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: 910
Photo of marcellaproust
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge, coarse head. Smells like it tastes: very bitter, over-the-top hops, grapefruit. Starts with a bite and finishes with a long, bitter hop punch. This beer has too much hops; usually, the grapefruit character of an IPA balances out the bitterness, but here the grapefruit is deprived of any "sweet" essence; the flavor is similar to when you've accidentally bitten into grapefruit seeds. Probably my least favorite of Mendocino beers, and I'm a complete MBC fan.

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

Light amber, good sized head.

Nice hoppy aroma, mostly grapefruit.

Full body, quite smooth. Crisp citrus up front that moves to the slight burn I expect. Light alcohol is noticable as well. Finishes with a hoppy dryness.

A nice IPA, something I'd drink again.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very nice into a pint glass. Good solid head with lots of lingering lace. The color of a trumpet.

Smells like vanilla and faint citrus fruit. A little bit of pine sap... maple almost.

Initial taste is sweet and slightly hoppy. And then comes the bitter burn that lingers and lingers and just doesn't quite work. The hops seem out of balance. Too much bittering, not enough aromatics.

Mouthfeel is somehow full AND watery. I have no idea how.

I just had three. One left. Yummy.

I fine drinking beer. Not outstanding in anyway, but very tasty and quite nice after work. Doesn't take my breath away, though, like a Laguanitas IPA.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.57/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color with a slight trace of head.Big hop aroma-lemony,grassy,floral with almost a touch of maple syrup.Bitterness upfront-theres a citrus/grapefruitiness to it.Slight lingering sweetness.Puckering mouthfeel.Somewhat harsh.A decent enough IPA-theres definately some better ones out there but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of purplehops
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

White Hawk IPA pours a hazy golden honey color with a white compact head that leaves a thin lacing on the glass.
The aroma is very malty up front with hints of green hops. Background aromas consist of faint citrus and evergreen hop fragrances.
Taste starts very malty and then quickly gives way to hop bitterness. Flavors of honey, caramel, and malt give way to citrus and piney hop flavors. The malt flavors return in the finish for a brief appearance before giving way to a lingering citrus hop bitterness in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is a bit chewy with a medium body in the begining but finishes with a crispness that is not all together unpleasant.
Drinkability is slightly above average. Could be an easy everyday session beer.
Overall White Hawk seems to be a middle of the road IPA. Too hoppy to be an English IPA and yet not quite hoppy enough to be an American IPA. But none the less an above average brew.

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

Mendocino White Hawk Original IPA: Tannish amber color tending toward yellow. Very hazy, almost completely opaque. Soapy lemony aroma, not much malt in there, the citrus aromas are provided by the hops.

The taste was not dissimilar to the aroma, very citrus/lemony. Interesting that I do not note the hop bitterness, in fact this is like a sweet lemonade rather than an IPA, at least to my palate. Further, the taste is heightened by the creamy smooth mouth feel of this brew, which struck me as somewhat unusual for the style. Odd, and not really a good example of the style, at least to me.

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Photo of sponberg
3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No date on the bottle, but there is a damned fine painting of a bird. Beautiful plumage. Pours a deep polished brass gold with a white, slightly fizzy thead that settles into some serious lace. Your hop dollars at work. Citric, piney, slightly earthy hops and toasty malt in the nose, along with a hint of bread yeast.

That bird's bitter about something. Starts with a citrus/caramel/toasty balance then starts heading off in the bitter direction. Serious bittering hops in this one, along with distant caramel/apricot/grapefruit. I just had a great hop burp. Not the most balanced IPA I've ever had, but it does grow on you. Finishes with a yellow grapefruit and toast aftertaste that would go great with bacon and eggs. Seriously. Decent, slightly fizzy mouthfeel that improves with sitting.

I went into the beer store with a Lincoln and some change looking for a six. I came out with this one. Money well spent IMO - not in the Hop Devil/Impaled/Wagenr Valley class, but not far off.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hey, get out of town! I have driven by this curiosity magnet of a building 100 times in NY on my way to the "big corporate home supply store" -wink wink- with each instance wondering what in the heck it's all about. Well, not bad beer...read on my suds swigging amigo, this one's on me.

Bottle label meet 'n greet talks about the origins of the IPA. (yeah, yeah, yeah.) Also, that this particular IPA offering has a "clean finish." Does it? Keep reading, where are you going? Starting off with a big tall head from a standard 12 ouncer, then leads to an aroma of floral hops, same old, same old. No "quadratic equation" is hidden in this here beer. Just good aromatic froth. Nice!

