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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 Bookseeb
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To tell you the truth, I had to ask myself "what the hell is a Braggot" and had to look it up. Appearance has a nice golden amber with a thick crisp head that dissapates quickly. Smell is light with sweet honey, prickley pear juice and alchohol. Taste is again light with the honey and the pear with moderate hops and considering, the alchohol is not that potent either. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium with good carbonation. An easy sipper considering the alchohol content, with a simple compexity, if you will.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: light golden color with half a finger of rapidly-dissipating creamy white head. It's OK.

Smell: light, sweet, slightly fruity and slightly cloying. I've never had another braggot before, so I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. It does smell a little meady, but I also feel like it smells a bit like a sweet adjunct lager. I suppose it's average.

Taste: light, sweet, a bit cloying. Again, this is my first braggot, but I'm rather unimpressed.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an acceptable level of carbonation. Feels OK to me.

Drinkability: this will have to track with flavor for me. It is a bit too sweet for me and it just doesn't do it for me. That said, it's by no means disgusting or undrinkable.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
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 BretSikkink
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The orange seems to be brought out in the barlight; otherwise a golden color with a faint head of white lacing. Nose may be slightly stronger on tap, with a light fruitiness wafting above and around the raw honey notes. Flavor profile is sweet and fruity, with notes of cantaloupe, bubblegum, apple, and honey. Oily mouthfeel, but a nice size for such an ale. Finish is short, and the alcohol is well hidden. Very unique ale that tastes great and could slide nicely into a number of more recognizable styles, from an American style tripel to a strong golden ale.

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Photo of aristeros
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 11 March 2010. Poured into a goblet. I've had and enjoyed a few Widmer brews, but none of the 'Brothers' Reserve' specials. Pours a medium golden with almost no head, some white foam. Surprising clarity considering it's nominally supposed to be a spiced mead blend.

The nose is surprisingly fruity. Both apple and pineapple are present, and perhaps pears. No bitterness. Some bready malts. The nose is not subtle, but it's quite different from the red and yellow fruit smells I'm used to with certain beers!

The taste is fairly malty. Tart red fruit and caramel up front, giving way to heavy biscuit and alcohol. Light honey presence throughout, most apparent on the back end. Quite different from the smell, but if it tasted as sweet as it smelt I'd be very displeased with it! Light carbonation and heavier body and this seems appropriate in the beer. Alcohol presence is as would be expected of a 10%--it's there, you notice it.

Because of the strength and sweetness, I could probably age this one to good effect.

For the same price, I could have had many Belgians or Belgian-style brews, or a Dogfish concoction, or a Unibroue. I'm glad I tried it, but wouldn't go for this again. As it's a limited release, I probably won't have to.

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Photo of DanOLeary
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Upfront is the prominent, but not overpowering, aroma of sweet clover honey. At least I'm guessing it's clover honey since that seems quite common. Light caramel notes with white bread and a Vienna malt character similar to what you find in a Märzen. Just a hint of alcohol on the nose. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Pours a diluted copper, balancing between pale straw with a reddish hue or even slightly pink. Brilliant clarity with continual carbonation bubbles easily seen rising to the top. Head pours a low, half finger of pure white but fades to a ring along the outside of the glass. Some light lacing down the edge.

Flavor: Light tartness hits the tongue at first before quickly transitioning to an earthy bitterness. Sweet honey plays into the mix, but not as much as I expected from the candy-like aromatics. Alcohol presence is quite prominent on the tongue with it's spice lingering throughout the middle and into the finish. Earth and light wood retain a presence with hop bitterness coming back once again toward the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. The carbonation and alcohol presence combine to create a tingling warmth on the palate. Though, similar to a Barleywine, this Braggot will dry out the palate with an almost cooling sensation as you breath out. Just a hint of sweet honey stickyness on the palate before the finish dries out the tongue and back of the throat.

Overall: While I've tasted some Braggot's at homebrew competitions, this is the first commercial example I've tried. It wouldn't hurt to back off on the carbonation a little with this one and let the honey sweetness play a bigger role. Barley malt and honey characteristics are well balanced, with just a slight preference given to the honey. Hop presence is barely noticeable through the moderately strong alcohol. If Barelywine's are often too strong for your liking, I recommend giving this Braggot a try as it combines nice alcohol presence with just enough sweetness to balance things out. As a beer brewed with honey, this is a nice example. As a mead blended with beer...I think Widmer could place a greater emphasis on the mead side of things to make a bolder statement. A nice drinking beer/mead/braggot though.

