Delirium Nocturnum - Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum

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2,552 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,552
Reviews: 883
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 152
Gots: 443 | FT: 1
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: 2,552 | Reviews: 883
Photo of Dubblebock
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Delirium Nocturnum. I picked up a bottle to try after tasting and enjoying it's stablemate, the Delirium Tremens. Where the Tremens was a good introduction to the Belgian strong pale ale style, the Nocturnum lies on the strong dark ale side of the spectrum. This sample had the cool painted bottle with the smiling pink elephant on the label, a sign of things to come if one were to try to session this 8.5% ABV brew.

The Nocturnum poured extremely well into a widemouth stem glass. The beer was carbonated to the point that it bubbled out of the bottle when I opened it even though I didn't agitate the bottle. Big, thickly compacted head, a wonder to behold. The color was dark, cloudy copper, rich and inviting. Good nose, hints of fruits and spices, pears and apricots perhaps. No distinct alcohol character to the scent.

The taste was very complex. It started out fruity, the pear and apricot nose was not a ruse. The malts lent a slight sweetness to the whole character of the beer. Slight bitterness on the back of the palate. As the glass warmed, the beer took on a slightly dryer tone, losing some of the initial fruityness and sweetness in exchange for a more bready feel. The yeasts began to assert themselves a little more in the finish.

Very nice mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste. Pretty drinkable in all respects. I really began to polish off the sample after the beer had warmed up a little and evened out.

All in all, an excellent effort. This is just a beautiful beer that hits all of the right buttons. If you're not already pursuing Belgian and Belgian styled domestic beers, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do so. There was a lot of adventure in this little 11.2 oz. bottle. That little pink elephant is smiling for a reason...

Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark clear brown brew with a tan head.

Smell is rich dark almost over ripe fruit. Nice spice smells a clean sweetness comes through. A mild Banana bread smells comes through.

Taste is sweet tart and spicy. Fruit flavors come through with cinnamon and other spices and a nice bitterness. Similar to Banana Bread with Granny Smith Apples. Gets sweeter and fruitier as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Very good Drinkability, but this is the stuff you sip and don't chug!

Photo of benmiliron
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Paid $5.99 for a bottle.

Very sour beer. A bit of smoke and malt, but mostly sourness. Not a terrible brew if you're into that kind of thing, but I'm not. Shame it couldn't be like it's brother Tremens. Painted bottle looks nice, maybe this was just a bad bottle?

Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red with a brownish tint with a pretty large head,aroma was like bubblegum and spicey.Taste is chocolaty and spicey with some light fruity notes.Seemed a little thin but the drinkability for me on this one was great.Went very with a stuffed quail dish and a sauce reduction of the beer.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, deep ruby and maroon color with a four-fingered off-white head that tries to escape the Delirium tulip. Head fades away slowly leaving a billowy lace on the glass.
Aroma of drak fruits, cough medicine, grain, spic, orange peel and hint of alcohol. Classic Belgian complexity to me.
Flavor of dark, dark fruits - prunes or raisins, coriander, biscuit and some citrus twang.
Mouthfeel is beautifully alive on the tongue. Sweet and full upfront with a nice transition to spicy and dry alcoholic finish.
Drinkability is superior but powerful alcohol and flavor would make hard to session.

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened a nice 750 ml bomber on a Sunday night before my dinner guests arrived and I must say, I was not disappointed. The appearance was as close to perfection as it gets. Dark red/brown with a stupendous tan head that just would not back down. Even when it did, it left a beautiful lacing that is second to none. The smell was to me quite alcohol like and filled with fruits and grains. The taste was like the smell. Upfront it was yeasty and bready with a nice dose of dark fruits although I have to say, not quite as nice as an abt 12 of any sort. Also a mild hoppiness could be found, yet it played second fiddle to the fruits and sweet malts. Mouthfeel was good, although a bit too carbonated for my taste. But the body itself was creamy and satisfying. Drinkability must have been excellent, because I drank the whole darn bomber myself, hehe. If you are a fan of dark ales, give this a go.

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of the prettiest beers I have ever seen: A deep ruby red color with lots of carbonation, a creamy, foamy, rocky head, light brown head and some nice sticky lace. The head diminished, but settled down to a fine creamy layer that lasted throughout. The aroma was pleasant: malty, fruity esters, bubblegum, spices and some grassy background. The mouthfeel was decent and improved as the beer warmed: creamy, effervescent with a spicy dry finish.
The taste left me wondering if I had the right beer. Light sweetness with a spicy middle and a dry biting finish. Sounds ok? Not really. It is surprisingly one-dimensional: The flavor seems to have some interesting characteristics but it does not appear to pull it off.

