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Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,364 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,364
Reviews: 475
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 435
Gots: 555 | FT: 91
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
30 IBU

Bottled/kegged vintages:
2005 - Released February 2006
2009 - Released April 2009
2014 - Released April 2014

(Beer added by: waltonc on 04-29-2009)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,364 | Reviews: 475 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZX6Chris
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage.

A-Hazy orangeish brown colored liquid. Small yellow head that fades quickly. Nice little bit of lacing.

S-Iron,sweet fruits, oak.

T-Caramel, brown sugar, just a touch of the bourbon barrels comes out.

M-Very full bodied but well carbonated enough to balance out.

D-For the ABV it's pretty amazing. I kept sipping on til it was gone.

Photo of augustgarage
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 vintage - best AFTER April 20th, 2010. Poured from a waxed 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Clear alizarin crimson body that glows a brilliant shade of ruby. Light beige soapy collar persists, the surface slick is thin but clings doggedly throughout the session. Mottled sticky yet thin lacing seems glued to the sides by the viscous legs.

Bright fruit aromatics dance over a wave of cookie dough, sweet malt, and a touch of clove. Light citrus-esque spirits and faint armagnac on the back end. Earthy hops make an appearance as well.

Immense dark fruit notes, avacado honey, figs, barley syrup, and black bread on the palate. Zesty hops suggest evergreen, mint, light spice, and faint citrus while providing a moderate bitterness to offset the dark sweet malts. The finish is full of complex chocolatey elements, a hint of pepper, and even some subtle dragon-fruit notes. Absolutely delicious.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, a touch chewy, and very slightly oily mouthfeel. The ABV contributes body and flavor, without adding excessive heat.

I can see how aging this in pinot noir barrels would enhance the beer, though it is quite satisfying on its own and will likely to continue to develop with age. Stock up.

Photo of davod23
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage. Best after 4/20/10. Poured from the bottle into my Stone IRS tulip.

Very nice, brilliant, burnt orange color. Perfect clarity. A yellowish head billows up a bit, but recedes to a thin cap for about half the beer's life before it whittles down to nothing. Pretty beer.

Smell is good. Sweet hand fruits (apricots, apples), dark dried fruit, and a whit of bourbon and oak. Brown sugar.

Taste follows the nose for the most part. The bourbon barrel is very understated - I would like to see this base beer completely aged in the barrels. Sweet brown sugar notes are more pronounced here, backed with the fruit. Caramel. Exceedingly well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is very good. Smooth and full-bodied without being thick, perfect carbonation, fairly dry on the finish.

Drinkability is really amazing. I couldn't believe how quickly this one went down.

Very nice beer from Deschutes. Highly recommended.

Photo of velosuds
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Reserve. Poured from a 22 oz. wax dipped bomber into a clear pint glass. Best after 04/10/2010. Definitely worth the wait, since the first I had was before the best after date. Shared with my son.

A-Pours a very pleasing burnt-orange amber with a one + finger, creamy tan head that recedes into a modest lace. Looks scrumptious.

S-Malty, with dried fruits, especially figs, apricots, and raisins. Pleasantly sweet with a brandy aroma. Nice.

T-Very pleasantly sweet yet balanced. At 11%, ABV the alcohol is warming, although masked extremely well. Sufficiently hoppy up front but followed by barley malt sweetness that is reminiscent of caramelized brown sugar, dark dried fruits (like the aroma) and whiskey. Like this a lot.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth like satin sheets with a high thread count. Very well crafted.

D-Extremely drinkable for an 11% ABV that is barely evident, but welcome in the taste. This is the third of Deschutes' Reserve Series beers I have had, after The Abyss and Black Butte XXI. I just wish they were more affordable compared to Stone's comparable offerings, and compared to how their year round beers are so affordable, at least in Salem, Oregon.

Photo of nickhiller
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy, coppery brown, thick and cloudy, a wisp of yellow head, a little bit of lacing.

S: sour yeast funk, iron, nuts (walnut and pecan maybe), green apples, raspberries, lots to take in.

T: a continuation of the smell and a perfect balance of sweet and sour notes: sour funky yeast, walnuts and pecans, rye bread, burnt sugar, molasses and then black coffee on the finish that lingers in the aftertaste, pairing nicely with the warming alcohol.

M: thicker'n syrup but well carbonated, subtle but assertive alcohol commensurate with the ABV.

D: a fantastic Barleywine in my opinion, far and away the best one I've ever had (though that might be because it doesn't much taste like a traditional Barleywine). I really liked the Belgian sour yeast thing it had going on. A subtle complexity that I really appreciate as well as an outstanding balance--a characteristic of all the Deschutes beers I've tried so far. I would (and will) happily drink this again.

