Archbeer.com

Archbeer.com is an independent informal site for beer enthusiasts, providing information on specific beer brands tested by guitarist Archaon of the Norwegian black metal band 1349.

Ratings

The beers reviewed are rated on a scale ranging from 1 to 6 based on the following parameters:

  • Color
  • Consistency/texture
  • Fragrance
  • Elements of taste and aftertaste
  1. Disgusting (rather drink water)
  2. Poor/boring (somewhat drinkable, but nothing more than that)
  3. Ok (meets expectations)
  4. Good (above average and high quality in terms of taste)
  5. Splendid (top notch; a joy to consume every drop)
  6. Out-of-body experience (absolutely supreme taste and presentation)
After many notes being written and many a beer consumed, this blog finally saw the light of day late 2013.
A lot has happened in the scene since I started working on this blog. With so many exiting brews & breweries, an increasement in popularity (at least in Europe that is),  and let’s not forget-  possibly the most interesting of the lot, the homebrewers. It’s simply so much to taste, so many to get accuainted to, that it should be no wonder if there is types that you won’t find here… (Yet). Still; I will try to be as productive as I can allow myself to on this front (Santa, I’d like 30 hour long days for this Xmas!) and include what beers I taste, with my opinion about it etc.

It seems that the more I learn about beer, the more I realize how much more knowledge that I lack about it… But hey, that’s part of what is about to change, part of the mission.  Hope you can find it/some of it entertaining (perhaps even interesting?) in a way or another. Oh, and PS: Feel free to leave a comment in the comment-field.

Skål/Salute/Salud/Nastrovje/cheers/Schal/Kampai/Sveiks/Kippis/Prost/Santè/Slaintè!

-I- Archaon

 

COMING UP:

Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2022 (MBCC)

 

Dark and nice visuals, pouring small creamy head. Nose reminiscent of leather, Smoke, dried fruit and wet oak. Body is medium to light, enhancing the peated notes. Mouthfeel is fresh, sharp- a bit stingy, but comfortably so. Tastewise, it really embraces the whisky flavour, but also leaves behind room for other elements, such as distinct coffee-traces, figs, a hint of liquorice and almost rum-like aftertaste.

Old school with style: Närke never disappoints with their variants of this fantastic beer.

It’s always with great anticipation that I approach any beer that rides under the Side Project/Shared-banner, being aware of their extremely high quality stouts and Barleywines. However, they’re also incredibly competent when it comes to sour beers, giving the European competitors such as 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon a run-for-the-money, for sure. (I’ll always cherish the moment when tasting that “Fuzzy” of theirs… Amazing!)

Back to the beer-at-hand, namely Blueberry Flanders blend 3: It demands me to take off my sunglasses to really take in that beautiful deep blue-red/brown colour, pouring close to no bubbles at all. Nose is deep dark mature from super-ripe berries, highly acidic and lots of oak from the barrel.

As for taste, the oaky elements are enhanced for a split second, together with blueberries, that in turn becomes extremely sour- lingering for a very, very long time. It’s almost as it corrodes through the throat… Extremely sour, on the verge between delicious and pungent to the degree that I must question a second as well as a third time… I land on it being very delicate and refreshing. And highly interesting, to the extent of a mindblowing taste-trip.

It’s great to challenge people’s taste like SP does here- whoever said it was going to be such an easy quiery summery experience under the sunshine?

 

Goodness gracious- where to start here… For those familiar with the Weldwerks brewery outta Colorado, it comes as no surprise that this particular bottle represents something out-of-the-ordinary. Being one of the argueably most sought after beers the last couple of years, it was- and definetely now is, not easy to find. Thus, it was with the uttermost respect and gratitude that I recieved this astonishing X-mas gift from my better half back in 2021. (On a sidenote: I had the pleasure of tasting batch two last year, which in itself was incredibly awesome as well).

