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Fresh Hop Mirror Pond - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Fresh Hop Mirror PondFresh Hop Mirror Pond

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

139 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 139
Hads: 303
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 18.44%
Wants: 31
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

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

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ccrida on 10-24-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 139 | Hads: 303
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Well it's orange-tan, pretty cloudy, with a so-so head and lace. Looks aren't this one's strong point, but it does get better.

Aroma and taste were quite nice. A bit on the pungent side, fruity and a little piney, with a solid maltiness and a tinge of floral and fruity notes.

Tastes like a bigger beer than it is, almost like one of those kinda malt-bomb IPAs, but still drinking like a pale ale, and not heavy on the alcohol as far as how you feel after drinking it. This one is a bit strange in that it actually seems like it has more alcohol than it does. Not a detractor, just interesting.

Overall it's a tasty one. I expect nothing less from Deschutes.

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Photo of Efay
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes took Chicago by storm this past month, and I was lucky to go to numerous tasting sessions that had all their brews out. I feel that I was trying too many brews at once to give it a full review, so now I got a sixer and see how this pale ale is on my palate.

A- Bright, transparent, sort of a blood orange type of hue. Lots of head retention that is nice and frothy. Lots of lacing is left behind.

S- Such a wonderful tangerine smell, with copious amount of honey that make this smell so sweet. Lastly you smell a light malt smell that goes great with the honey. You can barely smell any hops here, as some pine barely makes it through.

T- Initial light bitter, piney hops, that turns right into a sweet malt flavor that dominates my palate. I love malty beers so I may be biased. Tastes of honey biscuit, tangerine, and light grapefruit just come together to make a very solid beer.

S- Light body and light carbonation makes this beer go down fast.

O- I know hops are the craze nowadays, but this is my go to APA. This beer goes back to the basics with light amounts of hops and a nice sweet taste that goes down great.

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Photo of dfillius
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle says best by 12/11/11, I drank on 1/5/11.
A: Moderate to gentle pour yields 1/2 finger of off-white head with good retention. Hazy orange-gold liquid is pretty. I would like tighter and more copious head.
S: Caramel, lemon-lime, maris otter malt? Slight apple from yeast esters.
T: Not too old, no off flavors here. Bright and toasty. Flavors of good whole wheat bread, some herbal hop. Nice subdued and perfectly balanced bitterness is in the ESB territory. Not true to style maybe, but I enjoy it.
M: Lightly bitter. Very well balanced. Full yet not heavy.
D: Highly drinkable. ideal for an every day beer. Full flavored, easy drinking. Interesting and not overwhelming.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can get a lot of fresh hop tones on this. I get some oil and a lot of leafy green character as well. Tastes like it is right off the vine. It's a nice fresh hopped ale, though it seems to fall off a bit quicker than I would hope for. A pretty good fresh-hopped ale, though I think my having other more distinct versions of the "style" have spoiled me.

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Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours an orange yellowish color with a one finger head that lasts.

Smell: earthy hops are most dominate here.

Taste: caramel, golden apples, earthy hop bitterness, and a mild fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout.

Overall: this was a mild flavored beer but had a nice hop presence.

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Photo of Spikester
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber with a best by date of 12/11/2011. Pretty old for a fresh hop beer. Pours clear caramel color with one finger of light tan head. Head has become a ring by the half way mark. Very dense fine bubble lacing. Very light fruity hop and slight pine aroma. Taste is mildly hop fruity with a light sweetness to the malts. Well balanced. Mouthfeel was average lacking the carbonation I expected. Medium dry finish, slightly bitter. I was quite let down by this version of Mirror Pond but I should have realized it was old when I bought it. For a six month old fresh hop P.A. it was more like an English Pale Ale. I will try to buy one next fall when it is first released and revise my review accordingly.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the SLO Xtreme Beerfest. It pours a clear golden with an off-white foamy head. Good head retention. It has a faint citrus bouquet. This is how I think an APA is supposed to be. It is smooth, lightly crisp, citrusy, mild, and balanced grain/hop combination.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly hazy bronze, solid off white head left a lot of sticky lacing
S - hoppy aromas of sweet citrus, light pine and perfume, light biscuity malt, light spicy, but generally sweet juicy smells
T - a complex hop flavour mix, i get sweet mellow citrus, spicy, earthy, and some light florals along with a biscuity malt compliment, very very tasty
M - light to medium body, medium carbonation, smooth and juicy with a light spicy and bitter finish
O - i could drink this all day, plain and simple

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Photo of andrenaline
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange colour with a copper hue, two fingers of soapy head with solid retention and sticky lacing. A visually appealing pale ale.

S - Sweet citrus hops, soapy, resiny, oily hops and a touch of toffee on the finish.

