Brother's Reserve Prickly Pear Braggot - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, Portland
Oops. It's been about seven months since I brought this beer home. I didn't intend to "age" it... I just kind of forgot about it. It was tucked away in the basement behind some 750ml bottles that won't mind sitting around for a while. A Prickly Pear Braggot though, that's not really the kind of beer you should keep waiting for too long. I'm hoping the past few months have been kind to this beer, but I'll understand if it has grown a little tired of waiting on me. Sorry about that...
This boxed bomber of Widmer Brothers Prickly Pear Braggot is #2 in their Brothers' Reserve series but it is the first bottle I ever saw, so I eager picked up a couple bottles. All but one was traded away for more exotic fare. The bottle I kept was meant for immediate consumption, I mean... who wouldn't want to drink a Prickly Pear Braggot as soon as possible? Well, things didn't work out and this bottle made its way to the back of the basement. I've finally opened it up and while it isn't old enough to obviously past its prime, I'm hoping there is still enough prime left to make this an enjoyable experience.
This beer pours a sunset orange color. It's the same shade of orange that is used on the label. There's not much head to this Braggot. What little white head is stirred up during pouring quickly fizzles out. The body is hazy but not opaque and the aroma is conspicuously Belgian. I was expecting more of a cider-like beer from Widmer's Prickly Pear Braggot. I'm pleased to find what seems to be a Belgian Tripel with a bitter note but plenty of sweetness derived from its yeast.
Truthfully, that's pretty much what I found in this beer. There's a definitely a vague citrus component to this beer, but it doesn't strike me prickly pear necessarily. I say that because I don't know exactly what a prickly pear should taste like, and this beer doesn't have enough citrusy sweetness to be a fruity beer. It's sweet, but a lot of that has to do with the honey brewed into this beer, not any fruit.
It's a great pseudo-Tripel. It's a sweet medium bodied beer with a pleasant flavor and a sneaky 10% ABV. If you're looking for something that blurs the lines between conventional styles but is still a genuinely enjoyable drinking experience, give this beer a try. I'd love to try a fresh bottle of this beer for comparison. I have a feeling that the lighter nature of this beer shows its age a lot more than a heavier beer. At 10% this beer has held up thus far, I wouldn't want to hold on to it much longer though.