BREWER: Brouwerij Huyghe, East Flanders
STYLE: Dark Beer
VESSEL: 330ml bottle
I like to think that I am not one to judge a book by its cover but when my wife reached for Delirium Nocturnum (DN) to put on her salad (she thought it was an upmarket French dressing) it did rather emphasise the poor packaging on this Belgian. It’s great to see breweries trying to do things a little differently but don’t fix something that’s not broke and traditional Belgian packaging, in my humble opinion, ain’t broke.
Right, rant over. Onto the innards of the bottle: the beer.
DN is definitely dark in appearance and to be quite frank, we’d expect nothing else from our (soon to be ex in name) European cousins across the English Channel. However, it does have quite the exquisite nose for such a beer. It’s sweet and caramel based both at the same time and while this may sound a bit off, it most certainly isn’t.
In the drinking, DN is bittersweet with a pleasant after taste. It’s a little disjointed in the mouth, which makes it a bit of a chewer; definitely not one for a session. That having been said, it’s sharpness and full bouquet upfront make it a pleasant beer for a one off.
DN is a good beer, but it’s not one of my favourite Belgians. I can’t help thinking that it might taste better when being drunk in a square in Brussels, while watching the world go by…Jymi, a trip across the pond is calling!
Sammy’s Rating: 71%
As soon as you start pouring your Delirium Nocturnum into the glass you know you are dealing with a major player. The smell of the brew instantly hits you as does the look of this beer in their obscenely cool glass. Even though the colours are not the same, the look of the bottle and beer in glass somehow mirror one another. The beer itself actually looks of the highest quality and the large 2 finger head just sat there at no point looking like it was going to quit!
As you sip this Belguin beauty the head remains the same with no effort whatsoever and the thick toffee fudge nose coming off the beer intensifies as you’re drinking. The actual first sip sat me back in my seat but once I’d composed myself the true exquisite nature of this strong dark beer really began to take hold. It truly is superb. The flavour is a very intense malty one upfront, with cherry and liquorice playing a heavy supporting roll. But in saying that it does not taste 8.5%. It does feel 8.5% once you’re through the glass though! Once the malty cherry taste dissipates after a couple of seconds the beer mellows right out into an endlessly delightful aftertaste. Then right at the end a sweetness creeps in to finish it all off.
WHAT. A. BEER.
Jymi’s Rating: 91%
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81%
MOB review next weekend: PROPER BLACK by ST AUSTELL
BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER