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:

X-mas beers 2021

 


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

 

What is this new greatness? Looking absolutely stunning, delicious thick and hazy yellow, pouring a creamy beautiful head on top, this might just be a gamechanger of a NEIPA… From Louisiana? I’m excited- big time!

Let’s head from the great looks to the taste then. Mouthfeel: medium to light-bodied. It starts off deeper and a little sweet, with the copious amounts of hoppyness lingering in the back. But beware, quite mind-blowing it is. Lots of the citra I like in here, providing some real fruity Power to this hopsoup. I’m currently drinking it a bit closer to room tempered than I tend to like this kinda style. Still, it is amazingly smooth, and with a slight special NOLA twist to it. Great stuff fo’sho!

This outrageously exciting masterpiece of a Barley wine has been on the bucket list as a “must try before I die”-beer. And boy! It was indeed worth it…

Being a tribute to a famous brewer known for solid works himself, namely Gabe Fletcher from Anchorage brewing outta Alaska, this exclusive beverage sheds even more pride on a name already associated with the highest quality.

From the esthetic bottle, to the tar-like creation that pours with a minimal head on top.

On the nose, we find a wide specter of elements: Figs, plum, wood and raisins. Very deep, the barrel shines through very clearly in this complex mix. A compote of noticeably dark fruits with heat making its appearance, even before tasting.

As far as taste goes: This is a real thick one, bursting with different angles. The body is solid, the burnt bread mixed with confectionary and fruity notes emphasized, and of course a suitably proper heat for adults. This is no easy quiery beer, but a delicatessen for Barleywine lovers! As a matter of fact: Heavenly taste, with the powers of hell inside. Yeah, that’s it- that’s more than fair to say. It’s a good thing I cannot get this every day… Cause I’d drown, willingly.

Hats off to the masters @sideprojectbrewing!

new star on the relatively new Norwegian craft beer-radar, the excitement is great in this one. Created by the former founder & integral parts of already well-established Cervisiam, new born star Krecher picks up the thread and furthermore explores interesting paths/trends in the current beer scene. The particularly cool thing is that a great deal of passion is noticeably present in their first series of (high quality) beers, leaving no doubt that this is beer made by beer geeks themselves.

When it comes to the beer at hand’s impressions, it is mention-worthy to point out superbly deep yellow colour, pouring a subtle head and leaving creamy edges. So what about nose? Notes of citrus, pineapple and forest comes to mind. Lets put it to the test of taste then: Nicely carbonated and mild gentle lacto-sweet passage. Refreshing and rich. Copious levels of hops, providing both generous levels of fruityness, as well as smooth’n suitable bitter twist @ the end. F**king great to see this kind of beer coming out up here on Norwegian shores! Congrats, and welcome-you-is. Your sincerly, Yoda(rchaon).

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim


Bygland? Very-what?? What is this newbie on Norwegian turf?

 

Well well, in for a surprise I was, Yoda.

 

 

Beautiful dark yellow colour, Pouring massive bubbly head. Nose contains notes of orange/citrus zest, passion fruit and strange earthy reflections. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, with delicious creamy edges.

Taste is unexpectedly delicate: Smooth, balanced fruityness with fresh presence, followed by a not-over-the-top hopptyness contributes to making this the absolute highlight of all beers that is kveik for me. (Never been a fan, always had aversions…) A game-changer, so to speak. I’m loving this!

Bright golden visuals, pouring a beautiful, elegant head. Nose is bulging with fruityness; Here we can find citrus, peach with a small dash of seaweed on top.

As far as for the most interesting part goes, this is pretty much as good as it gets: over ripe green apples, presented by a flirtatious, quickly-passing sweet intro, develops into a freshly balsamico-sprinkled green acidic salad. But all in such smooth balance! Sharp, elegant, complex and clean.

Perfect after having been aged for 2-3 years. This is about as good as a gueuze gets… Close at least.

Photo: M. K. Burheim

RYGR «Yggdrasil Hopbatch #1» (8%) 5/6

 

Light yellow with creamy bubbly head on top. This is kind of a new-comer (at least for this style to be) from the brewery, but from what I can tell from this double dry hopped New England India Pale Ale, these guys are onto it- and then some. A proud strike for this new Norwegian star!

Nose is beautifully fruity, with notes of pineapple, fresh lemon and a hint of eucalyptus. Furthermore, as for taste- it’d fresh in appearance. Medium/light bodied. Bitter, green apples followed by balanced hoppy finish. In the long aftertaste one can find sweetness of pineapple mixed with banana. Surprisingly awesome!

 

 

 

 

RYGR «Yggdrasil Hopbatch #2» (8%) 6/6

 

Darker yellow in appearance that it’s predecessor, with much more solid’n tight & creamy (yeah, I hear that it may sound like… something else) head. This one has everything that was lacking for me in #1. The nose gives away much of the complexity. Packed with fruityness, thicker solid body and more hopburn- for those who like that. Personally I find it perfectly suitable when the beer is as fullbodied, fruity and sweet as this. Just pure joy, similar to several of those well-known best ones from the US, such as Trillium or Tree House. Right up there with for instance Big Fat Cat from Haand, this standout NEIPA from Norway proves that we’ve taken a liking to this style enough to execute them well, even at our own shores. Very good.

Of course being a dream long time coming, it is FINALLY time to get to try this spectacularly rarity. Being one of the most sought after beers in the world (if not THE most sought after), it was difficult enough to get hold of one (Thx Aaron!) meaning that the joy of finally getting to taste it is even greater. And as if that wasn’t enough, a friend had gotten hold of the previous year’s edition. How crazy wouldn’t it be to taste’em besides eachother? Let’s do it!

 

KBBS 2019

So thick in the glass… Oily as f@!%, leaving more than just wine legs. As a matter of fact, more like a whole wall of thick, oily layers… this is just floating chocolate.

Nose: Incredible coffee, followed by bourbon, caramel and chocolate. Outstanding, unrealisticly strong maple coating, with a hint of bacon in the back… longest lasting taste- EVER! Violentry raging maple on palate with time. On the other side of the ring, we find heavy caramel, draped in a layer of sirupy burnt wood/oak.

Still, velvety finish, playing all instruments of the whole goddamn spectre! In other words: An oral orchestra.

 

KBBS (2020)

 

 

 

A little less developed body? Without a doubt, the same delicious base… Out-of-this-world! Not as thick as it’s predecessor, but still Super oily. North is distinct caramel, lots of sweetness. Cleaner, in a sense…  if that description can be applied. Absolutely wonderful and astonishing!

Less heavy bodied, with just purity in aboundance, pure caramel. Delicious velvety maple syrup here too, as expected. Slight note of coffee in the bottom, albeit no alcohol traces as such. Just overwhelmingly smooth caramel & chocolate pralines of the most exclusive sort. Out-of-body experience! Drinkable confectionery.

I’d do this again any day… if luck/fate/the-powers-be would direct another chance in my direction.

 

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim

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