1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

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

1,130 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1130
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)
View: Beers (36) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,130 | Reviews: 316 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 2/23/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a hearty and slightly smoky roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of coffee and chocolate come in. There’s also some dark fruit flavor in the background along with some mild hops bitterness creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are several other stouts I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2013 17:20:59 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at mcgreggors

The beer pours a black with a thin tan head that fades quickly. The nose presents some dry Irish yeast notes, a slight bitterness and sweetness. The yeast predominates the flavor profile along with some semi-sweet cocoa, and a slight bitterness. It's definitely drinkable with a semi-dry, stouty finish. It's a drinkable stout with a modest abv...one of the first magic hat beers I don't regret buying...

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2013 01:28:15 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

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

Deep brown with a finger of tan head. Roasted and burnt barley, full mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation burnt bitterness on the finish. Hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Nothing crazy here just a standard drinkable stout, wouldn't get it again though. Pretty bold flavor though for a smaller beer which is good

Anyone know why this is categorized as an english stout?

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2013 23:16:48 | More by jtierney89
Photo of metter98

New York

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle n' Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high beige head that has excellent retention properties and hardly died down.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of chocolate malts and also has hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of smoothness, but not as much compared to other beers in the style.
O: This is a rich tasting oatmeal stout that is deceptively easy to drink. The only drawback is it seems that it could have used more flavors of roasted malts.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2012 20:17:02 | More by metter98
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a small khaki head that doesn't leave much lacing as it recedes.

Aromas are fairly straight-forward with roasted maltiness and emerging chocolate and coffee notes.

The tastes follow the nose with the roasted maltiness and oatmeal graininess making their presence known. Some earthy hoppiness emerging as it warms with some coffee and dark cocoa.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish is dry and surprisingly hoppy, with some residual sweetness

Overall this is a very pleasant drinking stout, but a bit too roasty and hoppy for my preference for an oatmeal stout. Needs more oats to create than silky body which is necessary for a true winner in this category.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2012 14:21:51 | More by claspada
Photo of TheAmericanBeerProject

4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2012 01:01:14 | More by TheAmericanBeerProject
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serviceable drinkable stout. A half a year past expiry, I don't believe it made a difference. Mellower stout which was nice, also noticeable watery. Refreshing. On sweeter side, Chocolate malts, modestly bitterness in mid-sip. Dark colour, understated coffee and roast.
2012 version:On draft at jfk5 bar nysb just tapped black with foam and lace
roasted coffee coffee ground taste
decedrinkabilityity mochocolateate as it warms
decent stout

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2005 02:33:48 | More by Sammy
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at The Sunset in Boston.

This stout poured a dark, black color with creamy, tan foam that settled but left some lace on the glass. The smell was rather minimal but some dark malty aromas, including a touch of coffee, could be detected. The taste was full of dark malt with a bit of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth with medium body and moderate carbonation. Malty but on the clean side. This was a nice stout which seemed to be leaning towards a dry, Irish stout, more than an oatmeal stout.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2005 07:44:02 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ The Field in Cambridge, MA.

Pours out as black as night with a small head. The aroma brought about some burnt and roasted malts with slight hops as well. The flavor was slightly bitter and really gave attention to the hops. The roasted malts were still present as well. Slightly bitter finish to it. Not bad overall.

What a treat to have this on tap. One of the more hoppy stouts I've had, but a good representation of an oatmeal stout.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2005 16:58:59 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of shippos

New York

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the chapter house in ithaca.

poured with a tin chocolatly tan head and a black as night body.
oily aroma with walnuts?, had a nutty wiff there for a bit then faded away. smooth first sip, creamy mouthfeel followed by a prickly bit of carbonation around the inside of your mouth and smoothes out at the end. bit of roasted grain in the finish. very very drinkable, very excellent oatmeal stout. IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2005 15:08:10 | More by shippos
Photo of Hefe


3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 12/22/04 at R.F.D. from tap.

Appearance: Inky pitch black, with a thin (but sticky) brown head.

Smell: RoOoasty! ( coffee, bittersweet chocolate )

Taste: Chocolate malt, smoky, roasty, with notes of plum and an underlying sweetness. A slight bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied.

