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Delirium Noël | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
770 Reviews
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Delirium NoëlDelirium Noël

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe
Belgium | website

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: 770 | Ratings: 1,897
Photo of jgap
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Good Belgian strong ale. Solid dark brown color with a sizable head that fades quickly without maintenance. Smell is a bit strange, slightly off from the taste. It is ridden with spices. Coriander and orange peel, it's all there. A little over-the-top. The taste, however, is wonderful. Well balanced sugar and alcohol. Slight burn in the throat but not unpleasant for a winter seasonal. Given time in the beer locker I would imagine this beer developing extremely well. The spices are actually balanced well with the sugar and add a complexity to the beer that a lot of dark Belgians can't claim. The alcohol is a bit much and detracts from drinkability. Great winter-warmer, recommended in season or out!

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque brown with a light tan head. It looks like iced tea.

S: Smells sweet, syrupy, dark fruit winter spices like nutmeg, cola.

T: It's dry up front with a sweeter finish. There's some bitterness at the end, dark fruit, syrupy. Spices seem to be less pronounced than they were in the nose, but still evident. There's a slight nutty taste from the yeast.

M It has an astringent finish, yet it's smooth with a full feel.

O Definitely a sipper, an after dinner beer. Take your time with it especially since its 10%.

I don't remember entirely was this was like, but I don't remember being very impressed. I'll stick to Tremens.

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Photo of ThirdLap
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Can you say fire sale? How does $2.70 for a 750ml bomber sound? BA 'macktbone' tipped me off on this one, with $11 bombers of Noel going for 75% off. The price and the Huyghe name was too much to resist, so I had to pick one (or eight) up. Even if its bad it's still gonna be good. Right?

A - From a corked, caged, and foiled bomber into my St. Bernardus goblet, Delirium Noel pours a dark cherry brown with a short-lasting 1cm off-white head. Agitation causes a similarly short-lived return of head, which also quickly dissipates. Minor lacing noted.

S - I could literally smell the banana from several feet away. Candied sugar, slightly yeasty, a touch of alcohol, a touch of spices. Not bad, but not too inspiring either.

T - I'm gonna come back to this one after it warms up a bit. It's not bad, just again, woefully uninspiring.

Alright, I'm back. The bottom line is that I'm happy I didn't spend $11 on this, and even more happy that I only spent two dollars and change.

Save for a teensy bit of dark fruits and spices, there just isn't a whole lot happening on my tongue. There's a slight out of place tartness present, and I get tons of banana bread on the nose each time I go for a sip.

I better learn to like bananas; I have seven more bottles of this stuff.

M - Medium carbonation, and much more full-bodied than you would expect. Finish is clean and dry. The 10% alcohol is readily apparent.

D - Christ, what was I thinking opening this whole bomber by myself? John (macktbone), you're helping me drink the other seven bottles!

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Photo of TheDoorman
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with perhaps a purple tint. Head dissipates rather quickly, leaving no lacing in its path. Aroma is filled with strong dark fruit, followed by clove, pepper and a touch of alcohol. Taste is sweet sweet sweetness. A symphony of dark fruits. Prune for sure. Cherries. Plum. Fantastic, but very very sweet. Maybe too sweet. Mouthfeel is rather normal, a light effervesense. A little sticky in the finish. This is a nice beer if yoru a fan of the fruit foward flavors. For me its a touch too sweet, some more spice in the palate could cut the sweet nicely. At 10% alcohol though, the alcohol is nicely hidden. A nice warm, sweet xmas brew, but short of remarkable.

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Photo of mexikrainian
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a Stone tulip.

Appearance: brown amber with minimal to no head or lacing.

Aroma: candy sugar, belgian yeasts, honey, cinnamon, and dark fruit.

Flavor: strong and sweet, caramel, brown sugar and bread.

Mouthfeel: medium body with minimal carbonation.

Overall impression: this might have been spoiled, as it had minimal carbonation and a tangy taste. however, i've noticed the same characteristics in the last two years.

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Photo of hmf05
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this slowly to not disturb the yeast. Pours a pretty clear ruby red color that left a one finger head that sizzled away like soda. Aroma smells surprisingly like a hefe. I'm getting banana and clove up front. I also smell some vanilla. Smells inviting. Drinks just like the smell. Banana and clove dominate. I'm also getting hints of some dark fruits: maybe plums or raisins. Mouthfeel is unexpectedly thin and watery. The alcohol is very well hidden. Overall, pretty tasty. This is a relatively sweet brew, but not cloying. I would have liked to see a fuller body and some more complexity. This is a good beer, but not an ideal candidate for a cold winter night as other Christmas ales tend to be. Probably not worth the price tag, but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 vintage, aged well.
Opaque brownish red with lots of floaties and a small head.
Lots of peach and pear on the nose, smooth sweet alcohol. Malting smells a little like that of a scotch ale.
Sweet red style malts. Smooth on the palate. A little rotten banana, with some smokey flavorings. A little bit of cured meat saltiness. A lot of peach notes. For a beer this big the flavoring was a little unimpressive.
Alcohol is a little too pervasive. I know it is ten percent but Belgians usually do a finer job of masking it. It is winter now and cold as bizarro hell right outside, so I welcome the alcohol.

