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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.83%
Wants: 11
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Braggot |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Malts - Pale
Hops - Alchemy
ABV: 10%
IBU: 20
OG: 23 P

Released April 2010

(Beer added by: jdense on 04-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours goldenrod with a light white head, average retention.

S: Honey, light malt, ethanol.

T: Honey for sure, light residual sweetness, pretty much off-dry. Bready malt is there, the prickly pear is hard to find, there is an intriguing fruit note at the end, perhaps that's it.

M: Full-bodied, biting carbonation which I liked, smooth with a robust alcohol feel, but it never overtakes the beer, well integrated.

D: It's a shame more brewers don't do this style, because if I see Braggot available, I'm buying it. Nice flavours, I'm not wowed but this is solid. Still a style I'm really a neophyte with, props to Widmer for going out on a limb and making something really different.

Halcyondays, May 02, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on a whim. Poured from a 22oz bomber, shared with my father. Pours a bright golden color...clear, fizzy...and no head. After a bit more of an aggressive pour, an extremely small white head forms momentarily and then its gone! No lacing with the exception of a few fizzy bubbles.

Aroma is light...faint, but sweet, sharp, and slightly hoppy. Can slightly pick up the pear notes.

Wow, this beer actually surprised me. Flavor is pretty good! I'm definitely impressed considering this was a "blind" pick-up. Carbonated, light and crisp mouthfeel. Small hops up front that fade out to a lovely pear taste...that's right...I said "lovely". Overall, a pretty decent beer. Glad I picked it up.

ShadesOfGray, May 02, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a snifter. Had a yellow brown color and a completely clear consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: A sweet aroma of malt, light fruit, honey, and hops.

T: An interesting flavor. Honey, peaches, malt, hops, and a sharp herbal quality. In some respects it reminds me of a sahti, but less herbal. Still, a very flavorful beer with a surprisingly high ABV%.

M: An extremely well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied. Very vibrant.

D: A drinkable beer, if a bit on the unusual side.

avalon07, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Liverpool08
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first of this style. A little confused. Is this beer, mead, both. I know it is suppose to be a combination of both. Pours a light cola orange. Smell is a hint of sweet honey. Taste follows with a sticky sweet flavor. This is new to me as far as a beer goes. Not sure what else I taste. It claims to have prickly pear juice. Not sure what that is suppose to taste like?? Overall not a bad brew. Couldn't drink more than one, due to sweetness and ABV. More like an interesting style to try once.

Liverpool08, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a gold color with virtually no head. It had a sweet aroma. Taste improved slightly, with some honey and a tiny hint of hops. It had a kind of peppery mouthfeel. Alcohol was well-hidden, not that it would have made any difference to me, because I won't buy this again. My benchmark braggot is Killer Bee from the Portsmouth Brewery.

lordofthewiens, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of photomike
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Disclaimer: My first braggot

Pours a nice, clear, deep orange color with a very soft pure white head. One inch with an aggressive pour at approximately 55 degrees. Quick head recession, but a solid layer remains for the duration of the drink. Quite nice looking.

Smell is sickly sweet. Agave nectar, sweetened pineapple juice/soda and carmellized sugars. A subtle underlying alcohol note at room temperature completes this aromatic package: intoxicating, sweet and pretty unappealing.

Thankfully, the taste is not as sweet as the nose implies (though it's still quite sweet). A somewhat generic fruit flavor could be a product of the interplay between the prickly pear juice and the honey, but I am unsure. A certain wortiness is present as well. Slight alcohol at the finish, which is surprisingly dry. No discernible hop flavor, aroma or bitterness. Perhaps some crystal malt. Definitely a notable honey flavor as well.

Smooth mouthfeel despite the abv, with a nice oiliness to it despite a very clean finish. Soft, low carbonation, perfect for the style. Medium bodied.

Overall, not entirely drinkable. This is mainly a product of the general sweetness of the beer, but the ABV is certainly felt. Not complex enough to really excite, but clearly a very well made beer that achieves what I imagine were the brewers goals. A hard rate, this grade should probably be higher if rated to style, I have to rate by the way I perceive the flavors. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination.

photomike, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of cochell
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice in the SA perfect beer mug. Nice carbonation perfect golden hue really looking forward to this one
smell isn't impressive simple malt some pear very light hops.
Taste is similar to smell some hops light pear on the end. Tons of honey and very little burn from the booze. It tastes much better the closer to room temp. Not sure if I would get again but worth a try.
Sent from iPhone.

- respect

cochell, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A rather clean golden hue, topped with a modest head - though it forms & retains quite nicely considering the alcohol content.

S: A soft pear scent compliments the honey/malt aromas nicely. Malts are perhaps slightly subdued of all of the scents, but all in all, it's quite nice.

T: Similar to aroma, the honey and pear stand out. They work well together, but I could go for little more malt. Alcohol appears towards the finish, but I don't get a significant amount of heat from it. Certainly sweet, but not cloying... for the most half, a well-balanced and tasty brew.

