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Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Educational use only; do not reuse.

518 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 518
Hads: 1,653
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 465
Gots: 715 | FT: 107
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 (161) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mirror Mirror Alström Bros
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Reviews: 518 | Hads: 1,653
Photo of kdoc8
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Bier Stein as well as from a bottle poured into a glass goblet. Wow. You can smell this thing from a foot away. It pours out with a deep reddish-brown color and a nice foamy white head. The smell is earthy and oaky, but at the same time fruity, as of cherries or cranberries. The taste is amazing...so many different types of malts, but it's ultimately very fruity and mainly I taste cherry...though there is a sweeter and deeper undertone there as well. You can barely taste the alcohol, making this one of the most drinkable barelywines I've ever encountered. None of that gagging, pure ethanol, or overwhelming ripe fruit taste going on here that one can often get with a barelywine. I'd even drink this in a season that's not winter, that's how good it is. Great great stuff.

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Photo of jazztoloc
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 2009 bottle poured into a wide wine glass.

A: Dark amber. Nice medium hed with a very light brown color. The beer hangs on to the wine glass walls very nicely, leaving traces of its presence.

S: Alcohol, caramel, wood, peaches, orange skin.

T: Very sweet finish, a lot alcohol blending with the malts, peaches, oranges, prunes..very fruity.

M: The body is huge. Light carbonation.

D: High, if you are up to a wild ride.

This is a very complex beer, and the complexity is in it's aroma and taste. I guess the fact that 35% of it, it's aged in oak barrels, contributes to its richness. A wild trip to the palate, but the end of the road is rewarding and revealing.

...and the walls stand straight up and down and beer is all there is. (Charles Bukowski).

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Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite simply an outstanding barley wine and part of Deschutes Reserve Series. Aged in oak barrels, Mirror Mirror is actually a doubled up version of their Mirror Pond Pale Ale. It pours a dark amber color and there’s notes of sweet caramel and vanilla in the nose. There’s a lot going on in the taste, as the sweet caramel and vanilla are complimented by dark fruit and Cascade hops, with a bourbon like backbone from the oak barrels. Mirror Mirror has a warming, almost candy like feel to it as well, and goes down quite smoothly for a beer with an 11% alcohol content.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife surprised me with a 2L growler fill from a Deschutes tasting event @ the Bier Stein, Eugene, OR

Pours a beautiful,slightly hazy(chill haze possibly?) copper color, thin head that settles fairly quickly, leaving a fine lacing. Aroma is lightly fruity with hints of apricot, grapes. Taste is also amazing. Age has truly done this beer well. All the flavors are very mellow and smooth. Hints of oak, grape, along with a nice mellow malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is very smooth. No detectable harshness, which is surprising due to the almost 12% abv. A very smooth, very mellow, HIGHLY drinkable american barleywine. This one was definitely worth the wait. I only wish i was able to get some bottles of this to have at a later time. Deschutes, PLEASE bottle this again!

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel so fortunate that I had a chance to let this beer grace my palate. I live in Northern Los Angeles County, and don't see a whole lot of incredible Deschutes beers. This such a treat!

Pour into my snifter glass provided a dazzling array of ruby and russet brown hues punctuated by a nice full ivory cap and lacing clinging to the sides of my glass.

Dark sugar fruits is the dominant aroma followed by a nice touch of hop, sweet caramel, molasses, with the slightest dash of oak giving this Barleywine a intense and complex aroma. Very sweet and slightly candy-like.

This beer is EPIC! Tastebuds burst with hops and light citrus being a the forefront, coupled with a nice tartness mid-taste accompanied by flavors of figs, dates, then turns over to a smooth maltiness by the likes of which I have never had. The Oak really comes through, but is not overpowering or cloying. Superb balance and awesomely smooth finish.

Mouthfeel was everything I wanted it to be. Thick, viscous, creamy, lightly carbonated.

This Barleywine is too good to pass up. I would drink this beer any chance I get regardless of the season. Its that damn good. Deschutes, my hats off to you! Cheers!

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Photo of Moon2Goddess
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thank you to Kurtis who sent this to me! I had the 2009 reserve.

Color: Vibrant, energetic golden amber, it virtually sings to you. Gorgeous.

Head: Soft tan, moderately thick, about half an inch high, nothing out of the ordinary.

Aroma: Addictive, I continually smelled it as I drank it! You can detect the oak barrels, maple, caramel, cinnamon, coffee, caramel, brandy liqueur and that exceptional aroma that I have only smelled in Celebrator. Extremely pungent and spectacular!

