Review - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company's Prickly Pear Braggot
"Our braggot is a strong ale brewed with a blend of honey, red prickly pear juice, and a variety of pale malts. The addition of Alchemy hops help balance the sweetness while still retaining the natural honey aromas and flavors. The prickly pear juice adds a unique hue to the beer as well as a subtle herbal, quenching-like quality in the finish." -- Widmer Brothers
From the bomber, the brew pours a medium golden hue with a white, pillowy head with excellent retention. Brilliant clarity. Fairly thin lacing as the head is just about all but gone, save for a small yet dense ring around the edge. Body is very still. Through the initially large pillowy head, a sweet honey aroma escaped from the glass. Once the head diminished, the honey presence grew in strength, paired with pears and alcohol. The hop presence was nearly undetectable, although an earthy presence was noted. Initial taste is slightly sweet, then ramps up quickly to a heavy sweet with a thick backbone with a, if not real, perceived grainy honey texture. Light in body and softly carbonated, the Prickly Pear Braggot is smooth and easy to drink. A slick-oily feeling coated our mouth for a long duration. This 10% alcohol was easy to detect, but it as not over bearing and well masked.
Although this was not a beer, the unexpecting drinker may assume that it is a beer. A Braggot is a mead made of honey and malts, using similar malts that one would use to create beer. The pear was mellow and refreshing. It was not as dominating as a peer flavor apple cider. The drinkability of the Prickly Pear Braggot could increase the popularity of meads. On a side note, orange and brown label on the the 22oz bottle is very unassuming and simple. This is the first mead we have reviewed, quite an interesting change out of our 700 reviews thus far. While personally not a fan of meads, I (Ian) found this to be an interesting entry and enjoyed the glow of the appearance and the truth-in-labeling of the style with the grainy texture.
Reviewed on May 8th, 2010.