M + D: Body is a touch on the 'heavy side of medium.' Carbonation is a moderate... I'd be curious to see what a little more would do for it, as I am on the fence as to whether or not it would improve it or not. I always appreciate when a brewery more commonly known for traditional, accessible styles takes a shot at a lesser-known, challenging, or quirky beer and this was a nice choice. Kudos to Widmer for giving it a shot. The results were quite nice, and I look forward to giving this one another go. it's certainly worth a try.

Proteus93, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Clamwacker
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a new experience for me. I am not a big fan of Widmer; all their beers in the last several years have been too sweet for me. Snowplow was absolutely the thing which has kept me from investigating new Widmer brews... it's just awful in my opinion. A shame, considering it was concocted by a homebrewer.

This is an interesting brew. I rarely dig sweet beers, but the honey and malts present themselves nicely. I do not hate the prickly pear flavor and aroma, but it's not something I will go after again, either. Altogether, the appearance was clear, with less than a finger of head, but the "unique" color described on the box was nothing special.

The smell is enticing. With my glass sitting just within arm's reach I can smell only the honey and prickly pear aromas. It is what draws me in to this brew. When I hold the pilsner glass to my mouth I get a very strong malt aroma with little presence of hops, and a very faint alcohol note.

The flavor is quite sweet, and I was only able to consciously detect alcohol if I deliberately think about its 10% ABV. This is an excellent masking of alcohol using malty flavors.

There are supposedly Alchemy hops in this brew, but their presence appears to be intentionally masked by the malts and adjuncts, which I suppose in this case is quite appropriate.

Having never tasted this style before this example, I'm not familiar with what I should be looking for exactly.

The mouthfeel was not my favorite part. After 2 or 3 sips it seems sort of cloying in its sweetness, and after several sips the resulting burps have a lingering flavor that I don't personally enjoy. It remains cloying, and I still detect no hop balance. This is something I have come to expect from Widmer, though -- they are the exception to the rule of "west coast = hops", and while that has worked out well for a few of their brews, I think they should consider knocking over a hop silo soon.

Overall, drinkability is not what I would expect from a beer that cost me $10 for a 22oz bottle. I would absolutely introduce it to friends if it came down in price. I feel that the spiffy packaging (the bottle itself came in a box) was a little pretentious, and it seems like the Widmer brothers are trying to pretend that this is their own Veuve Cliquot.

While the aroma and initial flavor are fantastic, the gestalt is somewhat less amazing considering the purchase price.

I grabbed Deschutes' 2010 Jubelale but I can't review it until 2011, but next time I spend $10+ on a 22oz bottle I will probably go with a Belgian.

Clamwacker, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of ElGordo
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The second in the Brothers' Reserve series, which is turning out to be an interesting (if not perfectly executed) lineup of one-off brews. Presented in a 22oz bottle inside a nifty-looking brown cardboard box.
Poured from the bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is bright and clear, somewhere between copper and golden. Very light carbonation gives a flourish like a hard cider on the pour, then settles down to almost completely still. Aroma is a fairly dry sweetness with a hint of mustiness. Notes of honey and golden raisins, along with a faint whiff of citrusy hops.
Palate is heavy with sweetness throughout. Honey and light fruit (I guess the prickly pear) come through up front, with golden raisins and pale malt popping up towards the swallow, along with some mild citrus from the hops. Some spicier notes on the finish remind me of a Belgian tripel.
The body is full and fairly thick, but not particularly sticky. It's not completely still, but not exactly lively, either. Finish is fairly smooth, with a warming that lasts for a good long while.
A unique beer, for sure. I've had a couple of other braggots, but none brewed with fruit. This is an interesting offering, and while it's not the best thing I've had to drink this week, it may be the best attempt at something new.

ElGordo, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of Docer
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Snagged 2 bottles.... 1 to sit on for a long time.

- Clear copper... clear as a bell. Quick fizzy almost sparkling wine-like head... with only a scattered dusting left on top of a rather still liquid. The thinnest ring on the edge.

- Kind of a boozy and rough honey... with a bright sweetness and fruity pear which is certainly present. Almost like a candy or apple jolly rancher. Very unique.

- Actually a smooth and super sweet thin honey nectar with a not so sour pear... that has a sour-like flavor... if that makes any sense. Almost a floral perfume...

- Little sweet and sticky... chewy.. and slightly drying... medium bodied.

- Overall this is very smooth, and the booziness shows at the end... I bet this could sit and really transform... But overall it is a bit too perfume-like and rough at this point. Little too candy like... although I don't know if it couldn't be with the style and ingredient selection...

Docer, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this at Green's Beverage Warehouse in Columbia, SC on a trip to gather homebrewing supplies. Out of many, many other stellar offerings, I chose this one due to A) my being on a super-tight budget (i.e. one beer budget) and its low price, and B) the brew I'm planning on brewing with the purchased supplies is a Braggot and the more exposure to different examples of the style, the better.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a nice clear, golden hue with a one-fingered off-white head that disappears quickly, leaving behind only a bit of splotchy lace on the walls of the glass as it drains. Appearance reminds me very much of a sparkling mead.

