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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.

816 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 816
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 816 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brent


2.95/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As pale ales go, this was pretty good. But tagging this as an IPA, including a historical recounting of the origins of IPAs on the bottle neck, does this beer a disservice. The hops profile was pleasant, but far too reserved to elevate the beer into the IPA category. Some citric fruityness of cascades evident, but but the hopping struck me as . . . well the only way to put it is "dainty." Some sweet fruityness at the middle, and then a soft bittering finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 03:14:33 | More by Brent
Photo of maybrick


3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After pouring from the 12z bottle into a traditional pint glass, I noticed the color and head. As a IPA fan, and very used to Fresh Hop Devil I thought the color was a little light and the head a bit to dark. What the heck, the nose smelled great. My first sip, after huffing the nose several times, was nice. According to the brewers website, the hop profile is cascade and fuggles. This is an unusual combination and I think the fuggles mellows the character downwards. The citrus notes clearly suggest cascade and this brew to me was more like a hopped up Pale Ale rather than a true IPA.

I would drink it again, on a real hot humid day when I just don't want an over the top IPA this would do just fine. It could also be a great IPA for the non-initiated who have graduated from the Big 3 into craft lagers and pilsners. Not an exceptional brew, but not bad either.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2004 12:32:22 | More by maybrick
Photo of bditty187


3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber gold in hue, it is a bit light in color for an IPA, IMO. The head was off-white in color; it had a yellow tint to it. I am impressed at the size; the head reached a good two and a half fingers in height. The head retention was impressive as it took a long while before it even began to fade. In time a small, tight cap lasted for the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was patchy but what remained was thick. Overall this is a good-looking beer. The nose doesn’t say much. This is supposed to be an IPA, right? I get the impression, from the nose, that it is a Pale Ale of English origins! The hoppiness is very soft, mildly (I mean very mildly) citrusy but more so flowery. This aspect of the beer does smell good but it is too quite for an IPA. The aromas from the malt are very wide and offers a tickle of caramel and a kiss of toasty grains. Largely clean and very simplistic, as far as IPAs goes this one is weak. My first impression of the palate was, “where is the hops?” There isn’t very much bitterness let alone flavor. Sure, I could taste the hops but it reminds me more of a Pale Ale. Flavor-wise, the hops offer a smooch or two of citrus twang, some acidity, and piney tastes. This blend works and the more I quaffed the more it grew on me. Still this beer is small for the style. The malt is dry and works in good harmony, it is a little toasty, grainy, and vaguely sweet with a hint of caramel. The finish is juicy but an odd metallic twang finds a home. This hurts the beer’s likeability. Luckily the heat from the alcohol kills the taste (or my tastebuds) and I can get past the metal. The palate, overall, is good but far from great. It is too harsh to be great. Bitter aftertaste, it is like eating a grapefruit rind. Medium in body, moderate carbonation, watery, the mouthfeel is ordinary but pleasant. If you’re a fan of IPAs I think it is safe to skip this offering. I purchased White Hawk in Minneapolis, MN for no other reason than it was $1.99 a bomber. It was too cheap to pass up. I don’t think I’d buy it again. Decent but flawed (what is with the metal?), more hops would help too. Try one if you must.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2004 22:16:55 | More by bditty187
Photo of RBorsato


4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright gold with a full pillowy off-white head and decent carbonation leaves sporadic lace. Moderate citrusy hop aroma (Cascades). Nicely balanced and hoppy but leans to the bitter side. Medium-full bodied and strong in the finish with a dry bitterness.

A nice fairly balanced American IPA at a nice price. Would buy again unlike most of the BA'ers so far...

Per Mendocino website:
- 60 IBU
- Cascade and English Fuggle Hops.

'3252' lasered on bottom ('03' embossed on bottom)
Tasted: 08/10/04

($1.25 / 12 oz. bottle)

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2004 17:12:44 | More by RBorsato
Photo of BuckeyeNation


2.33/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bright orange-amber, more amber than orange. The light beige head is fairly large and is decently firm. It remains frothystiff as it deflates and leaves an average amount of lace in scattered scraps. The nose is weak, especially for the style, and smells primarily of grapefruity Cascade. I don't really appreciate Fuggles since the nose isn't aromatic enough to tease out any olfactory subtleties.

Whoa! I'm not sure what's going on here, but that first mouthful was a major disappointment. Let me try this again. Same thing. The beer is saturated with a nasty, fusel alcohol-like, medicinal flavor that doesn't bear much of any resemblance to an IPA. I find it hard to believe that Mendocino intended it to taste like this.

