Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

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: 503
Photo of q33jeff
1.65/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Aroma: Cream ale, hops.
Look: Yellow Color…Fuzzy.
Taste: Vegetables and hops.
Feel: medium to thin body
Not offensive, but very plain.

 158 characters

Photo of TexIndy
1.83/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A lasered code on the bottle but can't find a date in there so no idea if fresh or not. Was a hazy golden yellow color with slight carb streams. It had a thin, fizzy head that quickly evaporated into a thin collar. Quick sliding non sticking lace.

The aroma was weak with bitter hops, toffee malt and a metallic aroma which was very off putting. The taste followed suit with bitter hops at the start and then the metallic flavor hit and really ruined it. Horrible after-taste. Mouthfeel was thin and under carbonated.

Overall, a mess and a drain pour. Not sure if it's just the way the beer is or if out of date. Since they don't date the bottle I have to assume it's the beer. One of the worst beers in the past couple months. Like sucking on metal shavings. Rotation - one and done. If I can find one in a friends fridge I might try it to see if this sample was bad but no way am I buying another to find out.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.84/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Dirty golden brew w/ a thick head of fluffy white bubbles. Lots of carabonation bubbles risisng to the top of the glass.

S - Herbal hint of hops with a distinct mineral aroma metallic well water. Smells natural and refreshing like the cheesy painting on the bottle. Is that Thomas Kincaid "Painter of Light?"

T - Hard mineral well water flavor with metallic undertones. Dank and raw tasting. BItter in a rotten sort of way. Bitter, acidic, and very unpleasant....this is pretty foul.

M - Light and carbonated. Pretty average.

D - Suffers at the hands of the foul acidic, metallic, bitter, and downright nasty taste. Like chewing on a blade of grass....very bitter and vegetal.

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Photo of 1fastz28
2.01/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

pours without any head a pale golden color. looks ok so far, smell is nearly non-existent maybe some hops but thats it, taste is bitter, but not a hoppy bitterness, just bitter. mouthfeel is ok, drinkability is very low, i'm not a fan of this beer. maybe i just got a bad one, but this isn't very impressive.

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.06/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a hazy, orange-yellow color with some visible carbonation. The off-white head is fairly tall, dense, and frothy. Retention is solid, with some nice lacing.

S: Very light malt aroma accompanied mainly by citric hops. Also a considerable metallic and floral character.

T: Malt? Nope, nothing to see here. A bland citric hop flavor of orange oil, along with a blunt, aspirin-esque bitterness with only the vaguest of floral hints. Hints of yeast and metal into the finish.

M: Disappointingly light-bodied. APAs don't need to be chewy or viscous, but this feels like slightly flat seltzer on the tongue. Carbonation is fairly crisp, leading to a dry finish.

D: Ugh. Just like their IPA, a bland, flavorless aspirin bitterness dominates here. Thin-bodied, poorly malted, and thoroughly forgettable. It seems that as my palate matures, Mendocino's beers drift further and further from respectability.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.1/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly golden yellow color with a thick white head that sticks around a while. Smells of caramel and malts and maybe a vague hint of hops. I am thinking my bottle is off a little. Tastes was of almost no hops like it certainly should have been. Mostly sweet malts and a little brown sugar with a little hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is low.

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Photo of rastaman
2.18/5  rDev -35.9%
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 mcallister
2.19/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This pale ale doesn't have the most pretty appearance I recall seeing. Pours a dirty yellowish gold. Very little head that dissapeared almost instantly.

The nose is a little better than the appearance. Nice flowery, hoppy aroma, with some sweet citrus fruit in there and malt..

See the problem I have with this beer (as well as many others) is the fact that it doesn't have it's own image per say. There is no style to it. It does have some hop to it but no hop character that makes it different, there is a slight maltiness but the malt component leads more towards a macro in variety than it does a micro trying to set itself apart. It is a tad creamy but the mouthfeel is more like a Budweiser than a fine APA to me.

I would drink a light beer before drinking this just because it would make me not have to worry about getting fat as much. Hate to dog a beer like this but if you're going to put the money, time, and effort into brewing beer try and set yourself apart to be remembered.

