Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DLD Aftermath: Deschutes Brewery Mirror Mirror

So, on the eve of Dark Lord Day, my pre-festival pump priming continued with some indulgence in my first Deschutes Brewery beer, the Mirror Mirror 2009 Reserve.  Deschutes is an Oregon Brewery that hails from Bend, Oregon.  This is a beer Shaun sent me back in 2009, but one I was aging it a bit, saving for a special occasion.  After all, it is housed in a bomber and is an 11% brew: it's meant for sharing, not getting buzzed beyond belief at home alone and calling your ex.  I digress. 

The brewer describes Mirror Mirror as a barrel aged morphing of its Mirror Pond Pale Ale.  By the time they finish the oak barreling on this, I don't think there are many detectable pale ale elements.  The nose contains a rich caramel and it pours a modest head with a honey color. Carbonation is not excessive.  It offers plentiful caramel and bread-like malts.  It smells like pumpkin pie and other spices, nutmeg and maybe a bit of cinnamon.  The mouthfeel is lush, rich and dense as it leads to a long, malty finish.  Toast is present in the flavor profile.  Perhaps a hint of hops from the original pale ale are what cut the finish a bit but the IBUs in this are minimal, and certainly negligible after the oak barreling.

PROS:  A smooth, elegant, polished beer that should be consumed first in line, or on its own. 

CONS: Any attempt you make to finish off the night with this when you've been consuming beers north of 8% all evening is foolish. 

VERDICT:  A standout.  Even if you are hammered going in, you won't want to turn this down if your friend offers it to you.  Just don't make Shaun and I be your template for the proper enjoyment of this.

* * * * stars.  A complex and highly enjoyable brew.

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