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Delirium Noël - Brouwerij Huyghe

Not Rated.
Delirium NoëlDelirium Noël

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

1,534 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,534
Reviews: 712
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 53
Gots: 87 | FT: 2
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
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Ratings: 1,534 | Reviews: 712 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prototypic
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of GilGarp
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

2008 vintage, served cool in a chalice.

After picking away at the red foil for way too long, the cage and cork are removed with ease. I have to say that something like a foil wrapped cork is really frustrating, especially when it comes off in tiny little pieces. On to the beer...

Pours a nice redish brown color but, when I hold it up to the light, it reveals dozens of floating chunks. Not so appealing to look at.

Aroma is sweet and full of dark fruits like plums and a slightly chocolately smell. A little bit of wet basement too.

Flavor is immediately reminding me of a tootsie pop. Grapes and cherries (or more specifically the candy that pretends to be those flavors) covering a chocolate center. Not bad but certainly not what I was expecting. There is a little bit of "winter spice" and some caramel sweetness but I still can't get that lollypop out of my head.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and ample carbonation. Balance is definately leaning towards the sweet end of the spectrum.

Overall, a disappointment. Too sweet and candy-like. I figured that the age would help round off the edges but this one still seems too sweet.

GilGarp, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of pzrhsau
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

I was able to find this on tap in the US at Brosserie Becks in DC.
Appearance: Deep brownish color with a robust head and great hints of red when light hits the glass.
Smell: Great aromas of malt, yeast, and a combination of spices. The head really allows the aromas to explode in your nose.
Taste: Very rich spicy flavor that is smoothed out by the malt as you sip. The beer then fades back into that rich spiciness on your tongue. Its a great flavor of Christmas and really makes you feel warm inside. You also get a slight hint of alcohol but it doesn't overpower the flavor.
Drinkability/Mouthfeel: Great weight, nice carbonation, and easy to consume.
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).

pzrhsau, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of tigg924
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, clear, amber in color

Smell: Belgian spice, toasted malt, and a touch of butter

Taste: candied apple-especially in the beginning, Belgian spice in the middle, alcohol, and a touch of banana at the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, low carbonation, medium/light bodied

Drinkability: A highly drinkable beer considering the high abv. I will look for this again but only one per session as the alcohol is very present. I really like the apple taste in the beginning.

tigg924, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Had on tap at BBC in Walpole 12/17

A: This beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of khaki sudsy head. Nice retention and leaves wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of belgian spices, candied apple, touch of pear, and sweet malt.

T: Taste starts with the candied apple in the forefront, lending to nice sweet caramel malts filling out the middle. Belgian yeast and spices come in with a touch of pear. Aftertaste give a slight banana flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, thick oily feel.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, highly drinkable for such a high ABV.

Jayli, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

On-tap at PJ's Abbey, on to the beer:

This is a dark brown colored beer with hues of purple. Head retention is okay in this beer. Its aroma is very potent. Lots of pear, grapes, figs, and a kick of alcohol. Served cool, it is great tasting. The alcohol is there, but kept more at bay. There's some tasty grape, candi sugar, some pear, and the yeast is working in some otehr fruity flavors. As it is consumed warmer, the alcohol heats up and slows down the enjoyability of this beer, but it is still a beer to look forward to this Christmas.

DoubleJ, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of drcarver
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%

A - the appearance is unimpressive. An amber body with a large fluffy head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - Vanilla and dark fruit. A bit of spice in there.

T - syrupy sweet that really hangs on the tongue. Prune/raisin flavors, maybe cherry. A bit of alcohol warmth. Finishes pretty clean.

D - Goes down nicely.

Note - Decent beer? yes. $100+ a case beer? No

drcarver, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of MOB210SA
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured into Chimay goblet from 750ml corked bottle.

Small to vary small in size head- faded quickly almost no lacing.

Sweet glazed caramelized honey, light malt.

Again sweet taste fruity, with a slight spice. Slight wood but sweet caramel scent.

Smooth and goes down easy. Lightly carbonated

Medium to high drinkability. Good in moderation wouldnt want to drink all night..

Not the greatest beer but def decent IMO. Maybe have again but a lot others i would get before.

MOB210SA, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Corked and caged 750. 9 or 10 bucks.

Appearance: Its really a clear amber. Almost no pop when the cork comes out, and very little head, even when warmed up and with a vigorous pour. Almost no lacing. Below average for a Belgian.

Smell: Getting better. Sweet and fruity. More sweet fruit than dark fruit. Yeasty and spicy. Good, but not really great.

Taste: Very sweet and yeasty-spicy. Again, sweet fruity more than dark fruit, but both. On the finish its a little sour, almost like a twist of lemon. There are phenolic like, medicinal flavors, but not really in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Slick and slightly syrupy. This beer is way undercarbonated for almost any beer, espcially for a BSDA. Not flat, but undercarbonated. It just feels still and uninteresting. Looking now at other reviews, this seems to be an all or none phenomenon, and I got none.

Drinkability: Its not the greatest BSDA, but its a tasty beer with well hidden alcohol. At roughly $30 for a six pack (by volume), its not a good deal. There are much better BSDAs for the same or less. Mine was undercarbonated, and that may play into the evaluation, but I dont think my overall thoughts will change.

rapidsequence, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of MrStark
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured from a (2009) 750ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a hazy caramel amber with a small off white head that dissipates into a small cap. Little bits of lacing are left.

Smell is of caramel malts with some dark fruit as well. Nothing too prominent.

