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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

3,165 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,165
Reviews: 890
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 137
Gots: 418 | FT: 5
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 (155) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,165 | Reviews: 890
Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass...

Appearance-Pretty clear light amber with a two finger off white head. Some nice lace.

Smell-Flowers and Pine. Big malts, bready, biscuity malts.

Taste-Very malt forward, light bitterness in the side of the tongue. Not too much flavor besides the malts. Pretty one demensional.

Mouthfeel-Easy to drink. Light bodied with pretty high carbonation.

Overall-Reasonable and easy drinking pale ale, as for flavor, pretty average.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a growler full from the craft beer outlet, and I,m forever glad that I did.

A nice looking beer with a beautiful contrast between the beer and it's foamy head.
The beer pours a rich burnt amber color and is very clear. Well carbonated. The foamy cap is a tanish white thats dense and mouse like. Good lacing in the foamy head's wake.

Very aromatic. Hops have a slight upper hand here with plenty of citrus hop pop followed by another dose of floral. Malts are decidedly sweet with a good caramel backbone. It mingles nicely in the bouquet of hops.

Now the taste. A well balanced beer with a malt bill that's sweet and complex. The hops are not overbearing here and are inline perfectly.
There is a rich hop flavors of citrus and grapefruit and a lesser flavor more atuned to floral. Maltty biscuit finishes up the tasting.

Mouthfeel is medium with a clean finish.

A super tasting, very drinkable beer here with plenty of things going on.
This particular beer I had today was also very fresh.
The people up in Portland have a good thing here, I hope they realize that.

On the other hand the aroma and flavor dropped off quite a bit by the bottom of the growler.

Photo of avaldivia
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz into a pint glass.

A: Clear copper cor with good head and lacing.

S: Pine. Some really nice floral notes. Good caramel malts.

T: Citrus and pine. Very nice. Good caramel malts.

M: Nice and crisp. Medium bodied.

O: Excellent pale ale. Good summertime, and really, good anytime beer.

Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of doughanson78
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. My first review of an American Pale Ale.

A: Perfect copper color with a slight haze. One finger off white, rocky head. OK retention, and decent lacing.

S: Some orange. Floral hops. Light citrus. Sweet caramel.

T: Sweet malty caramel throughout with a nice light floral hop taste and bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Very creamy. Light to med. carbonation.

O: What can I say? Deschutes just doesn't disappoint. A very refreshing beer.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another beer my girlfriend brought back from Oregon two weeks ago. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle intp my Gulden Draak tulip. Best by date of 08/12/11 on the side of the bottle.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light spotty lacing on the glass and an inch of head stays throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, fruity malts, some bready malts, and earthy and musty notes. Nice, but I was expecting some more hops in the nose.

t - Tastes of bready malts, citrsu hops, fruity malts, light toasted and caramel malts, and light mustiness. Again, it is good, but more malty than hoppy. Very very light bitter bite from the hops.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, and just a touch too much carbonation. A little less carbonation and this one would be even easier to drink.

o - Overall a good beer, but their Red Chair NWPA blows this one away. The Red Chair had a lot more hops, whereas this one had a lot of malts and a twinge of mustiness to it. If I saw both on the shelf, I'd suggest going with Red Chair, though this is worth a shot once.

Photo of vkv822
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.
Best By: 09/10/11

Pours a orange hued golden with visible rising carbonation and a thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The aroma and taste are of citric and piney hops, with a breaded malt backing. The taste has a bit more malt than is picked up in the nose.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with fairly active carbonation.

Easy drinking enjoyable pale ale, not the best out there but tasty none the less.

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

Received as an extra in a trade with JayAre46. Bottle poured gently into my trusty shaker pint. Haters gonna hate. I'd love to enjoy this one on the back porch, but the weather feels like standing in the middle of a cheesesteak right now.

Pours a nice deep amber with one finger of white head. Recedes quickly, but it leaves a real purdy lacing. Leaves the kind of film you see the faces of religious leaders in.

Smell hits with honey, graham crackers, peaches and golden raisins. Some grassy hops are not overpowering, but definitely present.

First sip is very hop-forward, grassy without being crazy bitter. Just nice. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and maybe a little grapefruit in there toward the end. Very nicely balanced. I could do this all day.

Surprisingly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot-on for me. I really just can't find anything negative about this beer. It's not setting the world on fire, but it's a very solid brew from Deschutes. I can't wait until they have the capacity to come to Pennsylvania full-time

Photo of Durge
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark amber color with a very healthy off white creamy head and plenty of lacing. The aroma is a very nice flowery yeast hop with caramel malt ideas. The flavor brings more yeasty sweet caramel with a decided up front bite of grassy hops. There’s a suggestion of alcohol with a hint of dry citrus, even a little vegetable edge. It mellows as it drops down the gullet and is quite drinkable, though I’d prefer less grass as usual. Medium-light body with a sparkling, clean feel.

