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Delirium Nocturnum | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
892 Reviews
For Trade:
Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 12-12-2001

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Reviews: 892 | Ratings: 2,703
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown near black body with scantily clad but long lasting off white head
Aroma of seaside rock and rum
Add to that a little stomach acid and you have the flavour
Above average strong dark Belgian ale

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Photo of teromous
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle has "15184" printed on the back label.

Appearance: First off I would recommend being careful when popping the cork if you have one. Mine is 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz and it nearly shot off by itself. The body of the beer is a dark murky brown color with some very dark red-brown hues appearing when light passes through. The head is short but very good looking. It is an eggshell white color with some light tobacco stained yellow. Very fine creamy bubbles. Good head retention on the short head and some moderate lacing with very fine bubbles. It is a very good looking beer.

Aroma: I get this really sweet smelling prune aroma with a touch of sweet caramel. The overall aroma is very faint but nice. A touch of banana is also there.

Taste: Excellent flavors here. There is a rich caramel and raisin flavor that isn't bright and fruity but rather rich and deep in character. It reminds me a bit of a sauce (in flavor but not in texture). It has a bit of a tangy flavor on the edges that is hard to place but the closest I think it would resemble would be cherries...again not fruity but just a bit tangy with that overarching deep character. The finish really shines here too. It has this earthy and woody flavor at the end that lends quite a bit of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: It's fantastic. It delivers the beer with a medium body full of effervescent bubbles that just coat the palate and deliver a swath of delicious flavors. It finishes with a nice bitterness to keep things interesting. The finish is not quite dry but dry enough. Aside from the bubbles giving a loftiness to the beer the texture is fairly thin...but overall the mouthfeel just works for this beer.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It was a pleasure to drink and I would buy it again and I do recommend it. The beer has a great deal of complexity to keep the drinker thinking while simultaneously enjoying the beer.

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Photo of Ferb
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoy Belgian strong dark ales and other like beers. I could go on about sensations of rustic bread, roasted malt, cocoa and yeast with dark fruit tastes and heads that cling to the glass, lacing the sides as you sip. They are variations on the same theme, but all are their own beer with individual personalities.
For me it comes down to the influence of yeast on the spice characteristics. The more the clove taste, the less I like it. I believe it is described as phenolic tendencies. Delirium Nocturnum has some clove like phenols, but it is well balanced and they don't overpower all the many other flavors. This is a well made ale that has something for everyone fond of the style.

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Photo of RCongdon974
4.71/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is an exceptional beer. It is probably the best dark ale I have ever tried.
The look starts with the bottle. It is a 750 ml bottle that has a speckled stone look. There is a cork, not a cap- this alone told me I was in for something special.
Regarding the look in the glass, there is a very creamy light tan head that constantly stands for 1/4' on top of the beer, which is a rusty red brown and opaque.
The smell is somewhat floral with hints of caramel. It is very appetizing.
The taste is a bitter, fruity, malty caramel. There are more complex nuances that as I novice I can't quite articulate, but all come together for a flawless flavor.
The feel is fairly heavy bodied, slightly syrupy and a bit creamy. SMOOTH!!
I can't find a single negative about this beer. The $14.00 USD price tag might seem prohibitive, but given the quality of this brew, not to mention the size of the bottles, it is well worth it. To me, his beer is deserves a rare 5/5.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a clear ruby reddish colour with a good tan head that disapates to a small layer. Aroma very faint dark fruits , malt, sweet, brown sugar, not a very strong aroma. Taste plum, raisin, prunes, fizzy, nutty, caramel.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(330ml bottle, poured into a Chouffe tulip)

TIP: open COLD (not what I just did - lost around an ounce upon uncapping)

L: clear, garnet-hued liquid... explosive, mushroom-cloud-rocky, very loosely-built aged white foam... with lees added, the head maintains a finger-width pad for a bit

S: I can smell it sitting in the glass 2 feet from my face... nose in glass: basically chocolate and wine with an arguably tropical, floral soft overtone... no overt booziness, but some port-like sweet phenols poke through... the chocolate seems to meld or is part of what appears to be a rich malt base

T: a bit like cherry/grape bubblegum, with a little clove-y spice in the finish and a dusting of cocoa powder (and added to that a touch of nuttiness with the yeast poured in)... no standout, distinct flavor here - the addition of whatever the dark part of this beer is most definitely contributes to the resultant dark fruit notes via fermentation with likely the same yeast they use on Tremens, et al... sort of like peppery spice, sweet subtle booze, and thin un-robust molasses in the aftertaste

F: rather light, glassy body with a mild-moderate whoosh of raw booze heat... the first sip is highly-carbonated, attacking with a sting... noticeable fizz on the top of the palate, while the middle and finish carries not much substance - almost like a very thin simple syrup - and it does have a slight watery element residually blended within the onset of the aftertaste... be prepared for a handful of belch

O: it's altogether like they perhaps dumped a portion of some industrial dark syrup into their Tremens, like this a 'Delirium Tremens Dark'... used to be one of my favorites about 15 years ago, but I was probably swilling straight from the bottle then

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Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish Ruby color with a light tan head. Aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits, sweet malts, and Belgian candi sugar. Only a slight hint of alcohol. Lots of carbonation and a decent mouthfeel. A pretty good BSDA.

