Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Murray's Heart Of Darkness | Murray's Craft Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
12 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Murray's Heart Of DarknessMurray's Heart Of Darkness

Brewed by:
Murray's Craft Brewing Co.

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mulder1010 on 07-05-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 21
Reviews by BdubleEdubleRUN:
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4/5  rDev +4.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a large, tan head.
Nose shows chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, liquorice and oats, alongside spicy phenols and higher alcohols.
Very similar flavours; quite sweet at first before the roasted malt bitterness and soft alcohol make their presence felt. Lots more liquorice, roast and spicy Belgian notes. Seems a little brash though.
Could use higher, creamier carbonation.

 394 characters

Photo of Rwalford74
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Stella tulip. Drank at room temperature.

A - Pours deep MAhogany almost Ebony colour, with a one fingered head that reduces to a film and laces the glass

S - Aromas are of spicey sugars and soem dark stewed fruit.

T - Taste up front is somewhat spicey and gives way to some nice cocoa and malt flavours the finish is a little bitter. There are some interesting toffee flavours to compliment the brew. The booze is very well hidden.

M - Full body and medium to low carbonation, and kind of oily.

O - I really enjoyed this beer, it does have some Belgian Royal stout carachteristics but is a long way short of Black Albert.

 640 characters

Photo of davidfoley
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Low head retention, light brown hue to head, dark brown colour, moderate carbonation

Smell - Chocolate, blackcurrant, cherry, malty, floral, alcohol presence

Taste - Fruit and dark berries, under-ripe cherries, over ripe plums, sweet, dried fruit, raisins, cognac like alcohol presence, slightly tart fruitiness. Bitterness in finish.

Mouthfeel - Lacks body, moderate carbonation, heavy fruit and alcohol

Drinkability - Heavy beer, doesn't sit well, lacks body

Overall - Unbalanced, too tart. Drinkable beer, good in ways, but has it's flaws

 559 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of mulder1010
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: listed as a American Double/ Imperial Stout, off the website it is listed as a Belgian Style Imperial Stout. Either way...

Had on Tap and in Growler format

A-- Poured reddish black, settling black with just a few tints of red on the sides and top of the glass. Just a bit of carbonation bubbles on the sides of the glass. Very short lived head that was a deep dark brown sugar color, became just a layer of film but had good head retention. Spotty but good lacing.

S-- Chocolate, lots of chocolate, sweet Belgian Chocolate, some bitter baking chocolate, and some coco powder. There is also a fruity quality to this. Think this is crossed with the Murrays Grand Cru. Get green apple and green banana with the smell. More like a chocolate fondue with apple and banana.

T-- When I tasted this at the brewery I first thought it was the Grand Cru but with chocolate. Very sweet, bitter chocolate, thick and a alcohol burn to this.

M-- Medium carbonation and medium to heavy bodied. Lots of chocolate in the mouth, bitter chocolate. Has a bit of an AVB spice burn to this. Thick and coating in the mouth on all levels.

D-- Would go back up and get another growler. It is good but not real keen on the Triple sweetness in this. Really like the full on chocolate but this could something like oak to smooth out the alcohol feel and taste. The 9.6 on the first beer I had at the brewery went straight to my head. Good beer and a very different attempt at an Imperial Stout.

 1,488 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mungus
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of PolarBear3
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black in colour looking almost like oil with a tan head that dissipates immediately to leave a thin film.

S - Roasted coffee with some chocolate, sweet malts and get a slight hint of vanilla.

T - Get alot of that roasted coffee and chocolate malts, some stewed dark fruits with a hint of liquorice that balances out beautifully.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation

O - A fantastic stout and of the better ones from Murrays. Really like the chocolate/coffee malt character that is not too overpowering is balanced nicely. A must try.

 551 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavily dark brown, almost pitch black with a mahogany tinge up to the light. Head is modest, sitting a long time in the glass but retaining a small half-finger's worth. Beige in colour. Lace is pretty decent, cascades slowly down and thick. Beautiful-looking stout.

Oh yeah, that's exactly the nose I was expecting. Lots of dark chocolate character with mild espresso bitterness. But lots of Belgian phenolic spice creeping up from behind. Slight green apple note with some vanilla and mild white peppery spice. Slightly sour with a milkiness to it as well, yeah great array of character but also great balance between the dark stout aroma and the Belgian spice notes.

Taste is...interesting. At first sip it seems a bit weak. Dark roasty notes that seem to swim a bit at first as though they're not pronounced enough. Mild espresso notes with unsweetened chocolate develop into a weak mid-palate but then go strong and roasty with growing strength on the back palate. Slight charcoaly bitterness that never quite reaches full burnt potential. It has a sweetness on the finish with hints of warming alcohol. But yeah, interesting. To my mind its weakest point is on the mid for sure. The finish makes it interesting but there is definitely a 'black spot' for flavour in the middle.

