Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
319 Reviews
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
Reviews:
319
Ratings:
512
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
11.65%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
52
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 512
Photo of hmich176
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black brew with an almond colored head. Very large head when I poured it straight down the middle. A more proper pour resulted in maybe a two finger head.

S: There's a hint of vanilla, rather wheaty (surprise!), some fruits and coffee notes as well.

T: The alcohol hits at the very end, but it's not very noticeable. Sweet, but bitter...warm and toasty. Nicely balanced. Someone else mentioned tongue-numbing - I agree with that.

M: Carbonation isn't very strong; it goes down smoothly. Full body that's on the edge of being too much. For a stout, it's pretty easy drinking.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. Not my favorite stout, but it's very good and right up there. I enjoyed the play on the wheat beer, and it's something I'd get again should the opportunity arise.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Brown, 3" of cloudy like creamy head. Huge head retention.

Cocoa, Wheat and STOUT...Very much a yummy beer.

It's a light tasting stout with a big wheat flavor and a cocoa. Light roasted norwegian heaven.

Nice clean smooth mouthfeel. I can drink these till the cows come home....

back to the beer....MMMM SO DAMN GOOD!

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Photo of cradke
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very Dark with a fine head. Very viscous.

Smell: Malty. Can certainly taste the wheat which is a nice touch.

Taste: Very large flavors of molasses and dark chocolate. Wheat and bread flavors. A bit too sweet for me but a still some great flavor.

Mouthfeel: A bit more carbonation than most imperial stouts but it's nice. Quite viscous but the flavor spreads nicely across the palate.

Overall: A solid stout, it has some nice flavor and the wheat is certainly present which is unique. I wish they toned the sweetness down a little but but it's a solid overall stout.

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Photo of ph2001
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21 oz bottle in pint glass

black color. tons of head and tons of yeast. it has a thick malty smell.

very rich, slightly creamy, smooth, and medium bodied. theres a slight sweetness similar to cherries in there. good coffee and chocolate notes. strong aftertaste too. very interesting and nicely balanced. the 9% is hidden nicely also.

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Photo of beepill
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a bottle from WF in Redwood City upon recommendation from the guy stocking the beer shelves. Poured into a whiskey snifter. Reviewed from notes taken last week.

A - Pours almost a pure black with a thin tan head. Simply beautiful.

S - Bourbon whiskey, maple wood, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, and dark-roasted coffee beans. Also got some hints of black licorice. Wonderful complexity on the nose, even before sipping. Maintains its wonder throughout consumption.

T - See above. Tastes like how it smells, add some wheat breadiness and dark chocolate cake to it to make a wonderfully balanced Russian Imperial Stout style.

M - Coats the entire tongue with its creamy feel. Starts off a bit hot, but mellows as it warms. Cabonation is light-medium, which allows the complexities to emerge.

O - Winner. I was hesitant to purchase this, since I never heard of it, but the guy at WF convinced me. Glad he did. I will be seeking this again the next time I drop in. I recommend any fans of imperial stouts to give Dark Force a try. It should make you happy. I don't think there are any other wheat Imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of kaimcm
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a La Fin Du Monde glass. Batch # 75, marked Best For May 2010. 9%ABV. Review penned 12/2/07.

A: deep opaque body topped off with a super creamy, super fluffy head. mostly lots of tiny bubbles but a few big ones abound. reminscent of some witches cauldron. dark horizon eh? no lacing. one of the best looking beers Ive seen in a while.

S: Smells like a bakery or cafe in the morning. lots of sugar, chocolate, coffee, pastry grain. a bit of alcohol and some alcohol soaked fruits.

T/M: The wheat is readily apparent in the mouthfeel and flavor up front. Kudos to Haand for retaining the guts of this beer in what is a unique and adventurous "style". Soft but full bodied, the grains wash up front followed by the bakery. All that coffee and chocolate hits hard. Some carmelized sugar follows, a bit of twang from a subtle acidity I actually quite enjoy. A tannic husky-ness follows and the finishes lingers a bit drying. Sugar on the teeth and warmth in the belly this one begs for more. Mouthfeel throughout is rich and creamy.

D: For 9%ABV and the hefty price tag, this goes down way too easy. Would love to enjoy regularly.

Thank god for this beer, or more appropriately, thank the Norwegians! Im am enjoying every drop of this. Its been a while since a new beer really made me take a step back and Im glad it was this one. Cheers to HaandBryggeriet for this beer and the Sheltons for bringing it in. Now, if only we can get more of it. Label says "Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout"...sillyness aside, this beer kicks ass. Seek out. Now.

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Photo of Bobikel
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Completly black with a nice chocolate colored head. Retention is quite impressive for 9% ABV. Lacing is also quite nice. Really this is just fun to look at.

Smell - Roasty and yeasty, with a little soapy funk.Hops are mild, as is malt/wheat.

Taste - Ah.... flavor central... Like hoppy coffee. A little spicy, but fullyu roasted with a generous hop backbone. Very fast to dry across the palate. Some dark fruits, and mild tobbacco?

Mouthfeel - Supprisingly thin and slippery. With a carbonation that sends deep pricks into the tongue, the cheeks, and the roof of the mouth, without gushing upon opening.

Drinkability - Not for the craft amateur. Full and robust. A very slow sipper indeed.

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Photo of guzzle211
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt .9 bottle received in Black Booty BIF from NCSUdo, thanks man!!

A: pours relatively thick, a very controlled and mild pour produces a huge explosive brown head (definitely past the point of tan and fully into brown.) I did not get to do a sunlight test, but no traces of light escape through this dark dank offering.
Head retains relatively well considering total lack of visible carbonation, especially for a 9% brew.

S: the funk I love, a sure sign that this is where the wild things are. Strong roasted aromas dominate.

t/m: thick, creamy and filling. Delicious balance of roasted/burnt malt, bitter chocolate, balanced with what I consider to a very mild hop profile. Becomes extremely complex as it warms up. An awesomely well balanced hint of wild stuff in there too. even the burps are delicious.

d: special occasion sipper based on abv and how filling it is, but based on taste alone I could guzzle this incredible elixir.

i am a huge fan of the "belgian stout" genre,,, this is an awesome example.

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Photo of Med
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown with a slightly frothy brown head. Head doesn't stay too long and neither does the lacing.

S - Not at all what i expected. It's a stout, and the chocolate notes, wood, and subtle coffee are there, but so is fruit! Some pear and even a little apricot. Maybe it's the wheat?

T - Starts sour, even a little bitter, but then the smoke and roasted malt flavor come through. Finish is a third flavor and sits at the back of the mouth. very little warming, but the alcohol is there. Not as sweet or chocolaty as many imperial stouts, but complex and unique.

M - Not as chewy or creamy as some stouts I've had recently, but still fairly full bodies with a oily stickiness that coats well.

D - The bitterness caught me off guard, but became somewhat addictive. I really like the way this goes down.

Highly recommended for a different take on the imperial stout!

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Photo of Fernans
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Well I found this to an excellent Imperial Stout. Rich and flavorful. Coffee and sweet, malty flavors. It jumped out to me like Speedway Stout or Old Raspy. Despite its strength, you hardly notice. Top notch.

Disclaimer: Although beer industry professionals (owners or employees) are welcome to join and participate on BeerAdvocate.com, we do not allow them to review their own beers and/or establishments. Reviewing the so-called competition is also highly frowned upon. All reviews and/or accounts that fail to follow this will be subject to deletion.

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

Smell: dark bouillon, dark syrup, some chocolate, milk, some dried fruit, some smoke?; fresh, a bit citric hops.

Taste: dark bouillon, syrup, chocolate, also some milk chocolate, overall a pretty creamy, smooth taste, not agressive in any way. Some citric and a bit sourish hops as well. Not that bitter.

This is great stuff. Tasteful and rich as a IS, yet somewhat smooth and mild. Is this due to the wheat?

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Photo of MrBen
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Craft beer? in Norway? Hell yes.

I discovered a bottle of this fine brew on the shelf at one of my favorite shops today. This is a heavy beer that is superbly drinkable. It throws a serious head, even after a careful pour. Light tan head, very stable, and with fair lacing. A somewhat traditional profile of an Imperial, but with a silky and coating mouthfeel, as well as a complex group of flavors. It was so very, very easy to consume. I also appreciated the long finish. Excellent beer!

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Photo of imscotty
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this bottle aged on the store shelf. Brewed on 9/2007, opened on 4/2014. This beer had a 'best by' date of 9/2011

A: Pours a dark black with a strong tan head. Still plenty of carbonation.

S: The smell was very strange for stout. A wet bread smell was so strong it was hard to detect anything else. I guess I could detect some malt and roast aromas.

T: The roast flavor really shined through in the taste. There were some interesting and strange but somewhat enjoyable off flavors. At least they were off for the style. Lots of hay , yeast and earthy flavors that I would expect to find in a funky belgian, not a stout.

As this beer warmed the flavor improved greatly and the roast and the bitterness of the finish became more forward. This was actually an easy drinker, the alcohol was hard to detect. I would recommend drinking this beer at room temperature.

M: A little thinner than some stouts, but not to distraction. Actually had a surprisingly creamy mouth feel. Properly carbonated.

O: An interesting brew. Even though it was past its 'best by' date it was still enjoyable. I would not overpay for this but I would enjoy it at the right price point. Not your typical stout.

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Photo of Wegbier
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

cant mess with a double extreme wheat stout. if i understand right this beer is batch 93 from Anno 2007, cool to find such an old bottle.
this beer is pitch black
and it keeps a stubborn mocha head with nearly no lacing. actual signs of carbonation.

smells faintly of coffee and dark chocolate. licorice

tastes of the lightest amount of coffee and then dark chocolate next some licorice. finishes like chocolate cake

mmm full mouth with light to medium carbonation and finishes clean

9% ABV is light these days for an RIS but this is very drinkable.
would buy again but with the wheat in there i wish it had a bigger presence.

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Photo of McD0uche
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass:

Pours a dark brown color typical of stouts with a decent head. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and sweetness. Taste is similar to the smell with roasted toasted malts and chocolate prevailing and coffee and fruits playing in the background. The wheat is present but subdued. Has a sweet flavor but is not overpowering. Mouthfeel is consistent with stouts. Carbonation is at the right level.

Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot, and I'll try to get it in the future when I see it. Definitely a cool play on wheat beers.

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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 nbree00
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2007

A: Jet black color, perhaps not as viscous as it would be fresh.

S: Smells a little past its prime, a little soapy with notes of milk chocolate, raisins, blackberries and violet.

T/M: Pretty thin on the palate with restrained flavors of chocolate, dates, and a hint of cinnabuns. Pretty silky on the mouthfeel but maybe not as rich and lush as it was a couple years ago.

O: Overall not to bad a beer. It has a best by date of Dec. 2011, but I think it probably has already peaked and is starting to go downhill. Glad I didn't wait any longer on this one.

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Photo of sasky7777
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As should be obvious from the style, this beer is black as night and pours a frothy head reminiscent of the crema on esspresso, but it doesn't stick around too long. I thought the bottle was contaminated, but realised after reading the label that there was a just a bit of yeast sediment on the mouth of the bottle.

Lots of dark roasty flavours. Chocolate, smokiness, coffee, very complex. No discernible hop flavour, this beer is all about the malt. There is maybe a bit too much alcoholic bite to it, but that is easily looked past.

Had this beer with steak, and it was a great duo. One of the benefits of globalism, a Norwegian beer enjoyed in the middle of nowhere Canada.

Batch # 332

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Photo of CopeTech
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Feel the force!
A pitch black stout, light on the carbonation. Its a wheat stout which is a bit of a contradiction with the wheat shining through almost as new side flavor, not the deep barley, but the deep barley with a side trip toward a triple wheat or a sturdy wheat contribution.

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Photo of jikvig
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This force IS dark! With a huge head, this liquid is black as you can get it!

On the nose alot of maltsaroma, chocolate, coffe even some fresh baked pasteries.

It would seem that with that dark colour you would get a heavy, heavy beer, but it´s actually quite fresh and light. The bitternes is really well balanced, and it´s precent for minutes!

Overall a good beer and another proof how good the "big" microbreweries in Norway have gotten. A good, well-balanced stout, and absolutely worth a try!

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

A: This beer poured a deep dark almost black color with a rich brown three finger head. A decent amount of lacing remained on the sides of the glass.
S: The smell was wonderfully complex with strong hints of bitter cocoa and rich caramel. There was a background hint of coffee in the nose. Malty and full of alcohol.
T: Very much like the nose. I noted bitter chocolate and sweet caramel with a hint of coffee. There was a nice alcohol tinged citrus finish.
M: The beer was full bodied and well carbonated with a dry finish.
D: Fairly good drinkability with a refreshingly dry finish.

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Photo of Errto
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased in Aspen, CO.

Pours a very thick black. Seemingly viscous, yet as it enters the glass an enormously thick medium brown head emerges. As the foam settles, reddish hints appear around the edges of a dark body.

The first smell is some sweet spices mixed with very dark chocolate. A hint of alcohol and a generous rich malt follow. No hops to speak of on the nose.

The chocolate is there again in the taste. Some caramel sweetness. Almost nutty. A sort of astringent bitterness at the back of the throat along with a more distinct alcohol bite, but I still wouldn't call it boozy.

Body was reasonably light for the style. Perhaps the aggressive carbonation helps with this. The end of every gulp is a little mouth-puckering. Not sourness, for certain. But sort of the same feeling you get from a dark-roast iced coffee.

Overall an interesting take on the RIS style. Less boozy and thick than many American versions, which is nice. Excessive carbonation is a bit of a bummer, though.

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Photo of HopGoblin
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured extremely dark with a brownish tan head. First smell off the top is that of a wine like character, but that pleasant wine-like sour smell quickly fades away and get a little funky.
Taste is that of a good cup of black coffee. Bright, sharp and acidic with the flavors of the roated malts coming through. Finishes a little thick with just the acidity lingering in the mouth.

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Photo of mrkc
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
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 sogrady
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I missed the bourbon tint mentioned by the other reviewers, but that's possibly because this followed a bourbon aged Allagash Black, so that would have been lost on me.

In any event, the Dark Force is an excellent RIS. The usual chocolate, coffee and dark fruit notes are accented by a distinguishing smoke component. The body is dark and thick, as befitting the style, and well balanced front to back.

I've had better imperial stouts, but this is well worth your time.

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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 512 ratings.
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