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.

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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 171
Photo of samie85
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a dark orange hued amber color with a one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S-Smells of sweet, dark fruit similar to a barleywine with light honey and malt notes.

T-Sweet and boozy dark fruits upfront with some alcohol, and drying dark fruits on the finish.

M-Pretty thick bodied even with quite a bit of carbonation; smooth and dry, with a warming alcohol finish.

D-A little too similar to a barleywine for me. The other braggots I've had so far have had much more coating, thick mouthfeels and quite a different flavor profile. It's not going to be that easy to finish this bomber off.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an interesting orange color with pale amber highlights. Has a thin head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves a very thin ring that holds throughout.

Smells quite sweet. Strong notes of malt and fruit, predominantly pear and citrus. Hints of bread, and a very slight aroma of spice and alcohol.

Initial taste is sweet, with notes of fruit and malt, but is almost immediately overpowered by the strength of the alcohol. Aftertaste is also very sweet, with a lingering flavor of pear and an alcohol warmth.

Medium in body. There's a higher carbonation level than one would expect from looking at it, and it's actually quite nice, but there's just too much of a bite from the alcohol to make it truly enjoyable.

Not bad, but a bit too strong and unspectacular to drink more than one.

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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 Khazadum
2.82/5  rDev -21.2%
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 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 cjgator3
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottleĀ 

A- Pours a golden orangish color with a thin off-white head that quickly reduces into a thin ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, honey and pears with some fruity esters.

T- The taste like the aroma is very fruity with pears, apples, honey and hints of spices with some warmth in the finish from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, not a bad offering from the Widmer Bros. Not something I would purchase again but it is worth a try.

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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 beagle75
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Rich, clear, golden color with almost no trace of white or off-white foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Sweet melon, honey, and amaretto conflict slightly in the nose but ultimately produce a balanced smell that is neither weak or overpowering.

T: After a brief struggle, sweet fruit, delicate aromatic hops (or hop-replacement herbs), and alcohol come together remarkably well. The finish is abundantly fruity and full with hints of honey, lingering bready malt, and slightly astringent hop bitterness.

M: Sticky, medium viscosity with light carbonation compliments the other qualities of this beer well.

D: Definitely a sipper, this beer is strong, full-flavored, and refreshing. Compared to a Craftsman spring braggot sampled recently, this beer is more heavy-handed by comparison. Although an entire bomber may be challenging for one person to finish, a single serving is worth a try.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
1.44/5  rDev -59.8%
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 Beaver13
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%
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 drabmuh
3.14/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into my St B goblet. Beer is yellow / orange and completely clear. Forms a thin head that immediate disappears. Some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high. It looks like champagne. Its about as pretty as a beer can get. Very nice.

Aroma is pretty sweet. A lot like honey.

Beer is thin and really really sweet. Its dry on the back. Its plasticy its so sweet. Eh. Lots of honey, I'm not getting cactus pear (prickly pear). I'm from AZ and I love cactus pear but this doesn't have any of the characteristics.

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Photo of colts9016
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Mead/beer into a snifter glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A very light head that is white and creamy with poor retention. The color of the beer is medium straw color with an orange hue. The clarity of the beer is hazy. There is some carbonation in the beer. The head didn't leave any lacing on the glass.

Nose: A very pleasantly fruity prickly pear aroma claws deep into your nose. There are other aromas: honey, clover, orange, phenols, solvents, yeast, citrus, floral esters, a light wood, and a nice toasty note.

Taste: The funky fruity prickly pear flavor is first to invade your palate. The other flavors are: yeast, thick honey, orange, clover, floral esters, citrus, pine, phenols, toastiness, and solvents.

The mouth feel is dry, astringent, and carbonations.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. I am somewhat knowledgeable in what a prickly pear is. My grandfather used to make jam and the Mexicans have a drink made with the fruit. It has a slight funky flavor but a subtle sweetness. This is my first braggot, it has some very interesting flavors and characteristic, I am rather enjoying it. It is a little unrefined.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at a local beer store here in the Valley that's notorious for stocking beers past their freshness date. Not surprisingly, this one is dated March 11, 2010, but I figured with such a high ABV it would hold up just fine this late in the summer.

Appears a pretty peachy orange color. The low carbonation results in a low head, but when stirred vigorously it yields a thin, creamy foam on top. The nose is strong with honey, with a light berry aroma and some pear and apple scents. It's a nice enough scent. Tastes like a light and fruity mead. The prickly pear flavor is fairly nondescript. Some peppery spice in the finish, which is nice. But the whole thing is a bit boozy for my tastes. Mouthfeel is dense, full, and chewy.

On the whole, this is an interesting ale. I'm not terribly familiar with braggot, but I've had a number of meads, and this obviously falls into that family of brews most appropriately. Nice up front with some unique fruit flavors, but a bit flat in the long run. Still, it's worth at try if you haven't had it before, but I'm not sure I'll revisit it much in the future.

