Special Edition - White Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Special Edition - White AleSpecial Edition - White Ale
Special Edition - White AleSpecial Edition - White Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 149
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, cloudy orange body with no translucence and had a good head that receeded slowly. A good citric smell like orange mixed with some clove and other spices, plus some yeast/wheat in there. First thing that hit me was the smoothness of this medium-bodied beer, along with a good fruit taste like orange and lemon. Spices are complimentary but not overpowering and has a crisp and pleasant backbite. A great example of a witbier and a great beer to relax with on a hot July day.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: pale golden body with bubbly white head and light lacing; slightly murky

s: citrus orange peel; coriander; spices

t: raw grain; light sweet citrus; some spice; a little underwhelming

m: bubbly and light; refreshing

d: a little bit under flavored in my opinion

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Photo of whynot44
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale straw yellow color with a moderate fizzy white head that looks a bit like lemon meringue and sticks around moderately well with a bit of lacing.

The aroma is spicy coriander, lemon and orange with hints of banana and yeast.

The taste is also heavy on the coriander, with wheat notes, plenty of citrus peel, and pepper. Tart throughout with a crisp dry finish.

Light bodied, drinkable and well worth a try for a summer cooler.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a banana-yellow color with a big, frothy, white head and combonation bubbles running rapidly up the side. Smell was pretty sweet: there was the typical banana, orange, and yeast, plus a nice spicey kick, and flavors of lemon cake. Maybe a tad too sugary. The taste was a combination of wheat, sour lemons, and sweet oragnges. Some spice and yeast in there as well, plus a mild hop presence. The mouthfeel was too thin in my opinion, giving an otherwise complex beer a bit of a watery sense. All in all, a pleasant beer that hit the spot for me on a hot day, but not really a great example of this style, plus a tad too sweet for my liking.

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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 Gehrig
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Due for some good beer as well as some new ones to try, I snagged this from my ol' reliable, the Neil St. Piccadilly. After a brief chinwag with one of the managers about the travails of French cycling and the upcoming Tour de France, I exited and arrived home ready for some good sampling. Summer Seasonal got things off to a good start. Cloudy lemon body topped with a thin finger of white foam. Little lacing follows a quickly dissipating head.

The aroma is better, full of orange and lemon peel, pepper and coriander. While it incorporates the requisite Witbier components, it's a tad spicier in taste and more bitter than others I've had. That's far from a bad thing, for there is no shortage of citrus flavor, making this well balanced.

A solid Witbier, well worth grabbing and a good representative of the style. Great way to beat the heat.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this White Ale out of a 12 ounce bottle into a heffe glass.

The color is a very light yellow, yet is almost opaque with its unfiltered goodness. This beer has coriander and very slight citrus notes on the nose. It has a very crisp smell, and keeps the crispness up once it hits your mouth.

This beer's mouth feel is right in line with its appearance: Light, but full and thick, with an almost frothy presence. It finishes up smooth with a light, crisp, easy swallow that leaves a nice refreshing taste in your mouth.

This beer is a great summer seasonal, one of the best American-made witbiers I've ever come across. To describe it in alternative terms, this beer feels like...

...A summer breeze off a corn field that hits you on the dock of a lake.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I was confused writing this, as I cannot find my exact match. I have a summer seasonal white ale, limited addition. It is fabulous, too. Great session beer. I could not tell any difference between it and Hoegaarden, except the price. A little thinner, but a better or NO aftertaste. Great looking beer too, with nice lacing and a head that kept up all the way through. Cloudy, mirky, and nontransparent. Smells of corriander, oranges, and lemon zest. Tastes good, a bit thin, but not much. Great offering! This should come around every spring/summer.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from Gary's in Madison for $1.49...
"Limited Edition Belgian Style Ale Brewed With Spices" on the front logo sticker...
An aggressive pour yielded a hazy, cloudy, straw-colored hue with a decent-sized foamy head that retained impressive staying power before slowly dissipating...
Musty, earthy aroma replete with a few spices, possibly some coriander and lemon...
Taste was crisp, clean, and refreshing... your ideal Summer-Time brew... Traces of fresh pears, apples, ripe fruit, lemons, coriander and wheat abound...
Crisp mouthfeel and an overall good level of drinkability to match...
Good stuff...
Worth a try...

