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

134 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 171
Photo of jboucher
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Brewed on March 11, 2010

Appearance: Clear amber hue with a small half finger white head. Moderate retention and very light lacing. There is abundant initial carbonation, which shortly fizzles down.

Smell: Malty honey, with the slightest hint of milk chocolate blending in with the honey. The pear juice is made apparent. Slight biscuit-esque note. Solid malt backbone. Definitely on the sweet side.

Taste: Honeyed malt upon the arrival. Slightly sweet and oily. Lingering finish. Fairly complex. The alcohol is masked beautifully.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, which settles down after the initial pour. Drying effect on the finish.

Ending notes: Overall, this beer was very interesting. Makes a good sipping beer. Definitely not sessionable. Very enjoyable, but I would be seeking this again anytime soon. It was better than I expected.

 905 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

 1,235 characters

Photo of bierschmecktgut
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy but bright golden orange with a minimal head and scattered lacing. No visible rising carbonation.

Smells sweet & syrupy - obviously the honey and malt together. Pear is faint, just like a whiff of scratched pear skin.

Sweetness packed from start to finish, no real presence of bitterness or pear. Nothing but sugar. An alcoholic aftertaste is detected shortly after the finish.

Heavy body, syrupy mouth-feel. Carbonation leaves light buzz on tongue. Definite alcohol warming in the chest and throat - halfway through bottle.

For me its not outstanding, I think the sweetness is too overpowering. I'm sure there are other, better balanced braggots that weigh evenly with Ale. Not sure if I can finish the bottle..

 722 characters

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.


 2,391 characters

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.

 327 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a wisp of a head that disappears almost immediately; a few dots of lace

Smell: Fermented honey, tropical fruit and fusel alcohol

Taste: The fermented honey and tropical fruit flavors take over from the outset, with the fusel alcohol adding a burn by mid-palate; the sweeter flavors maintain their dominance after the swallow and into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Worth a try for the opportunity to have a braggot, but not the type of thing I would come back to very often

Thanks, Douglas88, for the opportunity

 634 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: semi-cloudy orange, deep yellow, trace head on top, patchy lacing.

S: BIG honey, malt, pear, slight grassy/earthiness.

T: sweet pear, barleywine quality, slight earthy/grassy, big honey, boozy, malt, big alcohol warmth (no wonder the English drank this stuff to keep the chill off, lol.)

M: Med body, average carbonation, sticky mouthfeel.

D: Very interesting. As a Historian/History teacher and lover of "The Canterbury Tales", wild to actually taste a braggot.
Don't know if I could have more than one.
Unique flavors, not for everyone. Sip this bad boy.


 597 characters

Photo of champ103
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden color. A tiny white head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, fruits and spice. A citrus/orange fruity aroma that is nice.
T: Really sweet malt with some nondescript fruity flavors. Kind of citrus like. A sugary, grainy like sweetness lingers.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink, but I am not really into this.

Basically sweet with some nondescript fruity flavors. I thought there was suppose to be prickly pear? Nothing bad at all, though not a Braggot by any means and prickly pear is no were to be seen.

 610 characters

Photo of gregshead
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 1/30/11 from notes:

A: Golden color with little to no head.

S: Sugary tangerine (the prickly pear maybe?) dominates the smell. Some spices in the background.

T: Very sweet. Prickly pear taste stand out. Some spice again lingering in the background.

M: Good carbonation feel but the syrupyness is evident in the aftertaste.

D: While I enjoyed my pint of this, I'm glad my wife was there to drink the rest. A little too sryupy/boozy for my taste buds.

 466 characters

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.

 1,289 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into AVBC snifter.

A: Pours a clear apple juice color with a thin fizzy white head that quickly vanished first into a faint collar, and then into nothing. No lacing.
S: Lightly sweet notes of honey with just a hint of peppery hops and citrusy spice.
T: Clean flavors of pale crackery malt balanced by notes of golden fruits and flowers. I believe I can detect a pearish flavor near the finish mixed with a touch of sweet honey. The aftertaste has a slight alcohol warmth to it.
M: Medium body and dryish mouthfeel are a lot lighter and refreshing than I was expecting. This would have been awful it was if it was thick and syrupy. Carbonation is low on the palate but fizz in the glass.
D: My first braggot. Not bad actually. I was worried this would be sickly sweet and syrupy, but it was actually pretty clean and refreshing. Time to seek out more of the style I guess.

