Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

very good
1,000 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,000 | Ratings: 3,726
Photo of rye726
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this a little nicer than Deschutes other pale ale. It has an amber color and a good tan head. The nose has a solid bouquet of hops backed by soem rich malts. The taste is a nice blend of sweet malts and bitter hops. Fairly light body has good carbonation. Another session from Deschutes.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a rich deep gold almost amber ale with a thick slightly tan head that subsided slowly. The aroma is of fresh floral hops with distinct fruity esters mixed in. The taste is bittersweet on the initial taste with a clean cascade hop flavor supported by a sweet carmel malt but the initial impression is on hop flavor not bitterness. The absence of high alpha hop roughness gives credibility to the pale aleness of Mirror Pond as the hops are deliciously there but not to the point of being an IPA. The mouthfeel as with other Deschutes brews is great when concerning the carbnonation and carbonic bite but in terms of body i belive this is lacking but not of making this beer poor. Very drinkable but i like the black butte or quial springs for a session beer instead of htis one as the hops could become less distinct after the first pint.

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Photo of TheBigBoy
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in SF - Really clean tasting, slightly fruity pale ale. Not overpowering at all. Just pure spring water with wholesome beer goodness. Hopefully this is as good in a bottle and hopefully it will make its way to this side of the Mississippi soon.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Piney almost grapefruit hop nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Favor is mild grapefruit hops with hints of sweetness. 12oz bottle - gift from Portland, OR.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The absolute, unrelenting eradication of my back inventory continues. I just want to return to The CANQuest (TM), but the bottles glare at me for ignoring them. This one came from The Friendly Greek's Bottle Shop.

From the bottle: "If you could only listen to one album forever, what would it be?"; "At least there's Mirror Pond when it comes to Pale Ales."; "Crafted for Explorers Everywhere Since 1988"; "

I was anxious to get started, so I got a nice, heavy-handed pour going. The by-now predictable outcome was a pseudo-cascade, followed by the production of three fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Color was a deep-amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled primarily of grapefruit, but underlain by a light mintiness. Mouthfeel was medium, kind of soft on the tongue. The taste was mellow, kind of tea-like, with a light citrusy tartness. Finish was likewise mellow and unobtrusive. If I could only have one APA forever, it would NOT be this one.

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Photo of rawfish
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper gold with a noticable chill haze, turbid pour nets a two finger parchment paper head, very porous bubbles as it subsides.

Nose is pleasant, nothing too strong but a good mixture, bready with grains, honey, cannabis and a little mint. Hop profile is citrus but toned and earthy. Some faint fruity esters on the back.

Dry and grainy almost has a bit of wheat twang odd for a pale ale. Bread malt taste offset with citrus and lightly herbal hoppiness. Not overly bitter, drinks like an amber, very balanced. A little soapy feel on the aftertaste. Rather simple in its approach but delivered well.

Medium body and carbonation. Full on the drink but finishes dry and with soap residue without much bitterness.

I was looking for a snappy pale ale for this gloomy weather instead mirror pond is more of a sessionable amber, very balanced but doesn't deliver quite the refreshment or enough bitterness. A drinkable brew, but I don't like getting fooled.

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Photo of misterscooter
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unfortunately, the bartender poured this with no head to speak of so I wasn't able to get much smell out of it at all. Just a light beer smell. It was a cloudy copper color and looked good despite the lack of head.

It was a dry beer, with a lemony flavor to it. This beer didn't do it for me. I've liked other offerings from Deschutes but not this one. It could be the pour or something because I seem to recall liking it from the bottle. I must try this one again to make sure I'm giving it a fair shake.

I did notice the higher alcohol content in this one, though, as it kicked in on me soon into my second beer.

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Photo of herman77
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: Ever so slightly haze, rich orange/copper color. Small cream colored head. Lots of sticky lacing everywhere.

S: Bread and a slightly sweet toffee malt. Some citrus hops

T: A little sweet and fruity barley up front. Some grain flavoring in the mix. The bitterness is a little odd in a bad way, can't quite figure out why, sour/skunky? Nice crisp, slight dry finish. Decent balance.

M/D: Medium body, smooth feeling over the tongue. Carbonation is a touch on the higher side. Okay drinkability.

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Photo of thepitch
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So I have never had anything from the Deschutes brewery and picked up a six pack of this brew from the Duck Blind Wine Shop on Montana in Santa Monica Blvd.

The appearance is a nice light amber gold color with a thick white head that laced nicely around the glass.

