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White Hawk Select IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

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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: 905
Photo of Darkmagus82
2.68/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

(This is actually the second time I had this. I wanted to give it another try before reviewing, as the first time I really was not a big fan.)

Appearance - Pours a golden color with a nice what head that forms upon pouring. It fades leaving a think layer of persistent white foam on top with a bit of lacing.

Smell - Piney and malty in aroma really meet the nose up front and are quite nice, but soon the aroma turns to something a little more earthy. The earthiness however is a sorta metallic and clay mix which does not meld well with the more burnt malt aroma.

Taste - The taste is roasted malt at first followed my some more earthy hop flavor with a bit of pine thrown in. The hop flavor is relativity light in comparison to most IPA's of comparable strength. The maltiness is too much and the hoppiness is too low.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is a bit too high and the body is bit too thin.

Overall - Not to impressed with this IPA and one I will likely not try again. If you like your IPA a bit on the lighter hp side with the profile more toward malty/earthy then this may be for you; its just not for me.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.68/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had high hopes for this beer, but I'm afraid a rather strong metallic taste made this difficult to enjoy. It poured beautifully with a nice orange copper body and a big, white, soapy head that stayed for several minutes. The smell was lovely citrus hops with sweet malt hiding in the background. Then the taste. Nice hop bite up front and on the finish, but right in the middle it makes me feel as though I have a mouth full of copper coins. Very metallic. I seem to notice it less as I make my way through this, but it's still there never-the-less. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle. I'll try this again in the future.

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Photo of ybnorml
2.67/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A yellow/amber beer with a slight haze to it. Has a small bubbly white head. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a light sweet malt background. The flavor is a very astringent bitterness with an industrial quaility. I like hoppy beers but I could not recomend this. Was like sucking on a metal pipe.

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Photo of Dmann
2.64/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed with this one at all. The best part was the pour, with a great golden hue and nice frothy head. The scent was hoppy but not in a normal way, very skunky. Taste was much the same, with a strange sour skunky bite mixed with a decent malt finish. There are WAY better IPA's to be spending your dough on than this.

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Photo of MLasoski
2.64/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overall, I am simply not inspired by this IPA. I have had better from many other breweries. As I poured this straight into my pint glass, the appearance was quite good. It's a slightly cloudy copper color, moderately opaque.

The first taste was all about the bitterness. The following tastes gave me the same attitude towards the beer as it really tasted - bitter. It lacks character and any sort of unique properties.

It's ABV (7.0%) is the only characteristic other than its bitterness that I can mention. It still doesn't stand out for me. I'll likely go elsewhere for an IPA.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.64/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I find the beers in the style are often brewed incorrectly. I've had one beer from the brewery and wasn't particularly impressed.

A: Pours a half finger head of no real cream, okay thickness, and terrible abysmal awful retention (maybe six seconds). Colour is a clear copper.

Sm: Light - surprisingly light - hops. A very light and simple aroma all around.

T: Some hops, but hardly any compared to most IPAs. It's balanced, but boring and simple. I wish it were more complex. There's little to say about it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a bit sharp in the third act - which isn't particularly suitable.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but simple and boring - especially for the style. Where are the hops? It's not often I think an IPA is low on hops. I wouldn't have this again.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.63/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not really my kind of IPA; more of an English-style. Pours light copper with a medium head. Aroma of weak hops, flowers, and (surpisingly) peaches. Taste is astringent-bitter with a metallic bite. The back is sweet, like a lot of other Mendoncino ales. Watery mouthfeel. Dry finish. Blandly enjoyable.

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Photo of methtlcai
2.62/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear dark gold with less than a finger of head that did an average job of retaining itself down the glass but nothing special. Smelled of lemons and citrus with a hint of hoppy pine, but not too strong an aroma. The taste was not good- the bitterness of the hops was there but not the flavor or aroma- tasted kind of chalky with a bit of citrus but the main problem was the alcohol was too prominent. I am happy I didn't opt for the 22 oz bomber. A below average IPA

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Photo of TexIndy
2.59/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness information. It was a orange amber color with good carb streams. It had an average sized off-white head that settled into a covering film and good collar. Good slow sliding lace with some sticking.

The aroma was a disappointment. The hops were overpowered by a strong vegetal aroma. Some alcohol and malt as well. Not very pleasing. The taste followed suit. Bitter from the start with no attempt to balance it. Not enjoyable. Mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation.

Overall, not a good IPA. Tried several Mendocino's this year and each one has been a mess. Time to move on from this brewery. Don't recommend. Avail here in TX. Rotation - avoid [N:N]

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.58/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden-amber body with a foamy white head. Features a beltching hawk on label!

Smell: Not the most florid aroma out there, that's for sure. Some flowers and some citrus, mostly. Oh, and what's this? Vanilla? Get oughta town!

Taste: Initially sweet, with hints of toffee, orange, and...hm, well, there's that vanilla again. Pureed peaches and pine needles just before the dry, bitter finish. Astringent in the back of throat upon swallowing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation. A bit watery.

Drinkability: A beer riddled with shortcomings. Oh, and about that odd vanilla-nicity, does anyone have any comment or opinion on this? I feel the search for the source of it will become an all-consuming obsession, and every moment until I find its source will be lost to depression and dwelling in regret and an overwhelming feeling that my life is not complete, that I cannot be happy, and that there is little point to getting up in the morning.

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Photo of atigerlife
2.56/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle.

Has a nice appearance. A rather large, creamy head that is off-white. The color of the beer is darker than expected, definite orange tint.
The smell was hoppy with some light citrus tones.
The taste was rather bland at the beginning and ended with a large amount of hoppy bitterness. Not well balanced.
In the mouth, it is quite bubbly.
Overall, I would try another IPA [or several] before having another of these.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a bright, clear yellow with a decent head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Some scattered lacing.
Smell is HOPS and some citrus and pine.
Taste is hops all over, pine, some lemon, and a floral note in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is rough, puckery (like sucking on a lemon) with a light - medium body. Nearly choking trying to get this one down.
Drinkability: If your not a fan of huge hops don't go here. Sadly, there was no real complexity or balance to this brew, just hops. Not up to the level of their other offerings.

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Photo of enfield249
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - A bit on the pale side. Medium ring of foam around the top of the glass.

S - Not getting much here.

T - Some grassy hops, and then some pine taste, but not a lot of bitterness. Leaves a funny aftertaste, not clean.

M - About normal, medium carbonation.

D - I won't buy it again, but I would drink it if it was free.

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Photo of planetahead
2.54/5  rDev -24.6%
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 kinger
2.54/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Mendocino has yet to really impress me and this latest find comes up a tad short. Dark copper color with a medium amber tint, huge foamy head and perhaps the coolest pattern of lacing I have ever seen. This beer starts off looking impressive. Aroma is strong with a funky hop scent not appalling but not inviting either. Mouthfeel is adequate but not full enough and definately not smooth enough to earn a higher mark. The flavor is somewhat odd. It's not out of line for the style but the hops have a very strong awkward bite, it's almost offensive. I know there is some malt there but the hops really get in the way. Not undrinkable but not desirable for this style.

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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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White Hawk Select IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 905 ratings.
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