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Blue Heron Pale Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

480 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 14.16%
Wants: 8
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a clear golden yellow body with a thin white film as a head. There is a slight haze to the body in the light. There is a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a green noble hop aroma with a sulfury hint.

T- The big taste of dry noble hops come through strong with a faint grapefruit note as it warms. There is a dry corn and raw grain flavor that comes through once I get used to the hops. There is a slight tartness to the hops finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with the finish filled with a fizz texture.

D- This beer has light lager note with some semi-interesting hops notes. This beer doesn't have any qualities of a typical ale and there are no real interesting malts to support the hops.

Photo of zeff80
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a cloudy, yellow with a small head and was highly carbonated. No lacing.

S - It smelled of malt, grasses and pine.

T - It had a strong taste of bitter hops. Also, a good bit of malt flavor to back it up.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a pretty good beer. Its appearance wsn't so good but the taste was.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pale yellow with no head at all. Some small lace, but nothing noteworthy. Smell is slightly hopped with a malt hint in there, matybe even some caramel. Taste is big malt up front with a dry hopped back. Not bad at al lfor a pale ale and a little suprising based on initial presentation. Goes down very smoothly and really has a good aftertaste, would definatly drink this again.

Photo of pmcadamis
1.84/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Dirty golden brew w/ a thick head of fluffy white bubbles. Lots of carabonation bubbles risisng to the top of the glass.

S - Herbal hint of hops with a distinct mineral aroma ....like metallic well water. Smells natural and refreshing like the cheesy painting on the bottle. Is that Thomas Kincaid "Painter of Light?"

T - Hard mineral well water flavor with metallic undertones. Dank and raw tasting. BItter in a rotten sort of way. Bitter, acidic, and very unpleasant....this is pretty foul.

M - Light and carbonated. Pretty average.

D - Suffers at the hands of the foul acidic, metallic, bitter, and downright nasty taste. Like chewing on a blade of grass....very bitter and vegetal.

Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rare and pleasant surprise found at the OnlyFineBeer shop, Chelmsford. BB date unknown, served lightly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark orangey golden hue, slightly hazy, poured with a slowly effervescent yet very tight frothy beer head
S: a profound aroma of flowery, piney and fat, juicy-lychee hops plus a LOT of sweet malts with its honeyish, sugar-cane juicy, yet also grainy edge, almost reminiscent of a Maibock!! Incredibly fragrant hops linger beautifully, yet the down-side maybe comes from a disproportionate malty entry and its slightly OTT caramely and sugary note, rendering it a touch too cloying for my nose. Otherwise it could score really really high for me.
T: the sweet grainy and honeyish malt overtone prevails from the first second onwards non-stoppingly... the fragrant hoppy flavour takes sometime to develop at the back, but then quicky ensued by a welcomed tannic+piney edge of hop bitterness, taking over the stage and leading towards a rather soothing, flowery hoppy and faintly tangy aftertaste. Remotely down the wings of the tongue, a sultana's "late-harvest sweet white wine"-like faint ending touch springs to mind. As the beer breaths, the palate softens in sweetness and a much more sound balance gradually is arrived at.
M&D: the mouthfeel is constantly soothing and softly fizzy, very pleasant, against a medium body and moderate flavour profile. The only drawback I could say about its drinking potential lies in the aroma, with a touch of sweetness too much for a healthy balance. Otherwise I'd say this is for me a delicious-enough and quaffable APA to drink in rounds with mates!!

Photo of oloughlinrj
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Ye Olde Forge, Lanesboro, MA.

Pours out medium amber with a good head.

Scent is very faint. Slight citrus notes.

Strong hops flavor. Again the citrus flavor is present. The hops really dominate this beer, to the point that you really have to look for other flavors.

Strong, bitter finish that lingers on the palate, almost to a fault. Have a glass of water or some food ready.

Overall, a very drinkable beer, and quite refreshing. Good for warm summer evenings. For 6% ABV, it's surprisingly light. A decent IPA, and worth a try.

Photo of nicefix
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light golden, good carbonation, one finger head with good retention and nice lacing, very clear.

Smell - Light, hoppy. Not much for aromatics.

Taste - Slight citrus. Hop front with a medium bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light, smooth.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Good on a hot day, refreshing. Overall, not very impressed. I look for lots of flavor in my beer and this one doesn't cut it. It's a good beer but with the great selection available to me, I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger white foamy head. Good retention and lacing.

The smell was very light. Elements of grapefruit and yeast were present.

