Mirror Pond/ BJCP Guidelines question

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BigJack

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So I picked up a six-pack of Deschutes Mirror Pond last night. It's a truly great beer. But the more I drank it, the more I was bothered by the category it is listed in.

The BJCP lists this is a prime commercial example of a category 10A. But in terms of color, abv, and ibus, it could easily fit on the lighter end of category 10B. And as I read the guidelines, the dividing line between the darker/stronger end of 10A and the lighter end of 10B is that an APA should be balanced towards the hops and an Amber should be balanced towards the malt. The beer I was drinking was clearly balanced towards the malt.

Now to be fair, I live in a city not known as a craft beer town. And while the beer was well within its drink by date (4/25/2013) it could have been stored too warm or too exposed to light. It wasn't at all skunky. (As I said- it is a truly great beer.) But I suppose it could have lost a bit of its hop presence.

So help me out, gang. Did I get mishandled sixer which lost some of its hop presence, or do the rest of you feel Mirror Pond is more malt-forward than hop-forward?
 

Piratwolf

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I have the CYBI recipe in my brewing software so I can brew it in a month or so. According to the numbers, it's well within BJCP guidelines for an APA. I kinda wonder if we're not all a bit skewed by the IBU Race in West Coast styles? SNPA is a pretty caramel malt driven beer IMO.

To your aging point, however, I would think that 40+ IBUS should be fairly assertive. If there was little hop presence you may indeed have an older-than-ideal batch on your hands.
 
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BigJack

BigJack

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According to the numbers, it's well within BJCP guidelines for an APA.
Yeah. I know its in those guidelines. But look at the numbers:

BJCP Style 10A American Pale Ale:
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 – 1.060
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 5 – 14 ABV: 4.5 – 6.2%

BJCP Style 10B American Amber Ale:
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 – 1.060
IBUs: 25 – 40 FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 10 – 17 ABV: 4.5 – 6.2%

Mirror Pond:
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046 – 1.055*
IBUs: 40# FG: 1.014 – 1.014*
SRM: 10-14* ABV: 5%#

(#= hard number from the brewery, *= number range from clone recipes referenced after internet search )

Mirror Pond fits in BOTH categories. That's my whole point.

I notice on their website on their list of honors, it has won as many awards in the category of English-style pale ale or bitter as it has American-style- and even the awards for American-style ale, some of the competitions combine pale and amber American ales into a single category.

To put it another way, if Dechutes had called it Mirror Pond Amber Ale, nobody would have gone "oh, hell no. This isn't an amber. This is an APA."

In the end, none of this means a hill of beans because great beer is great beer. I'm simply pointing out overlap/ambiguity in the BJCP categories.
 

ktblunden

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There's a lot of overlap in BJCP categories. In the end, the brewery calls it a Pale Ale, so that's what it is.
 

Piratwolf

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ktblunden said:
There's a lot of overlap in BJCP categories. In the end, the brewery calls it a Pale Ale, so that's what it is.
This. However, I see your point and was intrigued so I went a little further to find that it also fits in English IPA and ESB. You'd have to change the hops from Cascade, I suppose, but there you go.
 
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