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Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Judges Rating: 
84
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Since opening its original brewpub in downtown Bend, Ore. in 1988, Deschutes has been throwing down a solid lineup of classically-styled brews. Mirror Pond Pale Ale’s sweet aromas of cookie dough and caramels fill the room, while the expected resin and citrus of the hop notes are buried deep within the lingering sweetness. Pete felt the caramel note added a touch of complexity to the nose, but was somewhat put off by a slight medicinal edge and lower than expected fruity esters. Rick also picked up the phenolic, medicinal bite in the nose, but felt that the caramel and light butterscotch touches helped bring the nose into balance. Neither judge detected any of the normally pungent, spicy hop aromas, adding to the sense that this sample was a victim of a difficult passage during shipping. Deep, saturated amber, and topped by a low, light tan head, Mirror Pond Pale Ale shows just a whisper of haziness as it fills the glass. Coming out of the gate with gobs of malt, firm bitterness, pine and Valencia orange flavors, this beer accentuates the caramel malt without becoming overly cloying or chewy. While not as assertively bitter as expected, Tim found the hop flavors enjoyable and praised the meshing of sumptuous caramel and snappy citrus fruit. He was pleasantly surprised by the somewhat “spritzy” and unexpectedly dry finish. Tom drilled deeper to find rich English toffee as well, but like Tim felt the beer lacked a bit in bitterness. Solidly crafted, chock full of the flavors of the region this pale ale is dangerously easy to drink even at 40 IBU’s.

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