Delirium Noël | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
1,952 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,952 |  Reviews: 790
Photo of degerbah
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head at all into a goblet. Color is a thick looking amber. The nose is primarily fruity with cherries, and almost smells like apples. The taste is very very sweet and fruity with no bitterness at all. There is a noticable alcoholic aftertaste though that is slightly unpleasant. Mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy, I'm not totally surprised though given the alcohol content. The bottle I'm drinking is a 750ml bottle o the 2009 vintage and it seems to me that the beer could do with a little bit of aging to let some of the burn mellow out.

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Photo of mwa423
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red/amber that is about the clearest Belgian ale I have ever seen. There is a small head that quickly disappeared with little lacing.

S - Lots of funk, with some dark dried fruit and some yeast in the nose.

T - Tons of dried and sweet fruit in this one, it's most of the flavor, far more then the aroma would lead you to expect. There are hints of Belgian yeast at the end, by far the best Belgian Christmas ale I have had recently.

M/D - Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent for a 10% beer. The mouthfeel is rich but not at all too thick to drink.

Quite a good beer, by far one of the better imports in this style!

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Photo of GilGarp
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage, served cool in a chalice.

After picking away at the red foil for way too long, the cage and cork are removed with ease. I have to say that something like a foil wrapped cork is really frustrating, especially when it comes off in tiny little pieces. On to the beer...

Pours a nice redish brown color but, when I hold it up to the light, it reveals dozens of floating chunks. Not so appealing to look at.

Aroma is sweet and full of dark fruits like plums and a slightly chocolately smell. A little bit of wet basement too.

Flavor is immediately reminding me of a tootsie pop. Grapes and cherries (or more specifically the candy that pretends to be those flavors) covering a chocolate center. Not bad but certainly not what I was expecting. There is a little bit of "winter spice" and some caramel sweetness but I still can't get that lollypop out of my head.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and ample carbonation. Balance is definately leaning towards the sweet end of the spectrum.

Overall, a disappointment. Too sweet and candy-like. I figured that the age would help round off the edges but this one still seems too sweet.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to find this on tap in the US at Brosserie Becks in DC.
Appearance: Deep brownish color with a robust head and great hints of red when light hits the glass.
Smell: Great aromas of malt, yeast, and a combination of spices. The head really allows the aromas to explode in your nose.
Taste: Very rich spicy flavor that is smoothed out by the malt as you sip. The beer then fades back into that rich spiciness on your tongue. Its a great flavor of Christmas and really makes you feel warm inside. You also get a slight hint of alcohol but it doesn't overpower the flavor.
Drinkability/Mouthfeel: Great weight, nice carbonation, and easy to consume.
The beers from the Huyghe brewery really have to be enjoyed on tap. Having tried this beer in the bottle, it is good. On tap, unbelievable. It becomes fresher and more flavorful, it's more carbonated which helps balance it; the beer almost pulls a night and day comparison with the difference. That being said, not easy to track down on tap unless you go abroad (this took me two years to find, but well worth the wait).

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, clear, amber in color

Smell: Belgian spice, toasted malt, and a touch of butter

Taste: candied apple-especially in the beginning, Belgian spice in the middle, alcohol, and a touch of banana at the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, low carbonation, medium/light bodied

Drinkability: A highly drinkable beer considering the high abv. I will look for this again but only one per session as the alcohol is very present. I really like the apple taste in the beginning.

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

Had on tap at BBC in Walpole 12/17

A: This beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of khaki sudsy head. Nice retention and leaves wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of belgian spices, candied apple, touch of pear, and sweet malt.

T: Taste starts with the candied apple in the forefront, lending to nice sweet caramel malts filling out the middle. Belgian yeast and spices come in with a touch of pear. Aftertaste give a slight banana flavoring.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, thick oily feel.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, highly drinkable for such a high ABV.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at PJ's Abbey, on to the beer:

This is a dark brown colored beer with hues of purple. Head retention is okay in this beer. Its aroma is very potent. Lots of pear, grapes, figs, and a kick of alcohol. Served cool, it is great tasting. The alcohol is there, but kept more at bay. There's some tasty grape, candi sugar, some pear, and the yeast is working in some otehr fruity flavors. As it is consumed warmer, the alcohol heats up and slows down the enjoyability of this beer, but it is still a beer to look forward to this Christmas.

