1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

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

1,297 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,297
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 62
Gots: 96 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heart Of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,297 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerDocT
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

BeerDocT, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of DCav
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

DCav, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of NedShakeshaft
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

NedShakeshaft, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of pathead
4/5  rDev +3.1%

pathead, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of ArchHobbes
4.5/5  rDev +16%

ArchHobbes, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of bluntedboywonder
4.5/5  rDev +16%

bluntedboywonder, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +16%

CaptDavyJones, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of bubseymour
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

bubseymour, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of KevE
4/5  rDev +3.1%

KevE, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of headyhopzhead
4.5/5  rDev +16%

headyhopzhead, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of Japple
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Japple, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of DaGrizz
4.5/5  rDev +16%

DaGrizz, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of MEW
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

MEW, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of BigTrubble
4.5/5  rDev +16%

BigTrubble, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of CloudStrife
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled September 19, 2012.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a 1.5 finger light khaki head. Leaves a real nice film of lacing on the glass as the head dissipates.

S: Pretty good coffee and roasted malt aroma. Also has some dark fruits to it, raisin and fig. I can see the oatmeal in this.

T: A pretty solid beer here. Great maltiness up front from the oatmeal. Also a coffee, chocolate. Can tell there is ample hop backing as it creeps up in there too. Lingers with a nice roastiness. Still just a little light.

M: Light body for a stout, has a low carbonation, maybe a little thin. Hops are a little sticky.

Overall a pretty impressive brew from Magic Hat. Has an authentic stout taste. Wouldnt mind having this one again.

CloudStrife, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of chalkda01
4/5  rDev +3.1%

chalkda01, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of Cosmicbleue
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Cosmicbleue, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of LXIXME
4.85/5  rDev +25%
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.

LXIXME, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of Caskaway
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Caskaway, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

metter98, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of oldedog
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

oldedog, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of claspada
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

claspada, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of jspaner
4/5  rDev +3.1%

jspaner, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -22.7%

crobinso, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +16%

DNICE555, Nov 02, 2012
Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.