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Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,190 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,190
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 435
Gots: 495 | FT: 78
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,190 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%

Thanks Cuzco for the bottle. Best after 4/20/10. Poured slightly chilled into a tulip. Dark copper color with a one finger yellow-brown head with good retention and lacing.

The aroma is of dark fruits, brown sugar, toasty malts, and warming alcohol with a rum-like edge. There is a little bit of oaky wood, bringing it all together as a thick, sweet, malty smelling brew. The flavor follows with a major wood influence...definitley more oak on the palate than the nose. The alcohol comes back again with rum or cognac like influence. The malt stays thick throughout, with a concentrated, syrupy malt character, leading to a rum-raisin flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick, malty, and syrupy, with a typical American barleywine level of carbonation. I opened this bomber all by myself for some reason. Not ideal, but manageable.

jeffthecheff, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

Appearance - Pours a murky dark, burnt orange into my Bell's tulip. Less than a finger of head is achieved with a relatively vigorous pour and it quickly dissipates leaving little lacing.

Smell - Loads of toffee, caramel malt, dark fruits such as plums and raisins, slight oak/wood. Smells like candy.

Taste - Similar as with the nose, a burst of caramel and toffee is the initial flavor. This melds with a unique bitterness from a hop presence. As the beer warms you can begin to taste vanilla, figs, raisins, oak, slight dark cherries, and just a hint of earthiness.

Mouthfeel - I believe this is where the beer really shines. The mouthfeel is amazing. Extremely thick bodied, creamy, low carbonation (which works well). Just outright chewy.

Drinkability - Still a little bit hot after a year (damn, I wonder how this would have tasted a year ago...probably hot as hell). I have one more left and will most likely age it for at least another six months or until it starts to cool back down at nights here in Southern California. I haven't had a BW in a while but this one is pretty good.

SpdKilz, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of idResponse
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

Mirror Mirror 2009 Reserve, Best after 4-20-2010. 22oz Bottle.
Opened up and poured into my gigantic brandy snifter, because I like it. Once reviewed 12-05-09 and now reviewed 4-22-10!
Pours a deep dark reddish hued brown with a fine head that has retained a nice lacing on top of the glass as it sits still magically untouched by my lips. What am I thinking sitting here waiting? I've been anticipating this moment for months! I opened one back in December... or was January? Either way, it was pretty darn tasty then, and I expect the best now. Citrus and floral scents rise to my nostrils with a hint of some fresh cut wood. Upon first taste I gain a nice juicy orange and spicy flower fading into a sweet hint of bourbon. Wow! Very nice! I can feel the carbonation bite my tounge a little and that lovely caramelized bourbon taste brings itself forward a bit more as I take my next swig. The 11% it claims on the bottle is not even noticed. This is sweet and refreshing! All too often I find barley wines to end up bitter and sour at the end, but this knows exactly how to maintain itself. This is much smoother than it was even a few months ago. You owe it to yourself to try a bottle of this. Buy one to try now, and buy another to age for another year and try again later, and hey, buy a third to age two years! I'm sure this will only get better with time!

idResponse, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

mdfb79, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of Exiled
4.03/5  rDev -5%

22oz Bottle - 2009 Vintage

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this bottle.

Pours an amber color with a decent size tan head. Smell is lots of dark fruits, and caramel malt. Taste is sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, figs, raisons, plums, some oakiness, with a slight hop bitterness. Pushing full bodied mouthfeel. Overall a very well balanced barleywine.

Exiled, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of phreak1983
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%

A beer my sister from New Mexico got me for Chistmas and now it's ready to drink.
2009 release with a best after date of 4/20/10

A- Poured into a snifter. Has a dark amber color and a small head. No lacing from this one.

S- Carmel malt and oak.

T- The oak balances the sweet malt very well and it has a minimal hop presence. I'd like to ignore Deschutes' drink after date if I find another bottle to see if it is hoppier, I like hoppy barleywines like Avery's Hog Heaven and SN Bigfoot.

M- Nice mouthfeel, it is full and smooth and finishes slightly dry with the oak coming through.

D- Had no problem drinking the bomber, but I wouldn't drink another one if I had one.

phreak1983, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of mikeyv35
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%

Sampled: 04/07/2010 Sample Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2009
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Beer poured out a light red mahoghany in color, w/ a nice one finger cream head and a good bit of lacing on the glass. Aromas of oak, basement mustiness, caramel, floral, and light vanilla. Taste of caramel and oak up front w/ a finish of tobacco and a hoppy vinous characteristic. Brew was medium bodied and hung on the palate. To me the drinkability was hindered by the pretty intense hop presence, but I am more into malt driven English Barleywines.

