Delirium Nocturnum | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
909 Reviews
Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 12-12-2001

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Reviews: 909 | Ratings: 2,780
Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The ale pours with a three finger head, lots of lacing, and a dark nutty brown color. Smells of dark malts, caramel and nuttiness (with a hint of fruit). The beer features the beginnings of fruity-appleness; next is the nutty, dark roasted malts blending in....and then a slightly tart and bitter finish, accompanied and finished by a massive zip of dry carbonation that finishes like a champagne. Quite enjoyable. The tartness and nutty bitterness linger until you take the next sip--which you want to take right away because of the satisfying dry finish that makes you want to say "ahhhhhh." Distinctly potable. #18 out of 60 beers I reviewed.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] The bottle has a date code that I can't decipher. It does have the ABV (8.5%). The beer is a nice mahoganey brown and it forms a fat 3-4 finger dense off white head.

S: [3.25] Apples, caramel, pie spices,

T: [3.50] The flavor is aggressive but hard to describe. Caramel, peat, toffee, chocolate notes, brown bread and leather. As it warms it starts to get Belgian yeast esthers.

M: [2.75] Very tingly carbonation. This makes it feel thinner.

O: [3.25] This tastes, to me, like a Scotch Ale with extra carbonation. It is aggressively carbonated. The beer is decent but the carbonation distracts from the subtlety of flavor.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby black with an off-white, slightly red-tinged large fluffy head.

Smell is malty sweet with toffee and raisin.

Taste is plum and brown sugar, with the Belgian yeast very nicely subdued

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Photo of jribeiro025
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I love the dark amber/red color of this beer. The head is perfection and sticks around for a while. Syrupy/brown sugar notes. Could use a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 08/24/16:

No date from what I can tell, but I’ve had this since mid-2015, so probably 2014. Pour is extremely effervescent. Quite clear at first, moderately clear after rest is added to glass, reddish brown or extremely deep dark copper. Form-holing head of golden brown, thick but light, fluffy, and lacey. Sour aromas of both light fruit (seems like lemon, melon, apple) and vinegar, with toasty grains, caramel, sweet spirity alcohol, a touch of brown sugar. Was expecting more overt vinegar and/or roast suggestions. But that comes in the palate! Mild caramel and toffee sweetness at first, little else. And then, quickly adds on flavors of toast, dark bread, dark fruit tartness, sweet booze, and black pepper retro-olfaction. Lasting sweet-smoky aftertaste. Full-bodied or close, shy of syrupy, inordinately smooth, low levels of finest and softest carbonation and thankfully not as effervescent as pour seemed to indicate. As warming as hoped for, hardly astringent. As sweet as this is, could stand a touch more roasty character, and thicker (but still soft) carbonation. Perhaps having it fresh would make a difference.

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Photo of rex_4539
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Dark brown color, 5-6 finger brown head, nice lacing.

S: Raisins, alcohol.

T: Classic Belgian ale taste. Decent.

F: Light bodied, yet heavy.

O: Not anything great but drinkable.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

It poured a hazy dark brown, with a massive light tan head forming with little effort needed. Retention was fantastic, and with slight agitation the head reforms quite well. The nose is permeated with a scent of alcohol, no doubt a by product of it's 8.5 ABV. Other notes I can ascertain are sourdough bread, and lots of dried fruits, like raisins and dates.

The beer starts off with a lot of bread flavors, slightly yeasty, with a little bit of funk to it. It's slightly bitter at the start, but this is quickly balanced with the finish. Upon swallowing you instantly are hit with a mild boozyness that cuts the bitterness down, and lightness up the mouth feel a tad. This is quickly followed up with the fruit flavors the smell hinted at, which impart a nice subtle sweetness. The finish sees a return of the boozy and bitter qualities along with an interesting spiciness. The mouth feel is an oddity for me, as it starts out somewhat thick, but thanks to the boozy hit in the middle of the beer, the mouth feel lighten ups to a more medium range.

It's a beer I would revisit, but not often. More of a special occasion beer, for those cold winter nights with friends and family.

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Photo of jamesroses
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle

Appearance: reddish brown, 2 to 3 finger head that stays for a while.

Aroma: light dark fruits like figs and raisins, some caramel and slightly spicy. It's not so yeasty as other belgians I've tried.

Taste: very much like the aromas, it tastes of dark fruits, booze, although lighter than a Chimay Blue for example.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, carbonation is strong and the booziness higher than other belgians of this style. Despite all of this, it seemed a bit watery.

Overall: nice beer to try and enjoy. Not world class stuff IMO.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours clear but very dark reddish brown, gets cloudy as the yeast sediment is disturbed. Head is two inches and pillowy, a yellowish light tan. Retains very well, eventually dissipates to some lacing and suds.

