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
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10oz tulip for $7.50 with the menu indicating an even 9% ABV. Sampled 1/15/11.

A: The beer arrives with a small tan head that is quick to disappear and settles in without any film, collar or lacing. The color of the body is a notch below pitch black. Zero transparency - even at the edges and the thinnest parts of the glass.

S: The nose presents rich roasted (nearly burnt) aromas of coffee, bitter chocolate and ash. The smell is straight to the point and everything a RIS should be. In my mind, the integration of aromas is damn near perfect.

T: Very strong malt character with enough hop presence to back it up. Again, extremely roasty with rich, bold flavors of coffee, chocolate and charred wood. A less than acrid bitterness holds the final taste impression together and ensures the next sip will be soon after.

M: Soft, very rounded mouthfeel with a low level of carbonation that compliments the luscious texture. So smooth. I am a big fan of the wheat in the grist, which I think has the perfect impact on mouthfeel and consistency.

D: [DRINKABILITY] Excellent. Very little room for improvement from this serving type. The bottle I had was good, but not nearly as impressive.

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

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a schooner. Batch 332, best before 15.12.12

A - pitch black with no light transmissible; big tan head loudly dissipates after a few minutes leaving just a hint of a head that leaves small chunky lacing behind

S - soapy/hoppy nose with a hint of smoke in the background and some caramel, a bit unusual on the nose - no idea what to expect from the beer

T - initial bitterness carries through to the end, with layers of smoke, a slight hint of dark fruit and coffee; very slightly tart, but still brooding and smoky. Sticks nicely at the side of the tongue and the back of the throat

M - smooth and velvety - carbonation serves to increase the creaminess; mild alcohol warming

D - it's strangely drinkable even with the bitterness and alcohol warming - somehow is balanced just right

Interesting and somewhat remarkable beer. Solid bitterness (moreso than many Imperial Stouts) but still balanced. Definitely one to try!

[As with most "wheat beers" adding in the maximum sediment from the base of the bottle really changed the character of this beer - it rounded off all the sharp edges, and added a slight sweetness - though the bitterness was still present.]

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Photo of mwilbur
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500 mL bottle into snifter. Batch number 287. Bottled 24.06.10.
A: Pours a beautiful opaque black with 2-3 inch silky bubbly dark roast coffee head. Good retention.
S: Roasted malt and grains. Mild fig note. Hint of coffee and dry chocolate. Less powerful than expected.
T: Nice dark chocolate, smooth roasted caramel malt, fig and other dark dried fruit, and a hint of mildly roasted coffee. Smooth wheat/grain backbone. Sweeter notes of toffee and caramel in the finish.
M: Silky smooth and creamy. Moderately heavy body. Nice slow lingering on the palate.
D: Intriguing style and intriguing brew. Good drinkability and decently complex. Would give this a go if you had the chance.

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Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a huge pillow brown head that settles into a solid cap.

The aroma is roasty with some milk chocolate notes, some ground coffee and wet wood. The remainder of the aroma seems to be some light clovey scents from the yeast and the wheat malt. Unique aroma, its nice.

The taste is incrediably smooth. Good roasted malt flavors with a smooth milk chocolate. Some coffee bitterness. Some dark fruit notes as well, raisin and plum, perhaps some carob. The wheat malt seems to provide a neutralizing flavor which smooths the finish. There is some light spice notes from the yeast but they hardly make their presence known against the malt.

Heavy feel with fizzy carbonation. The carbonation makes it easier to drink but does distrupt the smooth aspect of the beer. Fairly roasty on the palate but does finishes quite mellow.

A roasty stout that is smooth as hell. Love the finish on this stout

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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 DCon
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 1 PT .9 FL OZ bottle of this w/ Chris F. from Grand Teton in St. Paul, MN (priced @ $14). Poured from the blue and wavey bottle w/ the the normal Haand designs on it into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has Batch 290, Bottled 15.07.10, Total bottles 1080, on the side in black on white.

Aroma- Very rich and boozy beginning of smell. Strong malts follow and espresso is in here as well but only as a background characteristic. Very light burnt aroma comes in here as well but nothing that takes away from the booziness! Strong and great to smell this with a brew so light in ABV's.

Appearance- Pours a 3.5+ finger head that lasts and stays dark brown like it started. Has a deep brown colored body that can't get any darker. Leaves nice lacing and very dark.

Flavor- Sweet, oaky, and coffee flavored all are combined in this one. No hop bitterness evident but every other attribute is very strong!

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Easy to drink, not so chewy like others... Very gentle and not as textures as I would like either.

Overall Impression- An awesome Imperial Stout. Not my choice of how I would like a mouthfeel in this style but was intense enough on the taste it didn't matter! Will be looking for this one in stores to keep and age. I would suggest you trying this one too.

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Photo of DIM
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a gusher. After cleaning up the mes I was left with a black beer and a quickly fading, fizzy, dark tan head.

s: Huge roasty chocolate aromas with some fairly substantial heat and hints of charcoal, licorice, and dark fruit.

t: The taste is similar to what the smell sugested it would be, it just isn't quite as hot thankfully. The roast character here is massive, lots of cocoa and hints of chocolate. There is also some fruity molasses and licorice up front. The finish is a nicely bitter charcoal.

m: Big, but in a fluffy way.

o: Not quite as good as Odin's Tipple, but I did enjoy this quite a bit. The effect of the wheat is subtle at best though.

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Photo of dgilks
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black with a big, creamy, dark tan head. Decent head retention.

Bright, spicy alcohol combines with sweet malt and sweet, milk chocolate. Very nice.

This is a really interesting beer because the inclusion of wheat makes it so smooth. The rounded, chocolatey roasted wheat combines with spritzy alcohol, a touch of roast, mild bitter chocolate and an earthy hop character. A few esters add complexity. Really nice.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A smooth, rounded Imperial Stout that shows off the versatility of wheat in a beer. The roast character is different to what you get with barley and I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HaandBryggeriet : Dark Force

Pours a very dark blackish brown, short livid khaki head forms and recedes.
Aroma is of roasted malts, alcohol, and coffee.
In the taste, toasty roasted malts, some wheat malt providing ample sweetness. A touch of smoke, and alcohol is present but not too strong. Alcohol becomes more defined as it warms, with some dark wheat malt grain present. Definately some smoke appearing more and more as it warms, and becomes more balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied, carbonation is moderate. Overall, a good Russian Imperial Stout, strong and nice.

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Photo of monitorpop
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
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 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 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 Rutager
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
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 ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark as night black hue which leaves basically no head and no lacing,the smell is wheat,boozy alcohol,dark chocolate and cocoa,the mouthfeel is only medium bodied and abit thin for the style in my eyes with tastes of dark bittersweet chocolate,wheat,cereal,cocoa,dark plums and is finished with a dark mocha bittersweetness and overall its definately a first for me as i havnt heard of anyone else doing an imperial wheat stout but its very sessionable and easier to knock down than other RIS's but just not a true RIS in my eyes cheers.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch number 342. 1080 bottles total.

bottle states this beer is 9% ABV.

poured into a bells tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark black bodied beer with big head. Head is a medium brown composed of lots of tiny bubbles.

Smell: milk chocolate, charred wood, and hints of smoke. Yeasty and earthy. This stout has a really fresh smell.

Taste: Nice deep milk chocolate notes starts off the taste of the beer. The milk chocolate even tastes like its creamy. It also got some earthiness and bready qualities to it. Leather and charred wood are tasted in the middle of the beer, both not able to overpower the milk chocolate. The charred wood turns into a smokey note as it mellows transitioning into the aftertaste. Along with the smoke in the aftertaste you do get a bit of the roastiness from the malts, but they are both in equal strength.

Mouthfeel: Light end of a medium bodied beer. Fairly light for a stout anyways. Medium carbonation. This beer has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, but its also has a little bit of a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice stout. Nothing that is mind blowing here, but its still got it going on. Its a nice sipper with some complexity and a very well made beer for sure. Subtle yet effective... is how I would describe it.

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

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

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

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

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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 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 joemcgrath27
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - jet clack with a very tall dark and very airy head that dissipated quickly to a thin covering
S - a mix of very roasty malt, sharp multigrain toast, smoky and an alcohol kick
T - very smoky malt with coffee and bitter chocolate accents, burnt sugars with light leafiness and some spicy alcohol
M - chewy smooth and smoky fullness up front, moves to a coffee bitterness but remains full throughout
O - this is a very big beer as advertised, only meant for big beer drinkers which I like to think I am, definitely glad I opened this tonight

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Photo of JDizzle
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Sergio's in Louisville, Ky.

Pours black with a nice dark brown head. No lacing to speak of.

The smell is different than any other RIS that I have smelled. I don't know if it's the wheat or what, but it's not my favorite. Smells a little metalic with dark roast and chocolate.

The upfront taste is not pleasing at all. It's like a carbonation bomb explodes on your tongue and then settles into a wonderfull coffee and dark chocolate finish. One of the best finishes I had on a RIS.

The bottle stated 9.2%ABV, it it was present, but not over the top. The excessive carbonation taxes you on every drink though, but what a FINISH!!

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Photo of Errto
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased in Aspen, CO.

Pours a very thick black. Seemingly viscous, yet as it enters the glass an enormously thick medium brown head emerges. As the foam settles, reddish hints appear around the edges of a dark body.

The first smell is some sweet spices mixed with very dark chocolate. A hint of alcohol and a generous rich malt follow. No hops to speak of on the nose.

The chocolate is there again in the taste. Some caramel sweetness. Almost nutty. A sort of astringent bitterness at the back of the throat along with a more distinct alcohol bite, but I still wouldn't call it boozy.

Body was reasonably light for the style. Perhaps the aggressive carbonation helps with this. The end of every gulp is a little mouth-puckering. Not sourness, for certain. But sort of the same feeling you get from a dark-roast iced coffee.

Overall an interesting take on the RIS style. Less boozy and thick than many American versions, which is nice. Excessive carbonation is a bit of a bummer, though.

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