Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

509 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 509
Hads: 1,617
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 457
Gots: 687 | FT: 109
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 (152) | 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 509 | Hads: 1,617
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

Best after 4/20/10.

Pours a hazy honey orange-brown with a 1 inch orange-tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, apricot, peach, and citrus juices and citrus zests. Very nice smells on this one. Taste is of brown sugar, caramel/toffee, apricot/peach, and sweetened citrus juices. Surprisingly mild bitterness on the palate after each sip, with more of an acidic citrus juice quality than any real hop bitterness. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a medium body and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with some very nice and complex smells and flavors. After perhaps 2 or so years in the bottle this has aged wonderfully. (786 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. I should point out that this may very well be my wife's favorite beer and I am always ISO.

Pours a nice red-brown color with a light tan head and a bit of lacing. Moderate retention in my snifter. The nose is quite complex, bringing in a good dose of citrus and pine hops along with some really nice malt--good notes of caramel, sweet bread, cherries, dark fruits, and a bit of brown sugar. The taste isn't quite as out there and this relatively fresh (about four months old when consumed) bottle had a bit of booze. Good body with some booze and a nice sweetness, this was really nice fresh and I'm looking forward to seeing what some age does to it. (673 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottling - best after 4/20/10

Appearance: A beautiful barleywine, with a three fingered head that pancakes atop the the tawny colored liquid; the head leaves squiggles of lacing all across the sides of the chalice

Smell: The alcohol leaves a burning sensation in the nostrils, beneath which lie tones of caramel, stone fruit and pineapple

Taste: Dried pineapple and caramel, with a bit of a fruitcake character; by mid-palate, the tropical fruit, hoppy bitterness and alcohol merge together and are joined, after the swallow, by an oaky character; a floral tone emerges in the after-taste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I think the best days for this barleywine are ahead of it as it still has a bit of harsh character that limits the drinkability; otherwise, there is a lot to like and considerable complexity (884 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A basic, error free Barleywine that is wonderfully balanced on all fronts. A huge malt foundation lays the ground work with strong toffee, caramel, and molassas flaovrs. The texture rides the fence of sweet-syrupy and dry-malty. Fruity esters bring out juicy plumbs, dates, grapes, figs and dried fruits of prunes and raisons. With the malt sweetness the fruits take on a fruitcake taste and complexity. Rum-like alcohols give an aggressive power to the beer but never dominates with fusal or harshness. Hop flavor has a mild herbal taste, but ultimately is used as a bittering agent against the malts. The malt, fruit, and hop character gives the same impression from nose to finish with a long, lingering malt taste. A supurb Barleywine that should age well from years. (771 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with deep caramel malt notes and some hoppy grassy notes as well. Taste is also dominated by loads of sweet malt with a nice caramel touch and some hoppy notes with light citrus notes and a grassy feels. Body is above average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though a bit more hoppy then what I usually like in my barley wine. (477 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First vintage from (I think) 2005, a blend of different barrels including pinot noir, bourbon and port.

Appearance: Dark amber-brown, viscous and oily. A thin quarter-inch head sits on top, slowly settling to a ring. There's a fair bit of haze without being completely opaque.

Smell: Rich and malty with a lot of interesting barrel character. This was allegedly aged in a mix of American oak, pinot noir, port and bourbon barrels and then blended. There's a definite trace of spicy American oak along with a berry-like aroma that could be construed as port. A harmonious blend on the whole, very aromatic and unique.

Taste & mouthfeel: A big malty character hits the palate immediately, chewy and rich but thankfully not cloying and syrupy. Too often I find barleywines sweet in an overbearing way, with no nuance or subtlety. That's not the case here, as Mirror Mirror shows quite a bit of depth and a subtle mix of flavors instead of merely beating you over the heat with residual sugars. All the same, there's plenty of toffee sweetness to balance the notes of tannic oak, toasted grain, dried fruit, red wine and tobacco. Alcohol is only faintly noticed, this is far from hot for weighing in at a hefty 11.5%. Nice firm bitterness in the finish along with a touch of drying oak. Very enjoyable stuff, dynamic on the palate and perfectly balanced. Looking forward to bottles of this. (1,389 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, black wax-capped bottle, 2014 Reserve Edition, once again due to doktorzee's proclivity at seeking out the good stuff on his trips south of 49. But what's with this 'best after' tripe - they actually expect we consumers to wait over a year to drink this? Pfft.

