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White Hawk Original IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
White Hawk Original IPAWhite Hawk Original IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

843 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 843
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 14.97%
Wants: 5
Gots: 22 | 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: 843 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color from the pour is orange gold. Head is minimal. Nose is a bit faint but what I can detect is orange and pine. Taste is also muted but I can get glimpses of pine, grapefruit and orange but not nearly as strong as they should be. Mouth is a bit thin. For some reason I enjoy this brew a lot even though it doesn't stand up to better examples of the style.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy orange/gold with a thick, foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is of citrus, hops and malt, but you can also detect some metallic aroma.

T: The taste gives you strong hit of both hops and caramelized malt, with the hops bitterness winning out and then the alcohol taste and warmth follows.

M: Very crisp, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation and a dry finish.

D: I didn’t find this beer to go down as easy as most American IPA’s that I’ve had. It’s more of a sipper than a pounder. I suppose you can call this beer an impulse buy for me. I was looking for something else entirely when I walked into the store and found an American IPA from a brewery I didn’t would ever make it out this far east that was only $1.99 for a bomber. This one’s a decent representation of the style and a good beer, but it appears as though you get what you pay for. There are several other American IPA’s that I would go for above this one.

Photo of taez555
4.07/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear golden orange body with a white head.

Nose was thick with rich caramel malt and a stinging citrus hop bite. So simple, so big and so very inviting.

Taste is medium bodied and very smooth with an immediate over the top hop punch. Seriously bitter from beginning to end. I don't know what the IBU is, but this is a serious hop monster in a small package. Citrus peel, grapefruit, pepper, bite, alcohol with a slight aspirin like quality. Malt is in tact in this beer and gives a nice big caramel malt backbone for the hops to grab on to. Big warm alcohol body as it warms. Ends with a lingering hop bitterness.

Crazy big american IPA. Lots of warm alcohol, lots of big hops and some good malt. A nice beer, but you really have to be in the mood for some hops if drinking this. I like it.

Photo of thelagerheads
3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Back a week or two ago before a sudden and severe attack of vertigo I had no real reason for quirky ideas. But I had/have them nonetheless and one of them was to take my buddy's dog and drive him to Wyoming and put a harness on his back and let him loose to get in touch with his nature as a freedom loving wandering nomad. I suppose the harness isn't really natural except where man is included. This holds true for beer as well. Taking from the earth and melding something together for our own pleasure and utility. This predator pale ale is a little gamey under those terms. It eats carrion and picks up field mice and dices them up and puts them to use as the fifth ingredient in guacamole. I was told not to use too much lemon in my guac and I tell you White Hawk put not your carrion to thee. It bites a little too hard at the end for me, being a lover of chocolate and smoke.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden color with a half finger head that melts quickly.
Aroma faintly malt and faintly citrus.
Taste is initially sweet malt then immediately overpowered with fresh citrus hops...orange peel and grapefruit with a little alcohol taste.
Aftertaste of grapefruit drying and slight alcohol.
Alcohol burn is noticable for a while after you swallow.
Probably not a spectacular IPA...more like a standard American IPA but very fresh and assertive. I hate to call it middle of the road because I've tasted many bland IPA's or forgettable ones. This is a good beer. Perhaps the best I've tasted from this brewer.

Photo of TrickKnee
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

had tons of head on the pour, more so than many beers i have tried in the last year. Poured a hazey amber color. Tastes like they used a lot of hops however it has a clean dry taste to it. Mouthfeel is decent and there is no real aftertaste. Would definetly recommend considering it was only 6:50 a 6 pack.

Photo of ski271
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy medium amber with hardly any head. Dominant hops in the nose, invoking aromas of orange, grapefruit, spruce and light resin. Some light, bready malt in there too to add some balance. Taste-wise, more of the same, with the hops coming out a soon as it hits the taste buds, then backing off a bit to let in a little pale malt before charging back in on the bitter citrus finish. It has a medium body, dry texture and very low carbonation. Overall, it looked flat and not all that impressive, but it turned out to be a decent IPA. I’d drink it again.

Photo of Graebner
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a slightly hazy orange-amber with very active carbonation and a thick white head.

The smell is very floral, with hints of grape juice, sourdough, slight spice. One interesting note is that while sticking my nose into the beer to smell it, there was enough carbonation to burn my lip. Interesting.

Tastes of loads of hops, soms sourdough, ether hints, pine, and a slight tartness in the middle of the sip.

The mouthfeel will either be very good or very bad, depending on your likes. It is similar in feel to Stone Ruination, which is no slouch of an IPA. It's very astringent, to the point of feeling like you've just chewed on pine needles. The carbonation is more muted than I expected from the look, it cleans off your tongue as you take the sip, but it's not overpowering. Overall, it feels good, though be warned; like Ruination, this one will mess with your ability to taste for a while.

