Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
516 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:
516
Reviews:
319
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
11.36%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
51
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 516 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of fitzy84
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the special bottle at Moan and Dove, and it was even the last one; lucky me. Black as night appearance with a brown-chocolate colored thin head. The aromas seemed a little off but the general aromas of malts, wheats, yeast and hops could be sensed. The taste was excellent in its great bitter and bread balance. The mouthfeel was perfect for the drink and it allowed it to be rich, smooth and creamy. Overall, this was a really sweet Russian.

 451 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep muddy brown that settles opaque and black with a huge creamy mocha colored head that sticks around for minutes and laces ok.

didn't know what to expect for an aroma from a "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout" but once I whiff it, everything fits. some darkly toasted wheat bread with some coffee, fruits, a touch of chocolate, smoke, molasses. very grainy, like a multi-grain toast. some tart fruits and some sweet dark fruits as well. pretty complex aroma, but it doesnt mesh seamlessly into something overly appetizing.

taste is similar to a dunkelweizen with darker, roastier, malts and a bit more bitterness. wheat and multi-grain toast with some tart fruits, citrus fruits, and sweet dark fruits are added to the more normal stout flavors that stay in the background a bit, but add some roast, cocoa, and coffee. unique? yah. tasty? yah. delicious? not quite.

a touch on the thin side for an Imperial stout with a lot of carbonation and an odd coarse finish.

drinks okay. flavors aromas and body don't come together as a whole well and the oddness of the mix seems to be the most dominant aspect. the parts are good, but the summation falls short. its still a very good beer, just not up to what I was expecting.

 1,227 characters

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

Photo of zoso1967
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 6/20/08

Dark force is emerges from the bottle an impenetrable black with a nice mocha colored head. The head fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the snifter. Holding this beer up to a bright light reveals only a slight degree of translucent dark brown around the very edge.

The aroma is much like your usual imperial stout, but does stand out somewhat. It is roasty with hints of coffee and chocolate, but it also has a definite nuttiness and an almost smoky quality to it that is quite nice. As the beer warms it gains a fairly strong apple aroma.

The flavor of this beer is nuts. Dark and roasty with bitter cocoa, but also a very pronounced flavor that I can most liken to balsamic vinegar, minus the vinegar character. There is also a lot more smokiness in the flavor and some fruity apple like notes. It also carries a certain amount of tartness as well as some charred astringency. Oh, and somehow this all works out to taste good!

The mouthfeel is very smooth with low carbonation, but also extreme light for a beer of this size. In fact, I think I would call this light to medium, and not the other way around. It finishes effortlessly, leaving burnt malt flavors on my tongue.

This is a wonderfully sipper of a beer that took me well over an hour to finish while chatting with my wife. It seems that every sip brings up a different profile of flavors, and it changes a lot as it warms. With all of this being said, I did not think it was world class, but definitely the most intriguing imperial stout I have drank so far.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 583 characters

Photo of Benesi88
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of mwilbur
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 695 characters

Photo of alamode
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of LarryMyers
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Bristol Motor Speedway mug...

Color of prune juice on the pour. Plentiful head with a burnt-sugar color. Body is quite opaque.

There's a pronounced alcoholic scent with slight plum and prune tones. Mellow milk chocolate is also there.

Taste brings out a decent burnt, smoky malt backbone. Alcohol is present but does not hinder. Slight stewed fruit finish. A little more shallow than expected at first; warms and opens up a little bit.

Mouthfeel is very smooth - lighter touch than expected.

Despite the heavy alcohol wallop this is quite a bit more drinkable than one would expect. Solidly crafted.

 628 characters

Photo of sjones5045
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of davegray
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of tripledbrew
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dsauter
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of nwhittin
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Sigmund
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, bottle conditioned. (Sample at Ølkulinarisk Aften, Kristiansand.) Pitch black colour, moderate brown head. Both aroma and flavour are dominated by roasty malts, chocolate and leather. A good beer, but a little too sweet for me.
Rerate bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger: The sweetness seems not as dominant this time, it is quite well balanced with the hops and heavily roasted malts in a bitter finish. The appearance is top notch, a very fine and lasting brown head. I also get some "plums" in the aroma this time. Clearly a "must-try" imperial stout! I’m "upping it" a few points.

