1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Delirium Noël - Brouwerij Huyghe

Not Rated.
Delirium NoëlDelirium Noël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,550 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,550
Reviews: 714
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 54
Gots: 93 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: taez555 on 02-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Delirium Noël Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,550 | Reviews: 714 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bomber of this from my twin sister as an X-mas gift and have been sitting on it for a few weeks. Split the bomber with y good friend Passow. Poured my half into my snifter. This beer pours a nice cloudy, medium to dark copper color. White head about 1/2 inch when poured. Settles eventually to a thin ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lacing. Has a nice malty, dark fruit aroma with a bit of spice. The taste is pretty much the same, nice roasted caramel malt and dark fruit flavors of plum and fig, rounded out with a bit of spice and no discernible hops. The taste of alcohol does become a bit more apparent as the beer warms a bit. Has a nice crisp, smooth, full bodied mouthfeel withe moderate carbonation. This one certainly coats the palate. Easy to drink, almost too easy for a beer with this high of an ABV%. I would certainly drink this again.


neenerzig, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of Minotaur
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A dark and foamy belgian strong ale poured into a chalice. It is red-molasses colored with lighter brown highlights and a dirty white head that quickly clears and leaves little or no lacing.

The aroma of raisin/prune/pepper and yeasty alcohol predominate. The aroma of candi-sugar and a slight burnt comes through.

The taste has a lot of alcohol and is mostly sour and bitter despite the obviously significant amount of malts. There is caramel sweetness beneath a sharp hops palate. The alcohol comes through strong with flavors of cherry, sour apple, figs, and a slight amount of holiday spice. It is obviously a complex taste but somehow seemed undercut and weak compared to how firmly it could come through.

The one downfall of this ale is the thin mouthfeel. For the strength of the flavors it seems that there isn't enough textured support for the tastes. Perhaps more age would do the beer well. I found the drinkability decrease as the glass emptied due to the slight pungency in the thin liquor. A little more robustness and denser malt flavor may have balanced it out a bit for me.

Minotaur, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of hosehead83
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a tulip glass
Dark, cloudy brown in appearance, with a short head of foam
Aroma-Malt and spices
Taste-Spice notes and roasted malt-very smooth and well-balanced
Overall, A well-balanced, flavorful dark ale.
Beware! Sip with caution as this ale is extremely easy drinking with the 10.0ABV almost not evident and well hidden, like an elephant in the tall grass, waiting to charge.

hosehead83, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of taigor
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into La Trappe glass.

A - Dark copper, amber color with slight head that dissipated very quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Very pleasant aroma of dark fruits, malts and almonds.

T - Very sweet roasted malts with hints of caramel, figs and almonds.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Very drinkable and alcohol is well hidden. Great ale for the holidays.

taigor, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle enjoyed late at night after a long week. Been drinking this for years, always seem to get it at least once a year. St. Bernardus glass.

A- Fallen chestnuts with a mix between brown and red with some copper penny built in. This is the color I get on most of my BSDA, it never seems to differ. I poured this kind of quick and still only managed to get a faint cap not even coating the surface. What was there was a nice beige & vanilla color that made a cool pattern. Nice sheets of lace. A nice cap eventually formed.

S- Noel is a fruity beer, it's very apparent on first sniffs, it literally travels up your nose, berries and some faint cherry with a bunch of belgian yeast coming out. It's hard to not pour the yeast in these bottles although this is much more bareable than tremmons in this area, that one just comes out yeasty. Anyway, some sweet malts and some candi sugar and some spices.

T- Not sure how old the bottle is but there seems to be a small amount of tart coming from this under all the normal tastes. Those include belgian yeast and dark fruit with berries most prominant, but apples and plums are in the mix. The spices are lighter than one would expect in a christmas beer but some in the background. A touch of raisin, a touch of chocolate and a smidgin of alcohol.

M- A very refined feel that is not bitter in anyway, come to think of it I don't think I noticed any hop presence at all in this. A fruity and lightly sweet feel with a yeasty bready finish. No alcohol heat and a nice medium body. Carbonation could be bumped up a bit but it's at a nice mellow level.

D- I will continue to get this once a year around christmas time. Im celebrating the new year with this one though. I would have no problem taking down a bomber of this. A great beer that was one of the first beers I drank about nine years ago.

BARFLYB, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of saccro
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - light brown, weak disappointing head that's just a trace of bubbles

S - dried cherries, no noticeable hops, sweet malt syrup, characteristic spiciness.

T - dark fruity and sweet, with slight balance from bitterness at the end. Spicy. Caramel with touch of milk chocolate

M - light spritzy carbonation. not too heavy.

