Review: Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Deschutes Brewery

Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Deschutes Brewery — Bend, OR

  • Style:  Pale Ale
  • Bitterness: 40 IBU
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Malts:  Not provided
  • Hops:  Cascade
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle 

Description:  "Deschutes Brewery’s most popular beer, Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a quintessential American pale ale with a definitive hop aroma and hop forward flavor.  Mirror Pond Pale Ale has four different hop additions along with the all-important dry hopping. What separates this pale ale, though, is balance. Most folks just heap on the hops and call it a day. Deschutes, on the other hand, uses a deft touch of Crystal malts to offset the definitive Cascade hop profile resulting in a delicate malty sweetness."  — Deschutes Brewery

Random thoughts:   This is one of the first beers I tasted when I moved to Oregon over ten years ago.  My previous experience was limited to drinking fizzy yellow industrial lager and Mirror Pond opened my horizons to the different styles of beer.

The tasting:  Golden straw with a white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing.  Aroma of citrus hops and toasted malts.  Flavors of citrus hops and cereal-like malt are well balanced.  Medium bodied with enough effervescence to leave a fizzy sensation on the tongue.  Nice citrus bitterness in the finish.  This is a balanced beer that leans toward the hoppy side.
Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again.  I haven't had Mirror Pond in quite a while because I've been busy trying new beers.  I'll make it a point to visit Mirror Pond every once in a while.  Because it's so balanced, I think it's great brew for craft beer newbies as well as for seasoned beer geeks.

Have you tasted Mirror Pond Pale Ale?  What did you think?

12/30 update:  Hop description corrected.  I misread the description.  Thanks to Jeff Alworth for investigating!  He knows his beer....  :) 

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  1. Hops: Cascade and three other unspecified varieties

    What the?? Did they change their recipe after all? I know they were considering it--and it used to be brewed solely with Cascades. That level of IBUs also seems high. Gots to make haste down to the store...

  2. Now that you mention it, it is a bit more hoppy than I remember. I haven't had it for at least a few years and I didn't know they were changing the recipe. Let me know what you think!

  3. When they started doing a fresh-hop Mirror Pond each year, it re-opened my eyes to the everyday version. It's a wonderful beer -- we're spoiled to have it available in almost every supermarket, bar, and restaurant in the state.

  4. Bill, I agree. We are spoiled when such a great beer is so readily available. I've tended to focus on seasonals and special editions on my blog. This reminds me that I need to pay more attention to the craft beer classics.


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