Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,601 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,601
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 456
Gots: 672 | FT: 106
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mirror Mirror Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,601 | Reviews: 521
Photo of Tilley4
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of beergoot
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle label data: 2014 RESERVE BEST AFTER: 2/24/15 ALC. BY VOL. 11.2%

Hazy, copper-colored body with a thick, sticky head. Heady mix of caramel and toffee aromas. Toasted grain, caramel, brown sugar, and rum-like booze dominate the flavor; mild hint of bitterness and dark, dried fruit sweetness. Heavy and smooth mouthfeel.

Eye-popping and palate pleasing to the hilt! Chewy and boozy, loaded with strong malt sweetness yet very fitting for the style. Huge depth and complexity in the flavor department and well-balanced throughout. This would have been very interesting to try past its "BEST AFTER" date yet delivers a huge pallet of goodness right now. A barleywine 'must-try'...

Photo of BrewChatKen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Just an awesome barleywine, which you know if you've been lucky enough to score a bottle. Aroma was raisins, wine, tart cherries, chocolate, brown sugar, hazelnut and pomegranate. The color was very pretty, a very deep ruby brown, opaque, with a nice beige head. It was a full bodied beer with a heavy mouthfeel that left it sticky. The taste was plums, raisins, cherries, vanilla, dark brown sugar, wine, chocolate and a little booze, but it's wine so whatever, right? This is a big complex barleywine that's just begging to be explored, and luckily it's delicious so you'll want to. Incredible now but I imagine it will benefit nicely from additional aging.

Photo of barnzy78
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mirror 22oz bottle, Vintage 2014, drinking it a bit early than recommended: Best After 2/24/15, 11.2% ABV
A 3.75 - opaque, murky brown with a tall beige head that holds good retention eventually fading to a foam atop the ale
S 4.25 - beer with some wine noticeable, bread, toffee, raisin, oak, a bit musty
T 4.5 - rich and boozy, beer and wine actually pair well here; bread crust, toffee, brown sugar, sultana, earth, oak, vanilla, faint grape
M 4.25 - full bodied, lower carbonation, booze is well concealed, very well balanced
O 4 - excellent English Barleywine with some uniqueness with the wine barrel aging. I wasn't sure how well it would meld, but it works well. Although this is really good, it is a high priced bomber and I'm not quite sure it lives up to expectations, therefore I won't be buying it again.

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

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

Photo of denver10
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Pours amberish marron with a dirty cream colored head. Aroma and flavor mirror each other; bready and veering towards doughy, red wine tannins and its barrel, caramel and some caramelized pitted dark fruits mixed with some brown sugar. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, I really am not a barleywine fan but I had to give this a try given the rave reviews it has. Plus,I was able to try it on tap and didn't have to commit to a full bottle. Ultimately, not really my thing but a good beer for what it is. I will stick with Firestone Walkers Sucuba if I ever have a craving for another barleywine. At the least I prefer the use of bourbon barrel over wine barrel when paired with a barleywine.

Photo of kkleu357
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber body. Good amount of head for 11% booze. Grainy alcohol sweet smell. Just got done with a CW BBBW, and this one isn't quit as sweet. Still very sweet with some hoppy fruit flavors. Easily 2nd best BW I've had.

Photo of WckdVbz
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Goodbeer, but it should be under American Barleywine. A bit too heavy on the hoppy side for it to be an English Barleywine.

Photo of cvm4
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

2014 Reserve

A - Pours really cloudy/hazy muddled brown color with a slight tinge of red mahogany. The khaki head is one finger that dissipates to around the glass.

S - Raisins, ripe plumbs, dark cherries, caramel and malts. There's a hint of alcohol booze and oak overlapping it all.

T - Sweet caramel, brown sugar, malts and dark fruits (raisin/plum) abound with the ever slightest wine character along with oak that comes out at the end.

M - Full bodied and medium to low carbonation. Has a thick mouthfeel that is sticky, velvety and a wet finish.

O - Well done here! A stellar English barleywine by itself, but the addition of wine barrels brings complexity and another dimension.

Photo of T_Reeves92
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

A: Deep Copper/Brown Color.
S: Booziness in the nose, along with caramel and malts
T: Booziness dominates the palate up front, while in the middle and back end you get brown sugar, dark fruits, along with hop bitterness and bread flavors from the malt
M: Medium body with no carbonation, light alcohol burn
O: Very good beer, but very rich. Split with a friend.

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, a good English style barley wine that can hold up to what I am looking for in the style from Deschutes Brewery. Ale pouts a thick brown molasses color with off white foam that has very light clinging lacing. Nose of raisin, plum, caramel, sweet cherries, and light oak. Taste....WOW...I have been looking FOR YOU! Sweet caramel notes up front, golden raisins, and brown sugar to the back with a plum and brandy like quality on the aftertaste. FANTASTIC. Nice silk smooth, yet lightly syrupy mouthfeel, with easy drinkability makes this one beast of a great brew. CHEERS. I have FINALLY found a decent substitute for Thomas Hardy's...reminiscent of some of the early 90's Thomas Hardy's I have tried aged 10 years or so. AWESOME!

