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Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Dark ForceDark Force

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

450 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 450
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 27
Gots: 40 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

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: 450 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +17.4%

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle, batch 75, brewed May '07

A: Pours a thick pitch black under an impressive dark brown head. Slightest retention, no lace.

S: Smells of a roasted, yet somehow sweet, malt. Some hints of chocolate and smoke in the background.

T: Wow, a lot happening here. Sweet and smokey, chocolaty and roasted, a little bit of a herbal twang and charcoal, some alcohol, some wheat in the back end and a hint of heavy cream. Finish is of some smoke and a mild roasted bitterness. Very impressed.

M/D: Carbonation is just right, body is to the fullest, a little bit of creaminess. Drinkability is is good for a beer this big and this bold. Very impressed with this one.

01-23-2008 01:34:15 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.3/5  rDev +8.6%

Picked up a pint at AJ's in late September for $8.59. Part of batch no 73, best before April 2010. 9% abv.

Beer poured black with a fine long lasting tan head. There is not much nose there, hints of perfumed hops is about all I could pick up. Taste is of roasted malts, chocolate, nicely balanced by the hops. Mouthfeel is fuller than I anticpated and it is very smooth. This is a very drinkable Imperial, very smooth and nice to chew on with the temps being a cool 62 degree day! This is definitely a world class beer that is worth the splurge!

01-20-2008 23:20:53 | More by arizcards
Photo of guzzle211
guzzle211

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3%

1pt .9 bottle received in Black Booty BIF from NCSUdo, thanks man!!

A: pours relatively thick, a very controlled and mild pour produces a huge explosive brown head (definitely past the point of tan and fully into brown.) I did not get to do a sunlight test, but no traces of light escape through this dark dank offering.
Head retains relatively well considering total lack of visible carbonation, especially for a 9% brew.

S: the funk I love, a sure sign that this is where the wild things are. Strong roasted aromas dominate.

t/m: thick, creamy and filling. Delicious balance of roasted/burnt malt, bitter chocolate, balanced with what I consider to a very mild hop profile. Becomes extremely complex as it warms up. An awesomely well balanced hint of wild stuff in there too. even the burps are delicious.

d: special occasion sipper based on abv and how filling it is, but based on taste alone I could guzzle this incredible elixir.

i am a huge fan of the "belgian stout" genre,,, this is an awesome example.

01-19-2008 04:33:59 | More by guzzle211
Photo of doboy
doboy

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +23.2%

This stout is one of the best I've had. I expected less body from a wheat Stout but was pleasently surprised.

Pours a black as night brew with a nice tan head that remains throughout the whole beer ( this one was one to savor, not gulp!). The mouthfeel was very nice and filling. Nice dark malty overtones with a slight bittering on the back end.

It may have been too cold when I started, but got better as the afternoon passed. Definately one to keep on hand in the beer fridge for a special occasion!

01-14-2008 02:12:34 | More by doboy
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

01-13-2008 21:36:28 | More by tempest
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%

Very dark brown body with an energetic, effervescent, rocky, light cocoa brown head. Very good lacing. Strong pine and resin hop notes on the nose, with bitter baking chocolate, roasted coffee, Scotch tape, and hints of dark fruits. Roasted malts and tinny, herbal hop bitterness up front. Peaty, smoky, and slightly meaty malts mix with smooth dark chocolate and dark fruit richness. Roasted coffee and herbal hops pick up in a bitter, smoky finish. Medium-full body with a very lively, rocky feel. Maybe a bit too rocky and effervescent for the style.

01-13-2008 03:30:53 | More by alexgash
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours black with ginormous brown head that just won't dissipate.

Aroma is cocoa & very dark chocolate.

On the palate this is a roasty-monster, again with semi-sweet dark chocolate and medium to full bodied.

Into the finish the hops come out to somewhat balance.

