Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

906 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 906
Hads: 3,333
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 154
Gots: 529 | 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 (160) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mirror Pond Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 906 | Hads: 3,333
Photo of zeledonia
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Elmer's in northeast Portland, 3 June 2014.

Pours clear medium orange. Bright and vibrant. One finger of off-white head, excellent retention, leaves gorgeous terraces of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

Smell is clean and brightly hopped. In the new world of mega-dry-hopped pale ales, this stands out for its balance - it's just really well put together. Light piney hops, just a tingle. Excellent.

Taste is clean and crisp. Spicy hop bite, tingly but not overly bitter, though it leans that way in the finish, sort of citrus rind-y.

Feel is outstanding. Medium-light body, tingly prickly carbonation, lasting medium-long to allow the hops to come out and play for a bit.

An excellent, really well-balanced APA. There's a reason this one's a classic. Clean, refreshing, and delicious. (802 characters)

Photo of TongTong
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! Good to try! (1,481 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber, with solid head of fine white foam. Lace is good, though not showy nor spectacular.

Nose is subtle. I get toasty malts up front, with a mild hoppy citrus note.

Taste echoes this maltiness. More toasty malts and a tangy citrus-pine hop character near the finish. A great and balanced session brew, and simply an exemplary, classic pale ale. (361 characters)

Photo of raznug
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: This beer pours a dark golden color and is topped with 1” of off white head that leaves to a thin layer.
Smell: The aroma of this beer is grass and pine hops with maybe a bit of grapefruit in the background.
Taste: The flavor of this Oregon beer is a delicious blend of malt and hops that make for a rather tasty brew.
Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied pale ale that allows the flavors to cling to palate nicely. (428 characters)

Photo of PBIU
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Why oh why did I wait this long to buy a 5 gallon of Mirror Pond for the home kegerator?

Just a super balanced and flavorful pale ale.

Appearance is a nice bright honey orange. Great carb.

Smell is grassy with those Cascade hops and biscuity. It is one of those beers that just smells balanced (which I think is a rare thing.)

Taste is a tinge of hops on the front of the tongue and then the malt comes in with a biscuity finish. Then you get a nice dry finish that makes you want to come back.

Mouthfeel is creamy with this being on draft. Right where it should be with a pale ale.

Overall just a great example of the style. It does get knocked for not being too hop forward in this day and age, but keeping in mind this recipe is from 1988, Deschutes was ahead of their time.

Fill glass, drink beer, rinse glass and repeat.

Cheers! (842 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a very lightly hazy golden copper in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation and some honey + golden orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of toasted and caramel malts with just a hint of sweetness followed by slightly stronger aromas of citrus/grapefruit and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of toasted and caramel malts with just a hint of honey-like sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger flavors of citrus/grapefruit and herbal hops which impart a light amount of bitterness which fades almost immediately.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and clean.

O: Very enjoyable and extremely easy to drink, I would even go as far as to say that this is sessionable. Very nice balance between the malts and hops with both being allowed to showcase their aromas/flavors. (1,093 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out a coppery amber color with a sudsy white bubble top. Lacing is good. Lots and lots of light passes through.

Pine and citrus hops and a fresh earthy character. Orange-y with notes of grapefruit and lemon pith. Malts lean toward European, but the hops are American made. Good grain balance with very mild toastiness.

Crispy and bright, with lots of carbonation up-front, featuring minty citrus hops, tailing pine, and sturdy pale malt balancing out the backend. Almost spicy in the middle leading questions as to what the grain composition really is, because it almost has a gentle rye note. Absolutely solid pale.

Luscious mouthfeel with that good hop burn waiting for you in the finish. Complements the carbonation nicely, which wavers in and out, but shows signs of being really bushy-tailed. (806 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2"+ fluffy off white head leaves significant lacing. Orange-copper in color and a little cloudy with moderate carbonation visible.
Aroma: wonderful smelling brew. There is a grassy aroma along with citrus and pine hops, caramel sweetness from the roasted barley,
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, fluffy ale mouthfeel with a somewhat wet finish. Flavor: a delicious combination of flavor. Malt leads the way with caramel, toffee, toasted bread flavors. The hop backbone then shows up with citrus and piney spice ’burn’ in the finish.
Overall: this is an outstanding, delicious, drinkable brew. (613 characters)

Photo of y2jrock60
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark orange/light red. The head is thin and only leaves a slight lacing.

S- Caramel notes along with pine and grass. I'm almost positive there are Nugget hops in this beer.