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Photo of TheMadJack
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Review prepared from notes. Served in Tulip Glass.

A: Clear red-brown, ample head. Slow carbonation gathering on sides of glass.

S: Grape, green apple, strawberry. Not like walking through an orchard, more like sticking your snout in a bag of Jolly Ranchers. Very much like it.

T: Minimal hops. Very fruity and malty. Raisins and apple. The malts have a slight dryness to them that's more of a texture. Alcohol. Banana becomes present as the beer warms.

M: Dry.

D: Low drinkability. This one is complex and powerful. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of BarryNL
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Translucent deep red/brown. The normal particulate levels for a bottle conditioned ale. Pours with a big fluffy head which collapses to a thin, tight layer. Strong lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet and sour, lightly lambic; trappist style phenolics. Initially there is a bit of a carbonic twang but this quickly fades.

T: Very complex, malty, apples, cherries, dark syrup, light on the hops. Perhaps slightly too much carbonic acid bite but this is one to swirl and savour slowly so this dissipates as the glass empties. There is a lasting taste of hops...

M: Firm, chewy, fluffy, big mouthfeel.

D: Gimme another!

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Photo of KonigObHops
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark copper (almost amber) color, with an off white head with a hint of tan.

The beer smells sweet and fruity, and the alcohol is definitely present.

The initial taste is not as fruity and sweet as expected. In the middle the flavor is of sweet hops. The beer has a crisp finish with the alcohol present.

The beer feels light and crisp.

Overall, the beer is a bit of a let down, especially if you were expecting a complex Christmas ale or something similar to Delerium Tremens. Still it is a decent Christmas ale.

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Photo of djeffbee
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 poured into a Chimay Goblet procured from the MRL 2008 Winter Beer Swap.

A - Served in Tulip. Appearance is Deep orangy amber. One finger head that dissipated somewhat quickly. Sticky lacing left on side of glass.

S - Caramel, berry, banana and spices. Not much as far as hop aroma, but very pleasant.

T - Sweet caramel malts with the faint taste of figs and berries that is balanced out perfectly by the hops.

M - Highly carbonated, but smooth and only gets better as it warms.

D - WOW! I just read that it is 10ABV, I never saw that coming. A fantastic brew, but I guess you have to limit yourself (Although I don't want to...)

Fantastic beer.

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Photo of stone3187
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a rich ruby brown color. It has smells of fruity malt with a slight alcohol tone. The initial flavor is fruity malt that transitions into a slight alcohol flavor and finishes malty and dry. This is a very nice Belgian Dark and very good for the holidays.

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Photo of talkinghatrack
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - A spectrum from pale yellow to dark amber in my glass, complete with floaty bits. Head drops quickly to a thin cover.

s - Sweet and malty with some caramel in there.

t - Nice blend of dried fruity sweet with some sour. A bitter element stabilizes the mix. Tasty but more on the oversweet side halfway through a bomber.

m - Syrupy medium mouthfeel with a bit of dryness. Good medium carbonation.

d - The 10% ABV is almost totally masked and I enjoy the taste. Yeah, that counts for a pretty high score.

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Photo of gushov
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice Christmas warmer.

Lovely dark pour with ruby red highlights and a tan moussey head. The beer has a strong cellar aroma backed up with little dried fruit and little alcohol.

The taste has a nice fig note and some sweet malt coming through but the alcohol seems a bit hot. I find the beer medium-to-full bodied, fairly highly carbonated and a bit astringent in the finish.

Overall a good beer for a cold winter night.

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Photo of jenbys2001
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't particularly care for Delirium Tremens, so I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this beer. I'm so glad I tried it, it's definitely my favorite seasonal brew, and perhaps my all around favorite. It's not as heavy as the other Delirium varieties and has a really smooth taste. It's a fantastic beer to sip, I wish I'd bought more bottles during the holidays.

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Photo of saccro
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - light brown, weak disappointing head that's just a trace of bubbles

S - dried cherries, no noticeable hops, sweet malt syrup, characteristic spiciness.

T - dark fruity and sweet, with slight balance from bitterness at the end. Spicy. Caramel with touch of milk chocolate

M - light spritzy carbonation. not too heavy.

D - characteristic belgian strong ale. Easy to drink until alcohol takes over!

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Photo of Hershdawg
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter

A: light white head that quickly dissipates. deep ruby color. Great color

S: Dark Belgian malts, and sweet phenolic yeast. A bit of clove and banana

T: Phenols, dark sugar, plum. and a lingering sweetness. Very pleasant.

M: As light as any Belgian should be. Not heavy but definitely alcoholic.

O: Very delightful. Strong but light enough you aren't weighed down. Good for any winter day. Though don't plan on driving.