This beer pours a murky, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and tantalizingly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some random hovering island mass lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, yeasty caramel malt, one more than dusted with toffee and dry treacle notes, further raisin, date, and fig black fruit sweeteners, an edgy, grainy barrel vanillan woodiness, some associated red wine acridity, molasses-tinged reduced brown sugar, cocoa powder, and a sedate citrus and leafy hop bitterness.

The taste is more musty caramel and toffee malt, the Scottish treacle association apparently a figment of my early afternoon association today (hey Scott!), nondescript vanilla and alcohol barrel notes - the particular wine character well and lost by this point - toasted dark sugar, and earthy, leafy, and lightly perfumed hops - that booze has to seep in someplace, and it might as well be here.

Mirror Mirror's bubbles are rather light, and mostly just a comely frothiness for the most part, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight for the style, and unabashedly smooth, with a tingling creaminess tacked right up in there. It finishes on the sweet side, sure, but in a perfectly moderated sense - bready caramel malt, subtly musty fruit, proper old-world hops, and a gentlemanly booziness - replete with strength, but kind in its wielding thereof.

My oh my - this has been one of my white whales for this brewery (the Abyss having slipped thorough my fingers too many times as well) - and now I have it. Memories of sitting in front of the Mirror Pond in Bend on a Sunday evening, on another brewery's patio are now eclipsed by the headiness of this offering. For a west-coast bred brew of the given style, I am surprised at the accuracy, if not the veracity of the aplomb evident here. I bristle at calling this 'young' seeming, since I was admonished at first from even going down that road - oh well, this is still freaking awesome. (2,259 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Behavior is a mirror in which everyone displays his own image."

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2009 Reserve. Gorgeously glowing maraschino cherry red when backlit with the fiery ball of the rising sun. The upper third of the snifter is filled with a creamy chunk of toasted almond colored froth that is impressively long-lived, especially given the ABV and the barrel-aging.

The aroma is classic pale-malted American barleywine. Golden orchard fruit macerated in its corresponding fruit brandy is the olfactory focus. Oak isn't appreciated at this point in the proceedings (35% aged in oak barrels).

Mirror Mirror gets its name from the fact that it's essentially a doubling of the Mirror Pond Pale Ale recipe. My preference is for more mid-range (caramel malty) and slightly darker barleywines, but this one could be interesting. After all, Deschutes is one of the best in the business.

First of all, this big beast has aged exceptionally well. It's interesting that the label has a 'best after' date (4/20/10) rather than a 'best before' date. If the mouthfeel hangs in there, it should be good until well into 2012... and beyond.

Specifics include sticky-sweet apricots with a thin caramel coating, orange and grapefruit zest, a modest amount of oakiness, and a splash of top-shelf brandy. Warming brings out more flavor intensity, a few more flavor nuances, and smooths out whatever (very slight) rough edges were present during the first several ounces.

The mouthfeel was most likely a solid 4.5 when the bottle was newly waxed. Nearly two years since the release has almost certainly have taken some toll in terms of size and viscosity. It's still damn good and makes the beer a pleasure to sip and savor.

Even though Mirror Mirror Reserve 2009 doesn't rise the stratospheric heights of their finest ales, Deschutes has done a great job with this primarily pale-malted American barleywine. Here's hoping Reserve 2012 is in the works at this very moment. (1,966 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with hints of orange. It had an off-white, head of foam that left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled very, malty with notes of spicy, floral hops.

T - It was very, very sweet and malty. The spicy hops were milder than I expected from the strong aroma.

M -It was very soft and smooth. A full-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. I don't know if it lives up to the hype. I'd like to try one that has aged a little longer. (503 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally able to sit down and try this one. Decided to use it as my night cap last eveing. Poured into my six ounce snifter, this one was consumed on 02/13/2010.

