Heart Of Darkness - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,355 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,355
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 86
Gots: 142 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,355 | Reviews: 325
Photo of seanlanefuller
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not as much head to the beer as I would like.

Nice dark color.

A little thin in viscosity.

Clumpy lacing when swirled rather than a continuous lace.

Not much carbonation, but not flat either.

Smell is grapefruit and old books. Reminds me of the cellar of a monastery.

Nice taste. Good for a stout. Grapefruit taste along with roasted coffee and maybe a slight taste of black cherry.

Overall I like it. It is a good stout and I would buy it again.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store. Heard this was one of the better offerings from Magic Hat, and that is very correct.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. One inch head. Sticky foam lacing stays on the glass throughout the drinking session.

Smells like dark chocolate, smoke, and roasted malt.

Tastes pretty similar. Great stuff here. Lots of chocolate, with some bitter coffee beans, slight campfire like smoke, and roasty bitterness. Finishes expectedly dry.

Medium bodied, could be a little thicker, but it's a minor complaint. Creamy mouthfeel. Drinkable as hell.

By far Magic Hat's best brew. Most of them are boring to downright offensive, this is downright tasty, drinkable, and even a bit complex.

Photo of microbrewlover
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew pours black with slightly reddish highlights when held up to the light. There is a thin mocha colored head with moderate mocha colored lacing.

The smell is pleasing with roasted malt smell dominating followed by a burn coffee smell then chocolate.

The taste follows the nose with roasted malt, then coffee then chocolate hitting the tongue. There is also a nutty taste in the background.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. The beer goes down smoothly with a slight dry earthy malt aftertaste.

Overall this is a very drinkable stout. I would recommend this to anyone when the temperature begins to drop.

Photo of CMUbrew
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a faint brown tinge in the light. A nice-looking two and a half fibers of khaki head form easily. Looks great.

S: Not a strong aroma here. A little bit of dark malt roast is about it.

T: Dark malt, light roasted malt, and a touch of milk chocolate. It certainly doesn't smack you in the face with big roast or anything, but it's some great flavor.

M: Smooth, soft, and a little slick with a light-medium body.

O: A really nice, easy-drinking stout. I could put down a lot of this and really enjoy myself.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as tar with a dark tan head. Sadly, retention isn't that good, dropping to a thin film within a minute. Just a ring remains and a little scattered lace.
Smell is toasted malt, char, smoke, cardboard, bitter/baking chocolate. Really well balanced.
Taste is exactly the same, charred/toasted malt, smoke, cardboard, baking chocolate with a hint of whiskey floating around in back. Great balance, great complexity.
Light to medium body, medium effervescence. Dry throughout with just a faint hint of warming. Pretty bitter and a lot less body than a stout should have. Otherwise, a really nice brew.

Photo of PincheNorteno
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pub glass. This is a very mild light stout. It's mildly sweet and malty without much complexity aside from a bit of subdued chocolate. It would be tolerable for a newbie, but probably a bit of a let down for someone who actually enjoys stouts that have kick. Not a whole lot going on here. There's a bit of head, some sudsy lacing, but it pours sort of flat.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, winter 2012 bottling. Pours lightly hazy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger moderately dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, light coffee, and light floral earthiness. Excellent aromas with great balance, strength, and complexity of roasted malt notes with light hops. Taste of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, coffee, and floral earthiness. Light coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, coffee, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors; with a good amount of robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent stout! Great balance of roasted flavors with good robustness; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of stckhndlr
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A properly named beer as not a bit of light gets through this one. Very dark with a creamy head the thins out and just clings along the edge of the glass.

S- A good roasted nose. Very gentle blend of chocolate and coffee, some toffee notes and a fruitiness that resembles a raisin/fig.

T- Roasted malt and chocolate, with a bitterness of coffee to it.

M- Compared to other stouts that have a more syrupy, thicker feel to them, this one is more of a creamy, dry feel. Almost like a dry hoppy feel.

O- I loved the smell of this one but I am more partial to the smoother stouts that are out there. I was a little put off by the bitters left in the finish. I would prefer a sweeter finish to my stout. Still had a good nose and taste up front.

