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

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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of beerwolf77
1.25/5  rDev -65.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to sweemzander for this unique beer.

Poured into my snifter the beer is golden orange with a tiny amount of white head. A trace of soapy lace remains.

The aroam is super sweet pear with traces of banana and honey. The booze is insanely overpowering. It smells like pure grain alcohol. I'm almost dreading taking a sip at this point.

Well I should have listened to my instincts and drain poured this hot fucking mess immediately. Hot searing booze with little else. This reminds me of straight whiskey. Boozy with a banana like finish.

Thin lifeless body with zero carbonation.

Overall I hope this isn't a standard braggot. If this is than this will be my last. Fortunately the drain will drink anything. I almost felt sorry for it as I poured the second half of my glass down it.

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Photo of Overlord
1.28/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

There was a time when I searched for the answer to the Riddle of Steel ... err, I mean the Riddle of Bad Beer. When I scoured the land for the strange and exotic, trying to find those truly awful brews and sample them in an attempt to figure out why they were made. Eventually I ran out of catastrophes to review, and I despaired of ever finding further apocalyptic brewing train wrecks.

Well, my friends, I was wrong. Widmer Bros has slowly, grudgingly, earned some respect from me (their hefeweizen is still pretty darn bad). And with this ... thing ... they've flushed most of that goodwill down the toilet.

Sounded interesting enough when I spied it on the shelf and pushed aside a homely clay cup to grab this splendidly golden bottle. Pear? I like pear. Prickly means kind of sour, right? Hmm...honey, I kinda like honey, too. Their oak aged Cherry doppelbock was decent. Let's give it a whirl.

Pours a slightly turbid golden hue, with almost no head. Very little bubbling. Okay. Kinda looks like a harvest wine.

Smells ... egads. Rotting, treacle/honey laden pear juice overlaid on an alcohol base with a pungent methanol tone to it. Reminds me of the times when I'd cut my sterno into something resembling drinkability by mixing it with pears I'd found rotting in the park (I'd have to fight the racoons for them).

Taste is awful. I'm so happy to once again be able to review a beer this atrocious. It's actually almost undrinkable. It was all I could do to finish the 2.3 oz. or so I need for an official review. Just an alcohol laden mess, with that horrible rotting pear aroma somehow turned into a liquid. The sweet "honey" tones are heavy-handed, overly artificial/concentrated, and brought to mind a preserve or jelly gone bad in the jar.

Very little carbonation. Goes on my short list as one of the worst beers I've ever tried.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
1.44/5  rDev -59.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - dark honey, to the tune of light maple syrup, thin head that disappears instantly despite plenty of lively carbonation

S - sickly sweet, super malty, some honey, otherwise nondescript

T - malts, appple flavors, malt liquor, ugh, not appetising at all

M&D - harsh and sickly sweet, not easy to drink, i couldnt finish it

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Photo of FullObs
1.75/5  rDev -51.3%

Photo of Wisconsinality
2.11/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

"Thanks" to beerwolf77 for splitting this one with me.
Bomber poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a bright golden with minimal head and no lacing. Completely transparent.

S- Smell is reminiscent of a barleywine without the kick to it. Some dark fruits and black licorice and just a small amount of spice.

T- The licorice is muted compared to the smell. A little bit of pear and some sweetness. Not much else to speak of.

M- Thin bodied. Feels flat and and lifeless. A bit watery as well.

D- The high ABV is very well hidden but the is the high point. Very underwhelming. Neither of us were able to finish our glass and drainpoured the rest.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.31/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from bottle into McChouffe goblet. Pours golden with a minimal white head. Lacing was nice decent throughout. The aroma was comprised of pear, alcohol, and malt with a hint of honey. The flavor was of malt, fruit, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was my first tasting of this style so I didn't really know what to expect at all. I just hope others in this style taste better than this one unfortunately. The flavors were very harsh and didn't seem to blend well together in my opinion. It could probably use a little more sweet malt to help balance out the fruit bitterness and make it more enjoyable.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow gold with a thin white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is subdued - wheaty malts, honey and some fruit.

The flavor is sweet honey and some alcoholic fruits with a medicinal aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, it's not bad, but it's a bit subdued and I don't really care for some of the harsher medicinal alcohol notes.

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Photo of Phelps
2.56/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I'm always looking for interesting new fruit beers, so imagine my joy when I see a new Widmer brew on the shelves of my local store. Plus, it comes in a box! Sold.

A pretty aggressive pour begets only the thinnest gray sheen that skips out of town completely without much thought. The beer itself is a perfectly clear light carrot, utterly devoid of carbonation, lacing, or any redeeming qualities. I am not amused.

The smell is a bit better -- but not by much. Light biscuity malt is noticeable, as is an obvious honey sweetness and some spicy fruitiness I assume to be the prickly pear. Everything that's there is a bit light for my tastes, but it's pleasant and in balance.

