Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
517 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Dark ForceDark Force
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway
haandbryggeriet.net

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
517
Reviews:
320
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
11.36%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
51
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 517 |  Reviews: 320
Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The head recedes quickly and leaves little to no lace on the glass.

S - Strong bitter-sweet chocolate and dark caramel. A light smoky aroma with notes of toffee, almonds, and molasses.

T - Dark chocolate and coffee beans up front that transition to sweet, dark caramel in the middle. Notes of toffee, cola, and roasted almonds. Darker malt notes come in towards the finish; smoke, carbon, unsweetened chocolate, and a hint of hop flavor.

M - Moderate-high carbonation, reasonably thick, slightly oily body, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable with some excellent and complex chocolate character. The high carbonation is a bit strange and detracts from the beer in the end, but there are no other noticeable flaws. I have been very impressed with the HaandBryggeriet beers that I have had thus far, and will certainly try any more I am able to get my hands on.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque and extremely dark midnight black in color with some hints of dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall dark mocha head that slowly reduced to a single medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma is mild and lighter than I expected for the style. There are light aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and just the slightest touch of wheat.

T: The taste of this beer builds from the smell and has a nice amount of complexity. It starts with a dark roasted malt body that also includes some flavors of wheat, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee. Additionally, there are hints of smokiness and molasses. There is a light amount of bitterness that lingers in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Dry in the finish with some light amounts of alcohol warming. Slightly lighter in body than expected for the style due to the wheat.

O: Other than in the mouthfeel of this beer, the high ABV of alcohol is quite well hidden. The tastes of this beer are very complex and interesting but the smell is a little too mild for me and the wheat makes the body a little lighter than I would prefer. This is a very enjoyable sipping beer.

 1,316 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Norwegian...double...Russian...imperial...wheat...stout. There's a lot going on there. There doesn't seem to be a lot of brews from Norway that I've tried, but those I have tried were good and complex. Including this dunkelish wheatish stoutish concoction that I sampled in a 750ml bottle, at the chalkboard's recommendation.

Poured opaque black with a finger or two of a tan head that receded rather quickly to a thin layer. Dark malts, cocoa, and alcohol in the nose. Dark caramel malts on the tongue, with coffee, cocoa, and an alcohol bite, bitterness, and an earthy sensation as well, with a bit of wheaty harshness. Fairly heavy body, and decent drinkability, though a 750 by myself was perhaps a bit much.

 754 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial stout brewed with wheat. Makes for a very interesting combination. The wheat seems to have contributed in a good way to the texture of the beer. Overall, dark, roasty, tasty.

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Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 1,502 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 93 pours mahogany/black with 3+ fingers of mocha head with brown flecks on top. Good lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruits, chocolate & roasted malt

T: Husky roasted grains, iron, & bitter chocolate up front. Chocolate, iron, raisins & licorice as this warms. Finished dry, roasty, & with a nice chocolated edge, plus boozey warmth at the back of the throat

MF: Feels fairly then & prickly up front, even though I let it warm up quite a bit. Smoothed out & gained warming boozeyness as it continued to warm

Drinks alright, there much better examples of this style for far less money. This got better as it warmed, so maybe take it to near room temperature before drinking

 683 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Batch #74)

Appearance: Pours a black body with garnet-hued edges and an immense, tan-colored head.

Smell: An aroma truly immersed in dark, roasted malts. Strong notes of everything from French Roast coffee to unsweetened chocolate to leather to anise to the smokey, scorched remains of a burnt down wooden structure. Pushing my nose past all that, there's even a handful of blueberries in there.

Taste: A rich, hearty bittersweet chocolate flavor starts things off, followed by dark roasted coffee. The moderate sweetness is always kept in check by the soul-crushing roastiness. Mellow blueberry fruitiness. A burnt, ashen quality begins the build. Herbaceous hops, along with anise, tobacco, and a teaspoon of grappa lurk in the long, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Sharply carbonated.

Drinkability: An impressive, very well-crafted beer that's sure to please!

 883 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Double chocolate fudge brown with the suggestion of lightening at the edges, though no actual highlights. The massive crown is the color of dark brown sugar, has a mousse-like texture and is beginning to deposit attractive lace in tattered sheets. What's not to like?

The nose is rock solid as well. Dark Force doesn't smell as devilishly dark and as pungently powerful as some versions, but it definitely gets the job done. I can appreciate quite a bit of dark fruitiness and more than a handful of hops. 65 IBUs will do that. Warming kicks things up a notch.

The brewery claims that DF is the only known wheat stout in the universe. Doubtful. They also call it (in small print along the bottom of the label) a 'Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout'. That's a pretty big boast, so this brew better bring it.

Although I could never have identified the fact that mainly wheat malt is used, it makes sense after the first big gulp. Not in the flavor (there's too much roasted maltiness for that), but in the lighter than usual body and the silky softness of the mouthfeel. Yeah, but does it taste good? You betcha.

Dark Force is reminiscent of a Baltic porter (in some respects), although the stated style is much closer to the mark. There's a huge charred barley character, complete with rivers of chocolate liquor, black coffee and blackstrap molasses. Grapefruity hops crash the mouth party at the midway point, and then come on like gangbusters at the finish.

For all of its smooth silky softness, mouthfeel doesn't quite keep pace with flavor and drinkability. It came up just short of 'very good' in the end.

Dark Force is my third Haandbryggeriet beer and is easily the best. It may not be Double, Extreme *and* Imperial, but it's a delicious RIS that I would love to drink again and again. Since I'm not a Star Wars geek, I'll refrain from some lame joke about The Force. If you're an RIS geek, you should pick this one up whenever you run across it.

