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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: 1,363
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 25.06%
Wants: 97
Gots: 155 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heart Of Darkness Alström Bros
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Reviews: 323 | Hads: 1,363
Photo of BeerWithMike
5/5  rDev +27.9%
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!

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Photo of MattFrenzy
4.97/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very dark brown with tan, foamy head that eventuallyl recedes to a decent amount of lace. Reminds me of coca-cola for some reason.

Smell: Smooth and malty, sweet, slight hint of hops but no alcohol, nutty, oatmeal, roasted, mmm.

Taste: Oh so smooth, roasted coffee with a malted aftertaste that lingers and begs for more. Sweet but bitterness shows through as it warms up. Extremely drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness for a stout, minor carbonation but nothing annoying... can I say smooth any more?

The first time I tried this beer I turned to my buddy... "Oh... my... god... This may be the best beer I've ever tasted." Still holds true... this is one of the greatest stouts in my opinion and I would drink this constantly if I could... would take this over Guinness any day of the week. Superb.

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Photo of pbrian
4.94/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply the finest stout made in New England. Beutiful roasted coffee aroma. Starts off a little sweet but finishes crisp and dry. Very drinkable.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

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Photo of Bretts1357
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

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Photo of kim_thayil
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

hadn't heard of this until my cousin offered me one when i was visiting.

i was knocked out by how good it is. unbelievable. coffee, sweetness. excellent.

immediately one of my favorites.

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Photo of Joe_
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I generally don't like Magic Hat, but this is my favorite chocolate stout. It's widely available in the winter and incredibly smooth. Every time I see a six-pack I buy one.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this 12 ounce bottle sitting in my house for quite some time now, and figured there was never going to be a time where the occasion seemed appropriat enough for me to open it, so I said, the hell with it, open it whenever you feel like it, and thats what i felt like tonight. Pours a nearly pitch black color, slightly brown towards the top, with a nice white lace for a head. Aromas that surfaced were nice cocoa, milk, coffee, toffee...very truffle oriented. Taste was about as nice as it comes with a stout, caramel, milk chocolate, espresso, burnt coffee bean, cherries, tobacco...it never seemed to end on new tastes to come up with. Mouthfeel was somewhat light bodied for an oatmeal stout...but that was not a bad thing...made it more drinkable in the end. I never thought that this beer would age well, but after all of this time sitting above my fridge, I have found that it has grown to be a beer to be revered in every respect of the word. I have to admit, as I was pouring it into the H.O.D tulip glass, I felt like I was saying goodbye to an old dear friend. I have a feeling that one of these days I'll stumble upon this beer in a dusty corner somewhere, but if not, It was great getting to know it. This was probably the first stout that really got me engorged in the style. Shame on MH for discontinuing it....as close to sacriledge as you can get with beer as far as Im concerned. Cheers

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Photo of koolkat
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh the heart of darkness. One of my favorite beers of all time. An excellent dark beer without the dark beer lingering aftertaste. A beer that even non darkbeer drinkers will still drink. I always manage to pick up a couple of cases and some growlers whenever I am back home in Vermont.

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Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the name would suggest, it pours black, with a nice bit of head that lingers well. The smell is very coffee-like with some smoke, in other words, delicious. Like the smell, the taste is rich and coffee, or maybe even espresso-like. Heavy in flavor and that flavor is wonderful. Leaves a nice smokey after taste. Overall, a wonderful stout! Highly recommended.

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Photo of scottum
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mint! I got a free Magic Hat pint glass with the six pack of this favorite brew of mine. Pours our black as black can be. Tastes oh so good! Not quite as nice as on tap, but I won't complain because this is just such a great beer! Thank you Magic Hat!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful stout from the folks at MH. It pours out a super dark, opaque black colour with a very fluffy, tan/cocoa coloured head of foam. The aromas are of chocolate, caramel, dark roasted malts, slight bittering hops, and some more cocoa! The taste is very chocolatey and the roasted malt flavor is bready and excellent. The mouthfeel is thick, but just right for this type of stout and the drinkability is excellent as well. Wow, this is one of the best beers that Magic Hat makes. Hands Down.

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Photo of nofalltoofar
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into Imperial pint glass

A: Almost black with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Dar, sweet, honey and oats with caramel

T: Bitter and hoppy, slightly sweet with notes of honey, caramel, chocolate and coffee

M: Pleasantly carbonated, not excessive. Smooth but still slightly thick, not oily or watery

This is a wonderful beer. I got it on sale for $31. I expected it to be more drinkable for a stout, but it is definitely on the savory side. It is a great winter beer for the fireside and a pipe.

