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

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BA SCORE
81
good
134 Reviews
Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
134
Ratings:
171
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
15.64%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 171
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.

 2,550 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Docer
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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...

 926 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.76/5  rDev +5%
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.

 1,962 characters

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.

 730 characters

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.

 894 characters

Photo of markskar
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 1,299 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 923 characters

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Prickly Pear Braggot (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.
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