The pour was pretty decent for the style. Nice dark brown color with some light highlights of orange and red around the edges. Small off white head rises up and settles quickly with only minimal lacing and a bare top is left after only a few minutes. Aroma is rich, caramel, toffee, light hops and hints of oak all coming through fairly easily. Nice balance here but not getting that overwhelming barrel aged aroma I was hoping for. Warming does not do much now either as it just seems to bring in more of the hop and hints of boozy alcohol. Light carbonation masks the medium body and leaves the flavor to work its magic now. Smooth, even malts are stealing the show. Rich caramel and earthy tones round out a lightly hot flavor. Almost a popcorn like flavor coming through for me mid palate, buttery and creamy with a boozy finish that was slightly dry and coated with grassy and earthy notes.

Overall I have to admit I was a little let down by this one. I was hoping for something truly memorable but it left me kind of lacking. Maybe some time will bring it around. (1,232 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this awhile back on tap at Stone but I forgot to put my review up.

A: A lovely dark golden brown color with some nice hints of red and a white foam.

S: Nice sweet, brown sugar smell, honey, and some caramel/toffee. A bit of hoppiness, but it's minimal. A bit of vanilla and oak mixed in there somewhere.

T: Great mix of flavors here. Like the nose indicates, tons of sweetness here, but not overwhelmingly malty. Lots of caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Some dark fruit flavors are present, mainly plums, along with some orange. The oak is again present, and a nice sweet finish. A bit boozy because it is so "fresh".

M: Huge body, nice and smooth, without much carbonation.

D: You wouldn't normally think of a barleywine as drinkable, but this beer is just so complex and delicious. (795 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass.

Thanks to Alpar for sharing this bottle!

I will resist the urge to make the Snow White reference here...but not the urge to mention it. So there. Anyway, this stuff pours a murky ruby-amber topped by about a half-finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises vague horse blanket brett, ruby reg grapefruit, orange zest, and a healthy dose of caramel. The taste holds notes of brett (now more spider-webby than horse blankety), orange flesh, mashed potatoes, parsley, and caramel. Gotta say, this was not a very pleasant flavor combination here. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, I was in no way impressed with this brew. It wasn't entirely bad, per se, but I do not feel like partaking again in the near future. (806 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this highly sought after gem thanks to Solomon420, BrewsB4Shrews, and 916tmcmanus916 in a few different trades. I'll keep aging the others.

Creamy light head fades quickly over hazy rosey dark reddish orange color.

Nose of sweet malts, dark reddish malts, little roast and smoke, light oak and some bourbon. Touch of booze and some nice biscuit malt.

Taste of lots of malts red malts and a little roast touch of chocolate. Pretty sweet, with hints of warming booze but very smooth light creamy malts. A slight roasty bitter taste as well as light earthy spicy hops. Slightly tangy. Rich and slightly syrupy little maple and caramel. Some light oak and vanilla and some bourbon. Finishes slightly sweet with lingering creamy malts, bourbon, and nice heavy malts. This is the smoothest Barleywine I think I have ever had.

Body is heavier with decent carbonation for the style, fairly thick and almost creamy.

Drinkability is really nice for what it is. Drinks much lower than 11% and smooth finish with just a touch of lingering sweetness and no sticky feel. Hops are manageable too. (1,091 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 release, acquired via trade from nothertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish brown color, with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, hops and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is intense with dark fruitiness and alcohol up front. Then there’s a healthy hop character. Caramelized malt remains in the background the whole time. After-taste is a blend of candy-like sweetness and hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, not very filling, easy-to-drink for a beer with this high of an ABV, this one is an excellent representation of style and a very good beer. I could stick with this one for a whole evening, but the evening would be over pretty quick with the 11.50% ABV. (929 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Massive and sweet with endless malt. Sugary finish with the hoppy bitterness for the aftertaste. Bitterness is pretty intense, along with a woody taste.

Sharp yet sugary. Brown sugar and cried figs. Pleasing aroma of grain and resiny hops. Baked apples and caramel candy. Hot with alcohol.