 886 characters

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.

 418 characters

Photo of klewis
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden with light chill haze. Little head and almost no lace.

S: Sweet-smelling with vanilla and honey aromas. Light fruit.

T: Quite sweet with a strong honey taste. Light herbal character but lacking in whatever fruit quality it is meant to have. Noticeable alcohol presence.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is a bit cloying with extended alcoholic heat.

D: Worth a try, but I won't buy this one again.

 429 characters

Photo of kwjd
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this in a grocery store somewhere in southern Oregon, while driving from Portland to San Francisco. I hadn't had a braggot before, so figured it would be time to start. Pours an amber-orange colour with minimal head. Smell of pear is incredibly strong, with lots of sweet honey and bread. Very sweet flavour, no bitterness at all. Carbonation level was quite high. It is hard for me to compare this to other beers, this was just completely different. I enjoyed it enough though.

 486 characters

Photo of mjsheehan08
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours. Warm, hazy orange amber color. Lots of carbonation present in this pour, but minimal head. Zero lacing around the glass of my oversized wine glass.

Smells sweet, malty notes, with the presence of some light fruit and light wheat.

Taste is light, but packs a punch though. Wheaty malts mixed with a light hop taste. There is an overwhelming taste of honey and fruit, but it is balanced and works well together. No real feel of booze in the beginning or middle, but a little warmth in the end. Mouthfeel was slick and buddly, and I could probably drink another whole bottle of this at 10%

 595 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

March 11, 2010 stamped on the side; fully expecting this to be a little stale considering the age. My first Braggot.

Pours a near perfect amber color with a thin, fizzy paper white cap that rises and falls rather quickly. No retention, no lace whatsoever. Absolutely crystal clear.

The aroma is of sweet pear infused whiskey, oak and honey. Extremely sweet with just a touch of ethanol.

I feel like the flavor profile has suffered from the age more than anything else. Honey, oak and pear juice in near perfect balance. Hops appear only as an afterthought in a herbal/medicinal form. Overall, this is extremely sweet and there is no carbonation whatsoever, given the age.

Smooth with a little bit of heat. Light to medium body. I found this to be a slow drinker due to how sweet it was. I would have loved to try this fresh.

 863 characters

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seemed intersting enough after a day of chapperoning children around...why are they busier than we are? Pours a clear honey color, very cool. Pours without any head forming. Maybe a hint of a wisp of a faint piece of foam. Medium carbonation. No lacing. Poured kinda thick and syrupy, and the 9% ABV tells me it oughta be sweet. Whoa, very cool aromas. I get some peppery notes from the prickly pear. Very nice and unique but not overpowering or "off". Actually, there is a sweet vanilla and/or honey note at first and this melds into the peppery notes. Really cool, I like it a lot. Flavor is a wicked array of flavors, but they seem to work. Alcohol is very noticeable, all through the taste. That's a bummer. The prickly pear flavor is very upfront and is really kinda cool. The honey sweetness is around there, but mostly it hides behind Mr. Prickly...Now I'm noticing another aroma and flavor - kind of rubbing alcohol-ish. Not cool, and I think that's throwing this one off for me. I like the honey addition, too...It adds a sweetness that balances it out a little. Not enough, but some. There is nary a hop flower in sight on this one, so beware all hopheads. I find myself really intrigued and liking this one-of-a-kind brew, even with it's flaws. At $6.99/bomber it's not cheap but it won't break ya none, neither. I'd say you have to try this unique ale at least once.

What I like most: The bizarre Prickly Pear notes in the aroma and flavor profiles.

What I like least: The astringent, isopropyl-like notes in the aroma and flavor profiles.

Verdict: Good in its uniqueness, but certainly not for everyone. Fun to try.

 1,631 characters

Photo of robhunta
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A pretty light colored beer, orange hue, not too sure what to expect for the style (good preface for the whole review).

S - Sweet and fruity, with a bit of an alcohol smell.

T - First taste very sweet, kind of similar to a lighter version of a barley wine, nice fruit flavors, later comes some nice alcohol flavors.

