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Delirium Tremens - Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium TremensDelirium Tremens

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4,920 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,920
Reviews: 1,593
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 237
Gots: 754 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-02-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 4,920 | Reviews: 1,593 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dragonWhale
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clearly I am doing something wrong. For the 2nd time in several weeks, I have opened a bottle of Delerium (last time was the Noel) with a couple years on it and, careful as I've tried, my glass winds up looking like a golden shower snow globe hybrid (Patent Pending). This is a 2008 bottle.

Sweet malts plan the day, bready and figgy, with a dash of coriander, smooth alcohol rides over the top. My hands shake for more, the anticipation! Poured into 3 glasses and can really tell the difference between the tulip, the goblet, and the snifter. Duvel tulip promotes the most flavorful, well-rounded of the 3 pours. The snifter accentuates the sweetness and alcohol and the goblet the yeast and breadiness. Nonetheless, all glasses contain the same fine delicious beverage.

Glad that I finally decided to throw some of these classic, ubiquitous Belgians in the closet for a few years. Every one that I've had with some time on it has been fantastic and a little bit better than previously. The flavors in this beer are particularly well-integrated and downright loveable.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Delirium Tremens evokes controversy with it's name; it seems wrong to name a beer of its strength after an alcoholic's withdrawal. Then there's the bottle glass painted to look like ceramic adorned with blue foil. The label is decorated with pink elephants, green alligators and red dragons. The website which is loosely translated from French or Flemish describes it as depicting the beer's stage of production, but to me it signifies insanity.

When poured the beer itself appears slightly tame the particular 750ml bottle I had could be poured straight into my Duvel without overflowing. As a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, a style hallmarked by champagne-like carbonation, Delirium delivers with a large white head that dissipates into a soapy lacing that clings to the glass. As with an ale on the lees it's a bit cloudy. The color is a nice golden yellow, a shade darker than a traditional Pilsner. As with any bottle fermented beer if your not careful, towards the end of your bottle you will get chunky yeast sediment in your bottle; I don't mind a bit of solids in my beer.

This is a very aromatic beer, at first you'll notice the alcohol and the funk of Belgian yeast. I dug a bit deeper and got the scents of sour green apples, vinegar and hops that I assume to be Saaz (most homebrew cloners agree); a variety of Czech hops that you often find in Pilsners. These smells meshed together give off a fruity smell balanced with malt. Almost like an enchanting albeit musty perfume.

The taste is in a similar fashion to the beer's aroma. My taste buds picked up a slight apple and fruity taste, followed by a slight tinge of hops, a big yeasty funk and finished a bit boozy. As the beer starts to warm up and nears room temperature the flavors become more bold and the alcohol becomes more evident.

As with any beer of this alcohol content the body of this beer is big and syrupy. The carbonation is reminiscent of champagne. Unlike many Belgian ales Delirium Tremens is not too sweet and the hops in this beer push it to closer to the bitter side rather than the sweeter side. Not IPA bitter, just a notch above being neutral in the comparison of sweet vs. bitter. After a while (such as the consumption of an entire 750) the alcohol is drying to the mouth.

Make no mistake about it this is a big beer but it goes down like a light beer, which is dangerous with its 8.5% abv content. Unlike light beers Delirium is packed with complex flavors. Especially as it warms up. I've had this beer on tap before and it's often served too cold, this beer is better at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. You'll miss the point of this beer entirely (and most beers) if it's too warm.

I personally view Duvel as the milestone of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale Style. With its intense carbonation it delivers one of the most seductively large and foamy heads of any beer known to man. It's semi-clear and its carbonation is immense. Duvel's flavor is perfectly balanced which is appealing but it could be interpreted as boring,

To me Brouwerij Huyghe's beers (Delirium Tremens and Delirium Noctronum) have always stood in defiance to the nearly perfect Belgian classics such as Duvel or Chimay Grande Réserve. These beers often define their styles (Belgian Strong Pale Ale and Belgian Strong Dark Ale) to those new to Belgian Beer.

Brouwerij Huyghe's beers seem to add an unexpected funk to classic belgian styles. In the case of Delirium Tremen's the fruit flavors and yeast funk are dominant, where as Duvel is more balanced. Delirium may not be perfect but it's imperfections make it interesting and make drinkers think twice about imbibing classics such as Duvel and Chimay. Delirium Tremens is dangerously delicious it's hard to consume just one glass of it and two or three will put you in your own personal Delirium.

Photo of glassjaw25
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a big fan of Pale Ale's but this beer has blown me away. This beer has such a unique smell and taste, poured in the correct glass it almost resembles the look of champagne. It has fruit like undertones to it but not enough to make it taste like a fruity beer. The A.B.V is relatively high and I suggest only a few glasses of this beer. I've had this beer out of the bottle and on tap. I enjoyed this beer each time I had it but I would have to say on tap superseded my experience out of the bottle.