Photo of codfeast
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: a golden amber color, 1/4 head, lots of bubles raising from the bottom. lots of sticky laceing.

S: malts and hops with a little lemon, and floral notes.

T: Sweet malt balanced out with the hops, a bitter but no to bitter finish.

M: medium carbination, smooth and creamy a pretty big mouthfeel.

O: A really well balanced pale ale, not as hoppy as Red Chair or SNPA. Real refreshing and easy drinking, and at $11.99 for 12 who are you to pass it up?


Photo of Satchboogie
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (Thanks Wasatch!) poured into a pint glass:

A: Pours a transitional gold-copper, mostly clear, with 2 fingers of off white head (lots of bubbling action on top, very tight head below). Leaves good lacing.

S: Lots of floral character, caramel malts, slight toasted and nutty quality, a little citrus.

T: Follows the nose fairly well, but with actually an even bigger body and sweetness. The floral and slight citrus hop character on the tip of the tongue with moderate bitterness. Middle mouth is toasted pale/amber malts with lots of caramel and even a little toffee, touch of roasted nuts. Finish is semi-dry with a little lingering caramel and fairly clean floral bitterness.

M: Moderate carbonation, much bigger body than I'd expect from a Pale Ale (medium to slightly full body). Smooth and rich, yet still light and clean enough to be an easy drinker.

O: This is easily one of the better balanced Pale Ales I've had. It definitely shares a lot of qualities of amber and brown ales. It does seem a little too roasted/nutty for a pale, but I like it. If I had local access to this, I'd likely buy it regularly.

Photo of mattmuck11
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Photo of jeff1973
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A - Clear, amber/orange in color. White head w/ decent lacing.

S - Sweet smell with a touch of citrus.

T - Sweet malt backbone w/ nice touch citrus from the hops. Both are in balance. Leaves a half dry, half sweet aftertaste.

M - Really nice, has a nice creamy mouthfeel but still light. Best part of the beer.

D - High, real easy to session this beer, especially with the great mouthfeel.

It is easy to get (for me), reasonalby priced, and a tasty beer. This is going to be one of my go to beers for a quick one after work.

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

Bottle dated 5/24/2011. Poured into my Sierra Nevada bulb glass.

Appearance: Very nice deep golden orange with a one finger off white head forming that seems to like to stick around. Recedes to a nice lacing.

Smell: Biscuity malts and a sweet hop flavor. Doesnt jump out at me but it is pleasant.

Taste: Very balanced and pleasant. Some floral and citrusy hops lead the way followed by a nice yet mellow malt backbone. Balance is the key here and it makes it very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Slick and a little full for the style with slightly lower than expected carbonation but really none of it detracts from the beer.

Overall: Exceeds my expectations and I am a big fan, now if only I could get my hands on this on a regular basis I would be one happy camper!

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coppery amber with a decent off-white head. Aroma is malty and fruity and has a surprising hoppy, evergreen overtone. Malty, hoppy flavor is somewhat fruity with a touch of fruit sweetness and just a hint of caramel. Fizzy, sassy texture leaves behind a nice tingle.

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

A pint on tap at kyber.

A- comes to me with a good finger of white head that settles quickly and leaves only a few spots of lace. Burnt orange copper in color with some golden yellow highlights.

S- light grapefruit hops with a hint of tropical fruits as well. Good bit of sweetness with some caramel and toasted bread.

T- light hopping with sweet grapefruit and some orange on top of a toasted bread and caramel sweet malt bill. Very good balance.

M- a tick below medium in body and a bit higher in carb.

O- nice pale for sure I'm glad philly got this in for beer week.

Photo of Ryan011235
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a nonic pint glass on 3/8/11 at Streets of London, Sacramento, CA

Nice, deep amber color. Pale and burnt. Honey-gold highlights. Mostly clear. 1/4th inch head. Thin retention. Drippy, webbed lace.

Full, balanced aroma. Grassy hops with some citric notions; namely orange peel. Toasted malts - bread and biscuit.

Tastes grassy and herbal. Undertones of citrus blend in low in the mix. An earthy, piney, hoppy punch holds up throughout. Orange peel moves into view as it warms up. Toasted bread solidifies the back end.

Medium body with prickly carbonation; though more than I prefer, it accentuates the bitterness. Swirling tames the carbonation a bit. Finishes grassy with a lingering bitterness.

This is a pale ale loaded with flavor and reasonably heavy on the hops. Quite nice.