Back to the beer-at-hand: This is without a doubt he most nutty chocolate stout I’ve ever had in my life!!! This insanity looks, smells & tastes like melted Snickers, merged with Ritter Sport w/Hazelnuts in a waterbath- thereafter barrel aged in the most balanced bourbon barrels imaginable. It just seems so…. Organical. Not altered in any sense. Not that the newest batch was anything but delicious, but boy- that one is easily exceeded by it’s predecessor.  Infused with coconut & hazelnuts, the nose is simply dominated by hazelnut to an extent that I’ve never encountered before, ever. Pure fullbodied greatness chocolaty bonanza with every mouthful. Fullbodied to the max. Velvety, but thick n’oily viscosity in glass, as well as the most wonderful carpet on the palate. Of course, leaving little room for much carbonation- but it’s nothing that is missed.

Did I mention them massive amounts of coconut herein? Again, just thick, melted milkchocolate with copious amounts of nuts inside. Insane mouthfeel. Purest chocofudge-taste. No alcohol taste whatsoever, just really, really balanced notes from the barrels provides an incredible and longlasting taste. This one, I will never forget.

First beer after Covid, smell & taste starting to come back… this well known classic of this year‘s vintage is a good way to start. As earlier years, it pours dark brown in glass, with massive head on top. I get hints of nutmeg, sweet (Caramelly) dark fruit and woody notes in the nose.

Tastewise it is fresh ‘n bubbly, with that typical belgian yeast-driven interface, if you will. Entangled in somewhat spicy/herbal notes, fused with the given heat from the solid ABV, the 2021 version stands out with a much thinner body than all previous years.  Almost a bit watery(?) Still, the overall taste is nice. Regardless of the season.

 

 

Photo: M. K. Burheim


Ooohh… Black as night. Thick, oily looks- exactly the beerstyle that tends to be cherished the most, in my personal perspective, that is.

Nose reminisces clearly dark chocolate and cocoa, with hints of fruity bourbon waaaaay down in the deep. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time… now, let’s check it out.

Taste is insaaane! Thick mouthfeel, fullbodied. A real strike to all senses, a blow to the palate! Super-smooth, silky veil of elegance- with powerful bitter dark chocolate of the most delicious kinds play it out on the tongue. Long lasting and with subtle caramelly hints at the very first couple of seconds, before the bitterness sets in, dancing hand-in-hand with cocoa. No diminishing sweetness here, I tell ya. So I’ll be careful with detecting fruityness herein, cause it sure shouldn’t be a main part to be emphazised, with so much good stuff already going on.

And underneath it all: A highly suitable heat that stems from those magnificent bourbony traces. Super-delish! Quite incredible, what them masters at Side Project has got going here. So happy I don’t have Covid right now! Because for a beer like this, nothing but all senses must be intact in order to give justice to such greatness.
Suberbly executed.

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim

Hey folks!

So: Finally I’ve gone through all the Christmas beers that I had going for this year. (Phew!)

I have updated the article beneath, a few pictures remains and will be posted tomorrow.

Check it out: http ://www.archbeer.com/x-mas-test-norwegian-x-mas-beers-2021/

wish everybody a happy holiday- Cheers!

 

-A-

 

Hi there fellow beer lovers!

Here’s a report of this year’s 🇳🇴 Xmas beers- enjoy!

 

 

 

AASS «Vellagret Juleøl» (9%) 5/6

Booking beautifully dark red in glass, pouring creamy head. Nose is clearly maltdriven, and there’s some Dark fruit in here too… almost a little mulled-style here.

Mouthfeel is supersmooth. With a mediumbodied profile, this shines astonishingly great! Starts off with a complex, sweet start, gradually evolving into exciting middlepart. There’s dates, there’s baked chestnut, blending in beautifully. Then, in Perfection- the heat slides in and carries the whole total carefully on the palate. A definte contestor is what we’ve got here. Yes, AASS it was.

 

AASS «Juleøl» (4.6%) 3/6

 

A transparent, light red ale pouring great bubbly head in glass. Nose reminisches subtly of coffee, even more subtly caramellish. Taste is clean, body thin and lightly spiced with a subtly bitter end to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUBORG “Juleøl» (4.5%) 2/6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red and a little murky, pouring huge head-HUGE, bubbly head. Quite sterile is what I get from the nose. Very little aroma, hardly anything at all. As far as taste goes: small bubbles from carbonation. Very very light bodied, sweet subtle intro with a tad of sweetness to it. The expected level of bitterness that you get from an everyday lager, and quickly fading aftertaste. It’s all right, and an easy thirst quencher.

