Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,598 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,598
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 455
Gots: 670 | FT: 103
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 (153) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,598 | Reviews: 521
Reviews by jeff1973:
More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of cvm4
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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 Jonada
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 release. 11.2% ABV. Bomber poured into a 22oz snifter

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with 2 fingers of a light tan, creamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Body is dark, but translucent when held to light, with some visible carbonation as well.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, raisins, plums, some light oak, red apple. While not overtly wine like, there are definitely some wine like tannins.

Taste: Similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel and toffee, mix of various dark fruits, hint of a roasted character, red grape skin and a very mild bitterness. Moderate wine like astringency as well.

Mouthfeel: Lower end of full bodied with a soft, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Overall: Really nice barleywine. I think they found a good ratio between the barrel aged and non barrel aged component, as any more would have overwhelmed the base beer characteristics. If they release this again, I'll definitely pick up another.

Photo of Tilley4
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a cold rainy Sunday afternoon here in TN and a perfect day to pull this beast out of the fridge for an afternoon/evening warmup... I found this one while on a trek to KY a few weeks back and my intentions were to cellar this for a while but I can't resist...

Pours into my CBS snifter dark and murky... thin wispy carbonation... looking the part for an English for sure....

Sweet pineapple aromas come rolling off of this one... hints of the wine barrel here and there as well... lots of dark fruit which I attribute, in part, to the barrel... A touch of booze as well... Quite a bit more hops in the aroma dept than I would expect from this but it isn't unpleasant... Unexpected but not unpleasant... As it warms, the beer begins to open up and really shine... The raisin and fruit aspects that were rather muted at first begin to expound and bring an almost Christmas pudding feel to them...

A bit too cold at first, the beer didn't really have a chance to show what it was made of... The booze was prevalent and the sweetness was rather disconcerting... I left it sitting while I made my daughter a mid afternoon snack and when I came back to it, it had warmed up a touch and the aromas and flavors had really started to shine... The booze is still evident but in a warming to the belly role as opposed to just being too hot... the sweetness of the malts had transformed this into the Christmas pudding that I referred to earlier... hints of the wine barrel came and went, giving the beer a vinous feel in spots. Sweet, fruity, warming, delicious.... a definite sipper as drinking this too fast really brings the booze home... I was reminded in spots of a Belgian Strong Dark due to the prevalence of the raisins and figs and sweetness... a perfect compliment to a cold and blustery day here... Hell yes! This thing got super delicious on the second snifter pour and had me pleasantly warm and toasty next to the Christmas tree...

I liked this beer quite a bit... In error, I did not let this one fully open up before I started in on it but as it sat and warmed, it really got to be excellent... An excellent effort from Deschutes here... Glad that they are in KY so I can make a short jaunt up to sample their products without having to trade for them... I can't remember what I paid for this but, at this point, it was well worth every penny... simply amazing and very enjoyable...

Photo of don1481
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a frothy off white head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: toffee, butterscotch, and is that... wine? Interesting.

Taste: dry toffee with a little bit of butterscotch. Slight booze Wine balance.

Mouthfeel : dry finish. Crisp.

Overall: been dying to try this for months. So worth the wait.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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 brownbeer
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
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 weatherdog
3.33/5  rDev -21.6%
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 NWer
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
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 Beaver13
3.4/5  rDev -20%
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
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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 Jason
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
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 Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to slasher007 for this bottle.

2009 vintage. Pours dark amber with a white head. Aroma is caramel, dark fruit, alcohol and some oak character. The flavor is strong caramel malt with some alcohol. A very sweet tasting beer. You get some hop bitterness but not enough to cut the sweetness. Very smooth drinking with a medium mouthfeel.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Pours with a one cm head which fades quickly. Smells fairly sweet. Dark amber in color. Taste is a nice mix of sweet, malt, and hops. Still a little boozy which should settle with tme. Reminds me of a less sweet Old Guardian. I have another two bottles which I will age & I am curious how this will settle in time.

Photo of bsp77
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark cloudy orange that shines a little red in the light. Very thin head.

Smell: Citrus and spicy hops, caramel, dark fruit, some oak and vanilla, and, oh yeah, a huge blast of alcohol.

Taste: Caramel, citrus, and dark fruit co-mingle with oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. Turns slightly more hoppy towards the end, but never becomes very bitter.

Feel: Low carbonation, full almost chewy body, very smooth and warming.

Drinkability: Excellent Barleywine overall, with some nice added complexity from the oak aging.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber. Ugh, the annoying waxed cap. Pours a warm mahogany with a frothy tan head. Thick lacing. Caramel and candied fruits in the nose. A bit of port and wood, along with boozy sugar. Heavy, full mouthfeel with nearly no carbonation. Long, sticky finish. Very sweet and boozy taste. Sugary, caramel/molasses flavors dominate. Background of oak and candy. A piney hop flavor comes in the finish. Was rough at first, but smoothed out as it warmed. The 11% is as masked as it can be, but you do feel the full brunt of the alcohol early on.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an acbf sampling glass.