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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 gimbi
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
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 Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear slightly orange-yellow color with a tiny white head. The aroma is fruity. I guess that is the prickly pear but I am not sure. The flavor is honey and the same fruit from the aroma. The alcohol is present as well and I get something else that I believe is wheat. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I think this beer could have been better if they would have toned down the alcohol just a little bit.

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Photo of honeybrewer
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Braggot is probably me favorite style of beer, although I have never had one made with prickly pear juice. I'm a little hesitant because, in my experience braggots made with fruit come out much better when fermented on whole fruits rather that juice.

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Clear amber color, very thin head.
Smells strongly of honey and a fruitiness that I guess is the prickly pear juice.
Taste is stongly of honey with a bit of prickly pear. Very sweet. Definetly has a "juicy" character to it that is identifiable as a separate flavor. Not neccesarily a bad thing, but the flavors just don't seem to be as cohesive as they could be. Little bit of malt flavor, but zero hops. A beer this sweet probably could have benefited from a bigger dose of hop bitterness to balance.
Low carbonation feels just right, this is definetely not a thin feeling beer; a higher carbonation level would likely have been detrimental.
Overall, while it is a good beer, it is not great, and $10 a pop is way overpriced, I don't care if it does come in a spiffy little cardboard box. It's not like I can drink the box.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a clear, penny-hued body with a very thin, white head that vanishes near instantaneously.

Smell: Sweetish nose of knapweed honey against some simple wafts of pale malts. The addition of red prickly pear juice, for me, gives the beer a "wild berry" scent, reminiscent of various candies that label their flavor as such (i.e., Wild Berry Skittles).

Taste: Pale malts with some sugary sweet honey tastes. Faint floral accents. More of that "wild berry" prickly pear flavor, which begins to intensify as it warms. Hint of earthy spice. Only the slightest hint of hop character and bitterness. Peppery alcohol tones. Warming, drying finish with a lingering prickly taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Kudos to Widmer for taking the madcap, creative route with this series, although I missed out on Brothers' Reserve #1. Oops. PPB is an amusing brew, going down fairly easy considering its sweetness and strength.

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

This has a crisp, clear straw color, with very little head and no lacing. The scent has strong honey characters up front with a sweetness that must be the prickly pear on the back side. The taste is very sweet, but hides the alcohol content well. The brew is very thick and has a bit too much honey for my taste.

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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 HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear honey golden from a 22 oz. bomber and offers a light foam cap. Carbonation is appropriately light yet offers some artsy lacing on a wine glass.

Light citric malt nose along with a rather subdued honey character. Touch of spice and a hint of alcohol as well as some light noble hop notes and more so with agitation.

Taste is light and flavorful and somewhat vinous in nature. Orange spice with a subtle coarseness, a light sweetness emanates and covers the ABV astonishingly well. Prickly Pear? Well, I'm not too sure what that tastes like, but there is a nice balance here.

An unfamiliar style, this brew drinks quite easily for its potency.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden color with a thin white head, the head/retention isn't great but that was never a strong suit of braggots. The aroma is really intriguing, with some honey sweetness upfront, an exotic fruitiness (i guess prickly pear, but also papaya or passionfruit), some toffee, biscuit, esters, and a trace of alcohol. The flavor also has a huge sweetness upfront that is reminiscent of honey and toffee, along with a little hops bite (mostly floral and mineraly), some fruitiness (hard to tell if this is esters or the pear juice) that recalls pears and starfruit, a little biscuit and bread, and a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is full and thick, bordering on syrupy, and drinkability is incredible given the strength. An intriguing braggot for sure, not too sweet and has a decent amount of complexity and almost no alcohol presence.

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Photo of Domingo
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've enjoyed the Widmer reserve series, but this one was a little bit of a bust.
Pours a golden honey color...which I suppose should be expected. A tiny bit of foam reveals that the beer is carbonated, but there's no lacing and the foam disappears quickly.
Smells non-distinctly sweet. Not really getting much beyond a sweet pale malt flavor. No honey, no sweet cactus.
The flavor is similar. I did pick up some honey flavors similar to a mead, but it's mild. I get more sweet pale malt flavors than anything else, with a little bit of honey in the finish. I've had my fair share of prickly pear candies, jams, etc. and I really didn't pick up any fruit in this at all. Not sure if that's just the name or if there's actually fruit in it.
I enjoy meads, especially the carbonated ones, but this really doesn't hold up. The pale malt flavors add something that almost seem to dumb the honey profile down.
The only other Braggot I had was using a stout malt base and I liked it much more.
This isn't bad, but it's a little boring. It almost reminds me of a boozier maibock. For all I know this is a good example of the style, but I wasn't really impressed by it.