There's a minimal amount of hop flavor buried in there somewhere, but it's overpowered by a sharp, 'chewing on aspirin' bitterness and the aforementioned grain alcohol nastiness. The finish is as raw and as hot as the beer equivalent of white lightening. The body... what does it matter since I can't get far enough past the flavor to care how it feels in the mouth.

I don't ever remember drinking a more abysmal IPA that White Hawk. Mendocino doesn't strike me as a great brewery by any stretch of the imagination, but this is one seriously screwed up beer. I'm sorry that I got a bomber and not a 12 oz. single, but I guess it doesn't really matter since I won't be finishing it anyway. Avoid this one like the plague if you have any interest in IPAs or in decent beer in general.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 00:52:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Zorro


3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber brew.

Smell is hops but not that strong and malt and a bit of a grapefruit scent.

Taste is bit sweet with a strong hit of citrus hops flavor. Flavor is sweeter and more bitter than expected, but it balances the flavor well. The sweetness and bitterness give this a double shock to your tongue, first the sweetness surprises you and then the hops smacks it down leaving a fruity aftertaste. Nice fruitiness comes out at the end of the hops shock.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good drinkable IPA, but this one is very sweet and very bitter.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2004 02:45:22 | More by Zorro
Photo of rajendra82


3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is golden pale amber with a thick foamy head that has good retention and excellent lacing. The aroma is fairly mild resinous hops and caramel malts. The taste has a fairly typical American IPA malt and hop profile with butterscotch, grapefruit, pine resin, and a bit of black pepper. Medium to thin body with a dry mouthfeel and hop bitterness held in check to improve drinkability. The relatively high ABV does sneak up on you though. The beer is a very good representation of the style, but does not do much to distinguish itself from the crowded pack.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 03:28:29 | More by rajendra82
Photo of FormatKid


4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased from Bacchus in Chattanooga.

Pours out a lovely vision for the style. Out of the bottle it’s a lovely shade of honey, translucent with only slight haziness. Big fluffy head rolls up nicely, up three and a half fingers high rolling up a dome above the rim of the pint glass with-out spilling over. The head is eggshell in color and a honey-comb of tightly packed bubbles can be seen through the side of the pint. Visible carbonation is sparse.

The nose is big on sweet malts surprisingly. I’m thinking by the smell that this may be a more balanced version of an IPA than others. Citrusey hops are nicely apparent in the nose and I swear I’m picking up some tones of vanilla as well.

Just as suspected the taste is a lot more balanced than many out there, which is fine, I can go either way as far as that’s concerned. Tons of sweet, almost sticky malts here to balance out the generous helpings of hops. Hops are mainly like citrus rinds in their bitterness, pine nugget flavors are there too. Finish is dry and I think I’m picking up the tiniest metallic twang here as well. No hint at the 7% abv at all in the flavor. Mouthfeel is medium light and the beer is quite downable…scarily even for 7% abv.

I dig this beer, a nicely balanced, sessionable IPA…although I’m sure they would start to catch up to you soon enough as the alcohol content is almost up there in Double IPA territory.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 01:15:17 | More by FormatKid
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stuff was on sale for $4.99/6-pack (actually the whole line of Mendocino, inc. eye of the hawk) so I figured I would be a fool to pass it up. This poured out a very beautiful orange-gold with a very hefty snow-white head. The lacing on this was pretty impressive to say the least. The aroma was decent, but not as hop intense as I was hoping. The taste is very hoppy, but just a little off balance. The tartness doesn't seem to come together as well as others. It has very heavy grapefruit hints but is very refreshing. Overall, definately the best IPA I have ever had, but probably the best $4.99 IPA. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2004 23:28:04 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of wyllder


3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled with a fellow BA out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a cloudy golden-copper with a big, sticky white head that calms down a bit and leaves a sticky lacing on the inside of the glass.

Smell is citrusy, dominated by grapefruit with some floral/hayfield notes in the background.

Taste is a smack of grapefruit hops on the palate, with a below average balance at best, giving it an overall harsh tone. Malts start to make themselves known after several sips but do nothing to really distinguish themselves. Aftertaste is bitter grapefruit and none too inspiring.

Mouthfeel is oily & resinous which, when combined with the underwhelming grapefruit hoppiness, did nothing to inspire me.