 1,963 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle when I was down in Florida on vacation. Served at cellar temp and poured actually in a tall pilsner glass as it was all I had, this one was consumed on 03/05/2009.

The pour was very nice, rich dark black in color with a large foamy head of tan. Toom uch as it came up over the bottle and foamed out all over the place. Once in the glass it settled down nicely though. The aroma was rich chocolate and coffee, lots of molasses and rich dark malts. Smooth carry over into the flavor here as the rich molasses and rum soaked roasted malts were tight as hell here. Really solid RIS as the beer warmed really started to let loose with vanilla and caramel flavors and a nice toasty flavor. Smooth, creamy, full bodied and not too jacked up on ABV, this was easily, and I mean easily one of the btter RIS I have had recently without a doubt.

 857 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Batch 217. Bottle says it's the "only Imperial Wheat Stout in the known universe". Interested to see how this one tastes.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with 2fingers of dark tan head and light carbonation evident. Tiny bit of lacing.

s - Smells of bitter chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol.

t - Tastes of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, bitter and sweet chocolate, toasted malts, and dark fruit. No alcohol in the smell.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Pretty thick and smooth.

d - I thought this was a pretty good RIS. I thought the smell was a littl sweet/weird, but I enjoyed the taste a lot. Would definitely try this one again.

 760 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours essentially black in color with a rather lively tan head. Somewhat smokey with quite a bit of licorice, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. There’s a decent amount of coffee as well. The flavor has a nice touch of chocolate to go with roasted malt, coffee, and licorice. There is also some of the light smokiness that was present on the nose.

 345 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black. Strong brown head fades to lacing.

S - Green apple tang, spiced alcohol and mild dark sugar. Bitter dark chocolate.

T - Dark chocolate covered raisins. Mild roasted coffee, toasted grains, semi sweet hop twang. Faint alcohol, smooth and bitter.

M - Slightly dry mouth, but silky and tingly.

O - An interesting RIS, with some fruit notes and moderate chocolate, coffee and hot alcohol.

 399 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently the boys tried this one at Bierkraft in Brooklyn and there was much diversity in opinions and descriptions of flavor. So let's see what happens here.

Pours pitch black of course with a darker tan head. Nose is dusty. Nice thick malts. Flavor is smoky. Minor bitter edge. Very meaty. Extremely robust. Lasting flavor and a lasting aftertaste. Smooth liquid feel with a thick body. Good level of carbonation. Overall very drinkable. But for the price? Absolutely not. For what I paid for this, I better be getting some serious character, which I don't really feel like I get here.

 591 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a large brown foamy head that is pretty well-retained for the style/abv. Eventually it disappears but comes back with a gentle swirl. No lacing sticks, but "legs" do.

The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate - not sure that I would have picked up on the "wheat" aroma if I didn't know about it beforehand, but there is a breadiness and a tang to it.

The taste is sweet initially - with strong anise. Some bready notes come in and out with roasted coffee and chocolate. As it progresses, sourish/tart tangy notes come through. An interesting brew - and one that I enjoyed the more it progressed (thus lifting the taste score by half a point from my original thought). It does show some booze in the finish.

It has sharp carbonation - with an acidic bite on the tongue. The carbonation is a bit more than expected, but eventually calms a bit. The body isn't quite as full as expected, even as it progresses, but pretty smooth for abv and sharpness.

An interesting brew - I'm not sure it's worth the nearly $10 for the 500 ml to have again, but glad to have had it the once. It becomes more complex and drinkability rises as it progresses.

 1,162 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HaandBryggeriet Dark Force
Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout, 9% abv, 16.9 oxz bottle, silhouette of a hand holds a glaxy on this label, a lot of "Star Wars" reference on the back label copy. Some "Star Trek", too...but isn't "Double Extreme Imperial" just pushing it a bit?

Dark brown color, big, fizzy brown head, bubblin' and bubblin', drizzles down assuredly...

Blackstrap a bit, in the nose, light cola, cocoa, a hint of anise...nice and stout-y.

Fizzy in the mouth, dark and lively, but dies away a bit too soon. Big carbonation. Spicy. But the mouthfeel and texture really doesn't match what the label boasts. Richer and richer as we go, roastier, darker, getting better...

The wheat aspect makes it easier to down, but that's not what I'd expect from a "Double extreme Imperial." Actually, I've never sat down and thought about what I desire in a "double extreme Imperial." Somehow, it just never came up!

Roasty and toasty, and smooth, despite it all, with that 9% abv hardly acting up at all...although I'm only halfway through the bottle. Maybe it'll creep up on me.

I'm happy for those 4 guys in Finland, but the question remains...worth the $8 I spent? Well, obviously I bought the hype and spent the coin, but, the verdict is...good, but not that good.

 1,274 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

Bottle purchased at Oliver’s in Albany, NY.

Pours out a very dark black, with a foamy, creamy looking 1.5 inch head, and no lacing.

Smells like chocolate, wheat, grassy hops, roasted malt, and vanilla cream.

Tastes similar. The wheat used provides an actual grainy wheat flavor, as well as a super silky feel to this one. There’s a ton of chocolate milk flavor, vanilla cream, and some grassy hop bitterness and dark fruits. Kind of feels like a Baltic porter more so than an imperial stout- which is fine. I love Baltic porters!

This one has a medium body which feels much lighter than it actually is, probably due to the use of wheat malt. A super silky and smooth mouthfeel is the clear highlight of this one. There is a very low amount of carbonation.

I wish it was a little more boldly flavored, but it really does have an excellent mouthfeel and goes down really well. A very good effort here.

 909 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +1%

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