After a ridiculously silly hour or so at the gym, I hadn’t earned a trip to the pub, and, instead, went home for leftovers and whatever was in the fridge.

I lucked out!  Not with the leftovers; that was my curry from the night before.  Not bad, but not memorable.  No, I had forgotten that I’d brought home a two six packs, one of Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams Boston Lager and the other of Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale.  Sweet!

Frankly, these are two world class beers, which seem to have a lot in common. They rely on balance and character at the same time.  Each is a stand alone evening.  No need to wander far from either over the course of a few hours of beer.  

They also reflect some basic beer loving tendencies, which is what intrigued me.  I think it came down to similar standards of excellence, but moving in slightly different directions, members of the same family with their own variations. These two beers are of a piece in quality, attention to detail, what they are bringing to their consumer.  

Words like classic come to mind.  Steve here at the office was playing around with the idea of direction: they are just solid beers not pushing in any particular or peculiar direction. Any other ideas, here, readers?

I had a difficult time chasing down good specs on both beers. However, all of the data suggests that Mirror Pond may be a tad lighter in body and alcohol than Sam Adams, a tad.  The information also suggested a slight color variations. However, they remained steeped in their respective traditions with Sam Adams honoring the German hops and Mirror Pond redolent in the Pacific Northwest Cascade profile.

As for the actual sensory appreciation, well it depends on how much you love hockey.  I’m a New Englander by birth and heritage and a Southerner by choice and affection.  Last night the Carolina Hurricanes slapped the Boston Bruins, taking game three.  I had a hard time staying with the beer research.

I used a couple of New Belgium’s glasses because I like the lightness of the walls and the inward curve of the shape. Again a bit more rich color in the Sam Adams.  The aroma of the pair had a distinction I couldn’t articulate. Mirror Pond might have been more fruity, citrusy and Sam Adams more piney, herbal.  They both started with slight hints of sweetness in the beginning and Mirror Pond seemed more toasty while Sam Adams more nutty. Both finished with drama, lots of drama.  I’m not even going to try to differentiate their hop finishes.

It would be great to do something like this with Garrett Oliver or Steve Beaumont and do it blind.  This is both fun and frustrating.  What great beers.