Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

very good
1,002 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: 1,002 | Ratings: 3,736
Photo of Birmingham
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: A complex but moderate aroma of floral notes, spices and caramel.

Appearance: The beer is copper color and has a slight haze. The head is tall off white and persistent.

Flavor: Balanced towards the malts with mild bitterness and caramel notes.

Mouth Feel: The beer has medium light body with some cloying.

Overall Impression: Very easy to drink, the first one went down in minutes. I enjoyed this beer a lot, but I would expect more hop flavors and balance more towards the hops in American Pale Ale. That said it is still a great beer.

 548 characters

Photo of JWU
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass

A- a nice orange amber with some chill haze. A nice finger of eggshell/light khaki head, and fantastic lacing

S- A lovely multi-faceted hop profile of citrus, pine, and floral components balanced with a nice biscuity malt.

T- Follows the smell perfectly. You can identify it as a Deschutes beer from the yeast they use. Balance is the name of the game here.

M- Medium, with amble carbonation. Dries just a touch on the back, but not IPA levels of dryness.

O- is there a finer APA around? I think not.

 554 characters

Photo of OhioRay
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Appearance - Pours a beautiful deep amber. Decent clarity. A finger and a half of head. Awesome lacing.

Smell - Good hop aroma balanced by a sweet maltiness.

Taste - Good bitterness and citrus hop notes up front. Quickly gives way to the maltiness that was in the nose.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Excellent APA. One of my favorites. Well balanced beer.

 386 characters

Photo of molegar76
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams beer glass.

Nice head after poured into Sam Adams beer glass, but almost disappears. Little head left which leaves nice lacing.

Nice appearance, hazy medium auburn, smell light floral/ citrus hoppiness. Hopps not overpowering but present.

TASTE: WOW. Really smooth. Taste of hopps but not overpowering like some pale ales. VERY refreshing. While browsing through my ligour aisle at albertsons and taking way too long to pick from my usuals, my impatient 8 year old said, "Dad, pick something new!" This was the one and no regrets. Good stuff maynard!

 593 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This, along with Deschutes' Black Butte Porter, was one of my first craft brews. It definitely brought me into the world of better beer and I've been craving another one for a long time. I needed to try it again since I'm heading back home on the East Coast and Deschutes only distributes on the West Coast.
A - Such a vibrant, haze, dark orange color w/ a fluffy, soft white head.
S - Wow, hops and fruit explode in your nose with the first whiff. Some bready, caramel scents come through as well. Very inviting...
T - Just as I remember it. Very balanced and full of flavor. The hops and bread-like malts are the prevailing flavors, but ripe, summer fruits show in the finish.
M/D - The hops are subtle enough to where this is very enjoyable and not overly dry or hoppy. The carbonation is very smooth as well. I love the balance of hops, fruit, and malt, and every sip reminds me of why this is one of my favorite Pale Ales. Some PA's can get tiring after a pint or two, but this one keeps you intrigued. I wish Deschutes would distribute back East, but I understand why they stay on the West Coast right now.

 1,116 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The is a beautiful beer, a rich copper/amber color. It porurs with a nice amount of foam that compacts to a nice 2-finger head that leaves behind some generous lacing.

The smell hits me faintly at first but grows as I drink the beer. I get a very nice fruitiness, pineapple and mango and maybe even a hint of peach or apricot. Perhaps the slightest hint of a yeasty bread as well.

The taste is just excellent. First off is the hops, all nice and juicy and fruity. Pineapple mainly, maybe a hint of orange and peach. Then come the sweetness of the malts. There's some toffee, maybe a bit of honey as well. It finishes with a pleasant, lingering bitter note.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, lightly bubbly and very pleasant. I don not detect the alcohol at all.

Overall, this may be my favorite pale ale and one of my favorite beers. Just a great balance and so easy to drink. Superb.

 936 characters

Photo of Nimbus_
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark amber in color, nearly brown. Cloudy, but clear enough to see bubbles rushing upward. A thin, foamy, white head. Just a small amount of lacing left on the pint glass.

Smell: Not very strong at all. I get some caramel notes and a bit of citrus. While not very strong, the smell is pleasant.

Taste: This APA tastes really wonderful. Sweet, citrusy hops, and bready malt at the start. The taste turns to a caramel aftertaste that is quite pleasant. Not bitter at all, but not overly sweet. This beer is fabulously balanced.

Feel: Crisp and refreshing. Medium amount of carbonation. Overall, pretty light and very sessionable.

Overall: I really loved this beer. Deschutes has not disappointed me so far. This is a light, refreshing beer with a great taste that isn't too simple or overly complex. I haven't tasted many beers that are as finely balanced as this one here. I highly recommend getting one of these if you can!