Photo of karengarys
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pours (bottle) rich and dark, leaving a head that dissipates to lacing islands of small caramel colored bubbles. It is cold from the 'fridge, and will be done with my review before it warms up.

the nose of luscious stoutness is there - all malty, not hoppy. rich cocoa, coffee and raisins. This is really dark.

Taste corresponds to the smell, it is dark and rich. There is cocoa, and some sort of dry hoppiness finishing it off. Can't place my finger on it, but it is clean at the end.

Mouthfeel is very rich. I do not like English style beers, I think they are flatish. This is the opposite, so I like it a lot.

Overall, I can recommend this, and I would reach for another. I would look for this if I were in the mood to sip a rich brew on a cool evening.

Photo of Bucktron18
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A little late for a winter seasonal, but for a dollar a piece you can't go wrong.

Pours black with a good thick head that lasts. Smells of dark roasted malts and slight hints of burnt coffee. No hop aroma to speak of. Hits first with a strong roasted malt and dark roast coffee. Slight bitterness evens out the maltiness in the middle. Finishes dry with some lingering dark malt and slight roasted fruit flavors. Great mouthfeel. Light carbonation just barely tingles with each sip. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall a very nice stout. Not to aggressive. A very good stout for someone who normally drinks lighter beers and wants to try something new.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is black with lots of frothy tan head leaving a thick lace. Nose is heavy chocolate and roast, a touch of tree bark, and a hint chalky. Taste is also chocolate and heavy roast, faint ash, light hop sweetness in the finish. Body is lighter, soft carbonation and creamy feel. Fairly balanced and full of flavor with just a touch of lingering bitterness.

Photo of yesyouam
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness is a solid, black ale with a generous, soft, light brown head that has outstanding lacing and retention. The aroma is kind of tangy with a fair amount of dark roast. There's a note of caramel and some sort of spice. It's smooth and medium bodied with a dry finish that's pretty clean. It tastes pretty dry and roasty with just enough bitterness to balance it out. It is pretty tangy, but not fruity. There are notes of caramel and vanilla. A light, resiny bitterness lingers for a bit after the swallow. This is a really solid offering from Magic Hat. I can down a 6-pack of this with no hesitation.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a creamy, mocha head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of coffee notes along with some cocoa.

Tastes of nice roasted notes with some sweetness to it. Notes of coffee and coca come through backed up by some brown sugar. Some oats come through in the middle along with a little nuttiness. Ends with a little earthy hop bite.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is pretty good and better than I expected.

Photo of nUgZ
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown/black color with a half finger head and some lacing.

S: Really nice blend of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and espresso. Sweet and inviting!

T: Very much like the smell, with the addition of some smoke and a touch of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Pretty smooth.

O: This is a very enjoyable stout. It's well balanced, tasty, and easy to drink. I prefer Imperial Stouts, but this is a great example of an English Stout.

Photo of y2jrock60
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Very dark black and opaque with a tan head with a fair amount of lacing.

S- Prominent bitter chocolate aroma with notes of toffee, caramel, coffee, and a slight sweetness.

T- Thick and smooth upfront with a roasted malt backbone that fades into a nice bitterness. Very well rounded. There is some sweetness in the middle and end as well.

M- Medium-thick bodied with low-moderate carbonation. It starts of thick and has a smooth texture.

O- A very delicious stout and well balanced. It's not overly complicated, but contains a great amount of character. The ingredients compliment each other without trying to overpower each other.

Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Magic Hat's best rated and most widely available beer currently according to BA.
Production code: K29261, according to freshbeeronly that's Oct. 29 of last year, 120 day shelf life, so about a month past code if that info code is accurate.

Looks nice in the glass, copious lace forms delicate strands and webs around the edges of the glass, the creamy tan foam doesn't break after the first couple sips. Nice gradation around the edges, the lace blends seamlessly into the surface.

Aromas of cocoa, carob, roasted barley.

Flavors of chocolate milk, carob, slight amount of roast barley and ash in the taste as well. Mellow and fairly smooth, light carbonation, slight astringency. It's good, nothing groundbreaking, though i'll probably reach for local options before this, i'd drink it again and seek out a fresher sample next time.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a quarter inch tan head. Both the head retention and lacing are decent enough. The brew smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of dark fruit. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, although the dark fruit flavor is a bit stronger. It's also more sweet than bitter tasting. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy, smooth and easy to drink. I think it's a solid brew. Picked up a single at Liquor Barn for $1.79.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 2/23/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a hearty and slightly smoky roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of coffee and chocolate come in. There’s also some dark fruit flavor in the background along with some mild hops bitterness creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are several other stouts I would pick first.

