Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

very good
951 Reviews
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Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.0%
IBUs: 40

170 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2001

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Reviews: 951 | Ratings: 3,546
Photo of pyrrha
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly light golden to copper in hue color with slight opaque haze (possibly due to dry hopping). Very inviting color -- it just looks good. Head is slightly off white with silky appearance, about 1 to 2 fingers when pored. Head whittles down to a fine lace that stays until the last sip that is typical when using crystal malts.

Aroma is fresh, something to be expected of a Cascade American Pale Pale. Aroma is slightly less crisp than would be expected from dry dry hoping with cascade hops.

Taste is very similar to smell but more pronounced. Fresh citrus taste from dry hoping to green tea bittering flavor range characteristics of Cascade hops used throughout the brewing cycle. Good balance with only the use of one hop variety and right malt balance.

Mouthfeel is very satisfying, well-balanced with hop bittering. Finishes off slightly watery on the pallet with a pleasing lingering of the cascade hops flavoring and aroma.

This is a beer that could be enjoyed by anyone willing to try a American Pale Ale. To those that already enjoy and seek out APA's, this label should be a very pleasant experience

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Photo of joecast
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

clear light copper color. head is thin layer of white foam. low carbonation with average retention.

nice full hop arooma with sweet malt filling in the gaps. good floral character (more so than citrus).

taste is really well balanced. juicy hop flavor washes across the palate. plenty of malt as well without being too sweet or taking away too much attention from the hops. good enough bitterness to make you notice, but not too much that you struggle to drink it, and the finish lingers for a while.

had this on tap a couple of times and loved it. the bottle might not be quite as nice (best before date is March) but still a very good apa.

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Photo of mirth23
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty golden amber color. Good head retention.

S: One of the best smelling beers there is. Zesty citrus kick with malty undertones. I could spend a while just sniffing this beer.

T: Deep flavor that demands repeated sips. Starts with hints of tangerine and spruce and wanders into orange cordials and ends with some lingering vaguely dark hoppy notes. Nice fizz. There's a bit more hops and malt than most pale ales, but the balance is so perfect that neither feels overwhelming.

M: Really quite pleasant, a touch of crispness. A tiny bit sticky on the back end.

This might fall slightly outside of typical pale ales because of the big flavor, but it's a fantastic beer. Definitely a worthwhile go-to.

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Photo of StevieD2
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great session-able pale. I feel like a lot of pales fall short in the area of complexity. Mirror Pond brings to the pale category a bright citrus smell and taste. A lot of pales seem to sacrifice complexity in order to appeal to the standard "light" drinkers. Sitting on the back of the tongue this beer begs for another sip. Excellent color adds to the pleasure making this an all around enjoyable beer, a great beer to bring to a party or to take the edge off a long day.

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal clear copper tinged gold under a 3” finely bubbled dirty white foam collar that hugs the side of the glass marking each drink with a line of lace.
S: mild citrus and resin from the hops, mild fruit and malt.
T: Begins with slight fruit sweetness and mild light malt flavors serving as a platform for a moderate pacific northwest hop flavor and bitterness. It finishes with a lingering hop bitterness. Moderate malt and esters.
M: medium body, a little creamy, medium low carbonation.
O: Very drinkable APA with well balanced malt and hops that leans slightly to the malt.

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Photo of LPorter33
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A better version of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale. Extremely high drinkability and perfect amount of hops, does not overload it as a lot of these West Coast beers are apt to. I wish I could easily find this back on the East Coast as it's my favorite example of an APA.

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Photo of FlyingBull
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 12 pack of this beer at the Riteaid on sale. Great deal - went back for more and they were out.

This was poured from a 12oz brown bottle marked with a best by freshness date on it. The beer poured a clear gold/dk gold color and a 1/2 bubbly white head and good lacing. The aroma was unmistakable cascade hops right up front, followed by a fruity and citrus smell. There was also a nice PA nutty grain aroma with a mild sweet malt.

Oh did this taste delicious. It was very smooth, with a medium body. There was nice crisp malt, a bready flavor, followed by mild fruit, some faint esters, and a nice balanced hop bitterness. There was a touch of citrus and pine, with a nice semi-dry finish.

I think this was a wonderful example of a west coast style pale ale. Some would even mistake it as an IPA I think. I thought it was one of the best APAs I've had in a long time. The last time I had it was on tap at Triple Crown in SD on Adams Street. I don't remember it being this good. :-)

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Photo of SamN
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy golden color with a lovely thick head, rocky surface and thick, complex lacing. Quite darkly colored for an APA. Smell is lovely; sweet floral hops, honey like maltiness, some crisp green apples for fruitiness. Less citrus, more sweetness from the abundant hops. Would like it a little fuller, please, though. Taste is wonderfully balanced between the singing, crisp fruity hops and the mellow, honey malts. A sweet beer with lots of fruit character, this is simply delicious. Finish is just bitter enough with a great fading sweetness. Feel is lightly medium-bodied, full enough to support the flavor profile but light enough to not fill you up after a few.