 948 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours a hazy reddish orange with a thin foamy white head. Good lacing.
S- smells a malty, slightly citrus hop that is not overbearing.
T- Bitter hop with slight citrus. Malt is more present in this APA than most. The bitter sticks around. Nice balance around
F- As smooth as any APA Ive had. Bitter, yet crisp clean finish.
O- Great overall APA, in which the balance and mouthfeel is its best quality.

 409 characters

Photo of gjdee33
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Best pale ale I've ever had. Sierra Nevada's good, but I found this more perfectly balanced and refreshing. Wish I could find it here in the Southeast.

 152 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium yellow. The aroma is stronger than you might expect of a pale ale; malt and some citrus in there, too. Taste is a nice blend of malt, citrus, and hints of some spices that are hard to put my finger on. An intriguing pale ale, one of the better ones out there, and one I could drink one after another.

 322 characters

Photo of LazyL
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just like this beer, that simple. It is darn good and caught me by surprise. It shouldnt have though as anything from Deschutes is good. The colour is nice and the nose is good but the taste is fantastic. It has just enough hops to really stand out but not enough to overpower it. Turns out I love the citrusy flavours of Cascade hops.

If you are looking for a nice hoppy ale that goes down real easy, this is a beer for you, and if you havent tried a Deschutes beer, you are missing out. Perfect beer for a sunny afternoon, while you sit in the snow on the top of your local mountain.

 588 characters

Photo of Kubishark
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Deschutes' Portland location. This might now be my favorite APA. It's just so well balanced and delicious. A copper, orange color that's slightly hazy. Smells like bready malts with moderate hops and citrus, all about equal in strength. Tastes so remarkably equal as well, not a single factor overpowering another, with some bitterness but not too much. Has a near perfect feel, very crisp and medium bodied. Deschutes is certainly a new favorite of mine.

 469 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Clear, light amber colored body with a puffy, off-white head showing signs of hop resin. Great lacing and retention

S- Clean, simple Cascade hops and Caramel malts.

T- Candy sweetness and a citric bitterness. Bread-like malty characteristic and a clean yeast profile.

M- Moderate carbonation and body.

D- An above-average, middle-of-the-road brew suitable for a wide range of occasions.

 393 characters

Photo of Foyle
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2"+ fluffy off white head leaves significant lacing. Orange-copper in color and a little cloudy with moderate carbonation visible.
Aroma: wonderful smelling brew. There is a grassy aroma along with citrus and pine hops, caramel sweetness from the roasted barley,
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, fluffy ale mouthfeel with a somewhat wet finish. Flavor: a delicious combination of flavor. Malt leads the way with caramel, toffee, toasted bread flavors. The hop backbone then shows up with citrus and piney spice ’burn’ in the finish.
Overall: this is an outstanding, delicious, drinkable brew.

 613 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One I haven't had in a while but I'm sure I came back to it.

Pours a golden copper color with thick white head and slightly hazy appearance.

Aroma is all fresh hops and really pleasant.

Flavor is a great hop-heavy balance between sweet roasted malts and citrus/pine hops. Great overall.

Mouthfeel is good but maybe a bit over carbonated for my tastes.

Drinkability is very good and a deal at a buck a bottle.

 414 characters

Photo of Bekke
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a pleasant experience to drink this beer - the first taste was quite appealing - good mouthfeel, great taste. Easy to keep drinking. Enjoyable by itself. . .but it goes well with poultry dishes, especially. Tried some of their other beers, too - very good, although not necessarily my preference of style This one's a winner, though.

 338 characters

Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional pale ale. Pouring with a light copper color and gorgeous clarity, It's bright, bold and balanced with a citrusy hop character that stands way out front in the nose and leads the way towards a clean and malty taste that reminds me of toasted bread. The mouthfeel Is medium without being watery or oily and i would call the carbonation level perfect.It's not overly complex and I would argue its a bit too hoppy to be marketed as a straight laced pale ale, but its highly enjoyable and a great beer to serve to friends who are curious and beginning to dabble in craft beer. Mirror Pond will be the one to convert them!

 639 characters

Photo of beertunes
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass at Cap Hansens bar in Bellingham, WA. Poured a beautiful, clear, light amber color with an inch of white head.

A solid, but not sweet, malt scent reaches the nose carrying the the subtle and solid floral hop aromas. The flavors follow the scent, as expected. An extremely well balanced beer, this does not fall into the trap of trying to be an IPA-Lite. Enjoyably smooth and tasty, this beer is a reliable companion for most situations.

Worth seeking out, this should be considered a solid go-to beer, suitable for quenching thirst after yard work or introducing someone to the world of craft beer.

 624 characters

Photo of Jmoore50
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. I love pale ales and I love this beer.

