Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

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Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

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513 Reviews

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Reviews: 513
Hads: 1,637
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.38%
Wants: 462
Gots: 703 | FT: 110
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 04-29-2009

30 IBU

Bottled/kegged vintages:
2005 - Released February 2006
2009 - Released April 2009
2014 - Released April 2014
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 513 | Hads: 1,637
Photo of teromous
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellared past the "best after" date of 7/24/2015 as indicated on the label. It is nearly two months past this date.

Appearance: Dark slightly hazy tea-brown body leaving some orange-brown and dark red-brown colors in the glass as light passes through. Eggshell-white head that rests shallow across the surface leaving a foamy ring that branches into a few pools of large bubbles. Although there is no real head the ring does a good job of leaving spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a light sweet caramel scent that is paired with a faint woody scent and a presence of sweet alcohol. No burning on the nose. There is the scent of dates in the beer.

Taste: There is a light caramel taste that has hints of toffee in it which is very nice. It's a candy-like toffee similar to Werther's Original but it only touches the tongue for a bit before leaving each sip. There is a light toasted finish along with an alcoholic flavor right at the back of the palate where bitterness would be found.

Mouthfeel: This is a sipper. Its high alcohol and sweetness make this an enjoyable sipper to sit with and enjoy for an extended length of time. The body is full and smooth but not overpowering.

Overall: This barleywine is definitely on the sweet side, even for an English style. There is a strong presence of toffee and caramel in the mouth but it doesn't overwhelm the palate. It's an enjoyable long-drinking tasty beer. I would recommend it given that the drinker invests the aging period recommended on the beer. I can't say how it is otherwise. I would say that in a bomber format this beer is best shared with at least one other person. Although a single drinker could enjoy this beer over an extended period of time it is sweet enough to set a few speed-bumps along the way.

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Photo of MattXT
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

21014 Edition, poured at cellar temp, into a Tree House tulip. Gorgeous looking barleywine, with a one finger head that had lasting power. Smell was very malty, with some toffee, caramel, and perhaps fig. Flavor was abundantly malty, with zero hop presence to balance it. To me, it came across as bordering on cloyingly sweet. Perhaps it was a little past optimal aging time. Regardless, I will be happy to try the next edition.

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Photo of philbe311
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - An active billowing pour yields slightly more than two fingers of light khaki colored lush froth that is dense yet fluffy with a few big chunky bubbles mixed in... Stellar retention gives way to a slightly lop sided lacing with a moderate to thick collar... The color is a murky medium brown... Almost entirely still with just a straggler of a carbonation bubble here and there... Sheets of lacing cling to the sides of the glass and then roll down...

S - Big nose that can be detected without bring one's nose anywhere near the class... An outrageous mix of toffee, fig and dark fruits... Raisins... Caramel... Brown sugar... Absolutely intoxicating... A faint whiff of booziness and hops linger beneath the surface... The only down side is that any signs of the barre aging are missing in action... Still world class...

T - All of the sweetness alluded to by the nose is present on the palate... A true malt bomb to start... Rich layers of depth and complexity are revealed with each subsequent sip... There's the wine barrels... On the finish the barrel aging rises and adds additional layers of depth and complexity to an already stellar offering...

M - On the lighter side of full bodied... Velvety smoothness through out before finishing with a touch of dryness and chalkiness... Limited carbonation... Elegant and sophisticated...

D - Beyond world class... I'm blown away by this beer... I haven't had anything approaching this level of awesomeness in years... A stellar job by Deschutes... Amazing in all facets... A sipper to say the least... You'll want to savor every last drop... It's a crying shame that the next bottling is still several years away...

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: Handsome clear mahogany. A fairly thick tan head on the pour.
smell: Malty caramel and something like cherries I guess imparted from the Pinot barrel aging.
taste: Much like the nose. After more than a year, this is a very mellow brew. Not on the decadent, rich side but a understated (ok, it's 11% plus so it's not to be trifled with but it's a gentle giant).

