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Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Dark ForceDark Force

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

449 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
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: 449 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Served on-tap at the Brass Rail.

A: The stout is black, just as I'd expect. Why waste more words when one works quite well? The head, nearly a finger on pour, was quick to disappear with no lacing left behind.

S: The nose is rich with chocolate and burnt bread but it doesn't come across as heavy. I'm gonna chalk that lack of heaviness up to the wheat, even though there is no indication that wheat is involved.

T: More rich roasted flavors abound although the wheat makes it presence known more forcefully. Chocolate and coffee, burnt and smoked grains all drive a bold stout flavor that is cut in half by the wheat. The tartness associated with weizens doesn't linger around, having been enveloped by the dark malts. Instead, the wheat dials back the intensity of the stout, relaxing it without leaving an imprint.

M: A subdued stout, rich but not too powerful. I like the wheat and how it controls the flavor without adding its normal flourish.

D: A formidable stout that I happen to like. Nice to finally try it on tap.

05-28-2010 12:43:03 | More by akorsak
Photo of jikvig
jikvig

Norway

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%

This force IS dark! With a huge head, this liquid is black as you can get it!

On the nose alot of maltsaroma, chocolate, coffe even some fresh baked pasteries.

It would seem that with that dark colour you would get a heavy, heavy beer, but it´s actually quite fresh and light. The bitternes is really well balanced, and it´s precent for minutes!

Overall a good beer and another proof how good the "big" microbreweries in Norway have gotten. A good, well-balanced stout, and absolutely worth a try!

05-22-2010 16:12:43 | More by jikvig
Photo of shortysdude285
shortysdude285

California

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours dark, even for a RIS. Thin brown head, but lacing is pretty good. Smells strong and complex. Many different flavors and a good amount of hops on top of that. Taste is wonderful. Malt and hops are quite pronounced, with a unique taste that sets it apart from many stouts I've had before. Had a 500ml bottle and enjoyed it, another great beer from HaandBryggeriet

05-11-2010 00:53:23 | More by shortysdude285
Photo of slaintemhor
slaintemhor

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

Had an '07 bottle of this in Sept. '09. The colour was as black as a moonless night and it had no head at all. The aroma was sweet and very malty with hints of dark Dutch chocolate. On the palate, there was plenty of roasted malt, dark chocolate, anise, wet earth, charred meat, and despite a slightly thin mouthfeel it had a rahter coating finish.

05-07-2010 05:36:24 | More by slaintemhor
Photo of irishking1977
irishking1977

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

On tap at a local Uno's. Listed as a dark wheat stout. Interesting.

A: Ominous, black liquid with a small, one finger head and moderate lacing.

S: Moderate mildly sweet chocolate. Scant aroma of alcohol.

T: Wow. Sweet, chalky, malty goodness. Chocolate and caramel seem to come through most prominently. Alcohol is more hidden then perceived through the aromas of the beer. Little bitterness, though the finish is more chalky than bitter.

M: Thick and rich, but not as much so as it would appear based on this one's appearance. Moderately chewy and chalky, but not overwhelming, so that you want to take sip after sip.

D: Better than average, especially for a stout. One of the better stouts I have had, and more flavorful as well. More complex, as most basic stouts seem to be quite dry and based on basic chalky, and bitter chocolately maltiness.

04-30-2010 00:58:51 | More by irishking1977
Photo of ipaequalslove
ipaequalslove

New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%

Bought in a bottle, in the Vinomonopolet in Stavanger, Norway.

First,
I am so happy and supportive of HaandBryggeriet, and the other "big" microbrewery in Norway that I know of, Nogne Ø. The beer culture in Norway is nothing like other countries; Belgium, the craft market in the US, the Germans, etc. Most Norwegian beer is light and bland. So its good that these micros are trying to change that.

(See this video for the collaboration between Stone and Nogne Ø...http://vimeo.com/channels/ssatp#9717713)

...but I digress.

A: Pours a thick head, dark and brown and beautiful. Syrup-y and dense.

S: Licorice, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and brown sugar. Malt-y, molasses...I smell a little bit of cherry, too.

T: Heavy with the chocolate and brown sugar, less so with the coffee and vanilla, and just a hint of the licorice and cherry. But very well rounded, the alcohol taste is only present in the slightest.

