White Hawk Select IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

540 Reviews
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White Hawk Select IPAWhite Hawk Select IPA

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
White Hawk Select IPA is a traditional India Pale Ale. We’ve blended American West Coast Cascade Hops with a very generous dose of English Fuggle Hops. This combination makes for a very aromatic character, as well as a truly authentic English flavor which you must taste to believe. “Hopheads” will love this brew!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2002

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Reviews: 540 | Ratings: 908
Photo of t420o
1.23/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A- This is a carbonation bomb. Loud pop when opened. Poured very gently produced a massive head that took up half of the pint glass. Beer is gold in color.

S- Alcohol, euro metallic twang, cheap adjunct filled lager-type scent, a slight bitter hop scent

T- Alcohol, some floral hops, metallic taste, adjunct taste. Poor effort

M- Way over carbonated and light. About the worst mouthfeel I've ever had in a beer.

O- Not 1 redeeming quality about this beer. I've had better offering from Mendocino brewing and enjoyed several of them. I would never bash a brewery or beer for no reason, but this was a piss poor representation of an IPA or even a beer in general. I sincerely hope that this 6 pack was an off batch or something, but I will never try another in my life to find out. If their were negative points I would give them for this overall effort and drinkability. I deserve my $$ back

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Photo of jamex
1.46/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle. Purchased a single 12oz bottle from Trader Joe's.

S - This had a mild IPA smell and immediately I thought it might make a good (and cheap) session beer. Had some WC IPA smells but they were pretty faint (some citrus, a little pine, etc.)

T - Brought me back to my cheap beer phase in college. Didn't really resemble an IPA at all in the typical sense. There were some hints of citrus and barely some pine dust, but a lot of malt that was unpleasantly bitter. Heinous.

Needless to say, I couldn't even finish the bottle and poured it. Save your money and go somewhere else when looking for an IPA (if at Trader Joe's, get the Anderson Valley instead).

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Photo of rastaman
1.58/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Quite thin and short. Green hops, some grapefruit, tinny, bitter, rough and ugly. Re rate, still shit, but even worse this time. nasty metallic crap. I really thought Mendocino would be a lot better, given the high scores, i remain still quite dissapointed with the brewery.

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Photo of skybluewater
1.73/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a fairly standard gold color. Not much smell here, maybe a bit of grapefruit. The taste is truly dreadful, more like turpentine than beer (I poured this one down the drain-probably won't need to buy Drano for a while!).

Overall, pretty bad beer here. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but there's no date that I can see on it, so there's no way to tell how old it is. I'm avoiding this one forever.

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Photo of Schwab
1.78/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Orange-ish color, seemed slightly unfiltered (def not 100% clear), absolutely NO head when pouring from the bottle into the glass.

S: Smell was ok, nothing outstanding. IPA

T: Not so sure about it. I think the hop flavor was very unbalanced. I did not enjoy the flavor at all. Just because it has 7% ABV doesn't mean it has to turn out like this.

M: Beer was more or less uncarbonated. You could see the bubbles coming up, but there was absolutely no mouth feel in regards to carbonation. It was somewhat taken over (assuming there was some) by the unbalanced hop aroma.

D: Not sure how to describe it. I think it was not very good by any means it is not going down too easy since it has an add taste to it

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Photo of HardTarget
1.94/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Mendocino White Hawk IPA
Bottle Inspection: Mostly marketing blurb about the history of IPA. Does list 7% abv., but no date

Aroma: Wet grainy base sticks through the floral and earthy hops more than it should, meaning the hops just aren't coming to play.

Appearance: Painfully clear yellow gold glass holds a short lived thin collar that doesn't lace.

Flavor: Soapy. A bit of harsh chemical for flavor. All the hop bitterness is in the early boil and has a tea quality, but no pleasant hop flavors to comment on. There's a citric candy sweetness that flashes at the end, but nothing really malty. I guess the alcohol is washing out any positive qualities for me.

Mouthfeel: Acidic burning feel with a medium thin body and prickly carbonation.

Overall Impression: Wow I hate this! I was in the mood for a hop-tastic beer, and this phailed. I can't recommend this at all, I think this is the worst commercial IPA I've ever tasted. It's like a malt liquor version of an IPA. I keep taking sips hoping to find some redeeming quality, but I think this is sink bound.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.07/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

You know it's not going to be a good beer when "I've had worse" is the nicest thing you can say about it...

