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)

Stout


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.


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

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

Gosh… for a moment there, I thought I’d never see this one in my life. (Thx Andreas!) Super-limited edition from back in the days when craft beer had quite a different position than today, this is quite something.

I’ve been excited about this one for ages, and today is the day… For those who have tried  the regular Tokyo: This is quite something else.

 

First off: Incredible that this beautiful beast is 12 years old! Lots of aromas, highly intact. Massive oakbarrel nose, soaked in whisky. Supreme carbonisation, full and suiting body. I can best describe this experience like this: lightly subtle sweet introduction, followed by the main ingredient being smokey flavour, which overlaps back & forth with sour mash whiskey.

At the same time: Heavy body, without providing any kind of disturbance to the close-to-perfect balance. Delicious & fullbodied with lots of smooth sweetness that evolves into an exciting acidity. To round things off, this masterpiece is superseded by a megasmoked outro. This 12year old is quite simply astonishing.

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

Les videre

Why not make it a fully fledged run? Up for grabs is the last version for the eve. For those whom have followed the previous blogs of mine this month, will know that I’m prone to like such beers as this. Still- whether the different characteristics comes into play in a mantionworthy way, is yet to be discovered…

Nose is clearly Bourbon-dominated, with a very, very slight twist of burnt coffee. As for taste, it’s just too smooth to believe. Where one would think that the most boozy of them all (and the most bourbon-ish one of them) would be the the roughest when it comes to edgyness, it’d just not so. Pure silk, little carbonisation (nitro), long sweet taste, with coffee entering midway, but only mildly so. The sour mash bourbon taste is distinctly there, albeit not accompanied by the heat.  It’s just unbelivably smooth.

Incredible. Only my personal note here (I won’t allow my self to rate it lower than the previous two: I prefer them, but they’re all superior. If you get a chance to try either one: Go for it!

 

Photo: M. K. Burheim

Another one to go from these Bourbon barrel-aged series from Modern Times. Whilst we already know that their stouts prolly are heavy, complex and amazing (not the first time I try one of theirs), I’m exited about this, contrary to the vanilla & coffee version.

Nose is  still vanilla, and less Bourbon than it’s precedessor. And more coffee features.

First off: It’s sweet- even though not as much as the previously mentioned one. A tad more bitter, with massive presence of coffee this time around. Super balanced, and with a suitable, mildly sweet introduction (much emphazised by the almonds), extremely silky smooth coating. Then, striking heat entering after a long break, like 7-8 seconds in. Very dry finish. Stunning as expected.

The aftertaste is mainly coffee and heat, whilst the almonds are still there. Wow. I can’t find the foundation to critizise it/rate it lower than the vanilla one- this sinply a stunningly good imperial stout, yet once again flawless.

 

Photo: M. K. Burheim

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