Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

White Hawk Select IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
540 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 540 | Ratings: 904
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.25
Purchased: Jan. 4, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 11, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel orange semi-clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki white head. Tons of layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down.

First smells reminded me of a stronger pilsner. Overall got corn, lemon wheat grass, spruce hops, lemon rind and some pine. By the end was thinking of a stronger regular Blue Moon. Also light floral notes.

The taste was similar to the nose. Got lots of wheat, grass and corn, but also honey, sharp grapefruit rind and lots of bitterness. Not too solid.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

Just an average IPA. Nothing exceptional at all.

 834 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pored into straight pint glass. Poured a nice orange amber color with about 1/3 inch of just off-white head that had typical retention and lacing.

The aroma featured citrus hops upfront, with some earthy mustiness in the background. That musty scent wasn't expected or totally pleasant in this style. On the tongue, citrus and pine hops dominated, with just a bit of malt in the background.. The funk/must wasn't as apparent, but was still noticeable.

The body was typical for the style, perhaps a bit fuller and stickier than usual. Drinkability was OK, not bad, not great. Overall, pretty much an average example of the style, but perhaps a bit on the below-average side of the scale.

 688 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Bright amber, really effervescent; big frothy cream head, long lasting

Aroma: Piney, biscuity; light citrus; dusty/metallic, but may be the glass

Taste: Hoppy bite right up front that continues to the end; creamy mouthfeel, but hops are too up front; not well balanced, and slightly astringent

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 382 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This one is quite nice, actually. Certainly not on par with other Cali IPA's, but not bad. Pours an almost orange with nice white foamy head. Smells of pine mostly without much else standing out. Taste and mouthfeel are pleasing and are in line with other really good IPA's. I'd have again, but there are clearly better options.

 328 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle enjoyed at the Hong Kong Brewhouse in Lan Kwai Fong. Not sure about the Hong Kong import market but I suspect this may be grey-market. My apologies to Mendocino if so.
(Note: I would have asked, but it was hard enough getting my order across to the lady at the bar)

Pours a pale golden colour, slight cloud. Head is dense, fluffy marshmallowy and retaining well: a thick crown of lovely lace. Looks fab.

Smells lovely; tangy. Lots of citrus with a hint of lychee and peach, with sherbet and some pine resin on the back. Lovely and enticing.

Taste is a bit lacking really. Plenty of malt, with caramel and some nutty notes- maybe marzipan and chestnut? Hops come through midway, largely resiny and a bit dank, some citrus in there. Bit of grapefruit bitterness and yeah, just slightly acidic and bitter on the back. Not really an unpleasant note in there, but there's nothing hugely enjoyable or refreshing either. All the nice, lively hop notes are aroma so maybe some more mid-level hopping would be in order?

Full body, quite bitty with a slight sharp IPA pull on the back. Not bad.

Good IPA, but lacks any of those popup great notes that make an IPA really stand out. Just a bit unbalanced maybe.

 1,215 characters

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

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer pours a deep caramel body with a slight density. There is a wisp of beige head that is supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The soft caramel malt is dry with some biscuit malt hints.

T- The mineral water taste is followed by a soft malt hint and a big bitter finish with a slight woody pungent stain on the tongue.

M- The medium light mouthfeel has as gentle fizz in the finish.

O- This beer is a bit watery and light in flavor with all the hop character being bitterness with no other depth in the nose or taste.

 555 characters

Photo of CorvetteMike
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to glass orange color with nice head.
a: Orange color, 1 finger width head
s: Light citrusy smell
t: Light citrusy flavor, with very smooth good taste
m: Medium body, with no aftertaste, or bitterness
o: Smooth, good taste

Glad I sampled this beer while on vacation in Florida.

 290 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice dark orange color, pours a good head of foam with decent lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops and sweet malts.

Taste: Caramel and butterscotch malts with a grapefruit hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very creamy. The hop bitterness in the aftertaste is very low for an IPA.

The Verdict: Not bad. Sweeter and maltier than most IPAs, with a minimum of hop bitterness. Tasty and reliable, but there’s nothing to really separate it from the pack.

 463 characters

Photo of jmccullough108
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: poured a darker orange, brassy color. High carbonation and thick lacing that sticks around.

Smell: fruits, citrus, hint of apple

Taste: fairly dry, slightly unbalanced, bitter apple on the back end.

Mouthfeel: dry, bitter

Overall: standard IPA, not the best, not the worst.

