Delirium Noël | Brouwerij Huyghe

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Delirium NoëlDelirium Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 02-03-2002

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Reviews: 773 | Ratings: 1,905
Reviews by TripelJ:
Photo of TripelJ
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Now Quaffing: Delirium Noel

I must take a moment to admire the presentation before I pop the cork. Huyghe's signature "crock" bottle with an interesting twist on the delirium theme--Santa and his sleigh pulled by three pink elephants (other versions available).

Pours a translucent reddish-brown with a smalll tan head. Smells sweet and malty with all kinds of fruity aromas going on. The various fruit flavors carry over to the taste--plums, raisins, and light citrus. In addition to a symphony of fruit, there is also the trademark coriander and light spiced feel in the mouth that makes for a most interesting seasonal brew. Overall, not the best offering from Huyghe, however it certainly will warm you up nicely on a cool winter evening (note: I live in Florida and it doesn't get much colder than "cool".)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Roguer
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprisingly light, reddish-brown color, topped with a nice cream colored head with great retention.

Aroma is all Belgian yeast and candi sugar. A touch of darker malts sneak in, alongside plums and pears, but the yeast really dominates.

Flavor follows, after a sort. It's sugary and malty up front, with plenty of sweet and spicy notes from the yeast. That starts to give way to prunes and cloves, finishing with a metallic twinge. Long, cloying finish leaves a significant imprint of raisins and figs.

Surprisingly lively mouthfeel; sticky finish.

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Photo of jrsqc7
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

It looks great coming out the bottle solid head heavy metal ironfist clinging to the glass the notes of red Swedish fish heavy metal bulldozer your nose malt is there but is not heavy metal Samurai enough to cut through the sweetness.

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Photo of Chiefy770
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml Bottle
Bottled on September 1st, 2014
Reviewed on December 31st, 2014
Served in a Tulip Glass

Towering off-white foam head… we’re talking three-to-four fingers deep here. The head slowly collapsed and left a good amount of sticky, bubbly lacing. The body was a rich amber, nearing mahogany in darkness.

Sweet and spicy notes dominated the nose. The yeast was definitely present. Perhaps I am crazy but I found the overall aroma to be quite similar to an arrangement of lilies in a funeral home… you can take that however you want to.

Many of the sweet notes from the nose successfully transferred over in the taste. Great presence of dark fruit… think dates, raisin, fig, etc. Strong caramel backbone found in the malts. The yeast was present but did not take centre stage. The alcohol was masked pretty well, only a few notes of alcohol broke through in the finish.

There are not many bad things to say about this brew. It hit the spot on a bitterly cold night. We could sit here all night and talk about everything this beer is not like, but that’s a waste of a good night.

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Photo of kell50
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Grabbed a single from Total Wine for the BA live tasting.

A - Pours a dark, hazy ruby color. A huge fluffy off-white head renders small rings that attach around the edge of the glass.

S - Big pop of Belgian aromas- raisins, cherries, plums, candi-sugar, clove, and fruity yeast. There is a touch of booziness present as well.

T - Taste really follows the nose. Cherry, raisins, brown sugar, Belgian yeast and bubblegum on the finish. It's 10% alcohol content is reasonably hidden, but noticeable. There is also a nice mix of wintery spices present.

M - Medium body and lively carbonation. No bottling date noticed, I'm assuming this one is relatively fresh. Pretty creamy mouthfeel, in addition to a little alcohol burn.

O- I enjoyed this beer from start to finish. I remember having previously enjoyed his beer, but never reviewed it. This was a great beer to revisit given the proximity to Xmas.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Burgundy color with a big ass fluffy white head.

Malt scents, spices, maybe cinnamon, rock candy.

Taste is so smooth. Spices come through again. Belgian yeast goodness.

Loving this.

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Photo of VAcrossr
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Okay, making my first official BA review for the Online Tasting of Delirium Noël. Picked up a 750ml bottle a week ago to cellar for the tasting.

Nice amber color with a fizzy two-finger head that dissipates in a couple minutes to a layer of bubbles that covers about half of the top of the glass in a map-like pattern. A few bubbles cling to the sides. Pretty.

Smell is some peppery phenols and brown malts. I like.

Taste is, for me, somewhat between a quad and dubbel. Same goes for the color, too. I'm getting a bit of dark ripe fruits, raisiny taste, and a tingle of pepper.

Feel: I quite like the feel. Starts out a bit fizzy and settles down but with enough bubbles to prick up the peppery taste. This is better than I remember it, maybe having tried it only once or twice.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A redish brown pour with an off white and modest head. Hmmm, looks kinda like a Christmas beer...

Smell: When i think of Christmas & Christmas beer i think of strong spice & fruitiness....lots of alcohol warmth...the nose on this beer was mild to a fault.

Taste: The beer picks up somewhat here and has a decent spiced body with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon that reminded me a little of a fruit cake. The flavours didn't last long enough for me and the beer ended with a candycane sugary sweetness. Nice warming effect on the finish due to the 10% alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat lively and a lightly rich.

Drinkability: Not as intense as i would have liked for a Christmas beer. There are other Christmas beers i would definitley prefer. Having said that, it is still a worthwhile beer...hey, i've tried pure crap in the past and this isn't crap. It's good.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Deep sugary brown color with a tinge of orange and a rising head that required an attentive pour. The head went down rather quickly tough and didn’t leave any lacing, probably due to the high ABV.

Smell – Musty, with notes of alcohol and malts. There’s also some rich spicing in there and some fruity sweetness, most notably apple, banana, and peach.