Overall, a fine example of an American Barleywine from Deschutes. Do they ever produce anything that is bad? At least nothing I have sampled! Looking forward to sampling the 2005 vintage I have in the near future to see if age brings the malts more into the forefront.

mikeyv35, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of freeeekyyy
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%

A- Amber, with a small head. Slightly hazy.
S- Dark fruit, light aromatic hops.
T- Full malt sweetness with a minor noble hop presence balancing it out.
M- Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Rich and luscious.
D- High alcohol content means a relatively low drinkability, unfortunately.

Overall, a very pleasant drinking experience. Sweet, figgy flavor balanced by slight hop bitterness, with very good color and presentation. I recommend trying it at least once.

freeeekyyy, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Lukafer
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

22 oz. bottle, thanks jdefont!

Pours amber and garnet red. Smells like caramel, toffee and a lot of sweet alcohol. Tastes sweet, with caramel and a little oakiness, with a sweet, quick alcohol burn finish. Perfect amount of carbonation and thick. Drinkability is good for a barley-wine, but it's definitely a sipper!

Lukafer, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%

A= close enough to the best after date so here we go. Pours a hazy amber color with a finger high head on it that is an off white color. The heads color is like a yellow green sort of white. Nice retention and some average lacing on the glass.

S= Smells pretty good. There is still a nice hop character to it as well as some sweet malts a little deeper. Not the most pungent BW I've ever had so its a little hard to pick the smells out.

T= A lot different than the smell. The hops I smelled were not as pronounced in the taste. There is a little bit of a woody taste to it. Not quite in BW valley because it's not as hot as I expected for the age. Should be at about 1 year right???? Puberty for BWs??? odd. There is a nice sweet malt taste to it and just a tiny amount of heat.

M= Nice and coating. Lower carbonation lets it mellow out on your tongue.

D= Not bad for the age. I was honestly expecting hell. I've had a few BWs with the one year on them and they have all been weird and bad. Two years is usually the minimum time for them for me. This wasn't bad. Too bad they took so long to come to MN I woulda loved to try this fresh. We'll see how it does with some more time.

jjanega08, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of ReDave
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%

2009 Bottle [best after 4/20/10 {close enough}]

Pours an orange amber brown with a hint of red.
Very thin head.

Not very aromatic, some fruit, kinda wine or port?

First sip, well this brings the wine in Barley-wine... some hops after a bit, but this tastes very wine like, and not in a bad way. Some strong sweetness, like caramel. Some definite oak barrel in there. Some fruit, raisin in there as well. Could be a little "green" still. carbonation was a titch high, even tho little head. also NO lacing at all. Some citrus IPAness in there.
Mouth-feel a titch thin.

Can definitely taste and feel the alcohol.

-- Bigfoot is probably my favorite barleywine, and so now I'd love to taste some barrel aged Bigfoot!--

Nice aftertaste

I'd get this again, but a little pricey.

ReDave, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of atigerlife
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours orange/red...sort of like a sunset. Small creamy brown head. Tons of small carbonation rising.

Aroma of dark cherries, alcohol, berries.

Taste is of alcohol, not tremendously overpowering, but definitely makes its presence known. Dark cherries, raising, woody, caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, cleansing and smooth.

Overall, it is drinkable considering the ABV. Pretty nice.

atigerlife, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
4.45/5  rDev +5%

Got this in a trade. Opened on my 5th anniversary with Robin. 2009 Bottle best after 04/20/10...

A: Smooth awesome ruby red look with a thick off-white head that slowly fades. Looks very good.

S: Sweet malts and awesome hops blended perfectly upfront. Port flavors in the middle with dark fruits on the backend. Very good blended scent.

T: Taste follows the scent. Sweet malts with an awesome blend of earthy hop. Nice candi sugar and caramel in the middle with slight citrus on the backend. Very good here too!

M: Good mouthfeel. Doesn't leave enough on the palate. What it does leave though, tastes fantastic.

D: Goes down very easy. The bitterness just makes this a hint away from perfect, but very good here.

All in all, I am super glad that I got to try this beer. Perfect 5 year anniversary brew. Awesome balance of hops and malts! Definitely hunt this brew down whether you enjoy hops and / or malts. This is a very mass appealing brew. Definitely worth the hype.

steve8robin, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.03/5  rDev -5%

22oz bottle, best after 4/20/10, but consumed close enough to that date. I have been sitting on a bunch of these and had to open one!

Looks awesome. Amber w/ an eggshell head. Great looking Barleywine.

Smells of caramel malt, toffee, dried plum, and some wood. Touch of hotness in the nose.

