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: 514
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.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
2.42/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Barnyard in a bottle. But uniquely so.

Smell brings to mind a wheatey, hayish, think south end of a north bound horse smell. All chicken poop and slightly stinky cheese.

The taste is about the same. Very different experience. Brings one back to what a few guys would brew between shoeing draft horses. I swear I can taste the Belgian drafthorse sweat in the aroma.

This is a beer you should at least try once. If for no other reason than to go back to a differing style.

This a tussle with a big, blonde farm gal. If you can take it.

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Photo of whitehouse50
2.43/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Batch 290 , Bottled July 15, 2010

Poured this into a pint glass and thankfully I was near a sink because this thing has got some serious bubbles. After it settled down I held it up to the light and there is nothing getting through. Aromas some chocolate, oak, mollasses, burntness and maybe dirt? After a few sips one can pick up dark roasty flavors and hints of wheat too. Mouthfeel? I should first say that I dislike champagne. With that in mind this beer exploded once i sipped it and has an aggressive carbonation which was resulted in an unpleasant experience. I wonder if this is made with a champagne yeast.

Overall when I purchased this bottle I was very intrigued since I had never heard of an imperial wheat stout. I did not have much expectation before tasting it but was looking forward to trying something new and hopefully enjoyable. Unfortunately I was disappointed more so with the severe carbonation. At $9 per bottle I want my money back, stay away.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.65/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased for $6.99, for a 1pt .9fl oz bottle. The label states 9% ABV. Batch # 73. Brewed April 07. Best before April 2010. Per the website, 65 IBU, and 139 EBC color. Pours out to a slick oily black, forming a large dark cocoa head with excellent retention and minimal lacing. The aroma is similar to expedition stout...lots of prunes, heavily roasted malts, a touch of smoke, dark chocolate, and black walnuts. Mouthfeel is sharp and biting with a big dense body. The taste is dominated by burnt malts...lots of black patent I'm guessing. There is a peculiar sourness from the very dark malts and green leafy herbal hops, not the result of a fermentation gone awry. I'm not really getting the wheat. Overall, it's quite pungent, and not very sweet as one might expect from a beer this size. Medium strong bitterness. The finish is burnt, acidic, harsh and tongue sucking dry. I've brewed with this yeast before but I can't recall what it is. It has a very characteristic flavor.

Well, I had high hopes for this one, but it's very much a one-trick pony. There isn't much going on here..very one dimensional and not all that drinkable. Very harsh and abrasive. I thought this would be a nice compromise between a weizenbock and a RIS, but sadly it's barely drinkable.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
2.67/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours with an overflowing foam head that took several minutes to dissipate. It also poured jet black, in which no light could be shown through.

S: Smells of an ashtray, some oakyness, harsh coffee, and some unsweetened dark chocolate.

T: On the first sip it was like drinking an ashtray filled with harsh dark roasted coffee, and from then on it doesn't get any better. I did taste some subtle tones of saison yeast, and some dark wheat. The Saison yeast definitely left behind some of the green apple and fruity characteristics associated with it.

M: It was definitely over carbonated to begin with but as it opened it the high carbonation subsided. The mouthfeel was rich and filling, with a nice creaminess.

O: This beer reminded me of how it tastes when you kiss a smoker, and then lick the ashtray after you have kissed them. It was way to roasty for me, I think they should cut back on the Roasted Barley to balance it out more. I don't know if they used Saison yeast, but I got a lot of characteristics that didn't fit with this beer. Overall, this was not worth the $10 I paid for it.

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Photo of charlzm
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Consumed on July 11th, 2012. Poured into a Klokke Roeland goblet. Batch number on bottle is 342. Could not find a brewed-on date on the bottle or online.

Beer pours an almost-opaque deep, deep, deep, deep brown. A two finger head the color of coffee with a little cream appears and lingers for quite some time. It is not particularly fine, uniform or sticky, but it does the job.

Aroma - A very dark roasted malt, nearly charred, is topped off by a whiff of vanilla and the unmistakable metallic tang of wheat. Interesting and different, but not especially appetizing.

Odd flavor. At the beginning, there is a big wheaty flavor replete with a metallic twang. Fruity, like pears and apples and dark, sour cherries, due perhaps to the yeast strain used. Honey accent as well. The back end is allbitter burned coffee. As unique as this is, I wouldn't call it "good", necessarily.

