Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

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BA SCORE
88
very good

322 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 322
Hads: 1,358
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 88
Gots: 147 | 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: 322 | Hads: 1,358
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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 (440 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and slight cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with char, cocoa, and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a slightly better set of flavors in my opinion. (552 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (710 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a decadently dark brown body with a little head that doesn't leave much lacing

Smell: Roasted malt with a touch of chocolate and coffee

Taste: Starts out rather mild, with the roasted malt and oatmeal flavors making their presence known; finishes dry and surprisingly hoppy, with some residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a stout, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very pleasant drinking stout, with a lighter body that certainly fits the "less filling" side of the old Miller Light argument; but I say it "tastes great," too (571 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

magic hat in colorado, nice! this must be newish from them, havent seen it before. it pours a shockingly black color, dense as hell, no light getting through this baby. theres a bubble mocha head on it about an inch to an inch and a half tall, and some nice sticky lacing. it smells really basic, no chocolate, no espresso, none of the frills. just really dark bitter malt and some decent bittering hops. the flavor is also much without the extras, although i do taste some dark cocoa in there. there is a great bitterness from the malt, and a ton of body (but not sugar) from the oats. good carbonation and melty smooth texture. havnt had a lot of good dark beers from magic hat before this one, but this i can really get into. a perfect winter seasonal. (755 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one that I was pretty glad that they re-released. The beer poured out as a nice deep brown color with a thin cream colored head on top. The retention is very thin with a bit of lacing on the glass. The smell of te beer has a nice aroma of toasted oats and other roasted malts. The taste has a nice rich roasted flavor to it, the oats shine really well in this beer. There is a subtle chocolate note in there also. The mouthfeel is creamy, not overly thick but nicely carbonated and drinkable. Overall it was a good beer. One of the best I've had from Magic Hat in a long time. (585 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Barely opaque dark walnut; certainly not the light eliminator that I would expect from a beer named 'Heart of Darkness'. The head is the color of cork and is several fingers of quality. Dense, lumpybumpy and coarsely pitting, it throws up thick chunks of foam that look as if they'll stick around for the duration.

The nose is a wonderful combination of fudgey chocolate brownies and chocolate pudding sprinkled with ground coffee beans. That reminds me of the only joke that I've ever made up. Q: what do you call a brownie with nuts? A: a cub scout. This one is positively oozing with roasted barley and is, by far, my favorite Magic Hat nose. Other than the hoppy beers of course.

Lovely flavor; still firing on all cylinders on the palate. For some reason, bittersweet chocolate and coffee have traded places and the java is now in charge. I prefer chocolate, but this is such tasty stuff that I'll let it slide. The oats provide some measure of sweetness, but Heart Of Darkness is primarily a bitter, dry stout. Or, to be more exact, it's on the bitter-dry end of the oatmeal stout continuum.

I love hops to contribute flavor to my stouts and that's exactly what happens here. There's a subdued, but real, bitter citrus zest presence that is most noticed on the finish. The mouthfeel is as smooth and as lightly silky as possible given the relative lack of heft. As with most (all?) Magic Hat offerings, the body/mouthfeel could stand to be filled out a bit.

Heart Of Darkness is a flavorful, hugely drinkable (dare I say session?) stout and is one of the best offerings that I've run across from this particular brewery. Thanks to far333 for providing. (1,670 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Magic Hat's best rated and most widely available beer currently according to BA.
Production code: K29261, according to freshbeeronly that's Oct. 29 of last year, 120 day shelf life, so about a month past code if that info code is accurate.

Looks nice in the glass, copious lace forms delicate strands and webs around the edges of the glass, the creamy tan foam doesn't break after the first couple sips. Nice gradation around the edges, the lace blends seamlessly into the surface.

Aromas of cocoa, carob, roasted barley.

Flavors of chocolate milk, carob, slight amount of roast barley and ash in the taste as well. Mellow and fairly smooth, light carbonation, slight astringency. It's good, nothing groundbreaking, though i'll probably reach for local options before this, i'd drink it again and seek out a fresher sample next time. (839 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of strong roasty notes, toffee and molasses.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malt, chocolate, burnt molasses and toffee. Nice bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really good stout. Probably the best I've had from Magic Hat. (438 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
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 TMoney2591
3.24/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I wonder if ol' Joe Conrad is getting royalty checks...? Regardless, this stuff pours a bleak mahogany topped by a finger of tan foam. Darkness, eh? Not quite, buddy. The nose comprises roasted malts, toasted oats, and a touch of coffee. There we go, back on track. The taste brings in more of the same, though everything is now overly roasted and/or toasted. Dammit. At least it's not all bad this time. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very dry finish. Overall, a schizoid little stout, one that's too thin and too roasty for its own good. (622 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (902 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Don't be a pig when you swig" wise words from the cap.

