White Hawk Select IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

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White Hawk Select IPAWhite Hawk Select IPA
915 Ratings
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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Ratings: 915 |  Reviews: 542
Photo of jamex
1.46/5  rDev -56.4%
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 Ryan011235
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 1/7/10

Thanks to huey782

Hazy copper/burnt amber. Seems rather cloudy, actually. Fluffy two finger head holds around 50% after a few minutes. Retention is thin but decent throughout. Starts off with a good bit of lace & is still ok by the end.

The nose offers lots of malt aromas; biscuity notes with swaths of caramel. Maybe even a hint of brown sugar. Not much in the way of hops pushing through, just undertones of pine & lemon peel. Smells sweet for an IPA.

True to the nose, distinctive flavors of caramel, biscuit & pale malt are apparent. Sweetness is also apparent, though not as much as the nose. Thankfully the hop presence is ramped up. By no means a "hop bomb" there's a decent piney bitterness upfront with hints of floral hops & ripe citrus throughout.

Medium-full bodied. Moderately low & creamy carbonation begrudgingly pushes about lots of resiny grit, which is definitely to my liking.

Though many likely will deem this far too malty & lacking in hops (possibly pushing barleywine territory), it still tastes pretty good & is easily drinkable.

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Photo of PaulfromNoVa
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pub pint.

Appearance was a dark, cloudy copper with roiling carbonation steadily rolling to the top. Lovely head that persisted throughout a dinner, and after 15 minutes or so left an inch at the bottom the of glass.

Estery, hoppy nose - not sharply pungent but agreeable, erotically pervasively insistent, like a vegetal breeze on across a grassy hill on a warm August day in Virginia.

Nice hoppy flavor. The barest suggestion of a toasty malt. Citrus predominates along side the alchohol. I'm very partial to the easy bitterness of the hops.

Agreeable mouthfeel; slightly more than medium bodied, less than full bodied. Very pleasant.

Accessible brew. I could easily enjoy a few more.

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Photo of rambo10546
4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's in Encinitas CA

Excellent Head and lots of carbonation.
Nice blend of malt and hops.
Very drinkable with plenty of alcohol to mellow you out.
Reasonably priced.
Reminds me of Dogfishhead 60 min. only not nearly as clean and crisp.

My only dislike was a rather sour muddy aftertaste.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured copper into a pint glass, with less than a finger of white, poor retention, and average lacing. Big malty presence in the nose, with hints of caramel, apple, toffee, and modest herbal hops. The taste was strikingly similar, with a balance between malt, apple, and caramel, giving way to a semi-dry herbal hop finish. No hint of citrus here. Medium-bodied, modestly carbonated. Not a bad beer, but nothing exceedingly unique either.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dirty yellow color with a white head. The aroma is toffee and grass. The flavor is toffee, caramel, fruit, citrus and grass. There are a lot of flavors going on, but they are kind of a mess and don't really work to well together. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.06/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light golden orange with perfect clarity. Two fingers of cream colored fine foam head which had good retention and left decent lacing.

S: Pine, grapefruit and cereal grains

T: Bitter hop bite upfront with only slight malt backbone. Bitter aftertaste and lack of any flavor dimension other than bitter bite and vague sweet note in the middle. Low overall flavor profile.

M: light and crisp despite the bitter aftertaste.

D: Decent.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.51/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky orange, near white head sticks around for awhile to disk. Lots of cling lace.

S - Orange smell, but sweeter than the hops citrus I am used to.

T - Lush sweet orangy malt. Bittered somewhat.

M - Medium body, good carb and coat. A little too sweet at finish for me.

D - Nice beer. Very drinkable.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz into a tulip. The beer was trying to escape so I poured it too quickly and a bunch frothed over the edge. What was left was heady (duh) and a nice clear deep-golden color while the head was a copper tome of tan. Lacing was fluffy and spotty.

Smell is a bit metallic but fresh and grassy too. Malts are present but a bit of floral hops are the star here.

