Mirror Mirror | Deschutes Brewery

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Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror
1,814 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,814 |  Reviews: 557
Photo of Sammy
3.49/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2010 edition.

13 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

Best after 4/20/10.

Pours a hazy honey orange-brown with a 1 inch orange-tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, apricot, peach, and citrus juices and citrus zests. Very nice smells on this one. Taste is of brown sugar, caramel/toffee, apricot/peach, and sweetened citrus juices. Surprisingly mild bitterness on the palate after each sip, with more of an acidic citrus juice quality than any real hop bitterness. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a medium body and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with some very nice and complex smells and flavors. After perhaps 2 or so years in the bottle this has aged wonderfully.

 786 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a deep amber color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer has some nice rich caramel notes and some dark fruit. Not a lot of barrel aroma though for me. The taste of the beer has a good amount of dark caramel flavors with some molasses and dark fruits. The feel of the beer is medium bodied. Overall this beer is pretty solid.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, black wax-capped bottle, 2014 Reserve Edition, once again due to doktorzee's proclivity at seeking out the good stuff on his trips south of 49. But what's with this 'best after' tripe - they actually expect we consumers to wait over a year to drink this? Pfft.

This beer pours a murky, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and tantalizingly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some random hovering island mass lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, yeasty caramel malt, one more than dusted with toffee and dry treacle notes, further raisin, date, and fig black fruit sweeteners, an edgy, grainy barrel vanillan woodiness, some associated red wine acridity, molasses-tinged reduced brown sugar, cocoa powder, and a sedate citrus and leafy hop bitterness.

The taste is more musty caramel and toffee malt, the Scottish treacle association apparently a figment of my early afternoon association today (hey Scott!), nondescript vanilla and alcohol barrel notes - the particular wine character well and lost by this point - toasted dark sugar, and earthy, leafy, and lightly perfumed hops - that booze has to seep in someplace, and it might as well be here.

Mirror Mirror's bubbles are rather light, and mostly just a comely frothiness for the most part, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight for the style, and unabashedly smooth, with a tingling creaminess tacked right up in there. It finishes on the sweet side, sure, but in a perfectly moderated sense - bready caramel malt, subtly musty fruit, proper old-world hops, and a gentlemanly booziness - replete with strength, but kind in its wielding thereof.

My oh my - this has been one of my white whales for this brewery (the Abyss having slipped thorough my fingers too many times as well) - and now I have it. Memories of sitting in front of the Mirror Pond in Bend on a Sunday evening, on another brewery's patio are now eclipsed by the headiness of this offering. For a west-coast bred brew of the given style, I am surprised at the accuracy, if not the veracity of the aplomb evident here. I bristle at calling this 'young' seeming, since I was admonished at first from even going down that road - oh well, this is still freaking awesome.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A basic, error free Barleywine that is wonderfully balanced on all fronts. A huge malt foundation lays the ground work with strong toffee, caramel, and molassas flaovrs. The texture rides the fence of sweet-syrupy and dry-malty. Fruity esters bring out juicy plumbs, dates, grapes, figs and dried fruits of prunes and raisons. With the malt sweetness the fruits take on a fruitcake taste and complexity. Rum-like alcohols give an aggressive power to the beer but never dominates with fusal or harshness. Hop flavor has a mild herbal taste, but ultimately is used as a bittering agent against the malts. The malt, fruit, and hop character gives the same impression from nose to finish with a long, lingering malt taste. A supurb Barleywine that should age well from years.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.14/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Best after 02/24/15. ABV: 11.2%. 2014 vintage. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with black wax-ed over pry-off cap shared by my friend Blakelive784 and served at fridge temp into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high given the brewery. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such.


No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Plush creamy consistency. Lovely thickness. Excellent (~9-10 minute) retention. Leaves a nice even consistent lacing as it recedes. Full and luscious.

BODY: Rich vibrant dark red. Quite appealing. Translucent, with good clarity and average transparency.

Overall, it looks pretty decent for a barleywine, but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Amber malts. Faint caramel. Has a surprisingly prominent hop presence. Cream. Malted barley.

An inoffensive aroma of mild strength.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, overcarbonated, unrefreshing, and medium-bodied. Has weight and heft on the plate. Too thick methinks.

Texture suits the taste okay, I guess. Overall presence on the palate is decent.

TASTE: Cream, malted barley, amber malts, faint caramel, a kiss of marshmallow, a hint of bread crust, and light unevocative generic hop character. Ain't nothing special. I don't even know that I like it per se.

Okay balance. Okay build. Not gestalt. Subpar depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. I'm not loving it, but it's alright.

There isn't a lot going on here. Lacks complexity, intricacy, subtlety, and nuance.

O: Drinkable for a barleywine, but far from fantastic. I wouldn't purchase it again. Not Deschutes' strongest work. A faux pas from a great brewery. Hides its ABV decently. I expected better, but maybe it'll develop with age. Not a great beer in the style.


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Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of emerge077
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with hints of orange. It had an off-white, head of foam that left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled very, malty with notes of spicy, floral hops.

T - It was very, very sweet and malty. The spicy hops were milder than I expected from the strong aroma.

M -It was very soft and smooth. A full-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. I don't know if it lives up to the hype. I'd like to try one that has aged a little longer.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, best after 2/24/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy dark ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, light licorice, herbal, light oak/vanilla, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malts, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, vanilla, light licorice, herbal, light oak, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight tannic/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, date, vanilla, light licorice, herbal, light oak, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel flavors; with a fantastic malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible English barleywine style. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/earthy yeast, and light-moderate oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An insanely delicious offering.

 1,800 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottling - best after 4/20/10

Appearance: A beautiful barleywine, with a three fingered head that pancakes atop the the tawny colored liquid; the head leaves squiggles of lacing all across the sides of the chalice

Smell: The alcohol leaves a burning sensation in the nostrils, beneath which lie tones of caramel, stone fruit and pineapple

Taste: Dried pineapple and caramel, with a bit of a fruitcake character; by mid-palate, the tropical fruit, hoppy bitterness and alcohol merge together and are joined, after the swallow, by an oaky character; a floral tone emerges in the after-taste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I think the best days for this barleywine are ahead of it as it still has a bit of harsh character that limits the drinkability; otherwise, there is a lot to like and considerable complexity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with deep caramel malt notes and some hoppy grassy notes as well. Taste is also dominated by loads of sweet malt with a nice caramel touch and some hoppy notes with light citrus notes and a grassy feels. Body is above average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though a bit more hoppy then what I usually like in my barley wine.

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 1,814 ratings