Delirium Noël | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
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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: 789 | Ratings: 1,950
Photo of ikantspel
1.37/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

bomber into a duvel tulip

pours a brownish amber color with a pretty heavy head and lots of sweet lacing

somewhat of a funky smell. lots of yeast with some caramel and malts.

taste like vomit. bad batch maybe? metallic almost blood aftertaste.

chalking this up to maybe a bad batch or bottle. ive drank worse... i think

 325 characters

Photo of philipquarles
1.42/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a corked and caged 75cL bottle into a Delirium tulip, Noël is a dark clear copper with a medium eggshell head. Mediocre retention and lacing. Smells of sugar, cola syrup, cherry, and spice. Somewhat medicinal. Taste is cloyingly sweet--lots of candi sugar/syrup evident, with quasi-fruity overtones. As if someone had macerated Jolly Ranchers in Sprite and (bad) vodka. Some black pepper and alcohol. Highly astringent at the end. Like cough syrup gone bad. As a matter of fact, I would take purple drank any day of the week over this one. Mouthfeel is thin and just plain off for a beer of this style and strength.

Honestly, Noël is a disaster and was a drain pour for me. This was no fluke, mind you--this is my second time trying this one. It fits the typical Huyghe model: lots of sugar, high ABV, and no substance.

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Photo of Hanglow
1.84/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Great looking bottle, bbe of 09/19.

Pours brown, huge head. Bright.

Aroma - Loads of banana. LOADS. Nail polish. Bad.

Large amounts of higher alcohols come to the fore in taste, more banana, alcohol burn, harsh. bubblegum end.

Typically thin Belgian mouthfeel, high carb. slight bitterness on the end. The burn lowers the feel score

This is really atrocious, maybe not as bad as spesh or super but it's up there. Marketing over substance. Avoid.

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Photo of 77black_ships
2.04/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

33 cl. bottle @ ‘t Waagstuk – the only Delirium beer I hadn’t tried yet, always passing it over in favour of better options – colour is an incredibly bright ruby amber with a grey white head, volatile herbs, dissolvent, windex, churned cough syrup, rotting malts, plastic fruits, revolting Belgian yeast, this is artificial & downright gross and nasty. Awful stuff which is not particularly surprising given the fact that Huyge made this.

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Photo of Quaffer
2.09/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

25.4 oz. bottle, corked and caged. Cork dated 2004. Picked this up in Dallas, I think. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This one poured a ruddy amber color that was crystal clear. The light tan head rose up only with quite a bit of effort and settled back down rather quickly. It remained coarse and level as it did so. The lacing was very light.

Smell: The aroma was odd, almost washed out and watery. There were hints of cherries and cinnamon, and maybe a little bit of roasted malt. However, it really just smelled like a wet dish rag.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth upfront. Carbonation kicked in as the beer hit the back of the mouth.

Taste: There were hints of medicinal cherry and a light caramel sweetness upfront. This was quickly overcome by a strong astringency and tannic component, though the aforementioned flavors still lingered in the background. That was about it: strong bitter, astringency; a sharply acidic, tannic flavor; and cough syrup.

I couldn't bring myself to finish even one glass from the bottle. It just wasn't good. Completely raw, rough, and unrefined. Maybe it needs more age? A LOT more age.

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Photo of akorsak
2.21/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Caveat before we get started: this beer strikes me as off. I have no evidence that the bottle is bad or the cork failed, so I will review as is and follow-up with another bottle at a later date.

I am drinking from a Ommegang Three Philosophers chalice. The beer is slightly below its optimal tasting temperature, but gradually warming.

Appearance: The ale has a nice crimson/ruby color. It is clear with no particles or haze to be seen.

Smell: The smell is average. I detect a bit of liquid smoke in the aroma. Said liquid smoke is NOT a good thing for this ale.

Taste: The liquid smoke that I detected in the aroma continues into the taste. The smoke is not pleasant and does not add to the quality of the beer. This beer falls under the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category and, when viewed against other beers in this category, Delirium Noel falls woefully short.

