It’s getting mighty cold up in Bend, Oregon. Snow will soon cover the land, and the clear air can turn still lakes into beautiful tools providing perfect reflections. Deschutes Brewery is a product of Bend, and its latest seasonal release draws upon inspiration provided by the ever coldy season we’re now currently occupying.
Fresh Hop Mirror Pond Pale Ale is the limited-edition seasonal product that’s been revived from a classic recipe developed back when the brewers were back at Oregon State University. It’s a winter ale that goes down as smooth as a subtle summer brew, yet packs enough punch to warm you up at the same time.
Keep reading to find out if Mirror Pond means bottoms up…
The first sip is deliciously surprising by way of its very subtle citrus taste that hides in the background. A touch of melon is almost present, but the fruit flavors stop there, and never jump out of the background. That’s a very welcome touch, and it’s the result of custom grown hops that serve as the backbone for this entire brew.
Deschutes utilizes heirloom Cascade hops that are custom grown in their singular plot. Once all grown up, the hops are used to produce flavors that are unexpected for those of us who’ve tasted the standard swill your local bartender slides across the bar when you ask for a pale ale.
This is the real deal, and it’s delicious.
Despite the seasonal nature of Fresh Hop Mirror Pond Pale Ale, I find myself thinking that this beer could be quaffed throughout the year. A ever-so-heavy drink for a hot summer afternoon, or a lighter note swallowed down during a cold winter evening.
At 5.0 percent alcohol by volume, you’ll even enjoy a few of them before you find yourself trying to catch a glimpse of your own reflection in the mirror pond on the label.