Pours a larger darker colored 1.5 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, decent fluffy lacing, over just about pitch black beer.

Nose starts with dark malts, chalky powdered chocolate, hint of roast, bit of caramel, hint of smoked malt, chewy malts and maybe oats, the combination of the roast and smoked malts combine to give a strange bitter almost acrid like aroma.

Taste starts with some smoked malt actually, but that gets drowned out quickly by other dark malts, a little roast and black malts, hint of baker's dark chocolate but barely, more like chalky powdered dark malt flavors and not even cocoa, hint of caramel and vanilla, but at least not acrid. Yeast kicks in slightly with a light yeast flavor. There is a slight metallic twinge as well, and just a hint of earthy hops. Finish brings more bitterness, mostly from dark malts but a little bit of the hops, earthy spicy but light, fluffy dark malts as well as chalky powdered black malt and roast lingering, and hint of smoke.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, plenty of fluffy carbonation.

Overall not bad, not bad at all. Surprised from Magic Hat these days. Most of their beers seem to really have gone downhill, and this is the brewery that got me into craft beer so it was hard for me to see them fade out. This is nice, good malts mostly, dark malts without much char, although there was a slight metallic flavor, nice touch of smoke and just a faint hint of cocoa that I would have liked to come out more, and hops are very light which I also would have liked ot see more. Otherwise a decent beer. (1,635 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Haven't seen this offering yet from MH so picked up a sixer of it. Pours a jet black with tannish head. Nice roasty aroma. Taste is medium bodied, a bit bland. Nice mouthfeel.. but I feel it's a bit lacking taste, not overly hoppy but doesn't have the usual nuttiness of an oatmeal stout. I was surprised to see this one rated so high... seems like an average, drinkable stout to me, nothing too special about it. (413 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in the glass. A coarse head froths up and lies down. Medium body. Sprightly on the tongue but not at all creamy.

Interesting winey flavor. Dark and deeply roasted malt flavors. A surprising sort of Stout. Chocolatey and just slightly sweet. Kind of a mineral taste, sort of chalky. Fairly tart. Just a modest bitterness with an edge of sourness. Burnt caramel in the finish.

I'm not sure this is so sensational, but it's certainly a deeply flavorful brew. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Liquors in Denver. (535 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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 WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (849 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is fully black, with a big, tan head. Aroma is full of all of the things I enjoy and expect from any stout worth it's salt: rich, roasty espresso notes. Mouthfeel is full, sweet, rich, with loads of beautiful, sweet notes, and bitter ones, too. Tasty, toasty, roasty, with a long, luscious finish. A fine and tasty stout, with a slightly sweet aftertaste, and just a touch syrupy. An excellent, but ordinary, stout, and I give up props to UncleJimbo and purplehops, my twin EastCoast providers. Though, I may suggest, that Joseph Conrad might have something more sinister in mind. (586 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, winter 2012 bottling. Pours lightly hazy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger moderately dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, light coffee, and light floral earthiness. Excellent aromas with great balance, strength, and complexity of roasted malt notes with light hops. Taste of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, coffee, and floral earthiness. Light coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, coffee, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors; with a good amount of robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent stout! Great balance of roasted flavors with good robustness; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,175 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light hints of dark amber along the edges and moderate amounts of gentle carbonation near the surface. The beer has a two finger tall dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted, almost burnt malts with some notes of chocolate as well.

T: Moderate flavors of chocolate, roasted, and some almost burnt malts. Light amounts of bitterness that lingers in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively smooth but not as smooth as I expected for the style.

O: This beer is easy to drink but I was hoping for just a little more smoothness in the body and a little more complexity to the flavor. (858 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (643 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a dark tan head. Some spotty strings of lace coat the glass as the cap fades.

The aroma is burnt and roasty. Some anise, char and leather. Trace hints of milk chocolate are the last things noted across the back.

The brew loads up with a of bitterness upfront like burnt grain, char, ashy anise and leather. A touch of citrus to herbal hops attempts to brrak things up before almost a meaty and beefy smokiness to the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is interesting dry and lots of bitter roast quality. Not terrible but also not something I can see myself returning to have again. (692 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with a 1/2" tan head that quickly fell to a spotty surface residue. Flat looking. The aroma was of roasted malt, coffee, and a chocolate sweetness.The flavor was on the sweet side as roasted malts, coffee, and mild bitterness didn't cut through the sweetness. Some chocolate and caramel tones are evident.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Finish contains coffee and chocolate tones that linger briefly on the tongue. Drinkability is OK, but there was something about this brew that did not excite me at all to have another. (541 characters)

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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.