Swish mouthfeel. Pretty slick for something with such a high ABV. Good weight to the body but still maintains a nice fluidity. Very nice.

A strong-flavoured ale with a sweetness that makes it downable. Nice stout notes with a lot to like. I would suggest if it didn't have that flavour gap in the middle it might be less drinkable.

 1,626 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair classification as an American Impy Stout - it seems very American to brew a Belgian themed Imperial Stout...

Tried on tap at the Local Taphouse's July AleStars evening with Murray's head brewer Shawn Sherlock.

Pours a deep and roasted black colour, very thick in the body with a toasty brown crust of head. The head could be a little creamier methinks, but it looks extremely big, rich and tasty nonetheless.

Big and rich on the nose, but with definite Belgian yeast characters. Noticetably, some banana esters, lightened, perhaps more like crushed banana leaf, and something dry and dusty with dark cocoa. Extremely interesting.

Taste is great - big, unapologetic and boozy, but leavened with the Belgian yeast character coming through to round out the palate a little. Some phenols and a light cherry acetone character. Bitter roasted finish, but again, this is tempered by the yeast nicely. The sugar probably dries it out a bit as well. Shawn mentions chocolate on the palate, but I don't get a lot of that - the sweetness comes from the leavening easters of the Belgian yeast, and the lighter body which ensures the palate doesn't get overwhelmed.

Very nice brew. Very dark but leavened. Hard not to compare this to the Wild Thing, which I prefer, but the Wild Thing is more straight down unapologetically heavy and rich. I think the Heart of Darkness more drinkable for its relative lightness, but maybe not as intense, and groinally stimulating.

 1,462 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another cool beer from BobbyHeenan. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Belgio Imperial Stout

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a half finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Black body with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a decent wisp, but only a slight wisp remains until the end leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Could be a bit darker for the style, but solid head.

SMELL: Chocolate malts, light notes of leather, some light caramel, and some spicy notes from the yeast. Okay. Medium strength.

TASTE: Some spicy yeast notes, chocolate and leather up front. Moves to a spicy and yeasty finish with a bold and lingering aftertaste of chocolate, toffee, spicy yeast, with leather and tobacco flavors as well. Flavorful and definitely Belgian in style.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body with higher levels of carbonation. A bit airy on the palate, goes down okay and finishes slightly sticky. Some spicy yeast lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: Definitely Belgian, but not really a stout. This can be more accurately described was a Belgian strong dark ale with some chocolate malt thrown in for good measure. Still, as it is, it's a good beer and well worth checking out if you get the chance. Cheers BobbyHeenan.

 1,262 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a one finger mocha head that fades fast. Specs of lace and no retention.

S - Aromas of Belgian yeast, dark fruits, and chocolate. Interesting.

T - Lot's of sweet malt, chocolate, dark fruits, and Belgian yeast esters. Pretty interesting stuff.

M - Really smooth with nice carbonation, a full body, and a sweet finish.

O/D - While not being overly complex, Murray's has done a good job of constructing a beer that is flavourful and smooth. The incorporation of the Belgian yeast definitely sets it apart from other Australian examples of the style. A good one.

 585 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Murrays at Manly

Pours a black body, tan small head that dies to a film. Lacing good.

Aromas are subdued due to serving temp - a little roast, a little choc.

Taste is very complex with roast, chocolate, coffee. Integrated fruits balance out the roast flavours.

Mouthfeel is medium to hevyweight but not oily. Carbonation reasonably high.

Overall, the best of the three RISs on tap.

 396 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of brendan13
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown/borderline black with 3cm of dark tan head that slowly falls away leaving a bit of lacing.
S - The aroma is a mixture of stewed fruits, bitter cocoa, some light Belgian phenols with a waft of alcohol.
T - The alcohol comes through more in the taste along with more bittersweet cocoa nothes and Belgian yeast character.
M - Medium to full bodied with a medium level of carbonation.
D - Not something to session but well worth trying. Hoping I'll get to try it again.

 493 characters

Photo of MordeciaFunk
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of dgilks
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark black with a moderate sized, tan head. Fair head retention.

Rounded, fruity esters with mild, sweet chocolate and a touch of roast. Mild citrus. All in all an interesting aroma.

Smooth, mild roast with some slightly bitter chocolate and mild fruity esters. There is a bit of a citrussy hop note here too. On the whole this is a complex and smooth Imperial Stout. Like a fruity version of Wild Thing.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid effort from Murray's with a nice fruitiness adding depth and complexity to the stout.

 557 characters

Murray's Heart Of Darkness from Murray's Craft Brewing Co.
3.84 out of 5 based on 21 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!