 610 characters

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

Is my math off? I can't imagine this is a really high volume production beer. Too big for most, too different for many, and well a price that will scare of a few as well. That said this is one of 1080 bottles and batch 287. Does this mean they have 287 batches of 1000+ bottles?

Pours dark mahogany into the glass. Quickly turns opaque black. Builds up a nice thick finger head that seems to be lasting and lasting. Oddly doesn't leave much lacing. I suppose there isn't much of an oily body?

Clearly since they claim it, my first and only imperial wheat stout. It starts with bitter roasted and toasted characteristics, but quickly turns to a sweet, mild touch of sour, and a lot of hops that reminds me of Belgium saisons. The beer finishes extremely cleanly given how big it is. A touch of bitterness will linger, but for a large stout, very dry.

Very dry roasted burnt malt aroma. A bit of an alcohol wheat like note. Coffee very lightly placed as well as some almost fruity aromas.

A lot of bubbles and almost super carbonated. Bites a touch and I'm not sure what causes it...could a lot of things. It's an odd mouth feel I must say. It really drinks like a stout mixed in a really strong wheat wine.

 1,212 characters

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!

 774 characters

Photo of jhlosito75
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of geexploitation
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours quite dark, with a slow-forming, thick and dark toasty head. Smells of roasted barley and a bit of milky mocha, but it's a relatively slight aroma as imperial stouts go. On the palate, lots of green hop bitterness to go along with bitterness from the roasted barley. Some sweetness comes through, too, although I wonder how much of it is due to the alcohol, which produces a measured burn. Mouthfeel is a couple of steps too thin, probably due to the high wheat content, with hard carbonation and hop bitterness contributing to make this beer like a blade: thin, hard, sharp. Overall, this is certainly an interesting, well-considered beer, but I don't think it lives up to its potential. I'll take my imperial stouts with barley, thanks.

 744 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle - brewed in December, 2007 - served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark brown, somewhat darker than cola. The body looks lighter in mass than most imperial stouts (a product of the wheat?). The head is a very dark tan. It builds up to two + fingers before quickly dissipating to nothing. All in all this looks pretty much like the other Haandbryggeriet dark beers I've had.

And smells like them too. Acrid chocolate, raisin and soy sauce (more saltiness than is desirable, frankly). There is an unroasted malt scent - sort of chalky and not-at-all dark - that I am attributing to the wheat malt. There is nothing wrong with the aroma from a stylistic standpoint, it just doesn't smell very good.

The chalky, no-longer tangy, taste of wheat is pretty unique among imperial stouts. Here its blandness serves to highlight the prune flavor and provide more of a contrast with the Hershey's bar-tasting malt flavors. Some low-dose bittering hops give a European grassiness which leads to a finish that is all like a glass of Ethiopian bean coffee from a French press. A solid effort.

If the wheat here has a positive effect it is in the mouthfeel. The body is lighter because of the wheat but the texture of the beer is made uniquely like a biscuit in the sense that it is simultaneously airy and substantial. It makes for a beer that feels almost like a dry stout but with the flavors of an imperial (or, at least, an export stout). Imperial Dry Stout? Heh. The 9% ABV is hardly noticeable.

So, "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout," eh? This beer is not extreme, and the wheat does not add all that much to the basic impy stout formula. This is a solid imperial stout; if you like Haandbryggeriet's beers than you should definitely purchase this one.

 1,762 characters

Photo of FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of hero27
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle.
9% abv

Batch #75.

A self-proclaimed "Imperial Wheat Stout"..well that sounds interesting enough to try.

A tar-like pour renders a very dark, thick liquid. Assertive head of heavy khaki cream develops and has no intentions of subsiding.
Vanilla, dark roasted coffee, and chocolatey aroma..
Phenolic overload...wow. Cloves, black coffee, and a thick roastiness play jump-rope with my tastebuds.. The alcohol isn't really hidden as much as it is displayed..chocolate malt comes into play behind the huge abundance of roasted malts & dark fruits. The body is a bit thick & laboring, but the texture is soft & smooth going down. This finishes with a slight alcoholic tang and nice roasty bitterness..

A robust & hearty imperial stout that uses the wheat to it's full extent...definitely an experiment that turned out well.

 837 characters

Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.96 out of 5 based on 516 ratings.
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