D - characteristic belgian strong ale. Easy to drink until alcohol takes over!

saccro, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Rayek
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep copper with a cloud of yeast due to less than stellar traveling conditions that jostled the beer en route to its destination. A fizzy garnet hued cap doesn't stick around long. Leaves no lace.

S: Very wine like. The sweetness of red grapes and black cherries dominates. A light pepper aroma is aided by an alcohol tingle to offset the sweet scents.

T: Quite sweet and very vinous. The dark fruits from the nose come through strong. Grapes, cherries, currants and a bit of plum are all at work. Bitterness is very mild and lends a coriander bite. Alcohol adds a lot of warmth, but its flavor doesn't get in the way of the other goings on.

M: The syrupy body has good weight to it. Carbonation feels just about right.

D: This was my favorite of the Belgian Strong Darks I had on Christmas Eve. A perfect compliment to a cold evening.

Rayek, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured an orangish brown color that produced a huge fluffy light tan head that had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aroma of this beer was dominated by golden fruitiness and spicy mix of Christmas baking, the only beer quality here is the Belgian yeast

T - The taste of this beer had a complex richness that was quite welcome, a range of fruits between plums, raisins, golden apples, and pears, a nice spicy mix of cloves and nutmeg, maybe a little cinnamon

M - The mouthfeel of this beer was silky smooth, medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This Noel is quite a beer, and a wonderful use of clever label art, makes this one a welcome Delirium

cvfish, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling drunk in Dec, 2009. I managed to keep it safe for a year.

Into a large tulip. Nice full head of toasty tan. It dissipates and leaves some lacing. The beer itself is deep brown with orange highlights. Some suspended yeast in the beer - but that's par for the course with a Delirium beer. It looks quite delicious.

Yeasty and malty smell. No notice of either the 10% alcohol or the hops. Some hints of golden raisins, apricots, and clove. Maybe a touch of cinnamon.

Very warm beer - but you can't taste the alcohol. Of course, it has been aged, so that probably helps. Full flavor of the yeast - cloves and a bit of the banana esters are there, the malt is warm and full flavored. Lots of little hints of spices here and there. Very yummy, and with enough interesting things going on.

Nice mouthfeel - in fact, the only real complaint I have is that the yeast is a bit more present than in other Delirium beers. I do quite like this beer.

I put the entire 750 down over about 4 hours. I like this beer aged, and recommend taking the time to do it if you like it "new."

BillyBoysPie, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of webbcreative
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured cloudy orange color with white miniml head fir a Belgian. Aroma has the Belgian yeast smell I expected, and dark fruits as well. Taste is a wonderful assortment of dark fruits from raisin and plum and fig, get candied sugar as well, but what I don't get is the 10. Abv which is astounding. Mouthfeel us medium and a but creamy actually. Great beer. This might be my new holiday brew to have every year at christmas.

webbcreative, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from lovely ceramic-looking bomber with pink elephant reindeer into oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Dull cloudy orange but it does shine when held up to the light. Minimal head and lacing. Looks halfway between a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and Pale Ale.

Smell: Belgian yeast showcase of cloves and banana. Also, brown sugar, figs and an overall mustiness.

Taste: Candied sugar, banana and cloves upfront, with other spiciness like pepper coming through at the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, light body due to the added sugar, almost creamy, dry finish. Body seems more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale to me.

Drinkability: Relatively simple Belgian Christmas Ale but still quite nice and that 10% abv is very well hidden.

bsp77, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of CMW
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, ruby brown with plenty of carbonation. One inch of tan head lines the top of the glass.

S - Dark fruit, malt, and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger).

T - Sweet upfront with flavors that beg of raisins and dates. Heavy malt backbone provides plenty of balance and Christmas spices round out this beauty.

M - Carbonation is medium/high and provides a pleasant creamy feel.

D - Didn't even notice that this was 10%. Could have easily knocked out another. Always one of my Xmas favorites.

CMW, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of krisandajt
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer courtesy of the Mrs. for Christmas.

Appearance: Holy Cloudy Sediment, Batman! I'm going to need to let this beer sit in the glass for a good 30 mins to get all the sediment to settle back down. Aside from that, the beer is a cloudy amber color with a very slight amount of foamy head around the ring of the glass with a bit of soapy lacing.

Smell: Smell is sweet and fruity, no hop bitterness at all. Not picking up any hint of the high ABV either.

Taste: Taste is sweet with hints of candied fruit, raisins mostly. Unlike in the smell, there is a mild alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice medium body. Overall, a good drinking beer.

