Dark Force | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
515 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
Reviews:
319
Ratings:
515
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
11.65%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
51
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 515
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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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a weizen glass)
Described as a Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout on the bottle
A-This beer has an opaque black body with a strong carbonation of micro-bubbles that glide up the sides of the glass. The super thick head of tan sticks to the glass after each sip and last for the full beer.

S- The smell of white wheat and fresh white paper has a yeasty note and a burnt marshmallow. There were some dark black roasted malt notes that come through as the beer warms.

T- The taste of dark burnt flavor has a soft wheat dough note followed by a black coffee malt flavor and bitterness that lingers. There are notes of light smoke and tar notes. There is a nice bubble gum note that is dry and soft adding a nice twist to the black malt. There are also some fruity dry prunes notes and yeasty notes that come through as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish. There is no alcohol heat until the beer warms and in boost the bitter finish nicely.

D- This beer has a wonderful robust big black malt flavor with a nice twist of wheat beer flavors. This does have the black roasted flavor to qualify as a double imperial stout. I bet some age might as a nice twist to this.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brass Rail.

A: The stout is black, just as I'd expect. Why waste more words when one works quite well? The head, nearly a finger on pour, was quick to disappear with no lacing left behind.

S: The nose is rich with chocolate and burnt bread but it doesn't come across as heavy. I'm gonna chalk that lack of heaviness up to the wheat, even though there is no indication that wheat is involved.

T: More rich roasted flavors abound although the wheat makes it presence known more forcefully. Chocolate and coffee, burnt and smoked grains all drive a bold stout flavor that is cut in half by the wheat. The tartness associated with weizens doesn't linger around, having been enveloped by the dark malts. Instead, the wheat dials back the intensity of the stout, relaxing it without leaving an imprint.

M: A subdued stout, rich but not too powerful. I like the wheat and how it controls the flavor without adding its normal flourish.

D: A formidable stout that I happen to like. Nice to finally try it on tap.

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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 avalon07
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick texture. There was a huge, tan-colored, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Big alcohol smell, along with coffee and malt.

T: A nicely balanced taste of coffee, roasted malt, alcohol (though not as prominent as I would've thought) and some dark fruit. An interesting taste for this style.

M: A well carbonated beer with a smooth, dry finish. Not as thick and chewy as you might think for this style.

D: This is a good example of a Russian Imperial Stout. It's very well made and is not as heavy as others of the style.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce bottle, batch 93 brewed 9/2007. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a 2 inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit and some hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with some wheat and charred/burnt malt and coffee noticable. The warmer it gets the charred/burnt coffee taste gets stronger. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full with above average fine carbonation. It's also coating and smooth but not as thick as I thought it would be. Drinkability is decent enough, it's not hard to drink at all but the high carbonation does hurt it a little bit. Overall I think it's a good, but not great RIS. With that being said, I'd buy it again.

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

Pours a chalky black with a cap of firm brownish head. Smell is of dark dried fruits, bitter chocolate. bitter burnt roasted coffee, ash, chalk and earth. A quite unique taste is found admist the layers of roast, char and earth. A pronounced tartness is found alongside the misc. dark fruit flavors, but the heavy, bitter roast keeps it in check. A very bubbly, dry and chalky finnish, very light bodied for a stout. A unique beer, but too much char detracts from its plesent qualities.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch number 342. 1080 bottles total.

bottle states this beer is 9% ABV.

poured into a bells tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark black bodied beer with big head. Head is a medium brown composed of lots of tiny bubbles.

Smell: milk chocolate, charred wood, and hints of smoke. Yeasty and earthy. This stout has a really fresh smell.

Taste: Nice deep milk chocolate notes starts off the taste of the beer. The milk chocolate even tastes like its creamy. It also got some earthiness and bready qualities to it. Leather and charred wood are tasted in the middle of the beer, both not able to overpower the milk chocolate. The charred wood turns into a smokey note as it mellows transitioning into the aftertaste. Along with the smoke in the aftertaste you do get a bit of the roastiness from the malts, but they are both in equal strength.

Mouthfeel: Light end of a medium bodied beer. Fairly light for a stout anyways. Medium carbonation. This beer has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, but its also has a little bit of a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice stout. Nothing that is mind blowing here, but its still got it going on. Its a nice sipper with some complexity and a very well made beer for sure. Subtle yet effective... is how I would describe it.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head fades ever-so slowly, with heavy, chunky lacing. Aroma is slightly sour with ample alcohol presence. Taste is lightly of dark grains upfront, heads towards the alcohol in the middle, and then swings partially back towards hearty roastiness again. Aftertaste is mostly the alcohol. Mouthfeel is astonishingly thin, and drinking is average-ish. Not what I was expecting at all. Hardly noted any wheat character, must have been shouted down by the darkness.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of dark brown head. Ring of retention and no lace.

S - Lot's of chocolate with alot of roasty malt as well.

T - Lot's more chocolate, lot's of roastiness and sweetness too. A good balance of aggressive roasted malt and sweet chocolate made this interesting.

M - Full body and medium carbonation with a sweet lingering finish that turned dry.

O/D - Good. Pretty easy to drink. Nothing special and could have had some more bitterness but otherwise a tasty Impy Stout.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a silk black with dark brown highligh. Great hea after the pour and recedes after the first few sips. The aroma is very subtle, almost bland. Light notes of coffee, chocolate truffles, and dry milk. The taste has dry maltose, coffee, milk, sprinkled with vanillin zucker and some cinnamon. Powdery palate taht has subtle flavors dancing in between the easily definable flavors. Good sipping beer with a well integrated mixed alcoholic warmth.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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 Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle purchased in Buffalo. Shared with biegaman and grub.

Pours an opaque brown/black, tan head, very thick and healthy, drops tons of lace chunks, settles to a thick layer. Smell is fruits, pineapples, dates, toffee, chocolate roast, grass, nice lactic acidity. Taste is milk chocolate, fruits, pineapple, toffee, dates, licorice, roast, very rich, nice bit of sourness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, goes down pretty smooth though. Unique beer, very drinkable.

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

Opaque pour, good sized brown head that lingered a while. Roasted malty aromas with some chocolate and alcohol. Tastes similarly, the fine carbonation leads to a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Good amount of mocha. A bit of wheat grainyness if that's a word. Some hop presence at the finish and warming as it goes down, lingering malt and coffee, full bodied. Enjoyed it, but not sure if I would seek it out again.

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Photo of champ103
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 2008 bottle.

A: Pours a dark black, with some brown around the edges. A tan head rises to two fingers, but recedes in a second. Little lace.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and sweet vanilla. Cookie dough. Some yeast as well. Lots of layers in the nose.
T: Roasted malt with some slightly chalky and bitter chocolate. A bit astringent and acrid. Bread/biscuit and yeast.
M/D: Medium carbonation, but a little thin and water. Not hard to drink, but one bottle is more than enough.

Interesting, and worth a try if you see it. A solid offering, but there are other RIS I will seek out in the future.

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Photo of drpimento
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good, although I don't pick up anything "wheat" and there is a chalky aspect. Good roast, coffee, cocoa, black patent malt, leather, earth, umami qualities in both aroma and flavor

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Photo of Rutager
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a deep and viscous black with almost two fingers of frothy deep tan head.

Smell. Sour yeast funk, some roasty chocolate and grains.

Taste. Dark chocolate and extra roasty malts. Some licorice, alcohol and yeasty fruityness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-strong, bubbly carbonation. Pretty warm and boozy.

Overall. Complex and full. Decent, but not really my thing.

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Photo of dgilks
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black with a big, creamy, dark tan head. Decent head retention.

Bright, spicy alcohol combines with sweet malt and sweet, milk chocolate. Very nice.

This is a really interesting beer because the inclusion of wheat makes it so smooth. The rounded, chocolatey roasted wheat combines with spritzy alcohol, a touch of roast, mild bitter chocolate and an earthy hop character. A few esters add complexity. Really nice.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A smooth, rounded Imperial Stout that shows off the versatility of wheat in a beer. The roast character is different to what you get with barley and I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, Batch NR90, brewed Aug07. Poured into a tulip glass, this was a very black beer with a thin rim of orange head. It had an aroma of dark fruit, dark roasted malt, and chocolate. The dark fruit was tasted, as well as the chocolate. A wonderful espresso taste became apparent, and it lingered a long while, ending in a pleasant bitterness. Really liked this beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1pt.9oz bottle (cost a huge $7.99) into a pint glass. I bought it based on the label, which claims the beer to be a Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout. Furthermore, there was a reference to Star Wars (from a country far, far away... This Imperial really strikes back) which I found difficult to resist. But in the final analysis this feels gimicky and I would not buy it again.

The appearance is great, dark opaque black with a thick finely celled mocha colored foam. I didn't get much wheat out of the smell, the aroma was mostly roasted malts. I expected but did not find any chocolate or coffee notes. Maybe the flavor will be better. Damn. Only roasted malts and maybe a hint of esters. None of the sweet malty flavors I wanted, nor any dark fruits or chocolate or etc. Not bad, but not worth seeking for, definitely not worth paying so much for.

 868 characters

Photo of stcules
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Black, wih a lot of brown, compact head.
Toaasty smell, not too strong, but good, intense, dusty.
A light soya sauce.
Round, well hideen alcohol, with a soft malty start, light, then the toasted and dusty notes, with some coffee.
Relatively light body, quite short aftertaste, hazelnut and toasted.

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Photo of glid02
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with mild amounts of dark chocolate and milder amounts of dark fruits - plums and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the flavors are more assertive than the aromas. Strong roasted malt flavors up front with light hints of char are joined shortly by smooth dark chocolate flavors. Near the end of the sip hints of dark fruit flavors enter into things but fade out before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I initially had this rated higher as I thought it was a beer on the lower end of the ABV spectrum and was impressed with the amount of flavor and smoothness packed into what I thought was a smaller package. Still, this is another good beer from a brewery I'm beginning to be a big fan of. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Gusler
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the 500ml bottle an onyx color, the head a magnificent crown of creamy chocolate brown, as it evaporates every so slowly, the lace forms a sticky thick sheet to cover the glass. Nose rich in sweet roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and a slight floral aroma also noticed, earthy and delightful to see and smell. Start has a pronounced malt presence, sweet and the hops and roasted grain add a nice bitter bite at the back, top is rich and full to the palate. Finish is merciful in its acidity, the hops sturdy in their spiciness; maybe a touch of alcohol bitterness, very dry and the aftertaste clings mightily to the palate, a fine addition to the style.

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Photo of ccrida
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
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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Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet
3.95 out of 5 based on 515 ratings.
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