Delirium Tremens | Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium TremensDelirium Tremens
5,877 Ratings
Delirium TremensDelirium Tremens

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe

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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Ratings: 5,877 |  Reviews: 1,722
Photo of santoslhalper
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
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 -1.7%
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 +1.7%
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 -0.2%
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 -13.6%
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 -3.1%
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 -4.4%
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 -3.1%
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 +16.7%
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 +2.2%
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 +7%
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 -26.9%
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 -8%
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 +21.1%
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 +4.6%
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 +0.5%
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 -5.6%
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 -17.7%
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 -0.2%
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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Photo of Hibernator
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 1 pt, 9.4 oz ceramic bottle.

Appearance is cloudy yellow with golden hue. Fluffy white head.

Aroma of spice and yeast.

Taste of Belgian yeast, cloves and sweet spice blend. Fizzy carbonation that prickles the tongue.

Tasty and very drinkable at 8.5% ABV. Overall, an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of carln26
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RedBones. This came out of the tap a bright clear gold. Good light white head with Champagne like bubbles. Nice lace almost as if on nitro. Light floral vanilla aroma. Great vanilla flavor in the front, with fruity esters in the middle. Great light mouth feel very drinkable.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a light yellow with a thick two finger head that dissapated to a very thick foam on top of the beer. It also stuck to the sides of the galss and held on throughout the drink.

The smell was thin and hard to pick up, what I could pick up was very fruity with an even thinner malt aspect hidden in the rear of the nose. It should be noted that as the beer warmed the smell got stronger and easier to pick up on.

The drink started with a kick of carbonation followed by a hit of hop spice and fruit. The fruit was an apricot with just a hint of figs. The finish was one last kick of hops followed by a clean and clear watery taste.

All and all a highly recommended beer, in my opinion. I would love to try this one with a thick piece of steak.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle

Poured a nice yellow and a thick creamy head that took it's time leaving the party. Smelled sweet and of alcohol. Tasted fruity, sweet and overall a wonderful representation of a fine Belgian ale. Very smooth in the mouth and an easy drink.

Very much enjoyed this beer, fine example of a Belgian ale.

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Photo of soper2000
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this for a bbq at my sister's house. Had to pour it into a normal pint glass as that was the only glass available. The glass struggled to contain a massive fluffy white head. This head rested upon an appetizing golden color. Smell is very fruity and yeasty. With some spiciness rounding out the nose. Taste was a little unbalanced in my opinion. Some spicy yeastiness and a little hoppiness were overwhelming for me, not much of a malt base or fruity esters to balance out the flavor profile. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy this beer a lot, I would just like for it to become more well rounded. Mouthfeel is nice as is drinkability. Definately glad I tried it, but this is not my favorite Belgian Pale.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 12oz single of this in Chattanooga, from Bacchus probably. I let this one sit a long while in the fridge, mistakenly associating availability with mediocrity. The packaging is a (faux?) ceramic bottle, with an attractive label and light blue foil wrapped around the cap.

This beer pours out a beautiful blonde shade with a suprising amount of clarity, yeasty flakes are apparent in the body but eventually settle into a pile of debris in the bottom of the goblet. Yeast made it out even though I let the bottle settle for a LONG time before pouring. A nice head rolls up and sticks around somewhat, being supported by chunky carbonation bubbles that effervesce for a long time while the beer is being consumed.

The smell is light, fruity and spicy. I pick up on a pear/apple light fruit combination first, the yeast comes across as doughiness in the nose and a peppery alcohol bite presents itself as well.

The smell correlates with the flavor 100%. Light fruit in the front, pears and apples, malts and yeasty doughiness in the middle. Spicy bite in the finish, peppery hop flavors and a zingy alcohol bite, which leaves a trailing warmth to my gullet. Aftertaste is large on light fruits.

A damn fine Belgian pale, crisp, fruity with some nice subtleties. I will visit this one again, it definitely satisfies a certain craving. Don’t mistake lack of hype with lack of substance.

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Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 5,877 ratings