Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

323 Reviews

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Reviews: 323
Hads: 1,360
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 25.06%
Wants: 95
Gots: 153 | 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: 323 | Hads: 1,360
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 TheLongBeachBum
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Magic Hat beer, I have heard and read so much about these beers.
This one comes in a 12 fl.oz. bottle with a rather strange psychedelic purple and orange label that has a solitary single eye that simply sits and stares at you with the words Heart of Darkness in black text below, with the word Stout in white text to the left of the eye. The label is in the mold of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” Slightly disturbing.

Black but not thick, quite thin when poured, struggles to maintain more than a thin broken brown head, which spoils the appearance and leaves minimal lace.
Aromas are of deep roast malts and nothing else. Tastes are also highly roast, burnt, cremated deeply dead tastes that are sarcastically laughing at the living world. Amazing depth to the burnt roast flavors in the middle of this beer, very wholesome. Mouthfeel is indeed solid and very smooth - silky burnt residues cling to the palate long after the beer has gone. A nice crisp bitter finish with some sweet fruitiness in the end.

A full-bodied Stout that impresses, I would like to try this beer on draft; I have a feeling that this may be the better medium for a beer of this intensity.

Thumbs Up to BigDeb for this Sample - Nice One Deb.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice near black colour, with a cream coloured head of about a finger, and it leaves some nice lace. The aroma is roasted barley, cocoa, light roast coffee, and a hint of toffee. The taste has heavy dry cocoa powder notes, and touches of coffee and sweet roasted maltiness. The feel is nice and creamy, with a medium body, solid carbonation, and a clean finish.

Could it be?! The first beer from Magic Hat that actually impressed me! Most things have been average, so I actually put back the sixer in favour of a single...might have to revisit lol

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Ruby highlighted dark root beer brown body. Pinkie finger of dense, dirty sand head. Nice lacing. Nose of roasted barley, coffee, cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Complex and very appetizing.

Light roasted coffee bitterness up front. Smooth blend of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and peaty malt fill up the palate. Dark chocolate and cocoa nib bitterness into the finish. Hints of vanilla and dark fruit linger. Medium-full body with a nice, smooth, creamy feel. Very nicely done! Might be the best Magic Hat beer I've had.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of Magic Hat's Heart Of Darkness last week for $7.89 at Meijers. I'm not really a big a Magic Hat fan but a few friends were telling me this was a decent beer so I thought I would give it a chance, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, 2012 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks really nice, it's got a good clean look to it that fits the name, I like it. It poured a very dark brown color that was pretty close to being black and it had some slight ruby highlights when held to the light with three and a half fingers worth of darker tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice sheets of lacing. This is a pretty damn good looking stout, the color could have been just a little darker but other than that this beer is pretty good looking.

S- The aroma starts off with a good amount of malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness to them and impart some grainy, medium toasted, oats, and a good amount of chocolate aromas. After that comes a nice nutty aroma with some coffee and dark fruits showing up towards the end. The aroma was nice, it didn't have the greatest roasted aromas, but it had a good amount of other aromas that made it fairly complex, I like it.

T- The tastes seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with a good amount of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart some grainy, roasted, oats, a little bit of coffee, and chocolate flavors, the roast seemed to be on the medium side. After that came some molasses and a nice nutty flavor followed by a slight smokey flavor on the end with a lighter amount of bitterness and a roasted oat and nutty aftertaste, This was a good tasting beer, it was a little different from the normal Oatmeal Stouts and it had a little more complexity then most, I liked it.

M- Pretty smooth, silky, very creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied, with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, the extra creaminess worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good and different example of the style, it had some decent roasted and oat flavors to it with some great complexity and a fitting mouthfeel that made it fairly memorable. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was pretty smooth and the flavors did a good job at holding my attention, I could see drinking a couple of these but after that the thickness might become too much, it's a good late fall beer. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel they were both pretty well done and very pretty true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it was nice, but it was just a little thin and it lacked the tons of rich and roasted malts that I normally find in the style. I would buy this beer again, in fact I already went back to the store and bought another six pack, it's reasonably priced and a decent tasting Oatmeal Stout, I recommend it to anyone who likes the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, even though I was told it was good, I always have my doubts with Magic Hat, but this one turned out to be a nice surprise and it showed me that Magic Hat can actually make a decent beer. Good job guys, if you start making more beers of this quality I may actually end up becoming a fan one day, Cheers!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear ruby/brown when pouring, black in the glass, one finger tan/brown head, some carbonation.