Aroma is a tad sweet, but there is a nice spicy fermentation character there, reminiscent of a Belgian Tripel, though not quite as powerfully fragrant. Interesting.

Body is quite light with a moderate carbonation. Initially quite sweet--honey sweet, as in a sweet mead--but the sweetness quickly melds into a very biscuity malt base with a touch of fruitiness peeking through around the edges. Things quickly dry out in the middle toward the back with a bit of that spicy Belgian-esque character, fading away into a finish that is very dry but with a semi-sweet honey-and-herb character that lingers a while afterward.

Quite the antithesis to, say, Brother Adam's Bragget Ale, this is a very light, dry and drinkable interpretation of a highly variable style of "beer." Quite balanced between malt and honey, with very little hop character but an interesting yeast-derived (at least seemingly so) character that is rather pleasant. The 10% ABV content is extremely well-hidden until the second half of the bottle hits hard, making the drinkability a bit dangerous. Not too sure what the prickly pear juice adds to the concoction, but it certainly doesn't detract, and the creativity is definitely a plus coming from one of the larger craft breweries.

superdedooperboy, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris from CBA for the bottle.

Braggoy with prickly pear...points for creativity if nothing else.

Peach colored body, thin white head.

Aromas of peach, pear, honey, and prickly pear.
Same stuff on the palate. Some sweet fruity notes first, then a dry finish. It is both light and rich at the same time. Sort of similar to a Belgian Golden in the sense that it has a light crisp body, but a sneaky high ABV. I like the high drinkablity, fruity peach, grape, and honey flavors, and dangerous alcohol level.

I was skeptical of this beer. It is the first Braggot I have tasted that was not home brewed, but I'm sold on it. This will be on my stores' shelves ASAP. Not saying much, but its the best Braggot I have tried.

BradLikesBrew, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The wife picked this up for me at the COOP yesterday... Poured into MNFG..

1" white head dies quickly.. but leaves a firm cap... the brew is polished deep golden.. very pretty.

Nose has some musky honey essence... lite ripe pear .. Really not sure what else I'm picking up on.. or at least I don't know how to describe it... reminds me of "sweet pea" blossoms..

Flavor speaks of what I know of meads.. dry meads.. a bit of floral elements.. nasturtium.. spicy yet not phenolic... yummy and very thought provoking..

I have no idea what I'm drinking, but this is unlike any mead/cyser/braggot that I've had before.. just interesting and a nice change of pace.

I will say good work and hope these stick around for a bit... I doubt the bottles will improve with age, but I will probably buy them just for a nice difference from the hoppy and dark wonders as long as I have access.

all 4's.

JohnGalt1, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of markskar
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Saw this Brothers' Reserve edition #2 and had to check it out. The Cherry Oak Doppelbock was (is) phenomenal. As I'm drinking the Prickly Pear Braggot I have to say I'm not overly impressed.

It has that house flavor that you'll find in their hefeweizen, and in many of the other beers that are contract brewed here in Portsmouth, NH at Redhook. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was hoping for after such a positive experience with the doppelbock.

What is most impressive here is that there is absolutely no trace of the high abv here. If I didn't see it on the label, I would not believe that it's 10%. I would've guessed more like 5%. That in itself is impressive, and the reason that I'm rating drinkability so high.

A: Pours crystal clear copper, very little head and low combination.

S: Light and sweet floral aroma. No distinguishable hop aroma.

T: Nice balanced flavor. Light malty with a hint of sweetness from the honey. Little to no hop flavor, and whatever the prickly pear is supposed to add I'm not getting in the flavor.

M: Fairly smooth, but a little flat. Slightly sticky finish.

D: Extremely drinkable for a 10% abv brew. As I said before there is no way I'd know by drinking it that it is so strong. Goes down a little too easily--not that I mind, of course.

markskar, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. A glorious golden color, with very little head. Smells of honey and very floral. A light citrus hop scent. Tastes vaguely reminiscent of Dogfish Head Midas Touch. Honey, apples, and alcohol are prevalent. I don't necessarily taste the prickly pear. The 10% shows. Finishes lightly bitter. Very little carbonation. Split the 22 oz bottle with my girlfriend, and don't know if I could have finished the whole thing by myself.

WestValleyIPA, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Horse Brass PDX 4.4.10 served by the glass only $5.25.

Yellow golden clear body some carbonation present. One finger clean white head, slow dissipation and decent legs. Not overly sweet honey is present in the nose, while the significant malt bill (over 50%) dominates the floral quality. Taste is not overly sweet but noticeable, big malt bill balances the sweetness, floral hops are evident throughout (IMO, could be the big hop bill) with a not too sweet finish. Not too effervescent of a mouthfeel, medium, fairly dry finish for the style. Given the ABV I'd be careful re drinkability. I agree with Sgt. Schwartz of Hogan's Heroes: Interesting, very interesting. The Widmer Bros. should be applauded for stepping this far outside the box with their second offering in the Reserve Series. For fans of Mead, essential. Very rare, and for fans of out of the ordinary PNW offerings, well worth seeking out.

jdense, Apr 05, 2010
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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.