Delirium Noël | Brouwerij Huyghe

very good
786 Reviews
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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: 786 | Ratings: 1,946
Photo of phisig137
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle notched in the 3 and 6 position on the back label... I have no idea what it means, but I would assume it is some type of dating record. Pours an amber orange color, with a one finger head. Little retention gives way to a little lace.

Aroma is slightly malty, with a good amount of alcohol present. Slight licorice scent is also present.

Flavor is malty up front, with a hint of spice, followed by a relatively dry finish, with hints of nutmeg. Some cloves also may be present. Very lightly spiced. Alcohol is again prevalent. Mouthfeel is creamy, although a bit thin. Drinkability is pretty good.

A pretty good winter warmer overall, but coming from a brewery that I personally feel is overrated. This is very decent, but it is not noteworthy in any way. For the price, there are a handful of other belgian Noel's that I would rather buy. Is it worth the money? Yes. Is there better out there for the same price range? Absolutely.

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Photo of numenor1
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Kind of light chestnut brown with very dense off white head. Very very deep malty nose with loads of spice and a touch of earthy hops, slight dark fruit aspect to it all. Flavor is difficult to characterize, candied apricot, and black cherries minus the tartness. Sweet entry. Huge yeasty spice profile emerges through and dries the finish. A bit one dimensional, but very tasty nonetheless. As with both of the other delirium beers i've had (nocturnum and tremens) this has gorgeous mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation, yet extremely soft; creates a light creamy smooth texture. For 10% alcohol this is too drinkable.

Very nice beer, but far from great.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

well, this is straight from the case that apparantly was just delivered to the i assume this is this year's release. pours red/brown with some floaties in there, nicely carbonated with a big ol foamy head. smells spicey, fruity, plummy, and malty...altogether a promising nose. Taste is...and i can't believe no-one else has said this about this beer (at least on the most recent page)....really, really, smoky. its like they took a nice belgian, spiced it up, and smoked the shit out of it. well, not really that much, but its got a nice hickory smoked taste right up front on the first few sips and then for a long time on the finish. also in there are the plums and spices i got on the nose. yeah, its really just liked a smoked version of tremens. maybe this year they've changed the recipe and added some smoked malts? anyway, its pretty good and certainly interesting.

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Photo of rodrot
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from corked and caged ceramic 750 ml bottle with a dark, murky brown appearance. There was a fair amount of carbonation at first which dissipated after a few minutes. Aroma was spicy and fruity with some hints of roasted malts. Taste was quite malty and sweet with some flavors of chocolate, spices, prunes and cherries coming out as the beer warmed. I could also detect a winey note in the finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and not too heavy in the palate considering the strength of this beer. Drinkability was good, but watch out as this one can sneak up on you in a hurry. I stood up after finishing the bottle and nearly ended up laying on the living room floor.

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Photo of kenito799
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wish they would date these. The review below was probably an old bottle since it was on sale for $5 and the label didn't have Santa with beer orbiting the planet. I retasted what was probably a newer version on Xmas 2006.
750 ml bottle poured into wine glasses and shared.

Hazy amber, little head. Belgian yeasty-fruity aromas with some cinnamon notes. Flavor was balanced sweetness (not too sweet like last time) some peachy spicy notes and a pleasant bitter finish. A nice Belgian strong ale, although I like Delirium Tremens more. The first bottle I tried was probably too old and/or a different recipe. I have adjusted my score based on the new taste--the first review scored a 2.4.

Oct 2006:
750ml bottle, no date.

Poured a dark cloudy amber with minimal head, dissipated quickly with almost no lacing.

Aroma showed Belgian yeasts detectacble but not a lot of complexity or interest, sweet scent. Lots of fizzing (loud) but didn't keep head maintained.

Mouthfeel fair carbonation. Taste: you can tell it's Belgian but the predominant effect is cola/root beer sweetness without a lot of complexity. Didn't enjoy this very much, won't buy it again...I have no idea how old this was or whether I experienced the desired effect...definitely not on par with standard Delirium Tremens which is a good Belgian ale.

