Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Blue Heron Pale Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
78
okay
294 Reviews
Blue Heron Pale AleBlue Heron Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
294
Ratings:
500
Avg:
3.4
pDev:
18.24%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 294 | Ratings: 500
Photo of treque
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a pale straw, semi traslucent, slightly hazy, with carb constant and permanent, a white creamy persistent head

S: less hopp than expected, some earthy and bready

T: a medium-light body, a little bit crispy on tongue, good bitterness, dry finish, some fruity esteres

 270 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear looking golden color. The head looked pretty good just about the entire time I was drinking it. The lacing was very slim though. The taste of the beer has some hops upfront that give it a pretty good kickstart. The aftertaste has a decent malt base. The mouthfeel is on the light to medium side and had a good amount of carbonation. Overall it's not the best APA but it might be worth looking into.

 425 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wanted to pick up another simple brew that I seem to pass over most times, and went with this one. 12oz bottle, poured into my Sweetwater pint glass. Pours a hazy honey-gold with a thin white head resting on top. The nose leans more on the malty side than florally hops. Lights citrus tones mingled with sweet breads. Good firm body. Carbonation level is spot on for this drinkable brew. The flavors, though tame and mild, are simply executed and are easy to come back to. Malty grains, light bitterness, faint sweet kick on the finish. Not the perfect example of an APA, but a darn good beer. One I'd gladly drink most anytime.

 628 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 KenC
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A very pale yellow with a some cloudiness. Half a glass of foamy, white head. It even went over the glass! Some retention and the slightest bit of lacing.

S- Grass and grain after the pour. Noted the hops and the malts, too. Nothing off the chart, but subtle and complex.

T- Grabs you up front with citrus (grapefruit?). Next some malt and grain. A good dry, bitter bite at the finish that was balanced very well.

M- Light to moderate with maybe just a bit too much carbonation.

O- I enjoyed it since it was new to me, and I can find it in NJ. I would drink it again, but won’t be searching it out.

 609 characters

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: yellow honey goldenrod .  Nice foamy head.  Some retention.  Slight cloudiness.  

Taste  A bit off and diacetyl butter.  Grapefruit.  Sour .  Bitter.  Snappy.  finishes dry.  

Smell:    Floral.  Grass. A bit earth. More on the hoops sides. Basic grain malts.

Mouthfeel:  Light and watery. Snappy.

Overall:  I find it drinkable but the malt qualities are lacking and the aroma hops could be better. It definitely is not Mendocino's best outing.

 476 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.49/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale orange or deep gold with a great chunky white head. Terrific gobs of white foam as lacing at every sip. Some haze. Pretty beer.

Grain and malt, with some light hop. Grain forward, but not alot else.

Malt and then instant intense clean bitterness. The hops are there, but there is no evidence of pine or citric elements. No fruit, and actually fairly dry. A dab of sweet in there somewhere. Some biscuit notes. Simple but good.

Medium bodied. You get a tingle on the tongue from carbonation.

Decent brew. I can see having this at the grill, with food. Won't get in the way of any flavors. Not something I'd session, or even hav on its own (meaning, this works better with food). Decent.

 702 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 oz bottle from my 'Beers of the USA' mixed pack.
From the neck label: "Blue Heron Pale Ale, created in 1985, was an immediate hit with hop lovers. A golden ale, Blue Heron has a full body with a refreshing, distinctive hop character. Blue Heron leaves a fresh, clean, hoppy aftertaste. This ale is made with pale malted barley, whole hops, and our special yeast and water. The Legend."

Amber gold color, slightly hazy with lots of fine particles floating around. The foam is slightly off white, forming a solid cap of head. Good retention, nice looking and lasting lace. The smell has all the requisite hoppy notes, floral, some citrus. The taste does have some hoppiness to it, but quite subdued. A bitter after taste leaves a funny coating in the mouth. Not much as far as malt balance. It has some hoppy bite, but not the clean, resinous hop oil I have come to expect from an APA. For me, it is falls in to the category of 'just good enough'. Not bad, but not great either. Light mouthfeel, minimal carbonation, leave it feeling a bit thin. Lots of other better examples out there, but I still finished my glass, and enjoyed it.

 1,142 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.23/5  rDev -5%
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.

 836 characters

Photo of dtivp
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a slight hazy pale golden yellow with a one finger bright white head which dissipated quickly into a Barry thin collar.

Aroma was very light with bready malt and citrus hops.

Taste was citrusy with some malt and a little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium towards light body with light carbonation and a slight crispness.

This is a drinkable beer, needs a bit more hop kick, amid range pale ale.

 408 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent IPA. One of the better IPAs Ive had in a while. At first pour, you will notice the beautiful golden coloring, mixed with the sweet smell of fresh hops. The beer has a fair amount of carbonation and the right amount of frothy head. Leaves the slight tinge of hops on the tongue, but the aftertaste is not bitter as with some IPAs. Very good job from Mendocino.

 383 characters

Photo of bbb099
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Clear and very pale yellow color with foamy white-colored head. Almost hefeweizen-like.

S - Light malt aroma. Yeast and small amount of hops also present.

T - Mild caramel malt mixed in with minute amount of citrus and floral hops. Leaves almost no aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied and average carbonation.

D - Overall a mild flavored and very forgettable beer. Just can't quite compete with top Californian APAs out there.

 470 characters

Photo of Guden
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of errantnight
3.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the last from the BotM Club, although I've been seeing this one around since as long as I can remember drinking, this is my first taste.

