Heart Of Darkness | Magic Hat Brewing Company

very good
326 Reviews
Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

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

Added by stirgy on 10-03-2001

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Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 1,387
Photo of smakawhat
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Dark walnut brown and nearly black body off the pour, some clarity at the top of the head. The head is a foamy quick creamy two finger head, light tan and hints of light coffee top tan brown. Very little retention but settles to a nice puck and collar, with a creamy top a bit.

Slight hints of fruit and berry esters. Some creamy sensations and light roasty qualities. Some hints of woody and tobacco like leafy quality too. Quite solid and inviting.

Interesting palate. A bit steely and metallic finish. Quite light grain and some soft sharp biting roasty qualities. Once again the aftertaste has a sweet aluminum like bite to it, but manages a creamy mouthfeel to go with it. Hints of grapefruit and dark cherry, mellow roast and some light carbonation.

Ferrous quality dies and subdues a bit as it warms. Quite an interesting stout though.

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Photo of bskrtz
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle served cold in glass beer challis

A) Pitch black. No light passes through the glass. Clear mixture with off white puffy head.

S) Espresso, cooked dark fruit, mild bitter hops. Very nice.

T) Complex & its all there -- dark cocoa, espresso, dates, mild spice, hops. Well balanced -- not over the top like so many stouts. This beer is exceptionally smooth and drinkable.

M) Ample carbonation and surprisingly light for such a deep, dark stout.

O) An excellent example of this category

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Photo of Guden
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A- dark black with hints of clear ruby shining through. Small tan head fades to a tiny ring with no lacing.

S- chocolate covered espresso beans, raisins, burnt marshmallow. Not a very strong aroma but a complex and desirable one.

T- up front it is lightly fruity raisin which fades into strong espresso coffee character with a moderate dark, roasted bitterness lingering throughout.

M- moderate body with a dry finish, accentuates the espresso character but I'd like a little more creaminess.

O- a very solid stout that stands out only by being so true to style and refined.

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Photo of ElijahRivera
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with no date consumed on 12-28-13 and priced at $10 for a 6 pack.

A- Opaque black body with a short, light mocha head that stuck around for a while.

S- Unusually for a stout, the most prominent aroma is a phenolic/yeasty one. That is grounded by some roasty chocolate, which is still beat out by some aromatic ginger-like spice and citric/herbal hops. There might be some acidic espresso roast in there too. Strange bouquet for a stout, but not necessarily negative. There is also a weird soy sauce or almost balsamic vinegar aroma.

T- Starts with a hint of bittersweet cocoa powder, which quickly transistions into an acidic, spicy, herbal middle. Then it finishes with slightly bitter roasted malts. Some hops and coffee in the retro-olfaction. The strange/off elements that are in the aroma are also present in the flavor profile. I'm beginning to think it is detracting from the quality of this stout.

M- A little thin bodied for the style. Some carbonation. Mostly smooth on the palate with a semi-dry finish.

O- Underwhelming, disappointment of a beer that I had high hopes for. I don't normally trust Magic Hat to put out a high quality brew, but I was hoping this one might be different based on reviews and scores I've read. However, there wasn't enough boldness or richness of flavors I expect in a high quality stout. That coupled with too many off aromas and flavors force me to give this brew regrettably low marks.

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Photo of Mistro
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as can be, right out of the bottle. Smells strongly of cocoa with hints of vanilla, and better than that it tastes exactly the way you'd expect off your nose. Flavors are overall mild, and a perfect balance between bitter and sweet. Great stout, will pick up again.

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Photo of lochef81
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This ale pours a handsome but unremarkable near black with a slight off white head that quickly dissipates to a thin film and some lacing. The aroma is that of dark chocolate, vanilla beans, and light coffee notes. The flavor is mild but enjoyable with all the flavors promised in the nose plus some dried prune and raisin notes. It has a lighter body than I have come to expect from a stout. This is a very enjoyable beer that drinks quite light and easy. It is in no way a great stout but it is solid.

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Photo of JDJ
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Comes out black with a very thin mocha head, which dissipates quickly.

Smells of roasted malts, toast, and coffee. Slight hint of chocolate as it warms.

Taste is a typical English stout. Roasted malts and minimal hops, with dark coffee and dark cocoa undertones.

Mouthfeel isn't my favorite. A little overly carbonated for a stout, and sort of thin. I like my stouts thick and rich.

Overall, it's nothing to write home about but definitely something I would drink again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - opaque with a light mocha head, fluffed and sticky. Great lacing and resilience.

