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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,577 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,577
Reviews: 715
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 104 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,577 | Reviews: 715 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdhilt
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a two-finger creamy head that goes very slowly and leaves a good lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Clear amber color. Nose is prunes and alcohol. Starts sweet becomes spicy, prickly finish. Alcohol aftertaste. $8.99 for 750ml bottle from Tulley's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

jdhilt, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. Warmly glowing tawny with much more orange than brown. It's hard to tell due to the failing daylight, but I might even see a hint of cranberry. Removing the cork resulted in a rifle shot craaack! followed by a tendril of gunsmoke. It was no surprise, then, that the beer was massively bubbled immediately after the pour. The carbonation has now settled down and the orangish ecru head has settled down with it. Unfortunately, the cap is too soft and too unsticky to give up any lace.

I expected Delirium Noel to be a BSDA, but it isn't. It looks and smells like a cross between a BSPA and a BSDA. The nose is sour fruity (more drunken peaches and apricots than figs and dates), clove spicy and Belgian yeasty. In fact, it shares some characteristics with a farmhouse ale or a saison.

A few mouthfuls are all it takes to tell me that I like Noel more than Nocturnum and less than Tremens. The question is, which one will it share a flavor score with? (4.0 in the first case, 4.5 in the second). Only time and the rest of the bottle will tell.

For some reason, I expected more sweetness. The beer is plenty sweet, but the candi sugar is offset beautifully by sour and bitter. No cloying Christmas confection here. As noted above, the maltiness tastes darker than a strong pale ale and lighter than a strong dark ale. Kudos to Brouwerij Huyghe for giving us the full spectrum when it comes to the pink elephant beers. None of them taste anything like the others.

Rum-macerated apricots, plums and white raisins make up the flavor profile of this wonderfully complex ale. It hasn't taken long to decide which taste score to award. When Belgian yeast is in use, it's difficult to tell if any other spices are present since the yeast itself throws off more than a few interesting and varied flavors. Nothing really jumps out at me, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Curacao orange peel has been added.

I'm pleased to see that alcohol isn't a vocal member of the chorus. Of course, more than two years in the bottle might have a lot to do with that. The body/mouthfeel borders on luxurious without quite getting there. It's medium-full with a silky smoothness that is aided by a near perfect amount of bubbles. I didn't mind the initially active mouthfeel and I don't anticipate minding the less than active mouthfeel to come.

I rarely comment on bottles and labels, but I love the ceramic-like painted bottles that this brewery uses. In addition, the label (with three pink elephants pulling Santa's sleigh while wearing Santa hats and candy striped scarves) is one of the best I've ever seen for a Christmas beer.

Delirium Noel, while not quite the equal of Delirium Tremens, is a tremendous beer in its own right. Even if it doesn't fit easily into any one particular style, it delivers the goods like the Jolly Old Elf himself. I wish that I had had the opportunity to enjoy this bottle on December 25th. I'll be sure to keep that in mind for next year.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presenation: 1 pt, 9 oz corked bottle, no dating that I could find, poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque reddish brown color. The head formed a thin one finger and faded quickly.

Aroma: Very sweet and fruity, apples mostly. There was a faint spiciness there as well along with some alcohol.

Taste: Also very sweet, cherry and apple flavors along with some spices I couldn't identify. The alcohol is barely noticeable, which is impressive as it's 10%.

Mouthfeel: Thick, almost chewy. The carbonation is quite strong and fits nicely.

Overall: An excellent brew to celebrate the holidays with.Once a year is good enough for me though.

FenwaySquid, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of vickersspitfire
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this one for some time now and it was well worththe wait! I could smell it's fruity aroma as soon as I opened the bottle, it has a nice dark cloudy amber color to it that is topped with a nice thick head. It goes down very smooth and just warms up your mouth, and you can really taste the spices in it.

vickersspitfire, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of doubleipa
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 bottle. I was worried that the cork had gone bad since there were dried brown drops runnig down the neck. Cork released with a reassuring pop. Light brown head that fully vanished. Hazy and murky, dark amber. Heavy yeast, but also some barnyard and mold aromas. This is a bit skunked, me thinks. There was still some good carbonation. Could taste some dried fruit. I guess this one is best drunk fresh. It was properly stored since I bought it in 2004.

doubleipa, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of JayQue
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great tasting Belgan ale. Pours a deep mahogany red color. Nice size off white head and good lacing on the glass. Good aroma, fruitinesss and astringent. Tastes great. The 10 percent abv is completely hidden. Taste is astringent, cherries and slightly malty. Mouhfeel is incredibly rich. Drinkability is good for a high abv beer, This is one to savor. Not as much "in your face" taste as some other Belgian ales.