Drinkability: Great after dinner sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2005 01:47:28 | More by Hefe
Photo of UnionMade


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a tar black, completely opaque even around the bottom of the glass. A thick topping of darkish beige mist coats the viscous looking liquid, leaving some blobs of lace clinging to the glass. Decent retention, dropping out almost entirely with a few sips left.
The aroma is very chocolatey, with a solid amount of oatmeal lending it's distinct, almost milky, smoothness. Heaps of roasted malt, with an enticing bittersweet aroma. Some charred grain and coffee, with a slight buttery tinge. Mild black cherry and fig.
The flavor starts with impressive roasty malt. A touch grainy, with a strong chocolate taste, along with a sweetly mellowing oatmeal smoothness throughout. Some coffee flavor, moving into a cautious fig, riasin and cherry fruitiness. A bit of slick butteriness in the mouthfeel. The finish is a restrained burnt bitterness, assisted with a pinch of grassy hopping. Very smooth and easy drinking, supported by slight, fluffy carbonation. A burly medium body, assuredly assisted by a bit of yeast presence. A lingering roasty aftertaste, with a suggestion of cherry cordial.
One of my favorite oatmeal stouts, and probably my favorite 12oz offering from Magic Hat. My only complaint is that this isn't offered year round, even though some package stores try to pretend.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2004 08:07:53 | More by UnionMade
Photo of xgrigorix


4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, presented in a shaker pint.

Beautifully black, topped by a dense tan coloured head. Head retains fairly well, & will come right back with a swirl of the glass. A thin sheet of lace leaves a trail all the way to the bottom of the pint.

Roasted grain, chocolate, coffee, & hops. Smelling this immediately relaxes me.

Dark chocolate, bitter espresso, raisins, roast grain, & a decent hop bite. Tasty hop burps. On the thin side of full bodied, smooth, with moderate carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2003 18:14:35 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of dwarbi

New York

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown/khaki head. The beer itself is jet-black. Great lacing. Smells incredibly smoky. I heard the bartender tell someone this was a "smoked porter", and it's easy to believe. It tastes pretty light, and heavily of toasted oats. Great, tingly mouthfeel. Feels light, and is highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2003 18:02:25 | More by dwarbi
Photo of far333


3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2003 03:56:45 | More by far333
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was two dollar pint night, and I spied this on tap. Poured a nice dark color, a pretty good head. Smooth, a taint sweet, and just a hint of coffee. It went down quickly, leading me to question, is it a stout? Maybe a sub-stout, bordering on a porter. Regardless, this was an excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2003 06:43:53 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of kaszeta

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thoroughly dark stout, pouring with a deep black color and a quickly fading caramel head.

The aroma is that of a good stout, with the chocolate malt tones coming through strongly, and a good amount of roasted malt. A *bit* of coffee smell, but on the "sweet" end of the coffee spectrum, not harsh.

The mouthfeel is very full and rather sweet. Unlike most stouts, while there is definitely that bitter flavor characteristic of stouts, this bitterness is rather mild, resulting in a very smooth stout. And it's lightly carbonated, so you don't have much of the acidic sting from the carbonation.

Overall, a very respectable stout, one of the best that I regularly have the pleasure of drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2003 16:28:17 | More by kaszeta
Photo of stegmakk

New York

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a tan and very lacy head.
It had a mild malty and chocolate aroma.
There was a malty flavor with a subtle sweet aftertaste. Overall a very good flavor from beginning to end, however a little too tame.
Medium bodied. Wish it was ceamier.
Not a bad brew from Magic Hat. I might put this into my beer purchasing rotation under the less frequent.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2003 09:56:34 | More by stegmakk
Photo of doerickson


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Common. Black with a tinge of dark ruby around the edges. Three quarter inch fine bubbled tan head. Aromas of dark chocolate and coffee, with a hint of earthy hops. Light carbonation, medium-heavy body. Creamy mouthfeel. Flavors of coffee are up front, with some chocolate milky sweetness and a nice subtle hop presence to balance. This is a top-drawer New England stout.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2002 17:55:48 | More by doerickson
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.