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Delirium Tremens | Brouwerij Huyghe

1,653 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: 1,653 | Ratings: 5,539
Photo of GreenCard
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: beautiful deep golden hue, a nice layer of white foam that quickly flattens into a thin film

Aroma: lightly malty but a fair amount of the typical Belgian ale phenolics (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon), pear-like fruitiness, acetone

Flavor: dry malt base, a bit dusy and a slight vegetal (cooked cabbage?) off flavor, herbal hop flavor, finishes dry with a yeasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, prickly carbonation, lots of warmth, somewhat astringent

Overall Impression: One of those "classic" eye-catching Belgian ales. Everyone recognizes the painted bottles and the pink elephants. This is one of the first few Belgian beers I ever tried (way, way back...). The unique presentation and mythical elephant is definitely more impressive than the beer. Other than that, it's not particularly outstanding.

 825 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spicey, alcoholic. Yeasty, A bit of fruit: cherry , rasberry and pepper. This was aged closed to expiration, so not as carbonated/hoppy, was able to detect more malt. Malty so drinkable. Tip of the hat to Irondjinn.

Had 2 years later on tap at Beer Bistro and it would get the same rating. Overcarbonated, good level of yeast and some fruitiness including aftertaste.

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2.1/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Preface to this review: This is my first authentic Belgian ale. I've had other American made versions, which have created an interest for me.
After i opened the bottle, thin white foam started coming out. I KNOW that this isn't shook up, so what is going on? Beer is obviously hoghly carbonated, as it produced a very large head, thin and bubble, on a gentle pour. The beer is a very pale yellow color.
Taste: What in the hell is this shit?! it has the mouthfeel of champagne, and a similar taste. It's like drinking Cold Duck. The only flavors i'm getting are metal, wheat, and grain alcohol. If i hadn't paid $3.50, i would have probably poured this insipid crap down the drain.
I see that this beer is somewhat highly acclaimedby other BAs. Did I get a bad bottle, or what? I don't know. But i'm in no hurry to buy another to find out.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the Lowlander in London. Pours a pleasing gold color with a medium thin eggshell white head. Light lacing throughout. The aroma is fruity and wheaty. Light-bodied and effervescent, with a nice blend of flavors such as coriander, citrus, banana and yeast. The alcohol is detectable here and there as well. The finish is sparkling like champagne. I haven't had the bottled version of this yet but I can't imagine it being better than this.

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Photo of DaveGood
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a somewhat hazy yellow color with a big frothy head. The head dissapates rather slowly and leaves a nice lacing along the glass. The aroma was very heavy on the yeast with some fruity undertones lingering underneath. This is a medium-bodied beer whose taste is well balanced between the pale malts and some spiciness and bitterness on the tail end. The alcohol is also present in the taste as well, although it is not overwhelming. The drinkability is above average as the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Overall, this is a good beer but I do not see myself including it in my regular rotation.

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Photo of truthbrew
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap (in proper glass) at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Golden color with slight orange tint, no haze. White fluffy head that lasted about half way through. Carbonation was high, but appeared visually even higher than it was. Constant vents of tiny bubbles from the bottom center of the glass. Taste is sweet with fruity citrus notes. Finishes a bit dryer but still some sweetness left in your mouth. A nice, crisp ale that even at 9% could be enjoyed anytime.

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

This is a great beer. It's odd, to say the least, but after downing a few of them I'm sure that you'll see things my (and their) way.

The taste has hints of fruit while remaining very strong in alcohol and a bright pale flavor. The smell is potent and enticing.

The finish is strong, but it still leads one to the next sip. This is definitely one of those things that everyone needs to try at least once.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is an odd beer. I am not very familiar with Belgians, but this one seems a bit extreme. Looks nice coming out of it's funky bottle, a slightly cloudy yellow with decent carbonation. But then it goes all haywire when you sniff it. A nice vanilla aroma hits the nose first, immediatly followed and overwhelmed by alchohol.

