Friday, August 21, 2009


DESCHUTES BREWING earned a ton of beer dork street cred last year & the year before when they unleashed what may be the finest imperial stout ever put before man, THE ABYSS. That beer made bean-counters like me want to add Deschutes into the rotation every time they came out with any limited-edition, caged-n-corked, high-ABV somethingorother. Sure, they were already in rotation with their quote-unquote “normal” stuff; I was drinking Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter by the bucketful as a late 90s grad student. I missed THE DISSIDENT, the most recent of their big boy beers, when it was around (like I said, these are limited edition), but thankfully BLACK BUTTE XXI and MIRROR MIRROR are pretty easy to find where I come from. I decided to buy a bottle of the latter, said to be “an inspired version of Mirror Pond Pale ale” (which is BS, but we’ll get into that).

DESCHUTES MIRROR MIRROR is a no-doubt-about-it barleywine, strong in the alcohol (11%) and way amped up in the thick, sweet malts. Actually I’ll give thanks & praise that the syrups and the body on this are actually quite a bit muted compared to some of the sickly-sweet barleywines I’m used to, but it’s a strong one nonetheless. It’s a beautiful tanned brown in color, and MIRROR MIRROR has a distinct hoppiness dancing around the edges of those big bad malts. The beer was aged in oak barrels and tastes it. It tastes nothing like MIRROR POND PALE ALE, and if you go into it expecting anything even faintly reminiscient of that fine beer, I promise you won't find it. No wait - they do both use water as a base.

One thing I saw on this one that you rarely see on any beer is a “Best After” date – mine was April 2010. Oh come on now, in April 2010 we might all be dead, right? I drank mine quickly and with extreme relish. If I can find one 7 months from now I just might buy it and see if this “age my beer” phenomenon has any legs at all. This one’s just fine, not at the hallowed levels I kinda expected but definitely worth a buy. 7.5/10.

1 comment:

Aaron Goldfarb said...

Mine has the April 2010 date on it too. I think I'm actually gonna be dumb enough to wait that long to enjoy it.