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Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

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Dark ForceDark Force
Very Good
518 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 518 |  Reviews: 320
Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
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 zeff80
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
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 Loki
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very, very dark black thick liquid pours from the bottle creating a very thin, wisp beige head that fizzles quickly. Color is beautifully dark and it thick as hell. However, the lacing and head is more than a little disappointing.

Smell: Caramel, roasted malt, strong notes of coffee and grease. Then notes of wheat and roasted malt. Hints of alcohol.

Taste: Lots of roasted malt. Hints of bacon grease, smoke, and just enough hints of hops to balance it out. Very different, not great but not bad. Taste very close to a smoke beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer definitely comes through here. Warm and fairly thick. The wheat give a nice dryness.

Drinkablity: Not great. High alcohol, strong burnt malt and grease flavors make it a one bottle beer.

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

I'm in dim light, but damn this is dark. Hardly a touch of highlighting whatsoever. Head is full of large bubbles, underneath is a tighter packed, dark brown head that has pretty solid stick. No long term lacing emerges, but it's pretty nice looking anyhow.

The aroma is strong and full of flavors you might expect: lots of dark fruit, some caramel, molasses, and a hint of roast coffee sneak in. Hops are present and seem to hint at a citric character.

Tons of roasted malts in the flavor, a lot more of this than appeared in the nose. This leaves coffee, molasses, and chocolate at the top of the heap here, with enough citric hopping to keep it pretty well balanced. The finish definitely shows off the hops. There is an interesting note of tartness that runs through this one, not sure whether it's a yeast thing or tangy hops.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky, and noticeably lighter than others in this venerable style. I look on the bottle of course and find out it's brewed with wheat, which should explain most of that!

Dark Force is really pleasant, a nice twist on a superb style. I'm not in love with the char+funk flavor they have settled on, but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

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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 mrkc
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is a slender 50cl, with a dark, clear label, and a sticker showing the date it was brewed. The beer is an opaque, dark brown, with an easy pour and a light, tan head. The carbonation is light, and the head quickly turns to a ring 'round the glass. It has an intense, yeasty smell, with ready notes of apples and malts. The alcohol is totally undetectable. However, the taste is heavy, with a deep, bitter cocoa bite. Dark Force is a smoky beer that seems best as a digestive, with something to compliment how it covers the mouth in a syrupy fashion.

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

This is a very good example of an RIS. Poured up absolutely black with a thick medium brown head about a finger and a half thick that stayed in place for several minutes. Smell was dark chocolate and earthy hops. Taste was very well balanced with a very pronounced dark malty backbone with all the rich flavours you'd expect in a beer like this (coffee grounds, semi-sweet chocolate, a tiny bit of smoke), with an equally assertive hops profile to back it up and balance things out. The alcohol in this a bit more noticeable than I had envisioned. In fact, I have had many RIS's that were over 9, 10% that did a better job concealing the abv; just making a statement, though. This is certainly a very well crafted RIS that I will certainly buy again in the future. Terrific!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
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 peabody
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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 jjayjaye
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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 Wasatch
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to lightindarkness for this brew.

Poured into my St. Bernardus Watou glass a very nice black color, very high carbonation, very nice huge three finger creamy tan head, which just leaves some small islands in my glass. The nose is malty, with some nice tones of chocolate/toffee. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with some dark chocolate. Medium body. Drinkable, highly carbonated brew though.

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3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is sensationaly carbonated as a strong pour gets three fingers of carmel brown head and two fingers of ink black body. Head fades slowly leaving some dots of lace. Nose has tones of smokey malt, meaty spice and a nice overall zest to it. Enters the mouth with a nice mix of smokey meatiness, coco and a bit of rustic almost mineral based wheat. There is a dark chocolate bitter chocolate thing going on throughout the palate. Alchol is very well hidden for 9%. Mouthfeel is consistantly bitter, thick and rich. If I didnt know better I would think this one was a baltic porter. Solid drinkability.

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Photo of Irrigate
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
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 homebrewhawk
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, Batch 90. Bottle conditioned. Served in a snifter. Poured a deep, opaque black/brown with a finger of tan head that quickly dissipates. Fruity aroma with some roasted malt and a little alcohol. Very full bodied with an almost syrupy mouthfeel. Plenty of roasted/chocolate malt flavor. Very little hop bitterness. There is bitterness from the roasted malt. Long dry finish of chocolate malt. Warming. Definitely a sipper. At the price, I don't think it will be a regular. Interesting beer, that RIS fans should try.

