Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
992 Reviews
Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.0%
IBUs: 40

170 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 992 | Ratings: 3,672
Photo of brewbattles
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

We conducted a blind taste test between this beer and 4 other popular American Pale Ales: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Firestone Double Barrel Ale, and Boulder Hazed & Infused.

Check it out: http://youtu.be/DHis2L_OBdg

 257 characters

Photo of tmcelvain
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

L: gold; slight copper with a medium head.
S: Malty, with a faint yeasty smell.
T: Good balance between malts and hops, but I am overwhelmed by a sour yeastiness. Bad tap line, or have I just lost my taste for Pale Ales? Don't think so as I have recently had others that I had no problem with.
M: Just fine - refreshing with a mild carbonation.
D: Low because of my taste, but it seems like a well put together beer.

 416 characters

Photo of Tebonator39
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was looking at reviews of this earlier today and decided to go for it. Not sure why earlier posts mention great hops in this one. Just not feeling that. Maybe my six pack is bad but this is similar to budweiser. Very disappointed! Yep, AAL taste all the way.

 260 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.01/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: [4.75] The beer is a nice golden color with lots of red hues. It has a fat finger of dense white head. The head is creamy and looks nice atop the beer. The head also leaves some subtle lacing. The bottle lists the ABV (5.0%) and the IBU (40) and the best by date (08/09/2016).

S: [3.00] Weak nose. I only get wisps of caramel and some herbaciousness. Nothing definitive.

T: [3.00] The flavor kind of follows the nose. It is subtle. Mild toffee and caramel. Not much in the hop range at all.

M: [2.50] Light body. High carbonation makes it feel lighter. It lacks density on the tongue - so it is not watery but almost "Frothy".

O: [2.75] Visually this beer hits on almost all cylinders (I like a born on date vs a best by) other than the date code it looks fantastic. The nose and the flavor things start to fall apart. They are just really subdued. Nothing pops or comes to the forefront. Even worse the beer is almost foamy and this cases a lot of mouthfeel issues. I don't like this enough to rebuy.

 1,024 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The scent of hot asphalt coming through the AC really works my appetite.

Pint glass pour. Toasted, chill-hazed orange caramel color. Chunky off-white head. Sticky resins turn the glass ugly.

Smell kind of like what you'd think dry-hopped Tang would be like. Just a touch bready in the back.

Citrusly bitter upfront, nearly tart(& quite refreshing). A touch steel-y though. Midway through a sourdough sort of malt fills it up, dragging along whatever lingered. Aftertaste is almost salty.

Feel isn't my favorite. It's a touch gritty. The alcohol, though low, paired up with the hop oils, becomes solvent-like.

BB: 09/30/09

 627 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on-tap 06/04/07 at a sports bar near the (closed at eh time) Tugboat Brewpub in Portland, OR.

Nice golden color with a decent off-white head and some lace. A nicely balanced malt and light hop aroma and flavor. No real defining hop characteristics that stand out. Medium-light bodied and easy drinking.

A very average APA. I wonder if this bar didn't take care of their kegs very well...

Per DB website:
Hops: Cascade
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 40

 446 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. Label says Best By: 11/11/16.

A- Pours a slightly reddish medium amber color with a 1/4 inch head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some faint wisps of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny clots behind.

S- Bready malt aroma with some faint hop character. Also some pear and apple notes.

T- Fairly typical pale ale without a whole lot of hop flavor or bitterness. On the dryer side with the malt coming through only as much as needed to keep balance.

M- Usual pale ale feel with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Not sure why this has a score as high as it does when it's not all that impressive even for an old-school pale ale. Sure it's not the freshest but, even after a few months, a pale ale where the hops aren't the primary showcase shouldn't be this limp. Quite average.

 894 characters

Photo of BWED
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a willibecher.

A- Dark copper. Dense tan head, 1/2" retention.

S- Tropical, pineapple, maybe mango. Faint pine, sweet biscuit.

T- Rather mild. A little toasty, pine hop comes out more. Slight citrus.

M- Really light. Very little carbonation. Hops linger in finish.