Taste is good. To be fair, we had a few other BW's opened this night and this was trumped by the Gratitude in a big way. But it has a nice flavor - caramel, figs, dried dark fruit, and some brown sugar. Almost like a caramel wine. Nice but there is a bit of burn and the flavors could be a touch more intense.

Mouthfeel was good. Nice amount of body, and a creamy low carb.

Overall, this is a good beer, a damn good one, but no where near the top of the class. If Gratitude is the CEO of the Barleywine Corporation, this beer is upper middle management. I'll drink again in a few months and see if anything magical happens on 4/20.

jampics2, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of n0rc41
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

A; Dark brown color with minimal head.

S: Little fruits and wood, like and amber smell if you can imagine..Small alcohol amount.

T: sweet notes pretty fast in the beginning. little bitter not on the palate, you can taste the oak almost in the aging.

M: nice mouth feel, almost quick, it doesn't linger. I like it.

D: pretty good, the flavors are well balanced, and easy to drink. but be warned this bomber is kickin it quick!

Very nice beer over all, I am looking forward to getting a few more and aging them.

n0rc41, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of weatherdog
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%

22oz. black waxed 2009 bottle poured into several snifters at a tasting with Tony in March.

It pours a copper orange hue with just a little ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A subsequent pour had some haziness to it.

The nose was fairly muted, it had some sweetness and some kind of muddled indiscernible green hop smell to it. Some alcohol was present as well.

The taste had the typical crystal malt sweetness of a barleywine complimented by a good dose of bitterness to tell the drinker this is American styled. The back end flavor was kind of like an alcoholic candy. It was very sweet and too cloying for me to fully enjoy it. The second pour added some spiciness to it I'm attributing to the addition of some yeast.

The beer was very full bodied and had a large amount of carbonation which was too much for my personal preference. I really didn't find this particular example very drinkable mostly due to the huge amount of sweetness. I just felt really full after eight or so ounces.

weatherdog, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of kfsv034
3.9/5  rDev -8%

Bottle provide by Pigwings6

A - pours a cherry reddish with a nice head the dissipates quickly and leaves alittle lacing.

S - sugars, carmel, toffee and some dry fruits

T - Taste is much the same dry pit fruits with a sweet carmel/toffee flavor with a little heat at the end

M - creamy

D - at 11% its surprisingly drinkable

Overall - Barleywines aren't my favorite style but I'm thankful to have tried this its one of the better ones if tried

kfsv034, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of AccidentalKate
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

Appearance: A brilliant amber/ruby color with a nice beige head. Beautifully translucent. The head lasts for a long while, leaving only a slight Belgian lace.

Aroma: Hoppy, but in the floral sense. Just a hint of the grain beneath, as well as a bit of sweet wine. The hops do dominate tho', and my bias against this shows through.

Taste: Creamy with strong caramel overtones. The bitterness of the hops balances nicely with the sweetness. A sweetness that sits a bit too long on the after taste, and then a bit of a metallic taste at the end. Great up front, mediocre at the end, so a B average here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, creamy, creamy, but in a good way. Not viscous, as some barleywines can end up being. Exceptional.

Drinkability: A delicious companion, and an interesting counterpart to other barleywines.

AccidentalKate, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

Best after 4/20/10.

Pours a dark amber color with an off white 1 finger head with decent retention and a small amount of lacing. The smell is very nice. Caramel, toffee, figs, and oak. Has a nice sweet flavor with caramel, toffee, oak, figs, and cherries.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth and a pleasure to drink. I am glad to have Deschutes in Minnesota, and very happy they brought some Mirror Mirror into the State. I could drink this on a regular basis easily.

hardy008, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev +5%

A-deep reddish copper color with dark orange edges. It is faintly hazy with some bubbles rising to the top. The head is creamy and quite tight with an off white color adding notes of yellow. The retentino is very good and the lace is thick and sticky leaving spaces as it falls

S-the nose isn't huge, its is about average in strength. Caramel malts erupt first with tons of burnt brown sugar. There is a light note of vanilla in the middle that preceeds a touch of oakiness. The hops fight to take a place at the end and do so with pine resign that gives way to a light citric hoppiness

T-the taste is big and quite well rounded. The malts dominate but the hop presence is definite. Caramel and brown sugar add a syrupy flavor to its syrupy texture. The oak is slightly more pronounced but still very faint and the vanilla is basically gone. Hints of cherries come in towards the back and there might just be a hint of alcohol in those fruits. The hops are piney and resignous but also have some tropical fruit notes at the very finish. There is just a notch of warming in the very back but not much at all.

