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White Hawk Original IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
White Hawk Original IPAWhite Hawk Original IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

830 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 830
Reviews: 525
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of White Hawk Original IPA Alström Bros
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Ratings: 830 | Reviews: 525 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnBeerRun
1/5  rDev -70.1%

JohnBeerRun, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of t420o
1.25/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A- This is a carbonation bomb. Loud pop when opened. Poured very gently produced a massive head that took up half of the pint glass. Beer is gold in color.

S- Alcohol, euro metallic twang, cheap adjunct filled lager-type scent, a slight bitter hop scent

T- Alcohol, some floral hops, metallic taste, adjunct taste. Poor effort

M- Way over carbonated and light. About the worst mouthfeel I've ever had in a beer.

O- Not 1 redeeming quality about this beer. I've had better offering from Mendocino brewing and enjoyed several of them. I would never bash a brewery or beer for no reason, but this was a piss poor representation of an IPA or even a beer in general. I sincerely hope that this 6 pack was an off batch or something, but I will never try another in my life to find out. If their were negative points I would give them for this overall effort and drinkability. I deserve my $$ back

t420o, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of jamex
1.4/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle. Purchased a single 12oz bottle from Trader Joe's.

S - This had a mild IPA smell and immediately I thought it might make a good (and cheap) session beer. Had some WC IPA smells but they were pretty faint (some citrus, a little pine, etc.)

T - Brought me back to my cheap beer phase in college. Didn't really resemble an IPA at all in the typical sense. There were some hints of citrus and barely some pine dust, but a lot of malt that was unpleasantly bitter. Heinous.

Needless to say, I couldn't even finish the bottle and poured it. Save your money and go somewhere else when looking for an IPA (if at Trader Joe's, get the Anderson Valley instead).

jamex, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of mwar
1.5/5  rDev -55.2%

mwar, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of rastaman
1.58/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Quite thin and short. Green hops, some grapefruit, tinny, bitter, rough and ugly. Re rate, still shit, but even worse this time. nasty metallic crap. I really thought Mendocino would be a lot better, given the high scores, i remain still quite dissapointed with the brewery.

rastaman, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of skybluewater
1.7/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a fairly standard gold color. Not much smell here, maybe a bit of grapefruit. The taste is truly dreadful, more like turpentine than beer (I poured this one down the drain-probably won't need to buy Drano for a while!).

Overall, pretty bad beer here. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but there's no date that I can see on it, so there's no way to tell how old it is. I'm avoiding this one forever.

skybluewater, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Schwab
1.73/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Orange-ish color, seemed slightly unfiltered (def not 100% clear), absolutely NO head when pouring from the bottle into the glass.

S: Smell was ok, nothing outstanding. IPA

T: Not so sure about it. I think the hop flavor was very unbalanced. I did not enjoy the flavor at all. Just because it has 7% ABV doesn't mean it has to turn out like this.

M: Beer was more or less uncarbonated. You could see the bubbles coming up, but there was absolutely no mouth feel in regards to carbonation. It was somewhat taken over (assuming there was some) by the unbalanced hop aroma.

D: Not sure how to describe it. I think it was not very good by any means it is not going down too easy since it has an add taste to it

Schwab, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of Jamstone714
1.75/5  rDev -47.8%

Jamstone714, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of jkane101
1.75/5  rDev -47.8%

jkane101, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of PopnLoads
1.75/5  rDev -47.8%

PopnLoads, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of HardTarget
1.88/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Mendocino White Hawk IPA
Bottle Inspection: Mostly marketing blurb about the history of IPA. Does list 7% abv., but no date

Aroma: Wet grainy base sticks through the floral and earthy hops more than it should, meaning the hops just aren't coming to play.

Appearance: Painfully clear yellow gold glass holds a short lived thin collar that doesn't lace.

Flavor: Soapy. A bit of harsh chemical for flavor. All the hop bitterness is in the early boil and has a tea quality, but no pleasant hop flavors to comment on. There's a citric candy sweetness that flashes at the end, but nothing really malty. I guess the alcohol is washing out any positive qualities for me.

Mouthfeel: Acidic burning feel with a medium thin body and prickly carbonation.

Overall Impression: Wow I hate this! I was in the mood for a hop-tastic beer, and this phailed. I can't recommend this at all, I think this is the worst commercial IPA I've ever tasted. It's like a malt liquor version of an IPA. I keep taking sips hoping to find some redeeming quality, but I think this is sink bound.

HardTarget, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of Nage37
2/5  rDev -40.3%

Nage37, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of thereal_adam
2/5  rDev -40.3%

thereal_adam, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.05/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

You know it's not going to be a good beer when "I've had worse" is the nicest thing you can say about it...

The pour should have been a dead giveaway - it's a thin straw yellow with a similarly thin white head. The soapy foam disappears before you can put the glass down on the table leaving a glass that's indistinguishable from many macro lagers. No, scratch that, macro lagers have better head retention.

The smell is weak, stale and lifeless with notes of corn and raw grain covering up a musty hop note. If it weren't for the fact that I just bought this from a store less than twenty miles from the brewery I'd have thought this beer just spent the last six months in a hot boxcar traveling the desert Southwest.

If brewers were issued licenses I'd argue for having Mendocino's papers revoked. The flavor is of stale corn pops, old white toast and some kind of funky bitter flavoring that must be a variety of hops. There's even a hint of diacetyl just in case the beer isn't funky enough. For an IPA to have nothing resembling an herbivorous flavor is a pity. For an IPA from Northern California to lack any hint of PNW hopping is unthinkable.

At least the mouthfeel is somewhat acceptable... The drink is medium bodied with a bit of an oily coating on the palate. There's a bitter finish to end each sip so even if they didn't get any flavor at least they got something out of the hops.

