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Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Dark ForceDark Force

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BA SCORE
88
very good

461 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 461
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 32
Gots: 41 | 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: 461 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with ruby tones. It had very little head and really looked like a port.

S - It smelled of alcohol, sweet malts, toffee and some caramel.

T - The taste was quite different from the smell. It tasted spiced (kind of like a winter warmer). It still had a good roasted malt flavor and some chocolate/caramel flavors.

M - It was sharp, crisp and had a subtle dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very unique RIS. The spices are quite different and make this one worth a try.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

A - One and a half fingers of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The head recedes quickly and leaves little to no lace on the glass.

S - Strong bitter-sweet chocolate and dark caramel. A light smoky aroma with notes of toffee, almonds, and molasses.

T - Dark chocolate and coffee beans up front that transition to sweet, dark caramel in the middle. Notes of toffee, cola, and roasted almonds. Darker malt notes come in towards the finish; smoke, carbon, unsweetened chocolate, and a hint of hop flavor.

M - Moderate-high carbonation, reasonably thick, slightly oily body, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable with some excellent and complex chocolate character. The high carbonation is a bit strange and detracts from the beer in the end, but there are no other noticeable flaws. I have been very impressed with the HaandBryggeriet beers that I have had thus far, and will certainly try any more I am able to get my hands on.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently the boys tried this one at Bierkraft in Brooklyn and there was much diversity in opinions and descriptions of flavor. So let's see what happens here.

Pours pitch black of course with a darker tan head. Nose is dusty. Nice thick malts. Flavor is smoky. Minor bitter edge. Very meaty. Extremely robust. Lasting flavor and a lasting aftertaste. Smooth liquid feel with a thick body. Good level of carbonation. Overall very drinkable. But for the price? Absolutely not. For what I paid for this, I better be getting some serious character, which I don't really feel like I get here.

Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Ebeneezers.

A: Light fizzy 1/2 finger dark colored head fades semi quickly, pitch black colored beer with long legs that coat the glass.

N: Dark malts, roast galore! Chocolate malt, cocoa nibs, a little earthy bitter hops, slight earthy bitter charred malt aromas too, lots of dark malts still, a slight boozy aroma, but no real wheat, slightly overpowering on the nose.

T: Tons of chocolate, malts, milk, cocoa nibs, etc. Roasty malts too with a little coffee. Some oatmeal and creamy flavors too, with light sweetness but mostly dry. Fluffy too, with a touch of warming booze. More coffee roast coming late on the palate too. A touch of caramel, as well as a smoke flavor. Some chewy malts too.

M: Semi thick, creamy, lower but decent carbonation.

F: Thick syrupy coating that just sticks all over the mouth in a nice stout coating. Lots of chocolate, roast, coffee, and creamy oatmeal all stick around for a while as it sits around the mouth. Very rich flavors lingering keeping you remembering the beer's full taste. A little slight dryness and touch of smoke on the finish too, and the booze is very slight, there, but not smacking you.

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +3%

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 93 pours mahogany/black with 3+ fingers of mocha head with brown flecks on top. Good lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruits, chocolate & roasted malt

T: Husky roasted grains, iron, & bitter chocolate up front. Chocolate, iron, raisins & licorice as this warms. Finished dry, roasty, & with a nice chocolated edge, plus boozey warmth at the back of the throat

MF: Feels fairly then & prickly up front, even though I let it warm up quite a bit. Smoothed out & gained warming boozeyness as it continued to warm

Drinks alright, there much better examples of this style for far less money. This got better as it warmed, so maybe take it to near room temperature before drinking

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Norwegian...double...Russian...imperial...wheat...stout. There's a lot going on there. There doesn't seem to be a lot of brews from Norway that I've tried, but those I have tried were good and complex. Including this dunkelish wheatish stoutish concoction that I sampled in a 750ml bottle, at the chalkboard's recommendation.

Poured opaque black with a finger or two of a tan head that receded rather quickly to a thin layer. Dark malts, cocoa, and alcohol in the nose. Dark caramel malts on the tongue, with coffee, cocoa, and an alcohol bite, bitterness, and an earthy sensation as well, with a bit of wheaty harshness. Fairly heavy body, and decent drinkability, though a 750 by myself was perhaps a bit much.

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for opening this. What the hell is an Imperial Wheat Stout? I guess this is it.

Beer is black but brown at the corners and kind of hazy with a thin brown head of tiny bubbles, lacing? no.

Odd aroma, mild smoke, odd fruits, a little malt, not much roast.

