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Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,128 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1128
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.05%

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Stout |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our inky-black stout had a smooth, round palate with a dreamlike undercurrent of bittersweet chocolate. This dense liquid-silk summoned hope from hibernation and balanced winter's endless white snows with a rich swirl of creamy black rapture.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: pezoids on 10-03-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,128 | Reviews: 316 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ElijahRivera

New York

3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with no date consumed on 12-28-13 and priced at $10 for a 6 pack.

A- Opaque black body with a short, light mocha head that stuck around for a while.

S- Unusually for a stout, the most prominent aroma is a phenolic/yeasty one. That is grounded by some roasty chocolate, which is still beat out by some aromatic ginger-like spice and citric/herbal hops. There might be some acidic espresso roast in there too. Strange bouquet for a stout, but not necessarily negative. There is also a weird soy sauce or almost balsamic vinegar aroma.

T- Starts with a hint of bittersweet cocoa powder, which quickly transistions into an acidic, spicy, herbal middle. Then it finishes with slightly bitter roasted malts. Some hops and coffee in the retro-olfaction. The strange/off elements that are in the aroma are also present in the flavor profile. I'm beginning to think it is detracting from the quality of this stout.

M- A little thin bodied for the style. Some carbonation. Mostly smooth on the palate with a semi-dry finish.

O- Underwhelming, disappointment of a beer that I had high hopes for. I don't normally trust Magic Hat to put out a high quality brew, but I was hoping this one might be different based on reviews and scores I've read. However, there wasn't enough boldness or richness of flavors I expect in a high quality stout. That coupled with too many off aromas and flavors force me to give this brew regrettably low marks.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 03:11:41 | More by ElijahRivera
Photo of Mistro


3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as can be, right out of the bottle. Smells strongly of cocoa with hints of vanilla, and better than that it tastes exactly the way you'd expect off your nose. Flavors are overall mild, and a perfect balance between bitter and sweet. Great stout, will pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 22:57:57 | More by Mistro
Photo of lochef81


3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This ale pours a handsome but unremarkable near black with a slight off white head that quickly dissipates to a thin film and some lacing. The aroma is that of dark chocolate, vanilla beans, and light coffee notes. The flavor is mild but enjoyable with all the flavors promised in the nose plus some dried prune and raisin notes. It has a lighter body than I have come to expect from a stout. This is a very enjoyable beer that drinks quite light and easy. It is in no way a great stout but it is solid.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:20:51 | More by lochef81
Photo of JDJ


4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Comes out black with a very thin mocha head, which dissipates quickly.

Smells of roasted malts, toast, and coffee. Slight hint of chocolate as it warms.

Taste is a typical English stout. Roasted malts and minimal hops, with dark coffee and dark cocoa undertones.

Mouthfeel isn't my favorite. A little overly carbonated for a stout, and sort of thin. I like my stouts thick and rich.

Overall, it's nothing to write home about but definitely something I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 00:11:39 | More by JDJ
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - opaque with a light mocha head, fluffed and sticky. Great lacing and resilience.

Aroma - dusty grains and a nice roasty sniff with a touch of coffee.

Taste - slightly sweet grains to start, followed by an excellent roasted character. Just shy of ashy, the balance to the sweet is spot on.. Ends with a dry, toasty warmth.

Mouthfeel - medium weight, supportive but not in the way. Average carbonation, everything where it should be.

Overall - excellent English stout, no-brainer for a session brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 04:02:50 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Carolvs


3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a bottle into a standard ale glass.

Appearance - Pitch black with a mocha head, but not a very substantial one, perhaps a quarter inch.

Smell - Noticeable but not overwhelming scent of roasted malt.

Taste - It's a stout with a zing.

Overall- Definitely a quality brew, although not in the same league as say the stouts by Founders, Lagunitas, or Samuel Smith's, but pretty close.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 21:35:46 | More by Carolvs
Photo of ski271


4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought this on my skiing excursion to share with friends. Figured they like it and it was a huge hit. It's an inky-black brew with a small, off-white, lasting head. This beer is very roasted-smelling and it seemed to perfectly match the snowy, woodsy outdoors at the ski resort. The taste is lightly bitter up front, then the toasted malts take over bringing some sweetness in. It's big enough for what we wanted without being too heavy. Probably the perfect beer for that moment, and just a really good easy-drinking stout. This one is a winner I highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 22:25:58 | More by ski271
Photo of scotorum


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled September 29th 2013.

Poured from the 12 oz,. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Black with clear dark ruby highlights when seen through light, finger thick tan head receded quickly to partial surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild dark chocolate.

t: Dark chocolate and cold coffee with some bitter hop balance. Bitterness lingers slightly at the sides of the tongue.

m: Light to moderate.

o: A good easy-drinking, dinner companion stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 23:39:25 | More by scotorum
Photo of nasty15108

New York

3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a oversized brandy snifter.

Poured pitch black and slightly viscous with a nice thick head of tan foam. The head quickly gave way to some nice lacing.

The smell was sweet and chocolaty at first but gave way to a more metalic aroma.

