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Beer Review: Delirium Tremens

I recall first drinking Delirium Tremens by Brouwerij Huyghe a long long time ago.  I was always fascinated by the artwork, the bottle, and the pink elephants on the bottle.  As my craft beer evolution progressed, I found myself really enjoying this beer.  Every so often I like to come back to my roots and rekindle the favorite flavors that brought me to where I am now.

When I lived in New Haven, Connecticut around 2007, a new beer and burger bar called “Prime 16” (prime16.com) was just opening.  I recall going to this bar and drinking Delirium Tremens on tap.  One of the many unique aspects of this bar (aside from a hamburger served with the fried egg on top) was their obsession with correct glassware.  They would have every single glass straight from the manufacturer that corresponded to each and every beer they had on tap.  Why am I telling you this story?  Because Delirium Tremens quickly became known as the “#1 most stolen glass in the bar”.  Here is a picture of that glassware.

Can you see why this was the #1 most stolen glass in the bar?  In fact, after the bartender told me that, I actually thought about slipping one in my own pocket… but I didn’t.  Look at all those little pink elephants!
So where does the name “Delirium Tremens” come from?  Good story behind this one.  Delirium tremens is actually a medical condition that defined as “an acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol.” (wikipedia.com)  People who have this medical condition may experience severe tremors after alcohol withdrawal.  So why the pink elephants?  In the most severe cases, magnesium deficiency associated with withdrawal can lead to hyperirritability and hallucinations.  Anyone else notice the pink elephant in the room?
A picture of my Delirium Tremens is shown below:
Delirium Tremens: Brouwerij Huyghe, Belgium (near Ghent)
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Rank: #8 in style at Beeradvocate.com

Delirium Tremens pours with an ample frothy head with nice lacing upon retreat.  The color is a nice hazy golden hue with a quite a bit of bubble action.  The smell is delicious: a nice Belgian-y aroma rife with spices and fruits.  The taste is even better. Delirium Tremens is a well-balanced concoction.  This beer has a strong alcohol presence that ignites the palate and warms the tongue.  A dry bitter flavor is left behind after a sip, and the alcohol continues to warm the senses.  This beer is a bit oxymoronic; you can taste the alcohol although the beer still doesn’t seem to be 8.5% alcohol.  The smells and tastes all translate into a highly drinkable and tasty beer.

I did a little more digging and came across some amazing statistics and pictures of the Brouwerij Huyghe in Belgium.  This brewery is a state of the art facility that can produce 18,000 bottles per hour and contains 5 malt silos.  Here are a few pictures of the brewery from their website.  Doesn’t this seem like an amazing place to brew beer?

 

 

Delirium Tremens really is an exceptional beer and one of my all-time favorites.  This brewery has developed a great brand and hopefully the pink elephant will be in the room for a long time!

About Buffalo Beer Biochemist

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