Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale
520 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 520 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of jayfarley3
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Poured a slightly hazy clear golden color with a big white head that dissipated to a thin ring fairly quickly. Smells faintly of hops and kind of skunky. Tastes grainy with a bit of bitter hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and has pretty good carbonation. This beer is good and drinkable but definitely not one of my favorite APA's.

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Photo of JollyToper
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into an American pint glass. Bottle conditioned.

Poured golden and cloudy with a little head and lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Light hop flavor for an APA but was medium to light bodied and very drinkable. Clean and refreshing. Will make a nice summer beer in Arizona.

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Photo of Bagman007
3.79/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Deep orange/yellow coloring with about two finger width's of head.

S- Very settle sweet hoppy scent. Not yeast like at all.

T- Hoppy with a slight citrus kick to it. Bitter, but not as hoppy as one would believe it would be when smelling it.

M- Good carbonation and medium bodied. Not very bitter so it goes down very smoothly.

D- Very smooth, drinkable beer. Can definitely have several of these in a session.

Overall this is a very solid beer. It's listed as a IPA on here but it's called a Pale Ale. Taste and appearance would lead me to believe it is in fact an IPA.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
2.61/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of Goliath
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pale orange color with a large inch and a half slightly off white head. Great retention and skirts of lacing.

The aroma is pretty nice, but fairly subtle. Definitely a nice citrus note, but more of a lemon than anything.

The taste is not that great. A big of lemony citrus and apricot, but beyond that there's almost nothing. The slightly bitterness is found on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Nothing superior going on here, but it's ok. Personally, the bottle calls it a pale ale, and it doesn't really strike me as an IPA, so I don't get why it's listed as one.

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Photo of spike882
3.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slight amber body with a haze that produces a light tan head the recedes at a normal pace and leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

Standard hoppy aroma with pine and floral notes.

Taste wasn't quite as strong as expected from pale ale with pleanty of citrus character. Nice light body that has some lasting grain flavor.

Overall not a bad beer but would like to see if they have an IPA. Would try again and review if/when I get a chance.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tarnished gold with a fluffy,bright snow white head that leaves some small and spotty lace. The nose is floral mostly with some lightly toasted notes that are more grainy than hoppy,I wish it were the later. The Blue Heron could definitely be a entry level beer for those wanting a little more than average flavor,I would prefer that Mendocino push the limits a bit more. A pretty balanced Ale with the hoppage slightly overcoming the lightly grainy malts. The hops are earthy and add a slight bitterness that I can appreciate. A bit of caramel can almost go unnoticed on the tail,but adds just enough contrast to give this a barely above average score. The body is light to medium,with some dryness on the finish and just a touch of sticky sweetness on the lips. Pretty drinkable and I could see it paired with a meal.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden in color with a nice off white head that leaves moderate lacing.

S - Hops, malt, and water.

T - Mild in a good way. Some citric and earthy hop character with a touch of pale malt. Nice, crisp taste

M - Thin.

D - Very drinkable. This is perhaps my favorite of the Mendocino brews. While I am always drink it, there is nothing outstanding about it.

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Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is tasty and fairly enjoyable, with light complexity.

Gold, it has a small, faintly off-white head that slowly shrinks to a thin top and leaves a little lasting, uneven lace.

The aorma is light in body but nice and perfumy with grain, bread crust, grapes, hints of lemon and a tiny hint of citrus blossoms.

The taste is nice grain, fruit, pine and hint of lemon and grapes. It has a light, but clear, warming alcoholic quality that is smooth and nicely woven into the whole. It pleasantly and interestingly eviolves from somewhat sweet to increasingly, but smoothly, bitter by the end, with piney-lemon pulp bitterness taking over in the finish. This is just a bit too strong and lingering but just a little, and not unpleasantly sharp or one-dimensional (like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is to me). In the finish there is a hint of cracker but rather than a strong untoasted character that I don't like, it's light, a bit on the toastier side, and nicely woven into the fruit, bread crust, and citrus characters.

 1,017 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into nonic.

Slightly hazy amber hue with a one finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

Piney hop aromas mixed with a little bit of brown sugar.