The subdued prickly pear meekly shows its head as I chew a bit, but is overpowered by a grainy tang and a poorly hidden alcohol burn. There seem to be some good flavors in there -- I just wish they would show themselves with more force. Starts sweet; finishes dry.

The mouthfeel could be described as honeyed -- gratifyingly full-bodied, and almost syrupy in texture. A high and nearly painful carbonation detracts only slightly from the experience.

This is my first braggot, but is nothing of the spicy treat I expected. Everything seemed watered down, and at nearly $8 a bottle, I'd bet that another bottle never finds its way into my fridge.

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Photo of froghop
2.7/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a clear pale orange with a small head that dissapates, not much of a head.

smell is faint, some fruit, some citrus, a touch of caramel, and a touch floral in the back.

taste is thin, hops, some caramel, a little malt, some citrus, and a bit of sweetness, ends a little bitter.

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Photo of harrymel
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of Khazadum
2.82/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Tonight's choice was done by the gal. I have five bottles left, all suggested into a snifter ( my favorite! ), and I couldn't make up my mind so I just had her toss one in the fridge. After I felt it had reached an appropriate temperature, it has been cracked and poured into my trusty glass and reviewed live.

Interesting, interesting. We have a vicious pour that generates half a finger's worth of head of densely packed clear bubbles. Intermingled amongst this population are some eggshell white pockets, but as I sit here notating things the head is gone. I'm left with pond scum on the top of my glass and a thin filter straw of memory around the edge of my glass.

If I had to describe this, it would be a moldy, not that punk ass bread mold, lemonhead kicked down my stairwell.

Thank good things that it isn't as nauseating as the candy it resembles. A single sniff caused me to jump backwards from this beer. If I take it at face value on the big inhale, I'd put it somewhere between an ethanol bomb and box wine.

This bad boy pumps out faint aromas of grapes mixed with the antiseptic qualities of ethanol. I also run into a faint vanilla nature undiluted and unmarred by anything, highlight of any sniff. Some intermittent apple cores are rammed in, but immediately whisked off. The malts that, I hope these are the malts, come out faintly caramel and highly bread-like, tortilla?

Flavor Profile
Ugh, what is this. I must be an uneducated fool. This beer is doing things to me without my permission. My unlit apartment feels like a snuff film all of a sudden. Heavy, heavy, heavy, flavors mask almost everything.

An insatiably metal monster I like to call Ethel rips into my tongue while his more pleasant buddies scatter to my esophagus. It is with many engagements of tongue-to-claw combat that I begin to enjoy some aspects. The apples do exist in the middle and finish of this beer. There is a small hop body that complement what the fruit brings to the table. Another buddy is the malts, strongly reminiscent of a bread sandwich, extra bread.

To put it in simple terms. This is two liquids entering my mouth at the same time. Yeasty, carbonated, bready versus sweet, astringent, biting, and violent. It does not mix well at all, and it is a shame.

Oral Sensations
It can't be knocked here. A lack of carbonation in the vision does not transfer into the feel of this. It comes through pleasantly bubbly without over or underwhelming. I can also say it thankfully does not linger or have the body to stick around anything beyond a faint memory.

It holds well in terms of gravity, and I'd say it is actually full. I can't call it smooth for its pins and needle flavors, but I really want to find something positive so I'll fake it.

This beer is effin weird. I understood yesterday. Style I have never had married to flavors I can't really say I love. This however. This is more on the level of things I do enjoy trying to fuse with a bench warmer. You really wouldn't imagine it happening. I can't say I'd drink it again. It was a chore to do a glass.

It reminds me of, and I know this is the easy way out, of a fruity beer designed by the inventor of the American Adjunct Lager. There is this characteristic aftertaste that reminds me of plaque and eggs. I truly can't say what style this is, so I'll just finish this out.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.87/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It came in a box, $7.49 for the 22oz bottle and like others, my first of the style.

It pours a light golden colour that looks like a lot of American adjunct beers. The foam started off good at close to 1 finger but collapsed shortly after. It did leave behind some decent lacing.

The smell is very much pear like with some really sweet notes of honey. Just like the label says. It doesn't have a noticeable smell of alcohol, which suits me fine.

The taste is....the good things, I can taste the honey and a good flavour of pears and very little alcohol. The bad thing(s)'s boring. No oomph, if you will, in the flavour. Boring as hell and not something I'd find easy to drink at all.

Light bodied, light carbonation, not a good mouthfeel at all for me.

Drinkability? It will be tough to finish the bottle. I'm glad I got the chance to try it for the style but if the others of the style are anything like this, I'll pass. Definitely not for me.

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Photo of GeezLynn
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

For anyone interested, Prickly Pear is a type of cactus that is pretty common in arid parts of the west.

Pours out an attractive clear golden hue with a slight white head that doesn't last. Aroma is sweet, primarily caramel malt and honey. There's also plenty of alcoholic spice.

