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)

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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:

What’s Brewing 2018

 

It is always interesting to come across a brewery that one hasn’t tried something from before.

This German brewery has thus collaborated with Denmarks To Øl, in order to serve this bright-yellow beauty. For starters, it seems well carbonated with a great head when being poured- and the nose is nothing but splendid. According to the bottle information, this is a rose hip-infused sour rye pilsener, and flower’ish, mineral/fruity citrus notes does subtly emerge. Also acidic hints. 

When it comes to taste however, it starts off with a quick flirtation with sweetness before the acidity undoubtedly shows it’s presence… very sour for this type of beer to be. Very fruity middle with bitter high end to it. Also, it’s quite salty and I find hints of seaweed in here. Mildly sour aftertaste that evaporates quickly.

Very nice and fresh, this one.

 

Photo: M. K. Burheim

Joyful summertimes

A bright shining star on the sky of what arguably is becoming a slightly saturated market (?) in Oslo, the craft beer scene, was the festival called Håndverksøl-festivalen.

Taking place on the dates 15 & 16th of June, this festival gathered some brilliant breweries from around the globe. Arranged by the nice people from the brilliant Oslo pub Café Sara, brings tremendous amounts of joy on these couple of summerdays whilst the festival happens.

The arrangers had brought together breweries from several countries and continents who provided the people of the Norwegian capitol with several thirst-quenching highlights. Among the breweries were Captain Lawrence, Wild Beer, Nøgne Ø, Firestone Walker, Cascade, Alesmith, 3 fonteinen, Dugges, Northern Munk, 7 Fjell, Lervig, Ægir, De Molen and a bunch of others.

(For complete listing, see the festival’s website: www.håndverksølfestivalen.no)

 

Dark Horizon 1

Nøgne Ø even threw a tasting of their famous flagship “Dark Horizon”. To be exact, they’d dug up a few bottles of the 1st edition, to many of the participants joy. Another cool factor that should be mentioned is that the festival takes place both outdoors as well as inside a church (!!), where the faith in craft beer reigns heavily.

What you got here is a bunch of  top notch craftbreweries, that team up to serve the interested lot what they wish for… And so much more. A really pleasant first-timer here.

Amongst all the festivals taking place throughout the year, this is for sure one to note down next year!

Finally, trying this! Like some kind of candy… Doesn’t really smell like an IPA at all.

Pretty flat- not so strange, since best before-date is well passed on this one. Reddish/light brown colour, little bubbly-action going on… very little aroma at all… tiny fruity hint, perhaps. And little acidic… Tiiiny honey infusion/caramel’ish note. The tastes herein must have taken twists & turns, going through the long while since production.

Well, tastewise then? Like a fruit juice, overly balanced- just so round now that if this passed as a controversial IPA some 4 years ago, it’s turned into an incredibly adjusted fruitpunch with figs and an incredible mateurity unlike much else… And after a long, long while eventually showing a hoppy hint that once was bitterness. Then ounded off with sweet outro- almost like George & Freddie touring Russia for a last time together. In perfect hoppyness.

Well, isn’t that a close-to-perfect Saturday refreshment? The always so lovely Kriek from Lindemans is one that I know well from before, so I’m hoping that this years edition won’t disappoint. It sure looks like delish there, lying… Shining blood red in the glass.

A whiff of sharp, sour cherries immediately caresses the nostrils, accompanied by sweet rose notes. The thirst is becoming stronger now… i… must… have a swig!

At first, bubbly and a quickly passing sweet microsecond, before it’s almost shocking acidity tingles like a knifestab to the palate, and from there on through the spine. Sour berries, in it’s more raw fruity taste than what I could remember from before, corrodes throughout my mouth and down the throat. So, followed by that dry aftertaste. It’s this one… Just so easy to sum up in a few words: Delish, refreshing and tingling. 

If you’re a fan of sours: Go get it on!

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim

I am familiar with the Delirium series from before, and from what I can remember, this is good stuff. What’s on today’s menu is their 25th anniversary “Argentum”, a hopped amber beer. When poured, it’s got a nice look to it; yellow brownish (maaaaybe a hint of red!) visuals and a good head. As far as aromas go, this smells refreshingly fruity with clear hints to citrus. A very clean impression is what I get… I can’t hold it any longer, let’s get to the taste.

Lot’s of bubbles! Carbonation level is great here, very fresh. Medium/full body. Extremely dry! A fruity, floral first impression which soon turns into absolute hop-dominance in form of a stingy bitter outro… A bit too much for my taste really. The aftertaste is just to bitter for my liking. Not eligible for a second purchase, so to speak- will go for another one from the Delirium series in that case.