Aroma - dusty grains and a nice roasty sniff with a touch of coffee.

Taste - slightly sweet grains to start, followed by an excellent roasted character. Just shy of ashy, the balance to the sweet is spot on.. Ends with a dry, toasty warmth.

Mouthfeel - medium weight, supportive but not in the way. Average carbonation, everything where it should be.

Overall - excellent English stout, no-brainer for a session brew.

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Photo of Carolvs
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a bottle into a standard ale glass.

Appearance - Pitch black with a mocha head, but not a very substantial one, perhaps a quarter inch.

Smell - Noticeable but not overwhelming scent of roasted malt.

Taste - It's a stout with a zing.

Overall- Definitely a quality brew, although not in the same league as say the stouts by Founders, Lagunitas, or Samuel Smith's, but pretty close.

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Photo of ski271
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought this on my skiing excursion to share with friends. Figured they like it and it was a huge hit. It's an inky-black brew with a small, off-white, lasting head. This beer is very roasted-smelling and it seemed to perfectly match the snowy, woodsy outdoors at the ski resort. The taste is lightly bitter up front, then the toasted malts take over bringing some sweetness in. It's big enough for what we wanted without being too heavy. Probably the perfect beer for that moment, and just a really good easy-drinking stout. This one is a winner I highly recommend.

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Photo of scotorum
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled September 29th 2013.

Poured from the 12 oz,. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Black with clear dark ruby highlights when seen through light, finger thick tan head receded quickly to partial surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild dark chocolate.

t: Dark chocolate and cold coffee with some bitter hop balance. Bitterness lingers slightly at the sides of the tongue.

m: Light to moderate.

o: A good easy-drinking, dinner companion stout.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a oversized brandy snifter.

Poured pitch black and slightly viscous with a nice thick head of tan foam. The head quickly gave way to some nice lacing.

The smell was sweet and chocolaty at first but gave way to a more metalic aroma.

The taste was pleasant. The chocolate was balanced with a slight herbal taste and a slightly smokey hop finish.

Overall a nice beer. Became more flavorful and balanced as it warmed.

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Photo of mikemorgan
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- It is midnight black , just as it should be.

T- Great tasting beer, a dry stout, but more body and interesting than a Guinness or Murphy's Stout. I hint of sweetness and the slightest touch of an earthy coffee/caramel/chocolate tast in the background. Plenty of Northern Brewer Hops.

M- Great mouthfeel, I almost hate to swallow it down! Not heavy, smooth and interesting.

Overall, one of top 3 favorite dry stouts.

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Photo of LeatherNeckBrewing
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this beer a lot. I decided to buy a six pack while brewing my own Irish Stout for inspiration, so to speak. it did not dry my mouth out and was very flavorful. it wasn't as smooth as a Guinness draft, but it was smooth. I cannot say anything about its appearance because I drank it straight from the bottle, but the taste made it disappear.

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Photo of OzmanBey
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the better darker stouts I have had in a long time, the coco tones are perfect and the taste has a slight sweetness which opens up on your tongue and lingers leaving your mouth feeling warm. If you enjoy the darker side of beer I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint tumbler. The beer was very dark and poured a dark tan head.
I was hopeful. The beer did not really have much of a smell to me maybe coffee hits. The beer was smooth but I got to say for a Stout, it was pretty tasteless and I thought a bit thin. Good lacing was present but I prefer taste. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Bretts1357
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Found myself trying this for the first time a few weeks ago being a winter seasonal, and man is this a great winter beer. Then a week later all I wanted was this specific taste. Dark, toffee, thick feeling quality, nice sharp finish , one might think this was an imported English stout. Would love to drink this and hobgoblin at same time and compare. Not weak either surprisingly buzz worthy but better to drink before any other beer as this taste Truly needs to be appreciated to its fullest. Great contrast to Magic hats other orange lemony zest beers/IPAs which I find typical amongst others. Definitely a stand out brew.

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Photo of Doerrijustmether
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Pours onyx black, about a finger of khaki head. Head dissipated but a small amount remains. Smells of bittersweet chocolat, roasted hops and maybe a tinge of butterschotch or carmel in the background. Roasted hops and maybe licorice? ?.

Smooth drink, good stout, goes down easy. Slight aftertaste but not a bad one. Kind of a boozy I thought this was a 7-8 abv, was surprised to see 5.7..

Im pretty much a stout junkie and this is a very good one. Would definitely get again.