M: Soft, chewy, and pillowy. Smooth and well rounded.

D: Would definitely drink again!

04-23-2010 18:10:54 | More by ipaequalslove
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%

On tap at Max's today.

Dark force pours a blackish brown color with OK at best head retention, and not much lacing. However, after this unimpressive start, things got much better.

On the nose I get coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and licorise. Something about the ingredients from this brewery's beers, but I often times get a considerable amount of licorise or anise. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose, except there's a significant amount of smoke as well. It imparts almost a bacon-like element to this beer, that normally would be great. However, along with the sweet anise/licorise flavor, it's just a bit odd. Otherwise, I get some noticeable coffee and dark chocolate, as well as some noticeable alcohol. The finish dries out just a bit at the end. Mouthfeel is pretty decent, and is fairly full with a long finish. Drinkability isn't bad, but the combination of sweetness, licorise and noticeable alcohol make this beer very much a sipper.

Interesting beer, but one I'm not sure I need to try again any time soon.

04-09-2010 22:47:10 | More by John_M
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

On tap at Capone's. A wheat RIS...hmmm....let's see how this works out.

A-Deep, dark black with a thick brown head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice swaths of lace.

S-Deep, roasted malts with backing notes of dark chocolate, hint of espresso and fruitiness from dark cherry and plums with a touch of earthy hops .

T-Assertive up front deep, dark, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Fruit and earthy hop notes are secondary in support but come through nicely on the backside.

M-Medium-heavy body, rich, full bodied and quite smooth. Very luscious, creamy and nearly chewy.

D-I have never had much from this brewery and with this brew I will certainly be willing to try more. A very well done, rich and flavourful beer. Sure the wheat malt angle may be a bit gimmicky but they make it work well. Nicely done for sure!

04-07-2010 12:49:34 | More by Deuane
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

03-17-2010 22:37:46 | More by jwc215
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%

Loosest head imaginable, all big bubbles of less than a half finger's depth, quite dark brown, no real retention, lacing achieves little traction. As with so many others, it is black. Black is the absence of color. The nose is much more intriguing, shows a sour lactose dimension which along with the as-advertised wheat and also multi-grain bread ably balance out the plum/prune, cherry, grape fruit along with the nutmeg spice, chocolate, brazil nut elements, the citrus is there but hard to peg as any specific scent, what it does best is keep you off balance and guessing. Full-bodied, monolithic to the point of losing your interest, creamed coffee, butterscotch, vanilla bean, chocolate covered malt balls do the vast majority of the work. Plum, grape, apricot fruit don't really sweeten things, just add diversity. The grain or wheat component mostly swallowed into the sweetness here, more like cereal or granola than anything else. Light pink grapefruit shades. Hardly notice the carbonation, can't seem to get out from under the overall weight. Smokier finish provides palate relief. A bit too big for its own good.

03-16-2010 00:48:04 | More by farrago
Photo of Flashsp2
Flashsp2

New Mexico

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%

Haand Bryggeriet dark force (Imperial Wheat Stout)

Poured from a half liter bottle into a big weizen glass

Very fluffy light brown head, and a dark brown body. Wasn't sure whether or not to stir and pour like a traditional wheat, so I went ahead and did it anyway. Leaves some interesting looking creamy streaking down the inside of the glass, along with some chunky yeasty bits on the bottom. Head thins down to a nice top layer, but no lacing to be seen.

Aroma is an odd combination of roasty stout and some clove and raw wheat. Some thinned out molasses, and something that reminds me of Aventinus. Can't put my finger on it, but it's a very nice aroma. As it warms the molasses comes on a bit stronger, and the raw wheat makes a bigger presence as well.

Taste is very big, lots of roasty malt (umm, wheat) and dark coffee. Some dark fruitiness in there as well, but just very, very roasty. A faint sourness in there, reminiscent of a hefe, and then a nice bitter from the roastiness.

Mouthfeel is actually a little thin and effervescent when you consider it is an imperial stout; then you remember it's a wheat and the characteristics are on point. Very easy to drink, and the elevated ABV is pretty well hidden, only providing a bit of warmth as the temp comes up.

