Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

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Dark ForceDark Force

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BA SCORE
88
very good

467 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 467
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 33
Gots: 44 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 467 | Reviews: 307
Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on May 11, 2012 with best of date of May 11, 2015

Photo of dre412
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very sweet. I actually enjoyed the carbonation however and felt that it was needed for the sweetness. I enjoy sweet stouts and this one had a tad bit too much for me, but overall it was good. Definitely more of a dessert beer for me, to be shared with someone after a meal.

Photo of doktorhops
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’m a tad excited about cracking open Dark Force I must confess. I have recently been on a Russian Imperial Stout crusade, err, a peaceful crusade - I’m not putting the sword to one of my new favourite beer styles. Glad we covered that up. HaandBryggeriet has appealed to my dark beer loving nature by calling this behemoth a “Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout”, and it has appealed to my love of characters voiced by James Earl Jones through the various Star Wars references on the label (always read the label people!).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black and shiny body, like the spacesuit of a certain evil Sith lord voiced by James Earl Jones, with a dense mocha brown head that soon reduces to thin lace ring, also voiced by James Earl Jones. The force is strong with this one. 9/10.

S: Roasted and unroasted coffee beans, earthy characters with hints of chocolate fruit cake and white spirits (bit of Vodka and White Rum). Surprisingly* there is little of the malted wheat to be noted over the heady roasted Stout aromas. 8/10.

T: Moody is one way to describe this bold Stout. There is a an interesting mix between the aforementioned roasted/unroasted coffee bean, sloe berry, some bread dough notes, and golden syrup. In fact “syrup” is a good way to describe this - pure Stout syrup (with a twist!). In a move Mr. Vader may or may not have approved of there is some real complexity of flavours on the palate: Sweet, earthy, fruity (from the unroasted coffee bean), bitter and dry. Speaking of the finish - it is a slight coffee bitterness with a bit of dryness. No wheat flavours but who cares? They could have added Plutonium to this and I still wouldn’t give a damn. 9/10†.

M: Medium bodied with a dense but light carbonation. Stouts with body FTW. 9/10.

D: Well I’m out of Star Wars references (not really, but I can tell that you’re sick of them already). This brew is so big/dark/evil (i.e. a good Stout), I will definitely have to get it again to compare it with Odin’s Tipple, because I suspect that Dark Force beats it, but there have been many many RISs betwixt the two. Point in case: Just get this beer. 8/10.

Food match: Your mortal soul... oh and cigars, Cuban ones.

*That was sarcasm BTW.

†Very nearly almost a 10/10 here... so borderline... it’s great, just buy it, now.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev 0%

Bottle purchased at Oliver’s in Albany, NY.

Pours out a very dark black, with a foamy, creamy looking 1.5 inch head, and no lacing.

Smells like chocolate, wheat, grassy hops, roasted malt, and vanilla cream.

Tastes similar. The wheat used provides an actual grainy wheat flavor, as well as a super silky feel to this one. There’s a ton of chocolate milk flavor, vanilla cream, and some grassy hop bitterness and dark fruits. Kind of feels like a Baltic porter more so than an imperial stout- which is fine. I love Baltic porters!

This one has a medium body which feels much lighter than it actually is, probably due to the use of wheat malt. A super silky and smooth mouthfeel is the clear highlight of this one. There is a very low amount of carbonation.

I wish it was a little more boldly flavored, but it really does have an excellent mouthfeel and goes down really well. A very good effort here.

Photo of TruePerception
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

HaandBryggeriet's 'dark force', Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout (overdoing the adjectives a little, perhaps). 9% ABV.

A: Pours a VERY dark brown. Pure black in the glass, with just a slim line of deep, bright brown in the dimple. Almost no head (brown, when it does show up). No lacing.

S: Interesting smells. Lots of caramels going on. Dark caramel, a little burnt. Dark coffee. Malt powder. Very faint dark powdered cocoa. Coffee creamer-like sweetness. Blackened toast. Hint of licorice. Just the faintest fruitiness. Raisin, perhaps.

T/MF: Pretty sweet! Dark roasted coffee. Blackened caramel. Light char, as it settles.

Not bad! The nose is the star, but the whole package is pretty good. I definitely recommend this, if you can find it!

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of imscotty
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle aged on the store shelf. Brewed on 9/2007, opened on 4/2014. This beer had a 'best by' date of 9/2011

A: Pours a dark black with a strong tan head. Still plenty of carbonation.

S: The smell was very strange for stout. A wet bread smell was so strong it was hard to detect anything else. I guess I could detect some malt and roast aromas.