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into chalice

Brown with ring with foam edge

Aroma of caramel , toffee, raisin

Taste of sweet malt , caramel . Toffee, raisin

Smooth , feel the alcohol,

Great beer

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Photo of mlockman
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank six months after the "best after date" (18 months after bottling), there was not much discernible character from the wine barrels, which was mildly disappointing, but still a very good English barleywine nonetheless.

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Photo of MichaelNeelsen
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Holding it up to the light revealed an amber, caramel, apricot color to the liquid. Eggshell head that builds normally but remains throughout the drinking period as a medium-thin rim.

S: My first comment was citrus, candied apricots, caramel, apple juice. There's a carmel-raisin type candy that the smell is evoking in my memory, but I can't quite place it to name it. I'm drinking this in the summer, and there's a fruit fly that greatly desired this bottle.

T: Fifty percent of this barley wine ale is aged in wine barrels, and I think I can detect it, but I wouldn't have guessed wine without knowing that fact. I would've again referenced apricots. The sides of the tongue are the primary target for this bottle. I should note this was a 2014 bottle tasted six months after its "Best After" date displayed on the bottle. I think this explains the lack of a boozy presence even with a 11.2% ABV.

F: Wonderfully smooth. It plays like a high-quality ale, and the aging process has made it feel like silk on your tongue. It doesn't have the carbonation of an un-aged beer.

O: Very good. It's a barleywine, so it's not my first choice as a genre, but it's very good. It kicks the crap out of the Bourbon County Barleywines that I've tasted. Those have almost a syrupy feel and are so sweet they make your teeth hurt. This plays much more like a nice, aged ale... which it is.

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Photo of justinp444
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy brown amber with a beige 2 inch + head. Smell of wine must, figs, plums, raisins, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, and a little bit of oak. Taste is smooth delicious caramel, toffee, lots of dried fruit, plum, figs, raisins, oak, a tad bit of vanilla, a bread pudding malt flavor. There is definitely some wine in there, it's balanced and not overly wine-ish, mixes very well with the sweet caramel flavor. A big nice smooth semi sticky mouth feel and complex rich body with just a bit of alcohol.

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Photo of stortore
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 22 ounce bottle, best after 2/24/15, into a snifter.

Pours a medium amber, slightly hazy with a small head, some lacing. Smell is malty, some earthy hops, biscuit, caramel, fig, plum. Also some grapes, licorice and molasses. Keeps smelling better as it warms up. Taste is malt forward and a little sweet. Caramel, raisins, brown sugar, oak, molasses. Not picking up any real wine influence. Slightly boozy, a little bitterness on the back end. Big bodied for the style, smooth.

Great example of the style. Maybe a little sweeter than most, but it's not a negative. Wish I had another, five years is a long time.

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Photo of Strix
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, best after 2/24/15.

Pours a murky brown, big initial head that leaves a slight ring and some lacing.

Delicious smell: raisin, wheat bread, fig, caramel, brown sugar.

Sugar, raisin, caramel, oak, a wash of citrus hops. Just a touch of alcohol and hint of red wine in the aftertaste. If this is based on doubling Mirror Pond, it doesn't scream that, but it's complex and excellent.

Super smooth, just super smooth.

I've had my eye on this since I heard about it and it delivered. Really nicely done.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tart apple mash, dark raisin & plum and lots of oak on the nose, with most of those flavors carrying over to the taste profile. Reminiscent of a cider mulled with some husky raisin / fig with lots of the charred vanilla follow-through thanks to the oak. Smooth mouthfeel and finishes surprisingly easy for the ABV punch it packs.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber split with CAMRON last night. 2014 vintage, best AFTER February something 2015. Bought this what feels like a lifetime ago while in Cali, have had this a few times before.

