Mirror Mirror | Deschutes Brewery

542 Reviews
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
30 IBU

Bottled/kegged vintages:
2005 - Released February 2006
2009 - Released April 2009
2014 - Released April 2014

Added by waltonc on 04-29-2009

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 542 | Ratings: 1,771
Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Reserve. Nice brown color; plenty of lacing and slow crawl down the glass after sip. Big caramel nose with a little of the wine barrel as well. Taste follows with the wine barrel aging providing a unique and welcome partner to the rich caramel. Slight hint of berries. Small bitter kick at the end. Warming but not overly boozy. Nice carbonation and a bit of a syrupy feel. Overall, I am a bit of a newcomer to barley wines (if you don't include Old Nick's from the early 90s), but a rich delicious brew like this makes me want to explore some more.

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Photo of BierRunner
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful caramel color and a fabulous nose. Malt,raison and an intriguing funkiness. Nice off white head on the pour. Very viscous for a barley wine with a huge complex taste that lingers for a long time. With 11 percent ABV I'm losing feeling in the tips of my fingers, but in a good way ;). Outstanding example of a barley wine with lots of character to explore as it warms.

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Photo of Spikester
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three fingers of tan head that stays about ten minutes. Rings of lace.
Smell is malts and a bit of funky hops.
Taste is big malts with just enough hops to be present.
Mouthfeel if full with good carbonation. Finish is mildly dry and sweet.
Overall a fine beer. Version 2009.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Barely any white head, hazy orange red body.

Smell : See below.

Taste : Caramel, golden raisen, apricot, cherries, some red wine, some honey.

Feel : Low carbonation, full body. Slight alcohol bite.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Deschutes Mirror Mirror at Boyne Country Provisions. I've been meaning to try this one for awhile, but now that I've finally found it it's time to give it a try, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a clean and classy look to it, but it isn't too eye catching. It poured a murky brown color that took on more of a caramel brown color when held to the light with a little over a fingers worth of creamy and bubbly light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking barleywine, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a big caramel aroma being the first to show up along with a some lighter butterscotch aromas that are followed by the malts which impart a toasted malt, big caramel malt, light brown bread.sweet malt and grainy aromas that go into the dark fruits which impart a nice mixed darkfruit aromas. Towards the end comes a little bit of an alcohol aroma a little more caramel sweetness towards the end. This is a good tasting beer, it's what I would expect from a nice Barleywine.

T- The taste seems to be a little similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the fruits being the first to show up this time and they impart the same dark fruit aspects, but this time they are brighter and a little juicier with more of an apple juice aspect this time. Up next comes the same caramel aspects that I got in the aroma, it's a little lighter and less intense in the aroma, but it imparts those same creamy caramel aspects with a little bit of more a butterscotch aroma. Up next comes the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the sweet malts and a little bit of that graininess sticking out the most and it goes into the alcohol which is noticeable and not too warming and on the lighter side. On the finish there's a lower amount of medium bitterness with a little more sweetness with a darkfruit, caramel and malty aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, but I wish the taste was a little more like it was in the aroma.

M- Fairly smooth, well hidden alcohol, crisp, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice and it works well with this beer, but it's a little more crisper than I was expecting.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I was looking for with enough aspects to make it a little unique for the style. This beer had ok drinkability, I think one glass is enough for me. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and aroma, those are the highlights of this beer to me. What I like the least about this beer is the mouthfeel, it didn't need to be so crisp. I would buy this beer again and I would like to try it fresh. I can't say it's a must try, but if your a big fan of style than it's worth checking out. All in all i liked this beer, but I didn't love it and I think it's just a little rough around the edges for the style. It's not my favorite Deshutes beer and it's a sold example of the style. Nice job guys, this is a solid Barleywine that's a little unique.

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Photo of LAp
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reinforced my love of this brewery. Tremendous consistency in their every-day sixers, and world-class nuance in their big beer one-offs. Impressively balanced and immensely complex. Touches of the full breadth of the style. Figs and dates without being too much of a coffee bomb. A range of fruit (predominantly dark), though much more reserved than many of the big malty barleywines out there. Will absolutely be looking to pick up one of these come the next release.

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Photo of Buck89
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A hazy, rusty brown color with a two-finger light tan head. Aromas of cherry, raisins, figs, and caramel. A rich taste profile with candied yams, cherries, dates, figs, and apricots. NIce malty and clean but full-bodied bitter finish. A subtle but noticeable red wine finish as well.

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Photo of FBarber
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage.

Pours an opaque reddish brown color. Lots of tan flecks noted in the beer. Thin tan head dissipates rather quickly.

Smell has strong grape aromas, grape juice, raisins, hint of overly ripe cherries, touch of malt in the back. Not much barrel character in the nose. Smells pretty sweet ...

Taste has notes of grapes, raisins, strong malt backbone. Still some hoppy bitterness on the finish. Pretty sweet. Touch of oak noted in the beer, but the wine barrel comes out more in the strong grape flavors. Lingering bitterness on the tongue gives way to a nice mellow raisin flavor.