The thing that does this one in for drinkability is the seven percent ABV. Other than that it's quite good, doesn't sour your mouth or stomach much, and precludes you drinking much else due to the high astringency. Pretty good beer, especially for $3.25 a bomber.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.07/5  rDev -38%
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)

Photo of ghostwalker
3.36/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber serving.

Body pours light orange, thick white head. Looks very good.

Nose is light citrus and some maltiness.

Flavor is disappointing. Medium malt up front, far too few hops on the finish. There is a blandness that permeates this stuff. I know that not every brew can be a Stone IPA or a SNCA, but this needs more kick to be considered an IPA.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, slightly syrupy with mild tooth-strippability, like a good IPA should be.

Drinkability is pretty good. It may be light on the flavor, but it goes down easy enough.

Photo of dfried
4.02/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty solid IPA. This is a realtively mellowed out IPA, with a little more malty flavor (for an IPA) when you initially take a sip, but what I was impressed with was the fruity after-taste. There was just something about it that made me think, "Damn, that was pretty good." This wouldn't top my list of IPAs but I have been on an IPA kick lately, and is definitely one to consider if you are doing the same.

Photo of surfadelic23
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer of this at total wine and spirits.
This is good representation of an American IPA. It pouirs a nice
amber color with a good head that hangs around for a while. Leaves a nice coating on the glass as I drink it. This has a good citrus/hop scent that begs you to drink it. It tastes good with the hops being where they should and the malt underneath doing it's thing. For an IPA, I found it to be nicely balanced, and very drinkable with a pleasant mouthfeel to boot.

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

Surprisingly better than you'd think, this IPA displays a bold hop profile and dry malt character. It's everthing that the style demands, despite the banal and forgetable label.

Floral and citrusy hop aromas deliver with a zesty and bright scent. Nicely balanced with a dominant citrusy nose and a background of caramel malts.

Supple sweet matly taste is in gounded support of flowery and piney hop flavor. Pine resin bittering, and earthy flavors rount out the finsih while the malt props up the hoppy demands. The hops, though solid, don't ever scream "citrusy" or "bitter" in the way that I expect hop-dominant beers to do.

When understanding what American IPAs are, this beer nearly delivers a flawless example. But the lack of any tangibles that make it extrordinary leaves it seemingly plain and forgetable- unfortunate.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - this IPA pours a dark straw color with an antique white thikc head, there are also light amounts of sediment and carbonation as well.

S - the main aroma is a honey sweetness, it is accompanied by a grassy twang to it.

T - behind the balanced flavors of bitterness and and sweetness is a smokiness that must come from the malts

M - medium bodied, a decent mouthfeel, slightly dry

D - medium

Photo of TheName
2.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer at Whole Foods; first time on this beer save out of a jockey-box at festivals where I very much enjoyed it. Second try; first was a little warm and not recommended.

Appearance: Poured a nice pale gold. Tiny coating of mid-size bubbled head that quickly retreated to the periphery of the glass with no lacing.

Smell: Lighter than light with a modicum of alcohol tang. Very very light woodiness with a slight bit of citrusy hop.

Taste: Big bready flavor quickly overtaken with a sticky, piny bitterness. The light aroma went hand-in-hand with a slightly watered-down flavor--reminiscent of something iced in a can.

Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation with lots of body. Overwhelms the light hop flavor.

Drinkability: This over-bubbled beer isn't one I'd drink more than one of. The heavy carbonation is a turn-off for me.

Overall, not a beer I'd return to. Proabably a great beer for folks who don't generally go for an IPA. Hopheads need not apply.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.18/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dull gold with a thin coating of an off-white head; active bubbly carbonation. The nose is pine hops, and some floral notes. Oily and sticky up front. Bordering on medium bodied. Major piney hops are in command; subtle citrus notes in the way of orange peel and warmed grapefruit juice. Warming provides some decent malt backing, with tingy hops still dominating. A distinctive hoppy bitterness, alcohol noted throughout. A session-able-IPA all the way.

Photo of bjohnson
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber. $3.95 from Liquor World in Porter Square.

A: Pours a slight hazy copper color with a finger and a half foamy white head. Very bubbly head with lots of bubbles lining the glass sides.

S: Aromas of citrus fruit hops up fron twith a slight maltyness in the background. Very minimal aromas however.

T: Tastes of pine and some bready maltiness in there with a nice bitter aftertaste. I was left wanting more.

M & D: Mouthfeel is not bad on this offering from Mendecino although I would have liked it to have a bit more flavor. Body was there, but it just left me wanting more. Drinkability is just ok even though its an easy drinking IPA with a nice smooth refreshing finish--It left me wanting more.

Photo of bignick
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle that says it was brewed in Saratoga Springs.

This is a decent, if uninspired, attempt at an American IPA. It isn't really aggressive like many of its West Coast counterparts, but it is on the whole a drinkable enough beer. The hop character is piney, that follows with a slight warming alcohol. This beer has a bite, but not really in the complex delicious way that many of the best West Coast IPAs do.

