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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 kmo1030


3.88/5  rDev 0%

black with a brown head, how a stout should look. nutty expresso-like and slightly smokey smell, with hops more apparent than one would think. the taste is where this beer shines. it's nice and mild, nutty, buttery, slightly smokey, with chocolate and caramel flavors as well also has a strong backbone of bitter expreso and hops. sort of thin bodied for the style, but this doesn't significantly change my opinion of it, it may even lend to it's drinkability. overall really drinakable for a stout, which are usually a little too rich for me to have a few of.

weird note: as i reach the bottom of the glass, and the beer warms, the hops have started to smell a little like weed. hmmm.

12-24-2003 20:12:45 | More by kmo1030
Photo of francisweizen


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

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.

12-22-2003 16:47:02 | More by francisweizen
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -19.3%

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.

12-19-2003 21:30:16 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Appearance: Dark brown/black body with mahogany highlights. Coursely-bubbled frothy chocolate milkshake head fades to an 1/8" cap with small dollups.
Smell: Roasted sweet malt, milk chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, mellow graininess and earthy hints.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Starts smooth with sweet and smokey, slick malt. Thin at the top with light carbonation. Finishes smokey, earthy, with some bitter hop dryness. Too thin for me.
Drinkability: A nice, lighter stout. Could easily enjoy a group of these.

12-18-2003 03:05:11 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of BigPapaLager


3.8/5  rDev -2.1%

From the eyeball label to the black as night pour, this brew was visually appealing. There was a stubby but long last head. This stout was smooth drinking, with no powerful carbonation present. Words for this are: deep sweet malt. One of my favorite brew from Magic Hat

12-17-2003 01:29:38 | More by BigPapaLager
Photo of xgrigorix


4.47/5  rDev +15.2%

On tap, presented in a shaker pint.

Beautifully black, topped by a dense tan coloured head. Head retains fairly well, & will come right back with a swirl of the glass. A thin sheet of lace leaves a trail all the way to the bottom of the pint.

Roasted grain, chocolate, coffee, & hops. Smelling this immediately relaxes me.

Dark chocolate, bitter espresso, raisins, roast grain, & a decent hop bite. Tasty hop burps. On the thin side of full bodied, smooth, with moderate carbonation.

12-01-2003 18:14:35 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of edchicma


4.33/5  rDev +11.6%

This reminded me of Murphy's Irish Stout, which I really liked. This offering had a similar nice pronounced malty smell and nice dark
appearance. Taste was light but with an excellent body and toasted malt presence. Well rounded in mouthfeel and very easy to drink. Surprising brew...didn't feel like 5.3 abv....more like a session beer. Definitely worth trying.

11-13-2003 01:23:04 | More by edchicma
Photo of Brent


4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

"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.

10-21-2003 04:00:31 | More by Brent
Photo of silks636

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -12.4%

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle. Freshness date marked. Cap quip urges, “Be a winner, share your dinner”.

Appears opaque brown. Thin taupe head which quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. Light and spotty lacing. Aroma of roasted coffee and black licorice. Very faint traces of dried fruit/raisin scents present as well. Taste begins a touch bitter then gives way to a deep roasted/burnt malt flavor over a mild underlying creamy sweetness. Some hop twang is present momentarily toward the finish, and provides a nice contrast to the semi-sweet burnt coffee taste. Aftertaste is dry with a touch of smoky grain. Mouthfeel is more watery than I would have liked.

Not a bad stout, but one I feel is a bit on the timid side. Allowing it to warm slightly definitely helped the cause. A drinkable brew indeed, but there are much better stouts to be had.

10-17-2003 21:24:14 | More by silks636
Photo of littlebibs

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

Another stand out for Magic hat. This very dark concoction with a caramel tasting creamy head
and chocolate notes made this oatmeal stout one of my favorites. This beer goes down so smooth, theres no problem drinking several of these, a great finish.
I believe this is a seasonal for the end of the year holidays but
I could sip and savor all year. Exceptional taste and one to find.

