1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Dark Force - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Dark ForceDark Force

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

460 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 460
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 32
Gots: 41 | 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.
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Force Alström Bros
Ratings: 460 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IanSpindler
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

From holiday review notes...

A double imperial extreme wheat stout? ok... sure...

Pours a deliciously creamy, engine oil brew into my glass, with a surprisingly rich head, creamy and full finger and a half on top.

Aroma is full of fig and chocolate, roast is mild and restrained. Slightly floral?

Wow, that's deliciously smooth... not sure if I'm being bowled over by the wheat stout claim, but there is a depth of malt character behind the roast (again, coming through a lot as milk chocolate) and it's exceedingly smooth and drinkable. Maybe some vanilla notes.

Very easily drinkable... horrendously expensive. 13 or 14 bucks at Healthy Spirits? Glad to have tried this and Haandbaak from these guys... but this is a delicious but unremarkable imperial stout of which the market is literally flooded and I just can't see ever recommending this at this price point except for the truly dedicated or overly curious.

Photo of zhanson88
2.12/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Dark Force pours close to pitch black in the glass with a towering expresso head. Retention is awesome, and lacing is fine and pretty abundant. It looks pretty thick on the pour, but not the thickest I have seen. Still, it does look great.

Smell: I get roasted and burned malts. Also a bit of sweetness and soapiness. Not really the most appealing smell.

Taste: Right off the bat there is waves of burned malts and smoke. I feel like there is more underneath that (possibly coffee, slight bitter chocolate), but everything is completely overshadowed by a smoky/burned flavor. This is not something that I enjoy drinking.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Body is definitely not full, probably a bit over carbonated for me. It looks like there is a lot of people that enjoy this beer and rate it highly. By all means, it's probably worth a shot. It's not for me though.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice thick tan head, retains a thin layer throughout. Dark brown.

Nose is rich, wheaty, almost a rauch, Pork, almost.

Interesting. Totally a wheat, but with enough dark malt to exceed dunkelweizen and go striaght into imperial stout territory. And there is a bit of a rauch character here which is an unexpected but welcome surprise. Trace of molasses at the end.

Big and thick, definitely wheat feel.

The style for this beer seemed made-up, but it was definitely as described.

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of NCSUdo
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The force was with me in a nonic pint.

Appearance- The head swelled quickly to three fingers of very soapy and solid foam. The color is a dark caramel color, kind of reminds me of Riesen's.

The body is utterly, unfathomably black. Forget about it, this things is a "dark force" all right. No perfect score because head retention was pretty bad and lace is non-existent.

Smell- It almost smells like a wheat whine at first sniff. It kind of gives you the idea of the sweet, brandy character of the nose. It is definitely not roasty, but instead is focused on sweet and dark mashed fruits.

Taste- Alcohol and a roasty tingle hit the tongue first. There is only a little bit of the sweetness from the nose actually translated here, honestly might as well be a different beer.

Anise and leather are prominent mid-drink, and a little bit of char. And in fact, it is a leathery char that finishes this beer off. Although, it does not make it caustic or hard to drink, that may be influence from the wheat.

It is certainly a "strong" stout, but not in a roasted malt way. The focus is more on earthy tones and leather. Different for sure, not in a bad way.

Mouth feel- A little watery, and a little slick. No need to worry about carbonation with this offering. Obviously this would be helped greatly by a bigger feel and a chewier body.

Overall- This stout does not really ever show me "wheat". I think if anything, the wheat prevents this beer from becoming undrinkable, because Haand Bryggeriet does not mess around with this stout.

The flavors are bold;the flavors are strong. And you will know immediately if you are up to task.

Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of beermanbrian
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color with no light getting through. Nice tan colored head that leaves trails of lacing. Smell is typical stout, coffee notes and chocolate. Some fruity notes in the background. Taste hits you with the coffee notes up front but there is a distinct funkyness in the background that becomes more noticable as you drink. Also some wheat notes poke through eventially. Strong coffee aftertaste mixed with the funkyness. A very interesting beer that is well worth a try. It started off strong but finished kind of dissapointing. Not sure i'd search it out again but i will certainly try other Haand beers.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Joe Canal's on my way to a bachelor party in AC a month or so back. Worth the stop for sure. Poured into my 12-oz snifter.