Flavor is based on light malt and the honey is very evident as it's slightly sweet but also dry. Additionally, there's a green fruitiness like unripe fruit that must be the cactus. Finishes with a strong astringent alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with light, fine carbonation. Strong alcohol burn makes the carbonation seem higher.

Admittedly, I am new to the style (this is only my second braggot), but I really didn't find this all that enjoyable. Too much ethanol flavor.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bought this one based on the interesting description on the cardboard sleeve the beer was sold in--honey and prickly pear...why the fuck not. Pours a deep, translucent orange color, with a bit of head which disappears from the surface rather quickly. Taking a sip, I find out why the fuck not...this beer is a mess...way too sweet and not all that interesting to boot.

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Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of funkyaudio
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Kahlerbock
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of beertunes
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This my first Braggot and I don't think that Widmer really brewed this in the traditional manner, so I'm just gonna give a quick thumbnail review.

The beer poured a clear honey-yellow with a thin cap of white head that dissipated quickly and left some sticky lacing. The aroma was sweetly subdued, otherwise benign and neutral. The taste was sweet and smooth, a couple of the people I shared my bottle with found it too sweet, but these folks are hop heads. The body full, smooth and a on the sticky side. Drinkbility was OK, a 22 would have been more than I would have tackled on my own.

Overall, this beer was OK and after I try some more of the style, I'll adjust this review.

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Photo of Geno206
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours golden with a bit of darker highlights. There is a tiny off white head without much lacing. The nose brings forward loads of sweetness as well as a bit of lightly-sweet fruits. A bit of spice. The taste, again, is sweet with some mild fruits. A bit of pear and apple. Mouthfeel is medium with fairly low carbonation. Overall, a strange beer that just didn't really work out in the end.

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Photo of vacax
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an orange gold with white head, good retention and lacing. Aroma is fairly sweet with a taffy smell, candi sugar, chicory, some alcohol presence, not too much honey but it does blend with the malt nicely. While the nose comes together, the taste does not quite do as good of a job. Spicy sweetness begins with a heavy caramel malt on the finish. It has an odd corn flavor that combined with the sweetness actually reminds me of a malt liquor. Actually, some malt liquors taste better. While I find obscure styles interesting just for the sake of them, the taste here is hard to appreciate. Medium to thicker body, silky with moderate carbonation, bitterness is a bit astringent yet there is an over the top cookielike malt clashing. Interesting to try, but that is about it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from the US to coincide with the Australian craft brewing industry's dappling in the world of Braggots. I thought it might be useful to have a comparison. Unfortunately, I was suitably unimpressed with the Braggots here.

Pours a clear and light golden colour, with a filmy head of fine white bubbles. Body is extremely heavy, almost gelatinous, in that you tilt it, and carbonation bubbles form and then give up on trying to push to the surface. Love the heaviness. Can't say I'm all that enamoured otherwise.

Nose is bland and slightly yeasty, giving a bit of bread dough character, and not a lot else. Slight hint of golden syrup, giving a little hint of sweetness, but I suspect it will be heavy, astringent booze otherwise.

Unfortunately, it's not even particularly strong or astringent, or anything on the palate. More of that faint bready yeast character, with a hint of plain sugary sweetness. Any honey character is well removed from the fermentation. Feel is light and bland.

Eh. Braggots, I feel, are not for me. This indeed ended up much like the examples I had from Australia, and although this is perhaps less astringent and offensive than the others I've had, it's still a very mild and uninteresting style.

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Photo of sneth019
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of portia99
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle (dated March 11,2010) poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with a finger of fizzy white foam that dissipates after a minute or so, down to a thing layer on the surface.

S - Sweet, honey, light breadlike malt, a bit white wine like with a bit of a pple and not surprisingly prickly pear fruit. Overall interesting, but perhaps a bit too mild on the nose. Not very assertive at all.

T - Bready malt up front underneath a big boozy hit of alcohol that gives the first impression. Definitely honey based...this seems more mead like than other braggots I've had in the past with the distinct flavor of fermented honey in the booziness. Only a mild residual sweetness found in here...I think a bit more would help this one tremendously for me. The fruit is muted by the booze and overall tendency towards dryness. Some more sugar would really help bring out the fruity flavors more.

M - Thin with a light to medium carbonation that has a tingley feel on the tongue. Booziness is high and a bit too much for me.

D - Having a bit of a hard time with this one...drinks more like a dry mead than a braggot. Way over-attenuated in my opinion and would be better served with more sugars to bring out the fruit. Prickly pear is a pretty delicate flavor to begin with and can really use some help here to leave more of an impression. I applaud the effort by Widmer on this seldom seen style, and I really, really wanted to like this a lot more, but I'm finding this one difficult to finish...too boozy and not enough fruit character.

Reading some of the other reviews out there, I feel like I'm drinking a totally different beer/braggot then some of the others. I see lots of comments on sweetness, but I really don't get this...I wish it was sweeter than what I experienced...don't know if there is some variability in bottles or just different palettes and prior experiences...

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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 171 ratings
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