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Mirror Pond Pale Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,614
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 109
Gots: 186 | FT: 3
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:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.0%
IBUs: 40

170 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2001)
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Ratings: 2,614 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Caj1


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought in a six-pack with a best by date of 9/25/13, this pours a lovely golden-copper amber with lots of very fluffy, frothy head that foams up fast, dissipates slowly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Clarity is good, a slight amount of haze with adequate carbonation.

Grassy and fruity smells predominate, with a good amount of spicy smell as well; the sweet, biscuity malt takes a backseat to the hops smell, and there's a lot of hops; almost as much as I'd expect with an IPA, but not quite. The taste is again grassy and fruity, bitter from the hops, and I detect a little bit of bready malt that intensifies after the swallow. There's also a crisp, sweet flavor that I can't put my finger on but imagine is the mountain water they brew with, which serves to make this pale ale even more refreshing. The mouthfeel is light and clear, almost too light, but I could put back a sixer of these if I felt the urge.

Overall I'm not blown away by this ale, but at the same time it tastes pretty darn good and serves its purpose; it's very refreshing. I'm more of a fan of lagers and darker, more robust ales than I am of pale ales, but this is really a good example of what a pale ale should be. Pick it up if you're a fan of the style. Cheers to good health and good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 07:21:25 | More by Caj1
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.45... poured into by red wine glass... listening to the "RIS Beer Party Mix" on the iPod... U2 and Keith Richards "Paint it Black".

Good head... nice lacing that lasts the entire glass... chill hazed dark orange..

Citrus and floral hops decidedly win the fight with toasted and caramel malts... Yeasty fruitiness.

Everything about Mirror Pond says, "Drink Me!" Very balanced... pale/victory/crystal malt sweetness blends perfectly into the bitterness... then more fruitiness... and finishes with an expected finish of floral and citrus hops.... malts evaporate to a dry lingering hoppy finish.

This brew is a staple in my home.... You can get in nearly anywhere for good reason. Non offensive to nearly everyone and any "good" beer drinker this could easily qualify as a session and frequently does for me. Deschutes is a world class brewing company.. and gets a significant portion of my beer budget.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 08:31:13 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of carln26


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was another beer I really wanted to try while in Denver. We don’t get Deshutes in Boston (that I know of, so I jumped at the tap when I saw it. The bear poured a bright copper, with a thick full white head. A nice lace stayed for the entire beer. It had a bright citrus aroma from the hops. More hop character than I expected. The taste was light and fruity, from the hops, not the yeast, with a light floral middle. It had a light mouth feel and a great drinkability. Nice candidate for a session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2004 21:05:14 | More by carln26
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Solomon420, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with flavors of caramel and citrus sweetness and good amount of grassy hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink several of over the course of an evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2008 03:15:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BilbosNuts


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light, clear amber color with a 1/8 inch white head that retains a small puck throughout drinking. It looks very lively with a high amount of carbonation. Lacing is left scattered.

S: Initially, toasted malts come through leaving a caramel scent. There is a moderate amount of citrus fruitiness. Hops are also present giving it a floral aroma.

T: Again, caramel from the malts is very pronounced. The moderate amount of hops gives a floral taste and leaves a slight bitterness towards the finish.

M: It has a very smooth and creamy feel. It's carbonation is on the higher side, but it isn't overpowering. The bitterness creates a crisp, palate-cleansing finish.

O: It is a very good APA and one that I will definitely have to enjoy again some time. No complaints. Deschutes never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 01:16:13 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of Gaisgeil


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to Waldowin and Newbie BIF '05 for the sample!

Pours a slightly hazy amber in color with gold highlights around the edges of my nonic pint with a thin white head with a good bit of retention, left a good amount of lacing. Nose is very herbal and floral, much more hoppy than one might expect. Taste is hoppy enough to be a weaker IPA, but as it stands it's a strong APA. Quite good with a strong malt foundation. Body and mouthfeel is medium but drinkability is way up there, lots of flavor but easily sessionable. Highly recommended!


Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 18:18:23 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of waldoiverson


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into US Pint

A: slightly cloudy orange blossom orange, with a solid though slightly sudsy, white foam that left nice lacing, appears quite carbonated

S: a big nose that you can smell from a foot or more away, citrus hops with a fair amount of biscuit

T: a little minty with a blast of bitterness that backs off and you get the malt comes out to play, well balanced, on the whole it is more herbal than citrus

M: Smooth, not slick, with fairly light carbonation which is counter to the appearance

D: well balanced and not overly bitter, yum

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 23:25:18 | More by waldoiverson
Photo of dpnelson1978


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$3.99 / ea.

A: Big loose head over a hazy straw head. Very good retention, great lacing, and a thick rocky cover. Much better than I was expecting.

S: Sweet malty aroma with hints of honey and lemon. Things are looking really good so far.

T: Bready backbone front and center. Just enough hop character to balance the sweetness, and a clean refreshing finish. Very solid pale ale.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Very smooth.

D: Good traditional pale ale with the drinkability one would expect. Great versatility.

O: I was expecting a solid flagship style beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. One of my favorite pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 00:35:47 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of allforbetterbeer


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Brewed on" date clearly marked on label. Poured into a stange glass.

Orange body with a tint of amber under two fingers of nearly white head that laces amazingly and retains well.

The aroma has a juicy handful of citrus and tropical fruits with malty sweetness underneath. A little swirl brings up some subtle yeast notes and more hops.

The flavor is long and well crafted. It begins with a bitter snap followed with some fresh bold hops of the classic northwest variety. Before long some deep toasty malts wash all over the hops and bring (as the label for once accurately states) a deft balance. The aftertaste is a medley of hops and pale malts.

The mouthfeel is down the middle of the road, with neither more of less carbonation than usual. Medium bodied.

Conclusion: I would expect nothing less than a great pale ale from a brewery with as a good a track record as Deschutes. This is a great pale ale from an outstanding brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 01:21:43 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of khensley


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a rich amber color, tan head which dissipated rapidly. Smell reminded me of lightly toasted bagels, very earthy. Taste was much the same, earthy, whole-grain oats, cracker-like. Sweetness is present, yet faint, but well balanced with the mild bitterness. Finishes dry and very pleasing. Did I mention it is very earthy. I had another, and another, and...Deschutes flagship beer sets the standard for Northwest Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 07:05:53 | More by khensley
Photo of nase


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

gracias, cwier. 12 oz. best by 2/20/07 (nice!)

This seems like a close relative of the Dead Guy and Riptide Red Ale that I recently tried. Would love to see if they're all using the same hops because the flavor is on-spot with all of them and they do seem similar. Can't really describe it except to say that there's a balanced citrus component to match the malt. The weakest aspect of this beer to me is the mouthfeel or maybe the finish. There's no oomph. I'd like to see this beer be just a little bit "bigger" in alcohol, malt, and hops. That would probably earn a rating well over 4. Deserving of the high marks that it has received.

Appearance: 4.0
Smell: 4.0
Taste: 4.0
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Drinkability: 4.5

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 03:54:26 | More by nase
Photo of bfields4


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat dark golden. Light off white frothy head.

Pine and citrus. Not much malt presence.

Citrus hops are well pronounced in the flavor. Orange and lemony. Good flavors not very complex, but done well. A bit of the sweet malt presence sneaks up on you.

Good level of carbonation. Easy drinker. Really solid brew. Deschutes does a phenomenal job with all their lineup.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 00:05:24 | More by bfields4
Photo of srandycarter


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A murky copper not much head.

S honey like sweetness really nice

T nice solid malt clean taste bitter finish

M good med body nice balance full mouth experience

D. Probably my go to at peoria spring training. Really hard to do this on the BlackBerry ...

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 20:21:27 | More by srandycarter
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bready malt and some subdued herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of sweet malt, subdued herbal/floral hops, and some slight grape juice flavors. Minor hop bitterness quickly fades from the palate. This beer has good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pale ale with a nice balance of malt and hops. Very easy to drink and with the 5% ABV I could drink these all night long.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 04:05:34 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of NatetheGreat


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: beautiful: orange, like a sunset really. Huge slight off-white head.