 

RINGNES «Nordlands Juleøl» (4.5%) 4/6

 

 

Beautiful red transparent for the eye. Pours nice small head and gives away a nose of delicious sweet malts. Great fizz, Refreshing, clean and mild. Very mild cara-Sweet middle that balances this light-weighter out very well. A smooth subtle bitterness rounding of this all around beverage from the north of Norway.

 

 

 

 

 

RINGNES «Juleøl» (4.6%) 3/6

Pours gentle lean head. Dark red looks, with a very subtle nose of wet basement/wood, dried fruit and grain. As for the taste, it’ has hot some bubbly action in it, and a quickly passing flash of malted barley. Yet so brief one can almost dedect it, before it’s gone… very light-bodied. This helps if you’re gonna have several throughout the night, but is also undoubtedly a bit watery and light.

 

E.C. DAHLS «Juleøl» (6%) 4/6

 

Dark brown coffee cooler with small head when pouring. Nose gives away a very subtle vinous impression, albeit dark roasted malts are detected.

On the palate: small, subtle bubbles, but bold mouthfeel! Coffee, roast finalized with caramel fat in the back. This is a great alternative to both food pairing as well as the extra nightcap.

 

SAGENE «Sterk jul» (6.5%) 4/6

 

Brown-red’ish with quickly fading head. Sweet aroma heavily dominated by malt & brown sugars and caramel. Light to medium mouthfeel.

Taste is Dark bread, roasted coffee with a tad of bitterness, working well in connection with the sweetness. Little bubbly action, still well tasty.

 

 

SAGENE «Hvit jul» (0%) 3/6
It sure looks like the real deal… Smells nice too.
Kind of meet expectations as an extremely light-bodied and subtle taste, this works just fine as a thirst-quenching replacement for the driver during the Yuletide-get togethe dinners.

SAGENE “Tannhjul” (8%) 4/6
Darkish-murky, pouring small head. Giving a nose of coffee & sugars. Spices, enhanced coffee, fading into subtle fruityness, before the sweetness takes some weight off in the middle.  Full bodied, great feel.

 

SAGENE «Rød jul» (4,7%) 4/6

Pours a nice white/bright, creamy head. The beer has a red/Amber colour, with nose being maltdriven, emphazising caramelly notes.

The actual tasting-experience: The beer itself is light-bodied and will work very well with accompanying lighter dishes in these yuletide-times. An easygoing all-around’er as a good alternative.

 

AMUNDSEN «Ashes to ashes 2021)
(10,5%) 4/6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super-sweet, even on the nose! Lots of vanilla, enriched with caramel and toffee notes. I remember this one from last year. That said, not a bad thing- so lets taste this black, coffee-foamy sugar- frenzy!
At first, I do notice that this has some freshness to it, which was kinda unexpected. Has there been slight tweaking going on? If so, not for the worse- the body/mouthfeel is a tad lighter than previous year, and the sweetness is calmer than what the aroma presented. Quite a good sweet dessert.

AMUNDSEN «Choco orange ginger cinnabun tart» (12,5%) 4/6
Black as night. Clearly orange features, already in the nose- accompanied by x-mas pastry’s. Mild, superb impression already from the start. The oranges shines clearly through, with ever-imminently thick’n cost mouthfeel. Exciting and really good stuff!

AMUNDSEN «Sticky toffee cinnabun» (12.5%) 4/6
Black-Dark brown, no bubbles. Relatively thick, vanilla. Tasty chocolate with slight mild bitter edges. Sticky sweet, super Sweet middle. Slight essence twist, still deliciously good.

AMUNDSEN «BA Sticky toffee cinnabun» (13%) 5/6

Much more balanced nose! Complex fusion in time for Xmas. Black as tar. Taste is supersweet with delicious vanilla & pastry (for those who’s into that kinda thing). The barrel aging has taken off the synthetic twist too, making this one of this years winners for me.

 

 

 

 

 

LERVIG “No worries- Driving home for Christmas” (0,5%) 3/6

 

 

 

 

Dark brown visuals with creamy, light head. Subtle nose of burnt/roasted malts. The beer is fresh and easydrinking. Light-bodied, with traces of Xmas pastries provides the right seasonal assocciations.

