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

171 Ratings
Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Braggot

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malts - Pale
Hops - Alchemy
ABV: 10%
IBU: 20
OG: 23 P

Released April 2010

Added by jdense on 04-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of haveasam
5/5  rDev +39.7%

Photo of ronniebruner
4.92/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very exceptional beer. I bought this on a whim. It comes finely decorated (in a box), has a very unique taste, nice color, sweet aroma, and is extremely smoothe for a 10% beer. Not usually a big fan of Widmer products, but this is an outstanding beer. I hope it is more than seasonal and that it stays around.

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Photo of Anonx
4.78/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer has a great level of sweetness that does not take away from the beer. There is a nice consistent beer taste with an after taste of honey and a slight taste of pear. Great light orange color, and a nice crisp taste. Great job on this interesting beer.

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Photo of boisehack
4.52/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass at room temperature. A short head of small bubbles soon mostly dissipates leaving a thin ring around the edge of the glass, with irregular islands of scanty foam floating in the middle. Just a bit of lacing as it gets shorter.

The color is of clover honey.

It smells of honey and phenols, like overripe banana.

The taste is similar, also kind of burnt. The aftertaste is not as cloying as I expected. Kind of like banana rum.

Mouthfeel is adequate, covering the tongue nicely.

This brew takes me back to the Bahamas, where I made a brew of Prickly Pear cactus (species Opuntia) and honey, letting it ferment for a few days until it was foamy and very drinkable and potent. I salute the Brothers Widmer for their foray into exotics. It is not made from pears!

Not really an everyday drink in this world, but I would be happy to drink it every day anchored off some isolated islands in a tropic clime. I would say this is a fine dessert beer for the adventurous.

This is my first review ever, I felt compelled by those who thought the beer was made of pear. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very 'clean' pour into a Leffe wine-style glass at about 45 degrees. Clear, dark yellow to orange in color, with hardly any head and tons of initial carbonation.

Aromas of pear, honey, and maybe a touch of lemon-grass and allspice.

Greets you with a rich, thick mouthfeel. Flavors of white fruits (grape, pear, apple) lead the way, with plenty of honey sweetness, and a little bit of cinnamon-like spice. Pretty meaty. Decent carbonation tries to keep it from being cloying, but comes up short. Little twang in the finish.

Drinkability is good - this is my only Braggot to date, so it's tough to go higher or lower than 4 ... going with all 4-4.5 since it was pretty enjoyable overall.

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Photo of Bildo
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of gimbi
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out with a beautiful golden-orange color. Minimal head, but I wouldn't expect much of a head from a mead based brew.

Noticeably warm on the nose, and very sweet. You can definitely pull the honey out on the first sniff, but the pear adds a dynamic that I don't see in many beers. The rear of the aroma becomes almost flowery.

Very sweet on the tongue. Normally I'll hold this quality against a beer, but Widmer Brothers found a way to make it work. The honey is almost overbearing, but only almost. Malt shines through nicely. I occasionally catch a bit of spice like one would expect from a wheat beer, but this is fleeting and definitively not a primary characteristic.

If you enjoy smoked white wines, you are going to absolutely love the mouth-feel. Reminiscent of an Aussie chardonnay.

Everything about this beer screams, "age me!" It has plenty of gravity and sugar to work with and the foundations are strong enough to last for some time. If you're going to try this at all, buy two and put one away for 9-14 months.

Glad I tried it; would definitely recommend to a friend.

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Photo of Clamwacker
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of dananabanana
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Clean and somewhat filtered, only a little haze. Effervescent/ bubbly. Straw-gold in color. No head, but a slight rim of white foam.

S: A hint of fruit, but not specifically pear, just sweetness. Wheat scent comes through fairly strong.

T: Honey hits quickly. The pear is only vague at first, but develops later. Strong wheat aftertaste. The only weakness is that it might be a little too cloying.

M: Light and smooth, with a tingle of alcohol.

D: Easy to drink, light and sweet. Tastes better with every sip. Very flavorful.

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Photo of Naugros
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I expected a lighter-colored brew than this since the style is supposed to be mead and ale mixed. But today's versions are typically ales brewed with honey, making the ale/mead hybrid in the kettle rather than after the fermentation is over. Anyway, the beer is orange and almost the color of the orange that appears on the label. A thin head forms and is sustained for a few minutes, leaving behind a crown that retains its original height.

I'm having trouble figuring out if I'm smelling booze or if prickly pear gives off this smell. I'll be entirely honest here...I've never smelled or tasted prickly pear. I'm assuming I'm getting booze since I have had many meads and some of the stronger ones smell a lot like this with only any added fruits altering that smell. Wait! I lied...I've had prickly pear candy and I do sense the odd flavor in that confection in the smell. But picking it out only confirms that I get a lot of booze in this. I don't sense any hops. I'm not overly fond of the smell, but in the interest of reviewing to the style, I'm fairly confident that this is what a braggot should smell like.

Oh wow, this is different. If you're tired of tasting IPA after IPA and stout after stout and barleywine after barleywine then pick this up. The prickly pear is there and goes very well with ale and the honey. The honey is not oversweet and the malt does not take is as it should be: balanced. The malts come off as caramel and the honey adds a butterscotch tone to it. I don't taste any hops, but their presence in the smell and taste are optional in this style. The 10% ABV is evident, but not in a way that is unpleasant; it goes with the rest of this and, due to the other ingredients, shows up as Scotch. And that's the overall impression ..Scotch with prickly pear.

The mouthfeel is not cloying or syrupy as some meads can be, but still manages a thickness that would be considered almost viscous if this were a stout, but I'll go with a nice full, smooth body.

