Delirium Nocturnum | Brouwerij Huyghe

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very good
901 Reviews
Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe
Belgium | website

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: 901 | Ratings: 2,741
Photo of necoadam
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Town & Country in W. Springfield MA

Pours out a dark brown/garnet with some head but goes away into lacing around the glass. Smell consisted of dark fruits, a little bit sugary at times, and some toffee notes in the background. Taste was pretty good. Malty, fruity, a little on the sweet side and finishes with some grapes and toffee like flavors. Alcohol is not really noticeable, warms the throat really. Medium body and not overcarbonated which let the flavors really come through. Not bad at all, worth a try for sure, but I rather pick up some Unibroue instead for the price.

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Photo of noclue
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 330ml bottle served in tulip glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby color. Good off-white head that lasts long and leaves soapy lacing. Good clarity.

Smell: sugary sweet and vinous fruit aromas are almost overwhelming (that's a good thing).

Taste: Tart. Medicinal. Phenolic. Fruity. Spicey.Grainy. Strong hops.

Mouthfeel. Slightly watery. Mildy carbonated, dry finish.

Drinkability/Overall: Not as brutal as Tremens, quite easy to drink. Not my favorite belgain, but still a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of danadeny
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge off white head, on top of a brown body. It has a faint roasted malt smell. It has a spicy bite, and the alcohol is present all the way through as well as a little bitterness mixed in with the roasted malt flavor. In the after taste there is some chocolate and coffee. Nocturnum is inline with the other delirium offerings, this happens to be the dark version. Solid beer, worth a try.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a very dark copper red with a good three finger head that slowly dissapated and left a thick choppy beige foam on top of the beer. I also thought the bottle made to look like stoneware was a nice touch, in fact it's the reason my wife picked this one out for me, thanks Jen.

The smell was very complex, heavy in malt and fruit. Figs come to mind along with apple and dare I say dates. Hidden in the back of the nose was a slight hop spice.

The drink started with an alcohol warmth mixed with a slight malt sweetness. The middle was a kick of fruit, apples and dates. The finish was more alcohol warmth mixed with a hop spice. The flavor was slightly thin from what this beer looked like and smelled like.

All and all a very drinkable and refreshing beer. I'm very glad I got this one. It's the first one I've had where the cool package is backed up with a great beer. Don't pass this one up it's worth the time.

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Photo of Hunter
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle, made to look like crockwear. Nice little spin on presentation. Pours a thick brown head atop a dark russet beer. Little lacing, but head revives well on agitation.

Aroma is wonderfully complex. Simultaneously received notes of cherry, chocolate, raisin, pepper, alcohol and beefsteak. Alcohol starts to take over as the beer warms. Deep and flavorful before even taking a sip.

Taste was bound to be a disappointment after a nose like that. Beer begins with carbonation and alcohol, and little else comes through. The aftertaste is cloying, alcoholic, and bitter. Mouthfeel manages to be thin and sticky at the same time. As the beer warms the flavor improves a bit - I gave it an extra .5 in the flavor cateogy as a result.

I've had stronger beers than this that do a much better job subduing the alcohol and allowing other flavors to shine through. This might compliment red meat and cheese dishes well, but taken on it's own it's a little much.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 07AUG2004

Light brown, almost cola like, with plenty of white yeast sediment. Small head.
Had a alcohol, somewhat butterscotch smell.
Tasted sweet, quite malty, caramel, almost like a barleywine.
I wonder how old this bottle was...My guess is at least a few years. This Beer was still good, but the taste I got from it doesn't seem to concur with everyone else.

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an auburn color (looks like an Australian Muscat) with a cream colored head; lots of lacing

Smell: Apples, dried fruit and a bit of caramel

Taste: The apple and caramel malts hit you first, followed by some bitter tart flavors that dominate the middle; after the swallow, the peppery yeast adds another dimension while the alcohol adds a boozy character

Mouthfeel: The carbonation hits you right away - a bit too much for my preference; but the body is full; slight warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: A fine sipping strong Belgian; surprisingly, over time, the sour flavors really take over

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Photo of AbePhroman
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoy this brewery. Poured a dark amber color with a bubbly head that rose fast. Smells of malts and spices, little hops aroma. It goes down smooth even though it has a 8.5%abv. I do enjoy this beer alot and would recommend to anyone who like Belgian strong ales.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is not like any other beer I've had before. My first Belgian. Poured orange/amber/ruby with a foamy head that quickly disappeared. Smelled of spices, sweetness, malts, and maybe some alcohol but I'm not sure. Tastes almost like apple cider with some kick to me. It does have some malts but kind of a sweet aftertaste. This seems like a beer with an identity crisis. Does it want to be sweet? hoppy? malty? what? Not bad but just not sure about this one. Maybe as I try other Belgians my taste buds will sharpen. Definitely worth a try just to get another style.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark tea colour with dirty white head sets this beer up to be approached with sipping on the mind. The nose is not huge but has alcohol notes and old esters. The taste is graveyard dirt and iron which gives this beer a nice brown ale taste much like Nostradamus or Rochefort. I like this beer though it isn't at the same level as other dark heavy Belgian classics. Well worth buying though.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Slightly cloudy, dark brown in color, moderate head. Looks very fizzy in the glass.