 

 

RYGR «I svarta nattå granskudd NEIPA» (8%) 5/6
Wow, surprising colour indeed! Super-dark w/cremé lookin’ hat, one would definetely go to the assumption that this was in the darker, sweeter territory. But: Wrong!
Really fresh, forest/piney nose, deliciously enhanced with floral, earthy notes. This seems o be very right for this season, judging by the aromas. And tastewise?
Distinct sprucetips, burnt, flaked oats, X-mas pastry, subtle hint of sweetness towards the end. Surprising? Check. Good? Yeah- and then some.

RYGR «Jolemandarin IPA» (4.7%) 3/6
Well, it certainly looks like some Juicy thing, topped with a quick-evaporating hat. Nose is distinct orange, freshy feeling going on… let’s taste this. Light, hoppy (very bitter, as a matter of fact!) Even in the aftertaste. Very little orange/mandarin in the taste. Still, quenchable though.

HAAND  «Julestout» (12%) 4/6
Black , tar-like looks. Sweet nose. Fresh for so thick to bee. Taste is Sweet at first, then the Bourbon- sting sets in. Quite thick to medium mouthfeel & good balance of the elements.

HAAND «Bestefar» (9%)
A bit of rustiqueness /tobacco/wood in the nose. Pours nice head. Nutty taste,lots of spruce/bitterness, light strike of bitter coffee combined with sweetness.

HAAND “Halvors Jul” (8%) 4/6
Forest-assocciations is what comes to mind here. Brown chestnut-like looks. Some great malty hop beam in the aroma. Smooth medium-to-full bodied, with hop balancing greatly on top of the woody-nutty feel.

MJØDERIET «Julemjød» (12%) 6/6
Apple, cinnamon and X-mas pastry is easily detected within the nose-spectre, definite Xmas vibes. Mouthfeel is medium fullbodied, refreshing and delicate. Smooth! Not overly Sweet, just insanely well-tasty. Delicious fruity middlesection, followed by a light and Sweet, wonderful long aftertaste. This is a fantastic work of art as a matter of fact! Will definetely buy more of these this X-mas. Absolutely splendid!

 

AASS «Uten» (0,5%) 3/6
Deceivingly good looks, even pours nice head. Is this one gonna bring any X-ma spirit then?
Nose is malty, sweet & deep. And taste? Actually pretty nice indeed. Less sweet than expected, with fruity notes and great overall taste. Okay drivers- you’ll be just fine with this one.

LERVIG «Julebock» (4.7%) 3/6
Lightly brown, pours nice creamy head. Nose is first nutty and fruity. Taste is moderately maltdriven, with a lightstruck sense of dates. Lightbodied and fresh.

LERVIG «Naughty & nice» (8%)
Red-brownish looks. Very subtle taste. Good carbonation. Some sweet nutty subtle taste, evolving into some slight bitter notes.

KRECHER «Gynjerdread» (11%) 4/6
Ultra-Dark/black visual impression.
Nose: Cinnamon, clearly Sweet christmas pastry. Tonka beans. Tastewise: heavily cinnamonified! Quite bitter too, especially in the aftertaste. Nicely carbonated, medium bodied. Good heat from the alcohol.

RINGNES «Julebokk» (9%) 5/6
Deep Dark brown colour. Caramel and figs in nose and furthermore caramel in taste. Deep, rustique feel, woody basement.medium to light body. Long aftertaste.

RINGNES «juleBRYGG» (4.6) 3/6
Light brown & transparent looks. Pouring light head. Light aroma of malt. Super-light, thin and bland

EC DAHLS «Lille Bjørn» (4.6%) 3/6
Brown/red looks. Toothpaste aroma(?) spices. Lightly fruit-nutty intro, before the caraway sets in , albeit subtly executed though.

E.C. DAHLS «Kong Vinter» (7%) 4/6
Brown/red’ish with great foam hat. Caramelly nose. Heavy malt-driven sliding into gently hoppyness.

E.C. DAHLS «Juleøl» (4.5) 4/6 nose is Anise & Xmas spices. Super-dark. Nice sweet subtly spiced. Very well balanced. Great, advanced long aftertaste.

EIK & TID «Juleheliks» (7.2%) 5/6
Light brown-yellow visuals. Beautiful acidic notes of Apple and vinegar. Bubbles going on. Taste is delicious sour fermented fruit! Peachy, apple’ish. Very, very good!

