Delirium Nocturnum is an 8.5 percent alcohol offering from Huyghe Brewery in Belgium. Pour is lively with lots of carbonation. A head of tightly packed bubbles lingers, marking each sip down the glass. Aroma is fruity with plum and raisin overtures. The flavor is quite extraordinary with a burst of malt up front and a mild alcohol aftertaste that fades to a tingle.
This ale has been family brewed since 1654 in Belgium where beer is revered and respected for originality. This ale is full bodied without being too thick. If you are a hop-head, this is not the beer for you. This is what I like to call a malt bomb.
Pair with a fruit dessert or a mild cheese.
Delirium is a condition my poor, abused brains cells are all too familiar with, but my taste buds had never had the pleasure of Delirium Nocturnum.
I’d heard people compliment the Belgian brew before — had even seen it on a couple of top 10 lists on the Internet — but I’d never noticed it for purchase locally. So I was genuinely excited when I noticed Wamp had acquired review copies of Delirium in its distinctive bottle that looks like it’s formed from speckled ceramics. Throw in the pink elephant on the label and it’s not a package you’re likely to forget any time soon.
Luckily, the beer itself is just as memorable as its housing. Delirium gives off deep, rich smells that to my nose rotated through a variety of scents. Every time I thought I had a handle on it — Is that bubble gum? Prune? Dr Pepper? — the smell would shift and become unidentifiable.
The flavor is just as rich with strong roasted malts that bring out a coffee taste. Also lurking in the Delirium are hints of sweet, dark fruit — prune and raisin. Other beers have turned me off with this path. With Delirium, it works.
It’s a powerfully good beer, and one whose high alcohol content didn’t reveal itself at all to me in its flavor.
Delirium is a rich, exotic potent treat to the very last drop.