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Photo of Pantalones
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first full bottle of this one, though I did have a small sample from someone else's before. Not entirely clear when it was bottled, but a code ends with "14297" which I assume is something like a Julian date, 297th day of 2014? If so this is definitely over a year old, but I know I've read that these dark Belgian ales are supposed to age well so that shouldn't be a problem.

The first thing that stands out appearance-wise is the TOWERING MOUNTAIN OF FOAM that forms when poured, even with a slow careful pour. I only managed to get maybe 30-40% of the beer into the glass before overflow became a concern and I stopped pouring. It's very nice-looking foam, a light-tan color and it starts to get that 'melting ice cream" look as it recedes, with a lump staying taller in the middle for a ways down. Beer itself is very dark in color (pours a cola-like brown but is much darker once in the glass), holding it up to the light shows that it's dark red. With some help from my flashlight, I can see that it's semi-hazy and has a load of little bubbles rising up non-stop from the bottom of the glass. Overall a VERY nice-looking beer, and with one of the most interesting-looking bottles I've seen so far.

Smell is quite sweet at first, reminding me of brown sugar and maybe a little maple syrup. It's an odd mix of strong and subtle -- it doesn't smack you in the face from a foot away, but occasionally I'll get little whiffs of that sweet, maple-syrupy smell as I'm sitting here typing this. After sitting for a bit and letting the foam shrink, I'm also getting a little yeastiness and some faint background spicy/wood (cedar-like) smell. The sweet smells are sort of a chocolate/maple blend now, guessing roasted malt is probably involved since that's usually the origin of chocolatey smells/flavors in the darker beers? Down to a little bit left in the glass and as I take another sniff I get a HUGE amount of spicy/sweet yeasty smells! Interesting how this one seems to be shifting around as it warms up. Now I've poured all but a tiny bit of the remaining beer into the glass and the smell has shifted once again; there's an odd sort of fruity sweetness (almost want to say overripe/bordering on rotting fruit) to the smell now sometimes, and other times there's something vaguely reminding me of coffee grounds in the background of the sweet smell from before.

Taste is not nearly as sweet as expected based on the smell. The primary flavor seems to be a nice dark bread, with a bit of a woody sort of thing hovering behind it. Aftertaste brings in some lightly-burnt bread crust and maybe a faint bit of coffee-like roastiness? Around three sips in I'm noticing a bit of a sweeter flavor starting to pop in, not sure if a yeast-derived flavor or alcohol or a blending of the two. That coffee-ish roastiness sometimes hangs around in the aftertaste, but usually that's all dark-bready. Burps are a little bit fruity (yeasty-fruit I'm guessing, leaning toward the raisin/"dark fruit" side of things for sure.)

Mouthfeel somehow seems both sticky/substantial and surprisingly light all at once... I'm a bit puzzled by it. It's nice but at the same time leaves me going "...huh?" Just something odd about it, though overall pretty good. No prickly fizziness despite the MASSIVE carbonation, so that's a definite plus. Even drinking some when there's a significant amount of foam on top, when you can literally HEAR the bubbles fizzing in my mouth, doesn't come with a prickly feel -- just a soft bubbliness. It does seem like the taste is a bit muted when I drink some with the foam still high, though, so I'll be waiting for it to shrink down some more before I finish. There's definitely a bit of alcohol warmth in the mouth, most notably on the first sip but occasionally popping in here and there afterward as well, but this is brushing up on 9% ABV so that doesn't surprise me.

Well, just based on my impression of the smell when first pouring I figured I'd enjoy this more than I did with the little sample that I had before, but this one has really surprised me in just how much more I ended up liking it than the first time. I guess the Belgian Strong Dark Ales are a style that had to "grow on me" a bit, as it definitely seems like every time I re-try one I end up liking it more than I did the previous time. The little local beer store near me seems to always have a few bottles of this in stock; after tonight's experience with this beer, I suspect I'll definitely be buying more in the future!

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Photo of Ant777uk
3.19/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Found at one of my local shops in Paris :)

Deep, reddish, blackish colour. And friendly pink elephant.

Taste is almost there. Not quite unique or strong enough to be great. A bit too fizzy, not smooth like a Chimay or a Guinness.

This does not quite work as a dark beer for me, and I prefer their Tremens

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Photo of kitch
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of April 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet glass.