GOUDEN CAROLUS «Christmas ale» (10%) 5/6
Dark brown looks. Liqorice, Xmas spices to da max.great carbonation. Resonnates great! Sweet, transforming into spiced. Superb balance, exciting daredevil’ish profile.

BREWDOG «Hoppy Xmas» (6%) 4/6
Dark golden transparent. Fruity nose with citrus features. Light-to-medium body, lightly fruity-bitter at first. Then, citrus takes over. Smooth, light and nice.

OSLO BREWING «Flåklypa juleøl» (6.5%) 4/6
Lightly Dark brown. Sweet malty nose of toffee. Lightbodied, maltsweet taste with a tad of floral notes midway. Fades quickly, but a very tasty christmas beer that I’f drink again.

OSLO BREWING «Voksenjulebrus» (6%) 3/6
Papaya, pomegranade and Lemon nose. Nice bubbly head. Lactose gives a fullbodied impression. Quite acidic. Unbalanced.

OSLO BREWING « Christmas cookie bock” (4.7%) 3/7
Deep dark brown looks, with the slides foamy head. Slightly fruity caramelly nose.
Great carbonation. Lightbodied, quite tasty, albeit a bit acidic in bottom. A bit too watery.

OSLO BREWING “Christmas red” (4.7) 3/7
Yellow-golden looks, pilsener malt nose. Light as hell mouthfeel. Sweet mild hop taste. Easy drinking albeit a tad bland.

OSLO BREWING “Christmas lights” (4.7%) 3/6
Light yellow with great foam. Smooth, clean Pilsner. Mild and lightbodied. Really easy-drinking, pairing well with most foods for the season.

ST. HALLVARDS «Reserve-Jul» (10,5%) 4/6
Stingy mild Aquavit nose with fruity undernotes. Pours good head. Sweet quick intro, before oak takes over and develops into a sharp bitter alcoholic Aquavit sense slowly is creeping up on you. Looong aftertaste.

ÆGIR «Julepott» (4.7) 3/6
Light brown visuals. Malty nose. Fruity, almost like a crossover between a Dark lager/Amber ale. Light bodied. Short outro, easily quenchable.

LERVIG «Hipster for christmas» (13.1%) 5/6
Deep brown colour, with close to no head when pouring. Nose reminiscent of burnt oak barrels, barley, lightly fruity and with caramellish undertones. So taste then? Little bubbly action, suitable for the style’s character. Medium bodied. Spiced intro with assocciations of Yuletide, super-delish Sweet Bourbon-infused middle, with long lasting aftertaste. Super-heat in the aftertaste. Stunning!

HAAND «Even S’more Xmas (11%) 4/6
Sweet, vanilla, chocolate, Dark fruits aromas. Thick bodied, low carbonated, heavyweight champion this one. Nice tingly backline from the Aquavit-barrel.

HAAND «Julepils» 4.5% 4/6
Hasselnøtt aroma. Frisk, nydelig light to medium bodied lager of the best kind. Refreshing and smooth. Delicious & easy drinking.

JACOBSEN «Naked christmas ale» (7.5%) 4/6
Red/Dark brown, pouring creamy small head. Lightly spiced & malty nose. Fresh & bubbly. Sweet, liqorice midway. Opening up with more spices. Nice, smooth balanced taste. Sweet & lightly hoppy aftertaste.

E.C. DAHLS «Julebrygg» (4.6%) 3/6
Lightly brown, pouring little head. Subtly Sweet malty nose. Very subtle nose and little carbonation. Sweet and a little thin/bland.

 

 

 

 


DARK NIGHT 2021

A massive celebration

…and so; on the 9th day of October, it all went dark on Norwegian shores.

This evening was one for souls to be bewitched by southern magic. The long-anticipated event took place at Nøgne Ø’s facilities in Grimstad, where approximately 100 participants reveled in some of the best beers from Norway. Prior to the nightly event, the brewpub Nødingen filled up with thirsty attendants ready to quench a variety of styles- including some nice rarities that is even nationally sought after. In addition to delicious brews as “God Jul Whisky” (2012) and the incredible “Eternal Rest” (2017), there was many a fresh beer to be enjoyed by them lucky ones who had turned up.

