Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Delirium Nocturnum

Delirium NocturnumBeer No. 61 – Delirium Nocturnum

Bougie thing to quaff this bougie beer from my bougie pink elephant. But I do love the glass, and the beer, it ain’t bad either, even if it is a mood brew.

STYLE: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 8.5%

LOOK: Dark mirror. The only light in the house that’s on is the one in the dining room, that and my laptop. There’s a nice reflection from my most-stolen-in-America tulip, with credit to this dark, dark brew. Beachy thin head with a light caramel tinge. Subtle carbonation.

NOSE: Roasted raisins, molasses, sugar cookies, apple cider vinegar.

MOUTH: A recent trip to Napa clued me in to a wine secret. That some of the better wines are better enjoyed after opening up in a decanter – for up to 24 hours. I’ve done the hour-before-guests come thing, but a day, that seemed overkill. Until I tried it. It’s the same principle for some of the better Belgians, including this one. Honey, malted chocolates, plums, dried cranberries. There’s more here, obviously, but that’s not the point. Somewhere the sweet yeasts are hiding, maybe with the tucked-away ABV, and notwithstanding the complex flavor profile and top-class warming mouth, I need a touch more tartness for balance.

Beeradvocate Rating: 89

ratebeer Rating: 94

Hayward Abbey Rating: 92

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Brasserie des Rocs Triple Impériale

Beer No. 17 – Brasserie des Rocs Triple Impériale

Spectacular treat from my favorite abbaye. In many respects similar to the Grand Cru I fell in love with at La Trappe Cafe.

STYLE: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 10%

LOOK: Melted plums and Belgian yeasty bits. It could, if you are up to it, use a straining that might improve the mouthfeel. Yes, I did just that with some success. The resulting mocha-latte like head is more consistent than the initial pour, a miasma of foam and sediment. A maze of lacing with strong stickiness corroborates the sugary nose.

NOSE: Cinnamon raisin bread, overripe cherries, plums, figs, and dates. Wonderful. A smörgåsbord of dark fruits laced with just a touch of acidity.

MOUTH: Decadent plum cake, currants, the whole dark fruit family. It’s a reunion in my mouth. The well-masked ABV dares you to gulp. Resist the urge, let it warm a few degrees, and sip some more. Maybe, if you are up to it, let it reduce and smother some ice cream. I think I just might do that.

Beeradvocate Rating: 94

Hayward Abbey Rating: 95