The aroma is a fine example of balanced hop flower smell and and caramel undertones.

The taste of the beer is exceptionally well balanced and interesting, yet not delicious or inviting. The hops and malt come together with a long lasting rose tasting bouquet and crisp malt finish.

The mouthfeel is good with probably the finest attribute of this beer. Overall somewhat drinkable but not my favorite pale ale.

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Photo of nmglick
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head of this beer is light, white, bright (ok no more rhyming) and inviting. Simply looking at this beer makes me want to taste it. The beautiful golden brown color only made me want to indulge in this brew even more. It's like the beer knows it looks good.

With the first taste I sensed a dry, wheat flavor - one that brings thoughts of hiking in the forests of Oregon, although I've never been there. The brew lies easy in the mouth, yet leaves its mark (in a positive way).

Overall, this beer is dry, yet refreshing. The brew remains bubbly and full of flavor through to the end. I don't know what the Mirror Pond in Oregon looks like, but I believe I know what that sensation tastes like after having this brew.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a tulip at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A : Dark burnt orange, no head beyond a small froth ring. Slightly translucent, some carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

S : A mix of malty richness and hop. The smell is quite balanced with no dominant quality.

T : Matches the smell with a good balance between malt and floral hop. A funny lingering aftertaste, almost yeasty but somewhat bitter.

M : Very thin bodied, bit watery.

D : Easy going down, but the lack of distinctive character gives this one a thumbs down.

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Photo of BenHesk12
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a typical coppery amber that you have a little trouble seeing through. Little to no head without noticeable effervescence. There is no strongly detectable aroma. Taste is lightly bitter all the way through with a light malt and hop character. The beer has a great mouthfeel that will outperform other mediocre pale ales on tap at the local bar, but overall is a forgettable beer. The nice thing is that they sell this bar on tap many many places in the west coast and when presented with your typical sportsbar lineup, ie bud light, blue moon, sierra nevada, I will usually be happy with a Mirror Pond.

Best by date on bottle was only 2-3 months away so I will consider re-reviewing at a later date with a fresher sample.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy deep gold with a decent-sized bubbly off-white head on top. Retention is fair leaving some decent lacing. This smells really good for an APA. Big pineapple scent pulling through. This mixes well with a heavy sweet malty presence. Very nice.

The mouth on this is weak and wet. Too watery for my liking. Knocks drinkability down a notch. Flavor is a little muted as well. It's not offensive at all, just slightly absent. Some malts and a slight bitter finish. This beer is not bold in any way, and I think it needs to be in the flavor. This could be tweaked a little. Not bad, but I've had much better.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've drunk this beer on many occasions at taverns in Portland where I've greeted it as a class act. But the pint I drank at the Deschutes Brew Pub was somewhat less charmed. The color is quite beautiful: dilute honey with modest clarity and depth. It sports a thin head, low carbonation, and no lace. The aroma is light and plummy, and the taste emphasizes malt fruitiness with a wayward note of pineapple and customary bittering. Late addition hops make minimal appearance.

Mirror Pond is a decent all around pale ale that's best found in a bottle. The draught version served by Deschutes has a plump mouthfeel and a companionable flavor but otherwise stirs little excitement.

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Photo of JDV
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Caramel honey colored pour with a lasting creamy head. Smell is of an almost berry like hoppiness at first, but it fades into a light hoppy, almost metallic smell as it opens up. Taste is mildish hoppiness, with a sweet finish at first, and then after a few sips a hoppy light bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Maybe it was just my tummy today, but this seemed fairly acidic after it went down. Not a bad pale ale at all, either way. There are more I like better, but I could still have this again.

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Photo of tigerdoc
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper golden color with tight head of tiny bubbles that dissapates relatively quickly. Carbonation is low to medium. Aroma is carmel and malty sweet with citrus hop charater, in line with cascade hops. Flavor is initially malty sweet with a small citrus hop flavor in the finish. I would prefer more hop flavor in the beer especially for a west coast pale. Body is pretty medium not to heavy not to light. Overall a pretty average pale, nothing really that special that makes it stick out.

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Photo of putnam
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mint bubble gum and cream aromas rise up reluctantly from the orange/brown liquid. Grapefruit, alcohol and crushed seeds appear in the flavor. A leaner malt profile here, barely able to support the bitter, grapefruit-skin hop notes. Perhaps not the result of an obsession with quality, but the thing does drink. A little more roast, some funkier yeast, and you have Bell's. For fans of the craft Pale scene, maybe a clever little brew. For me, I can live without it.