S: The first thing I notice is a strong smell of alcohol. There are some nice spicy/fruity aromas carried along with the ETOH.

T: Malty, a bit spicy. Low hop flavor (expected, so ok). Sorry, but this one isn't impressing me.

M: Carbonation feels a bit too high for the style. Warming alcohol feels like more than the stated ABV%. Medium bodied with no real aftertaste.

D&N: An ok beer. If it were a bit less fizzy I might like it more, but the pink elephant can't save this one.

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

330ml white coating on a brown bottle. Very noticible, you've probably seen it. Weird drawings on the label. Pours a dark brown with just a little red. small head with good staying power and good lacing on the glass. First its malty and almost sweet. A lot of flavors going on but not really any bitterness or hopiness. You can definitely taste that this is a stronger beer, 8.5%. As you swallow the flavor changes and leaves this odd taste, a very complex beer.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in Dallas. Not available in Wichita.

Appearance: Deep amber-brown with hints of red. Tons of chunky sediment. Brown head rose up big. Coarse and spider-web like in some areas, dense and fluffy in others. Very light lacing.

Smell: Watery and metallic on the nose. Both citrus and dark fruits were present, and a light spiciness from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly chewy, and velvety with carbonation. Light numbing from the alcohol.

Taste: The first drink shocked the hell out of me with a strong, sharp sourness. It mellowed out after that, but still retained some sourness. Dark cherries, light alcohol, and an old musty, dusty component dominated. Finish dried out somewhat and became very yeasty and lightly malty.

Strange beer. Not bad, but a little too "out there" for me to hit it regulary.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, with a 2001 cork. As long as the cork indicates the year, this is a jackpot, for there are lots left, and this seems to be well mellowed. Pours a clear brown with a big fluffy tan head. The carbonation is on the lower end for a Belgian, which may also be a proof of age. Aroma is complex with a strong fig component, and a mix of vanilla and raisin. Palate is warming, with the alcohol apparent, but blended well with the beer's flavor and aroma. Flavor is very fruity, with raisin and fig evident. A little sticky and full bodied as well. I remember having a bottle a little over a year ago from the same store and it not being nearly as good, so aging helps a plenty...

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

Almost opaque dark brown color. Rocky tannish head with good lace adhesion on the glass. Spare chocolate to the aroma, light rum, yeasty funkiness. Mouthfeel is medium and spritzy with secondary carbonation. Bright flavors of fruit, grape and unripe nectarines, some lemony qualities. A dry cocoa lingers in the background and adds some balance. Finish is astringent with the carbonation showing its best effect. All-in-all, could use some more malt tones to match the mouthfeel better, a good enough brew but not seminal to my tastes.

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

Purchased a 750 at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Love the familiar, lovable elephant on the bottle.

Pours opaque mahogany until held to the light where it appears heavy, nebulous copper, with a mastadonic, reddish tan head. The head deflates quickly leaving scattered, slippery swaths of lace on the glass.

Alcohol hits my nose first, evacuating my sinuses, followed by spiced dark fruits (raisins, prunes, fried apples, doused in rum), and a finish of caramelized bananas and sweet rolls. A big, meaty nose.

Taste opens with a fermented berry sweetness (blueberry wine), bright and sharp. A mild bitterness edges through the middle, like a brief sprinkle of lemon zest. The finish is all prunes, raisins, musty bitterness -- this is where it gets complex, rich and interesting. The finish is also dry, pleasantly.

Lots of foamy carbonation. A dense mouthfeel ("whipped" comes to mind), a tad sticky but nothing to whine over.

Enjoying this, very much.

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Photo of stewart124
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany/brown with off-white head and very yeasty smells that are followed by sweet smelling fruits. The fragrance is almost overwhelming. Strong tastes of aged malts and a yeasty hit of sweet fruits and spices. Bits alcohol hit the palate and after a couple sips you can feel it almost overtake you. Very delicious brew that finishes with bits of plums and spice. The alcohol in this brew really warms the stomach and sends you off to a happy land. Or maybe that was just me. Really something to try if you get the chance. This hits almost every part of the palate.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby with a short lived brackish head. Teeny tiny ring of foam on the outside of the chalice.

Smells very strongly of dark fruit. Perhaps a little fig too.

Tatses like Rapscallion Creation lite. Not nearly as pronounced or as deep. Very fruity and a bit sweet. Full of malt sugars. lots of plum and cherry hiding in there. Finishes slightly dry with a delayed warming.

Mouthfeel is moderate with the alcohol well hidden.

Very drinkable, but why pay so much for this when you can get a more complex brew locally from Concorde?

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Photo of jed
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 33 cl bottle with the distinctive ceramic coating that the other Delirium beers I've tried use. Huge pink elephant on the front of the label, along with a blue foil wrapper. The back of the label has information about the beer along with a "Best best end:" note but no actual consumption date. Some sort of bottling code on the bottom, with 'D' notched.

