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)

Archaon

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

 

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.

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