Mouthfeel: The beer, when on the palate, gives a rauchbier-esque taste. Very unpleasant and I do not recommend it.

Drinkability: There is none. The smokey taste ruins the beer. If you are looking for a Christmas ale, try N'Ice Chouffe or Corsendonk Christmas Ale.

CAVEAT REMINDER: This beer rates so far below other reviews that I believe it is my obligation to re-review another bottle. When I do that, any changes to my review will be added in parenthetical note format to the original review.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.35/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2003 vintage tasted on 12/25/04. Pours a muddy tea brown with almost no head. Aroma is pleasant, spicy, malty, semi-sweet. Flavor just reached out and hit me upside the head- an attack on my palate of undefineable spices that don't add up. Leaves a chalky, spicy mess on my palate after the swallow. Maybe this beer didn't age well, but I thought it should have aged nicely.

Not a pleasant Christmas day treat.

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Photo of lawlerj
2.38/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A - pours a semi translucent amber with a pillowy light tan head. Appears to be moderately carbonated. Not much in the way of head retention that I would expect from the style; not much lacing either.

S - raisins, cherries, and a hint of booziness. Sweetness dominates the aroma, mixing with some Belgian yeast - there may be a bit of spice in there, but I can't really get past the sweetness.

T - cloyingly sweet fruit up front. Mellows out a bit through the mid section with some malt and finishes with an alcohol burn. Leaves a sweet aftertaste. Very boozy but not in a good way. Very astringent and a bit metallic, though this does fade as the beer warms. There's a lot of flavors going on but it really doesn't jive for me.

M - medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Nothing to complain about.

O - overall, a disapointment. I had high hopes but this beer just didn't work for me as much as I wanted it to. This is my first sampling from this brewery - hopefully the other hold up a bit better. I will avoid this in the future.

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Photo of Yesac
2.45/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour - cloudy cherry amber with no head. A small bubbly ring forms around the edge, with small bubbles floting up in the middle. Decent carbonated lacing.

Smell - strong alcohol, hints of cherry and wine.

Taste - Alcohol quicky jumps to the back of the throat hitching a ride from the carbonation. This beer simply tastes like carbonated alchohol to me, I cannot pick out any other flavors.

Although I couldn't find much taste here, the drinkablility isn't that bad if you can stand a strong alchohol taste.

I'll stay away from this.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

taste- sour apple

color- amber-red

clarity- clear

smell- sweet malt, apple

appearance- active carbonation, sediment

overall impression- over-aged

notes- held for too long, lost some of its alcohol, a little flat and uninteresting. this review is for a 2005 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.53/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A ruddy scarlet brew with a hint of orange. A tiny line of lacing sits about the top.

S - Cherries, strong sweet malt, cinnamon, also something . . . unsettling. I don't really care for the aroma. Very strong, but not particularly great.

T - A bit of sour cherries, a hint of bubblegum, sweet sugars, alcohol and grassy hops. Aftertaste is a faintly medicinal with a bland grassy bitterness. Meh.

M - Thick, carbonation is a little high, not terribly refreshing.

D - Meh. I just didn't go for this one. It was a little bit of good, but mostly discomfiting. I don't think I will have again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.56/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a super huge foamy and creamy off-white head with perfect retention. Aroma of cinnamon and another spices which results in a weird perfume that doesn’t excite my olfactory sense. Taste is also dominated by that weird perfume that I have a hard time to pinpoint. I also noticed some sweet malt. Body is real creamy with a good lacing. Alcohol is very well hidden. Even though Belgian Christmas beer is not a well-defined style, there are still some things that I expect (high ABV, full body, spice mix…) which I couldn’t find in here.

 581 characters

Photo of WhiteOak
2.56/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Light copper/brown color with a thick off-white head. Minimal lacing, if any.

S- Cherries dominate. Some malt aroma.

T- Raisinated dark fruits, sweet cherries, caramel malt, yeasty dough. Did not detect any spice.

M, D- On the full side of medium bodied, the ABV only showing when warmed.

Yawn. Lacking complexity. Poor value.