The taste was pleasant. The chocolate was balanced with a slight herbal taste and a slightly smokey hop finish.

Overall a nice beer. Became more flavorful and balanced as it warmed.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 19:07:12 | More by nasty15108
Photo of mikemorgan


4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- It is midnight black , just as it should be.

T- Great tasting beer, a dry stout, but more body and interesting than a Guinness or Murphy's Stout. I hint of sweetness and the slightest touch of an earthy coffee/caramel/chocolate tast in the background. Plenty of Northern Brewer Hops.

M- Great mouthfeel, I almost hate to swallow it down! Not heavy, smooth and interesting.

Overall, one of top 3 favorite dry stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 14:36:25 | More by mikemorgan
Photo of LeatherNeckBrewing


3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this beer a lot. I decided to buy a six pack while brewing my own Irish Stout for inspiration, so to speak. it did not dry my mouth out and was very flavorful. it wasn't as smooth as a Guinness draft, but it was smooth. I cannot say anything about its appearance because I drank it straight from the bottle, but the taste made it disappear.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 00:37:48 | More by LeatherNeckBrewing
Photo of OzmanBey


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the better darker stouts I have had in a long time, the coco tones are perfect and the taste has a slight sweetness which opens up on your tongue and lingers leaving your mouth feeling warm. If you enjoy the darker side of beer I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 12:51:34 | More by OzmanBey
Photo of ExtraStout


3.24/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint tumbler. The beer was very dark and poured a dark tan head.
I was hopeful. The beer did not really have much of a smell to me maybe coffee hits. The beer was smooth but I got to say for a Stout, it was pretty tasteless and I thought a bit thin. Good lacing was present but I prefer taste. I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 01:34:31 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of Bretts1357

New Jersey

4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Found myself trying this for the first time a few weeks ago being a winter seasonal, and man is this a great winter beer. Then a week later all I wanted was this specific taste. Dark, toffee, thick feeling quality, nice sharp finish , one might think this was an imported English stout. Would love to drink this and hobgoblin at same time and compare. Not weak either surprisingly buzz worthy but better to drink before any other beer as this taste Truly needs to be appreciated to its fullest. Great contrast to Magic hats other orange lemony zest beers/IPAs which I find typical amongst others. Definitely a stand out brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 01:29:34 | More by Bretts1357
Photo of Doerrijustmether


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Pours onyx black, about a finger of khaki head. Head dissipated but a small amount remains. Smells of bittersweet chocolat, roasted hops and maybe a tinge of butterschotch or carmel in the background. Roasted hops and maybe licorice? ?.

Smooth drink, good stout, goes down easy. Slight aftertaste but not a bad one. Kind of a boozy I thought this was a 7-8 abv, was surprised to see 5.7..

Im pretty much a stout junkie and this is a very good one. Would definitely get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 23:24:07 | More by Doerrijustmether
Photo of ZagZagg


4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Inky black, smooth and slightly viscous producing a pluming off-white head after an aggressive pour. Sporadic lacing with low to moderate retention – not about to see any light passing through this brew it’s onyx

S: Roasty, coca-coffee, a bit spicy – anise and clove walking the line of sweet and slightly bitter. A bit of maple syrup or tart caramel - There’s an earthy rootiness – birch?

T: Diverges from the nose a bit by leaning to the bitter side of the bitter-sweet line. More hop presence than a lot of stouts – maybe a bit exaggerated by the carbonation. The malt profile is more burnt than roasted contributing to the bitter qualities. The burnt malt and hop forwardness play off each other nicely to produce a decently balanced play on the palate

M: Mild carbonation that wanders about, not exactly as ‘full’ bodied, as I would have anticipated. After taste is somewhat dry akin to cooking/dark chocolate with a lingering dark coffee roast statement.

O: Pretty nice, easy drinking stout, fits well with what I would expect from Magic Hat. If you’re into the style and looking to put a few away in one sitting, I recommend.

I love the label artwork, I have a heart of darkness and that eye can see it through my chest.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 02:59:14 | More by ZagZagg
Photo of tkdchampxi

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: pitch black with a two cm coffee colored head that quickly reduced. Lacing fades elegantly down the sides of the glass

S: very light aroma, mainly characterized by malt, coffee, and roasted barley. There is a mild sweetness that comes across faintly

T: this is a solid stout, with a mild sweetness that fairly represents the aroma. The taste really reminds me of a dry stout mixed with coca cola. My first sip reminded me of coffee, but after a few swigs, I started tasting coca cola more and more. On the back end, there is some faint coffee bitterness on each small sip, while there are chocolate notes upon each big swig.

M: interestingly crisp, like a soda that is exactly in between too carbonated and flat. This is not a creamy smooth stout, nor is it an over-carbonated mess. It's just right.