T: The roast flavor really shined through in the taste. There were some interesting and strange but somewhat enjoyable off flavors. At least they were off for the style. Lots of hay , yeast and earthy flavors that I would expect to find in a funky belgian, not a stout.

As this beer warmed the flavor improved greatly and the roast and the bitterness of the finish became more forward. This was actually an easy drinker, the alcohol was hard to detect. I would recommend drinking this beer at room temperature.

M: A little thinner than some stouts, but not to distraction. Actually had a surprisingly creamy mouth feel. Properly carbonated.

O: An interesting brew. Even though it was past its 'best by' date it was still enjoyable. I would not overpay for this but I would enjoy it at the right price point. Not your typical stout.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a half finger light brown head that dissipates to a thin film and thick ring around the glass, leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark, lightly charred toasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee and a bit of alcohol. Flavor follows aroma, dominated by dark toasted malt with light char, coffee, dark chocolate, finishing with charred dark malt and a substantial hop bitterness. Medium bodied with quite spicy active carbonation. A very interesting take on a stout. The heavy malt that usually supports the intense flavors of a RIS are not as noticeable here with the wheat giving a lighter less intrusive feel to the stout. This is a little disconcerting at first because the body seems thin at first, however the flavors are so robust and interesting that the wheat character is covered, but possibly displays the toastiness of the grain roasting even better than a heavily malted stout. Nicely hopped too. The alcohol in the aroma is not noticeable in the taste. An interesting and flavorful stout that I will be trying again.

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce brown bottle picked up recently at a local bottle shop. Distributed by Shelton Bros years ago and bottled on 03/2008; best by date of 03/2012. Batch# 144. Enjoyed out of a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter; if this is still good…

Appearance: Poured straight down the middle produced a thick, one finger fluffy dark brown head. Lots of bubble action fizzing away with the ferocity of a Berliner Weisse. After all the fuss a reddish brown head with a film was left atop a black body. Looks about right, though I’m unsure what all the fuss was about earlier.

Smell: Big sticky stone fruits, lightly roasted coffee beans and bitter dark chocolate up front. Finishes with a surprising nutty note, almost like peanut brittle. Maybe that’s what’s left of the wheat?

Taste: Follows the nose with lots of sweet stone fruits (vinous), lots of dark chocolate, some smoke, and coffee beans. A mellow alcohol blends in the middle with the fruit notes. Finishes with that nuttiness that was present in the nose, though it’s stronger here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel with a thin/medium body (I’m wondering if the body has thinned out due to this being almost six years old). While it is very warming the alcohol has really mellowed out.

Overall: Given this was past the best by date and it’d been sitting on the shelves for years I wasn’t expecting much, however Dark Force is still hanging in there. Looks, smells and tastes like a solid aged stout. I didn’t get any wheat notes as I know wheat, so I’m wondering if the years turned it into that nutty note that rounded off the beer. I don’t see this getting any better, so if you still have one drink it now, it’s doing great.

Photo of Fernans
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Well I found this to an excellent Imperial Stout. Rich and flavorful. Coffee and sweet, malty flavors. It jumped out to me like Speedway Stout or Old Raspy. Despite its strength, you hardly notice. Top notch.

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Photo of Kevinkarpiak
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I just found one bottle, in the back of my specialty beer selling local liquor store and was like "hey I've never seen that one. I'll buy it for $7.95 and take it home and try it." Only later did I realize it had brewing info on the side: batch #75, brewed May 2007. That would make this a 6.5 year old beer!

Nice dark color with a surprisingly thick brown head for its age. No aroma to speak of, except a slight booziness. It doesn't drink boozy, though, despite it's 9% calling card. Flavor is a standard, if lightweight, imperial stout. Kinda one nite, with no extra flavors hidden beneath. Mouth feel is a bit thin too, for an Imperial Stout... Although both these last two qualities could be because of age. The bottle also says "best before May 2010"

Photo of Dope
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 287, 1080 total bottles. 24.06.10 bottling date. A bit over three years old.

A: Pitch black pour with one of the biggest, darkest, densest heads I've ever seen. Head fades slowly with nary a trace of lacing. Decent retention.

S: Touches of smoke and char (burnt malts really). Bit of dark fruit and anise.

