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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.

819 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 819
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | 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: 819 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hwwty4


4.22/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my lucky Chimay Chalice. Pours a hazy golden with a nice, fluffy white head. Aroma is piney hops with just a hint of orange peel. Wow, this is a really tasty IPA. It almost tastes more like a DIPA then its little brother. Big on the piney hops with a malt backbone that balances the big hops very well. The hops are big up front but mellow out into the sweet malt. Mouthfeel is full for the style. I bought this as a single and I think that I'm going to have to seek out a sixer of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 04:07:33 | More by hwwty4
Photo of mmmbeer


4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. It pours a dark amber with medium carbonation and a finger of off-white head that leaves some lacing. There are caramel, molasses, and biscuity malts in the aroma along with grapefruit, mango?, and some sweet, dark malts. On the palate it's bitter grapefruit, pineapple or mango, other esters, light pine, a medium bitterness, and a big malt backbone that becomes lightly buttery toward the end. The body is medium and fairly smooth with a medium to long finish. An IPA that's up to par in my book.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2006 20:33:40 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Skidz


4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, no freshness date.

Pours out a light bright gold and sits copper amber in the glass with a wonderful gradient in the fluted glass (pale gold to deep amber). A large white head sits on top the bright and colorful beer below with great lacings all over.

Smells distiguishedly malty and full of hop aromas. Light fruity notes of pears and apples run around the field of mildly citric yet predominately herbal/floral hops. Lively and energetic, very enticing.

Tastes quite malty and sweet up front and produces a bit of a sharp hop bitterness. Short lasting, this bitterness offers a few hints of lemon and grapefruit oils, but is dominated by the large malt character. Notes of caramel in a doughy build-up creates the gist of this beer. Finishes strong on a malty note, though a fair amount of hop oils linger on well after swallowing.

Wonderfully smooth in the mouth with soft and delicate carbonation. Such a great feel to this one, about a medium body.

This is a very good beer, but as an IPA, it falls quite short. Malts dominate the mouth, leaving litte room for hops to give a good show. Still, it's an excellent beer, whatever style it may actually be, and worthy of prime drinking vessel; another qualifier for a large fluted glass. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2004 03:48:32 | More by Skidz
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.18/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle with a head and chest picture of an albino hawk on the label. Poured a hazy orange color with lots of carbonation and a sturdy, foamy white head. Head had some of the best retention I've seen; it never faded away and left nice sheet lacing.
Aroma was a pleasant blend of citrus and mild pine scents over a modest malt base.
Taste was plenty hoppy but not overpowering. Started with a solidly malty flavor which quickly gave way to a bit of grapefruit and pine flavors. Finished with a nice clean hoppy bite.
Feel was medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
A really enjoyable example of the style. Not an über-IPA with enough hops to snap your tongue off its rollers but rather a well balanced, tasty offering. Another solid beer from Mendocino Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2003 17:20:57 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of ralree


4.15/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice gold color, 2-finger white head with great lacing and good retention.

S: Nice hoppy barley smell, sticky sweet brown sugar in there. A bit of fruit to back it up.

T: Great hop flavor, pretty grainy as well. The bitterness is great. Not all that fruity, which is nice. Barley and hops can be tasted for a long time.

M: Pretty creamy for an IPA, but it's nice and dry. Medium body, carbonation good. A tad bit astringent.

D: Goes down very easily. I'll be buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 03:09:48 | More by ralree
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A thick 3 finger head that lasts about 5 minutes leaving a thick three layered ring of lacing behind. The beer itself is a hazy orangish copper copper.

S - Floral hops, lillies mostly with a vey smooth pine and caramel malt backing. A pleasant aroma.

T - At first taste there is a bit of a caramel malt with a lighter floral backing which quickly evolves into a potent floral (lillies again) flavor. The bitterness is mild and dominated by the floral elements. It is a very good flavor.

M - Thin, carbonation is a bit high, mildly refreshing.

D - Pretty good here too. This a pleasant flavorful IPA. I can't remember the last IPA that I have had that is comparable to this. It is delicious and drinkable. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 20:32:01 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of RoyalT


4.13/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange in color with a slight haze. The head frothed up nicely and hung around for a while, lacing the hell out of my Ruination glass.

Smell – This smells somewhat complex. It seems almost evenly balanced between malts and hops. The hops have some sugary sweetness to them, and the hops seem mostly floral with a hint of pine.

Taste – Wow, this is terrific! The malts are indeed sweetened with refined sugar along with some lovely caramel notes. The citrus hops join their cousins, Flora & Piney, to make up a fabulous profile. There’s even a little bit of black pepper to this IPA.

Mouthfeel – Bitter and dry but very refreshing. This ale is medium-bodied and extremely well-balanced.

Drinkability – Clearly I enjoyed this one much better than most of my BA Brothers. I will definitely buy again and keep on hand.