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Photo of clickpush
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour: 750ml bottle to tulip glass. Comes out as a dark amber beer with large bubbles fueling a two finger off-white head. The head sinks quickly to mediocre lacings, a bit sticking to the sides of the glass. Extremely effervescent, like a darker Sprite.

Nose: Very strong malts and Christmas spices. Smells very sweet and has a touch of hop presence in the back. Nicely rounded presence of allspice balances with an earthiness that makes this aroma very appealing. Some fruit hints, too, like cherries and bananas.

Mouth: Found this flavor to be pretty disappointing. Entirely too sweet, relying on the spices much more than the natural flavors of the hops and malts. I understand that a Christmas beer is going to be spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc..., but this is just too much. A vague bitter presence in the swallow is the only showing the hops make. Mouthfeel is as fizzy as it looks - not my style at all.

I look forward to Christmas beers all year long, but I wish I hadn't spent the $11 on this one.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep redddish brown color, creamy head, does not retain too well, laces nicely

S- nice spicey belgian smell, sweet malt smell is present as well

T- flavorful spiced taste, sweet taste, very rich, light hop bitterness at the end

M- vigoursly carbonated, tingles tounge in a good way, coats mouth well, nice full body

D- something to crack open for some kind of celebratory occasion, I plan to buy more of this beer and stow it away for a special occasion

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Photo of DogFood11
2.7/5  rDev -30.4%
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 nesta
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I purchased three bottles of this the other day, two to save for Christmas eve and one to sample. I took notes on the tasting so I could write this up later, as I don't have a computer at home.

The beer pours a deep but fairly transparent amber/gold color with a very light tan head, which accounted for about 1/3 the volume of the goblet it was served in. The head dissipated rather quickly, but left a nice lacing. The smell was wonderful, reminiscent of caramel, butter, and spice.

The flavor was rich and satisfying, and initially the alcohol was carried very well. It did become much more noticible as I worked my way through the bottle, however. It was great beer, but the richness and the high level of alcohol definitely suggest that I'll enjoy it more come cool weather.

I've consumed a number of very strong beers such as Trois Pistole, Maudite, La Fin du Monde, Chimay Grande Reserve, Gulden Draak, and others, and most contain yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle, however this was the first bottle of beer i've consumed which contained a massive level of VERY chunky peices of yeast in the bottom. I went so far as to pour the last of it through a sieve so as to strain off much of the solids to make it more drinkable, even though I normally like the yeast in my beer. This wasn't necessarily a downside, but I would have preferred it to be a little less chunky...

I bought three bottles, all labeled as Delirium Noel, however one bottle had a different label than they other two. Apart from the picture they appear identical....I'm not extremely familiar with the brand and wonder if perhaps they have changed the label recently and two bottles were of a different year than the other.

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Photo of
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a copper amber color with a fair amount of head. Aroma was an earthy yeast, honey, fruit esters and cotton candy (must be all that sugar). Flavor was very sweet, with no hops to be found. Raisins, grass and bread were apparent and the alcohol was very well hidden, just peeking through at the end. Mouthfeel was slick, with carbonation almost imperceptible. As far as drinkability, it was excellent in taste, but not something you could drink a lot of.

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Photo of karengarys
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark rich amber with floaties, leaving little head.

Smells sweet sweet, dark too, and spicy, like maybe cinnamon.

Tastes of malts, bananas, and a very strong hit of alchohol. Subsequent sips keep the sweet malty banana fruit taste, but that alchohol flavor subsides. I originally gave the taste a 3.5 because the alcohol flavor overpowered, but after the first sip I raised it to 4. It sits well.

Mouthfeel is very creamy.

Finish is a bit astringent with all that alcohol making itself noticed, but there is no bad aftertaste.

This is quite a beverage, and I recommend it to anybody who can find it.

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Photo of Vipsanius
4.67/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a dark amber color with an inch and a half off white head, which left some lacing.

The aroma was of floral hops, apple/crab apple tartness, dark fruits...cherries (dark and tart), apricots, grapes and a slight plum and fig aroma.