Faint bready, earthy, and lightly floral aroma that's a bit too empty. On the palate it's reasonably balanced with a bitter finish. Hop flavor is exceedingly mild, almost matched by a touch of English yeast and maybe an exceedingly small hint of diacetyl. It's otherwise clean, crisp, dry, easy to drink, and enjoyable, and looks good doing it.

 489 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
3.49/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright slightly hazy golden-yellow color with a finger of frothy head. The head reduces down to a ring lacing nicely on the glass.

S - Aroma has a honey sweetness to it combined with some bread flavors. Also some citrus hops and some other sweet fruity esters. A little on the subtle side.

T - Starts off malty with some bread flavors. A little bit of citrus hop in the background. Through the middle there is more citrus flavor coming through with some stronger carmel malt flavor. The finish is a mix of the bread and yeast flavor, some sweet malt, and a touch of the citrus hops. The bread flavor really lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-light carbonation. Feels a bit think towards the end and leaves a bit of a bitter/sweet resin aftertaste.

D - Fairly drinkable. Not quite perfectly balanced but the only thing that really gets in the way is the mouthfeel and aftertaste are just a bit off. Otherwise, there are really some nice flavors in this beer.

 979 characters

Photo of Ezone024
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this fine pale pours out a hazy golden, very light colored with a very thin white head, leaves lots of notes of buttery malt with minimal fruity hops. has earthy undertones yet well balanced, very sweet.

taste is a bit bready with lots of butter up front, in the back is a rush of clean hops, very crisp at the end.

mouthfeel is very average goes down nice and smooth.
drinks great a 6 of these will do ya right..

reminds me of another great brew from just down the 101 in healdsburg, Racer 5 ipa, but with out the over the top hops!

 536 characters

Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy pale yellow in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has a light amount of bitterness from the start through the finish; there are some notes of toasted malts in the background.
M: It feels medium-bodied and clean on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer has average drinkability; it goes down smoothly but isn't very interesting from a taste perspective.

 626 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blue Heron pale ale pours bright copper in color, small head forms and some lacing. Aroma is floral and citrusy. Flavors are mild, with a nice even bitterness, orange from the hops. Light feel and flavor is mild. Easily drinkable, a nice session pale from Mendocino. Could drink a bunch of these.

 296 characters

Photo of kflorence
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an golden, amber-tinted color with a small amount of head that dissipates to a thin layer of foam. A bit of lacing around the glass as you drink. Low carbonation.

S: Smells relatively pleasant; lots of bread and honey and a bit of a citrus-like hop aroma. Some cat pee.

T: The bread and honey are there, perhaps a bit more subtle than in the aroma, but there is also an overpowering grapefruit/citrus hop flavor that adds a lot of tang and a bit of astringency. I think that really takes away from the balance of this beer, at least on the initial flavor. The aftertaste is relatively enjoyable, mostly grapefruit and citrus.

M: This is a pretty light bodied beer that is relatively thin with low carbonation. There is a slight chewiness and it smooth and crisp, overall.

D: Very drinkable because of the light body and fairly refreshing. A decent American Pale Ale, though a bit unbalanced in my opinion. The grapefruit/hop flavor was a little overbearing, though the beer still managed to be pretty tasty after trying out a few. Maybe it's growing on me. Probably my least favorite from the Mendocino Brewing Company so far, which I guess is a good thing.

 1,170 characters

Photo of vfgccp
2.91/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy copper yellow, ~70% opaque. Low head, but what's there is a clean white and hangs around for a while.

S - Simple but pleasing. Mostly malt, white bread. Touch of orange zest.

T - Malty. Slightly sour. Some waxy bitterness through the middle and end of the profile. Carries a pine hop character.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, dry finish. Bitter resin hangs onto the back of your palate.

D - Not all the flavors were pleasing to me, and I wasn't particularly a fan of how the flavors I did enjoy came together.

 527 characters

Photo of theboozecruise
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The final beer from a recent tasting.. I scored it on my notes, so here goes...

This one pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thick creamy head... best looking beer of the tasting.

The aroma is flowery, with hints of honey and caramel and a good blend of hops. Not bad.

The flavor has more of a hop presence than the nose, not as much balance and not as tasty as I was hoping based on the aroma.

Medium bodied, decent mouthfeel but the lack of balance hurts.

Not enough balance to really have me going back for more, it's still an above average beer to me.

 567 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale slight cloudy gold with a fading white head that clings a bit and laces nicely. Nose is lots of toast and a hint of lemon-orange. Lemon marmalade on dark toast then lemon sorbet hops with a bit of herb. Zesty rind linger. Creamy, soft, light to medium, some cling.

What's so wrong with this? I've not been impressed with Mendocino in the past, and other reviews did not raise hopes, but this is a round, lightly citrus, very drinkable beer. Maybe some are expecting more punch from an APA, maybe this would be better thought of as a hoppy English blonde (which it resembles) but there's only good things going on here.

 631 characters

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.

 378 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.32/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy golden with a small, short lived head. Aroma of fruity esters, sweet malt with hints of hops. Medium body, light carbonation. Citrusy hops dominate the flavor while bready malt provide some balance, some hints of apple juice. Long, dry, citrusy, hoppy finish. There are many much better choices of APA.

 313 characters

Photo of tapman
3.89/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small head and little lacing. A pleasant light orange color with a subtle haze. Appears refreshing yet flat.

Fresh pale malt, some decent specialty grains (light caramel) and a sweet honey-grass hop aroma.

Malt flavor is very grainy and full of base malt taste. Hops are bitter and brightly vegetal. Yeast tastes extremely clean. Hides the 6% very well.

A little dry with low carbonation, but quite refreshing.

A fine pale ale, just too much base grain for my taste. I like them a little sweeter and with more specialty grains.

 533 characters

Blue Heron Pale Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe