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: 513
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge dark brown foamy color head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry coffee notes are dominating with some black chocolate notes as well. Taste is a mix between some dry coffee notes with some black chocolate notes a nice creamy body. Full body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I can't say that I really tasted the wheat component and I would have guessed it contains any wheat unless it was mentioned on the label. Good beer overall but missing something to be with the great beer form the style.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as the night with a dark tan head.
Nose shows cocoa, liquorice, roasted malt, sultanas and dark fruit. Tempting.
Full-on flavours; big roasty characters, smoke, roasted malt, espresso, booze. Serious stuff.
Carbonation is pretty high for a stout.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2007 shared with nbree00.

A-Pours shiny black with burgundy highlights and a coffee colored head that fizzles out quickly, leaving absolutely no lacing.

S-Smoky, earthy, leathery maltiness, cold coffee, milk chocolate, condensed milk, dulce de leche.

T/M-Prickly carbonation. More of that cold coffee roastiness, accented by a bright acidity. Starting to get oxidized. Some chewy bitter chocolate flavors, charred wood. Flavors that are all nice on their own, but not harmonious in this beer. Full bodied with aggressive carbonation and a roasty, full mouthfeel.

O-Too old at this point. An average stout. Not as interesting as the label's description suggests.

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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.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a stiff three finger dark brown head that decomposes to 3D lacing, like an ice cream float. The smell is aggressive and unique; malty, chalky, and boozy with a licorice character. The mouth feel is thick and full bodied. Full flavored, the taste is similar to the nose and the licorice lingers some. While the 8.5% ABV is out there in the nose, it is otherwise well integrated. A reasonable drinker.

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Photo of champ103
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 2008 bottle.

A: Pours a dark black, with some brown around the edges. A tan head rises to two fingers, but recedes in a second. Little lace.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and sweet vanilla. Cookie dough. Some yeast as well. Lots of layers in the nose.
T: Roasted malt with some slightly chalky and bitter chocolate. A bit astringent and acrid. Bread/biscuit and yeast.
M/D: Medium carbonation, but a little thin and water. Not hard to drink, but one bottle is more than enough.

Interesting, and worth a try if you see it. A solid offering, but there are other RIS I will seek out in the future.

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Photo of MM3
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this beer a few days ago. This review is based on the notes that I made during the tasting.

The beer is black with a dark brown head. The head built up nicely during the pouring, but collapsed soon after to a small solid layer of foam.

The first thing that I noticed about the smell were the fruity aromas. Then the roasted, smokey and chocolate appeared to me.

The beer's taste was a combination of malty sweetness and a roasty bitterness.

The mouthfeel was thin due to the large amount of carbonation of the beer. In my opinion this beer has too much CO2.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 9% ABV, weird fingerprint cosmos imagery on the label, which also includes a lost in translation Star Wars reference.

This beer pours an essentially thorough solid black, the only offset a thin razor-sharp cola edge when presented to the light of day. It gives up a number of fingers of thin fizzy, yet foamy mocha head, which slinks away at an even pace, giving up very little in the way of lace. The aroma is toasty barley and crisp wheat grain, dry chocolate, and a bit of coffee grounds. Up front in the flavour is sour roasted chocolate malt, with some put-upon edgy wheat graininess, a bit of tart orchard fruitiness, and followed up by bitter earthy hops, providing further dryness. The carbonation is average - noticeable and forgettable at the same time, the body inarguably on the light side, and adequately smooth. It finishes off-dry and ashy, chocolate malt and coffee oriented, respectively.

The name of this brew could be a new style unto itself (Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout). As it stands, as an RIS it falls short, likely due to the heavy use of wheat - the weight just isn't there, and while it hides the big booze quite well, it winds up feeling more like a strong porter than anything. Still, if you don't mind some sour astringency to go with your usual suspects, pile on.

As seems to be the increasing norm while I engage is this particular pastime, the Winamp music gods endeavour to play along: 'Turbonegro - What is Rock?!' So Skol, indeed.

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Photo of ejquin
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep black with big fluffy brown head. Good retention.

S: Chocolate and roasted malt with some cherry and vanilla notes, along with some hop spice and slight yeastiness

T?M A little too thin and overly carbonated, but the flavor is OK. More dark chocolate and vanilla with some sourness and a good deal of hop bite at the end and a long finish.

Ovr: This wasn't bad, but far off from the better stouts. Mouthfeel was too thin and overly carbonated. Hop finish and sourness overwhelemed the chocolate and roasted malt flavors.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An apparently hard pour produced a big tan colored head atop a black beer with dark ruby highlights around the edges. The retention of the head was impressive. Chocolate, dark fruit and some general graininess perhaps from the wheat round out the aroma. Lighter on the palate then I expected, but still silky. Cocoa powder, sweet dark fruit, and just generic roasted malt flavors. Wheat is detectable, but not dominate by any means. A mild bitterness balances out the finish. A slight alcohol warming pops out at the end, as well.

