Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale
521 Ratings
Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000

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Ratings: 521 |  Reviews: 295
Reviews by AAG:
Photo of AAG
2.6/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured this American Pale Ale from a cold bottle into a room temperature pint glass.

Appearance - Soapy is probably the most appropriate way to describe the white head on this beer; poured about 2-3 fingers of white head which dissipated fairly quickly; light, golden color; looks refreshing.

Smell - Sweet, grainy, wheaty; hard to define. As the beer warms up the smell turns fruity.

Taste - Slightly bitter initially; transitioned to less bitter and dry; still leaves an overall bitter aftertaste, though.

Mouthfeel - I find this beer to be slightly displeasing on the palate; bitter; over-carbonated; not smooth.

Overall - Not my favorite beer; average for a pale ale; I find it bitter and I dislike the aftertaste. Might just be me but I would not buy this beer again. Almost tastes slightly skunked; astringent; the guy who described Blue Heron as a salad with slightly stale croutons and a bitter vinaigrette is right on!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow/orange with a light head that seems to stay around and leaves some decent lacing,aroma is hoppy and lightly minerally.Taste has a definent hop profile to it very resiny and I got some slight caramel notes.I would like some more balance to my pale but a decent crafted beer.

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Photo of Dmann
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good all around effort at a pale ale, but definantly not an American IPA. The beer looked great with its sunset orange color and good white head that stayed till the end of my glass. The smell was very fresh and a faint citrus characteristic and a slightly grassy scent as well. The taste was all about balance. Not a hopped out APA like Sierra Nevada or Stone but a more malty Pale Ale that was a nice change of pace from many of the hop monster Pale Ales out there and still retained a nice mild hoppy finnish. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and although it is quite alchoholic, you cannot taste a drop of it. If you are looking for a decent ammount of flavor with out going overboard, this could be the session beer for you.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.19/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In a pint glass the beer was a gold color with a small white head.

A sweet malt aroma. Some flowery/grassy hops. A tepid aroma.

Rather tepid taste also. A little bread, a little grassy hops.

Good for your thirst. I had this with some fairly spicy chili, and it actually held up well. I think on it's own, it is an average beer at best.

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Photo of Todd
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Blue label with a blue heron in flight. No freshness date.

Appearance: Rich, cloudy golden with a sticky, creamy white lace/head. Nice head retention.

Smell: Freshly milled sweet pale malt and raw hop aroma.

Taste: Full bodied, but not heavy. Smooth, rich mouthfeel with an upfrount grain sweetness. Hops hit heavy with a floral, citrus and spicy medly. The combination stays all the way into the aftertaste, especially the spiciness which seems to stick to the palate by way of residual hop oils (hop napalm on the tongue) and becomes pronounced in the middle by a crisp dryness wrapped in grain husk flavours. Finishes with a dextrin, oily, semi-dry coating on the palate.

Notes: Born in 1985 and weighing in at 6.1% alcohol by volume, this is a fantastic example of a West Coast American Pale Ale. I really like this brew. My only gripe is the extreme aftertaste which is sort of difficult to shake. Some may not welcome it. I don't mind it at all. Try eating some bread in between tastings and all will be well.

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Photo of Guden
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pale gold with an overly thick head which fades quickly leaving lots of small bubbles.

S: A little caramel with light hops. Not sure what type of hops but nothing too exciting.

T: Soft malt up front followed by earthy hops which stick to the tongue and last long after. Not much else.

M: Oily on the tongue and weak in the mouth all around, not great.

D: Meh, not too exciting. Fine with food, but not something I'd grab a few more of.

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Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yeast hazed dull golden colour with a flexed rocky white head that drops down to a thin sticky lace.

Orangey hop aroma with hints of ale-like fruity esters and a dollop of yeast to boot.

Stable medium body with a well textured carbonation and mouth feel. Citric hop tone has a bitter bite, pale graininess underneath. The fruity esters have a light alcohol kick and show some warmth in the mouth. Soft flare of yeast. Thin layer of malt sweetness rolls through and the hops stick to the taste buds with a lingering bitterness.

A tasty pale with a kick, I see this one as a good change up pale ale.

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Photo of merlin48
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale orange color, with a two finger head that leaves minimal, patch lace.
Aroma is a surprise, with Germanic, spicy, hops. Not what I was expecting, but not bad.
Mouthfeel is average, with adequate carbonation and a mild hop bite.
Taste has a lot of pale malt character. Some pear fruitiness balances well against the spicy hops.
Very average for an American pale ale.

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Photo of tigg924
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: bready caramel malt with a touch of hops

Taste: honey, caramel malt, strong citrus hops, and some chemical taste

Mouthfeel: sweet start, super bitter middle and a sweeter end, light bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A below average pale ale that is not as balanced as I would have liked. The super bitter and chemical tasting middle kills the beer for me. One is enough.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz amber bottle. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a slightly hazy golden color. Very sticky, frothy head stands firm and splotches the glass all the way down.

Smell: A different combination of fruits and candy sweetness. Not too pronounced, either.