Photo of kwalters
3.02/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My expectations for this brew were quite high, probably without merit. As you can see, my ratings are all over the board.

The 11.2 oz. bottle poured beautifully. The most beautiful head I've ever seen formed at least an inch tall with nice puffy cloud-like lumps. The beer itself was a very nice rusty brown color. Easily the most beautiful beer I've ever poured. So far so good.

After taking whiff, I was anxious for a taste. Nocturnum really lacks any real personality in its' flavor. Everything was very subdued. No raisin, no rum, no spice. Just a bit of sweet maltiness and a mild case of the "typical" Belgian flavor. I was hoping for something on par with Unibroue's Trois Pistoles. It's not a terrible brew, but for being rather exspensive it bores me.

Photo of ppoitras
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz opaque bottle purchased today at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into a tulip glass, large brownish head with resiliency, which leaves heavy lace. Gorgeous translucent maroon color when held up to a light, with an aroma dominated by raisins. Taste is okay, but not quite as malty as I would hope, and dominated by the raisin flavor, which in my opinion has become overpowering of all other constituents of this brew. That flavor domination also affects the mouthfeel and drinkability of this Belgian, which is acceptable, but pales in comparison to some others in its class.

Photo of euskera
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting it as I write this. Warm, dark caramel brown. Nice carbonation, small but tenacious head. Smell is malty sweet, a little raisiny as well. Taste is a bit tangy, almost citrusy at times, with a hint of orange zest in there. Mouthfeel is pleasant to say the least, and it is quite drinkable. I like Tremens quite a bit, and its sibiling is just as enjoyable. Recommended

Photo of rkhaze
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark chestnut with reddish highlights. Nice dense bubbly beige head that got a bit rocky as it disappated. Sweet aromas of malt and carmelized fruit. There was also yeast, spiciness and a hint of chocolate. There was an alcohol presence that made the smells vinuous.
Sweet on the palate. Bready malt, ripe fruit and brown sugar. Noticable tart yeast, spice and some nuttiness. There were a lot of flavors but they were all a bit understated and overpowered by an almost musty aftertaste and a raw, semi-bitter alcohol character. Not horrible but certainly didn't deliver on the promises of the smell.
Thin to medium bodied and highly carbonated. The alcohol aftertaste, in conjunction with the heavy carbonation, hurt the drinkibility.

Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle, capped not corked. Pours into a goblet a dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights. One cm beige head of tightly knit tiny bubbles. Aroma of marshmallows, bananas, cloves, and freshly ground black pepper. Mouthfeel is very carbonated with a peppery bite. Taste is of bubble gum and freshly baked bread, with fruitiness and slight yeasty mustiness. A medicinal alcohol punch becomes apparent as it approaches room temperature. It becomes very vinous and sherry-like toward the finish, which I didn't care for. Overall, my least favorite Delirium, but not at all bad.

Photo of Ellbert
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The apperance was great on this beer. It was a deep red/brown with a massive head. I did not have the appropriate glassware handy while drinking this so I had to wait about five minutes after I poured to get the beer from underneath the head.

The smell was very sweet with a small amount of alcohol present. A touch of hops permiated my nose also.

The taste was very sweet. It was very balanced between sweet/bitter/and alcoholic. Very balanced however there was a certain taste, like straw that I did not like that much.

The mouthfeel was very full and rich with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is okay beings that it is 8.5% and it tastes like straw.

Photo of paganbeast
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Belgian Ale is one of my favorites. It has a nice aroma of berries and earth. As with others, it was the packaging that first caught my eye. But the product inside is just as exciting as the design on the bottle. Lots of bubbles that texture the mouth which helps the aroma permeate as you drink, creating a full sensory experience.

Photo of jtw5877
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was initially attracted to the very cool bottle, and the beer was just as good. Pours a medium brown hue with a white head. Grape kinda aroma, with a full bodied malty flavor with yeasty grapey kind of flavors. I really love this beer. It is definately underrated.

Photo of edchicma
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice caramel, wine-like color with a great head that stayed at about 1/4 inch. Sweet smell (a hint of cherry?). Alcohol aroma was also evident, almost a light brandy aroma. Taste was initially sweet and ended ina pleasant, dry alcohol presence. For the abv, a medium mouthfeel was quite nice, with the resultant drinkability being very good, with a smooth quality. A good brew that is definitely worth trying.

Photo of beergeek279
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 750 mL bottle. The color is dark brown, with a nice bubbly, wispy white head. The smell is candi sugar sweet. The taste is nicely phenolic, with hints of candi sugar sweetness, and a dry finish, and the alcohol is just noticable. Mouthfeel is well-carbed. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Not a bad double from Delirium. Though I come for the Pink Elephants, I stay for a good-if-not-spectacular beer. Quite good, and one I'll have again, especially with its nice, widespread distribution.

