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)

USA

It’s always with great anticipation that I approach any beer that rides under the Side Project/Shared-banner, being aware of their extremely high quality stouts and Barleywines. However, they’re also incredibly competent when it comes to sour beers, giving the European competitors such as 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon a run-for-the-money, for sure. (I’ll always cherish the moment when tasting that “Fuzzy” of theirs… Amazing!)

Back to the beer-at-hand, namely Blueberry Flanders blend 3: It demands me to take off my sunglasses to really take in that beautiful deep blue-red/brown colour, pouring close to no bubbles at all. Nose is deep dark mature from super-ripe berries, highly acidic and lots of oak from the barrel.

As for taste, the oaky elements are enhanced for a split second, together with blueberries, that in turn becomes extremely sour- lingering for a very, very long time. It’s almost as it corrodes through the throat… Extremely sour, on the verge between delicious and pungent to the degree that I must question a second as well as a third time… I land on it being very delicate and refreshing. And highly interesting, to the extent of a mindblowing taste-trip.

It’s great to challenge people’s taste like SP does here- whoever said it was going to be such an easy quiery summery experience under the sunshine?

 

Goodness gracious- where to start here… For those familiar with the Weldwerks brewery outta Colorado, it comes as no surprise that this particular bottle represents something out-of-the-ordinary. Being one of the argueably most sought after beers the last couple of years, it was- and definetely now is, not easy to find. Thus, it was with the uttermost respect and gratitude that I recieved this astonishing X-mas gift from my better half back in 2021. (On a sidenote: I had the pleasure of tasting batch two last year, which in itself was incredibly awesome as well).

Back to the beer-at-hand: This is without a doubt he most nutty chocolate stout I’ve ever had in my life!!! This insanity looks, smells & tastes like melted Snickers, merged with Ritter Sport w/Hazelnuts in a waterbath- thereafter barrel aged in the most balanced bourbon barrels imaginable. It just seems so…. Organical. Not altered in any sense. Not that the newest batch was anything but delicious, but boy- that one is easily exceeded by it’s predecessor.  Infused with coconut & hazelnuts, the nose is simply dominated by hazelnut to an extent that I’ve never encountered before, ever. Pure fullbodied greatness chocolaty bonanza with every mouthful. Fullbodied to the max. Velvety, but thick n’oily viscosity in glass, as well as the most wonderful carpet on the palate. Of course, leaving little room for much carbonation- but it’s nothing that is missed.

Did I mention them massive amounts of coconut herein? Again, just thick, melted milkchocolate with copious amounts of nuts inside. Insane mouthfeel. Purest chocofudge-taste. No alcohol taste whatsoever, just really, really balanced notes from the barrels provides an incredible and longlasting taste. This one, I will never forget.


Ooohh… Black as night. Thick, oily looks- exactly the beerstyle that tends to be cherished the most, in my personal perspective, that is.

Nose reminisces clearly dark chocolate and cocoa, with hints of fruity bourbon waaaaay down in the deep. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time… now, let’s check it out.

Taste is insaaane! Thick mouthfeel, fullbodied. A real strike to all senses, a blow to the palate! Super-smooth, silky veil of elegance- with powerful bitter dark chocolate of the most delicious kinds play it out on the tongue. Long lasting and with subtle caramelly hints at the very first couple of seconds, before the bitterness sets in, dancing hand-in-hand with cocoa. No diminishing sweetness here, I tell ya. So I’ll be careful with detecting fruityness herein, cause it sure shouldn’t be a main part to be emphazised, with so much good stuff already going on.

And underneath it all: A highly suitable heat that stems from those magnificent bourbony traces. Super-delish! Quite incredible, what them masters at Side Project has got going here. So happy I don’t have Covid right now! Because for a beer like this, nothing but all senses must be intact in order to give justice to such greatness.
Suberbly executed.

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim

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!

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

Every time I crack a bottle of this kind, I must admit it fills me with a great deal of excitement. Having had several of Anchorage’s stunning brews before, I do know that the bar is placed high- and tonight‘s thick’n oily beverage is about to prove that it is no exception.

Clocking in on a massive 15.5 ABV, it sure holds a powerful body enough for a huge complexity. Nose is BIG, with features of figs, overripe dark fruit, leather, burnt wood, hints of tobacco, all backed by a veil of delicious chocolate. So, more importantly: What does it taste like?

Sweet, chocolaty, nutty. Spice (cinnamon?) Lots of nuts! Sooo amazing! Silky smooth veils uncovers fruity layers in the middle section, before it slowly fades over in Bourbon notes, Ona foundation of warmth underneath. A light acidity is then defeated by the sweet sword of cocoa, laying any opposing elements to eternal rest. Absolutely superb, top noch, sublime… No wonder that many an adjective comes to mind in order to justify this work of art.

 

Photo: M.K. Burheim

Been looking forward to trying this. A part of the funny gaming-concept «Green city», a series of beers that Other half has launched, this one comes in funny packaging w/box set. What we’ve got at hand today is the funny-named lvl. 2 installment.

Looking as you’d want a hop-juice to do, this is pouring a great creamy layer on top of the yellow sea in the glass. Nose reveals massive fruityness, pineapple & citric fruits in play. Elegantly hopped. Fruityness is furthermore altered in the actual taste, all the while fronted by a stingy hopflirt underneath. There’s also a foresty, earthy (perhaps lightly nutty?) touch to it.

Superb degree of bubbles gives the presentation on the palate a fresh and still smooth impression of this medium bodies Triple IPA. Coated smoothly with interesting twists & turns, it’s definetely a smooth beer. Rounds off with an ever-increasing bitterness, fading slowly.

Photo: M.K. Burheim

 


I remember this one from the early days of discovering craft beer- and it still holds the standard. Dark. Black as a Wintery night, great carbonated and pouring  a nice creamy head.  Subtle nose reminiscent of coffee. Taste is lightly molasses, coffee and bitterness. Light bodied with ABV well hidden, somewhat a bit thin. A tad bitter aftertaste. Still awesome.

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