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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

451 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 451
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 28
Gots: 39 | 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: 451 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +1%

afsdan, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter. Batch 90: Aug 07 bottling, best by Aug 2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1 finger dense tan head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big licorice, soy sauce, roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, biscuit, herbal, light charcoal, wood, earth, and molasses. Nice and interesting aromas, with good complexity. Taste of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, smoke, wood, licorice, earthiness, light soy sauce, and light herbal spiciness. A bit of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of smoke, roasted malt, chocolate, and earthiness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors, with no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty much completely hidden, nothing more than a hint of warming after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice and unique imperial stout. Very smooth and balanced; with some interesting and complex flavors.

superspak, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to lightindarkness for this brew.

Poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass a very nice black color, very high carbonation, very nice huge three finger creamy tan head, which just leaves some small islands in my glass. The nose is malty, with some nice tones of chocolate/toffee. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with some dark chocolate. Medium body. Drinkable, highly carbonated brew though.

Wasatch, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HaandBryggeriet : Dark Force

Pours a very dark blackish brown, short livid khaki head forms and recedes.
Aroma is of roasted malts, alcohol, and coffee.
In the taste, toasty roasted malts, some wheat malt providing ample sweetness. A touch of smoke, and alcohol is present but not too strong. Alcohol becomes more defined as it warms, with some dark wheat malt grain present. Definately some smoke appearing more and more as it warms, and becomes more balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied, carbonation is moderate. Overall, a good Russian Imperial Stout, strong and nice.

Stinkypuss, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ppoitras, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darkness just bordering on deep brown. 1 finger head, dark rich chocolate brown, semi dense. A bit creamy.

Aroma is sharp dark chocolate, some unripe black plum and hints of coffee. Musky a bit

Tastes like an Imperial Stout. Big dark flavors. Plum, anise, tobacco and chocolate. The fruitiness has a bit of a dryness to them.

Feels lighter than expected and looks. I think to wheat adds to the head and gives it a bit of a fruitness on the end. Darn good beer. Easy drinking

Mebuzzard, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
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 John_M
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

John_M, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev +1%

Latarnik, May 28, 2014
Photo of beerthulhu
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as an Imperial wheat stout. Batch 217. Apr. 09. BB Apr. 12. Consumed june 10.

A: A viscose motor oil pour from the bottle produced a dark mocha colored foamy head that instantaneously filled the glass, no doubt compliments of a wild Belgian yeast strain. Retention was extraordinary having filled nearly the whole glass making you patiently wait for its demise with a clean sliding lacing down the glass.

S: Burnt roasty grains and coffee of a medium helping first appear on the nose. Light traces of wheat stalks and dry oats are picked up on the trail. Overall mild in strength and was expecting a bit more of an aromatic punch from this brewery.

T: Burnt roasty grains transcends from the nose straight to the taste buds. Loads of black coffee with charred wood and burnt wheat stalks leaves a dark, earthy bitterness of soil gracing the tongue. Dark fruit of plums are also noted. The yeastiness can be detected and appreciated even beneath the dark roasty nature of the drink offering a light muskiness of dried pears and bananas. Alcohol and licorice notes come through on the finish along with a acidity bite.

M: A good deal of carbonation makes this very edgy on the hold. Loaded with a dark bitterness that leaves an earthy soil bitterness on the tongue.

D: Makes you want to drink this faster then you should. A great dark and hearty wheat stout that leaves you with a good bite deep down.

beerthulhu, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured fro ma 500ml bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass. It poured very thick and pitch black in color. It also poured with a giant fizzy and frothy head to it that filled 3/4 of the glass. It took about 6 pour and wait sessions before I got a enough to call a full glass. The head finally settled to a thin covering where it remained well into drinking it.

The aroma shows a lot of bitter baking chocolate like flavor coming through. It has some roasty and burnt flavors to it as well. I get a little bit of the smoother and sweeter malt in the background, but it's almost hidden. It's definitely extreme, like the bottle says.

The taste shows a lot of roasted character to it Dark chocolate, coffee and some burnt flavors come through. A little bit of the sweeter wheat malt comes through and gives it a little smoothness. In the finish I get more of the roasted, bitter-sweet chocolate, but a little of that wheat malt is in the background as well with just a bit of a fruit like flavor to it. The dry and burnt flavor lingers for a while as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent for such a big and extreme beer. it had a ton of roasty and burnt flavors to it but also a bit of chocolate and sweetness to balance it out just a hair. It leaned a bit too much on the roasty, burnt and bitter side of the spectrum to be overly smooth or drinkable though for me. it is a big, bold and a pretty interesting beer to sip on this evening though.

billab914, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle purchased in Buffalo. Shared with biegaman and grub.