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Photo of drcarver
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - the appearance is unimpressive. An amber body with a large fluffy head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - Vanilla and dark fruit. A bit of spice in there.

T - syrupy sweet that really hangs on the tongue. Prune/raisin flavors, maybe cherry. A bit of alcohol warmth. Finishes pretty clean.

D - Goes down nicely.

Note - Decent beer? yes. $100+ a case beer? No

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Photo of MOB210SA
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay goblet from 750ml corked bottle.

Small to vary small in size head- faded quickly almost no lacing.

Sweet glazed caramelized honey, light malt.

Again sweet taste fruity, with a slight spice. Slight wood but sweet caramel scent.

Smooth and goes down easy. Lightly carbonated

Medium to high drinkability. Good in moderation wouldnt want to drink all night..

Not the greatest beer but def decent IMO. Maybe have again but a lot others i would get before.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked and caged 750. 9 or 10 bucks.

Appearance: Its really a clear amber. Almost no pop when the cork comes out, and very little head, even when warmed up and with a vigorous pour. Almost no lacing. Below average for a Belgian.

Smell: Getting better. Sweet and fruity. More sweet fruit than dark fruit. Yeasty and spicy. Good, but not really great.

Taste: Very sweet and yeasty-spicy. Again, sweet fruity more than dark fruit, but both. On the finish its a little sour, almost like a twist of lemon. There are phenolic like, medicinal flavors, but not really in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Slick and slightly syrupy. This beer is way undercarbonated for almost any beer, espcially for a BSDA. Not flat, but undercarbonated. It just feels still and uninteresting. Looking now at other reviews, this seems to be an all or none phenomenon, and I got none.

Drinkability: Its not the greatest BSDA, but its a tasty beer with well hidden alcohol. At roughly $30 for a six pack (by volume), its not a good deal. There are much better BSDAs for the same or less. Mine was undercarbonated, and that may play into the evaluation, but I dont think my overall thoughts will change.

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Photo of MrStark
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a (2009) 750ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a hazy caramel amber with a small off white head that dissipates into a small cap. Little bits of lacing are left.

Smell is of caramel malts with some dark fruit as well. Nothing too prominent.

Taste is somewhat spicy with a hint of citrus and fruit as well. Malts are fairly sweet and there is a bit of hop bitterness towards the end. The 10% alcohol is pretty well hidden in this brew.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and smooth with mild carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good! It goes down pretty easy for the style. Drinking the whole bottle would be no problem in one sitting. It may not be the best example of the style in terms of complexity but its stil a pretty tasty brew. I wouldn't mind having it again.

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Photo of TLove
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 ml bottle to Palm snifter.

The Delerium "series" seems to be a one-trick pony - sweet/sour balance. Sure, they differ in color and complexity, but they play off the same components. This is no exception.

A bit of brandy, apricots, and butter. Sweet and sour cherry mix with a little touch of currant and dried apple. Slightly nutty with carbonation not as dominant as in similar BSDAs.

The consistency and balance are lacking. Sweet/sour components are dominant here, with a strange, off-putting character because of the earthiness in that mix.

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Photo of neorunner
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Festive holiday elephants on the nice ceramic bottle, red foil top proved to be as annoying as tinsel and nearly needed pliers to get the cork out. Poured a dark brown with a thin egg shell head that dissipated quickly with no lacing.

S- Yeast and spice, some dried fruit mixed in.

T- Malts and spice, carmelized raisins and plums bit of banana towards the end. No noticeable heat for the 10% this beer packs.

M- Light body, fairly clean finish, medium to light carbonation.

D- Drinks really well for a high abv and has a nice flavor, can easily enjoy a 750 without much effort.

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

Last beer of the night at The Comet's Hopnosis event. Review is from notes taken on 12/3/09, and the pour is from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: A solid copper color with ruby highlights; comes with a 1 and 1/2 finger head that fades quickly to a thin ring around the surface; body is surprisingly clear for a Belgian style; loose oily lacing slides back into the drink.