Slightly watery for the style, with the standard citrusy hops and a little bit of toasted grains. Light bodied. The hops linger for a while after each sip.

Another mediocre beer from Mendocino. I don't know if their beers don't travel well from the west coast or if I keep getting bad batches. This beer is decent, but I won't be buying more.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear golden body with a thin cap of fine-bubbled grayish-white foam. The head collapses quickly and leaves barely any lacing on the glass.

The smell is malty with a bit of a sweetly floral character.

The taste is murky, husky, and sweetly malty with a shade of spent-grain tartness and a mild earthy undercurrent. Notes of sweet grass and bitter citrus lurk in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied with fine carbonation. Refreshing but unremarkable.

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2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this brew from a pint glass after pouring it from a 12 oz bottle.

As usual, I poured this beer with some vigor. This produced a whisper of head which quickly dissipated. The color is a pleasant and warm golden straw hue. Minimal, almost non-existent lacing.

The smell is tart, hoppy, mildly acidic, and maybe even slightly metallic. A little pungent on the nose at first.

Taste is hoppy, but not as much as many PAs I run into. Slightly sour at the beginning. Buttery malts in the middle with a slightly metallic finish. The sourness at the beginning and slight metallic finish prevents me from giving the taste a higher score. They don't make it bad per se, but they aren't what I am looking for in an PA either.

Mouthfeel is light with spritzy carbonation. The beer does not really stick with you.

If this beer is being offered to me I will drink it without complaint. I could drink several. But it is not the first thing I will be reaching for when I want a pale ale. Sierra is better.

 1,005 characters

Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.34/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a pretty hazy golden color. I was a little dissappointed my all the haze - should have been a good bottle even though there was no date. Taste was lacking for a pale. I wanted to be challenged by more hops, but all I got was way too light. It just didn't taste like a pale. On the plus side it was pretty easy drinking...

 338 characters

Photo of changeup45
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden colored with a thin head. Very weak aroma: it's fresh, clean and kind of wheaty but there's just not much there. The flavor starts with a relatively strong malt profile then turns to bitter hops and finishes dry. Interesting. There's quite a bit of flavor for a Pale Ale (which I never guessed from the aroma) but it does seem a tad unbalanced. Not bad but not sure if this one makes the cut for another try. Too many good ones out there.

 445 characters

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

Pours a medium golden yellow with a cloud white head. Hop aroma noticable in the pour-freshly cut grass? Taste is slightly malty with a nice hop bitter finish. Because of medium amounts of carbonation the mouthfeel is a little fuller than I expected. Drinkability is high-nice beer for a summer day. Does this beer remind me of other pale ales? No, reminds me of some the first generation of American IPAs.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly transparent light golden orange body with a good head that lasted a minute and left good lacing.

Aroma is citrusy with a bit of biscuit malt.

A nice lemony hop present nicely accompanies the litghtly sweet body. The bitterness really shows up in a lingering finish.

A creamy lightly carbonated pale.

A very refreshing beer. Well crafted and drinkable.

 365 characters

Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased for a buck as an "out of commission" special at Luke's Super Liquor Store in Hyannis, MA, this bottle poured a light golden color with a fair frothy white head and very nice bubbly lacing. The aroma is a wheaty peach with an odd nuttiness mixed in, grassy hops. The taste is more pleasing than the aroma with more nutty maltiness and a fairly sharp citrus hop. The body is medium, decent, with fair liveliness in the carbonation. Pretty drinkable but has an OK flavor by my standards, as pale ales go. This has a taste that borders on the "cardboard" side but this bottle shows me more of a toffee butterscotch sweetness with a hint of mellon/peach that I like. It offers plenty of hop bitterness for a pale. Frankly this was a pleasant surprise after reading the previous reviews. I recommend this for a try.

