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Delirium Noël - Brouwerij Huyghe

Not Rated.
Delirium NoëlDelirium Noël

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very good

1,719 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,719
Reviews: 742
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 68
Gots: 175 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 02-03-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,719 | Reviews: 742 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zorro
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the glass this is a slightly hazy reddish brown colored beer with a tall tan head that nears an off white.

The smell is sweet with a wine like tartness in the scent. Sweet and spicy this smells like German Christmas cookies. Strong scents of brown sugar, apples and cinnamon.

The taste begins sweet with a great deal of brown sugar and apple spice cake flavor. This stays sweet and tastes very much like apple spice cake. There is a bit of a woody flavor to this.

The Mouthfeel is good.

Especially easy to drink the only words to describe this is just damn good.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: I had a huge review all written out, my computer died unexpectedly and I don't have the patience to go back through all the characteristics; suffice it to say I absolutely adore this beer, I think it is criminally slept on, and for those who are unafraid of a little funk in their drunk will love it too.

To my palate, it combines the dark fruitiness and heavy chocolate malt presence of a quad with the soaring tartness of a little lambic blend. I think it compares very closely to the Three Philosophers, and favorably to that beer IMO. If the beer gods are smiling, I will be back to this one, and re-review it properly.

Highly recommended, just not to everyone. The more unexpected the flavor is, I'm afraid the less likely it is to agree with you.

Photo of kajerm
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foil-wrapped 750mL with a cool faux-ceramic paint job and pink elephants dressed as Santa. I let my girlfriend pick the beer with the coolest bottle, and I don't think she did too badly.

Pours a light, muddy, and just barely translucent brown-- it's unfiltered, and that's exaclty how I like it. Nice head, as I'd expect from a monster belgian beer with live yeast in the bottle.

Banana notes of Belgian yeast are strong in the nose, with a background of nonspecific spices-- very complex, very Duvel-ish.

Tastes as yeasty as it smells, with a heavy banana custard flavor. Toasted malt, spices (which I still can't identify), and a mild sweetness show up mid-palate. The finish is malty and buttery, with a suggestion of diacetyl.

The mouthfeel is creamy and chewy; it's smooth as hell and I could hold one mouthful of this beer for about an hour and be perfectly happy.

The drinkability is terrific considering the ABV. This beer is extremely similar to Delirium Tremens, only darker, maltier, more complex and better in every conceivable way. I don't understand why it's not getting more love on here...

Photo of scottoale
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one came in a 750ml. bottle that was painted in light gray with tiny black flecks. Foil wrapped, caged cork with 2.005, large front label and a small label on the back with no bottled or fresness dates.

It pours out a fairly dark chesnut brown with an orange tint and a small ivory head rises above. Decent carbonation and some slippery lace.

Pop the cork and out come sour cherries to great you upfront, followed by plum, red grapes, apricot, mango and some green apples...nice complex aroma.

Nice sweet malt starts light and fruity, then starts to billow into a fruitbowl of flavors that eventually wind down to a green apple, semi-tart finish. The rather high ABV of 10% is burried in the flavor, thus making this ale almost too easy to consume.

Nice smooth, full mouthfeel with a crisp and clean finish...the more I drank, the better it tasted...very nice Belgian!

Photo of jmc44
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, capped with foil wrapping.

Pours a hazy brown, with hints of red. Head is minimal, leaves no lacing.

Aroma is earthy, with alcohol and banana prevalent. Also hints of fruit and yeast. Pleasant but a bit spicy.

Tastes lightly spicy, with notes of banana and a hint of cloves. Alcohol is definitely present, not well-hidden as in most high gravity Belgians. Complex, with added hints of fruit and sugar.

Thin and slick. Lightly carbonated, but not under-carbonated. Finishes relatively crisply. Fairly easy drinking for the ABV, but not as deceiving as could be.

Photo of browner
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A romantic cloudy and deep warm brown color with a beautiful light off white head. While the head does not stand long the light effervescent clings to the glass.Quite a bit of carbonation but not as much as sister Delirium. Aromas of malt are masked by an under layment of caramel and spices. Nice finish and while similar to a variety of Belgium Ales it is a nice seasonsonal surprise and more

Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 vintage, aged well.
Opaque brownish red with lots of floaties and a small head.
Lots of peach and pear on the nose, smooth sweet alcohol. Malting smells a little like that of a scotch ale.
Sweet red style malts. Smooth on the palate. A little rotten banana, with some smokey flavorings. A little bit of cured meat saltiness. A lot of peach notes. For a beer this big the flavoring was a little unimpressive.
Alcohol is a little too pervasive. I know it is ten percent but Belgians usually do a finer job of masking it. It is winter now and cold as bizarro hell right outside, so I welcome the alcohol.

Photo of wcudwight
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage.
Pours into my oversized wine glass a dark cloudy amber color. Nice one finger sticky light brown head that recedes and holds at 1/4". Lots of spider web lacing sticks to the sides of the glass.
Smells grainy and of whole wheat toast. Slight aroma of pears and figs. Less fruity aroma than the Nocturnum.
Taste has a lot more of the dark fruit than the aroma. Plums, raisins, figs. A bit spicy. All of this is supported by a whole wheat toast backbone flavor. Mild alcohol adds a bit of interest in the finish.
The mouthfeel is carbonated and dry with a slight alcohol burn and warming.
Drinkability: Enjoyed 750ml during the super bowl.
There are better beers, but this is a nice one to have on occasion.

