Delirium Nocturnum

Delirium NocturnumDelirium Nocturnum is a Belgian ale weighing in at 8.5% alcohol by volume, and packaged in a funky faux-ceramic painted bottle. The particular bottle I had was a big one—one pint, 9.4 fluid ounces—and sealed with a cork and cage setup, like a champagne bottle. There’s also a pink elephant on the label, as you can see; I guess they’re advertising it’s strength in a Looney Tunes kind of way. It’s brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe in Belgium.

It’s one of those forays into Belgian beers where it’s never quite what you expect, and you’re not even sure what you were expecting in the first place. For all that, I thought it was pretty good. A little different, but pretty good nonetheless. Let’s hit my notes.

Appearance: Pours a rich brown, with a thick tan head. Mostly clear. I expected more of a yellow color.

Smell: Fruity—apple, berry… Jolly Rancher? Sweet sugar. Mostly sweet apple and a little funky sourness.

Taste: Sour, musty—à la a Belgian farmhouse ale—perhaps green apple. Malty. Leather? A hint of it’s alcoholic strength. Candy-ish.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich; not chewy-thick though. Lots of carbonation, effervescence… light.

Overall, it’s a musty-sour-sweet-funky Belgian ale, full of complexity and pretty good. I won’t say it’s the best Belgian beer I’ve had, but it stands up.

On BeerAdvocate, they mostly agree with me; it scores 86 out of 100 and has 96% thumbs-up. On RateBeer, it’s a similar story: 3.51 out of 5, in the 84th percentile.