Delirium Tremens | Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium TremensDelirium Tremens
5,912 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:
Colour and sight: pale blond, the fine and regular effervesce ensures a fine and stable head.
Scent: Slightly malty, a nice touch of alcohol, spicy.
Flavour: Feels like the sound shot of alcohol is igniting the mouth. In reality the tongue and palate are warmed. The taste is characterized by its roundness. The aftertaste is strong, long-lasting and dry bitter.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-02-2001

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Ratings: 5,912 |  Reviews: 1,730
Photo of genaro
2.71/5  rDev -34.4%
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 +4.8%
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 -9%
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 -8.5%
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 -8.7%
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 -4.8%
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 -13.3%
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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Photo of Foxman
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a hazy, light golden-orange. Filigrees of carbonation give an active aura to the hue. A smooth white head blossoms, then settles slightly, but maintains a pillowy pad of foam across the surface. Delicate curlicues of lacing slide down the side of the glass.

The aroma brings a breeze of slightly sweet malt, soon overtaken by some gentle berry notes. A vinegary wine-like backbone carries a creamy vanilla companion aloft. A dusky yeast sourness lends a dollop of distant citrus.

The taste brings an almost grassy malt sweetness that barely makes its play before a vinous, acerbic vinegar starts to pucker the mouth. A doughy yeast tang muddles in, further truncating any sweetness. The end nears with a grapefruit dryness setting the stage for a further dry, bitter tongue-coat at the finish. With such a staccato character, the overall flavor falls short of delivering what the aroma promises.

It's well medium bodied, bordering on creamy, coating moderately and leaving its legacy about the palate. The carbonation combines with the wine character and brings champagne to mind.

There's nothing to rave about, but neither is there anything to actively dislike, and it's certainly better than just average. The sparkling personality and sweet/sour interplay center some nice peripheral flavors, but it's not so much balanced as distinctly segmented. It seems to resist a real integration of flavors, preventing the whole from outstripping the sum of the parts. The ABV ever stepped forward, but it's there, and that along with the noted limitations keep the overall drinkablity a touch above average. It's not that I'm disappointed; I'm just not especially impressed.

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Photo of Mangus
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a fine cloudy golden yellow with a nice white, bubbly head. The head settles to a nice white lace that remains.

I smell nice floral, citrus, and fruity hints wafting out of the glass.

The taste is of floral overtones with a rich sweetness. The hops cut off at the back end and leave a pleasant dry after bite. Real nice beer. I had this with some olives and venison bologna and it was a bit of a clash. I recommend drinking this beer alone and enjoyng it all by it's little self

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL corked and caged bottle served chilled in a Delirium Noël glass (same shape, different elephants).

Appearance: A hard pour into the center of the glass yielded a glass half full of a clear golden yellow liquid with the other half occupied by a Brobdignagian head of dense bubbles. Carbonation is incredibly visible and neverending, which helps in retaining a smallish layer of foam after the initial head evaporates for a bit. Wee blobs of lacing are left on the glass as I empty the bottle.

Smell: Thick smells of yeast, lemony citrus, and black pepper. Oranges and a smidgen of bergamot, too. Quintessential nose for the style, IMHO.

Taste: Great bready malt tastes with aged hop-derived pepper aftertastes. Mild lemony, tropical fruit, and banana estery notes. Light alcohol burn on the finish, but not brashly so. The flavors don't perfectly mesh, but they're not jarring at all.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and spritely with a medium body. Nice warming sensation from the high ABV. Where the hell are my moule frites?

Drinkability: Yeah, there are better examples of this style out there, but good luck finding them. Other than La Fin du Monde and Duvel, I can't think of another beer of this sort that has the sheer availability or affordability of DT. So, while y'all be lookin' for the bestest BSPA in the world, I'll sit pretty enjoyin' this fine elixir replete with pink elephants, phat zhongluns (Chinese fo' dragon, yo), and cakewalkin' pimpin' gators on the label. Omnipresent and omnigreat with a whimisical name.

A big hearty thanks to the Choralis Board of Directors for this particular bottle.