The pour should have been a dead giveaway - it's a thin straw yellow with a similarly thin white head. The soapy foam disappears before you can put the glass down on the table leaving a glass that's indistinguishable from many macro lagers. No, scratch that, macro lagers have better head retention.

The smell is weak, stale and lifeless with notes of corn and raw grain covering up a musty hop note. If it weren't for the fact that I just bought this from a store less than twenty miles from the brewery I'd have thought this beer just spent the last six months in a hot boxcar traveling the desert Southwest.

If brewers were issued licenses I'd argue for having Mendocino's papers revoked. The flavor is of stale corn pops, old white toast and some kind of funky bitter flavoring that must be a variety of hops. There's even a hint of diacetyl just in case the beer isn't funky enough. For an IPA to have nothing resembling an herbivorous flavor is a pity. For an IPA from Northern California to lack any hint of PNW hopping is unthinkable.

At least the mouthfeel is somewhat acceptable... The drink is medium bodied with a bit of an oily coating on the palate. There's a bitter finish to end each sip so even if they didn't get any flavor at least they got something out of the hops.

Would I ever drink this again? No f***ing way. Is it the worst beer I've ever had? No, not really - though it does rate not much higher than a drain pour. What's most disappointing is that this comes out of Northern California, home of the "West Coast" IPAs. It's sad that Mendocino Brewing is only 15 miles away from Anderson Valley, 30 from North Coast and under an hour from Bear Republic, Russian River and Lagunitas - all of whom make world-class IPAs. To find a brewer from this region that makes a nearly undrinkable IPA is unthinkable (and unforgivable)

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.14/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear bronze-amber color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is rotten grapefruit, and caramel malt. The taste is of more rotten grapefruit, and stale caramel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low carbonation. Overall, I'm not sure if this beer is old or just bad. The store I bought it from is very good at discounting beer before it gets old to keep everything fresh. So my guess it that it is just bad. I will not be drinking this again.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.2/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Mendocino- White Hawk Original IPA

6pack purchased at Circle Liquors- Pennington, N.J

Appearance- light golden orange with heavy carbonation. Thick head.
Smell- Sweet. Vinager and malt.
Taste- metallic! Sweet with a flat bitter hops flavor. Aftertaste is like a oxidized battery in the mouth.
Mouthfeel- flat and no life at first, followed by a dull bitterness, and finally a metal aftertaste.

Overall- I was excited about purchasing the White Hawk but it is BAD! I'll be able to finish the 6er but I'm not happy. I'll give their other offerings a try though.
Avoid this IPA its a DUD!

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.23/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Gotta love pre-set variety packs which get you uncommon beers, so on to it:

A trace of cloudiness can be seen in this light orange-brown beer. Low dense head on top that fizzes away to a thin layer on top. There isn't much of an aroma in this, faint grassy and biscuit notes. To the taste: hot alcohol and flavorless bitterness is very dominant here. Touch-ups of aspirin on the tongue, but still gives way to the dominant alcohol; it's so hot you have to sip on it.

This is what happens when IPA's go wrong. Too much alcohol felt, no balance, and little to taste. More than half of it will be used to feed my sink.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.28/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours out a slightly hazy glowing apricot/gold with 1 finger of off-white head. This reduces to a skip pretty quickly but sticks around with periodic swirls and leaves a bit of lacing.

The label says this is an IPA, but it certainly doesn't smell like one. There's some orange and pineapple in there, but the primary aroma is plentiful sweet caramel malt. The flavors are equally frustrating, with a heavy dose of caramel and a modest hop presence- juicy sour orange and pineapple again, maybe touch of pine. Overall very sweet, though, and severely lacking in the bitterness department. The sweetness lingers along with some booziness, which seems a bit odd at this ABV.

Overall impression: This is the farthest thing from a "West Coast IPA", and I didn't enjoy it much. Old bottle, maybe?

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Photo of Pittsburgh
2.3/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't know if I got a bad/old beer here, but upon opening it exploded everywhere, Almost 2/3 of the beer came shooting out, like someone shook up a soda. So that sucked. I was so shocked I couldn't react fast enough.

Once the immense amount of foam subsided, the taste was not good, tasted more like carbonated apple juice than anything, bitter, nasty apple juice though. Barely tastes like an IPA and barely drinkable in my opinion. Very strong, overwhelmingly bitter and sour, but not in a good way. Virtually nothing else going on with the beer other than that, I am sorry, I am not feeling it.