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Photo of mothman
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into Bud American Ale glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of khaki colored head. Decent retention with some really nice lace left. Color is a clear golden copper.

Aroma: Lots of bready malts here. Some caramel malt flavors as well. Don't forget the pale malts of course. Grassy floral hops. Fairly sweet. Light citrus blend.

Taste: More malt forward than I was expecting. This beer is nowhere near the hop level that I was expecting from a west coast pale ale. Caramel and bready malt flavors up front with a large amount of pale malts. Small amount of hops present compared to what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Bland, smooth, a bit of crispness. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends slightly dry, relatively clean.

Overall, this beer just wasn't for me. I expected more hops. Way too much pale malt here. All of this combines for a beer that isn't too drinkable when a normal pale ale should be.

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Photo of BDJake
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- amber colored with a finger of white head that retains nicely and leaves decent lacing

S- floral hops up front with some hints of the barley

T- decent hop taste expected in a northwest pale ale, with a good malt flavor to balance it out- and a mild citrus to add to the flavor

M- fairly light with medium carbonation

D- pretty decent, a good sessionable brew that left me feeling alright after finishing the entire sixer but nothing special- i'd still go with SNPA if given a choice

This was the first sixer from Deschutes that I bought from a supermarket where some fool didn't try to be slick and mix it with a bottle or two of Obsidian or Black Butte, but somehow that phenomenon is actually quite pleasing whenever people try to pull that. I've had bottles of this beer in sixers when trying to purchase Black Butte where it provided a nice change of pace but alone it doesn't really do it for me.

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Photo of Hunter
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little darker in appearance than I'd expect a Pale to be. Think mahogany. Clear with a head of dense white foam.

Aroma is muted. Soapy undertones support light hops and barely-there malt.

Taste suits the aroma. Light malt made crisp by the hops, but neither dominates or distinguishes. Clean, slightly fruity aftertaste, tongue left pleasantly scoured afterwards.

A good summer quaffer.

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Photo of Lord_Boobzit
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 4.75

Look: I gave it a 5 but that's only because it doesn't go to 6. It's definitely a six pack
Smell: yes
Taste: good, I like it.
Mouthfeel: wet. Especially initially after I sip and before I swallow.
Overall: nope. Just regular pants. But probably later I'll switch to no pants.

Characteristics: definitely earthly but possibly via an extraterrestrial or extradimentional origin. Beer-like but also, in some ways pretty similar to other watery liquids. It only came with a carrier and a receipt, no notes to speak of, but sometimes it's the notes you don't play.

Ready to drink now.

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a mahogony reddish, brown color with an nice off white head that gives way to minimal but noticable lacing. Retention is poor, but this just barely hazy APA looks inviting. It has a very mild, almost muted hop aroma but it does carry some nice caramel sweetness on the aroma. Almost has a barleywine esque matly aroma but its very faint. Tastes on point with the style. Not over hopped, or over malted, balanced and crisp. Nothing jumping out at me and does have a slight bitter, unenjoyable aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on, small bubbles wake the tongue up but leaves a disjointed hollow alcohol aftertaste. Drinkability is very high. solid APA, too bad its not distributed by me.

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Photo of cavemanlawyer
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap today at Horse Brass from the cask tap.

Big thick off-white head. Aroma of malt mostly, with just a hint of hops.

Opaque amber hues in color. Lower carbonation than usual due to the cask-style service.

Really enjoyed trying this on cask, although I prefer the Bitter. This had an almost buttery smooth mouthfeel, extremely light and silky.

Drinkability is very high, partly due to the lower alcohol (5%) and also to the mellowness added by the cask-style service.

Nothing really stood out and made me say"wow" but it was a very pleasant experience.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clean white one-finger head. Clear light amber body with a hint of ruby.

Smell - Grapefruit and body odor. Thanks to my wife for ruining it by mentioning the BO. Now I can't avoid thinking it.

Taste - Bitter. Grapefruit and grass clippings. Tastes like mowing the lawn when you have Spring allergies, if there was a way to describe that. Pollen. Citrus peel. Not a pale ale fan, so I'm begrudgingly grading within the style.

Mouthfeel - Okay. Nothing special, but nothing that detracts from the character.

Drinkability - Interesting. Glad I tried it. Will not go out of my way to pick up another one.

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Photo of Suds
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold in color. Slim head. Respectable clarity. The aroma is clean..some fresh hops, balanced with lightly toasted malt. Semi-sweet. Drinkable.

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Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,726 ratings.
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