Photo of HugoGrim
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 ml faux ceramic bottle into a snifter.

Color is brownish orange like iced tea. Minimal head with no lace. Wisps of white foam create what looks like a Doppler picture of a hurricane.

Aroma is sweet and acidic. Apples, some yeast, alcohol in the background.

Smokey and creamy. Bitter fruits give way to a dry finish. Spicing is lighter than expected... subtle and complementary.

Photo of Absumaster
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brown beer with a lot of floaties and a thin, creamy head.

Smell is malty with caramel and candy sugar notes.

Taste is sweet candy sugar, with some estery notes which remind me of chewing gum. In the middle there is some spiciness like nutmeg. Aftertaste is dry and spicy. Body is thin, too thin for my liking, it tears apart the balance of the beer and make all the nice spiciness and candysugar appear to be less intense. I have seen this with other Christmas beer where there is just too much sugar in it.

Photo of nickss
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Deep amber/copper hue with a beautiful stream of bubbles hurrying to the surface.

Banana, yeast, crisp citrus hop notes, grapejuice and a strong presence of alcohol in the aroma. Deep and rich, and wonderful.

First taste: strong bubble gum flavor, but then it dies off.. drowned out by a strange metallic taste. Second taste: a little more yeast in the taste, but still that awkward mettalic aftertaste. A bit disappointing after taking a sniff of this brew. Third taste has more prune, black cherry and dark vinous fruit quality. Seems like as long as I keep it towards the back of my tongue the metallic taste is limited a bit. As it warms, a bit more lemon and citrus comes through. Still, all in all, nothing spectacular.

The mouthfeel is nice... big and chewy with moderate carbonation. Nice.

Very drinkable for a 10%... it's a bit hot, but still, pretty nice. Most of that odd metallic flavour was gone by the time I got through the bottle. All in all, is it something I would purchase again? Sure, why not... but I doubt I would seek it out. Still, another solid offering by a fantastic brewery.

Photo of techdiver
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy reddish brown with an huge head that dissipates slowly leaving a thin cap characteristic of a brew with such a high ABV.

Malt, fruit and mild hops greet the nose.

Taste is a mellow and complex with a hint of sourness. Very smooth and oh so deceiving.

A bit dry in the mouth and a bit heavy.

Drinkability is actually quite good considering how well hidden the alcohol content is.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, shared with Phatz...thanks!!

A - Poured a hazy orange color with a small off-white head that quickly melted away to a small ring.

S - Smells of spices and a tartness...not really a citrus-sour smell...must be the spice action. Mild hoppy tone.

T - Ah...definitely the spices. Cinnamon dominates the flavor, with brown sugar, nutmeg, and cloves in the background...all followed up with warming alcohol. Not that it doesn't make for a good holiday beer, but just a bit too spiced for me. I believe Phatz shared my sentiments while we were drinking this one...

M - Medium body with matching carbonation. Warming alcohol aftertaste was my reward.

D - Not as I expected...I'd like to try another and enjoy it over the course of 30 minutes to an hour to see if anything changes...maybe I didn't get the full effect. I'm very thankful to Phatz for giving me the chance to try this, and I do look forward to sampling another...if the taste doesn't change from an intense spicy-ness to a more rounded Belgian Strong Dark Ale, then I won't consider it to be too drinkable.

Photo of Phatz
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is much more cinnamon than I anticipated. The alcohol is big as well but the spices are very very big. Almost too spicy but pleasant. There is a big sweet attribute along with the big cinnamon and nutmeg, some hops and lots of alcohol. Certainly a sipping beer.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of ryantupy
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle ceramic painted dated on 2006.
This beer poured a very reddish amber color with a nice head that slowly became nothing more than a tiny little lace around the glass with good retention. The smelled sweet and had a bold fruitiness to it. Predominatly malty notes than anything hoppy. It had a nice bold strong taste with alcohol present in every sip. A nice slick slightly fizzy mouthfeel with a very ncie alcohol kick on the way down. Perhaps I should age it this one next time as the alcohol seemed to overwhelm the other flavors and scents.

Photo of roblowther
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with trademark pink elephants in seasonal garb. On the cork - a surprise! 2005. That means the importer/distributor/retailer was kind enough to age it a year for me. Good or bad? Let's find out...
Pours an opaque reddish brown with a thick medium-density off-white head. Smells of candi sugar, cinnamon, and peppermint. Tastes entirely different. Dark malt, dry fruit. Prunes, raisins, and nutmeg. The alcohol comes on in the finish. The mouthfeel is carbonated and oily. Nice. Drinkability? mmmm... Dangerous in a ten percenter. Sneaks up on you like a naughty Santa.

Photo of jordanmills
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 into a pint glass, pours with a thick uneven head that quickly fell, clinging to the sides of the glass. Smells sweet and spicy, notes of caramel and evergreen (or is that the label swaying my nose?) . Tastes rich and complex, something spray and yeasty in the background. The alcohol comes through before the end, 50 it's hard to nail. Finishes Spicy with some carbonation coming back, but the sweet is Still under it. I could sip on this all night, if I could resist the temptation to drink too much. Very good stuff.

Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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.

Photo of JayQue
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Budlum
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 1,719 ratings.