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)

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Stout

Now, this one I’ve been exited about for a good while… Divide & Conquer from De Molen. Got hold of it in Latvia, Eastern Europe earlier this year. Considering the fact that it is an Imperial stout (barrel aged) with Brett, I’m pretty exite. When poured, a nice little brown head comes to show on top of this black ocean.

Now, the nose is really where things are becoming highly interesting. The deep blackness of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, entangled by skies of (gun)smoke from a hefty scene in some cool western-movie, makes me really look forward to the work from the guys at this brewery.

Tastewise, then? Little bubbles. A sweet hint, challenged and conquered by the alcohol stenght in this heavy, heavy full-bodied coffee-dominated delisciousness! Mixed with some acidic hints that would be the Brett herein, all done very well. Very interesting broad taste-spectre at play here. When that is said: Highly well-balanced for  the most part, but I find it colliding a little when it comes to the bitterness & Brett.

Long-lasting taste followed by a very dry, bitter aftertaste. Once again, they’ve done it, the guys at De Molen. Very good stuff!

 

Photo: M. Brochs

Haken & OgenWhat we got here is one of my favorite breweries, namely De Molen of Netherlands. I am extra excited when it comes to their beers, because more than once I’ve had a positive experience with several of them.

So what do we have at hand? Well, this time it’s the Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. Colorwise it is very dark brown and pours a fine light brown head.

The Aromas in here are really exciting, spanning from vinous points in the direction of dried figs, ripe cherries, subtle sweet notes deriving from dark bitter chocolate, with a smokey touch… To almost rum-like, mature cognac/oak. Absolutely stunning, to say the least!

On the palate it kicks off with an intense feel of hard liquor, almost like a bourbon-drink infused with beer. Too intense for my taste, but I bet it’d do well with some more years of storage.

The alcohol taste in the beginning is a bit overwhelming, but eventually evolves into a sourdough and later sweet aftertaste. I was balancing on the edge here, on the brink towards giving it a 4, but the potential is big here- still worth mentioning.

 

(photo: M. Brochs)

This is crazy. Sirupy, thick as oil and black as a wintery night, nose is heavily dominated by sweet vanilla and maple syrup, hardly any coffee to trace at all. The beer does poor little head, no wonder since the carbonisation typically is low in such a powerful beer as this one. As far as goes the taste: It starts off with a little bubbles and some sweet chocolaty palate, before converting into cocoa & transforming into a heavily bitter, dark roasted coffee. I find that there’s acidic undernotes here as well… Could definitely do super with some more aging, although it’s perfectly drinkable now. Very full and robust body! A proper warmer, this one.Vanilla maple shake

Paradox compass boxThis beverage is black in color and produces little head whilst pouring. The nose is clearly hinting towards burnt oak, resonance of delish roasted malts utilized herein. Also, the whisky is evidently showing itself, blended with outstanding coffee aromas infused with figs/deep fruityness. There’s also dark chocolate going on here. Tastewise, it is indeed a strong alcohol content pointing in the direction of Irish coffee… Much sweetness (chocolate) at first, followed by fruity impulses that gradually is overwon by bitterness from the coffee. All the while whilst the alcohol-warmth combined with a fair degree of smoke tingles the palate, associating this dark beauty with incredible whisky-based landscapes. Outstanding.

OakshireFor one of those days which simply calls for a stout, I must say this is not a bad alternative. The somewhat not-too-tough in ABV beverage at hand holds a dark, seemingly medium-bodied consistency with a decent head topping it. The nose is heavily roasted coffeemalts, providing delicious flavours and a hint of wood-like ending as far as taste goes. Perfect carbonization helps to ease the extremely present roast-taste, there’s not much of that oily-feeling one often gets in stouts. Not a long aftertaste, but highly present during consumption. Pretty nice indeed, torn between a 3/4 here.

Choc YetiVisual presentation is dark brown/black. A creamy brown head reveals a rather extensive degree of carbonization. Nose is distinctive roasted dark coffee blend with dark chocolate of pure cocoa. Tastewise, a great spicy start evolves into bitter chocolate, which somehow gives the sweet section a later position than in many stouts… Almost like a reversed fresh hint towards the end, rather than at first. The body is somehow a little heavy, lacking a tad of balance. Nonetheless, the rawmaterial is exeptionally great and helps this version of Yeti over the line of average.

imageSmoky and deep redwine-like aroma, black and seemingly thick texture. By taste, it proves highly complexity; at first sweet, followed by a liqourice middle, ending is going up in smoke. Quite salty too at the end. Interesting stuff from our neighbours over the boarder here indeed.

imageDeep dark in colour, although gives the impression of lightbodied stout- not really thick texturewise as many of the good ones of this sort. Aroma of coffee and some sweet hints, pours small head. Quite fresh, highly definined espresso-taste, and as expected, light texture. The coffeetaste is at front and gives a very bitter taste to this one that prevails- as the main coffee-traces is shortlived, although quite extreme in terms of presence.

DarknessThick, black liquid which pours a yellow-brownish, creamy delicate head. The aroma gives clear assocciations to plum and ripe fruit. By taste, it is at first extremely fruity and enhances sweetness for a split second, before a burning bitter carpet evolves up underneath which lies for a long time, and changes back & forth, several times, through the darkest of oceans, with honey, crisp biscuits, mature fruit, oak and dark berries amongst other things. It balances on the borderline of sweetness, slightly acidic, stingy bitterness and mature, rustique complexity. Absolutely crazy, and neverending, intriguing exitement in this.

imageThis dark, very light-bodied stout reminds a lot of Ska Brewing’s “Steel Toe Stout (for those who are familiar with that)- subtly at the nose, and clearer by taste. with it’s milk chocolate infusion. There’s also the hint of coffee (machine-prepared) and overall, very mild taste.

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