I sort of think something was wrong with it based on the other reviews....but I can't prove that, so this is what I have to go on.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.31/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Not a very good brew. The appearance was very nice - a bright copper with a tight head and lace. Was surprised at the subdued hop aroma. The malt body was also lacking (perhaps the bright clean copper appearance and the lack of any aroma are due to strong filtering?). The malt presence, which can be discerned in the front end is taken over by a strong, oily bitterness by the middle. I waited for hop flavor to arrive by the finish, but only an agressively strong, acidic bitterness remained. The bitterness could have been pleasing if it was accompanied by more malt body and mouthfeel, not to mention hop flavor and aroma. In short, this ale is way out of balance.

I'm not totally sure what Americans demand out of American IPAs, but this is the second one I've had this year, and they both weren't worth the 8 bucks/6pk asking price. I wish more micros would adrere to the classic IPA category -Mendocina inclusive. There is more to a Pale Ale than 300 IBU bitterness. Hell, if I wanted to drink a hop bomb, I could do it much cheaper by brewing it myself. Whitehawk was very disappointing.

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Photo of McAfee85
2.32/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Expected more...somewhat cloudy with a slight citrus smell. Initial hoppy taste then turns flat with bitterness after. I poured this one down the drain after a few drinks.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
2.34/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

While I've been skeptical that any brewery named after wine country could produce a decent brew, I thought it better to try and judge, than pre-judge, so here it goes:

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a two finger creme colored head that slowly pillows down to a 1/8" foam head.

Has a malty, almost yeasty aroma, with notes of mild grapes, figs, and citrus. The varied fruit smells clash with the malty backbone.

Has a soapy feel that washes out the taste. Starts bitter, almost astringent, but with very little hop flavor. The bitterness is more reminiscent of ethanol alcohol than hops. Buttery malt hits mid-tongue, before finishing with a mild smokey, bitter finish. The tastes, frankly, are not melding well with each other.

As mentioned above, this has the feel of soapy dishwater, with an odd, biting bitter feel that is utterly without taste.

Ugh. My pre-judged opinion of this was spot on. Glad this was a singleton, and that I won't have to find uses for five other of these.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.4/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bright orange-amber, more amber than orange. The light beige head is fairly large and is decently firm. It remains frothystiff as it deflates and leaves an average amount of lace in scattered scraps. The nose is weak, especially for the style, and smells primarily of grapefruity Cascade. I don't really appreciate Fuggles since the nose isn't aromatic enough to tease out any olfactory subtleties.

Whoa! I'm not sure what's going on here, but that first mouthful was a major disappointment. Let me try this again. Same thing. The beer is saturated with a nasty, fusel alcohol-like, medicinal flavor that doesn't bear much of any resemblance to an IPA. I find it hard to believe that Mendocino intended it to taste like this.

There's a minimal amount of hop flavor buried in there somewhere, but it's overpowered by a sharp, 'chewing on aspirin' bitterness and the aforementioned grain alcohol nastiness. The finish is as raw and as hot as the beer equivalent of white lightening. The body... what does it matter since I can't get far enough past the flavor to care how it feels in the mouth.

I don't ever remember drinking a more abysmal IPA that White Hawk. Mendocino doesn't strike me as a great brewery by any stretch of the imagination, but this is one seriously screwed up beer. I'm sorry that I got a bomber and not a 12 oz. single, but I guess it doesn't really matter since I won't be finishing it anyway. Avoid this one like the plague if you have any interest in IPAs or in decent beer in general.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
2.45/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

If Millers were to produce an IPA I think this would be it. Poured into pint glass, 3 finger, rocky, white head with good retention and lacing but its a sickly looking pale yellow color. Smell is of a macro with slightly more hops. Tastes like a slightly more bitter bud light. Not much there at all. I dont even want to say there is a hops taste to it, it just kinda taste dirty. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Overall a bad beer and the only redeeming quality is the higer ABV.

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Photo of stephendr
2.46/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle- color of light amber , with a white head - nose is very light faint orange peel , slight hopps , and not much else – taste of some citrus mostly orange, light hops , and sweet malt – body lightly carbonated , and watery – aftertaste of slight resin , and bitter

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Photo of vegantreats
2.46/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured with a nice color and produced minimal head.
This beer smells of hops with a strong malty aroma.
First taste is light, fallowed by a walloping of bitter malt.
This is a different beer to be certain, I didn't like the flavor, yet, the experience was interesting.
If you really like malty beers you may like this beer.

