Delirium Tremens | Brouwerij Huyghe

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1,656 Reviews
Delirium TremensDelirium Tremens

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-02-2001

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Reviews: 1,656 | Ratings: 5,557
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Southside Beer Expo, Frankfort, IL. Cloudy yellow with a fluffy head. Taste is tart and citrusy, more so than one expects from a Belgian. This is pretty popular among the Belgian beer aficianados in my area. I'm a little surprised that I haven't had a bigger sample by now.

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Photo of foamer
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, slightly orange, gold with a big fluffy white head with amazing retention. Very fruity and slightly medicinal aroma. I get lots of hint of apricot and sugar plum. A slight peppery hint as well. Strong notes of honey and fruits in the initial taste, then developing to a peppery hop flavour, and finally to a lingering warming alcohol finish. It's hard to tell that this is 9% abv. Even with the finish it doesn't drink to its strength. Nice mouthfeel, and pleasant carbonation. Very drinkable, almost dangerously so.

Let it be known that I bought this beer for the novelty, specifically because the Liquor Control Board of Ontario thought the joke was offensive and stopped selling it. Take that LCBO! It turns out to be a very tasty one, and one I will probably come back to. Cheers for being subversive!

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Photo of Fish113d
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass, it pours a pale honey color with 1/4 inch of head with some edge lacing and cling. The ale is rather hazy also. Aroma is interesting; I get the sense of pineapples along with some citrus tones and a bit of yeast. Not overly complex but lovely! Flavors is bitey yet clean with a fruity citrus flavor with a bitter finish of maybe some hops and yeast. At the cold temp it is served, the carbonation kills some of the flavor I was hoping for, but it is still pretty decent. Overall, it is a yummy brew, but would be better at a warmer temp.

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Photo of droomyster
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most beautiful bottles on the shelf. Pours cloudy gold until the yeast calms at the bottom. Fruity and spicy. The head disappears much faster than Maudite's and (of course) Duvel's. Sweet, Bazooka Bubblegum. Sparkles in my mouth, doesn't sit still enough for me to fully grasp it.

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Photo of palma
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well I’ve been looking for the pink elephant for a while now and finally found a bottle at Pioneer Supermarket in NYC.

Appearance: Bright gold but cloudy body with a long lasting fluffy white head. Leaves a great lace through the entire session.

Smell: Pungent floral nose combined with a light smokiness, and a sweet fruity aroma, particularly lemons and apples. Mild phenol and raw alcohol fumes as well. Not bad though, especially considering the fact that the beer is 9.0% ABV.

Taste: Taste? I'm not tasting hops or malt here... the main event in this brew is all the esters and phenols produced from the three different types of yeast the brewer uses. The flavor is initially yeasty with very mild and sweet citrus notes. As the beer warms, an enticing honey flavor begins to pull through. Banana and clove show up in the aftertaste. Overall, much sweeter than I expected, and as such, hides the alcohol well.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth. Low carbonation. Other BA's cited a champaign-like mouthfeel but I did not notice that at all. I may have picked up a slightly aged bottle. Nice.

This is a very mellow Belgian Strong ale.

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Photo of dauss
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750ml caged corked.

Appearance: Golden clear yellow. Very effercescent with a bone white head.

Smell: very sweet malt aroma, clean, very slight banana esters, alcohol, and phenols

Taste: sweet maltiness, banana esters, very effervescent, alcohol bitterness, but mellowed and smooth. phenolic and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Very light body, clean sweet malt finish with a bitterness that gets stronger after the sip.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a hazy peach color with a nice, clean, frothy white head.

Smell: The smell of this beer is beautiful. Fruity, sweet, spicy, and incredibly inviting.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The fruitiness of the smell is nearly gone, and spicyness takes charge. The alcohol is is very strong. This beer finishes very tart. As with all good Belgian beers, this is very unique. The taste is unlike any other pale ale I've had. The mouthfeel is thin and carbonated.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a very powerful beer that's kinda hard to handle. The alcohol spicyness is over the top. If that's your thing, this is our beer... but if not you may not enjoy it. The drinkability is average because of the high alcohol presence in the taste. Would aging help? I don't know. Anyways, above average for sure.

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Photo of mgdeth
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This beer pours a light golden color. I got some of the yeast in my glass, so my beer is hazy. Head retention was not good, and hardly any beer lace at all.

Smell - The familiar "Belgian" spice spring right out at me. No hop nose that I can detect. I pick up an alcohol aroma, and maybe a fruity citrus smell as well.

Taste - Spicy and sweet, but not too sweet. The hops are downplayed, and the beer has some alcoholic warmth. Pretty good!

Mouthfeel - This beer has quite a bit of body, which seems to make sense. Smooth.

Drinkability - The alcohol is masked pretty well by this beer's realtively strong flavor, and it is quite drinkable.

Comments - This is a pretty good beer, and I bet it would be better fresh. I prefer Unibroue's Don de Dieu (which is also cheaper), but this stuff is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Shaw
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden color with a medium-sized white head that turns into just a thin layer of foam. There are plenty of tiny bubbles, as expected. Even though I poured the whole bottle into my glass, I didn't have any of the yeast sediment other reviewers noted. Not that I would care, anyway.

