Beer(s) Review #109: Deschutes Mirror Pond, Black Butte, Chainbreaker

deschutesWelcome to Iowa Deschutes! For the next few weeks Deschutes Brewing (www.deschutesbrewery.com) will be all over Eastern Iowa with multiple release parties. If you are in Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, or North Liberty check out my link here for dates and times. I was contacted by a Deschutes Rep about the events and the possibility of attending a few and they were kind enough to send a few bottles of their beers to my place to try out. So, for the first time ever you are getting a triple beer review! Hooray!

I’ve had Deschutes multiple times, enjoyed it a bunch while I was in California last summer and since they started distributing to Illinois I hit up Family Beer and Liquor for some of their products. The only special release of theirs today I’m just focusing on the beer that was sent to my doorstep. A little bit less wordy than most of my reviews, but here we go:

mirrorMirror Pond Pale Ale
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
Ratebeer.com: 90
Beeradvocate: 88

Pale Ales seem to be getting closer and closer to just being IPAs lately. With 3 Floyds Zombie Dust and Toppling Goliath pseudoSue dominating the style and our palates, anything less just seems an afterthought. Mirror Pond however, holds its own. The citrus from the cascade hops shines through and is balanced perfectly with the malts. Maybe a bit sweet, but the bitterness from the hops is a great contrast to that. At 5%, this a perfectly sessionable pale ale and with the sweetness from the malts could make for a nice transition beer for the non-hopheads.

From the brewery:

This is base camp, where any craft brew exploration begins. A distinct hop nose and hop-forward flavor make Mirror Pond the quintessential Pale Ale. It is aromatically complex, multi-layered, and unmistakably “right.”

OVERALL: B

black butteBrew #2: 
Black Butte Porter
Style: Porter
ABV: 5.2%
Ratebeer.com: 97
Beeradvocate.com: 94
Along with the Mirror Pond this is the beer that put Deschutes on the map. A nice mix of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Not overally sweet, a nice balance between the bitterness and the sweetness. Maybe a bit thin on the mouthfeel, but this isn’t a stout either. A bit of tobacco on the aftertaste. This is a great, straightforward example of a terrific porter.

OVERALL: A-

From the brewery:

With a dark beer as our first and flagship brand, Black Butte defined Deschutes as a radical player. A slight hop bitterness up front enhances the distinctive chocolate and roasted finish. It’s prized for its creamy mouthfeel and intense complex flavors.

white ipaBrew #3
Chainbreaker White IPA
Style: White IPA
ABV: 5.6%
Ratebeer.com: 88
Beeradvocate.com: 83

This is a style that I haven’t been to fond of in the past, but this beer has given me a bit of hope. Take the citrus from IPA style beers, add the Belgian yeast from your favorite hefe, white ale, or saison, put them together and you get this refreshing white IPA! Neither the hops, nor the yeast overpower you. The blend is perfectly done, which makes this another sessionable brew from Deschutes.

Overall: B

From the brewery:

Brewed with wheat and pilsner malt; this IPA displays beautiful citrus aromas from Cascade and Citra hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast. Think thirst quenching hopped-up wit beer with enough IBUs to warrant the IPA name.

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