Photo of bnes09
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep molasses color and translucent appearance. Weak head but understandable for the style.

Caramel aroma. Hint of booze. Oak and figs.

Dense buttery, molasses flavored malt backbone. Hint of wood. Herbal hop character with hints of pine.

Full bodied, syrupy feel. Sticky finish. Low carbonation.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Tanish brown with a 1.2 foamy head. Nice thick sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet fruits, cherry, raisin, oak, vanilla, caramel , toasty malts, some alcohol at the finish.

Taste - First sip brings a lot of fruits. Cherry and plum mixed with some oak, and a tart wine flavor. Malts are strong and have lots caramel, toasty notes. Plenty of sugars and some added spices. Alcohol along with some wine really comes out at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Sweet fruits really nail the tongue. Plenty of sugars, oak and the wine coat the palate. Tartness, some bitterness along with some alcohol come out for the aftertaste.

Overall - Really tasty and smooth for being 11%. Loads of complex flavor, and the barrel age wine aspect didn't sour or bitter this all to hell. A really nice beer, and one of the best from Deschutes. A must try even if not a fan of the style.

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Poured into a chalice.
The appearance was a slightly hazy brown to glossy orange with a film of a white foamy head that dissipated within seconds (boy was that quick).
The smell had a quick boozy glossed over caramel to tobacco content consorting with a slight plum-like fruitiness.
The taste was basically the same.
The mouthfeel had a fairly decent sweet running overcoating my tongue and mouth but in a good way.
Overall, I say this was a great beer well worth a superb night cap. Would I have it again, hell yeah.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2014 bottle. Best after 2/24/15.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Woody. Oak. Some vanilla. Dark fruits. Deep caramel. Toasty barleywine malt aroma.

Taste - Intensely fruity. The wine comes out much more. Distinct wine flavor. Very oaky. Mild brown sugar sweetness. Grapefruit hops and nutty malts in the back end. Wood throughout.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. A little sluggish. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very tasty. Needed to do some warming to get the wine barrel out of it.

Photo of zeledonia
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Most recent release; 2013? Tasted 12 June 2014.

Pours a medium-dark, rusty, cherry-amber. Clear, even though it's dark. One finger of yellowish head, good retention, okay lacing.

Smell is rich, sweet barleywine. Caramel malts with cherries. Sweet and delicious. Full of sugary dark fruits.

Taste is good; has a little bite to it, which helps, as in general it's quite sweet. A lot of sugar, a lot of dark fruit (figs, figs, figs, plums, cherries). A bit tannic with an alcohol pinch. A little too much alcohol for my tastes.

Feel is medium-heavy; carbonation could be a little higher. Not bad, but could be better.

A very alcoholic, fruit-forward, tannic, bitter barleywine. Not hoppy, and quite sweet up front, but has the alcohol bite in the back brings it down.

Photo of Beejay
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to RocPorterFanatic for this brew!

A: Pale as it pours, cloudy, with a white head that bubbles out of the body of the brew.

S: Malty with caramel notes, raisons and some light berries. There is a little bit of a woody type aroma in there as well. In the very finish there is a little bit of a wine, or port aroma. Nice.

T: Rich malt, with a distinctive caramel flavor, roasted, and delicious. There is a nice port flavor in there as well, dark berries, wood and and Jam meld with malty goodness. The berry flavor, and the caramelization make for a toast and jam flavor that is the undertone to the malty goodness.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation is moderate, but perhaps a touch high for the style, which makes the beer feel a little lighter than other beers of the style. The mouthfeel also makes this beer dangerously quaffable.

O: Overall a hell of a beer. Delicious.

Photo of Spiffaz
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Release

A - This beer is beautiful. Great variation when held up to the light vs. sitting on the table. Dark red/brown with a medium amount of head that fades quickly.

S - Very strong, very bitter, but with that sticky sweetness of barleywines.

T - Hoppy, alcohol, sugars, fruit. Great backnote of astringency. I'm guessing fresh is even better than aged. Perhaps an investigation is in order?

M - Very heavy, but clean. Not what I was expecting.

O - Very nice overall. Sweet but balanced.

YAY Beer!

Photo of Dope
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 batch, "best after" 2/24/15, 11.2% ABV

A: Super dark red/brown. Very tall and dense light light brown head. Very little head retention as it fades surprisingly fast. Thick and heavy lines of lacing remain behind, however.

S: Lots of dark fruits in the aroma. Raisin is prominent but I get some grape too. Prunes and....is that apricot? Nice fruitiness with some dark bread to back it up.