Photo of AlexJ
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright amber pour produces a great 2 finger head of pure white froth that retains nicely, depositing generous lace as it receeds. Looks about as good as an IPA gets.

Aroma is another pleasant surprise. I was expecting a modest nose, like the rest of the regular line-up from Mendo. This is nice, honeyish malts with a touch of roast and plenty of floral, pine, and light citrus hops.

Flavor has some biscuity golden maty flavor drizzled w/ honey. Not much of a middle, but a bitter hop finish that is firm and meaty. Hops notes of pine, delicate florals, and some sweet orange peel. The 7% abv is definately detectable, but doesn't really detract from the brew.

Body is medium, with a somewhat coarse mouthfeel, almost grainey. Terxture is slick and oily hop resins coat the palate. A good example of this style, especially when i can usually find sixers at my local grocery for under 6 bucks.

Photo of NEhophead
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Creamy, inch high bright white head that is plastered to the sides of the pint glass. Ringed lacing with good durability. Thin, light copper in color with shades of straw.

Floral hops with a touch of citrus. A hint of juicy hop resin. Rich, slightly sweet caramel malt character.

Moderately intense floral hop presence; astringent tasting hop oils. The hop profile is chlorine and amonia like. Copper, metallic-like flavored caramel maltiness. A perfume-esque hop bitterness followed by a very unpleasant astringent aftertaste.

Medium bodied; very filmy on the palate.

The hop profile and balance between the alcohol presence and the malt character is very off-balanced. The astringency makes this almost tough to finish. Stylistically, I've had worse, but not too often.

Photo of TongoRad
3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 5293

Pours a crystal clear slightly brownish amber color with a tall billowy head. I'd prefer something a bit brighter but the head and the lacing kick butt.

Aroma isn't inspiring- some hops (spicy, minty), some caramel and some mineral qualities- but it's unwilling to come out of the shadows. It takes a lot of coaxing and warming, but remains shy by the end of the glass.

Lots of caramel and bitterness on the palate. The spicy hops come out on the finish along with some warming alcohol and a touch of fruit (berries and mango).

I liked this beer at first but then grew tired of it after a few sixers (bought on sale). More hops on the aroma would do it a lot of good.

Photo of Stimack
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew pours to a somewhat hazy dark golden color with a large sized head that leaves its fair amount of lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma is a mixture of malt and pine/citrus hops that lead to an enjoyable smelling brew. The taste is nice, malt upfront that quickly breaks to a dominant hop taste with pine like qualities. Over all it is an enjoyable brew, nothing spectacular but in general a solid offering. For the cost of Mendocino offerings it is well worth it!

Photo of danielharper
3.87/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Frugal MacDougal, Nashville, TN.

Pours into a pint glass with an orange-yellow body with a very thin white head, looks like a "bucket of suds", and leaves little to no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is quite pleasant, very sweet, mildly hoppy. Notes of some citrus, cantaloupe (!?!), and very strong grapefruit. More complexity in the fruit than I expected for an IPA, and with mellower hops.

Flavor has a strong dry hoppy up-front, with citrus fruit flavor underneath. Hops could be a bit crisper (freshness may also be an issue here), but overall it's a very pleasant IPA flavor, just not a hop-bomb.

Moderate mouthfeel, high carbonation, pleasant to wash around the palate.

Overall drinkability good, although it's a bit drying on the palate.

I'd never heard of this beer before I bought it, and reviewed it on paper before checking it out on this site. This is a really decent IPA, but I can understand that lovers of hop-bombs will be somewhat disappointed.

Photo of EStreet20
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a 20 ounce "tulip" pint glass.

A - A nice golden amber color with a frothey two finger, slightly off white head. The head bubbles up but has some nice staying power. SMall fragments of lace cling to the glass.

S - A nice balance of sweet malts along with a nice hop character. Nicely balanced but the hops don;t "take charge" as much as I like them to in an IPA.

T - Not bad. Some nice piney hops on there with an oily floral hop hop character as well. A nice sweet malt flavor rounds things out rathe rnicely.

M - A nice carbonation stands up well with the bitter finish in the taste.

D - Not bad at all. Not a hop bomb but definitely respectable. The fact that the 7% abv is hidden rather well contributes to the drinkability. Still I find myself going back for more on hoppier IPAs more than this one. Still pretty good.

Notes: Nothing spectacualr but not a bad find, esp for 5 bucks a six pack.

Photo of Hibernator
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

White Hawk IPA
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a bronze copper color with a nice looking head on top. Patterns of sticky lace appear on the side of the glass.

The nose is pleasant with the highlight showcasing a ton of hops. Whiffs of citrus and pine.

Grainy, biscuit-like mouthfeel with a syrupy blast of hops. Biting hop finish that also has a cherry cough syrup flavor. There is something medicinal going in the taste. Also worth mentioning is the respectable 7.0% ABV. This is a solid American IPA.

White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 843 ratings.