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Blue Heron Pale Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

459 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 14.41%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000)
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Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 17:39:13 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of joecast


3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 00:46:59 | More by joecast
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 03:32:14 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Vancer


2.9/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 22:33:50 | More by Vancer
Photo of DogFood11


4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice sticky ivory white head supported by a shit load of carbonation. Straw with some orange hue on the edges. Streaky lacing.

Light malted sweetness, Toast, Hopped up.

Toasted bread cuts through the sweetness. Hops are punishing because they all come at once and are gone in a flash. Pleasant finish medium to dry.

I've had quite a few beers from this brewery and they all have this similarity. I think its the malts they use, they just have this laid back way of making all their beers regardless of ABV very drinkable and smooth things out. Yes! Solid offering and worthy of your attention.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2005 02:11:32 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Mitchel


3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blue Heron offers a light golden, hazy color and a moderate head that laces pretty well. The head stays around for a little while which I like.

This is hop-tastic beer! This is a must for you hop-heads. This smells spicy, yet pretty clean and leaves little to no after taste. The carbonation is nice, not too much. A surplus of carbonation can ruin a beer in my eyes. A very light beer which smells of orange and raw hops. It tastes very faintly of pear and has quite an initial bite.

This beer is good, but not great. It has nothing that stands out in my mind. I would probably not buy it on a regular basis, but it would be nice to come back to on a hot summer night……or a San Antonio November night, what ever (80° at 12:30 AM).

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2005 06:40:43 | More by Mitchel
Photo of BEERchitect


3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I may be a little generous with my review of this beer. I also beleived that I had a bad bottle, until I read the reviews. A recent tasting revealed a sub-par brew. Not spicy or hop flavored. An odd sweetness and viscocity and a hard bitterness toward the finish. The beer just seems old.

A good example of my favorite style of beer. It has everything that great Pale Ales have: malty, toasty, spicy, hoppy, fruity, floral, crisp and clean. Everyone is making very good Pale Ales. Mendecino's is no different. Because they are all so good, there are few standouts--making this beer a little forgetable. It has good malt and hop presence. A bit harsh with the carbonation and alcohols. Bittering and flavor hops work well, but add a bit of metalic character. Still, a good beer. It just gets lost in the shuffle.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 22:04:29 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jasonpeckins32


3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden shade in color, with a nice mound of foam on the top. Quite bubbly, it appears to be very well carbonated. The smell is a nice floral boquet of hops. Not an overpowering scent, but simple and pleasant. The taste is also of hops, a little bitterness, and finishes dry and clean. Solid tasting beer. Nothing extravagant, but decent quality. The mouthfeel is average for this style of brew, good carbonation and even a little warm on the way down. The drinkability is okay also, I could be well satisfied drinking these all day long, but its nothing to go wild about.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2005 13:08:26 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden body without much head and just a touch of lacing

Smell: Surprisingly low key in the hops aroma as one would expect the Cascades to be a bit more pronounced; a bit spicy and malty but a rather weak aroma overall

Taste: Starts out a bit bready but quickly, the hops kick in and, frankly, overwhelm the finish; the beer suffers from a very astringent, medicinal aftertaste that lingers like an unwelcome houseguest

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slickness and decent carbonation

Drinkability: A bit difficult to drink due to the astringent finish

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2005 00:52:58 | More by brentk56
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is very cool. I'm not a fan of IPA's but this one is really good. Poured out to a clear golden color with a nice half inch foamy head. Medium high carbonation. Odors of hops and more hops. Taste was exceptionally smooth, no offensive over-bitterness. Flavors of hops, dry malt and a touch of raw molasses. Very well balanced. Finished with a nice aftertaste of fresh hops. This is a good place to start when getting into this style. I will buy this again, hands down. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2005 04:14:50 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of tgbljb


3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a golden amber color with bountious white puffy head. Smell is strongly of hops and extremely pleasant. Taste is mainly of hops with a background touch of malt. Finished strong, bitter and dry. A good solid beer, I enjoyed it, but one is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2005 00:48:25 | More by tgbljb
Photo of UncleFlip


3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Colour is a rich honey, with an orange hue to it. Head is fluffy white, two finger thick, decreasing slowly leaving a bit of sparse lace behind

Smell is airy and spicy, with an orangey-banana hint to it. Not fabulous, but solid.

