Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.39 w/ 519 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: 519 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of 1759Girl
4.28/5  rDev +26.3%
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 Atlas1
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the Medocino brews I have not yet had. Finally decided to grab a six pack today at the grocery store.

Pours a dirty-peach gold color with a big, bubbly head of white. Some trace amounts of lace, but nothing spectacular. Plenty of carbonation. The nose is light. Faint notes of citrus (mostly lemon) with noticeable grassy elements. Distant fruits include peach and strawberry, but the aroma is very muted all around. Not bad, but not quite distinct enough for my personal liking. The taste is also a bit muted. Smooth and even, but not very pronounced. Nothing that really reaches out and demands that you take notice. Which is just fine, but won't do much to make it memorable. Grassy and earthy, with a slightly tangy hop finish. Mouthfeel is a bit tingly.

This one almost got straight 3.5s from me. It's a good, if not memorable beer. Nothing to distinguish it from the zillion pale ales out there on the market. This would serve just fine as a session beer at my local pub if I were living near the brewery. But I probably won't spend too much more time or money on this. My least favorite of the Mendocino brews so far.

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Photo of riversider76
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow with a one finger white head. Good retention,and a very nice lace. Aroma is of grassy hops.Body is light and tangy with some carbonation. Taste is of grapfruit from start to finish. Good,but a bit one dimensional.Sieara Nevada pale would be a better choice.Still,worth a try for sure.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
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 JEdmund
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light yellow, a lot like a wheat; small head that leveled quick and left little lacing; hazy and translucent

Spicy hops, somewhat fruity, bready/sweet malts, slight banana yeast; overall pretty typical of the style (minus the banana)

Taste & Mouthfeel
Good upfront hops though they finish a bit weak; fantastic mouth feel--very creamy and smooth; good malt backbone and presence

A good example of an American pale ale, though lacks a distinct personality.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one night after more than a few beers and made a mental note to go out and buy it again because even through my state at the time, I knew it was good.. with that being said and one trip to the beer store later..

Pours a murky yellow with restrained clarity. Head is impressive if not a little much- thick like meringue and holds its form on top of the beer. Very dense lacing around the glass.

The aroma is very light and hoppy-, like flowers and spices- like the aroma you're going to get from a very bitter beer but without that final acidic edge that turns it into a full blown IPA.

I particularly enjoy the taste because it has the characteristics of an IPA but without being an IPA. I'm a big fan of malty beers, but I can appreciate hops. So, to get a very well hopped beer that's easy on the palette is very appreciated. Very nice balance between the hops and malt at first, but I don't taste much of the malt in the aftertaste which is dominated by the hops. I also like the cluster/cascade combination which brings a new life to this beer that distinguishes it from other cascade-only pale ales.

Mouthfeel is dominated by carbonation. There is a very high level of carbonation, which I enjoy, along with a pleasant and clean tasting water used. The bitter hop aftertaste is the only thing that slows me down on the drinkability of the beer.

 1,364 characters

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

Pours a somewhat cloudy light gold color with a decent white head. Looks more like a lager than an IPA.

Aromas, are dusty, cirtus like, and with some hard candy notes.

Beer has a kind of sour, tart, lemon citrus hop flavor. Clean, and pretty crisp, with a subtle malt creaminess. Finish has a bitter hop bite.

Mouthfeel is good. Pretty full for an IPA. Nice and thick, with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good as well. Not a top notch IPA, but it's solid, tasty enough, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

A - Light hazy golden coloration with hints of amber, the thin bit of froth settled to a dual ring layer, lacing was spotty.

S - Fresh aroma of apricot, with a slight hop tinge in the nose.

T - Okay, here it's listed as an IPA. The bottle says Pale Ale, then the description on the neck claims it's an American Blonde. I don't know what it is. Yeasty body, pale malt backing, well hopped, and some mild citrus tones. I'd say for those of you who haven't had this, expect a blonde ale that's been well hopped.

M - Light body, low carbonation, oily feel.

D - Decent I suppose, I might be able to knock a few more back. Definitely an interesting take on whatever style they were trying for. Worth a try.

 733 characters

Photo of shadow1961
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
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 beeroclock
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass to produce a nice pillowy white head that sat atop a partly cloudy yellowish copper brew. Lacing held throughout. Smelled slightly musky with some lemony citrus. Tasted nice, some hops that were stronger than I expected and rather enjoyed. Some citrus and pineyy catches the back of the mouth. Good carbonation to ensure the flavor lasts. I like it, a good brew that you can have several.

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Photo of Onslow
2.36/5  rDev -30.4%
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 shabbtastic
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another offering from the tasting room at the Saratoga brewery location.

A - Typical APA appearance, amber with a small white head that faded quickly with small amounts of lacing.

S - Very hoppy, I have to admit I was excited, but that would fade as well.

T - Let down from the smell, the hop seems to be vacant in the taste vs. the smell. Fruity tones are more present though.

