Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

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Dark ForceDark Force

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very good

307 Reviews

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Reviews: 307
Hads: 471
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 32
Gots: 47 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

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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Reviews: 307 | Hads: 471
Photo of genog
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (408 characters)

Photo of Bobikel
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (707 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,115 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (776 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (672 characters)

Photo of grub
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (880 characters)

Photo of ewright
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,226 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An Imperial Stout from Norway brewed with wheat, I'm in. Poured in to my new Ommegang goblet a cool black color, with a head that looked rather dark at first, but upon settling, looked more white/tan. The heading also held up very well, clinging to the sides of the glass. Smell brought on some black burnt coffee beans, perhaps some dark unsweetened chocolate, and a very smoky presence.Taste is very very roasted and smoky, more so than I was expecting. Definitely has coffee flavors, and a very earthy personality. The wheat on this brew was not all that prevalent, however I suspect that the other strong tastes mask it. Mouthfeel is pretty damn big on this brew. Alcohol is also well hidden, which is a good thing considering all of the other flavors. This is a most interesting and enjoyable stout from this brewery, which until now I had not heard of. If I see more of their beers at the store, I will definitely be picking some up. Cheers (946 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a weizen glass)
Described as a Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout on the bottle
A-This beer has an opaque black body with a strong carbonation of micro-bubbles that glide up the sides of the glass. The super thick head of tan sticks to the glass after each sip and last for the full beer.

S- The smell of white wheat and fresh white paper has a yeasty note and a burnt marshmallow. There were some dark black roasted malt notes that come through as the beer warms.

T- The taste of dark burnt flavor has a soft wheat dough note followed by a black coffee malt flavor and bitterness that lingers. There are notes of light smoke and tar notes. There is a nice bubble gum note that is dry and soft adding a nice twist to the black malt. There are also some fruity dry prunes notes and yeasty notes that come through as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish. There is no alcohol heat until the beer warms and in boost the bitter finish nicely.

D- This beer has a wonderful robust big black malt flavor with a nice twist of wheat beer flavors. This does have the black roasted flavor to qualify as a double imperial stout. I bet some age might as a nice twist to this. (1,225 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark deep hue of black, you could pass it off as a huge glass of espresso with its perfectly smooth frothy head. The head dies down to a nice collar with an island in the middle.

S: I like my stouts to be bigger and bolder in the nose than this one. That being said what I was able to pick up was very nice. It is very deep and earthy in a faint sort of way. It is pretty smoked. I detect burnt coffee, over caramelized brown sugar, and of course dark Belgian chocolate. There is a touch of fruit in there as well, dark fruit like raisins or figs with a touch of booze.

T: I really like this one. It's a very deep dark stout. Dark fire roasted espresso leads the way. It has a Smokey touch. The chocolate is there in moderation as is a hint of cigar tobacco. It's a very nice tasting stout that hides it’s ABV well, it is rather enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth and very creamy.

D: Rather enjoyable. Like most RIS it's a one bottle beer, but I must say it’s a rather enjoyable bottle.

Overall: There are better RIS' out there for the price ($10 a bottle) but this one is very nice. It has a big dark Smokey taste that is very inviting. It is a very complex beer that was rather enjoyable. The strange thing is its double extreme wheat stout (or so the label says). I don't know how they made such a big beer from wheat but they pulled it off nicely.

Haand Bryggeriet claims to be a small scale operation that brews from a strange country far far away (Norway). There are Star Wars references all over the bottle one of which is they boldly go where no brewery has gone before. If this RIS is made with wheat I have to agree. It's a unique beer that is worth seeking out. May Haand Bryggeriet live long and prosper... wait that's the wrong 80's cheesy sci-fi show. Ok I got it, May the force be with them... the dark force that is! (1,863 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Batch #74)

Appearance: Pours a black body with garnet-hued edges and an immense, tan-colored head.

Smell: An aroma truly immersed in dark, roasted malts. Strong notes of everything from French Roast coffee to unsweetened chocolate to leather to anise to the smokey, scorched remains of a burnt down wooden structure. Pushing my nose past all that, there's even a handful of blueberries in there.

Taste: A rich, hearty bittersweet chocolate flavor starts things off, followed by dark roasted coffee. The moderate sweetness is always kept in check by the soul-crushing roastiness. Mellow blueberry fruitiness. A burnt, ashen quality begins the build. Herbaceous hops, along with anise, tobacco, and a teaspoon of grappa lurk in the long, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Sharply carbonated.

