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Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

293 Reviews
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Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000

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Reviews: 293 | Ratings: 497
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow color, lots of particles and haze in it, makes a great lace job down the side. Aroma was British. A little bit of woodsiness.

Taste was like the aroma, somewhat straddling the line between English and American pale ale. A little soapy at times, there isn't really anything like toffee or caramel malt wise. Its one of the older pale ales in America, I remember drinking this back in the 90s.

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Photo of kitschiguy
3.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured a nice hazy mid-yellow witha fairly good head which faded quite qickly. lEft some lacing and a thin layer of foam.

Nose is pleasant quite floral with citrus, some pineapple and malt aromas.

Palate isn't what I was expecting but it's pleasant. Quite lagery, with some citrus. Not really complex. Quite a bit of hop bitterness at the end. Quite dry.

Mouth id light to medium - ok.

Overall I quite enjoyed this beer. N0t outstanding but pretty good.

Recommended for fans of the style.

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Photo of q33jeff
1.65/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Aroma: Cream ale, hops.
Look: Yellow Color…Fuzzy.
Taste: Vegetables and hops.
Feel: medium to thin body
Not offensive, but very plain.

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Photo of FLima
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly haze amber color with a thin head with short retention.
Light aroma with notes of caramel and biscuit malt and sweet oranges.
Flavor is more interesting with notes of herbal and perfumy hops, drops of grapefruit, lots of oranges, a bit of toasted malts, lemon peel and soap. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light towards medium body with appropriate carbonation.
It might be behind its prime. This is a pretty mellow Pale Ale; citrusy was not really vivid as expected in an APA.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and golden orange in color. The head peaks at just under a finger's width, then dies down fairly quickly to a near barren surface and a razor thin ring around the edges. Leaves a fair amount of streaky and spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell - Cereal grain with a light floral hop character. Hints of citrus.

Taste - Follows the nose. Slighty grainy, mostly sweet 'white bread' malt met by a light floral and citrus hop bite. A bit of grassy bitterness and faint pith in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with moderate carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Smooth, easy drinker.

Overall - Hmm. It's an okay pale. Pretty basic. I don't mind drinking it, but I would never miss it if it were to cease existence.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: deep gold

S: faint floral scented hops

T: strong floral taste from the hops- tastes like soap!

M: fine but its too soapy to enjoy

O: Two of my all time favorites come from this company so it is a shocker that this ale is so unforgiving. I will never again be making the mistake of taking this off the shelf.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not a bad pale ale. freshness may be a slight issue with my bottle. the appearance is odd for the style, with copious yeast sediment in this thing taking the form of tiny specks suspended in a bronze hazy brew with one hell of a lacy leave behind as it drinks. without the particulate it would look nearly flawless. an aroma of slightly stale malt, rich though, and the hops come though, a nice illustration of the american pale, although the yeast character in here is more than is usually called for, almost spicy on the back end. the flavor is hoppy all the way, resinous as they go, big for just a pale, pushing the india realm. it tastes dry, or like it should be dry, but it isnt, its moist and long, which kind of works with the flavor profile, which is sweet pine and honey malt. good beer, id love to try it on tap at the source, i imagine it being a real beauty when its fresh.

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Photo of priwen
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Golden straw. Slightly hazy. Good Carbonation. Rocky, off-white head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Malt with some esters. Also, a little citrus.

Taste: A little sour with some bitterness on the finish. Muted. No flavor really stands out.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than what I would expect from a Pale Ale. Dry finish.

Overall: I'm a little disappointed in this one. I love a good Pale Ale, but this one really doesn't do anything for me. It's possible this one has been on the shelf a little too long. With no date on the bottle I can't be sure if this is what was intended by the brewer, or if time has had its way with this beer.