Update – I rated the ’03 vintage on New Year’s Day 2004, so here it is December of ’04 so I thought I’d give it another look. I wouldn’t change a thing about the descriptions or ratings from my original entry. I really enjoy this complex, balanced sample of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 00:21:25 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.13/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasing copper color with some gold notes to it. Pours with a quickly disappearing head. Smells sharply hoppy, that has a slight floral and a bit of grassy notes to it. Very smooth tasting, finishes with a strong fruitiness that comes from a solid hop flavor, then one takes note of the solid bitterness. Very malty up front, which then succumbs to a great hop flavor and bitterness. A very well balanced beer. The hop definitely dominates this brew, as it should in an IPA, but there is a solid maltiness which brings this beer to another level.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2003 16:22:07 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of dhd1491


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

Pours a hazy amber with thick off-white suds. Good lacing; good overall appearance. Aroma is inviting, though light.

Taste is robust; medium-heavy bodied: They didn't skimp on ingredients. Tending toward the grassy, sour-hops side, there is enough sweet malt and caramel in there to balance things off.

Alcohol, though a potent 7%, is light on the palate.

No unpleasant aftertastes. Mouthfeel is a little buttery-oily. Also not unpleasant.

All in all, a very enjoyable IPA. A nice surprise, since I don't think I paid that much for this 6-pack. Sometimes, the cheaper IPA's don't pack enough hops for me. I'm going to look for another 6-pack of this to do some follow-up research!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 21:16:40 | More by dhd1491
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a translucent, slightly clouded pour, burnt orange in color. A thick and sticky head of about a finger rests on top. Leaves a thick blanket all around as it melts down.

Aroma - a sweetened orange and pine nose, not real deep or intense but it smells good.

Taste - quick, heavy malt sensation, covered quickly by piney, moderately citrusy hops. Plenty of intensity here and good balance too.

Mouthfeel - moderate to heavy feel, carbonation is crisp but not over bubbled.

Drinkability - IPAs don't often appeal to me as a session beer, but this one does. Hits all the right areas and they disappear fast.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 02:58:44 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Mebuzzard


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

This is the first IPA I've had in 10 months since being in India. Mad mad mad props to Traquairlover for sending me a six pack of IPAs. I was almost scared to try it....
Pours a nice, smooth copper color, a bit hazy. Ah, looks good. 1/2 finger head forms and stays for a little bit. I didn't have a pint glass, but I used a juice glass that was a) clear and b) more slender. I don't think it affected the taste too much, or the smell. Aroma was lovely. Some floral and pine mixed together. A bit metallic, too. Nothing overpowering, just pleasant.
Taste: Dry on the tip of the tongue. The pine and floral flavors come up right after that. A slight slight hint of caramel and tea, but the dryness starts moving to the back of the tongue, pushing aside flavors. Yet the dryness is good to me. A bit metallic and woody at the same time. Pine, citrus and hints of earth. I love it
I had to slow down when drinking this. It was nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 06:16:19 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of taez555


4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2006 23:28:06 | More by taez555
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 rambo10546


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

Trader Joe's in Encinitas CA

Excellent Head and lots of carbonation.
Nice blend of malt and hops.
Very drinkable with plenty of alcohol to mellow you out.
Reasonably priced.
Reminds me of Dogfishhead 60 min. only not nearly as clean and crisp.

My only dislike was a rather sour muddy aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 10:23:38 | More by rambo10546
Photo of hoplover82


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

A-Pours a slightly hazy deep golden color with a medium white head that swiftly dissapates to a think film on the beer but leaves pretty good "lanky" lacing.

S-The aroma is nice and strong. I wouldn't call it "pungent", but it is strong enough for a good IPA. It is mainly floral and sweet orange zest citrus fruits in the nose. Then after it sits a while, it slowly fades to a sweet biscuity malt aroma. Very nice indeed.

T-Sweet light crystal malts along with some nice clean bitterness and lots of hop flavor. Mainly floral aspects in the flavor. Also I do pick up some pine notes as well.

M-Full bodied and creamy, with a noticable dryness in the finish. And a bitterness that lingers oh so well.

D-This one is almost sessionable, but the 7%abv sneeks up on you. So I gave it a 4.0 for drinkablity. It goes down very nice. Although, there is a wee bit of hot alcohol in the nose and flavor, so it's not perfect but very good. I liked the experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 04:47:18 | More by hoplover82
Photo of thespaceman


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Mendocino pint glass:

Appearance: Hazy light copper in color, beautiful rocky head sits atop a bed of bubbles from the carbonation. A picture perfect looking beer all around. Head retention and lacing are excellent.

Smell: Hop character is light and fruit, big citrus florals are here, I can also detect a bit of malt spice in the backround. A bit bready but not enough to take away from the hop aromas.

Taste: Balanced from hops to malt perfectly, upfront I get a nice dose of grapefruit, orange peel and a other citrus notes. Classic Mendocino malt-flavorings are here in the finish and adds perfect depth, it's light yet toasty and refreshing to the palete.