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

2009 Reserve with best after date of 4/20/10. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Was a slightly hazy reddish amber color. Loads of carb streams. It had a barely there fizzy head that quickly dissipated into nothing. No sheeting or lacing. High ABV so not totally unexpected.

The aroma was dark fruits, caramel, oak, vanilla, alcohol and some spice. Good for a high ABV barleywine. Reminiscent of a Strong Dark Ale aroma. The taste follows the aroma with the sweet from the malt and fruit out front with the oaky vanilla in the finish. A little too sweet. Can taste the alcohol but isn't too bad. Much younger though and it might have been a problem. Mouthfeel is medium with a touch of water. Good carbonation. Warming from the alcohol.

Overall, a really good fruity barleywine. I prefer the hoppy ones myself but if I was going for fruity then this would be near the top of the short list. Another great offering from Deschutes. Highly recommend. Not avail here in TX so got from Roberts. Rotation - I prefer the hoppy ones so probably wouldn't seek out another bottle but would try again on tap or if a friend had one to share. [N;O]

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was really excited to pull this one out of a box sent to me by boatshoes. Thanks Fletcher!

2009 reserve. Best after 4/20/2010

A- Beautiful color. Nice rich caramel with ruby hints. Half way between hazy and clear. The shadows are a deep ruby. Nice light khaki head that will fade down.

S- Oaky, some alcohol and caramel. Brandy, cherry, grape, and a tartness that I cant put my finger on.

T- Oak, alcohol, caramel and lots of wine like characteristics. Brandy, oak, grapes and a little bit of acidity on the end. The beer is very nice and smooth with oak, creamy caramel malts and toffee until the finish which is vinous and slightly acidic. It turns so abruptly I wonder if it is supposed to be that way. It congers up thoughts of the Abyss 09 infections... Its still enjoyable though so I cant say my bottle has turned.

M- Soft carbonation, creamy body. Bitterness is low, alcohol is warm but very manageable.

Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, thanks lou91

2009 reserve - 35% aged in oak barrels

lazy college football Saturday

appearance: black waxed bottle - served in ale asylum chalice, glowing rich amber-orange body, nice offwhite head with light retention

smell: remarkably complex - cherry, brandy, oak, some tartness detected

taste: This is a really nice barleywine, and quite honestly a nice break from the super bitter/sticky barleywines that dominate the style. Mirror mirror gets a great deal of flavor depth from the oak aging - some light tartness, woody notes. The alcohol plays a major role but is pleasant - whiskey and brandy are most noticeable. Pine hops, molasses and caramel are all assertive

mouthfeel: pretty smooth finish, less bitter/sticky than the style but still well within barleywine range

drinkability: relatively nice

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From Blind Bomber BIF (Thanks to Hophead101!):

A: Hardly transluscent ruby-amber pour. Has a fine, slow-fading, golden brown head. Beer is apparently thick and has slower, viscous legs when swirrled in the glass. Looks inviting, though nothing is really out of the ordinary here.

S: First and foremost, oaky. Sweet biscuity malts dominate, slight caramel nose. Muted bitterness.

T: Booze!, at first. Sweet malts with some dark fruit and esters. Oak sweetness melded well with candy/caramel. Very little hop flavor, but the bitterness is present; well balanced overall... the alcohol flavor is really well integrated into the taste of the beer as a whole.

M: Quite smooth. Carbonation is spot on and the beer is thick enough to hold up to the flavor.

D: I feel like the alcohol could be a bit of a kick in the pants here, but it was really easy to split a bomber.

Quite an enjoyable barleywine. I don't know whether it was the year of age or how the beer was brewed, but the hops (both taste and aroma) were very muted for an American Barleywine. I've been hoping to try Mirror Mirror for a while now and even after tasting it blind, it didn't disappoint. Very solid.

Photo of Lerxst
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Reserve poured into snifter. I've been looking forward to trying this one. Its been a battle not to open it before now, but tonight I figured it was time, and am treating myself to my first Mirror Mirror.

A-Pours a dark copper with a moderate off white head that has decent retention and leaves some spotty lace.

S-Lots going on here. Figs, molasses, brown sugar, a hint of oakiness, bready malt, caramel and a bit of vanilla. Smells great.

T-A lot going on here too...Dark fruit-figs and a slight cherry flavor, raisins. Piney hops fight to make their presence known, and they do, but in a subdued fashion yet still providing a bit of balance. The rich bready malts take center stage. The caramel, brown sugar and molasses from the nose are coming through as well. This is very complex and a joy to drink. This is coming in at 11% abv, but is not hot at all. Not a hint of booziness here.

M-Smooth, creamy and velvety. Just on the cusp of being full bodied, but not quite. Perfect carbonation level for this beer, IMO. Coats the palate well, a bit slick.