Even if you're not a big fan of pale ale's I still suggest you give this beer a shot.

Photo of LuthersLager
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Every group of guys has a beer geek. The guy who knows each of his pals palettes and tells them what to order at the taproom on Friday night. With my pals, I'm that guy.

I often get asked which beer is my favorite. My reply is always the same, I tell them that is an impossible question. Because the differences from a pilsner to a stout to a trippel are like the differences from a bowl of cereal, to filet mignon to dessert. I tell them the better question is: If I was stuck on a island for the rest of my life with one "beer" which would I choose. My answer has always been Delirium Tremens. Of course this answer would probably change if I ever get to stand at the doors of the Saint Sixtus monks and drink a Westvleteren 12. Delirium Tremens is so complex and delightful I taste something new every time I drink it, I don't believe I could ever get bored with this beer. Even if its the only one I had for the rest of my life.

P.S. this beer is noticeably better on tap than in a bottle. But it would change my answer to the stuck on the island question.

Photo of catrone
4.94/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale gold with a medium head that disappeared rather quickly after puring into a glass.
Some sediment was floating and became "trapped" into the head as it floated upwards.

The smell is mainly of fruit (apple), quite sugary, similar to sweet cider.

The taste is according to the smell, sweet and fruity, though the final is dry and set your mouth ready for the next sip.

It's very drinkable despite the quite high ABV.

Definitely one of the best beer ever.

Photo of jwinship83
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. 2009 is on the cork, so this one is pretty fresh. drank out of my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a somewhat hazy glowing golden colored body with a really large bright white head on top. the head takes forever to recede and leaves behind large rings of lacing. i cant ask for any more from this style.

S- the first thing i notice in the nose are pale malts and belgian candy sugar. after that i get light summer fruits like apples and pears. there is a little bit of spice in here, as well as a hint of alcohol.

T- the taste starts out with sweet pale malts and belgian candi sugar and quickly moves into some spicy belgian yeast. after that i get some of the fruits i could smell like apple and pear. some floral hops and alcohol in the finish.

M- light to medium bodied. highly carbonated. there is a slight warming form the alcohol.

D- easy to drink my half of this bottle. this is a pretty solid example of a style i often overlook. ill be happy to check this one out again. i think i liked the bottle version better than the on tap one, which is rare for me.

Photo of scootny
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light gold brew with a bit of white lace clinging to the sides of the glass. Nice fluffy head that has some good staying power. There are clumps of stuff swimming in the glass. A living beer. Smell is peppery with a honeyed malt and yeasty fruitiness. Apples and grapes are a feature. Taste is wonderful. More like a tripel than a BSPA. That being said it does fall a bit short of the tripel standard in its malt core. The honey/sugar notes are not as big. To move on to what is there I must confess a real love of the balance in the blend. Malt is sweet with honey and cupcake batter. Pepper with a coriander like spiciness. Some clove and banana but not hefe like. A subtle blend of the two. Apples and grapes from the nose are here. Finish is nicely hopped with herbal notes and a dry clean edge. Feel is medium with a creamy carbonation and supple fluidity. So drinkable so tasty so good you just go through the bottle in an instant. Beware as the high abv is just nowhere to be found.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled this from my cellar so this review could be a litle off as compared to newly purchased beer.
Perhaps someone out ther in beer advocate land may have one aged like this one for comparision purposes. I bought a case late in 2008.
Poured into a Delirium noel sniffer.
It has a light golden straw color with about an average size head, but fades fast to almost nothing. It is still well carbonated.
The aroma is slightly spicy with hints of apple cider.
Tastes a nice malty character with hints of spiciness and some dry bitterness, but not overly.
Thin body with some nice alcohol warming.
Some tripel aspects come through.
An outstanding beer well worth cellaring.

Photo of mrferranto
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Saw this beer on Three Sheets back a few years ago, and I finally got around to trying it two years ago. Flat out, may be the best beer I've ever had. I know it was voted that once, but I don't usually pay attention to things like that. It is a truly unique, especially from any macro-brew. It is clearly not for everyone, so take my review for what its worth. Words cannot describe this beer, it is one you have to try for yourself.

Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a distinctive bottle that appears to be colored in sand, and you can't see the beer. Once in the glass it is a pale golden color, with a fairly good head that disappears pretty quickly, not a lot of lacing.

Has a bit of a sweet smell, not atypical of the 8+% ABV beers. Taste is in accordance with the smell, sweet, not too much so.

Feels good in the mouth, and is very drinkable.

