Sep 11, 2019

HaandBryggeriet Dark Force

This bottle of HaandBryggeriet Dark Force had a 2015 bottling date on it, so I know going in that there was going to be some signs of age to the experience. The big imperial stout (brewed with wheat) weighs in at 9% ABV and hails from Norway. And, despite the age, it’s still damn good.

The aroma of this big stout is amazing as wafts of anise, espresso, chocolate, a soft campfire char and grain rise from the surface of the opaque black surface. And, aside from a good amount of cardboard and oxidation from the past four years in the bottle, Dark Force tastes wonderful.

It’s still fairly rich with chocolate notes, espresso, anise, grain, a touch of cigar, distant spices and an echo of dark fruits. A decent bit of hop bitterness helps keep the stout’s sweetness in check as everything fades gently to the lasting and warming finish.

Dark Force is an intriguing stout. It’s big and pours oily black, but there’s something different about the flavors that you don’t find in your typical imperial stout. I would have loved to have found a bottle of this one that was more fresh, but as it stands, I thoroughly enjoyed this brew and its boozy nature.