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:

Holland

 

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.

RODENBACH 2017I know when opening this bottle, that I’m in for a treat. I’ve tasted quite a few flanders now and I never seem to go tired of a good one… Which brings us to this magnificent gold-awards winner.

The colour is strikingly ruby red, on the verge to light brown, but still letting shimmering light through. As for the nose: Here we are faced with ripeness all the way; nice notes of cherries, red currant and it has a strawberry-like sweetness to it.

So, lets get down to it and what one really is waiting for: Tasting. There’s bubbles giving the first fresh introduction, natural sweetness, exiting sour elements comes forth and tingles the tongue, even more so strawberry than in the aroma. A massive fruit infusion combined with mateurity.

Absolutely splendid, this is it!

Boot boysIntriguing label & name from these (seemingly) punks are paired with positive assocciations from earlier tastings.

A brown ale is what we’re in for from these Brits, and visually striking brown transparency colour. Perfect head is poured and exitement boosted as fruity aromas of dried dates, mature plum and caramel-notes comes forth. There’s also clearly nutty aroma to this one. Yes, I do inhale!

As for the taste: It is very mild and a bit light… Not exactly watery, but little edge to it. Really nice sweet middle which lingers for a bit. Taste of (I was about to say wet autumn leaves!) sap, with that sweetnote on top. A mild and far from controversial ale, but hey- whoever said brown ales would promise anything else than that), but overall well-tasty.

Will try their beers again, when the opportunity sees the light of day.

 

(Photo: M. Brochs)

MolenbierSo, another one from De Molen is what we are faced with here. The actual beer has a smooth wooden-brown colour to it and pours a small creamy head on top. I am usually very fond of their brews, at least what I have tasted from this brewery so far. This one is a lighter type though, so there’s some degree of excitement “in the air tonight».

With regards to aroma: There’s a fruityness of figs/fig jam, some oak and quite distinct malt character. I find some nuance of coffee too, even more so defined in the taste, which enhances the previously observed wooden impression. There’s also taste of roasted chestnut here, very suitable for this time of the year, at which it’s consumed. Santa would’ve sled right down the chimney for a taste of this.

At first, it’s got a sweet malt-orientated introduction and dried dates, before evolving into more powerful, dark roasted beans and at the end, rounded off with a very hoppy bitterness.

There’s not much bubbly action going on here, but that’s not missed either in this type of beer. Nice one, De Molen!

(Photo: M. Brochs)

Haken & OgenWhat we got here is one of my favorite breweries, namely De Molen of Netherlands. I am extra excited when it comes to their beers, because more than once I’ve had a positive experience with several of them.

So what do we have at hand? Well, this time it’s the Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. Colorwise it is very dark brown and pours a fine light brown head.

The Aromas in here are really exciting, spanning from vinous points in the direction of dried figs, ripe cherries, subtle sweet notes deriving from dark bitter chocolate, with a smokey touch… To almost rum-like, mature cognac/oak. Absolutely stunning, to say the least!

On the palate it kicks off with an intense feel of hard liquor, almost like a bourbon-drink infused with beer. Too intense for my taste, but I bet it’d do well with some more years of storage.

The alcohol taste in the beginning is a bit overwhelming, but eventually evolves into a sourdough and later sweet aftertaste. I was balancing on the edge here, on the brink towards giving it a 4, but the potential is big here- still worth mentioning.

 

(photo: M. Brochs)

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