Pours an opaque brown/black, tan head, very thick and healthy, drops tons of lace chunks, settles to a thick layer. Smell is fruits, pineapples, dates, toffee, chocolate roast, grass, nice lactic acidity. Taste is milk chocolate, fruits, pineapple, toffee, dates, licorice, roast, very rich, nice bit of sourness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, goes down pretty smooth though. Unique beer, very drinkable.

Viggo, Feb 19, 2008
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.

3.5/3.5/4/4/3.5

JohnGalt1, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +1%

PEIhop, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

glid02, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

harpus, Sep 04, 2013
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 Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Gusler, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1pt.9oz bottle (cost a huge $7.99) into a pint glass. I bought it based on the label, which claims the beer to be a Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout. Furthermore, there was a reference to Star Wars (from a country far, far away... This Imperial really strikes back) which I found difficult to resist. But in the final analysis this feels gimicky and I would not buy it again.

The appearance is great, dark opaque black with a thick finely celled mocha colored foam. I didn't get much wheat out of the smell, the aroma was mostly roasted malts. I expected but did not find any chocolate or coffee notes. Maybe the flavor will be better. Damn. Only roasted malts and maybe a hint of esters. None of the sweet malty flavors I wanted, nor any dark fruits or chocolate or etc. Not bad, but not worth seeking for, definitely not worth paying so much for.

TurdFurgison, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle, purchased at west lakeview liquors in chicago - batch #93

appearance: bold ebony body in a hopleaf tulip, foamy chocolate head that eventually comes down to earth and leaves a mild bubbly brown head

smell: the crisp wheat structure dominates the aroma...the RIS notes are pretty hidden on the nose, which actually makes sense since this is not by any means an attempt at a russian imperial stout...

taste: It's certainly an interesting effort but it just doesnt do much for me...sharp dark wheat creates the undertow of a wave bittersweet chocolate...booze is felt, some dried dark fruits but overall a pretty bland flavor profile

mouthfeel: sharp wheats, booze sensations

drinkability: ok

dirtylou, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of wordemupg
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip May,4,2011

A pretty black in the glass with a thin edge of cola when held to the light, a huge 3 finger big bubbled dark head fell quickly and left zero lace, props for darkness though

S lots of coco powder and some faint dark fruits with a little booze, simple but good

T a fair bit of smoke that I couldn't smell, the dark fruit is now dried out and prune and raisins is what I taste, booze is a little better concealed then the nose and just a little dark coffee grind

M not as thick as the darkness would lead you to believe but not watery by any means, decent carbonation fluffs it up a little in the mouth and good length on the after taste

O this is a solid beer but not mind blowing, perhaps I'm being a little hard on it because I think its better then 4 for taste but just not quite in the 4.5 range

worth trying and for 6$ its a easy choice, I should have drank this one before trying Odins Tipple because it was a hard act to follow and perhaps unfair

wordemupg, May 05, 2011
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 LiquidAmber
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a half finger light brown head that dissipates to a thin film and thick ring around the glass, leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark, lightly charred toasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee and a bit of alcohol. Flavor follows aroma, dominated by dark toasted malt with light char, coffee, dark chocolate, finishing with charred dark malt and a substantial hop bitterness. Medium bodied with quite spicy active carbonation. A very interesting take on a stout. The heavy malt that usually supports the intense flavors of a RIS are not as noticeable here with the wheat giving a lighter less intrusive feel to the stout. This is a little disconcerting at first because the body seems thin at first, however the flavors are so robust and interesting that the wheat character is covered, but possibly displays the toastiness of the grain roasting even better than a heavily malted stout. Nicely hopped too. The alcohol in the aroma is not noticeable in the taste. An interesting and flavorful stout that I will be trying again.

LiquidAmber, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of ccrida
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml bottle (batch #93, Sept 07) poured into my Meantime snifter, Dark Force is a pitch brownish black with a very dense, dark, reddish burnt tan head with long last, craggy at first, but leaving almost no lace, dissipating to a light skim.

Smell is bright roasted caramel, sweet malts, some stone fruits, sharp, cherry hard candy aroma, alcohol vapors.

Taste is sweet but really very roasty, astringent, a dark force indeed! A ton of flavor but abruptly delivered, accentuated by the dry finish, chalky with a touch of smoke. The rich sweetness of the malts is reminiscent of a Baltic Porter.

Mouthfeel is extremely carbonated, almost overflowing, with a stark sharpness.

Drinkability is ok, but this wasn't my favorite RIS or Baltic. The price is doing it no favors either...while "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" sounded cool enough for me to try one, I probably won't bother grabbing a second to cellar.

ccrida, Nov 21, 2008
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
89 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.