Mirror Pond Pale Ale | Deschutes Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,001 Reviews
Mirror Pond Pale AleMirror Pond Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,001
Ratings:
3,726
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.22%
 
 
Wants:
187
Gots:
806
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,001 | Ratings: 3,726
Photo of velosuds
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by date 10/14/09. Grabbed this from the fridge at my favorite B&B in Bend, OR called Cricketwood.

A-Pours amber-orange with one finger, off-white head with average retention and scant lacing. Although darker than most pale ales I have had, the appearance is very pleasing.

S-Grapefruity, citrus Cascade hops. Gotta love 'em since I have spent most my years surrounded by them, both the hops and the mountains.

T-Well balanced. Cascade hops with nice delicate toasted malt. Slightly bitter after taste.

M-Not quite as smooth as I like in an APA. Tad too much carbonation. I would probably enjoy this better after working up a sweat. I like this brewery's seasonal Twilight Ale, also an APA, much better.

D-A good, but not great APA. Improves as it warms.

This is probably my least favorite ale in Deschutes' very fine year round lineup. A good beer and very affordable in Salem, OR.

 945 characters

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

Mirror Pond...what a solid brew. Store some in the Deschutes River and then pull out slowly and hand to a friend. Smiles will ensue.

Aroma:
Cascade dry hop, floral, citrus, slight banana and light caramel. Appetizing.

Appearance:
Big frothy creamy off-white head with tight bubbles. Copper colored with some slight chill haze. Intense beading, good lacing.

Taste:
Medium bodied, with some slight caramel up front that segues into a firm but not overpowering bitterness. Well balanced. You will want another after finishing the first.

Finish:
Tending towards the dry side with some slight lingering bitterness.

 616 characters

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

From the bottle, this is a good, solid APA, light but somewhat characterful with good balance.

It is slightly reddish gold/amber with a medium pale tan head steadily shrinking to lasting ring and wisps, with a little bit of lace.

The aroma is light toasty grain, citrus, leaves, hay and dust.

The taste is similar, with lightly toasty grain with a faint caramelized bready hint, slightly burnt grapefruit and orange peel, some green leaves, light sweetness and balancing light bitterness with grapefruit, orange, leaf. It's good and drinkable, although its character is a bit too tied to grapefruity-citrusy hops, which makes it seem a little one-dimensional to that style and reduces the score for me, making it seem more mundane as well

 741 characters

Photo of sleazo
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a medium golden brown with a minimal off white head with little retention or lace.

S_Nice blend of caramel malts and floral hops with a bit of fruity yeast. none of the aromas dominates over the other leaving this well balanced.

T_A bit of caramel malty sweetness up front followed by a good bit of fruity yeast in the middle. The follow through packs a decent hop punch that I wasn't expecting from the aroma. A nice pine hop kick lingers in the mouth.

M_Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Works well with the flavour.

D_A well done pale ale that I would drink often if readily available.

 604 characters

Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with a head and lacing that creates a picturesque brew.

S: Cascade hops and herbs.

T: Fruity esthers are preceded by a sweet bready grain flavor. Slightly dry, but the citrus flavors make this a down right refreshing Pale Ale.

M: Dry and sugary aftertase. Goes down smooth and easy though.

D: Easy to drink, but solid and interesting enough to go back for more.

 380 characters

Photo of berley31
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with an average-sized, off-white head. Hazy-bodied, and a nice, dark-orange color. Aroma was mostly of hops, with some very fetching citrus as well. Medium-bodied on the palate, creamy texture, and average carbonation. Very nice flavor that ends moderately bitter and stays with you for a while. Overall, another excellent APA that I experienced in the same time frame as some other great examples of the style.

 418 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Cheesecake Factory at Washington Square Mall in Portland tonight. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Coppery and thin white head with decent lacing. Standard Pale Ale affair here, which is a lovely looking and decently carbonated ale.

Smell: Mild, but small citrus and piny hops come through with the slightly wheaty malt as well.

Taste: Crisp and light with malt and sweetness up front with the hops coming a bit later, but never come on all that strongly. The best way to describe this would be well-balanced and unassuming, and perhaps unoffensive as well. My girlfriend, and non-beer drinker, enjoyed it enough as well, which says something for the hops being mild enough. Nothing too complex or interesting here, just balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Dry and light, with a slightly oily finish and coating, but certainly not too powerful or carbonated. Went well to wash down my appetizers.

Drinkability: Easy-going and hardly made a dent, even after the second one. Drinks easy and tastes solid, definitely a solid and enjoyable sessioning beer.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Damian
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fluid ounce bottle at Adam's Mountain Cafe, Manitou Springs, CO
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a slightly hazed, golden-amber color with a two-finger, off-white, bubbly, creamy, sea foam head that left streaks of lacing along the glass. Over time, the head faded to a thick, lasting cap of froth.

The aroma was rather mild. Herbal, earthy hops were noticeable. A slight grassiness came through as well.

The taste was definitely more punchy than the aroma. The herbal, earthy hops dominated here as well, but there was also a decent caramel malt presence and an interesting citrus flavor to round things out. Semi-spicy in the center. The finish was piney and slightly bitter. Overall, very well balanced.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkability was decent. This is a crisp and refreshing yet non-obtrusive brew that could accompany a variety of cuisine. It paired well with my smoked salmon fettuccine in a dill cream sauce.

This is what I consider to be a mediocre and pedestrian pale ale. I expect better things from Deschutes, especially with hop-centric beers.

 1,138 characters

Photo of benclimbs
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

beautiful looking pale ale, poured into a pint glass, blonde copper with minimal head and lacing and nice carbonation.

Smell is just average - light nutty malts

Taste is good, some ripe berries, rooumded sweet malts and clean bitter hops.

Very drinkable, solid session beer with enough character to make it worthy

 316 characters

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

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

    Subscribe