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Photo of floatingpancake
1.61/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I am going to quote "Aging Warrior" word for word for he nailed it. I am glad his review is posted first!

"Poured a very cloudy pale golden color with just a bit of white head. The head dissipated quickly and provided minimal lacing.

Smell is dominated by citrus, but it has something else with it that reminds me of liquid dish soap.

Taste is grainy with a lot of citrus flavor. The finish is tart.

Mouth feel is on the thin side, light body with medium carbonation.

I would not drink this again."

I second that!

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Photo of AgingWarrior
2.28/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a very cloudy pale golden color with just a bit of white head. The head dissipated quickly and provided minimal lacing.

Smell is dominated by citrus, but it has something else with it that reminds me of liquid dish soap.

Taste is grainy with a lot of citrus flavor. The finish is tart.

Mouth feel is on the thin side, light body with medium carbonation.

I would not drink this again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale yellow beer with a tall white head, like it is supposed to look.

Spicy and aromatic with a strong coriander and orange aroma. Powdery yeast and a lot of spicy phenols from the yeast. Not the best but the aroma is way up there.

In the first sip this is powdery and yeasty more than spicy, but the spice is in there too. Standard orange and coriander flavor here with a dry finish to the beer.

Mouthfeel is Good.

Not bad similar to Blue Moon but not the best. Perfectly fine for summer salads and lawn mowing.

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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 Pencible
2.67/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured amber yellow, semi-translucent, with a little head. It had a strong lemon and orange citrus scent with some wheat as well. The flavor was similar with pineapple and mango as well, like a Corona but more bold. There was basically no bitterness, and an average texture. Overall this was a very fruity beer and not my style.

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Photo of enfield249
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours yellow-white and cloudy. Thin band of white foam along the top of the glass.

S - Lots of coriander, lemon peal, some sweet smells.

T - Lots of sour spicy flavor. Same as above for the most part.

M - On the thin side, but about average for the style.

D - A very nice wit. I would really like this in the summer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer in May '07 but originally posted it under the Cali. brewery.
12 oz bottle, 2007 edition brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY, served in a pint glass.

A - not quite clear golden yellow brew with a slight head that thinned out quickly, leaving very little lace.

S - citrusy aroma, not too bad.

T - too much citrus in the taste, this is bad.

M - thin, light bodied, mild carbonation.

D - because of the taste, I had to rate the drinkability low.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale yellow color, with a very thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, light malts and spice with a touches of hops and fruit.

T: The taste is of coriander spice and fruit up front. Then some flavors of Belgian yeast and wheat come in. The malt character is light as you would expect from a summer seasonal and there’s a mils hops presence to provide a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp with a little smoothness, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not filling at all, good representation of style, I could drink a few of these but it’s not exactly going to be my first choice when looking for a Witbier. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for this beer, but it was better than I thought it would be.

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Photo of jp32
2.78/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Probably should be listed as Mendocino Summer Ale, like the bottle says. What happens when they come out with another summer seasonal?

Pours a hazy, soft orange color. Fizzy, but no head. Sediment floaters. It smells like a wheat ale, quite typical. The flavor is enjoyable. Hints of wheat, malts, and oranges. Mouthfeel is excellently crisp and clean with good solid carbonation, but a tad on the light side.

