Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
88
very good
315 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Dark ForceDark Force
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Sigmund on 06-17-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
315
Ratings:
502
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
14.68%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
52
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 315 | Ratings: 502
Reviews by RixBeer:
Photo of RixBeer
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Brown, 3" of cloudy like creamy head. Huge head retention.

Cocoa, Wheat and STOUT...Very much a yummy beer.

It's a light tasting stout with a big wheat flavor and a cocoa. Light roasted norwegian heaven.

Nice clean smooth mouthfeel. I can drink these till the cows come home....

back to the beer....MMMM SO DAMN GOOD!

 327 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 2,351 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | 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.

A "1001" beer and deservedly so.

 288 characters

Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had heard alot about these Haand brews from Norway so I was quick to grab this over last weekend when given the chance.Poured into an imperial pint glass a ddep oil color I mean pitch black no light at all showing thru a large blooming mocha colored head atop much larger than I expect as even with a relatively gentle pour it nearly went over the top.A good mix of heavily roasted malt,wood, and dark fruit almost like a chocolate covered raisin a lingering nuttiness appeared as well just alot of stuff going on there.Really not as full bodied as I would have imagined and a little prickly but not overly obtrusive,flavors start out highly roasted with some bitter unsweetened chocolate rounding into a woody and raisin like flavor in the finish with a light leafy hop presence.A solid impy stout it has alot of complexity mostly in the aromas.

 848 characters

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

16.9oz bottle poured into a La Fin Du Monde glass. Batch # 75, marked Best For May 2010. 9%ABV. Review penned 12/2/07.

A: deep opaque body topped off with a super creamy, super fluffy head. mostly lots of tiny bubbles but a few big ones abound. reminscent of some witches cauldron. dark horizon eh? no lacing. one of the best looking beers Ive seen in a while.

S: Smells like a bakery or cafe in the morning. lots of sugar, chocolate, coffee, pastry grain. a bit of alcohol and some alcohol soaked fruits.

T/M: The wheat is readily apparent in the mouthfeel and flavor up front. Kudos to Haand for retaining the guts of this beer in what is a unique and adventurous "style". Soft but full bodied, the grains wash up front followed by the bakery. All that coffee and chocolate hits hard. Some carmelized sugar follows, a bit of twang from a subtle acidity I actually quite enjoy. A tannic husky-ness follows and the finishes lingers a bit drying. Sugar on the teeth and warmth in the belly this one begs for more. Mouthfeel throughout is rich and creamy.

D: For 9%ABV and the hefty price tag, this goes down way too easy. Would love to enjoy regularly.

Thank god for this beer, or more appropriately, thank the Norwegians! Im am enjoying every drop of this. Its been a while since a new beer really made me take a step back and Im glad it was this one. Cheers to HaandBryggeriet for this beer and the Sheltons for bringing it in. Now, if only we can get more of it. Label says "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout"...sillyness aside, this beer kicks ass. Seek out. Now.

 1,574 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 944 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
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 FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

500ml bottle, Batch NR90, brewed Aug07. Poured into a tulip glass, this was a very black beer with a thin rim of orange head. It had an aroma of dark fruit, dark roasted malt, and chocolate. The dark fruit was tasted, as well as the chocolate. A wonderful espresso taste became apparent, and it lingered a long while, ending in a pleasant bitterness. Really liked this beer.

 374 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 236 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of merlin48
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle pours dark and inky with a lavish khaki head. Excellent retention and abundant island chain lacing.

Aroma is quite nutty, like crushed almonds. Light fruity esters and soft cocoa notes add interest here.

Mouthfeel is medium, not at all full bodied. Velvety carbonation adds a nice touch.

Taste is nutty like the aroma, embellished with soft fruity wheat esters and cocoa. Dark roasty notes are sweet instead of bitter. No hint of the alcohol.

Unusual but excellent.

 483 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

According to HaandBryggeriet, Dark Force is the only known Imperial Wheat Stout, and since they have better access to this information than I do, I'll have to take their word for it. So what does the wheat brewing do for the beer, and can this brew really live up to the "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" description on the label? Judging by the smell, I'd say it's off to a good start: rich, thick, loamy malts dominate, bringing figs, dried fruits, anise, dark chocolate, and deeply-toasted grains.

On the tongue, the brew is unbelievably dark, beginning with a shot of sugary figs and dark cherries, then descending with breathtaking pace into the depths of darkness, where ash, tobacco, and coffee join hands with prunes, anise, vanilla, black cherries, and black malts. As the sugars die off, the black malt and tobacco flavors come into stronger focus, and continue into the aftertaste, which lasts for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent Imperial Stout, and the wheat brewing brings levels of toasted malty goodness to this beer that shoot it several levels above a standard stout. Fans of this style will have much to rejoice about in this version.

 1,219 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of rudylaw
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It bills itself as the world's only Imperial Wheat Stout. OK... let's do this thing. Bottle from batch #93.

Poured into a tulip glass, it's dark... like the name. But holy shit, there's a monster head. Largest head since that kid on Axe Murderer.

I smell roasted coffee and some dark fruits. A twinge of smokiness is present as well.

It's a very sweet taste. Very sweet. The wheat aspect in this beer is definitely something I can taste. Some sugary sweet candy, fruit and chocolate. Interesting.

Light mouthfeel makes for decent drinkability. I think I might try this again... but the $8.99 tag may sway me away.

 618 characters

Photo of glid02
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

 1,038 characters

Photo of dsauter
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
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 jbphoto88
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall, slim 25oz bottle with a modest white sticker on the back noting the batch # of 75 and a "best for" date of May 2010? Actually its hard to read and a lot of the other notations don't make a lot of sense. What it does tell me is that there has been some care put into this beer as the label appears to be hand applied. The beer itself is as black as car tires and has a cappuccino colored head that rises a nice 1/2 inch above the beer.

Smell is pungently dark. Heavy malts mix with dark fruits and a molasses covered cereal. There is a nice hop profile but it is shrouded by a solvent like alcohol scent. The solvent characteristic is mild and not the main scent but still noticeable.

Taste is quite good. There are a lot of nice dark flavors in there that range from rum soaked currants and raisins to roasted malts. A strong backbone of coffee and chocolate flavors balanced by some strong citrus hops and scorched malts. A sweet molasses finish with a slight bitter twang (but in a good way.)

There's a bitter finish from both the slightly aggressive hops and the roasted malts and grains. A mild carbonation doesn't mask the flavors and a smooth start combined with a tart dry finish make for one helluva brew. All this and the label says its the only imperial wheat stout!! Very innovative, interesting and unique. The wheat really makes a difference in the body of this beer, not letting it get to heavy. Wow, Dark force where have you been all my life?

 1,481 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JMS1512
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 502 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!