This pretty well sums up the Barleywine style. This is the 2014 version. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's Liquor in San Diego. (431 characters)

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

Thanks to Chris @ Ebenezer's -22oz bottle shared amongst friends. this is the 2009 version

A - A rust colored deep crimson w/ good clarity and ecru cap w/ no lace, tiny bead

S - The aroma has a scent like custard - sweet, floral and fruity w/ the sweet notes of malt and lots of yeast esters giving a nice blend of odors. There is hints of caramel and vanilla w/a light fig scent

M- The feel is slightly skewed toward the sweet side, but very good balance overall w/ caramel smoothness and slight warming alcohol w/ fruit tang around the edges, moderate carbonation and bitterness with full bodied feel

T - The flavor has a bevy of sweet caramel and vanilla from the oak with light toasted notes of grain and crisp malt w/ candy like edge. The taste is of mild herbal hop flavor w/ spice in the finish and warm alcohol as it tends to be drying in the end

D - A tasty NW barleywine - I am really jazzed that I got to try this. I was in Washington a few years ago but missed having this. The barleywine is drinkable as it can be for 11%, but not something I would drink in repeated servings with almost 1 year on this bottle it was a pleasure to taste - one of the best I have had in the style. (1,197 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (956 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Rye726 & Bitterbill for sending me bottles!

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 1 finger of tan head. Stays effervescent throughout, above average head retention & average lacing

S: Fruittyness, herbal hops, vanilla, tropical fruit & a touch of banana bread at the end

T: Huge cakeyness, toffee, pineapple & pineyness up front. Oaky dryness. more cakeyness & a bit of woody hops & booze as this warms. Finishes dry fruitty, some grapefruit, woody hops & a kiss of booze

MF: Rich & chewy with moderate carbonation & great balance

Drinks easy for the style & ABV, another winner from Deschutes. If tour looking for a hoppy in your face barley wine, this ain't it, but I love the malt backbone & balance on this (729 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.14/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Best after 02/24/15. ABV: 11.2%. 2014 vintage. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with black wax-ed over pry-off cap shared by my friend Blakelive784 and served at fridge temp into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high given the brewery. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Side-poured.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Plush creamy consistency. Lovely thickness. Excellent (~9-10 minute) retention. Leaves a nice even consistent lacing as it recedes. Full and luscious.

BODY: Rich vibrant dark red. Quite appealing. Translucent, with good clarity and average transparency.

Overall, it looks pretty decent for a barleywine, but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Amber malts. Faint caramel. Has a surprisingly prominent hop presence. Cream. Malted barley.

An inoffensive aroma of mild strength.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, overcarbonated, unrefreshing, and medium-bodied. Has weight and heft on the plate. Too thick methinks.

Texture suits the taste okay, I guess. Overall presence on the palate is decent.

TASTE: Cream, malted barley, amber malts, faint caramel, a kiss of marshmallow, a hint of bread crust, and light unevocative generic hop character. Ain't nothing special. I don't even know that I like it per se.

Okay balance. Okay build. Not gestalt. Subpar depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. I'm not loving it, but it's alright.

There isn't a lot going on here. Lacks complexity, intricacy, subtlety, and nuance.

O: Drinkable for a barleywine, but far from fantastic. I wouldn't purchase it again. Not Deschutes' strongest work. A faux pas from a great brewery. Hides its ABV decently. I expected better, but maybe it'll develop with age. Not a great beer in the style.

C+ (1,864 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep ruby red mahogany brown like hue with a see through body and a full figured billowing khaki tan head, fine bubbled head billows above the rim of my glass and settles at a moderate pace leaving behind fine speckled lacing left evenly around my chalice.

Aromatics offer up complex layers of fruity malt bursts with pine and earthy hop accents, and a nice welcoming alcohol presence from this young barleywine. Ripened plums with green apple tartness is apparent with bursts of citrus hops and pine cone out doorsy qualities blatantly torturing my senses. A beer that will just get better over time, look at the best after date of 4/20/2010. I guess I will have to get some more on my trip out to Bend this summer, thanks Geof for this brewery fresh offering from out in Oregon.

Flavor is big chewy with aggressive hops and juicy waves of malt and alcohol layers. It has that abrasive hop bitterness that will continue to subdue with time yet add complexity to the sweet near syrupy malt notes with a brash serving of alcohol following suit. Basically everything that makes a great Barleywine comes to play in this offering, sweet candy caramel malt presence is overridden with West Coast hops that range from herbal dankness to citrus sharpness. So many malts and hops collide it's hard to decipher which flavor is bringing which component, but I love it.