T- Very similar to Hopback Amber, maybe a little less sweet. Mild caramel upfront followed by a piney bitterness. The finish is slightly grainy.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- A solid pale ale, reminds me of a cleaner Hopback Amber. (434 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint.
Best By 4/15/14

A - Deep golden in color, the hazed beer almost has an amber hue to it. The tall head of off white foam slowly descends to a clumpy pile below the thick lace it leaves on the beer clean pint.

S - Gentle waves of citrus hops lap the shores of the nostrils with a breeze of grainy malt and hints of caramel close behind but even though it's within the date range, it smells somewhat old.

T - Fresher flavor explores the depths of the hops, wading from shallow citrus and slightly fruity notes to deeper earthy complexities, which works well with the subdued caramel sweetness and toasted bread crust finish.

M - More crisp and refreshing than the aroma lets on, Mirror Pond is as smooth as glass with a very nice level of hop bitterness along the finish.

O - The bottle might be encroaching on the final days of it's "best by" date but it's still got a little life in it. Deschutes' Mirror Pond is a smooth and easy drinking pale ale with hoppy notes but at the lower end of the spectrum, making it a nice-to-pair belly up to the bar beer. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a mostly clear, amber color with a slight off-white head. The aroma is fairly bitter smelling for a plain pale ale. Upon tasting it is surprising the aroma is so hoppy because overall the beer is very simple tasting. While having a crisp, clean finish this beer is very easy drinking. (295 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

on tap at Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Portland

Dark amber with white film.
Dark toast, orange rind, and pine on the nose.
Caramel and peach sweetness with lots of candy, then resin and tangelo hops end.
Mango finish and dry linger.
Medium, chewy, round.

Candy sweet - very entry level. No IBU bite, and cloys a bit. Slight sandpaper bitterness as it warms, but just not what I’m looking for in an APA. (406 characters)

Photo of Tebonator39
2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was looking at reviews of this earlier today and decided to go for it. Not sure why earlier posts mention great hops in this one. Just not feeling that. Maybe my six pack is bad but this is similar to budweiser. Very disappointed! Yep, AAL taste all the way. (260 characters)

Photo of lochef81
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another impressive buy from my Ohio buying spree. So glad to have finally gotten to try some of Deschutes' offerings. This apa pours a beautiful reddish brown hue with very little off white head. It does retain a nice film and a very nice lacing. The nose is quite deep and malty but with a pleasant hoppy bitter bite and a little roastiness. The mouthfeel is very light and smooth. Almost a bit too light. I'd love a little more coating and chew to this beer. Maybe if it was unfiltered, this may be perfect. The flavor is very balanced. Malty sweetness, hoppy bitterness, and an almost funky belgian yeast flavor all play together beautifully. This is an excellent apa and just makes more excited to taste the other two Deschutes offerings I bought last week. (761 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

The is a beautiful beer, a rich copper/amber color. It porurs with a nice amount of foam that compacts to a nice 2-finger head that leaves behind some generous lacing.

The smell hits me faintly at first but grows as I drink the beer. I get a very nice fruitiness, pineapple and mango and maybe even a hint of peach or apricot. Perhaps the slightest hint of a yeasty bread as well.

The taste is just excellent. First off is the hops, all nice and juicy and fruity. Pineapple mainly, maybe a hint of orange and peach. Then come the sweetness of the malts. There's some toffee, maybe a bit of honey as well. It finishes with a pleasant, lingering bitter note.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, lightly bubbly and very pleasant. I don not detect the alcohol at all.

Overall, this may be my favorite pale ale and one of my favorite beers. Just a great balance and so easy to drink. Superb. (936 characters)

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

Deep copper amber slightly chill hazed with a bright white head forming thick and fine speckled lace left evenly as it dwindles down. Aroma complements malts and hops so well, slight sweet breadiness, herbal, pine, and citric notes complement the soft baked bread qualities. Pungent hops reach out to the nares as it warms, really nice American pale ale that's been around since 1988, wow!!! Flavor is amply hopped but round, malts mild sugar coated hops, fresh baked bread, biscuit quality, a hint of chalky yeast packet...herbal rolling hops, citric notes, pine earthy dankness is mild yet expressive in the hop components of this beer. I grabbed a sixer without hesitation when I saw this one at one of my local stops. Mouthfeel is packed with crisp flowing carbonation carries light hop resins across the palate, not much going on but the feel is very natural no forced over carbonation on the palate perfectly balanced well engineered pale ale with character all day. Overall this is the bread and butter of this great brewery out of Bend Oregon someone started making this at home in the 80's and had a eureka moment. (1,123 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Light golden tan/brown, nice 1/2 foamy head and tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Pale ale malts, bready, citric hops, yeasty sugars, a little lemon note at the finish.