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Photo of VoodooBear
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle with a faux ceramic plastic finish. Served in an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Deep, dark reddish brown color. Two finger tan colored head that goes down a bit but sticks around 'till the end. Incredible lacing, very pleasing to watch.

Smell: Malt and yeast dominate, complemented by spicy and fruity notes.

Taste: Tastes mainly of malt and spices. The alcohol is very present but not overpowering. There's a bit of yeast in the background as well.

Mouthfeel: Very good and full carbonation. It's creamy with a dry finish. It has a very strong, spicy bite to it too.

Overall: This is definitely a beer for the cold months. It warms you up when you drink it. The spices are a bit too strong and this makes the brew a bit messy and unbalanced. That being said, it's still very good, but not the best in the Delirium lineup.

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Photo of fragilehearted
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 12/24 (I was not about to load up the dialup to type this!):

Had this last year & liked it, so let's review this year's tasting! 750ml into an oversized wine glass (best glassware I could find at my folks' - they are wine/BMC drinkers).

A - slightly hazy dark amber. Head dissipates quickly to a ring.

S - candied fruits, especially prunes, raisins, cherries. Sweet malts, hints of spice, belgian yeast. Overall very sweet, almost smells like syrup.

T - sweet, but not as sweet as the smell, which is good. Follows the nose, but not quite as nice, not quite as complex as the smell. More spice comes through than in the smell, though, which is just fine. Nice & malty. But a bit of a metallic taste for some reason, so I had to dock the score a bit for that.

M - Carbonation is medium & fine, but this beer is a bit hot even for 10%, hotter than I remember. It definitely warms a lot on the way down.

D - I swear, I liked this better the last time I had it. I drank a 14% beer just a few days before, & I swear this tastes hotter for some reason that I can't explain. I can finish this (seriously, I'm at my folks' place in the middle of nowhere, nothing to do but let this beer & a DVD put me to sleep), but I don't think I'll buy it again this year. Maybe next year.

It's hard not to compare this to Tremens & Nocturnum, both which I prefer to what I just had, which is why for the low score. I've had plenty of BSDAs I prefer to Noel, that's for sure. Kind of a bummer, I have to say, but like I said before...maybe next year I'll give it another shot.

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Photo of cdbooth219
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into goblet

A: Pours a reddish-brown color with 1 and a half fingers of off white head that dissipate slowly, leaving nice lacing

S: Smells of dark fruits, plums and figs, sweet bready malt and caramel, candy sugar, and spices, cinnamon and nutmeg

T: Tastes of candy sugar and sweet bread, followed by some spiciness. Finishes with the sweet breadiness. As it warms, plums and cherries begin to appear in the taste. Very sweet and malty.

M: Not too thick and well carbonated. Goes down smooth

D: Very drinkable for the abv, but definitely a sipper. I would definitely split the bottle again.

Overall, a very good christmas beer. I will definitely be seeking this out again next year.

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

Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Looks ciderish.

Smells of fruit, yeast, and hints of spice.

Taste is spot on with the aroma. Mostly fruit, apple, pears, yeast and spice round out the flavor. It's good, but nothing jumps out.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable as it's not heavy and the carbonation is lively.

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Photo of CochonKing
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful deep red that forms a gigantic lasting head with excellent lacing. Smells of red fruit, plums especially on the nose with a strong malt back bone. Slight souring on the palate possible flaw. Caramel notes with some nice malt on the palate. Small crisp bubbles with a fairly light body.

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Photo of biophiliadude
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle to Tulip glass.

A: deep red, nice Belgian white head, patchy lacing.

S: spices, malt, fruit.

T: fruity: apples, pears, ends with a nice maltiness that's very smooth. bubbles on the tongue, and faint spice are the only aftertaste. Could be described as a spicier tremens.

M: smooth, and light for such a dark beer.

D: Very enjoyable. Could easily drink it through out a meal, perhaps some ribs, pheasant, or veal.

As has been said, not my favorite holiday ale but one I'm glad I found it. Will recommend for anyone who likes Delirium.


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Photo of ProfessorHops
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Amber with sedimentation I think. It's dark ion this pub.

Aroma- Apples framed with alcohol.

Pallet- Very sweet. Candy like. Toasty bitter hops

Finish- Long bitter and complex.

Guzzle- Drinks very well for a high octane beer.

Texture- Ale like

Extra: On tap this beer was very good. I bought a bottle the next day, and I believe it was skunked because it wasn't as good. But with that said it was still a very good ale.

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Photo of surfadelic23
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a big bottle 750 of this on discount! Gotta love a great brew at a REALLY reasonable price. I love the little elephant santa on the bottle! This one poured amber with a pretty creamy head that stayed quite thick. There were nice fruity smells mild bananas a hint of ctirus(!) and some dark plummy scents too. I did not pick up much alcohol in the scent. Surprising as this is a beast of an ale. The taste was unbelievably smooth for the strength of this and mouthfeel and drinkability are much better than I would have thought considering the power and complexity of this ale. Very tasty and a nice special treat during the holidays. I will likely stock up on a case of this to see how well it ages...

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Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.
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