As a self proclaimed hop-head, this is a hop-hop-hoppy entry reminiscent of a favorite of mine: Victory, Hop Devil. Yup! Maybe a nod to SNPA perhaps. Mendocino, White Hawk IPA could use some offsetting subversive flavors to appease others, but worth the $4.50 smackers at a major beer joint like Flying Saucer in Nashville, TN for the bottle.

While tasting these bubbly fizzy hops, there was a second wave of easy, peppery hops aftertaste. Last swigs: Sometimes the label hits it on the beercap, as does this one. Pure clean hoppy IPA, with clean pungent aftertaste which quickly disapates to more yummy dry hoppiness. Heck, I'd have another; but this time you're buying.

***UPDATE: Found a case at (plug, plug) Beeryard in Malvern, PA for a reasonable $29 bananas. Upon second review in my beer review bat-cave, I will reiterate exceptionaly high worthiness of this beer. Too bad I had to give the 'appearance' quality 3.0 / 5.0 because this deserves a 4.5 to fit the highly, sincere, tasty factor. BA brownie points on this one. MENDOCINO's best!!! Looking for their Talon BWSA next.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of Charthepirate
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A reasonably average american IPA. Pours with a nice head, leaving a thick lacing down the entire glass. The smell is dominated by the hops. Flowery, grassy, and a little citrussy, they pack a punch.

The flavors are more of the same. Potent hop character of grass, flowers and citrus slam the palate, while a too gentle malts sits in the background. Slightly caramel flavor to the malts.

Not enough balance here, and too much bite for my tastes.


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Photo of oelergud
2.78/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light amber body, rich carbonation, a big white solid head and good lace.
Strong hoppy scent mixed with some fresh grass and a little grainy.
Very strong taste, hops really dominating the malt. Taste more like a pale ale than an IPA to me. Some pine/grass/grain evident as well.
Feels a little buttery and have a medium body.
So so on the drinkability scale.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange in color with a slight haze. The head frothed up nicely and hung around for a while, lacing the hell out of my Ruination glass.

Smell – This smells somewhat complex. It seems almost evenly balanced between malts and hops. The hops have some sugary sweetness to them, and the hops seem mostly floral with a hint of pine.

Taste – Wow, this is terrific! The malts are indeed sweetened with refined sugar along with some lovely caramel notes. The citrus hops join their cousins, Flora & Piney, to make up a fabulous profile. There’s even a little bit of black pepper to this IPA.

Mouthfeel – Bitter and dry but very refreshing. This ale is medium-bodied and extremely well-balanced.

Drinkability – Clearly I enjoyed this one much better than most of my BA Brothers. I will definitely buy again and keep on hand.

Update – I rated the ’03 vintage on New Year’s Day 2004, so here it is December of ’04 so I thought I’d give it another look. I wouldn’t change a thing about the descriptions or ratings from my original entry. I really enjoy this complex, balanced sample of the style.

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Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is a pale malts and light hopping. This is a weak example of an IPA; not very much hop aroma here. The taste is also disappointing. It has a moderate hop flavor with a slightly malty backdrop. It is quite bitter and citrousy. The mouthfeel is good. This is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine drinkin IPA despite the fact that it lacks a lot of IPA characteristics.

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Photo of drewbage
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle with a clean label but a slightly crusty cap.

Beer pours a pale orange almost golden with good clarity and a large fluffy white head that sticks with a good thud to the glass.

Amazingly active and gassy beer with lots of fine white bubbles.

Aroma is strongly grassy and grapefruit with a large metallic twing in the finish.

Flavor starts with a sharp citrus note that grows over time as a toasty malt background fades into a long finish with a sharply metallic twang.

Beer is definately balanced towards the hops with virtually no malt.

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Photo of dpend
3.87/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep yellow/orange with a respectable head that sat well and laced well. Floral hops in the aroma with a nice malt presence.The bittering hops aren't really strong in this beer. Not real chewy and a bit watery for this style.Taste is relatively balanced though and I could consume many.Not the best from Mendocino, but not the worst either.

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Photo of OatmattStout
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a really nice head that was stiking in chunks to the glass and a color on the lighter side for an IPA. The nose on this beer was a bit strange, seemed to have a lager like quality to it, and the taste seemed to follow. The hop quality to this beer was good with grapefruit rind, and some pine flavors. Not much malt presence at all. It to me tasted like a dry hopped heineken as strange as it sounds and it wasn't bad either.