JayQue, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red foil, festive for the season, covers the cork. Porcelain looking bottle with a pink elephant wearing a santa hat and ice skates. trippy? hell yeah. That elephant looks like it's having a good time. Hopefully this brew will give me the same...750mL bottle poured into a delirium noel tulip glass.

A: Pop goes the cork! Pours a dark brown or burnt caramel color with an extremely frothy two finger cream colored head. Excellent retention on this bad boy.
S: Dark fruits with belgian esters. Champagne like notes that end with a hop presence that I wasn't expecting..
T/M: Dark fruits of plum and some fig. A bit of yeasty quality with a starchy character to it. Starchness sticks to the back of the tongue and is almost gritty. Bitter with a slight sourness in the finish--bitterness must be the hops flexing their muscles. Nice body with a thickness...vinous.
D: I love delirium brews, but this one was a tad on the thin side, mouthfeel wise. Tastes were there, making it a nice holiday/winter brew to drink. Not a sipping brew--it's easily drinkable and goes down smoothly.

bjohnson, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of Budlum
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pouring this beer produces one half inch of foamy, off-white head. Head retention is good with a generous, creamy layer staying for most of a glass. The body is a very attractive, ruby color with moderate carbonation displayed.

The nose of this beer presents a warming blend of cherries and rich brown sugar sweetness. A spice smell is notable along with moderate alcohol. Some darker fruit smells of raisins and plums add some additional qualities to the understated aroma of this beer.

A large rush of cinnamon and black pepper spice flavors start this ale abruptly. A faint cherry presence follows before a rather pungent alcohol flavor. A very faint apricot taste mixes with the alcohol before a very strong oak flavor closes this beer. The oak flavor provides a very long aftertaste that is rather unpleasant.

The mouth presence is a confusing mix of spiciness, puckering fruit, strong alcohol dryness and dominating earthiness from the oak flavors.

Drinkability is below average. The flavors of this beer are really confusing with an over-stated oak flavor. I can't imagine purchasing this again.

Budlum, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml cork & caged painted white bottle with no freshness date other than 2005 on the cork. Pours a cloudy medium amber with a two finger head, decent longevity and decent lace. Lots of good malty smells mixed with brown sugar, dried dark fruits, sherry and yeast. Slight notes of banana and clove. Lotsof good smells but fairly average as the style goes. Flavors are not nearly as strong as the aroma whould lead you to believe. They same flavors are there although mixed with a fair amount of hop bitterness - that quickly fades. Not a great deal of carbonation. Fairly easy drinking as the style goes - although some may consider it watery. A decent beer but not a great one.

sabrills70, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of guinnessfan
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Small bottle poured into oversized wine glass Christmas Eve.

A: Light brown/amberish pour with pillowy head residing to a film over the beer. SLight lacing.

S: Alcohol, mild cherry, molasses, pepper.

T: Astringant, boozy, sweet.

M: Smooth with little carbonation. Weird aftertaste.

D: Too antiseptic to be enjoyable. Slightly boozy, makes a sipper, albeit a bad sipper.

Not enjoyable as expected. Tastes like a good beer with a shot each of booze and Listerine added. This beer wants to be good, it just isn't.

guinnessfan, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A= interesting medium tea-color, not quite into amber hues, not dark. Modest head.

S= wow what an overwhelming holiday surprise! Christmas and seasonal scents galore.

T= following the scent, lots of variety in the experience-- slightly sweet yet a balanced hops-bitter, burnt caramel, plum, all sorts of things going on here.

M= a slight bit of a sour-wine finish that put me off, yet a woody earthy smoky aftertaste that presided pleasantly.

