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Mirror Mirror | Deschutes Brewery

533 Reviews
Mirror MirrorMirror Mirror

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 1,728
Photo of mlockman
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank six months after the "best after date" (18 months after bottling), there was not much discernible character from the wine barrels, which was mildly disappointing, but still a very good English barleywine nonetheless.

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Photo of MichaelNeelsen
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Holding it up to the light revealed an amber, caramel, apricot color to the liquid. Eggshell head that builds normally but remains throughout the drinking period as a medium-thin rim.

S: My first comment was citrus, candied apricots, caramel, apple juice. There's a carmel-raisin type candy that the smell is evoking in my memory, but I can't quite place it to name it. I'm drinking this in the summer, and there's a fruit fly that greatly desired this bottle.

T: Fifty percent of this barley wine ale is aged in wine barrels, and I think I can detect it, but I wouldn't have guessed wine without knowing that fact. I would've again referenced apricots. The sides of the tongue are the primary target for this bottle. I should note this was a 2014 bottle tasted six months after its "Best After" date displayed on the bottle. I think this explains the lack of a boozy presence even with a 11.2% ABV.

F: Wonderfully smooth. It plays like a high-quality ale, and the aging process has made it feel like silk on your tongue. It doesn't have the carbonation of an un-aged beer.

O: Very good. It's a barleywine, so it's not my first choice as a genre, but it's very good. It kicks the crap out of the Bourbon County Barleywines that I've tasted. Those have almost a syrupy feel and are so sweet they make your teeth hurt. This plays much more like a nice, aged ale... which it is.

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Photo of justinp444
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy brown amber with a beige 2 inch + head. Smell of wine must, figs, plums, raisins, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, and a little bit of oak. Taste is smooth delicious caramel, toffee, lots of dried fruit, plum, figs, raisins, oak, a tad bit of vanilla, a bread pudding malt flavor. There is definitely some wine in there, it's balanced and not overly wine-ish, mixes very well with the sweet caramel flavor. A big nice smooth semi sticky mouth feel and complex rich body with just a bit of alcohol.

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Photo of stortore
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 22 ounce bottle, best after 2/24/15, into a snifter.

Pours a medium amber, slightly hazy with a small head, some lacing. Smell is malty, some earthy hops, biscuit, caramel, fig, plum. Also some grapes, licorice and molasses. Keeps smelling better as it warms up. Taste is malt forward and a little sweet. Caramel, raisins, brown sugar, oak, molasses. Not picking up any real wine influence. Slightly boozy, a little bitterness on the back end. Big bodied for the style, smooth.

Great example of the style. Maybe a little sweeter than most, but it's not a negative. Wish I had another, five years is a long time.

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Photo of Strix
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, best after 2/24/15.

Pours a murky brown, big initial head that leaves a slight ring and some lacing.

Delicious smell: raisin, wheat bread, fig, caramel, brown sugar.

Sugar, raisin, caramel, oak, a wash of citrus hops. Just a touch of alcohol and hint of red wine in the aftertaste. If this is based on doubling Mirror Pond, it doesn't scream that, but it's complex and excellent.

Super smooth, just super smooth.

I've had my eye on this since I heard about it and it delivered. Really nicely done.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tart apple mash, dark raisin & plum and lots of oak on the nose, with most of those flavors carrying over to the taste profile. Reminiscent of a cider mulled with some husky raisin / fig with lots of the charred vanilla follow-through thanks to the oak. Smooth mouthfeel and finishes surprisingly easy for the ABV punch it packs.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber split with CAMRON last night. 2014 vintage, best AFTER February something 2015. Bought this what feels like a lifetime ago while in Cali, have had this a few times before.

Really nice red color with orange hues and a beige head that retains great. Similarly to my other experiences, the wine barrel aspect is barely here - the oak barrel itself is pretty prevalent, lots of layered toffee/butterscotch/caramel sweetness, raisiny dark fruits, barrel spice, and actually pretty potent citrus hops. The feel is great, smooth and well-carbonated, nicely hidden alcohol and sweetness kept in check. More wine would be cool but pretty nice as is, I think this one is better off drank fresh - 2 years old.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-05-07 in Portland, OR; purchased yesterday at the Deschutes Pub in Bend. 22 oz bottle vintage 2014 with a best after date of 2/24/2015

A - Pretty clear dark amber/ruby with a 1-finger tan head and good lace.

S - Figs, plums, raisins, oak wine barrel, caramel, brown bread earthy spice. Tantalizingly rich.

T - Mirrors the above smells very closely plus cherry, citrus flesh, brown sugar, earthy yeast, and a hefty dollop of finishing bitterness. The tannin from the barrel serves to accentuate and sharpen the other flavors. The alcohol is well-subdued.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Sticky. Resinous.

O - A delicious, complex brew that's been on my Wants list for a long time. It lived up to my high expectations.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. Poured from the wax coated bomber into a beer snifter.