There was some great food serving from the local restaurant Apotekergaarden, courtesy of the chef Kamil. This came in the form of both Chili Con Carnè, as well as a vegetarian option, Chili Sin Carnè- great choices to be enjoyed midway in this splendid day. Such heavyweight champions as many of the beers served tonight is definitely best consumed on non-empty stomachs.

The clock ticks 9pm- and eventually the time had come for what we were all waiting for: The world première of none other beers than the mighty Dark Horizon tag-team! Consisting of the “ordinary” (can one call it such a thing?) version, limited to 15.000 bottles worldwide- lest we forget the heavier version: Dark Horizon 7 Barrel Aged, which has spent up to three years on Cognac, Aquavit & Whiskey-barrels. This to ensure a massive, bold taste unlike much of its similar peers out there. (The latter one being limited to only 7500 bottles worldwide).

So, how was it drinking?

 

DH7 vs. the BA one?

In my opinion, the DH7 was preferred slightly above the BA version- which wasn’t too surprising, considering the fact that I’m a sweet-tooth of dimensions when it comes to Russian imperial stouts. However, there was many similarities (obviously)- heavy on the coffee, chocolate and nuances of caramel. Stunningly delicious! A perfect addition to the DH series, smooth but bold mouthfeel, suitable medium-to-heavy body. Perfection in a bottle right here. In addition, the BA version on the other hand, had distinctive traces of bourbon, and perhaps the most noticeable as of now: the Aquavit-barrels. However- and this might be the most interesting part of it: I am looking tremendously forward to see how the BA version evolves with the next couple of years… Wouldn’t be surprised if this transcends waaay beyond the non-BA one. Regardless: One of course has to try’em both, should one get the chance.


 


Rockin’ the night out

But the fun didn’t end here. The stage was set for some seriously heavy stoner-rock to accompany them heavy beers tonight. Headliners Kal-El (amazing job, guys!) rocked the second floor’s venue, with support from fellow rockers Borderline Case. Just what the doc-of-hedonism prescribed!

 

 

 

A bar was also set up, with many a flavour for them advanced palates present. Ranging from old classics such as Imperial Stout, Brun, Sunturnbrew and Porter, a selection of different vintages was amongst the options. Spanning from 2011 to 2016, A neat surprise was also to find the incredible Quadrupel and Imperial Rye Porter, as well as a few Dark Horizon 2, a few of DH5 and DH6. With so much good stuff, there’s barely time to blend in some hoppy/milder ones, but some rays of light shone bright too.

All in all- a massive celebration of this great masterpiece of a proud, bold beer.

Absolutely superb guys! Congratulations.


Helheim… The name sends me right back to the Hole in the sky- festival 2001. The 1st time I heard of the band, an I do recall positive associations with’em. So now the time has come to -in the lack of better puns: «taste’em»…

Being familiar with the meadery too, this calls for an extra level of excitement. They had one of highlights last Xmas and have previously also marked themselves as on top of their game. So, where’s we at with this one at hand?

Nose is clearly honey-dominated and sweet fruit-driven… on the verge to flower-extract. Visually it looks like blueish-red, transparent. Taste is subtly acidic, yet fruitdriven with hints of both berries & plums. Mostly blackberries snd perhaps a tad of redcurrant. Rustique yet refreshing at the same time, to an extent. Body being quite light & very lightly bubbly at start, it’s smooth and delicious. A mead that works wonders during warmer/summertimes. Fades out quite quickly, lighty sour aftertaste.

So, time for another talk-of-the-town. Much sought after, this installment in the Medianoche series has a lot of excitement entangled to it and a buzz about it. Thick motoroil, Clinging on to the glass’ edges.

Aroma is massive and smooth: Full of chocolate, cocoa and copious amounts of vanilla. Insanely rich and silky smooth. Nothing reminiscent of syntethic at all. So, does it feel as it looks?

Massive body & mouthfeel. Starts off with clean, delicious cacao-melted blend of dark & light 5-star chocolate, mouth coating welltastyness. Thick as hell, mature taste from casks, deep woody, lightly bourbon-infused features lasting all the way into aftertaste. Sooo good! Could drink again and again.

 

Photo: E. Westum

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