Really nice red color with orange hues and a beige head that retains great. Similarly to my other experiences, the wine barrel aspect is barely here - the oak barrel itself is pretty prevalent, lots of layered toffee/butterscotch/caramel sweetness, raisiny dark fruits, barrel spice, and actually pretty potent citrus hops. The feel is great, smooth and well-carbonated, nicely hidden alcohol and sweetness kept in check. More wine would be cool but pretty nice as is, I think this one is better off drank fresh - 2 years old.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-05-07 in Portland, OR; purchased yesterday at the Deschutes Pub in Bend. 22 oz bottle vintage 2014 with a best after date of 2/24/2015

A - Pretty clear dark amber/ruby with a 1-finger tan head and good lace.

S - Figs, plums, raisins, oak wine barrel, caramel, brown bread earthy spice. Tantalizingly rich.

T - Mirrors the above smells very closely plus cherry, citrus flesh, brown sugar, earthy yeast, and a hefty dollop of finishing bitterness. The tannin from the barrel serves to accentuate and sharpen the other flavors. The alcohol is well-subdued.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Sticky. Resinous.

O - A delicious, complex brew that's been on my Wants list for a long time. It lived up to my high expectations.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. Poured from the wax coated bomber into a beer snifter.

Pours a rusty brown, port wine, Madeira, or dessert wine color. Some visible lacing present around the glass and a thin, off white head that dissipates quickly. A thin layer of head rests on the side of the glass as I sip.
Smells of fig, honey, candy sugar. Very little hop profile present here as this brew is heavily malted. Decent mouthfeel. Very drinkable even though this brew has a high ABV. Definitely worth aging. I'll pick up another one for aging purposes of I can.


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Photo of sulldaddy
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. This is a 2014 vintage bottle and stamp is best AFTER 2/24/15!
The beer pours a rich chestnut color with a spongy kahlua colored head of 3 cm foaming up with a gentle pour. The head recedes slowly to form a clingy sturdy edge layer and some wispy thin surface mist.
Aroma is big and boozy lots of red wine and grape notes right off the initial pour. I also get big english toffee and biscuit malt notes. A bit of brown sugar and some fruity fig and raisin notes as well. Very complex malt driven nose. Quite nice on the nose.
First sip reveals a sticky texture and very fine gentle carbonation that rolls across my palate on each sip.
Flavor is sweet and malty with brown sugar, raisins, figs toffee and red grapes mixing up front.
I also get a bit of caramel and maybe just a little roasted malt hit in the mix. Beer finishes fairly dry and with a bit of peppery booze but no warmth.
this is a big complex beer and has a lot going on. If you like malty boozy beers this will be a winner. I wish I had 2 or 3 more bottles!

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown hue with plenty of haziness and a fingernail of beige covers the rim and the majority of the top. Nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is loads of sweet dark malt. The flavor is as advertised in the nose with lots of sticky malt. There are also notes of hazelnut. The mouth is sticky and chewy, but it is actually fairly smooth considering the strength. The carbonation doesn't fill you up compared to other barleywines. 2014 edition.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

2014 reserve bottle, best after 2/2015:
Pours a muddy, cloudy brown, tending towards amber side - not overly appealing. The head is a reddish tan, pours thick and foamy- saving the appearance quite a bit. Nose is of a hoppy barleywine, sweet dark fruit (candied date, plum, some citrus), spice (nutmeg, cinnamon), and woody hops (pine) - combining to an almost spearmint smell. There also seems to be a bit of alcohol heat.

Definitely need to let this beer warm a bit. My first sips showed the tastes you'd expect from the nose, but the pine/mint and fruit tastes did not mix well. As the beer warms, a very bready beginning, with the sweetness and light spice bite make me think of a dark raisin and/or date bread. Candy sweetness, toffee - maybe a very small bit of burnt nature to it. The fruit notes get lost with warmth, and the woody ending mellows. Pine and citrus pith does make an appearance late, in the oily, resinous feel.

Mixed review on this one, but between disappointing and ok. The pine/mint/pith bitterness doesn't blend with the slightly too sweet beginning for me, and that's what keeps this beer from being a bit higher.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottle says 11.2% Abv.

A: A medium brownish color with some red and orange notes. Slight off white head with not much lacing, if any.

