Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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: 3,673
Photo of mdcrouser
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sitting here on a Friday night, watching old Ben Harper, Pearl Jam and others from Austin, as well as old Beastie Boys videos (we lost a good one today) thinking that it's pretty good night for a beer.

Hazy golden-orange with lots of small particles of suspended sediment below and a small amount of white head above.

Though both seem fairly muted to the nose, with the floral hops in balance with sweet malts.

Exceptionally well balanced - can clearly profile both the malts and hops, with them each taking precedence from one drink to the next. The hops are of light citrus and an oddly faint hint of banana. The malts, bready.

Crisp and clean on the tongue, with lingering bitterness.

Outstandingly good interpretation of a pale ale. After drinking lots of IPAs, stouts and other heavy beers, this is compartively light, refreshing and easy.

 854 characters

Photo of mklmcgrew
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

L: Pours a clear deep amber color with a 2-finger head and a nice lacing. Very pretty to look at.

S: A light nose, with some citrus and caramel tones.

T/F: Very smooth and drinkable, with a nice balance of hops, citrus, and a significant malt presence at the end. Good carbonation and a dry finish.

O: One of my favorite large volume produced Pale Ales.

 405 characters

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

While I had previously mentioned that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is not an everytime beer, I think Mirror Pond is. Deschutes has done a great job with this one. It's reddish body isn't typical for an APA and it's got a heavy dose of malts and a little fruitiness that work in tandem with that initial hop push to find a great balance. Even my friends that don't typically go for hops or pale ales can get into this one.

 415 characters

Photo of kindestcut
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale pours a pretty golden orange with a vibrant white head.

The aroma is hoppy and noticeably malty. While the smell is not powerful it is nice nonetheless.

The flavor is citrusy with a pleasant sweetness. Light bodied and refreshing, the hoppy bitterness is slight but lingers after the swallow.

This is not a hop bomb by any means so some will probably call this a weak version of a pale ale. Personally, I think it is a fine example of the style...balanced, tasty and infinitely drinkable.

 526 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a sixer from a local liquor store. Hey, Deschutes, must be good.

Nice translucent copper. Thick frothy head. Very nice initial impression.

I get a nice subtle caramel smell. Faint hops. Taste is same. Nice. Not a big kick in the ass, but a highly drinkable, smooth, tasty, refreshing pale ale.

Overall: good for any occasion

 336 characters

Photo of mynie
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells very mellow. Maybe it's because the only beers I've had from Deschutes have been of the Big n' Bad variety, but I was unconsciously expecting this one's aroma to have a bit more oomph. As is, you got a nice, medium-hopped APA, with light nodes of grapefruit and pine against a surprisingly heavy, thick malt.

Tastewise, the malt is still heavy and thick, but not a bad or syrupy way. Things start off bready, then get piney, then there's a very nice finish of doughy yeast, citrus, and caramel. The yeast *really* brings everything together, and the chewy backend keeps things plenty interesting throughout the duration of the bomber.

 642 characters

Photo of deebo
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle with a BB date of 6/25/13 poured into a pint glass. A couple fingers of off-white large bubbled head tops a burnt orange, hazy brew. Nice lacing-beautiful beer. Aromas of cascade hops (grapefruit, flowery and spicy) with a nice grainly, bready barley aroma in the background. Taste is balanced between an upfront Cascade taste with plenty of bready, clean malt with a crisp slightly bitter finish. A very smooth mouthfeel, a well balanced APA, hoppy but restrained with plenty of malt goodness. Medium bodied and carbonated. Overall, a flavorful easy to drink APA, balance is more towards the malt than the hops compared to many APAs I come across now. Well crafted brew.

 678 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Appearance: reddish amber, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: fruits, hops, and grain.

Taste: nice malts, hops, and a faint grain.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a good pale. It has plenty of flavor and is easily drank.

 264 characters

Photo of roddwolff
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a whiskey glass. Look: brown color with ruby shades, very thin foamy head (maybe because of the glass). Smell: Grass hops and nut malts. Taste: Wood hops with a waterfall of cookie and nut malts, with eart hops at the end. Mouthfeel: Woody, high bitterness, the body is soft for the style. Drinkability: I liked the combination of wood with biscuity malts, very good.

 377 characters

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into standard bar pint glass. Reviewing from notes.

A: Pours a light orange-gold color with a two finger frothy head that lingers around for a few minutes, eventually fades down to an acceptable frothy cap. Leaves a nice bit of sticky looking lace down the glass.

