Our first beer review is of Delirium Nocturnum – a dark beer 8.50% ABV – from Brouwerij Huyghe of Melle, a few miles South East of Ghent in East Flanders. Bottle is the usual 330ml. We’ll both be reviewing the beer and giving it a score out of 10.
I like the logo with the Delirium brand. It reminds me of the first time we went to Belgium for a surprise New Year trip to Bruges and, not really knowing where we are or where to go, we ended up in an Irish Bar just off Grote Markt. At the time I had no idea that the iconic pink elephants had anything to do with a brewery, I just liked the pretty pink elephants all over the ceiling of the otherwise fairly average bar (with fairly grim toilets if I remember correctly).
Presentation is unusual in the fact that the bottle is painted an off-white colour with a bright blue almost trippy label and foil to the neck. This is a whole new level of making a beer stand out on the shelf! I can’t imagine many men wanting to be seen with that bottle though, which makes me look forward to tasting it, knowing the brand has stood the test of time.
Pouring the beer pleases me: I like my dark beers and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s a very deep red colour with a beige head which disappears pretty quickly. It looks quite syrupish. The smell is hardly noticeable at all even with my nose right next to the liquid.
The Delirium Nocturnum is, to me, a pretty complex beer to taste. The first thing I think when I taste this beer is fruity, but that taste disappears pretty quickly to reveal a bitter chocolatey flavour, which in turn again disappears after a few more seconds to leave a sweet, deep but refreshed after-taste which continues to develop for a good 30 seconds after I’ve swallowed the beer. It’s fizzy, but that doesn’t last long in my mouth.
I like it, and I find the complexity enjoyable, but it’s not a beer I’d drink regularly.
I’d give this a solid 7.5/10.
This is a beer we’ve often seen but were yet to try. The other Delirium beer I’d tried had been a couple of bottles of the 10% Delirium Noël over New Year in Ghent – so I decided pick up 8 bottles of this to sample.
Helen has previously discussed the bottle and the infamous “Pink Elephant” so I won’t really go there apart from to say that the Delirium brand is certainly a strong one. As well as the beer, Delirium Café franchises can be found as far away as Tokyo and Brazil.
On to the drinking… the first thing I notice is the a fruity taste with quite a strong alcohol feeling in my throat. I’m thinking this would feel great on a cold winter’s evening. The initial fruity-alcohol hit gets momentarily sweeter and then dissipates leaving a lingering taste of caramel. The texture seems slightly watery – for want of a better phrase! Very drinkable – it never feels heavy.
Overall I like this – a good winter warmer, although could be drank at any time.
I’d rate this at 8/10.