Special Edition - White Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Special Edition - White AleSpecial Edition - White Ale
149 Ratings
Special Edition - White AleSpecial Edition - White Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADR on 05-20-2005

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 |  Reviews: 120
Reviews by xav33:
Photo of xav33
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino Summer Ale
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in a shaker
Brewed recently (?), absorbed 06/07

Poured a slightly hazy yellow with a large fizzy mostly diminishing head.

Smelt of strong citrus, flowery wheat and orange blossom hops.

Taste was upfront moderate bittersweet and sour oranges, like candied oranges, but much more sour, followed by more of the same but with a hops presence being felt on an average length finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, slightly dry on the finish, fizzy and lightly astringent.

Overall, this is a standard witbier with a little bit more sour bite than its counterparts. Very refreshing!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange-yellow with suspended sediment.

A lot of coriander on the nose(almost too much) with a pretty straight for orange and lemon citrus.

Zesty lemon, coriander, yeast, caramel maltiness as it warms. Banana, vanilla?

Well made beer that's easy to session and pretty true to the belgian style.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why all the mixed reviews for this beer. This is a fine summer ale, definitely one of the best I've had. In fact, this one reminds me so much of Samuel Adams Summer Ale its crazy. The smell, taste, mouthfeel... all extremely similar. I'd like to try the two side-by-side.

There's a lot of lemon & citrus in the nose, with malt underneath. The beer is a pale color, but a healthier pale, not the washed-out-sun-bleached pale of BMC. The taste is crisp, also citrusy, refreshing. Mostly malt is detectable, with very minimal hops noticeable, if at all.

I could drink this over and over. And I will, if they release it next year. A solid whitbier.

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Photo of Billolick
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info. Pours into my tulip and basically looks the way a wit should, super cloudy dull and yellowy. Near white head that would be better with some longer retentive powers and then leaves a bit of none too sticky lace. This one is loaded with citric blasts of lemon flavor in the nose and then following through into the flavor. that pretty much all I experienced, more and more lemon. Lacks the complexity of the higher scoring examples of the style. Decent summer quencher.

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Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewed with spices, color, and style in the Wit tradition, has the same Special Edition marking as the recent Winter Ale...Saratoga Springs, NY bottling. Very hazy light orangey yellow with suspended sediment. Head rises to 1/2 an inch for a minute. Looping ring laces. Slight citron aroma, a sense of angel food cake. Body is medium, carbonation fine in impression and slightly prickly. Fluffy cotton candy, slightly glue-ish with gentle citrus candy to accompany it. Yeasty sweet baked bread comes through at the end. No fall of in flavor, good persistence of texture as well. Though there's not a lot, more of a distinct tone of orange in the aftertaste. Pretty good rendition for style.

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Photo of chinchill
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle

Clear golden body; lots of visible carbonation.

Feel: very crisp, lively carbonation. Medium body is surprisingly ful for style.

Spicy aroma.

Flavorful with a bit too much coriander; Some lime peel flavor; spicy; mildly bitter; fanitly tart.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.57/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This milky-cloudy brew is the color of pineapple juice with maybe a splash of OJ added, and the head is a two finger starch white affair that shows nice retention. Some wet foamy lace is left on the glass too. This brew is one of the cloudiest that I've ever seen! Nice!

S - Orange and lemon rind, lemonade, spring-fresh laundry detergent, and lots of yeast. Lemon chiffon pie, lemon bars (those cookie-like things), and pina colada mix. There are some hints of spicy clove and white pepper too. This smells outstandingly fresh ...like laundry hung out to dry on a beautiful spring day.

T - Wow! Spicy, tangy, lemon rind and orange peel jump out of the glass and on top my tongue! This reminds me of a lemon shake up that you can buy while waiting in line for the Raging River ride at Six Flags! This is peppery, citrusy, and fresh...like lemonade infused with pepper and cloves. There are some lemongrass hops and loads of really fruity yeast notes too. This tastes like on of those stick-candy things with the spirals on them (the kind that they sell at Amish shops)...nobody probably knows what the hell I'm talking about, but this tastes like those things.

M - Medium bodied, with some candle wax heft on the palate, and playful carbonation. The finish is off-dry and extremely thirst quenching. As the dryness fades, a waxy feel (probably due to the high yeast content) makes this a really pleasing brew.

D - I wasn't expecting much when I cracked this one...I thought that it would be some approximation of a kolsch or basic summery lager, and I was extremely pleased to see that it's a wit...I friggin' love wits when the weather is right and today is beautiful and warm. A perfect brew for sittin' on the deck with the dog and soaking in the springtime sun. This beer has really impressed me, and I'll surely try to find a sixer of this again this summer!

Note: Next time I go on a cruise I'm sneakin' some of this quality brew aboard. Perfect for sitting on the deck for a day at sea!

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Photo of secondtooth
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mmm. This cloudy, unfiltered Belgian-style spiced ale is
characteristically bold, rich, and complex. Hints of citrus,
coriander, and clove, and nicely zesty and strong, yet still
well-balanced. Mendocino's White Ale is not one to chug, but for a
sipper, this one's a treat. Forget the diets and try one of these.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medocino's White Ale offers the typical hazy golden body and bright white head. The aroma displays coriander, delicately sugary sweetness, and a hint of orange-like and lemony citrus. In the mouth it's light bodied and crisp. The flavor offers a bit of tartness not commonly found, and in combination with the carbonation and coriander it's got a real zing! Echoes of corainder and orange peel reverberate in the finish, along with a thin film of sticky malt and some receeding tartness. Superbly refreshing, and very interesting! And although this is a lighter style, it's absolutely packed with flavor. Very well done!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy pale light golden yellow color. The aroma is sweet with some wheat, a lot of orange peel and some coriander. Very nice. The taste is a little on the tart side with orange peel and other citrusy notes with some spices mixed in. The mouthfeel is light bodied and heavily carbonated, very prickly. Overall, this is a pretty solid Wit that is crisp and refreshing on a warm Florida summer day. Worth a shot.