All around a very interesting beer, and it's really cool to see brewer's pushing the limits of what a certain style is supposed to be. Would definitely drink this often, and provide it the those who have never enjoyed such an intriguing beer.

03-15-2010 22:00:09 | More by Flashsp2
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -8.9%

A 2008 bottle.

A: Pours a dark black, with some brown around the edges. A tan head rises to two fingers, but recedes in a second. Little lace.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and sweet vanilla. Cookie dough. Some yeast as well. Lots of layers in the nose.
T: Roasted malt with some slightly chalky and bitter chocolate. A bit astringent and acrid. Bread/biscuit and yeast.
M/D: Medium carbonation, but a little thin and water. Not hard to drink, but one bottle is more than enough.

Interesting, and worth a try if you see it. A solid offering, but there are other RIS I will seek out in the future.

03-07-2010 06:17:58 | More by champ103
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

22 oz. Batch #217 brewed on: 10/4/09

Yep, totally black with a massive, fuzzy, bubbly dark brown head that dissipates at high speed. Heavy looking stuff but also very lively. The head looks just like a Belgian ale with a gyser-like effect right in the middle that keeps thing zippy with look and feel.

The aroma is very complex with wet, summer grass,, chocolate covered graham cracker's, dry, dark wheat, the aroma of the inside of the pack of SunMaide raisins with a sugar coating. Slightly tangy heat buzz with overly ripe berries and juicy fruits.

A flat and unsweetend chocolate flavor in the malt is the most obvious, roastie nuts, dry dark wheat with a full feel but very lively, it's much like a Belgian stout really in most ways. slightly bitter and very dry hops make it earthy and gives a nice balance to the really heady malt. A chalky, dry feel lingers until the heat breaks things up and takes in a new direction. As it warms gentle, dark fruits pop out. Good complexity but evened out and made approachable by the nice wheat and lively belgian-yeast like effects. A smokey heat rides in and is one of the most interesting apects of this brew, the malt could use a bit of sweetness to balance the many earthy notes.

We knew they could ski in norway and now we now they brew to!

02-26-2010 22:03:28 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -11.9%

Batch No 144, Bottled March 2008

Appearance - pours a dark, Coke-like caramel brown. Opaque in the glass, a few fingers of dark mocha foam doesn't look real thick, and melts away pretty quickly with no lace.

Aroma - some decent roast to the malt, but its graininess outsmells its roast. A light milk chocolate after setup. Okay but neither imperial nor Russian.

Taste - good roastiness in the opening swallow. Grains are mildly sweet, the roast flavors are strong and tasty. Not real bitter, but it is two years old. Pleasant swallow shows some bitter chocolate with the palate drying. One of those in-betweeners for the 3.5 or 4.0 rating, but I'll give it a nod.

Mouthfeel - thin for the style and overcarbonated IMO. Light smoothness but misses the mark on the essential facets of the style.

Drinkability - it's a tasty stout for sure. Kind of a pretender in the RIS category but I suppose it is partially compromised by the imperial wheat part of the name. The taste to me fits the Baltic Porter category best. I'd have it again.

02-25-2010 04:58:21 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with mild amounts of dark chocolate and milder amounts of dark fruits - plums and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the flavors are more assertive than the aromas. Strong roasted malt flavors up front with light hints of char are joined shortly by smooth dark chocolate flavors. Near the end of the sip hints of dark fruit flavors enter into things but fade out before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I initially had this rated higher as I thought it was a beer on the lower end of the ABV spectrum and was impressed with the amount of flavor and smoothness packed into what I thought was a smaller package. Still, this is another good beer from a brewery I'm beginning to be a big fan of. Worth a shot.

02-23-2010 23:08:42 | More by glid02
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%

2008 Bottle, Batch 137, poured into a tulip glass. Trying to pick up a different bottle of HaandBryggeriet beer each time I visit CBX.

A - Pours opaque black with a vibrant, fizzy, dark brown head that sizzles away into a globby film.

S - Chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, dark fruit. Some aspects of a Belgian quad in here, to my nostrils anyway.

T - Lots of levels of chocolate deliciousness; cocoa, syrup, bitter dark chocolate. Some roasted malt, but nothing smokey. Some dark fruits. Really alcoholic finish.