Taste is somewhat spicy with a hint of citrus and fruit as well. Malts are fairly sweet and there is a bit of hop bitterness towards the end. The 10% alcohol is pretty well hidden in this brew.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and smooth with mild carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good! It goes down pretty easy for the style. Drinking the whole bottle would be no problem in one sitting. It may not be the best example of the style in terms of complexity but its stil a pretty tasty brew. I wouldn't mind having it again.

MrStark, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of TLove
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%

750 ml bottle to Palm snifter.

The Delerium "series" seems to be a one-trick pony - sweet/sour balance. Sure, they differ in color and complexity, but they play off the same components. This is no exception.

A bit of brandy, apricots, and butter. Sweet and sour cherry mix with a little touch of currant and dried apple. Slightly nutty with carbonation not as dominant as in similar BSDAs.

The consistency and balance are lacking. Sweet/sour components are dominant here, with a strange, off-putting character because of the earthiness in that mix.

TLove, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of neorunner
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

A- Festive holiday elephants on the nice ceramic bottle, red foil top proved to be as annoying as tinsel and nearly needed pliers to get the cork out. Poured a dark brown with a thin egg shell head that dissipated quickly with no lacing.

S- Yeast and spice, some dried fruit mixed in.

T- Malts and spice, carmelized raisins and plums bit of banana towards the end. No noticeable heat for the 10% this beer packs.

M- Light body, fairly clean finish, medium to light carbonation.

D- Drinks really well for a high abv and has a nice flavor, can easily enjoy a 750 without much effort.

neorunner, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Last beer of the night at The Comet's Hopnosis event. Review is from notes taken on 12/3/09, and the pour is from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: A solid copper color with ruby highlights; comes with a 1 and 1/2 finger head that fades quickly to a thin ring around the surface; body is surprisingly clear for a Belgian style; loose oily lacing slides back into the drink.

Smell: Standard BSDA scents of spiciness - this one is a tad musky though; nice caramel and bready maltiness brings some balance. Really about what I would expect.

Taste: Very solid... A little perfumey/musky, but a strong sweet and bready maltiness; slight hints of a warm alcohol, but very well blended with the standard Belgian style spiciness (corriander, a little peppery); slight candied sugar flavor as well; as it warms, there is a certain dark and sweet fruitiness taht creeps in as well (fig or raisin).

Mouthfeel: Nice and soft carbonation; mouth is left fairly dry, yet the roof of the mouth is still left a little sticky; a certain numb and tingly feeling is left in the cheeks and on the gums.

Drinkability: I'm loving the flavors, but that super sweet maltiness is a bit much after a while and the 10% ABV would be a bit much after a while as well; but definitely not a disappoint drink at all and I will gladly drink it again at some point.

bamadog, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Buttermaker
4.83/5  rDev +24.8%

There's two types of Christmas beers...the kind that tastes a bit like a fruit cake and the kind that's just a stronger, maltier version of whatever its root style is. I'm very fond of both. Delirium Noel is an outstanding example of the latter...a Belguim Strong Dark Ale that's perfect for a quiet December night in front of the fire but could just as easily be enjoyed during the summer when you're looking for a strong malt bomb. Pours beautiful (there's very few beers that don't look good going into the glass) lots of bananas on the nose and then the taste - pure malt. Delicious.

I enjoyed it a little colder than the recommended serving temp but I thought it was better for it.

Recommended music pairing: Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful Christmas

Buttermaker, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%

Cork says 2008, so it's a year old. Poured into a DFH snifter, it has persistent head, clear amber body. Not very dark for a BSDA, actually.

The aroma actually kinda reminds me of Aventinus. Banana and rum, some grape, a slight smoked meat I can't put my finger on.

Some sips I like better than others. There's a medicinal taste here that I'm not crazy about. Some sips taste very nearly like the vinous Delirium Nocturnum. Yet, other sips almost taste like Aventinus, a lush spiced banana cream pie with some ghost-like smokiness. It is a complicated beer. I don't get it, I'm finding some sips to be really good while others are almost cringe-worthy. I don't understand. But, I'll round up to the very good sips.

With regard to the feel, I think this is a tad overcarbonated for the style and strength. I think that Boulevard Sixth Glass Quad was the most overcarbonated BSDA/Quad I've ever had...this doesn't approach that, but I think it could benefit from fewer spiky bubbles.

It is interesting. Difficult and strong, but interesting. It's got a lot going on. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's one of the more complex BSDAs I've had. I wouldn't let the relatively low average review here. including my own, dissuade you from trying this.

Patrick999, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of lisaode
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

Enjoyed this beer on a cold evening with friends and it was perfect. It warmed up the mouth and filled the scenses. It was very easy to drink.

It had a nice dark red color, smells malty, brandy and fruity. I like the mouthfeel with it's medium density and tight bubbles. Tastes of sweet carmal and notes of brandy and fruit.

lisaode, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

A - Pours a clear reddish brown. White head dissipates rather quickly.

S - Smells sweet, maybe a little yeasty. Nothing too overwhelming.

T - Sweet, malty, and fruity. Some nice undertones of raisins and cloves. Sweetness is countered by some nice biterness, almost citrussy. Finish is alcoholic, although I never would have guessed it was 10% abv.

M - Light to medium bodied and very smooth. A very pleasant mouthfeel.

D - Excellent drinkability for a strong ale. Light and smooth enough for longer drinking sessions. Rich and hearty enough for a winter session. Alcohol is masked very well.

BostonBrewins, Dec 06, 2009
Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 1,534 ratings.