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Photo of impending
2.61/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml into a tulip. Pours a wonderful clear reddish copper but little head, minor lacing.

Smells like a meld of a strong dark and a phenolic tripel with lots of bready yeast. No particularly strong noël spices.

Taste is not on par with the scent. Sweet beginning, phenolic middle, ever slightly bitter finish with peppery alcohol. Aftertaste lingers but not to it's advantage. Full bodied.

Shares a common brew style true to Huyghe, toss in a few spices and they ship a noël. Seek others.

 503 characters

Photo of newton99
2.69/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smell: Spice, Peaches, Fig, Plums, Apricots. Some alcohol. Notes of woody/nuttyness.

Taste: follows the nose with the fruit but that's about it. A little bit of spice but not like I smelled. You can taste the alcohol for sure. To sum it all, it's a belgIan strong dark but not really a christmas version.

Mouthfeel: not to thin and not to thick, a nice balance. No alcohol bite but you know it's there. Good carbonation, easy to drink.

Overall: probably would get again next year if I saw it on the shelf while shopping but not somthing I will seek out and would probably skip over in preference of other holiday beers. It will definetly get you feeling good at 10 abv.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ruddy brown color with a tight head that fades to islands. Head is tan and leaves sporadic sliding lace.

This is a strongly peppered and spiced brew, even with the heavy malt bill the spices still stick out to me. Alcohol will bust through easily as well with nothing trying to hide it. Fruity presence is ever present and always just slightly in the backdrop. Bananna bread, not like a hefe bananna more like bananna bread that is still dough like, uncooked. Black, cracked pepper on the finish and it lingers spicing up the palate for some time to come.

Notes: I love this brewery but this one simply doesn't do it for me. Its an odd mixoligy. This is on the complex side of the house which sometimes is good and sometimes bad. In this case its interesting but doesn't mold together well.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl bottle of white ceramic and with a classic pressure cap covered in red foil paper was served into a Palm Speciale imperial half-pint glass in Nijmegen, Holland. As a side note, mine was labelled Delirium Christmas, not Delirum Noel. I acquired the bottle in Belgium, so I'd conject the change in label is a marketing move to appeal to the ignorant-of-other-languages English-speaking market (i.e. Americans), myself included. Reviewed live. No best before date is referenced on the bottle despite a spot for it on the label.

A: Bottle opens clean without a surge of liquid, so at least she doesn't seem horribly overcarbonated. One finger thin head is devoid of cream and retains poorly, even factoring in the high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent gold. Average amount of carbonation bubbles ascend at a standard speed.

Sm: Light unfermented sugar and malt. Pretty bad. A moderate strength scent.

T: Caramelized malt, some bland hops, a malted barley foundation, and some pleasant indistinct hops that need to be more at the forefront. Some cola nut hops are unwelcome and don't bring much to the party. I don't get spice, but maybe peppermint is buried way beneath, and candy sugar is certainly present yet bland. It's off-kilter; I'd say about 70% of the flavour is in the first half. This leaves the climax rather unsatisfying. The finish witnesses the death of the beer's flavours, adding nothing new or exciting to the taste, and fails to coax out the next sip from the drinker. Built poorly for the style, but I think it's fair to say it tastes "Christmasey", whatever that means. Perchance it's just me eejitry.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Feels lumpy. Doesn't complement the flavours of the body as much as it should - i.e. as much as other Delirium brews.

Dr: Given the other brews in Delirium's repertoire, I expected far better. This beer was a damned disappointment. She's priced a bit high for the lackluster quality. She drinks easy but doesn't offer a whole lot. Give her a spin at your own risk, but I'll take me Delirium Red over this shite any day of the fortnight.

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Photo of Budlum
2.73/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pouring this beer produces one half inch of foamy, off-white head. Head retention is good with a generous, creamy layer staying for most of a glass. The body is a very attractive, ruby color with moderate carbonation displayed.

The nose of this beer presents a warming blend of cherries and rich brown sugar sweetness. A spice smell is notable along with moderate alcohol. Some darker fruit smells of raisins and plums add some additional qualities to the understated aroma of this beer.