Texture: Has a powerful bite when it is cold, and leaves a dry coating on your tongue. Gives you a nice full-bodied mouth feel and becomes silky smooth as it warms.

Flavor & Balance: If you are tempted to say you don't like barley-wines, I recommend letting this one sit a good 45 minutes before your first sip. The flavor changes dramatically as it warms. This brew is totally unique, it's like Celebrator meets Rodenbach Grand Cru meets Pliny the Elder. The cacophonous hoppy-sour tones ricochet around your mouth and tongue, but the oak intervenes just in time to develop a deliciously balanced melody. The flavors are ever evolving, mimicking it's aromas and adding cider, oats, nuts, Belgian malt, and slight cocoa powder. Quite outstanding, I want more!

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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 Jmoore50
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well what has to be said that has not been said already. Deschutes Brewery gives me a little hardy every time I drink some special brew that they put out. The COMPLEX flavors are the thing I love love about this big gem.

The appearance is great. It comes with a stunning off white tan head that just fights for staying power. Although the head is strong, the alcohol prevents the head from staying around for too long. The color is awesome, a solid dark amber color, no difference around the edges, this brew is solid all the way around. Stunning.

The smell is jaw-dropping. I knew that flavors can be complex, but this smell is one of the most complex that I have smelled. It smells of dark fruits, really nice burnt or brown sugars, a lovely bourbon and subtle alcohol smell. You can also smell figs and dark burning malts.

The taste is exceptional, outstanding, and unique. At first there is a nice dark fruit sweetness, but then a nice smooth small bourbon flavor also resides on the tongue. I also get brown sugar, a hop characteristic that really adds to the great mouthfeel. The sweet fruit smell also translates into a sweet taste, that can be felt on the tip of the tongue.

The mouthfeel is great. All different taste sectors are hit with different intensities and different characteristics. The dark fruit smell and taste gave the tip of my tongue a fizzy bubbly feeling. The bourbon gave the back of my tongue, my throat, and my stomach a really warm feeling. The sides of my tongue are caressed with a hop punch or dance that I love in IPA's, but with a barleywine, just adds to the overall experience.

The drinkability is good, but at eleven percent, it is like drinking a bottle of wine. I cannot believe the best after concept, but after I drink a few more, I will age a few for the years to come. With that being said, this brew is obviously a repeat, and should be enjoyed by all who love or remotely like the style. Bravo Deschutes, Bravo.


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Photo of wampahoofus
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Clear amber. Little head but nice lacing
Smell - Boozy and spicy. Can't wait to take a sip!
Taste - Oh Wow! Well balanced oak and malt. A bit of sweetness. Some boozyness.
Feel - Rich and full! Hmmmm. What a great beer to greet a winter night!
Overall - This is what barleywine should be! How did they get it so right?

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My kind of American Barleywine Ale. Poured a hazy amber color, with a little tan foam head, but, no lace. That is usual for a barleywine ale. The smell of sweet fruit and a hint of candied alcohol along with spices was evident.
The taste was well balanced between all components in this fine ale. The taste of fruit,spices, love the fact that the hops didn't overpower this fine taste barleywine ale. Very smooth and tasty considering the amount of alcohol 11%. Again, very well put together to give an almost perfect American Barleywine Ale.
Expensive, but well worth the price!!!!

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Photo of guityler83
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Blood red beer with a cream colored head. foam retention was low to mild and fell leaving behind a corner of larger bubbles. Swirling the glass kicked up a small cathedral window lacing on the edge of the glass that slowly slid down the side. At first the beer looked murky but on further inspection its crystal clear, the maroon hue reflection gives a really cool red color to the beer.

S: Big aroma on this beer. Dark cherry, red grapes and pomegranate with a mild oak and vanilla aroma. An interesting nutmeg and all spice character seems to come through and rounds out everything. The other side of the equation is the big caramel, raisins and melenoidin toasty-ness coming through from the malts. Mild alcohol and a medium-low level of herbal hops.

T: Bitterness is moderate to firm but the hops blend quickly to a blast of cherry, raspberry and red wine flavors. Dates, figs and raisins in the middle malts section with some toast and a touch of roast.Balance is between the wine and the caramel malt and as it warms up it seems to switch sides.Sweetness is moderate with an emphasis on the red wine characteristics. the finish comes in with an oak and merlo blast.

M: A sticky malt sensation washes over the tongue and cheeks. Carbonation is mild to medium with a moderately-full body., Mild warming in the chest - dangerously drinkable. there are some nice tannins that stick around giving a drying sensation and emphasizing the oak, vanilla and red wine.