Photo of philbe311
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly more than a fingers worth of rocky cloud like egg shell colored head... Decent retention... The color is a warm inviting amber... A moderate bit of carbonation... Leaves rings of lace on the glass throughout the session...

S - Loaded with warm bready malts... A touch of citrus... Caramel... Some piney hops...

T - Lots of bready malts... A bit of caramel... Some nuttiness... A very subtle hop bite that is equal parts piney and floral...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Slight carbonation... Clean... Crisp... A bit of lushness...

D - This one is an extremely sessionable American Pale Ale if ever there was one... Slight more assertive than most, but nothing overpowering... Simple... Straight forward... Very effective...

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at London Grill.

Pours a slightly cloudy pale golden orange color with golden apricot edges and a frothy two finger soapy white head.  Very good retention only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Floral hop aroma with lots of earthy pine as well as some faint citrus.  Pale malt backbone with hints of light fruit and straw.  Subtle alcohol.  

Medium bodied but a bit fuller than expected with a somewhat creamy texture.  Subtle floral hop presence up front with faint dryness.  Only slightly bitter with kind of a weaker hop presence than anticipated.  Sweetness underneath with pale malt, grass, straw, apple and pear.  Slight dry finish.  Very easy to drink.

Photo of garuda
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden copper, white head that has good retention and good lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet, bready malt up front, subsiding to pine hops with a touch of citrus.

T - Very nice taste with pine hops up front, a bready malt middle, then finishes with some more bitter pine hops with a touch of citrus, and some caramel malt sweetness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, nice crisp finish.

O - I'd definitely get it again, a very good, nicely balanced pale ale.

Photo of jpro
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Burger Bar at Mandalay Place in Vegas. Served with a nice little tulip glass...

A: Pours from the 12oz bottle a dusty, light copper; off white head that leaves some nice rings of lace.

S: Light piney hops and biscuit malts... nothing too crazy.

T: Light caramel sweetness and some dry, earthy hops; a touch of grapefruit rind in the hop profile, as well.

M: Medium-bodied with a higher carbonation; a little prickly.

D/O: Refreshing and smooth; a pretty classic example of an American pale ale... good stuff.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. No bottle date on this one.

A: Very clear amber color, basically no head even with an aggressive pour, but there is good carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass

S: I smell the florals from the Cascade hops, some malts as well, smells like a really nice PALE

T: Just a really clean beer, no BS in this one, just really crisp, nice hop bite, solid malt backbone, crisp clean finish, not much to complain about

M: Light bodied beer for sure, not muddled at all, doesn't coat the mouth at all, session brew loud and clear

O: This is a great pale ale, crisp clean and delicious, I seem to have enjoyed everything from this brewery!

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

A: A hazy amber pour with a good sized fluffy white head. Good lacing. Solid.

S: Lots of bread up front. Some mild citrus and flowers are hiding in the back but most of the aroma is the bready malt. As the beer warms the hops stand out a little more, but are still well balanced with the bread aroma.

T: Light lemons and orange which fades away to strong bready malt flavor. Surprisingly low in bitterness. Very clean aftertaste.

M: Pretty light, the heavy malt flavor on the backend makes it seem heavier than it is I think.

O: Nice, light and tasty and very drinkable. This is a very mild APA and IMO is more suited to the style. I have had some very hoppy APAs that while delicious, are almost indistinguishable from IPAs. This turns the hops down a little and makes it into a nice balanced APA. All around good, but nothing outstanding in my opinion.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A murky amber orange color with a yellow tinted head. Tight bubbles and good retention.

S - Yeasty baked bread, caramel/toffee, some acidic fruit.

T - Bisctuity, lemon/orange citrus, sweet pale malt, tart fruit, hops resin creeps in close to the finish and sits on the back of the palate all the way through to the aftertaste.

M - Light side of medium at first but grows fuller towards the swallow.

A good overall APA. Excellent finish with good flavors. Hops provided flavor but didn't kick up bitterness until the last second.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Not quite clear Princeton orange body with a perpetual finger of delicate ivory cream forming the head. Pasty even lacing adheres doggedly to the sides of the glass.

Fresh gala apples, a touch of ginger, roses, and mountain air in the nose. So inviting.

Malty palate entry, bready with hints of wheat and alfalfa. Vague licorice root and rye could be in there as well. Moderate bitterness picks up mid-palate suggesting pinecones and river stones which carry on into the finish. Very well balanced.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated, dark yet crisp.

A great NW APA, even better paired with food (e.g. a high quality burger). Readily overlooked by their porters and stouts, but Deschutes knows how to brew a wide variety of styles with distinction and craftsmanship.

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Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 3,165 ratings.