Beer is coffee, lots of it. Mild smoke, is there wheat in here? Maybe this is why there is only one of this "style". Its an OK beer overall, its mildly sweet, a little chocolate bitterness. Its just OK.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HaandBryggeriet Dark Force
Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout, 9% abv, 16.9 oxz bottle, silhouette of a hand holds a glaxy on this label, a lot of "Star Wars" reference on the back label copy. Some "Star Trek", too...but isn't "Double Extreme Imperial" just pushing it a bit?

Dark brown color, big, fizzy brown head, bubblin' and bubblin', drizzles down assuredly...

Blackstrap a bit, in the nose, light cola, cocoa, a hint of anise...nice and stout-y.

Fizzy in the mouth, dark and lively, but dies away a bit too soon. Big carbonation. Spicy. But the mouthfeel and texture really doesn't match what the label boasts. Richer and richer as we go, roastier, darker, getting better...

The wheat aspect makes it easier to down, but that's not what I'd expect from a "Double extreme Imperial." Actually, I've never sat down and thought about what I desire in a "double extreme Imperial." Somehow, it just never came up!

Roasty and toasty, and smooth, despite it all, with that 9% abv hardly acting up at all...although I'm only halfway through the bottle. Maybe it'll creep up on me.

I'm happy for those 4 guys in Finland, but the question remains...worth the $8 I spent? Well, obviously I bought the hype and spent the coin, but, the verdict is...good, but not that good.

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Batch 217. Bottle says it's the "only Imperial Wheat Stout in the known universe". Interested to see how this one tastes.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with 2fingers of dark tan head and light carbonation evident. Tiny bit of lacing.

s - Smells of bitter chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol.

t - Tastes of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, bitter and sweet chocolate, toasted malts, and dark fruit. No alcohol in the smell.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Pretty thick and smooth.

d - I thought this was a pretty good RIS. I thought the smell was a littl sweet/weird, but I enjoyed the taste a lot. Would definitely try this one again.

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a large brown foamy head that is pretty well-retained for the style/abv. Eventually it disappears but comes back with a gentle swirl. No lacing sticks, but "legs" do.

The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate - not sure that I would have picked up on the "wheat" aroma if I didn't know about it beforehand, but there is a breadiness and a tang to it.

The taste is sweet initially - with strong anise. Some bready notes come in and out with roasted coffee and chocolate. As it progresses, sourish/tart tangy notes come through. An interesting brew - and one that I enjoyed the more it progressed (thus lifting the taste score by half a point from my original thought). It does show some booze in the finish.

It has sharp carbonation - with an acidic bite on the tongue. The carbonation is a bit more than expected, but eventually calms a bit. The body isn't quite as full as expected, even as it progresses, but pretty smooth for abv and sharpness.

An interesting brew - I'm not sure it's worth the nearly $10 for the 500 ml to have again, but glad to have had it the once. It becomes more complex and drinkability rises as it progresses.

Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

Batch 73, Brewed April 2007; Sampled November 2007
Very well carbonated, and as I pour it the aroma makes me think of Brettanomyces. The head is somewhat large bubbled in consistency, initially four-fingers thick and even flows over the rim of my glass a bit; it is a light brown color and is quite long lasting. The beer is almost black in color and is quit opaque. Aromas of dark malt, toasted grain, toasted bread crust, coffee, ample chocolate and perhaps a bit of traditional, sharp wheat aromatics are noticeable underneath all of dark, roast character. Once I get into it, the aroma is not nearly as funky as I thought it would be (at least from those initial Brett infused overtones); it is still here though, much more subtle, but with a distinct vinous character as well as some aromas of tart fruit. This mostly smells like a roasty stout, a touch of tartness and grain character that could be attributed to the wheat as well as a touch of funkiness.

Much more funky in the flavor than the aroma ended up being, though it is still somewhat subtle, or at least I could see how it could be missed given all of the roast grain flavors that are here. Fairly light bodied (definitely lightened by the Brett / funk), though it does retain a soft creaminess, that is able to show through the ample carbonation. A few quick swirls of my glass frees up some of the excess carbonation and softens the beer a bit more. The beer in the near finish has a light tartness to it that is contributed by burnt grain, the wheat and most likely some of the funk. This tartness is superseded in the finish though by a sharp, lingering, burnt bitterness. Funky notes of moldy cotton and musty wood also linger in the finish. Really though the roast grain is what dominates the flavor profile here; flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, chalky roast grain husks, well toasted whole wheat crust and sour / bitter espresso. This has some fruitiness to it as well, of course the fruit tastes like it has been well burnt underneath a broiler, but it does evoke taste memories of burnt prunes, roasted figs and perhaps a touch of raisin.