Drinkability wasn't very good to me, and I was thankful I didn't have the whole bomber to myself.

Maybe if grapefruit leaning IPA's are your thing you'll dig this. For me, no thanks.


Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 21:19:59 | More by wyllder
Photo of feloniousmonk


2.73/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

clear, ripe peachy color, under a vast, bulbous, creamy, lacey head.
Aroma, pine and citrus in fine fashion, but not stinging, present, and pleasant, but mellow enough...grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, lemon and more all on hand.
Big, bold, bald bitterness right off the bat, oily and sticky in the throat, a most impossing taste, a bit sweet at times, too.
Body is light, a bit too, and malt is hiding here. The hops take on a stranger flavor than I generally like, and there's not enough to back it up. Tasty to a degree, but with numerous flaws. A bit one-dimensional, I'd have to say. And the sweetness approaches butterscotch, at times. Taste became sickly and cloying before too long. This was a bottle I really wanted to enjoy, especially as it's 22 ounces long, but we're halfway in and it's a disappointment. Flavor falls with a thud on my palate, and I take no further joy in the consumption. Too bad...this just doesn't work for me at all.
i'm going to think hard on it as I finish the bottle to make sure I'm not judging too hastily or too harshly....but as I give it time, it continues to lack spark, and emit a dull, sickly sweet taste...not good...I'm going to try another IPA next and note the difference...and say farewell to this sad example!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2004 09:13:16 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of HochFliegen


3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color was a slightly cloudy deep copper with a nice developed head to it.
Nice hop floral smell to it and a slight sweet smell from the malt. Over all a nice smelling IPA.
The taste was nice a mild profile for an IPA. Not overpowering but has taste and good taste at that. Its quite floral with some grassy and citrus tastes to it.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2004 05:52:45 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of Bighuge


3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dull copper. More like a deep golden, than copper. Thin white head leaves adequate lace. Faint cannabis on the nose. And some caramel/toffee maltiness. The flavor is crisp and dry. A light malt backing of caramel malts helps balance a little. The hops are bitter, piney, citric and rind-like. Body is about medium and the CO2 is just a tad high. A little better than average. That's about it.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 04:34:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of BittRnessabounds


3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from notes fall of 03
I had this right after Humboldt Brewing's Nectar IPA(rated 3.5). I enjoyed this slightly more. I was disapointed by the color. I thought it looked a bit like a slightly cloudy lager. I'm not sure what the correct traditional color should be, but i prefer my IPAs with a bit more color. Nice floral hop aroma on top of a nice crisp hop taste with a bit of apricot sweetness, and reasonably well balanced. Good solid beer but not amazing, but slightly more enjoyable than one i ranked 3.5.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2004 02:26:28 | More by BittRnessabounds
Photo of GreenWBush


3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"APA" copper with a 1" head and largely gaping bubble holes. Chill haze through and through. Lace comes only in patches. Bone white head. Strange sparkling-wine carbonation, rising steadily from bottom to top.

Scratchy hop characteristic on the nose - slightly worse for wear metallic. Bronzy. Some husky grains on warm-up, more of the "licking a light-pole" metal tastes on the palate. Apparent lack of freshness much less apparent in taste than nose.

Strength of alcohol a dominant feature, nearly cleared up by the hoppiness. Unfortunately, this IPA does not really carry the positive side of hop-headedness, the sweet nectar of fruitiness. Instead, the devastating bitterness would keep most anyone away.

While decently well-balanced, there's nothing exceptional about this beer. It feels almost like a look back in recent time. The rich and almost creamy mouthfeel ties together the package for an almost above-average package.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2004 02:39:29 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of TastyTaste


4.38/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very lightly colored IPA that could be mistaken for a lager on looks alone. Gold, slight copper color. Smells pungently of grapfruit hoppiness. Very delicious. Every sip let my mouth watering, and afterwards I had the hop burps (or horps, to coin a phrase). All around delicious, not an off-flavor to be found. $2.49 for a bomber, very good value.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2004 21:19:12 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of mntlover


3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with big white head had lots of little bubbles rising with good lacing. Aroma light malt floral and citrus most noticable. Tastes light malt good hop bite not running with the big boys but decent IPA, pretty balanced beer. Medium bodied with good drinkability worth tring if you haven't or need a little milder IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 02:15:07 | More by mntlover
Photo of tavernjef


4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a Bomber: Dullish golden yellow with a slight bronzed body, very tall and lengthy sitting frothy-laced & whipped white top of melted styrofoam. And that lace leaves immaculately thick webbed shelving.

