Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

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Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

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1,600 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,600
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 456
Gots: 672 | 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 (152) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,600 | Reviews: 521
Photo of joebrewer
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

C: clear brown with a little yellow.

S: little smell. too bad.

T: sweet caramel, less hops than I expected. Some yeast esters coming through, but they seem to bring out the heat of the alcohol, which detracts from the beer.

Despite being paired with the best pretzel I ever had and my first visit to Stone's bistro, I can't give this any higher marks. Perhaps it was the more restrained approach to the style. I will have to revisit eventually.

Photo of Mayhem976
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Brown color with a slight red hue, has a good creamy head with good lacing.

S- I smell apricots, honey, and orange peel. The smell that hits me the most would be the aged oak, all together the smell is very different, never smelled anything so unique before.

T- The smell translates to the flavor, I pick up barley, honey, oranges and once again ...aged oak. Like the smell, I've never tasted anything like this before. The taste is absolutely wonderful but I just can't put this into any kind of category, it's got a wonderful unique flavor. I guess I'm over thinking it, I should just enjoy this amazing beer. Did I mention unique?

M- Rich, creamy, and very subtle for an 11 percent beer.

D- Would drink again, however, at the hefty price tag and richness it's best enjoyed on a special occasion.

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 2009 vintage, poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep, clear amber, bordering on copper, with a hefty off-white head that shows excellent retention. The lacing is minimal but it does leaves some legs after each sip.

The aroma is big and sweet, dominated by caramel malts, toffee and dark fruits, figs and raisins especially. I noticed some juicy citrus hops as well but they weren't as aggressive as some other "American" barleywines I've had recently....and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The taste is more of the same with the sweetness dominating. After a cursory bit of grapefruit up front, the caramel malts and toffee take over along with some booze-soaked fruits. The finish actually has a bit of astringency from the hops, coupled with an alcohol presence that is understated for an 11% ABV beer.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a good soft carbonation which all adds up to a sticky palate full of sugary sweetness and a hint of hop bitterness.

I really enjoyed this beer as, even relatively fresh, had a solid but not overpowering hop presence that deferred to the big sweet malt and fruit backbone. Very drinkable for the ABV.

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

S: Sweet (but balanced)! Delicious cherries mostly, yet seemingly watery. Watery cherries is what I get. A little spicy black pepper at the end. Brandy wispiness and sweet bread.

T: Thick and chewy caramel with just the right balance of cherry and dark fruit notes. Takes forever to leave the palate - and that's a good thing! Instantly warming. Pleasant sweetness gives way to a woody, oak flavor until a mild hoppy bitterness carries out the long finish.

Sweet (but not too), thick, and just perfectly balanced. Indulgent, yet refined. Like a posh library.

Photo of HalfFull
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber aged a few months, yet not as long as 'requested' by the boys at Deschuttes. Pours a clear mahogany brown into a large wine glass with a half inch of light tan head. Retention is brief, settling to a surface film in a couple minutes, yet holding a ring throughout.

Offers an appropriately malty nose, with some vanilla, spice and light alcohol notes. Nose is rather enticing nonetheless with roasted caramel and a good dose of earthy hops when agitated.

Flavor is smoother than anticipated. Malty up front with a lingering roasted malt flavor. Offers a fruity cherry/chocolate flavor yet without the sweetness one might associate with that, or the style per se. Feel is smooth and lightens through the finish, yet offers a decent lingering close of light milk chocolate. Offers a nicely balanced carbonation for the style.

Would additional cellar time help this beer? It will surely smooth the flavor a bit, but a good offering right now nonetheless.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed by Wiseman Justin and Wiselady Natalia. Reviewed separately by Wiseman Nick on October 1, 2009. Nick's notes are shown after Justin and Natalia's, separated by "///".