A decent, but fairly run of the mill, imperial stout. The $7.99 price tag on this bottle had me hoping for a bit more.

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Photo of cradke
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very Dark with a fine head. Very viscous.

Smell: Malty. Can certainly taste the wheat which is a nice touch.

Taste: Very large flavors of molasses and dark chocolate. Wheat and bread flavors. A bit too sweet for me but a still some great flavor.

Mouthfeel: A bit more carbonation than most imperial stouts but it's nice. Quite viscous but the flavor spreads nicely across the palate.

Overall: A solid stout, it has some nice flavor and the wheat is certainly present which is unique. I wish they toned the sweetness down a little but but it's a solid overall stout.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #93

A - Solid black with a bubbly cola like brown head that lingers.

S - Wheat malt, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, licorice and a touch of smoke.

T - Wheat malt, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, licorice, soy sauce and chocolate milk in the finish.

M - Creamy and very carbonated. Fizzy in the mouth until it settles down.

D - Not a true RIS but very interesting.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at a pretty awesome tasting at gordon's fine wine and spiris on main st in waltham

This beer pours black with a nice brown head

the smell is kind of lacking, a little bit of roasted malts but not much of it, and not much of anything else

the taste is better than the smell, nice roasted malt flavor with a decent amount of bitterness.

the beer is better than average for drinkability and has a nice mouthfeel to it.

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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.

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

A - Pours pitch black with a solid finger of dark mocha head with decent retention and no real lacing.

S - Sweet wine, black licorice, dark cocoa and fresh ground espresso. ABV heat is also detectable on the nose.

T - A bitterness dominates alongside espresso notes and dark cocoa. A sweetness emerging from the alcohol offsets the bitter, but is a bit powerful. Some black licorice notes also come through with some leafy hops on the finish.

M - Light and bubbly, goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - A tasty offering, but at $7/bottle its a little pricey for the experience. The ABV can come through a bit strong at times, and the bitterness could be a bit of a turnoff to some. Worth a try, but not one of my favourites.

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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.

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

Pours like a fresh quart of 5w30. Thick and black with a dark brown head that retains for a couple minutes.

Smells of fruitcake and roasted malt. Alcohol is noticeable as well.

Tastes strongly of roasted malt and dark fruits. I'm not really happy with the strong lingering sweet molasses finish, but the beer has other attributes that make up for it. When the molasses flavor subsides, the mouth is left with pleasant bitter taste.

With a description like "Double Extreme Imperial" wheat stout, the thick syrupy mouthfeel does not come by surprise. It coats the mouth in a way only a imperial stout can. Yummy.

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Photo of Sesmu
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note: my bottle states 9% alc/vol

Even though it was taken out of the basement, upon opening it gushed a little. So my first introduction was straight from the bottle, while attempting to calm down the gushing :)

A: Very dark brown to black. Not very thick foam, of copper color, which dissolved rather quickly.

S: Coffee and malt, not very complex though.

T/M: Bitter coffee dominates. Surprising prickly sensation from carbonation, although I don't think the beer was extremely young. It feels a little thin for an imperial stout. There are chocolate notes present, some distant fruitiness, but I'm somewhat puzzled as to what role wheat plays here. Somehow the presence of wheat malt isn't really noticeable and is overpowered by dark roasted malts (unless wheat malt is what accounts for this relative thinness.) Taste isn't that complex because it is largely dominated by coffee, which is not bad, but a little disappointing.

Overall, the beer is pleasant, easily drinkable, alcohol is well hidden, however, the beer is by no means great. Maybe I expected too much from this unique, Imperial Wheat Stout, but it definitely felt short of my expectations.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1pt.9oz bottle (cost a huge $7.99) into a pint glass. I bought it based on the label, which claims the beer to be a Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout. Furthermore, there was a reference to Star Wars (from a country far, far away... This Imperial really strikes back) which I found difficult to resist. But in the final analysis this feels gimicky and I would not buy it again.

The appearance is great, dark opaque black with a thick finely celled mocha colored foam. I didn't get much wheat out of the smell, the aroma was mostly roasted malts. I expected but did not find any chocolate or coffee notes. Maybe the flavor will be better. Damn. Only roasted malts and maybe a hint of esters. None of the sweet malty flavors I wanted, nor any dark fruits or chocolate or etc. Not bad, but not worth seeking for, definitely not worth paying so much for.

