BREWSKI «BA75: Barrel aged Imperial stout w vanilla» (12%) 4/6

By the first eye-glance, it looks dark and thick. Quite promising, so to speak. It would be completely wrong to say that it has a little carbonation- cause here there’s none… (to justify a tad, it is serves on tap tho)

The nose is clearly chocolate, along the lines of milk chocolate and mild hints of coffee. When it hits the palate, there’s some nice stuff going on- the milk chocolate is defined more clearly, and mild at first. It is indeed vanilla-dominated, providing yet more sweetness (for those who’s into that kinda thing) 😉

Then, there’s that nice tingly heat being introduced underneath… very smooth. As suspected- this is highly thick bodied beverage.
And it lays quite nicely long at the back of the tongue, heat from bourbon combined with a dry, bitter ending. Me likey!

Dark Night 2022

In late September, there’s been another festival happening in Norway before, namely the Zwanze festival.

However- when that stopped taking place in Oslo, Nøgne Ø grabbed the opportunity- and formed their now annual fest: Dark Night. Basically, the idea of having this yearly launch of (one of?) their most demanding beers to produce, has now presented both it’s facets; namely the brewery’s flagship beer Dark Horizon. This once-upon-a-time mythical proud take on an Imperial Stout has been brewed every second year since 2007 (? if I’m not mistaking) and still to this very day, holds high regards with many Norwegians. And not very surprising, as this beer has seen many slight changes/variants throughout the years- spanning from more bitter nuances to more super sweet.

However: as it is only brewed every second year, there’s been a gap to fill… until now, that is. Well, that’s not entirely true either, because the beer in question saw the light of day for the first time in 2021. It is of course the deliciously sweet strong ale under the name Nordic Noir. And as we’re rolling out of 2022, it is the latter to be released this year.

And boy, have they outdone themselves! Not one, not two- but three(!) types is what’s on this year. The base beer being brewed with chocolate malts, juniper and honey- and is tasting fantastic in itself. So, with last year seing a other version simply labeled «Barrel aged», it’s indeed upped some in 22: Sherry edition, as well as another one aged on Vouvray barrels. The first one being somewhat vinous for a split second and the latter emphazising sweetness, it is indeed getting more interesting for each year it’s arranged.

Not to forget the superbly cozy brewpub and awesome brewery-building of Nøgne Ø, the attendees got to taste smashing food brought to Nøgne by Kamil Krystjańczuk: the brilliant chef at Apotekergaarden & his assistant. On top of that- all kinds of years/variants of previous Nøgne beers, superbly executed art, in the form of an orchestra (!) – all in all, a splendid night.

Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2022

The annual trip to Beer Mecca is back on!

After pretty much recovering from Covid, as well as some other rather demanding circumstances, the report from this year’s legendary Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen is ready. Following the extensive challenge that bears the name Covid-19, the world seemed to have been put on hold for quite some time… Luckily, the agile bunch at Mikkeller knew when to strike last year and saved the day for many a beer geek-soul.

However: It was somewhat untraditional to head off to this (still) joyful event in the start of winter, rather than the classic season trade-off in spring. There’s something so lively about this happening, about the whole beautiful town, about the joyful spirits uniting in the name of high-quality craft beer, all the fun and laughs. So- for 2022 to bring MBCC back on track, with a raging storm of a line-up, there was no reason to look back on already somber times from the previous couple of years. Let’s face it: It’s all good with trying to recreate it all with some friends in the living room, but nothing really beats the authentic feel of entering Øksnehallen at this time of the year… Just- Magical!

Insaaane line-up

As usual, there was a bunch of cool activities going on, such as tattoo-stands, food, wine and much more. For variations sake, it is great that there are some other features, even though the fact that just short walks will take you to several great dining possibilities and whatnot in stunningly beautiful (& exciting) Copenhagen.

Some new stars on the foamy beer sky for me personally (and I know for sure many of my peers agrees), was amongst others: Pulpit Rock (absolute kings&queens!), LUA (which I’d never tasted anything from before- insanely great stuff!), lest not forget the highly anticipated stand from the folks at Moksa brewing- whom sure did not disappoint), as well as grand maestro-works from Forager, 3 Sons, Lervig, the mead-masters at Superstition to name a few. I also love it when I discover hitherto unknown breweries such Brazilian Spartacus (them lads & lasses all the way from down in South America doesn’t only have Sepultura making killer music- they make awesome beers too!) Mikerphone had some seriopusly tasty stouts going on and the sweet neighbor from up here in Scandinavia, namely Omnipollo knows how to stir things up with great exitement. (Gotta love a crazy queue, when there’s enough for everybody, right?) Which it absolutely was of most here this year.

As for them taste buds which are more lenient towards the sour on the palate: There was plenty for you too here. The Dutch legend Tommie Sjef was there with none other than his mum (she was really nice!), keeping levels busy with the hordes of curious beer-geeks ready to devour. And he was in no way alone here- a little further down the line of stands, you would find Bofkont, pouring at all cylinders. Really good stuff!

Over the two days that the festival spans over, it is indeed a longed for- event. Many that didn’t go for the last edition held in autumn last year had found their way this year, and something that should be just as intriguing for the arrangers especcially- was the fact that many of the breweries themselves expressed explicit joy over participating. Amongst others, I spoke to Adroit Theory’s representative here, who was astonished over how great the event is. And he was not alone as such- for instance the people at Ology, Transient and Voodoo seemed to have a great time as well, both behind the tap tower as well as out-and-about. So many styles, so many – this melting pot of beer related features really stands out as something of its own, for sure. Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, MBCC have proved themselves to be a well-organized, oozing with professionality and agility- something which hopefully will help them maintain their position in the beer environment for years to come.

And with so many nationalities united in one culture, everything from the trivial everyday life to global challenges and struggles are put on hold for a little while. It really brings out the best for a day/weekend/week for those souls daring enough to extend the stay in magnificent Copenhagen at this time of the year.

A brilliant way to greet summertime welcome and to celebrate beer, joy & life.

NÄRKE «Stormaktsporter Kaggen! High Coast Peated 2020» (12%) 4/6

Dark and nice visuals, pouring small creamy head. Nose reminiscent of leather, Smoke, dried fruit and wet oak. Body is medium to light, enhancing the peated notes. Mouthfeel is fresh, sharp- a bit stingy, but comfortably so. Tastewise, it really embraces the whisky flavour, but also leaves behind room for other elements, such as distinct coffee-traces, figs, a hint of liquorice and almost rum-like aftertaste.

Old school with style: Närke never disappoints with their variants of this fantastic beer.

SIDE PROJECT “Blueberry Flanders” Bl . 3 (6%) 4/6

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?

WELDWERKS «Starry Noche» Batch #1 (15.6%) 6/6


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.

SIDE PROJECT «Generational» #1 (15%) 6/6

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