1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,418 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,418
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 440
Gots: 593 | FT: 93
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 (116) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,418 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish amber, like stained mahogany. A foamy, half inch head of light khaki peeks out over the top of my glass. Beautiful.

Smell: Ever see that movie American Beauty? Remember the part when the girl's lying on the bed while flower petals cascade around her? That's what this beer smells like. Flowers, the fruity citrus of limes, sour green apples and wheat with a subtle toasty malt backbone. I. love. this. smell. If i could turn it into a candle, I would.

Taste: The bottle says 35% was aged in oak barrels, and the woodiness adds a delectable red wine characteristic to the brew. Piney hops make it sweet and grassy. I also get some of that green apple sourness I caught in the smell, along with toasty malts. A noticeable but pleasant alcohol burn warms the throat through the swallow, and resiny hops result in a dry finish. One of my coworkers commented that it tastes as if this beer has already been aging for a year, and I'd have to agree. The flavor is complex and mellow.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy mouthfeel, peppery carbonation--exactly what I expected. Bitterness grips the sides of the tongue, with an alcohol warmth not unlike taking a sip of scotch.

Drinkability: While a bomber of this is definitely enough for one night, I've got another I plan on aging, and I'm severely worried about how long it'll last.

Deschutes never disappoints. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries, and I'm definitely looking forward to a year or so down the road, when I get to open up that second bottle. If I make it that long.


I made it that long! The year-long wait finally over, I revisit my second bottle that's been steadily aging at 55 degrees. Though the bottle suggested I open it on May 20, I showed some damn OUTSTANDING self control and held out until tonight.

Looks: the head, about one finger thick, is a silky medium sandy tan. It quickly becomes a bubbly ring that leaves the occasional spatter of clingy lace. The color is a beautiful deep copper, very hazy, with a few chunks of sediment. 3.5

Smells: like honey. The aroma, once floral and hoppy, has has become heavily caramel-sweet, with notes of burnt sugar, sherry, cotton candy and overripe grapefruit. There's a subtle backbone of toasty malt, and I maybe even catch a bit of cinnamon. Hmm. 4

Tastes: like caramel-glazed grapefruit. Again, the sugary malts have claimed dominance over the Mirror -- there's honey, toast and brown sugar leading the way while oranges and grapefruit follow. This is definitely a very different beer. It still strikes a terrific balance, however, as the saccharine flavors blend very well with the juicy citrus. The subtle bitterness of grapefruit pith in the back rounds it all out. 4

Feels: lush. The carbonation is alive and well, a cantankerous medium-high. Like a fine woman, the body has rounded out nicely, the supple curves of the medium-full body curling about the tongue glossily. 4.5

Drinks: like senescence. Caramel-ridden, sugary barleywines are usually my thing, but as much as I enjoy what this beer has become, I believed I liked the prepubescent Mirror Mirror more. She had more to offer in terms of balance and complexity. The younger Mirror Mirror was mysterious; she was complicated. What I have now is a beer who's mature. She's figured herself out; she knows what she likes and what she wants, and you can take it or leave it. For now, I'll take it. But I'll always dream of what she was like back when... 4


More tasting notes! During Deschutes' Base Camp Week in Phoenix, they brought out some of their "Lost Barrels" of Mirror Mirror, which they claimed were truly lost and later discovered in the warehouse. If true, it makes me wonder what kind of ship they're running over a Deschutes.

Inventory issues aside, this version of Mirror Mirror spent an extra year in the oak, and has picked up WAY more of the wood's ashy, vinous qualities. The flavor is intense -- I get hints of cigarettes and a bit of balsamic in nose that makes me think this one's seen the first signs of infection. The hops are all but gone, replaced by sweet, fruity malt: port, white wine, blackberry syrup, prunes. Medium carbonation in a gloriously creamy body. It's smooth and pretty complex, but the flavor's heavy and syrupy.

More User Reviews:
Photo of cvm4
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

2014 Reserve

A - Pours really cloudy/hazy muddled brown color with a slight tinge of red mahogany. The khaki head is one finger that dissipates to around the glass.

S - Raisins, ripe plumbs, dark cherries, caramel and malts. There's a hint of alcohol booze and oak overlapping it all.

T - Sweet caramel, brown sugar, malts and dark fruits (raisin/plum) abound with the ever slightest wine character along with oak that comes out at the end.

M - Full bodied and medium to low carbonation. Has a thick mouthfeel that is sticky, velvety and a wet finish.

