Delirium Nocturnum
Brouwerij Huyghe

Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #38
Ranked #4,197
4.05 | pDev: 12.35%
Brouwerij Huyghe
Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 949 | Ratings: 2,933
Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | 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 -2.5%
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 +2.5%
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 +6.9%
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 -1.7%
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 +7.4%
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 -4%
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 +1.7%
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 -8.1%
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 Beginner2
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've Had Huyghe's three ales that have the widest distribution in the States and four from the next level down (at least 150 BA ratings). I edit my original review on Nocturnum after at least my fourth tasting.

Huge, very huge head. Once it settles, the pleasure is in store. All the typical aromas of a great Belgian yeast working on the malt along with the brewers sugar: dark fruit, then some lighter apple/pear... and a hint that there is enough alcohol to warn me to share. Taste comes in about the same, but I get this very nice salivation as the yeast-sugar works on my buds. But when Nocturnum goes dry in the mouth along with its abundant carbonation, I know this ale needs some food. It went great with my vegetable stew. The bubbles cut the garlic and, fortunately for the stew, the herbs complemented one another.

Of course I'll have Nocturnum again... at a dinner party to share and chase away the winter blues.

8/18/18 Had my third of a 4 pack bought in mid-summer. A clue that I enjoy Nocturnum under a variety of circumstances.

MJ in his "Great Beers of Belgium" has good fun with Huyghe and their Order of the Pink Elephant (in their academic garb of mortar boards, and pink and light blue regalia... with medallions of the elephant.) But MJ cautions that they "fantastically mock the dangers of excess." (Recognizing a kindred spirit, Huyghe made him a Commander of the Order of Pink Elephants.) MJ reviews the Delirium range. He describes Nocturnum as "smooth, rich and perfumy." Those 4 words are spot on.

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Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 +0.7%
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 -21.2%
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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Photo of kitch
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of April 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet glass.

Appearance: It poured a cloudy dark brown colour with a one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly to a nice thin fluffy layer leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma: Strong dark fruits of raisin, plum, prunes, grape, dates and a hint of caramel.

Taste: Much like the aroma, there is strong sweet plum, raisin and prunes at the start. Sweet candied sugar and caramel midway. Before a light bitter finish with the alcohol coming through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and high carbonation.

Overall: This was nice and fruity but could be even better if the alcohol was hidden more.

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Photo of stevoj
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First sip...absolutely delicious! Dark reddish brown with one finger beige creamy head. Aroma is dried fruit , molasses, oak. Taste is more of the same and sweet. This is really, really nice.

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

Very drinkable, easy beer, but I prefer my strong darks with a bit more depth, character and higher ABV. Gotta give them props for the logo, bottle, etc. PINK ELEPHANT!

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Photo of drmeto
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-pours a hazy dark brown with ruby tinges and a big,foamy,beige head
-plums,raisins,dates,rose hip,strawberries,nutty,caramel,grassy,brown bread
-high carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
More fruity and less sweet compared to most other Belgian Dark Ales.
I liked it a lot

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Photo of Mitchellrhen
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Raisin, toffee, candy sugar, spice.
Appearance: Deep rich, dark Amber color, 2-3 finger off white foamy head.
Flavor: Hits strong initially of caramel and Belgian candy sugar, followed quickly by sweet dates/raisons, finishes at the end of the swallow with the signature Belgian yeast spice and a hint of alcohol bitterness.
Overall: Exceptional brew, the flavors are smooth, rich and well rounded and compliment the aroma perfectly. Mouthfeel is moderate, higher than expected considering the ABV. I bought 2 of these in Belgium specifically to review and say I had tried, but it will definitely become one of my rotational favorites.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not quite as good as I remember, being my first BSDA many years ago, but still pretty solid. Pours a beautiful dark brown with thick pillow of dense, lasting foam. Aroma is of dark fruit and spicy Belgian yeast, though somewhat obscured by aforementioned pillow. Flavors are nicely balance, and exceptionally smooth - raisin and candi sugar balanced nicely to a clean finish. No trace of alcohol, and even slightly thin mouthfeel.

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Photo of NanookinTexas
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Delirium Nocturnum; Not certain of the Bottled on Date, as the back label on the bottle does not have the date notched; 8.5%ABV; 330ml bottle; Acquired at Spec's Wine Spirits & Finer Foods in El Paso, Texas during the week of Christmas 2015; Poured into an Ommegang Brew Stem. This is the last bottle of a 4-Pack.

