Blue Heron Flies By

Blue Heron Flies By


Pale ale a good entry into the beer lexicon

Wamp’s Wisdom

Blue Heron Pale Ale is from Mendocino Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The original brewery is in Ukiah, Calif., north of San Francisco, but the bottle I got was from New York. It’s 6.1 percent but the alcohol is well hidden. It pours golden amber with brilliant clarity and a white head that tarries, leaving sticky lacing.

A pleasant hop aroma hits the nose right away but isn’t overwhelming. The citrus hop flavor is nicely balanced with the malt resulting in a complicated pale ale. A hint of bitterness remains on the palette like a fleeting memory. This is a really nice beer that I’m going to work into my regular rotation of pale ales including Sierra Nevada and Boulevard.

Pair with sautéed shrimp and a green salad.
Rating: 4 caps

Rico’s Reaction

Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. I like my beers hoppy.

Blue Heron is indeed tasty and hoppy, but not as hoppy as I’d like. Still, it was good enough for a follow-up six pack one weekend after the initial sampling bottle. The pale ale’s flavor was even enhanced as a change of pace following a vodka tonic and went well with a dinner of tomato and onion pork roast.

Maybe I’ve been spoiled or perhaps this brew is just too subtle for me, but Mendocino’s offering just didn’t overly excite me, delivering a nice, if middle-of-the-road experience. I liked the scent off the Blue Heron better than the flavor — fresh, sweet and herbal. Like coffee, taste and scent don’t precisely match up, which isn’t a bad thing.

The beautifully designed labeled — adorned with the title bird, natch — reads that Blue Heron is handcrafted. And while that’s a nice bonus, it proves to me that handcrafted doesn’t necessarily translate to greatness. In this case, though, good will do.
Rating: 3 caps

Rating System

One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.

Categories: Food
Tags: featured