Delirium Tremens
Brewer's Logic


One would think that to name a product after a chronic condition caused my massive abuse of the same or similar products wouId not be much of a guarantee for success; imagine a sweet soft drink called ‘obesity’ or a cigarette brand called ’emphysema’.

But the logic somehow doesn’t seem to apply to strong beer. ‘Delirium Tremens’ is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal suffered by heavy drinkers and involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes. Apparently symptoms most often occur within 48-96 hours after the last drink. So maybe the name is a good marketing ploy after all!

Anyway, Delirium Tremens exists as a beer since 26th December 1988 when it was introduced by the family brewery Huyghe. Until 1985 the brewery produced traditional pilsen beer, but then things started to change, the business was restructured, money was invested and the production shifted towards high fermentation beers.

Today Delirium Tremens is the flagship beer of the brewery. Without doubt the original bottle, which resembles ceramic, the colourful label with the pink elephant and the name have all played a part in this great success story.

So how does the beer shape up? In the glass, hazy golden yellow with a reasonable head. The aroma is of fresh bread, spices and some fruit. The taste: estery pear moving towards a sweet bubblegum banana; a little sourness creeps in followed by peppery spice and the malt starts to establish itself as the alcohol (8.5% vol.) comes through. The sweetness turns to barley sugar and a hop bitterness finally shows itself .

A very good Belgian strong pale ale but for my taste I’ll stick with Duvel, which has a more balanced taste or Moinette blond which is the refreshing alternative.


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