Taste: Average. I was expecting more, but I felt cheated. There was a good hop:malt ratio (read: hops dominate) but the finish and aftertaste were very grainy-flavored. Not the kind of hoppy bitterness I like in a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Fairly low level of carbonation with the lack of creamy smoothness from the malt make for a plain mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The closer I got to the end, the more I was thinking "This tastes like Bud." I hate to say that, but it really was just average. Not a beer I would try again and probably wouldn't suggest.

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Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.66/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good dark yellow color, good amount of haze, some of the most amazing Brussels lace and tiny bubbles you'll ever see.

Aroma, traditional British hops, minor pine effect. Taste, an excellent session pale. Not the type of Mt. Dew tour "to the extreme" Poochie rap song kind of beer. Refreshing. Traditional ales done very well by this brewery.

Gets maltier down towards mid bottle, very drinkable.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ADR
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saratoga Springs bottling...clearish medium orange color, nice 1/2 inch frothy head. Laces in dripping rings on the glass. Bitter citrus aroma, peppery with a lot of yeastiness, all-in-all a little overpowering. Mouthfeel is slightly light with pinprick carbonation. Malt has a hard time getting traction, aroma hops and a resiny hop backbone continue to combine and dominate the beer's flavor impression. Finishes with an astringent tang that's a little unsettling. Pale Ale or IPA (lots of similarities to White Hawk IPA), this certainly leans in the hop direction -- could use a better balance and texture.

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Photo of chinchill
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated but very recently purchased 12 oz bottle served in pint glass

A - Pours a golden-yellow color with a minimal white head.

S - Aroma is a rather subtle and balanced mix of hops and lightly toasted malt. Aroma had a faint skunkiness to it that largely disappeared after a few minutes.

T - For an APA, this beer is more like a strong Pilsner than expected. Starts off malty with a definite hop component, as expected, a little bread flavor. Nice finish is a mix of the bread (malt), moderately bitter hops, and a touch of yeast. Flavor and aroma seemed to change more than usual with time/warming.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-light carbonation. A mild hop 'bite'.

O - Aroma had a faint skunkiness to it that largely disappeared after a few minutes, but it remained in the flavor. Will try to revisit with another sample.

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Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy light copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of weak pale malts and much stronger herbal and light citrus hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light pale malt flavors up front are joined quickly by thin citrus hop flavors and hints of vanilla. As it warms the hop flavors fade a bit. Ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this is a decent APA but nothing to write home about and nothing to seek out. Very solid for the price though, as are most Mendocino brews.

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Photo of rastaman
2.18/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle. Bland peach citrus type flavour, really short finish, tinny, stale, tiring. Almost a lagery style pale ale, very thin. As i mentioned before has a slightly rusty, edgy tinny quality to it. Once again i was really left feeling dissapointed with this brewery.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a clear golden yellow body with a thin white film as a head. There is a slight haze to the body in the light. There is a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a green noble hop aroma with a sulfury hint.

T- The big taste of dry noble hops come through strong with a faint grapefruit note as it warms. There is a dry corn and raw grain flavor that comes through once I get used to the hops. There is a slight tartness to the hops finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with the finish filled with a fizz texture.

D- This beer has light lager note with some semi-interesting hops notes. This beer doesn't have any qualities of a typical ale and there are no real interesting malts to support the hops.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Dface
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Mtooman
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of alotofcoffee
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a med golden yellow with a smallish head that melted quickly to decent lacing. I may have been too gentle with my pour.
Aroma is pale malt with a hop presence.
Taste is all about hops... Sharp, clean orange rind, lemon, and grapefruit followed with a spicy, almost peppery feel as you swallow.
Aftertaste is grapefruit rind and light alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thick with the carbonation and slighly sticky from the pale malts I barely taste.
Decent brew....I will definately try this one again. I only bought a single at Trader Joe's...time for a 6 pack.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino- Blue Heron Pale Ale

Appearance- cloudy dark orange with a huge billowy head.
Smell- citrus and spice (pepper). Lemon, prapefruit, and orange.
Taste- hoppy with a citric kick.
Mouthfeel- a smooth Pale Ale with a slight bitterness in the end.

Overall- a nice Pale Ale that would be easy to down several. A nice balance of citrus and hops. My favorite from Mendocino. Worthy of a 6er.

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Photo of SMark
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into a pint glass at 39° from a 12 ounce bottle with no date information. Over one finger of white frothy carbonated head was produced from the pour which remained for quite a while. There was nice lacing left on the glass from this hazy pale golden beer.

I was able to inhale a pleasant citrus aroma which was clean and refreshing. A bit of hops surfaced with malt aromas not very evident.

The beer displayed a hop freshness with citrus notes. The taste was also clean and refreshing with a malty taste in the undercurrent.

This one seems to be hanging around for a little while. The hops are not making a big commotion in the mouth but you can tell they are there. I would classify this as a comfortable beer.

This is another one of those beers you could get into trouble with at 6.1% alcohol. It is a good sipper but you need to beware as a few could slip up on you. It is very nicely balanced and well made.

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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 521 ratings