Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale
Very Good
3,841 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,841 |  Reviews: 1,024
Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/13/05- On tap at the Bistro Clubhouse in the Crown Plaza Hotel in Foster City, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a small 1/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Mostly a hard malt scent, but some hop bitterness as well.

Taste- A bit watery, but that was probably from the frozen glass they served it to me in. Otherwise, nice mixture of hops and malt. Maybe even a tad nutty.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation.

Drinkability- I'll have to try a bottled version of this and re-rate in the future. May get a better rating. From what I tasted, I enjoyed though.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ox bottle served in a mug.

Dark gold/orange in appearance and slightly cloudy with lots of carbonation. Head is foamy and cream in colour. Lacing follows all the way down the sides and is still there when the glass is empty.

Aroma is very hoppy with traces for fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly fizzy.

Taste is slightly sweet at the swallow then almost immediately gives way to the fruity (grapefruit/lemon) taste. Generously hoppy with a little malt to give it balance. Finish is long, dry and slightly bitter.

This Pale Ale has a nice zesty bite to it. The grapefruit flavour isn't as strong as it is in the Cinder Cone Red Ale. Here it is more of a highlight rather than dominant feature. I think this would be well enjoyed by both Lager drinkers as well as hopheads. I wish I had more than just one to sample.

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Photo of nfo
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy appearance and a pleasant, light hoppy aroma. The flavor is very smooth with mild hops and a bit of citrus. It goes down easy, with a manageable amount of carbonation - I could drink a lot of this beer. A good bang-for-the-buck that doesn't overpower food and even non-beer-drinkers won't find offensive, it's handy to keep some around.

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Photo of MrNuggets
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mirror Pond:

Prime example
this use of fine hop.
Splendid sample
with white foam on top.

Delighting the snout
seducing my taste;
piney throughout
divoid of haste.

Golden reflection
on this hillside pool.
Brilliant complexion
soothing: not cruel.

Leave me for dead;
that feeling prevades.
Please place my head
atop the Cascades.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on Friday 13th May, 2005 and the bottle sampled was a little past its "best by" date. Nonetheless, appearence was typical pale ale colour with slight haze. Not great head retention, probably the result of being a little past its date.
Smell was a nice, slightly floral and hoppy bouquet with some caramel.
Taste was good even pale ale with a nice syrupy mouthfeel, and a nice tang to the aftertaste.
Another nice offering from Deschute's.

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Photo of charlatan
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generally my attitude towards pale ales is one of bewilderment. Why drink a pale ale when you can take on an IPA? Remarkably I found myself in a bar in Portland which was bereft of IPA, but, realising that one can rarely go wrong with a Deschutes beer, I ordered a Mirror Pond.

It was somewhere between amber and bronze with a slightly acidic smell which I wouldn't like to expand on since my venue was bigger on smoke than beer. The head was rather limited.

This was rather hoppy for a pale ale (immediately I was glad there was no IPA!) and boasted the usual creamy, raisin flavoured Deschutes backing. They certainly weren't being stingy with the malt here. This was a well coordinated and very drinkable beer with a reasonable feel (lots of small bubbles). Perhaps I should drink more pale ale rather than IPA, but more likely I should drink more Deschutes beer. I find Deschutes to be the most dependable brewery (never a bad beer). Good stuff!

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Photo of misterscooter
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
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 chrisms86
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pouring with a nice lasting head, Mirror Pond is the definitive pale ale. Starts off slightly sour and finishes with the bitterness you expect from a pale ale. In the background I taste some hints of wood. This style of beer has never been my favorite but Mirror Pond is definately an easy drinker, good for just about any occasion.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My fiance acted as air courier to bring me a sixer back from her trip to Spokane. I am even further indebted to this lovely lady. Pours a slightly cloudy golden/orange hue with a smallish gleaming white head. Lovely aroma of fresh, floral hops, some sweet malt, and notes of pine and astringency. Palate begins with light sweet malt, then the hops kick in. Nice, rich floral hops coat the tongue, with a pleasantly bitter hoppy aftertaste. Body is full and slightly creamy, almost perfect. If I had to pick one session beer for life, this would definitely be it (although maybe it would be from the beer engine at the Horse Brass).