And then you drink it, after that assualt on the nose. I just wrote down what I could identify as I was drinking it. Orange, with a plum aftertaste, cloves, maybe a tiny bit of hops, but it was just one fruity flavor tumbling after another. I gave it a 4 based on the sheer numbers of flavors, but it was just too much to be really enjoyable. Sort of unfinished, or even sloppy.

Mouthfeel. Smooth, and somewhat oily.

Overall the drinkability suffered because there were just too many flavors, and it was a bit tart. Maybe after a few years I will give it a try, but a beer brewed just to be contrary, it seems.

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Photo of canadianbarman
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

--330 ml bottle, made to look ceramic. Blue foil around top. Neat label with dancing crocodiles/dragons on it. Freshness date marked on back.
--Poured a cloudy amber in color, nice foamy head that lasted fairly nicely. Minor lacing. Some floating yeast was present
--Kind of a spicy smell, with a hint of fruits.

This was a good beer. I was expecting a stronger taste because of the high alcohol content but it wasn't bad. Kind of a hoppy taste with a hint of spice. The swallow kind of ended with a sweet taste. Interesting. I could drink a few of these and become 'happy' before I know it.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Pours into my goblet a regal gold. Tiny bubbles spray up toward the glacial head's underbelly. Said head collapses after a few minutes, leaving a short blanket of lace around the glass.

The smell is a field of peppered banana peels, alcohol marinated coconut flesh, sugar cookies, and an undertone of earthy yeast.

At the front of the taste is a juicy, succulent fruitiness -- like biting into a ripe, alcoholic peach -- followed by a high-pitched bitterness that rings throughout. Aftertaste is a spicy malt sweetness, with that bitterness still raging, and pleasingly dry. Some slight alcohol warmth through my gut and throat, yet not evident in the taste.

Lots of carbonation -- floats around my palate pleasantly.

Belgian pales are one of my favorites style. This ranks high for me.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of the Tremens while shopping for a few other beers at one of my local stores. I had heard about the beer for a long time, but I had never tried it before. It was priced at $2.99 for an 11.2 oz. bottle. Slightly expensive, but well worth the try. Interesting painted and foil wrapped bottle. Cool label, with the pink elephants and dancing crocodiles.

Man, what a beautiful beer. It poured great with a beautiful two-inch thick head that took a long time to dwindle. Just a magnificient, frothy delight to look at. Excellent carbonation. Cloudy orangish-amber color with some floating yeasts. Fruity but alcoholic nose.

The taste...oh...the taste. Smooth for such a high ABV. Although the smell was alcoholic, the beer itself was not. Light fruity flavors were dominant. Hints of peaches and pears in the forefront. Sweet, but not overly so. Good balance of the malts and hops. Fantastic stuff. Great mouthfeel. Slightly effervescent, but not like a soda pop in any way, more like a champagne. Slightly dry finish in the mouth.

Very, very drinkable. I had worked my way through the glass before I even knew it. I'd be careful putting more than a couple of these away. The 8.5% ABV is a kicker for sure.

This was just an excellent Belgian ale all the way around. This is a well-crafted beer and an excellent introduction to the style for someone who might be new to Belgian strong pale ales.

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Photo of pheurton
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at monk's: cloudy orange-tinted brown with an awesomely dense creamy head. lively carbonation zipping through the glass. substantial lacing. pale fruity aroma with that signature belgian spiciness. light to medium body. spicy fruit flavors stand out most, with a pronounced yeast flavor in the middle. sweetness is balanced decently by a sublte saaz like hopiness. goes down easy for a relatively big ABV brew. seems like a nice strong belgian ale to start someone out with. pleasing flavors that are put together well and not too over the top. better on draught that in the bottle.

