While I’m more concerned about the beer than the bottle in comes in, it’s fair to say that packaging can always have an impact. Poor packaging – be it the graphics or sometimes just the name – can put me off even bothering to try a beer.
Put a pink elephant on a stone-look bottle, however, and I’ll buy it in a heartbeat.
Delirium is a seriously industrial-sized brewer in Melle, Belgium – if I’m translating some of their figures correctly, their hop boiler alone has a capacity a shade under five thousand gallons. So, not exactly a hand-crafted beer – but how does the 8.5% Delirium Nocturnum taste?
Well, it’s a deep red brown in the glass, pouring with a open, fleeting fizz that quickly fades leaving no head and a drink that frankly looks rather coke-like. The nose is all Belgian though – sweet, burnt sugar along with some more subtle chocolate notes and with just a hint of the alcohol lurking.
In the mouth that soft-drink impression continues; a very open, coke-like fizz in the mouth carrying a lot of sweetness with it. The alcohol heat is subtle but noticeable; more rich sweetness comes through as you allow the bubbles to dissipate and along with that are some dark date-like fruit notes. Towards the end some bitterness comes through – more from the black malt than the hops – and even a touch of sourness that helps clear away the sticky sweetness from your lips.
A curious one this; it’s a mighty tasty beer, although it really doesn’t have the body and impact I’d expect at 8.5%. A little hard to justify the high price, but you can’t say no to a pink elephant.