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Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,348 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,348
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 80
Gots: 130 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,348 | Reviews: 325
Reviews by Onemic:
More User Reviews:
Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
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?

Photo of mikemorgan
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of Todd
4.23/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
2.12/5  rDev -45.4%
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.

Photo of shapudding
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Photo of Guden
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. amber bottle. "Best by" notch on the back of the bottle indicates that this is best enjoyed fresh. Given that the "April" was notched, I wonder if it might have been a litte past its prime.

Poured a pitch black inky darkness with a solid caramel-colored head that laces all over the glass. Aromas are roasted coffee, caramel, toffee, and bittersweet chocolate. Flavor falls short. Starts with a flavorful and smooth dose of thick stouty flavors of roasted coffee beans and grain, but quickly dies off to a unpleasant, almost sour aftertaste. Roasted nut aftertaste. Slightly thin mouthfeel. A drinkable stout, but one that I'd had much bigger hopes for when I started.

Photo of Thrasher
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, a lot of people have reviewed this beer in the past few days. Opaque black with ruby edges. Head was small but did not vanish. Appealing aroma of roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, grasses. Sharp tasting, like many of MH's brews, with a bold assertive flavor that informs the drinker, hey we are not dicking around here. Roastiness takes a while to settle in, very warming and invigorating. Some light smokiness in the background, a little bit of greasiness too but not repugnant. Hops are grassy, drying, and refresingly bitter. A perfect balance between bitter and sweet. Other reviews have talked about creaminess but I'm not getting it. I would say this is a bit slick for a stout, maybe even a little thin. Stickiness is appropriate and delightful. Each sip requires another, a very drinkable beer. An exquisite beer for a snowy winter's day.

Photo of far333
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having written the review just below for the bottled version, I went to my favorite beer bar and found the draught version, and immediately asked for a pint. I have to say (and the rest of the draught reviews seem to agree) that the draught version is similar in all respects except the flavor and aroma. The flavor is milder and smoother, and the hop flavor takes over. The hints of chocolate and coffee seem to be lost in both flavor and aroma. The head also seemed to run away too quickly. Still a very drinkable and enjoyable stout, but the bottled version really stands out in the crowd, where the draught version is just another oatmeal stout.

Photo of yankeeheel
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark(duh)black with a big fat espresso colored head. Smells very strongly of coffee. Lots of lacing and retention. Nice looking brew.

The taste is most excellent. Lots of big dark malt, coffee, deeply roasted and burnt nut. Carbonation is a little too noticeable but tolerabe, and mouthfeel is on the medium oily side. Low ABV makes this a easy drinker for the long term. Nice job MH.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into british pint glass. Black/brown, shows clear deep red in the light on the edges. small tan head that dissipates quickly with a little lacing. Smell said "toasted" more than "roasted" to me for some reason, but the taste disagrees. Coffee and roasted malt all the way, with a rough but creamy mouthfeel. Excellent stout, bittersweet chocolate upfront is balanced by the bitter finish. Loved it!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears completely dark opaque until held up directly toward the light in order to unveil deep ruby edges around this brew with scattered lacing formed by a thin tan moccha colored head. Aroma contains deep notches of chocolate, coffee, tones along with a slightly burnt fruit tones caramelized down to a reduction. The flavors a reminscient of a dry Irish but with so much more character and flavor the deep dry roasts are present, but in addition a cocoa infused cappucino with a sour acidic tone finishes out the robust flavor of this stout similar to an Imperial but lacking body and alcohol to label it so. Flavors are there including the fruit tones mouthfeel is full but by no means chewy which adds to the drinkability of this outstanding session stout no cloying carbonation or flavor profiles here just a well made true to the style stout.

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Trois Pistoles snifter.

True to the name, this dark stout is opaque and essentially black, although a deep redish-mahogany color can be seen at the edges. The modest tan head has weak retention but leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

This stout has a suitably full dark roasted malt flavor [3.75], yet without any burnt or off-flavors other than a touch of sourness. Hops add a light peppery note and there are hints of coffee, especially in the aftertaste.

M: smooth; low-medium carbonation; medium-full body.