O:Flavor explosion.. This was a fantastic balance of barley wine and the wine character. the hop presence seemed to pickup as my pallet adjusted to all the different flavors - one things for sure this was complex. and delicious

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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 jdklks
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

WOW! Deschutes does it again... can you expect anything different from their incredible reserve series?

A- Beautiful dark amber/copper with a fluffy tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves only small splotches on the surface.

S- malts, hops, apricot, dark fruits, brown sugar.

T- For those of you who are fairly familiar with Deschutes' beers: If you were to put mirror pond and hop trip together and then make that batch doubly intense in all its complexities, all the while adding to it roasted caramel maltiness and brown sugar, you would have this beer. The fruit flavors are that of mirror pond- citrus fruits, apricot, figs, etc. The hoppiness is like that of hop trip, and the maltiness, oh the maltiness! Perfect hints of brown sugar (not too much) and caramel. What a fabulous brew!

M- Full-bodied and awesomely smooth.

D- This is a perfect sipping beer and very drinkable for its abv, richness and fullness.

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Photo of bosco7
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous garnet color topped with a tan head.

Peaches, cherry, caramel, almond and vanilla in the nose. Almost tart. Unique.

Wow now this is a barleywine. Overwhelmingly complex is my first impression upon tasting. Caramel, bread-pudding, toffee, and fig upfront. Full of fruity flavors towards the finish like cherry, currant, sweet orange, and blackberry. Finish is pretty dry for a barleywine.

Mouthfeel is pretty voluptuous and slinky with perfect amount of carbonation. Phenomenal beer here. Best barleywine in a long time. Deschutes is making some of the best beers and I wish I had better access to them. Highly recommended.

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Photo of bball208
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's levels to this shit young boy!

Those of you who keep comparing this and Abacus, I had the Firestone Abacus right before this one, and the difference was night and day.

This poured a beautiful red/brown with a tiny bit of khaki head that dissipated quickly (snifter).

The aromas were marvelous. I get a soft and sweet aroma with backgrounds of a very slight leather quality, a tiny bit of cherry, but mostly sweet sugar on the nose. Some of you are saying you get bourbon on the nose/taste. You don't know what you're talking about and are just throwing out words to try and sound like you know something about beer. There was absolutely zero bourbon on this beer. I had a backwoods, then abacus, then this. This was completely different from a bourbon barrel aged beer so don't be an idiot and say things that are not true.

The taste was FANTASTIC. The first word that comes to mind is BALANCED. So completely balanced. Nothing overwhelms you about this beer. It is a true sipper not because it is overwhelmingly sweet, but because it's so damn good that you don't want it to end. First you'll notice the sweetness of toffee/caramel/brown sugar coming through, then aided with some fruit, like a cherry or a fig, and then you get this ever-so-slight tannin note on the back-end. I'm guessing that came from the wine barrels they used to age this beer (NOT BOURBON BARRELS FOR YOU IDIOTS). You get a beautiful maltiness all throughout the sip, it's just the cadillac of beers.

Overall, this exemplifies the art of brewing. Wanna be a master at something? Drink beer, then drink this, and you'll see what level I'm talking about. Needless to say, this is a must-try before you die.

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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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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper and light tan head that holds itself.

S: Crazy dark fruit smells take over everything

T: I was so worried that this beer was going to be infected but holy cow did this beer taste good. Deep caramel notes followed by rich fig and fruit flavors. Ahh so good the oak comes through at the end to gently kick in more complexity

M: Fantastically dry and rich that lingers all over the tongue.

O: Deschutes doing it again. Glad this one wasn't infected like some others. Delicious easy drinking barley wine that ages wonderfully.   

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ramped up version of their Mirror Pond PA. Had this ontap at the Bend public house. Served in a snifter, as any sane person would prefer as a quanity. This baby is 11.5 and you can feel it.

Thick looking, viscous, with a good sticky froth on top. Reddish amber.

Sugary honey sweetness, big alcohol aroma. Fruity like dates/figs.

Creamy soft mouthfeel mixed with a strong alcohol tingle warming. Taste is of woody malt and a slight bitterness that is brought out by carbonation. Burnt sugar maltiness lingers at the end. Buttery wood (oak) flavors take over as the glass empties.

Overall a nicely complex barleywine, and one of my favorite offerings from Deschutes. I have not seen this in bottles, and I would love to find some and cellar it for a year or two to see how it smoothes out.

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Photo of bstave
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (best after 4/20/10) poured into snifter.

A- Aggressive pour produced 2 finger head that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. Hazy amber color.