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Photo of BDJake
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- clear golden orange hue with active bubbles feeding a quickly disappearing head

S- pear, honey and herbal tones underlied by a sweet malt base

T- of course the honey and pear stood out above the rest, but this beer had a decent, pale malt backbone and slight booziness. hops were almost nonexistent

M- medium/full body, good carbonation, and a sickly sweet finish that somewhat hid the 10% abv

D- fairly well, but being a new style to me it took some time to become acclimated to it

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured up an amber honey colour with no head to speak of other than some spotty frost on the surface.
Smell was pleasant with some yeasty notes and certainly honey. Very mead like with some white wine characteristics, as well.
Taste was quite sweet all the way through and nearly bereft of any hops bitterness; again, almost (desert) wine-like.
Mouthfeel was somewhat average with no real detectable carbonation.
The 10% abv, while not over powering, is still pretty noticeable. I split the 22oz bottle with a friend and that was plenty for me. As always, though, I was glad to try it out!

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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 rudzud
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - simple straw yellow with a fluffy one finger head that quickly disappeared leaving very little lacing.

S - Picking up on fruit but not really prickly pear, just a general fruity aroma. That being said theres a large wheat and honey note.

T - That first split second I can taste pear. After that though its just wheat and honey. Lots of honey with a very faint banana aftertaste. So much so that its nearly cloy but that sticky sweetness is evened out by that alcohol warmth

M - Syrupy and sugary thats for sure. For the amount of bubbles I can see I can't believe the lack of cabonation. Would really like some more.

D - not sure if I'm a fan of this. That being said I have to rate this so high due to how well the 10% alcohol is masked.

I have one more bottle, which I plan on aging for atleast a year. Should be interesting to see just what comes from that.

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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 Wisconsinality
2.11/5  rDev -41.1%
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 beerwolf77
1.25/5  rDev -65.1%
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 diamondc
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Not that much to look at. Clear golden color. Not that much head or carbonation.

S: Tropical fruits, honey, lavender, light citrus.

T: The pear & honey dominate the malt. I actually can't detect that much malt flavor except for some slight caramel. Crushed grape vitamins, hints of Kool-Aid fruit punch powder (really) are detected on the aftertaste.

M/D: Really really syrupy and sugary. Hard to get through a bomber alone. Still, its worth trying at least once.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A hearty "hiya" and "hell yes" to msubulldog25 for sending this oddity my way.

Pours a head that's crackly and looks like small soap-bubbles; it disappears rather quickly, giving this a pretty tepid appearance. Color is a golden/orange/peach of nice clarity, pretty much the color you'd expect from a beer brewed with honey and prickly pear juice.

Aroma is orange taffy, honey, peach schnapps; strong vapor of alcohol comes off just a bit too aggressive, and it's the reason I wouldn't give this a higher rating, because I like the candy-like fruit thing going on otherwise.

Flavor-wise I think this totally does what it sets out to do. While the alcohol is a major presence, it's balanced by the sweetness, which is thankfully just kept in check. Some spicy and herbal flickers, but they stay in the background. The honey/pear characteristics are very much embedded in this candy-like, almost liqueur-like ale, and somehow it doesn't come off as too sweet, too alcoholic, or both. Not too far away from a wheat wine, actually.

Juicy, juicy, juicy, with appropriately prickly carbonation...yet it's the slick, round, juicy aspect that wins. Texturally quite wonderful.

So, yeah, I really dig this, I think it's got balance, even if it's precarious at times with all that alcohol and sweetness. And because of its strength and sweet-tooth-only appeal, I guess it's not the most drinkable beer on earth. But a unique one that I'll savor, as this is likely the only bottle I'll ever see in this lifetime. Thanks again, Brian!

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Photo of allengarvin
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

While I've tried homebrewed braggot, this is my first commercial version. Poured into a Chimay glass, this is a nice clear golden color, with just a hint of lace--no points off there, as one doesn't expect it with a large amount of non-malt fermentables. The nose is a bit disappointing. It provides light scents of floral honey and a faint touch of malt. Interesting enough flavor.

To taste: Mead character comes through quite well, with moderate sweetness. The malt is detectable and tastes a bit like malt sampled out of the mash tun. Floral, fruity, and a touch alcoholic in the end.

Somewhat interesting, but I think it's mostly rather bland. It would have benefited from some additional spices, or a tad more hops. On the second glass, it gets really dull.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden, light amber. Quite clear. Not much of a starting head, but what remains leaves decent lace.

Smells creamy with a solid alcohol kick. Mostly malt as I detect no honey or "prickly pear".

Sweet and spicy; very different from the smell. The flavor up front is sweet (but not like honey). This lasts through the swallow but then a peppery bitterness shows up. Not the same as a hop pellet, but closer to ground cinnamon and a pinch of paprika. The alcohol warms the throat but does not play a dominate role. The body is rich. The carbonation adds to the swallow and aftertaste flavors, but I'd describe this beer as lowly carbonated.

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Photo of LesStewart
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I admit i picked this beer up with a bit of trepidation, but i'm pleasantly surprised. Pours almost absent of head but the color is a brilliant gold that makes you appreciate the lack of obstruction. The nose is more subtle than one might expect, while hinting at pears. Appropriately, it's not a bright beer, but the mouthfeel is a somber complement to the leading pear and tamed malty sweetness, while the finish reminds you that the flavor of honey stays in a braggot. I wouldn't pay a fortune for this beer, but i would recommend it.

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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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