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Photo of tempest
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hear this is the same as the old Mendocino Summer Ale. Whatever. The appearance is good with pale yellow malts, a fluffy white head, and a bit of yeast clouding the body. Beyond the normalcy of how it looks, this is a very American interpretation of the style for it's lack of subtlety. The yeast character, the driving force in any wit, has overpowering spicy phenols with clove, white chocolate and pepper. These are a nice combinations of flavors, but they're too strong and unbalanced. Basically this beer is turned up to 12. Worth trying if you like bold wit's, otherwise stick to the classics.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of UncleFlip
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice pale yellow with honey overtones, a bit hazy. Fluffy two-finger head (I have big fingers) slowly fades away, leaving a sparse wet lace behind.

Smell is all about a thin, pungent spice- it barks like a wit. This particular sample seems to have hit it relatively on the nose- no pun intended.

Not as flavorful as I'd hoped. On first taste, I feel like I'm struggling to find the estery clove, lemon, and banana. they hit a few seconds in , but fade pretty quickly. At the end, there's a woodiness in the back of the mouth.

In the mouthfeel, the most consistent thing is a low, tight carbonation. It never swells up and takes center stage. That leaves the liquid feel to take the proverbial spotlight. It's just a little slimy up front, but average from there out- maybe just a tad heavier than one would expect of it.

It's an easy drink- but perhaps too easy. One could drink a bunch of these in a night, but I'd think a person would get a little bored with it. Good to drink on a hot day -in- the shower after mowing the lawn. :)

Be well

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Photo of Bieniek30
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of bashiba
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a milky yellow with a thick long lasting head, good lacing.

Smell had a nice bit of citrus, pepper,and corriander, with some minor yeast notes.

Taste had a light grainey body with hints of lemon, orange, corriander, pepper, and fresh wheat.

Mouthfeel was crisp and very carbonated.

Overall a pretty good wit. Easy to drink and refreshing in the summer, a nice session beer.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dull end of the day sun in color; active carbonation and particles of yeast moving around the glass. The aroma is sweet and powerful—wheat, coriander, even some freshed cracked pepper noted. A robust wheat malt and fresh lemon 1-2 punch. Decent carbonation, the body is sweet and sour; kisses of black pepper and orange peel. The finish is dry, yeasty notes towards the bottom. A true thirst quencher, and a good beer to boot!

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy yellow with an absolutely massive white head that is very fluffy and sticky. actually too much head for me, its pretty hard to pour this in one pour even with the gentlest pour you can muster. Leaves some grea tlacing down the glass.

Smells primarily of wheat, fairly light, with some nice hints of citrus, lemon and orange. A bit of coriander, and some noticeable spice. Nice aroma, a bit light, though.

Taste follows suit, but has a bit more spice and some more coriander to it. The lemony citrus also makes itself a bit more noticeable in the flavor. Nice tasting brew.

This beer had a lot going for it, but the body really threw it off for me. It looked fairly carbonated from the pour and the head, but this is just ridiculous. The carbonation level is so high that the beer is at times difficult to drink. Makes it much less drinkable and enjoyable than it should have been.

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Photo of Pookie
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Inflatablechair came over on the 4th with a nice mix 6'er... I enjoyed one of these bottles early in the night... and thought I had the last .. but tonight I found the remaining bottle in the back of the top shelf of the fridge.. Thanks Sam... Mendocino is a wild card for me.. I appreciate the leftover.. Poured into my shaped SA glass....

I only want a beer or two tonight.. Moving sprinklers around and found this Wit.

1" head... good lace and a pretty nice cap.. the brew is pale ... very very pale gold..

The nose is pretty phenolic for a Wit.. alot... really alot of yeasty spiciness.. a little peppery.. but more coriander is making my nostrils pay attention.

Flavor has all the above with a pithy citric element.. I like the yeasty notes most good Wit's provide.. but on the palate.. this one is coming up significantly short.. it seems to try and make up for the shortcomings from the brewing process and brewing recipe.. with spice additions..

The body may be on the heavy side.. and the carbonation may be a tad light... but.. overall.... despite my above reservations.... Mendocino has a pretty descent summer session... but it seems a little to close to so many other average Wits in the same zone.


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Photo of enelson
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of matjack85
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yellow in color with tons of carbonation and a huge fizzy white head that let down quickly. Aroma is light banana, clove and citrus, nice and light and airy with touches of lemon zest and fresh spice as it warms. Very clean taste, perfect hints of citrus and spice layered on the banana based malts. Quick, clean, light and very drinkable.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy lemon yellow with a thin white head that vanishes quickly. Aroma is a nice strong spicy coriander over a lemon/grapefruit citrus. Taste is almost all spices--there's a brief hint of the citrus flavors upfront but they are quickly overtaken by a sharp coriander which leaves a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. The carbonation level of this beer seems pretty low for a Wit---just not enough to lift the spices of my tongue and keep the drink refreshing. This is decent beer that I would easily drink in a pinch, but there's just nothing that makes me want to buy another.

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Photo of Brent
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy gold, with a good deal of spice in the aroma. A bit on the light and thin side in mouthfeel, but I imagine that is intended in a summer ale. Spicing is quite prominent - some orange peel in the background, but corriander is dominant, calling to mind spiced tea. One is pleasant and refreshing, but too much spicing to make this a session.

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Photo of getbehindthemule
4/5  rDev +16.3%

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Special Edition - White Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 149 ratings