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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

1,326 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,326
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 67
Gots: 103 | 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: 1,326 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was poured from a dark 12 oz. browner bottle with a secret “best by May” notch. This pours into me pint glass while yielding a totally dark pour and zero light permeatation. A slick thin khaki head just laughs at the idea of sticking to the glass, while covering me pinter. After digging in half way, a few swirls evoke that tan cover right up again.

Dark coffee roasted nose with a toffee twinge added. This has the easiest nose I’ve ever sniffed out of a stout. MAGIC HAT really has its own respectable unique thing goin’. As she warms, scents of awl-kee-hawl slowly pervade.

Dark looking, but not dark tasting. A MAGIC HAT house flavor of juicy juice in the taste reminiscent of apple juice or cider greets a more mocha coffee taste and semi-dark malts.

Easy juicy body to this stoudt which lends to a good Drinkability for a stout. This is far from a “need a knife and fork to drink it” type stout.

Last swigs: Fruit hints of grapes combine with easy mocha to offer a pleasant summer style stout with good drinkability. An excellent convert beer to bring the A-B/M/C crowd to the “dark side” of better beers. Thanks to my friend JBDubs for bringing this down fresh from her hometown of Millis, MA.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, May 21, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with a very thin, dark tan head. Aroma is slightly roasty with hints of bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is hearty but not overly so. Decently roasty up front with a chocolatey sweetness in the middle and a fairly sharp hop bitterness at the finish.

mzwolinski, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of chaduvel
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Great looking heart of darkness color, dark tan head. Smell of roasted oats and coffee. Taste is nice, with licorice, coffee, and roasted bitterness. Mouthfeel is very weak and watery, however, leaving me quite disappointed. Not bad, but there are much better oatmeal stouts out there.

chaduvel, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

CRJMellor, Mar 15, 2004
Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, the black brew formed a finger of brown foam. It had a roasty coffee aroma and a flavor that was only slightly more complex. There were chocolate notes on top of the the roasted malt base. I wouldn't call the malts burnt, but the roasting was a bit stronger than I tend to prefer, influencing the drink ability score. The beer was lighter bodied than I would have expected.

AllThingsNinja, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of Beersignal
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was very dark... in fact it was BLACK! Very faint crimson highlights shone through as it was diluted by light. Quite a sight to see such a dark beer. The tan foam which capped the beer was initially dense and generous but waned quickly to a thin slick of bubbles which left a fine lace on the glass.

Nose is rife with toasted malts, and molasses upfront. Dark roast coffee and a hint of freshly ground black pepper followed by biscuit aromas close out the olfactory loop. Pleasant smell.

Fine but dense carbonation greets the palate as the first sip enters. Medium bodied and creamy liquid yields a passive malt character sustained by a duet of bitter flavours from the dark malts and hops. The final is of fresh hops and a mild but sustained residual sugar.

Nicely executed stout with a solid burnt malt foundation that lends the beer much of its character. Will look forward to rediscovering this stout

Beersignal, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of travolta
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Apperance; Foamy tan head, nice lace rings. black, black.

Nose: Sweet sugars (thats not an oxymoron). Carmel, butterscotch. toffee.

Taste: Usual stout taste. That, plus a light fruity taste. It's a lighter stout. It is very drinkable.

Notes: This brew had great rings. the haed does not stick around too long, but the lacing around the glass leaves some nice thin rings.

travolta, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I don't give out fives too often, but the beer was flawless in this department. Almost pure black body with a tan head floating on top and nice lacing on the sides.

Smell: Smells like Magic Hat. What the hell makes that happen? I don't know, but I like it. A pleasant roasted aroma is present as well.

Taste: Man I'm glad I let this warm up a little. It's such a flavorful brew, which is obvious when it's just chilled. There is a strong roasted, oatmealy flavor all the way through. The aftertaste is of creamy milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a load of character.

Drinkability: I would drink these as long as I could, but one feels a little heavy in my stomach as do most oatmeal stouts.

Beef Notes: A truly great beer from one of the best breweries in the US. I will be returning to it again and again and again and...

BeefyMee, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a tar black, completely opaque even around the bottom of the glass. A thick topping of darkish beige mist coats the viscous looking liquid, leaving some blobs of lace clinging to the glass. Decent retention, dropping out almost entirely with a few sips left.
The aroma is very chocolatey, with a solid amount of oatmeal lending it's distinct, almost milky, smoothness. Heaps of roasted malt, with an enticing bittersweet aroma. Some charred grain and coffee, with a slight buttery tinge. Mild black cherry and fig.
The flavor starts with impressive roasty malt. A touch grainy, with a strong chocolate taste, along with a sweetly mellowing oatmeal smoothness throughout. Some coffee flavor, moving into a cautious fig, riasin and cherry fruitiness. A bit of slick butteriness in the mouthfeel. The finish is a restrained burnt bitterness, assisted with a pinch of grassy hopping. Very smooth and easy drinking, supported by slight, fluffy carbonation. A burly medium body, assuredly assisted by a bit of yeast presence. A lingering roasty aftertaste, with a suggestion of cherry cordial.
One of my favorite oatmeal stouts, and probably my favorite 12oz offering from Magic Hat. My only complaint is that this isn't offered year round, even though some package stores try to pretend.