Feel is pretty carbonated. Provides a tingle initially and down the throat. Feel is nice for the style. Some tannins are noted particularly on the finish which is very dry.

Overall a very good barley wine from Deschutes. Bit sweeter than I'd like and there just isn't much wine barrel character in this, but I guess thats to be expected with the 50% aged notation. Still its a tasty beer and well crafted.

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Photo of ricke49
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always appreciate a quality English Barleywine (which this is). First flavor is raisins. Mmmmn good. A bit more complex (hop presence) than my favorites of this style - see update for comment on diminished hop presence after additional cellaring. 22oz 2014 vintage, still available at some stores in Bend Oregon. Hop influence takes the English BW character in slightly different direction, which results in a surprisingly well balanced creation. I'll alway buy this one when available...it comparable to my all time favorite - Arctic Devil from Midnight Sun. Update: now that it's Fall 2016 I've gotta say this has aged beautifully. So smooth...not even remotely HOT....and less hop presence than when it was consumed 'younger'. I Happened to stop by the Deschutes tasting room 2 days ago (Oct. 2016) and noticed this 2014 vintage was still available there at a very reasonable price. Next trip to Bend = buy some more !!!!!

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, fig colored. Very little head that quickly dissipated. Black tea, caramel, oak, and some sort of fruit. Maybe raspberry or blackberry. Malty. Some Tannins. Super dry. Some hop bitterness. Not bad.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle - 2014 Vintage

Black waxed covered top with best after 2/24/15 printed on the label. Mirror Mirror is a barleywine with 50% aged in wine barrels.

Poured into a snifter. The complex aroma is dark fruits, plums, grapes, and oak. The taste like the aroma features a lot of complexity that starts out with a lot of sweet malts, dark fruits, and a hint of tartness. The finish continues with the lingering sweetness and some warmth from the alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall, Mirror Mirror is a fantastic brew that I enjoyed. I have not had a bottle fresh, but it is extremely solid after two years of aging.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 reserve (labeled best after 2/24/14) drank 5/29/15 (cellared @55 degrees).

Pours a burnt orange / brownish color with 2 fingers of white foam....solid head retention that slowly retreats to a solid ring.

Smells like a holiday rum cake...boozy, notes of fig, sweetness of honey, vanilla, raisin

Taste brings out oak and butterscotch

Moderate carbonation for the style, velvety and coats the tongue. Flavors pleasantly linger.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Reserve. "Best after" Feb. 24, 2015, drank May 15, 2016.

A - Beautiful maple body with 4 fingers of creamy toffee colored head.

S - Caramel, toffee, dates, dried fig, brown sugar, and a soft almondy whiskey.

T - Caramel, vanilla, lemon ice tea, oaky bourbon, blondies, and toffee.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium full body.

O - Smooth and delicious. On the sweeter side of the style.

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Photo of stevoj
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Brewer’s Haven. Malt and alcohol slap you in the face, lots of alcohol warmth, but still a smooth drinker. medium amber brown with minimal head

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Photo of MaximalC
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*2014 vintage with "best by" date of 2/24/15

Pours the color of murky, dirty pondwater with a meager cap of khaki froth. Tremendous, decadent aroma smells of rum-raisin bread, dark fruit, toffee, cherries and red wine--one of the finest smelling beers I’ve ever encountered.

Similarly robust taste features raisins, brown sugar, and warming alcohol up front, while woody, slightly tart notes from the wine barrel manifest on the back end. What little hopping exists is earthy and slightly herbal in nature. Warming reveals some butterscotch, dark fruit, and even char if you look for it. Alcohol is present enough to lend a pleasant warming without over-asserting itself and offers nice contrast to the massive, malty sweetness. A gluey stickiness lingers on the lips between sips. Substantive body and modest carbonation make for a slightly syrupy mouthfeel that works well.

What can I say? This brew has everything I look for in a barleywine: big sweetness, complexity, and luxurious warmth with negligible bitterness. Time to dust off the smoking jacket!

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Review based on 2014 vintage on tap.

This beer pours a very hazy brown ruby with a small but lasting head. The aroma offers up a host of dark and dried fruit with plum, raisin, prune, fig, date, as well toasted almond and brown sugar. The flavor puts an emphasis on prune and date, with toasted almond and toasted coconut mixing in, and a touch of golden raisin, brown sugar, and tobacco. The mouthfeel is thick, but not syrupy. Overall this was a breathtaking beer - balanced and decadent, this is a desert beer with a serious feel.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black wax capped 22oz bottle from BeerShip.com. 2014 Reserve, best after 2/24/15 so I assume bottled 2/24/14. Served in a Toppling Goliath teku.

Pours a turbid, pale auburn tan with about two fingers of frothy beige head. A milky surface haze remains, as well as a full halo that leaves some small clumps of lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, brown sugar, caramel, wet wood and a hint of faint wine.