Taste is bitter up front but well balanced. Not real hoppy but I think this is a rather aged bottle.

Mouthfeel is smooth and on the light side. Carbonation is good and finish is dry.

I can drink this beer just fine, even at 7% ABV.


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Photo of mrhiccups
2.78/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Have had many IPA's, and this one tastes acidic to me. Not as smooth as other IPA's that I have had. Does not have the archetypal "pine cone smell" that other IPA's usually have, is something a bit off with this particular brand. Want very badly to like this brew, but is not hitting on all cylinders with this brew.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
2.3/5  rDev -31.3%
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 dogfishandi
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle at fridge temp. poured into pint glass. no freshness date listed.

pours an orange golden/amber color with a small white head that faded pretty quickly to some small patchy foam. a little lace. pretty poor head retention, but i drank one of these before i put them in the fridge and it had some really nice looking head with some nice sticky lace. based on that ill go for a 4.

not a huge aroma for an ipa, but the hops are there. theres some citrus grapefruit, and pungent resinous hop. just a real faint touch of caramel malt.

citrus grapefruit, resinous pungent, and grassy hop flavors. toasted caramel malts try to balance things, but its mostly hop forward. lingering grassy hops in the finish.

medium body, kind of a high carbonation. does not leave the greatest feel on the palate.

not the greatest drinking beer either. i was drinking these at a fire the other night and i had to switch beers after only 3 of them because there was something about the mouthfeel that just made it hard to swallow after awhile. i wouldnt recommend this, but i wouldnt mind seeing what else this brewery has to offer.

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Photo of Dalgren
3.92/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard tapered 12oz beer glass.

A: Golden amber to orange in color, slightly cloudy. One inch head that dissipated fairly fast.

S: Caramel malts and hops, slight citrus aroma.

T: Malt and good hops with a tweak of citrus grapefruit flavor This is overall slightly sweet with a hop finish.

M: Medium body and smooth lacking just a little carbonation.

D: Fairly tasty; good taste overall.

I purchased a sampler case of this at a warehouse store for just over $25.00. I really like IPA's; this one is a bit different than most IPA's because it does not have quite as much floral smell and is not as full bodied as most IPA's. On a hot day in July it seemed to hit the spot. I will purchase this again because it is hard to beat at this price.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.51/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, one of those beers I had really early on around 2005 into 2006 sometime, so I want to revisit it,

A: As with the Blue Heron pours with a big rocky 2 finger head. Darker burnt orange colour. Big lace.

S: Solid pine and grapefruit notes, but nowhere near as aromatic as I expect from an IPA.

T: Pink grapefruit, some melon rind, citrus pith - outright citrus bitterness. Intriguing green tea note and a hint of copper. Some interesting sweet orange notes at the end. Clearly an IPA, but the hop flavours aren't really coming together in the overall flavour; I'm just waiting for them to hit big and they never do. I can tell there's the hop bill of an IPA, but I'm just getting an APA hop intensity in complexity though an big mint and grapefruit bitter play finishes the beer.

M: Slick resiny hop oil feel. Good aftertaste, medium-bodied.

D: An interesting beer, I think this could be a good introduction the style, but it won't wow the hophead that's used to the big San Diego IPAs.

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Photo of gboy515duo
2.48/5  rDev -26%
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 StJamesGate
3.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy goldenrod with a tight white head that clings. Nose is stewed apricots, waxy yeast, musty English hops and a big whiff of phenolic bandaids. Tropical fruit malts, a strange Belgian yeast white pepper hit, earthy hops spice and some pure chalk bitterness. Metallic end. Light to medium, creamy but far too much burn for 7%.

No clue what they were aiming for with this. Drinks like a clumsy hybrid of English and California IPA. Not one to finish.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Corned Beef & Co. shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a pale, golden color. Has a thick, foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves heavy lacing.

Smell: Piney, earthy hops dominate here. Not much else gets through in the smell.

