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Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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294 Reviews
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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Reviews: 294 | Ratings: 501
Photo of BeerManDan
4.7/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this pale ale. Poured a lightly hazy medium yellow. The aroma was of a malty, yeasty with a light hoppy smell. Taste was very clean with a well balance of alcohol and sweetness. For me this is the best beer that this brewery makes.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale has a thick, soapy, off-white head, a semi-clear, yellow-golden appearance, with lots of thick lacing left behind, and an enormous amount of gray-brown specks floating about the beer. The aroma is of citrus, cracker, sweet malt, and maybe a slight sting of hops. Taste is of the same, with grass and a pleasant and sharp hop bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale finishes semi-dry, mellow, and highly drinkable. Overall, this was a wonderful sample, and I recommend this, in the strongest way. Please check it out!


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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Way under-rated.

A- I notice flecks of yeast and a ring around the bottom of the bottle. I make sure to thoroughly pour all of it into my pint glass. Delicious dark golden/light amber color and a nice head that sticks around and leaves trails of lacing. Good clarity without the yeast, which I am a big fan of.

S- Warm bread, warming alcohol, and light fruity esters reminiscent of candied pears and green apples. And don't forget the load of fresh, spicy, herbal hops.

T- Sweet, then tart, then bitter on the tongue. I love the progression of this beer. Alcohol remains dormant but is noticed in a welcomed manner. Malts make a showing and offer some light bread characteristics.

M- Medium carbonation and medium body. Not much to say.

D- Easy to drink, yet completely satisfying, filling, and rewarding all in one 12oz bottle. This is how I like my pale ale. Assertive, but not aggressive. And the bottle conditioning helps.

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Photo of billybob
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a crystal clear golden color with a three finger white head with a easy pour and left about a half inch head to the finish with a wispy lace to the finish also. smell of citrus and pine. taste is bready, citrus, not sweet but not bitter then hops kick in and linger a bit at the end. mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and carbonation is good. just really liked this beer maybe it just caught me on the right day.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a straight pint glass.

Nice looking brew, this. A pale golden colour with a white head that doesn't go away and leaves not just lacing, but a coating of whiteness on the inside of the glass. Very nice. The aroma is bready with a strong hit of citrus hops. Very bitter and hoppy up front with hints of lemon. Good finish. Strong carbonation hits the back of the throat as it goes down. I'd have little hesitation in drinking this all evening - it's very much to my taste and a good example of an APA.

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Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazed deep golden with a foamy white head that stays around, leaving some broken rings of lacing.

The smell is biscuity, grainy with soft citrus and pine.

The taste is of citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) - nice hop profile - with a balancing sweet, grainy malt. Both the hop and malt characteristics stand out but remain balanced. It has a long, bittersweet finish.

It is medium-to-full-bodied - almost chewy. Very smooth.

A hoppy, yet balanced, flavorful, smooth and refreshing pale ale. Nice example of a hoppy APA!

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on a recent visit to Portland. Was lucky enough to try a sampler paddle at the Bridge Port pub. I think there were 8 or so different beers on the paddle and surprisingly, this was one of my favorites. I say surprising b/c I don't normally like pale ales but this one was superb. Crisp, citrusy refreshing, excellent mouthfeel.

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Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, gold/copper hue with a long lasting white head, quality lacing. The nose is citrus & floral hops and, just a hint, of malt. A wonderful blend of hops (citrus, floral) and malt undertones balance out the beer. The texture on the tongue is ideal for the style, wonderful carbonation. Blue Heron is a top-notch American Pale Ale, one of the best I have had (rivals Sierra Nevada easily). I would recommend trying one!

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Photo of 1759Girl
4.28/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance> oh goodie gum drops did it look fantastic. cloudy, lively, thick frothy head with good retention.
Smell> hoppy goodness
taste> sweet. full hoppy taste. DEFINITELY had all of the characteristics of an American IPA. Smooth finish.
Mouf> average
Drinkability> its not my beloved Stone IPA but I'd not turn it down. Pretty good job Mendocino kids!

I don't know what people are complaining about.

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Photo of Shiloh
4.27/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional pale ale.
The appearance is a dull and murky golden with a limited crown.
Slight island lace and ring are the only remnants of the original pour.
Aroma has a grapefruit quality to it in a limited way.
Carbonation is diffacult to detect visually due to the cloudiness of the product.
The taste also is of the grapefruit... a hop lover's delight. Over powering and heavenly.
The body is full.
This is a session beer...could there be a higher compliment?

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Photo of Ozone
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the better beers available in SC for now (legislation pending). It's got a great pour with a decent, but not frothy head. Consistent lacework on the glass all the way down. It has a clear, light golden hue.

Hops pop, with a subtle citrus flavor and a crisp finish. Body is light without losing character.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely clear (I left the bottles for over a week and poured mine carefully after reading the other reviews, yeast is detectable in the bottom dregs afterwards) Golden color. Pours well with a solid head, that leaves a distinctive bubble encrusted lace pattern clinging to the sides as you drink down the glass. Clean tasting beer with a very hoppy aroma that almost assaults the nasal cavities as the bitterness explodes on the tastebuds. Strong tasting hoppy bitter beer. I love this beer, but it's too strong to drink in quantity. No sell by date but tasted very fresh. Maybe older bottles don't fare so well ??

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Photo of dickroop
4.18/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a medium-light golden with minimal head

The aroma was mostly a yeasty sweetness, with hints of floral hops scent.