Mouthfeel: Not overly bitter like other IPA's on the market, medium bodied, decent carbonation and sits on the tongue firmly without getting wet.

Drinkability: I'm always a fan of what Mendocino's doing since the Red Tail Ale was my first craft beer, and they never seem to dissapoint me. For the price and the quality, this is a sure fire winner in my fridge from now on. 7% ABV? You gotta be kidding me. If so, the alcohol is hidden very well. It's got perfect balance, isn't over the top and really easy to session. Another great beer from an even greater brewery!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 23:12:19 | More by thespaceman
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle comes from the Saratoga Springs location. Love the pissed-off hawk on the label.

Pours a huge pillowy head that leaves a ton of lace from the get-go. Color is a very well-filtered, radiant orange/yellow/rust.

Aroma is sharp pine and mild citrus, the more assertive, aggressive elements winning out. Bitterness over fruitiness, but both are present.

This is a bitter, hoppy, oily, almost sour IPA (not sour in the crappily-brewed sense). It's a hugely refreshing thing, resins scattering all over the tongue in a wonderful way. Big flavor, but not at all to the point of a Double IPA. Actually sort of old-school.

Is it because this is not from a hip brewery (Three Floyds, Surly, etc.) or because the market is flooded with IPAs that this hasn't gotten better marks on this site? I'm not stressing about it, but this is clearly a very, very good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 23:03:41 | More by Metalmonk
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 mmcave


4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured aggressively into tumbler creates nice fluffy head with decent retention. The foam leaves clumpy lacing that coats the glass. The color is a yellowish, orange amber. Smells of sweet caramel, vanilla and candy, with a backbone of piney hops. The flavor is a circle of sweet vanilla, citrus and bitter floral hops. This beer is nice, clean, a little sticky, good hops flavor and subtle sweetness. I like a little more wildness in my IPAs, but honestly I’d buy this over two hearted and many other similar style IPA. If its around give it a try, it wont be the end all, but a nice every now and then, especially for a session.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 20:56:38 | More by mmcave
Photo of dfried


4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2006 15:11:08 | More by dfried
Photo of DunkelDong


4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Light Golden Orange in color, two inches of creamy off white head with a good amount lacing the glass as it settles for 60 seconds. No sediment, mostly transparent.

The smell is fantastic ! Strong citrus grapefruit, i am guessing Simcoe, Cascade, Chinook is the hop bill.

The taste is dryer than i expected, but my nose isnt far off. A clean bitter and citrus taste with a dry after taste creeping in slowly after taking a sip. Alcohol taste is barley there for 7.0%, i am really enjoying this beer.

Mouthfeel is on the light side, and works nicely with how crisp and clean this IPA is. Very drinkable

Overall : Its a very well done IPA, i could drink it all night no problem. Not the best IPA i have ever had, but i think this beer is better than a lot of more "well known" beers in this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 07:56:20 | More by DunkelDong
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with 1/2" of bubbly head that quickly fades to an 1/8" lacing. Smells predominantly of bready malts. Taste is bready, biscuity malt up front followed by a piny, earthy hop bitterness. Nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, well carbonated, and very smooth.

At 7% ABV this is dangerously drinkable. Great balance, not too bitter, and doesn't tire out the palate. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 23:57:27 | More by tdm168
Photo of jonnylieberman


4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very nice into a pint glass. Good solid head with lots of lingering lace. The color of a trumpet.

Smells like vanilla and faint citrus fruit. A little bit of pine sap... maple almost.

Initial taste is sweet and slightly hoppy. And then comes the bitter burn that lingers and lingers and just doesn't quite work. The hops seem out of balance. Too much bittering, not enough aromatics.

Mouthfeel is somehow full AND watery. I have no idea how.

I just had three. One left. Yummy.

I fine drinking beer. Not outstanding in anyway, but very tasty and quite nice after work. Doesn't take my breath away, though, like a Laguanitas IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 06:00:51 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of oracle


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

12 oz bottle served in a tradtional english pint glass

Beer poured a very slightly cloudy medium redish-amber with very generous 4 fingers of head that left very heavy lacing.

Smell was excellent, with lots of fresh citrus hops and mild pine. Some corriander as well

Taste was much better than I anticipated. Very good. Nice hop bite up front with a fruity sweet middle and nice pleasantly bitter finish.

Very good and at $5.99/6-pack, it's a real bargin.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2005 14:09:54 | More by oracle
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours out a new penny, light orange color that is somewhat cloudy. There are ample bubbles and carbonation. There is a pillowy off-white head that is about a finger high and leaves a thin, sticky lace. The lace disappears by glass end.

The aroma is citrusy, grassy and a combo of sweet and sour.

The taste is citrusy with mostly grapefruit at the first bite. The aftertaste has lots of hop flavor and a hint of ginger that lingers on the palate. Overall, a good ipa.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 23:16:50 | More by abcsofbeer
White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.