Friday, April 24, 2009

Mirror Mirror at Pint Night at the Owl Club

Written by Jeff Barber

How good is Mirror Mirror, a barley wine from the Reserve Series at Deschutes Brewing? Judging by the comments, as well as my own opinion, I heard at the Owl Club on Thursday night, it’s outstanding.

Given a chance to taste Mirror Mirror from the only keg in Northern California prior to the official release date of April 27, beer lovers were out in force for the Owl Club’s pint night. Last bottled in 2006, Mirror Mirror, aged for 10 months in oak barrels, is really a 1st class barley wine. The aroma is defintely malt forward although there are some citrusy notes as well. With a slightly sweet taste up front followed more malt and finishing with a blast of hops, this beer is extremely well balanced. The 11.5% ABV is very well hidden (and dangerous). I didn’t really start noticing the alcoholic warmth until my second beer but by the end of that beer, I could feel the effects. One of the patrons was on his fifth Mirror Mirror and it was hard to believe he was still lucid and standing.

I only heard glowing comments all night about this beer and consider it to be one of my top five favorite beers of the past year. The Reserve Series at Deschutes, with Abyss, XX Porter, and Dissident leading off, sets a very high bar for beer quality. Mirror Mirror clearly continues with the tradition.

I also wanted to compliment Bianca at the Owl Club for continuing to bring in excellent beers for us to try. Pint Night on Thursdays has become a local favorite as she continues to get early releases and rare kegs for us. Pliny the Elder, Abyss, and now Mirror Mirror are just a few examples. If you’re near Roseville on a Thursday night, check out the Owl Club. The pint night special, and her dozen or so other taps, won’t disappoint you.