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
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
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 Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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 jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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 +3.8%
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.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for opening this. What the hell is an Imperial Wheat Stout? I guess this is it.

Beer is black but brown at the corners and kind of hazy with a thin brown head of tiny bubbles, lacing? no.

Odd aroma, mild smoke, odd fruits, a little malt, not much roast.

Beer is coffee, lots of it. Mild smoke, is there wheat in here? Maybe this is why there is only one of this "style". Its an OK beer overall, its mildly sweet, a little chocolate bitterness. Its just OK.

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Photo of tempest
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wheat, that's different, I like it. I'll admit it doesn't smell to great, with a pungent earthy aroma. Then in the flavor there's a great balance of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The wheat adds an interesting background taste that sets this one apart from traditional RIS's. Definitely worth trying.

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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 Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The label calls this an Imperial Wheat Stout.

Appearance: black in color with a thick 2" milk chocolate colored head. Moderate lacing paints the glass.

Smell: chocolate, roasted malt tones, and some softer licorice leaps from the glass and is easy to pick up.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with chocolate, sweet plums, prunes, raisins, and some licorice. Alcohol is mildly noticable, and there is a nice bitterness level here. The wheat mellows out the heartiness here a bit.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Short aftertaste as the roasted tones and chocolates linger the loudest on the tongue.

Drinkability: despite the higher alcohol level, this was surprisingly drinkable. It is also a bit different than some other Imperial Stouts on the market.

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

I wouldn't have guessed to have run across a beer that wasa wheat stout, but Dark Force is the first one I've come across. I have a half-liter bottle to work with, so on to the beer:

Massive tan head on top of this black colored beauty. The nose is interesting and different; to go along with the usual cocoa, there's some banana and faint phenolic teasers. Must be the wheat doing the latter.

Very chewy and charred at first impression in the mouth. Big kick of booze, but not overwhelimg to the point where you can't enjoy the rest of the beer. Charred with some chocolate, mild banana towards the end.

Chocolate covered bananas cooked over a charcoal fire? A very unorthodox way of doing an imperial stout, but it's rewarding.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a half finger light brown head that dissipates to a thin film and thick ring around the glass, leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark, lightly charred toasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee and a bit of alcohol. Flavor follows aroma, dominated by dark toasted malt with light char, coffee, dark chocolate, finishing with charred dark malt and a substantial hop bitterness. Medium bodied with quite spicy active carbonation. A very interesting take on a stout. The heavy malt that usually supports the intense flavors of a RIS are not as noticeable here with the wheat giving a lighter less intrusive feel to the stout. This is a little disconcerting at first because the body seems thin at first, however the flavors are so robust and interesting that the wheat character is covered, but possibly displays the toastiness of the grain roasting even better than a heavily malted stout. Nicely hopped too. The alcohol in the aroma is not noticeable in the taste. An interesting and flavorful stout that I will be trying again.

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Photo of stevoj
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Catch up rating from Saturday's RIS bottle share. Big, bold and dark, tasty bitter roast grains, hints of alcohol warmth peeping through. Another keeper out of the lot of 160 bottles.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
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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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 73, Brewed April 2007; Sampled November 2007
Very well carbonated, and as I pour it the aroma makes me think of Brettanomyces. The head is somewhat large bubbled in consistency, initially four-fingers thick and even flows over the rim of my glass a bit; it is a light brown color and is quite long lasting. The beer is almost black in color and is quit opaque. Aromas of dark malt, toasted grain, toasted bread crust, coffee, ample chocolate and perhaps a bit of traditional, sharp wheat aromatics are noticeable underneath all of dark, roast character. Once I get into it, the aroma is not nearly as funky as I thought it would be (at least from those initial Brett infused overtones); it is still here though, much more subtle, but with a distinct vinous character as well as some aromas of tart fruit. This mostly smells like a roasty stout, a touch of tartness and grain character that could be attributed to the wheat as well as a touch of funkiness.

Much more funky in the flavor than the aroma ended up being, though it is still somewhat subtle, or at least I could see how it could be missed given all of the roast grain flavors that are here. Fairly light bodied (definitely lightened by the Brett / funk), though it does retain a soft creaminess, that is able to show through the ample carbonation. A few quick swirls of my glass frees up some of the excess carbonation and softens the beer a bit more. The beer in the near finish has a light tartness to it that is contributed by burnt grain, the wheat and most likely some of the funk. This tartness is superseded in the finish though by a sharp, lingering, burnt bitterness. Funky notes of moldy cotton and musty wood also linger in the finish. Really though the roast grain is what dominates the flavor profile here; flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, chalky roast grain husks, well toasted whole wheat crust and sour / bitter espresso. This has some fruitiness to it as well, of course the fruit tastes like it has been well burnt underneath a broiler, but it does evoke taste memories of burnt prunes, roasted figs and perhaps a touch of raisin.

As the beer warms, the funk begins to pick up a sharpness, almost a harshness that can at times muck the finish up a bit. Still this is a pretty good brew. I'll have to see if I can get a fresher example of this brew to see what that is like (though for a beer of this type, seven months should be nothing).

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

3.5/3.5/4/4/3.5

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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.

 570 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt.9oz, 9% ABV. Brewed May 2007 with listed best before of May 2011 and sampled June 2008. Having had it fresh I saw some potential for aging but only got this far before caving.

HaandBryggeriet certainly named and labeled the beer appropriately; this does indeed resemble the cosmos. The beer's surface is a cluster of nebulae, fuzzy and different shapes and sizes, trussed together by the backdrop of darkness. Swirling will actually produce the appearance of a spiral-galaxy. The bottom of the empty bottle, so heavily sedimented, appears like a solar eclipse when held to the light.

The aroma is every bit as bewitching as any Imperial Stout. Your nose is first hit with an enterprise of milky chocolate. The element of roast becomes quickly apparent with the smell of scorched barley which is saturated with hop acid. The wheat would easily go missed if you weren't informed of it, although there is something slightly different - unplaceable - about this one...

The flavour picks up where the aroma leaves off. The milk chocolate flavour is decadent and tastes incredibly authentic. It makes for a silky smooth mouthfeel. Black coffee, smoked wood, and brewers anise are also tasted. Dark field berries and green, zesty hops produce a complimentary supporting cast that underlines the dark roast with fruity and citric tones. The alcohol is absent and the carbonation and bitterness are both right where they should be. This has caramelized, heavily roasted malt meeting light, crisp tangy wheat, and it works.

My first few smells and sips had me in astonishment but my awe would fade as the beer warmed. I still maintain this is a must try, although a "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" can create for a bit of confusion when picking out the appropriate glassware...

This is a wonderful creation. It has a lot of the great qualities of both dopplebocks and Imperial Stouts which has made for something as delicious as it was unique. I'm not a fan of either Star Wars or Star Trek, but I am a huge fan of this!

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a tan head that is quite foamy. Big floaties from the yeast in the bottom as is sometimes common with wheat beers. The nose is primarily roasted and winey, but there is also dark chocolate and spicy notes. The taste is deep and roasty with more chocolate notes and a long light grainy/grassy sourness, just a touch. The mouthfeel is creamy and soft, but with respectable body. This is relatively easy drinking for a ris due to the wheat base. Don't expect profound depth here, but it is an interesting beer that is well made and quite tasty.

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Photo of John_M
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

Dark force pours a blackish brown color with OK at best head retention, and not much lacing. However, after this unimpressive start, things got much better.

On the nose I get coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and licorise. Something about the ingredients from this brewery's beers, but I often times get a considerable amount of licorise or anise. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose, except there's a significant amount of smoke as well. It imparts almost a bacon-like element to this beer, that normally would be great. However, along with the sweet anise/licorise flavor, it's just a bit odd. Otherwise, I get some noticeable coffee and dark chocolate, as well as some noticeable alcohol. The finish dries out just a bit at the end. Mouthfeel is pretty decent, and is fairly full with a long finish. Drinkability isn't bad, but the combination of sweetness, licorise and noticeable alcohol make this beer very much a sipper.

Interesting beer, but one I'm not sure I need to try again any time soon.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev 0%

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 weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #73, brewed in April of 2007...

Appears a dense, dark black with a 2 finger head of light tan that slowly fades. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of smoked malt, cocoa, caramel, molasses, raisin, and ripe fruit.
Taste is a mirror of the aroma, though there is just a hint of oxidation that is showing(and expected for a beer that's over 3.5 years old). Molasses, ripened fig, and smoked malt pull through amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, creamy, somewhat chewy, and a true sipper.

 535 characters

Photo of Derek
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
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 jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Will pour a five+ finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Total black color. Light medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Semi-sweet chocolate nose. Flavor is a sweet biting chocolate with a bakers chocolate finish. Wheat is hidden but there is a lot of yeast left in bottle. $8.40 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Plonk in Canberra.

Pours a lovely deep black-brown, with the suggestion of depth to the body. Surprisingly though, the body is quite light and fluid, giving a sense of thinness. Head is a wonderful deep chocolate brown, formed of fine bubbles that hint at creaminess. Some lacing. Apart from the body, looks very fine.

Nose is roasted, dark and slightly sweet, but with an odd clipped crispness to it. Slightly woody notes like freshly felled timber mingle with the base notes of chocolate and coffee. Almost a piney character comes through, giving notes of sawdust and resin. There's also a very faint slight smokiness to it, but restrained compared to Haand's usual handling of smoke. It's fascinating and a little different.

Taste is also pleasant, but more along the straight and narrow confines of the style. Some pleasant dark roasted notes giving a charred character and hints of high roast coffee and bitter chocolate, with lingering flavours of pine and a slight boozy astringency. The feel is certainly disappointing, and it leaves something of a hole in the centre of the palate that should be filled with gooey richness. It also accentuates the drying astringency of the booze.

It's a good beer, but it could certainly have been better: I just assume that the parts where it falls down are the result of the reliance on wheat in the grain bill and a weizen yeast for fermentation. i.e. It's the experiment itself that lets the beer down: what makes it unique also is what makes it slightly disappointing.

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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
3.95 out of 5 based on 502 ratings.
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