Smell: Standard BSDA scents of spiciness - this one is a tad musky though; nice caramel and bready maltiness brings some balance. Really about what I would expect.

Taste: Very solid... A little perfumey/musky, but a strong sweet and bready maltiness; slight hints of a warm alcohol, but very well blended with the standard Belgian style spiciness (corriander, a little peppery); slight candied sugar flavor as well; as it warms, there is a certain dark and sweet fruitiness taht creeps in as well (fig or raisin).

Mouthfeel: Nice and soft carbonation; mouth is left fairly dry, yet the roof of the mouth is still left a little sticky; a certain numb and tingly feeling is left in the cheeks and on the gums.

Drinkability: I'm loving the flavors, but that super sweet maltiness is a bit much after a while and the 10% ABV would be a bit much after a while as well; but definitely not a disappoint drink at all and I will gladly drink it again at some point.

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Photo of Buttermaker
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There's two types of Christmas beers...the kind that tastes a bit like a fruit cake and the kind that's just a stronger, maltier version of whatever its root style is. I'm very fond of both. Delirium Noel is an outstanding example of the latter...a Belguim Strong Dark Ale that's perfect for a quiet December night in front of the fire but could just as easily be enjoyed during the summer when you're looking for a strong malt bomb. Pours beautiful (there's very few beers that don't look good going into the glass) lots of bananas on the nose and then the taste - pure malt. Delicious.

I enjoyed it a little colder than the recommended serving temp but I thought it was better for it.

Recommended music pairing: Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful Christmas

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Photo of Patrick999
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cork says 2008, so it's a year old. Poured into a DFH snifter, it has persistent head, clear amber body. Not very dark for a BSDA, actually.

The aroma actually kinda reminds me of Aventinus. Banana and rum, some grape, a slight smoked meat I can't put my finger on.

Some sips I like better than others. There's a medicinal taste here that I'm not crazy about. Some sips taste very nearly like the vinous Delirium Nocturnum. Yet, other sips almost taste like Aventinus, a lush spiced banana cream pie with some ghost-like smokiness. It is a complicated beer. I don't get it, I'm finding some sips to be really good while others are almost cringe-worthy. I don't understand. But, I'll round up to the very good sips.

With regard to the feel, I think this is a tad overcarbonated for the style and strength. I think that Boulevard Sixth Glass Quad was the most overcarbonated BSDA/Quad I've ever had...this doesn't approach that, but I think it could benefit from fewer spiky bubbles.

It is interesting. Difficult and strong, but interesting. It's got a lot going on. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's one of the more complex BSDAs I've had. I wouldn't let the relatively low average review here. including my own, dissuade you from trying this.

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Photo of lisaode
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on a cold evening with friends and it was perfect. It warmed up the mouth and filled the scenses. It was very easy to drink.

It had a nice dark red color, smells malty, brandy and fruity. I like the mouthfeel with it's medium density and tight bubbles. Tastes of sweet carmal and notes of brandy and fruit.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear reddish brown. White head dissipates rather quickly.

S - Smells sweet, maybe a little yeasty. Nothing too overwhelming.

T - Sweet, malty, and fruity. Some nice undertones of raisins and cloves. Sweetness is countered by some nice biterness, almost citrussy. Finish is alcoholic, although I never would have guessed it was 10% abv.

M - Light to medium bodied and very smooth. A very pleasant mouthfeel.

D - Excellent drinkability for a strong ale. Light and smooth enough for longer drinking sessions. Rich and hearty enough for a winter session. Alcohol is masked very well.

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

Poured into my Duvel tulip, Delirium Noel is a deep ruby brown which seems to glow from inside. A nice off white head builds and falls quickly to a thin froth which nonetheless leave ample amounts of lacing as it sheets down the glass.

The aroma reminds me of dark brandied apricots and raisins, nutty fruitcake and apple juice, all of which becomes fuller and stronger as is warms.

Flavor is complex, with brandied fruits running the gamut of raisins, apricots and prunes. Alcohol warmth is superbly blended into the fruit flavors along with the bready-slightly toasted malt body which has a nice nuttiness to it as well. A slightly bitter earthy character infuses the beer and I'm unable to determine if this is a hop or yeast characteristic. Complexity and flavors build as this beer warms and is best enjoyed slowly, savoring each sip.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and lively with carbonation which nonetheless lends a creamy texture as well.