Pours a deep amber with a small light brown head. Nose is light and boozy, very sweet and malty.

Taste is nice and sweet, very rich and complex sweet and surprisingly drinkable, quite tasty. Carbonation is light which is perfect

Photo of Franziskaner
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark auburn with a thin white cap. Sheets of lacing run down the glass.

A hugely aromatic and very interesting beer. I smell a lot of fruits, namely cherries and sweet berries, along with quite a bit of caramel sweetness, some earthy notes, and a slight twang of whiskey and oak. Pretty incredible!

A sticky and sweet barleywine with a heavy presence of sweet fruits, namely cherry. There's an earthy and woody presence here, a touch of warm alcohol, a syrupy floral flavor--this is delicious!

A relatively thick mouthfeel, though the sweetness helps cut that a touch.

A sweet, delicious, complex, interesting sipper. A real treat! I wish i had bottles and bottles of this--this beer seems like it needs exploring!

Photo of boatshoes
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra from JohnGalt1. 2009 vintage. Thanks man, awesome extras so far!

Appearance- Pours a very handsome shade of bronze/amber with about a finger and a half of cream colored head. Retention is quite good on this one and after slowing dying down, about a quarter finger of head stuck around for the rest of the drink. Lots of sticky lacing left down the side of the glass as well as I drank.

Smell- Very sweet with a strong fruity/floral nose. Smelled of candied fruits, caramel malt, a hint of booze, and perhaps the slightest bit of hop resin on the back end.

Taste- Lots of rich caramel and vanilla flavors come through straight out for me. Heavy malt sweetness with a bit of warming alcohol. More of the sweet fruitiness that I detected in the nose. Not a whole lot of detectable hops for me, and I find this to be on the sweeter side of a barleywine. A touch of warming alcohol on the way down.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Feels very nice in the mouth. Substantial and slick but balanced out by very appropriate levels of carbonation. Despite the sweetness, this one went down easy as well, and I polished off a bomber without much of a problem.

Overall, a very solid barleywine at a great pricepoint. Not as good as my favorite barleywine so far (Gratitude) but much more accessible and reasonably priced. Picked it up if you get the chance.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a waxed 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. 2014 Reserve.

Appearance: Pours a dark and hazy brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that quickly fades away. Leaves some nice creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, sweet, and bready malt forward aroma with big hints of caramel, toffee, and some wine. Toasted barley malts with a big scent of caramel, toffee, vanilla, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Wine barrel presence is fairly subtle with some mildly tart hints of cherry and berry along with some grapes and apple. Dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, and prune. Sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Solid hop presence with some earthy and grassy hop hints. Fairly boozy as expected. A pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a bready, fruity, and sweet malt driven taste with good notes of caramel, toffee, and fruits. Toasted barley malts with upfront notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, grains, biscuit, and yeast. Some wine barrel notes of grapes, cherry, apple, and berry that are fairly dry and tart. Dark fruit undertones with notes of fig, prune, raisin, and dates. Sweet notes of molasses and brown sugar. Solid notes of earthy hops with some grass. Rich but nicely balanced. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly chewy. Alcohol heat is masked very well considering its 11%. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very good take on a Barleywine. Good bready caramel and toffee notes with a nice balanced wine barrel presence.

Photo of Jackolope
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of Thrasher
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes' new barley wine pours a deep bronzed amber with a decent sized head for a beer of this strength (I believe around 12-13%). The head quickly dwindles and disappears. The aroma is a bit funky, with strong berry and cherry flavors and some fruitiness from the port and pinot casks. It tastes incredibly sweet to me, very much like sherry with a sort of austere preserved fruit flavor, mixed in with the toffeeish malt. There's also a bourbonish element from the Jack Daniels casks, but no sourness, and I didn't detect any oak or vanilla flavors that one usually finds in cask-aged beers. I was surprised at the lack of hoppiness, both in aroma and bitterness, although I should admit I just had a Randall-ized Full Sail Wreck the Halls just before trying this, so perhaps my hop receptors were shot. Still, for a U.S. barley wine, particularly a West Coast one, the hops were subdued, almost invisible. As I slowly worked through the half-pint, more funky aromas and flavors became evident, particularly a strong sense of Parmesan cheese.

Photo of GOBLIN
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'll have to visit this again someday . . . after the enjoy after date. I was tempted and drank this shortly after it hit the shelves.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my sniftner this beer pours a honey brown with a finger thick creamy head.

The aroma has notes of mild oak, cherries, dark fruit, and sweet malt. There is a slight hint of alcohol, but not bad considering an ABV of 11%.

This is a unique barley wine. Sweet malt over powers the hops. The oak barrels smooth out the hops and add their smooth vanilla taste. The hop profile is similar to that of an English barley wine.

The mouth feel is smooth and lightly carbonated. Drinkability is excellent, this beer makes my mouth water, but the ABV keeps me from drinking another bottle.

Overall, this is my first Deschutes beer, and I'm lucky to have it. This isn't your normal American Barley Wine, it's like a smooth, malt driven, cousin of it. An excellent treat that's good to the last drop.

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,598 ratings.