Black Magic Stout | Empire Brewing Company - Brewpub

70 Ratings
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Black Magic StoutBlack Magic Stout

Brewed by:
Empire Brewing Company - Brewpub
New York, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A traditional dry Irish stout, carbonated with nitrogen (it pours very much like a Guinness). Dry roasted flavors are prominent, with hints of chocolate and coffee on the finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-10-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by CupcakeNY:
Photo of CupcakeNY
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was beautiful; ebony to near-black color, one finger thick, velvety tan head that dissipated very very slowly.

aroma was almost negligible; some smoke and bitter coffee, caramel.

Mouth feel was excellent; smooth, soft, medium body, perfect carbonation (rather light, but seemed just right for this beer)

Taste was bone dry, with a bitter coffee/cocoa taste and just a bit of smoke and peat. Finish is bitter and lingering, with a touch of an astringent quality. This is a good beer to accompany some hearty food. Sipped without food the dryness and astringency are a bit much. It's a nice stout, though not my favorite. But it is one of the creamiest and most beautiful!

 684 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black Magic Stout is nitrogenated but doesn't really act like it; this pour took a while to generate any head and didn't include any mesmerizing cascade effect. The finger's worth of brown foam that is present, however, is solid and unrelenting (not to mention a flattering contrast to that onyx black body). Still, I wouldn't say it's put a spell on me just yet.

The aroma isn't overly enchanting either but bear in mind this style's hallmark is austerity and purity. Indeed, these clean, hardy scents of roasted malt - supported by modest undertones of bittersweet chocolate, honeycomb toffee and Americano espresso - is exactly what I hoped for when opening the bottle on this cold winter's night.

Irish Dry is the staple in stouts as blue jeans are to fashion - prevalent, reliable, and timeless. And just like those casual, tried-and-true pants Black Magic Stout is humble and everyday, its dry and mildly roasted maltiness well calibrated to casual drinking, but with just enough chocolate, tiramisu and coffee bean flavour to dress it up a little, kick it up a notch.

While most American craft brewers were in the process of reinventing the wheel with imperial, spiced, soured, flavoured and barrel-aged stouts, few took the time to properly master the humble Irish Dry. I get it: home-run hitters make the millions and no one cheers for the guy who bunts, even if that's a far more efficient way to get on base...

Irish Dry is not the kind of stout that'll give you an orgasm on the first sip - it's the type you can drink all night long. That's why they continue to be so popular and pervasive with mainstream consumers. A lot of microbreweries forgot about that demographic: thirsty people. Not Empire Brewing though! Black Magic Stout is a terrific role model for the style.

 1,792 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

consumed at Empire Brewing

A - nearly black; opaque; not cloudy. Thick creamy tan head with excellent{!} retention

S - coffee; smokey; malty

T - coffee stout with slight, but IMO undesirable, smokey/burnt quality

M - full, although a bit light for a stout; smooth

D - a bit better than your average stout

 309 characters

Photo of KrissyKat6
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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

I loved the coffee aspects of this beer, but it seemed to be lacking the qualities I love about beer, the malted grain backbone or the tastes and/or aftertaste the the hops should deliver.

 188 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the brewpub. A dry stout, dark with mocha head and lace. Coffeeish and bitter astringent. No resemblance to Middle Ages style on the part of new brewmaster Tim Burton. He is putting the coffee expresso bias on this one, but you really got to like the stuff. Good for what it is.

 288 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gshoes3
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So the deal is you can get samples but can't buy any beer. Yeah. My sample was a nice pitch black with light brown head. At first it tasted like there might be some oats then it dived into big roasty flavors. Reminds me a bit of the Middle Ages Black Heart Stout, but not quite as thick - still a heck of a stout.

 313 characters

Photo of DaveCash
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Photo of poohbearzeccola
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheBCrew
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

4 oz. sampler poured into a tasting glass. Deep black color with a creamy tan head typical of the Guiness nitro-tap. The head hangs around for a bit before dissipating to a thin layer. Deep amber hues around the edges when held up to the light. Aroma of black patent and roasted malts. Taste is dry and creamy with a slight bitterness, followed by what can only be described as a bacon flavor. Mouthfeel was decent but I couldn't get past the bacon flavor.

 456 characters

Photo of dgeebs07
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of nyrblue2
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark black with a light, creamy brown head that had good retention.
S: There are creamy aromas of roasted malts with hints of coffee and mocha.
T: The flavors resemble the smell, although the taste leans toward being on the weak side.
M: It felt a bit thin on the palate, with a light body.
D: This was very easy to drink.

 332 characters

Photo of M16storm
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of Moradin
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

very dry, lot of smoked/roasted flavor.
medium to high carbonation

66 characters

Photo of jeffbrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HermitDan
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of rfgetz
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of OldDirty
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Black Magic Stout from Empire Brewing Company - Brewpub
3.68 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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