01-13-2008 01:18:15 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of LittleBreeze
LittleBreeze

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Best before May 2010
What makes this one extreme? The use of wheat?

The aroma is an inviting mixture of the flavors. Burnt sugar, vanilla, chocolate....bitter finish.
Mouthfeel reminds me more of a porter than RIS. The initial thinness was a surprise. The beer easily over came that.
Overall a very nice RIS. Not as bold and rich as my favorites of this style. It seems to lack depth.

01-05-2008 22:13:50 | More by LittleBreeze
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

01-01-2008 01:34:07 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

This came into City Wide in South Bend recently so i grabbed a bottle. Pours completely black, like fresh crude. Large, imposing light brown head. Looks terrific. Odor is of roasted grains, tangy hops, chocolate, nutmeg and some alcohol. Taste is a mixture of flavors. It's clearly a stout, with a heavy roasted, almost burnt, malt character. Some dark chocolate and nougat too. The wheat gives it a really interesting tanginess and a little fruit flavor as if it had been aged but without losing the nice bitterness of the hops as aged beers are wont to do. Thick and creamy, full bodied. A beer that keeps me interested. I like that.

12-29-2007 21:08:23 | More by aforbes10
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -12.9%

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head fades ever-so slowly, with heavy, chunky lacing. Aroma is slightly sour with ample alcohol presence. Taste is lightly of dark grains upfront, heads towards the alcohol in the middle, and then swings partially back towards hearty roastiness again. Aftertaste is mostly the alcohol. Mouthfeel is astonishingly thin, and drinking is average-ish. Not what I was expecting at all. Hardly noted any wheat character, must have been shouted down by the darkness.

12-27-2007 03:02:39 | More by ppoitras
Photo of sloejams
sloejams

California

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%

This is my first venture into the world of Haandbryggeriet. Came across this at the world's best beer 7-11, located in Highland Park area of Los Angeles.

I poured this into a tulip glass, the color was motor oil though seemingly a little less viscous. The aroma was coffee, roasted malts and a touch of smokiness. The flavor came as almost a cross between a RIS and a strong porter. The malts were foremost with the smokiness in the finish. Despite the 8.5% ABV it went down like less potent porter. Fine beer.

12-26-2007 19:55:22 | More by sloejams
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

I had heard alot about these Haand brews from Norway so I was quick to grab this over last weekend when given the chance.Poured into an imperial pint glass a ddep oil color I mean pitch black no light at all showing thru a large blooming mocha colored head atop much larger than I expect as even with a relatively gentle pour it nearly went over the top.A good mix of heavily roasted malt,wood, and dark fruit almost like a chocolate covered raisin a lingering nuttiness appeared as well just alot of stuff going on there.Really not as full bodied as I would have imagined and a little prickly but not overly obtrusive,flavors start out highly roasted with some bitter unsweetened chocolate rounding into a woody and raisin like flavor in the finish with a light leafy hop presence.A solid impy stout it has alot of complexity mostly in the aromas.

12-13-2007 13:06:55 | More by oberon
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4.85/5  rDev +22.5%

I'm giving this beer high marks because the brewery was really on top of the game with this one. Poured a coal black, with a beautiful mocha-colored head. Aroma of latte coffee. Dense roasted malt flavor, with no oxidized or off-notes whatsoever. Rich flavor, that was not overwhelming or cloying. Finished up surprisingly clean, with some lingering bitterness. One of the best balanced RIS I've run accross.

12-05-2007 22:28:19 | More by Brent
Photo of YonderWanderer
YonderWanderer

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Pours a deep black with a three-finger head of pillowy, creamy foam. It slowly collapses in on itself, without leaving much lacing.

S: Chocolate, coffee, and some sweetness blended together. Very nice.

T: Very interesting and very tasty - lots of chocolate in this one, mixed with some hints of coffee. The wheat gives it an interesting twist on a normal stout as well in regards to the flavor. Nicely done.