Taste – Sugary sweetness makes an entry at the taste. We’ve got some big table sugar, an even mix of regular and brown, along with chewy candy caramel, a little dark chocolate, and a dash of sugar cane. The big fruit from the nose is mixed into this concoction of tooth decay.

The malt comes out here as well, but clearly this is secondary. The must characteristic is present, too. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel – Moderate carbonation and big sweetness give the mouth a nice overall feel.

Drinkability – This was the gem of the Delirium trio that I’ve tried this week.

Update – I reviewed this for the first time the month after I joined the site, so I thought it would be interesting to re-review it with a 2004 vintage. It was extraordinarily consistent and I would only add that I picked up a strong buttering effect this time around.

Update – The 2006 vintage if more of the same without the buttery taste. Maybe the ’04 I had was an anomaly? Anyway, an all around excellent brew.

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Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of tectactoe
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, ruby-red color with decent clarity. Very volatile with a smokey-white head that forms on top - fluffy and thick. Sweet, fruity, estery aroma, complete with all kinds of berries, plums, and figs. Dark, deep, and sweet fruits. Heavy alcohol presence on the first sip, warming quite a bit with a high phenol-like character. Sweetness hits the tongue right away; black licorice, plums, black cherries, white grapes. In the background, you can pick up hints of the banana-clove combination that is found in many Belgian style ales. The malts are very sweet and earthy. In the middle of the sip, I was even getting a bit of tartness; cherries and pears. Slight musty aftertaste with some funky yeast. Medium body, high carbonation.

Overall, a decent brew, but the weakest of the Delirium bunch. Tasty, but I would probably pass this one up in the store next time, for either a better Belgian style or a different holiday seasonal offering.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ccapurso
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Nismo2
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of dcurrin
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of -DF-
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle at a beer brunch at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC.

This was poured into a wine glass and served with a dessert course. It was very dark brown in the glass, translucent when held to light with dark ruby hue. There was initially a full 2-3 fingers of head at the initial pour, eventually settling down to about a finger or so of light brown to off-white foam.

Aromas were very light but could be brought out with a few swirls of the glass. Dates or raisins, some vanilla, spices like nutmeg or coriander, and just a trace of alcohol. This really smells like something you might want to mull on the stove.

I tasted this brew with and without food. On its own, it has the most interesting complexity of malts and candied fruit that I can remember. There is some sweetness that goes along well with a nice full bodied and relatively heavy mouthfeel. The linger was long and a bit warm, with traces of spice that seemed to just dance at the back of your tongue.

Then I tried with the food, both a chocolate pastry and fresh picked blueberries. The pastry and beer were great, but what shocked me was how well this beer played with those blueberries! The dark fruity sweetness of the berries just brought the heart and soul out this brew, highlighting the subtle spices that were easy to miss before, like cinnamon or cardamom and bringing to the forefront the fantastic malty sweetness. It was a fantastic experience, one that I would have never considered on my own.

This brew is fantastic on its own or paired with the right food. It has the classic Belgian candy sugar tone to it nestled nicely within all that complexity. I should note that the beer I sampled was from the previous years Christmas stock (from Christmas 2007) and I don't really know if that was for the better or worse. All I know is that this stuff rocks and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a beautiful Belgian dark ale.

 1,932 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Pink elephants are in abundance during the holidays--we're sure St. Nick is seeing them on his last night of work each year. Clear mahogany color, crackling head downsizes to a thin ring of lace. Smooth and slick, creamy body. Malty with a toastiness throughout; hint of caramel soon leads to a very warming alcohol. Candied tropical fruit and raisins mesh well with a spiciness from the alcohol and hops. Ghost-like herbal phenols barely make any noise. Hint of yeast and more spicy warmth in the end. Tastes like the holidays and drinks like a Belgian beast, pink elephants and all.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A little lighter than expected for a Belgian Dark Strong, very high carbonation feeling a less than spectacular head which fades rapidly and really leaves no lace.

S - Very yeasty, dark fruit such as raisins, and some spice. Almost has a chai tea like aroma.

T - Interesting, lots going on some good and some bad. The dark fruit and yeast are nice (perhaps a touch too yeasty) and the alcohol at the end let you know this is definitely a strong ale. The spice is too strong, too many penols in here it seems, they just kind of overwhelm you from beginning to end.

M - Light body, and lots of tingle from the carbonation. The alochol gives a nice warmth at the end.

O - Not a bad beer, but there are just too many other Belgian Dark Strong Ales (like their own Nocturnum) to get this again.

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Photo of Dmann
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A dissapointing beer concitering the good reputation of the brand. It poured a nice amber color with a small head that had faded once it got to the table and settled into a froth. The smell was of light pepper and clove. The taste was quite subtle for a beer of this size, and had a bit of a thin mouthfeel. The flavor was nice enough but seemed like it was holding back a bit with just a bit of belgian yeast and pepper flavor shining through. I think I'll pass on this one next time.

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Photo of DahWag
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Delirium Noel more than Nocturnum, but not as much as Tremens.

A lovely reddish color with a small head that leaves no lacing.

The 10% alcohol content is very present in the nose & overpowers pretty much everything else.

The taste is strong, bold. Again, the high alcohol content is very noticeable. Somehow, the taste also comes out somewhat smooth. Interesting.

I'm glad I tried this one, but at $9 a bottle, I'll probably stick to Delirium Tremens next time I buy one of their products.

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Photo of RoninBirdman
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

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Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,905 ratings.
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