Appearance: foamy khaki head; amber. Lacing sticks to the glass. Blah blah blah. Looks good, wholesome, like a beer should. For a barleywine it looks very good. 4.0
/// Bright crimson body with fine sediment suspended throughout. Weak, off-white, fizzy head doesn't hang around long. Very light, gossamer-like lacing. Dig the color, but not too thrilled by anything else. 3.5

Smell: Foul ball, It just smells... like... Okay maybe some figs and prunes; maybe? Some hops maybe some wood and molasses. It's all very light, not much smell really to speak off. 3.0
/// Loads of pale and crystal malt, along with caramel, red currants, and rust. Meh... 3.0

Taste: Chewy, caramel... it's good. This has very few taste components but it does it well. I taste a nice alcohol aftertaste following pine, brown sugar, and malts. 4.0
/// Loads of caramel and whole grains. Grass, pine, and hop oils also present. Rust flavor is pretty heavy, and picks up momentum in the aftertaste. Alcohol hidden pretty well. 3.75

Mouthfeel: Slight syrup mostly smooth. It's medium carbonation suits this drink well. 4.0
/// Oily, syrupy, and lightly carbonated with a prickly, dry finish. Pretty thick and warm. A little dull, especially in the aftertaste. 3.5

Drinkability: I wouldn't know I'm probably already drunk. 4.0
/// Ehhh... I'm not wowed by this one. Over-hyped? I'd say so. Rusty and kinda boring. Underdone hop profile. Not worth the money. 3.0

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

Pours a thick, viscous orange with a tiny head to start that fades to nothing. Nice aromas of sweet malt, lots of bitter citrus, and a nice accent of oak- but the oak is not overdone. Similar flavors as the aroma. Nice honeyed malt with balnced citrus and pine bitterness and just enough oak to provide a nice base. Smooth, obviously big, but easy to drink. Lovely

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 2009 Reserve poured an amber gold with a light, frothy head that lasts.
Smells of malt and hops, hay and brown sugar, honey.
Really intense hop flavor, balanced by some sweetness, but not cloying. The oak barrel aging provides a nice bourbon-like flavor.
This is an excellent brew for sipping. The alcohol level is quite pronounced and seems even higher than advertised. This brew almost lives up to the fable rhyme it's name suggests and is one of the great contemporary craft beers.

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a tulip from a 22oz bottle.

A- Deep reddish, cooper color. Small head.

S- Smells of sweet malts and a little bit of a hop note. There is little alcohol aroma. I expected a lot more.

T- As in the aroma, I can taste a lot of the malts. I find myself liking my lips after each sip, very sweet. There is an alcohol taste as well, but it is well hidden.

M- mouthfeel is nice!it goes down slow.

D- The first half of this beer was way to easy to get down! after about half, though, the 11% starts to show its self in a BIG way.

I was not sure how this beer would be. It is a barleywine, so I expected an alcohol bomb. I was very surprised that it wasn't! Fresh: This is a good beer, but I can't wait to see how it tastes in a year!

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/21/2009. Bottle. This beer pours a clear brown with a small head. The aroma is of raisin, caramel, toffee, and sweet malt. The flavor is of sweet caramel malt. The flavor is decent but the palate is too sticky and sweet. This was just ok for me.

Photo of sensorglitch
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Beer fest in Seattle. The beer was excellent, I had four ounces of it, the taste was good, I liked the way it looked, I could actually picture myself drinking it, which was good. Also the mouth feel was good, it was a little odd in the mouth taste, but I think that might have been from the way it was served.

Photo of yesyouam
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Mirror Mirror is a very clear, dense, red ale with a thin, dense, light khaki head that shows great retention and lacing. It has a woodsy, piny aroma. The hops are stronger than the malt in the nose. There's a light note of toffee. It's full bodied, smooth and fluffy until the dry, astringent finish comes. It tastes pretty sweet, but it's well balanced with a wooden, resiny, oaken bitterness. It's quite drinkable.