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a release date on the label.

Wispy white lace is good for the style, clarity dons a bright golden color. Clean aroma with hints of honey and tropical fruit, clean alcohol vapor as well. Smooth and slick with some body, nutty bready malt meets a growing alcohol honey warmth. Fruitiness and a hint of white chocolate are in the middle. Hops are minimal, perhaps some bitterness comes through but is probably not even needed as the alcohol draws enough balance. Semi-sweet finish.

More refined than most braggots I have had which is not many aside from homebrewed. Good sipping and something I could see ending the night with if not taking my time with over a big meal.

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured a clear golden amber color in the glass. It had a lot of carbonation bubbles but not much for a head.

The aroma is sweet and the crisp pear is immediately noticeable in the background. Of course never having prickly pear in a beer that was also the first thing I went looking to find. Honey plays a pretty strong flavor in the nose as well. Overall the aroma has a light, sweet fruitiness that is pretty decent.

The taste has the sweetness that was abundant in the nose up front, but there is a moderate bitterness coming through that really helps balance all of that sweet honey. I wouldn't call it balanced but it's not as sweet as it could be. The pear is very apparent in the taste with a crisp fruitiness. It also has a grainy malt taste coming through as well. The finish has a bit of alcohol present bot not too bad. I can't say I drink a lot of Braggot's but this one seems to fit pretty well with the style description.

Mouthfeel feels pretty light with above average carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it had an interesting combination of flavors for sure. The flavors worked pretty well together, I liked that they tried to balance out all the sweetness a bit which helped with the drinkability. It did have a moderate alcohol bite to it which hurt the drinkability a bit. Overall a very interesting and cool combination of flavors that was pretty tasty.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Limited Release #2 Spring 2010. 10% ABV, *Check box* Rob Widmer favorite (should it be both of theirs as it's a BROTHERS' reserve series? Bad marketing) MAR1110 printed on the neck.

Thanks go out to Sweemzander for the hookup on this brew!

A - A tall pour leaves the crystal clear golden braggot with just about a two-finger head. The cloud-white foam had a low retention as it descended but left foamy lave and a thin film on the beer. Inviting appearance overall.

S - Raw honey aroma just oozes from this beer with a fruity pear-like sweetness in tandem. I've never had the prickly pear fruit to my knowledge but I do get a little scent of that crisp pear sweetness in there. Not as mead-like in aroma as I had hoped/expected. The "beer" in it really shines through too much. Pale and Pilsner malts with a bit of grain on the back end. No hop presence at all.

T - Honey really stands out in the flavor as it imparts a rich sweetness and real raw honey taste. Prickly Pear comes across in the flavor, I imagine (since I can't recall ever having it), as a sweet but crisp fruity presence much like an apple or pear would impart. A small splash of thin solvent alcohol pokes it's head out slight on the finish just to let you know it really is there. All the honey and prickly pear notes blend well together but are hindered by the ingredients of the beer itself. It tastes like a grainy, pale malt backing with little thought before execution. The good side and poorer sides of this beer meet in the middle.

M - Smooth and medium in body, Prickly Pear goes down with a prickly carbonation bite. The sweetness goes unchecked but is balanced out in strength so that it's not cloying. An otherwise good mouthfeel is held back by a lingering metallic touch on the finish.

D - Hints of alcohol poke out but it's felt more in sensation while exhaling and towards the end of the last pint (2.5 hours later) but otherwise this beer has very good drinkability. By this sentence my first pint is almost gone. The actual beer side of this Braggot could use some work to bring up in quality though.

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Photo of riored4v
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/14/10.

Poured into a tulip. Clear, golden body. 3/4 finger head that was white and faded to a thin ring.

Smell had hints of pear and apple they reminded me of a cider. Some peppery aroma with a mildly sweet and malty presence. Nice aroma of honey.

Taste had some definite honey upfront and midway then faded to a earthy, mildy bitter, mild pear finish that had a lingering honey sweetness. Some herbal-ness with a good amount of sweetnes and mild maltiness. Pear is apparent as an almost cider like quality.

Mouthfeel had a medium body, high carbonation and crisp finish that transforms to a sticky finish.

Drinkability was decent. No real hotness, but a sticky and sweet beer kinda limits it.

Interesting beer overall. 2nd braggot i've ever had and this one was alot more honey-flavored than the last. Pear was interesting in it as well.

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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)...it'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 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 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 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 dewalt
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
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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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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