12 oz bottle
Served in a Mug

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Photo of elNopalero
3.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours with an amber malty color. There’s an aroma of caramel-orange and orange peel, in combination. Flavor has an orange marmalade character, with a light hop bite and a quick finish.
No idea the age of this bottle. It tasted “old” but I don’t think it was.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a beer of the month club pack. Pours golden with small white head. Smell is almost wheaty, sweet, slightly stale light an adjunct, with a tiny tinge of hop presence. Prickly carbonation up front. Flavor is a bit weak, but relatively pleasant. Very light sweet candy malt finish after up front hop flavor (though, not much bitterness). Pretty balanced. Not bad.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip. No bottling date apparent

Pours a copper color with a half inch thick white head. Mild malts on the nose, typical of the style. Taste is also quite typical with a mild malt tone followed by a tad of hops on the finish. It's nothing to write home about. Easy drinking, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a very average pale ale that is what you expect it to be. It's quite average but also, having said that, isn't bad. If you're in the mood for a typical tasting APA then this will do the trick.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mendocino Brewing Company - Blue Heron Pale Ale

Snagged one of these and another Mendocino brew from a buddy, not what I would call quality brews, reminds me of some of the low-end breweries we have up in a few of the corners in Vermont. Decent beer, but not good by any stretch of the imagination.

Look - Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with a small soapy head that leaves some nice sticky lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Smell - Faint citrus with sour yeast tang prevalent. Very light, almost non-existent aroma.

Taste - Huh?? Bland carbonated yeast with a hint of citrus hops rolls in but is then overridden by a bitter metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - Rests quite bitter but isn't all that awful. Some stickiness, no booziness, pretty drinkable, light bodied.

Overall - I was not impressed with this brew, very simplistic and plain, I did not get the sense that a brewer's love was put into this beer, it just seemed shallow to me.

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Photo of da_beers
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Friend brought this over. Decided to give it a shot before we drank something real...

A - Light golden straw, with slight haze. Only one finger of white, bubbly head that dissipated almost instantly.

S - Wow, almost no smell to speak of! Extremely faint citrus and yeast. Let down here.

T - Mendocino... Really? The label says "award winning", maybe for the most non-descript, uninspiring pale ale out there. Faint citrus, no hops, metallic bitterness.

M - Only redeeming quality is its slight stickyness. Low carbonation.

O - Average if that. Just disappointing. Would not recommend.

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Photo of Hendry
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Blue Heron pours an apricot hue with a slight soapy 1 finger head upon an aggressive pour. Respectable lacing.

Aroma is sweet malt with a touch of apricots. This smells like apricot infused bread, with a touch of basement mustiness to it.

Flavors are sweet malt and tart apricots, nothing spectacular, but exceedingly average. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and the malty sweetness rests atop the palate like an unwelcome houseguest.

Mouthfeel is medium,aggresive carbonation but not overdone.

Overall, this was just okay, but I was able to sample this with minimal outlay as I was grabbing the six pack as a favor to a buddy that wanted a trip-down-memory-lane ale that he used to enjoy in SoCal. Also served to remind both of us how great Vermont beer can be, and how lucky we are to have regular access .

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Photo of Minkybut
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I poured this surprising beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was pale as expected and poured a really nice thick creamy head. The beer had a slight hop smell and a slight hop taste. The beer was a little dry on the finish but not too bad. I would certainly buy this again.

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Photo of greybeardloon
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No date

A: Pale yellow. Nice head and good lacing.

S: Herbal, grassy hops and sweet grain.

T: Grassy, herbal hops and a thin graininess. Lingering bitterness helps put with the sweetness. Not a whole lot going on.

M: Thin yet still somewhat creamy.

O: A fairly dull APA.

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Photo of curasowa
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazy, golden color with one finger of head that fades fairly quickly to a thin cap.

Aroma: Grainy malt, a bit of lemon cleaner and cardboard.

Taste: Pleasant sweetness and a light, almost wheat-like malt up front, then some carbonation and a decent amount of bitterness leading to a slightly grainy, fairly fast finish.

The Rest: I haven't been drinking too many APA's lately, and this one is pretty good except for the cardboard aroma, which really detracted from an otherwise solid beer.

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Photo of Nixonbrew
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was expecting so much more from this beer. But it just didnt rank with the other california competetors

A - nice golden color with finger thick head

S - not much. Some citrus, some malt

T- light malt, not much depth. Not much hops aroma. Just hops bitterness

Mf - light, crisp, clean

O - slightly malty, bitter finish. Missing complexity. No real aroma

Easy to drink, 6.1% will get ya a buzz

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Photo of RickS95
2.72/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks like an American macro with it's extremely clear, very pale pour. While it's technically pale, it's not nearly as dark as other brewers' selections. The head is exceptionally bright and white and fluffy. It's got nice retention and leaves a thick cloud of lace as it eventually implodes.

