White Hawk Original IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
White Hawk Original IPAWhite Hawk Original IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

860 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 860
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 14.97%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 860 | Reviews: 532
Photo of pat61
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours copper tinted amber with a slight haze under a 2” cream colored foam collar.
S: Perfumey American hop aromas balanced by fruit, alcohol and rum.
T: Starts with maltuy bready sweetness and a little grapefruit from the hops that lingers into the finish.
F: Medium body and carbonation.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.87/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It pours as light gold with a finger's worth of foam. Nice lacing ensues.

The nose has good balance to it. Flowery hop mild bitters mixed with caramel malt.

The bitterness from the hops is sharp but tempered by malt. It's actually more bitter, flowery-herbal, than I expected from the smell. There's grapefruit hitting my palate but it's sharing duties with herbal and flower like bitterness.

The malt comes across as lightly sweet with some biscuit.

Good mouthfeel, good drinkability. Good IPA.

Photo of CHickman
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasting Notes from May 2010: noting 7% ABV, it's a good strong IPA that's tasty overall. Pours a hazy orange amber color with a massive 2 finger foamy/cloudy white head that lasted a while; good lacing slides down the glass after a little while. Smells of floral hops, citrus hops, flowers, orange peel, grapefruit and sweet malt; nice fragrant hoppy nose. Tastes like it smells with floral hops, citrus hops, flowers, orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, caramel, light grass, faint spices and some sweet malt - tasty IPA with a nice hoppy flavor and balance between the malt and hops. Some light alcohol in the sweet malty finish, but this is really enjoyable. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and on the oily side with a medium body, light carbonation and a very nice light bitter pucker at the end. Highly drinkable, very enjoyable as it has everything in the IPA checklist.

2015 Note: I should revisit this since everyone else on BA scores this much lower and just "okay", but according to my 2010 review I did enjoy this brew.

Photo of McAfee85
2.32/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Expected more...somewhat cloudy with a slight citrus smell. Initial hoppy taste then turns flat with bitterness after.

Photo of GFM
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Spiegelau IPA glass. Pours a slightly hazy copper color with two fingers of dense head. Resilient lacing formed an intricate scatter pattern. Sweet caramel-like scent. Sweetness prevalent in the taste. Hides the hop bitterness. Hop flavor a bit too muted for me. (7.5)

Photo of Bali_hi
4.4/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Keg of white hawk drank.

Photo of jooler
2.16/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Has a nice initial hoppy taste then it just goes flat and tastes like a lager. I'm confused

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy dark orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, biscuit, light toffee, herbal, floral, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, caramel, biscuit, light toffee, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, biscuit, light toffee, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very solid IPA. Good complexity and robustness of citrus/pine hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of delta490
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours out a clouded orange-gold. Almost none of the foamy white head really holds up, but it leaves some lacing. The aroma is almost non-existent and the taste is in a neck-and-neck competition. There isn't really much to say about this one. It's just sort of bland.

Photo of Pegasus
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Moderately hazy golden-orange in color, with a moderate off-white head, and fine, scattered lacing.

Aroma: Fairly pronounced cascade or similar hos dominate the aroma. There is also a strong caramel malt presence, and a bit of sweet alcohol, not surprising, in light of the fairly high ABV.

Taste: Opens with robust citric and pine hops, which ride atop a solid caramel malt background. These carry the taste throughout,. Late in the taste, there is a mild surge of spicy, warming alcohol. Finishes with moderate caramel sweetness, and lingering grapefruit and pine hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very full.

Drinkability/notes: A well-made example of the style, while perhaps not great, is assuredly quite good.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a Samuel Adams Boston lager sensory glass.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Amber orange; not much head and it went away quickly; no lacing

S: Orange and lemon with a little malt

T: orange that lingers; lightly bitter finish with a little malt and orange

M: medium bodied; tingly carbonation

O: doesn't stand out to me; very little bitterness; one note;

Photo of Glennlawless
3.22/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Chilled Pint Glass.

Smell - Getting fruit notes....sweet sugariness.

Appearance - a darkish copper prance with a fluffy inch white head. not see through.

Taste and feel - Getting a lot of sweetness right off the bat...and you could detect a slight hop presence of pine, and grassy type hops.

Overall, its a decent brew. i would not rush out to get it....If you are into real citrus like west coast hop bombs this beer is not for you.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like the White Hawk...its a decent IPA....probably more English style than American style....at least to me. The beer poured a hazy copper that has a nice head and is leaving a lace. The scent carries a fresh bittering hop that is quite nice. The taste is decently balanced...maybe a bit more malty than others....but still finishes bitter. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall the White Hawk is easy drinking....and I would try this again....nice job.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange amber with a very pretty layer of white foam. Lacing is also very good. Crisp carbonation.

Smell: Brown sugar, almost with a Belgian candy note to it. Great balance of pine and grapefruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sour lemon/orange followed by a malty pine backbone. Great balance. Mouthfeel is very clean with a sudsy finish.

Overall Drinkability: Great overall IPA.