M - Really fizzy, uniquely active for a RIS, and it really goes well with the hints of sourness that are evident in the flavor profile.

02-18-2010 02:39:44 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of Wegbier
Wegbier

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

cant mess with a double extreme wheat stout. if i understand right this beer is batch 93 from Anno 2007, cool to find such an old bottle.
this beer is pitch black
and it keeps a stubborn mocha head with nearly no lacing. actual signs of carbonation.

smells faintly of coffee and dark chocolate. licorice

tastes of the lightest amount of coffee and then dark chocolate next some licorice. finishes like chocolate cake

mmm full mouth with light to medium carbonation and finishes clean

9% ABV is light these days for an RIS but this is very drinkable.
would buy again but with the wheat in there i wish it had a bigger presence.

02-03-2010 04:49:35 | More by Wegbier
Photo of JohnnyP3
JohnnyP3

Alaska

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

Batch number 137, poured into an imperial pint glass from a bottle. Says it is the only imperial wheat stout in the universe. No argument from me, as I've never seen anything similar.

A: Pours dark as night, with a substantial tan, creamy looking head. Not too much in the way of lacing. Looks like a RIS.

S: Chocolate galore. Dark chocolate, cocoa, baker's chocolate, and some hints of dark fruits, like plums. Very inviting. The spectrum of smells is almost reminiscent of a glass of cabernet.

T: A roller coaster of intense flavors. Starts with dark chocolate and moves to fruit--plums and dates, perhaps. Finished off with a surprising, somewhat meaty quality (similar to beef jerky). Definitely a lot going on here. A hint of smokiness as well. Makes you want to go slow, contemplate and enjoy. A relatively high ABV beer (note that the bottle says 9% versus the 8.5% noted in the caption), but you don't really notice it too much as you work your way through the beer. Chocolate flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms some. A pleasure to sip by the fire on a cold January night!

M: Very smooth. Not quite silky, but there's a lot to chew on so to speak. Nice substance to this beer. The different tastes linger in the mouth. Not as creamy as some other stouts, but that's not a criticism. This one has it's own unique experience from the wheat--a little more of a bite to it.

D: You're not going to session this, and that's not the kind of beer it is anyways. This is a slow sipper by the fire or with a good book. Slow down and enjoy.

01-09-2010 21:15:25 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%

A huge, creamy, six-inch, dark, mahogany head turns foamy and sparkles in the light with a nice cascade action as the head builds over a jet black beer that passes no light. Patches of lace are all that is left of the once formidable head in this pint glass.

This stout opens with dark chocolate, quickly morphing in the alcoholic fumes to molasses. Hops become a more significant player shortly after first few sips.

The hops are aggressive up front, playing equal partner with roasted malts. Baker's chocolate and brown sugar are predominant players before a long, light, roasted bitterness through the finish. This one has nice balance and warms to return to dark chocolate.

A full-bodied beer, almost dense, with a silky texture and fine carbonation, this is a winner. The alcohol is a significant player, though not warming and some residual sugar is left on the lips.

Dark Force easily passes the time and will stand up to a good steak or on its own while reading.

01-07-2010 12:57:43 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Batch 90 on a white stamp on the side of the bottle. Brewed in August 07. Best by August 11. I wonder if there's a machine that does it, but I imagine they may be thrown on by hand. They don't seem to be messing around when they're talking about brewing on a small scale.

Appearance: Black as night color, as expected. A nice frothy mocha-colored head with the first pour, leaving nice lacing, but subsequent pours leave little lacing and little to speak of as far as the head sticking around.

Smell: Dark and creamy roasted malts, lots of tar and charcoal earthiness, some acrid sourness, and a bit of citrus bitterness. Definite bitter coffee with each pour also. Balanced beyond belief, and the quality shows, but it's still nothing transcendent for me.

Taste: Lots of dark fruit and chocolate and coffee on the forefront. Some earthy tar and charcoal and super dark roasted malt flavors come on also. There's also almost some tropical fruit sweetness with the nice complimentary citrus bitterness going on too. Could that be the wheat? I'm not sure it is, but I like the sharpness of the fruit balanced with the dark roasted malts and charcoal flavors, and it seems that if that's the case, the wheat's doing a cool thing here. Long lingering and balanced finished. Good and original and strong stuff.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy and silky for all that the carbonation has to take on. I didn't expect this at all, but it's great.