 998 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.21/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is crisp and malty, typical of a pale ale. It pours a clear straw yellow with a thick but quickly dissipating white head. Flavor is - well, it tastes a little bit like beer, malty with just a hint of fruit, but rather wan and uninspiring. Texture is smooth and just a little bit fizzy. OK, but I won't be looking for this one again.

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Photo of cdkrenz
2.31/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A dingy orange color with a thick haze. The head is stark white and starts out at an inch but quickly fades to a thin transparent layer.

S - Malt and hops with little structure.

T - Extremely mild hops to start. It gets a little more interesting as the brew gets toward the finish. Still, for a pale ale I'm not at all intrigued by it.

M - This is one of the finer qualities this brew has to offer. It has a nice and consistent fine-grained texture throughout.

~ I think it obvious I'm not impressed by this pale ale. I will say though, I'd pay another $0.49 to have one, but not a penny more.

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Photo of spicelab
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from Beermasons.

Hazed cumquat with a sizable, white head of decent heft. Strong retention, eventually leaves an extensive lace lattice.

Sweet citrus, light caramel and doughy yeast. Subdued hop aromas of candied lemon, grapefruit and orange. Not complex but quite acceptable.

Descends almost immediately into a gritty, metallic bitterness that sweeps aside the malt backbone and most of the fruity hop character. Not impressed.

Oppressive carbonation all but conceals any sense of body. Metallic bitterness lingers on the mid palate.

Unimpressed when I first had it nearly 3 months ago. This bottle was from the same batch, and the kindest thing I can say is that it has held up okay. Pedestrian in comparison even with some of the more rudimentary craft offerings today.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle pours a very hazy gold color with a modest white head. Does leave some nice sheeting all the way around right above the collar.

Nose is very malty for a pale, mostly biscuits and grain. Little bit of floral hops comes out, but this is weak sauce for the most part.

Stil overly malty, but the hops assert themselves a little better on the finish. Its almost like the brewers got stoned and forgot to add the last 2 hop additions...maybe even boiled it a bit long cause there is some definite burnt caramel going on. Id think this was an older bottle...buuut for one thing there is no freshness date, for another its Mendocino. Glad this was just a single, cause this is one of the worst Pale Ales I have had in quite some time. Not a drain pour, but certainly well below average for the style.

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Photo of Onslow
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a decent American Pale head, lacing is average ... Not as full as most APA's ... lacks any craft beer characteristics, feels like a mass market APA ... "stiff upper lip ole girl" ... needs work for sure! ..this is what happens when you hit the bottom of the barrel at your local..

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Photo of jdhilt
2.43/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a two-fingered head and leaving a ton of lace. Light cloudy amber color. Hoppy nose, starts and finishes hoppy and bitter - you were expecting something else with a pale?? Malt may be there but it is hidden along with any alcohol overtones. Good carbonation.

 269 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.43/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours a fairly clear, pale yellow color with a finger or so of white head.

S: Just an awful aroma to this beer. Like a urinal or a gas station bathroom. Some definite rotten vegetable notes in there, too. Some bread and malt notes, but not much in the way of hops.

T: For as horrendous as the aroma was, the flavor is surprisingly unoffensive. Pale malt with a light floral hop note, some lemon zest, and a light to moderate bitterness. It has a hint of corn to it, though.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: The flavor was not great and the nose was atrocious. No thanks.

 619 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.5/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

 460 characters

Photo of rarbring
2.53/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is golden, slightly hazy, a white head that leaves good lacing.

The smell is rather weak, malts mainly, gruel with brown sugar.

Some acidity in the taste, a bit metallic and chemical, finishing in an alchemical bitterness.

Medium carbonation, a mixture of early watery feeling but finishing of rather dry.

The beer has taste, but the character is not right for me. The chemical aspects were not right.

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Photo of popery
2.59/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mediocre pale ale. I wouldn't actively avoid it, but I can't see paying for one again. It pours a bright gold, transparent, with a dissipating white head. The aroma is weak. Medicinal with a metallic edge. There are some floral hops lurking in the background and maybe a touch of malt. The flavor has more hops and is mildly dry. It's not terrible, just really boring with some off-notes. I don't want to pile on the beer, but this one isn't for me.