Photo of Hergestridge
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mendocino White Hawk is an excellent IPA.. The aroma fills the nostrils with the sweet Juniper crispness... A tease.. A perfect IPA that fills the drinkers appreciation of perfection that is India.. Hops... Beauty... Slight pine .. Slight Cypress.. Total Perfection..
Appearance is creamy goodness... Smell is a treat to the senses.. Taste.. A slight bitterness mixed with sweet hops.. Juniper balancing a perfection borne of the California coast.. This is a Great IPA.. and Mendocino Brewing has hit the target in spades.. Had it been a card hand.. A Royal Flush of perfection!!!..
~Carry on Citizens!!!~

Photo of a0lbudman
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Hazy copper color with an off white head that leaves a fair amount of lace
S-Pine, citrus and a slight malt
T-malt and hops at first that goes to a pine hop aftertaste that stays with you til the end
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-okay beer.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.25
Purchased: Jan. 4, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 11, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel orange semi-clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki white head. Tons of layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down.

First smells reminded me of a stronger pilsner. Overall got corn, lemon wheat grass, spruce hops, lemon rind and some pine. By the end was thinking of a stronger regular Blue Moon. Also light floral notes.

The taste was similar to the nose. Got lots of wheat, grass and corn, but also honey, sharp grapefruit rind and lots of bitterness. Not too solid.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

Just an average IPA. Nothing exceptional at all.

Photo of beertunes
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pored into straight pint glass. Poured a nice orange amber color with about 1/3 inch of just off-white head that had typical retention and lacing.

The aroma featured citrus hops upfront, with some earthy mustiness in the background. That musty scent wasn't expected or totally pleasant in this style. On the tongue, citrus and pine hops dominated, with just a bit of malt in the background.. The funk/must wasn't as apparent, but was still noticeable.

The body was typical for the style, perhaps a bit fuller and stickier than usual. Drinkability was OK, not bad, not great. Overall, pretty much an average example of the style, but perhaps a bit on the below-average side of the scale.

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Bright amber, really effervescent; big frothy cream head, long lasting

Aroma: Piney, biscuity; light citrus; dusty/metallic, but may be the glass

Taste: Hoppy bite right up front that continues to the end; creamy mouthfeel, but hops are too up front; not well balanced, and slightly astringent

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This one is quite nice, actually. Certainly not on par with other Cali IPA's, but not bad. Pours an almost orange with nice white foamy head. Smells of pine mostly without much else standing out. Taste and mouthfeel are pleasing and are in line with other really good IPA's. I'd have again, but there are clearly better options.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle enjoyed at the Hong Kong Brewhouse in Lan Kwai Fong. Not sure about the Hong Kong import market but I suspect this may be grey-market. My apologies to Mendocino if so.
(Note: I would have asked, but it was hard enough getting my order across to the lady at the bar)

Pours a pale golden colour, slight cloud. Head is dense, fluffy marshmallowy and retaining well: a thick crown of lovely lace. Looks fab.

Smells lovely; tangy. Lots of citrus with a hint of lychee and peach, with sherbet and some pine resin on the back. Lovely and enticing.

Taste is a bit lacking really. Plenty of malt, with caramel and some nutty notes- maybe marzipan and chestnut? Hops come through midway, largely resiny and a bit dank, some citrus in there. Bit of grapefruit bitterness and yeah, just slightly acidic and bitter on the back. Not really an unpleasant note in there, but there's nothing hugely enjoyable or refreshing either. All the nice, lively hop notes are aroma so maybe some more mid-level hopping would be in order?

Full body, quite bitty with a slight sharp IPA pull on the back. Not bad.

Good IPA, but lacks any of those popup great notes that make an IPA really stand out. Just a bit unbalanced maybe.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer pours a deep caramel body with a slight density. There is a wisp of beige head that is supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The soft caramel malt is dry with some biscuit malt hints.

T- The mineral water taste is followed by a soft malt hint and a big bitter finish with a slight woody pungent stain on the tongue.

M- The medium light mouthfeel has as gentle fizz in the finish.

O- This beer is a bit watery and light in flavor with all the hop character being bitterness with no other depth in the nose or taste.

Photo of CorvetteMike
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to glass orange color with nice head.
a: Orange color, 1 finger width head
s: Light citrusy smell
t: Light citrusy flavor, with very smooth good taste
m: Medium body, with no aftertaste, or bitterness
o: Smooth, good taste

Glad I sampled this beer while on vacation in Florida.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice dark orange color, pours a good head of foam with decent lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops and sweet malts.

Taste: Caramel and butterscotch malts with a grapefruit hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very creamy. The hop bitterness in the aftertaste is very low for an IPA.

The Verdict: Not bad. Sweeter and maltier than most IPAs, with a minimum of hop bitterness. Tasty and reliable, but there’s nothing to really separate it from the pack.

Photo of jmccullough108
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: poured a darker orange, brassy color. High carbonation and thick lacing that sticks around.

Smell: fruits, citrus, hint of apple

Taste: fairly dry, slightly unbalanced, bitter apple on the back end.

Mouthfeel: dry, bitter

Overall: standard IPA, not the best, not the worst.

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White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 860 ratings.