Delirium Nocturnum
Brouwerij Huyghe

Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #37
Ranked #4,311
4.05 | pDev: 12.35%
Brouwerij Huyghe
Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 953 | Ratings: 2,940
Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer looks like a dark brown, and has an off-white head. Smell is fruity and malty. Taste consists of brown sugar, malt, caramel in the mouthful. Alcohol is very well hidden, is very fizzy, and carbonation keeps this beer feeling light and refreshing overall.

A very tasty Belgian Ale-- I prefer this to it's related golden ale variety, Delirium Tremens.

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Photo of thwinger
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful dark brown ale with ample caramel colored foam flecked with brown particulate. Malty sweetness of caramel/toffee scent dominates, but has subtle notes of hops. Malty-hoppiness flavor with subtle caramel and spice taste and a bitter finish. Crisp yet creamy mouthfeel goes down smooth. Decent beer on the right occasion, but not my everyday beer.

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Photo of EMH73
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium to dark brown with some red hues, a one inch tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, little lacing and a fair amount of floaties. Smells and tastes of dark fruits, bread, chocolate, spices and some caramel. Medium to heavy bodied, well carbonated, smooth mouth feel with a slightly dry finish.

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Photo of edward_boumil
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Great head retention, a bit of lace. Mocha colored head. Beer itself is a mahogany/chesnut brown, opaque.
S: Somewhat restrained, although what I do get is nice. Sweet molasses, dark fruit, maybe even honey and spice. Toffee, caramel, think dark sugar.
T: Great flavors here. Lots of phenol spice. Dough and yeast are prominent as well, toasted granola grain quality. Low bitterness. Good balance of sweetness and dryness.
F: Pretty smooth, very easy drinking. Carbonation feels a bit higher than average, pretty crisp which I feel balances out some of the sweet flavors. Very silky mouthfeel overall though
O: Really enjoy, strikes a balance with me between robustness of flavor and ease of drinking. Seems like something you can have a few of, all the while really enjoy doing so. Would drink again

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer. However, I was taken by surprise by the sudden foaminess and it is a bit of a gusher so watch out.

Look: cloudy brown with a very thick fluffy mocca head

Aroma: dark bread, raisons, a little bit of alcohol

Taste: The flavor is dark bread, yeast, dark fruits, plum, raisins, sweet, and it is a bit tart.

Feel: medium

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Photo of Roguer
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

*2013 bottle, reviewed in 2017*

Nut brown but fairly clear ale, topped with a modest tan head with OK retention.

Slight touch of oxidation on the nose; dark fruit bread, aspirin, wheat, raisins, wood.

While the nose hints at a Dubbel style Belgian ale, the palate is immediately hit with a strong prune-date-fig-raisin tone, showing up almost immediately, reaching a peak in the middle, and lingering until the end. Fruit bread and wheat continue to make an impression, along with some brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Red and white grapes, crackers, and perhaps a touch of banana. A touch of dry spice from the yeast.

A touch fizzy on the palate; surprising amount of sting. Definitely cuts down on the enjoyment for this style. Long finish; more heat than an 8.5% ABV brew deserves.

For a true Belgian SDA/Quad, this one isn't a classic. It's certainly not poor. I also wonder if perhaps this one does not hold up to aging quite as well as others in the style (I generally try to review all beers fresh if at all possible, and then age them only if appropriate). Worth visiting, but nowhere near as commanding and impressive as Tremens.

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Photo of Jortonsbeer
3.09/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

L: amber brown
Smell: sweet alcohol, some spices
Taste: poured and had a huge head. After getting through that foam, tastes like a dark heavy beer
Feel: dry alcohol
Overall: heavy dark beer, should have shared the bottle with a friend.

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Photo of pmcclure
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This is among the most pleasant beers I've come across to sip and savor slowly. The foreground is occupied by dark, roasted malt flavor but it balances well with some background sweetness and strong booziness.

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Photo of BlunderfulGuy
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Momma Rambo at Longhorn's Liquor! A very old bottle in the very back of a very deep cooler that they could neither recall when they last purchased any Nocturnum nor had a price for it in their system. That was, oh, nearly three years ago now. I will say that they charged me the same price as Delirium Tremens (cheaper than Noël), though I personally don't factor price into these reviews, it was just cool of them.

Hazy dark brownish-red color with flakes of yeast and stuff floating about, on top a dense yellowed parchment colored head that lasts a good while but not forever along with some speckled lace around the glass.
Roasted plums and apple raisin muffins on the nose with more of them in the mouth with a lot of chocolate, milk chocolate-dipped plums specifically, and spice cake. Very deep and complex malts and fruits all over but less profound than the aforementioned flavors.
Less fluffy or effervescent than an average dubbel or quad but more smooth and chewy.