T: Again with dark fruits up front. Lots of sugary sweetness everywhere. Mild caramel presence but otherwise it's all raisins and prunes here. Maybe a little fig now. Heavy dark bread in the finish; lightly spicy and earthy. Kinda reminds me of pumpernickel if I'm honesty. Has a lightly dry and bitter finish with maybe some hints of hops. Interesting transition from the very sweet and fruity flavors up front. Long lingering herbal earthiness between sips.

M: Heavy and sweet initially, ending dry and spicy.

O: Nice barleywine. Good combination of fruitiness and heavy bready malts. Super sweet and mildly bitter and dry. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Didn't really get any noticeable wine influence that I notice but I feel it may have contributed to the heavy dark fruit character up front anyway.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a

A: Clear and amber. Good lacing; decent head.

S: Hoppy and delicious. Strongly, even astringently, bitter.

T: This is incredible. Rich and deep, with a brilliant bitterness. I'm pretty sure I'm glad I'm drinking it fresh. Pleasant malts are sugary and pleasant. Maintaste is stern, boozy, hoppy, sugary, and pleasant.

M: Swell and pleasant. Nuanced and balanced, with layers of flavors sweet-bitterness.

O: I love it. Phenomenal barleywine. Highest recommendation.

Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a 2014 Release.

Color- deep red brown toffee. Medium head.

Aroma- rum fruitcake, pear, raisin, and toffee.

Taste- starts sweet and strong but not overpowering, then hints of hops in the midbody, then fruit notes appear including raisin, dates, and pear. It finishes with notes of vanilla and pecan pie. Interesting and complex brew with 50% aged in wine barrels. Purchased in North Austin at HEB June 2014.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted June 2014.

Photo of neurobot01
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed 3/2/15. Updated review now that we're past the 2/24/15 "Best After" date. Bomber into a snifter at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: opaque reddish brown toffee typical of English barleywines with an almost nonexistent ring of offwhite foam.

Smell: smells a bit like apple pie, including the mildly tart sweetness of apples, the spice of cinnamon, and the sticky sweetness of brown sugar. Fairly clean but rich.

Taste: very much follows the nose. Alcohol-laden tartness up front, with spice in the middle, syrupy-sweet late and a bitter aftertaste. Some nice elements, but leaves me wishing I was drinking a DDBA.

Feel: appropriately thick, with low but present carbonation and not much burn for how forward the alcohol is in the taste.

Overall: I don't necessarily think this has gotten any worse in the last 8 months, but I'm fairly certain it didn't get any better. Just doesn't quite all come together. I've got another bottle that I'll visit in another year or so.

Previous rating (Jun 12, 2014): 4.25

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
3.31/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoy after date 2/24/15.

A: murky dark brown. Opaque as it gets. Very little tracing.

S: pretty unappealing for a barleywine. I get a lot of burnt notes of copper and toffee. Not all that bad just feels like unrefined wine notes. Is it just young?

T: Heavy vine deep grape character. It is not very fruity nor defined. I get a lot of what I would in a quad just it leaves a copper burnt toffee aftertaste. Finish is prune and fig candy sweet but just muddled to me. Expectations were high

M: full thick mouthfeel. Nothing remarkable. Doesn't really have a clean finish.

Overall: perhaps I'm rating this a bit harsh because of the best after date. Deschutes is hit and miss to me. This reminds me of an aged stone barleywine with a bit more tannin character. Ive got one in the cellar. But disappointed by the expectations set from a waxed bottle.

Photo of Bonis
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best after 2/24/15... knew I should've waited, but this is my first time for this brew.

Reddish brown in color. Thick head leaves a decent lacing. The aroma and flavor of this beer have a great deal of variation and layers of complexity. Wood, caramel and toffee, brown sugar soaked hops on the nose, a hint of wine. Lots off toffee maltiness and hops mixed with some dark/tart fruits in the taste. Wood and vanilla on the finish. Moderately warming, hot in the mouth. Very much full bodied. Excellent beer overall, although a tad hoppy for an english barleywine IMO. Would love to age one of these for about 5 years to tame the alcohol and hops a bit. Who knows when I'll see it again though.

Photo of KYGunner
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This had a dark maple syrup like color with a cloudy obstructed hue. The head was thin and a bit fizzy with little retention.

The nose was strong and thick with plenty of dark fruits and malt sweetness. The fruit aroma was strongest with, prune, date fig and raisin, though I think fig may be the most noticeable. I also caught some toffee and caramel malt but it was finished with a strong maple syrup.

The flavor matched the nose at every turn as the dark fruits were assertive but gave way to the toffee, caramel and maple syrup.

The feel is reasonably thick and full but it has a light drinkable quality that makes this a touch duplicitous.

I found this barleywine to be very enjoyable, quite drinkable and a thoroughly pleasant surprise.

Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,601 ratings.