The beer is light in body for an RIS, but this is what the brewers were aiming for, according to the Haand Bryggeriet website. Decent carbonation: a slight tingle on the tongue.

Overall, I have to call this beer a fail in drinkability. It's a very interesting and admirable experiment that perhaps should have stayed in testing a bit longer.

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Photo of jale
2.84/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jesse for this.

A: Pours black with two fingers of brown head. Lacing lasts a few minutes.

S: Dark roasted malt, just a trace of coffee and mild cocoa.

T: Smoky malts to start followed by some roasted coffee and just a hint of bitter chocolate. A little leather and some grass. The wheat takes away more then it adds.

M: Very chalky with medium body and good carbonation.

O: This would be much better without the chalky feel. This is a beer that I feel does not age well so drink it fresh.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.91/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Batch 271. Brewed 02. 2010 and best by 02. 2013

APPEARANCE: Pitch black pour makes a three finger, medium-thin, fizzy, mocha colored head with lousy retention. Jet black body and no carbonation evident. Head quickly fizzes down to a half film and a ring. A slight ring remains but leaves no lacing. A nice, thick black pour, but lousy head.

SMELL: Roasted malt, smoky notes, and some definite wheat malt. Light cocoa and coffee notes in the back, as well as some sweet molasses. Clearly an imperial stout with a splash of wheat malt thrown in. Mild in strength, but very nice.

TASTE: Light roasted malts with some wheat malt up front. Kind of lacking initially really. Some roasted chocolate, wheat, and molasses at the finish. A bold and lingering aftertaste is roasted, with wheat notes, bitter chocolate and hints of sweet molasses. A little lacking up front, but it definitely comes through in the end. It's the crappy palate's fault this didn't score higher.

PALATE: Thin body, light, and overly carbonated. Airy and prickly on the palate, goes down airy and abrasive, finishing slightly sticky. This is about as bad as it gets for the style. Would rather it be flat. Not thick or creamy enough, and the aggressive carbonation makes it difficult to drink. Doesn't support the flavors, which was very disappointing.

OVERALL: I've had this beer several times, and it's always the same story. It's way over carbonated for an imperial stout. It's so light, airy and abrasive that it's hard to drink. I actually let the second half of the bottle sit in my snifter for about 90 minutes. It had started to stale a bit by then, but at least the carbonation had calmed down a bit. Luckily this berw tastes pretty good, or it would be completely undrinkable. This is an unique brew with a lot of potential, but it will never realize that potential until the carbonation is taken care of.

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Photo of jdklks
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

reviewed from notes:

more than a little disappointed by this one. the bottle i had said it was 9% (not 8.5). a little over a year old.

dark black, as one comes to expect from an imperial stout, yet this has some other quality, a perceivable "lightness" that i cant quite explain (perhaps brought on by the curiously white head). whatever it is, it is certainly telling of things to come. smells like, oh what is it, belgian yeast!!! though im sure this is a consequence of the wheat, it is still unpleasant and rather unexpected (call me naiive). nothing much else here, except perhaps some coffee and the slightest hint of chocolate.

the flavor is what was expected from the smell. whatever it is that tastes like belgian yeast (again, im sure its the wheat, unless they actually used belgian yeast) takes over, as that flavor tends to do, and doesn't allow any of the subtleties that this beer might have to offer come through. otherwise you've got a hint of coffee, and an even slighter dose of chocolate, both unassuming and hidden in the background. not a good imperial stout. back to the drawing board with this one!!!

mouthfeel is ridiculously light for what is supposed to be a "BIG" beer, though it is nicely carbonated and fairly smooth on the palate. drinkability is limited to my half of the bottle (i shared with a friend), and i would not want a drop more.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.11/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, batch 93 bottled in 9/07, into a snifter.

Appears an opague black color with a big two inch tan head. Takes a while but eventually it sinks down to a skim and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma has notes of anise, coffee, dark fruit, and alcohol.

The taste starts off with some sweetness and a molasses flavor. Some dark fruit creeps in next alongside anise flavors and something like soy sauce. A good amount of hop bitterness on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is medium, a bit too light for an Imperial Stout.