Some woody malt hits up front, then a sort of stale hop flavour. It's not a BAD stale hop flavour. It did not put me off this one at all. A woody spiciness hits after the hops, and stays until end.

The mouthfeel is all about the carbonation. I didn't really feel I got much at all of the liquid's body- the carbonation was just too distracting. Points off for that.

I don;t find this one very drinkable- but then, it's all opinions here. Others may have no problem staying witht his one. It's not a style I dislike- I just wasn't all that fond of this particular one. Your experiences may vary. :)

Be well

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 04:31:37 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not bad for a simple, straightforward American IPA with no frills. Pours a shiny copper in color. Nose is almost non-existent, with only a slight hint of hops. Malts come through at the begnning. Followed by very un-complex hop additions. Little sprucey. Mouthfeel is actually kind of sticky. Not bad for an IPA, but nothing that really jumps out at me as unique. Almost makes me think of a homebrew.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2005 01:23:26 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of benmiliron


3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little hazy brown with a hint of rust. Nothing special in the nose, maybe a whiff of orange? Small, crisp bubble, then foamy. Classic American very sharp hop. No IBU listing, but i bet it's up there. Twang of alcohol too.

great drinking brew if you can handle the heavy alphas. I think it's relatively affordable too, I paid $1.19 for a single.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2005 21:15:21 | More by benmiliron
Photo of germaniac


3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow-gold with a fruity hop scent. Taste is crisp and refreshing, with a slight hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Can't find any hint of the 6.1 abv. Easy and enjoyable to drink but there are several others in this price range that I would pick up first for mass consumption- think mirror pond, stone, etc.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 20:14:41 | More by germaniac
Photo of cracgor


3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought the bottle in NC...so it can be found even now.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden color. Soft ligh initial head. Looks good at first, but poor retention. Completely gone before I've finished drinking.

Smell: can you say hops? I smell them as soon as I pour the brew...oily delcious goodness.

Taste: Wow this is very hopped for a pale ale (maybe not an american india pale ale). Very true to the bottle description. Varley tastes clean and sweet to balance the hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body. dry. bitter. slightly astringent. all good in my book.

Drinkability: I could drink this pretty well, but it is a bit hopped if you don't like that.

Notes: The only problem is the aroma and flavor of the hops disappears with the head. When this happens the balance falls apart. But before it is very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2005 21:59:18 | More by cracgor
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this as a single at Frugal McDougal in South Carolina for $1.29 (I guess the 6.1% can't be found in North Carolina, at least for a few more months). Nice pale ale for a summer night. Crisp and clean, with a fantastic head and lacing the whole way down. Not too hoppy and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 01:29:49 | More by Backer2004
Photo of BeerandBlues2


2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled. Pours hazy pale orange with a foamy white head. Sour malt aroma greets you and then a citrus hop aroma lingers around pushing away the maltiness. Bitter hoppiness is huge near the front end and the malt is faintly evident as the taste fades. A fair amount of thin lacing clings to the glass. A tad fizzy and carbonated with a medium to light body and dry fininsh.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 19:53:26 | More by BeerandBlues2
Photo of pjwilson


3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mendicino really shines at packing alot of alcohol in thier beers. Take Blue Heron Pale Ale. It tastes so light i'd think it's about 4.2 percent not 6.1
same with eye of the hawk (8 percent and don't call me the morning) and the ipa (7 percent...can't taste it either) so if you're in a hurry and wanna grab something for a party...and have it be a good decent ale... mendicino is a good bet... For siting at home enjoying a beer or two their are many better choices...that said: a staple.