M: Smooth, without being too syrupy. Almost a bit lighter than I'd expect.

D: This is a very drinkable stout, despite the higher ABV. Since the alcohol is so well-hidden, this one goes down smooth and easy.

12-05-2007 03:21:25 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of kaimcm
kaimcm

California

4.43/5  rDev +11.9%

16.9oz bottle poured into a La Fin Du Monde glass. Batch # 75, marked Best For May 2010. 9%ABV. Review penned 12/2/07.

A: deep opaque body topped off with a super creamy, super fluffy head. mostly lots of tiny bubbles but a few big ones abound. reminscent of some witches cauldron. dark horizon eh? no lacing. one of the best looking beers Ive seen in a while.

S: Smells like a bakery or cafe in the morning. lots of sugar, chocolate, coffee, pastry grain. a bit of alcohol and some alcohol soaked fruits.

T/M: The wheat is readily apparent in the mouthfeel and flavor up front. Kudos to Haand for retaining the guts of this beer in what is a unique and adventurous "style". Soft but full bodied, the grains wash up front followed by the bakery. All that coffee and chocolate hits hard. Some carmelized sugar follows, a bit of twang from a subtle acidity I actually quite enjoy. A tannic husky-ness follows and the finishes lingers a bit drying. Sugar on the teeth and warmth in the belly this one begs for more. Mouthfeel throughout is rich and creamy.

D: For 9%ABV and the hefty price tag, this goes down way too easy. Would love to enjoy regularly.

Thank god for this beer, or more appropriately, thank the Norwegians! Im am enjoying every drop of this. Its been a while since a new beer really made me take a step back and Im glad it was this one. Cheers to HaandBryggeriet for this beer and the Sheltons for bringing it in. Now, if only we can get more of it. Label says "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout"...sillyness aside, this beer kicks ass. Seek out. Now.

12-03-2007 03:31:51 | More by kaimcm
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.48/5  rDev -12.1%

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).

11-24-2007 03:44:16 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Batch # 73 Brewed : Apr. '07 Best Before : Apr. '10

A: Sneaks into the glass a pure pitch black. Thick and creamy 2 finger head the color of wheat toast.

S: Incredible aromas of dark chocolate, ripe plums, molassas, rum raisin bread, spicy yeast, pepper, cherry, and brown sugar.

T: Bitter dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted wheat dominate the flavors here. Also found were sweet and spicy dark fruit, chocolate covered cherries, rum soaked raisins, pepper, and spices.

M: Silky smooth with barely a hint of alcohol heat. Bitter roasted goodness with a finish that lasts forever.

D: I can't believe this is 9% abv. I had to search hard to find even the tiniest hint of alcohol presence. This is phenominal!

11-20-2007 01:58:15 | More by GbVDave
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a nice dark black color with a rich and bubbly light brown chocolate head that billows up to 4", and slowly dies down to leave a thin layer on top. Smell is of black licorice, wheat and spices with a hoppiness. Taste is a smoky character with a hop back. A warming alcohol presence with a smooth and creamy mouthfeeling. Not your typical RIS, reminds me more of a porter, like the Alaska Smoked Porter.

11-16-2007 04:59:23 | More by genog
Photo of Bobikel
Bobikel

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +3%

Appearance - Completly black with a nice chocolate colored head. Retention is quite impressive for 9% ABV. Lacing is also quite nice. Really this is just fun to look at.

Smell - Roasty and yeasty, with a little soapy funk.Hops are mild, as is malt/wheat.

Taste - Ah.... flavor central... Like hoppy coffee. A little spicy, but fullyu roasted with a generous hop backbone. Very fast to dry across the palate. Some dark fruits, and mild tobbacco?

Mouthfeel - Supprisingly thin and slippery. With a carbonation that sends deep pricks into the tongue, the cheeks, and the roof of the mouth, without gushing upon opening.

Drinkability - Not for the craft amateur. Full and robust. A very slow sipper indeed.

