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Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Dark ForceDark Force

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

452 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 28
Gots: 39 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

17 oz bottle picked up today at the Coop for about $9... pricey, but I'll probably never see it again.. oh well. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head looks like an exaggerated cap on a big cup of espresso.. dies back fairly quick... no lacing.. no cap.. no rings.. brew is pitch black.

Nose is chocolate... dark malts.. and dark dried fruits.. smell's a little sour.. roasty.. but not black ... the sour seems a little out of whack though.

Flavor is all there for a RIS.. coffee and chocolate.. alot... alot of fruitiness... citric hops are noticeable.. but play a big second fiddle to the fruitiness.. roasty .. but no perceived char.. body is surpisingly light... I guess from the wheat. carbonation is light.. but the body is still fairly silky smooth.. just not velvety like many RIS.

I'm glad I got a chance to try it... but I'll never go out of my way to pick it up again.


JohnGalt1, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, batch 93 bottled in 9/07, into a snifter.

Appears an opague black color with a big two inch tan head. Takes a while but eventually it sinks down to a skim and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma has notes of anise, coffee, dark fruit, and alcohol.

The taste starts off with some sweetness and a molasses flavor. Some dark fruit creeps in next alongside anise flavors and something like soy sauce. A good amount of hop bitterness on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is medium, a bit too light for an Imperial Stout.

This one just didn't do it for me. I barely got myself to finish it. Certainly wasn't worth the expensive price tag.

roadhouse, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall, slim 25oz bottle with a modest white sticker on the back noting the batch # of 75 and a "best for" date of May 2010? Actually its hard to read and a lot of the other notations don't make a lot of sense. What it does tell me is that there has been some care put into this beer as the label appears to be hand applied. The beer itself is as black as car tires and has a cappuccino colored head that rises a nice 1/2 inch above the beer.

Smell is pungently dark. Heavy malts mix with dark fruits and a molasses covered cereal. There is a nice hop profile but it is shrouded by a solvent like alcohol scent. The solvent characteristic is mild and not the main scent but still noticeable.

Taste is quite good. There are a lot of nice dark flavors in there that range from rum soaked currants and raisins to roasted malts. A strong backbone of coffee and chocolate flavors balanced by some strong citrus hops and scorched malts. A sweet molasses finish with a slight bitter twang (but in a good way.)

There's a bitter finish from both the slightly aggressive hops and the roasted malts and grains. A mild carbonation doesn't mask the flavors and a smooth start combined with a tart dry finish make for one helluva brew. All this and the label says its the only imperial wheat stout!! Very innovative, interesting and unique. The wheat really makes a difference in the body of this beer, not letting it get to heavy. Wow, Dark force where have you been all my life?

jbphoto88, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of mentor
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 75, May 2007.

Pours a two finger dark brown head over a pitch liquid, even when held to light. Initially soda pop head slows to a normal head, but leaves no lacing. Smells fallen hops, mild drying coffee, clean alcohol, cream. Institutional brownies, that is too much flour and not enough chocolate, butter or sugar. Just not enough ummph. A little bit of soured caramel oxidation (most people describe this as sherry-like).

Tastes much better than the aroma (which was mild). Rich coffee that reaches the point of being ashy. Some chocolate syrup. Strong alcohol with some edge. Aromatic hops with mild grassiness beneath. Md-thick mouthfeel tries to hold residual sugars on the tongue, but the beer dries due mostly to the alcohol, but also some carbonation that forms and roast dry. Hop bitter has a hard time penetrating through the chocolate and alcohol. Low levels of fruity esters are all but lost...only found with searching.

Decent, but muddled. Needs time for things to blend and start to work together. Heat is about right, although I personally would like it a bit lower.

mentor, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Flyer
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big, big stout with a lot going on. Pours inky dark with a creamy head. Aroma is smoky. Initial flavor impression is vinous, quickly followed by raisin/prune and a powerul undercurrent of roasty/burnt coffee notes. Ambitious without being over the top. Recommended.

Flyer, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 74, brewed May 07, best before May 11.

A: Murky black, tan head, very little retention or lacing.

S: Licorice, roasted/smokey grain, alcohol, coffee, soy sauce.

T: Roasted coffee, licorice, brown sugar, soy sauce.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body, moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: It's certainly interesting, but not overly drinkable.

Derek, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black pour, with a brown head somewhere between fizzy and creamy. Retention is mediocre, but leaves a full sheet over the beer.

S: Bakers chocolate, roasted malts, some 'coffee & cream' scents. Some dark fruits.

T: A ful flavour - bitter chcolate, some coffee flavours, banana, a fruitiness. Some alcohol pepperiness - a little hot, perhaps.

M + D: Rich body... a little chewiness and creaminess. Snappy carbonation gives it some added life, which is nice. While alcohol content isn't insanely high, the flavour of it is quite apparent. Certainly a sipper, but a decent brew.

Proteus93, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Halcyondays, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. batch 90. brewed aug 07. "best by" date of aug 2011. poured into tulip

nice and opaque. medium head fades to just a thin ring. no lacing however.

surprisingly present dark fruit (prune? dates?). notes of coffee. whiffs of alcohol and phenols. hints of dark caramel and roasted malt.

dextrinous, sweet maltiness to the roasted, charred character, mixed w phenolic notes and slight prune fruitiness. gentle coffee-like acidity and bitterness to the finish, but perhaps just a bit too lingeringly bitter, both of hop and charred malts. some other flavors also come up that i can't pin down... is it the wheat?

smooth, with some slight texture to the finish. moderate carbonation that is quite prickly at first, then quickly fades.

tai4ji2x, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into la fin du monde glass. My bottle also says 9% a/c

Appearance: Pitch black, just looks like motor oil when you pour it... yes. Coffee tan head that slowly forms and then clings to the sides of the glass and doesn't want to let go.

Smell: Big time banana nut bread aroma, all of those aromas, nutty, toasty, banana, and yeasty. There is also some roasted coffee going on and maybe a little vanilla

Taste: First sensation is of the wheat, almost like a weizenbock with the banana breadiness on the front with the malty roasted flavor of an imperial stout. The beer finishes decidedly bitter with a strong flavor of espresso, but not completely dry there is some maple like sweetness going on in here, this stuff is pretty complex if you ask me although others may disagree.

Overall: A very interesting beer, never had one quite like it I dont think its a RIS but thats just me. Still a delicious and highly enjoyable beer that every stout lover must try.

YankChef, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a silk black with dark brown highligh. Great hea after the pour and recedes after the first few sips. The aroma is very subtle, almost bland. Light notes of coffee, chocolate truffles, and dry milk. The taste has dry maltose, coffee, milk, sprinkled with vanillin zucker and some cinnamon. Powdery palate taht has subtle flavors dancing in between the easily definable flavors. Good sipping beer with a well integrated mixed alcoholic warmth.

scruffwhor, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of atsprings
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle into a Brooklyn goblet. Pours a deep opaque black with a thick dark-tan head. Aroma is roasted malts with sweet fruits showing in the background. The beer is somewhat on the bland side, with some roastiness and sweet malts briefly showing up in the finish, but not much there. The beer seems light bodied, the alcohol provides some warmth, but is well hidden. I must say I was intrigued to try a wheat stout, but can honestly say I won't likely be trying one again any time soon.

atsprings, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wouldn't have guessed to have run across a beer that wasa wheat stout, but Dark Force is the first one I've come across. I have a half-liter bottle to work with, so on to the beer:

Massive tan head on top of this black colored beauty. The nose is interesting and different; to go along with the usual cocoa, there's some banana and faint phenolic teasers. Must be the wheat doing the latter.

Very chewy and charred at first impression in the mouth. Big kick of booze, but not overwhelimg to the point where you can't enjoy the rest of the beer. Charred with some chocolate, mild banana towards the end.

Chocolate covered bananas cooked over a charcoal fire? A very unorthodox way of doing an imperial stout, but it's rewarding.

DoubleJ, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of bags6lax
4.93/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up last night, on a recommendation from my liquor stores beer guy.

Poured a really nice, tan, sticky head...instant dark fruity aromas, with a hint of charred, burned, earthy aromas. I was immediately intrigued, especially with the "style" name.

First couple of sips, and I relaized this was an exceptional beer, that had a lot of thought put in it. The wheat just softens all the flavors, and mixes them really well, from the hop biterness, caramel/vanilla flavors, to the nice fruity yeast flavors.

can't stop thinking about this beer, as it just lingered on my tongue for seemingly ever.

I could see pairing this up with different deserts especially a little vanilla ice cream, and even for people who aren't fans of really dark beers, this would be something easy to introduce. Great Beer!

bags6lax, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of doppelmeup
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional looking pour with a very thick, long lasting creamy brown head that never went a way and laced the glass all the way down. Pitch black.

Full bodied and very flavorful without over-top-bitterness. Alcohol very well hidden. The wheat must make it slightly softer and smoother than typical RISs.

Highly recommended!

doppelmeup, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 75
500 ml bottle with a bottled-on and best-by date on the label, poured into a snifter yields an opaque ebony body capped with a thick finger of creamy, melted-chocolate ice cream-style mocha-colored foam that retains at a thick sheet and leaves a bit of sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell is dark, burnt oak with herbally hoppy notes and chocolatey dark roasted barley. A whiff of tangy molasses wafts from the glass and aroma of caramel-covered toasted nuts and Devil's Food cake emerges as the drink warms.

Taste is silky-blackness! Burnt malt, dark roasted malt, dark coffee, dark chocolate, smoky, smutty black malt... charred and malty with a caramelized burnt brown sugar note. I want to say I can taste the wheat, soft and mellow, floating along helplessly in the roasty swirl of darkness, but an incinerated jag of smoky chocolate drowns the grainy essence in sooty cocoa goodness. A fruity, hoppy note arrives to the party late, bringing a twinge of grapefruit and bitter herbs to the roasty, bittersweet party.

Full-bodied and magnificent. Great drink that might become too much for me were I to venture beyond the 500 ml serving that seems just about perfect.

cvstrickland, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 73, brewed April 2007. 15 month old bottle, BBD: 04/10.

Into a classic Duvel tulip this pours obsidian black, glistening in the light a deep woody brown color. Poofy 2" layer of dense mocha foam, that recedes to a creamy 1/4" cap.

Dried fruit and cola aroma, and hint of something creamy.

Rich roasted malt flavor with dry tobacco leaf and coffee notes. Earthy with some mild smoke and char.Long lingering roast coffee bean finish.

Feel is smooth from the wheat, without any wheat taste. This is fairly unique, yet there's a mild waxy character that renders it less than perfect. Carbonation is low to moderate, which is just right. One bottle is plenty in one sitting, the half-liter serving size is appreciated.

The sludgy wheat/yeast trüb that has compacted in the lower recesses of the bottle is a sight to behold...like some sort of disintegrating golem fetus. Dark Force=METAL

emerge077, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- black with a brown finger sized head that sticks to the side of the glass.

S- Chocolate, a little toffee, very roasty

T- Rich caramel and a little chocolate. very nice coffee aftertaste

M rich, creamy, and very smooth

D- very easy and pleasant to drink. something id try again

550ml bottle

jwinship83, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of simonjohansson
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smell: dark bouillon, dark syrup, some chocolate, milk, some dried fruit, some smoke?; fresh, a bit citric hops.

Taste: dark bouillon, syrup, chocolate, also some milk chocolate, overall a pretty creamy, smooth taste, not agressive in any way. Some citric and a bit sourish hops as well. Not that bitter.

This is great stuff. Tasteful and rich as a IS, yet somewhat smooth and mild. Is this due to the wheat?

simonjohansson, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark black, but when held to the light, a little raisin creeps in and reveals that the beer is rather clear. The head is a sandy collar of pale tan.

Smells of Tootsie Rolls, faint licorice and a sweet spruce. There's a dry and dusty cocoa to this one too.

Tastes slick and spicy with the dull cocoa and a pungent caramel. There's a distant alcohol nip and a peppery spiciness that blends into a well rounded dry finish that carries little whiffs of some un-named hop. A nice blend here!

Feels a little dense with a thickening explosion of micro-carbonation. I would have liked this one to be a little less fuzzy.

A tasty take on the style!

DarkerTheBetter, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt.9oz, 9% ABV. Brewed May 2007 with listed best before of May 2011 and sampled June 2008. Having had it fresh I saw some potential for aging but only got this far before caving.

HaandBryggeriet certainly named and labeled the beer appropriately; this does indeed resemble the cosmos. The beer's surface is a cluster of nebulae, fuzzy and different shapes and sizes, trussed together by the backdrop of darkness. Swirling will actually produce the appearance of a spiral-galaxy. The bottom of the empty bottle, so heavily sedimented, appears like a solar eclipse when held to the light.

The aroma is every bit as bewitching as any Imperial Stout. Your nose is first hit with an enterprise of milky chocolate. The element of roast becomes quickly apparent with the smell of scorched barley which is saturated with hop acid. The wheat would easily go missed if you weren't informed of it, although there is something slightly different - unplaceable - about this one...

The flavour picks up where the aroma leaves off. The milk chocolate flavour is decadent and tastes incredibly authentic. It makes for a silky smooth mouthfeel. Black coffee, smoked wood, and brewers anise are also tasted. Dark field berries and green, zesty hops produce a complimentary supporting cast that underlines the dark roast with fruity and citric tones. The alcohol is absent and the carbonation and bitterness are both right where they should be. This has caramelized, heavily roasted malt meeting light, crisp tangy wheat, and it works.

My first few smells and sips had me in astonishment but my awe would fade as the beer warmed. I still maintain this is a must try, although a "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" can create for a bit of confusion when picking out the appropriate glassware...

This is a wonderful creation. It has a lot of the great qualities of both dopplebocks and Imperial Stouts which has made for something as delicious as it was unique. I'm not a fan of either Star Wars or Star Trek, but I am a huge fan of this!

biegaman, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An apparently hard pour produced a big tan colored head atop a black beer with dark ruby highlights around the edges. The retention of the head was impressive. Chocolate, dark fruit and some general graininess perhaps from the wheat round out the aroma. Lighter on the palate then I expected, but still silky. Cocoa powder, sweet dark fruit, and just generic roasted malt flavors. Wheat is detectable, but not dominate by any means. A mild bitterness balances out the finish. A slight alcohol warming pops out at the end, as well.

A decent, but fairly run of the mill, imperial stout. The $7.99 price tag on this bottle had me hoping for a bit more.

BeardedBoffin, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of mhewes
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice black with a big tan head.

S : Typical stout. Roasted malts and notes of coffee and chocolate

T : This was an interesting taste. It has the normal stout tastes of roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. In addition, it had a nice wheat flavor. The hop presence was definitely there and there was an interesting sour taste on the finish.

M : Good carbonation, full-bodied, but a little bit thinner than I've come to expect from a RIS.

D : Really good. Even though it wasn't a typical stout, I really enjoyed it.

mhewes, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch Number: 93
Brewed: SEP 07
Best Bef: SEP 11

16.9oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a large tan head that possesses very nice retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is dark and roasty with dark fruits and hints of cocoa. The taste features a mixture of dark bitter chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits. I find the mouthfeel to be a little thin for the style, but it does not detract from the brew too much. Overall, Dark Force is a pretty decent RIS, but just doesn't stand out in any way over the others to make a repeat purchase. Worth a try.

cjgator3, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of ph2001
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21 oz bottle in pint glass

black color. tons of head and tons of yeast. it has a thick malty smell.

very rich, slightly creamy, smooth, and medium bodied. theres a slight sweetness similar to cherries in there. good coffee and chocolate notes. strong aftertaste too. very interesting and nicely balanced. the 9% is hidden nicely also.

ph2001, Jun 04, 2008
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
89 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.