O: I like this stout. It's interesting, if not great. I'd be happy to drink more than one in a row, and would be happy to serve it friends. I know some people swear by this beer, and I won't go that far, but I'd certainly say that it is quite solid.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 01:30:01 | More by tkdchampxi
Photo of ZoomanCru


3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Heart of Darkness – Stout (5.7%) - Magic Hat Brewing Co. (Vermont)

App: Pours essentially black with some slight reddish hues to the extreme edges of the glass. Dark tan two finger head settles, but retains a nice half finger head all the way down. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Dry, roasted malt aromas dominate the nose. Slightly sweet and earthy together. Chocolate aromas very present. Slightly woody. Not too strong a bouquet on this one.

Taste: Lots of roasted flavors competing for attention. Some slight chocolate on the foretaste thats quickly overturned by the deep, dry, and almost acrid flavor of roasted barley. Not particularly strong in flavor, but very well balanced. Bitterness from hops and roasted grains well balanced by faint sweet caramel flavor, but overall this is a very dry stout.

Mouth: Pretty heavy bodied as is to be expected. Dryness is pleasant and uplifting of the sweeter characteristics of the foretaste. Little heavy on the carb.

Home tasting, 12oz bottle into Tulip glass. 1/29/14.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 00:08:26 | More by ZoomanCru
Photo of BeerWithMike


5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled tonight on 1/24/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pitch black in color with almost a 1-finger beige head that settles down to just a thin ring around the top. Some spotty lacing is seen but not a lot actually. The aroma is of sweet roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of black coffee. The taste is even better and very so smooth! Perfect blend of tasty flavors. Perfect carbonation. No bitter or bitter aftertaste for this one! A FANTASTIC stout all the way!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 03:38:19 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of beergoot


3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black body with a medium-thick, foamy, tan head. Mild roasted and charred grain aroma with hints of chocolate. Charred grains and bittersweet chocolate flavors; slightly acidic; very faint hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a slightly rough feel; dry finish.

A respectable stout with bold flavors decent, all-around character.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 03:55:54 | More by beergoot
Photo of bgillespie

New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Roasty and chocolate. Maybe a little coffee.

Taste: Malty, smokey, some chocolate and coffee. Similar to a Guinness and rivals it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: I was not expecting this from Magic Hat, one of their better beers. Great taste, smooth, and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 06:56:27 | More by bgillespie
Photo of MisterdeSade

New York

4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't expecting much, but this turned out to be a very solid brew!
Very pleasant stout; a little more fullness than a Guinness, but then by no means an Old Rasputin. Great middle ground in terms of a stout.
Nice, dark coloring, extremely palatable with just enough of a slight tinge of "yuck" factor that I look for in a dark, yet without any bitter aftertaste at all.
This is my first time trying anything Magic Hat produces and so far I like what they do!
I would LOVE to try this on tap.
I'm liking this A LOT. A worthy brew!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 23:10:58 | More by MisterdeSade
Photo of cavedave

New York

2.66/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Black and thick, with a hat of light tan lather that snaps back to a thin ring.

Hints of anise come up with the roastier aspects with just a hint of herbal hop and coffee to add to the aroma. Along the way I get dark chocolate whiffs. Weak bouquet, though, not a lot going on.

Neutral sweet and burnt sugar, dark chocolate, instant coffee, licorice, ends with the herbal and tha ash, some burnt licorice taste too (only way I can describe it, and not in a good way.)

Thin for a stout, nicely low carb., not clean flavor, cling on palate builds, finish really weird root beer as it warms.

Am not enjoying this out of balance, overly rooty, stout. Sorry I took a friend's recommend on this one, and bought the whole six. Root beer (stout) float anyone?

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 18:58:26 | More by cavedave
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was yet another beer that I was given for Christmas, and it had been at least 10 years since I last cracked one of these open. I wasn't sure how this would hold up over that span, given that the other Magic Hat beers that I drank recently were nowhere near as good as I remembered them. That wasn't the case here, as this was a fine, textbook example of an English Stout that nearly qualified as a session beer as well. While not as good as the "motor oil" Stouts that I love this time of the year, this went down easily and had enough to it that it was enjoyable as well!

The pour was as to be expected, with a coffee-like hue and consistency and a somewhat thick tan head that quickly settled down. Not a lot of lacing either but thin rings were to be found after each sip, reminding me that there was a decent body to this as well. A slight roasted malt presence and some coffee could be found in the aroma, which was reinforced by some espresso and soda in the taste. Hardly any caramel stickiness was here and the carbonation was just light enough to gently scrub those flavors away. Was there a bit of burnt, bitter chocolate here? Perhaps, as I could feel a bit of it as the roasted malt faded away during the aftertaste.

As for the alcohol, it's here but this was about an easygoing a Stout that I'll ever have. Even though I only had one bottle of this, I could easily have another in a sitting and hardly feel buzzed from it. If you're looking for a good breakfast Stout or a replacement for your morning cup of joe, look no further. This won't win any awards but it just might win me back to Magic Hat, even after all of these years.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 08:56:24 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of Fatehunter


3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two and half fingers of head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, molasses, milk and a little wood.
The taste is a little earthy, more roasted malt and a little chocolate. Mild bitter note on the finish.
The texture is fairly smooth with a little fizz.
Pretty good. I enjoyed the smooth texture and great appearance.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 04:09:46 | More by Fatehunter
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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,128 ratings.