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

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

This one has been lying around for a while now, enough excitement-factor: Tonight’s the night!

I’m familiar with Solo’s (Jikiun’s) brews from before, have had several of them. But the other part herein is new to me, and they’re playing the main part in this one. So how does this work?

Bright yellow in the glass, on the verge to orange. Pours very little head and nose is mildly buttery and fruity of orange/carrots.   Interesting that these guys teamed up with Kjetil Jikiun, previously of Nøgne Ø fame.

Taste is comfortably sour , with a pinch of salty edge to it. There’s distinct lemon in here, and very little carrot remaining intact. Somehow sweet aftertaste rounds it off. Quite smooth for a newcomer to be!

With a fancy can like this featuring a cat (Little chubby cutie) on the label, this seems promising for a cat lover and beer geek. The kind of beer that has potential outside it’s current boundaries, even for many that are not yet won over in the beer scene. So this hazy juicy neipa from Haand… some thing that they have not done before I believe? Clocking on a 6.7 ABV, I’m excited to try this. The color is beautifully hazy yellow and it’s pours a great head on top. As far as nose and aromas goes, we find here pineapple, citrus/orange, summery that sends associations to a varm summer beach. Now, let’s try it!

Light carbonization, easy notes of both fruit and earth, great subtle hoppyness. Lightly creamy, nice body (giving the impression of being lightly thin at the same time. Great balance between hops and sweetness in this one. Oh yeah it’s fresh, and it places Haand on the NEIPA-map like never before.

Photo: M. K. Burheim

This one has been lying around for a good while… Saving the best for the last-thingy. Being familiar with these guys from before, I’m expecting tons of deliciousness and enormous fruitiness, all entangled inside this blood red contents.

If you’re into mead, this is the thing for you- from Norway. Nose revealing massive amounts of cherries, a vineous yet sweet experience out of the ordinary. As for the taste, it can best be described as imperial- no, divine… or “next level” at the very least. This is the grand stuff, and really delivers what it promises: Cherry delight goodness. Sweet ‘n fruity, thick/full body and dangerously seductive. One almost can’t believe that it is as strong as it is, but be aware: Hidden weapons are present here. This is powerful stuff in all meanings of the word possible. Amazing.


Photo: D. Brochs

 

 

 

After a good 14 days (and then some), the bearded gent Westum himself, decided to “celebrate”… Or shall we say, mark that day and occation. With the entire world being quarantened up, I suppose it would be a great time to brew a beer, keeping several imprisoned souls happy. The time has come to finally taste it…

Presented in a highly stylish can with fitting label concept, the beers actual colour is light yellow, pouring small head. Hazy and murky indeed. Nose is highly priomising, with light citrusy elements such as lemony hints, pineapple and deep down, tempting distinguishable orange. One will hold back no more.

Perfectly carbonated, light appearance with remarkable bitterness that stings for a good while. As for taste elements, it’s overall hoppy, more so emphazizing bitterness than the more typhical-in-haze, fruityness that defuses the “hop-attack”, enhances by pine needles. It’s still containing those fruity elements in a developed scale, with crescendo in the aftertaste, blending orange and bitter hops perfectly. Stunning. I for one, will not complain as long as beverages like this in my hand now, is within reach.

 

 

 

Photo: M. K. Burheim


Light yellow colour with a nice head when pouring. The nose gives away hints of the bitterness, but even more so the fruitiness which is promising. Citra- hops is dominant without a doubt. A funny curiosity detail about this one though: Westum made a can for fun, with a joke on the Norwegian economist Jan Blichfeldt (Who wrote a rather revealing article about the so-called new beer trend, showcasing little experimentation/competence in the modern day’s beer scene). Enough about that: what does it actually taste like? The mentioned person of interest claimed that “new age IPAs taste like horse piss” (I don’t know what that tastes like, but ok). Let’s get down to it.

Nice carbonation! Deep delicious fruity vibes of orange, lemon, a tiny hint of grapefruit, evolving into strict bitterness that lasts for a good while. Perfect summertime beer for hot sunt days. Extremely well balanced, double dry hopped Citra madness! (And I’d imagine pretty friggin’ far from horse piss)

After a light tongue tingle, the aftermath is  that but of hops… covered by a feeding fruity outro. Hops is the last thing that gives up. Very very good, yet another stunner from the up-and-rising magician Westum. 

(Photo: M. K. Burheim)



Having been looking forward to this for a good while, it’s time to crack it open. What we are talking about here is a mead of the best sort- namely a cherry mead from Norwegian fellas Marlobobos megabear. From what I have heard, the expectations that are high is not without reason. Also, judging by the collar when pouring this beauty into the glass, it reminds most about a fine port wine/sherry of sorts, and the fumes are to become religious by…

Absolutely devastating. Cherry-delish. Let’s get down to it!

By the first sip: This is perfection that my wife’s mother would’ve loved, man. Insane wows are what exits my mouth when this goes into it! Absolutely sick. Beautifully silky smooth, deep fruity notes, mainly cherry (of course), but also Christmas pastry-like hints, rounded off by velvety smooth edge. Note to higher powers: If I could swim in this for a lifetime, that’s where I’d be reincarnated, pretty please.

This tremendous joy in the night owes a shout out to M. Loktu & Marlobobos megabear. Cheers!

 

(Photo: M.K. Burheim)

With the amount of new brews coming out, the scene is Pretty flooded and hard to follow up with nowadays. Every now and then though, a light shimmers in the shape of something outstanding- such as is the case with Norwegian brewery’s 2018 version of this incredible stout.  It looks amazing (of course), but in addition to that, the nose is nothing but seductive. Coconut! Like, as in a bounty (yes, the delicious chocolate), only in liquid form. Black as night, we must dive in, mustn’t we?

At first, it’s suiting bubblyness going on here. Light to medium-bodied, for a stout to be. Then, sweetness, clean chocolaty taste, entangled in coconut and sweet, vanilla & hint of christmas’y cinnamon-infused pastry. Deep, deep down there lies the aftertaste… very mild and comfortable sweetened coffee and caramel. Fading out perfectly, a real sweet dessert. Fantastic, balancing on the top. On the verge…

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