D-For such a big beer, it is amazingly easy to drink. Goes down very easy.

This is an outstanding Barleywine. I just wish it was easier for me to get my hands on it down here in Florida.

Great job by Deschutes!

Photo of DovaliHops
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Pours a clear reddish-amber color with a minimal off-white head. Scent is TONS of sweet malts, molasses, dark fruits, no alcohol whatsoever. Taste is initially lots of caramel and candy sugar. Lots of molasses and such complex dark fruit flavors. The alcohol/booziness is very much there once this beer starts to warm up. Lot's of cheery flavor at the end. The mouthfeel is VERY NICE! Not to syrupy at all. The drinkability is fairly high.

Photo of snpub540
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Release.

Pours a dark copper hue. Pretty clear. It has a tan one finger head that turns into ring. More head than I was expecting.

Aromas are very malty. Floral and pine aromas are also in the nose.

Taste is still kind of hot. Malty, mostly caramel flavor with a nice hoppy bitterness to balance things out. Warm finish.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side of medium. Drinkability is a little down. This beer is still a little young. Its still drinking hot. I would love to see how it develops over the next year.

Photo of daledeee
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another gift from a new friend!! I just got this however it says 2009 reserve. I don't know how long this aged or when it was bottled.

This poured into my Hennepin glass. Really really rich head. Off white and long lasting. Body of the beer is very brown orange and a little cloudy. Just overall a beautiful beer.

Nose is orange or apricot and malt. Very fresh smelling.

Taste is sweet with some IPA bitterness but lots of dried fruit, mostly apricot, malts and some bitterness in the finish again. This beer is well balanced. It is smooth yet strong flavored. It is obvious this has been aged prior to bottling. Very well done, with patience.

Sweetness and a little alcohol warmth finish this brew off. Remarkably drinkable. This is in the top three barleywines I have had. Very strong contender.

Photo of Kala1073
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best barleywines out there! Pouring this beer you would first notice the color, but instead the smell hit me first! A blast of sweet malts, caramel, some honey, and a hint of alcohol washed over me. Before noticing the color I had already got an indication of what it would look like just by the smell. The color was a dark amber with a little off white head which turned into a thin lacing. The taste was wonderful. It totally matched the smell of this beer. The mouthfeel was a little syrupy. This is definitly a sipper. I am thankful that I have a few bottles left for me to enjoy!

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

2009 Bomber with black wax. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a deep amber color with around two fingers of sand-colored head which dissipates quickly.

S - The smell is just great. Some malty sweetness, dark fruits, possibly a hint of brown sugar, and just a small touch of alcohol.

T - Sublime. Sweet, lots of dark fruit flavors, a slight roasted malt character with just a bit of spiciness. Barely any alcohol is present.

M - Medium-Full feel. Syrupy. Smooth. Delightful.

D - This is beer is great. I'd rank this above Behemoth, and Old Guardian, but I don't think it's quite on the level of Olde School from DFH.

Photo of morimech
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Reserve

Pours a clear reddish amber color with one finger of head that settled to a thin cap. Just a few spots of lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is rich and intoxicating. Hints of caramel, figs, a good dose of alcohol. Just a faint hint of oak and vanilla that I would probably miss if I did not read the label on the bottle. The flavor does not let me down after the outstanding aroma. Thick and chewy caramel and toffee. A little dark fruit as well. Alcohol makes its presence know but it is not overly hot or harsh. Bitterness is moderate but I do not pick up any hop flavor. The body is certainly thick enough and has a nice low carbonation. It coats the mouth nicely. This beer is a sipper and probably should be shaired. I should buy another bottle and let it age for awhile.

Photo of Tony3696
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Jeremy for bringing this one over. Poured a golden amber with a dime thick head. A malt bomb with a sweet vanilla nose. We drank this one with a Cuban in hand and it was a perfect pair. Just the right amount of oak for a mild cigar.

Photo of HosP
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this in a trade with Scottfrie. Never had a barley wine before, so was very excited to drink this!

A- Poured a nice amber color with some haze to it. Had a light tan head to it. Left nice lacing on the glass with each drink.

S- Strong aroma of sweet malts. Nice floral hop hints in the background. The high alcohol is masked beautifully. Smells wonderful!

T- I expected much more of the malts to take control, however the hops come through and make a very balanced beer. Caramel malts give it a sweet taste while a citrus hop flavor follows to give the beer nice character.

M- Not quite a full body. Small carbonation. Very smooth beer. The alcohol was hidden very well and made for a very pleasant beer!

D- Wasn't sure what I was getting into with a barleywine, but was very pleased with my first. Surprisingly smooth with great balance throughout the beer. Thanks to my Scott for setting me up with this very nice beer!