O - Well done here! A stellar English barleywine by itself, but the addition of wine barrels brings complexity and another dimension.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This ale is florescent brown in color if there is such a thing with little head, as it should be.

Smell – The big, deeply-toasted malts and sharp woody alcohol make a fine bouquet for this ABW. It’s very alcoholic with some nice woody notes – not oak but almost like something lighter – and there’s a very faint but unmistakable presence of corn syrup.

Taste – The alcohol comes over better at the taste. It’s not as harsh as the nose would allow, and the malts are big and juicy with lots of refined corn syrup and a strong, toasted character.

Mouthfeel – This ale is medium-bodied. It’s not stinging, but there is a strong sense of alcohol throughout. Bitterness is negligible.

Drinkability – I know it doesn’t sound like it, but this ale goes down quite well. It has some extreme flavors that cancel each other out pretty well and that make this a smooth ride.

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of brownbeer
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best after 4-20-10 opened early June 10.Burnt orange color. This beer has notes of cherry, candied orange, dark candy sugar, new oak, candied nuts, caramelized pineapple, booze, brown sugar, and molasses. It's sweet is what I'm saying. Medium-full bodied with a slightly syrupy texture. Pretty solid stuff. Almost too sweet for my taste.

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of weatherdog
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. black waxed 2009 bottle poured into several snifters at a tasting with Tony in March.

It pours a copper orange hue with just a little ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A subsequent pour had some haziness to it.

The nose was fairly muted, it had some sweetness and some kind of muddled indiscernible green hop smell to it. Some alcohol was present as well.

The taste had the typical crystal malt sweetness of a barleywine complimented by a good dose of bitterness to tell the drinker this is American styled. The back end flavor was kind of like an alcoholic candy. It was very sweet and too cloying for me to fully enjoy it. The second pour added some spiciness to it I'm attributing to the addition of some yeast.

The beer was very full bodied and had a large amount of carbonation which was too much for my personal preference. I really didn't find this particular example very drinkable mostly due to the huge amount of sweetness. I just felt really full after eight or so ounces.

Photo of joemetric
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2009 vintage
Sat in my cellar couple of years in ideal conditions.
Served in a Deschutes tulip - what else?
Appearance is beautiful. Ruby red. Clear. Minimal head dissipates to small ring of bubbles around the edge.
Aroma a bit thin. Light aromas.
Taste as expected from a four year old barleywine. Typically smooth no hop feel or taste. This allows other tastes to shine. Cherries, caramel, oak dominate.
Great sipper but so smoothed out from its age that it's also easy to drink it too fast if not careful.
Love this beer and can't wait for the anticipated next release later this year.
I felt the need to pull the trigger based on rumors that it had gone South.
Not true in this case.

Photo of freshflesh
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Kappakoosh
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Afroman
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2005 reserve (bought 6 months ago). Pours a reddish copper with a thin head that quickly diminishes.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee, dark fruits, and some vinous, slightly medicinal, alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts, a little fruitiness, and a medicinal alcohol bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full with soft velvety carbonation.

Overall, it has kind of a harsh flavor. I remember this being smoother when I had it fresh which is kind of odd. It's not bad though and goes down surprisingly easily.

Photo of StoutFox
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark caramel color, cloudy, lots of play on the glass indicating higher avb
Aroma: Very sweet, tons of caramel, toffee, little grainy and just a hint of hops
Taste: Lots of sweet caramel, then an overwhelming malty grainy sweetness , toffee aftertaste
Complexity: high level of complex flavors, well balanced
Overall: a very good beer!

Photo of Dbrulet
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber with a vintage date of 2005 and a blurb about French oak wine barrels on the label.

A- Thick off white froth not unlike one that would be on a fresh brewed cappuccino. The superb head hangs above a slightly hazed reddish amber colored brew ... great retention the head shows as well.

S- Suggestions of figs, light caramel, granny smith apples, vinous tartness, clean oak and toasted Portuguese sweet bread.

T&M- Impeccably smooth and creamy within the full body. Mild fig like sweetness rolls into a bigger layer of toasted and caramel malt ... this all folds into a warming alcohol and more toasted grain. Sweet all around but the hops and oak character keep this beer in harmony.

D- Oh Baby! Sip this one, I could certainly sip this one all night long. This is one of the "New American" craft beers, not a tread but more of what American taste is about. It paired great with some baked Brie cheese stuffed with raspberries.

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of TraceKlein
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Torey
3.9/5  rDev -8%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,418 ratings.