S: Dark fruits are strong on the nose with some woody notes and brown sugar sweetness. Slight vanilla and toffee.

T: Darker fruity flavors with raisin, fig, date, some slight dark candied cherry and some grape maybe? The sweetness is rich, but not overwhelming. Brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel. The sweetness meets some woody flavors with slight vanilla and some sweeping alcohol to finish. I don't get many hops, if any. Really complex beer here.

M: Very full and coating mouthfeel that lingers with some sweet. Low carbonation with decent alcohol.

O: A real nice beer. Scratch that, a great beer. Nice complexity, fairly easy drinking and just a great sipping beer to enjoy and warm your belly (and heart). This is a terrific barley wine that I'm so glad I finally got to enjoy. Drink this and love it.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an off-white head and foamy head that dissipates quite readily. The beer itself is a deep and clear amber.

The beer smell has a strong and bitter floral hop note. The hop smell tends to lean towards the orange part of the spectrum. In addition, the smell has a sweet caramel and sugar note to it. Essentially, the smell is very similar to that of a strong pale ale.

The beer taste has a very hoppy flavor balanced (sort of) by a light malt note. The hops come off as floral and orange while the malts are closer to caramel and burnt toast in the aftertaste.

The mouhthfeel is fairly heavy with medium viscosity. The carbonation is biting.

Overall, a fairly good and unique beer. Even though the beer is closer to a DIPA instead of a barleywine, the beer still manages to have a nice malt presence that turn the hops into the carriers of the fruity notes traditionally found in barleywines. Highly recommend.

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, best after 2/24/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy dark ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, light licorice, herbal, light oak/vanilla, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malts, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, vanilla, light licorice, herbal, light oak, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight tannic/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, vanilla, light licorice, herbal, light oak, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel flavors; with a fantastic malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible English barleywine style. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best after 2/24/15 - served @ 50deg F in a snifter

A - Medium brown body with Amber highlights - Tan porous head ~3/4" when poured aggressively.

S - Sweet toasted malt, cherries, dirt/earth

T/M - Sweet caramel and sour wine notes lead into toasted malt and alcohol bite

O - I'm glad I finally pulled it off the wall and drank it. A little hot on the finish and would like a bit more complexity from the wine barrels. However, very good brew that surprisingly is still sitting on a lot of store shelves in my area. Prost!

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Photo of moundbz
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Looks like a liquid tootsie roll, smells of port wine, tastes super smooth with not much alcohol BAM for a beer that's 11%. Overall terrific. Opened on my b-day, March 22, 2015.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage with a best after date of 2/24/2015. Opened on 3/14/2015

Pours a hazy reddish brown with a small, thin off white head. One of the more opaque barleywines I've seen. Smell is lovely, lemony hops and rich honey, sweet malt and caramel, subtle earth tones. You can really smell the age, and history that this beer has. Taste is absolutely sublime, perfectly complex and robust, but with no overwhelmingly distracting flavors. Brown sugar, bitter chocolate, fig, plum, some notes of aged Tawny Port. Myriad of different flavors to enjoy that subtly change as the beer warms. Feel is full bodied, low carbonation: slick and smooth, but not super sticky. No booziness but some subtle warmth in the gut. Overall, this is absolutely fantastic, the qualities all combine to give this an ancient and timeless presence. One of my new favorites and worth the wait to cellar.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Damn good. SF beer week from a tap. I was surprised. I almost went with something else, but I'm glad i chose this one. Delicious till the last drop. Complex and bold. Would order again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy dishwater color with a nice creamy one finger tan head.
Sweet, boozy dark fruit with malty goodness.
An extremely boisterous dark fruit taste in which the burst of tastes continues to explode until a bitter finish fades. Malty with a little hop sneaking in.
The mouthfeel is awesome. Smooth till the end this it slaps you on the ass on the way out. Sir might I have another?
Overall- this is not quite the bcbwine, but getting there. It doesn't come together quite as well.

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.