Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

very good
319 Reviews
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Dark ForceDark Force

Brewed by:

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

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 512
Photo of ToasterChef
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. Served on tap at the Lion's Pride's Stout Fest; served in my Lion's Pride goblet. This is a good looking stout. It appears pure black and fully opaque. There is a respectably sized brown foam head as well as brown carbonation bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. Swirling the beer around leaves behind a discernible film and patchy foam. It has a great chocolate nose that features a bit of coffee hiding in the back. The beer tastes of creamy chocolate and wheat. There is a little dark chocolate bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. It has a very good flavor. This is a full-bodied beer with good levels of carbonation. Moving it around my mouth causes it to foam up. Overall, it is pretty creamy. I find it to be quite drinkable. There isn't much alcohol (the 8.5% is well-hidden), nor is there too much coffee. I like this stout a lot and would easily order it again.

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Photo of burnstar
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a big dark tan head. Aroma is strong dark roasted malt with a bunch of herbal hops. Also notes of chocolate and dark fruit. Taste has huge chocolate note. Pretty balanced between sweetness and bitterness from the roasted malt although perhaps it tends toward the sweet side. Plum and light raisin notes. Hops in the finish but they are somewhat subdued. Tasty. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Very drinkable for the style. Overall this is a very good and unique Imperial Stout. It claims to be a "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" and it does have a somewhat unique flavor and smell that are hard to pin down. Actually way better than I expected since I had no idea what this was when I picked it up. Plus it's called Dark Forces.. and it's from Norway. So make sure you put on some Darkthrone (or your favorite Norwegian Black Metal) while you drink this.

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Photo of popery
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a very good Imperial Stout that has a wonderfully smooth feel from the wheat content. The flavor is chocolatey and deeply roasted. There is a fair bit of hop bitterness, maybe a bit more than I want, but the effort is appreciated. HaandBryggeriet does wonderful work with their beers, and this is no exception. The feel is silky and creamy like no other Imperial Stout that I've ever had. It's also a great looking beer with deep black-brown liquid topped with a mocha head. I wish that their beers were lower in price, but this brewery continues to impress me with well-crafted and unique beers.

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Photo of hero27
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle.
9% abv

Batch #75.

A self-proclaimed "Imperial Wheat Stout"..well that sounds interesting enough to try.

A tar-like pour renders a very dark, thick liquid. Assertive head of heavy khaki cream develops and has no intentions of subsiding.
Vanilla, dark roasted coffee, and chocolatey aroma..
Phenolic overload...wow. Cloves, black coffee, and a thick roastiness play jump-rope with my tastebuds.. The alcohol isn't really hidden as much as it is displayed..chocolate malt comes into play behind the huge abundance of roasted malts & dark fruits. The body is a bit thick & laboring, but the texture is soft & smooth going down. This finishes with a slight alcoholic tang and nice roasty bitterness..

A robust & hearty imperial stout that uses the wheat to it's full extent...definitely an experiment that turned out well.

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Photo of Travlr
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of sholland119
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black as night with a very thin tan head that quickly dissipates, leaving a thin ring.

S-Roasted malt, dark chocolate and lots of oak notes.

T-Delicious. Rich roasted coffee dominates the flavor with just a hint of sweetness. An undertone of oaky leatheriness is also present.

M-Medium bodied and very dry.

D-Quite good. I will happily pick this up anytime.


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Photo of stevoj
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with ginormous brown head that just won't dissipate.

Aroma is cocoa & very dark chocolate.

On the palate this is a roasty-monster, again with semi-sweet dark chocolate and medium to full bodied.

Into the finish the hops come out to somewhat balance.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick and black with a thick and foamy mocha colored head. Great retention.

S: Wow. A lot going on here. Dark chocolate covered cherries, milk chocolate, wet earth, espresso beans and a hint of wet wood.

T: Powdery dark chocolate, dark cherries, lots of roast and coffee with a hard bittersweet chocolate finish. I get the wheat more in the mouthfeel than in the taste. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. This beer is very bitter, but I really like it.

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

Smell: dark bouillon, dark syrup, some chocolate, milk, some dried fruit, some smoke?; fresh, a bit citric hops.

Taste: dark bouillon, syrup, chocolate, also some milk chocolate, overall a pretty creamy, smooth taste, not agressive in any way. Some citric and a bit sourish hops as well. Not that bitter.

This is great stuff. Tasteful and rich as a IS, yet somewhat smooth and mild. Is this due to the wheat?

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Photo of grub
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

500ml bottle. "double extreme imperial wheat stout". 9%abv.

pours dark brown, not quite black, with a huge fluffy light brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is interesting. lots of fruit initially - pineapple predominantly, with some date and prune. bit of baltic sourness. milk chocolate. light caramel sweetness. white bread. crackers. hint of alcohol.

taste is great. dark and milk chocolate. bit of coffee. date and raisin. bit of pineapple again. touch of sourness. light caramel sweetness. toasted multigrain bread.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body. medium carbonation level feels a touch high.

drinkability is good. this is a really interesting beer, with elements of a stout, baltic porter, and a dark wheat like aventinus. the alcohol is hidden very well. it's certainly unique. great stuff.

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

The label calls this an Imperial Wheat Stout.

Appearance: black in color with a thick 2" milk chocolate colored head. Moderate lacing paints the glass.

Smell: chocolate, roasted malt tones, and some softer licorice leaps from the glass and is easy to pick up.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with chocolate, sweet plums, prunes, raisins, and some licorice. Alcohol is mildly noticable, and there is a nice bitterness level here. The wheat mellows out the heartiness here a bit.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Short aftertaste as the roasted tones and chocolates linger the loudest on the tongue.