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Photo of mjbrewboy
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap in downtown Portland at a very busy pub. For a pale ale it looked darker than I thought it would, looked almost amber. A very nice citrus aroma but the malt backbone of this beer seems to be too much as the beer had some sweetness that I wouldn't expect. Very little head retention with some large surface bubbles during the first few sips. Gonna have to give this another try someday to see if I just had a bad pint.

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Photo of IceAce
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle with a best-by date of: 03/22/05

Pours a nice bronze body with very nice clarity, capped with a light tan collar of foam with only moderate lacing. Nose needed much coaxing and finally revealed a mild hop aroma...but not a lot of it.

Entry is clean but not noteworthy with a midtaste dominated by euromalt. Finish is Cascade hops, and not in an overdone sort of way. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but all in all an acceptable pale.

I'd love to sample this with some sharp cheddar.

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Photo of KoG
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orange-amber hue with a small head that leaves little lacing.

Flowery hop aroma complements the malty profile that shines through at the end.

Taste is very well balanced. Starting with a nice mixture of citric and bitter hops and finishing sweet and malty. Very nice.

Goes down so smooth and at 5% ABV, it would make a very nice session brew.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost hard to imagine a better looking pale ale. Clear, bright orange with tan/orange sticky and dry thick haze head. Complex nose, with some candy sweetness, sweet malts, alcohol, and a touch of spice.

Taste is mild and well-done, not leaning too much on hops or malts. After having other, heavier in taste pale ales, this almost seems like a "light" pale ale. But it's still very nice. Small, clean after of residual hops and light sweetness.

The mouthfeel is interestingly soft and foamy, which I liked, especially from an American pale ale, but I think in the end it lent it a somewhat watery feel and decided that I'd like it a bit firmer.

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Photo of HochFliegen
2.71/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice slightly hazy copper color with a thin white head. Little to no lacing.
The smell was grape or raisn like. Nothing to strong kinda bland and that was after about 15 tries to detect some charcter to it.
The taste as I was affraid was much like the smell. Seemed rather bland. There was a slight sweetness to it but not much else. A bit dissapointed since Im a big fan of many of their other beers.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
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 Brian700
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice dark golden color. It has a white head that leaves a pretty good amount of lacing. It has a nice hoppy, floral, aroma. Slightly citrusy. Taste is of malt and a small amount of citrus. Mild hop bitterness on back of tongue. Good mouthfeel. Perfect amount of carbonation. My friend sent me a few of these from out west. I wish this was sold around here in MI. This would definately be in my fridge on a regular basis. I guess I don't need to recommend it to anybody on the west coast. I'm sure your probably drinking one right now. Try it if you've never had.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
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 Thrasher
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good ol' Mirror Pond -- it's available literally EVERYWHERE in Portland. Every bar, every grocery store, every 7-11 and Plaid Pantry... luckily, it's a good beer and deserving of its popularity. It, along with Sierra Nevada, may be the premier American-style pale ale, or at least the West Coast version. It's full of malt, full of hops, well balanced and drinkable, but manages to pack a slight punch. The mouthfeel is smooth and filling. I don't know if the beer is bottle-conditioned but it feels like it. Pours a tawny orange with great head and lace; hops dominate the flavor with fruit flavors that marry well with the sweet malts. Despite the bitterness, the finish is on the sweet side, and soft fruit flavors linger, such as peach or mango. It is an everyday brew, although for an ordinary beer it is lucky that we have one as tasty as this. Many cities have to make do with Bud or Coors. It may be a drawback to some that it absolutely must be poured into a glass; it just doesn't work from the bottle. A beer not to be overlooked.