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

22 ounce black wax dipped bottle purchased at Beverage Warehouse for $12.99 a few days ago, 2009 vintage, have also tried the 2005 in the past, currently drinking from my Grottenbier goblet, color is a very deep copper with some ruby red tint, 1 ½ inch frothy tan head that stays around for almost ten minutes, great lacing at first but none later, aroma consists of oak, peaches, sweet malts, mild whiskey, alcohol, grassy accents, mellow spice, caramel, toffee, floral accents, and raisins, flavor starts off with caramel and other rich malts right off the bat, some honey and grassy flavors in the middle, some hoppiness in the finish but is mostly oak and warmth from the booze that you get, creamy, boozy, malty, and rich mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, pretty mellow carbonation, taste lingers long, I will probably polish off this bottle myself, it is lighter for a barleywine, has a nice hop presence to balance the malts and rich alcohol, has a nice smoothness, especially as it continues to warm up, good drinkability, will drink more of this in the future, although it is not along the lines of Abyss, it is one of Deschutes' better beers, recommended

Photo of kdoc8
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Photo of maximum12
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really looking forward to this one. Deschutes puts out world-class beers & I was assuming this one would be no different. First beer I've ever seen with a "best after" date!

OK. Burnt flame oozes out of the bomber & drapes itself quietly in the glass with little to no movement. Nose of faint bourbon, changes only subtlely as the beer warms.

This is a barleywine that needs some warmth - it's much better once it closes in on room temperature. The base is sweet malt & dark fruit, with only a light blessing of bourbon & oak in the background. Honestly, I didn't get much complexity out of this. It's a good, solid barleywine with a marvelous touch of the barrel.

Pleasant on the tongue, easy to sip, & not at all heavy. Surprisingly there's no alcohol cut in this at all for a young, bigger beer. Very smooth.

All in all a very good beer that I'm hoping will improve with age. I have a couple others stashed, & no one will be touching them until the "best after" date.

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

A: Deep ruddy ruby red color. Poured a 2 finger beige head with fair retention; settling to an even skim. Thin lacing washed down the glass slightly.

S: Very sweet up front. Dry alcohol and woody aromas follow.

T: Sweet, but not cloying as some. Brandy and dark fruits are very apparent; wet oak in the background. Dry in the finish punctuated by the alcohol. Must be bittering hop as sweetness does not linger.

M: Light side of medium body. Medium carbonation; lower than a couple others I've tried, but I like it. Surprising balance for sweetness and many flavors. Finishes dry and hot, but leaves a nuetral coating sensation behind.

D: Flavorful and interesting. Goes to 11 (% abv) makes it a good beer to share.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Got this as an extra from scray24. 2009 Reserve.

4.0 A: Beautiful cherry amber color. Clear as a bell. Whispy semi-tan head has less than average retention, but I'll let it go since it's at 11% ABV.

5.0 S: Smells like a homebrew shop. There's many different malts blending perfectly, though it's hard to pick out each one. There's also a fruity aspect where cherry sticks out like a sore thumb. Wonderful.

4.5 T: This is one hell of a brew. It's not nearly as cloying as most barleywines out there even though this one is still fresh. Tastes include brandy, dark fruits including cherry again (though not as strong as in the nose), and a mild oakiness to it. Sweet with lots of caramel malts, though not too sweet. Some alcohol is apparent. Excellent.

4.5 M: Heavy body. Very creamy and smooth. Warming on finish.

4.5 D: This is by far the most drinkable barleywine. It is jam packed with flavor, but doesn't have that cloying sensation like many other barleywines.

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

A: Pours a ruby red color with hints of darkness throughout. Slight lacing and a bit of foam. Solid in appearance.

S: Bready malts, lots of dark fruit. A hint of booze. Smooth in the nose.

T: A hint of bourbon and oak, a touch of hops, bready malts, some fruit I can't name. A hint of booze.

M: Smooth. A bit sweet. Finishes somewhat dry. Booze is a bit hot at this point.

D: Very tasty. Very balanced. A bit warm, but this should mellow wonderfully with age. Well done Deschutes.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to mlaroche for bringing this over from Cali.

Best after date of 04/20/10, couldn't wait, oh well.

Pours a dark amber color with a thin tan wispy head, no lacing along the glass.

Smell is mostly malty, hints of caramel, very faint traces of dark fruit, some boozy heat.

Taste is fairly creamy, soft carbonation, good malt backbone with hints of oak and vanilla, the heat isn't as strong as it was in the aroma but I can imagine with that additional year on this it would be even better.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Am I breaking sacred beer-geek law to open this before the "best after" date of April 20, 2010? Maybe so, but you go ahead and resist this high-proof cosmic milk. I can't.