UnionMade, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of mikeys01
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours out an asphalt black, with a slight frothy brown head. Aroma is very roasty with just a bit of coffee and a hint of bitter hops. Taste is full of roasted malt along with pronounced flavors of coffee and chocolate, and thin wisps of smoke. Very smooth and creamy throughout, with a nice hop bitterness firming it up toward the end. Body is quite medium, not heavy at all. The HOD is a very drinkable stout indeed, good offering from the Hat.

mikeys01, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of Stimack
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew pours very dark, I would say black in color. Nice size head that dissipates pretty quickly but has excellent lacing. It has a very nice semi sweet smell with coffee and smoked aromas. The taste is excellent, a real nice tasting stout. It is a little bitter but goes very well with this brew. Can taste the smoke like roasted flavors with a hint of butterscotch? Also seems to have a smoky fruit taste that goes along with it very well. Has nice carbonation and over all a very nice beer. I think it is one of the best that I have had from Magic Hat. Labeled as a oatmeal stout, but I have a hard time associating oatmeal with it, but regardless it is a phenomenal brew in my book.

Stimack, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Head pours with a Guinness cascade before settling into a frothy mocha milk shake three-to-four fingers deep. And the body lives up to the name, with just a line of ruby red at the bottom of the glass.
Excellent lacing. Good roasty nose, chocolate and coffee and liquorice (oh my!). Roasted malts escort the chocolate and expresso across the tongue, and into a mild earty hop finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I like, and I don't sense the rounding of the oatmeal. Mouthfeel aside, this a good stout. Don't be afraid of the dark.

RonfromJersey, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark(duh)black with a big fat espresso colored head. Smells very strongly of coffee. Lots of lacing and retention. Nice looking brew.

The taste is most excellent. Lots of big dark malt, coffee, deeply roasted and burnt nut. Carbonation is a little too noticeable but tolerabe, and mouthfeel is on the medium oily side. Low ABV makes this a easy drinker for the long term. Nice job MH.

yankeeheel, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany approaching black. Tight small bubbled tan head.
Musty wet malt aroma, chocolate, coffee grinds, a note reminiscent of dumping water on a campfire, dark chocolate, caramel and burnt wood.
Dark roasted malt taste, strong coffee flavor, dark fruit (raisin and cherry) and anise. I wasn't picking up any oatmeal, didn't even realize it was an oatmeal stout.
Medium feel, full robust taste, a bit too assertive taste.
Would be a session beer if the flavors didn't overwhelm my palate after the second one.

mschofield, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of RocketWidget
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes in a twelve ounce brown bottle with a cool eye picture on the label. My cap reads “Keep the Pace, go to Space”.

Pours a mighty fine black obsidian color, just perfect. Head could be more thick though. Smell is of oats, malt and honey. Taste is, in a word, BAM. Oats and malts and roasted coffee combine in a complex roll in your mouth, potent from the instant I touch the liquid with my mouth until seconds after swallowing. One of the strongest flavored stouts I’ve ever had, kickass good. This would go great with a heavy, full bodied meal. Man I love this stuff. Is it the fact that I have matching Magic Hat pint glasses to drink out of that make it this good? Donno, but drink this stuff!

RocketWidget, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good black beer with a sandy light tan head that lingers. Good roastiness in the aroma. I'm getting charcoal and espresso in both the aroma and the flavor. The roasty notes come in heavy up tops but fades into a light chocolate and bitterness in the short finish. Seems like it needs something else in there to support the roast up top. Still a good stout, though.

aracauna, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head. Smells lightly nutty and of oats.

Taste is heavenly. Oaty, smoky and bitter just about sum this brew up. Hints of sweetness in the background and also lightly chocolatey. Mouthfeel is smoky and that bitter chocolate really begins to shine in the aftertaste. Really good, really drinkable.

A fine winter offering from Magic Hat. This one is definitely a hit.

ViveLaChouffe, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

kmo1030, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

francisweizen, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

NJpadreFan, Dec 19, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

DagFishHead, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of BigPapaLager
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

BigPapaLager, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of xgrigorix
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

xgrigorix, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of edchicma
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

edchicma, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Brent, Oct 21, 2003
Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,326 ratings.