D= depending on how much 10%ABV you can tolerate, you might really like to session on this, especially during a cold winter or holidays.

therica, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of bruachan
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it's right on the cusp of what i would call "dark"...a dark amber. the head is nice—strong carbonation keeps it afloat and retention is good as well

smells strongly of coriander and less of cinnamon and allspice. hops, too

high bitterness buttresses initial spices and fusel. pepper, more coriander, woody hop

this thing is all kinds of spicy. some aging would behoove to mellow out the sharp spiciness

bruachan, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 holiday bottle. I love Delirium bottles! Pink elephants, creatively painted, light proof bottle, these always stand out!

Poured light raisin brown with a medium, fine, white head. Silky, viscous lacings are persistent throughout.

Sweet malt nose with caramel and toffee. Nice fruity ester aroma with raisin, grape and apple. A little spiciness but surprisingly very little alcohol presence.

This has a very smooth flavor, rendering it one of the more drinkable Belgian holiday brews. The alcohol is also extremely well-masked aside from some spicy warming. There is a sweet malt flavor that thins out into a Belgian candy syrup presence. A nice yeast funk blends well with fruity esters including apple, raisin and grape notes. The dry finish has a spicy phenolic flavor to i.

This was a little lighter bodied than expected and also lacked a bit in the carbonation department. Still, not an unpleasant mouthfeel.

This is a solid Belgian Christmas offering.

Estarrio, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of auntfloyd
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 ml bottle into a St. Bernadus goblet.

Pours a nice mahogany with one finger of tan head. Looks very much like a traditional dubbel or other Belgian ale.

The nose was spicy, with hints of pepper and, as well as sweet and smoky. Definite big hints of candy sugar.

The flavor is sugary sweet at first, with a smoky undertone, followed by a somewhat biting aftertaste of stronger spices like pepper and clove. Interesting, and quite different from a British-American winter ale.

The mouthfeel is fairly smooth for a strong Belgian ale, and drinkability is good, though this is a very strong ale, meant for sharing and sipping.

All in all, a good Belgian ale. Not what I would normally expect from a winter ale; whether that is good or bad is up to you. I could personally see this as being a year-round release as there was nothing "Christmas" about it that I could tell.

auntfloyd, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2005 Vintage; consumed Christmas Day 2006

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a billowy head that drops quickly but, to its credit, stays around to provide a film over the beer and, thus, manages to deposit some lacing around the chalice

Smell: Bubblegum and cherry hues, along with some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts out with a candi sugar and slightly yeasty flavor that builds some depth and peppery spiciness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the phenols take over and provide a rather plastic flavored finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and spritzy with some alcoholic warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: Oh, I had high hopes for this one as I enjoy the Delirium Nocturnum and Delirium Tremens; this one just isn't cutting it for me with its lack of depth after the swallow and unusual phenols

Thanks, beerhandy, for the opportunity

brentk56, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into small wine glass. Sampled with family on Dec. 24th.

Amber hue with a pink tint. Fizzy head that doesn't last long, and leaves only a thin rim. Spotty and stringy lacing.

Mostly syrupy fruity, with both cherry and plum. Everything else is hidden, including the alcohol.

Light toasty grain in the background, with mostly fruity wine like flavors in the foreground. Medium bodied and smooth. The alcohol comes out toward the end, giving it a slightly dry finish. Low hoppiness.

Not back, packed with fruit flavors and a toasty maltiness that is common with the Delirium line. Recommended.

BeerSox, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of StargherKing
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance was reddish, slightly caramel colored. Head was off-white, sort of an eggshell tint. Smell was smoky, peppery, with just the slightest hint of sweetness. Taste was very smoky, it left me with a strong impression of oak. Hints of coffee, cocoa, and a very slight sweetness, but I noticed these almost as afterthoughts. Mouthfeel was smooth, almost velvety. Personally, I found the strong smoky flavor almost overpowering, which really hurt the drinkability for me. Overall, not a bad beer, but I was left feeling let down after my amazing experience with Delirium Tremens. Still, I'd recommend it.

StargherKing, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of sleazo
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a very red red hue. I asked for an xmas brew at the liars club and was presented with this. this tasted of candy sugar and cherries. A strong cherry taste dominated this brew and it was way too sweet for me. Cloyingly sweet wouyld be an apt description. i will not be having this again. it was obvious some care went into this brew but the outcome was not for me.

sleazo, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of stephendr
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle- color of amber , small stark white large bubble head - nose of prunes , yeast , molasses , dark fruit , mocha , malt , and spicy – taste of red fruit , tawny port , red wine , milk chocolate - body is low in carbonated , and creamy – aftertaste is slightly acidic Citrus (mostly orange) and red fruit

stephendr, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says 3 & 6 not sure what the hell this means, 25 oz bottle which features a festive ice skating elephant.