Aroma is musty grasses and slight citrusy tones, dullish and slightly sweet as well with a light waft of pine underneath.

Taste is quite mild compared to most of those west coast(IPA) goodies, lightly bittering and buttery with slick grass tones, dulled citrus peels and sweet pine. Pale malts, a bit crispy and biscuity. Nothing abrupt really, seems to be more closely resembling the English style IPA or strong Bitter. Which ain't that bad really. Flavors linger lightly with just a bit of hop oil left on the finish mixing with a toasted crisped grainyness and malt.

Feel is about medium, the middle and finish is a bit empty, but has a fairly decent start.

This would make for a good conversion IPA to get a would-be beer enthusiest more attuned to a the beast known as "The Hops" or alpha acids. The bittering bite in this is quite mild to my buds and has a nice clean taste. A nice session IPA perhaps(doesn't seem 7%), could have more body and of course hop profile, but its still a pretty good little brew to perhaps work with before hitting the big boys. Sufficient enough effort here. Good in my book and will perhaps buy again if tempted.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2004 02:05:46 | More by tavernjef
Photo of ADR


3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saratoga Springs version...foamy pour, big-bubbled thick head of over one inch in height. Clear darker orange color. Respectable lacing, thick and complicated. Aroma is spicy, with a hot cinnamon candy impression, quite bready as well. Body is light and kind of disappointing. Malt profile is stuffy and unflavorful, just kind of lays there. Well hopped, but too much on the ashy charcoal side, beyond resiny. Bitterness in the aftertaste, and more so as the glass goes down. Pretty average, flavor is more harsh than juicy, not an IPA I'd pick over others.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2004 20:36:20 | More by ADR
Photo of Darkale


3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, yellow-gold body, full foamy head with irregular bubbles. Personally, I prefer a darker color in an IPA, but that's a silly consideration, probably. Overall, an attractive beer.

Slightly sour, hoppy aroma. While all good IPAs should have a hoppy aroma, this beer's aroma was astringent and seemed unbalanced.

Brisk, juicy mouthfeel. Slick with a resiny aftertaste. Piney and hoppy with a hair of spice in the mouthfeel. A bit thin, not quite as chewy as one might expect.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2004 13:04:32 | More by Darkale
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear light gold. The head was white and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a slight citrus. Also with a slight caramel and alcohol.

The flavor was hoppy with muted earthy hops and a slight citrus. The malt balance is well done to balance the bitterness and flavor from the hops.

The finish was dry and bitter into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle. Purchased in TN.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 22:48:30 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of mschofield


3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy well-carbonated dark orange-gold, topped with a three finger rocky off-white head. Leaves sticky webs of lacing.
Herbal and floral hop aroma, some citrus (grapefruit) present as well. Just a hint of a bready malt note.
Citrus hop is stronger in the taste, as it the malt backbone. More balanced than the aroma.
Too understated in bitterness, but it does grow as it warms, this one needs to be drank a little warmer than an average IPA.
Medium-full body.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 20:54:33 | More by mschofield
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshnesss dating. I really enjoyed this IPA and I'm suprised its not more highly rated. Pours light golden, hoppy nose. Clean malt on the tongue, hops come in smooth and pretty strong. Grainy with citrus on the palate. 7% hidden nicely. Medium body. Crisp and clean, Decent to pretty good IPA. Worth trying

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 02:52:43 | More by Billolick
Photo of Lupe

New York

3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber color with a huge frothy, rocky head. It stays like that for a while and leaves very nice sticky lacing. Very enticing apperance.
Big hop aroma, pine and citrus with a touch of alcohol.
Flavor is mostly hops, piney, herbal and a some citrus. Alcohol shows up in the flavor profile, and toasted grain is there to add some balance. Hop bitterness stays for a bit in the aftertaste. Medium-full in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Assertive alcohol takes a way some of the drinkability.
A decent brew, good for a quick hop fix.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2004 03:13:20 | More by Lupe
Photo of BierReise


3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle No Date Poured a clear golden color with a sizable head that dies quickly. Decent hop aroma but a slight metallic note to it.. Smooth medium body with good carbonation. Flavor is lacking a bit. Some good hop flavor that is slightly bitter and lingers that way. Some carbonating flavor I don't care for but overall a decent IPA. Leaves some lacing. Not something I'd drink often.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2004 01:27:20 | More by BierReise
White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.