S: Very vivid hop and grapefruit aroma. Hints of pine underneath with a slight touch of malt sweetness. I'm usually not overly keen on the scent of APAs, but this one is just so darn refreshing and uplifting. Can Yankee please give me this in candle form?

T: Grapefruit and citrus zest (kind of like an orange zest?) upfront, with a pleasant wave of hop bitterness that's by no means rough on the palette. A light touch of malt sweetness in the finish rounds this one off well.

M: Smooth with a medium body. Slightly more carbonated than I would have liked, but it's not enough to become a distraction. I forgot all about it after the second or third sip. This one tends to feel a little watery towards the end of the glass, but overall it feels solid and drinks easy.

O: A great brew that's quintessential for any fans of the style and newcomers alike. Balanced and refreshing flavors with a smooth drinkability make this one extremely sessionable, especially on warm summer days/nights.

 1,277 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle with a simple yet inviting label, into a dimpled lager mug.
Best by 2/27/07 indicated.
A - Golden amber color that is slightly cloudy with white head. The beer resembles clover honey.

S - The smell of citrusy sweet hops and gentle whiffs of malt with lightly lactic and nutty aromas.

M - Resinous, sugary, medium body with minimal but ample carbonation.

T - Tart citric hops allow a nice bitter quality at the intial tastes. Nutty caramel malts are tasted and a clean sweetness follows with nice lightly toasted tones in the finish.

D - A very good tasting, hop accented pale with a subtle effervescence. Nice lingering sweetness in the finish while tinges of grapefruit accent this easy drinking american pale.

 760 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber to orange with a slight haze. Thick white head holds up well, but only slight lacing

The nose has malt up front and then piney hops (cascade I assume)

Taste: Hops bitterness (grapefriut then resin) on the tounge and throat snd some malt sweetness on the edges, very crisp finish

MF: Smooth, weel blanced and excellent carbonation

Easy drinking PA that goes down great. Not as good as the draft version and the one time was luck enough have this on cask, wow! But this works if you are looking for a PA that won't blow your lips off and still excite the hophead inside you.

 596 characters

Photo of Brewsmith
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Yardhouse in Long Beach. Aroma has some citrus/pine hops in there...cascade. Color is a golden amber with a small off-white head. Flavor is a wonderful balance between malt and hops, biscuity, toasty, a little caramel without being sweet, while still being hop forward. light to medium bodied with a dry finish. A very nice example of an APA.

 356 characters

Photo of D11
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from bottle into tulip

A- a hazy light copper color with a small white head that dissipates quickly.

S- hops with citrus. smells nice

T- floral hops with citrus(orange). theres also a tinge of grapefruit on the end of the drink but well done. has a slight tang/sour note to it near the end also.

M- really good mouthfeel. some might say its a tad on the watery side but i thought it was quite refreshing. crisp.

O- i really enjoyed this beer and have gone back to buy more. its balanced well, tastes great and goes down good. burps taste yummy too. this is definately one to try, and one of my personal favorites now.

 623 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's on June 16th, this is reviewed from lost notes found.

Poured into a pint glass, the body is a light coppery hue, as a coarse and sticky 1 finger head leaves gobbed-up rings of lace as I sip. The body is clear and crisp. Nice looking...

The aroma is floral and citrusy hop notes against a caramel malt background. There is also a touch of bitterness here, though the caramel does a good job to balance it. The flavor is similar, with far more floral hop character. The bitterness and caramel backbone temper each other to provide a delightful balance where the floral hops pop and shine against the other beer characteristics.

This is a great pale ale, as it is easy to drink, perfectly carbonated, well balanced, and very aromatic. Good all around, this is a very solid APA.

 796 characters

Photo of Riff
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into tumbler glass. Pours a dark amber with a white head about a finger thick. Smells of malts with a hint of citrus hops. Tastes of bready malt with a hint of hops, fades into a a sweet caramel flavor. Medium body, mild carbonation. Overall a pleasant pale ale.

 281 characters

Photo of birddogg66
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz nonick pint

A- Mirror Pond poured out a good reddish, but more toward a copper hue. Topped with a 1" cream color head containing small bubbles, and produced some great lacing.

S- A nice amount of citrus hops starts off on the nose followed by a light roasted caramel malt.

T- A really nice balance between the citrusy flavors of the hop, and the biscuity, caramel flavors of the roasted malt. As the beer warms a bit more of the bitterness comes out, but the light roasted malt is still present.

