Thursday, October 22, 2009

Deschuttes Mirror Mirror

If you know this blog you know that I am a huge fan of barleywines and I am always on the look out for new ones to try. That includes looking for them when I am out traveling, which is how I came across this one, picked up while I was in Denver for the latest GABF. This barleywine is a souped up version of Deschuttes popular Mirror Pond ale. Also 35% of the beer is aged in oak barrels.
The Beer: This one weighs in at a hefty 11% and pours a brownish amber, almost red color with a thick tannish head. The nose is hoppy and very malty, almost syrupy. There are notes of oak, dark bread, vanilla, caramel. The mouth is thick and chewy. Citrusy hops, marmalade, apricot nectar, oak, vanilla, and caramel are all there in various declious quantities. As it warms it becomes an even more complex sipper with an almost bourbon or sherry like quality to it. Shockingly very little alcohol in this beer. Notes of oak help balance the swtrong flavors of malt and hops in this inbcredible beer. This is surely one of my favorites and gets a strong A from me.


Dave said...

I just picked up a bottle of Mirror Mirror last week and am planning on aging this beer a bit. It seems that whenever I buy a bottle of barleywine and open it up immediately the taste seems to scream at me to age it further. Some said to me "we will server no barleywine before it's time" - meaning it should be aged a bit more for all the tastes to meld together.

Do you age your barleywines at all or do you drink them fresh from the brewery?

Barleyvine said...

The not so simple answer is both. While I agree that most barleywines should be aged a little bit to get the best possible flavor, I typically get two bottles at least. One that I can try fresh, the others to see how they age. Without doing that I don't see how one can say how well a beer ages, without having first tried it fresh.

J Lackey said...

Speaking of beer purchases abroad - you should send a shopping list with your lovely wife. We're happy to take care of you!