Drinkability: despite the higher alcohol level, this was surprisingly drinkable. It is also a bit different than some other Imperial Stouts on the market.

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

Well, it's a little more than just a Russian Imperial Stout. The beer borrows a lot from a hearty wheat malt addition, which gives a lot of esters and phenols that stand tall among a serious roasted brew. The pour give an intimidating viscous, black pour with a dark brown head forming, and retaining well. The carbonation has difficulty layering, give a nice pattern of cascading tethers. Aromas are very roasty of coffee, bitter cocoa, sweet toffee malts, soft banannas, and spicy cloves. Flavors give much the same with emphasis on the espresso notes, cocoa delectidence, and phenolic cloves. Soft wheat malt follows every sip emphasising the clove, white pepper, and warming alcohols. Textures of marshmellows acommpany the coffee acidiity, milk-chocolate silkiness, and sharp spices -- full and rich all the way. Finishes with those linging coffee and chocolate notes. The palate cleans fairly quickly, allowing a quick jump into the next drink. A most impressive brew.

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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.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

10 oz. in a tulip shaped glass at Monk's Kettle in San Francisco.

Black. Starts with a beautiful tan head that, once gone, is hard to reproduce. Everything about this brew is understated. Roasted grain is evident in the aroma, but not too strong. It starts subtley bittersweet and continues through the middle and finish, but it's not "in your face". While it does not partake in the one upsmanship of man imperials, it is extremely well balanced. An excellent beer from start to finish. Heavy body.

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Photo of bobsy
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much a hardcore classic RIS.

Pitch black pour with a mocha head that soon drops to a film and leaves a few spots of lace. Big roast nose - lots of heavy malt, bittersweet chocolate, smoke and dark fruit. Flavour follows this template - big and hearty with loats of roasted malt and a well-concealed alcohol. Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty classic - I liked it.

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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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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

Picked up a pint at AJ's in late September for $8.59. Part of batch no 73, best before April 2010. 9% abv.

Beer poured black with a fine long lasting tan head. There is not much nose there, hints of perfumed hops is about all I could pick up. Taste is of roasted malts, chocolate, nicely balanced by the hops. Mouthfeel is fuller than I anticpated and it is very smooth. This is a very drinkable Imperial, very smooth and nice to chew on with the temps being a cool 62 degree day! This is definitely a world class beer that is worth the splurge!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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!

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my De Struise tulip

A - Pours the usual deep Ebony colour with a tanned head that retians quite well.

S - Hops and sweet roasted malts

T - Nice vanilla flavours up front and followed by some nice roasted malts that are expertly balanced out with malts the finish has more lingering vanilla and milk chocolate that is very enjoyable. A little hot but no sign of the ABV.

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation.

O - This is one of my favourite stouts of the year because of its sheer balance and smoothness.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 6/20/08

Dark force is emerges from the bottle an impenetrable black with a nice mocha colored head. The head fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the snifter. Holding this beer up to a bright light reveals only a slight degree of translucent dark brown around the very edge.

The aroma is much like your usual imperial stout, but does stand out somewhat. It is roasty with hints of coffee and chocolate, but it also has a definite nuttiness and an almost smoky quality to it that is quite nice. As the beer warms it gains a fairly strong apple aroma.

The flavor of this beer is nuts. Dark and roasty with bitter cocoa, but also a very pronounced flavor that I can most liken to balsamic vinegar, minus the vinegar character. There is also a lot more smokiness in the flavor and some fruity apple like notes. It also carries a certain amount of tartness as well as some charred astringency. Oh, and somehow this all works out to taste good!

The mouthfeel is very smooth with low carbonation, but also extreme light for a beer of this size. In fact, I think I would call this light to medium, and not the other way around. It finishes effortlessly, leaving burnt malt flavors on my tongue.

This is a wonderfully sipper of a beer that took me well over an hour to finish while chatting with my wife. It seems that every sip brings up a different profile of flavors, and it changes a lot as it warms. With all of this being said, I did not think it was world class, but definitely the most intriguing imperial stout I have drank so far.

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Photo of montageman
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Deep, dark brown color with a moderate tan head that sticks around, but leaves no lacing. Smell is spicy, chocolately, with a touch of coffee. Taste follows suit with strong notes of coffee and solid creamy milk chocolate flavor as well. Mouthfeel is creamy, but a touch thin. Quite a tasty beer - would pair well with dessert or a nice hearty stew. Recommended.

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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.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #73, Brewed April '07. Too bad not all brewers give you brewing and/or bottling date. Would love to see more of that. Anyway, this pours out like oil, forming a toasted and very brown head, atop a ridiculously black liquid. It's like looking into the eye of the monster of the abyss...with chocolate on top!

Smells like toasted marshmallow, coffee, and steamed milk with just a touch of alcohol providing some edge.

Oooh...big coffee flavors, nice and roasty toasty, hints of baking chocolate, milk, and a hugely warming glow from the alcohol, which is polite and not at all overpowering. Bitter nut-like finish.

Mouthfeel is buoyant and tingly, certainly chewy enough but probably could've been thicker and weightier, considering the style and flavors.

Not the smoothest RIS out there, it's got a slight brashness about it (maybe the wheat?), but it doesn't seem to care...it's really good just for what it is, and if the price weren't so high ($7.99) and if it were more accessible, I'd love to grab more and see how they age. Black, bold and Norwegian...methinks it's time to listen to some Darkthrone.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 512 ratings.
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