Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gigantic End of Reason and St. Bernardus Prior 8

We're nearly at the end of Gigantic Beer Week, and I have been out of town for all of it so far.  But to commemorate the last few days of it, I want to say a couple words about one of the most brilliant Gigantic seasonals to date:  The End of Reason.

This is a medium-strong dark Belgian, along the lines of Westmalle Dubbel -- in fact End of Reason uses the Westmalle yeast -- or those Watou masterpieces, Westvleteren 8 and St. Bernardus Prior 8.  It's easy to find St. Bernardus Abt 12 around town, but less common to see bottles of Prior 8, so I was excited to notice one in the cooler at the Beermongers a few weeks ago.  I highly recommend it if you see a bottle for sale.

The End of Reason has that same floral Belgian yeast flavor as the native Belgians, on top of a large, sweetish malt body.  A reasonable helping of hops helps to bring it nearly into balance.  The Prior 8 was noticeably drier than the Gigantic offering, but EoR is definitely worth your time if you can still find any bottles or taps of it around town (like my Gigantic Beer Week coverage, I'm a little late in announcing a beer that may not appear more than once, but you can probably still find a few straggling bottles in the usual places).

There wasn't room to mention this in the headline, but Laurelwood also has a Watou-ish dubbel on tap right now, aptly called St. Bernard.  I had one at the airport on the way out of town, and was quite pleased with it.  I think it was toward the Gigantic end of the sweet/dry spectrum, though it would be difficult to distinguish these three beers in a blind tasting, even harder if you through in a Westmalle.  You can't go wrong with any of those beers.

Three cheers to Gigantic for a great first year!  Click the link above to see Mr. Foyston's list of the remaining events, including Gigantic's First Anniversary party at the brewery itself tonight (Thursday, May 9, 2013, 3 PM to 9 PM).

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