T: Huh, interesting. Definitely wheaty. A nice roasted wheat malt from start to finish. Not as smoky as I was expecting from the aroma. Just a mild, pleasing char. Pretty simple, pretty much a smooth burnt wheat from start to finish. A bit of grainy sweetness along with some milk chocolate in the middle and finish perks it up. Lingering wheat in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Unique stout. I didn't rate it that well but honestly it's tasty and drinkable. Just very one-note. It's all roasted wheat from start to finish. Simple but good with a nice touch of uniqueness. In all fairness, I upped the scores a little because the age may have mellowed it out.

Photo of beepill
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a bottle from WF in Redwood City upon recommendation from the guy stocking the beer shelves. Poured into a whiskey snifter. Reviewed from notes taken last week.

A - Pours almost a pure black with a thin tan head. Simply beautiful.

S - Bourbon whiskey, maple wood, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, and dark-roasted coffee beans. Also got some hints of black licorice. Wonderful complexity on the nose, even before sipping. Maintains its wonder throughout consumption.

T - See above. Tastes like how it smells, add some wheat breadiness and dark chocolate cake to it to make a wonderfully balanced Russian Imperial Stout style.

M - Coats the entire tongue with its creamy feel. Starts off a bit hot, but mellows as it warms. Cabonation is light-medium, which allows the complexities to emerge.

O - Winner. I was hesitant to purchase this, since I never heard of it, but the guy at WF convinced me. Glad he did. I will be seeking this again the next time I drop in. I recommend any fans of imperial stouts to give Dark Force a try. It should make you happy. I don't think there are any other wheat Imperial stouts out there.

Photo of hmich176
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black brew with an almond colored head. Very large head when I poured it straight down the middle. A more proper pour resulted in maybe a two finger head.

S: There's a hint of vanilla, rather wheaty (surprise!), some fruits and coffee notes as well.

T: The alcohol hits at the very end, but it's not very noticeable. Sweet, but bitter...warm and toasty. Nicely balanced. Someone else mentioned tongue-numbing - I agree with that.

M: Carbonation isn't very strong; it goes down smoothly. Full body that's on the edge of being too much. For a stout, it's pretty easy drinking.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. Not my favorite stout, but it's very good and right up there. I enjoyed the play on the wheat beer, and it's something I'd get again should the opportunity arise.

Photo of CarverMG
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark Brown, 1 Finger Brown Head. Settles to top of the beer.

S: Citrus Nodes, Slight bit of coffee, Figs, orange peels and cherries. a hint of vanilla.

T: Espresso, Cherries, Figs, A bit of orange and Vanilla. A slight taste of chocolate. ABV hits at the end toward the back of the palate. Not too Harsh of an ABV.

M: Smooth, Slightly Carbonated, Slides down fine. Can feel the ABV.. Not overpowering.

O: Good Relaxing beer. Would Recommend to Others.

Photo of stcules
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Black, wih a lot of brown, compact head.
Toaasty smell, not too strong, but good, intense, dusty.
A light soya sauce.
Round, well hideen alcohol, with a soft malty start, light, then the toasted and dusty notes, with some coffee.
Relatively light body, quite short aftertaste, hazelnut and toasted.

Photo of nick_asian
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Jet black. Head was an almond skin brown.
S: A good amount of licorice, some dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a bit of residual sugar.
T: Still a bunch of the licorice and some dark chocolate. Definitely some sweetness from the wheat as well. Toasty bready-ness and some wood/smoke going on too. Booze is pretty well hidden, if noticeable at all.
M: Good full body and a lot of carbonation. Almost a little too much. Very smooth, though. Hella crisp because of the carbonations. Kind of leaves your mouth tingling. afterwards.
O: A really good beer. Definitely give it a try at least once.

Photo of Phelps
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip.

Black as outer space. Head is about a quarter inch, a silky medium tan.

A little licorice, dark chocolate, alcohol. A touch of vanilla or marshmallow. A little smoke.

Sweeter in the flavor. Chocolate syrup, smoke, a touch of anise. Slight lingering alcohol. Smooth.

Smooth, medium body. Pretty high carbonation and a little too much fizz. Very well-hidden alcohol. Tongue-numbing.

Smooth stuff. Wish there was a little more showing from the wheat. Still very smooth, easy-drinking.

Photo of CopeTech
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Feel the force!
A pitch black stout, light on the carbonation. Its a wheat stout which is a bit of a contradiction with the wheat shining through almost as new side flavor, not the deep barley, but the deep barley with a side trip toward a triple wheat or a sturdy wheat contribution.

Photo of BrownNut
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 449, brewed Feb 2012, drunk Feb 2013, cool, from a tulip.

A - 4.25 - Black, with a finger of nice tan head that really endures.