Pours an effervescent deep caramel (orange when held to intense light) with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Super lacing & outstanding

S: Bready, peppery & boozy

T: Intense sticky malt with brown sugar & a slight alcohol burn up front. Jam-like fruittyness & dryness take over as the ale warms. Molasses breadyness, brown sugar,& apricot also come to the fore. the complexity of this beer is kind of undermined the persistent alcohol taste, not burn, but close. Finishes dry, wine-like& very warming

MF: Some pricklyness up front. Medium carbonation & body. Got chewyier as it warmed

Drank okay for the abv, this didn't really get me too excited, but a a solid warmer upper for sure

russpowell, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown fairly translucent body with ruby-red highlights and about an inch of off-white head. Smells like citrus and grape with just a hint of banana. Tastes like citrus, apple, and grape, with hints of what tastes like banana. Fairly crisp and dry on the finish with a little alcohol flavor and warming. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Pleasant, but not sure something I'd get again. There are beers that are cheeper and just as good.

MrHurmateeowish, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Half Moon...
Appears a light red toned amber with a fluffy, off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered remnants of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, light caramel, and gentle amount of fruit dusted with some cocoa powder. There is a small amount of yeast present but not enough to my liking for a Belgian brew.
Taste is slightly better than the aromas. There seems to be a mild spiciness that I wasn't picking up in the aromas, as well as a toasted nut flavor that is welcomed.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and semi-sweet, leading to a moderately dry finish.
I had this next to a 1 year aged St. Feullien Noel and it was there was no comparison. While this is a decent brew, there are some better choices out there.

weeare138, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Anticipation – couldn’t stand it! A friend told me to give this one a try...

This poured a thick cloudy brown color. Nice thick head and lovely lacing. The smell is quite malty with a hint of spice. The taste is quite malty. It has a bit of a spicy undertone. A slight sourness rounds out a complex and delightful taste. The mouthfeel is a bit thick and the beer coats your mouth and throat. It does not have an alcohol feel/burn for a beer with such a high alcohol content. The drinkability of this is awesome…..it is heaven and I’d love the opportunity to partake this often.


This definitely makes me feel festive for the holidays!!

barefootbrewer, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of pmcadamis
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy caramel colored brew with a thick two finger tan head that sticks around for ever. This really isn't that dark in color...it's almost copper. Big waves of sticky belgian lace coat the glass with tons of beautiful arcs.

S - Fruity and vinous are the first two words that come to mind. In that aspect, it's very much like Delirium Tremens which is also very champagne like in aroma. I smell plums, dates, and raisins. Also over-ripe fruit, and a little bit of chocolate covered cherries.

T - Nice full fruity flavor that really smacks your tongue with an initial bite of grapes and apples. Tastes very much like it smells, but with more emphasis on chocolate covered cherries. There are hints of green leaves and grass also, and a good dose of tangy fruit juice hops pull though at the end. The finish is bitter and slightly dry with an only slighty noticable alcohol taste.

M - Nice fizz from the high carbonation at first, then a huge warming alcohol surge that is perfect for the season! Moderately dry and medium in body.

D - An excellent beer for the Christmas season. I like this quite a bit better than Delerium Tremens, and I will certainly buy this again next winter. Next time I'm getting the big bomber though.

pmcadamis, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a half-clear, caramel brown with a dense off white head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of my Duvel glass. Aromas are fruity and phenolic, reminiscent of some abbey brown ales. Pears, a bit of white grapes, and some solvent grain alcohol underneath. A touch of sweetness initially on the palate, but that fades quickly to a well-balanced sweet/dry combination. Sharp, prickly carbonation on the sides of the tongue, along with some acidity, with apple esters and some phenols coming out in the mid-palate. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected, with effective carbonation and some nice acidity that would aid in pairing with food. This is quite a nice beer, with the fruity esters, acidity, and sweet malts playing very well together. I imagine this would be excellent with holiday meals featuring rich, sweet meats and such.

geexploitation, Dec 15, 2006
Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 1,577 ratings.