Smells of tart apple and cherry brett influence over a molasses and candi sugar malt with a slightly woody undertone. Hints of allspice.

Tastes of tart bretty yeast, dry toast and candi sugar malt, mild oak and walnut finish.

Body on the fuller side with fluffy carbonation on the roof of the mouth. Slight booze warmth going down.

I've had this beer a million times over the years, the first time long before I ever started reviewing on here, and yet somehow never reviewed it until now. Very good above average Belgian ale with lots to like. The flavor isn't quite as nuanced as some other beers in this class, but it's very well put together and pleasing. Body and aroma are fine. Definitely a sipper. One of the better Belgian beers out there and worth trying if you haven't yet. There's a reason it is so popular and readily available.

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Photo of JonCorbett
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep burnt sienna/mahogany kindy murky/hazy with ample foamy head. The head is a pale cream color, has a moderate dissipation and leaves a pretty good surface remnants.

Aromatics: Plenty of stone fruit: plums/dates, cherry, peach, nectarine. There are times it smells like these fruits have been sitting in a brown sugar solution -hints of dark sugars intermingle.

Taste: There is a prominent flavour of roasted cherry and raisin with a touch of caramelized sweetness. The finish is tinged with alcohol and is full of dark cacao bitter.

Feel: I'd say its a solid middleweight, with great carbonation retention which gives each sip a crisp snap but keeps a relatively smooth finish with that little bit of alcohol vapor at the very end.

Overall: A nice smooth sipping beer for me. It is extremely complex for me - there are times that the flavours are really robust- sip, light swish, hold, then swallow. And others that are hard to describe. I loved the dark toasty fruitiness of it. But its strengths really need to be complimented with the correct mood, ambiance, and food.

Pairing: With flavours this bold you need to be selective with your pair. Though I usually wouldn't recommend a fat (like cheese or pastry) with something that still has plenty of carbonation activity - in this case I think it would be ok. Gougères (french cheese pastry) would be a good snacking combo, also given its robust nature I'd I'd try a Philly steak and cheese sandwich with a lightly thickened au jus for dipping - use plenty of onions and spices and emmentaler cheese. (if you can find it Emmentaler Switzerland Premier Cru is amazing). For mood, a nice evening family gathering, as we get closer to the Thanksgivings here in North America - I can see this being super enjoyable during parties at Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.

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Photo of tirons
4.61/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 33 cl bottle into a Westmalle goblet. Aroma is understated for such a flavourful beer. Tart, sweet, and then dry. It's a spectacular beer in the tradition of the Trappist offerings such as Westmalle Dubbel and Westvleteren 8, both of which I have tried in native Flanders. Highly recommend.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 0.33L bottle poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Deep, tawny brown - becoming cloudy towards the bottom of the bottle. Frothy head of tan foam, lashes of lace, and a nice cap of foam and bubbles lingers.

Smell: Ripe dark fruit, sugar candies, brandy fumes, faint medicinal herbs and earthy hops.

Taste: Malt and fruity yeast build layers of sweet and sour: caramel, dark fruit, sour apples and spice. Finishes dry and slightly alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy smooth; well carbonated with soft bubbles.

Overall: Nicely complex Belgian with layers of boozy and dark fruit notes.

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Photo of puck1225
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Beautiful cream thick head and great lacing with a dark brown color. Subtle sweet somewhat fig smell. The taste is figs and dark raisins with suble warm spice. A very nice feel. A very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Three finger white-brown head, very dark red-brown body.

Smell: Dark fruits, banana, lemon, and mild bubblegum.

Taste: Dark fruits, lemon, and a hint of molasses.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, small alcohol bite and a slight hint of tartness.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A lovely beer--rich, caramel, tons of spice (clove, cinnamon, baking spices, coriander, candi sugar), wheaty, yeasty, doughy. Pours a lovely dark, ruby-black hue with piles and piles of dense head and tons of lacing.

Sweet, malty, spicy, with a backbone of Belgian yeast. Bubblegum, maybe faint citrus? Stewed fruits (cherries and berries). Very rich. Moderate carbonation, body's a bit heavy. I could never drink more than one in a sitting, but at 8.5% ABV, I probably shouldn't.

Leaning across styles for comparison, I think I prefer the standard Tremens. But this is quite lovely, too.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

DATE: June 2, 2016... OCCASION: ALL IN 2016--the Cavs begin their Finals battle with the Warriors....GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... APPEARANCE: dark burgundy/brown body that permits little light through... a fizzy yet stable half-finger head that holds steady... AROMA: fr grape, almost sweet like wine, with a citric appeal... licourice and chocolate ... PALATE: soft, vibrant and active at both the teeth and the throat... sinfully subtle, with little alcohol to take note of... a quiver of warmth late.... light to medium-bodied, with some grit... TASTE: an unexpected strength of chocolate early--quite a dessertif!--before the orange and spiciness of coriander... toasted malts add weight to the flavor... a cakelike quality finishes the experience... plum and pear round out the profile... OVERALL: as subtle a devil as one will find in this dark a body... a great gift sent north by Uncle Mark, and one I have passed too many times when beer shopping... given the price. a bit steep, but a strong ale that has multiple dimensions....

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle given by supplier into a 250ml beer glass.

Poured dark reddish brown with a massive off-white/beige head which died slowly to leave lots of lacing.

Nose is very malty and spicy with stewed fruit aroma coming through and a kind of vegetable aroma too. It's nice. Complex.

Palate is complex also. Stone fruit, dark cherries, prunes etc come through with a little alcohol in the finish. Despite this it's very drinkable although I couldn't drink more than two maybe even one.

Despite the big flavour and body the mouthfeel is surprisingly thin.

This is a very enjoyable beer. I was impressed by the big complex flavours. A little heavy going so not good for a session but what self-respecting beer drinker necks beer to get drunk anyway?

Highly recommended.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown near black body with scantily clad but long lasting off white head
Aroma of seaside rock and rum
Add to that a little stomach acid and you have the flavour
Above average strong dark Belgian ale

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Photo of teromous
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle has "15184" printed on the back label.

Appearance: First off I would recommend being careful when popping the cork if you have one. Mine is 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz and it nearly shot off by itself. The body of the beer is a dark murky brown color with some very dark red-brown hues appearing when light passes through. The head is short but very good looking. It is an eggshell white color with some light tobacco stained yellow. Very fine creamy bubbles. Good head retention on the short head and some moderate lacing with very fine bubbles. It is a very good looking beer.

Aroma: I get this really sweet smelling prune aroma with a touch of sweet caramel. The overall aroma is very faint but nice. A touch of banana is also there.

Taste: Excellent flavors here. There is a rich caramel and raisin flavor that isn't bright and fruity but rather rich and deep in character. It reminds me a bit of a sauce (in flavor but not in texture). It has a bit of a tangy flavor on the edges that is hard to place but the closest I think it would resemble would be cherries...again not fruity but just a bit tangy with that overarching deep character. The finish really shines here too. It has this earthy and woody flavor at the end that lends quite a bit of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: It's fantastic. It delivers the beer with a medium body full of effervescent bubbles that just coat the palate and deliver a swath of delicious flavors. It finishes with a nice bitterness to keep things interesting. The finish is not quite dry but dry enough. Aside from the bubbles giving a loftiness to the beer the texture is fairly thin...but overall the mouthfeel just works for this beer.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It was a pleasure to drink and I would buy it again and I do recommend it. The beer has a great deal of complexity to keep the drinker thinking while simultaneously enjoying the beer.

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Photo of Ferb
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoy Belgian strong dark ales and other like beers. I could go on about sensations of rustic bread, roasted malt, cocoa and yeast with dark fruit tastes and heads that cling to the glass, lacing the sides as you sip. They are variations on the same theme, but all are their own beer with individual personalities.
For me it comes down to the influence of yeast on the spice characteristics. The more the clove taste, the less I like it. I believe it is described as phenolic tendencies. Delirium Nocturnum has some clove like phenols, but it is well balanced and they don't overpower all the many other flavors. This is a well made ale that has something for everyone fond of the style.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a clear ruby reddish colour with a good tan head that disapates to a small layer. Aroma very faint dark fruits , malt, sweet, brown sugar, not a very strong aroma. Taste plum, raisin, prunes, fizzy, nutty, caramel.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(330ml bottle, poured into a Chouffe tulip)

TIP: open COLD (not what I just did - lost around an ounce upon uncapping)

L: clear, garnet-hued liquid... explosive, mushroom-cloud-rocky, very loosely-built aged white foam... with lees added, the head maintains a finger-width pad for a bit

S: I can smell it sitting in the glass 2 feet from my face... nose in glass: basically chocolate and wine with an arguably tropical, floral soft overtone... no overt booziness, but some port-like sweet phenols poke through... the chocolate seems to meld or is part of what appears to be a rich malt base

T: a bit like cherry/grape bubblegum, with a little clove-y spice in the finish and a dusting of cocoa powder (and added to that a touch of nuttiness with the yeast poured in)... no standout, distinct flavor here - the addition of whatever the dark part of this beer is most definitely contributes to the resultant dark fruit notes via fermentation with likely the same yeast they use on Tremens, et al... sort of like peppery spice, sweet subtle booze, and thin un-robust molasses in the aftertaste

F: rather light, glassy body with a mild-moderate whoosh of raw booze heat... the first sip is highly-carbonated, attacking with a sting... noticeable fizz on the top of the palate, while the middle and finish carries not much substance - almost like a very thin simple syrup - and it does have a slight watery element residually blended within the onset of the aftertaste... be prepared for a handful of belch

O: it's altogether like they perhaps dumped a portion of some industrial dark syrup into their Tremens, like this a 'Delirium Tremens Dark'... used to be one of my favorites about 15 years ago, but I was probably swilling straight from the bottle then

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Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish Ruby color with a light tan head. Aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits, sweet malts, and Belgian candi sugar. Only a slight hint of alcohol. Lots of carbonation and a decent mouthfeel. A pretty good BSDA.

