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Delirium Nocturnum - Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum

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2,468 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,468
Reviews: 865
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 137
Gots: 348 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-12-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,468 | Reviews: 865 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml ceramic painted bottle, at Beer Bistro in downtown Toronto. I suppose this one is called 'Nocturnum' because it's supposedly the darker of the two?

This beer pours a slightly hazy dark ruby amber colour, with a towering dynamo of puffy, thinly foamy beige head, which leaves some random swaths of fading cloudburst lace around the chalice as it gently recedes.

It smells of sweet, musty caramel, candy sugar, an apple-dominated orchard fruitiness, soft hints of yeast, a bit of dry, indistinct earthy hops, and a tame boozy astringency. The taste is more dusty caramel/toffee malt, stale raisins, stripped molasses, plum pits, brown sugar, earthy, somewhat floral hops, and more bristling alcohol.

The carbonation is moderate, and fairly fizzy in its disposition, the body a bare medium weight, adequately solid, and maybe a tad thin for the style. It finishes off-dry, just as the drying effect of the hops and alcohol face a rather weakened Christmas bread sweetness.

Like a semi-sweet dessert and nightcap, all rolled into one tidy little pink-elephant-toned package. Not quite up to the spec of the better offerings of its Belgian compatriots, but agreeable enough on its own, once you get past the bottle effervescence. Entry-level BSDA, I suppose.

Photo of Prostman81
3.36/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taste and smell of this beer were OK. I was maybe disappointed that the aroma wasn't more than what I was expecting. Taste was simply so-so. Had a lot of raisin/date flavor with maybe a little clove which kind of left me with a wine-y type perception. Had one glass of this and then moved onto something else. Overall, I'm not a big fan of this particular style, so I'm not questioning the brewer's talent in crafting this beer, however this just didn't wow me. I really wanted to like this one too.

Photo of berserker256
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby red and rich brown when held to the light. Dense tan head. Smells of dark cherry and raisins and plums and maybe burnt chocolate. A little alcohol smell as well. Well carbonated with some alcohol warmth. Kind of sweet and tart cherry flavor with a sour aftertaste. There's kind of a cough syrup element to this beer... Kind of Robitussinesque. Bittersweet burps. A touch syrupy. I guess I was expecting a beer more like Delirum Tremens or La Fin Du Monde. I like those styles better than this one.

Photo of minterro
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: black colored beer with hints of red when the light hits it at certain angles. no carbonation bubbles rising to the top. midium thinkness of a tan head that leaves behind some lacing but it drops slowing back into the beer. After some time spots in the head form it looks quite odd.

S: coffee tones and some hints of chocolate. some sour splashed in

T: very shocking and sour taste that at first caught me off guard. like champagne taste idk its weird to me, it might be the style but it was totally unexpectived. finished a bit stronger but not bitter.
after some time some of the beer's original sourness goes away i think i just needs to warm. really quite complex taste.

M: light-mid body, more carbonation then i thought but still not alot of carbonation.

D: really easy to drink and i actually think it better when you don't hold it in your mouth very long.

overall: pretty good. its good to try new beers and im glad i bought it. saying that not a huge fan of the taste and it was pretty expensive 9$ for one pint. on a side note i really liked the bottle it is one of the coolest designs i have seen and thats why it caught my eye at first.

Photo of tigg924
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: reddish/dark brown in color, minimal head

Smell: cherry, raisin, apple, and booze

Taste: cardamom, apple, raisin, alcohol, and dark fruit. This tastes very sangria like.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, sweet, light bodied

Drinkability: A good beer that is slightly complex for the style. This tastes similar but not exactly like sangria. A sipper, I will want this again.

Photo of Richardberg
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - poured into a goblet. Lovely mahogany, glinting with reddish brown hues; amber in strong light. Almost but not completely opaque. Slightly tan cream on top isn't massive but retains & laces indefinitely.

S - syrupy malts, plum, raisin, yeast

T - starts & finishes with sweet caramel malts, as I expected, but has some surprising fruity tartness in the middle that keeps things interesting. hints of yeasty spice remain present (if subdued) in the background.

M - medium body, quite creamy for an ale, slightly sticky, finishes somewhat dry considering the predominance of fruit flavors

D - good solid beer. I'm ambivalent about the overall construction (& maybe the style it's going for) -- aside from where I've noted above, the overall character is pretty monotone. Alky is not especially well hidden, especially compared to what American counterparts are doing with stronger variations on Belgian themes.