Appearance: It poured a cloudy dark brown colour with a one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly to a nice thin fluffy layer leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma: Strong dark fruits of raisin, plum, prunes, grape, dates and a hint of caramel.

Taste: Much like the aroma, there is strong sweet plum, raisin and prunes at the start. Sweet candied sugar and caramel midway. Before a light bitter finish with the alcohol coming through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and high carbonation.

Overall: This was nice and fruity but could be even better if the alcohol was hidden more.

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Photo of stevoj
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First sip...absolutely delicious! Dark reddish brown with one finger beige creamy head. Aroma is dried fruit , molasses, oak. Taste is more of the same and sweet. This is really, really nice.

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Photo of Brewnilda
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very drinkable, easy beer, but I prefer my strong darks with a bit more depth, character and higher ABV. Gotta give them props for the logo, bottle, etc. PINK ELEPHANT!

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Photo of drmeto
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-pours a hazy dark brown with ruby tinges and a big,foamy,beige head
-plums,raisins,dates,rose hip,strawberries,nutty,caramel,grassy,brown bread
-high carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
More fruity and less sweet compared to most other Belgian Dark Ales.
I liked it a lot

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Photo of Mitchellrhen
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Raisin, toffee, candy sugar, spice.
Appearance: Deep rich, dark Amber color, 2-3 finger off white foamy head.
Flavor: Hits strong initially of caramel and Belgian candy sugar, followed quickly by sweet dates/raisons, finishes at the end of the swallow with the signature Belgian yeast spice and a hint of alcohol bitterness.
Overall: Exceptional brew, the flavors are smooth, rich and well rounded and compliment the aroma perfectly. Mouthfeel is moderate, higher than expected considering the ABV. I bought 2 of these in Belgium specifically to review and say I had tried, but it will definitely become one of my rotational favorites.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not quite as good as I remember, being my first BSDA many years ago, but still pretty solid. Pours a beautiful dark brown with thick pillow of dense, lasting foam. Aroma is of dark fruit and spicy Belgian yeast, though somewhat obscured by aforementioned pillow. Flavors are nicely balance, and exceptionally smooth - raisin and candi sugar balanced nicely to a clean finish. No trace of alcohol, and even slightly thin mouthfeel.

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Photo of NanookinTexas
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Delirium Nocturnum; Not certain of the Bottled on Date, as the back label on the bottle does not have the date notched; 8.5%ABV; 330ml bottle; Acquired at Spec's Wine Spirits & Finer Foods in El Paso, Texas during the week of Christmas 2015; Poured into an Ommegang Brew Stem. This is the last bottle of a 4-Pack.

L: WOW what a beautiful looking brew! DEEP, deep5reddish-browm amber in colour! Looks really decadent and rich! When poured it develops a 3-finger head, slowly dissapating, with lacing sliding down the glass.

S: I love the bouquet of this brew! When the head is fully formed the aromas are rich in bread, yeast, malt, raisins, dates, coffee, a hint of steel. The alcohol is fully cloaked.

T: Bread, yeast, malt, raisins, dates, coffee, perhaps a hint of very dark chocolate. All very well balanced. As with the bouquet, the alcohol is fully cloaked. IMO, it's a medium to heavy brew.

F: As I mentioned above, I feel it's a medium-heavy brew, yet at the same time it's silky and clean on the palate, leaving no strange after-feel or after-taste. Certainly, at 8.5%ABV this is not a light brew, yet it is very drinkable.

O: As I mentioned in the fore, this is the last bottle of a 4-pack I acquired just before Christmas. For me, this a "MUST HAVE!!!" If it wasn't so pricy I could easily make this an "everyday brew!" I hesitate to give it a "5" only because, well, does a "5" really exhist? Perhaps? Though I must confess, I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention to this brew when I consumed the first three bottles!



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Photo of LennyOvies
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- Opaque dark amber brown, cloudy, hard for light to go through it. Huge foamy head, has to be served carefully, leaves a spotted head.
S- Belgian spices and yeast, molasses, dough.
T- Sweet. Malt, molasses, raisins, bread, clove and spices. Some booze in the aftertaste.
F- Carbonated, fizzy, medium.
O- Very good beer, was expecting more because of its popularity.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small sample from the bomber at Christmas celebrations. Thanks to Kif for the share.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy muddled dark brown beer with an enormous head (even if you pour oh so gently) that leaves an incredible swath of lacing on any glass and appears damn near eternal. Great looking beer.

Smell - A little dark chocolate, a small dose of nuttiness some caramel aromas and some general booxiness.

Taste - The caramel and chocolate, with toasted sugar show up nicely, quite nice until the alcohol shows up and puts you back in your place. Booziness reminiscent of something 11-14% which is okay, but not for an 8.5% ABV Belgian dark ale.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, well carbonated, dry-ish finish. Nothing to complain about here.