O: good but not quite as good as the Highland Black Mocha Stout I had last night. The Magic Hat stout has a more obvious hop presence, a trace of sour, and a touch more carbonation, but is slightly less rich and complex.

Photo of LXIXME
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big rich malty light brown head is settling so slowly above this super dark brown to black colored beer that appears to be clear if one could only see through it,

Light dark aroma of well roasted grain malts with just a hint or tow of fresh brewed coffee.

Rich dark roasted malts are the backbone of a rich tasting stout that brings with it fresh brewed black coffee and dark chocolates.

A lighter dryish aftertaste that has just a bit of the dark malt taste remaining on this full bodied beer.

I'm gonna have to try this with a scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream and maybe some raspberries, yup I think I just found desert. This was the perfect beer for today, I wish I could find a perfect beer everyday.

Photo of psykad
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured pitch black with a brownish, 1 finger head that didn't last long.

S - Smokey, coffee, caramel, and chocolate. Very appealing.

T - Same as the nose. The smokiness of the roasted barley is there all the way through and lingers for a little bit. Seems on point for the style

M - Lighter than I expected. Somewhat watery with a sticky finish.

O - This is my first taste of a Stout and, per the style description, it seems like this one stacks up. It's a very enjoyable beer. The smokiness is a dominate feature, but not off-putting.

Verdict: I would have another!

Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Inky black as advertised, in fact too dark to see through at all, this heavy-looking brew develops a small tan head that diminishes somewhat quickly but remains as a heavy foam that leaves some good mixed spotting and patching.
The aroma has the elements I'd expect from a stout, heavily on the roasted side but including an almost lactic sweetness. It is, however, a bit too light.
Heavy on roast in the dark, malty profile, it's likewise heavy on the coffee note. It tends tangy, but that off-note is curbed as it warms. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, as advertised, leaning less toward sweetness which is nonetheless complemented by what seems like milk sugars, though it's not a milk stout. Also offered is a hint of toffee. Big barley notes come through all the way as well.
This stout's got the heft, and the appropriate body, but it's way too spritzy. The finish also goes astringent. I can take a little crispness in a stout, but it never abates here.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled September 19, 2012.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a 1.5 finger light khaki head. Leaves a real nice film of lacing on the glass as the head dissipates.

S: Pretty good coffee and roasted malt aroma. Also has some dark fruits to it, raisin and fig. I can see the oatmeal in this.

T: A pretty solid beer here. Great maltiness up front from the oatmeal. Also a coffee, chocolate. Can tell there is ample hop backing as it creeps up in there too. Lingers with a nice roastiness. Still just a little light.

M: Light body for a stout, has a low carbonation, maybe a little thin. Hops are a little sticky.

Overall a pretty impressive brew from Magic Hat. Has an authentic stout taste. Wouldnt mind having this one again.

Photo of mbatley
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe I just don't want to like magic hat because of the funky naming of their beers, but this was quite nice. Smooth, caramelly (sp?), fully black--just how you like it, and just enough body to make this a nice stout worthy of the $3.99 a six-pack I paid for it on sale. I would buy it again even at full retail. Enjoy--I did.

Photo of BittRnessabounds
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, almost black with just a hint of red color with a small creamy tan head. A bit of vigor is required to get much of any head. The head settles to a bit of lace that remains nicely. The smell is dominantly of roasted chocolate malts, with just a hint of caramel. The taste is a nice complexity of the roasted malt flavors giving an almost smokey character to the brew, yet there is just a touch of hops for balance. The mouthfeel is pleasant and each taste finishes with a nice roasted flavor. I would almost call this a medium body stout; it really isn't heavy at all. Very pleasant, interesting, and drinkable.

Photo of DagFishHead
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown/black body with mahogany highlights. Coursely-bubbled frothy chocolate milkshake head fades to an 1/8" cap with small dollups.
Smell: Roasted sweet malt, milk chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, mellow graininess and earthy hints.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Starts smooth with sweet and smokey, slick malt. Thin at the top with light carbonation. Finishes smokey, earthy, with some bitter hop dryness. Too thin for me.
Drinkability: A nice, lighter stout. Could easily enjoy a group of these.

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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,348 ratings.