Drinkability: Pretty expensive stuff, as I paid around $10 for it if not more. But I figured I'd never be able to try this style again, though I could see more and more craft breweries wanting to try it. I'm not sure if this one can be outdone. Try it if you're a RIS fan. A great sipper that's extremely worth it.

12-31-2009 05:40:26 | More by asabreed
Photo of MPLS
MPLS

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

Very cool looking label IMO.

Batch NR 90 brewed August 2007 - Why can't more breweries add basic information like this? If a small brewery can smack a sticker on it with this information you have no excuses.

A: An aggressive pour yields an aggressive and dense light chocolate head that is in contrast to it's dark black body. Spotty lacing, but a very dense and bubbly head keeps it looking attractive. An inviting looking stout, but seems lackluster after drinking Darkness and Founder's Imperial Stout earlier in the night.

S: Good layer of sweetness, dark fruits and chocolate milk. Underneath the sweetness there is a little bit of soaked alcohol charcoalness and coffee.

T: Flavor is not quite as good as the nose, perhaps less complexi. At first it's really sweet, soy sauce and something close to chocolate. Midway the beer has a good coffee flavor and bitterness to match. The finish has just an element of smoke with a bit of charred nuts.

M: Now that the beer has been sitting the carbonation is really dying down. Medium bodied, certainly not a big boy of it's style.

D: Interesting to not that this is an imperial wheat stout, the sweetness of the wheat did come through, but the mouthfeel didn't have the creamy lusciousness that I would have expected from wheat. A big nose and enjoyable beer.

12-27-2009 11:06:52 | More by MPLS
Photo of Travlr
Travlr

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

A: Deep chestnut color with a medium tan head that lasts a long time, and leaves good lacing.
S: Aroma of bourbon and oak.
T: Great maltiness with notes of caramel, but not overly sweet; well-balanced. Light spice in the background.
M: Very good body.
D: Excellent brew overall, to be sought after. Best beer of the night at Churchkey.

12-18-2009 13:53:45 | More by Travlr
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -7.6%

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Batch # 73. Perhaps the only Imperial Wheat Stout in the universe, though with trends, popularity and inspiration other brewers will jump on this sub-style. Thick tan head forms almost in slow-motion, good retention, and no light seems to be able to penetrate its darkness. Aroma runs all over the place; toffee to dark cherries, milk chocolate to a hint of smoky, woody charcoal, and a duo of fruit with blood oranges and passion fruit. Smoothness runs deep, sturdy medium body. Thick layers of dry-roasted malt flavor, dry wheat grain bite, hint of dark milk chocolate and a light-roasted coffee. Soft sherry note, perhaps a hint of oxidation has grasped this beer. Very faint note of vanilla, smoky charred wood, chalky yeast and a solid bready wheat middle to end.

Lots of flavor and complexity coming from this beer. Yeah, it lives up to the beer geek hype, hunt this beer down and enjoy.

11-24-2009 02:21:42 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of ottovon
ottovon

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

A: dark with a tan head. poured out with a nice 2 finger head, and then fell.

S: smells smokey, with hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit. there is some sweetness in the nose.

T: tastes of smoke and chocolate mostly. there is some coffee in there and some toffee.

M: has a good mouthfeel. medium body and low carbonation. you can feel some warming from the alcohol, but it is hidden well for the most part.

D: a very good imperial wheat stout. i could drink this all night. especially now that its winter time.

10-27-2009 02:34:07 | More by ottovon
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.68/5  rDev +18.5%

Aroma is very distinctive - smoky and stoutish yet wheaty. It is not strong, but a good snootful had me licking my chops. It pours a deep, opaque chocolate brown, just a couple red tomcat whiskers above black, with a fairly thick and fluffy dark tan head. Flavor is very satisfying and toothsome - smoky and coffee-ish with undertones of both wheat and unsweet chocolate and nutty and molasses hints. Deliskabus! Texture is tingly and edgy yet milky smooth. This is a fabulous beer that is worth finding. Any place I can get it on tap?

09-05-2009 00:24:45 | More by Cyberkedi
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.