Mirror Pond Pale Ale
I’ve sampled this brew in the past and have loved it, with good reason. Hopheads tend to salivate over Cascade pales, and situated in Bend, OR, Deschutes is in the prime Cascade region in the US.
The beer is a soft copper color with just the faintest haze, otherwise the clarity is good and you can see the fine and frenetic effervescence clearly. The head pops up slightly yellow-orange, billowy and whole, and settles to a soft quarter- to half-inch sticking all the way.
The aroma is pure grapefruit with some soft pine residue and a sweet back of Juicy Fruit gum and some mild violet florals. It’s a wonderful smell that is simultaneously earthy and fresh, like the white rind of ripe clementines.
The mouthfeel is beyond excellent; it is mint condition APA. The very beginning is velvety, like the inside of warm French bread, but that yields quickly to the real reason you cracked the bottle. The hops creep from the top of your mouth down, and from the outsides in to deliver some rich but not too-potent phenols, that are appropriately oily but that soften up with some sweet malt and then on into the citrus bite you’d expect.
The lacing is simply glorious – finely woven like grandma’s doilies, but the rings covering the glass top to bottom are like ripples in a mirror pond.
This is not a DIPA, so don’t think it is going to overpower you, but it is a hop-heavy ale that is not going to disappoint any H. lupulus-lovers. There’s a reason the West Coast is known for it’s pales, and this is a pretty good piece of evidence to support the case.