S - 3.75 - Hey surprise, smells like a wheat beer, although backed up with some char, bordering on metal. The wheat sweetness is almost that characteristic Belgian yeast smell, and a little bubble gummy. There's a decent malty smell.

T - 2.75 - Surprisingly crisp and dry. The dryness is of an unfortunately metallic kind. The dryness makes it kind of hollow overall and there's not a lot to fill that void. Aftertaste mostly of faint char and borderline metal.

M - 3.5 - Surprisingly not even medium bodied - just shy. Dry. It wants more than this.

O - 3.0 - Overall kind of weird. The wheat notes don't seem to come together well with the char notes. The dryness and lack of viscosity leave it kind of empty. And faint metal in the aroma, palate, and aftertaste are unwelcome and distracting. I've had more/worse metal, but this is juuust enough to register. An interesting attempt, but it didn't work out. Don't want the rest.

Photo of McD0uche
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass:

Pours a dark brown color typical of stouts with a decent head. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and sweetness. Taste is similar to the smell with roasted toasted malts and chocolate prevailing and coffee and fruits playing in the background. The wheat is present but subdued. Has a sweet flavor but is not overpowering. Mouthfeel is consistent with stouts. Carbonation is at the right level.

Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot, and I'll try to get it in the future when I see it. Definitely a cool play on wheat beers.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle from Bullock's (Marietta, GA). 6.49. No bottling date. Served in a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Pours black with about a half finger deep tan head. It doesn't lace much at all but a beautiful thin ring of dark head remains around the edges most of the way down.

Smells of rich dark chocolate and stone fruit.

Taste is a great blend of chocolate, cherries, mild licorice, sweet raisin bread, caramel, roasted malts, smokey bark, leather and creamed coffee. I guess there's some booze in there too but it's covered by layers of flavor that make this go down smoothly.

Rich, creamy full feel that coats the tongue. Carbonation is fairly light but appropriate. Long bittersweet cocoa and dark fruits finish.

Wasn't sure what to think of a wheat stout but apparently more breweries need to be trying it. The wheat adds a nice sweet complexity to the heavy dose of roasty flavors. I'll definately be picking up another bottle or two and recommend any fan of imperial stouts give this a whirl.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours essentially black in color with a rather lively tan head. Somewhat smokey with quite a bit of licorice, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. There’s a decent amount of coffee as well. The flavor has a nice touch of chocolate to go with roasted malt, coffee, and licorice. There is also some of the light smokiness that was present on the nose.

Photo of charlzm
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Consumed on July 11th, 2012. Poured into a Klokke Roeland goblet. Batch number on bottle is 342. Could not find a brewed-on date on the bottle or online.

Beer pours an almost-opaque deep, deep, deep, deep brown. A two finger head the color of coffee with a little cream appears and lingers for quite some time. It is not particularly fine, uniform or sticky, but it does the job.

Aroma - A very dark roasted malt, nearly charred, is topped off by a whiff of vanilla and the unmistakable metallic tang of wheat. Interesting and different, but not especially appetizing.

Odd flavor. At the beginning, there is a big wheaty flavor replete with a metallic twang. Fruity, like pears and apples and dark, sour cherries, due perhaps to the yeast strain used. Honey accent as well. The back end is allbitter burned coffee. As unique as this is, I wouldn't call it "good", necessarily.

The beer is light in body for an RIS, but this is what the brewers were aiming for, according to the Haand Bryggeriet website. Decent carbonation: a slight tingle on the tongue.

Overall, I have to call this beer a fail in drinkability. It's a very interesting and admirable experiment that perhaps should have stayed in testing a bit longer.

Photo of leaddog
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark ebony with a finger width of frothy mocha head.

Smell- Roasted grains, hint of coffee, burnt caramel, and espresso beans.

Taste- Nice cocoa, roasted grains, coffee bean, and wheat. Wheat lingers in aftertaste. There is a light bitterness. Overall, the flavours are bold and intense.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Has a little creaminess to the body.

Overall- An interesting take on a RIS. Considering the bottle says this beer is an "Imperial Wheat Stout" it delivers on that front. I'm sure this will be a new style added in the future. Besides that, an enjoyable stout with some unique flavours and mouthfeel.

Photo of biglite351
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night with a short quickly falling brown head

S - Roasty malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate. Deep and bold.

T - Toasty malts, smoke, prune, dark cocoa and oak. not quite as deep and

the scent.

M - Okay coating with a mild tingle on the sides of the tongue.

O - Very good but falls just short of being great.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.