The folks at Bend Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery were kind enough to send over some sample bottles of two of their newest beers, Red Chair IPA and Mirror, Mirror, a few days ago which is a huge treat for those of us on this side of the country without regular access to the Deschutes line of brews.

The Mirror, Mirror is a sort of silly thing to send for promotion because it says explicitly on the side of the bottle not to open the bottle before April of 2010 (in fact, the bottle itself was hand-dipped in wax to ensure a tight seal for the year or more of cellaring). Mirror, Mirror — the newest release in the brewery’s “Reserve Series” — was first released in bottles in 2006 and is an oak-aged barleywine that has been in production at the brewery for more than a year. Says Deschutes brewmaster Larry Sidor,

This year’s brewing will have a more layered and refined okay presence. I’m really looking forward to this version of Mirror, Mirror because it is not only and advancement for this beer, but it also shows the evolution of our knowledge related to barrel aging and how the whole Reserve Series has developed.

Mirror, Mirror is now available on draft throughout Bend, OR and in bottles at select establishments and retail outlets (see the Deschutes website for more info) at a suggested retail price of $11.99 per 22oz “bomber”.  Be sure and check back in April 2010 for my review!

The second bottle, the Red Chair IPA, there was no reason to let sit and I dug right in. Red Chair is the newest member of the Deschutes “Bond Street Series” (anyone reading this out west whose more familiar with Deschutes, are all of their beers in one series or another?). Brewer John Abraham described the Red Chair as a juicy IPA,

You will find no cloying, mouth-puckering bitterness here. In its place is a straight-up, succulent, citrus punch to the nose. This is due to the experimental nature of some of hte hops, as well as how late in the process they were added.

I certainly agree with Abraham. The Red Chair pours a great amber color with a thick white head, which lasts and laces. This brew smells strongly of wet & sticky citrus hops. The taste isn’t overly bitter like some “experimental” West Coast IPAs but rather is crisp, tangy and drinkable. The Red Chair IPA is a great springtime session IPA to share with friends. The folks at Deschutes recommend pairing this beer, which weights in at 6.4% ABV with 55 IBUs, with hot-and-sour soup, enchiladas with mole sauce, or thin crust Margherita pizza. Sounds good to me! Thanks, Deschutes!

Note: If you work for or represent a brewery and would like your beer reviewed or announced here on, please contact me to learn where to send samples and press. Thanks!


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