The first sip while still cold is a one two punch of oxidation and booze. The flavors open up as it warms. Musty dark fruit, singed caramel, wet wood, bready malts, acidic wine, brown sugar, faintly bitter earthy hops and some cereal grains. The alcohol and oxidation are constant companions to those other flavors but neither are overbearing and it works.

Medium full body, somewhere between creamy and chalky, with moderate carbonation. Oxidation remains at the forefront in the aftertaste with some booze soaked dates and earthy wine barrel.

I'm torn between thinking this has aged almost too long (due to the oxidation and mustiness) and not quite long enough (with it's pronounced heat for the "only" 11% abv even after two years to settle). At any rate Mirror Mirror is still a decent English style barleywine that I would drink again.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 Reserve, aged for nearly two years, poured into a standard pint glass.

L: Beer is a deep cordovan-brown. Pour gives about a 2 finger head, little retention, no lacing.

S: All sweetness: malts, stone fruits, honey, molasses, brown sugar. Nice, and not cloying.

T: Generally follows nose. I guess my only additional comment is I don't get much wine barrel. Might be the aging.

F: Don't know if the aging did it some good, but the balance is nice. Full-bodied, light carbonation. ABV provides dry finish with only a little burn.

O: An entire bottle of this at one time is a lot, but this is pretty good. My love/hate with barleywine continues and this is on the love side.

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Photo of darktronica
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage, still drinking lovely. Strong malt backbone, with plenty of grain, caramel, orange gumdrops, and vanilla. Oxidation is just starting to take hold, but for now it's a pleasant complement to the other flavors. Probably peaking soon, so I don't think I'll be holding on to my other bottles for much longer.

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had originally rated this lower when fresh. But, having just enjoyed a 2014 bottle (two years of aging), my impressions definitely improved. This was best when the beer reached near-room temperature.

As it warmed, the aroma exposed caramels and toffees with a slight hop dankness. Nicely complex English Barleywine flavors - rich sweet malts that are well balanced. Aging produced a fabulous creaminess. I will surely procure and age more of this.

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Photo of Ri0
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage. Poured 22oz bottle into snifter. Color is dark orange with deep amber highlights around the edge. The slightest cap forms and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass. Small beads of lacing fade away after a bit. A wonderful blend of sweet malts, dark fruit, some spicy hops and a touch of wine barrel. The flavor is of brown sugar covered figs, caramel, toffee, spicy hops and wine barrel. Quite complex an very inviting. Very, very smooth with a soft mouthfeel. Heavier body, but lacking in carbonation. Creates a velvety presence in the mouth. Turns out this is one of my favorite BWs!

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Reserve
A: Cloudy, brown, creamy head
S: Raisins, apricots, dried and spiced fruit, cinnamon
T: Raisins, fruit cake, gingerbread, little smack of hops
M: Creamy, sugary, syrupy sweet, a bit of medicinal after taste. Nice warming on the throat.
O: A full of bomber of this is quite a lot for one person. Very true to the English style.

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Photo of leaddog
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage

Appearance - Pours a chestnut red with two fingers of cream-coloured head.

Smell - Bready malts, plum, raisin, fig, caramel, mild earthy hops, vinous and port aromas.

Taste - Multiple variations of malt flavours, from bready to caramel to toffee. Well accented by dark and dried fruit (plum, raisin) and vinous flavours. Moderate level of sweetness. Hop bitterness is more on the mild side.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Silky texture with a touch of warmth. Finishes with lingering vinous/port sweetness.

Overall - This is one that I've been saving in my cellar for some time and it was worth the wait. Deschutes takes their Mirror Pond ale to a whole new level by aging it in wine barrels. The flavours and aromas are harmonious throughout - one of their best beers.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle, 2014 vintage, best after date of 2/24/15 printed on the label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky reddish/brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is sweet and fruity, the brew smells like dark fruit, caramel, toffee, vanilla and some red wine. For the most part I think the taste is the same as the aroma, but it's not quite as sweet as I was expecting. Seems to lean more towards the fruity/wine flavor, although the caramel, toffee and vanilla are noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden, and it's easy to drink. I thought this was good, but was hoping it would be better. Maybe I let it age for too long, but it's still an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Roguer
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Murky brown brew; modest tan head with decent retention. There's no getting around that murky appearance; it isn't particularly attractive.

Huge barleywine aroma: tons of caramel grains, toffee, and dark fruit, noticeable from the moment you start prying off the cap, and wafting across the room. Smells like malt soup - what I call that wonderful moment during the boil when beer-in-the-making starts wafting through your garage/kitchen/wherever.

There is a touch of tart wine and oak, but it certainly leans toward the latter, and is overall very subtle behind the malt aroma.

Flavor follows: it's sweet, but more bready and grainy than sugary. Brown sugar and toffee; caramel grains; grapes; prunes; and a touch of oak and a slightly vinous vein lingering throughout.

Very drinkable, especially for a big beer. Medium-thick feel, with a lingering stickiness.

This is a good brew, but I feel it falls short of being truly outstanding. It's enjoyable, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a barleywine.

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,771 ratings.
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