Friday, December 25, 2009

178b. Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Well, it is the holidays, and I am in Seattle, so can you blame me for indulging my Deschutes fix? Mirror Pond marks our (well, at least my) fifth Deschutes beer: the last four are Black Butte Porter (from a couple of days ago), Hop Trip, Inversion, and Red Chair IPA. I’m only sad that there are so few more Deschutes beers to try, although I did score bottles of The Abyss and Black Butte Porter XXI to take home with me, but I couldn’t find Mirror Mirror. And The Dissident? Pure dreaminess. Plus, Mirror Pond is about as close to a Christmas beer as I need to get today.

Mirror Pond has a citrus and floral hop nose backed by some bready malt aromas. It pours an ambient hazy copper with a fine white head that leaves some lacing, but is pretty minimal. Opening with a dry malt front combining biscuit and bready flavors, Mirror Pond moves into a lightly bitter middle with pine and floral hop flavors before finishing dry with some lingering bitterness. Medium bodied with a good carbonation bite, Mirror Pond also has some dryness on the mouth with low levels of puckering on the back of the tongue from bitterness. Clean, citrusy, and bitter; well balanced in favor of hops, but still with a lowered presence—this is what a pale ale should be, and is the beer that began my long standing affair with Deschutes during my undergraduate days. It’s a benchmark for what an American Pale Ale should be; I can only add that it is our newest Top 10 Best contender.

From the bottle: “Just a short walk from the Deschutes Brewery & Public House, Bend’s historic Mirror Pond reflects the Three Sisters Mountains—Faith, Hope, and Charity. This scenic spot is the favorite gathering place for local festivals and concerts. A classic American Pale Ale, Mirror Pond Pale Ale uses generous quantities of Cascade hops, offering a lush floral aroma with a balanced malt body. Settled on the banks of the wild and scenic Deschutes River, Deschutes Brewery’s handcrafted ales are naturally made with pristine water from the Cascade Mountains. A fine layer of yeast in each bottle is a result of the krausening process, creating natural carbonation and distinct flavor.”

From the Deschutes website: “Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a quintessential American pale ale. Mirror Pond elegantly blends the sweetness of malted barley with the bite of hops (which add bitterness and aroma). It’s refreshing, loaded with strong hop flavors, and perfectly balanced. Mirror Pond is just a short walk from the Deschutes Brewery & Public House in downtown Bend and reflects the Three Sisters Mountains. This scenic spot alongside the Deschutes River is the locals’ choice for summer festivals and concerts.”

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: 40
170 calories per 12 oz. serving


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