M- A medium bodied, well balanced pale ale.

D- As with most pale ales, this is a nice medium bodied beer with great flavor. I would put this right up there with most great American Pales. I had been enjoying so many IPAs recently, that when I started tasting Pales again, I forgot how great this style is. Never again.

 842 characters

Photo of evanforbeer
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful amber-orange with fluffy sudsy white head. BB date 11/06/13 on the bottle
Smell- musty tropical fruit, floral notes, bread, spice
Taste- smooth hoppy profile with citrus and some tropical fruit, and subtle floral. An interesting note of faint blueberry sweetness is somewhere in there. Savory toasted grainy malt with a dash of pepper and hop spice. Citrus and spicy hop resin linger on the palate
Feel- lightly carbonated, light-medium bodied. Drink a million of em

Hoppy, fruity, floral, spicy, malty. A wonderfully balanced and complex pale ale, great to enjoy in any season. Love me some Deschutes. Cheers

 629 characters

Photo of y2jrock60
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark orange/light red. The head is thin and only leaves a slight lacing.

S- Caramel notes along with pine and grass. I'm almost positive there are Nugget hops in this beer.

T- Very similar to Hopback Amber, maybe a little less sweet. Mild caramel upfront followed by a piney bitterness. The finish is slightly grainy.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- A solid pale ale, reminds me of a cleaner Hopback Amber.

 434 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a modest head that leaves a dancing pattern of lace

Smell: Fruity aromatics of grapefruit and apricot with a caramel undertone

Taste: Caramel malt and then a brief apricot introduction before a pink grapefruit blast arrives; bitter hoppy flavors dominate after the swallow with some residual sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very nicely balanced example of a west coast-inspired pale ale

 502 characters

Photo of dwilson01
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, brimmed the glass nicely with 2 solid fingers of creamy off white pale yellow head. Nice lacing as it dissipates uneven like a puffy cloud. The color is a maple orange, chill haze is prominent and it has a consistent amount of carbonation rising.

The smell is nice, a refreshing orange and sweeter apricot are prominent, but a backbone of fresh garden herb and dry spice round it out.

The flavor strikes me as more tangerine in the citrus fruit category, lots of residual unfermented sugars give it a sweeter flavor and the hops are all aromatic with very little bittering qualities employed.

Good initial mouthfeel, the great flavor aids in this, finishes a tiny bit dry which isn't a bad thing with this brew, keeps the smooth refreshing quality that I initially pick up.

Quite drinkable, session pale for sure. I guess this one in my opinion basically compares to sn pale ale but with less of the roasted malt and bittering hop flavor profile. Possible more of a mellow wheat beer presence in the hops here which make it more preferable to girls?? Ill experiment on that and get back to you.

 1,163 characters

Photo of PBIU
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Why oh why did I wait this long to buy a 5 gallon of Mirror Pond for the home kegerator?

Just a super balanced and flavorful pale ale.

Appearance is a nice bright honey orange. Great carb.

Smell is grassy with those Cascade hops and biscuity. It is one of those beers that just smells balanced (which I think is a rare thing.)

Taste is a tinge of hops on the front of the tongue and then the malt comes in with a biscuity finish. Then you get a nice dry finish that makes you want to come back.

Mouthfeel is creamy with this being on draft. Right where it should be with a pale ale.

Overall just a great example of the style. It does get knocked for not being too hop forward in this day and age, but keeping in mind this recipe is from 1988, Deschutes was ahead of their time.

Fill glass, drink beer, rinse glass and repeat.


 842 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this nice little brew while in Portland recently. Pretty average in appearance and smell as this may have been on tap too long. However the taste was extremely good, something I am starting to expect from Deschutes Brewery. Had a good mouthfeel to it, good play between the malts and hops. This is another extrely drinkable beer from this brewery, makes me want to abandon the desert as I do not think this is available in Arizona!

 435 characters

Photo of downhilldrift
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Light yellow-orange color, although it might have been the lighting at the bar. The color was translucent and not too much head off the pour. Had a good crisp taste, with faint hints of a grainy blend. The first sip was very flavorful, and the strong flavor lasted through the entirety of the drink. I strongly recommend.

 347 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had poured on tap at the tipsy pig in SF. Pours a hazy amber with a 2 finger fluffy head and good retention and lacing. Adds just enough bitterness to balance out the malt. Strong APA that pairs well with salty foods

 216 characters

Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,673 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!