This one just didn't do it for me. I barely got myself to finish it. Certainly wasn't worth the expensive price tag.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a pint bottle Batch 342, 1080 bottles. Poured into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours black, with a pretty foamy 1 1/2 finger dark brown head. The head bubbles to a thin cap, leaving some spotty lacing behind.

S - Smells roasty and smokey. Some chocolate and black licorice hints as well, but very faint.

T/M - Not what I was expecting, or what the smell led on to. The taste is almost peppery, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, and slightly over carbonated.

O - Well it's not your regular russian imperial, it's an imperial wheat...? Not really sure I love it, because I think the wheat overpowers everything else.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours black with a super thick dark tan head like a milkshake that dissipates rapidly. Aroma of bitter chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and alcohol. Flavor of light roasted malt, apple skins, and an odd sweet vegetal quality. Thin mouthfeel. Something was off with this beer and it just wasn't very tasty.
Appearance: 4/5
Aroma: 7/10
Palate: 3/5
Flavor: 6/10
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of HopGoblin
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured extremely dark with a brownish tan head. First smell off the top is that of a wine like character, but that pleasant wine-like sour smell quickly fades away and get a little funky.
Taste is that of a good cup of black coffee. Bright, sharp and acidic with the flavors of the roated malts coming through. Finishes a little thick with just the acidity lingering in the mouth.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 449, brewed Feb 2012, drunk Feb 2013, cool, from a tulip.

A - 4.25 - Black, with a finger of nice tan head that really endures.

S - 3.75 - Hey surprise, smells like a wheat beer, although backed up with some char, bordering on metal. The wheat sweetness is almost that characteristic Belgian yeast smell, and a little bubble gummy. There's a decent malty smell.

T - 2.75 - Surprisingly crisp and dry. The dryness is of an unfortunately metallic kind. The dryness makes it kind of hollow overall and there's not a lot to fill that void. Aftertaste mostly of faint char and borderline metal.

M - 3.5 - Surprisingly not even medium bodied - just shy. Dry. It wants more than this.

O - 3.0 - Overall kind of weird. The wheat notes don't seem to come together well with the char notes. The dryness and lack of viscosity leave it kind of empty. And faint metal in the aroma, palate, and aftertaste are unwelcome and distracting. I've had more/worse metal, but this is juuust enough to register. An interesting attempt, but it didn't work out. Don't want the rest.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.24/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured on 3/31/11

Pours a pitch black with half of a glass of dark tan from that is hanging around for quite a while. The aroma has a very charred smell to it, not a very enticing smell. Very mineraly, not what I would call enticing. The flavor is where it turns around. Nice rich chocolate and deep roasted malts, though there seems to be an underlying saltiness to it. Enjoyable if you can get past the aroma. Nice creamy mouthfeel with crisp carbonation, maybe a bit too high for my taste. I'd almost want to call this an oyster stout if I was drinking it blind. I'd have to say, not a fan. It has its high points, but the negatives detract too much.

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Photo of mentor
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 75, May 2007.

Pours a two finger dark brown head over a pitch liquid, even when held to light. Initially soda pop head slows to a normal head, but leaves no lacing. Smells fallen hops, mild drying coffee, clean alcohol, cream. Institutional brownies, that is too much flour and not enough chocolate, butter or sugar. Just not enough ummph. A little bit of soured caramel oxidation (most people describe this as sherry-like).

Tastes much better than the aroma (which was mild). Rich coffee that reaches the point of being ashy. Some chocolate syrup. Strong alcohol with some edge. Aromatic hops with mild grassiness beneath. Md-thick mouthfeel tries to hold residual sugars on the tongue, but the beer dries due mostly to the alcohol, but also some carbonation that forms and roast dry. Hop bitter has a hard time penetrating through the chocolate and alcohol. Low levels of fruity esters are all but lost...only found with searching.

Decent, but muddled. Needs time for things to blend and start to work together. Heat is about right, although I personally would like it a bit lower.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #93. Brewed Sept. '07.

A- Pours a very dark, almost pitch black body with a 3-finger coffee colred head. Head shows some pretty good retention and some decent lace.

S- A big wheaty whiff up front, followed by a big hit of molasses and dark fruits along with some roasted malts and bitter chocolate. Also some sweet toffee and sour cherries that show through.

T- Do not think this should be classified as a RIS. More of a Strong Dark Belgian ale. A lot of the molasses flavor, as well as sour cherries and other dark fruits. Not a bad flavor, but not what I would've expected.