Overall - A well crafted Belgian dark ale, that has potential to be something special if the harsh alcohol flavour mid sip can be reigned in. A worthy addition to the pantheon of Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but definitely sitting in the lower half of the best in class.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a chalice.
The head was a huge rocky white to off white foamy glaze overcoating a dark brown color. Gracefully, the head dissipates to leave some light stringy and foamy lacing.
The smell starts off with some molasses, toast, honey, raisins and light Belgian spices.
The taste is sweet with an ample amount of spices of clove, nutmeg and pepper. Light Belgian sugars slide in for the taking of the aftertaste and yielding into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a sly carbonation yielding to enough dark sweetened malts laying down in a sticky sort of way on my tongue.
Overall, a very nicely done Belgian Strong Dark ale coming from Belgium why wouldn't I have this again, of course I would.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: The head is giant, foamy, and tan in color, and crowns a dark brown body with garnet highlights.

Smell: A HUGE bouquet of spiced molasses, candied dates, prunes, and wild honey, with a unique malty base that somehow combines toast with raw bread dough.

Taste: The spices clear the sinuses right up, showcasing cloves, nutmeg, coriander, and white pepper. A dab of orange marmalade adds a bit of tang, sweetened by chocolate malt and smoked caramel. The candy box character is made more mature by earthy hops which featuring a damp mushroom taste, almost like a rich truffle.

Mouthfeel: The medium-high body is lightened by lots of carbonation, but not so much that any element of the complex taste is masked, even with a dry, crisp finish.

Overall: A truly unique taste explosion with comforting qualities for all big beer lovers. There's plenty of dark fruit and chocolate, but also a strong presence of bright spice.

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Photo of hopulin_thriller
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Haven't had a Belgian beer in awhile and this looked like a good jumping back in point. On tap at Papago.

Dark brown hue that is pretty clear. Almost no head at all. No lace and alms it no carbonation.

Nose is full of yeasty, spice notes and some dark dried fruits. A little alcohol on there as well.

Taste is very much like the nose. Raisins, booze, breads malts. Nice and complex.

Doesn't taste as strong as it is. But as soon as I got off my barstool I knew it was a heavyweight.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Cork states "2013" on it.

3.25 A: Opaque medium brown color. One and a half fingers of beige soda pop head that falls quickly and leaves just a few wisps of lacing.

3.75 S: Endless dark fruits - plum, fig, currant, apple. Brown sugar, earth, caramel. A hint of cocoa powder.

3.75 T: Yummy. Tobacco, raisin, brown sugar, earth. Fruits as mentioned above. Really mellow yet complex like good Belgian brews tend to be.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly spritzy.

3.75 D: Pretty good beer with some age on it. I think I prefer it fresh though.

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Photo of khmel
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a a beautiful BSDA. Dark brown with ruby highlights and mostly opaque. Pours with a high, off-white head with medium retention. The nose is deliciously sweet with notes of molasses, strawberries and dark bread. The taste follows the nose with a bit of hopiness in the finish. Body is medium and smooth. A very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: The body is dark copper with some hues of red when lights passes through it. The head is really generous, with a beige 3 finger height. Carbonation looks nice.
S: Mostly simple malts and a bit of caramel.
T: Sugary, caramel-y, toffee and balanced with a bitterness coming both from malts and from dark fruits.
M: It's very smooth and easy to drink but alcohol has a much bigger presence than it should.
O: Great beer, great brewery. Excited to have more beer from Brouwerij Huyghe! Probably my favorite BSDA.

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Photo of Premo88
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into Orval goblet

L: brown amber, clear but dark and hard to see through except around the edges ... almost burgundy, fantastic color; HUGE head, foam pouring almost right out of the bottle in true Belgian fashion, almost a full inch tall and a nice tan color that is painting the inner wall of the glass as it subsides to a thick collar and full skin; the bubble factory at the bottom of the glass is intense ... might be sending up more bubbles than a good pils ... what a show!

S: dark fruit ... very sweet and fruity, sweet desert wine, figs, cherries ... also has that yeasty pop like a pizza crust; fruitcake

T: musty dark fruit ... oh, man, and the aftertaste really smooths out and takes on a toffee-like English ale taste; has a bit of alcohol burn/taste, port wine; the musty/dusty flavor is very earthy and at first seems stale but then all the fruit flavor jumps in; it's not overly sweet ... seems like it's going that way but stays very restrained, possibly the alcohol flavor/burn blocking the finishing sweetness

F: fantastic Belgian style with loads of carbonation to fill it out but still weighty enough to give it some balancing softness

O: great beer ... not sure it's better than the other easy-to-find Belgian imports in its category, and it's not cheap, but it's good enough to put in a rotation of the better strong darks/quads. a little less sweet than some of the others, but the dark fruit flavor mixed with some earthiness works very well.

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Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
89 out of 100 based on 892 ratings.