Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HaandBryggeriet - Dark Force

It's not often that you find a beer that claims to be a new style, so the label of HaandBryggeriet's (don't ask me how you pronounce that one) Dark Force caught me off guard a bit when it claimed to be a brand new take on a stout. Most stouts are brewed with roasted malt and barley, which helps them to get that great black color. This one is brewed with wheat malt and dark roasted malt and is labeled by the brewery as an "imperial wheat stout." I'm always up for a new take on a style, especially a stout, so I decided to see how this idea played out.

Dark Force pours a thick looking black color with a nice and creamy mocha colored head. I didn't really pick up any wheat in the smell, but I got some great aromas of dark chocolate covered cherries, wet earth, milk chocolate, espresso beans and a hint of wet wood. While wheat didn't seem to be a huge element in the smell, I got a bit of a tartness in the background that might have come from the wheat.

The taste starts with a powdery dark chocolate flavor and then progresses into flavors of dark chocolate, black cherries, lots of roasted malt and coffee and then dives towards a hard bittersweet chocolate finish. Again, the wheat didn't seem too present in the taste, but the mouthfeel was smooth and creamy like a lot of the great wheat beers out there. If you can't handle some seriously bitter dark chocolate flavor, then this may not be the beer for you. But if you're sick of all the sweet stouts out there, I'd highly recommend seeking out Dark Force.

Final Grade: A

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34

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