Photo of Popkas
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A velvety looking mahogany with think cream/caramel head with very good retention. Good looking beer.

S: Smell is of dark fruit and raisins with a sweet malt character to it.

T: Sweet dark fruits - plums, raisins a little cherry along with a light medicinal/metallic taste.

M: Fills the mouth with a combination of a medium to full body with a good amount of fizz.

D: Not as smooth as I had hoped for, but a nice beer nonetheless.

Photo of jhtipton
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this does not tread lightly. Pours a dark brown and provided about 1 inch of light brown foaming head that quickly dissipated. What a sweet malty fruity smell. Can taste fruits and the alcohol. Almost tastes stronger than the advertised 8.5% ABV. Surprisingly light and effervescent for a strong ale. As far as drink-ability goes, I imagine I could down a couple on an occasion but wouldn't recommend more than three at a sitting. A nice treat before heading off for a brief beer hiatus. Cheers.

Photo of Jesstyr
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got to give this one a try after buying a bottle at Publick House in Brookline. Served in a McChouffe chalice.

Pours a hazy brown with reddish hue. Massive brownish head, that measures more than 2 fingers in this chalice - and the big head lingers nicely throughout the drink. Nose was very enjoyable - deep brown sugar, light dark fruit, and a bit of caramel.

Taste was quite enjoyable, full bodied with strong brown sugar and caramel with a deep malty character. Light spiciness that lingers in a very subtle, but enjoyable bitterness. Warms on the way down with a bit of alcohol that carries through. The smoothness makes this quite drinkable.

Photo of brewcast6
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Malty sweetness, fruity esters- raisin & prune, light spiciness, caramel aroma, light alcohol smell

Appearance: Coppery brown in color, light tan colored head with good retention,

Flavor: complex flavors including a pepper spiciness, sweet malt, slight caramel, lightly bitter

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated but not fizzy, smooth with a mild alcohol warmth, Medium bodied

Overall Impression: Very complex strong belgian ale, the alcohol is well hidden by the complex flavors and it a very warming beer to drink.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep mahogany with a ruby tint. Decent sized, beige creamy head. Decent lacing is left.

S - Dark molasses and sugar breadiness. Dark fruit and banana flavors as well. Also some alcohol and medicinal smell.

T - Bready caramel malts along with some dark sugar. Good amount of dark fruit (cherry, raisin, plum, fig) as well as some banana and apple. This provides a good deal of sweetness. Slight balance with hints of spice, medicinal taste, and alcohol. Those definitely provide a warming feel.

M - Medium to full body with a good deal of creaminess. Good amount of carbonation.

D - I think it would be a bit much to drink more than one, a lot of sweet and warming flavors. Great sipper for a winter night but not one I would have on a regular occurrence.

Notes: Good mix of different flavors, but they fall mostly under similar flavors. A lot of what you would experience with the style, and definitely a Belgian. Good warming and slight sweetness.

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

I had this directly after a bottle of Chimay Blue; what a stark contrast... The Chimay is better overall, but this looks better and tastes stronger, both in terms of flavors and alcohol presence.

A - It pours a deep mahogany with a big off-white head. A rich looking brew.

S - The aroma is strongly herbal and phenol, with a banana ester and a definite alcohol presence.

T - It tastes like strong dark ale from Belgium, which is, incidentally, what it is. Strong ester and spice; banana, and clove are the most palpable essences, but by no means the limit of the subtleties. There is also licorice, dark bread, brown sugar, and omnipresent medicinal alcohol flavor. Very complex palate, but slightly overloaded.

M - It is medium-bodied, and pretty mellow given the flavors and style.

D - This is nice stuff, but I generally will take other Belgian options (Chimay, St. Bernardus, etc.) over it. And in most places where they have Delirium, they have one of the aforementioned beers. But I will definitely take this over a Belgian from Quebec.

Photo of TheSarge
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into my newly claimed Delirium Tremens glass, and it produces a good two finger thick light tan head. The body is opaque and blackish brown.

In the aroma there are hints of caramel, bubble gum, vanilla, and a powdery dryness.

In the taste it is very metallic, slightly vegetable, and yields a caramel aftertaste.

This feels like it's bursting with CO2, kind of chewy, and a notable alcohol warmth.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into my westy chalice.

A: dark brown hue with good head and great lacing. The one thing I cannot get past are the floaties. Yeast is everywhere, and this beer is still young.

