Friday, December 11, 2009

What does the morning after feel like when you're last beer was Delirium?

Which leads us to an interesting question, in between sips of coffee and taking this big bag of ice off my head: Is Delirium Tremens, you know, good? Pointless waste of semantics, yes, but as the authors of this blog nearly come to blows over it I thought I'd ask. What can I say, if God didn't want drunks getting into aggressive arguments...

First, to the experts. Beer Advocate and The Bros. both grade it an A-. That surprised me because I've come to expect (perhaps unfairly) a kneejerk criticism of (some of) their users towards popular beers, as if obscurity guarantees quality. Delirium Tremens is most definitely trendy, just check out Fat Cat.

[of course in the case of Belgium beer obscurity generally does equate with quality. The best beer in the world is amazingly still brewed in noncommercial Trappist monasteries. No tedious history lessons for now; but more info over here. A hypocrite, I am]

Tremens was also voted "best beer in the world" at the 1998 World Beer Championship (hence, the slogan) and was ranked #1 by Sommelier Stuart Kallen in his book The 50 Greatest Beers in the World. Which would make a great Christmas present. Hint.

Next to the textbooks. Or at least, what I think is an awesome semantic aspect of this beer: the name. "Delirium Tremens" means:

A severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe mental or neurological changes.

As in, the name quite literally refers to the horrible tremors that accompany severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Which, considering it's an 8.5% ABV strong ale, agrees with my disturbed and deranged sense of humor.

[More on that Belgian sense of humor: to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, the newly-created Tremens was packaged with another beer called "La Guillotine"]

Which takes us last, to the brewery. Brouwerij Huyghe regularly brews three Delirium beers: Tremens, a Belgian strong pale, Nocturum, a strong dark ale, and Noel, a stronger dark ale. They also brew or own at least 69 other beers, according to BA's tasters, almost none of which I've heard of. We need this list with us when we next hit up the Old Rabbit Club, yeah?

Of course none of my longwindedness and highhandedness is going to convince Sam it doesn't taste like bubblegum. But why blog about beer if you're not going to obsessively back up your opinions?

At least my head hurts slightly less.

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