Pours a rusty brown, port wine, Madeira, or dessert wine color. Some visible lacing present around the glass and a thin, off white head that dissipates quickly. A thin layer of head rests on the side of the glass as I sip.
Smells of fig, honey, candy sugar. Very little hop profile present here as this brew is heavily malted. Decent mouthfeel. Very drinkable even though this brew has a high ABV. Definitely worth aging. I'll pick up another one for aging purposes of I can.


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

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. This is a 2014 vintage bottle and stamp is best AFTER 2/24/15!
The beer pours a rich chestnut color with a spongy kahlua colored head of 3 cm foaming up with a gentle pour. The head recedes slowly to form a clingy sturdy edge layer and some wispy thin surface mist.
Aroma is big and boozy lots of red wine and grape notes right off the initial pour. I also get big english toffee and biscuit malt notes. A bit of brown sugar and some fruity fig and raisin notes as well. Very complex malt driven nose. Quite nice on the nose.
First sip reveals a sticky texture and very fine gentle carbonation that rolls across my palate on each sip.
Flavor is sweet and malty with brown sugar, raisins, figs toffee and red grapes mixing up front.
I also get a bit of caramel and maybe just a little roasted malt hit in the mix. Beer finishes fairly dry and with a bit of peppery booze but no warmth.
this is a big complex beer and has a lot going on. If you like malty boozy beers this will be a winner. I wish I had 2 or 3 more bottles!

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown hue with plenty of haziness and a fingernail of beige covers the rim and the majority of the top. Nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is loads of sweet dark malt. The flavor is as advertised in the nose with lots of sticky malt. There are also notes of hazelnut. The mouth is sticky and chewy, but it is actually fairly smooth considering the strength. The carbonation doesn't fill you up compared to other barleywines. 2014 edition.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

2014 reserve bottle, best after 2/2015:
Pours a muddy, cloudy brown, tending towards amber side - not overly appealing. The head is a reddish tan, pours thick and foamy- saving the appearance quite a bit. Nose is of a hoppy barleywine, sweet dark fruit (candied date, plum, some citrus), spice (nutmeg, cinnamon), and woody hops (pine) - combining to an almost spearmint smell. There also seems to be a bit of alcohol heat.

Definitely need to let this beer warm a bit. My first sips showed the tastes you'd expect from the nose, but the pine/mint and fruit tastes did not mix well. As the beer warms, a very bready beginning, with the sweetness and light spice bite make me think of a dark raisin and/or date bread. Candy sweetness, toffee - maybe a very small bit of burnt nature to it. The fruit notes get lost with warmth, and the woody ending mellows. Pine and citrus pith does make an appearance late, in the oily, resinous feel.

Mixed review on this one, but between disappointing and ok. The pine/mint/pith bitterness doesn't blend with the slightly too sweet beginning for me, and that's what keeps this beer from being a bit higher.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottle says 11.2% Abv.

A: A medium brownish color with some red and orange notes. Slight off white head with not much lacing, if any.

S: Dark fruits are strong on the nose with some woody notes and brown sugar sweetness. Slight vanilla and toffee.

T: Darker fruity flavors with raisin, fig, date, some slight dark candied cherry and some grape maybe? The sweetness is rich, but not overwhelming. Brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel. The sweetness meets some woody flavors with slight vanilla and some sweeping alcohol to finish. I don't get many hops, if any. Really complex beer here.

M: Very full and coating mouthfeel that lingers with some sweet. Low carbonation with decent alcohol.

O: A real nice beer. Scratch that, a great beer. Nice complexity, fairly easy drinking and just a great sipping beer to enjoy and warm your belly (and heart). This is a terrific barley wine that I'm so glad I finally got to enjoy. Drink this and love it.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an off-white head and foamy head that dissipates quite readily. The beer itself is a deep and clear amber.

The beer smell has a strong and bitter floral hop note. The hop smell tends to lean towards the orange part of the spectrum. In addition, the smell has a sweet caramel and sugar note to it. Essentially, the smell is very similar to that of a strong pale ale.

The beer taste has a very hoppy flavor balanced (sort of) by a light malt note. The hops come off as floral and orange while the malts are closer to caramel and burnt toast in the aftertaste.

The mouhthfeel is fairly heavy with medium viscosity. The carbonation is biting.

Overall, a fairly good and unique beer. Even though the beer is closer to a DIPA instead of a barleywine, the beer still manages to have a nice malt presence that turn the hops into the carriers of the fruity notes traditionally found in barleywines. Highly recommend.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best after 2/24/15 - served @ 50deg F in a snifter

A - Medium brown body with Amber highlights - Tan porous head ~3/4" when poured aggressively.

S - Sweet toasted malt, cherries, dirt/earth

T/M - Sweet caramel and sour wine notes lead into toasted malt and alcohol bite

O - I'm glad I finally pulled it off the wall and drank it. A little hot on the finish and would like a bit more complexity from the wine barrels. However, very good brew that surprisingly is still sitting on a lot of store shelves in my area. Prost!