S: Caramel, fig, spice and brown sugar make up most of the nose of this brew. Hops are faintly detected in the rear.

T: Better than the smell. Spice, caramel, with notes of candied pear and apple, with hints of candied fruit and honey. Hops give the beer a slightly dry finish.

M: Full-bodied and full of flavor. This bottle may be past it's prime, but one can easily get past the texture of the floaties.

D: For how much shit this beer had floating in it, this beer is damn tasty. It has everything a beer of this style has to offer. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. A big bottle I received from my bro for my birthday. Thanks.

Poured it into a big wine glass and watched the off-white head settle right on top of the chocolate brown beer. Gives off a nice orange hue also.

Smells wine-like and spicy. There is also sweet and toast with some prune. A good bread nose.

Funky, funky, I like it. The spicy raisin flavor shines through. It is bread, malt, and yeast particles just floating around and it stings the tongue with a fruity sour acidity. A pleasant tartness.

The carbonation is heavy and activates the taste buds, bringing out the smooth citric fruitiness. Mellows out as it warms, for sure. It goes down very easy, mild, and just a bit honeyed.
Delirium does it well. Pink elephants are always a good time.

Photo of AlexF
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Classic Belgian dark ale. Thin but somewhat persistent beige head, dark mahogany colour. As with the Delirium Tremens I've had in the past, INSANE amount of yeasts floating. Can't say it's pretty, but it's interesting nonetheless.

S- Woah. This one might be a bit cold, but it doesnt smell much. Definately butterscotch. Banana bread. The warmer it gets, the breadier it gets! Seems sugary. Alright, can't wait for more, I need to taste!

T- Meh. Bready is the word. Hiding very well its ABV, this beverage is also NOT the sugary one I expected. Yeasty. The more it warms up, the better it is. Delirium Nocturnum is a type of beer that should be opened at cellared temp and enjoyed slowly until it gets warm. Not awesome, but of interest.

Photo of PartyBear
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a very dark ruby red with a small creamy off-white head that is patch in places and lots of fine carbonation. The aroma had lots of strong dark fruits, black currents, and red winey grapes, which is partnered with a clear smell of alcohol. The taste is very fruity like the aroma, lots of dark sugary fruit, figs, grapes, blackberries. There is a hint of a malty support but the flavours are dominated by an almost acidic black current fruitiness. The mouthfeel is oily, and very carbonic. A bit too sweet for my liking. If you like big dark Belgian ales with tons of dark fruit character, you will love this.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in its own glass @ "Pinguin zem Bier-Huus": A very nice Beer house in Basel.

A: First of all: Classic bottle art with the pink elephant and a nice purple aluminum foil on the neck. Cloudy brown color. One finger head
S: Earthy Belgian yeasts, toffee and malt. Fruity and sweet smell.
T: As suggested by the smell: Belgian yeasts, toffee and toasted malt with some notes of dark fruits. Sweet start. Also balanced (hoppy) bitterness.
M: Balanced bitter-sweetness. Nice malt and hops mouthfeel. Good carbonation
D: High. Despite the high ABV, you cannot feel too much the alcohol. Lovely Belgian beer. Recommended.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delerium Nocturnum. 11.2oz bottle. 2009 vintage.

Faux ceramic coating over a brown bottle. There's a purple sticker with a pink elephant on it and a trippy blue and yellow swirl behind it. I really like the purple aluminum foil on the neck with a silver "Delerium" and the hot pink elephant -- the picture doesn't quite do it justice.

Pours chocolate brown with a one finger, smooth khaki head and lots of little bubbles.

Tart apple smell. Some caramel. Earthy/yeast aromas and alcohol.

Medium bodied medicinal/herbal flavors, slight pear and tart apple, Initial hop bitterness gives way to smooth chocolate and caramel malts that quickly turn dry. There's a very complex combination of flavors going on that I just can't place -- but it's tasty to say the least.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Smooth and creamy on the palate, with some bite from the carbonation. It's not as filling as I had expected and hence I could have a few of these. The head has an interesting texture: Very smooth and creamy and light.

Notes: Overall a solid Belgian beer with a ton of complexity and character. I need to drink a few more of these to pin down the flavors. I'll keep you posted with updates.

Photo of DoppleJock
3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml. bottle poured into Delirium Tremens tulip glass.

Snowstorm raging outside. Might as well come home from work and get toasty with some strong ales...

