Whose the Fairest Beer Of All?

You know we could all learn something from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Here is the evil queen and her magic mirror who always had to tell her that she wasn’t the fairest one of all.  Well DUH! Anyone could see that except the person themselves.  It is amazing how many people think they are good when they are not.  Take for example American Idol.  One of the reasons it is so popular is because in the early shows people tryout who are awful, but they think they are good.  You wonder…Have they ever heard themselves?  I see it all the time on the Basketball court too.  My son plays HS Basketball and you would think some of the parents thought their kids were Shaquille O’Neil, what’s worse is when the kids think that and they can’t understand why they don’t get more playing time.  My son’s coach has told him “You’re good when you’re good”. Sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many players think they are good until they play someone who is really good.

Last night I had my son go out to my beer bunker and pull out something interesting he would like to try.  Well actually I sent him back three times, because he kept pulling out beers I was aging.  He finally pulled out a beer that worked,  Deschutes Mirror Mirror Barley Wine.  It was labeled for opening on April 20th, but I figured what the heck!  This is one of their reserve series and it should be one of the best beers I have.  Was it good?…

In a word…Yes.  It was good.  But I have discovered something about my own palate.  I’m not overly fond of Barleywines.  I guess to each his own, but I think I can do this well crafted beer justice in this review so onward.

The pour on this brew was a deep dark orange with golden highlights that was very cloudy but translucent where light came around the edges with a one finger head that quickly dissipated.  This particular barleywine has 35% of it aged in Oak barrels that I’m guessing were new.  No whiskey or bourbon flavors came through, but the oak did.  At 11% ABV this brew was big, but well rounded so it was not too boozy, with all the flavors coming through.

The flavor was very malty at first with that tell tale barleywine flavor that was well balanced with oak and hops on the back side and a slightly bitter finish that lingered on the sides of my tongue.  The finish was warm and lingered in the chest for a while as I drank it.  Definitely good for a cold winter night.

So you are good when you are good, and Mirror Mirror by Deschutes Brewing is good.  Full bodied with a creamy mouth feel, you can taste the care that went into brewing this beer.  If you like Barleywine, you will love Deschutes Mirror Mirror.


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6 Comments on “Whose the Fairest Beer Of All?”

  1. February 16, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    When I’m in the mood for a barleywine, they’re great, but I Usually have to be in the mood to really enjoy one. Kevin (Dark Lord of the Stout) pointed me to an four pack of Below Deck’s barleywine he had tucked away on the bottom shelf that was two years old. I’m working my way through them as the mood strikes.

    • Don
      February 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      It is an acquired taste, and I don’t think I would ever much be in the mood for one if it wasn’t winter.

  2. February 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    You still need to try Thomas Hardy’s Ale. I just think it’s the best example of Barley-wines. I can see why you say you don’t like the style in general. It’s nice to see that even if you don’t like something you can deal with it fairly and see the quality…that’s something a lot of reviewers just can’t do.

    • Don
      February 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      I will keep looking for the Thomas Hardy, and if I find it I will drink it with an open mind. It isn’t that I don’t like it, just that Its not my preferred beer style. If it is all that is available I’ll drink it, but there is a certain Barleywine flavor profile that just doesn’t mesh well with my palate. That said, I could tell that the Mirror Mirror was a quality brew. It was big, but rounded so not to offend, very nice Barleywine.

  3. February 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    All I got out of this post is that you have a beer bunker? Is that one of those abandoned Air Force silos that used to have an ICBM in it?

    I need to move to Idaho.

    • Don
      February 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

      We’re the Bunkeriest…

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