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Photo of steinlifter
2.94/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a nice deep golden.with a nice, inch thick head,that dissipates by half after a couple of minutes.high carbonation,like champagne.citrus like smell,very sweet.
taste is as another reviewer said rather" musty" and complex, mildly hoppy and fruity.But still, I didn't care for it much.
mouthfeel is light, dry and highly carbonated.
drinkability is limited, do to the high alcohol content(8.5%)
overall,it looked and acted like a classic Belgian, but I would prefer to drink a Chimay or a Unibroue belgian style.

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Photo of Winter
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served a slightly cloudy golden color with a thin white foamy head. Fruity and yeasty aroma-- hints of citrus, sweet malt, and a touch of spice. Mouthfeel is smooth, yet carbonated. Initial taste is laden with spices and yeast. Fruit flavors of pear and apricot emerge midway. 8.5% alcohol warms the back of the throat and continues on the way down. Dangerously drinkable yet high abv limits my desired consumption for another. It's a beer I can handle one of and than move on. The taste overall doesn't particularly appeal to me. It's a little too yeasty and musty for me.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pooffff....all over the kitchen counter and quickly to my tulip glass. Pours a stellar looking hazy golden orange with a huge billowy white head.

Smells awfully yeasty with a little hint of candi sugar underneath.

Smooth on the tounge. Nice pale malt up front followed by a wave of sweetenss. Didn't expect this from the smell. Little bits of peppery spice intermingle with the carbonation and finishes with a nice little warming glow.

Mouthfeel is moderate to large. Carbonation is a little noticeable.

Very drinakble. A sipper.

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Photo of Mark
2.91/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After taliking to the Feloniusmonk, I decided to give a Belgian ale another try. I really want to like them advocates, but you know, I give up. I know this to be a well thought of beer, but still I don't get it. Orangey golden color was topped by a solid white head, lacing was attractive in the forms of wispy rings. Aroma was that typical spicy clove like character that I have detected in all the belgian beers I have tried. Taste was spicy and fruity and a bit smoother than others. Still I don't find it appealing. Very sprtitzy mouthfeel, almost champagne like. Very alcoholic and powerful at 10%. I tried.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden amber hue, huge white head classic Belgian style lacing. Aroma: RIch spices and honey tones accentuate the malt profile very soft with a bite of finishing hops and alcohol thrown in there. Taste: Clove influenced tone awesome full flavor of syrupy rich sugary malt profile with unrelenting spices there as well. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied great stuff syrupy texture. Drinkability: Great watch that abv but it's damn good staple if your getting into the Belgian ales, and pink elephants what more could you want, not alot of repetitive drinkability here get's boring ready to move on to my next rare Belgian bier.

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Photo of Stopper
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a gigantic cloud of a white head atop a translucent honey-lemon colored body. The aroma is of spicy and musty yeast. The first sip immediately brings a puckering sharp acidity, and the mouthfeel is pretty thin. The flavor is spicy and tart throughout, with a drying fruity bitterness of a feeling and flavor somewhat similar to chewing on orange peels. There's a slight spice that doesn't seem to have any hop character to it prevalent in the end, and it includes a slight hint of a metallic taste coming out as it warms.

This is tart, acidic, and very dry -- surprisingly so and, I'm sorry to say, disappointingly so.

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Photo of genaro
2.71/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Delerium Tremens poured a cloudy gold/yellow color with a nice head. The aroma was strong and yeasty (mostly cloves). The taste was bitter and very sour. It was really hoppy and citrusy (mostly grapefruit) with malt way in the background. As it warmed the malt became a bit more pronounced and some sweetness started coming into play, but not enough for me. The finish was dry and citrusy. I'm sure there was a lot going on here but it was not to my tastes.

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Photo of JamesBerry
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold color with big, frothy (almost soapy) head. Aroma is characteristic of a Belgian Golden. Strong green apple presence in the taste. Effervescent body that warms up to a smooth silkiness in the mouth. Not quite what I expected, but not disappointing in any way.

