. The finish is off-dry and extremely thirst quenching. As the dryness fades, a waxy feel (probably due to the high yeast content) makes this a really pleasing brew.

D - I wasn't expecting much when I cracked this one...I thought that it would be some approximation of a kolsch or basic summery lager, and I was extremely pleased to see that it's a wit...I friggin' love wits when the weather is right and today is beautiful and warm. A perfect brew for sittin' on the deck with the dog and soaking in the springtime sun. This beer has really impressed me, and I'll surely try to find a sixer of this again this summer!

Note: Next time I go on a cruise I'm sneakin' some of this quality brew aboard. Perfect for sitting on the deck for a day at sea!

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

Mmm. This cloudy, unfiltered Belgian-style spiced ale is
characteristically bold, rich, and complex. Hints of citrus,
coriander, and clove, and nicely zesty and strong, yet still
well-balanced. Mendocino's White Ale is not one to chug, but for a
sipper, this one's a treat. Forget the diets and try one of these.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medocino's White Ale offers the typical hazy golden body and bright white head. The aroma displays coriander, delicately sugary sweetness, and a hint of orange-like and lemony citrus. In the mouth it's light bodied and crisp. The flavor offers a bit of tartness not commonly found, and in combination with the carbonation and coriander it's got a real zing! Echoes of corainder and orange peel reverberate in the finish, along with a thin film of sticky malt and some receeding tartness. Superbly refreshing, and very interesting! And although this is a lighter style, it's absolutely packed with flavor. Very well done!

Photo of cjgator3
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy pale light golden yellow color. The aroma is sweet with some wheat, a lot of orange peel and some coriander. Very nice. The taste is a little on the tart side with orange peel and other citrusy notes with some spices mixed in. The mouthfeel is light bodied and heavily carbonated, very prickly. Overall, this is a pretty solid Wit that is crisp and refreshing on a warm Florida summer day. Worth a shot.

Photo of tempest
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hear this is the same as the old Mendocino Summer Ale. Whatever. The appearance is good with pale yellow malts, a fluffy white head, and a bit of yeast clouding the body. Beyond the normalcy of how it looks, this is a very American interpretation of the style for it's lack of subtlety. The yeast character, the driving force in any wit, has overpowering spicy phenols with clove, white chocolate and pepper. These are a nice combinations of flavors, but they're too strong and unbalanced. Basically this beer is turned up to 12. Worth trying if you like bold wit's, otherwise stick to the classics.

Photo of UncleFlip
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice pale yellow with honey overtones, a bit hazy. Fluffy two-finger head (I have big fingers) slowly fades away, leaving a sparse wet lace behind.

Smell is all about a thin, pungent spice- it barks like a wit. This particular sample seems to have hit it relatively on the nose- no pun intended.

Not as flavorful as I'd hoped. On first taste, I feel like I'm struggling to find the estery clove, lemon, and banana. they hit a few seconds in , but fade pretty quickly. At the end, there's a woodiness in the back of the mouth.

In the mouthfeel, the most consistent thing is a low, tight carbonation. It never swells up and takes center stage. That leaves the liquid feel to take the proverbial spotlight. It's just a little slimy up front, but average from there out- maybe just a tad heavier than one would expect of it.

It's an easy drink- but perhaps too easy. One could drink a bunch of these in a night, but I'd think a person would get a little bored with it. Good to drink on a hot day -in- the shower after mowing the lawn. :)

Be well

Photo of bashiba
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a milky yellow with a thick long lasting head, good lacing.

Smell had a nice bit of citrus, pepper,and corriander, with some minor yeast notes.

Taste had a light grainey body with hints of lemon, orange, corriander, pepper, and fresh wheat.

Mouthfeel was crisp and very carbonated.

Overall a pretty good wit. Easy to drink and refreshing in the summer, a nice session beer.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dull end of the day sun in color; active carbonation and particles of yeast moving around the glass. The aroma is sweet and powerful—wheat, coriander, even some freshed cracked pepper noted. A robust wheat malt and fresh lemon 1-2 punch. Decent carbonation, the body is sweet and sour; kisses of black pepper and orange peel. The finish is dry, yeasty notes towards the bottom. A true thirst quencher, and a good beer to boot!

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy yellow with an absolutely massive white head that is very fluffy and sticky. actually too much head for me, its pretty hard to pour this in one pour even with the gentlest pour you can muster. Leaves some grea tlacing down the glass.

Smells primarily of wheat, fairly light, with some nice hints of citrus, lemon and orange. A bit of coriander, and some noticeable spice. Nice aroma, a bit light, though.

Taste follows suit, but has a bit more spice and some more coriander to it. The lemony citrus also makes itself a bit more noticeable in the flavor. Nice tasting brew.

