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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

1,124 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1124
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: 1,124 | Reviews: 316 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Chas58

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled at Joe Canal's Iselin into my Firestone Walker Nonic Pint Glass

Appearance: Pours a jet black, almost sucks the light around it into the glass. A frothy head of two fingers grows on top an persists, leaving a nice lacing

Smell: Coffee is the first aroma that hits my nose, and as my second favorite drink, that is good. You are also aware of a Cocoa and Chocolate aroma that enters subtlety behind the initial coffee aroma. A subtle vanilla was apparent after several sips ( I do not like most vanilla, but this was well done) .

Taste: Delightful with a richness and complexity that delivers the coffee, Cocoa and some hint of hop. The taste is not sweet, this has a hop bite more reminiscent of a porter.

Mouthfeel: A very tight carbonation that accentuates the coffee and provides for a nice feel

Overall: The beer lies somewhere between stout and porter and that will delight lovers of both. I found this a nice sippable beer, but without any hint of alcohol, very quaffable. I think the complexity will satisfy the lover of Porters, and a stout drinker will clearly enjoy the richness. This is not Winter Aleor a spiced ale by any means, but a really solid hopped stout.

Serving type: growler

12-05-2012 00:56:28 | More by Chas58
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a growler of this after they tapped the last keg for the season. Out of the glass and into another this brew was an opaque, dark brown with a wood stain meniscus. Thin, one finger head of tan foam. Aromas of coffee, milk chocolate and hints of vanilla. Flavors were similar, chocolate, roasted malt, sweetened coffee and grainy oats in the finish. Very smooth drinking but the body seems a bit light for the style. Still, a good Oat Stout and glad I picked it up.

Serving type: growler

09-04-2008 14:10:23 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of muffinman703

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Serving type: growler

03-28-2008 13:47:07 | More by muffinman703
Photo of NEhophead


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Back on tap (only at the brewery's store) for samplings and growler fills. Poured from the growler into a tumbler on 02.29.2008.

Pours a chocolate brown in color; near opaque with burgundy hues. Creamy, off-white head that plasters the glass' sides leaving sticky, condensed lacing. Lots of webbed lacing with good strength.

Milk and dark chocolate aromas; semi-sweet. Lingering floral-perfume with touches of medicinal notes and astringency. Caramel and dried coffee beans.

Caramel and bittered chocolate up-front followed by dark, fruity esters: fig, raisin, dark cherry. Hazlenut and coffee beans with a pleasant creaminess interact with the floral hops giving off a touch of must. The finish is dry and airy leaving a bland, caramel aftertaste.

Full in body; smooth, but dry in spots that give this stout an airy film-like texture.

This beer was a classic back in the day. Either my palate has changed since its retirement or the recipe has. Disappointing to say the least, considering how happy I was to hear of its return.

Serving type: growler

03-01-2008 14:07:01 | More by NEhophead
Photo of Brad007


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

It appears that this beer has been resurrected.

Color: Dark black color with one-finger head.

Aroma: Smooth and malty with coffee and vanilla overtones. A bit of chocolate as well. Pretty sweet.

Taste: Smooth and malty upfront. Oatmeal shows in the middle. Smooth and coffee-like in some ways. Some chocolate as well. Coffee shows up mainly at the back of the throat

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry. Oatmeal and coffee in the finish. The aftertaste lingers quite a bit.

Verdict: I didn't even realize that this was supposed to be an oatmeal stout. It's not bad but not the best I've had. Still quite solid.

Serving type: growler

02-09-2008 01:29:47 | More by Brad007
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
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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,124 ratings.