Dark Force

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #706
Ranked #8,698
3.99 | pDev: 11.28%
Very Good
Dark ForceDark Force
Notes: From a country far, far away, comes the only imperial Wheat stout in the known universe. This Imperial really strikes back. Made with wheat malt and wheat yeast.
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Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 530 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost equal parts dark brown and black. Is it the wheat that is "lighter" than barley when roasted? Dunno, not really something comparable, this is like, the only example. 1/5" lighter brown head. Aroma just seemed like roasted malt and smoke, couldn't discern where the wheat had any different role aroma wise. I expected more of a dark fruit impression from the yeast, and given my idiosyncracies with the Russian Imperial Stout style, was kind of happy they weren't there.

Taste was nice, and right away, the taste mouthfeel combo showed me right away the difference going with a wheat imperial stout. You get a roastiness, but the sheer heft of it all wasn't there. Elements of smoke, tobacco, toffee in a minor way. Good dry finish. Well carbonated giving it a double dose of levity for a big RIS. I'd say it hid the alcohol decently.

I definitely like this more than most I've had from this brewery. Haandbic rules though.

May 14, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up in Santa Fe during a recent visit.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark brown color with a thin beige head and light lacing. Aroma of dark red wine and chocolate, carries to the taste. Slightly smokey and a bit earthy with a fairly dry finish. Flavors of nuts and dark berries come out as it warms, even a bit of vanilla and nutmeg. A tad thin for an imperial stout. . A very interesting and enjoyable beer!

Going very nicely with a patio fire for our first cool evening this fall!

Oct 13, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 7/12/19 @ the Beer Temple.

Black appearance. Small tan head; frothy lace.

Charred grain, dark chocolate & leather notes in the nose.

Creamy, thick, velvet-y mouthfeel.

Charred grain & dark chocolate flavors up front; dry leather & faint raspberry notes on the finish.

Robust, challenging & satisfying. A world class stout.

Jul 14, 2019
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed September 9th 2015, bottled October 13th 2015. No decoding required.

Wheat malt, wheat yeast? This should be interesting.

It pours black with a pretty big head of tannish foam..nah, it's tan. Good lacing. Once things settle down, there's just a ring of foam around the glass.

That smell! Roasted malt, dark chocolate, toffee, some coffee..3 years old. The years must have been very kind; never had this fresh so I pretty much don't know what I'm talking aboot.

The taste reflects the smell with no hidden surprises. Roasted malt rules the roost with bitter dark chocolate following closely behind. Some coffee, enough for you to know that it's there. Semi sweet/bitter overall and a real treat.

Medium bodied with light carbonation...there wasn't a sound when I popped the cap.

So darn good. A revisit is mandatory.

Oct 09, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle marked batch number 572 into the test glass, served at cellar temp of 54 deg.
A - Dark all light is lost in there, a rapid almost effervescent carbonation feeds the cap. Quick to dissipate the carbonation continues to feed upward in a champagne fashion.
S - Roast grains, but delicate. Elements include burnt sugar, alcohol driven by a bit of mint. (really like that part) Raspberry, a bit of bakers chocolate, and some anise.
T - More cocoa than the aromatics let on, that hint of anise and mint blend well with a bit of tobacco, ripe blackberry, and surprisingly a thin band of smoked meat.
M - Not a hefty offering, body is medium, the carbonation is prickly and quite effective moving that hint of oily texture through. The linger is forever, sweet flavors accentuated by alcohol evaporation feeling.
O - A double Wheat Stout, easy on the palate and quite flavorful. The body is deceiving, comes across as thin but incredibly rich, dances across the palate and leaves traces for what feels like weeks. Worth the effort

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Dont remember where i bought it. In Teku glass. Playing Brothers a Tale of Two Sons. Nicely roasted. Hints of smoke, but much softer and pleasant than in others of their beers. 50cl of impy enjoyable from beginning to end.