The taste - palate overload - simply least at first. Much as described in the aroma but not as tart...more sweet...some lighter fruits are more prevalent here as well. Christmas is a good's a beer I'd much prefer in that season even though it's still a great beer in any season.

The mouthfeel was excellent. Exactly what you'd want in a beer. Hit all of the right spots and was perfectly carbonated.

The only problem with the drinkability was it's ABV content, which was hardly noticeable, and the fact that it's a seasonal Christmas beer. Otherwise, the beer is excellent and is something I would most definitely reach for again.

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Photo of scooter231
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brownish reddish color with a lot of lovely barely tannish head, and some nice lacing. Looks appealing. Smells predominantly raisiny, some barely there chocolate and spice, but mostly raisiny.

Tastes... fruity. Belgian. Dark fruits and alcohol. Lots of spice- clove, cinnamon, corriander, pepper, nutmeg- well-balanced, not disgustingly spiced. Sweet but not too sweet.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, full yet light. Almost a well-made whipped cream type feeling. Extremely drinkable- especially considering alcohol content. Tasty, yummy, not too heavy- just a great brew.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.56/5  rDev -34%
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.

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Photo of budgood1
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the 750 ml bottle a clear amber colour, with a thin head that reduced to nothing quickly leaving no head and no lace. aroma is heavily influenced by the malts...but other than some earthiness and brown sugar and faint ripe's pretty tame. the flavour is all stocky malt, alcohol spice and a welcome woodiness that means business. mouthfeel is is full....body is potent. i was expecting more complexity but the robust nature of this offering is equally compelling. it's dry, woody and delicious and an awesome example of a x-mas time quaffer. it finishes clean and warming. this should sipped by the fire on a cold winter night.

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Photo of surfadelic23
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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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Photo of skizziks
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. TIght beige head comes up only an inch with a slow pour straight into the center of the glass. Head dies quickly to a thin layer of fine bubbles and a slightly thicker rim over a very clear, absolutely gorgeous, deep cobber/amber body. I'm knocking the appearance a half point only because I would like to see more head on it. Nice lacing in sheets that split into a thick network of arteries on the glass. The etching on the tulip releases a steady stream of bubbles for the duration.

Aroma is sugar, alcohol, berries, a little plum, some dark fruit, a lot of vinous aroma with just a hint of floral hop. All of it comes at once with the alcohol riding on top.

Flavor is a real shocker. Starts with dark sugar, then very quickly hit with something very tart, not lambic tart, but still a kick in the mouth not at all suggested by the aroma. Papaya? A lot of tropical fruit anyway, banana, pear, some grape, numbing ginger, then it rides out with vinous alcohol and candy. Like a whole roll of tropical fruit lifesavers minus the coconut plus loads of alcohol. The alcoholic vapor actually works with all the fruit, in this context it is not a bad thing at all. As I become accustomed to the flavors, the tartness fades and everything blends very well.

Mouthfeel is just the lighter side of medium with a nice amount of carbonation that refreshes the palate but doesn't intrude on the flavor. Easy drinking, maybe too easy. Fortunately the alcohol is always present to remind me to be careful.

A fine fine beer. It would be interesting to try this with more age on it.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

the 750ml bottle says delirium christmas (as opposed to noel) and the cork says 2004. great appearance. dark crystal crimson, bubbly as hell with an impressive solid foam, light beige head.

smells decent, strong. i could actually smell it before i even started pouring. unfortuanately for this beer though, the last belgian strong dark ale i had the pleasure of quaffing was maudite. this one is fairly one-dimensional in comparison. typical scents, nothing surprising. dates dominate, caramelized sugar, candy apple, raisins, yeast.

the taste and mouthfeel save this one. it does not taste like 10%. definately strong, but so smooth and light as a feather, tap dancing on the tongue, interesting and fun to drink. half-way through the bottle i am feeling it. after the last pour, it takes on a darker, thicker hue, and tastes creamy. quite a difference in mouthfeel, but still wonderful. this is my first delirium, i look forward to trying the rest.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There seems to be a pattern in my other reviews of Winter/holiday beers in that I don't seem to like them all that much. Well, leave it to the Belgians to buck that trend. Thank you, Belgians!