10-11-2003 22:41:07 | More by littlebibs
Photo of pezoids


3.38/5  rDev -12.9%

Poured a very dark mahogany brown color, which the light just barely shone through. Nice rich and creamy head. Roasted chocolates and coffee in the aroma. Not much body. A watery stout here. The roasted grains leave a bitterness in the back of the throat. Some perfumey and toasted flavors come out as you drink. This is a nice light stout. Not very rich, but enjoyable.

09-15-2003 17:50:15 | More by pezoids
Photo of beergeek279


4.43/5  rDev +14.2%

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was black, with a great head. Smell was of sweet roasted malt. Taste was very sweet.....with a coffeeish taste. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, as many as I could get down.

Probably my favorite Magic Hat brew of the ones I've had so far. A solid stout that stands up well to some of the British ones, and one I definitely hope to have again!

08-07-2003 02:14:59 | More by beergeek279
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -11.6%

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.

08-05-2003 00:46:49 | More by oberon
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

08-04-2003 06:55:15 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of 86MonteSS


3.48/5  rDev -10.3%

Nothing but meat and potatoes.

I bashed Guinness so I guess I can't sing the praises of a basic stout like this. But I guess Heart of Darkness just seems a little more refined. I'm wasn't born a stout man, and unless there's more than just the basic elements in them, I can't say they're something I thoroughly enjoy. I'm not going to get this again, but I can't say I'm disappointed. It's good for a stout, but a plain ol' stout ain't nothing special.

07-23-2003 04:11:17 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of tavernjef


4/5  rDev +3.1%

Solid black, light just gets sucked in like a black hole. Thin, then faded tannish head, lacing minimal and stringy. Faint aroma of roastyness malts and crispy with maple and nut notes. Taste is mildly roasted malts, lightly mixing with chocolate and nuts, but barely there. It has a moist, thick mildly luscious start then goes into a bit weak hoppy dryness and twingy bitterness thats muted in woodyness, smokey, toothpick, bark, cardboard maybe? Tastes are a bit too light and short lived. Full, rich, creamy, medium bodied and medium heavy with a slight carbonation feel and a thin dry finish. All around good effort. Kalamazoo has to make a trip to the New England area. I know I'll probably catch hell for this one. All around good effort. Like the label too. Still not up to top notch though.

Thanks to jeffboo for the bottle who got it from a traveling buddy.

06-05-2003 19:09:52 | More by tavernjef
Photo of taez555


4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

"Don't Rely on those who won't Try"

Truly words of wisdom.

Anyway. This beer poured a dark dark black/brown body with a lovely white head that died down quickly, but no quicker than your average beer.

The nose was a beautiful sweet, malty, roasty, chocolate mesh with what I could have sworn to be even a few hints of smoke or meat.

The intintial taste was very very smooth and clean. Lots of dark roasted flavors. With a dark stout bitterness brought on more by what tasted to be a dark roasted barely more than hop bitterness. It just had a very roasted barely flavor, like a fresh roasted coffee bean or something.

What was really amazing about this beer, as well as other magic hat's in general, is how smooth and clean it is. Maybe it's the Vermont water, the secret yeast or something but if you close your eyes you'd be hard pressed to tell this is a stout if it weren't for the roasty flavors.

A great beer. Another gem from Magic Hat. I'll be sad if I ever move out of New England.

05-17-2003 02:15:25 | More by taez555
Photo of dwarbi

New York

4.28/5  rDev +10.3%

Light brown/khaki head. The beer itself is jet-black. Great lacing. Smells incredibly smoky. I heard the bartender tell someone this was a "smoked porter", and it's easy to believe. It tastes pretty light, and heavily of toasted oats. Great, tingly mouthfeel. Feels light, and is highly drinkable.

05-07-2003 18:02:25 | More by dwarbi
Photo of aaronh


4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

Pours with a thin tan head that displays decent retention. It eventualy fades to a thin ring around the edge. The color is a very deep brown, tinged with burnt mahogany. The aroma is delicious, with caramel, molasses, coffee, bourbon malts, and a bit of sweet fruit. Maybe even a touch of smoke in there. On top of all that aroma, there is still a "freshness" to the nose. The first sip is all about the coffee, actually more like a double espresso. Then a bit of dark chocolate creeps in, followed by the caramel. Each sucessive sip, the flavor profile changes slightly. A nice bitterness is found on the finish, with lingering notes tat intermingle all the previous flavors in an ever-shifting kaleidescope of taste. The mouthfeel is decent.