Jul 16, 2017
Photo of saudekar
saudekar from Portugal

3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with burnt beige, kind of (I want to say) reluctant head. The smell suggested a pseudo-smoked appeal to it, but instead of other cases in which this was true, HaandBryggeriet doesn't taste like molasses. Urges me to order espresso right after this (which I did, best decision ever!!) with its unfulfilled bitter taste. Blackberry and bitter chocolate in the after taste. I like to classify beer as sharp and blunt but this guy is a challenge- an apologetic sweetness to it after its gaseous body settles in the palate. I had never tasted a full-bodied stout with wheat texture in it, so.. big surprise. Me loves.

Feb 17, 2017
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The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Insanely smooth, lovely syrupy aromas and a sweet floral aftertaste that I have never encountered in any other stout before. The addition of wheat makes a huge difference compared to most stouts. An absolutely insane beer.

Dec 11, 2016
Photo of Dentist666
Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 943.
Jet black with nice tan head, good retention, yeast sediment.
Smoked, coffee, chocolate, molasses. Wheat not detected.
Medium body, soft carbonation.
Very good.

Nov 02, 2016
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with an amber tinge, no visible carbonation, and topped with 4 fingers of foamy, creamy, dark beige head.

Smells of candy, fruity like salt water taffy. Hints of cocoa, cream, and raspberry.

It tastes sweet and fruity. Raspberries, Belgian yeasts, cocoa and dark fruits all play a role here. Slight crispness due to the wheat. Hints of charred bitterness on the end.

Moderate to light, foamy body, with hints of syrup and tannic dryness.

Got at Opperman's in Saginaw, MI a couple weeks ago. Drinking in Stouffville, ON, Oct 17th, 2016. The guy working there recommended this one, and he was right. Very unique for the style, with fruitiness, and sour crisp notes.

Oct 18, 2016
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a mug here at Cerveceria Esparte here in Conil, Spain.

Appearance: Thin brownish black body with a thin head rising maybe half a finger's length with a hard pour. Head is straight tan by settles quick with sticky lacing after two sips.

Smell: light hoppy scent, settles quick through the nostrils.

Taste: Dark chocolate but lighter than you think. Coffee is there but the malts over take you. Little bitter and touch of salt.

Mouth: Somewhat sticky and paired with cheese and ham, I lose the smoked after tough pretty quick.

Overall: Descent brew, has room for tweaking. I'll let the drinker decide. Salud!

Jul 23, 2016
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Hooliya from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An imperial wheat stout? One that is purportedly the "only imperial wheat stout in the known universe"? Something I've never had the pleasure of trying before. Batch 342, poured into a tulip: deep black with a light frothy head of about 2 fingers which dissipated pretty quickly. The nose is boozy with notes of coffee and malt. The taste, however, is smooth and sweet with some coffee, chocolate and molasses notes. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely try to find it again in the future.

May 19, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Catch up rating from Saturday's RIS bottle share. Big, bold and dark, tasty bitter roast grains, hints of alcohol warmth peeping through. Another keeper out of the lot of 160 bottles.

Apr 18, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big mistake to drink this by myself and expect to have clarity the next morning.
Personally, the only improvement is to roast some of the dark malts a little less. Either the roasted malts or the hops (or both) left a bit too much bitterness in my mouth. Too bad, because the wheat gives a softer feel.

Listed as a "1001" beer and deservedly so for bringing wheat into the RIS world.

4/18/18 Had a third time. Learned to drink only half in one evening. No change in rating. In fact, I finished it on the 4th night after popping the top and it still had a luscious foam and same, full flavors.

Feb 21, 2016
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0 from Maine

3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice pour into an Unibrou tulip. Very thick dark head.

The nose is far nothing to describe

The taste is a big wheat stout ,soft with chocolate, slight crystal malt notes and a slight astringency with a lingering "wheat" character.

Feb 18, 2016
Photo of drpimento
drpimento from Wisconsin

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good, although I don't pick up anything "wheat" and there is a chalky aspect. Good roast, coffee, cocoa, black patent malt, leather, earth, umami qualities in both aroma and flavor

Dec 15, 2015
Photo of draheim
draheim from Washington

3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolate w/ a rich mocha head.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee, bitter roasted malt, earthy, nutty.