It smells sweet with just a hint of alcohol and fruit.

Ahh, I love Belgian Strong Pale Ales, and this ale is very good. It's strong and spicy with a great fizziness created by the abundant carbonation. This beer is very similar to Duvel, but isn't quite as sweet. Its high ABV is well hidden, so drink carefully.

This is a very good beer.

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Photo of chunkylover53
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to score some of this before the LCBO went and banned it for no good reason. I guess somebody was bored. And it's a shame, because I'd definitely like to drink more of it.

It poured a cloudy yellow with almost no head, but great lacing. And the smell... Mmmm, the smell. It's a beautiful warm fruity smell. I could huff it all day.

The taste was quite complex with apple and other fruits swirling around.

It's truly a shame that I can't get this anymore.

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Photo of Cwrw
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The notorious DT bottle, faux-ceramic, with the pink elephants, and the blue foil on the neck. This bottle is hard to miss. When I popped the cap, the bottle started to push the foam to the top rather quickly, threatening a spillover, so I had to pour quickly. A nice off-white head, leaving thick lace on the distinctive DT glass. The head receded rather quickly, but kept itself at a moderate level for the entire drink. In this bottle, I have thick, murky yeast sediment, which I do not remember when I had this last. Colossal chunks of yeast floating. Hmm. The beer is dull light amber, hints of orange. Massive grapefruit aroma is the initial smell. I actually quite enjoy the aroma: sugary peach and nectarine, with some spicy clove and yeast, with enough light caramel malt for balance. I also smell tomato juice and brown sugar. At the same time, there is some smell which is off-putting to me, which I cannot quite describe. The flavour does the aroma no justice. I was expecting more fruitiness, and more body. Soapy yeast at first, with some dryness starting in the middle and following through to the finish, leaving very little aftertaste. Citrusy grapefruit, light malt, some hop bittering, and a definite alcohol presence. The taste is definitely not as complex as the aroma. Medium-bodied: in fact, it tastes quite watery; for a strong pale ale this should have much more weight in the mouth. Medium carbonation. DT is not terribly drinkable, with the yeast mustiness and the alcohol. Not quite the defining example for the Belgian Strong Pale Ale class, despite what some might say.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about this beer that hasn't been said already? Pours a chill-hazed golden peachy color with a white head that subsides pretty quickly. Nice lacing. Strong, vinous aromas of apple and pear-like fruitiness, pale malts and candi sugar, and a sharp yeast smell. Light hopping shows more in the taste than aroma. Initially sweet and fruity and moves towards a drier, alcohol-laden finish. A little citrusy and maybe a hint of black pepper.

I raise my glass and toast to all the Ontarioans who cannot enjoy this fine ale because of the insensitivity of the LCBO.

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Champagne-like pour with a thin layer of head retention and lots of Belgian lacing

Smell: Primarily rotting oranges, some banana and medicinal odors

Taste: Starts out sweet and creamy, with a bit of apricots and banana; then the peppery hops kick in, providing a fairly bitter middle and undermining the sweet flavors; in the finish, the sweet flavors re-assert themselves and cover the warming effects of the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Light and bubbly, much like Champagne

Drinkability: This is a brew to contemplate rather than to drink; one is enough for a quiet evening

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Photo of benagame
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma that came out of the bottle when I opened it was disarming like no other beer i've smelled. It was a sweet, fruity candy smell with some notes of cider. the head was bright white and bubbly which showed off the high level of carbonation. The first taste is tart and cidery followed by malt flavors more complex than the light color would indicate. Late earthy notes of the yeast lend to an entertaining finish in this very refreshing brew.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really love the hell out of this beer.
I grabbed a few bottles last christmas and dwell on the memory of DT perhaps a little too much.
Besides the groovy bottle and the wicked looking fluffy mirengue head, this brew has one of the most complex smells I've put my nose to. All sorts of fruit aromas going on, and a more than pleasant maltiness make this a favorite beer to sniff.
The drinking enjoyment of DT is only slightly less exemplary than its odor, and you've got to love the sneaky buzz with this outfit.
DT is a favorite. The only bad thing I can say about it is that I have to drive a hundred miles to get it.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy straw color with a big frothy head and minimal lacing. The aroma is of cotton candy maltiness and tropical fruit esters. The taste is of luscious fruity malts, phenols, some unidentified spiceyness (from the yeast I think). Hop character is almost non existent. The alcohol is well hidden and reveals itself mostly in a warming feel in my belly, very nice. The mouthfeel of this beer is incredible. It must be bottle conditioned. Theres masses of fine textured bubbles that coat my mouth like some kind of creme liquor. Its very well done. This is a great Belgian ale. A classic.