Drinkability: The extreme amount of sediment took me by surprise. Had I known there would be so much, I would have eased up on my pour a bit. That being said, this is a tasty and highly drinkable beer, and one of the better choices of beer my wife has gotten for me.

krisandajt, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of apbarwood
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with very little head and only manages to maintain a thin cap of foam. A bit disappointing in that regard but the warm coppery color is inviting for whatever that's worth. The nose presents some spiciness, yeast, and a candy sugar quality. Overall, a pleasant and alluring aroma. The flavor carries much of the same with an added hint of oaky vanilla and rum-soaked fruit. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has good body but the alcohol peaks through a bit more than I'd like. It was a bit hot and could be more balanced in this respect. Generally speaking it's a good beer that I would recommend trying but it could certainly stand some cellaring. I drank this one a month or so after it's release. Definite aging potential but in it's youthful state I found it missed the mark slightly.

apbarwood, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of kegger22
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Delirium Noel is a medium brown color with a small, fragile head that fades to a minimal collar very quickly.

The aroma is a very odd mildewed, floral odor.

The taste has that bad penny taste. Later, as it warms, I get some more sweetness and a little sour, but the copper taste is still there.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with relatively low carbonation compared to Tremens.

Drinkability was only fair, due to the copper taste.

I'm not sure where the penny/copper taste came from, the beer was fresh and the cap opened with an audible noise of releasing gases. But that taste did throw off my enjoyment of the beer.

kegger22, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of Torps
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Looks ciderish.

Smells of fruit, yeast, and hints of spice.

Taste is spot on with the aroma. Mostly fruit, apple, pears, yeast and spice round out the flavor. It's good, but nothing jumps out.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable as it's not heavy and the carbonation is lively.

Torps, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delirium Noël is copper in color. It's clear and is nearly a burgundy color with a little light behind it. The cork popped with force and carbonation looks like it will be generated by my Sam Adams glass throughout. The head is light tan and reaches about two fingers deep. It never fully dissipates and leaves a surprisingly sticky lacing on the glass.

The nose is good. It doesn't have quite the BSDA thunder I expected, but it's nice. It's fruity up front. Apple, pear, and a little peach kick it off. It smells just slightly sweet. There's a hint of dark fruit, but not near as much as you might expect. Belgian yeast is very prominent and smells delicious. I certainly like that. Spices are rather subdued, but there are a few hints at their presence. Alcohol is blended very well and is barely noticeable. Good, not quite great.

The flavor really amplifies the interesting qualities of Delirium Noël. Let there be no doubt, this is delicious beer. But, it's a little different. Apple, pear, and peach flavors are noted up front. They give it a slightly sweet flavor. Dark fruit flavors are very subtle and are barely noticeable. Kind of weird, but no less tasty. Spices are also background noise, but complement the fruit flavors well. What's not weird is the ass-kicking Belgian yeast flavor. It's strong and really drives the excellent flavor of this beer. Alcohol is also buried. I'm barely getting any. Very impressive for a 10% beer. It finishes fruity and a little sweet.

Delirium Noël has a (barely) medium body. It's smooth, but is hindered a little by its lack of heft and abundance of bubbles. Carbonation is rather active. Drinkability is very high. This stuff goes down far too damn easy for a 10% beer. It's also incredibly flavorful. This 750 won't last too long.

I'm impressed. Delirium Noël's probably the most interesting BSDA I've ever had. It's a little left of center in that the spices and dark fruit are more subtle and complementary rather than being front and center. Since it's so tasty, I'm okay with that. There's plenty of flavor to make up for whatever shortcomings it may have. What a Christmas beer! Go find a bottle before it disappears until next year.

prototypic, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of farrago
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not much of a head, thin layer of dark brown bubbles across the surface with minimal retention and no lacing. Kind of an orange to brown hued liquid, mostly transparent with some light bending of the light, widely dispersed bubbles. The nose comes across with peat, flint, tar and earth, borderline sweaty, before orange peel, peach pit and hard toffee candy appear, pinch of clove spice. Light to medium-bodied with a fast rising carbonation, within a nanosecond starts foaming up towards your mouth roof. Only slightly sweeter here, noticeably dry on the whole. Touch extra caramel, toffee and depth in the orange citrus and pear, apple, fig, apricot fruit. Retains sourness via the forest floor, peat moss, tarry earth elements, you never really stop puckering. Even at warmer temperatures does not smooth out or deepen as one would hope. Maybe I'm missing something here.

farrago, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of OrangeCharlie
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep reddish tan, clouded with chunky yeast sediment. Thin head that bubbles and fades.

S: Fruity esters, mostly peach, with caramel and dried fruits.