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Photo of moundbz
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks like a liquid tootsie roll, smells of port wine, tastes super smooth with not much alcohol BAM for a beer that's 11%. Overall terrific. Opened on my b-day, March 22, 2015.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage with a best after date of 2/24/2015. Opened on 3/14/2015

Pours a hazy reddish brown with a small, thin off white head. One of the more opaque barleywines I've seen. Smell is lovely, lemony hops and rich honey, sweet malt and caramel, subtle earth tones. You can really smell the age, and history that this beer has. Taste is absolutely sublime, perfectly complex and robust, but with no overwhelmingly distracting flavors. Brown sugar, bitter chocolate, fig, plum, some notes of aged Tawny Port. Myriad of different flavors to enjoy that subtly change as the beer warms. Feel is full bodied, low carbonation: slick and smooth, but not super sticky. No booziness but some subtle warmth in the gut. Overall, this is absolutely fantastic, the qualities all combine to give this an ancient and timeless presence. One of my new favorites and worth the wait to cellar.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Damn good. SF beer week from a tap. I was surprised. I almost went with something else, but I'm glad i chose this one. Delicious till the last drop. Complex and bold. Would order again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy dishwater color with a nice creamy one finger tan head.
Sweet, boozy dark fruit with malty goodness.
An extremely boisterous dark fruit taste in which the burst of tastes continues to explode until a bitter finish fades. Malty with a little hop sneaking in.
The mouthfeel is awesome. Smooth till the end this it slaps you on the ass on the way out. Sir might I have another?
Overall- this is not quite the bcbwine, but getting there. It doesn't come together quite as well.

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Photo of Jonada
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 release. 11.2% ABV. Bomber poured into a 22oz snifter

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with 2 fingers of a light tan, creamy head. Nice retention and lacing. Body is dark, but translucent when held to light, with some visible carbonation as well.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, raisins, plums, some light oak, red apple. While not overtly wine like, there are definitely some wine like tannins.

Taste: Similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel and toffee, mix of various dark fruits, hint of a roasted character, red grape skin and a very mild bitterness. Moderate wine like astringency as well.

Mouthfeel: Lower end of full bodied with a soft, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Overall: Really nice barleywine. I think they found a good ratio between the barrel aged and non barrel aged component, as any more would have overwhelmed the base beer characteristics. If they release this again, I'll definitely pick up another.

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Photo of don1481
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a frothy off white head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: toffee, butterscotch, and is that... wine? Interesting.

Taste: dry toffee with a little bit of butterscotch. Slight booze Wine balance.

Mouthfeel : dry finish. Crisp.

Overall: been dying to try this for months. So worth the wait.

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Photo of guityler83
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Blood red beer with a cream colored head. foam retention was low to mild and fell leaving behind a corner of larger bubbles. Swirling the glass kicked up a small cathedral window lacing on the edge of the glass that slowly slid down the side. At first the beer looked murky but on further inspection its crystal clear, the maroon hue reflection gives a really cool red color to the beer.

S: Big aroma on this beer. Dark cherry, red grapes and pomegranate with a mild oak and vanilla aroma. An interesting nutmeg and all spice character seems to come through and rounds out everything. The other side of the equation is the big caramel, raisins and melenoidin toasty-ness coming through from the malts. Mild alcohol and a medium-low level of herbal hops.

T: Bitterness is moderate to firm but the hops blend quickly to a blast of cherry, raspberry and red wine flavors. Dates, figs and raisins in the middle malts section with some toast and a touch of roast.Balance is between the wine and the caramel malt and as it warms up it seems to switch sides.Sweetness is moderate with an emphasis on the red wine characteristics. the finish comes in with an oak and merlo blast.

M: A sticky malt sensation washes over the tongue and cheeks. Carbonation is mild to medium with a moderately-full body., Mild warming in the chest - dangerously drinkable. there are some nice tannins that stick around giving a drying sensation and emphasizing the oak, vanilla and red wine.

O:Flavor explosion.. This was a fantastic balance of barley wine and the wine character. the hop presence seemed to pickup as my pallet adjusted to all the different flavors - one things for sure this was complex. and delicious

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Photo of Immortale25
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Label says Best After: 2/24/15. Right on time.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large side patch of bubbly surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Big rush of caramel and maple-like sweetness with a solid barrel presence. Toasty malt, treacle, brown sugar. Solid booze fume.

T- Goes down smooth with the first sip as there's just the right amount of sweetness for my liking and the alcohol is well-masked. More notes of caramel plus some toffee and burnt sugar. Plenty of oak shining through as well. I'm glad only 50% was aged on the wine barrels since there's already plenty coming through as it is.

M- Somewhat of a soft feel with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This beer is just as delicious as it is drinkable which equals dangerous. So well-balanced between the malt sweetness, barrel character and alcohol content. Also, the mouthfeel is pretty spot-on. I think I like this at least as much as Sucaba, if not more. I know they use different barrels but it's the only other BA English Barleywine I've had that comes close to being as good.

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Photo of Way2drunk
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful Amber color with a little fizz poured n2 a red wine glass! It is a barley WINE! Right. Great smell. Flavor nice and smooth. Not 2 sweet like u expect from a barley wine. Paired it with Perez Carrillo La Historia cigar that's spicy. I'm n flavor heaven. Will grab another and revisit this in 2017!!

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Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 533 ratings.
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