Willsaar (23) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - APR 16, 2015
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Simply put, one of the finest beers I’ve ever tasted. I had to go to Portland, OR to get it, all the way from Brooklyn!! I would do it again. It’s just that good. Purchased from Deschutes Brewhouse in downtown PDX. Poured into a snifter, big beige/tan head, plenty of lacing too as it went down. So much in the aroma- malt, wood, earth, I detect some maple or toffee as well dried fruits too. I let it sit for a while to raise it’s temperature. I’m so glad I did this, as the beer just kept getting bettercaramel, earthy, Taste is equally if not even more complex, as it warmed more and more came out. I got lots of sweet but mellow alcohol initially, but later I tasted heavy earthy sweetness. The aroma of dried fruit, toffee, caramel, these come through in the sweet tastes of the brew. I don’t detect any hop notes anywhere (aroma or otherwise) I love it when barleywines err away from the hops. I slowly relished this brew. It took me an hour and a half on a rainy PDX afternoon to finish this. When I was done I wanted another. An outstanding beer.
thepeter (326) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 14, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
a deep amber beer with small decent head. smells of ripe dark fruits, caramel and some underlying tropical fruits in the background. Tastes much of the same with some boozy burn to warm the tummy and bit more sweetness than expected. A nice beer to sip on.
Couch0508 (119) - Flat rock, Michigan, USA - APR 13, 2015
1.3 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2015 I expected a lot more from Deschutes on this one because I am a huge fan of the Abyss (I get that they are very different). One is good, one is not.
kaser (4345) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 12, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Copper and brown pour from 22oz bottle at home. Thin ring of off white head. Sweet honey, carmel, and candy aroma. Carmel dominates the taste. Boozy rich butterscotch and maple syrup flavors. A massive beer. Taste new things each sip.
PartyFowle (707) - - APR 8, 2015
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a deep reddish amber, like stained mahogany. A foamy, half inch head of light khaki peeks out over the top of my glass. Beautiful. Ever see that movie American Beauty? Remember the part when the girl’s lying on the bed while flower petals cascade around her? That’s what this beer smells like. Flowers, the fruity citrus of limes, sour green apples and wheat with a subtle toasty malt backbone. I. love. this. smell. If i could turn it into a candle, I would. The bottle says 35% was aged in oak barrels, and the woodiness adds a delectable red wine characteristic to the brew. Piney hops make it sweet and grassy. I also get some of that green apple sourness I caught in the aroma, along with toasty malts. A noticeable but pleasant alcohol burn warms the throat through the swallow, and resiny hops result in a dry finish. One of my coworkers commented that it tastes as if this beer has already been aging for a year, and I’d have to agree. The flavor is complex and mellow. Medium body, creamy mouthfeel, peppery carbonation -- exactly what I expected. Bitterness grips the sides of the tongue, with an alcohol warmth not unlike taking a sip of scotch. VINTAGE NOTES - Bottle aged one year. The head, about one finger thick, is a silky medium sandy tan. It quickly becomes a bubbly ring that leaves the occasional spatter of clingy lace. The color is a beautiful deep copper, very hazy, with a few chunks of sediment. Smells like honey. The aroma, once floral and hoppy, has has become heavily caramel-sweet, with notes of burnt sugar, sherry, cotton candy and overripe grapefruit. There’s a subtle backbone of toasty malt, and I maybe even catch a bit of cinnamon. Hmm. Tastes like caramel-glazed grapefruit. Again, the sugary malts have claimed dominance over the Mirror -- there’s honey, toast and brown sugar leading the way while oranges and grapefruit follow. This is definitely a very different beer. It still strikes a terrific balance, however, as the saccharine flavors blend very well with the juicy citrus. The subtle bitterness of grapefruit pith in the back rounds it all out. Feels lush. The carbonation is alive and well, a cantankerous medium-high. Like a fine woman, the body has rounded out nicely, the supple curves of the medium-full body curling about the tongue glossily. Drinks like senescence. Caramel-ridden, sugary barleywines are usually my thing, but as much as I enjoy what this beer has become, I believed I liked the prepubescent Mirror Mirror more. She had more to offer in terms of balance and complexity. The younger Mirror Mirror was mysterious; she was complicated. What I have now is a beer who’s mature. She’s figured herself out; she knows what she likes and what she wants, and you can take it or leave it. For now, I’ll take it. But I’ll always dream of what she was like back when...
More tasting notes! During Deschutes’ Base Camp Week in Phoenix, they brought out some of their "Lost Barrels" of Mirror Mirror, which they claimed were truly lost and later discovered in the warehouse. If true, it makes me wonder what kind of ship they’re running over a Deschutes.
Inventory issues aside, this version of Mirror Mirror spent an extra year in the oak, and has picked up WAY more of the wood’s ashy, vinous qualities. The flavor is intense -- I get hints of cigarettes and a bit of balsamic in nose that makes me think this one’s seen the first signs of infection. The hops are all but gone, replaced by sweet, fruity malt: port, white wine, blackberry syrup, prunes. Medium carbonation in a gloriously creamy body. It’s smooth and pretty complex, but the flavor’s heavy and syrupy.
jbruner (3043) - Athens, Georgia, USA - APR 7, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 bottle at catch 22 bottle share! Pours a murky copper with minimal head or lace. Aroma is big caramel and sweet malts, slightly oxidized. Taste is way more toward the cardboard and caramel, very much oxidized. Meh.
teorn88 (4083) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 4, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle shared at The Cad’s 10yr anniversary celebration at CBC Clerkenwell, London. Thank to Bruce for the sugar fix. It pours a dark amber color with a small tan head. Aroma is sweet and fruity, with notes of raisins, dried figs, dates, ripe tropical fruits, caramel, vanilla. Taste is again very sweet with more caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, ripe tropical fruits from the hops. Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation. Overall, nice sipper
The_Osprey (3875) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 1, 2015
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle share at CBC Clerkenwell, thanks to Bruce. Cloudy red brown, small foamy tan head. Aroma is bread, toffee, floral, tangerine, chicken. Body is medium, foamy, tingly carbonation. Taste is sweet toffee, caramel, twiggy with a dry woody finish. Pretty sweet. Alright, not my sort of thing.
myrda (101) - - MAR 31, 2015
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Meilleure barleywine goutée depuis très longtemps. Équilibre parfait entre le malt onctueux et le houblon résineux. Parfaite.
sjohnny (429) - - MAR 29, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Toffee sweet malty with a hint of hops aroma. Pours a cloudy caramel brown with a thick light tan head that fades very slowly. Wine, vanilla, toffee, hint of pine. Thick mouthfeel. Boozy. Smooth with just a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish followed by more candy sweet and boozy warmth.