T - The citrus hops dominate, hint of pepper, soapy lemon and lime, and the toffee notes linger on the finish. Flavourful pale ale with a solid dose of hops.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - A tasty pale ale, loads of hops for the style, and a pleasant surprise. A fresh pint of this would be tough to beat. Highly recommended, especially if its in its prime.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear light amber orange with a huge fluffy off white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell is citurs hops with a hint of malt.

Taste is mellow with the hops and malt. Not overpowering, also a hint of vegetal ending for me.

Texture is good, very easy to drink and very light.

Overall, I wish it had more on the flavor, or at least as much as it's delicious smell. Nice, wouldn't turn one down, but won't buy one again.


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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 11/20/2011. 22oz bomber with best by date: 12/11/11.

Poured to a pint glass the beer appears an orange amber color with a nice 1 finger khaki colored hear. Good retention and some lacing. The aroma, while not overpowering, is a nice mix of citrus and piney hops. Hints of toasted barely, though mostly fresh hop character. Nice. Similarly the flavor starts off with a nice blend of the citrus and pine hops together with a medium bitterness. The hops really dominate, which is good. Tastes like what I would expect a fresh Mirror Pond would taste like at the brewery: lots of hop character. There is a residual sweetness with a lingering citrus flavor. Medium bodied and adequately carbonated. Overall, I really enjoy this beer. I would happily purchase a bottle next season.

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Photo of marikoangel
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pint at Amsterdam in SF, this beer pours a clear amber orange with a fine stream of carbonation running up the glass and small white head and some sporadic lacing.

A: the nose is quite light. It smells like wet fresh hops, some sweet bready malts, a nice floral smell. I just love the smell of fresh hops! They are just amazing!

T: The flavors are nice and easygoing, light hops, a little bitter, citrus rind. The hops make a brief appearance in the middle, then fade out into some caramel malts. There is a nice breadiness the lingers into the finish.

M&O: The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little smooth and oily with a lower carbonation. Overall it is a very refreshing and easygoing beer. Very drinkable, making it a great session beer for any weather.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Color was honey amber. Maybe 1 ½ inches of head. Bubbly cloudy tan lacing on the top. Bubbly and uneven film on the sides.

If I didn’t think this was a pale ale, that changed with the first smell. But also smelled some citrus notes, mainly apricot and lemon. Also honey and caramel in there.

Taste was similar to the nose, but not as much hops as the sniff. Bitter on the tongue after.

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long smooth finish.

A pretty good pale ale overall. The hops make it that much better. Smooth and balanced throughout.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz from Roths Vista Market in S.Salem. $4.99
Hazy dark golden coloured ale, larget frothy,bubbly off white head.
Fine grapefruit type hoppy aromas..malty biscuit in the back.
Graprefruit..bitterness,malty backbone in the taste semi dry finish.
Ok mouthfeel..not boring in the least.
Overall a good beer but i fear i got it too late.

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Photo of Cinderbike
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow, completely clear, with a nice thick white head and great lacing.

S - Citrus, pine, lightly toasted bread, faint caramel sweetness, apricots, and more pine. Earthy, grassy notes are present from the wet hopping.

T - Citrus, apricot, freshly mowed grass, white bread. Lingering sweetness helps balance the hops.

M - Has some body, quite balanced. Medium-high carbonation.

O - An interesting take on Mirror Pond. I enjoyed this thoroughly.

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Photo of beagle75
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and fine bubbles rise at the center of the column.

S: Mixed slightly cooked fruit, hops that are earthy and floral, and a fine thread of toffee are all evident in the nose.

T: Begins dry, with weak bready malt and earthy tea-like hop aromatics. Carbonic acidity is moderate into the middle where berry-like yeast esters settle comfortably on the palate. The finish possesses more earthy hop flavors with restrained bitterness and a thread of lingering husky crystal.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly acidic and refreshing, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Nuanced and pleasant like its namesake, this wet-hopped ale is a pleasure to drink despite its rather pedestrian attributes. Malt's limited footprint suggests overattenuation while hop qualities faithfully adhere to a more English character, despite the prominent role played by cones of the Cascade cultivar. It reminds of a recent batch of Galena-hopped, homebrewed pale ale that was almost universally admired.

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Photo of JayQue
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice mild APA. Pours a light copper color with a medium sized antique white head (better than average retention) and spotty lacing all along the glass. The aroma is hoppy but mild. There are a lot of more agressively hoppy APAs out there.

Taste is good. Hoppy but still smooth and balanced. Piney hops are up front but without a heavy hops "bite".

Mouthfeel is crisp and slightly oily as you would expect in a wet hopped beer.