Taste: Starts off satisfyingly bitter with grassy, earthy hop flavors. Develops a strong bitterness as it moves down the palate and finishes slightly bready but consistently hoppy. Nice...

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean.

Drinkability: A decent IPA. Certainly not the best, but far from the worst. The hops hit you kind of hard in this one, so it's certainly not the most sessionable beer. Nevertheless, it's still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of RickS95
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the better looking IPAs I've seen. Darkish for the type, a cross between brown and bronze.

Not an overpowering smell of hops. Has a hint of citrus, but it's mellow and almost smells "sweet."

Unfortunately, the lack of smell translates into a lack of taste as well.

The mouthfeel is about what you'd expect, it's bitter. However, there is a tiny bit of sweetness that cuts the bitterness just a touch.

There is a lot of bitter and a lot of alcohol in this, but it's a medium-bodied beer that goes down pretty well.

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Photo of blackc5
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle at 48F.

A - Golden apricot in color with a sudsy head and good retention. Initially good lacing, but it quickly faded after a second pour.

S - Mostly floral hops. Some citrus and fruit there as well. Backed up by sweet malts.

T - Missing the sweet malts now, this is surely a traditional west coast IPA. Lots of hops, but mostly getting a floral/grassy flavor. Not much citrus at all, and the malts just don't even show up. Fairly bitter right from the get go and in aftertaste, with something off tasting as well. One dimensional.

M - Medium bodied, slightly high carbonation. Somewhat syrupy.

D - Nice but a bit monotonous in flavor, and there are many IPAs out there that are considerably better.

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Photo of planetahead
2.54/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

As someone else said, the aftertaste resembles that of gym socks. It tastes OK if you're not eating, but it won't wash down anything. Come to think of it, the aftertaste might be a bit more ashtrayish. Funny how reviewing a beer makes you realize how much it sucks!

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Photo of spoons
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip

Has a great clear copper orange body. The head is pretty large and chunky and leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is funky and malty. Im really struggling to find some of the hops.

This beer has a great smooth mouthfeel. The taste however is lacking. Some hop bitterness but not much. Has a pronounced soda like sweetness to it that kind of off putting.

This brew has some potential but until I hear they change the recipe I pobably wont grab another one.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with no freshness date, or any digits to transcribe for that matter. The label hawk's mouth is agape, apparently telling me to "drink up." Oh I will, label hawk.. I will..

Pours a very slightly cloudy golden, with a white head that soon settles into a ring. Smell is sweet and hoppy, fresh and green. A very broad malty base descends into a puckering hop finish that lingers for a while. Mendocino must use a yeast that I'm unfamiliar with, except in their brews. Definitely unique, I would describe the overall taste as 'leafy.' A good IPA.

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Photo of BeerKnights
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This would have to be the perfect brew to have after a grueling week of midterms at UCLA, thought we'd fancy you with that fact. But seriously, lets get down to the nitty gritty. Upon our first sip, we were thinking... "Damn, thats good." But then again, that was probably just the lack of sleep and adderol talking. Now looking in more of a serious light, this beer is a bit bitter, but all around weak. It has the distinct sharpness of an IPA, but lacks the round, heavy taste. It is instead a bit watery/refreshing. It also has a hint of sweetness with a lingering after taste. This works well as a heavy (industrial) drinking night beer or a summer beer. The best part of this beer would have to be the mouthfeel. All around, this is a decent beer, but lacks the roundness that you would expect from a good IPA.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Looks rather dark for the style, an amber brown in color with a large off white head and lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: Floral hops make up most of the aroma with just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitter pine and dank notes. Biscuit and caramel malts give the beer good balance. Hops are in the forefront, as the beer warms some astringency comes out and the balance falters.

Mouthfeel: Another good aspect of this beer is the creamy mouthfeel for an IPA. On the heavy side of medium bodied.

Drinkability: I liked this one ice cold, and found it to be pretty tasty. A good brew from Mendocino Brewing.

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Photo of vertigelt1
2.49/5  rDev -25.7%
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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White Hawk Select IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 915 ratings