I am reviewing from a six pack that I just found in my fridge, pretty excited. Just a twelve ounce bottle with some mountains on it, or more precisely Mirror Pond.

The appearance is beautiful for a pale ale, darker than most. Came to a two finger head, with an off white head.

The taste of this beer is really great, a real mild brew. It comes really mellow and stays to give you that great Deschutes hop flavor that doesnt knock you out, its just there for a good time. I have a six pack of these for some reason and I will for sure dust them all off tonight. What a great beer because not only are they tasting great, they have great drinkability.

I always will buy this beer when looking for a good pale ale. Deschutes is the shit.

 798 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazy golden color with good sized white head that leaves nice lace. Nose is very citrusy-hoppy, especially lemon and grapefruit. Palate is somewhat sharp with the citrusy-hop profile again, though the malt sweetness in the background is quite pleasant. This is one of the easiest drinking hoppy ales I've encountered in a long time.

 347 characters

Photo of PintOHops
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Glass - Pint

A - Copper with a small 1-finger head, retention wasn't good either. Light Co2 can be seen, and it left some spots here & there. Lacking overall, and yes my glass was clean.

S - Soft floral hop, a bit of citrus with dominant malt aroma's, biscuit, honey, toast. A bit of pineapple in there as well, very mellow aroma.

T - Big malts, biscuit, toast, soft caramel flavors unfold to a nice hop finish. I got soft fruity pineapple & citrus flavors that cut the malty palate for a second, then a long/lingering biscuit/toast combo pronounces itself again. Nice hop bitterness as well, just enough to balance.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth, Co2 bite was very low lending little crispness. I wanted a bit more crispness here.

D - This was a more malt forward APA, but still very balanced with floral hop in the smell, and citrus notes in the flavor. Very very good, extremely drinkable, I could drink a 6-pack of this brew, and I think I'd buy this one again sometime. I recommend it. Cheers!

 1,007 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber color with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are moderate. Has a citrus, maybe apple, aroma with slight piney hoppiness. Bready malt with a mild bitter hop. Nice bitter aftertaste. Very good beer. Very drinkable session beer.

 270 characters

Photo of tayner
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz brown bottle with best by date clearly marked on label, this one 6-3-08

Poured a hazy burnt orange color with a large foamy white head that was slow to subside and left a thick, fluffy ring and lots of floating skim, and ridiculous lacing for the whole beer.

Smell was cascade hops all the way, a mix of floral and citrus hops. You could also smell some sweetness in the background.

Taste was a sweet, slightly bready, malt backbone that hits right up front quickly followed by a mouthful of Cascade hops. Light yet a citrus and floral hop bite mid palate dried up my palate upon swallowing making me immediately want another drink.

This one is well carbonated and is light in the mouthfeel without feeling watery at all. Just what a pale ale should be.

The drinkability on this one is off the charts. It is a perfect summer ale for the hot arizona summers, and it is a staple in my fridge for the summer. It is also a nice one as a transition beer for friends who come over who say they dont like craft beer... mild but yet bold flavors in this one can change peoples mind about what they should expect out of beer. Not an IIPA but that is why I love it.. a true summer thirst quencher, and at only 5.5% it is easily sessionalble around a bbq in the hot summer sun!

 1,281 characters

Photo of Strix
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright orange, frothy head.

Very floral smell, mild grapefruit.

Toasted malt and cascade hops. This beer's strength is its balance. Hops are present but not forceful.

Light carbonation, medium consistency, a tad watery at the end but it works.

Nicely balanced and dangerously drinkable. One of my favorite pale ales. When I think of APA, I think of this beer.

 363 characters

Photo of mjaseattle
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Amber, leaning red. An inch of fluffy cream-colored head on top which seems to have no intention of leaving until you're good and ready to drink it.

S - Piney hops highlight a bold, bready body.

T - Very good. Nothing too special, but as far as I'm concerned, a American pale ale shouldn't be too special, exactly. It distinguishes itself nicely from lesser ales without impinging upon the territory of the IPAs. It's built around a solid framework of malted barley, with just enough of citrusy cascade hops to be interesting, not overpowering. In other words, it doesn't sacrifice drinkability for flavor.

M - While the bitterness isn't overpowering, it does take the main stage. There's a noticeable tapdance across the tongue as it makes its way down.

D - For me, it's a very drinkable beer. There've been more than a handful of nights out with friends involving a string of Mirror Pond pints... It's well blended, but a little too tart to call it smooth. Depending on your taste, it could swing either way on the drinkability scale -- though it naturally feels smoother by the second glass ;)

Overall - It's a classic. Tastes great and goes down easy. This was one of the first beers that really opened my eyes when I moved to the Northwest, and it's still a solid staple of mine.

 1,295 characters

Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 3,736 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.