Overall a pretty good beer but there are many as good or better and more available in Virginia than this beer.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a mid amber orange color supporting a healthy head leaving spotty lace. Smell of the fresh hops having a light citrus piney aroma with the malt in the back. Taste diffinately has the flavor of the citric piney hops without the hop bite. The malt is laid back bring out the fresh cascade hops. Mouthfeel is medium - light with a good spike of carbonation. A good brew letting it's intention come through.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange color, slightly hazy with a moderate creamy head that leaves curtains of lacing.

Orange marmalade and biscuit on the nose. Nice aroma that precedes a restrained taste. Somewhat one dimensional with a moderate, aggressive bitterness and little malt character.

Light mouthfeel, a bit watery. Overall drinkable but not outstanding in any way.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery amber color, carbonation forms a 1" head, decent lacing for the hopping. Dry and fresh hop aromas aren't massive or pungent, but they're there.

Good typical Deschutes cascade hoppiness in this one. Reminds me of the good ol days of mirror pond before the palate got whacked with the last few years massive hop additions. Either way, this version stands out again as hoppy, without the old wood flavor that tends to be all too prevalent with the regular version of this beer as well as inversion ipa.

A little more piney in the mouthfeel than the regular version too. Plenty of bitterness, but at least its accompanied by a hoppy mouthfeel and not simply one dimensional bitterness. An overall good experience, and a decent, but not great price $5/22oz. considering the regular version is on sale 1/2 the time for $7/6pack.

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Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Papago inside a shaker pint. According to the brewers, the Cascade hops so ubiquitous in American IPAs are much milder than the original strain developed at Oregon State University. This beer’s been fresh-hopped with a strain said to be more like the original.

The color of honey, almost perfectly clear. Half a finger of wispy, off-white head pops away to become a thin top layer. Tiny strands of lace.

Right away, I can tell this is more tropical than the average Mirror Pond. Grass, pineapple, a hint of orange and burnt sugar all mingle together in a sweet and smooth embrace.

The flavor delivers heavy peach notes I also don't get in the regular brew, along with tangerine peel and a gentle touch of dank character. Something almost musty comes out eventually, which quickly gives way to mildly toasted biscuits and honey. It’s all in perfect balance, with surprising hop complexity.

Medium, pinching carbonation breaks the brew into just a bit of fizz. Body is a touch under medium. Clean finish with lingering fruity peach notes. Snappy.

Although I like the regular Mirror Pond, I REALLY like this. The fresh hops add a fragile peach sweetness that really works, and turns this into one of the easiest-drinking pales out there.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a stemless red wine glass at 41 degrees. A bit cold, so it was allowed to warm in hand.

Appearance: Golden brown, like a perfectly baked biscuit

Smell: Caramel, light fruits, peanuts, and a light citrus hop bouquet as the beer warms to temperature

Taste: Light wheat and malt followed by caramel and hops, clean but slightly one dimensional in my opinion

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, clean and very drinkable... definitely a session beer.

Overall: A drinkable clean beer. I would have it again, a bit too cold right now, but in the middle of a hot Texas summer, it would be a welcome respite.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz. bomber into a Captain Lawrence tall tuliped goblet. generously shared by fellow BA CosmicEvan during a beer tasting.

Appears an apricot orange with a little foamy slick to its top.

This fresh hop preparation brings a little more skunkiness than the regular offering but its still a little timid for my tastes.

Tastes very crisp but a tad bit too malty. There's a bit of a hop burn on the way out (that could be a mouthfeel issue though).

Mouthfeel is pretty effervescent. This must be a pretty fresh bottling. Wow! The due date on the bottle is tomorrow. Uncanny timing. :)

Overall a little but of an improvement from their lower tier - the straight mirror pond - but still can't stand up against its big brother the double ipa.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought online. Poured a mostly clear amber orange color with a short lived tan head. Lacing looks kinda sticky and clumpy. Smells like fresh fruity hops with a sweet malty element. The bottle i got isn't quite as fresh as i had hopped but this is still pretty tasty. Im not picking up a lot of bittering hops. Malt is biscuity and nutty with a nice caramel sweetness. Light moderate feel that is sticky and prickly from the carbonation. A tasty brew.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted side by side with ordinary old, annual mirror pond.

Nice creamy tan head. Hazy unfiltered non carbonated body.

Aromas of salt water taffy. Not as sugary sweet as regular mirror pond but still has big fruit flavors. Strawberry and peach. A major green tea leaf flavor.

It has a nice sharp acidic bitterness. It is basically the same recipe as Mirror Pond but it wonderfully displays Deschutes ability to pull amazing flavors out of fresh hops. The hop bitterness is short resiny and sticky. The malt flavors are doughy as always in mirror pond. But it's even bigger and fresher bread flavor. I also taste maple syrup. Nice green tea finish.

The mouth is full and creamy. It's not as sessionable as mirror pond because the hop flavors are so powerful. I am very pleased with this beer.

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Fresh Hop Mirror Pond from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.