As the beer warms, the funk begins to pick up a sharpness, almost a harshness that can at times muck the finish up a bit. Still this is a pretty good brew. I'll have to see if I can get a fresher example of this brew to see what that is like (though for a beer of this type, seven months should be nothing).

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

The label calls this an Imperial Wheat Stout.

Appearance: black in color with a thick 2" milk chocolate colored head. Moderate lacing paints the glass.

Smell: chocolate, roasted malt tones, and some softer licorice leaps from the glass and is easy to pick up.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with chocolate, sweet plums, prunes, raisins, and some licorice. Alcohol is mildly noticable, and there is a nice bitterness level here. The wheat mellows out the heartiness here a bit.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Short aftertaste as the roasted tones and chocolates linger the loudest on the tongue.

Drinkability: despite the higher alcohol level, this was surprisingly drinkable. It is also a bit different than some other Imperial Stouts on the market.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

16.9 oz. bottle, Batch 93, brewed Sept. 07

A: Pours a dark brown with a full, yet fizzy tan head, with fair retention, leaves light lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, banana bread, espresso coffee, ethanol volatiles.

T: Definitely full on chocolate at the beginning with a light minty hop profile. Bananas, presuambly from the wheat are there as well along with a big dose of malt sugar, think Whoppers. Bite of strong coffee comes in with the finish and aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is very light for a 9% stout, creamy, oily, definitely needs more body.

D: An interesting beer from this Norse brewery, not outstanding, but good.

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter. Batch 90: Aug 07 bottling, best by Aug 2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1 finger dense tan head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big licorice, soy sauce, roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, biscuit, herbal, light charcoal, wood, earth, and molasses. Nice and interesting aromas, with good complexity. Taste of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, smoke, wood, licorice, earthiness, light soy sauce, and light herbal spiciness. A bit of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of smoke, roasted malt, chocolate, and earthiness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors, with no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty much completely hidden, nothing more than a hint of warming after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice and unique imperial stout. Very smooth and balanced; with some interesting and complex flavors.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque and extremely dark midnight black in color with some hints of dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall dark mocha head that slowly reduced to a single medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma is mild and lighter than I expected for the style. There are light aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and just the slightest touch of wheat.

T: The taste of this beer builds from the smell and has a nice amount of complexity. It starts with a dark roasted malt body that also includes some flavors of wheat, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee. Additionally, there are hints of smokiness and molasses. There is a light amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Dry in the finish with some light amounts of alcohol warming. Slightly lighter in body than expected for the style due to the wheat.

O: Other than in the mouthfeel of this beer, the high ABV of alcohol is quite well hidden. The tastes of this beer are very complex and interesting but the smell is a little too mild for me and the wheat makes the body a little lighter than I would prefer. This is a very enjoyable sipping beer.

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

They don't call it Dark Force for nothing! Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy mocha head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Huge roasted malt aroma with silky chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, coffee and toast. There is also some faint alcohol sweetness in the nose.

Medium bodied and overly carbonated with a good bit of oxidization. Nice roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, lactic cream, oatmeal, toffee and alcohol sweetness. Slightly bitter throughout with a very dry, warm finish.

The appearance and aroma of this beer got me excited ut it was a bit of a let down afterward. I'd like to give it another try sometime but it's not worth the high price point.

Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #73, brewed in April of 2007...

Appears a dense, dark black with a 2 finger head of light tan that slowly fades. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of smoked malt, cocoa, caramel, molasses, raisin, and ripe fruit.
Taste is a mirror of the aroma, though there is just a hint of oxidation that is showing(and expected for a beer that's over 3.5 years old). Molasses, ripened fig, and smoked malt pull through amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, creamy, somewhat chewy, and a true sipper.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of tempest
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wheat, that's different, I like it. I'll admit it doesn't smell to great, with a pungent earthy aroma. Then in the flavor there's a great balance of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The wheat adds an interesting background taste that sets this one apart from traditional RIS's. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a tan head that is quite foamy. Big floaties from the yeast in the bottom as is sometimes common with wheat beers. The nose is primarily roasted and winey, but there is also dark chocolate and spicy notes. The taste is deep and roasty with more chocolate notes and a long light grainy/grassy sourness, just a touch. The mouthfeel is creamy and soft, but with respectable body. This is relatively easy drinking for a ris due to the wheat base. Don't expect profound depth here, but it is an interesting beer that is well made and quite tasty.

Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.