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Photo of zeff80
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with ruby tones. It had very little head and really looked like a port.

S - It smelled of alcohol, sweet malts, toffee and some caramel.

T - The taste was quite different from the smell. It tasted spiced (kind of like a winter warmer). It still had a good roasted malt flavor and some chocolate/caramel flavors.

M - It was sharp, crisp and had a subtle dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very unique RIS. The spices are quite different and make this one worth a try.

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Photo of sogrady
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I missed the bourbon tint mentioned by the other reviewers, but that's possibly because this followed a bourbon aged Allagash Black, so that would have been lost on me.

In any event, the Dark Force is an excellent RIS. The usual chocolate, coffee and dark fruit notes are accented by a distinguishing smoke component. The body is dark and thick, as befitting the style, and well balanced front to back.

I've had better imperial stouts, but this is well worth your time.

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Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured fro ma 500ml bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass. It poured very thick and pitch black in color. It also poured with a giant fizzy and frothy head to it that filled 3/4 of the glass. It took about 6 pour and wait sessions before I got a enough to call a full glass. The head finally settled to a thin covering where it remained well into drinking it.

The aroma shows a lot of bitter baking chocolate like flavor coming through. It has some roasty and burnt flavors to it as well. I get a little bit of the smoother and sweeter malt in the background, but it's almost hidden. It's definitely extreme, like the bottle says.

The taste shows a lot of roasted character to it Dark chocolate, coffee and some burnt flavors come through. A little bit of the sweeter wheat malt comes through and gives it a little smoothness. In the finish I get more of the roasted, bitter-sweet chocolate, but a little of that wheat malt is in the background as well with just a bit of a fruit like flavor to it. The dry and burnt flavor lingers for a while as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent for such a big and extreme beer. it had a ton of roasty and burnt flavors to it but also a bit of chocolate and sweetness to balance it out just a hair. It leaned a bit too much on the roasty, burnt and bitter side of the spectrum to be overly smooth or drinkable though for me. it is a big, bold and a pretty interesting beer to sip on this evening though.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt, 9 fluid oz bottle served in my DFH snifter. Batch NR 116 brewed in December 2007, 9% abv. Poured one shade shy of black; zero light penetration. Dense, two inch khaki-colored head eventually settled into a solid, consistent cap. Sheets of foam coated the sides of the bowl with each tilt; however, weak adhesion. First impression off the nose is alcohol heat, followed by a suggestion of dark fruit. Some coffee character revealed with a slight swirl of the glass. Flavors consisted of coffee, malt, dark fruit and some alcohol astringency detectable at the finish, but I also picked up a slightly metallic character in the mix. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied with a light background effervescence; fairly subdued. Consistency starts of silky, but also yields a little chalkiness as well. Good drinkability. Alcohol is apparent, but not over the top. Flavors are fairly well balanced, making this an easy drinking RIS.

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Photo of peabody
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark without the sun. One finger of brown bubbles leave a slight lacing on the glass.
Smell is buorbon chocolate with a coffee aftersmell. Alcohol is the strong suit here.
Taste is chocolate coffee and mostly coffee. Bourbon hints with just a dash of raisin or plum.
Mouthfeel is very dirty with a tad of oily alcohol.
Drinkability is a bit low because of the strong abv.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The force was with me in a nonic pint.

Appearance- The head swelled quickly to three fingers of very soapy and solid foam. The color is a dark caramel color, kind of reminds me of Riesen's.

The body is utterly, unfathomably black. Forget about it, this things is a "dark force" all right. No perfect score because head retention was pretty bad and lace is non-existent.

Smell- It almost smells like a wheat whine at first sniff. It kind of gives you the idea of the sweet, brandy character of the nose. It is definitely not roasty, but instead is focused on sweet and dark mashed fruits.

Taste- Alcohol and a roasty tingle hit the tongue first. There is only a little bit of the sweetness from the nose actually translated here, honestly might as well be a different beer.

Anise and leather are prominent mid-drink, and a little bit of char. And in fact, it is a leathery char that finishes this beer off. Although, it does not make it caustic or hard to drink, that may be influence from the wheat.

It is certainly a "strong" stout, but not in a roasted malt way. The focus is more on earthy tones and leather. Different for sure, not in a bad way.

Mouth feel- A little watery, and a little slick. No need to worry about carbonation with this offering. Obviously this would be helped greatly by a bigger feel and a chewier body.

Overall- This stout does not really ever show me "wheat". I think if anything, the wheat prevents this beer from becoming undrinkable, because Haand Bryggeriet does not mess around with this stout.

The flavors are bold;the flavors are strong. And you will know immediately if you are up to task.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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