The bottle looks fantastic. The ceramic look is a nice touch and the characters on the blue and pink label are so creative and strange, awesome

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Photo of NJbeerman
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

imo - this is one of the top beers in the world. Pours with a nice thick off white head. It has a nice golden clear color. The aroma has a sharp smell of fruit - a little pear and apple. The initial taste is crisp with a nice hop bite. The fruit flavors come through on the finish. The higher alcohol level does not distract from the flavor in fact I believe it brings out more aromas and taste.

If you ever get the chance to get this, do not second guess the choice.

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Photo of pootz
3.02/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled In the 330ml painted bottle with the signature pink pachyderm. A clear blond straw color...fine bubbled carbonation from bottle conditioning. Frothy white head. Aromas of floral hopping some fruit and musty yeast...very Champagne-like in smell and apperance. Weakly oily palate, hops are subdued in the body, sweetish some spritzyness and detectable alcohol that leaves a yeasty-cider impression when it mingles with the saaz hops and finishes rather abruptly with not much after taste but the alcohol warming. Not the experience I expected after all the hype.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 33cl bottle

Pours a hazy gold with an enormous, frothy, ivory head. Big chunky lace. Smells spicy and lightly fruity and sweet. Peppery and hints of coriander.

Taste is lightly fruity (apples, plums) and spicy (pepper, coriander). Hints of lemon. Dry and crisp. Also sour toward the end and lightly bitter in the finish. A medium bodied ale and dry. Pretty good stuff although I am not overwhelmed. I'll buy it again.

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Photo of MarcGetty
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first glass of Delirium was at Isaac Newton's in Newtown, PA where they had a very colorful sign touting it as "the best beer in the world". The sign was not that far off!

Since my trip to Isaac Newton's I've gone over to Canal's a few times and had ~10 750 ml bottles myself. Each time is a new experience! Delirium tastes great, smells great, has a very interesting high carbonation level, and can make just about any meal.

The only drawbacks are the standard drawbacks of any strong Belgian Ale. You must drink it out of a glass, not from the bottle (duh!) and drinking it along with food is highly recommended.

"What is the deal with the Pink Elephants on the label?" is a common question I get. I tell folks that this beer is from Amsterdam and is spiked with LSD. While this is not true as far as I can tell, it makes a great story for beer luddites.

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Photo of tatterdash
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stylish opaque bottle, what's inside? Pours a hazy golden yellow with a whitish head that laces very well. Very pleasing aroma of cloves, cirtus, and apples. Taste was quite complex apples, cherries, spicy on the exhale, sweetness on the finish. Mouthfeel was light and bubbly, but not aggressive. This is a very good beer, I'd like another. :)

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Photo of NEhophead
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz ceramic bottle.

Foamy and dense, 1" bright white head with very good retention. Finally fades to a thin sheet with pretty good strength. Thin lacing with slightly above average strength throughout the glass. Glowing, slightly hazy light copper in color.

Apple, orange, and slight lemon tartness drive the aromatics. A touch of spiciness; mild pepper that accompany the tartness as well.

Apple tartness with a slightly malted candied sweetness. A moderate peppery spiciness that accompanies a good (a tad too much?) carbonation. The tartness seems to grow with each sip, but it's not unpleasant in the least. A very nice balance between sweet, tart, and spiciness here.

Light bodied; very smooth. Too much carbonation IMO that takes something away from the ale's natural flavors. The carbonation does seem to cut through the tartness and the spiciness well though.

Light and deceptive in terms of its 8.5%abv. A treat and an ale that is worth a try if you like the style. Complex in flavor and very pleasant all around.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle. I think I picked this one up in Dallas around the first of the year. Not available here in Wichita. Just like the Nocturnum, it comes in one ugly-ass bottle.

Appearance: A hazy, golden-orange beer that had a very heavy, sustained bead. The head was fizzy and only rose up to about half a finger. A thin layer of foam persisted due to the bubbles feeding it from below.

Smell: Right after the pour, this beer was sharp and crisp smelling, with a nice Belgian pale-style hoppiness to it. As it sat, the hops diminished and some malt and strong apricot aromas rose to the front. A light woodiness developed as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel: A ton of carbonation gave this beer a very fuzzy feel to it. It was light bodied with a very dry finish.

Taste: A strong hop bite combined with a spicy alcohol component made up the bulk of the flavor. Underneath these was a lightly sweet fruitiness, combined with a lot of subtle spices. The finish was rather dry, with a pepper-like component lingering into the aftertaste.

I didn't really care for this beer after the first sip, but it grew on me as I drank it. By the time half the chalice was gone, I was really enjoying it.

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Photo of BarrelBrother
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

As many reviewers of this brew have stated, I expected more after reading many recommendations to it's excellence. It is tasty, but I don't care for the phenolic aftertaste that lingers after a sip. Perhaps it's the alcohol that overshadows the typical Belgium complex flavors, but it leaves me puzzled. The mouthfeel is grainy and not smooth like I'd anticipated. Too bubbly and champaign like for my taste.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a light and refreshing pale malt scent with a dry, fruity Belgian yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a spicey pale malt flavor with a dry, yet fruity finish that warms a little on the way down. It tastes like there is some corriander in here that adds a slight peppery feel. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good Belgian pale ale. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

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Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,656 ratings.
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