Taste is likewise chocolatey and bitter. Coffee

Mouthfeel is surprisingly dry, medium bodied.

Overall a really nice straightforward imperial stout.

Oct 01, 2015
Photo of emyers
emyers from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the beer market in Rochester, ny.

Appearance: black, thick medium brown head dissipating after about a minute into a nice lacing.

Smell: Cocoa powder, roasted barley, oak, molasses.

Taste: a little richer than the aroma, the wheat adds an interesting spicy flavor to a backbone of dark chocolate and molasses. Hints of smoke. Complex. No real alcohol heat, finish is semi-sweet.

Mouthfeel: full-bodied, but noticeably cut by the wheat.

Overall: very solid imperial stout.

Aug 09, 2015
Photo of dre412
dre412 from California

3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very sweet. I actually enjoyed the carbonation however and felt that it was needed for the sweetness. I enjoy sweet stouts and this one had a tad bit too much for me, but overall it was good. Definitely more of a dessert beer for me, to be shared with someone after a meal.

May 12, 2015
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial stout brewed with wheat. Makes for a very interesting combination. The wheat seems to have contributed in a good way to the texture of the beer. Overall, dark, roasty, tasty.

Apr 08, 2015
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doktorhops from Australia

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Dec 11, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.95/5  rDev -1%

Bottle purchased at Oliver’s in Albany, NY.

Pours out a very dark black, with a foamy, creamy looking 1.5 inch head, and no lacing.

Smells like chocolate, wheat, grassy hops, roasted malt, and vanilla cream.

Tastes similar. The wheat used provides an actual grainy wheat flavor, as well as a super silky feel to this one. There’s a ton of chocolate milk flavor, vanilla cream, and some grassy hop bitterness and dark fruits. Kind of feels like a Baltic porter more so than an imperial stout- which is fine. I love Baltic porters!

This one has a medium body which feels much lighter than it actually is, probably due to the use of wheat malt. A super silky and smooth mouthfeel is the clear highlight of this one. There is a very low amount of carbonation.

I wish it was a little more boldly flavored, but it really does have an excellent mouthfeel and goes down really well. A very good effort here.

Aug 20, 2014
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TruePerception from California

3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

HaandBryggeriet's 'dark force', Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout (overdoing the adjectives a little, perhaps). 9% ABV.

A: Pours a VERY dark brown. Pure black in the glass, with just a slim line of deep, bright brown in the dimple. Almost no head (brown, when it does show up). No lacing.

S: Interesting smells. Lots of caramels going on. Dark caramel, a little burnt. Dark coffee. Malt powder. Very faint dark powdered cocoa. Coffee creamer-like sweetness. Blackened toast. Hint of licorice. Just the faintest fruitiness. Raisin, perhaps.

T/MF: Pretty sweet! Dark roasted coffee. Blackened caramel. Light char, as it settles.

Not bad! The nose is the star, but the whole package is pretty good. I definitely recommend this, if you can find it!

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Apr 23, 2014
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imscotty from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle aged on the store shelf. Brewed on 9/2007, opened on 4/2014. This beer had a 'best by' date of 9/2011

A: Pours a dark black with a strong tan head. Still plenty of carbonation.

S: The smell was very strange for stout. A wet bread smell was so strong it was hard to detect anything else. I guess I could detect some malt and roast aromas.

T: The roast flavor really shined through in the taste. There were some interesting and strange but somewhat enjoyable off flavors. At least they were off for the style. Lots of hay , yeast and earthy flavors that I would expect to find in a funky belgian, not a stout.

As this beer warmed the flavor improved greatly and the roast and the bitterness of the finish became more forward. This was actually an easy drinker, the alcohol was hard to detect. I would recommend drinking this beer at room temperature.

M: A little thinner than some stouts, but not to distraction. Actually had a surprisingly creamy mouth feel. Properly carbonated.

O: An interesting brew. Even though it was past its 'best by' date it was still enjoyable. I would not overpay for this but I would enjoy it at the right price point. Not your typical stout.

Apr 18, 2014
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Mar 16, 2014
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 530 ratings