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)

Norway


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.

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!

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.

First off: We’re talking mead, not beer.

 

Still reading? Well, understandably so- from a personal perspective. I’ve lately gotten more and more into those delicious fruity bottles of magic- and today perhaps a little extra particularly excited, as these guys just recently won a silver medal for talent within their game. I’m gonna explore why…

The beverage is reminiscent of a somewhat red-golden colour, looks very delicate. Nose is first struck by honey (albeit not in an intense manner), all the while with a hint of peach and sweet notes.  Mouthfeel is smooth and light-bodied. The taste of elderflower provides a not-so-intense, but still subtly spiced feature which in turn transforms into plum and sugary sweetness. A light rustique aftertaste rounds off the ball.

Beautiful pouring in the glass, nice brownish red head. Very dark brown colour in glass. Nose is heavily oak, figs, vinous. At the moment the world is cheering for the next American president, so perfect moment to crack this piece of art from Nøgne Ø. But: Nevermind the politics, here’s beer.

 

 

Taste is suitably carbonated. Delicately acidity, wallowing over in sweet dried fruit, a super-complex taste-bomb! Small sips keeps new flavours coming up: a hint of liquorice, brown candysugars, dark berries as well as a layer of chocolate in the back. Supreme quad-like strong ale from the Norwegian masters.

Congratulations!

Salikatt is a Norwegian brewery that seems to really have taken off the last two years. Having recently moved location and increased their capacity, they are now able to unprepared to serve a hungry Norwegian market. As with the most popular brews, their new ones now sell out quickly, leaving many thirsty beer enthusiasts. I’ve tried several, and they really are undisputed kings of the scene nowadays in Norway.

Their latest offering, “Cold Fusion” is no exception. So, what are we faced with here is another super-haze: Deep yellow, murky pouring a great head. Nose being distinctly citra notes from the hops, and very subtle fruityness apart from that. In other words, seemingly a very clean beer. And tastewise?

Super carbonization. Fresh as hell, just overall sooo clean taste. So easy to drink! Subtle vanilla notes and creamy medium body. Delicious juicy, fruity mid-section of orange and citrus, before a great adjusted touch of tasty hoppy bitterness gets into play. Eventually the suitable hopburn provides an longlasting aftertaste, tickling & tingling the tongue. Another superb work, which maintains their position. I’d have this all days next summer, please.

Photo: M.K. Burheim

As a fan of many of their brews, Haand does create a bit of excitement for me. Having explored most of their styles, I’m well aware what tricks these guys can pull and the magic they can cook up in them kettles. At hand tonight we have a bold pastry stout clocking in on a quite powerful ABV, something that might be promising for this kind of beer.

Visuals are black and thick, still producing a beautiful head when pouring. Nose is highly complex- not just the coffee roast and choc one would expect, but also with fruity notes, especially of raspberries. But also other berries and green summery fields are detectable, besides the great chocolaty coating. Smooth and balanced, this is a beer I could drink several times. Freshly carbonated at first, developing taste layers throughout and a bittersweet aftertaste rounds off this heavy-bodied beautiful beast.

Haand: 5 points to you!

Every now and then, the time seems right for a lightweight stout. With lightweight I mean not one of those massive RIS that we love so much, but more over an everyday milder stout that is a little bit easier, especcially during hot’n humid summer days. So, what’s the fine gents from my town of birth holding in store this time?

Dark (surprise!) colour that pours an esthetic large head. Nose clearly (first & foremost) roasted coffee malts. I get a light acidity as well, albeit no chocolate what so ever.

Actual taste then? Mild, fresh and sweet at first, enhancing the coffee in here. Just like the aromas, there’s very little else here than bitter coffee. No choc, no nut- absolute abscence of sweetness. I also have a hard time tracking down that Coconut that supposedly should’ve been in here, but… Perhaps it’s only me. Overall light body and good carbonation

Aftertaste is somehow a tad sour, making it a smooth stout to enjoy cold, even in the summer season.

Photo: M.K. Burheim

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