Photo of JISurfer
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whoa! This one totally kicked my ass! It was much better than I had expected. It had many different tastes at once and the tastes changed. It was like some sort of morph beer or something. When it was colder it was kind of "eh", nothing spectacular, but still a damn good beer. As it warmed up, the different tastes of fruits, malts, and a coffee taste reared their heads. This brew was one of the most smoothest brews I have had to date. It was clean, refreshing, and bold. Characteristics that are key in a good brew for me.

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

Dark copper-red, and ludicrously bubbly, off white head.
Green apple, bubble gum, and grape aroma, comes across as very clean but stong
Spicy (both in the alcohol and spice senses), floral and dark fruit (raisin), and a little chocolate in the taste.
Dry with a medium body and very warming, drinkability is good, but like the name alludes to this might put you to sleep.

Photo of grynder33
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark red brown, had a nice head although nowhere near as exhuberant as Tremens, very light fruit spice malt aroma. Had the taste of fruit and malt, reminded me of blackberries. A little more timid than I thought,sweet fruity, but not enoughof either

Photo of HardTarget
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tan painted green bottle with best before Dec 2005 notched (sampled Nov 03)
Aroma (4): Nice fruit malt smells. Some ester and yeasty banana with spicy notes, coriander most notable
Appearance (4): Brown with good clarity when backlit with ruby tinge. Nice frothy brown head that lasted but didn’t lace
Flavor (2.5): Something is wrong here. Starts with a rich, full, malt based fruit taste that quickly goes over to a harsh metallic middle that overrides an otherwise pleasant aftertaste. The metallic flaw seemed to fade as it warmed, or maybe it was warming me to the point of not noticing
Mouthfeel (3): medium to full body with some numbing and a dry finish
Overall Impression (3): A notable flaw in an otherwise good beer. The 8.5% alcohol is well hidden and has me talking to the pink elephant on the bottle. Good elephant. Recommended, but only if you can’t get any other Belgian dark beers, or you are a big fan of the style. Not for the macro crowd.

Re-reviewed 1/6/05
Tan painted BROWN bottle with blue foil, odd notches on the back label (from 1-5, notched 2, from 2-5, notched 3). I think this means Summer of 2003, but not sure if that is brewed on or best buy. Anyway, differs from the last bottle I sampled.
Aroma: Spicy and fruity. Spices go peppery and allspice; fruits are plum and apple cider.
Appearance: Deep brown/black glass with a huge brownish head. Started at about 3 fingers in my chalice but calmed down to a good finger coat now that I’m ready to pull the trigger. Industrial lace.
Flavor: Fruits really shine, dark roasted malts support, and odd metallic edge is still there, not a deal breaker, but I thought it might be a bad bottle the first round. While present, I don't think it is as major of a flaw as I did the first time. Now I know, it’s how that is supposed to taste.
Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, soft and fairly dry.
Overall Impression: I like it more than the first time I reviewed it, but I still think there are better Belgians to hunt. Still a good pink elephant.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A nice Belgian that is enjoyable and well presented. The bottle is just great!

The look is a murky dark brown with a very nicely developed and substantial lace. The nose is fully malty and also gives notes of pulpy fruit, rather more of plum and such. The flavor is malty, sweet, and very fruity with some subtle spice hints thrown in for good measure.

The feel is full with a nice lingering fullness in the finish. Limited drinkability due to the fullness and high alcohol content.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep brown, almost black color with 3 fingers of fluffy head. There is a large amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell hints at coffee and spice aromas, fairly sweet. The taste also has coffee notes, weird for a Belgian. A little fruity as well, with bits of dates and raisins. Very malty with no hops present. The body is fairly thick and heavy. The drinkability is fairly nice for an 8.5% brew. A decent Belgian.

Photo of aracauna
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This had a huge head with a good red brown body. The aroma is lightly sweet with a light citrus character. The flavor is a little bit of a letdown though, without a huge amount of character. In the end, it just seems to be a pretty run of the mill Belgian strong ale.

Photo of PZuke
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Pink Elephant

First of I have to say that it does have a cool looking bottle. I saw Gordon Eliot go to Belgium and visit the brewery and up into that point in my life I had never had a Belgium beer. So I had to check it out. This beer poured a dark brownish red color into my Delirium glass. It appeared that the Pink Elephants were dancing as the thick tan head rose in the glass. The smell of this beer is from the heavens with smells of plums, raisons and malts. The taste is full of great carbonation, sweat caramel and fruity earth tones. It has a very port like feel to it. In my opinion it is a very good Belgium.

Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
90 out of 100 based on 2,552 ratings.