Delirium Nocturnum, the Belgian ale brewed in ceramic bottles adorned with pink elephants, the ‘dark’ cousin of the self-proclaimed ‘Best Beer in the World’ Delirium Tremens. This ale is brewed by Huyghe Brewing and weighs in with a none-too-shabby 8.5% ABV. It pours a dark, chestnut with an impressive amount of caramel coloured head; a head which lingered until I had nearly finished my glass. The ale was dense and sediment heavy. Initial sip was quite rich and somewhat creamy, this was followed by a subtle sweetness and toasted malt element, and you end with an almost metallic aftertaste –almost like sipping a citrus based drink from a can. This was a little disconcerting. I found this beer a little challenging, there were elements I liked and others I did not but the more I drank the more confused I became about what it was that I liked/disliked about this ale. Definitely worth a repeat.
Out of a possible 5 I would give this beer a 3.5.
Next up, Trappistes Rochefort 10, wait for it… a Trappist style ale with the typical mind-numbing ABV of 11.3%. Rochefort 10 pours a dark opaque brown/black with a ‘baby’ head that diminishes fairly quickly. There is a real effervescent quality to this ale that allows you to sip quickly without being overwhelmed by the strength. It is surprisingly crisp and clean to drink, well-balanced in the flavour department, and no lingering aftertaste. At the same time there is a creaminess, perhaps heaviness, that is imparted by the malt. There are a few varietals in the Rochefort line-up which allows you to experiment a bit within the Trappist style. Overall great ale and one that deserves a place in the regular rotation.
Out of a possible 5 I would give this beer a 4.5.