Mouthfeel is dominating on the palate, you will definitely experience some palate fatigue after attempting a big brew like this. Make this one your finisher, and if you get more than one hold on two a couple until next winter and fall. I would open one up every six months just to track the aging process of this phenomenal experience of the senses. Carbonation right now is lively but smooth not overly done and body is bordering on the edges of viscous.

Drinkability overall is good right now, it's the style of beer meant to be aged and savored over time however if you have access to it right now I would suggest getting some baseline data for your experimentation. The only way to age a beer is to periodically sample it and this is the type of beer that you shell out for the whole case and think about it at a later date. Great young barleywine that will bring out more depth in the next few years. (2,281 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Decided to bring this to the Goose Island bottle share after hearing of the infection issues. Best AFTER 4/20/10. Served in a taster glass. Thanks to Nanoslug for the bottle.

A - Pours with a finger of yellowish foam that features good retention, and leaves behind spotty lace, a thin cap, and a thick collar. Nearly opaque orange-brown body.

S - Bread, toffee, booze-soaked cake, light alcohol, and a faint oak and vinous note which I think is from the barrel-aging and NOT infection. Most of the citrus aroma that this had on-tap has dissipated, but the backbone is heavier in grain character and is not overly sweet. There is a faint bit of sweet oxidation character that is complementary.

T - Taste is initially caramel and vanilla sweetness, then morphs into bready malt, light alcohol, and finishes with some residual hop bitterness, and a faint vinous sour note which I attribute to the French Oak wine barrels.

M - This is one of the thickest beers I've had in recent memory. Full-body that is chewy and heavy on the palate. Sufficient carbonation tingle keeps this from being a chore to drink. The sensation lingers but isn't overly sticky. There is some residual warmth after a few ounces.

D - This is a pretty solid beer, but could actually benefit from a little more time in the cellar. Unfortunately, with the publicized brett infection it'd be a serious gamble to sit on bottles any further. I've never been blown away by this beer, but I would order it if I saw it on-tap somewhere. Alcohol keeps it to "sipper" level status.

The being said, I think people are attributing the wine barrel-aging characteristics to infection, when it's actually intended by the brewers. Brett infection will lead to overcarbonation and gushing (as the brettanomyces converts residual sugars to CO2), as well as off-flavors (band-aids, horse, cheese), and a thinned out body - none of those were observed here. (1,912 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: russet-brown, fully opaque, with crimson edges, under a slim, but solid creamy head.

Aroma: I leave the glass sit, and whiskey wafts out...lean in close for a harder appraisal and...cherries and brandy are biggest in the nose, dark fruit and leather dominate, a bit raisiny, port-like, nearly sour in spots, but mostly a well-balance dark sweetness.

Loads the mouth with assertive aplomb...coats the palate with deep flavors...spills over, and then hangs loose. Dark fruits resonate, mingled well with whiskey and oak. Complicated stuff, custom-made for long talks, deep reads, intense contemplation, and sessions filled with great satisfaction that can only come from consumption of a brilliantly crafted ale.

Thumbs up, says I. Wish I had a case of the stuff, alas. (789 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 2009 Reserve with a best after date of 4/20/10.

a - Pours a murky brown/amber color with one inch of off white head. Light carbonation and no lacing.

s - Smell is caramel, bready malts, oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits. Great mixture.

t - Taste is caramel malts and oak mostly. Some bread malts and vanilla as well. Hints of alcohol.

m - Very smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation and medium to full body. Alcohol is not too evident.

d - I really liked this barleywine and think with a little more time on it it could have been even better. It's 11% ABV, but I barely tasted any and smelled none, so I think with another 6 months-1 year on it it could have been even better. Great caramel malt and oak smell and taste and would have again. Going to try and pick up another bottle to hold onto for a bit. (859 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,800 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
2.36/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Attempt number 3 on this beer and I've decided to finally write a review of it. At the time of this review, this is the #10 English Barleywine. Served in a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin off white head, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is vinegar and tartness like cherries.

Beer is thin and burns on the back of the palate, very tart on the back end and vinegar throughout. SHAME on you Deschutes. (438 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.