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Note: I forgot to take a picture of the poured ale, but I hope the empty bottle will suffice.
Mirror Mirror on the bar you’re a great looking bottle to be enjoyed by all. A barely wine so fine and dear, that’s been cellared for the last 2 years. Brewed in Bend, a Series Reserve, I had to fend to get it in, what a win. One bottle drunk to write this post, but have no fear I’ve got one last Mirror Mirror tucked away for another year.
If you couldn’t guess by the lyric above, we’ll be taking a look at Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Mirror 2009 from their Reserve Series:
Mirror Mirror is an oak-aged barley wine, designed as an inspired version of the brewery’s flagship, Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Doubled up to barley wine strength, it yields a rich malt base with hints of raisin and oak tinged with the slightest citrus hop aroma. As brewmaster Larry Sidor notes of this years edition: "It’s not only an advancement for this beer, but it also shows the evolution of our knowledge of barrel aging".
This beefed up Mirror Pond comes in at an ABV of 11% with only 30 IBUs. The head is very light and slightly off-white. I expected with the age and barrel aging that the head and carbonation would be light – it held true to that notion. The color is maple with a hazy clarity. Head – 9, Look – 14. The smell has a bold malt presence with floral and citrus hops coming behind, but they’re not shy about making their selves known. There’s also light vanilla aroma that sneaks up behind the other bolder smells. The aroma was very pleasing. Smell – 24.
I was a bit surprised how smooth this beer hit my tongue, as well as how sweet it was. The alcohol in this ale, being 11%, didn’t make itself known, which was very surprising. The aftertaste had a light bitterness, but the oak finish with the vanilla provided for a ridiculously smooth clean aftertaste. Palate – 10, Aftertaste – 8. This beer is at its best when it’s a few degrees above room temperature, and it’s then that more aromatic flavors from the hops arise and the vanilla and oak pair themselves perfectly with the malt. I do not have a recent Mirror Mirror to compare this 2009 to, but what I can say is the simple definitive flavors that are in this Mirror Mirror make for an ale that I wish I hadn’t shared, and kept for myself. Flavor – 29/30
What more can I say about Deschutes’ Reserve Series that I haven’t already said? Besides, I love Barley Wines. These beers have been fantastic, and, though, some didn’t have wild and crazy ingredients or flavors – they are examples of the craft to a “t”. I love the boundary pushing beers and those that make every little flavor distinct and/or challenge the palate, but then they’re the beers that make you forget to think. The beers that don’t have you analyze them, because they sweep your mind away. I’ve never been so swept away from picking apart beer as I have with these Reserve Series beers, which is a true compliment to the artists of Deschutes. With that being said, with a Total Flavor of 47/50 the Beer Fusion gives Deschutes’ Mirror Mirror 2009…
In Other News:
I’m going to be changing around some formatting with rating beer and the such for the site, and hopefully getting some shorter more frequent posts on the blog as well. Keep a look out for the next review, which will be BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck ( I believe I’ll be drinking it this weekend). I’ll also be at GABF Thursday if anyone would like to meet and chat about beer. Cheers!