T: Caramelized peaches, rich malt, raisins with a very mild and well-balanced touch of spicy and phenolic heat on the finish.

M: A rich beer that lingers on the palate to some degree. Nice carbonation level.

D: Very drinkable for a rich, flavorful beer. Smooth considering its strength.

OrangeCharlie, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 330ml fake-ceramic bottle, bottled on 31/08/2007, served lightly chilled in a large bulb-shaped Burgundy goblet.

A: pours a dark russet hue, mildly carbonated, clouded with plentiful flaky yeast sediments; the off-white beer head retreats fast to a rim.
S: assertively salty-sweet yeasty and prune-ish or Chinese hawthorn-fruit-ish fruity, backed by enticing liquidy amber malts, barley candy, and traces of Munich malts. Alc. is pretty well hidden on the nose, and a good swirl serves to underline the aroma of mixed maltiness, smelling a little like an intense German bockbier even.
T: the quiet and smooth foretaste is semi-malty and semi-spicy, followed by a pronounced spicy & fruity aftertaste featuring salty-sour dried hawthorn-fruits, spiced green olives, bitter licorice, mint-like leafy herbs, sweet woodiness, and plenty of spicy hops lingering in the end. The belated manifestation of maltiness shows an interesting edge as of coffee-flavoured toffee, retaining a low profile vis-à-vis fruit esters and spicy yeastiness.
M&D: very mild in carbonation, full-bodied yet just slightly alcoholic when it reaches the finish. Although there's hardly any sign of real spices used in this "X'mas beer", the flavour shows some input of spicy yeastiness, hence a decent drinkability overall.

wl0307, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of GoalieRon33
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- deep ruby red in color with some brownish hues. On par with many other winter brews

S- nothing too special. Somewhat spicy, with some hoppy aroma, but overall muted smell

T- Perfect. This is what beer should taste like. The hop/malt balance is uncanny; the stuff I drank was however aged 3 years

M- Perfect thickness. Easy to take down, considering the high content of alcohol. A little alcohol burn, but not too much

D- This beer is awesome. I would neveer say that I have had a better winter/christmas beer.

GoalieRon33, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of crossovert
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is the 2008 vintage, with a skiing elephant and red foil.

Pours into my goblet with a nice reddish brown and plenty o' floaties. The head is decently active a bit darker than off-white and leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit boozy with tons of candi sugar, dark fruits, some sourness ala geuze or saison, a hint of clovey caramel/chocolate, and heaps of belgian yeast.

The taste follows with the sourness. There is also caramel, fruits, and candi sugar. It is sweet but not cloying.

Overall a unique Christmas brew but not my favorite, still damn good though.

crossovert, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of towersfall
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown pour with a red hint. The head isn't too impressive and dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Spices hit you when you (painstakingly) unwrap the foil and THEN undo the cork. The mixture of the spices as well as the malt and yeast make for quite a delicious winter scent.

Taste: An extremely spicy flavor attacks your taste buds but is quickly followed by a malty smoothness that leads you back into the spicy-ness. A great tasting christmas brew, easily the best I tasted this year.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a rich amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: A little easy to consume but when the bigger bottle is finished you're ready to move on, but yet a feeling of accomplishment still settles in your stomach.

The beers from the Huyghe brewery really have to be enjoyed on tap. Having tried this beer in the bottle, it is good. On tap, unbelievable. It becomes fresher and more flavorful, it's more carbonated which helps balance it; the beer almost pulls a night and day comparison with the difference. That being said, not easy to track down on tap unless you go abroad (this took me two years to find, but well worth the wait).

towersfall, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of degerbah
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head at all into a goblet. Color is a thick looking amber. The nose is primarily fruity with cherries, and almost smells like apples. The taste is very very sweet and fruity with no bitterness at all. There is a noticable alcoholic aftertaste though that is slightly unpleasant. Mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy, I'm not totally surprised though given the alcohol content. The bottle I'm drinking is a 750ml bottle o the 2009 vintage and it seems to me that the beer could do with a little bit of aging to let some of the burn mellow out.

degerbah, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of mwa423
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red/amber that is about the clearest Belgian ale I have ever seen. There is a small head that quickly disappeared with little lacing.

S - Lots of funk, with some dark dried fruit and some yeast in the nose.

T - Tons of dried and sweet fruit in this one, it's most of the flavor, far more then the aroma would lead you to expect. There are hints of Belgian yeast at the end, by far the best Belgian Christmas ale I have had recently.

M/D - Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent for a 10% beer. The mouthfeel is rich but not at all too thick to drink.

Quite a good beer, by far one of the better imports in this style!

mwa423, Dec 23, 2009
Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 1,550 ratings.