The flavor was light as well. A mild grapefruit hop presence and a mild biscuity taste. A bit lemony.

The mouthfeel was average. Excellent carbonation and a dry finish.

Very drinkable and refreshing. A nice ABV to boot.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a med golden yellow with a smallish head that melted quickly to decent lacing. I may have been too gentle with my pour.
Aroma is pale malt with a hop presence.
Taste is all about hops... Sharp, clean orange rind, lemon, and grapefruit followed with a spicy, almost peppery feel as you swallow.
Aftertaste is grapefruit rind and light alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thick with the carbonation and slighly sticky from the pale malts I barely taste.
Decent brew....I will definately try this one again. I only bought a single at Trader Joe's...time for a 6 pack.

Photo of danielharper
3.44/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL

A: Pours orange-yellow color with nice thick bubbly white head. Slightly hazy, nearly perfect for style.

S: Quite hoppy, sweet with unfermented sugar. Has a bit of a corn backbone that I always associate with bad macros.

T: Strong citrus flavors, mainly orange rind with a hint of lemon, but with a nice hoppy presence that made it taste like a nice beer. Slightly sweet aftertaste.

M: Thick, foamy, and interesting. A pleasure to wash around the palate.

D: Not the best IPA in the world (in fact, this is probably closer to an APA) but it's a good beer, and I'll probably buy it again.

Photo of mcallister
2.19/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This pale ale doesn't have the most pretty appearance I recall seeing. Pours a dirty yellowish gold. Very little head that dissapeared almost instantly.

The nose is a little better than the appearance. Nice flowery, hoppy aroma, with some sweet citrus fruit in there and malt..

See the problem I have with this beer (as well as many others) is the fact that it doesn't have it's own image per say. There is no style to it. It does have some hop to it but no hop character that makes it different, there is a slight maltiness but the malt component leads more towards a macro in variety than it does a micro trying to set itself apart. It is a tad creamy but the mouthfeel is more like a Budweiser than a fine APA to me.

I would drink a light beer before drinking this just because it would make me not have to worry about getting fat as much. Hate to dog a beer like this but if you're going to put the money, time, and effort into brewing beer try and set yourself apart to be remembered.

Photo of goochpunch
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After a botched pour, this comes out hazy orange with a thin head. Smells of pale malts and citrusy hops. Too faint in the nose. The malt is really thin in the flavor; really watery. Not much backbone to this. The citrus of the hops is the only thing keeping this slightly of interest. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. No heavy carbonation stabbing away at the tongue. That being said, this is really almost too light. I suppose this is alright in terms of drinkability. Just boring and inoffensive.

Really, how is this designated as an IPA? This doesn't even stand up to APAs. Sub par.

Photo of BurnsTau
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a small amount of head.

Not much in the way of smell here, malts are most apparent with a faint trace of hops.

Taste is balanced. The sweet maltiness is apparent up front with a small bitter hop taste to counter it. For a pale ale you would expect the hops to be more present, but not so much in this brew. You wouldn't think this is a 6% brew due to how tame the taste is. Not to say it is unpleasent though, if anything it's a bit more refreshing than its more hoppy counterparts. Overall a good solid brew, enjoyable.

Photo of AlexJ
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale golden yellow with a fluffy white head that quickly settles, leaving no lace. Steady cascades of medium bubbles feed a lasting veil.

Aroma is very mild. Some bready, biscuity malts, with floral and light citrus notes. Slight metallic twang with hints of tart fruit.

Flavor is somewhat grainy malts, buttered toast, and very light fruit with some light floral and lemon/lime hop bitterness.

Body is between light and medium, with a bubbly mouthfeel and crisp texture. Not bad, just boring. No need to try this one again.

Photo of dickroop
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a medium-light golden with minimal head

The aroma was mostly a yeasty sweetness, with hints of floral hops scent.

Taste was a mild balance of malt and varied hoppy bitterness, but a nice long-lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is an initial biting of ample carbonation, a slightly cloying feel of malt, resolving to smooth stickiness that goes with the bitter finish.

Drinkability is surprisingly good. I like this brew and won't hesitate to pick up another batch.

Photo of Vipsanius
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden color with a one inch big bubble head that left decent lacing.

The aroma was orange, lemon, and yeast...not very strong and rather unspectacular.

The taste had a nice hoppy flavor that's not too sharp...citric bitterness...some floral flavors. Although the malts aren't too strong in the flavor, I was aware of their presence. Nothing overpowering at all in the flavor profile, which is nice sometimes.

The mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. Has the right amount of carbonation. Overall, a pretty melow and relaxing beer. Definitely something I'd go back to time and again.

Photo of GClarkage
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

02/10/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info noted. Poured into my Eye of the Hawk pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden pour, 3/4 inch gleaming white head. Very light lace with streaming carbonation bubbles.

Smell- Huge bready malt scent with a backdrop of citrus and light pine hops. A bit too bready to me IMO.

Taste- Biscut malt flavor with a nice orange and lemon hops flavor and bitterness. A bit buttery as well.

Mouthfeel- Not as carbonated as I was thinking after seeing the appearance. Mid range or so. Rather lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad, but I can think of many others before trying this one. Worth a try though.

Photo of clemtig76
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Pours a hazy yellow gold with a thin half inch head that quickly dissipates. Some sticky lacing. Aroma is dominated by spicy herbal hops with just a hint of citrus. Taste is all hops with a toasty biscuity finish. A decent brew, just not one to get excited about.

Photo of Naes
2.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a golden colored ale with almost no head.
The aroma is dominated by hops, but has an undertone of malt.
The flavor is somewhat grainy with a mild hop bitterness near the finish.
Its mouth feel is medium in body and actively carbonated.

This is a decent beer, though nothing about it stands out as extraordinary.

Photo of beersarang
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold on the edge of yellow. Pretty pale indeed! Decent head and retention.

Nothing special in the aroma department, some sweetness detected.

As expected a little sweetness and grain upfront, and a moderate hop presence. Lacks oomph but is balanced.

Another ho hom APA. So many of these!

Well, it's worth a try and is rather bready and floral, but I wouldn't drink it everyday.

Photo of Wasatch
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden/yellow color, some carbonation, nice little head which sticks around for a little while, some lacing afterwards. Scents of slight hops, and citrusy. Nice taste for a pale ale, kinda hoppy, and sweet the aftertaste is dry, clean and fresh. Medium body. Very drinkable. Another excellent brew from Mendocino, would recommend.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino- Blue Heron Pale Ale

Appearance- cloudy dark orange with a huge billowy head.
Smell- citrus and spice (pepper). Lemon, prapefruit, and orange.
Taste- hoppy with a citric kick.
Mouthfeel- a smooth Pale Ale with a slight bitterness in the end.

Overall- a nice Pale Ale that would be easy to down several. A nice balance of citrus and hops. My favorite from Mendocino. Worthy of a 6er.

Photo of joecast
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an attractive, slightly hazy, golden color. white frothy head settles to about a quarter of an inch. nice lacing around the glass. light carbonation with a few smaller sized bubbles making their way to the top.

light citrus aroma. not too sharp. a bit of peppery spice, maybe some yeast there, but not much. pretty sedate aroma.

strong hop flavor. if it was possible to measure, i would say the hop flavor beats the bitterness by about 3:2 yup, im giving ratios. anyway, they're heavy on the flavor hopping. nice.
though its a pretty clear beer, there is still some yeast on the pallate. all that seems to be outweighing the malt which makes it seem like there might be something missing.

very smooth mouthfeel. maybe lacking a bit of crispness, but still a nice and highly drinkable pale.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Though I was careful not to get the sediment from the bottom of the bottle, the beer still pours pretty cloudy. It is an orangish yellow color that had a very small head after a pretty aggressive pour. The small head was gone in less than a minute. I don't really see any bubbles rising.

Aroma: Citrus and some floral hops dominate the aroma. I get quite a bit of fruitiness from the yeast, but there is very little contribution from the malt to the aroma.

Taste: Hops lead the way in the flavor also. It has a bit more of a floral presence than the aroma suggested. There are still plenty of citrusy notes...orange and grapefruit are the most noticeable. The malt is very reserved the entire time, but adds a bit of toast to go along with the bread from the yeast. The finish, though led by the hops, ends up pretty wet.

Opinion: I was pretty disappointed in this beer. I had higher hopes because I really like their Talon beer. Even their Eye of the Hawk is pretty good, but this one is a bit weak. Not necessarily in alcohol, but in fullness. Oh well..win some...lose some.

Photo of Vancer
2.94/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Classy label, blue heron flying over the mountains – nice but no bottle dating, bummer.

Color of the pour was good (amber / orange) but it was lacking any head or lacing. An aggressive pour produced a short-lived thin white head – not good.

Floral aroma, with some backbone of malt. Taste took a downturn, somewhat a gritty, bitter tasting brew.

This is something I would not seek out – disappointing and lackluster.

Also see where this was brewed & bottled in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.