If you’re seeking a knockout holiday beer, Belgian brewer Brouwerij Huyghe’s Delirium Noël is a no-brainer. A classic Belgian strong dark ale, Huyghe has released an iteration of its holiday beer every year since 2000. Lucky for those of us stateside, its festive pink elephant makes an appearance in most specialty bottle shops.
Appearance and Aroma
If you’re familiar with Delirium beers, then you’re familiar with its ceramic-looking bottle sealed with a cork and cage and wrapped in red foil. It’s a beer that looks like a present. Out of the bottle, it pours a cloudy chestnut-amber color with a robust, off-white head. You won’t mistake this beer’s provenance; it smells like a textbook Belgian ale, with yeast playing the lead role, supported by some spice notes.
Proceed with caution if you’re breaking one of these bad boys open at the holiday party. Your shindig might be over before it begins.”
The beer’s flavor—those same yeast and spice notes—comes with a hefty dose of alcohol: 10% ABV. This beer drinks like a sweater for your tongue, with hints of sweet caramel and apricot as well as hop bitterness in the background, and ends on a sweet note.
Delirium Noël is an easy go-to for those looking for something reliable that won’t look out of place next to a bottle of wine on the Christmas table. But, for me, it lacks pizzazz and its high ABV is a bit of a drag. When I’m drinking holiday beers, I appreciate something both drinkable and approachable. While Delirium is by far drinkable for flavor’s sake, its 10% ABV rating isn’t exactly approachable. So proceed with caution if you’re breaking one of these bad boys open at the holiday party. Your shindig might be over before it begins.