Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

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BA SCORE
88
very good
315 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
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Dark ForceDark Force
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway | website

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
Reviews:
315
Ratings:
502
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
14.68%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
52
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 315 | Ratings: 502
Photo of canucklehead
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting beer in that it takes the RIS category and adds a different dimension wit the added wheat. Dark and black this smells and looks like a RIS but flavour shows a lightness to the midbody which turns to a oily long finish. I like the juxaposition of the mouthfeels and applaud these guys for trying something different in a country that is known for singular lagers.

 377 characters

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

Less in your face than Odin's Tipple, but not quite a true RIS. Sort of a weird dunkel-RIS-baltic porter hybrid. Thick, oily black with a definite brown head.

Alcohol (faint brandy notes), black coffee and cream, dark chocolate on the nose. Strong alcohol taste (not as strong as Odin's tipple), black coffee, cocoa and very light suggestions of milk.

Very smooth, light carbonation. Easier to drink than Odin's Tipple, but still a very dominant alcohol profile to this.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip May,4,2011

A pretty black in the glass with a thin edge of cola when held to the light, a huge 3 finger big bubbled dark head fell quickly and left zero lace, props for darkness though

S lots of coco powder and some faint dark fruits with a little booze, simple but good

T a fair bit of smoke that I couldn't smell, the dark fruit is now dried out and prune and raisins is what I taste, booze is a little better concealed then the nose and just a little dark coffee grind

M not as thick as the darkness would lead you to believe but not watery by any means, decent carbonation fluffs it up a little in the mouth and good length on the after taste

O this is a solid beer but not mind blowing, perhaps I'm being a little hard on it because I think its better then 4 for taste but just not quite in the 4.5 range

worth trying and for 6$ its a easy choice, I should have drank this one before trying Odins Tipple because it was a hard act to follow and perhaps unfair

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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 twiggamortis420
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle of batch 236, best by 21.07.12. Pours an uber-viscous black color with a brown head. Retents ok and leaves behind some slippery bubbles on the glass.

Nose is interesting. Very woody - almost to the point of being brett-ish. Raspberry and blackberry fruitiness, light tartness. Wheat is notable.

Taste is a nice blend of complex flavors. Wood, vanilla, licorice, roast, molasses and brazil nuts. Thick and chewy but yet has a certain lightness to it...fluffy might be a better word. Tangy and sweet, very intriguing beverage. There are lots of contesting aspects to the brew that dont always fall into place perfectly though. A fun beer to try a few times, but I am not sure how many bottles of this I would consume even if it were available to me all the time, the price is also a bit prohibitive.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
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 whitehouse50
2.43/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Batch 290 , Bottled July 15, 2010

Poured this into a pint glass and thankfully I was near a sink because this thing has got some serious bubbles. After it settled down I held it up to the light and there is nothing getting through. Aromas some chocolate, oak, mollasses, burntness and maybe dirt? After a few sips one can pick up dark roasty flavors and hints of wheat too. Mouthfeel? I should first say that I dislike champagne. With that in mind this beer exploded once i sipped it and has an aggressive carbonation which was resulted in an unpleasant experience. I wonder if this is made with a champagne yeast.

Overall when I purchased this bottle I was very intrigued since I had never heard of an imperial wheat stout. I did not have much expectation before tasting it but was looking forward to trying something new and hopefully enjoyable. Unfortunately I was disappointed more so with the severe carbonation. At $9 per bottle I want my money back, stay away.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
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 mikereaser
3.24/5  rDev -18%
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 ICCULIS
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage: 2010 - bottled 06.24.2010

Batch: # 287 - 1080 bottles produced from batch

Appearance: Very black beer with thick caramel/tan head. Head disappeared fast but left lots of bubbles on surface. No lacing at all.

Aroma: A strong, sweet chocolate smell here. A little too sweet for my preference. Faint aroma of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thin - thinner than anticipated. Good carbonation and kind of silky. Not at all heavy like I expected. I'm digging the mouthfeel here.