(Photo: M. K. Burheim)

 

Expectations are high as I’ve gotten strong indications about this one being a good one. It has been stored in the fridge for a couple of months, so it’s about time to give it a try now… Black as night, this oatmeal stout pours a creamy head but seems very much alive. The nose is intensively sweet like candy-fluff, no coffee what so ever. Almost on the verge to synthetic’ish sweetness, mixed with (really!) Coca Cola underneath. 

Ok, so taste then? Tingling subtly acidic that goes into sweet syrup’ish taste, as well as the body of the beer. Very thick and oily, but sweet yet oaky, with a hint of vanillla- but landing on a bitter field of burnt bread and a rather unpleasant aftertaste. Quite hideous bitterness, to be honest. It started better than it got to yet… so this is not one of my faves. 

All in all: A more disturbing burnt acidic taste than maple syrup in the end. Guess it has to be written off to the “an experience richer” account.

Next!

(Photo: M.K. Burheim)

Photo: M. K. Brochs

 

This beer is strikingly dark yellow in color and pours a small nice head on top. Almost on the verge to brownish, just on the borderline between dark yellow to light brown, I’d say. 

Judging by the “book” or more correctly in this case, by the box, it seems highly interesting and something that I’ve never tried before… Apparently what we got here is an orange ice cream ale, and being a collab between Amundsen and Fierce, we might just be in for a treat here. This seems to be something that I am more familiar with within the stout- category. 

So, what’s going on in terms of nose? Well, there’s the lights beautiful sweet fruitiness combined with the distinct Caramel& vanilla here… Almost toffee-like. And then, the taste: great freshness at first, in terms of carbonation. 

Then, that sweet sweet caramel comes into the picture, creamy and now even clearer before evolving into fruityness most definably banana, rounded off with a hint of citrusy bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. 

What a fabulous surprise! And what a great beer. Astonishing stuff, this one.

Photo: M.K.Brochs

 

I am familiar with this type of beer and this brew especially, but I haven’t tried this year‘s edition yet. What we have here is a fruit Lambic Belgian beer with a nose giving clear references to blueberry and blackberry, highly fruity and somehow sweet smell. It pours a big, deep red head- on the verge to red wine both in looks and colour. 

So, what does it taste like? For starters, it starts off mighty sweet before turning into that proper face-twisting Lambic-style, giving references to berries of the kinds red currant and black currant. I get real shivers down my spine midway through the mouthful here! A delicious, acidic twist to this fruit punch. Albeit and OD of fruity taste, it is easy to say that the beer though seems somehow young, in the terms of ageing. Perhaps it’d not lack much at all, had it been aged another half year in oakbarrels. Still, a very nice and summery drink which I could have again.

Now, this one I’ve been exited about for a good while… Divide & Conquer from De Molen. Got hold of it in Latvia, Eastern Europe earlier this year. Considering the fact that it is an Imperial stout (barrel aged) with Brett, I’m pretty exite. When poured, a nice little brown head comes to show on top of this black ocean.

Now, the nose is really where things are becoming highly interesting. The deep blackness of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, entangled by skies of (gun)smoke from a hefty scene in some cool western-movie, makes me really look forward to the work from the guys at this brewery.

Tastewise, then? Little bubbles. A sweet hint, challenged and conquered by the alcohol stenght in this heavy, heavy full-bodied coffee-dominated delisciousness! Mixed with some acidic hints that would be the Brett herein, all done very well. Very interesting broad taste-spectre at play here. When that is said: Highly well-balanced for  the most part, but I find it colliding a little when it comes to the bitterness & Brett.

Long-lasting taste followed by a very dry, bitter aftertaste. Once again, they’ve done it, the guys at De Molen. Very good stuff!

 

Photo: M. Brochs

Lindheim Sour CherryI’ve stored this one for a couple of years, so it is with great exitement that I now approach it. Beautiful red-brown looks, pours a creamy head on top and a distinct smell of ripe cherries- we’re in for a treat here! The nose also hints towards a real sour brew. What are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!

At first, I’m struck by this very wide fruity spectre of tastes, before my face twists & melts off. The first impression is this flawless variety of mature berries, heavily domineres by cheery-taste. Then, a crazy acidity entwines with the fruityness, corroding it’s way through the palate and down the throat.

Almost a sting when it reaches the top, before slowly letting you off the hook. Eventually, it showcases a smooth outro, with a sweet, strawberry-like aftertaste which lies there and lingers. Very very nice indeed.

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