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Photo of hero27
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Foggy yellow color, almost a smoky haze in the glass...fizzy white foam on-top.
Big aroma of spices... cloves, coriander, lemon, & orange..
Nice rounded flavor that combines the coriander & spice very well with the grainy wheat texture. Add in a little citrus orange flavor and it makes things pretty tasty.
Definitely a solid summer beer with plenty of spicy flavor to keep things interesting.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.94/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

$1.80 for a 12oz bottle at Jacks. "Celebrating over 20 years of Brewing Excellence." Brewed with malted barley, unmalted wheat, orange peel and lemon. Unfiltered. 4.75% ABV per the website.

Pours out to a clear pale golden. The yeast is firmly situated at the bottom of the bottle, so I swirl it and add a little, adding to a milky burnt orange appearance. The head is limpid, rocky white, with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is nicely fruity with fresh orange character, reminding me a little bit of the wonderful Belgian Wit Vuuve. Refreshing coriander note. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little gluey, not crisp or refreshing at all, and very ruddy in the finish. Really awful mouthfeel for the style. Taste starts out with gluey yeast, followed by a nice orange character which is unfortunately quickly overthrown by a ruddy herbal oxidized middle. There is a definite camphor/menthol character in the middle that I have not tasted elsewhere in beers. I wonder if they brewed this with some mint or wintergreen or something. It's out of place, at any rate. Mild sweetness, and then in the aftertaste, a wierd bitterness, which to me, tastes like Cascade. If they're using Cascade in here, it's totally off-style..they need something more delicate and spicy. Wet cardboard again in the finish. Bitterness is definitely off-balance for the style.

They let this one get oxidized or sit too long. Fresh, on tap, I bet this one is a killer. I would definitely try it on tap as it has a wonderful orange flavor that many beers of the style are missing. I would also go with a different yeast, tone down on the bitterness, up the carbonation, and use some Saaz instead of the junk they threw in here.

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Photo of mynie
4.65/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very pretty weiss pour. What's that you say? This isn't a weizen? No way! It's so yellow and fizzy and has such a nice head and, why, if I didn't know any better I'd say it was Duvel, it's so pretty.

A-and it even smells all white pepper lemony, live Duvel. Without any of the harsh alcohol, of course, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. That's a ton of smell from such a small beer.

Jesus lord that's a ton of flavor, too! Huge lemon, huge wheatmalt spice. This is a Weizen, all right, and it's just about the most flavorful American weizen I ever ever have had!

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Photo of BigBry
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle from our "Beers from Around the World - International Collection of Summers Beers" 8 pack.
Celebrating over 20 years of Brewing Excelence.
"This Select Special Edition Summer Ale is an unfiltered and refreshingly smooth white ale. It is brewed with malted barley and unmalted wheat. This wheat ale features a blend of sensuous spices. A hint of orange peel and a twist of lemon makes this ale a thirst quenching experience you will savor!" A prertty good description from the label.
Looks like a Belgian White, cloudy and shimmering in the glass, a large white head billows up with the pour. Spicy and citrus aromas along the wheat and yeast. The taste is about what I was expecting - some lemon citrus bite, with spice and corriander. Fresh and clean with a smooth finish. It does remind me of a Hoegaarden. A very well made summer offering, another one I was glad to get to try.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

07/12/07- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Medium clouded golden color pour. 1/2 inch head, disintegrates fairly fast and leaves ultra light lacing behind.

Smell- Yeast, wheat and a slight macro scent (grainy). A touch of citrus zest as well.

Taste- Heavy grain taste with a mild wheat flavor. Small wet cardboard flavor as well. Some citrus flavor saves what can be salvaged out of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Not a bad carbonation level and lightly hopped in the finish.

Drinkability- About what I have come to expect out of american made wheat beers. Why of why can't they distribute Gumballhead out here???

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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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Photo of zeff80
2.97/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a cloudy gold/yellow color with a white, one-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left no lace.

S - It smelled of lemon, citrus and yeast.

T - A strong lemon flavor off the top. There was a little wheat and yeast taste, too.

M - It was somewhat crisp but also a little thin. A light-bodied beer.

D - This was only an average wheat beer. Nothing overwhelming, but it would make a nice session brew.

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