S: clean aroma, strong citrusy hops, but not very complex.

T: more balanced than aroma, with some soft sweetness from malts and still strong bittering hops create a clean palate and offer strong, refreshing taste.

M/D: smooth brew that offers a strong hop bite while still being highly drinkable. This could be a great session ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 21:55:25 | More by NatetheGreat
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost hard to imagine a better looking pale ale. Clear, bright orange with tan/orange sticky and dry thick haze head. Complex nose, with some candy sweetness, sweet malts, alcohol, and a touch of spice.

Taste is mild and well-done, not leaning too much on hops or malts. After having other, heavier in taste pale ales, this almost seems like a "light" pale ale. But it's still very nice. Small, clean after of residual hops and light sweetness.

The mouthfeel is interestingly soft and foamy, which I liked, especially from an American pale ale, but I think in the end it lent it a somewhat watery feel and decided that I'd like it a bit firmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2004 03:59:31 | More by donnebaby
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mirror Pond is indeed clear enough to see your reflect in (although jagged golden highlights might distort it a bit). This clear-bodied, coppered brew does conjure scenic thoughts, loosely sharing its colour with the red-rock mountains of the American south-west. Its head does too - not the mountains, however, but the flat, arid, dessert aspect of it.

Deschutes has used enough hops that above the sticky-sweet scent of toasted malt is an almost minty bouquet with a discernibly 'green' aura and fragrant lemon zest. It's clear from both scent and appearance that a sufficient amount of grain was used, but that zest and the outdoorsy must of tree serum easily wins the bid for the nose's attention.

I don't know that Deschutes makes any beer without character, but for a pale ale this has a surprisingly high level of toasted maltiness as well as (lightly) pungent hop character. It's like a leafy green salad with lots of chopped mint, some savory herbs thrown in, lemon zest and slices of citrus fruit. Maltiness is there, but I pay it no attention.

While there is certainly more bitterness than in any mass-produced ale you'll find, it is relatively easy and soft, primed with candied lemon zest and then spray painted over with a nectarous pine serum. Also, the malts have a natural, caramelly sweetness that plays right into those elements. The combined aftertaste is more than pleasant, it's desirable.

While this has a tremendous amount of character, it's nothing too strong so as to be niche; it's more likely to turn the average beer drinker onto better beer than it is to turn them away from it - which is exactly what Deschutes does. That fact, coupled with other reliable flagship brands like this, makes that brewery truly deserving of all the praise that comes its way.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 23:10:15 | More by biegaman
Photo of everetends


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to the great Wetpaperbag who sent this sucker to me. Poured into a nonic pint.

A: Pours a honey colored yellowish brown that has a bit of haze to it. Got a good finger of head with this beer but it didn't have too much retention, receeding quickly. Not much carbonation action going on in here. This beer looks good but it just seems a bit boring in appearance. Ah well.

S: Aroma is of some pretty nice sweet hops character. Nice caramel hints and sweetness from the malt. It even has a touch of a sweet cider presence to it. It is a very subtle aroma, but pleasing. Nice and simple. Very nice.

T: Really nice malt character here first and foremost. Sweetness and a touch of caramel going on here. Hops are there but are really subdued and not bitter at all. Nice sweet and floral hops instead of in your face hops. A really nice balance going here in the basic ingredients. There are also some fruit flavors in there as well in the form of light cherries and apple flavors. Very nice.

M: This brew is on the light side of medium in body, I am not fully convince it is medium in body. This is not a bad thing for this beer though. A bit thin but carbonation is crisp, making this beer a thirst quencher. Easy to drink and finishes pretty clean. Very nice.

D: This is a really tasty beer. It is simple and it works for this beer. Its smells and tastes are very accessible and in no way overwhelming. This is an easily sessionable brew that has some flavor to it. This beer is easy to put down and does the job. Very nice indeed.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 04:48:35 | More by everetends
Photo of mghotbi


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. A (very slightly cloudy) amber - copper color with thin head and little lacing.