O- Looked and smelled promising. Taste is mild, feel is too light.

 362 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Light amber with 1 finger of creamy looking head. Moderate carbonation with excellent clarity.

N: Lemongrass, tangerine and caramelized sugar.

T: The caramel malts are very forward in this beer. The hops bill is comprised of notes of lemongrass along with dollops of grapefruit, tangerine and pineapple.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, smooth, clean and refreshing.

O: A very underwhelming APA. It's balanced and easy drinking but I would prefer the hops to be a little more forward.

 510 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to Wasatch for this beer.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a lightly cloudy bright orange with just a touch of brown. About one finger of white head fades rather quick leaving a tiny lace ring.

The aroma has a nice hoppiness to it. Moderate citrus along with sweet malt backbone. Light hints of apples and oranges.

The flavor is lightly hopped along with a dry earthy tone. A touch medicinal. Very mild malt in the finish.

Medium to light body. Mild carbonation.

Overall this beer is lacking in the flavor area. The bottle is about six months old so maybe I can find this fresh and amend my review.

 623 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Big thick white foamy head. Brew is clear amber color with lots of orange and some reds. Moderate lacing.

S - Some big pineapple. Slight kiwi. Lots of apples and other citrus.

T - Very nice and light. Not aggressive. Underwhelming.

M - Decent carbonation. Average bitterness, not as much as I would like... No bite.

O - An underperforming brew. Last time I had this one, it blew me away, this time the brew/batch has let me down... COME ON DESCHUTES, don't let me down....

 482 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As pales go, this is a very good beer. Pours clear amber with a medium white head. Malty with some hops and a nice citrus back. Consistent throughout. Clean taste. Better than a Sierra, but about the same in every category as a Firehouse with less hops.

 253 characters

Photo of BuckeyeOne
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one of the first craft beers I'd ever had. Based on this beer, I didn't think I was a craft beer drinker. It pours with a nice head and has a beautiful amber color. But, the malt sweetness smacks you in the face. And, the taste follows. It's just way too sweet for me.

If this APA has hops in it, I'm hard-pressed to find them. I just can't get past the malt. I know there are others who prefer the balanced English pale ale to the West Coast-sytle hop forward style, but I'm not one of them.

 501 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours a light golden color with a half finger of head and a tad bit of lacing. The aroma is pretty light, made up mostly of bready malts and earthy hoppiness. The flavor is very crisp, but the hops are virtually non existent. This would be fine if the malt profile was a bit cleaner, but there is some mustiness that holds it back from really being an easy drinker. Bitter finish. Overall, a nice beer perhaps to have with a burger and fries but not something I would purchase again.

 504 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, best before 08/12/10.

This one actually gushed on me when i popped the cap, but it was a really slow gush and it never overflowed. It pours a nice, if standard, golden orange with a creamy white head. As it quickly recedes there is some lacing.

There is a definite grapefruit scent in this one, some bready, almost buttery malt and a bit of herbal character.

The taste is smooth, with a hint of hops and butter, bready malts, it is rather average though, a bit too buttery for my taste.

This brewery produces some liquid gold, unfortunately not this.

 571 characters

Photo of ryrust5301
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Similar to a glass of apple juice in color. Clarity is of the highest order. Doesn't seem to have enough body to it, and it seems as though it should be very thin. Head was a nice white and certainly up to pale ale standards, but once again nothing holds together very well.

Smell - Pale malt shines through with a hint of apple skin. Seems as though there's a bit of a sweetness to it as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - A very average pale ale, and much to thin for my taste. Almost watery in a way. A very solid pale malt backbone wins the day here, and I don't taste very much hops at all. I do taste the apple more than any other fruits. Feel is very thin with little carbonation.

Drinkability - Sierra Nevada curb stomps the crap outa this beer. It is highly poundable due to it's light body. If you lived in Oregon a sixer would make for a nice session beer at a gathering.

