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Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

323 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 323
Hads: 1,360
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 95
Gots: 153 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Stout |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 10-03-2001

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 323 | Hads: 1,360
Reviews by JerzDevl2000:
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into glass

A: super-dark, almost black
S: definite chocolate aroma on the nose. smells Interesting.
T: citrus notes on the finish (grapefruit?) The late bitterness good for balance.
F: heavy, with mild carbonation
O: enjoyed and would get it again.

 270 characters

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with a medium off white sticky head,the aroma is chocolaty and kinda smoky smell was not that great to me.The taste is chocolaty and nutty with some definent hoppy bitterness in the finish.Not a bad beer but average compared to alot of standards.

 265 characters

Photo of DanGeo
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of ExtraStout
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

 344 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of MadScientist
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A black beer that allow some light through on the edge showing good clarity and a deep garnet tint. The light brown head has a decent retention time and made of compact bubbles.

S: a strong roast and coffee aromas with moderate figs and plum notes. A bit of dried fruit. Some moderately light malt sweetness and a soft vinous character. I get a little spicy hops aroma but my sinus want me dead so I can't rely on my nose that much today.

T: A pretty fruit stout with a bit of sweetness. There is moderately-strong juicy, dark fruit flavors of plums and figs with a pretty solid roast malt flavor that brings some coffee and bitter chocolate without any dark malt sharpness. There is a light citrus to grapefruit hops flavor which is probably the Apollo hops as flavoring. The balance is slightly bitter but there is some malt sweetness throughout. The finish is medium and the aftertaste is of fruity and cocoa.

M: Lightly creamy with a full body and moderate carbonation. No astringency, maybe a slight chalkiness.

O: A fruity and soft stout with light bit of sweetness but a bit more bitterness. The dark fruit from the malt blends well with the citrus and grapefruit from the hops making for a sort of juicy stout. I'd call this a Foreign Extra Stout for BJCP style. Nice, when did we get to start using quarters of a percent?

 1,339 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Shakerman
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of markallmon
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kevrob802
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mikemorgan
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of BigRiver45
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Todd
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice opaque black colour with a tight & patchy cream/foam head. Aromas include roasted, day old coffee/coffee beans, black liquorice. Tight lively carbonation. Smooth, creamy and robust with an astringent roasted barley flavour, smoked malts, wood, black liquorice and molasses. Sweetness is mild. Hop bitterness is thin with a limey backbone that peaks and puckers for a brief moment. Dry, crisp, grain and raw on the edges of the palate. Finish brings some dryness to the mouth, as well as some lingering burnt flavours.

Dry, complex and damn tasty ... a real nice stout.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.12/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours black with a medium creamy light brown head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is astringent (almost plasticky) chocolate malts with roast.

The flavor is lots of patent malt with heavy roast and a little sugary, lactic sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery.

Overall, watery and lots of roasted patent malts.

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Photo of shapudding
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Creamy brown head atop pitch blackness. Scents of toffee, orange, chocolate...
Tastes of dark roasted malts, bitter coffee, and chocolate. Great amount of flavor. Found this one pleasantly surprising for Magic Hat, as there was sucha hub-bub about them that when some bottles showed up being held for a buddy at a local pub I was kinda excited, then tasted, then felt like I had waited all year for a carnival that showed up with one ride. This was yummers. Very smooth and creamy, full of flavor. Not too heavy or complex, not too intense. Good stuff.

 553 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Guden
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A- dark black with hints of clear ruby shining through. Small tan head fades to a tiny ring with no lacing.

S- chocolate covered espresso beans, raisins, burnt marshmallow. Not a very strong aroma but a complex and desirable one.

T- up front it is lightly fruity raisin which fades into strong espresso coffee character with a moderate dark, roasted bitterness lingering throughout.

M- moderate body with a dry finish, accentuates the espresso character but I'd like a little more creaminess.

O- a very solid stout that stands out only by being so true to style and refined.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hot pink swirl that flows in to a hypnotic eye adorns the 12oz brown bottle. This time my fun filled crown pop open with "Big Brother is watching TV". Freshness date clearly marked.

Appearance: As black as night with a creamy light tan head that stays for the duration. The Brussels lace looks like a frothed latté.

Smell: Some soft sweetness, slight butterscotch and light earthy musty roasted and hoppy aromas flow to the nose.

Taste: A touch of tangy roasted barley, malt sweetness and a hint of butterscotch in the start, but the goes to more tangy charcoal-like roasted flavours and burnt raisins with a simple and pleasing hop bitterness. Touch of musty earthiness. The after taste leaves more lingering roasted and light burnt fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a crisp yet modest carbonation. Creamy and smooth on the palate.

Drinkability & Notes: Oh what a wonderful stout ... roasted flavours are very rich, a hefty brew to be had. A stout lovers snowy day dream it’s a seasonal brew and thankfully it has come back around.

 1,058 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a country....Heart of Darkness in my Stop & Shop! Goes in the cart next to the english muffins. Bottle requests I enjoy by April '05. I could normally care less about the appearance of a brew's bottle, but this label is awesome!

This beer is incredibly dark...dark at night w/ no light passing through. Almost a full finger of head after a moderate pour...cocoa in color.
Chocolate, coffee, raisins....this beer is packed w/ aromas.

Taste is less than exciting...a decent flavor, hint of cherries and java but it has no distinctive flavor jumping out at me.

I need to assume this beer was once cold, sat at room temperature, and then chilled again. It gets a little better once it warms up, but it is a bit too bitter on this serving. The aftertaste is ok...I would prefer the mouthfeel to finish a bit more dry. I'm not craving another after this pint...drinkability will have to suffer a bit.
I have had this before (bottled) and should have reviewed it then...I would have been much more kind. I have a 5 pack now and will enjoy them as much as I can.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.