Drinkability: An impressive, very well-crafted beer that's sure to please! (883 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Will pour a five+ finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Total black color. Light medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Semi-sweet chocolate nose. Flavor is a sweet biting chocolate with a bakers chocolate finish. Wheat is hidden but there is a lot of yeast left in bottle. $8.40 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME. (357 characters)

Photo of HopGoblin
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured extremely dark with a brownish tan head. First smell off the top is that of a wine like character, but that pleasant wine-like sour smell quickly fades away and get a little funky.
Taste is that of a good cup of black coffee. Bright, sharp and acidic with the flavors of the roated malts coming through. Finishes a little thick with just the acidity lingering in the mouth. (381 characters)

Photo of beerking1
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark and mysterious. Labeled as a "Imperial Wheat Stout" beer, this one demands attention! Pitch black color, topped with a very dark tan, thick head.
Aroma is a little faint, but the flavor makes up for it. Strong roasted and black flavors, with some mild notes of wheat beer backing them up. Tail is all roast and charcoal, lingering long but very pleasant. (365 characters)

Photo of rallison
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one sounded incredibly interesting, so I had to order some from Liquid Solutions (having never seen it in Southern California).

Pours a murky black color with a nice 1 finger creamy tan head. This eventually dies to a nice covering.

First smell is very, very interesting. What is this - dark fruits? Molasses? Burnt sugar? Port? Not what I was expecting, but very welcome!

Taste is full of dark fruits and port wine. The smells definitely show up in the taste, along with a good bit of chocolate and roasted coffee. There is a wheat background as well that integrates nicely into the dark fruit flavors. Very unique taste - I like it.

Mouthfeel is very rich with a truly velvety creaminess. Lovely.

Drinkability, for what it is, is very good.

Highly recommended. A truly unique beer, and a style I wouldn't mind seeing more of. You owe it to yourself to try this beer. (882 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Basically pure black with two fingers of tan head. Very little amber highlights around the edge of the glass. Nose is some alcohol, spicy nose, roasted malt. Fairly mild sourness. Overall fairly light aromas for an RIS. Taste is full roasted malt. Very light raisins, and strong chocolate. Some spicy hops as well. Good amount of sourness in the middle, possibly from the wheat that goes into this one. Light breadiness that goes along with the roasted malt. Body is fairly full, with solid carbonation. This one was pretty good, although not great. Maybe could have been listed as a double, cause doesn't really seem to have an RIS flavor. Maybe it's the wheat the throws it off. In any case, not bad, although definitely not one of my preferred RISs. (752 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,274 characters)

Photo of rodrot
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Now this sounds like an interesting one for sure. A "Double Extreme Wheat" stout. I thought American brewers were the only ones coming up with such "extreme" styles of beer. I couldn't pass it up, however, because I'd never had a stout brewed with wheat malt and to my knowledge never had a beer from Norway either. The beer poured as black as a moonless night with a massive tan colored head. I could see a nice layer of caked sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma was quite roasty and coffeeish, with some hints of licorice wafting in my nose. Taste was espresso, burnt currants and roasted malts along with a good bit of alcoholic warmth. Quite rich and warming. Too bad it's hot as hell outside. This beer would make an excellent winter warmer during the colder months. Perhaps a beer tour of Norwegian brews is in order? (831 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Although this beer is listed as 8.5% abv, my bottle clearly states that this is a 9% abv. The label is adorned with dark colors of purple and blue. There is also the imprint of a hand around the label, showing how one should grab the bottle from the shelf. I dont know what a "Double Extrem Imperial Wheat Stout" is, but this is the only one in the world so I am excited.

Dispenses from the 16.9oz bottle an opaque black with a huge head. The head seems a bit thin but as it dissipates, it fills out a bit becomes more full. It sure has the head of a wheat. Nice lacing as well.

Aromas were spicy and yeasty and a little sour. A touch of chocolate and plenty of dark roasted grains. Some raisiny smells as well, but overall, a little disappointed.

Flavors of a double stout. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and plenty of coffee flavors as well. Alcohol is niticeable but isnt too incapacitating. Sweet and slightly syrupy.

Sticky on the palate and sweet and thick. This one isnt too bad I suppose. I doubt I will have this one again but who knows. Maybe the name could be shortened a bit so as not to be so confusing. Worth a shot. (1,136 characters)

Photo of dgallina
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle with extra label showing bottled in May 2007 and best-before May 2011. Clever and attractive graphic design.

