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: 3,672
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an extra from my recent trade with Wasatch. Thanks John, I always love Deschutes brews when I can get my hands on them.

A vigorous pour produces more head than my glass can handle, so I must wait a bit to dump the whole bottle in. Mirror pond has a copper colored body with two fingers of off-white head. The head is thick and creamy, boasting great retention and lacing.

The aroma is a good one for an APA also. A huge floral bouquet from the hops comes through, with just a small edge of bitter hop aroma. A little bit of sweet malt is underneath that, but a great hop scent makes up most of the nose.

The taste is dominated by bittering cascade hops. However, this bitterness is by no means over powering; it is rather mello. The floral accents of the hops carry over to the taste. These hops are accompanied out by a caramel malt backbone that balances out the flavor, but is subdued enough that it still allows the hops to shine as the premiere flavor of the beer.

The mouthfeel has just the smallest suggestion of oily hops, and is a little light bodied with moderate carbonation.

A pretty drinkable brew overall. A well made APA.

 1,149 characters

Photo of Adamdc
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: slightly cloudy amber/copper pour with a half inch bright white head that settiles quickly to about a quarter inch with very good lacing

S: very malty with slight hops and a bit citrusy. I like the aroma.

T: follows the aroma to a 'T' with slight bitterness when going down

M: seems just right. Not too thick and not too thin. Perfect for a Pale Ale

D: Very drinkable----definitely it's strength. Almost too drinkable!

A very solid, sessionable Pale Ale from a great brewer. Didn't knock my socks off but didn't disappoint either. I've got to seek this out again!

 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 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 froghop
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear amber with a white head, and great lacing.

smell of caramel, malt, a few hops, a roastiness, and a touch of citrus.

taste is lightly bitter, caramel, earth, malt, and some hops, ends dry yet refreshing.

overall an above average beer and a very good pale ale.

 275 characters

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a light amber color that is slightly hazy with a fluffy finger of head that eventually dissolves and leaves a nice layer atop the glass. The aroma has caramel malt and a floral bouquet of hops. Flavor pretty much mirrors the aroma with a gentle citrus bitterness that lingers. Its medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation. I've had this beer numerous times, both from the bottle and on-tap, its definitely my fall back beer if nothing else is looking appetizing.

 515 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 DaveFL1976
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yeah, this is a nice APA. Bright, golden body with a fluffy white head. It diminishes in fairly short order, but just above it, wafting out of the glass, is a fresh citrusy yet sorta grassy hop nose. Nicely balanced taste profile. A bit of malt that's wonderfully offet by some tingling on the tongue from the hops. Not a ton of bittering hops; just a well-balanced brew. Mouthfeel is medium, just where I think an APA should be. Drinkability; kick butt. I consider SNPA to be a the benchmark of APAs, and damn tough to beat. But I'd rather have Mirror Pond.

 558 characters

Photo of ajuarez
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six pack of this at the grocery store. Poured into a stemless wine glass. Slightly murky orange and copper hue with a nice little cream head. Fresh hop aroma reminds me of dandelions covered with honey. Alcohol is evident on the nose after 20 minutes of warming. Taste is sunny with solid caramel base. Hints of lemon or grapefruit. Enough carbonation to perk the buds without that over-tingling sensation. At 5% abv, I could drink this brew all night long. I think I will.

 482 characters

Photo of GarrisWH
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy, orangish-golden color with about a one finger head that recedes fairly quickly, leaving a very slight bit of lacing

S - Floral, tropical fruit aromas with a bit of crisp hop and some sweet malt tones as well.

T - Fairly watered down flavor. Some of the tropical fruit flavors come through with a slight bitterness, but really fairly bland overall. A bit of the sweet malt taste on the finish, but really nothing to write home about flavorwise.

M - Medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - Definitely not a horrible brew, its not offensive by any means, it just doesn't really have much complexity or intensity to it. Refreshing and wouldn't have trouble putting a few down, really not a standout though, in my opinion.

 762 characters

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.

 626 characters

Photo of washburnkid
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A neighbor dropped this one off the other day. I haven't had it in a while, but drinking it reminded me of how it is simply one of the best in its style.

A: Two thick fingers of beige, creamy head over an amber ale. Beautiful retention and some sticky lacing.
S: Sweet malty goodness with a firm hop backbone. Grapefruit is discernible, and is a bit of orange zest. Some spices on the nose. Really powerful hop aromas.
T/M: A very balanced brew right off the bat. Citrus hops, a dark fruit and bready backbone to balance. Very smooth with medium carbonation. Residuals leave mild bitterness behind. Some notes of metallic, which I often find in APAs. Citrus comes out even more with warmth, and that's a darn fine characteristic.
D: Balanced. Smooth. Refreshing. Definitely one of the best APAs and session brews available. Just another day for Deschutes!

 856 characters

Photo of jdg204
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another offering from my Pacific Northwest vacation, picked this one up at a nice little ocean front lodge in Olympic National Park. Along with Alaskan Amber, this seems to be the other commonly available micro in the Pacific NW so I was excited to try it.

A: Cloudy apricot color with a modest head that leaves a dancing pattern of lace.

S: Very fruity aromatics of grapefruit and apricot, with a bit of caramel to finish.

T: Strong but brief fruity introduction before a bitter hoppy flavors dominate after the swallow with some residual sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Flavor was very robust.

M: Medium body but the rawness of the flavor made this a slow sipper.

D: Not for the faint of heart, a pretty wild Pale Ale offering. Not a bad choice at all considering how many places that I found it available, a rock solid go-to Micro that's easy to find. My first Deschutes and they've definitely got me interested in trying more.

 939 characters

Photo of portia99
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with SMason. Thanks!

