It’s been a while since our last beer review, it almost feels like we’ve forgotten to take a look at some of the best beer available here in the country. While I was out to dinner with some friends the other day at the always great Bourbon Street in Ekkamai, I noticed they had a decent selection of American beers. So, I decided to pick one and do an impromptu review. Because the weather has been hot and humid lately, I figured a cold American Pale Ale would do the trick, and the one they had on the menu was the Mirror Pond Ale from Oregon brewer Deschutes.
Deschutes, based in Bend Oregon, is one of the most well known brewers in the western US. Established in 1988, the brewery has become the the fifth largest craft brewer in the country. With a wide variety of styles available, along with a rotating seasonal offering there is always a beer available for every palate. One of their always available beers is the Mirror Pond.
The Mirror Pond Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale which is most often described as the one of the best styles of beer to start with when looking to branch out into the world of craft beers. While this style of beer is among the most popular type of craft beer out there, you can bet that some of the beers are much better than others. So, what about this one?
The main label of the beer has a drawing of a pretty looking pond, which according to Deschutes is the Mirror Pond in Bend. Overall, the logo and the beer looks welcoming and high quality. Pop the top and you are rewarded with the company’s motto – Bravely Done – which is printed under the lid.
Just looking at the beer, you know that a lot of thought went into the label and there is definitely a story behind the name. You can also immediately tell that the beer is a Pale Ale, setting your expectations for what’s to come.
The beer was poured into a mason jar glass and is a dark golden color. While darker in color than every Lager out there, this is more of a medium color for many Ales and is in fact mostly clear – in that you can see through it. It’s what one would expect from a standard American style Pale Ale.
Upon pouring, there was a small yet noticeable white head that remained throughout the entire beer.
I caught a light toasted grain, pine a bit of grass and citrus fruit aroma. Overall, it smells like a refreshing beer, that was above all fresh, inviting and highly drinkable. In other words, it smells like a well balanced beer. No one smell is stronger than another, which is a rare thing for many beers. One of the best things about this aroma is that it’s not over powering like stronger, more hopped Ales, which makes it much more approachable to people who aren’t use to beers with more flavor or hops and bitterness.
With the first sip I found myself thinking that this was definitely a Pale Ale. You get a tinge of hoppy bitterness at first followed really quickly by a nice clean toasted grain. I would classify this flavor as being medium bitterness with a very slight sweetness that is crisp and clean. In a word, it’s refreshing.
The mouthfeel is slightly creamy with light carbonation and a clean finish. While there is a slight dryness in the mouth after a sip this dissipates quickly and is no where near as strong as other beers like IPAs and bitters.
Overall, this beer is a well balanced Pale Ale. No one taste stands out and that, believe it or not, is a good thing. This balance makes the beer approachable to a great many number of drinkers. Those who want something with bitterness, slight sweetness or even a clean beer will find it in this beer. It’s a beer that is highly drinkable and is one that I, personally, could find drinking during a session.
Also, if you are keen as to what the American brewers are really capable of, or to start looking into the different craft beers available, this would be a great one to start with.
Wish of the week
Mirror Pond – of course!
I know this beer was just reviewed, but I can’t help but recommend it. If you are looking for a straight forward, good beer that you can drink on nearly any occasion, this is the one for you. Order some today and tell us what you think.