Pours into the Duvel tulip completely opaque thick black with a chunky brown head that doesn't go away. The aroma suggests slightly smoky coffee and chocolate malts with dark fruit at the edges. Tastes a bit thin at first, but develops strong black coffee and bitter chocolate in the center. Finishes with lots of burnt toast and brown sugar. Builds a fruity raw alcohol burn as more of it reaches your stomach and warms. The medium to thick mouth-feel is aggressively carbonated for a stout, has a bit of unnecessary chunkiness from the wheat and yeast. A decent change of pace, though not up to the best stouts. (758 characters)

Photo of MrBen
4.68/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Craft beer? in Norway? Hell yes.

I discovered a bottle of this fine brew on the shelf at one of my favorite shops today. This is a heavy beer that is superbly drinkable. It throws a serious head, even after a careful pour. Light tan head, very stable, and with fair lacing. A somewhat traditional profile of an Imperial, but with a silky and coating mouthfeel, as well as a complex group of flavors. It was so very, very easy to consume. I also appreciated the long finish. Excellent beer! (490 characters)

Photo of andrewm190
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good, solid beer. bottle has a brewed on and best before date. This is my first from this brewery.

It pours very nice, good amount of head, decent retention. The color is black, when held to the light only a slight amount of light even gets through.

I find the smell to be somewhat disagreeable. One certainly gets the aroma of chocolate, and then of roasted malts, which I like, but the more I sniff it the more I get a rough alcohol smell. I don't think its soap from the glass, but I can't quite account for it; because the taste gives no indication of it.

The taste is great. I think the roasted malts are the most present, but they are well balanced with chocolate, maybe with a little bit of something spicy in there as well. Some berries? something creamy? The aftertaste leaves me a little unsure of what it is, but not disappointed. The malts remain, but otherwise it is a fairly clean, but also very dry aftertaste.

Good mouthfeel, a little more crisp than I would have thought, but not very much. I like the balance, this is a very drinkable beer. (1,072 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1pt, .9 fl oz bottle acquired in Chicago. Awesome info label on the side states Batch 73, 9% abv, brewed Apr. 2007, best before Apr. 2010. My first brew from HaandBryggeriet pours into my glass a deep, brooding slick black with a healthy inch of creamy tan foam on top that has good staying power. No light shall pass through this one. Aromas start with creamy, roasted dark malts. A lightly smoky, burnt twist with some cocoa undertones. The graininess from the wheat gets through a bit as well. Mellow coffee with a hint of hops....licorice?

First sip brings a smooth, dark roasty malt upfront. Segues into a somewhat burnt, smoky taste. Light notes of cocoa and some burnt coffee move in. The wheat creates a nice crisp, slightly grainy aspect to the brew. Light hops on the way down, it finishes a bit dry. An interesting imperial stout, I just dunno if the wheat works that well. I look forward to more beers from these guys.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dense with a nice chewy aspect. Good level of carbonation. This is a nice brew that does not become overbearing at all. I'm thinking the wheat cuts through a bit and offer easier drinkability. Overall, I found this to be a tasty brew and one of my first from Norway. The price tag will keep me away except on special occasions though. (1,302 characters)

Photo of CWiggins
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first saw this beer at Peace Street Market in Raleigh; since buying that bottle a week ago, I've now seen it as Sam's Quik Stop in Durham as well. When I bought the bottle at Peace Street, I assumed it was something of a rare find. Well, it's still the first Norwegian beer I've held in my hands!

The label describes the brew as a "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout." I didn't know stouts could be made with wheat.

It pours a very dark brown--nearly black--into my pint glass. It's thick, as is the custom with Russian Imperial Stouts. The tan head was nearly two-fingers thick and hung around for about half the duration of the beer's life. (In my possession, that's about an hour for a beer of this potency!) Malt aromas dominate the air, while some dark sugars and alcohol take up the rest of the space. There's also a trace of smoke, but it's not enough to fear. The flavor is strong; mostly of chocolate and coffee, with some dark fruit and burnt sugar flavors. Very interesting. The alcohol is definitely present, making this one a sipper.

I'm pretty impressed, but I must admit I didn't taste any wheat at all. Should I have? Hmm. As far as Russian Imperial Stouts go, this is a fine one, but there are several others not as expensive that are as good and better. (1,283 characters)

Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
89 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.