Reading some of the other reviews I wonder if the overall rating of this beer is due to the fact that most people review to their taste and not always to the style. So many people would be unfamiliar with a braggot (as am I) and may not have researched what it should be. This is spot on for the style guide regardless if you go by BeerAdvocate's guide or the BJCP guidelines.


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Photo of Reagan1984
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I am excited to try this as I've never had a braggot. I love honey, so I am guessing that I am pre-disposed to this style. We'll see.

Poured into my DFH snifter and couldn't really get any head to form. What little foam that formed immediately faded away. What's left of a deep colored copper/amber colored beer with excellent clarity. Just a stream or two of bubbles rise to the surface.
Not a touch of lacing in the glass. Overall a beautiful color.

Aroma is of fruit and honey. No surprise. I have no idea what prickly pear smells (or tastes like) so I won't pretend to say I smell this specific fruit. But the aroma is nice and very fruity. Definitely the aroma of honey hangs in your nostrils.

I am really enjoying this beer. The honey notes in this really appeal to me, and yet it's not overly sweet. Much like the aroma there is a wonderful combination of fruit and honey here. In fact it's very fruity. There is a nice warming note from alcohol here.

Not syrup like, but certainly a more boldly bodied beer. The warming notes are very nice. Not HOT at all.

I wasn't sure what to make of this, but I enjoy this much more than I thought. Certainly a beer to slowly enjoy over an evening. I will seek out more braggots.

Nicely done and I'm very happy I picked up this beer.

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Photo of ebby82
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey colored hue into a pint glass. There is pretty much no head.

The aroma is honey, pear, a bit of white grape, and pretty much no hop presence.

The taste is again honey, a light presence of pear, and a bit of a wine like flavor. There is a slightly alcoholic aftertaste.

It's rather thick and alcoholic to be highly drinkable, but it's a very enjoyable beer if you like sweet, fruity drinks of any sort.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden yellow in color with a fluffy inch of head that recedes rather quickly to a skim after about a minute

Smells of sweet candy fruitiness(might be the prickly pear..? never had one), some mild spiciness, and honey.

Some candy fruit in the taste, honey, pale malt, biting spice, big alcohol backside which seemed to mellow out before the end of the glass which definitely made the beer more pleasant.

Medium body, medium carb, and a lot of alcohol heat in the mouthfeel.

Very drinkable and enjoyable beer. Not something I would drink very often, but I am happy to have tried it. Nice change of pace from their typical offerings.

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Photo of Offa
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't sure what to expect with this and was very pleasantly surprised.

Deep gold, it has a small white head, fizzy, soon shrinking to a thin ring.

Aroma is fruity grain, bread, herbs, and honey.

Taste is a lot of sweet-spicy grain, raisin, light but firm juiciness, light sweet white wine hint - like gewurtztraminer - and with a definite, light honey character. It has a long raisiny grain aftertaste. In some ways, it has good qualities that I would want to see in a good malt liquor-type beer (for example, which I looked for and failed to find in Rogue Dad's Little Helper). It has strong raisiny grain and the light honey and herbal juiciness are very nice additional character elements. Fell is excellent, full and with light oiliness, yet very lively and engaging. It is very drinkable.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of dewalt
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A strong ale brewed with honey, red prickly pear juice and pale malts, boasting a lovely aroma of pears and flowers. The aroma kind of reminds me of fresh farm-made cider.

The ale has a floral taste full of rich, syrupy flavors, sweet malt and caramel. There's just a note of pear on the end, this really isn't all that fruity.

For a high alcohol beer, this is nicely balanced and drinkable. I found this enjoyable and interesting; almost meadlike. Definitely worth investigating further.

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Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: This poured a clear gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled like white grapes and sweet champagne, with nectar and a bit of honey.
T: It tasted like honey and vanilla syrup and floral cactus nectar. Very sweet and unique, with a bit of spice. The aftertaste was super smooth and sweet.
M: It was thick with very little carbonation, just like a glass of nectar.
D: This was a very interesting and unique experience. The smell wasn't too appealing, but the flavor was very smooth and tasty. The alcohol was exceptionally well hidden also, so it was dangerously easy to drink. I'm a fan of this beer; definitely recommended.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger white head that vanishes leaving no lace. Crystal clear pale yellow/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is honey, flavor is a different braggot, honey but a different sweetness must be the prickly pear. High ABV is hidden. $8.40 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange color with some visible carbonation. Has a light white head which turns to a film thats' bubbly on the edges.

Smell: Nice refreshing fruity aroma with honey and malts.

Taste: Fruits and mead flavors are up front, with some nice bready notes. Some hop flavors come in at the finish to round this out with some more balance.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with nice tingly carbonation. Quite smooth as well.

Drinkability: High ABV, but no taste of alcohol. Tasty as well.

I can imagine that for some this may be a bit sweet, but I really enjoy mead so I found this really enjoyable. Great flavors, refreshing, and I like the transition in flavors from the mead-like to the beer-lilke.

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Photo of Kurioser
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very nice golden hue, low quickly disappearing head, constand champagne like bubles from the bottom of the glass.

S - sweet fruit, and honey on this nicely complex aroma.

T - sweet, wheat, and some dried fruit notes... fig?

M - tingly effervessence on the tongue, with a contrasting slightly thick liquid

D - While I would not mind another, the thick mouthfeel is a nice control. At 10% this is not a beer to knock back multiple bottles of (at least not quickly)

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Photo of avalon07
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of mondegreen
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into DFH Signature Glass.

Pours a clear dark gold color. Smells sweet, the honey really shines through. Taste is all malt sweetness, almost like a light barleywine. One dimensional, but enjoyable. Maybe a touh of the "prickly pear" juice in the aftertaste. Nicely carbonated and finishes relatively clean. Pretty good brew.

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Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Glibber
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 171 ratings.
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