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Photo of Gavage
3.87/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a small head that slowly receded to the rim of the glass.The aroma was fruity and bitter. The hops are all over this one, as the bitterness is strong and the malt is just a notch below where it should be, but is still is very tasty. Very light bodied mouthfeel with this and the carbonation level is very low. Mellow bitter aftertaste that lasts a bit, but far lower than the initial bitterness in the swig. Definitely drinkable.

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Photo of stirgy
4.4/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A fruity citrus bouquet emanates from this clear and pale golden brew. Topped with a very creamy white head. Pleasantly crisp with sweet grains, lemony sweet and slightly oily. Leaves a citrus tang on the tongue. This beer is deceiving - although this beer looks light, it’s very flavorful and a pretty intense IPA. Finishes with a sweetness, although my preference would be a little drier in that aspect. A beer with guts. I like it.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid IPA with limited bitterness from the hops. The look is amber with a small off-white head and mild lace. The nose gives floral hops and a late caramel malt smell when warmed. The flavor is slightly citrusy and bitter, balanced by a final malt sense. The feel is medium and smooth enough for the style. Decently drinkable.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh no an IPA! I just love IPA's! NOT!! This one poured a small sized ivory and creamy head that contained fine-medium sized bubbles. It had a cloudy and carbonated body with a pale yellow hue. The nose was hoppy, fruity and sweet with a bitter, sweet and hoppy flavor from start to finish that left an aftertaste. The mouthfeel was tingly and medium bodied.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.18/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle with a head and chest picture of an albino hawk on the label. Poured a hazy orange color with lots of carbonation and a sturdy, foamy white head. Head had some of the best retention I've seen; it never faded away and left nice sheet lacing.
Aroma was a pleasant blend of citrus and mild pine scents over a modest malt base.
Taste was plenty hoppy but not overpowering. Started with a solidly malty flavor which quickly gave way to a bit of grapefruit and pine flavors. Finished with a nice clean hoppy bite.
Feel was medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
A really enjoyable example of the style. Not an über-IPA with enough hops to snap your tongue off its rollers but rather a well balanced, tasty offering. Another solid beer from Mendocino Brewing.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was hand delivered to me in Moscow by a colleague from Washington DC, a special treat for a hophead trapped in the land of pale lagers. Comes in a standard brown 12oz. bottle with a pretty cool label featuring the white hawk (of course). No freshness info or list of ingredients.

Pours a dark clear gold with some bubbles under an off-white two-fingered head with good body but not much retention. Enough lingers, however, to deposit nice lacework on the glass. The nose is fairly mild for the style, but features flowery hoppiness. The mouth is a bit too carbonated and slightly heavier than medium. The taste is very nice, starting with some malts but quickly jumping to hoppy bitterness with a hint of grass and citrus. The bitterness gets stronger in the finish, leaving a mildly bitter aftertaste with hints of flowers. A nice effort.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasing copper color with some gold notes to it. Pours with a quickly disappearing head. Smells sharply hoppy, that has a slight floral and a bit of grassy notes to it. Very smooth tasting, finishes with a strong fruitiness that comes from a solid hop flavor, then one takes note of the solid bitterness. Very malty up front, which then succumbs to a great hop flavor and bitterness. A very well balanced beer. The hop definitely dominates this brew, as it should in an IPA, but there is a solid maltiness which brings this beer to another level.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange gold color, Medium foamy head. Big hop aroma. A medium bodied IPA. Hops, hops and more hops. Hoppy and then hoppy some more. Not a lot of malts. Hops dominate. A little grapefruity and hoppy. If you get the idea that this beer is hoppy, thank you. That all said it still tastes pretty good. Hoppy, but kind of smooth. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is bitter.

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Photo of Jason
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Pale brassy golden colour, decent lacing with some stickage.

Smell: Big estery alcohol within the semi pungent hop aroma … not much for malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth and full bodied. Hop bitterness is there, pungent and piney with a prickly finish. Lots of warming alcoholic esters, hints of diacetyl and toasted grain. Citric tones influence the palate. Finish is much like the start, lots of hop flavour.

Notes: A typical American brewed IPA. Good drinking if you like lots of hops, a bit off balance IMO … the alcohol character gets in the way too much.

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Photo of maxpower
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden-amber color, has a huge frothy white head that leaves a nice lacing, pine and citrus nose, average citrus flavors, some what thin with a sticky mouthfeel it is a bit unbalanced it is lacking something maybe a little bland, much better IPAs out there to drink, this is very average for the style.

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White Hawk Select IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 910 ratings.
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