S-Starts with roasted malt, some burnt notes, chocolate and coffee and faint vanilla, oats.

T-Nice and roasty, slight burnt notes, chocolate and tad bit of coffee, meshes well. Dark fruits, slight vanilla and oats

M-Medium bodied, creamy, some carbonation.

O-Magic Hat mad a great beer, something of theirs I fully enjoyed. Keep this up Magic Hat.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two and half fingers of head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, molasses, milk and a little wood.
The taste is a little earthy, more roasted malt and a little chocolate. Mild bitter note on the finish.
The texture is fairly smooth with a little fizz.
Pretty good. I enjoyed the smooth texture and great appearance.

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Photo of Brent
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Don't mock a Soul hundreds of years Old." I'm sure that cap quote will keep me up at night, pondering the meaning (as will the creepy staring eye on the label), but, all MH funkyness aside, this is a really interesting brew. Great chocolate malt flavors with a bit of coffee mocha, flavors you would expect from a sludge-brew, yet this beer is quite light and almost airy and somehow avoids being watery. A lighweight stout with lots of flavor - a description one would normally find mutually exclusive.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color with good opacity. The one finger tan colored head fades quick, unfortunately.

S: Roasted barley, licorice, hazelnut, and bittersweet chocolate. It's a typical stout aroma with little deviation from the norms of the style, but the execution is good.

T: This seems to be fairly licorice dominated, with the roasted malts sneaking up on the finish. Surprisingly, it has a touch of complexity to it, with occasional hints of coffee, raisins, and chocolate. It's not blowing me away, but I still enjoy it.

M: A very clean stout in general. The thick and creamy body gives way to both dryness and a lingering roasted aftertaste, alongside a touch of astringency. Far from the heaviest stout in the world - but it doesn't try to be.

O: Really not bad at all. I tend to avoid Magic Hat, but this one's good/cheap enough for me to possibly consider getting a 6 pack of.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black with a tan head that thinned to a layer leaving plenty of lacing behind.

S - roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate.

T - rich roasty flavors with espresso coffee bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation and a smooth feel.

O - a good example of the style.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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

"Participation Makes A Great Nation"

I have to admit, I was very excited to see this for sale at the local super market. I haven't had one of these in probably six or seven years since it disappeared from shelves in New England. This used to be a favorite and was one of the first stouts I really came to enjoy back in the early days of my craft beer drinking, so I hope it holds up to how I remember it.

Pours pretty black with a chestnut glow towards to bottom of the glass. On top is a thick mass of creamy foam with enough frothiness to leave behind some decent lacing. Chocolate, creamy coffee, toffee, and black malt aromas along with a touch of fruitiness. Creamy, bittersweet, dark chocolate roastiness in the mouth. Dark malts, a hint of vanilla, charcoal, dark fruit. Silky smooth medium body.

Well, I still like it! Is it as good as it used to be? I have no idea. I may have rated it higher a while back and I was surprised to see that I didn't rate it when I had the chance, but it's still a nice rendition of an oatmeal stout and certainly one of the better beers Magic Hat is currently putting out. It's good to see the hypnotic eye in my fridge again. Meeemoriiees...

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout.

Pouring it into my pint glass, the beer looks solid black with a finger-and-a-half of khaki-colored foam. Mostly dense head is populated by a sea foam-like topping and a few bigger bubbles on the surface's center. The beer drinks down with a little bit of lacing.

At first waft, the beer promotes the central aroma of dark chocolate and black coffee with hints of dark fruits and light cream. Subdued nose offers little of anything else; still malt roasty, but without any indications of burnt or hoppy notes.

Mostly chocolate and coffee on the tongue, Heart Of Darkness also has a tasty creamy note married with some now-apparent roasty grain and some delicate floral hop flavors. The hops are bittering at first, but materialize a little more in the finish. Very malty, all around, but with a manageably sweet decadence accented by semi-sweet cocoa. Both, the coffee notes and the almost-silenced hops, help to stave off the sugars and advocate a very enjoyable drink. Aiding the smoothness is a burly, but milky, medium body and near-sessionable alcohol level. The carbonation is ideal, and does not overpower or try to command attention in this stout.

