Tasting: December 3, 2014
Beer #: 658
I wasn’t home for this year’s Black Friday release of Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS). So, I had to do some advance scouting of potential locations near Southhampton, Pennsylvania that may have some available. While I was driving, my wife assisted and looked on her phone and found a place right in Southhampton called simply – The Beer Store. She followed a link to the shop’s Facebook page. I nearly drove off Route 287 when she told me that their most recent post (just an hour old) announced the availability of a number of beers from Deschutes. She was surprised (well, not really) that I exclaimed Abyss! Mirror Mirror! She thought I might hyperventilate or drive off the road. Traffic delayed our arrival and two and a half hours after their post – Abyss was gone. Don’t feel bad for me as I have two bottles in my cellar. I did manage this bottle of Mirror Mirror as well as a few other goodies: a four-pack of Dark Horse’s Plead the Fifth; Deschutes XXVI; two Russian River Supplications (trade bait) and a single bottle of Tweak by Avery.
I’m sorry I didn’t realize this sooner but there is a small enjoy “after” date imprinted on the label along with the 11.2% ABV. In this case, the enjoy after date is just a few weeks away so, we’ll assume the other bottle in my cellar will have to age a bit longer. What’s Mirror Mirror by Deschutes like? In two words – very complex. It’s got brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, raisin and plum aplenty. Fifty percent of this English-style barley wine is aged in wine barrels and that influence is certainly a subtle but nice compliment. A little boozy heat, nice body but a bit fizzy. I assume that the prescribed age will soften some of the corners but for now, I’ll put Mirror Mirror by Deschutes at a respectable 94 points.