Taste was a mild balance of malt and varied hoppy bitterness, but a nice long-lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is an initial biting of ample carbonation, a slightly cloying feel of malt, resolving to smooth stickiness that goes with the bitter finish.

Drinkability is surprisingly good. I like this brew and won't hesitate to pick up another batch.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a partly cloudy gold, 2 finger bubbly & thin white head, good retent, white film lacing

S- floral, citrus, hops, bready, strong aromas (could smell this thing from a couple feet away)

T- warming hop bite at finish, well balanced pale, leafy hops, hints of citrus throughout, buttery malts, toasted grains with hints of spice

M- well carbonated, drying finish, smooth, hop tingles

D- great eyes and nose, solid yet mellow flavor, i'd definitely have another, sessionable, brew begs to be paired with food

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.07/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly cloudy and golden in color with a big head that left respectable lacing down the glass. The aroma has a pale malt breadiness, citrus and some spicy hops. The flavor is the converse of the aroma. Very light malt character which leads to a somewhat flowery bitterness all the way to the finish. An iota of butter is also noticeable. The bitterness drys out the palate a bit, but the mouth feel is good. Overall a highly drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of BeerVikingSailor
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been meaning to review this one for a while; a nice "everyday" pale ale, easy drinking. Poured from bottle into tulip...

A: decent looking brew, light golden....carbonation is crisp with average head and some lacing on the glass

S: This APA also smells nice, some typical citrus grassy hops up front, not much malt presence at all...little bit of vanilla and pine comes in as well

T: I like this beer, it tastes good and goes down easily, nice hop bitterness but not overwhelming or crazy....crisp and clean and nice to session to drink with food like pasta. The 6% abv is well hidden, either that or I have gotten used to more potent DIPA's!

MF: not bad, average tasting APA; I keep this one on hand for when I want something light and easy drinking without being too heavy and the price is right as well....

D: Smooth, nice hop flavors, just enough to not numb my palate at all, and easy to drink more than one....enjoyable.

Since I live on a lake with many great blue herons, I enjoy also the nice label on this beer, as this is my "totem" bird I see a lot of while out sailing or kayaking...nicely done. Overall a decent, affordable APA that I have enjoyed for years.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice sticky ivory white head supported by a shit load of carbonation. Straw with some orange hue on the edges. Streaky lacing.

Light malted sweetness, Toast, Hopped up.

Toasted bread cuts through the sweetness. Hops are punishing because they all come at once and are gone in a flash. Pleasant finish medium to dry.

I've had quite a few beers from this brewery and they all have this similarity. I think its the malts they use, they just have this laid back way of making all their beers regardless of ABV very drinkable and smooth things out. Yes! Solid offering and worthy of your attention.

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Photo of Dmann
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
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 Jason
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
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 NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very slightly hazy, golden/light amber in color with a dense white head that holds well and leaves some very nice lace. The body is medium with a standard carbonation that's lightly zesty on the tongue and and somewhat creamy as it warms in the mouth. The aroma is gently fruity with bright, grassy, floral & lightly citrusy hops over a bready malt. The flavor is well balanced between a sweetly bready malt, floral hop flavors, and solid bitterness. It finishes dry and gently bitter with a lingering malt and grassy hop flavor. An interesting beer that's worth trying.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy gold brew.

Smell is fairly high in hops with some malt smells.

Taste is more balanced than expected from the smell. Sweetness and hop bitterness is perfectly balanced in this. Momentarily this is malty and bitter, and some citrus flavors pop up. Not complex exactly, but very well executed blending.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable brew, Mendocino Brewing is a company that consistently delivers brews that do not disappoint.

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Photo of marc77
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Heron pours a very dense and thick white head that settles into a very persistent one finger thick layer. Hazy golden in hue, and the sparse bubble production leaves the impression of an undercarbonated brew, but carbonation is more than adequate. The hop nose is floral and clean and lacks the often overbaearing grapefruity and ciitrusy notes some American varieties have. It seems to be a combination of Kent Goldings and perhaps Cascade. The hop bitterness is relatively high, but the body is relatively high for an APA and thus provides ample balance. The finish is typically clean for style and devoid of any flaws whatsoever. Blue Heron is a somewhat rich APA, and the combination of American and British hop flavors provide for a unique drinking experience. It's not outstanding, but is certainly tasty.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and golden with a small head and thin lace.
The aroma of grains,hops and biscuit malts.
The taste was very mild on the malts with a sharp hop flicker.
Some mild bitterness on the tongue with the company of citrus notes.
The feel was very well balanced with a light body and medium carbonation.

Notes: More like a pilsner/pale ale than an IPA,but not too far away from the IPA style. Really does not matter because it was a good tasting beer with session quality.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellow-brown color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Smelled of hops, sweet malt and some citrus. An interesting aroma.

T: Tasted of sweet malt and hops up front, with grapefruit and perhaps a little caramel in the finish. A different take on the typical pale ale flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a small cap. There is good ring lacing present.

S - Smells of sweet malts and an underlying pineapple/fruity smell.

T - Slight bitter hop taste up front, sweet malt, and a pineapple/fruity taste on the finish.

M - Great carbonation makes for a very crisp and clean drinking experience.

D - Very good beer that was very refreshing. A very tasty pale ale. I will get this one again.

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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 501 ratings.
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