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Mirror Pond Pale Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,132 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,132
Reviews: 887
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 132
Gots: 395 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 5.0%
IBUs: 40

170 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (153) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,132 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boomer31
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A rich gold with a thin white head

S - A muted citrus hop presence with a touch of malt. Not much in the nose

T - The fruity hops are again subdued but a light bitterness is a nice surprise in the after taste. The malt comes close to overwhelming the hops but a nice balance is achieved.

M - Low carbonation and think mouthfeel.

D - A definite session ale though there may be some better options available.

Photo of woosterbill
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best by 7/30/10 (my fault for not checking the label before I put it my mixed 6 this afternoon), into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, well-carbonated medium amber body with two fingers of lusciously creamy off-white head. Excellent, rocky retention and plenty of lace. I can't imagine a better looking APA. Seriously.

S: Fairly light, delicate aromas of floral hops and toasty caramel malt. Still quite fresh smelling for a beer just past its expiration date, but indicative of a fairly simplistic beer at any age. Clearly confirms the label's promise of pure Cascade hops, but is this classic or clichéd? I'm not entirely sure.

T: Opens with hops, then shows off a far deeper and more varied malt profile than the aroma promised before going back to the hops for a cleanly bitter finish. The malts are among the best I've seen in an APA, with the usual sweet caramel well balanced with toasted pale malts and even what strikes me as biscuity pilsner malt. Very nice flavor.

M: Clean, fairly light body with lots of carbonation. Pleasant.

D: Great malt/hop balance combined with a fairly low ABV makes this quite drinkable.

Notes: Reminds me a lot of New Glarus Moon Man in its amazing malt complexity, but lacks that beer's dankness of hop aroma. Since Moon Man is my all time favorite APA, though, any comparison to it is high praise. I'd love to try Mirror Pond at peak freshness, as I bet a more assertive aroma would help its one relatively weak point.


Photo of joemcgrath27
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA bud andrenaline for the haul on his trip to B.C.
A - poured a clear gold/bronze tint with nice off white head that retains well, slowly dissipating to islands with good lacing up the glass
S - pleasant floral and spicy hop aromas, light toasty malt hints, and subtle berry hints
T - the floral hops are featured nicely, mild spiciness, toasty malt comes through nicely, and I'm getting mild blueberry type flavour
M - slightly thin but smooth, the hops don't come through with enough dry and/or bitter for my liking, but I can see the appeal of this approach
D - easy drinking, thin but smooth, and light well balanced flavours make this a worthy beer, and the kind of pale ale that will appeal to many tastes

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice golden copper brown, thin layer of beige head, good retention, which settles into small islands leaving a nice amount of lacing.

S - The hops are mild, but nicely balanced with bready barley and some caramel and honey.

T - Hops are noticeable off the top, but it finishes with a nice bready malt. Sweet caramels also come through to balance it out.

M - Nice light, bubbly and smooth ale. It's bitter, but does not finish dry, making for a nicely balanced beer.

D - Very pleased with this offering. Nothing mind blowing, but was definitely a full flavoured ale with many admirable characteristics. I wish I had access to 6-ers of this in Alberta, as this would be a lovely sessionable beer.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a nice burnt orange with a pillowy one finger worth of head. The head recedes quickly but leaves ok lacing.

S- The hops are a little muted but it could be because of the large amount of malt I pick up. Good sweet malt. Maybe just a little sweetness in there as well.

T- A big dose of hops and malt with neither one winning out. A little bit of lemon and some grassy notes as well. Just a touch of pepper.

M- Medium bodied but a lot fuller than your normal pale ale. Good carbonation that bites the tongue.

D- After about two of these, the malt becomes a little to sweet for me. A good interesting take on the pale ale.

Photo of sonata2008
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Finger width of creamy, ivory-colored foam. Orange copper color. Clear with good carbonation. A bit of lacing.

S: Hops, clean pine, orange citrus.

T: Sequence of flavors. Caramel malt, orange sweetness, bitter tang finish. Not particularly hoppy.