This beer had a lot going for it, but the body really threw it off for me. It looked fairly carbonated from the pour and the head, but this is just ridiculous. The carbonation level is so high that the beer is at times difficult to drink. Makes it much less drinkable and enjoyable than it should have been.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Inflatablechair came over on the 4th with a nice mix 6'er... I enjoyed one of these bottles early in the night... and thought I had the last .. but tonight I found the remaining bottle in the back of the top shelf of the fridge.. Thanks Sam... Mendocino is a wild card for me.. I appreciate the leftover.. Poured into my shaped SA glass....

I only want a beer or two tonight.. Moving sprinklers around and found this Wit.

1" head... good lace and a pretty nice cap.. the brew is pale ... very very pale gold..

The nose is pretty phenolic for a Wit.. alot... really alot of yeasty spiciness.. a little peppery.. but more coriander is making my nostrils pay attention.

Flavor has all the above with a pithy citric element.. I like the yeasty notes most good Wit's provide.. but on the palate.. this one is coming up significantly short.. it seems to try and make up for the shortcomings from the brewing process and brewing recipe.. with spice additions..

The body may be on the heavy side.. and the carbonation may be a tad light... but.. overall.... despite my above reservations.... Mendocino has a pretty descent summer session... but it seems a little to close to so many other average Wits in the same zone.


Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yellow in color with tons of carbonation and a huge fizzy white head that let down quickly. Aroma is light banana, clove and citrus, nice and light and airy with touches of lemon zest and fresh spice as it warms. Very clean taste, perfect hints of citrus and spice layered on the banana based malts. Quick, clean, light and very drinkable.

Photo of cubedbee
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy lemon yellow with a thin white head that vanishes quickly. Aroma is a nice strong spicy coriander over a lemon/grapefruit citrus. Taste is almost all spices--there's a brief hint of the citrus flavors upfront but they are quickly overtaken by a sharp coriander which leaves a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. The carbonation level of this beer seems pretty low for a Wit---just not enough to lift the spices of my tongue and keep the drink refreshing. This is decent beer that I would easily drink in a pinch, but there's just nothing that makes me want to buy another.

Photo of Brent
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy gold, with a good deal of spice in the aroma. A bit on the light and thin side in mouthfeel, but I imagine that is intended in a summer ale. Spicing is quite prominent - some orange peel in the background, but corriander is dominant, calling to mind spiced tea. One is pleasant and refreshing, but too much spicing to make this a session.

Photo of plaid75
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was very yeasty and wheaty with elements of coriander, lemon zest and orange peel.

The taste was very yeasty and wheaty with a nice spicy coriander and bitter lemon flavor.

The mouthfeel was a mildly chewy, yet still light.

Overall a very tasty summer ale or year round witbier. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of auxiliary
3.01/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

appearance - Cloudy dull yellow color. Nice head when poured, but then settled to a small poind. 2% lace on this , if any.

smell - Orange, lemon, some sour smells here, maybe lime.

taste - Has a tangy taste to it, lemond zest, some limes, spices. has a mild-sour taste at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium bodied

drinkability - This is a Wit? Not worth a try, I'm not digging the sour taste here.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very, very light yellow, near white in color. Very cloudy and murky. Smell is all skunk and spice. Taste is very spicy. Way too much coriander, and I mean WAY too much. Mouthfeel is very good. Velvety smooth on the front, then a nice bite from the spice on the finish. Pretty interesting style.

Photo of nickynick
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Mendocino white poured a nice cloudy light amber, with a nice white head, and good lacing. It had a classic white ale look. Smell was full of citrus, with a hint of yeast. The taste had hints of bread. A good amount of citrus flavors. I found the taste a bit on the sweet side, and lacking spice a little bit. Mouthfeel was ok, it lacked a little of the carbonation I am looking for in a white ale. Drinkability was good. Overall I found this a decent white ale. It was an ok version of the style. Nothing I would go out of my way for, but would not turn one down.

Photo of Zorro
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale yellow beer with a tall white head, like it is supposed to look.

Spicy and aromatic with a strong coriander and orange aroma. Powdery yeast and a lot of spicy phenols from the yeast. Not the best but the aroma is way up there.

In the first sip this is powdery and yeasty more than spicy, but the spice is in there too. Standard orange and coriander flavor here with a dry finish to the beer.

Mouthfeel is Good.

Not bad similar to Blue Moon but not the best. Perfectly fine for summer salads and lawn mowing.

Photo of GbVDave
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours an opaque pear nectar color with lots of suspended sediment. Topping this was one dense finger of creamy, bright-white foam that featured good retention. Lacing was minimal.

S: Yeast and coriander loom large here, as does citrus and a bit of toasted wheat.

T: The citrus of the nose steps it up and clobbers the other "Wit" flavors into oblivion...wearing out its' welcome in the process.

M: A little too on the tart side for the style, for me. A bit too thin also.

D: Not horrible in the least, but a bit meh.

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Special Edition - White Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.