The pour gives me a feeling that this will be a creamy beer, and then it hits the glass and a beautiful 1-finger milk chocolate head accumulates. It hits that level and stay still until I finish pouring. The color is an extremely dark chocolate brown that doesn't lighten at all around the edges, even though I expected it to.

The nose is packed with chocolate and roast. I can tell that there is a bunch of wheat malt in there, as there is a spicy sort of character to it. There is also a note of dates. Once on my palate, there is a burnt barley base complemented nicely by a yeasty/wheaty spice, dark fruit base comprised mainly of dates, and a chocolatey undertone. As I chew on the beer, I find some molasses and brown sugar as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy and somewhat light, a testament to the proportion of wheat malt used in the mash. Not so much a Russian Imperial Stout mouthfeel, as it is not nearly thick enough. It also is a bit over-carbonated for how I like my stouts. However, with the flavors and nuances in this beer, I find it very enjoyable. I suspect that it doesn't quite fit into any well-defined style, but falls somewhere in between a few. If you come across it, definitely give it a shot.

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

I’m a tad excited about cracking open Dark Force I must confess. I have recently been on a Russian Imperial Stout crusade, err, a peaceful crusade - I’m not putting the sword to one of my new favourite beer styles. Glad we covered that up. HaandBryggeriet has appealed to my dark beer loving nature by calling this behemoth a “Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout”, and it has appealed to my love of characters voiced by James Earl Jones through the various Star Wars references on the label (always read the label people!).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black and shiny body, like the spacesuit of a certain evil Sith lord voiced by James Earl Jones, with a dense mocha brown head that soon reduces to thin lace ring, also voiced by James Earl Jones. The force is strong with this one. 9/10.

S: Roasted and unroasted coffee beans, earthy characters with hints of chocolate fruit cake and white spirits (bit of Vodka and White Rum). Surprisingly* there is little of the malted wheat to be noted over the heady roasted Stout aromas. 8/10.

T: Moody is one way to describe this bold Stout. There is a an interesting mix between the aforementioned roasted/unroasted coffee bean, sloe berry, some bread dough notes, and golden syrup. In fact “syrup” is a good way to describe this - pure Stout syrup (with a twist!). In a move Mr. Vader may or may not have approved of there is some real complexity of flavours on the palate: Sweet, earthy, fruity (from the unroasted coffee bean), bitter and dry. Speaking of the finish - it is a slight coffee bitterness with a bit of dryness. No wheat flavours but who cares? They could have added Plutonium to this and I still wouldn’t give a damn. 9/10†.

M: Medium bodied with a dense but light carbonation. Stouts with body FTW. 9/10.

D: Well I’m out of Star Wars references (not really, but I can tell that you’re sick of them already). This brew is so big/dark/evil (i.e. a good Stout), I will definitely have to get it again to compare it with Odin’s Tipple, because I suspect that Dark Force beats it, but there have been many many RISs betwixt the two. Point in case: Just get this beer. 8/10.

Food match: Your mortal soul... oh and cigars, Cuban ones.

*That was sarcasm BTW.

†Very nearly almost a 10/10 here... so borderline... it’s great, just buy it, now.

Photo of VikeMan
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of DudMan
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

This started off with a head that looked like a dark version of a weizen. It was foamy and collapsed into a meringue. But that was kind of short lived and it reduced to a typical RIS-style head: dark crown with a "scum" layer. The beer is inky and the smell coming from it is remarkable. All the toast and coffee of a stout, but with the banana of a wheat. This should be interesting.

Dark roast coffee bitterness is the main player...and I'm drinking this near room temperature. Almost completely overshadowed, the banana remains and some of the familiar wheat spice is there as well. You get a whiskey barrel flavor as well with alcohol and oak.

The bitterness really harangues the inside of your cheeks and the alcohol is not exceptionally well-masked. In fact, you'd think the abv was higher than 9% (that's what's on the bottle, even though BA has them at 8.5%). The alcohol is not a bad thing here. It helps to balance the up-front sweetness. Not an every day beer and not one that you'll toss back bottle after bottle, but still a real nice stout.