Taste - Much like the smell, pale malts with a nice citric, lemon flavored hop bite makes up the flavor. A biscuity, bittered flavor mixed in with some light yeasty sugars. Grapefruit and a little pine also adds some flavor.

Mouthfeel - Smooth pale malts coat the tongue with bready/biscuit flavor. Palate gets some hops, sugars and a little more malts. Aftertaste is smooth, malty with some lemon and orange peel.

Overall - A nice, smooth and flavorful pale ale. Very easy to drink, has enough hops to give it nice fruity flavors. No alcohol is noticeable, just balanced well and easy to enjoy. (802 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is in the darker range for the style at a brownish sort of red-orange. The head, close to white, doesn't rise very high and, though bubbly, sustains itself as a heavy foam that's rocky despite being thin in areas. The lace is solid, mostly patching and dense considering.
The nose is pungent, with strong aromatics of pine and citrus layered with not-quite-tropical fruit sweetness along with the rind and pulp of the citrus, fresh and juicy but noticeably hoppy. This is a deeper aroma than I get from most pale ales, with malts adding caramel and a sort of lightly toasted breads note just enough to balance.
The malts come out a bit more in the flavor, and it detracts just a touch from the overall hop profile. It's still nicely hopped, though, even as some sugary undertones and roasted grains come out in the finish.
In a medium body with plenty of support without going too strong or heavy, there's a nice, creamy quality on the palate with a consistent crsipness supporting. (992 characters)

Photo of Retroman40
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours out a pale yellow with strong lasting head.

S - A strong hop aroma with citrus dominating.

T - A great balance of sweet malt and citrus hops. Malt start and a rich hop finish.

M - Tangy and rich with good carbonation.

O - I was excited that Deschutes started distribution in KY and wasn't disappointed. This is an outstanding Pale Ale. (383 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Called a Pale Ale for a reason this has a clean pale amber color and a bright white head of frothy foam.

Cracker, nuts and biscuity malt hit the nose with light floral hops and even some lemongrass.

Malty, crackery, biscuity and nutty this reflects a Pale Ale very well.

The feel is slick and easy with a tang of astringency but this is light enough to be a multiple beer drinker.

This may be my favorite from Deschutes thus far as it reflects the style well but has its own original take. (493 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Mirror Pond Pale Ale pours a hazy dark copper color with a small lacing head. There is a nice mellow floral aroma. The taste has a noticeable hoppy flavor; mild, but finishes with a rich biscuit flavor. Good feel, good flavors, and very drinkable. Overall its a nice pale ale, strong biscuit flavors make sit rather unique. (323 characters)

Photo of Cory_Brown
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this one. Reviewing out of the bottle but it was better on tap.
A- dark bronze color, kind of murky. Creamy white head
S- rather light, pleasant, but not overwhelming. Malty with light fruit notes and light hoppiness.
T- malt forward with a little hop bitterness to balance things. Very well balanced and great drinkability. Good APA and very true to the style.
M- A creamy layer coats the mouth. This is really smooth. So easy to drink. Carbonation is medium and nice.
O- Another solid offering from Deschutes. I'm bout to have my 3rd bottle of the night. Definitely a session beer. (597 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a frothy cream head that lingers.

Fresh cut grass, resin, grapefruit, tangerine, and light bready malt form the aroma. Pine and herbal hops dominate, but citrus sharpness accents well.

Flavor reveals more muted citrus underpinnings, with sweet, toasted bread at the backbone, carrying into a slightly bitter, modestly resinous finish. Grapefruit, orange, and fruit cocktail add complexity. Hops and malt are both well represented, but hops take the win. The flavor does seem a little flat.

Body and carbonation are moderate.

Very well balanced pale ale, with good flavoring and bittering variety. The hop flavor lacks a bit in comparison to the aroma. (690 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- - Dark copper with a slightly tan head.

S: Pineapple and a bit of citrus in the nose.

T: Strong malt taste up front followed by a nice lingering sweet citrus and pineapple. Much more fruit forward after the first sip.

M: Medium bodied and fairly smooth.

O: A delicious pale ale. One of the best out there, with a nice orangey/slightly tropical taste. (357 characters)

Photo of Lane_in_ID
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Look: Nice amber color, has a lot of particulates floating in it. Thick finger of off white head that left nice lacing on my glass.
Smell: Toasted Grains with some nice earthy dank hop aroma.
Taste: Follows the nose, nice dry bitter finish, has an oily lasting aftertaste that I actually really like.
Feel: Solid medium mouthfeel, good level of carbonation.
Overall: Nice APA, one I buy whenever I find it in my area. (455 characters)

Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 906 ratings.