Pours a glowing candy-red rust color, and while the head isn't long-lasting, it's creamy/bubbly right at the pour. Are the legs a little thin? Seems so, for the style anyway, but I do think this is a beautiful color regardless.

While the aroma offers a huge hit of alcohol right from the start, it's not overwhelming thanks to other strong impressions. I'm reminded of vanilla, black pepper, scotch (probably the oak talking), vibrant pine-leaning hops, maple syrup and unripe sour cherries. It's quite the exotic melange.

Oh, this baby tastes incredible. It's slightly green and young, but already a winner. This hop-forward barleywine exhibits incredible balance, achieved with the succulent sweetness of cherry and peach, notes of earthy molasses, caramel and maple syrup, a light glow from the alcohol (very well-incorporated 11%!), with the wood from the oak barrels influencing the flavor in just the right measure (ie. not overly so). Interesting that this beer originates with their Mirror Pond Pale Ale; I've never had that one, but this definitely screams "west coast," likely due to the hop variety/varieties used. Complex, balanced and utterly delicious.

This is intriguingly medium-bodied--not as syrupy or tacky as so many other barleywines, and I really appreciate that about it.

Had a snifter of the 2005 in early May, and it was transcendent. Is this younger version equally awesome? Oh yeah, definitely...it tastes simply excellent now, but I guess it'll be excellent in a different way after April 20, 2010.

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber red filtered color with a thinner head than expected from a barleywine.
S: has strong hop smells with sweet vanilla and caramel notes.
T: for 11% alcohol you really can't taste it bit it is super sweet more so than I like for a barley wine the vanilla from the oak barrels smooths out the bitterness but provides to much sweetness. I beleive this brew will improve each year they use the barrels which will hopefully reduce the sharp sweet vanilla flavors.
M/D: the brew is smooth but feels sugary on the tongue and coats the mouth. Although sweet it is more drinkable than normal barleywines.

Photo of JamesP123
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, 2009 reserve batch, poured into a tulip glass.

A. Pours a deep/dark ruby red with a thin but lingering off white head. Moderate lacing.

S. Fist off you are hit with a sweetness followe dby bits of acohol and little oakiness. PIcking up a somewhat herbal tone from the hops.

T. Very balanced, wouldn't say it tastes mild, but very very smooth. Now I'm really wondering what this will be like in a year or two from now. I beleive they said 35% was barrel aged, this makes for a near perfect balance between the beers natural flavors vs. those picked up frmo the oak aging. Getting a little vanilla and oak flavor, but not over the top. There is a little tartness to the beer, and also picking up some citrus type hops. Very nice.

M. Medium to full bodied for the style, it leaves a sticky coating through the mouth after each sip.

D. A very tasty beer, but at $12 a bomber my drinkability score cannot go above a 4. At 11% abv. this is definately a good choice for sharing. A beer I would definately recommend to try.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best after 4/20/10 right after I opened it up I noticed this little etching. But being as I be in Hawaii and don't really want to run the risk of this breaking in my luggage I guess this will have to do for now.

A: Golden cherry wood stain with a frothy beige white head that sticks close into a cap a few minutes after the in the glass.

S: Does smell a little bit like bubble gum, like bubble gum and alcohol and oak.
T/MF: Big boozy fist in my face! Wow. Finish is lonnng with a slight chocolate tinge and a grabby hop bitterness. There is potentially a lot of interesting things that could be happening in this beer, the malt bill alone is enough to deal with, but at the moment things seem a bit muddled, mixed together in such a way as to take away from the complexity that I know this beer can display but is just not at the right place right now unfortunately. The combination of booze, oak, earthy hops and sticky sweet malts comes off as a bit heavy handed at the moment, but given time in the cellar could really open up into some interesting places.

D: Give it a year and I imagine it could be something out of this world. Would like to trade so that I might be able to rerate this beer again.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly cloudy ruby color with one finger of off white head.

Scent of sugars, fruit, alcohol, oak, and bubble gum.

Taste of caramel, sugars, vanilla, oak, fruit, and alcohol. Nothing amazing, but this is a solid Barleywine that I would like to try with some age on it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,600 ratings.