This is actually a good drinking stout, reminiscent of some of the lighter dry irish stouts. Taken in that context, with the dryness of this beer, both the mouthfeel and drinkability are right on. I just expected a bit more body in the mouth. This beer may be the 'Heart of Darkness', but it really lights up my heart. A very enjoyable brew that I look forward to enjoying again. A dual thanks goes out on this one. One to Deb for Beering this Forward to me, and a second to Loren for providing a few more to enjoy later. Can't beat great BA's. They make every beer more enjoyable.

04-30-2003 13:49:28 | More by aaronh
Photo of far333


3.33/5  rDev -14.2%

After having written the review just below for the bottled version, I went to my favorite beer bar and found the draught version, and immediately asked for a pint. I have to say (and the rest of the draught reviews seem to agree) that the draught version is similar in all respects except the flavor and aroma. The flavor is milder and smoother, and the hop flavor takes over. The hints of chocolate and coffee seem to be lost in both flavor and aroma. The head also seemed to run away too quickly. Still a very drinkable and enjoyable stout, but the bottled version really stands out in the crowd, where the draught version is just another oatmeal stout.

04-25-2003 03:56:45 | More by far333
Photo of BittRnessabounds


4/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours a dark, almost black with just a hint of red color with a small creamy tan head. A bit of vigor is required to get much of any head. The head settles to a bit of lace that remains nicely. The smell is dominantly of roasted chocolate malts, with just a hint of caramel. The taste is a nice complexity of the roasted malt flavors giving an almost smokey character to the brew, yet there is just a touch of hops for balance. The mouthfeel is pleasant and each taste finishes with a nice roasted flavor. I would almost call this a medium body stout; it really isn't heavy at all. Very pleasant, interesting, and drinkable.

04-04-2003 09:10:18 | More by BittRnessabounds
Photo of EmoBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Had this bottled. Pours to a very dark black. No light coming through this beer. Small, stoutish head, even after a vigorous pouring, though it suited the beer just fine.

Taste is dominated by smoke and chocolate malts. A very smooth finish, not too heavy. Though it is new and seasonal, if it were around longer/more often, I think this could become a benchmark for American Stouts. Not terribly complex but well handled and very smooth, hearty. As close as I reckon a good stout could get to being sessionable.

My favorite Magic Hat to date, though I hear good thinks about Blind Faith.

03-25-2003 21:11:37 | More by EmoBeerGuy
Photo of WaltTrombone

New York

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%

My first Hat! A memorable experience, indeed...

It had a black body, with a khaki tan head that went quickly to a wispy lace.

The aroma reminded me of wet autumn leaves, expresso, and chocolate.

It tasted of expresso and tangy citrus, with a hint of dark chocolate as it warmed. The finish was bitter hops and citrus peel that faded to a malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit thin, IMHO, for a stout, with light carbonation.

Not my favorite stout, but a good one. We all need to get in touch with the dark side sometimes. Drink enough of these, and the eye on the label starts to follow you around the room...

03-24-2003 07:49:41 | More by WaltTrombone
Photo of ZAP


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

I was eagerly anticipating this and while it was very easy drinking, it seemed to lack the weight of some of the better stouts I've had...Pours a charcoal black with a little tan head...nose is soft and small...some java tones and some cocoa....body is thin for a stout...maybe medium at best..let's call it on the thin side of medium...taste has some coffee notes and dark cocoa notes but overall it isn't a powerhouse of flavor...finishes on a dry note which is a nice close...overall this certainly isn't bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase this one..My first Magic Hat experience rates slightly above average....

03-05-2003 21:53:39 | More by ZAP
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +3.1%

It was two dollar pint night, and I spied this on tap. Poured a nice dark color, a pretty good head. Smooth, a taint sweet, and just a hint of coffee. It went down quickly, leading me to question, is it a stout? Maybe a sub-stout, bordering on a porter. Regardless, this was an excellent beer.

02-26-2003 06:43:53 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.