Photo of jt31914
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red amber with great lacing.

S: Hops, caramel, and maltiness.

T: Awesome caramel and barley sweetness, maltiness balanced by nice hop profile. Awesome taste.

M/D: Very drinkable for 11%, awesome beer.

I'll Say that this is either the 2nd or 3rd best barleywine I've ever had, similar in quality to FFF's Behemoth.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to redbrewer83 for hooking me up with this one and another bottle that I will be saving for later to see how it develops.

As the beer cascades out the bottle, it looks somewhat syrupy and a bit thick. The color is a garnet-tinted brown with hues of harvest orange and ruby around the edges. The head is thick and creamy, but it disappears as quickly as it arrives.

The nose is full of very potent vanilla oakiness. The backbone is strong nutty malts complemented nicely by hints of caramel. A touch of piney hops and some citrusy spice also enhance the nose. One the palate, the caramel malts and nutty syrupy flavors fold back to reveal dark cherries, dates, figs, and that oaked vanilla. Hops contribute both piney and citric flavors, but they mainly bring on orange zest. A nice woody oak finish rounds it all out.

Smooth in the finish, but sticky on the palate. The texture and flavors (especially that slight spiciness) gives Mirror Mirror a warming characteristic in the absence of alcoholic aroma or tastes. Looking forward to drinking my other bottle a year or two down the road.

Photo of cavedave
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Big thanks to jhenry04 for this work of brewing art.

Pours a cloudy dark amber with red highlights, a thin beige head, then a persistent skim. Even some lace on the glass. Woaah, nice looking barleywine.

Smell is a medium aroma, fronted by tart and rounded yeast notes, some nice caramel sweet, and a hint of spicy and sweet/bitter citrus at the edge.

Wonderful med./full flavor. Starts tart and sweet, some nice fruitiness kicks in, I get pear, nectarine, lively on the tongue, it really lingers, and finishes semi-dry as some really spicy alcohol, herbal bitter, drying pine notes, and even some citrus zest come into this sweet nectar. I have the feeling this is one you either like a lot, or not at all. I'm liking this. Another year might take the alc. down a notch, for the better.

Mouthfeel is all you want in a barleywine, maybe this one's best feature. Smooth, viscous, coating, clean on palate, low carb. but not too low carb., and excellent finish.

Drinkability is rated as a sipper deluxe.

Impression: Every time I try this beer I like it more. Get it if you can, superb, delicious

Photo of kingcrowing
3.9/5  rDev -8%
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 stakem
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken 5/22/10

22oz 2009 bomber poured into a snifter. It appeared a clear dark amber color with a finger of creamy brownish yellow stained head that has very good retension and laces in a spotty film around the glassware. Sweet aroma includes vanilla, hops, a bit of a mineral and metallic twang and a rush of alcohol. Taste is bitter upfront from the hops and the alcohol heat helps to exaggerate it. Slight mineral/metallic character incorporated in the body along with the bitter hop flavoring. Some sweet caramel and vanilla flavors are evident in the taste and throughout the body before a slight dry woodsy bitter presence rounds out the warming finish. Medium feel with a moderate level of carbonation. There is a lingering flavor of oak and hop bitterness left in the mouth that has some drying quality about it that encourages the next sip before your palate even as a chance to take in everything that is going on. The next sip returns the mixture of sweet/bitter/drying mesh off flavor. Overall this was very good and I could see this brew getting even bette with some more age. The best after date was a month ago: 4/20/10 and honestly it should be even later than that. Once the beer fully warms there are notes of dark brown sugar that is a bit residual if you can taste beyond the alcohol heat. Barleywine fans: this is a must try.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of ChadQuest
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been awaiting the time to open this bottle for awhile, i bought it while on a roadtrip at the Bend brewpub, and have waited till the Best after date, and a reason to open it.

This is a great looking barleywine, super tight fine head bubbles that have been holding together well for the high alcohol percent, dark mahogony amber color on the body, color of the cap is nearly the same as the bottle label.

The aroma has some sweet cherry notes, and there is just a hint of alcohol withen.

It is amazing in this beer how balanced it is with alot of flavors present but nothing stepping out in front to dominate. Flavors of sweet dark fruits, cherry, a thin wave of damp oak, a slight bright hop profile to balance out the malts, just a little bit of biting alcohol that contributes positively, and my only gripe is just a tad little hint of medicinal notes.

The mouthfeel is supurb, its a medium viscosity with a fine light and tight carbination, and doesn't leave your mouth feeling like you ate a spoonful of sugar. I am drinking this bomber solo and will slowly sip and enjoy this till the end.

Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,364 ratings.