I would absolutely buy this again. Heart Of Darkness is a lovely surprise from the boys up in Burlington. Wish there were more of these in my fridge.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep dark brown, nearly black with a nice finger of smooth looking lighter coffee colored head. Retention is ok, very thin layer covering most of the surface after about 2 minutes, lacing looks decent as well.

S - Sweet chocolate, caramel and possibly vanilla, smells fantastic. Roasty/slightly bitter malts (coffee maybe?) as well, oats and lactose are present.

T - Mostly roasty up front, pretty bold and some hop bitterness (carbonation is pretty strong initially) dominate. As the bitterness subsides the sweetness kicks in. Honestly not getting too much of an oatmeal taste, mostly chocolate/caramel/dark roasty malts. Thinking about retracting that lactose comment....

M - Relatively light bodied, carbonation is overpowering initially, it could just be a mix of flavors and strong carbonation but it seems a little over carbonated. Id prefer a smoother heavier oatmeal stout, not awful but not ideal imo.

O - Pretty tasty, nothing to write home about but you could certainly do worse. The strengths of this brew are its bitterness and aroma. The weaknesses are its bitterness and its over-carbonation/mouthfeel. The head made me think it would be a bit thicker and creamier/lesser carbonated but that was not that case.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout has a thin, cream-colored head, a very dark brown, inky appearance, and thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of blackened or dark-roasted malt and a bit of fruit. Taste is of the same with a black bread note, some acidity, and a mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is rather watery, and Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout finishes dry, a bit powdery, and pleasant. Overall, this is worth checking out.


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Photo of KTCamm
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours jet black, ring of brown foam. Layer remains on top. Big rich roasted nose. Espresso loaded. Dark chocolate too. Creamy roasted flavor. Dry finish. Very flavorful. Ever so slight bitter in the close. Quite tasty. Magic Hat really pulled this one off.

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Photo of Todd
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with red highlights and alight tan head. Very attractive beer. Minor-sized head produced fades quickly but leaves samll beads of laces on the glass.
Aroma of roasted barley, espresso, black licorice and wood and earth tone. Great aromatic aroma.
Flavor notes of coffee, malted milk balls, oatmeal and earthy bitter hop notes giving off moderate bitterness.
Mouthfeel starts really well with full feel but then fades at the end to a slightly metallic and somewhat watery finish. Only quasi-nhegative about the beer.
Drinkability was high would like to try on draught to get full enjoyment.
Great stout, thanks PBrian and Beerluvr for these beauties.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.12/5  rDev -45.8%
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.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty desent stout here. It has a rich deep darkness to it but not much in way of a foamy cap, bascially a foamy collar. The aroma has a deep roasted malt nose with underlying milk chocolate. Taste wise it's a little one dimensional. I really only taste roasted malts. Maybe thats enough since it is highly roasted. Usually one would taste other sutle nuiances but not the case here.
Drinks smooth and a bit bitter but also with that being said that also is an underlying chalkiness too. I like this beer it's quite good but also standard fair from Magic hat. What can they do to take themselvies to the next level.

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

Evil eye of Sauron on the bottle label. Black with a dense, clay colored head. Stalwart retention stripes my glass on it's way to glass bottom. Cap reads, "pull my finger but don't linger."

Roast malt and oat aroma with subtle cocoa powder and ground coffee intricacy.

Dark chocolate roast malty with a sweet dark fruit and citrus backend. Big bodied, the mouthfeel is a mouth full. Lacks the Magic Hat butter which is a pleasant absence. A sweeter version of the style but nice.

One of the better Magic Hats. Certainly better than Joseph Conrad's book.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heart of Darkness- Magic Hat, "you are next in line"

H.O.D poured a midnight black with a small tan head.
aroma was of roasted coffee, nuts, chocolate.
taste was of roasted hops, malt, chocolate, burnt wood & milk.
mouthfeel was creamy up front with a ashy bitterness in the back.

overall, a decent stout that I could enjoy slowly. #9 is still the supreme beer from Magic Hat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew comes to me through sulldaddy and clvand0. It pours a deep dark brown color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is really nice, withsome nice chocolateyness and a somewhat lacto creamyness. the flavor is a little more thin than the nose would say. The chocolate is there, with a bit of roasty goodness, but I wouldl like to see more in there. The feel is moderate, maybe a little watery for me. Overall, this is a nice brew. The flavor could be more robust and the feel could be a bit thicker. Other than that, good brew.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.99/5  rDev +2%
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...

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