The aroma announces this brew as distinctly Belgian from the get go, with a fruitiness coupled with mild tart/sour elements. Flavors alternate rapidly and fluidly from spicy, to sweet, to sour, and then bitter. The finish is long and easy. On the whole the easy, refreshing nature of this beer belies its robust alcohol strenght. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Poured from a tap into a wine glass.

Pours a ruby color with an orange hue throughout. A thin white edge layer forms and sticks throughout the tasting. Very clean appearance.

Aroma is pretty much fruit and caramel malts. REminds me a bit of cider. Other than that, being in a bar made it tough to get a true aroma.

Sipping reveals a very fruity flavor (grapes & lots of cherries); a slight tangy flavor I can't describe. Some slight spices also come out. Nice!

Refreshing for a medium to full bodied brew. Decent alcohol but nicely balanced throughout. Carbonation doesn't kill ya either.

Overall, a fun brew. Fairly simple and easy to drink. I'd definitely recommend it!

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Photo of ikats
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delirium Christmas - 2005 - Lovely dark amber color. Head dissipated quickly - not surprisingly for this strong beer. A bit heavy on the yeast sediment. Aroma is absolutely wonderful - such inviting earthy notes. As soon as the aroma hit my nose, my brain started sending "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme" signals. Taste is almost as powerful, but a bit too strong on alcohol. Nevertheless, it's easy and pleasant to drink.

Wonderful winter brew. I think my bottle could've benefitted from aging. Next time I'll be sure to look for an older bottle. Maybe I'll even pick a fresh one next time I see it, and cellar it for a few years.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an attractive amber with an initially impressive head that quickly fades to a rather disappointing lace.

Smells of belgian yeasts, caramal apples, plums, sweet like cane syrup balanced by strong christmas spices (i.e., cloves and cinnamon), mixing appealingly with the alcohol.

Tastes like apples, sugarplums (whatever those are), and cherry tartness, together with a slightly unappealing bitterness in the end (like the skin from an unripened apple).

Good mouthfeel, and very, very drinkable for the style. Good stuff, and more impressive then what I've had from this brewery in the past.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Came in a nice 750ml bottle. Cork says 2004. At least a year and a half old.

Appearance- Pours a spritz head into my Leffe goblet. The head has a good retention, but does recede to a thick foam. The color is a deep ruby, russet amber and copper color. Light lacing is noticed. This is the way a beer should look.

Smell- Toasted malts mixed with very floral hop bitterness with hints of licorice and sugary water.

Taste- A muted, black cherry malt starts with the middle turning into grassy hops and candi sugar. The finish has hints of leather and burnt, dark fruits.

Mouthfeel- Excellent carbonation with some sweet fruit sweetness. Excellent nightcap beer.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBE okt-08. Nice beige head that isn't too resistant and a beautifull dark brown and cristal clear beer underneeth.
Nose is a nice harmony from anis caramellic malts, cinnamon and clove with nice alcoholic note in there. Taste is spicy, alcoholic and a sour twist. With that good and full caramellic malts. Nice taste but very strong and maybe litle overspiced. Good and moderate carbonisation balanced mouthfeel and taste make this one into a fine brew that I enjoyed.

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Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well heys there good lookin what you doin in this kind of neighborhood dont you know unscrupulous types like ol mynie might just come around and drink you right up? *hiccup*.

Translucent chocolate with a fine white head that stays and stays.

Wonderfully balanced smells of zippity Belgian yeast, plum and apple fruit, and a light hint of caramel sugar malt. Complex and wonderful.

Smooth, is alls I can say. Light fruit up front rushing watery into bigger, tangier fruit and ending with a brown ale-ish caramel malt with a zingy alcohol and yeast aftertaste. Complex and very tasty, but not quite as well balanced as the nose had led me to believe.

This is a great beer that would certainly warm you up on a cold winter's night. Too bad I waited until it started getting warm to drink it. Not that I let a little thing like the weather stand in the way of me and drunkeness, though.

Edit--I'm upping the taste to a 4.5. It gains considerable character and complexity as it warms.

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Delirium Noël from Brouwerij Huyghe
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,946 ratings.
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