 889 characters

Photo of nohead02
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label talks about a generous helping of cascade hops but I think this beer lacks a bit. Not much of an aroma upon pouring and there seems to be a very subtle sweetness that distracts from what hoppiness there is. Kicks up a frothy head that makes you think there might be something to this beer but in the end it doesn't deliver.

 333 characters

Photo of jethrodium
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark golden amber with a small white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is light floral hops as well as some sugar cookie. Not terribly complex, but enjoyable. Taste is very similar to the nose. Some sugar cookies as well as some floral hops. Clean finish with a light bitterness. Light body. Medium carbonation.

 358 characters

Photo of ShrLSU
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearence is a clear copper color with some nice white lacing and almost zero head. THe nose has some piney hop and a fail amount of malt in there as well. Taste is some slight hop bitterness with a light malt taste coming through and taking over. A slight grassy hop taste at the end. Mouthfeel is medium with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty modest pale ale. Good but nothing to get excited about.

 406 characters

Photo of 321jeff
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into my Troegs pint glass. Best by date of 8/19/10, received in a trade in early December 2010 and consumed in February 2011.... great, thanks for that.

Pours a gorgeous amber caramel color with lots of suspended carbonation and a finger of just off-white head. The head fades to a solid layer and leaves some decent lacing. So far, so good.

The aroma is actually holding up well. A solid blast of grapefruit and orange teams up with some sweet caramel to create quite the sweet smelling concoction.

The aroma may have held up, but the taste doesn't seem to have made it. Some caramel sweetness and bits of citrus but it's all kind of muddled by a faint taste of tea in the background. Kind of a mess at this point.

The mouthfeel is a bit off as well, almost grainy but at the same time thin and watery with an especially weak finish. I'm sure this is a good beer fresh and I wish I had noticed how far past the best by date it was when I received it. Lesson learned: drink your pale ales fresh.

 1,011 characters

Photo of winomark
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle notched with a "best before end of month" marked August.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper with a substantial off-white head.

Aroma: Good hop citrus balanced with sweet malt. Slight hint of wheat?

Taste: Good rich maltiness help balance a good dose of hops.

Mouthfeel: Coating, but with a dry finish. Lingering bitterness is quite pleasant.

Drinkability: My first real love of west coast beers. Thanks to Dave for making me try this one. Well done, but wish I had a fresher bottle.

 506 characters

Photo of mpipe
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Amber good lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Citrus hop and fruit.

Taste & Mouthfeel: On the tongue this beer is slightly sweet, crisp, citrus hop flavor with no bitterness, piney, or resin flavors.This is good, but not great. Didn't have the finish I expected.

Final Word: Friend recommended and I was a little disappointed. It was good, but didn't stack up compared to others. In fairness, this was close to getting pulled based on brewdate. I wasn't impressed, but would easily pick this over any macro swill.

 523 characters

Photo of Jemonster
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber with foamy yellow head that quickly fades away. Sticky lacing and large bubble carbonation.

S: Grains and hops. Some light stone fruits, peach maybe, and some cedar/wood.

T: Grains and medium hop bitterness. Starts off with an IPA-like flavor and ends bland. Bitterness fades quickly.

M: Thin with bubbly carbonation. Typical for the style.

D: This is a beer that people are usually glad to see you show up at a party with, since it's a little better than the terrible stuff that is the most common. Easy to drink casually, but nothing there for people looking for something interesting.

 606 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, Best by date of 9/11/12 on the bottle.

copper colored, bright white head that fades quickly. sharp grainy malt aroma. some earthy hops are in there as well.

taste is well balanced. biscuity malt, slightly citrusy hops. thin to medium body, higher carbonation.

overall - average, easy drinking pale ale.

 322 characters

Photo of david18
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the Deschutes Brewery a lot and had very high expectation for this beer but was a little disappointed in the end. Pale Ales are tough to be real standouts because if anything of the aspects dominate (hops, malt, etc), then it's something else. However i would recommend this beer just for its pedigre.


Had this beer again and would agree with the above. Not really a stand out. Color was a light copper with a light hop aroma. Flavor also had a light hops, nothing outstanding but not bad at all.

 514 characters

Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,672 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!