This beer deserves high marks in all areas, especially in terms of drinkability. Tasty, well constructed, highly drinkable and one of the top pale ales brewed in the US, without a doubt.

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Photo of Either_Aether
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a pale ale, this beer ventures into a realm of comfort and warmth most don't explore. I'm relatively new to the style, but I find this particular pale ale to be rather interesting due to it's complex profile. The hops are noticeable, but they seem to take on an equal playing field with the malts and caramel flavors this beer offers, which is a delightful spin on the pale ale. In one word: rustic. This beer should not be overlooked.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22 oz bomber into my new belgium goblet:

A: oragneish amber color - nice finger and a half of head that gets bit rocky as it settles - nice lacing. disticnt LACK of clarity here -might be good

S: hops comes thru before I am trying to smell this one, really as soon as I open the bottle.
Bringing my nose to the goblet - I get the sweet maltiness, now stronger than the hops. I suspect this is good stuff

T: OK here goes: and....YES! this is pretty good indeed. not as overstated as say a stone brewery product, but nice hoppiness that hangs around for more than a bit, along with a solid malt backbone. Given the low price this is in competition to be a new favorite.

M: nice healty ABV bite / along with the stong carbonation works well

D: near perfect. I suggest you drink this to excess.

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle into pint glass. This is my favorite pale ale. Every other ale pales in comparison. Ha! This beer has a wonderfully balanced flavor and mouthfeel, and the low ABV allows one to drown the stomach in a short period of time if one is not careful.

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Photo of stewart124
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper color with a nice fluffy head. Visible carbonation. Great lacing left along the glass.

Plenty of floral aromas and an almost cotton candy note of sweetness. Slight amount of cascade in the nose.

Loads of malty sweetness and caramel goodness with just the right amount of cascade bitterness. This is a very balanced American Pale Ale. Some pear esters to couple with the delicious hops.

Finishes with a nice hop bitterness and a slight citrus lingers. Great mouthfeel overall and very drinkable. Beautifully done!

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Photo of KBomb
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant golden-orange color, slightly opaque, topped with 3/4" dense foam that leaves equally dense lacing.
Smells purely like cascade hops: grapefruit citrus with a mild note of pine.
Like the smell, the hop profile of mirror pond is simple and unadulterated. A citric bitterness, accented with just a little bit of sweet, bready malt. The citrus and sweetness call to mind a ripe tangerine. Finish is super clean, too. Very little aftertaste lingers, making it ideal to pair with any number of settings and foods.
Light, crisp, clean mouthfeel make it very inviting for summer.
Overall, one of the most easily likeable beers I've encountered. Simple, drinkable, refreshing, and delicious.

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Photo of fattire513
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a Pale Ale this one was pretty strong and I tasted quite a bit of hops. I'm not used to having a pale ale that tastes more like an IPA. Again I purchased this one at a Wal-Mart for only $6 and well worth it to. I figured this beer to be a lot more for the price. The drinkability was great being able to enjoy them for the night but not getting too carried away with myself. I could classify this as better than the Sierra Nevada pale ale, one of my favorite beers. Would love to get some more of this and the price is too good to pass up.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy orange amber liquid with good clarity with a 1/4" cream coloured head.

S: Lemon, orange rind and grassy hops.

T: Lemon, orange and grassy hop flavours up front with biscuit malt in the middle and a clean yeast finish. Very delicate, well balanced and beautiful.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: Excellent drinkability and a very nice hop presence make this one of the all time best pale ales in my opinion.

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Photo of CEversole
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper, slightly orange color. A bit hazy with a one finger off white frothy head. Good lacing as well.

S: Smells very hoppy, zesty, and grass-like. Definately great a whiff of some floral hops in the background. Great smell.

T: Starts with an almost fruity taste. I'm attributing this to the floral hops. This is followed by some grassy notes, and ends with a lingering bitterness which is spot on for the style. One of the better tasting pale ales I've had.

M: Perfect mouthfeel. Crisp at first, followed by a medium body. Not to heavy as some pale ales can be.

O: Very represenative of the style. I think they did a great job with this one. I would recommend to avid P.A. drinkers as well as newbies, and I know they would both be satisfied.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Sierra, had it specifically at my wedding only with the mighty Pilsner Urquell, but this beer, 10 years later is my new pale ale. The malt balance with the subtle hops works for me, is it my age, maybe, but I love this beer, it's better than the always picked up flagship Porter, this is one of the better beers they make.