Taste: Big chocolate taste upfront but with hints of coffee and a dash of wheat flavor. Not over bearing or overly sweet like the aroma lead me to think it would be. As the glass/brew warms up the chocolate intensifies. I'm loving the taste and delighted that you can't taste the alcohol. Good and bad at the same time as this is begging me to drink more --- 20 min. later and this tastes so much better warmer than it did a bit ago.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It started off as a pretty decent stout but as it warmed up it released a lot more flavor with each passing sip. I drank this 25oz bottle in 30-35 minutes and enjoyed it more and more as found my glass empty.

 1,157 characters

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

I think this bottle was bought by ritzkiss? Thanks man!

Deep, dark brown in colour, opaque with a good cover of espresso-coloured head.

Dark nose: smoke, salty minerals, dark malt.

Really dark brew. Roasty malt, smoke, minerals, subtle dark chocolate and espresso.

High carbonation for such a big stout; too much. Medium body.

Too dark to want much of, I'm left wanting some extra sweetness. Appropriately named.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
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 DovaliHops
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 287 Bottled 6/24/10. 9% ABV (not 8.5). Pours a thick, pitch black with a HUGE brown head that doesn't go away quickly...or slowly for that matter. Scent is very roasty. Dark chocolate and coffee are not strangers to this familiar aroma. The nose has some sweetness to it as well...possibly vanilla or brown sugar. Taste is just like it smells, except for a little bit more black licorice. This beer is a sweet coffee bomb. This is definitely one of the sweeter RISs, with a bit of bittering dark chocolate at the end. No alcohol flavors detected. I can't really distinguish the wheat from other beers of this style though, but it sure is tasty. Mouthfeel is not as thick as appearance would suggest, although a bit syrupy. Highly carbonated with a lot flavor. Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of bobsy
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much a hardcore classic RIS.

Pitch black pour with a mocha head that soon drops to a film and leaves a few spots of lace. Big roast nose - lots of heavy malt, bittersweet chocolate, smoke and dark fruit. Flavour follows this template - big and hearty with loats of roasted malt and a well-concealed alcohol. Medium body and carbonation.

Pretty classic - I liked it.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo, Batch 279 bottled 24/06/10.

Pours a dark classic RIS color with a rich chocolate fudge head which unfortunately settles into placidity.

Real classic take on the style, which is slightly odd seeing as it uses wheat. Anise, honey, loads of roast, rich with dark fruits, molasses, dark chocolate, hints of smoke, good sweetness but balance with the roast and a nice, light drying finish. Even thought placid, slightly higher than average carbonation, perhaps a bit on the lighter side of the style but not out of the range of reasonable.

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown (nearly jet black) in color. It poured into a snifter glass with a two finger high mocha colored head that took a very long time to die down.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with notes of chocolate and coffee.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some additional flavors of smoke and hints of molasses. The hops contribute a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, dry and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of warming from the alcohol. The wheat makes this beer feel a bit lighter than you would expect for the style.
D: Considering its strength, the beer is quite drinkable for the style because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Note: Batch 290

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Photo of Jeffo
2.91/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Batch 271. Brewed 02. 2010 and best by 02. 2013

APPEARANCE: Pitch black pour makes a three finger, medium-thin, fizzy, mocha colored head with lousy retention. Jet black body and no carbonation evident. Head quickly fizzes down to a half film and a ring. A slight ring remains but leaves no lacing. A nice, thick black pour, but lousy head.

SMELL: Roasted malt, smoky notes, and some definite wheat malt. Light cocoa and coffee notes in the back, as well as some sweet molasses. Clearly an imperial stout with a splash of wheat malt thrown in. Mild in strength, but very nice.

TASTE: Light roasted malts with some wheat malt up front. Kind of lacking initially really. Some roasted chocolate, wheat, and molasses at the finish. A bold and lingering aftertaste is roasted, with wheat notes, bitter chocolate and hints of sweet molasses. A little lacking up front, but it definitely comes through in the end. It's the crappy palate's fault this didn't score higher.