Would I ever drink this again? No f***ing way. Is it the worst beer I've ever had? No, not really - though it does rate not much higher than a drain pour. What's most disappointing is that this comes out of Northern California, home of the "West Coast" IPAs. It's sad that Mendocino Brewing is only 15 miles away from Anderson Valley, 30 from North Coast and under an hour from Bear Republic, Russian River and Lagunitas - all of whom make world-class IPAs. To find a brewer from this region that makes a nearly undrinkable IPA is unthinkable (and unforgivable)

RedwoodGeorge, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
2.13/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear bronze-amber color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is rotten grapefruit, and caramel malt. The taste is of more rotten grapefruit, and stale caramel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low carbonation. Overall, I'm not sure if this beer is old or just bad. The store I bought it from is very good at discounting beer before it gets old to keep everything fresh. So my guess it that it is just bad. I will not be drinking this again.

KarlHungus, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.17/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Mendocino- White Hawk Original IPA

6pack purchased at Circle Liquors- Pennington, N.J

Appearance- light golden orange with heavy carbonation. Thick head.
Smell- Sweet. Vinager and malt.
Taste- metallic! Sweet with a flat bitter hops flavor. Aftertaste is like a oxidized battery in the mouth.
Mouthfeel- flat and no life at first, followed by a dull bitterness, and finally a metal aftertaste.

Overall- I was excited about purchasing the White Hawk but it is BAD! I'll be able to finish the 6er but I'm not happy. I'll give their other offerings a try though.
Avoid this IPA its a DUD!

NJpadreFan, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of DoubleJ
2.2/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Gotta love pre-set variety packs which get you uncommon beers, so on to it:

A trace of cloudiness can be seen in this light orange-brown beer. Low dense head on top that fizzes away to a thin layer on top. There isn't much of an aroma in this, faint grassy and biscuit notes. To the taste: hot alcohol and flavorless bitterness is very dominant here. Touch-ups of aspirin on the tongue, but still gives way to the dominant alcohol; it's so hot you have to sip on it.

This is what happens when IPA's go wrong. Too much alcohol felt, no balance, and little to taste. More than half of it will be used to feed my sink.

DoubleJ, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of jpkoch1962
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Not a very good brew. The appearance was very nice - a bright copper with a tight head and lace. Was surprised at the subdued hop aroma. The malt body was also lacking (perhaps the bright clean copper appearance and the lack of any aroma are due to strong filtering?). The malt presence, which can be discerned in the front end is taken over by a strong, oily bitterness by the middle. I waited for hop flavor to arrive by the finish, but only an agressively strong, acidic bitterness remained. The bitterness could have been pleasing if it was accompanied by more malt body and mouthfeel, not to mention hop flavor and aroma. In short, this ale is way out of balance.

I'm not totally sure what Americans demand out of American IPAs, but this is the second one I've had this year, and they both weren't worth the 8 bucks/6pk asking price. I wish more micros would adrere to the classic IPA category -Mendocina inclusive. There is more to a Pale Ale than 300 IBU bitterness. Hell, if I wanted to drink a hop bomb, I could do it much cheaper by brewing it myself. Whitehawk was very disappointing.

jpkoch1962, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of PDXHops
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours out a slightly hazy glowing apricot/gold with 1 finger of off-white head. This reduces to a skip pretty quickly but sticks around with periodic swirls and leaves a bit of lacing.

The label says this is an IPA, but it certainly doesn't smell like one. There's some orange and pineapple in there, but the primary aroma is plentiful sweet caramel malt. The flavors are equally frustrating, with a heavy dose of caramel and a modest hop presence- juicy sour orange and pineapple again, maybe touch of pine. Overall very sweet, though, and severely lacking in the bitterness department. The sweetness lingers along with some booziness, which seems a bit odd at this ABV.

Overall impression: This is the farthest thing from a "West Coast IPA", and I didn't enjoy it much. Old bottle, maybe?

PDXHops, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of jaidenjb
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%

jaidenjb, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of ShakaShakaShaka
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%

ShakaShakaShaka, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of Pittsburgh
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't know if I got a bad/old beer here, but upon opening it exploded everywhere, Almost 2/3 of the beer came shooting out, like someone shook up a soda. So that sucked. I was so shocked I couldn't react fast enough.

Once the immense amount of foam subsided, the taste was not good, tasted more like carbonated apple juice than anything, bitter, nasty apple juice though. Barely tastes like an IPA and barely drinkable in my opinion. Very strong, overwhelmingly bitter and sour, but not in a good way. Virtually nothing else going on with the beer other than that, I am sorry, I am not feeling it.

I sort of think something was wrong with it based on the other reviews....but I can't prove that, so this is what I have to go on.

Pittsburgh, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of Moheban
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%

Moheban, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of Rekrule
2.25/5  rDev -32.8%

Rekrule, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of TheHoppiest
2.3/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

While I've been skeptical that any brewery named after wine country could produce a decent brew, I thought it better to try and judge, than pre-judge, so here it goes:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a two finger creme colored head that slowly pillows down to a 1/8" foam head.

Has a malty, almost yeasty aroma, with notes of mild grapes, figs, and citrus. The varied fruit smells clash with the malty backbone.

Has a soapy feel that washes out the taste. Starts bitter, almost astringent, but with very little hop flavor. The bitterness is more reminiscent of ethanol alcohol than hops. Buttery malt hits mid-tongue, before finishing with a mild smokey, bitter finish. The tastes, frankly, are not melding well with each other.

As mentioned above, this has the feel of soapy dishwater, with an odd, biting bitter feel that is utterly without taste.

Ugh. My pre-judged opinion of this was spot on. Glad this was a singleton, and that I won't have to find uses for five other of these.

TheHoppiest, Sep 02, 2011
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White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.