M: Light and effervescent.

D: A great lawn mowing beer. Actually great for any time you want a very refreshing beer.

Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, best before 08/12/10.

This one actually gushed on me when i popped the cap, but it was a really slow gush and it never overflowed. It pours a nice, if standard, golden orange with a creamy white head. As it quickly recedes there is some lacing.

There is a definite grapefruit scent in this one, some bready, almost buttery malt and a bit of herbal character.

The taste is smooth, with a hint of hops and butter, bready malts, it is rather average though, a bit too buttery for my taste.

This brewery produces some liquid gold, unfortunately not this.

Photo of ncfranklin
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a tulip at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A : Dark burnt orange, no head beyond a small froth ring. Slightly translucent, some carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

S : A mix of malty richness and hop. The smell is quite balanced with no dominant quality.

T : Matches the smell with a good balance between malt and floral hop. A funny lingering aftertaste, almost yeasty but somewhat bitter.

M : Very thin bodied, bit watery.

D : Easy going down, but the lack of distinctive character gives this one a thumbs down.

Photo of daledeee
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bright orange brown with a nice white head and lace.

Nose is citrus and floral.

Taste is hops with citrus. I didn't notice a whole lot of malt but it is there.

Mouth feel is a little watery but not astringent

This is a very drinkable beer and good for a session.

Photo of hoppyhampy
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. This bottle says best by 8/26/10. Yellowish-orange in color with a solid inch of head that slowly dissipates and leaves a good amount of lacing. Fresh hops on the nose combine with a distinctly sweet malt to provide a great aroma. I get pineapple and citrus notes. The taste is well rounded. The hops and malt strike a nice balance so that you seem to taste both equally. Bitter, fresh hops dance on your tongue and the malt provides just enough sweetness to make this one very refreshing and easy to drink. Carbonation might be a little on the light side for me but not by much. The finish leaves you with only a slight hop resin and a little bit of malty sweetness but is overall pretty clean for a beer with this much flavor.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Part of my ongoing effort to support Deschutes through their QC issues (which have been mitigated by excellent customer service, in my opinion). I've had this many times but never bothered to review it. Here goes.

A: Pours a murky orange body with a pinky finger of off-white head. For a pale ale I expected something fluffier and longer-lasting. The cap quickly vanishes into a thin collar and leaves only the slightest dribbles of lace at the beginning, then nothing more.

S: Toasted malt, caramel, and grapefruit pith. Very balanced, with the malt having an equal billing to the hops.

T: I'd peg this on the hoppier side, but not by much. The bitterness is well-masked; it's really the grapefruit and apricot flavor that stands out. I had this right after some coffee, and the contrast accentuated the citrus greatly, making the beer seem almost sour in contrast (it's not, though). Malt is prominent in biscuit and caramel varieties.

M: Light-medium bodied. Carbonation is a bit low for the style; I guess I was expecting something fizzier and crisper. But it works well to bring out the flavors.

D: A refreshing and tasty brew for something that's low in ABV. Good for a lunch break in the sun (cover the beer, of course!). I prefer this to Inversion.

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in Minneapolis. 22oz for $2.99.

A: very good, light brown-red color
S: now this is a good pale ale nose and true-to-type of an English pale ale, nice balance of malt and hops, not over the top with hops like most APAs
T: I had this on tap at Falling Rock in Denver and was very impressed and honestly didn't expect it to be as good as it is in bottle, great balance between malt and hops, not overly hoppy like most APAs but allows the malt to come through, well done
M: very nice
D: excellent drinkability, reminded me a lot of Copper Dragon from Skipton

Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of my Deschutes beers that have made their way to MN.
Mmmm, nice aroma. Good mix of hops and malt. Fresh slightly citrus hops and a crisp malt backing. Nicely done.
Smallish head, but it leaves lacing even as it settles. Clear orange/brown amber.
Holds all the aspects I'd expect for style. Fresh hop flavor, small bite of bitterness, quick malt sweetness up front, followed by a burst of fruit flavor and hints of toastiness. Bitterness grows as warms, but is not beyond the pale.
Ample carbonation leads to filling and fullness as drink and as it settles in, which cuts down on drinkability somewhat (filling). Moderate feel. Seems to lighten up some as get to second glass of bomber.
Pretty complex for style with a light enough body and lower alcohol to boost desire for another. Fortunately this is a bomber, so I get to finish this one off on a hot July evening.
Nicely done. Good solid drinker.

Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour at a little sports bar in Caesar's Palace, served in a bubbled ping glass. reviewed from notes i randomly found.

A - dark gold in color, sticky and frothy off-white foam about half an inch in height. leaves a thin layer of spotty lace behind.

S - assertive but not overdone piney and grassy hops, lightly toasted caramel malt underneath.

T - starts off grassy before turning into slightly sweet and floral hops, balanced nicely by a sweet caramel and lightly bready malt. a little sweeter than i expected but pulled off nicely.

M - medium bodied for the style, carbonation is within normal limits. refreshing and leaves a light lingering bitterness.

D - a very solid APA, one i would love to drink if it were available here. another great beer from Deschutes.

Photo of aval89
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper color with a nice 2 finger off white head.. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on walls of glass.

Aroma: first off I got a citrus hop aroma.. Followed by a toasty biscuit smell.. Also picking up hints of caramel with fruity scents..

Taste: again a biscuity taste at first.. Followed by orange peel bitterness with grapefruit taste after.. Also getting the caramel/fruity taste.. Finishes semi bitter with a bit of malt sweetness.. Good balance

Mf is creamy with light carbonation.. With a medium body.. Goes down smooth..

Pretty good drinkability.. Pretty good representation of the style. A solid APA.. Although I prefer SNPA for a west coast APA..this one still ranks up there for me..


Photo of morebeergood
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sitting at the in-laws house in Seattle watching the World Cup with a Mirror Pond in hand. Poured into a goblet style glass. Dark amber color with a nice but small head. Moderate lacing on the glass. Smell is pine and a bit of grass and caramel. Taste is very nice, as it has an excellent hop profile but a great maltiness to it also. Mouthfeel is hoppy but leaves a spicy hop aftertaste in the mouth. Drinkability is higher than normal due to the well-built balance of this beer. Would love to see more Deschutes back in Mass.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.39/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a mahogony reddish, brown color with an nice off white head that gives way to minimal but noticable lacing. Retention is poor, but this just barely hazy APA looks inviting. It has a very mild, almost muted hop aroma but it does carry some nice caramel sweetness on the aroma. Almost has a barleywine esque matly aroma but its very faint. Tastes on point with the style. Not over hopped, or over malted, balanced and crisp. Nothing jumping out at me and does have a slight bitter, unenjoyable aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on, small bubbles wake the tongue up but leaves a disjointed hollow alcohol aftertaste. Drinkability is very high. solid APA, too bad its not distributed by me.

Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 6/11 at The Yard House in Long Beach, CA
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep clear, copper color with a two finger of rocky, khaki colored head. Head retrains nicely leaving clumped ringlets around the glass.

S: Nose is of big piney hops, grassy hops, and some caramel malts.

T: Taste is grassy hops in the forefront, a touch of hay that lingers ever so slightly. Middle is filled out with pale malts and hints of caramel malt flavoring. Finish is of citrus hops - the lemon really comes through and sits with you for a bit with an ever so light hint of pine.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, nice oily body with a touch sticky finish.

D: Goes down easily, nicely blended, mild kick. This is a damn fine APA to sit with for a long time.

Photo of stewart124
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
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!

Photo of appenzeller
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on the porch by the river at Louie's in Ashland, Oregon with their fine burger. Life is good.

Pours a light amber, minimal head, hazy. Smells fresh and hoppy, Cascade hops. Taste starts with a clean and moderate bite of the hops, bitter, with underlying notes of caramel and lemon. The balance on this beer is excellent.