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Photo of TheAmericanBeerProject
4.61/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some beers are just cool, and this is one of them. As oatmeal stouts go, you won't find a heartier pour. My bartender commented when she started the tap, "Wow, that's dark!". It is smooth to drink, just a little bitter on the edges, and an all around quality beer!

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Photo of Viking
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky brownish-red, almost black. Small off-white head. If you look closely, and have patience, you may see a trace of CO2 in the body. Hade fades quickly, leaving a thin, spidery lace. Aroma of roasted oats, with hints of chocolate and (unless my nose decieves me) coffee. I also seemed to notice a faint trace of maple syrup in the aroma after the beer had warmed a bit (possibly my imagination). Flavor packed with roasted oats, hints of chocolate, and faint bits of smoked peat. Moderately bitter throughout; slightly more bitter in the finish. Has a lingering aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. An excellent session stout.

Special thanks to pbrian for sending this on my way!

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Photo of muffinman703
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite imbibes from Magic Hat. Had to travel to the Artifactory to get it. Definitely worth the trip to get it.

The Heart is as advertised, dark (black). Putting the glass up to your wazoo, you get the aroma of a good hearty stout.
Taste is great, with a little more carb than a Guinness, for a small kick.
Finishes on the sides of your tongue and stay around to exhale through your nose.
I could drive back today for more of the Heart.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep black with a thin head that quickly dissolves yet never completely disappears. predominantly smells of coffee with hints of chocolate. there is a definite roasted flavour here as well as smoked malts and coffee as mentioned above. though certainly not light, much easier going down than would appear. not nearly as heavy as other stouts. overall, one hell of a stout and one hell of a beer in general. my favourite in the magic hat family.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, pours velvety out of the bottle, jet black, huge rocky tan head holds great retention & leaves tons of lacing on the glass. A full nose, rich, roasty, chocolate, faint fruitiness. Tastes are robust with dark chocolate, roasted barley, french roast coffee, oatmeal, a little smoky, a little fruity, kind of ashy on the finish. Mouth-feel is velvety smooth, creamy, medium bodied, well balanced, finishes clean with some lingering roast. Overall, wow...nice surprise! Might be the best oatmeal stout I've had, and is definitely the best Magic Hat offering I've had.

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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.

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

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a rich malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and some black malts along with a very good hop aroma that actually gives it a refreshing quality. The taste is awesome as well. It has a very smooth malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit bitter and hoppy in the aftertaste. The oatmeal adds a slightly dry texture on the tongue. It is rich and creamy; very nice. The mouthfeel is great. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great stout. It has everything; a great drinker.

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Photo of yen157
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost black. Very, very, very dark red. Pretty head of big bubbles and some bulges made up of leaner bubbles, both tan in color, decorated the top of this beer. Funky lace stuck to the sides of the glass. Coffee and some fruitiness from hops, maybe raspberry-like, make up the nose of this elegant stout. Tasted of nicely toasted grains and either wood or nuts, I haven’t made up my mind. Some charcoal flavor exists as one would expect, but it doesn’t add much bitterness as is often the case. A tiny sourness pops up every now and then just adding to the complexity of the brew. Extremely creamy in the mouth. Overall, very good stout. A nice change from overly assertive stouts.

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Photo of beernut7
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout has a thick black full body and a slow forming creamy tan head. Strong roasted and some chocolate aroma introduce a smooth roasted dark malty flavor that is not too sweet, but not at all bitter. This is a very drinkable and very enjoyable brew.

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

A very good stout. Pours out to the usual blackness of the style with a slight head and decent amount of carbonation. Aroma is of that of coffee with a slight caramel presence. This is a very balanced stout. There is a beautiful taste of roasted malt that is followed on the swallow by a mellow, but tasty, hop presence. I am so used to the hop kick of the Bell's stouts, that this was a bit mellower in comparison, but it lended to the balance of the beer. A highly drinkable stout. Delicious.

Thank you to BIGDEB499 for sending this my way.

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Photo of digitalflood
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Diabolical Stout (2013) - 5.7% ABV. Behold, Magic Hat's possible best brew. Pitch black thick body. Little to no head with excellent lacing and retention. No sign of carbonation-- I'm sure it's there but good luck seeing it. Thick chocolate and cocoa aromas. A hint of coffee. Clean wet mouthfeel. Coffee nose. Lots of Kona, Arabica, and a hint of Ethiopian beans. Chocolate milk and coffee mid-palate. Luxurious. Bitter back palate. Stout bitter hops and porter malts. Toasted barley and oaked wood aftertaste. Strong tannins and leather persist. Dry finish. So much stout. So much good bitters. So full and well rounded. Incredibly drinkable. Smooth. 4.5 out of 5. Very good. Bordering on excellent. Recommended for any porter or stout lover.

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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.

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