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Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

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

1,259 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,259
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 59
Gots: 86 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,259 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leprechaunandfatman


4.68/5  rDev +20.6%

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.

11-11-2012 20:19:38 | More by leprechaunandfatman
Photo of coldriver


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

12 oz bottle pours an opaque black with nice fluffy head. Aroma is light smoke, coffee, cocoa, and playdough. Taste is smokey malt, french roast coffee, and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with bitter bite to finish. Overall I'm not a big Magic Hat fan but this fairly standard stout is very well done.

11-11-2012 19:18:09 | More by coldriver
Photo of ATXRyan


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

11-11-2012 16:19:59 | More by ATXRyan
Photo of jminch


4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-11-2012 11:25:27 | More by jminch
Photo of Kenye

4.15/5  rDev +7%

12 Ounce bottle poured into my trusty pint glass.

Appearance - Pretty standard stout. Pitch black with a small but persistent head that forms a nice ring as it recedes. Lacing is pretty average. 4/5

Smell - A very delicious smell. Very espresso/coffee like accompanied by a sweetness (probably from the oats.) 4.5/5

Taste - The taste disappoints just a little. It's a pretty generic stout, though it is executed very nicely. With oatmeal stouts I expect more sweetness than I got from this, and even the coffee/espresso nose disappoints just a tad. 4/5

Mouthfeel - Another big category I judge my oatmeal stouts on. They should be ridiculously creamy and smooth, and this one doesn't disappoint. Not the best I've had, but well above average. 4.5/5

Overall - Magic Hat just started distributing to my area, and I've been eager to give their beers a try. My first one hasn't disappointed, and they are very competitively priced. I'll be picking up more of their beers for sure. I'm just slightly disappointed this is only a seasonal, as I would pick it up throughout the year. Not the best stout, and not the best priced, but if I couldn't find my go-to's I'd be more than content with this! 4/5

11-11-2012 01:01:54 | More by Kenye
Photo of TheBrewo


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

We pour a brew of the deepest black. It puts up a two finger head of creamy and cakey light brown bubbles. This shows excellent retention, leaving sticky sheets of lacing as it slowly glugs away. Carbonation appears average, and no sediment or haze is noticed. The aroma shows dry malts, of cooked caramel and coffee, with bready yeast, hints of vanilla, and a far off grassy hop. The chocolate enhances with warmth, giving a more milk chocolate richness, while a yogurt-like sourness comes to enhance the more sour notes. Metallics and char come out too, with intermittent echoes of sweet booziness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is nicely creamy, and soothing. As we sip, we notice a rich malt character, wrought with smoky char and roast. This is quickly followed by a sour quality of mashed grain and booze, and a smooth hint of mustiness. The peak follows with chocolate dust dryness, with wet caramel, and a flash of white sugar sweetness, much like when sugar dulls a stark black cup of coffee. The balance is nice at this point. The finish is equally as smooth, with iced coffee, charred grain, puffs of smoke, and general grainy sweetness. There is also a final limey sourness, mixing with that souring grain bite from the finish, causing need for additional balance. The aftertaste breathes of charred grain, smoke, that mustiness from the nose, fermented grain, light barnyard grass, and dry yeastiness. The body is medium to full, and the carbonation is medium. The mouth is met with a smooth and creamy beer, that shows nice sip, slurp, cream, and froth to the sip. The mouth is left cooled, but bone dry, as the roast and char of the malts meet with booze and distant hops to suck the palate of moisture. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the appearance. The coloring was deep, while the head showed great retention, with many bubbles remaining until the very last drop. The nose was full of notes, but we found them to be a bit subdued collectively. The taste followed in very much the same vein, with the flavoring being inclusive, but not as entirely robust as hoped for. The feel, however, was silky and smooth to fit the style, but not enough to make you forget in full the duller aroma and flavoring.

11-10-2012 17:45:37 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of DonDirkA


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

Nose is sweet, light coffee, milk chocolate, sugar and a hint of vanilla. The taste is pretty mild. Dark malts, coffee (almost like coffee grounds), milk chocolate, a hint of dark chocolate and just a bit of vanilla bean. It has a medium body with a light but somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Definitely a lot better than the last Magic Hat brew I had (#9 pale ale).

11-10-2012 06:40:33 | More by DonDirkA
Photo of Dirtinabottle

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

11-10-2012 04:44:08 | More by Dirtinabottle
Photo of alexgash


4.48/5  rDev +15.5%

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.

