Beer Review: Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Noël

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Brewery: Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer: Delirium Noël
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 10%
Character: Brewed only for the Christmas and New Year, Noël complete the “Delirium” trilogy.
Ratings at time of Review: BA: 87 | RB: 96
Metal Connection: BLOODBATH – Death Delirium

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DeleriumNoelI have always seen this bottle for several years around the holidays at the local beer stores, but I had never purchased it until recently. Why, I really do not know, as I love most Belgian beer. I just felt that it was finally time that I had one of these in my collection of bottles, and a review for the site.

There isn’t much of a commercial description of this beer found on the sites I searched, except for a small amount of info I gathered from the brewery’s website after watching a short video of the Delirium series of beers. The Delirium Noël, or Delirium Christmas used 7 different herbs in this beer, assuming the typical herbs and spices normally found in Christmas Ales. I really liked the part of the video where the dude was describing the labels of the Delirium Tremens, on how the animals depicted on the labels, like the pink elephant that is famous for this beer, is actually a nod to being in a state of delirium or confusion. The pink elephant will be something your mind would create, like a really bad trip or something.

Poured from their signature white painted 750ml corked bottle into a Breckenridge Brewing logo snifter, the appearance of Delirium Noël was a clear ruby red color with a nice thick 1.5 inch eggshell colored foamy head. The head had excellent retention throughout this session, sticking around as a thin layer atop the beer, leaving sticky webs of lacing all the way down the sides of the glass.

Great Belgian yeast profile in the nose with banana, black pepper that was mixed well with dark fruits, raisins, prunes, red grapes, and cherries. There was an overall sweetness to the aroma like candy sugar, brown sugar, molasses. I was also able to pick up on smells of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. So this is what a Belgian Christmas smells like!

Belgian Christmas all over again here. Flavors of banana, mild black pepper, mixed well with some good holiday spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, a little clove. Good trace of sweet candy sugar, brown sugar, molasses. More fruit notes make up the backbone of this beer and into the aftertaste as well. Flavors of cherry, plums, raisins, prunes, red grapes, and a hint of sweet green apples. For me the lingering aftertaste is mostly all fruits like the cherries, green apples, and banana blended well with a good boozy burn.

The body was not very heavy, but I would say slightly over the medium mark, though. Moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is slick and creamy, with a moderately crisp, dry finish. There is a slight boozy burn at the end, but not very much. This beer is an easy drinker, despite it’s 10% ABV, so be careful. Some sips weren’t sips at all on this bad boy.

Overall, I was impressed as I usually am with Belgian beers, but it was lacking some full definition. A few missing links in the chain to make this a perfect beer. I did mention that spices were noticed in the aroma and taste, but they were pretty mild compared to the sweet candy, and fruit notes. I was expecting more “holiday” with this one. I will be picking up the other Delirium beers when I can, as I would love to have them all.

bloodbath_-_resurrection_through_carnageMetal Connection: Being a huge fan of the Death Metal super group, Bloodbath, I knew instantly that I would be putting this killer track on this Metal Connection with this beer. The band Bloodbath was put together in 1998 by members of Katatonia, Opeth, and Metal’s journeyman, Dan Swanö, who is known for many of his bands. For me, he will always be famous for Edge of Sanity. This was a great departure for many of the members of this band, since their respective bands all play very different styles of Metal to that of Bloodbath. Dan Swanö was one of my early vocal influences and I pretty much worshiped the band Edge of Sanity. I still do, actually. In 2002, Bloodbath released their debut full length album on Century Media Records called Resurrection Through Carnage, which has our featured song on it. During this time Dan Swanö was playing drums for the band and acting as backing vocals. The main vocals were handled by Opeth front man, Mikael Åkerfeldt. Over the years the band has seen different vocalists lead the band, including Peter Tägtgren of Hypocrisy fame, and Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost fame. All contributed their own style of vocals, making each album unique from one another. Even though Dan Swanö is not a part of the band anymore either, I still enjoy every album put out by this killer Death Metal band. So, here we go. This is the song “Death Delirium” from 2002’s, Resurrection through Carnage album. Cheers!

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