Incredible, really. If I had to guess its age I would say somewhere between five and eight years old, kept in a cold, unlit liquor store cooler for half of it and a cool, completely dark closet for the other, time had treated it very, very well.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a chalice. The appearance was a dark brownish red color with a level white to slight off white colored half fingered head. There was some light lacing. The smell had some light caramel, mocha and chocolate backed up gently by some black liqorice and coriander. The taste took the previously mentioned flavors and softened them to a sweet spiciness I’ve yet to encounter in pretty much any beer. On the palate, this one sat about a medium to heavy on the body, so yes, it does come across to me as a sipper. The carbonation finishes slightly smooth and creamy. Overall, in my opinion, this was a wonderful Belgian Strong ale to be had again.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay goblet

L - Deep brown pour with a finger of tan head.

S - Candy sugar, brown bread, dark fruits, molasses, cinnamon

T - Grainy bread, malts, prunes, treacle.

F - Fine carbonation, slick mouth-feel, but not oily or syrupy, slight hit of alcohol heat.

Hit all the right notes and very well balanced. An excellent example of the style and very approachable.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The best of the Deliriums in my opinion, a true classic.

Appearance is a deep hazy chestnut body topped with a silky head, dissipation of which is rapid, but leaves a lingering foam slither til the end, imagine a radox bubble bath of there's a thought!

Aroma is a great combo of roasted nuts, malty caramel and sweet prune.

Taste is exactly as the aroma which is always a good sign.

A healthy 8.5% abv goes down smoothly, a bit too smoothly.

Only critique of this one is the effervescence, but certainly something I can live with...a world class beer for any world class drinker!

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Photo of Gajo74
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've had delirium tremendous several times, and surprisingly have not had its dark counterpart until now. Here goes:
Pours a brown/mahogany color with a hugely dense off white foamy head. That's the conundrum with some Belgians; the head is beautiful to look at, but, its torture waiting for it to settle somewhat so that you can get in that first sip. After what seemed a lifetime, the head began to dissapates and retained as a thick creamy and sudsy foam and lots of lacing dripping down the side of the glass.
The nose is interesting. Initially there is a orange peel zest. This is followed by dark fruit, chocolate malt and an interesting herbal spiciness that somehow reminds me of potatoes seasoned with garlic. Towards the end I start picking up a distinct pear aroma.
In the mouthfeel, there is initially a piercing carbonation that lightens the body. There is a faint cocoa sweetness in the background that is balanced by a mild hops bitterness. There are dark fruits such as raisins and plums, as well as some pear towards the end. There is even some mild tartness. Furthermore there is a peppery spiciness that is moderate and adds to the complexity. I love it how these flavors really open up as the drink warms and the carbonation settles. By this point the mouthfeel becomes soft, smooth and even creamy.
I really liked this one and perhaps like it better than delirium tremendous. A great example of the style.

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Photo of JBDE16
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark brown, with a dark ruby red hue in the light. With a light tan head.

Aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits, sweet malts..
Lots of carbonation, with a very Belgian character.
Nice light mouthfeel.
Simply put, a well crafted beer from the tiny town of Melle
You would never ever ever guess this was a 8.5% ABV!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brouwerij Huyghe "Delirium Nocturnum"
on tap @ Union Tap House, Philadelphia, PA on 17 FEB 2017
$8 / 10.5 oz.

Notes: Not the first time I've had this beer, and in fact I'm kind of missing the painted bottle that looks kind of like concrete. Green glass underneath if I'm not mistaken. On the other hand, I'm not sure that being on tap improves it or helps it like some other beers. Fairly clear reddish-brown body beneath a short cap of light tan. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of dull spice and herbs over limited caramel and soft bittersweet chocolate. The flavor brings in more herbal notes and some mild dried dark-skinned fruits (raisin, dried fig, prune), but also background banana and red fruit as well as more caramel and light milk chocolate. Also more earthy/herbal spice and a bit of anise and cardamom. A flicker of alcoholic heat is present as well, and along with the moderate bitterness and spice helps to dry it in the finish. Initially effervescent, and then smoother with a medium body. Easy to drink - everything's there but it doesn't jump out at you, but rather remains pretty pulled together into one overall flavor.

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Photo of deebo
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

3.60 euro for a chalice at Little Delirium.
A-2 Fingers of rocky beige head. Dark brown with garnet highlights-fairly transparent.
S-Fruity with sweet malts. Subdued aromas of raisin, sweet fruits, anise.
T-Big belgian. Lots of malt (sweet, slightly toasted) some bubblegum yeast with a bit of booziness. Raisins, smooths out as it warms.
M-Decent body. Average for a big beer. Very dry finish.
O-I'm getting that old fashioned feeling again. This beer beer has some nice flavors. It's a bit boozy but great overall.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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 -17.3%
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 -5.2%
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 -14.1%
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 -2.5%
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 -10.6%
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 +2.7%
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 -4.7%
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 -1.5%
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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Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2940 ratings