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Photo of MNJR
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a really bad beer, but in no way exceptional. Everything is pretty much on par for a run of the mill mocrobrew, but this beer suffers from a strange juniper/pine flavor that definitely does not belong. There is an unwanted sharpness that deteriorates into a warm, bitter aftertaste. So, even if you drink this really cold, at near freezing temp., like I did to try and improve the experience, it still has the lingering sour taste of something much warmer, and much cheaper.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, this beer pours a hazy golden with a half inch of fleeting head. Lacing is present through the pint but doesn't linger or stick for too long.

Smell is initially of earthy hops, becoming slightly deep floral as the head dissipates. Not too hoppy for an IPA but yet the brewer's site calls this a Pale Ale/English IPA, and that makes more sense given the color and aroma.

Taste is smooth, with lightly lingering malts on the tongue. Feel is also smooth and slightly buttery in the finish with a balanced sweetness, though initially the carbonation was a bit too high. Resilient orangey malt/hop balance and sweet nose detracts for me.

Not a Pale Ale, not an American IPA. Yet nice, will try again...

 741 characters

Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pretty standard pale ale color, dark yellow-I would describe it as maize or maybe light honey color. There was a bit of head, about one finger and fluffy white but dissipates into basically nothing.

S: Clean grainy malt smell is biggest on the nose with a bit of honey sweetness. No real detectable bitterness.

T: Opens with crisp malt and a touch of sweetness, with mild bitterness quickly overtaking. Hops are just bitter, nothing more. The finish actually brings back a bit of sweetness.

MF: Surprisingly medium bodied, and with just the right amount of carbonation. Quiet the quaffable brew.

D: Rated as a pale ale, this isn't bad. Rated as an IPA I wouldn't be impressed at all...but I think that's a bit of a misrepresentation. Drinkability is high-bitterness is subdued, flavor isn't overpowering, and the alcohol is decent enough to be noticable but really nothing more. I wouldn't hesitate to drink this again if looking for a refreshing and sessionable brew.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light golden color with a foamy white head. very respectable retention and lacing. A steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass throughout the entire session.

Smell: Hmmm... citric hops, alcohol, some sweet malts in there, and a little sourness that I wasn't expecting. Kind of odd...

Taste: Citric hops and malt. Pretty simple. Very crisp. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with great mouth coating. Aftertaste is light and refreshing. Carbonation is good. This may be my favorite beer from Mendocino.

Drinkability: When I first tried this I wasn't so sure about it. However, the more I drink it the more I like it. Could definitely imagine myself enjoying these at a summer bbq.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a pale gold with a slight, sudsy, white head that quickly faded. Visible carbonation was high and aggressive.

S: some sour citrus hopping, dried flowers, sour malt.

T: The initial flavor was lightly hopped, dry floral hopping notes, with some citrus, grass and a dry finish. There were some dry oranges as well coming through upon warming. Lightly hopped, even for a pale.

M: a lively carbonation that left a tingling on the tongue.

D: Less then moderate drinkability, rather bland and unexciting.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On the Mendocino see-saw, on which most beers I've had from Mendocino are either pretty good or not so good, this veers toward the latter. The look is the best feature of this lackluster affair--a dark golden body with durable white head and lots of lacing. Fair floral hops confront the nose, with faint whiffs of lightly toasted malt. Same goes double for the taste, with hops very much running Blue Heron's show and leaving whatever malt is present in the dust. I'm not fond of the medium bitterness, which dominates the second half of the beer and permeates every bit of the rather sour finish.

Not one I'll revisit, Mendocino misses on this one for me. One of the least impressive IPAs I've had in some time. Blue Heron could use a lot more malt and a good deal more hop texture to remedy an embarrassingly thin mouthfeel. Not a good effort.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.94/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber pale ale.

Smells are citrus hops with a good malty sweetness.

Taste is similar, but there is less hop bitterness with a good hop flavor start to finish.
Mouthfeel is moderate with carbonation on the heavier side.

A good example, but nothing to seek out per se.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark golden color with think white head. Little retention and only light lacing.

S - A mix pf piney and citrusy hops in the aroma. Very inviting.

T - Piney hop taste with some funky sweetness mixed in. I really like the hop profile of this one but the sweetness just doesnt fit.

M/D - Medium bodied and very drinkable.

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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 520 ratings
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