Appearance: Pours a uniform, dark mahogany color, a little bit cloudy. Slightly less than one finger of tan head with average head retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a spare, uneven trail of lacing.

Smell: Strong alcohol solvent is the dominant aroma, paired with a hint of dry, cider-like apple. Pleasant, but not particularly complex.

Taste: Tart apple nose, which immediately gives way to spicy alcohol flavors and raw beet sugars. The sweetness is balanced by pepper and other difficult to catch spices: corriander, dull cloves. No hop presence beyond some faint bitterness. Lingering, licorice-like sweetness that disappears as the beer warms. The aftertaste is warming alcohol and dry, weak spices. Another reviewer called the flavor "one dimensional," which sounds about right to me. It's not bad, but gets a little bit boring, and the finish is weak.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a strong point, very smooth and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: The combination of huge, unrestrained alcohol flavors — you'll be seeing those pink elephants — and the one-dimensional flavor hurt drinkability.

A fun beer to try, but not something I would make a regular drink. I haven't seen this one at local shops in the U.S.; for the money, I'd go with Delirium Tremens or another Belgian over the Nocturnum.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Delirium Nocturnum. I picked up a bottle to try after tasting and enjoying it's stablemate, the Delirium Tremens. Where the Tremens was a good introduction to the Belgian strong pale ale style, the Nocturnum lies on the strong dark ale side of the spectrum. This sample had the cool painted bottle with the smiling pink elephant on the label, a sign of things to come if one were to try to session this 8.5% ABV brew.

The Nocturnum poured extremely well into a widemouth stem glass. The beer was carbonated to the point that it bubbled out of the bottle when I opened it even though I didn't agitate the bottle. Big, thickly compacted head, a wonder to behold. The color was dark, cloudy copper, rich and inviting. Good nose, hints of fruits and spices, pears and apricots perhaps. No distinct alcohol character to the scent.

The taste was very complex. It started out fruity, the pear and apricot nose was not a ruse. The malts lent a slight sweetness to the whole character of the beer. Slight bitterness on the back of the palate. As the glass warmed, the beer took on a slightly dryer tone, losing some of the initial fruityness and sweetness in exchange for a more bready feel. The yeasts began to assert themselves a little more in the finish.

Very nice mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste. Pretty drinkable in all respects. I really began to polish off the sample after the beer had warmed up a little and evened out.

All in all, an excellent effort. This is just a beautiful beer that hits all of the right buttons. If you're not already pursuing Belgian and Belgian styled domestic beers, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do so. There was a lot of adventure in this little 11.2 oz. bottle. That little pink elephant is smiling for a reason...

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

Pours a deep dark clear brown brew with a tan head.

Smell is rich dark almost over ripe fruit. Nice spice smells a clean sweetness comes through. A mild Banana bread smells comes through.

Taste is sweet tart and spicy. Fruit flavors come through with cinnamon and other spices and a nice bitterness. Similar to Banana Bread with Granny Smith Apples. Gets sweeter and fruitier as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Very good Drinkability, but this is the stuff you sip and don't chug!

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Photo of benmiliron
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Paid $5.99 for a bottle.

Very sour beer. A bit of smoke and malt, but mostly sourness. Not a terrible brew if you're into that kind of thing, but I'm not. Shame it couldn't be like it's brother Tremens. Painted bottle looks nice, maybe this was just a bad bottle?

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red with a brownish tint with a pretty large head,aroma was like bubblegum and spicey.Taste is chocolaty and spicey with some light fruity notes.Seemed a little thin but the drinkability for me on this one was great.Went very with a stuffed quail dish and a sauce reduction of the beer.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, deep ruby and maroon color with a four-fingered off-white head that tries to escape the Delirium tulip. Head fades away slowly leaving a billowy lace on the glass.
Aroma of drak fruits, cough medicine, grain, spic, orange peel and hint of alcohol. Classic Belgian complexity to me.
Flavor of dark, dark fruits - prunes or raisins, coriander, biscuit and some citrus twang.
Mouthfeel is beautifully alive on the tongue. Sweet and full upfront with a nice transition to spicy and dry alcoholic finish.
Drinkability is superior but powerful alcohol and flavor would make hard to session.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened a nice 750 ml bomber on a Sunday night before my dinner guests arrived and I must say, I was not disappointed. The appearance was as close to perfection as it gets. Dark red/brown with a stupendous tan head that just would not back down. Even when it did, it left a beautiful lacing that is second to none. The smell was to me quite alcohol like and filled with fruits and grains. The taste was like the smell. Upfront it was yeasty and bready with a nice dose of dark fruits although I have to say, not quite as nice as an abt 12 of any sort. Also a mild hoppiness could be found, yet it played second fiddle to the fruits and sweet malts. Mouthfeel was good, although a bit too carbonated for my taste. But the body itself was creamy and satisfying. Drinkability must have been excellent, because I drank the whole darn bomber myself, hehe. If you are a fan of dark ales, give this a go.

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Delirium Nocturnum from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.95 out of 5 based on 2,741 ratings.
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