M - Very light, actually feels a lot like a light beer.

D - very drinkable based on the light beer mouthfeel, but alcohol flavor and fruitiness add some very nice complexity.

This is a different style of beer, one that Im not Quite used to and it has a lot of different aspects, but overall I find it very nice and surprisingly complex.

 661 characters

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

This one pours a burnt yellow with quickly dissipating white head. The smell is sweet and of flowers and honey. It's actually very tasty and very sweet. It has a continuing fruity, honeylike sweetness. It drinks pretty light and pretty smoothly. It's very drinkable for the content as well. This one is different and pretty alright but nothing too spectacular.

 360 characters

Photo of Buckmaister
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served between 45-50 degrees

The color is what you would get if you mixed the colors gold and orange. An interesting color. I can honestly say I've never quite seen ale or beer this color before. A 1-inch head rapidly diminishes to just miniscule surface foam.

A pleasant aroma of pear & honey is easily detectible.

You can definitely taste the pear and faint bit of honey, but it seems to be somewhat overshadowed by the 10% alcohol content. It's sweet at first, but you are left with a slight bitter tinge at the back of the throat upon swallowing.
Feels like any other lightly carbonated beverage would. Not exceptionally smooth, but that's not what they were going for either!

I'd be limiting myself to one or two glasses of this. There's just nothing that really peaks my interest in having more than that.

This is an alright beer but nothing really sticks out about it for me. I was eager to pick it up when I saw it at the liquor store since I loved the 1st release of theirs (Cherry Oak Dopplebock), but am disappointed with this one. Hopefully their 3rd release will be as good as their 1st!

 1,169 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light neon orange, small head that lingers around, mostly on the rim for a while.

Lots of honey, malt.

Not bad, I get honey, caramel and a dash of piny hops.

A bit cloyingly sweet. Nothing extraordinary.

Good drinkability if a bit sweet. Would be a great session beer but it's sweetness gets in the way.

 307 characters

Photo of Lucklys
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Using my usual snifter, I poured half of the 22oz bomber into the glass and was quickly taken by the bright goldenrod color that shone like a new penny in the sunlight. The white head built to a finger thick and appeared lightly fluffy, but almost immediately fell into oblivion, leaving very minimal clean lacing that refused to stick. The visible carbonation took a little longer to wear itself out and eventually stopped altogether.

There was a strong sweet smell accompanied by honey and pale malts, though everything was overtaken by a thick, sugary wild berry/tropical fruit and pear aroma. On their own, prickly pears have a sweet cut grass scent, but accompanied by the honey in this beer, it made the overall smell very syrupy even before I put it in my mouth. The other obvious addition to the nose was the extremely noticeable ethanol/alcohol action going on. At 10%ABV, it certainly packed quite a punch. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but it was overwhelming to just under the point I would have labeled it sickeningly sweet.

After the smell, I was actually kind of surprised at how the taste differed from my initial opinions. While it was still very sweet and had an odd honey-thickness in my mouth, there were also some very pale bready malts that somehow pushed their way through to my taste buds. I also found the prickly pear to be more discernible as I allowed the beer to warm. Okay fine, as I took my time trying not to get drunk off of 11oz of beer. There were no obvious hops and no bitterness whatsoever, though there was a cinnamon-like peppery bite right after I swallowed and the alcohol was raging right there next to everything I tasted. I did like that it had a rich, juicy, medium mouthfeel with low spicy carbonation, though at times, due to the lack of bubbles, it slightly resembled syrupy candy. The upside to the sweetness was that it helped to balance out the strength of the alcohol through most of the drink.

 1,950 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

 770 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a snifter a golden orange color with thin fizzy head that disappears rapidly. Small amount of lacing.

Smells of overripe pear with light rum.

Pear and pear juice up front with a vodka alcohol presence on the backend. Getting some noticeable metallic notes now. This reminds me of some kind of a cocktail. I guess pear juice and vodka? Not real powerful tasting. A bit muted, but still decent.

The carbonation feels a bit underwhelming and frothy. A touch thin and somewhat slick feeling.

An interesting beer. The pear is really nice. It goes down pretty well, but seems to be more of a cocktail than a beer. It's worth trying and I am mostly enjoying it, especially the pear.

 690 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

 414 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.