Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Delirium Noël

My first-ever "Delirium" beer from the Huyghe Brewery in Belgium. Henry joins me again to taste test this famous Christmas brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (621) - Albany, USA - MAR 18, 2011
Big Belgian beers are known for their robustness and sheer energy, which tends to make them a nightcap sipping beer. But is it possible to be both refreshing and a sipper? After drinking a bottle of Delirium Noel with my friend Henry, we began to posit that scenario. This is a traditional Belgian strong dark ale weighing in at 10% ABV, but it has a light, fruity palate which is quite pleasant on the tongue. Its density does eventually make itself known, though.

I split a 750ml corked bottle with a friend and poured my half into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Beautiful shade of burgundy like wine. No real head to speak of and certainly no retention or lacing. No carbonation noticeable, either.

AROMA: red apples and straight rum, but still very mild. No spices. Some boozy qualities.

TASTE: For such a big beer from Belgium, I was surprised at how robust this beer wasn’t. I get a tasty Macintosh apple flavor followed by rum and vanilla. It’s tasty and satisfying to be sure,  like fresh fruit juice and some candy-like sweetness. The only problem is the alcohol upstages the authentic palate and dries out these flavors. Perhaps a vintage of at least two years would help settle the alcohol.

MOUTHFEEL: Surprisingly thin and tepid, with gentle warmth across the tongue and down the throat. Slightly drying, but always tolerable.

DRINKABILITY: While cold this beer is actually quite refreshing, mostly due to the apple juice-like taste. As it warms it turns into more of a sipper and becomes, literally, a challenge to drink.

OVERALL: A good beer, but not a great one. I expected more, but I’m satisfied with what I got.

Grade: 7/10

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