11-15-2007 04:13:20 | More by Bobikel
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Batch #73, Brewed April '07. Too bad not all brewers give you brewing and/or bottling date. Would love to see more of that. Anyway, this pours out like oil, forming a toasted and very brown head, atop a ridiculously black liquid. It's like looking into the eye of the monster of the abyss...with chocolate on top!

Smells like toasted marshmallow, coffee, and steamed milk with just a touch of alcohol providing some edge.

Oooh...big coffee flavors, nice and roasty toasty, hints of baking chocolate, milk, and a hugely warming glow from the alcohol, which is polite and not at all overpowering. Bitter nut-like finish.

Mouthfeel is buoyant and tingly, certainly chewy enough but probably could've been thicker and weightier, considering the style and flavors.

Not the smoothest RIS out there, it's got a slight brashness about it (maybe the wheat?), but it doesn't seem to care...it's really good just for what it is, and if the price weren't so high ($7.99) and if it were more accessible, I'd love to grab more and see how they age. Black, bold and Norwegian...methinks it's time to listen to some Darkthrone.

11-15-2007 00:22:45 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

11-14-2007 23:03:51 | More by Gavage
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%

The beer pours from the 500ml bottle an onyx color, the head a magnificent crown of creamy chocolate brown, as it evaporates every so slowly, the lace forms a sticky thick sheet to cover the glass. Nose rich in sweet roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and a slight floral aroma also noticed, earthy and delightful to see and smell. Start has a pronounced malt presence, sweet and the hops and roasted grain add a nice bitter bite at the back, top is rich and full to the palate. Finish is merciful in its acidity, the hops sturdy in their spiciness; maybe a touch of alcohol bitterness, very dry and the aftertaste clings mightily to the palate, a fine addition to the style.

11-13-2007 23:54:01 | More by Gusler
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +8.6%

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

500ml bottle. "double extreme imperial wheat stout". 9%abv.

pours dark brown, not quite black, with a huge fluffy light brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is interesting. lots of fruit initially - pineapple predominantly, with some date and prune. bit of baltic sourness. milk chocolate. light caramel sweetness. white bread. crackers. hint of alcohol.

taste is great. dark and milk chocolate. bit of coffee. date and raisin. bit of pineapple again. touch of sourness. light caramel sweetness. toasted multigrain bread.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body. medium carbonation level feels a touch high.

drinkability is good. this is a really interesting beer, with elements of a stout, baltic porter, and a dark wheat like aventinus. the alcohol is hidden very well. it's certainly unique. great stuff.

11-12-2007 20:41:15 | More by grub
Photo of ewright
ewright

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Picked up a 500 mL bottle from the Whole Foods in Cary NC. The label on the side said batch 73, which I've seen reviewed here before. I started off with the beer at refrigrerator temperatures... 40F or so. I then spent most of the next hour sampling it as it warmed up.

Poured most of the beer into a Chimay chalice, creating a generous 2 finger head.

This beer is virtually pitch black, even when held up to a 60 W bulb.

I smell some dark fruitiness amid stronger aromas of chocolate and leather. There's also a bit of smokiness.

The taste was totally underwhelming and harsh at 40F. However, as the beer has warmed up, I have warmed up to it. At closer to 60F, there is a strong cocoa flavor up front, with some bitterness and alcohol warming in the back of the mouth. In fact, the alcohol aftertaste detracts from the mouthfeel somewhat.

I'm not a huge wheat beer fan, so I'm not seeing what the wheat is contributing to this beer. It tastes similar to a chocolate stout I made myself about a year ago.

Overall, it's definitely something to try, especially if you're a fan of dark beers. Good, but not great. Give me an Old Rasputin instead.

PS The label is AWESOME... definitely a case of the label catching my eye.

10-24-2007 23:05:29 | More by ewright
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
89 out of 100 based on 450 ratings.