Monday, July 12, 2010

Beer Review: Mendocino White Hawk IPA

I certainly have not hidden the fact that I am a huge fan of American craft beer. Today I got to sample a beer from a brewery that was a trailblazer for the American craft beer movement. Mendocino Brewing Company from California was the first brew pub to be opened in California since prohibition and it was only the second brew pub in the US when it opened its doors in 1983. The White Hawk IPA that I tried boasts an ABV of 7% and IBU's of 60, certainly an IPA that I was destined to love.

White Hawk IPA, highly recommended
The beer pours a lovely amber colour, highly carbonated with a thick white head. Hops dominate the aroma (a mixture of cascade and fuggles) with an enticing citrus characteristic, a slight hint of caramel is also apparent. Nice sharp mouthfeel, light to medium bodied but very smooth. You can taste the 7% strength of this beer as it imparts a lovely alcoholic warmth at the end. Not as highly hopped as some US IPA's but the relatively high hop rate coupled with the ABV is the essence of an IPA and White Hawk combines these two characteristics to great effect. My one observation would be that the bitterness is slightly harsh on the end. Although this is something I actually like in a beer an increase in the late addition hops would help to balance this out.

An excellent example of why the American micro-breweries have overtaken their English counterparts when it comes to brewing IPA's, ironic as this is the quintesssential English beer style. Highly recommended and is a beer I will certainly seek out again.

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