 358 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle immediately following a bottle of Mendocino Imperial IPA. The mouthfeel is on par with the imperial, but otherwise inferior in every way to the more costly imperial alternative. Rather similar in appearance except the amber leans more towards brown rather than orange. Like the imperial, this IPA is not very hoppy or aggressive for style (OK with me), instead having a good bit of balancing malt. Still, not sufficiently hoppy. The earthy and bitter aftertaste is relatively unappealing.

 501 characters

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Yellowish orange body with a 1"of fluffy white head

S- tropical fruits, butterscotch, metal, biscuit malts

T- Caramel, butterscotch, metal, orange, tropical fruit, with a lingering grapefruit bitterness

M- Almost creamy medium body, nice carbonation

O- Signature butterscotch and metal, found in pretty much ever brew from mendocino, which i love. There's so many things going on here, with the caramel, butterscotch and biscuit malts, to the tropical citrusy hops. They're all so nicely balanced, allowing me the opportunity to experience the creamy, decadent malts, and tropical fruit hops.

The west coast is flooded with IPAs, DIPAs, and IIPAs with no unique malt backbone. Most likely to satisfy the masses (which most likely explains this beers sub par rating) i personally, having tasted most of what the west coast has to offer in this catagory, base my ratings on uniqueness and the supporting malts. This is an excellent example of that and recommend it to all, tired of the same old, Cascade drenched, IPA.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Cookeeman
3.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma has a great citrus sweetness to it, orange and a little grapefruit rind. Pours with an orange-ish hue as well. It has some particulate matter floating about in it, makes me think it's been on the shelf for a little while. My first impression is that it's a little heavy on carbonation, a little too bubbly, but nice texture. The malt is well-developed, which leads me further to believe that this has been aging for a bit. The hops are sweet but mild, again with lots of citrus, especially orange. There's a touch of dryness, and a little grapefruit sourness on the finish, but the hop flavour is mild compared to what I've gotten used to here in the Northwest. Clean finish, not cloying at all. Not a bad beer, but probably not one that I would buy again, for the plain and simple reason that we are spoiled in this region with excellent IPA's so I wouldn't bother repeating an average one.

 901 characters

Photo of horshack7
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light amber with copper hues on top is a head around an inch high that is a little bit rocky and has decent head retention.

Aroma: Grapefruit and some piney notes with a light mustiness. Tropical fruits, pear, wisps of apple and simple syrup with some cinnamon way in the back.

Taste: Musty and floral with some grapefruit bits. Light dry mouthfeel, grainy, very dry bread. Minor notes of pear and tropical fruit but that's about it.

Notes: A decent i.p.a but a ways from being very good a little to dry for the style but drinkable. Cheers.

 555 characters

Photo of tkelley
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint. From a mix pack bought at the brewery.

A - copper color with thin white head. Translucent.

S -hereby smell backed up by Malts.

T - well balanced for an Ipa. Hops aren't overpowering and it has a good malt character. Pine and grapefruit tones.

M - good mouthfeel. Not too bubbly or flat.

O - solid effort and a good overall beer but not a top tier Ipa. Cheers!

 408 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.02/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Into a snifter. Cloudy copper color with a finger of head.
Solid pine smell.
Pine and grapefruit bitterness with a gripping bitterness middle to end.
Higher carbonation. Medium body.
Standard IPA except the carbonation was too high. It attacked me.

 250 characters

Photo of TheSarge
3.89/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this brew into a standard pint glass, and the IPA makes a massive amount of light tan foam, and the body is copper in color and has no haze.

The aroma is metallic, lemon, tea, toffee, and floral.

Taste wise it's pretty well balanced between caramel notes, and orange/lemon hops character.

Feels medium in body, wetting to the palate, and a slight alcohol warmth in the end.

 383 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Attractive enough in the Leffe goblet, with the amber color tinged with orange. Exceptionally nice foam that lasts a long time without too much of a good thing. Decent nearly creamy mouthfeel.

A murky sort of herbal flavor, not quite "dank," but heading that way. Plenty of malt and a full body. Very bitter aftertaste. Loads of hops but not a very pleasant thing to drink. Strangely insipid, like flat Nehi Orange. Quite acidic on the lips.

This, like some other Mendocino beers, seems kind of old school. Maybe it's just not interesting enough and relies on a simple blast of icky hops. From the 12 oz bottle purchased like a lot of other folks at TJs.

 656 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.61/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-clear golden-orange amber with a white, 2 finger head. Great retention, with a resulting lace that's thick and sticky.

Smell - Aroma is reminiscent of dried apricot, slightly piney, with a touch of bready malt.

Taste - Clean, hoppy profile backed by a solid malt backbone. Not very bitter. Fairly floral, with only slight hints of citrus and pine near the finish. Subtle notes of fruity esters here and there; faint apricot if you can catch it. Malts are light and bready, but do their fair share to give this some balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with bubbly, tingly carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - Not a hop bomb by any stretch, and it's got a nice flavor, but frankly, it's kinda forgettable. Does little to distinguish itself in the abundant land of American IPA's. In sports terms, it's a reliable starter, but it'll never make an all-star team, much less win any kind of award by season's end.

 946 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a clear, golden brown body. The head exhibits good retention and leaves good lace.

S - Floral hops with some bready malt and notes of citrus and pine.

T - Pungent, pine hops up front with some sweaty character. Bread and light toffee in the middle with more pine and a bit of bitterness beginning to creep in. Finishes with bready malt, pine and sweaty hop favors as well as strong bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pretty well put together. The aroma is nice , though it doesn't quite live up to some of the super aromatic ipa that have come along recently. The malt is noticeable, but it stays in a firmly supporting role. The bitterness is a bit on the harsh side and it could use a little more sweetness in the finish to help balance that out.

 841 characters

Photo of t2thebro
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- pours crystal clear copper color, with a thin head that quickly fades but never goes completly away. Leaves slight lacing.

S- very blandly balanced. No focus on grains vs hops. Probably the most balanced aroma I have smelt. But that is the only exciting thing about it. ( its lack of a dominate ingredient).

T- strange. Very well balanced. Sweet grains with slight biscuit notes. Funky, earthy, pine, bits of resin and apricot.

M- a bit over carbonated for as light as the body is. But not bad.

O- Very well balanced. Surprisingly flavorful for a bland aroma. Overall I enjoy the balance. When I think of the style this is more what I think of. A more English style ipa vs our more hopped up American ipas.

 729 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear toasted gold color with thick foam.

I get an earthy citrus aroma. It’s pretty direct, like orange peel zest, with a pleasing finish.

I get a crisp, hoppy bitterness that finishes quickly. Some citrus hop flavor and a light piney chew on the palate round things out. It’s not bad at all, to be honest, and it’s ridiculously cheap at Trader Joes. So much so, in fact, that I thought there might have been a catch—but TJ’s continues to surprise with their quality brew. I liked this one, more than their APA offering.

 545 characters

Photo of dmatsui
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 bomber. Loose, soapy bone-white 2 finger head with some lacing and thin legs are maintained by a constant, fizzy carbonation. The beer itself is a hazy orange, although not as opaque as other west coast IPAs.

Sweet, light tangerine and hop notes are in the nose, but not very distinguishable or complex. The malt base smells vaguely toasty but there is not much presence in the nose.

At the front of the palate there is a strong mineral presence, slightly copper-esque. There is a nice hop bitterness, but not much floral or citrus notes. There is a slight grapefruit presence, but it more rindy than fruity. Mid-palate the malt flavors begin to develop, but are shut out quickly by the booze, which is persistent throughout the finish. Altogether, pretty refreshing but just a touch off-balance.

Mouthfeel is acidic and a little thin. Not much of an oil presence. Very dry finish but the metallic minerality doesn't pair with this very well.

Overall, I don't think that this is a bad IPA, and I think it's worth the price. I think the recipe needs to be honed a little bit, but I do enjoy the off-balanced nature of the brew putting the hops forward. I wouldn't ignore this beer, but I wouldn't put it in the Christmas letter either.

 1,255 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a very clean and clear light copper. Two fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly.

Smell: A little malt heavy for an IPA, but this is supposedly a British-style IPA. It definitely smells British. Caramel, toffee, honey, some citrus (mostly orange and lemon), and smooth grassy hops.

Taste: The flavors are a bit subdued compared to the smell, but it does offer a pleasant taste. Caramel, toffee, honey. The hops offer a nice bite and impart a little lemon; they are mostly grassy, though. It has a buttery and smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Though I have yet to have an authentic British beer (en Angleterre), I think this is a pretty solid interpretation. However, how would I know?

 814 characters

Photo of BierStein711
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into weizen
No expiration date or born on date

Three and a half finger head

Burnt orange amber

Smells of hop, citrus, and warm alcohol

Tastes: grapefruit, orange, apricot, malt, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: Awesome

Overall: Not a bad beer at all.

 260 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mendocino White Hawk Original IPA has a medium, creamy and cream-colored head, and a hazy, yellow-orange appearance, with decent lacing. The aroma is of orange peel, water, some barley malt, and a bit of hop sting. Taste is of dank citrus, slightly turned fruit, mustiness, malt, bread, and there is a subdued hop bitterness with this. Mouthfeel is medium, and White Hawk IPA finishes semi-dry and ragged. Overall, this is unrefined, yet solidly good.


 457 characters

White Hawk Select IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 904 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!