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Photo of mattmuck11
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a average pint glass.

a - pours a beautiful golden-amber color with about 2 fingers of resilient off-white head. Carbonation rises fast and often from the bottom of glass. The beer looks wonderful and lively.

s - Smells of both earthy pine and citrus notes. Rich and almost unique smell for a pale ale. too me, it seems like the difference in smell is appropriate compared to the california pale ales (SN, etc), it just smells like an Oregon beer, ha.

t - taste is bold and follows the nose. Earthy pine and citrus are the main players but there is enough of a bready malt balance to match the hops' strength. Overall, the taste is somewhat on the earthy side rather than being dominated by citrusy hops.

m - was very crisp and light, very refreshing and easy drinking for a pale. smooth taste dissolves with the swallow leaving only a bit of an aftertaste on the palate, almost leaving you wanting another sip. High level of carbonation, almost too much but makes for a really refreshing sip.

o - very highly recommended beer. One of the finest pale ales in America, definitely on the West coast. Oregon, and especially Bend, should be proud of this one. Pick one up if you haven't yet.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy golden amber in color with a small white head that retains well.
Smells like putting my nez inside a freshly sliced grapefruit. Me likey.
Same citrus/grapefruit in the flavor as in the aroma. The flavor is quite a bit more balanced. Lot's of toasty sweet malts. Kind of like a toasted sweet bread. Perfectly balanced, light on the palate, easy to drink. The perfect session beer. Deschutes may very well have the best regular offerings of any brewery in the nation.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy light honey color with a rapidly dissipating 1 finger cream colored head. Good lacing and a nice collar.

Oh man, does this smell nice. Freshly cut hay, grapefruit, mowed grass, honey, lime peel and clover...it does not get much better. A bit of a subdued nose is the only knock against it.

An amazingly drinkable Pale. Bitterness is there and does have a bite, but it is not tongue-scraping or unpleasant in any way. More of a grassy hop flavor rather than extreme bitterness. Malts are there only to provide a short burst of sweet grainy balance. This would be a dangerous beer to have on tap as the beer is not sipped, it's gulped. One hell of a beer that everyone needs to try.

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Photo of KoG
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orange-amber hue with a small head that leaves little lacing.

Flowery hop aroma complements the malty profile that shines through at the end.

Taste is very well balanced. Starting with a nice mixture of citric and bitter hops and finishing sweet and malty. Very nice.

Goes down so smooth and at 5% ABV, it would make a very nice session brew.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great pale ale - nice all around. Pours a bit darker than your average pale ale - brown to orange in color with a nice foamy head. Head is retained well and nice spotted lacing on the glass. Based on aroma alone you would think this is a darker beer - earthy malt. Flavor is nicely balanced with a bit of body yet still light and refreshing.

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Photo of hodby
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

App- Medium amber, pale buff medium thick head.

Smell- Balanced nose of malt-to-hops, having much impact of citrus and floral notes. Caramel.

Taste- Good intensity on entry, but wow the complexity and intensity comes on strongly at mid-palate and on the finish. Terrific balance for a pale ale in that the sweetness of the malts are not entirely overwhelmed by the strong hops. Yes !

Mouth- Medium-bodied. Low carbonation. Seems maybe 6% abv.

Drink- I'd come back to this any time, if it were available in SoCal on tap. Treads a line not heavily traveled by the Pale Ale specialists these days, that is, one of adequately balanced with malts without syrupy sweetness. Heads in the direction of a more elegant version of Sierra Nevada PA, with better malting and more attractive for multiple glasses at a time.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear amber. Head is white, and drops to a tiny collar with a spotty, thin cap in short order. Some touches of lacing. Carbonation is lively.

Smell: Some pale malts. Some caramel malts add a touch of sweetness. Bready and a nice big punch of red apple. Coarse with notes of cracker and bread crust. Slight roasted malt edge. Hops are very mellow and hint at orange zest with a floral touch.

Taste: Dusting of grapefruit and citrus layered over a dry, cracker/bread crust. Some sweetness pulls through from the caramel malts. Biscuit dough lingers in the back. Floral hops take a front seat after a few sips. Nice roasted profile with a touch of toasted malt flavor for added depth. Very mellow. A touch earthy and only a touch sweet.

Mouthfeel: Clean. Lively moderate carbonation works over a a lower side of medium body. Incredibly drinkable. A touch of dryness on the back.

Overall: I had the pleasure of drinking a 12-pack of this on vacation. I wanted more. This is so drinkable it's silly. I crave this beer on a near constant basis. And by near I mean always. Drink this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, whenever. It's not earth-shattering, but it doesn't need to/want to be.

Shorthand: Drink this. I want to.

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Photo of p3rspxv
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Good look. Very drinkable. Impressive balance. A good flavor profile of sweet, grainy, hoppy, and a hint of malt. I feel like it struggles to rise above because it's so agreeable. Maybe a hint onthe sweet and bright side. Beer snobs be damned, this is tasty and accessible.

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Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 951 ratings.