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Photo of carln26
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was another beer I really wanted to try while in Denver. We don’t get Deshutes in Boston (that I know of, so I jumped at the tap when I saw it. The bear poured a bright copper, with a thick full white head. A nice lace stayed for the entire beer. It had a bright citrus aroma from the hops. More hop character than I expected. The taste was light and fruity, from the hops, not the yeast, with a light floral middle. It had a light mouth feel and a great drinkability. Nice candidate for a session beer.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle pours a amber hued liquid with a decent head that quickly fades to a sheen. Has a very slight sweet caramel smell with a whiff of hops. Has a medium body, with a taste of caramel sweetness followed by smidgin of floral hop bitterness to finish. A very easy drinking, smooth beer - maybe too smooth.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle. No best before or freshness date noted. Poured into a standard pint glass. Mirror Pond had a slightly hazy light copper color topped by a whitish head that faded down to a small cap and miniscule lace.
The nose had a crisp floral citrus aroma nicely counterbalanced by the toasted malts. The taste had a well integrated merging of sweet grainy malts and the acidic tang of grapefruits and lemon rind. Neither malts nor hops attempt to one-up the other; rather, they blend together smoothly for a well balanced flavor. The feel was medium-light and crisp.
Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a highly drinkable brew that's perfect for enjoyment while camped out in front of the TV watching football (college or pro). Another great beer by Deschutes, one of the most underrated breweries in the U.S.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle brought to our Brewers of South the Suburbs meeting. Light in color, with a thin head. I didn't find it to be as hoppy as other people have described it. Just a nice, clean smell and taste that goes down well, and another brewer I hope to sample further in the future.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright rustic orange, pumpkin to be exact. The largish head is ecru in color, is moderately dense and is beginning to pit on top. It hangs around for a bit, eventually falling to a short disk with a ragged collar of lace. If anyone wants to know what pure, unadulterated Cascade hops smell like, have them take a whiff of Mirror Pond. Even though Cascade tend to be overused, I still love their bright, grapefruity citrusiness.

The flavor profile is pretty evenly balanced with gently toasted malt and Cascade hops playing equally important roles. That's too bad really, since this would have been the perfect beer to let those hops go a little crazy and show what they're capable of. Of course as a self-avowed hophead, I could hardly be expected to feel otherwise.

The understated sweetness from the malt and the gentle bitterness from the hops makes this beer as easy drinking as any APA that you're likely to run across. The body is medium for the style, but has a disturbing habit of fading into a slight wateriness at the finish which prevents the agreeable flavor from lingering as long as it might.

Men's Journal recently stated that Mirror Pond Pale Ale is America's Best Beer. Hardly, but it is a fine, drinkable example of the American Pale Ale style. Most everyone should enjoy this fine ale from one of the Pacific Northwest's best breweries. I know that I do.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body here was solid brown in color with a decent head from a very careful pour by the bartender.

Smell – The citrus and soft pine hops gave way to a stiff malt balance. The toasted malts were unsweetened and, I thought, a bit heavy-handed.

Taste – The hops from the nose find their way into the taste, but it’s the malt flavor that dominates. It is a rather darkish malt not unlike raw molasses. I would have liked to have seen a bit more balance to this one.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and has just a bit of a dry finish at the very end.

Drinkability – This went down well enough.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This should become a blueprint for all other pale ales. Pours an amber orange with a semi white/tan head that grows to great proportions then fades to about an inch. The smell is of strong floral and citrus, hints of hops characteristics, very clean and refreshing. The taste is a nice balance of the sweetness of the floral/orange citrus and the bitter tangy lemon hops. Some pine notes detected as well, very light and refreshing. Goes down about as good as a beer can, great for those thirst quenching moments. This is now become my staple in the fridge. Sorry SNPA for there is a new pale ale king.

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Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 3,841 ratings