MF- Moderate body with a good amount of caronation also knock this one down as an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a big-bubbled 3-finger tan head. Reduces to a constant ring with an intense fizziness like a soda.

The nose has some awesome coffee tones atop its big dark fruit- aromas of prune, raisin, chocolate, maple, dark caramel. The hops are barely noticeable, while a touch of yeasty chalkiness sneaks in there.

The palate is medium-bodied with that huge carbonation making the brew explode in your mouth- big roasted malt, a moderate bitterness and flavors of coffee, caramel and prunes. The finish is long and roasty.

Overall, it's not a bad brew, but that carbonation is waaay over the top. I'm serious when I say it fizzes like a Coca-Cola. And for an imperial stout, the brew isn't all that complex with regards to its aromas and flavors. Drinkable, but middle-of-the-road. I'd say just to make my stout with all barley next time.

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Photo of nbree00
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2007

A: Jet black color, perhaps not as viscous as it would be fresh.

S: Smells a little past its prime, a little soapy with notes of milk chocolate, raisins, blackberries and violet.

T/M: Pretty thin on the palate with restrained flavors of chocolate, dates, and a hint of cinnabuns. Pretty silky on the mouthfeel but maybe not as rich and lush as it was a couple years ago.

O: Overall not to bad a beer. It has a best by date of Dec. 2011, but I think it probably has already peaked and is starting to go downhill. Glad I didn't wait any longer on this one.

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Photo of stcules
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Black, wih a lot of brown, compact head.
Toaasty smell, not too strong, but good, intense, dusty.
A light soya sauce.
Round, well hideen alcohol, with a soft malty start, light, then the toasted and dusty notes, with some coffee.
Relatively light body, quite short aftertaste, hazelnut and toasted.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.34/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch Number: 93
Brewed: SEP 07
Best Bef: SEP 11

16.9oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a large tan head that possesses very nice retention and lacing qualities. The aroma is dark and roasty with dark fruits and hints of cocoa. The taste features a mixture of dark bitter chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits. I find the mouthfeel to be a little thin for the style, but it does not detract from the brew too much. Overall, Dark Force is a pretty decent RIS, but just doesn't stand out in any way over the others to make a repeat purchase. Worth a try.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Although this beer is listed as 8.5% abv, my bottle clearly states that this is a 9% abv. The label is adorned with dark colors of purple and blue. There is also the imprint of a hand around the label, showing how one should grab the bottle from the shelf. I dont know what a "Double Extrem Imperial Wheat Stout" is, but this is the only one in the world so I am excited.

Dispenses from the 16.9oz bottle an opaque black with a huge head. The head seems a bit thin but as it dissipates, it fills out a bit becomes more full. It sure has the head of a wheat. Nice lacing as well.

Aromas were spicy and yeasty and a little sour. A touch of chocolate and plenty of dark roasted grains. Some raisiny smells as well, but overall, a little disappointed.

Flavors of a double stout. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and plenty of coffee flavors as well. Alcohol is niticeable but isnt too incapacitating. Sweet and slightly syrupy.

Sticky on the palate and sweet and thick. This one isnt too bad I suppose. I doubt I will have this one again but who knows. Maybe the name could be shortened a bit so as not to be so confusing. Worth a shot.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Black with a medium brown head with big bubbles that quickly fades. Nose is assertive black coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium and actually feels thinner than it is because of high carbonation.

Big flavors follow nose. All bitter black coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Not a bad example but the high carbonation really detracts. Big bitter espresso finish.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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

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Photo of Kevinkarpiak
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I just found one bottle, in the back of my specialty beer selling local liquor store and was like "hey I've never seen that one. I'll buy it for $7.95 and take it home and try it." Only later did I realize it had brewing info on the side: batch #75, brewed May 2007. That would make this a 6.5 year old beer!

Nice dark color with a surprisingly thick brown head for its age. No aroma to speak of, except a slight booziness. It doesn't drink boozy, though, despite it's 9% calling card. Flavor is a standard, if lightweight, imperial stout. Kinda one nite, with no extra flavors hidden beneath. Mouth feel is a bit thin too, for an Imperial Stout... Although both these last two qualities could be because of age. The bottle also says "best before May 2010"

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 514 ratings.
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