S- Dark fruits, orange, oak, leather, caramel, and toffee.

T- Taste follows nose with dark fruits, oak, leather, caramel, and toffee. Little booziness.

M- Very smooth. Nice alcohol warming. Carbonation is perfect for the style. Very easy to drink.

O- I had this shortly after release and was able to find this bottle, now nearly 2 1/2 years later. Age did well on this. Very complex and solid barleywine.

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Photo of derftron
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Still on shelves around Portland nearly 18 months after release.

Smell, taste, mouthfeel are all on point.

The unique barrel aging really comes through. Glad I have many bottles stockpiled as this barleywine ranks up there with some of the best I have had.

Much different flavor than a Bourbon barrel Barleywine, but you can tell it has been ages to dan near perfection.

Great beer

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: 2014 vintage, had to open and give a try, pours a brownish with tint of orange red, very little head, cloudy
S: wine grapes, oak, caramel, im not sure if its just me but i always seem to get a lemon type smell in barleywines that makes it kinda different,
T: wow there is alot going on with this, definately get that wine aged with grapey must and oak but its very well blended in and not overpowering. also get caramel, english bitter type flavor, roasted malt, lemony, alcohol bite to it, some fruityness besides the grape, it is very sweet so definitely need to take your time to enjoy this one
M: medium-heavy bodied, light carbonation
O: awesome aged barleywine that is not overpowering with the aged part, which is something i hate when the aged part just completely overpowers the actual beer. I would recommend getting as much of this as you can find to age and enjoy down the road.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage. Best after date is 2/24/15 and today's date is 4/4/14.

Served into a snifter from fridge temperature. Allowed to warm up over an hour or so. Pours a nice dark reddish brown with 1cm head (light). Carbonation is definitely there, but not overwhelming.

Smell: Plums, dark fruit, grapes, malts, caramel, and some molasses. I was sold at this point. What an amazing smell! I literally wanted to sit there for 20 min just smelling it.

Taste: Incredible. I can't imagine how much better this can get over the next year. The upfront notes are sweet, with a slight bitterness lingering in the aftertaste. The latter likely disappears over time. I get lots of caramel, dark fruits, malts, and wine (subtle). The barrel aging is not overly evident, but it's there. Mouthfeel is phenomenal.

Overall, this is such an amazing beer. I'm so glad Deschutes brought it back. As far as English barley wines go, this is near (if not at) the top of my list. It is up there with FW Sucaba.

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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 biancasaur
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a hazy dark golden brown into a pretty snifter by a handsome gentleman named zaplt.

Fresh, clean, very sweet, malty, with loads of pineapple (!) and banana (!!!) aroma; nutty accents. The alcohol is quite noticeable, but not overwhelming.

First taste:
Made me sneeze! Sharp and clean, sweet, with a moderately thick feel. Banana-tastic (mmm ester!). Just a hint of the "soapy" resinous taste I get from hops, too.

While drinking:
I'm not sure if the banana flavor is most noticeable or just what hit me first, but it's really evident; however, it's less like an actual banana than like the banana syrup I had on my banana-white-latte this morning. (Think Laffy Taffy -- candy banana, as zaplt put it.)

Also a light syrupy malt taste, with a lovely bitter finish; definitely white-wine; plenty of honey. *Caramel (wow)! and candy sweetness; *raisins, *oak, sweet bready goodness.

This is so complex and lovely that I want to savor it, but so damn drinkable I know I'm going to miss some important elements. But wow, it's yummy!

I remember loving this beer when I first sipped it, but I couldn't have told you why (and at the time, I was mostly only able to handle very light, citrusy, summery beers). Now that I've tasted it again, I definitely LOVE this brew. It's complex and drinkable. Sweet and delicate, yet it's still a beast. Mmmm!

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I made it to the 'better after' date!!

This beer is about 1 year old.

What a good looking brew! Garnett, with orangish/red around the edges. Decent lacing and head retention.

Smells wonderful! Raisins, dark fruits(plum, fig) grand marinier, black cherry, english toffee, citrus/earthy hops.

THe taste is sweet initialy with earthy bitterness to end. In the middle we have a symphony of flavors that include brandy soaked fruits, caramel drizzled sweet bread, orange liquer and perhaps a touch of molasses.

Medium full bodied, a moderate amount of small bubbled carbonation give it a crisp texture.

The is easily one of the best American BWs that I've had so far. Ever so complex yet balanced(the key word for any Deschutes beer IMHO) The feel and body are near perfect. The bottle is already 1 year old, i can only dream of what it will become with more time. I better go to the bottle shop...now!

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.