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Photo of AAG
2.6/5  rDev -23.5%
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!

 934 characters

Photo of witster18
2.61/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

0 for 2!

just had the Black Hawk Stout a few minutes ago.

this has some of the same underwhelming qualities.

Pours a nice golden color with a minimal head that dissipates almost immediately. there is a little bit of spotty lacing. NO nose whatsover. Taste...

uh....very little...except a over bitter out of balance hop. Very dissapointed. I've had worse but I won't revisit. Had a Cooper's PA last week and it blows this away....and it's not the greatest either. I hope the third sampler I have from Medicino finally gives me some flavor and balance. going for the IPA next but I had a small session with Stone last nt so maybe I should wait a day or two to give the IPA a fair shake and the brewery a chance at redemption in my mind.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
2.61/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Out of the bottle this beer was a cloudy gold color with lots of visible rising carbonation. The head was an off-white, one-finger cap that retained excellently and left broken bands of thin lacing. The aroma was light, floral hops, citrus hops, pale malt and general appealing sweetness. The flavors were notably odd. The first note I got was pale malt that was then tempered by a bitter hoppiness. The bitterness was sharp and crude however, not citric and poignant as one would hope from an APA. Notes of soil and roots. Just too bitter for the malt to balance and a weird version of the style. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation average. Skip it.

 678 characters

Photo of duderus123
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - A yelowinsh murky color. Foamy head that laces the glass. This color certainly doesn't look like a pale ale.

Smell - Piney and citrusy scent. Can't really smell much of the yeast or maltiness.

Taste - A citrusy and piney ale. Dry Light Clean hops profile that tastes like the scent. Piney and citrusy. This is def. not a strong enough Ale compared to most other Pale Ales. Where are the yeast and malt at?

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, a little sticky on the pallet. Slightly fizzy.

Overall - Don't get me wrong, this is a good brew, but it lacks body and hops and color that are essential in calling a Pale ale a Pale ale. Its only similarity with a true pale is the dry feeling on the pallet. It's ok. Shame on you Mendo brew.... re-do this one.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.66/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was not too impressed with this IPA. Its aroma is only faintly hoppy, flavor is very lightly hoppy but also includes some banana notes I feel do not belong, and mouthfeel is a bit watery. Apearance is excellent, with a hazy and gold color and sloppy-appealing amounts of cumulus head. Not ad, but not really recommended either.

 329 characters

Photo of shadow1961
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mendocino's Blue Heron Pale Ale pours a stiff white head
over a slightly cloudy straw colored brew. Carbonation is
steady, and the nose is pale malt and a bit of lemony hop.
The flavor is mild light malt up against sharp hop- it finishes
long and grassy with a bit of citrus rind as well. Mouthfeel is
a little thin for an ale, but crisp. There's something about the
way Mendocino does things that just does not agree with me.
There's always something off- and this one is no exception.
The long harsh grassy finish just beats down the malt end of
things. It's not bad enough to pour down the drain, but it's not
that great either.

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Photo of RickS95
2.72/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks like an American macro with it's extremely clear, very pale pour. While it's technically pale, it's not nearly as dark as other brewers' selections. The head is exceptionally bright and white and fluffy. It's got nice retention and leaves a thick cloud of lace as it eventually implodes.

The smell changes as the beer warms. Initially, there's a quick burst of what smells like pilsner malt, with I don't want any part of. However, as it warms, there's a biscuit-like note, as well as some citrus notes, that take over. The scents are all fairly subdued, but they're present.

That pilsner-like taste comes through from the first sip. There is a spicy hop quality that's present through the whole drink. It seems like there's a citric quality, but it's third fiddle at best. Really doesn't taste like an American pale ale, something more European.

Has a loose, watery feel to it, almost like a lager. The pilsner earthiness is very present and it's lacking body. Very similar to the Staropramen I had last night.

Overall, it's like most Mendocino beers--it comes up short. This is my second beer of the month club and unfortunately, Mendocino has been a part of both and I really hope this is my last try with them. It's just not an APA. It's not easy to drink, it totally lacks APA characteristics. Mediocre.

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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 503 ratings.
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