Friday, 18 August 2006

Beer O'Clock: Delirium Tremens, Strong Pale Ale, 9%

Continuing the theme of pandering to requests from anonymous comments, this week’s Beer O’Clock from Neil at Real Beer goes in search of the legendary Pink Elephants of Huyghe.

The Huyghe brewery in Belgium has been in existence since 1654 but today’s beer – Delirium Tremens – is only about 20 years old. It comes in a bottle painted to look like pottery and with a label boasting its trademark Pink Elephants and (inexplicably) Alligators Wearing Sunglasses.

Beer wise, it is a bottle-conditioned, strong Belgian pale ale weighing in at a hefty 9%. The brewing process is complex and uses three different yeasts. It is considered a classic beer – one of Beerhunter Michael Jackson’s Top 500 beers in the world.

Huyghe also make a dark beer called Delirium Nocturum and a seasonal winter beer called Delirium Christmas (or Delirium Noel) – the labels have the famous Pink Elephants with little Santa Hats on and they are just too cute.

They also make La Guillotaine – the blandest 9% Belgian Strong Ale you will ever taste.

As for the name, Delirium Tremens (known popularly as 'The DTs') is a potentially fatal form of ethanol (alcohol) withdrawal. Christy Moore for one has a fine song on the subject. Several US states however banned this beer because of the name. Their loss.

The beer itself pours a lazy, hazy yellow with a compact, firm head. The nose is peppery, grainy, fruity (orange, banana) with a little late coriander spice. In the mouth it is smooth, yeasty, fruity (apple and pear) and little spicy (coriander and pepper). It has pleasantly long bitter finish.

Like many quality Belgian beers it hides its high alcohol content.

Take care, once the bottle is opened those marvellous pink elephants are never far away…

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  1. Anonymous? That's not a nice thing to call me :-P

  2. I think it shows that 9% Belgian beer may be bad for the memory: He'd forgotten your name. :-)


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