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Photo of ejquin
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
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 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 JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

17 oz bottle picked up today at the Coop for about $9... pricey, but I'll probably never see it again.. oh well. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head looks like an exaggerated cap on a big cup of espresso.. dies back fairly quick... no lacing.. no cap.. no rings.. brew is pitch black.

Nose is chocolate... dark malts.. and dark dried fruits.. smell's a little sour.. roasty.. but not black ... the sour seems a little out of whack though.

Flavor is all there for a RIS.. coffee and chocolate.. alot... alot of fruitiness... citric hops are noticeable.. but play a big second fiddle to the fruitiness.. roasty .. but no perceived char.. body is surpisingly light... I guess from the wheat. carbonation is light.. but the body is still fairly silky smooth.. just not velvety like many RIS.

I'm glad I got a chance to try it... but I'll never go out of my way to pick it up again.


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Photo of roadhouse
3.11/5  rDev -21.5%
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 jbphoto88
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall, slim 25oz bottle with a modest white sticker on the back noting the batch # of 75 and a "best for" date of May 2010? Actually its hard to read and a lot of the other notations don't make a lot of sense. What it does tell me is that there has been some care put into this beer as the label appears to be hand applied. The beer itself is as black as car tires and has a cappuccino colored head that rises a nice 1/2 inch above the beer.

Smell is pungently dark. Heavy malts mix with dark fruits and a molasses covered cereal. There is a nice hop profile but it is shrouded by a solvent like alcohol scent. The solvent characteristic is mild and not the main scent but still noticeable.

Taste is quite good. There are a lot of nice dark flavors in there that range from rum soaked currants and raisins to roasted malts. A strong backbone of coffee and chocolate flavors balanced by some strong citrus hops and scorched malts. A sweet molasses finish with a slight bitter twang (but in a good way.)

There's a bitter finish from both the slightly aggressive hops and the roasted malts and grains. A mild carbonation doesn't mask the flavors and a smooth start combined with a tart dry finish make for one helluva brew. All this and the label says its the only imperial wheat stout!! Very innovative, interesting and unique. The wheat really makes a difference in the body of this beer, not letting it get to heavy. Wow, Dark force where have you been all my life?

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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 Flyer
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big, big stout with a lot going on. Pours inky dark with a creamy head. Aroma is smoky. Initial flavor impression is vinous, quickly followed by raisin/prune and a powerul undercurrent of roasty/burnt coffee notes. Ambitious without being over the top. Recommended.

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Photo of Derek
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 74, brewed May 07, best before May 11.

A: Murky black, tan head, very little retention or lacing.

S: Licorice, roasted/smokey grain, alcohol, coffee, soy sauce.

T: Roasted coffee, licorice, brown sugar, soy sauce.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body, moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: It's certainly interesting, but not overly drinkable.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black pour, with a brown head somewhere between fizzy and creamy. Retention is mediocre, but leaves a full sheet over the beer.

S: Bakers chocolate, roasted malts, some 'coffee & cream' scents. Some dark fruits.

T: A ful flavour - bitter chcolate, some coffee flavours, banana, a fruitiness. Some alcohol pepperiness - a little hot, perhaps.

M + D: Rich body... a little chewiness and creaminess. Snappy carbonation gives it some added life, which is nice. While alcohol content isn't insanely high, the flavour of it is quite apparent. Certainly a sipper, but a decent brew.

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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.

 623 characters

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

500ml bottle. batch 90. brewed aug 07. "best by" date of aug 2011. poured into tulip

nice and opaque. medium head fades to just a thin ring. no lacing however.

surprisingly present dark fruit (prune? dates?). notes of coffee. whiffs of alcohol and phenols. hints of dark caramel and roasted malt.

dextrinous, sweet maltiness to the roasted, charred character, mixed w phenolic notes and slight prune fruitiness. gentle coffee-like acidity and bitterness to the finish, but perhaps just a bit too lingeringly bitter, both of hop and charred malts. some other flavors also come up that i can't pin down... is it the wheat?

smooth, with some slight texture to the finish. moderate carbonation that is quite prickly at first, then quickly fades.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 518 ratings
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