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Photo of babyhobbes
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came to me with good sized (2") white head that stayed around for several minutes and dissipated down to a small frothy head and eventually just some lacing by the time I finished. It was a nice yellowy gold color. This had a nice light smell...nothing outstanding. The taste was slightly malty with some bitter flavors that I can't describe. There was a little fruit flavor as well. This was a very nice beer on-tap and I would certainly have it again.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

OK, the bottle is a big ole 1 pint 9.4 fluid ounces corked and caged as previously mentioned in other BA reviews. I poured her into an imperial pint, despite a heavy hexagonal goblet being more apropos due to the 8.5% ABV and the Belgium heritage. I even smelled the cork, but it just smells like, well, a cork. Little to no head from a 45 degree pour. The alcohol is quite suppressed, and the bouquet: mildly leafy.

Taste is what it's all about. First: The taste lasts. Initially, good carbonation and the alcohol is there. Your nose will feel the vapors. Mild to slightly strong hops and ginger ale flavors. This is not a light & white Belgium. It has some chewiness, but not to a fault. The body and mouthfeel is decent. Flavor doesn't just go away, but spreads - welcomed, over to the back of the tongue after sipping.

Due to the 8.5% ABV and the king sized bottle, I wouldn't reccomend more that one bottle in a night.

Price per serving info: $8.00 smackers from a New Jersey liquor chain. Two big servings in the bottle.

*** UPDATE 12/16/05***
One day late to celebrate my BA 2nd Anniversary on 12/15/05. Thought it would be fun to re-review m 1st review with a 2003 750 mL.

Fruity flavors imparted are much more pronounced. Still a yeasty doughy treat but with an almost cherry note to the hot feel. A bit of a burner on the way back, with a pleasant sweetness.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of makoshark
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange with a creamy and nice head. A nice creamy foam remains through the entire experience. The smell is sweet. There is a slight alcohol smell, but it is not too overpowering.

A rich, creamy feel in the mouth with a slight alcohol bit. Not overpowering, but noticible. The overall taste is slightly sweet and fruity.

Good overall.

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Photo of MrBen
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured with a huge head of creamy white bubbles of assorted sizes. The head calmed down quickly and considerably and was clingy for most of the glass. The color was a deep honey. I smelled sweetness with some wheat and grain in there, plus alcohol.

The taste was even and not very complex, but packed with the flavor it did have. The most obvious taste and smell was pink bubblegum -- you know, the one in the checkout lane at the grocery store that mom always warned would rot the teeth out of your head. The alcohol did stand out every now and then.

For mouthfeel, I first thought that the big carbonation during and right after pouring would lend a crispier, more brisk feel than I enjoy; however, I was surprised to find the carbonation was paired nicely with the beer overall. Not too syrupy, either, given its candy nose and flavor. I was distracted once in a while by the pronounced alcohol.

I marked its drinkability lower than the other judging points primarily because the flavor was good, but not too exciting. And again, the olfactories were taken for a spin by the alcohol. Also, I would have preferred the bubblegum flavor to play second fiddle to at least some other type of natural sweetness -- perhaps a nice honey to match the beer's color. I'm beginning to think the Belgian Strong Dark Ales are more suited to my tastes, but I'll give the pales more chances in the future.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahh, the first beer in my brand new Delirium Tremens glass, complete with pink elephants...what else could I try but Delirium Tremens?

Poured a bubbly, hazy orange with a tall white head (facilitated by the tulip glass). Significant lacing--the elephants now look like they're wading through clouds. Smell is soft, fruity, and slightly wheaty, and the first taste is excitedly bubbly on my tongue. Alcohol is a bit too noticeable in the flavor, adding a kick of sweetness, sourness around the edges, and an overall warmth. There's a independent tartness that's a little weird. I'm a little disappointed by the lack of dryness in the finish--not really much wheat here.

Overall, not bad, but there are plenty other Belgian strong pale ales I'd rather have--though I do love the pink elephants.

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Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
91 out of 100 based on 1,653 ratings.
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