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Photo of woemad
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.99. I was intrigued by the fact that the beer can not be seen when it is in the bottle. You could be buying tapwater for all you know. Also, you get the added attraction of pink elephants, dancing gators and whatever the hell that other critter on the label is.

Poured a hazy, grapefruit juice color, with a big, fluffy white head. Smell was rather mild, with wisps of sugar and grapefruit juice.

The taste was much more dominant than I was expecting based on the aroma. Very pleasing combination of fruity tartiness and sugary sweetness.

Lots of carbonation on the mouthfeel, which I rather expected.

This is very drinkable. The 8.5%abv could really wreak some havoc on the unwary beer drinker. A few of these, and the pink elephants they see might not all be on the label.

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Photo of palliko
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Belgian in the tradition of Chimay Blau. If you like that one, try this one. A LOT of clove in the mix. Unfortunately, not my favorite spice. PHENOLIC. That about says it. A spicy beer (citrus and banana present), little head, no lacing. I think I'd pass on a repeat.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an official DT snifter, complete with pink elephants, compliments of the clerk at Half Time, who threw it in with my last purchase. (Thanks, Half Time!!!) The cork had a date of 2003. It poured with a clear golden body, and a huge fluffy white head. The aroma was citrus, clove, banana. Tastes were lemon, clove, banana, leather, coriander, ginger. The mouthfeel was smooth and light, and finished with grapefruit and leather. Not as complex as other Belgians I've had, but a nice variety of flavors well-executed. A good choice, to send me over the top into the Mug Club, almost one year since I joined BA!

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Photo of Crosling
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

This is good but not that good! It's a very poor looking Belgian. Pours clear like a mixture of banana juice and pear juice. Head falls into the liquid way too quickly and seems to look more like bubble bath suds that the typical beautiful belgian head. No lace to speak of and overall a pretty poor looking ale.

Nice nose but nothing great. Smells weak and subtle. Poor and timid. Clove, yeast and coriander stand out but seems to smell syrupy, like it's hiding something.

This tastes ok. Certainly is the high point of the beer. Spicy peppers with orange characteristics and a harsh alcohol bite on the finish. Alcohol comes a little too strong on the palate and seems to take over the other flavors. Tastes light and yeasty as well, almost displaying some wheat characteristics. Some banana and clove flavors with a tiny hint of peanut butter.

Flat on the tonque.

Outrageously overpriced and overrated. No big deal...

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Photo of AbePhroman
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a big botle for $6.99. I had wanted to try it for a while and finally got around to buying it. Poured a clear gold with a big foamy head. Sweet fruity aroma. Nice malt presence. A good body with a nice crisp flavor and bite. The alcohol is subdued under a layer of malts. Very good. I would recommend highly.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Started out New Year's Eve with a nice bottle of this at Harry's Bar and Grill in Milwaukee. I have had this beer before but did not want to review it without a recent experience. I loved the deep golden color and sweet aroma that came out of this brew. The taste is very balanced in your mouth and the alcohol is hidden but still warms the body as it goes down. This is a little better than Delirium Nocturnum. Happy New Year!

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Photo of frank4sail
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal yellow look with an apple cider smell. Also there is some ABV warmth in the nose as well. Very dry and fruity taste as well as a dry tongue as well. The brew reminds me of dry apple cider. Very good taste I like the crisp clean nature of the brew. Medium mouth with nice coating malt and a good kick of ABV in the finish. Not much head or retention on the goblet. Solid very pale dry beer. Had it at The Abbaye in Philly.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear somewhat hazyyellow hue, big foamy white head that fades into a ring around the top. Aroma is some cough medicine, spicy herbal notes with citrus fruits in the background.
Medium yet spciy in the mouth, pale malt stands up to me followed by some big spice then fades into alcoholic backdrop with a hint of bitterings.
This beer is infinitely better on draught.