A: Poured a cloudy, dark reddish-brown. Two-finger caramel head. Great carbonation....wait, now there's wayyy too much carbonation. Fizzing is clearly audible for some time.

S: Semi-sweet malts with some dark fruits. And....? Nope, that's it.

T: Tastes the same as it smells. A little coffeeish, too. Not as peppery as I'd expected. Taste of alcohol is almost non-existent. (My cheeks, however, are burning red after only a few sips, so I guess it really is 8.5% ABV).

M: A little on the thin side. Not very robust.

D: I had only tried this once before (a long time ago), and was excited to finally have a second-take. Maybe I was expecting too much but I felt really let down after trying this again.

What it lacks in its complexity it makes up for in its price-tag....wish it was the other way around.

Photo of AlFromBayShore
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I took this right out the fridge and started drinking. Bad idea. Initially this beer was rating as average in all categories but as it warmed things changed for the better. That's a lesson I've learned tonight. One thing though, there is something slightly watery about the taste.

As the beer warmed, a sticky and sugary (like sugar cane syrup) aroma emerged. Then, within that were the dark fruits (dried dates, raisins, dried fig) and sublte notes of spice (mace, allspice, ginger). Banana, apple, and pear linger in the background.

The flavor is complex but slightly watery. Carmel-like with those dark dried fruits. When I belch, I taste melon. The alcohol is present but not apparent. It shows up in a warming feeling in the finish that emanates from the stomach, rising up to the throat and rendering a warming, expanding sensation. I'm also getting bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee in the malty character of this ale. That gosh darned watery-ness is keeping this beer from being great.

Lotsa tiny bubbles in the carbonation - mildly prickly on the tongue. The texture is of medium body but that slightly watery character has a way of keeping the mouthfeel from proceeding to the next level.

Overall, this is a good, solid beer BUT the competiton in this style of beer is tight. St. Bernardus Abt 12, Ommegang, and Chimay blue will be considerations before the Delerium Noctournum. This is a good ale but, once again, the tight competition in this style will keep this one from seeing the light of day and my patronage.

Photo of andrewm190
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fours strait across the board. I tip my hat to the brewer. The beer reveals many different tastes, very distinct from on another, but all fruit based. Personally, it's a little overwhelming and too fruit dominate for my palate, but you have to respect the craftsmanship that went into this product. To appreciate it, be warned that a simple swig reveals nothing; you're required to let the beer camp out on the palate for a least a few ticks before enjoying more.

Photo of AccidentalKate
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep hazy brown, akin to a cola, but more opaque. A full head developed with tan coloring. Belgian lacing was there but less than I expected.

Aroma: The malt aroma is strong, but just underneath that is a oak aroma with hints of apple. Typical of Belgian Darks, this aroma is far more complex than that of lagers (or other even other ales). I Love, love, love the smell of this.

Taste: Big on the yeasty malt here, full bodied and strong (although that's redundant, isn't it?), with coffee and prunes all swirling around underneath. Then the alcohol hits, giving a nice hot and spicy hit to the the nose.Finish arrives a bit dry, and with a sour apple flavor that makes a brief appearance.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly weak for a Belgian Dark Ale. The complexity of the aroma and taste are not done justice by the average amount of carbonation. The alcohol hit was nice, and is common in Belgian Darks. But there's no zip here, nothing to make it stand out. It comes across rather surprisingly...ordinary.

Drinkability: This is another great beer taken down a notch by the mouthfeel. Should you search this beer out? Yes, but only just.

Photo of AshleyRW
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts out with an amber pour, leaving a scent of bread and applejacks - both in the bottle and in the glass. A full-bodied yet smooth, almost fruit-laced taste, followed by an inviting aftertaste reminiscent of apples, biscuits...and cheese. A quaffable beverage for sure, and a bit more interesting than your regular, run-of-the-brew beer. A Belgian beer definitely worth trying.

Photo of joshstevens87
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark amber/brown with a reddish twinge with a smaller tan white head which leaves some lacing
S-dark fruit and a slight grapewith a slight alcohol kick barely in the background
T-dark fruits and a slight wine influence (the alcohol and grape lingering in the background)very refreshing thought the alcohol isn't as well hidden as other belgian beers around this strength though still delicious and refreshing
M-medium heavy body with a high carbonation amking it very crisp and refreshing
D-Like many belgians its very refreshing even in spite of its high abv but really isn't much of a standout but can easily be drunk all night

Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
90 out of 100 based on 2,468 ratings.