When your beer is being made out of a brewing facility that's been around for over 350 years, the likelihood of a quality product is considerably high. That said, we didn't expect anything short of greatness when we sat down with a few Delirium Tremens beers for this week's 2 O'Clock Tasting.
Produced by Huyghe Brewery in Melle, Belgium, Delirium Tremens was founded in 1989, and can be distinguished among other types of beer in a number of different ways. The distinct flavor is the result of the beer being brewed with three different types of yeast, and the bottles are designed to resemble traditional ceramics of Cologne, Germany. While it has since been established that most delirium tremens sufferers don't actually hallucinate pink elephants, the brand Delirium Tremens uses the familiar symbol as their mascot of sorts. Besides, with such a high ABV in each of their brews, we don't think it'll take withdrawal to start seeing technicolor wildlife.
This is the beer that started it all. Flaxen-colored with a ton of effervescence and a pleasant, fruity smell with hints of clove, this beer is very dry and finishes with a nice, slight sweetness. While one may notice the presence of alcohol upon the first sip, it doesn't take long to get into the flow of consuming this light, easy-drinking beer with a deceptively high ABV. As one of our tasters put it, "it's like pouring smiles into your brain."
Similar to the color of birch beer, this brew has a very sweet, malty aroma, not dissimilar to burnt caramel. However, when it comes to taste, eyes and tongue do not really match up. The taste is much earthier than the smell, which leaves you expecting an almost syrupy consistency. However, for such a dark beer, you'll be surprised to find that the Delirium Nocturnum is actually quite light in body, cloying on the tongue and not particularly hop-heavy in terms of flavor.
We're already a couple of months out of the Christmas season, but we could drink this beer year-round. Cherrywood in color (how appropriate), the Delirium Noel has a light, foamy head and spicy aromas with sour cherry notes that make you automatically think of the holidays. With a light body and sweet aftertaste, it's hard to remember that it's got a 10% ABV, and you could easily get lost in the atmosphere of a comfortable fire and this lightly spiced brew.
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