Photo of TheStig
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was my introduction to the world of Belgian beer. Yow! I've had this several times at Eulogy in Philly, but those times were not conducive to preparing a formal critique of this beer. Now that I've got a bottle and a glass in front of me, I can give this the proper treatment it deserves.
A: Pale gold with a thick, durable head. Not pale yellow, but pale gold-- the color is deeper than yellow but not yet into the amber shades.
S: I detected a slight rose note underneath the intermingling of apple and berry scents. The higher alcohol content adds a sharp twist.
T: Tart fruitiness, not bitter and not overly hoppy. A gentle sweetness flutters underneath prominent citrus flavor, with an herbal bitter finish. This is a beer to savor.
M: Carbonation complimented the symphony of tangy and sweet notes, making this feel very light on the palate. I'm biased towards liking my beer to feel creamy, but this is quite wonderful.
D: Like I said, a beer to savor. The large portion size and the higher ABV don't lend this beer to be consumed in mass quantities (nor does it's price) but this is a fantastic, delicious beer that MUST be savored like a fine scotch.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

The light straw colour with a nice honey type hue, when it settles it reveals a floating sedement of pretty intesne levles. I don't know why, but I liked that.

Smell is very bright, floral and sweet. These all come from esters in the yeast this family brewery uses.

Taste is one of banana's, gummy bears, and some light floral notes

Mouthfeel is medium with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drink one and be happy with it

Photo of cavedave
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010
A gentle pour produces two inches of beer in the snifter, and a mountain of white foam that almost overtops. It is almost clear, pale gold, and quite beautiful with its whipped cream tower.

Beautiful aroma of lightly tart yeast, gentle bready sweet, with an aromatic spice and fruity aroma behind it that beguiles. Not a strong bouquet, yet alluring.

My! This is a yummy mixture of uniquely nostalgic yet somehow new flavors, like I'd tasted them in a different, less perfect, way. Tart yeast gently opens into gentle herbal and floral, that follows an easy path of gentle candy, light fruitiness, and biscuit, into a juicy finish of all these flavors in equal proportion, joined by whispers of lemon candy and behind the scenes bitter. The collection of these gentle flavors makes a large taste that is remarkably delicious, complex, uplifting, and interesting.

Mouthfeel is perhaps the best thing about this beer. It is bright in the mouth, perf. carb., easy on the palate, a clean cling to the finish that lasts throughout.

Drinkability: Offered unfettered and limitless access to this beer, I am sure it would be wise to keep abreast of available liver donors.

Impression: Yet another excellent beer from Belgium, home to some some fine brewing magic.

Photo of jsdunlop
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, darker golden hue with a noticeable amount of carbonation flowing up to the top of the glass. Nice, fluffy white head with good retention. Smells of apples, fresh pears, yeast and some spicy aromas. It has a very balanced and fresh taste, a touch of sweetness at first, some noticeable yeast character throughout the sip, combined with some ripe, fruity notes and just a touch of alcohol with a slight spicy aftertaste. Overall, a nice light to medium bodied brew, a bit intense on the carbonation, and a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A fresh and flavorful beer that I could session if I could afford it..

Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Light tan/yellow, very carbinated at pour. Very frothy 2 inch white head that died down pretty quick

Smell - Lots of fruit, apple, citrus pineapple, grapes, some yeast and malts. Smells sweet and mild

Taste - Not as bitter and much more yeasty then noctunum. The yeast and bread taste mixed with fruit is interesting. Huge pineapple and grape flavor is mixed in well. Fairly sweet but not overboard

Mouthfeel - TIckles the tounge with alcohol and covers mouth with fruity traces and leaves mouth a little sour and dry. Aftertaste is quickly gone.

Drinkabilty - Its pretty smooth and esay going down but its a little weak and too yeasty for me. I prefer the bitter bite of nocturnum moreso. However, this is easier to drink but still its 8.5% alcohol so 1 or 2 is enough.

Photo of callmeclemens
3.27/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Had on Tap on 12/15.

Looked slightly yellower then plain water with a pure white head. Smelled like Citrus spice with some lemon, orange, and perhaps a hint of apple, though maybe I'm wrong.

Tasted much like the smell, a little bland, I generally thought it wasn't the best mix in flavour. Did a good job of masking the actual ABV.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at this year's Christmas party! Thanks Kirk! Pours a clear golden color..this beer could easily be mistaken for a bud light or coors to the naked eye. Once you get a whiff of it though, you know this is no BMC! The aroma is slightly funky with some amazing yeasty, spicy flavors with lemon zest. The taste is VERY lemony with great additions of coriander, pepper, banana, and delicious Belgian yeast flavors. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied, yet crisp with a bitter hoppy finish. Drinkability is fairly high. Good Belgian Pale!