PALATE: Thin body, light, and overly carbonated. Airy and prickly on the palate, goes down airy and abrasive, finishing slightly sticky. This is about as bad as it gets for the style. Would rather it be flat. Not thick or creamy enough, and the aggressive carbonation makes it difficult to drink. Doesn't support the flavors, which was very disappointing.

OVERALL: I've had this beer several times, and it's always the same story. It's way over carbonated for an imperial stout. It's so light, airy and abrasive that it's hard to drink. I actually let the second half of the bottle sit in my snifter for about 90 minutes. It had started to stale a bit by then, but at least the carbonation had calmed down a bit. Luckily this berw tastes pretty good, or it would be completely undrinkable. This is an unique brew with a lot of potential, but it will never realize that potential until the carbonation is taken care of.

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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 oglmcdgl
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the hulme.

A- got top watch this one pour and what a pour it was. Three finger of dark brown head rises from a proper pour and even crests the top of the glass a good cm or two. Head settles in a bit to leave a few spots of lace and a thin ring on top. Totally black in color with just the slightest bit of light coming through at the edges give a dark brown glow.

S- nose is rather muted and subdued for a ris even after a good bit of warming still all you get is some roast and a light sweet breadiness.

T- a lot more roast in the taste with dark chocolate, black bread, some coffee and brown sugar round things out. For a big stout its very subtle in the flavor department. Surprisingly clean finish.

M- a bit above medium in body with a light carb that makes things feel very silky and smooth.

D- this is a rather mild ris but at the same time its super drinkable. Its the ris you can quaff. Its an intreaguing brew that you really must try.

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Photo of eerilychildish
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass, served at ~60 degrees

A: rich and dark with a beautiful, thick head at pour. Head disappears rather quickly, however, and there's no lacing to speak of, so it loses a few points here.

S: strong aroma of chocolate malt, with hints of coffee and a stone fruit that I can't quite identify, so I'll call it plum.

T: Smooth and malty with all the chocolate goodness I've come to expect from the style. Enough hops to balance out the malt without being excessively bitter. I"ve never had a stout that tastes quite this good.

M: Rich and smooth with the tiny bubbles you often only get from a nitro tap. The mouthfeel of this beer really exemplifies everything good about the style.

D: I can't say enough good things about this beer, the few points it loses on appearance are more than balanced out by all its good qualities. This is everything an imperial stout should be and more.

 904 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darkness just bordering on deep brown. 1 finger head, dark rich chocolate brown, semi dense. A bit creamy.

Aroma is sharp dark chocolate, some unripe black plum and hints of coffee. Musky a bit

Tastes like an Imperial Stout. Big dark flavors. Plum, anise, tobacco and chocolate. The fruitiness has a bit of a dryness to them.

Feels lighter than expected and looks. I think to wheat adds to the head and gives it a bit of a fruitness on the end. Darn good beer. Easy drinking

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a foamy brown head. A little spotty lacing, some decent head retention.

Big rich bitter chocolate and smoky french roast coffee notes. Some dark fruit in the nose as well.

Great beer with a great balance. Bitter charred coffee bite up front, then you get some dark fruit, like prune, then some sweetness that isn't fruit, vanilla or chocolate. Thick rich sticky finish of pleasant charred malt. Alcohol? Don't even notice it.

Full bodied, and appropriately carbonated.

Great drinking beer. Complex and tasty but not so rich that you struggle with the end of the bottle. Very tasty and worthy.

 617 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

10 oz. in a tulip shaped glass at Monk's Kettle in San Francisco.

Black. Starts with a beautiful tan head that, once gone, is hard to reproduce. Everything about this brew is understated. Roasted grain is evident in the aroma, but not too strong. It starts subtley bittersweet and continues through the middle and finish, but it's not "in your face". While it does not partake in the one upsmanship of man imperials, it is extremely well balanced. An excellent beer from start to finish. Heavy body.

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Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
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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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.
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