People seem to be confused about this beer and give it low reviews because of it. BA says it's an IPA...way, way off the mark. No way on any planet is this an ipa...niether does the company anywhere claim this be an ipa. 2, It's hard to say this is even a pale ale.... it's on a completely different plane as say sierra nevada or deschutes. If i had to judge i would call this an American Blond Ale. If considered a Blond, then it is a hoppy blond. If this a pale ale then it is the palest (most pale) i've ever seen.
appearance: yellow...slightly darker haze. there are many lagers darker than this. it's darn light for an ale and the head is minimal.
smell: pleasant. the smell is very sweet malty. But it is quite pleasant to smell...keep coming back to smell again.
taste: light malty, with an after taste of bitterness. It's almost like a Kolsch but way too bitter for a Koslch. Sort of no man's land between smooth and bitter. No hop taste besides the bitterness.
m and d: goes down really easy. It's really brainless to put this stuff back.

Notes: I'm not a huge APA fan...i don't like SNPA or Deschutes PA that much. I'd rather have one of these. That said i probably wouldn't get this unless it's really cheap by comparison. i got this for 3.99 a 6er on sale...yes 3.99. at that price it's a good buy. I'd rather have a pilsner, kolsch ... or actually go the other way get a nice ipa. I don't really like the middle area. But easy to drink...

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2005 04:16:07 | More by pjwilson
Photo of acrawf6


3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of all the mendocino beers i have tried so far, i think i like this the best. Pours out a good copper and orange hue. head is white but was not really present.

taste was nice and hoppy. a good bitter taste and a has a little bit of a fruity flavor to it. i think i good balanced american ale.

mouthfeel was good, about average i think for an american ale.

i think this is a great beer to try, and if you get a hold of a six pack, i say buy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 22:54:18 | More by acrawf6
Photo of mschofield


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear, well carbonated golden amber, topped with a big three finger puffy off-white head, leaves rings of lacing.
Nice aroma, flowers, citrus and bread.
Biscuit, citrus zest, hoppy floral taste, nice bitter aftertaste.
Medium bodied, very easy drinking, nice basic pale ale... as an IPA well not so good.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2005 23:57:42 | More by mschofield
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smoky amber-gold with more fine particles than one normally sees in a pale ale. The cap is lemon-infused cream in color and displays better than average firmness. It looks a little like vigorously whipped egg whites and is no slouch in the lace department. This one has a good look about it.

The nose is disappointing, both in terms of power and character. It's weak, even for a pale ale. IPA? That's a joke, right? Cluster and Cascade make up the hop bill, but they don't distinguish themselves at all. The nose is as floral as it is citrusy and is average at best.

Nope, there's nothing good happening on the palate. For an APA, Blue Heron has a disturbing lack of hops. The bitter quotient (moderate) is higher than the hop flavor quotient (low) by a long shot. The spindly malt structure isn't anywhere near big enough to balance what hops are present and the beer tastes like reconstituted powdered citrus zest with a light dusting of crushed aspirin as a result. My love of hops is the only thing that keeps the taste score as high as it is.

The flavor is relatively weak overall and can't manage to hang on until the finish; a finish that is clean by default since there aren't enough ingredients to make it dirty. A light mouthfeel is coupled with a middle-of-the-road amount of carbonation.

It shouldn't be that difficult to brew a good APA. Blue Heron is a beer that I'll have no trouble finishing, but that I have no desire to drink again. Mendocino still has some work to do to impress me.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 00:22:05 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2.15/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle. Bland peach citrus type flavour, really short finish, tinny, stale, tiring. Almost a lagery style pale ale, very thin. As i mentioned before has a slightly rusty, edgy tinny quality to it. Once again i was really left feeling dissapointed with this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2005 22:11:33 | More by rastaman
Photo of Southernbrew


3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden orange with a nice sized soft, bubbly head.

Aroma definitely shows off the hops, a mix of bitterness, spicy and citrus. Some weak malts, mostly caramel-like.

Medium body, fairly smooth with weak carbonation. Big hop flavor, lots of bitterness up front followed by a bit of spiciness. A malt flavor I would describe as a mix of caramel and bread shows faintly in the background. Aftertaste is potent bitterness.

Nice pale ale, definitely straddles the Pale/IPA line.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 04:17:35 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of clvand0


3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a light amber color with a small head that doesn't stick around long and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma has some citrus hops and a slight malt character, but it's very subdued. The flavor has a different, dirty hop in it that I don't care for. Might be the cascades. Decent caramel malt backing. The mouthfeel is ok and the drinkability is ok as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2005 18:05:01 | More by clvand0
Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.