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Photo of ZagZagg
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Inky black, smooth and slightly viscous producing a pluming off-white head after an aggressive pour. Sporadic lacing with low to moderate retention – not about to see any light passing through this brew it’s onyx

S: Roasty, coca-coffee, a bit spicy – anise and clove walking the line of sweet and slightly bitter. A bit of maple syrup or tart caramel - There’s an earthy rootiness – birch?

T: Diverges from the nose a bit by leaning to the bitter side of the bitter-sweet line. More hop presence than a lot of stouts – maybe a bit exaggerated by the carbonation. The malt profile is more burnt than roasted contributing to the bitter qualities. The burnt malt and hop forwardness play off each other nicely to produce a decently balanced play on the palate

M: Mild carbonation that wanders about, not exactly as ‘full’ bodied, as I would have anticipated. After taste is somewhat dry akin to cooking/dark chocolate with a lingering dark coffee roast statement.

O: Pretty nice, easy drinking stout, fits well with what I would expect from Magic Hat. If you’re into the style and looking to put a few away in one sitting, I recommend.

I love the label artwork, I have a heart of darkness and that eye can see it through my chest.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: pitch black with a two cm coffee colored head that quickly reduced. Lacing fades elegantly down the sides of the glass

S: very light aroma, mainly characterized by malt, coffee, and roasted barley. There is a mild sweetness that comes across faintly

T: this is a solid stout, with a mild sweetness that fairly represents the aroma. The taste really reminds me of a dry stout mixed with coca cola. My first sip reminded me of coffee, but after a few swigs, I started tasting coca cola more and more. On the back end, there is some faint coffee bitterness on each small sip, while there are chocolate notes upon each big swig.

M: interestingly crisp, like a soda that is exactly in between too carbonated and flat. This is not a creamy smooth stout, nor is it an over-carbonated mess. It's just right.

O: I like this stout. It's interesting, if not great. I'd be happy to drink more than one in a row, and would be happy to serve it friends. I know some people swear by this beer, and I won't go that far, but I'd certainly say that it is quite solid.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Heart of Darkness – Stout (5.7%) - Magic Hat Brewing Co. (Vermont)

App: Pours essentially black with some slight reddish hues to the extreme edges of the glass. Dark tan two finger head settles, but retains a nice half finger head all the way down. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Dry, roasted malt aromas dominate the nose. Slightly sweet and earthy together. Chocolate aromas very present. Slightly woody. Not too strong a bouquet on this one.

Taste: Lots of roasted flavors competing for attention. Some slight chocolate on the foretaste thats quickly overturned by the deep, dry, and almost acrid flavor of roasted barley. Not particularly strong in flavor, but very well balanced. Bitterness from hops and roasted grains well balanced by faint sweet caramel flavor, but overall this is a very dry stout.

Mouth: Pretty heavy bodied as is to be expected. Dryness is pleasant and uplifting of the sweeter characteristics of the foretaste. Little heavy on the carb.

Home tasting, 12oz bottle into Tulip glass. 1/29/14.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled tonight on 1/24/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pitch black in color with almost a 1-finger beige head that settles down to just a thin ring around the top. Some spotty lacing is seen but not a lot actually. The aroma is of sweet roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of black coffee. The taste is even better and very so smooth! Perfect blend of tasty flavors. Perfect carbonation. No bitter or bitter aftertaste for this one! A FANTASTIC stout all the way!

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Photo of beergoot
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black body with a medium-thick, foamy, tan head. Mild roasted and charred grain aroma with hints of chocolate. Charred grains and bittersweet chocolate flavors; slightly acidic; very faint hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a slightly rough feel; dry finish.

A respectable stout with bold flavors decent, all-around character.

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Photo of bgillespie
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Roasty and chocolate. Maybe a little coffee.

Taste: Malty, smokey, some chocolate and coffee. Similar to a Guinness and rivals it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: I was not expecting this from Magic Hat, one of their better beers. Great taste, smooth, and easy to drink.

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Photo of MisterdeSade
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't expecting much, but this turned out to be a very solid brew!
Very pleasant stout; a little more fullness than a Guinness, but then by no means an Old Rasputin. Great middle ground in terms of a stout.
Nice, dark coloring, extremely palatable with just enough of a slight tinge of "yuck" factor that I look for in a dark, yet without any bitter aftertaste at all.
This is my first time trying anything Magic Hat produces and so far I like what they do!
I would LOVE to try this on tap.
I'm liking this A LOT. A worthy brew!

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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 1,387 ratings.
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