M-the feel is awesome! Full bodied and oh so thick and creamy. It is silky smooth on the palate and coats the mouth with a softness that is unmatched. The carbonation is low, but present and I really appreciate that.

D-this is not hot at all and not boozy at all. Big flavors and very well done. The 35% oak is very faint but hints of it showed up. The balance is tremendous as the hops have a definite place in this beer but it is still malt forward. The texture is so generous, rich, and creamy that it feels like dessert in my mouth.

cpetrone84, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

Hazy amber with a ruby hue. Thin, white head that fades rather quickly but remains patchy. good lacing as it goes down.
Smell is slightly sweet malts, with some ample figs, plums, cinnamon, and a touch of ginger. A little bit of alcohol present as well.
Taste is nice and malty up front, with the malts being slightly sweet and caramelly. Very good malt backbone, and the malts carry to the finish, along with more figs and plums, faint citrus peel, and faint brown sugar. Little bit of hops come in halfway through as well.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth and flat. A little bite from the hops and a bit of carbonation, which comes in near the finish, redeems the flat front. Medium body.
One of the best drinking barleywines I've had so far. Alcohol is very well-concealed. Excellent beer.

Parrotbeak, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of THORN
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Duvel Tulip. Served 50-55 F.
A: Reddish brown. Random CO2 bubbles release from bottom of tulip. Retains thin layer of frothy head.
S: Hops, sweet toasted malts, and alcohol.
T: Sweet spicy malts. Hops are citric and fruity. Alcohol is noticeable with bitter linger.
M: Medium to medium light on tongue. Syrupy.
D: Big beer. Alcohol is matched well with a wide range of bold flavor.

THORN, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of blackc5
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%

On-tap, tulip glass, at probably around 55F or so - I let this warm a bit before tasting.

A - A gorgeous mahagony amber, with offwhite head. Just a smidgeon of light lacing is left behind as I sip.

S - Somewhat pedestrian for a barleywine, I was expecting a bit more in the nose. Some dark fruit and sweet caramel. Very little in the way of hops in the nose.

T - Quite a bit better and more diverse than the aromas. Lots of dark fruit flavors here - rum raisins, plum, prunes. Good caramel maltiness as well. Some other fruit like banana as it warms. Again, not overly much in hops, just a bit of floral bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite enjoyable overall.

M - A minor quibble, but I found this to be a bit on the thin side. Would love to see a bit more chewiness on this.

D - Alchohol is very well hidden. Although 'thin', the complex flavor profile really help this one stand out.

blackc5, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of Buebie
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

2009 vintage and I cant remember who I traded with for this bottle, but thanks mystery trader! Cant think of a better beer in my fridge then this to do review #500

Poured from a brown bomber into an oversized snifter. Rigerously poured producing about an inch of tan froth. Settling to leave a bubbly frothy cap of retention.
Color is a redish copper, murky and not completly transparent with a bit of haze.

Aroma is off the charts. Sweet and buttery with loads of malty sweetness. Sweet caramel rolls melting with butter, a touch of apples, or apple cider with a pie crust likeness, biscuity really.
No alcohol at the nose.

Taste is just as exceptional as aroma, a bit less sweet though, still sweet but not as pungeant as aroma would lead my to believe it might be.
Sweet caramel butter lathered rolls upfront mixing with apple cider. Tart fruit midway with large amounts of malt and a touch of cereal grain. small amount of raisins or figs, hops still do exist and bitter in the finish with pine and resin.

The mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation, slick across the tongue.
This big ballsy beer is very drinkable and dangerously so with the %11 abv. Its a sipper alright, but I could sip this all day long. Flavors do not consume the pallete, its a well balanced big badass american barleywine that fits the style to a T and brings so much more expression, flavor, aroma then all of the others.

Must try! I am excited Deschuts is now in MN I really hope to see this as one of the beers in MN.

Buebie, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours a nice amber copper color with a decent white head and lacing present throughout. Smell of strong caramelized sugars, heavy malt backbone, dark fruits, plums, cherries, hints of vanilla. Aroma hops

Taste of sugar cookie caramelized sugars, very light clean oak presence, no peat or bourbon barrel presence from the barrel aging. Vanilla flavors come out from the sugar cookie taste, slightly stronger than most barleywines and this is a pretty sweet version. At 11 percent there is a decent amount of malt sugars present which I enjoy.

A thick body for a clear brew and low carbonation. I cannot describe it as syrupy, but there is definitely more than a Medium mouthfeel to this Barleywine. I hesitated to think that it is an American Barleywine as there is not an overwhelming amount of bitterness, but a pleasant hop presence that you may forget is there with the strong malt backbone and barrel presence.

alpinebryant, Mar 28, 2010
Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,190 ratings.