A large rush of cinnamon and black pepper spice flavors start this ale abruptly. A faint cherry presence follows before a rather pungent alcohol flavor. A very faint apricot taste mixes with the alcohol before a very strong oak flavor closes this beer. The oak flavor provides a very long aftertaste that is rather unpleasant.

The mouth presence is a confusing mix of spiciness, puckering fruit, strong alcohol dryness and dominating earthiness from the oak flavors.

Drinkability is below average. The flavors of this beer are really confusing with an over-stated oak flavor. I can't imagine purchasing this again.

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Photo of KenC411
2.79/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Opening a white bottle with a pink elephant merrily riding a sleigh made me very excited with what lay inside. I tore off the rapper, undid the cage, and popped the cork, eager to see the present inside. I poured the beer into a snifter basking in the cherry oak color. Alas, any head that formed, quickly deflated, and even the bubbles were no where to be seen. To my suprise, there was particles floating in my beer! The beer reminded me of apple cider, though less dense.

S: Wafting the snifter, I could smell the scent of apples. For a chistmas ale I expected more. More deeply a breathed, but only could pull out the smell of alcohol. Surprisingly, the smell was well hidden.

T: I brought the beverage to my lips and *gasp* it tasted like sparkling cider! Sure there were some hops in the background, but the majority was a foamy water with a slight hint of apple.

M: The thinness of the beer and the bubbliness is off putting. There is not much taste, and for the buildup, the taste was a let down.

D: This beer is simple and easy to drink, not harsh or off putting. However, for the price, I expected more in the way of taste.

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Photo of Brabander
2.79/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a bit disappointing when you look at the name of this brewer.

I bought this beer a few weeks ago at the shop of the Bierparadijs in Meer, Belgium.

The biggest problem this beer has is the smell, much too smokey. The fluid is amber coloured. Taste is very weird, i had some problems with this taste. To be honest i had much better Christmas brews!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap between Christmas 2011 and New Year in the Delirium Bar (upstairs tap room), Brussels.

Looks good, red and different to most other Belgian winter offerings. An off-white head sat around for a while, got bored and left after about 5 minutes.

The smells hung around though: blackberrys, red currents and plums sprinkled with corriander and cinnamon.

The taste is an alcohol brew of confusion: sweet at first, fruity sweet at that, then a dry hop/nasty finish. The smell contents are in the taste also, but they don't seem to blend so well as in the nose. This beer is unbalanced and relies on the alcohol too much, hoping the lack of cohesive flavours is counterbalanced by the 10%ABV, well it didn't do it for me.

Glad it wasn't a huge glass I had: this beer has more hype than substance.

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Photo of sleazo
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a very red red hue. I asked for an xmas brew at the liars club and was presented with this. this tasted of candy sugar and cherries. A strong cherry taste dominated this brew and it was way too sweet for me. Cloyingly sweet wouyld be an apt description. i will not be having this again. it was obvious some care went into this brew but the outcome was not for me.

 370 characters

Photo of ryrust5301
2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass. 2007 edition

Appearance - Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a one finger white head. Left a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell - solid alcohol smell followed by a banana citrus aroma. A dark fruit sweetness is also present.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Smooth and sweet with a dark fruit taste. Mouthfeel is very crisp and dry. Spiciness creeps up in the back and finishes with a warm alcohol feel.

Drinkability - Maybe it's not as bad as I think. I'm kinda biased as I don't care for Delirium anyway, but I found the Noel to be worse than the average Nocturnum.

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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 MBABJJ
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Served in Tulip. Dark amber and red hues in natural light. Dark caramelly brown when held in front of laptop. Thick head of mixed bubbles. Head sticks around forever leaving foam on sides of glass post-sip

S - Mist off bottle smells of strawberries. Berries and sweet malts. Some background of green hop scent.

T - Lots of carbonation and kind of a metallic taste. Very bitter and definitely taste the alcohol as the predominant flavor.

M - Beer is tremendously smooth and viscous.

D - Gotta let it warm up for sure. But a little better than the taste would allow you to be.

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Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,950 ratings.
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