Poured from a 12oz bottle with best by 5/12/09 date on the bottle (just in time on this one) into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Poured a slightly hazy gold orange with very thin, almost non-existent head despite pouring hard into the center of the glass. No lacing.

S - Slight phenolic, medicinal and alcoholic aroma hits me first. Light on hops. Don't get any of the cascade citrusy character I expected. Bottle at end of date range - maybe suffering the effects.

T - Taste pretty much follows the aroma. Slightly phenolic and add a metallic flavor into the mix. Not much hop flavor, just a firm bitterness on the back of the tongue. Not bad, but nothing special here.

M - Appropriate level of carbonation. Medium body. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

D - At 5.0% alcohol, nothing overpowering, but the flavor leaves a little to be desired. I'd kinda like to give this one another try with a fresher bottle - but for now I think I would move on to something else after one.

Overall, I'm kinda disappointed in the Mirror Pond. I have really fond memories of this beer from when my sister lived in Oregon and she would send some back to me. I'm gonna say that the bottle isn't as fresh as it could be and probably has something to do with my lower score here.

 1,315 characters

Photo of BeanBone
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A slightly hazy, pumpkin-colored body. On top, a finger and a half of off-white creamy head featuring excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma: Floral and citrusy Cascade hops over a solid caramel malt base. Classic American Pale Ale all the way.

Taste: A wave of Cascade hops in the front, a little more grapefruity then in the nose. Underneath, a sold caramel malt backbone keeps everything well balanced. Sure, I'd love to see more focus on the hops, but I suppose that's what IPAs are for. The aftertaste retains the balance, with equal doses of bitterness and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It gets a little watery in the finish, limiting the aftertaste's strength a bit.

Drinkability: This is an easy drinking beer, just what you want from a Pale Ale.

Verdict: Mirror Pond is a great example of the American Pale Ale style. While not the most complex beer out there, this does make for a very solid session beer. I can't wait to see what these guys are cooking as far as IPAs and Double IPAs go.

 1,048 characters

Photo of champ103
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy orange color. At first a large white head forms, but recedes in an instant. Some light sticky lace is left behind.
S: Citrus and grassy hops. Some bready and caramel malt for balance. Simple, but pleasant.
T: Light citrus, piney, and grassy hops that leaves a good hop presence. Though it is not overly bitter for bitters sake. Some grainy and caramel malt for a nice balance.
M/D: A medium body and crisp carbonation. It seems a bit watery though. Very easy to drink. An easy choice for a good session beer.

Simple, but very enjoyable. Something that is going to be in my fridge more often. Recommended.

 621 characters

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 LPorter33
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A better version of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale. Extremely high drinkability and perfect amount of hops, does not overload it as a lot of these West Coast beers are apt to. I wish I could easily find this back on the East Coast as it's my favorite example of an APA.

 263 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 bbothen
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a pale orange amber color with a bubbly 2 finger deep white topped head.

Smells grainy, sweet, caramel, hoppy, piney, tropical. Like a good pale should.

Light sweet maltiness, caramel, toasted grain, piney hoppiness, nicely balanced.

Light to medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth, lingering hoppiness.

Great sessionable pale. Doesn't knock your socks off. Awesome deal at $6.99 a sixer on sale.

 412 characters

Photo of ThePortlander
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a very nice logo into a pint glass.

A: A dark gold with red-orange hues and a white head.

S: Very much a northwest APA: cascade hops shone through the mix with floral and citrus aromas.

T: A crisp taste opens as the beer slides in over the tongue, with a medium body. The hops are certainly present, and they carry with them a great citrus note that works well with the bitter finish. After the initial crispness, Mirror Pond smooths out, leaving a sweet and grainy taste on the tongue. A wonderful beer.

M: A medium body, with just the right carbonation.

D: A strong example of an APA. Some wonderfully brilliant cascade hops thouroghly dominate, producing a crisp beer. Well done. Recommended to any Pale Ale fan.

 752 characters

Photo of Kromes
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours and orange amber with an inch thick head. There was a bunch of sediment in the beer. It ahd an herbal floral hoppy smell. Sweet malt floaral flavors up front and a tingly mouthfeel due to the carbonation. There is a lingering bitterness from the hops, but all other flavors die out. Good flavor and drinkability.

 318 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Double Dog in Aspen CO.

Poured into a standard, non logo pint glass. A clear copper color with a thin white head with staying power. Fine bubble lacing left a mostly consistent film during consumption.

Aroma is a light sweetness with very faint hop aroma. Some off arom which I attribute to neglect of the tap lines (Aspen and quality beer are not a solid match).

Some malty bite on the finish with sweetness.

 429 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with tons of suspended sediment and active carbonation in the body. One-finger, fluffy, sticky, off-white head retains well and drags tons of web-like lacing.

Smell: Cracker-like malt, caramel, and lemony citrus. Sadly, I'm not getting much else.

Taste: Sturdy malt body with associated lemony hops, pine, astringent alcohol, and a good amount of bitterness. Nice balance for a pale ale, but not my favorite flavor.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, well-carbonated (a bit on the high side), medium-light in body, and pretty well balanced.

Drinkability: Not my favorite pale ale, but a very good example of the style. Well balanced and flavored, but just doesn't quite fit my tastes.

 740 characters

Photo of hreb
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cold 12oz bottle poured into large glass mug. Beer pours a deep orange amber with a big, off-white head. Foam is very aromatic of sweet, nutty malts.

First sip has a well balanced edge of cascadey hops and moderate carbonation. Malt flavor is big, the beer tastes more brown than it looks. Secondary flavors of nuts and a hint of toast.

Overall, a very respectable example of APA.

 382 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!