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Photo of Pantalones
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first full bottle of this one, though I did have a small sample from someone else's before. Not entirely clear when it was bottled, but a code ends with "14297" which I assume is something like a Julian date, 297th day of 2014? If so this is definitely over a year old, but I know I've read that these dark Belgian ales are supposed to age well so that shouldn't be a problem.

The first thing that stands out appearance-wise is the TOWERING MOUNTAIN OF FOAM that forms when poured, even with a slow careful pour. I only managed to get maybe 30-40% of the beer into the glass before overflow became a concern and I stopped pouring. It's very nice-looking foam, a light-tan color and it starts to get that 'melting ice cream" look as it recedes, with a lump staying taller in the middle for a ways down. Beer itself is very dark in color (pours a cola-like brown but is much darker once in the glass), holding it up to the light shows that it's dark red. With some help from my flashlight, I can see that it's semi-hazy and has a load of little bubbles rising up non-stop from the bottom of the glass. Overall a VERY nice-looking beer, and with one of the most interesting-looking bottles I've seen so far.

Smell is quite sweet at first, reminding me of brown sugar and maybe a little maple syrup. It's an odd mix of strong and subtle -- it doesn't smack you in the face from a foot away, but occasionally I'll get little whiffs of that sweet, maple-syrupy smell as I'm sitting here typing this. After sitting for a bit and letting the foam shrink, I'm also getting a little yeastiness and some faint background spicy/wood (cedar-like) smell. The sweet smells are sort of a chocolate/maple blend now, guessing roasted malt is probably involved since that's usually the origin of chocolatey smells/flavors in the darker beers? Down to a little bit left in the glass and as I take another sniff I get a HUGE amount of spicy/sweet yeasty smells! Interesting how this one seems to be shifting around as it warms up. Now I've poured all but a tiny bit of the remaining beer into the glass and the smell has shifted once again; there's an odd sort of fruity sweetness (almost want to say overripe/bordering on rotting fruit) to the smell now sometimes, and other times there's something vaguely reminding me of coffee grounds in the background of the sweet smell from before.

Taste is not nearly as sweet as expected based on the smell. The primary flavor seems to be a nice dark bread, with a bit of a woody sort of thing hovering behind it. Aftertaste brings in some lightly-burnt bread crust and maybe a faint bit of coffee-like roastiness? Around three sips in I'm noticing a bit of a sweeter flavor starting to pop in, not sure if a yeast-derived flavor or alcohol or a blending of the two. That coffee-ish roastiness sometimes hangs around in the aftertaste, but usually that's all dark-bready. Burps are a little bit fruity (yeasty-fruit I'm guessing, leaning toward the raisin/"dark fruit" side of things for sure.)

Mouthfeel somehow seems both sticky/substantial and surprisingly light all at once... I'm a bit puzzled by it. It's nice but at the same time leaves me going "...huh?" Just something odd about it, though overall pretty good. No prickly fizziness despite the MASSIVE carbonation, so that's a definite plus. Even drinking some when there's a significant amount of foam on top, when you can literally HEAR the bubbles fizzing in my mouth, doesn't come with a prickly feel -- just a soft bubbliness. It does seem like the taste is a bit muted when I drink some with the foam still high, though, so I'll be waiting for it to shrink down some more before I finish. There's definitely a bit of alcohol warmth in the mouth, most notably on the first sip but occasionally popping in here and there afterward as well, but this is brushing up on 9% ABV so that doesn't surprise me.

Well, just based on my impression of the smell when first pouring I figured I'd enjoy this more than I did with the little sample that I had before, but this one has really surprised me in just how much more I ended up liking it than the first time. I guess the Belgian Strong Dark Ales are a style that had to "grow on me" a bit, as it definitely seems like every time I re-try one I end up liking it more than I did the previous time. The little local beer store near me seems to always have a few bottles of this in stock; after tonight's experience with this beer, I suspect I'll definitely be buying more in the future!

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Photo of Ant777uk
3.19/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Found at one of my local shops in Paris :)

Deep, reddish, blackish colour. And friendly pink elephant.

Taste is almost there. Not quite unique or strong enough to be great. A bit too fizzy, not smooth like a Chimay or a Guinness.

This does not quite work as a dark beer for me, and I prefer their Tremens

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Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.95 out of 5 based on 2,780 ratings.
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