Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

very good
517 Ratings
Read the review
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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Ratings: 517 |  Reviews: 320
Photo of mikereaser
3.24/5  rDev -18.2%
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 JMS1512
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of mentor
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
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 gelasin
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of LtCracker20
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
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 -16.9%
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 -15.9%
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 -15.9%
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 -15.7%
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 -15.2%
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 -14.9%
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 -14.6%
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 -14.4%
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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Photo of Rutager
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a deep and viscous black with almost two fingers of frothy deep tan head.

Smell. Sour yeast funk, some roasty chocolate and grains.

Taste. Dark chocolate and extra roasty malts. Some licorice, alcohol and yeasty fruityness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-strong, bubbly carbonation. Pretty warm and boozy.

Overall. Complex and full. Decent, but not really my thing.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Batch No 144, Bottled March 2008

Appearance - pours a dark, Coke-like caramel brown. Opaque in the glass, a few fingers of dark mocha foam doesn't look real thick, and melts away pretty quickly with no lace.

Aroma - some decent roast to the malt, but its graininess outsmells its roast. A light milk chocolate after setup. Okay but neither imperial nor Russian.

Taste - good roastiness in the opening swallow. Grains are mildly sweet, the roast flavors are strong and tasty. Not real bitter, but it is two years old. Pleasant swallow shows some bitter chocolate with the palate drying. One of those in-betweeners for the 3.5 or 4.0 rating, but I'll give it a nod.

Mouthfeel - thin for the style and overcarbonated IMO. Light smoothness but misses the mark on the essential facets of the style.

Drinkability - it's a tasty stout for sure. Kind of a pretender in the RIS category but I suppose it is partially compromised by the imperial wheat part of the name. The taste to me fits the Baltic Porter category best. I'd have it again.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500mL bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a vicious opaque black, a serious 2 finger head that never goes away, and some simple lacing around the glass as you drink away.

S - Dark Roasted malts, some caramel, very odd smell nothing to crazy on this one.

T - I tried this one a bit to cold at first, the taste was not pleasant at all. After warming up, lots of strong coffee and chocolate taste, with a bit of caramel as well as wheat at the tail end. This one tasted a lot better after warming up.

M - Full body, mid carbonation.

D - Not to into this brew, probably will not have another.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes
Had on tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Black, light brown/clear around the edges. About a finger and a half of head. No lacing.

S: Roasted barley, dark chocolate, I swear I can smell very light malt: the wheat, almost like toasted hay.

T: Heavy roasted barley character, almost robust porter like. A good bit of dry, bakers dark chocolate. Fairly bitter. The wheat gives this an unusually light and mellow taste. Finish is a little bitter but otherwise very clean, not much hop presence.

M: Light body, but smooth and creamy with a very clean finish.

O: This is kind of the opposite of it's namesake, it's not really much of a dark force. Light, clean, and crisp RIS isn't exactly what I think of when I hear "Dark Force". It's pretty tasty, no doubts about that. The alcohol is very well masked. Its an interesting experiment and I could see this as being a great RIS option for the summer. I want to give this a higher grade because it is tasty, but it just isn't much of a RIS. Category aside, it's an A-. As a RIS, it's average at best.

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Photo of monitorpop
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 6/20/2008

A: Solid black with a one finger chocolate tan head.

S: Earthy with funky yeast, dark chocolate, malt.

T: Dark chocolate, toasted malts and coffee. A bit musty.

M: A bit thin, but slightly creamy with medium/high carbonation. No alcohol burn.

O: Decent Imperial Stout but it seems a bit off, maybe from the wheat?

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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.

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Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

They don't call it Dark Force for nothing! Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy mocha head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Huge roasted malt aroma with silky chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, coffee and toast. There is also some faint alcohol sweetness in the nose.

Medium bodied and overly carbonated with a good bit of oxidization. Nice roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, lactic cream, oatmeal, toffee and alcohol sweetness. Slightly bitter throughout with a very dry, warm finish.

The appearance and aroma of this beer got me excited ut it was a bit of a let down afterward. I'd like to give it another try sometime but it's not worth the high price point.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

16.9 oz. bottle, Batch 93, brewed Sept. 07

A: Pours a dark brown with a full, yet fizzy tan head, with fair retention, leaves light lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, banana bread, espresso coffee, ethanol volatiles.

T: Definitely full on chocolate at the beginning with a light minty hop profile. Bananas, presuambly from the wheat are there as well along with a big dose of malt sugar, think Whoppers. Bite of strong coffee comes in with the finish and aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is very light for a 9% stout, creamy, oily, definitely needs more body.

D: An interesting beer from this Norse brewery, not outstanding, but good.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours quite dark, with a slow-forming, thick and dark toasty head. Smells of roasted barley and a bit of milky mocha, but it's a relatively slight aroma as imperial stouts go. On the palate, lots of green hop bitterness to go along with bitterness from the roasted barley. Some sweetness comes through, too, although I wonder how much of it is due to the alcohol, which produces a measured burn. Mouthfeel is a couple of steps too thin, probably due to the high wheat content, with hard carbonation and hop bitterness contributing to make this beer like a blade: thin, hard, sharp. Overall, this is certainly an interesting, well-considered beer, but I don't think it lives up to its potential. I'll take my imperial stouts with barley, thanks.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.96 out of 5 based on 517 ratings.
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