Big fan of Deschutes Brewery, have been from the start and their little brewery was brand spankin new. With Deschutes, it's almost as if their "terroir" shows in some of their brews. Mirror Pond is a pale ale I've loved for decades, it never gets old. Also, this is one that needs to be fresh for the full effect, I have bad visions of some esoteric brew from Oregon sitting on shelves for months in New Jersey or Georgia and then getting picked up by beer lovers. Makes my head hurt.

Photo of hoplover82
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours clear deep golden with hints of copper. With a fleeting small white head that leaves ok lacing.

S-Floral notes woft oh so nicely then fades to a pale and some toasty caramel blend in the nose.

T-The flavor is much of the same with a quite noticable bitterness. Maybe too much for a beer that not too big (i.e. 5%abv)

M-Has a full medium body with a dry nail polish-y astringent finish.

D-It is pretty drinkable but I will probably not buy any more. Than mouthfeel is pretty much a turn off. ...

Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours a light golden color with a half finger of head and a tad bit of lacing. The aroma is pretty light, made up mostly of bready malts and earthy hoppiness. The flavor is very crisp, but the hops are virtually non existent. This would be fine if the malt profile was a bit cleaner, but there is some mustiness that holds it back from really being an easy drinker. Bitter finish. Overall, a nice beer perhaps to have with a burger and fries but not something I would purchase again.

Photo of OskarL
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange/amber color with a one finger head that has pretty good retention and leaves nice lacing.

Smells of raisiny hops, lemon and some caramel (with toffee as it warms up).

Tastes of lemon, floral hops balanced well by a bread and caramel malt back. A lingering finish of bitterness with caramel.

Medium body, smooth with lively soft carbonation which makes it really refreshing.

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this for the first time while camping in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley--one of the best trips of my life--so there's a certain element of nostalgia attached to it for me. It's one of the couple of beers along with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone IPA I had on that fateful trip that started a lifelong love of c-hops, so I'm excited to try this again years later. I expect it'll somehow not seem quite as hoppy as it did back then. Here goes...

Pours a rich, amber, nice and clear with a healthy head of thin foam that retains nicely.

Definitely smells like cascade hops with hints of caramel and bread crusts.

The taste is a nice balance of lemony, citrus fruitiness, definitely lots of white grapefruit, with a light bready malt backbone and a light sugary sweetness lingering in the background.

Light bodied and light on the palate, maybe a little too much so if you're looking for full flavors that coat the tongue and bruise the palate, but perfect if you just want something that refreshes and finishes fairly quickly.

Overall a very decent pale ale built for sessioning. Really, as a fan of IPAs and DIPAs it's kind of hard for me to rave about a pale ale in quite the same way as I would something more in-your-face--much less engage in the same level of detailed tasting forensics--but make no mistake, this is a great beer from a great brewery.

Photo of bamadog
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this in a trade a little bit ago with alexgrahamlv -- thanks for the hook up! Review is from notes taken on 5/31/2010 and poured from the bottle to a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Body pours a robust orange and coppery color and starts with an even one finger off-white head that fades fairly slowly to a full and and firm cap; body is a little cloudy and shows strong carbonation bubbling throughout; nice washes and strands of lacing are left behind.

Smell: A nice array of bitter lemon peel-like hop bitterness with an even, cracked, dry and toasty graininess balancing it out; the nose is moderately strong, and I love the straightforward and simple nature of it -- you know exactly what you're getting with this one.

Taste: Really just like the smell -- very simple and straightforward balance of the bitter lemon peel-like hoppiness and the very firm backing of the dry, cracked and toasty graininess; it's really better than I remember from my days in the West and it's super refreshing; sometimes I really miss living in Oregon.

Mouthfeel: A nice, smooth and creamy body (despite the lively and potent carbonation) that is medium in weight; leaves a very firm coating and dry stickiness all over the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Excellent, excellent beer. I need more Deschutes in my life. Flavors are simple and great, it's a very refreshing beer and the 5% ABV makes it more than manageable. This is an all-day, all-summer beer.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 3,132 ratings.