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.48/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a dull, slightly murky amber-orange color. The dirty dishwater colored head is large, dense, frothy, and creamy. Retention is pretty good, with nice lacing.

S: Some standard pale malt. Hop aroma is mostly citric - grapefruit and orange peel. Slightly floral as well.

T: Malt is fairly faint - a touch of bready sweetness. A harsh wave of solvent alcohol splashes across the tongue next with a dose of bitterness. Another bite of grapefruit pith and bitter orange, with some floral notes - quite one-dimensionally bitter. Another wave of aspirin-esque bitterness into the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is fairly light, lending a mild creaminess. A bracing, jolting dry bite into the finish.

D: What a rough, subpar flavor this one has. Bitter in the same way that soap or aspirin would be - not even really hoppy. Hard to finish, and even harder to enjoy.

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Photo of gboy515duo
2.48/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: Golden colored with a thick, 2 finger head. Extremely heavy lacing.

S: Smelled like a typical IPA but gave off a very sweet malt aroma

M: Sharp bite, almost could say it was overcarbonated

T: lots of hops and a very strong oat flavor, all in all did not taste fresh even though the bottle was well within it's freshness date.

D: This was actually really hard for me to get down once I got to the bottom, and I really could not drink more than one, even if I was offered it.

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Photo of vertigelt1
2.49/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into short-stemmed wine glass

A- aggressive head build-up; must pour slowly. hazy honey colour with big, foamy head which dissipates into a thin halo. decent lacing with slight stickiness

S - grapefruit hops and something pungent (and not entirely in a good way, like gym socks)

T - not much at all by way of malts; hops are strongly present, but they don't seem to engage the right taste buds. Very citrusy, but slightly sour and bitter in an unpleasant way. Another reviewer mentioned aspirin, and that about nails it.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good; medium body with slight stickiness on the lips. Light carbonation.

D - The aspirin after-taste kills this beer for me. The hops just don't have any character that make me enjoy this beer. I can appreciate it as an IPA, but a third of the way through the 12 oz., I just want to try something different.

So many better IPAs out there. I really like other beers in Mendocino's line-up, but this IPA was very disappointing.

EDIT: I do wonder if I served it in a simple shaker pint glass if it would have dulled some of the less pleasant aspects of the smell/taste and made it a more passable and drinkable beer.

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Photo of litheum94
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear golden body with a yellow tinged head. Compact bubbles form a half finger head that settles out to a patchy covering.

Papery hops with some citrus. Kind of chalky smelling. Some cracker malts.

Thin body with moderate carbonation. Dry malts. Hops come on very metallic and medicinal. Some lemon citrus flavors, but there's a lingering metallic taste that is just off putting.

Not a great IPA. There are so many better choices out there.

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Photo of PsychoJedi
2.51/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a slightly darker golden color. Maybe call it copper? Mostly clear but, slight filmy under close review. Not much of a head though. Did not have much of one to start with and goes away fast. Smells really good. You get a nice whiff of the fruits. Rather crisp. Taste is a not as good as the smell. Has an aftertaste that an IPA should not have so strongly. The taste has that very salty taste that I usually get with beer with a high degree of aftertaste. I have had better IPAs than this by far. Recommendation: buy another IPA.

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Photo of masikon
2.53/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

They had just gotten this in at my local brew stop so I thought i'd pick up a 22 oz. bottle since I've been on a bit of an IPA, double IPA kick lately. Poured a dull faded amber or light cider, Pretty cloudy and really not that impressive. Head was big and full with some rockiness and staying power which was a good sign....head is really the best thing about this beer. Nose could best be described as light, somewhat hoppy, but as another reviewer noted there is certainly something odd going on here, hard to describe but unpleasant for sure. Taste is pretty plain, tastewise this falls pretty flat. Not much going on at all, certainly some hops but not in that delicious juicy, bitter, already drinking another swig before I swallow this one kind of way. I would call this an IPA imposter, not nearly enough going on here hops or otherwise to be a worthwhile purchase. 3rd rate at best.

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White Hawk Select IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 908 ratings.
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