The smell changes as the beer warms. Initially, there's a quick burst of what smells like pilsner malt, with I don't want any part of. However, as it warms, there's a biscuit-like note, as well as some citrus notes, that take over. The scents are all fairly subdued, but they're present.

That pilsner-like taste comes through from the first sip. There is a spicy hop quality that's present through the whole drink. It seems like there's a citric quality, but it's third fiddle at best. Really doesn't taste like an American pale ale, something more European.

Has a loose, watery feel to it, almost like a lager. The pilsner earthiness is very present and it's lacking body. Very similar to the Staropramen I had last night.

Overall, it's like most Mendocino beers--it comes up short. This is my second beer of the month club and unfortunately, Mendocino has been a part of both and I really hope this is my last try with them. It's just not an APA. It's not easy to drink, it totally lacks APA characteristics. Mediocre.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In a pint glass the beer was a gold color with a small white head.

A sweet malt aroma. Some flowery/grassy hops. A tepid aroma.

Rather tepid taste also. A little bread, a little grassy hops.

Good for your thirst. I had this with some fairly spicy chili, and it actually held up well. I think on it's own, it is an average beer at best.

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Photo of AAG
2.6/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured this American Pale Ale from a cold bottle into a room temperature pint glass.

Appearance - Soapy is probably the most appropriate way to describe the white head on this beer; poured about 2-3 fingers of white head which dissipated fairly quickly; light, golden color; looks refreshing.

Smell - Sweet, grainy, wheaty; hard to define. As the beer warms up the smell turns fruity.

Taste - Slightly bitter initially; transitioned to less bitter and dry; still leaves an overall bitter aftertaste, though.

Mouthfeel - I find this beer to be slightly displeasing on the palate; bitter; over-carbonated; not smooth.

Overall - Not my favorite beer; average for a pale ale; I find it bitter and I dislike the aftertaste. Might just be me but I would not buy this beer again. Almost tastes slightly skunked; astringent; the guy who described Blue Heron as a salad with slightly stale croutons and a bitter vinaigrette is right on!

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Photo of horshack7
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear and golden with a white head one finger thick.

Aroma: Grainy, buttery, light citrus, lemon zest.

Taste: Lemon zest, crisp mouthfeel. grainy, a little bit of a dry finish and a buttery texture.

Notes: Quite drinkable can be enjoyed anytime of year but even better for a summer day. Cheers.

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Photo of angusdegraosta
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Has a good golden color with a little lacing. A light earthy hop aroma. I like the taste: spicy, bitter, just sweet enough to round things out. The hops stay with you in a mouth-puckering way, but not enough to make you cringe. This is a good dry beer that won't give you a hop hangover.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.75/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours crystal golden straw into my goblet with almost three fingers of dense, moussey head. It's a bright, sparkly apricot in color, with a steady stream of small bubbles columning up from the glass etching. The cap quickly drops to about a finger of rocky, uneven chunks of foam. Some larger clumps stick under the rim of my glass. The lacing makes ghastly patterns as I drink. 4.75

S: Soapy hops. Is this a lavender beer? Cardboard. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and write that off as a problem with shipping. There's little else here; but as it warms a hint of flowers, spice, and lemon come through. 2.25

T: Blue heron tastes a bit like a salad, and here's why: the malt tastes like a stale crouton, and the hops are slightly citrusy, but very dirty and Earthy tasting, like those salads with dandelions and vinegar. There's the same offputting bite as I perceive with onions and vinaigrette. Somewhat juicy. The last sips told me my beet was definitely slightly skunked. 2.5

M: Some alcoholic sting, and medium hop astringency. Lots of carbonation make this a "burpy" beer. 3.75

D: Medium. It's not a great beer, but it's not awful.

I can't decide if I don't like pale ales, or if this beer is just bad.

Note to self: drink this side-by-side with one or two of the best ranking pales.

I suspect this one just isn't good, but I know I'm not attached to any of the BJCP 10A beers, so I need to "calibrate" for APAs.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale has a thick, soapy, off-white head, a semi-clear, yellow-golden appearance, with lots of thick lacing left behind, and an enormous amount of gray-brown specks floating about the beer. The aroma is of citrus, cracker, sweet malt, and maybe a slight sting of hops. Taste is of the same, with grass and a pleasant and sharp hop bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale finishes semi-dry, mellow, and highly drinkable. Overall, this was a wonderful sample, and I recommend this, in the strongest way. Please check it out!


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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.