Photo of wordemupg
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip dec19 2010

A very slight haze in a golden orange body with plenty of bubbles feeding a short lived thumbs width of head that left no lace

S lots of pineapple and yeast with a little spice

T fairly well hopped and again lots of fruit and yeast but I pick up on some soapy flavor I don't remember this beer having

M light in the mouth and it fluffs up and a slight bite and just a little heat from the booze

D for 8.7% it's pretty easy too drink on a cold day but I could see this hurting me on a hot patio

keep an eye out for those pink elephants they can hurt you if you let them

Photo of BeerLover99
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: orange, yellow hint of light brown, almost a fair single malt appearance, white fluffy head that shrinks, jaw dropping lacing results.

S: clove, vanilla, ripe fruit, mild smoke flavor.

T: ripe fruit, vanilla, spices, hint of sweetness on the tongue.

M: med/heavy body, goes down like an amazing single malt. strong carbonation.

D: Amazing, but not for everyone. If you want something spectacular or perhaps mild-blowing, this is it. Alcohol warmth will occur and fast. The sweetness is the only thing holding this back from being a much more drinkable beer. Sip and savor this delicious monster!

Photo of bboelens
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a tulip glass

A-Muddled yellowish-orange, large foamy white head that dissipates to leave great lacing

S-Sweet fruit and spices, hints of vanilla and clove

T-Fruity, tangy, slight bitterness, leaves traces of vanilla

M-Crisp, very carbonated

D-Very drinkable, the sweetness masks the fact that it's whipping your ass at 8.5%, drink with caution

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

appearance; pale straw yellow, slightly cloudy. This beer forms a loose white head when poured and dissipates quickly, leaving a thin collar of foam and a film in the center from constantly rising carbonation.

smell; a nice spicy hop odor with fresh peach straight from the tree on a warm summer day. Bits of wild flower honey holds it all together, with a warm, snuggle-like sweetness. Pretty complex and comparable to Duvel, just a bit milder.

taste; this beer wants to be sweet and a peach flavor comes through, but before the fructose comes through, alcohol sweetness balanced with a floral hop bitterness overpowers it. Of course this is my interpretation but this is what I expect of the style. Some cardamom and citrus rind bitterness in the finish.

mouthfeel; the body is fizzy and heavy with a light finsh, crisp when cold, slick when warm.

drinkability; the alcohol is certainly well hidden and this beer is supreme, definitely an easy drink when taken slow and respectfully, drink too fast and this beer can be a little nasty, well one just might be going to bed early.

Photo of HeathersBEERguy
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Photo of smibroncos
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Poured a light hazy copper. lots of particulates an I let it sit for a week and poured very carefully.Small white lasting fizzy head. Not much lacing on the glass. This was a not so good looking brew.

S. OK close my eyes and take a long draw. Lots of fruits apples, pears, grapes very interesting.

T. Yummy fruity up front, apples, bannanas, and pears. Then a slight bitterness folowed by a nice warmness from the alcohol. Slightly spicy on the tongue.

M. Medium bodied nice carbonation, a little on the fizzy side. Dry finish.

D. A nice brew lots of flavors, and great texture. This would have been an A+ but I just didn't care for the appearance.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Once again delirium looks like dog-doo. Despite letting sit in the fridge for days, I make the most careful possible pour and wind up with thick, nasty chunks in the glass, even right off the bat, not considering just the last inch or so in the bottle. I even watched a video about how to pour bottle conditioned beer, no dice, I really don't think I'm doing anything wrong here. It's just full of nasty chunks. Not that much head, spotty lacing, slightly foggy golden color.

Smell wise it's fruits, fruits, fruits, apricots with plenty of spiced pineapple, with just a touch of "the smell of the chow-line at the DFAC during basic training."

It's a powerful taste explosion to be sure. Strong pineapple with yeasty fruits, apricots and apples, mandarin oranges, tangy and pungent with hops to at least slightly balance out the fruits. It's actually pretty darn tasty.

Wow with the high carbonation and slick, fruity aftertaste. Pretty good on the mouthfeel.

Drinks better than delirium noel but not by much. The appearance just takes away too much because frankly, it looks nasty. Blindfolded would be the best way to drink beers from this brewery as far as I can tell, in which case I would agree with all the high ratings. Other bottle conditioned beers don't look so terrible, even if you don't pour carefully and get some sediment in there. Why the chunks?

Photo of Pimento
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best beer that I have drunk. The $5 price tag for 11.2 oz. (about $0.45/oz.) also makes it one of the most expensive.

Pouring it into my ceramic mug I noticed a dense, thick, creamy head that endured for several minutes. The ale was a pleasant clear pale golden hue.

On first taste a sweet maltiness predominated. A lingering but subtle bitterness was readily apparent after the swallow. Any hints of fruit were citrus.

The mouthfeel was an extremely pleasant milkiness. I felt satisfied with the volume contained within one bottle but I enjoyed every last drop.

Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
92 out of 100 based on 4,920 ratings.