11-10-2012 02:18:38 | More by alexgash
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours a thick black color with two fingers of beige head, good retention and a few streaks of lacing.

Nose is full of dark roasted malts, coffee grounds, dark chocolate, nothing too astringent. Rich and delicious smelling.

Taste is very much like the nose- rich coffee and chocolate notes, roasted barley, a tiny bit of bit of hop bitterness, a little oatmeal on the front palate.

Mouthfeel is exceptional- as they advertise, silky smooth and luscious. Medium to full body, mild soft carbonation, long bittersweet finish. This is maybe the best beer that I've ever had by Magic Hat. I'll be getting more of it (and it'll be the first time I've bought magic hat for myself in quite some time).

11-10-2012 00:29:12 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.1%

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic, jet black pour with a 2 inch white head. Nice lacing. The aroma is full of roasted malts. The flavor is very roasty, pleasantly bitter. It finishes with a lingering bitterness. Medium in body and well carbonated. A very solid offering from Magic Hat, very enjoyable.

11-10-2012 00:03:49 | More by bonkers
Photo of YourOnlyMan


2/5  rDev -48.5%

11-09-2012 21:13:59 | More by YourOnlyMan
Photo of BeerDocT


3.45/5  rDev -11.1%

Served in a chilled tulip glass.

-Appearance 3.5: Nice and jet black, the way a good stout should look. Not much head at all to this brew, but what head there was was a pale khaki in color. Lots of obvious CO2 carbonation bubbles present.

-Smell 3.5: Cocoa powder is the predominant scent in the bouquet. I also pick up hints of toasted grains. Bouquet is mid-level and not overpowering.

-Taste 3.5: Slightly smoky and sweet up front, with a vacant middle. I mean, there is nothing there. I also taste the unmistakably smooth and soft hints of lactic (milk) sugar. If you have ever had a Milk Stout before, you know exactly what I mean. Finish is filled with very subdued smoky grains and chocolate. Aftertaste is of medium length with smokiness and cocoa predominating.

-Mouthfeel 3.0: Certainly complements the style, but overall is a bit too fizzy for a stout, IMHO.

-Overall 3.5: Good milk stout. No way this is an oatmeal stout. Perhaps some type of melding of the two styles, i.e. by adding lactose to a light oatmeal stout. Regardless, this is a smooth and easy-drinking stout that does not have certain stout flavor profiles that may intimidate some people.

11-09-2012 03:59:45 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of DCav

3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

11-09-2012 02:07:59 | More by DCav
Photo of NedShakeshaft

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

The label is wacky even for Magic Hat. However, the brew is definitely no jape.

Pours black (very, very dark brown to be exact) with a solid tan head that stuck around for the duration. What slight dissipation occurred left nice lacing on the glass.

The smell was like, "whoa." Very aromatic for the style. And complex. Roasty malts hit you but it's underlined with chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. Maybe toffee, too. Citrusy hops present as well. A lot going on, but it's all good.

Delicious. Roasted dark malt taste with notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Much hoppier than average for the style. Finished dry. The bitterness didn`t hang around, which is a huge plus for any stout.

I thought the mouthfeel was a bit off. It`s thin for the style. Well-carbonated. I was expecting something creamier. Perhaps this shouldn`t be surprising -- all of Magic Hat`s brews seem to have that effervescence that dances across your tongue on the way out. Maybe it`s their equipment, or their process. Maybe it`s just part of the `Magic.`

Very easy-drinking. Had no trouble putting away three of these bad boys. I wouldn`t be surprised if it became a permanent offering.

11-08-2012 22:41:35 | More by NedShakeshaft
Photo of pathead


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-08-2012 21:53:19 | More by pathead
Photo of ArchHobbes


4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-08-2012 02:42:21 | More by ArchHobbes
Photo of bluntedboywonder

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-08-2012 02:05:47 | More by bluntedboywonder
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-07-2012 21:02:55 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of bubseymour


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

11-07-2012 00:58:10 | More by bubseymour
Photo of KevE

4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-06-2012 22:38:25 | More by KevE
Photo of headyhopzhead


4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-06-2012 17:38:49 | More by headyhopzhead
Photo of Japple

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

11-06-2012 02:24:04 | More by Japple
Photo of DaGrizz

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-06-2012 02:04:23 | More by DaGrizz
Photo of MEW


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

11-05-2012 01:23:12 | More by MEW
Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.