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Photo of merlin48
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, capped not corked, with the most annoying foil wrapping in the industry. Pours into a goblet a clear honey gold with an enormous white pillowy head. Excellent retention and sheets of lacing. Nose is of overripe bananas. Mouthfeel has plenty of carbonation and seems a bit thin. Initial taste of lemony citrus, evolving into sweet malts. Hops come forth about midway, and a dry hop bitterness rules until the goblet empties. Slight alcohol burn is present to remind you of the high abv. There's a mustiness here, as well, as with so many Belgians. Clean aftertaste. Not my favorite Delirium, and its taste doesn't live up to its promising appearance. Still, a nice Belgian Pale Ale I wouldn't mind keeping around.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spiced tropical fruits like mango, papaya, and pineapple, phenols, sour yeast, and, I've got to be crazy, but I think that's taffy, too, on the nose. Spritzy, refreshing; I imagine this is what rain smells like in Belgium. Unfortunately, once this passes cellar temp, the nose is sour and dull.

The taste is initially wheaty, but develops into cherries, strawberries, and resin and the alcohol and spice is with it every step of the way. As it warms, the Belgian pale character becomes obvious as the alcohol starts to take over and overshadow the fruit-laden subtleties of this brew. This beer is packed with huge flavors and mostly maintains impressive balance. Be careful -- it drinks like a hefe, but makes that weird alligator, dragon, pink elephant parade on the label look really, really funny.

Delirium tremens is the scientific name for extreme alcohol withdrawal that results in seizures and, potentially, death. I won't say the beer is that true to its name, but it is quite addictive.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of ComradeCanadia
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I love this bottle! Fake ceramic with blue foil covering the cap, and pink elephants as well as other crazy animals for decoration. Best before date lists a couple of months ago, so it's all good. Pink elephants, again, are a plus. Poured a murky amber with a big head that vanished, leaving a pretty standard lace.

Smell: Apricot - I don't think any other reviews have said this, but when I smell this I think nothing but apricots. Upon further inspection I'm picking up a little bit of pepper here, and maybe a hint of citron. Like all belgian strong ales, I -love- the smell of this.

Taste: Nothing that'd blow me away, but very tasty! Nice and crisp, sort of malty though not in a bad way (as I hate overly malty beer), and with a strong apricot flavour to it. Fairly well balanced, tasty.. good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Nothing really to say here. Sharply carbonated, but you need that withs omething sweet like this, but goes down smooth.

Drinkability: I'm not sure if I could make an evening out of these, but the one I'm having is going down quite nicely.

Notes: Liquor store two blocks from my house has a very, very, good selection of Belgian ales - and this is just one of many. I really like this one, but nothing jumps out an says 'I am better than the rest!'. Good to try out, but nothing to make an evening of or buy regularly.

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Photo of mschofield
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange tinged yellow with a small white head (in goblet)
Very fruity aroma with pepper notes.
Tastes of banana, bubblegum, and more malty than I had expected, slightly spicy (pepper), and a sort of sugared-tart.
Rich and fruity after taste. Full feel to it.
It is very good, but I just couldn't see myself drinking this very often.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A white tiny-bubbled head sits atop a clouded pale ale the color of dried ginger. (Pause to gaze lovingly.)

That 8.5% is prevalent in both nose and mouthfeel, but rather than a dull thud or razor sharp attack, the alcohol (and indeed, the ale) presents itself in a vinous, even champagne-like feel and taste. The spice quality and flavor profile is subtle enough and the lively bubbles wash across the tongue with such a light, airy touch that one might struggle to get all of the taste sensations rather than just live in the mouthfeel.

Good for celebrations; I'm not sure how down-in-the-cups one could stay with a glass of this.

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Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great bottle--reminds me of the Simpson's where Barney calls upon his pink elephant by drinking beer to counteract the demons he sees after drinking the peyote infused juice drink Homer makes. Pours a nice hazy golden with a big fluffy white head. Smells of sweet marshmallows, esters, citrusy hops, and yeast. Taste is sweet and malty, kinda wheaty, candy, with a good hop presence. Bitter finish with a little metallic taste. Warming and alcoholic. Big and syrupy, but manageable.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another good one from Huyghe. The golden body is joined with a beautiful head and decent lace effect. A creamy smooth body lifts the drinkability of this big beer, but it does not feel weak in fullness. The nose is heavily fruited and has an incredible malt sense when warmed. Flavorful and full of complexity, this is a very good tasting brew.

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Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 5,912 ratings