M - Not bad, but pretty thin and powerless. The carbonation and balance comes to the rescue here.

D - Overall a very drinkable beer but not a good rendition of an APA IMO. I would recommend though, but not the best offering from the Mendocino family.

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Photo of bboven
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Big head with great lacing. the body is a little light in color, though. Some sort of specialty grain would help it out.

Lots of sweet but basic malt and a middle of the road hop aroma.

A bit of a turn for the worse. The malt takes a back seat and the hops give you a bitter flavor throughout the mouth without any real complex flavor. Kind of one dimensional.

Very nice mellow carbonation and drying mouthfeel. They've got this aspect down.

Lots of hop bitterness but not much flavor. There is not enough malt character to help out with balance either. The label says only that they used base malt, maybe some crystal thrown into the mash would help even it out.

 667 characters

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

Pours a hazed gold with a small white head that falls to nothing by the time I sit down basically. Nose is thickly sweet and it reminds me of cooking sugar slowly. Flavor is bitter. Kind of a roasted edge to it as well. Pretty well bodied and not too bad at all. Smooth feel. Very easy to drink. Not a mind blower, but it's fairly nice.

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

A- Semi transparent, bright golden color with one finger of bright white head after a medium pour. Lacing is present, but not too sticky on the sides of the glass.

S- Lemony citrus up front, with some nice sour hoppy notes too.

T- Sweet buttery backbone with hoppy bitterness in the middle and on the end. Leaves the mouth pretty dry.

M- Medium on both thickness, and carbonation.

D- Good taste and dryness keeps you wanting another drink. Great session ale.

Overall- Above average pale ale. Little more sweet than bitter, and was nice. I would gladly revisit another sixer of this stuff sometime.

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Photo of JWFokker
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, it's a golden straw color, with plenty of head which sticks around pretty well. The nose is hops, not overpowering, and some citrus. The taste is good hoppy bitterness, though no where near the potency of a 60 or 90 minute IPA. I think a lot of reviewers have lost sight of what a normal pale ale is. This isn't an IPA and it doesn't try to be one - it just has the right amount of hoppiness for an American pale ale. Mouthfeel is good, with a certain amount of astringency and the plenty of hoppy aftertaste. This would be great with extra sharp cheddar. If you like pale ales, this is a very good one.

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Photo of Vvall
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend and I got this the other night along with some other "bird" brews.I enjoyed this one the most,and while it was not the best Pale Ale I have ever had,it was good.I only had the one,and it was after drinking several other types,so I may not have got the full effect.I would not be opposed to trying it again.

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Photo of 1fastz28
2.01/5  rDev -40.7%
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.

 308 characters

Photo of praufs01
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Cloudy yellow with a frothy white head.

Aroma – Citrus hop aroma.

Palate – Heavy carbonation which gives a rough mouth feel.

Flavor –Smooth very mild up front flavor that finishes with a nice citrus hop bite.

Final thoughts – Nice brew but a little heavy in the carbonation.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the palest pale ales I've ever seen. This has an almost lager-look to it, its pale yellow hazed up just a little, which makes it look more ale-like. Comes complete with a thick fluffy head.

Aroma is straw, flowers, honey...light and earthy, though probably too laid back, you really have to grasp to get anything.

Flavor is much more assertive than the aroma hints. The expected flowery hops and honey meet toffee, burnt grains, and a trace of maple. A crisp, somewhat dry finish features hops. Light and fluffy in the mouth; carbonation is polite, letting the flavors take center-stage.

Very drinkable, definitely has an "old-school" feel to it...maybe that's the looks of it more than anything. An excellent session consideration, due to what I'm guessing is a low-ish ABV while also having its own bit of character.

 828 characters

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A golden straw body, fervent with carbonation, fuels a bone white head. Good retention and excellent, thick lacing ensues. Aroma is mild, but pleasant, with a slight flowery hop note, plus wafts of banana, lemon, and vanilla.

Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma. It's mild, but packs just enough flavor to please. A fairly large, bitter hop backbone hits the back of the palate while sweeter light malts visit the rest of the tongue. Aftertaste is clean and hoppy, and the body feels a bit thin, but well carbonated. Not an amazing beer by any means, but a drinkable one.

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Photo of arizcards
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as part of the September MicroBeerClub shipment.

Beer poured a golden orange, with a strong white head initially. Nose is malty with no other discernable qualities. Taste is well balanced between the malts and hops with a nice clean crisp finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full and it is lively on the palate. Drinkability is good, This is a nice representation of what i would consider to be an English IPA.

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Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +28.3%
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 roller
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a sunny straw color with a one inch white head. Frothy with large bubbles that left some nice lacing. Not a very strong aroma, but it was mildly floral. There is a pleasant hop presence and grapefruit bitterness lingers on the palate. Some light malt character, but not very complex. Medium bodied and nicely carbonated, Blue Heron PA goes down easy. I'd have another, but not one of my favorites

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Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 24.9% out of 100 with 519 ratings
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