Delirium Noel warms me with each sip, making me appreciate the bounty of flavors it offers. Great beer! Each new Beligian beer I try shows me what I've been missing.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Somewhat hazy reddish purple, no head to speak of. Looks like a glass of cherry juice.

S: In your face with sweet malts, grapes, raisins, figs, prunes candi sugar, belgian yeast, lots going on here

T: Very similar to the nose, a touch on the sweet side, very fruity character with a dry finish

MF: medium body, slightly sticky, low carbonation

D: The 10% is virtually undetectable. The only thing that this beer is missing on the drinkability category is due to its high level of sweetness which after a while could become cloying.

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Photo of beerman207
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bamadog shared some of this with me at the Comet. Thanks man!

A: Deep red with some nice lacing left behind.

S: fruit, malt, and some spiciness present. Also some alcohol.

T: Apples, malt, and pear make up the taste for this brew. Very nice.

M: Lighter than expected for such a heavy brew. Goes down too easy.

D: I wish they had this on rotation earlier in the night. Being the DD required me to only have a little bit of this one. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Dankuel
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the beer into a nice Balloon goblet flask to bring out the complex aromas. Has a very fruity smell, cranberry, slight apple, some citrus tones. The beer looks terrific in this glass, like something out of an advertisement, the head and color and perfect for Belgian style, it is a perfect maroon/red color with a frothy cream colored head, though not the dark color I expected.

The beer taste is very complex, a fruity addition to the holiday season, there is alot going on. I taste lots of cranberry zest, some other citrus, lemon maybe? And the effect of an overall lambic taste, yeast and grains included.

Has a very bubbly mouthfeel and gives a nice warm feeling going down. This beer is easy to drink and the 10% ABV isn't anything to shake your finger at! A decent brew.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.9/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of a cool looking bottle with the signature pink elephant. I dig it! The body is a deep dark and muddled tawney color which features a long lasting fizzy and foamy beige crown and offers up some nice lacing.

The smell is that of distinct Belgian yeast and dark fruits. This makes for a sweet nose with understated spice.

Kudos to the brewers of this fine elixer. What could have been an overly sweet mess, is balanced and an absolute joy to savor. Just the right amount of spice and hops to balance the symphonic sweet melody of flavor. Harmony for the taste buds.

THe feel is full and creamy, smooth and velvty. Take your pick. Tightly carbonated.Excellent.

Perfect nightcap, I savored ever one of the 750ml in my bottle and it was enough. (that's not to say I couldn't have more, however I cannot say that I am not satisfied.

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Photo of drtth
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Delirium Tremens snifter glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a hazy rich reddish cherry wood color. The ¼" off white head is gone fairly quickly, leaving behind a few bubbles as a small ring around the glass and a small patch of persistent foam in the middle of the glass. Sipping leaves behind a bit of a ring and a few sparse speckles of lacing which soon slides back down the glass to the liquid. Mostly the glass is clean and unadorned with lacing even to the end of the beer.

Smell: The aroma reveals the presence of Belgian yeast and some fresh astringent character that smells a bit like a nice ripe fruit basket containing some green apple, cherries and other berries.

Taste: The flavor has a definite Belgian yeast character to it and a light fruitiness that is predominantly a mix of green apple, cherries and other berries as expected from the nose. In addition there seems to be a bit of lemon-like acidity in the background.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium-bodied and smooth with the light carbonation. The finish is of medium length and is dry and astringent.

Drinkability: This is a nice drinkable beer that is worth trying and drinking. And I certainly would be willing to have another (except for the ABV ☺ ). However, that being said, there are other Christmas ales that I prefer over this one.

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Photo of cichief
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a nice ruby-brown, very clear, nice light brown head.

S- Scents of vanilla and Irish whiskey, somewhat spicy.

T- Very sweet, vanilla and spice, little hops in the end.

M- Nice and full bodied, remarkably little alcohol burn for the ABV.

D- A very good Christmas beer, the alcohol level is the only thing to slow me down.

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Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,952 ratings.
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