Photo of kirkse
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of fitzy84
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the special bottle at Moan and Dove, and it was even the last one; lucky me. Black as night appearance with a brown-chocolate colored thin head. The aromas seemed a little off but the general aromas of malts, wheats, yeast and hops could be sensed. The taste was excellent in its great bitter and bread balance. The mouthfeel was perfect for the drink and it allowed it to be rich, smooth and creamy. Overall, this was a really sweet Russian.

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

500ml bottle, Batch 90. Bottle conditioned. Served in a snifter. Poured a deep, opaque black/brown with a finger of tan head that quickly dissipates. Fruity aroma with some roasted malt and a little alcohol. Very full bodied with an almost syrupy mouthfeel. Plenty of roasted/chocolate malt flavor. Very little hop bitterness. There is bitterness from the roasted malt. Long dry finish of chocolate malt. Warming. Definitely a sipper. At the price, I don't think it will be a regular. Interesting beer, that RIS fans should try.

Photo of twelvsies
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout... Sure, why not. That's a lot of adjective but I can handle it. HB seems to make some really interesting beers, so I am all about the experimentation. At first pour, holy head, Batman! Literally poured less than a quarter of the beer into the glass (20oz pint) and it nearly filled up with head. It slowly recedes, but retains a thick, foamy two fingers at least, and it's still there minutes later. Foamy, yes, but the liquid itself is sludgy and thick looking, literally pouring through the foam like Drain-o. Perhaps the consistency of an imperial stout, but more like the head / carbonation of a nice German wheat ale. Nice rich malt aromas, dark and roasty, as well as fruity yeast esters. Lots of roast and nice char in the flavor as well. Aside from the rich stoutlike qualities of this beer, there's a nice subtle zippy side to it that adds some spice notes and complexity. Intense, rich, and refreshing somehow all at the same time. Nice texture, chewy yet fluffy. A sipper but entertaining to drink. This beer is full of paradoxes and the wheat addition really adds a nice dimension and taking a little edge off. Definitely a unique and creative beer. May the Force be with you... (sorry, had to...)

Photo of FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

I think this bottle was bought by ritzkiss? Thanks man!

Deep, dark brown in colour, opaque with a good cover of espresso-coloured head.

Dark nose: smoke, salty minerals, dark malt.

Really dark brew. Roasty malt, smoke, minerals, subtle dark chocolate and espresso.

High carbonation for such a big stout; too much. Medium body.

Too dark to want much of, I'm left wanting some extra sweetness. Appropriately named.

Photo of Yabev15
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rothobinide
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured from 22oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Poured a 2+ finger tan head. Good retention, and good lacing. Color is black.

S. Smells pretty much like the name. Smell of an Imperial Stout with some wheat smell. Chocolate, roasted malt, alcohol. Smells kind of like a grassy wheat smell.

T. Taste on first impression is a muted Imperial Stout. Chocolate, roasted malt. Has a wheat taste on top of everything else that is hard to describe. Provides a sweet contrast. Has a pretty nice chocolate flavor. Overall flavor is kinda weak for a Imperial Stout.

M. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

D. Drinkable enough for a 8.5% beer. Flavor and taste seem to be a bit lackluster for an Imperial Stout, maybe thats what happens when it is made from wheat. All of the right flavors seemed to be there, they just seemed to be duller than they should be.

Photo of DruRho
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wine glass.

A-Opaque black beer. Dark force? I think this is an appropriate name. This oil-black brew spawned a dark brown, frothy(!) head with strong retention, remaining in a thick collar and consistent bubbles.

S-Smells of roasted malts and chocolate. Dark fruits also elbow for space in my nostrils. Some hop character is also able to emerge in a quite distinct resinous note.

T-Big with roast and chocolate. Some dried fruits of the darker persuasion stand in. Hop bitterness is slightly present near the end, along with a pretty clear sweet, floral hop character. A little alcohol comes through in the end of the flavor Is that wheaty spice/twang in there? Maybe a little bit on the aftertaste.

M-Creamy, yet oily and full-bodied. Low-medium carbonation is there just enough for me to realize it. Smoother than many imperial stouts I've tasted. A very pleasant warming deep in my belly.

D-I say two thumbs up for Haand. This imperial stout has a lot going for it with its immense body holding complex flavors. Even with the substantialness of this beer, I would love to have another bottle... right now. This was my first encounter with this brewery, and I look forward to trying them again.

Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.