This is the first truly great beer from Widmere that I have tried. To be honest, I'm not normally a fan of their beers, as I find them a little too light for my taste. (And when I brew, I've come to prefer strong, uncarbonated, oaked beers, which of course nobody makes commercially.) At 10% ABV, it's nothing to sneeze at either. However, this is a very nice, malty, rich, and complex beer which deserves a spot in the world of great beers.
This is a braggot, meaning that the alcohol derives from the fermentation of both honey and malt, and it is a strong beer (more than 8% abv).
The beer pours ordinarily enough. It is amber colored, moderately carbonated, and has a substantial head. The nose is very malty, and a little sour. It's not out of sorts for a strong beer. But then you taste it. Wow.....
Malty caramel is the first thought along with the complexity of the flavor. The honey can be tasted, and the prickly pear adds a bit of complexity but the flavor of the latter is hard to pin down.
I don't buy many beers. I tasted this to see if it was suitable for yuletide gifts and found that it was. At $7.50 per pint, it's not cheap but is similar to competing craft strong beer. I expect to buy more to give to family and friends.
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