Smell is predominantly hoppy, but with a slight biscuit note. Not quite as floral as SNPA, but quite pleasant. Smooth mouthfeel with good body, not watery at all.

Taste is wonderfully balanced. Hops are prominent, but do not overwhelm the sweetness of the malt. Citrus notes arise near the finish, but end abruptly, leaving no acidic aftertaste.

Another excellent and very drinkable beer from the folks at Deschutes Brewery. I can see this becoming a regular session brew for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2006 03:59:42 | More by mghotbi
Photo of NefariousR


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

A - Rich orange-amber with a foamy off-white head. Quite hazy.

S - Citrus, piny hops, with a hint of malt sweetness pervading.

T - Malt leading into hop overtones, with just a bit of sharp nuttiness in the aftertaste.

M - Slight bit of stickiness with a pleasant carbonated texture.

D - Very nice, great for a spring afternoon. Full-flavored but not even slightly overbearing.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 19:16:03 | More by NefariousR
Photo of goindownsouth


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to weefisheads for allowing me to sample this fine, fine brew. A solid-looking pale ale out of the bottle, this brew oozed from its 12 ounce bottle a somewhat hazy golden color. The aroma was clean and clear, with serious noted of cascade hops and some citrus sweetness to boot. A nice combination of bread, hops and sweetness in the flavor as well. A fine plae ale, and one that I would not hesitate to have again!

Zum wohl!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2004 14:09:38 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of boilermakerbrew


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deeper amber hue; pretty much a rust color. About a 2 finger, frothy head that retains and laces very well. High clarity.

S- Moderate hop profile hits first, followed by some malts. Mostly lighter hops with some floral tones. Slight hint of metallic flavors mixed in with the medium flavor malts.

T- Starts with a moderate hops bitterness and bite, just like the scent. Light to medium malts move in. Slight hints of light grains and malts, but balanced with a little bit of caramel malt flavor. Ends with a lingering hop bitterness.

M- Moderate to high carbonation. Slick across the tongue and smooth. Not too heavy, not too light. Very sessionable.

Overall, this is a solid APA. Between this and SNPA, they represent the style very well. Depending on the price, I might get this over SNPA. All in all, if you're in Deschutes distro, this should be a staple.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 01:04:30 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of C3likesbeer


4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had straight out of the bottle.

Appearance: Pale golden amber slight haze

Smell: Slightly spicy with some fruit and slight wheat.

Taste: Hops are there but not overbearing. Slight citrus and even a touch of maltiness. Carbonated but not too bubbly. Very smooth refreshing with nice mouthfeel.

Overall: Good refreshing pale ale for a sunny day.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 18:07:10 | More by C3likesbeer
Photo of steveh


4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

New to our area and I found a reasonable sale at a local grocer. I'm pretty sure I've had this on a couple visits to the Pac Northwest and N. California some years past, but I don't recall my impressions.

Best by 4/24/13 right on the label -- nice.

A -- Clear, deep orange in color -- not what I expect in an APA, but not at all distracting. Good eggshell white head that holds up very well, leaving nice lacing.

S -- Pretty light nose of mild caramel, citrus and piny hops, and fruit esters.

T -- Citrus hops and fruit esters balanced well up front, sweet, caramel malts make a great balanced backbone, spicy and citrus hop blend with a nice bitterness in the finish. A lightly tart fruitiness and the bitterness linger in the aftertaste.

M -- Body is medium and the mouthfeel tends toward some syrupiness -- again, not expected in an APA, but very enjoyable.

O -- A very well-balanced APA with a great blend of malt and hops. Not in-your-face, but definitely embracing the hoppiness of the style. Well worth a try for studying the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 22:18:11 | More by steveh
Photo of SkinnyElvis


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

Thanks to flexabull for this brew won in a bet in the BA Fantasy Football League. Cheers.

Pours amber with a thin head. Slight pine hops scent. Taste is of light piney hops also. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is very drinkable. A nice example of the style & a solid brew.


Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 18:40:14 | More by SkinnyElvis
Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.