Photo of Chico1985
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Under my cap it said "Booyah! Love Luke"...Free Beer From Work time!

Dark brown on the pour, no translucence but some red highlights. Tan head turns to a thick ring and stays that way.

Nose is a pleasant temptress - chocolate kisses, raisins, earthiness, dark bread.

Taste brings on some great roast and milk chocolate tones, some oats, bread and dark fruit. English yeast and some earthy hops. Has a bit of a winter warmer feel minus the spice.

Full mouthfeel with lowish carbonation.

Heard good things and I'm definitely not disappointed. Full, complex flavor in a low ABV stout, and the English-ness makes it rather unique. Very good.

Photo of blakelive784
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a non transparent dark brown color with tan head, two finger head. It's decently thick but retention is poor. Meh.

S - Heavy roasted malts up front. Semi-sweet dark chocolates and dark roast coffee. Light sweet, burnt caramel. Moderate strength. Seemingly well balanced and inviting, but it's missing the complexity I look for in a great stout.

T - Thin roasted malts mingle with instant coffee. I'm a little disappointed. It doesn't follow through. No cream. Bitter coffee. A bit watery, even. Lightly sweet chocolate. It's simple and bland.

M - Medium bodied, thin and way too carbonated.

D - It's an average stout. Nothing great, but not terrible. I'd pass on it in the future.

Photo of wingman14
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with brown highlights, with a mocha head. A very nice pour for a stout, a powerful smell, chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet notes. The taste follows suit, powerful taste, the roasted malt stays throughout, starts sweet ends malty. The roasted malt stays in the aftertaste, great flavors with good balance. A good mouthfeel for an English stout, medium-light, good carbonation, nice and smooth. Overall a great flavor, and easy to drink, a great beer, definitely worth checking out.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A very dark superior brown, not exactly opaque with heavy bubbles on the top of the body. Head comes off light tan maybe an eighth of an inch.

Smell: Light dark chcolate scent comes off strong but dissipates quickly.

Taste: Strong chocolate feel, an easy bitterness which is easy to get accustomed to. Definitely tastes stronger than what it really is. Heavty malts, with light molasses, IMHO...worth buying.

Mouth: Medium with a slight sweet feel at the end coming off a little dry or maybe it's just me.

Overall: Good beer that I picked up in a variety pack not too long ago and definitely would be on the lookout. Doesn't hit you in the pockets and you definitely get a lot. Grab a glass and enjoy....Salud!

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
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...

Photo of Jadjunk
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Heart of Darkness is brewed in the style of an English Stout. Available as part of the Magic Hat Winterland Variety Packs and as a stand alone 6 pack seasonal, returning after a many year hiatus.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 51º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothy medium brown head over an inky black body. Head retention is above average and the body color is dark and solid. Lacing is medium thick and consistent. Very nice appearance. 4

(Smell) Deep roasted caramel malts, notes of chocolate and licorice, medium sweet over mild earthy bitter balance. Aroma has a medium potency. Very dark and roasty aroma. Very enjoyable. 3.75

(Taste) Heavily roasted barley sweetness, semi-bitter chocolate and earthy hop notes. Balance is about right on, with just enough earthy and hop bitterness to counter the malt sweetness. A notably robust licorice character graces the end of this beer. Despite a heavier body, there is a good deal of drinkability to this beer. I could manage enjoying a couple of these in a row. Enjoyable flavors, high drinkability all makes for an enjoyable stout. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is very mild, creamy smooth with a touch of air and mild chocolate bitterness for balance. Malt presence is mildly fluffy and very roasty. Body is medium+ for stouts, medium/heavy overall. Alcohol presence is very low. Very enjoyable balance and texture. 4.25

(Overall) Drinks much like a flavorful, earthy European-style stout but with a delectable creaminess and accessible body it's a tasty and drinkable stout for sure. One of Magic Hat's most cherished releases, this warrants a return visit every year. Highly recommended. 4

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
Heart Of Darkness Stout
4.09/5.00

Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,355 ratings.