L: WOW what a beautiful looking brew! DEEP, deep5reddish-browm amber in colour! Looks really decadent and rich! When poured it develops a 3-finger head, slowly dissapating, with lacing sliding down the glass.

S: I love the bouquet of this brew! When the head is fully formed the aromas are rich in bread, yeast, malt, raisins, dates, coffee, a hint of steel. The alcohol is fully cloaked.

T: Bread, yeast, malt, raisins, dates, coffee, perhaps a hint of very dark chocolate. All very well balanced. As with the bouquet, the alcohol is fully cloaked. IMO, it's a medium to heavy brew.

F: As I mentioned above, I feel it's a medium-heavy brew, yet at the same time it's silky and clean on the palate, leaving no strange after-feel or after-taste. Certainly, at 8.5%ABV this is not a light brew, yet it is very drinkable.

O: As I mentioned in the fore, this is the last bottle of a 4-pack I acquired just before Christmas. For me, this a "MUST HAVE!!!" If it wasn't so pricy I could easily make this an "everyday brew!" I hesitate to give it a "5" only because, well, does a "5" really exhist? Perhaps? Though I must confess, I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention to this brew when I consumed the first three bottles!



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Photo of LennyOvies
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- Opaque dark amber brown, cloudy, hard for light to go through it. Huge foamy head, has to be served carefully, leaves a spotted head.
S- Belgian spices and yeast, molasses, dough.
T- Sweet. Malt, molasses, raisins, bread, clove and spices. Some booze in the aftertaste.
F- Carbonated, fizzy, medium.
O- Very good beer, was expecting more because of its popularity.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small sample from the bomber at Christmas celebrations. Thanks to Kif for the share.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy muddled dark brown beer with an enormous head (even if you pour oh so gently) that leaves an incredible swath of lacing on any glass and appears damn near eternal. Great looking beer.

Smell - A little dark chocolate, a small dose of nuttiness some caramel aromas and some general booxiness.

Taste - The caramel and chocolate, with toasted sugar show up nicely, quite nice until the alcohol shows up and puts you back in your place. Booziness reminiscent of something 11-14% which is okay, but not for an 8.5% ABV Belgian dark ale.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, well carbonated, dry-ish finish. Nothing to complain about here.

Overall - A well crafted Belgian dark ale, that has potential to be something special if the harsh alcohol flavour mid sip can be reigned in. A worthy addition to the pantheon of Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but definitely sitting in the lower half of the best in class.

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 0.33l bottle into trappist goblet.
L: Dark brown with a massive beige foam head.
S: Plum , dark fruits, caramel.
T: Semi-sweet, gooв balanced. Grapes, dark fruits.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: I'd prefer it should be more sweet and more-dimensional.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a chalice.
The head was a huge rocky white to off white foamy glaze overcoating a dark brown color. Gracefully, the head dissipates to leave some light stringy and foamy lacing.
The smell starts off with some molasses, toast, honey, raisins and light Belgian spices.
The taste is sweet with an ample amount of spices of clove, nutmeg and pepper. Light Belgian sugars slide in for the taking of the aftertaste and yielding into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a sly carbonation yielding to enough dark sweetened malts laying down in a sticky sort of way on my tongue.
Overall, a very nicely done Belgian Strong Dark ale coming from Belgium why wouldn't I have this again, of course I would.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: The head is giant, foamy, and tan in color, and crowns a dark brown body with garnet highlights.

Smell: A HUGE bouquet of spiced molasses, candied dates, prunes, and wild honey, with a unique malty base that somehow combines toast with raw bread dough.

Taste: The spices clear the sinuses right up, showcasing cloves, nutmeg, coriander, and white pepper. A dab of orange marmalade adds a bit of tang, sweetened by chocolate malt and smoked caramel. The candy box character is made more mature by earthy hops which featuring a damp mushroom taste, almost like a rich truffle.

Mouthfeel: The medium-high body is lightened by lots of carbonation, but not so much that any element of the complex taste is masked, even with a dry, crisp finish.

Overall: A truly unique taste explosion with comforting qualities for all big beer lovers. There's plenty of dark fruit and chocolate, but also a strong presence of bright spice.

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Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2933 ratings