Heart Of Darkness | Magic Hat Brewing Company

Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 1,396 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,396 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of berliner07
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really nice to see this beer back. Great name too. The beer is dark, dark black. Perfect for a cold day. Aroma is rich with malt and black. Really appealing nose. Mouthfeel is perfect for a stout. Just enough thickness, just enough drinkability. Flavors are rich, roasty, inviting, challenging. this beer is really nice.

 320 characters

Photo of TastingRoomCharNtony
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of ONN8
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of strong roasty notes, toffee and molasses.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malt, chocolate, burnt molasses and toffee. Nice bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really good stout. Probably the best I've had from Magic Hat.

 438 characters

Photo of dcollinsOX
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Ljoreilly
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of cvm4
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black, not heavy and leaves a dark tan 2 finger head.

S - Lots of roasted malts & bitter chocolate.

T - Roasted malts dominated followed by some coffee & chocolate.

M - Medium carbonation but the body is somewhat thin.

O - It's a little above average. I can't think of better stouts in this category.

 318 characters

Photo of carteravebrew
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of hiphopj5
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ckk527
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of skaboom420
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Acforster2
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Proclarush
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Appropriately black in color with a tan head. Retention is good, lacing leaves thin rings on the glass.

S: Cocoa powder, earthy and starchy oats lend a slight creamy impression, layered chocolatey scents ranging from milk chocolate to bitter dark chocolate, baked brownies, roasted malts, hint of cola, and berry-like darkfruit wrapped tightly within all this.

T: Cola and molasses register on the palate briefly, and are then swept away as woody and smokey roasted malt tastes build. Brownie batter. Acidic black coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and hints of berry. Starchy oats are most noticeable on the mid-palate, followed by roasted grain with a slight acrid edge. Dries into a lingering finish of strong, rich dark chocolate.

M: Medium bodied. Round and creamy in the mouth with a slight firmness of malt texture. Moderately strong carbonation is a bit scrubbing and just a touch annoying. It really isn't needed here, and bites into an already smooth and velvety texture.

O: I must confess that I'm really not a fan of Magic Hat in general. In my opinion they spend far too much time and effort on the marketing of what is usually very mediocre beer. This beer is a bit of a departure for them, and I'm glad. It took guts for a brewery that normally sticks with very safe, crowd-pleasing beers to release an oatmeal stout as their main winter seasonal. They didn't hold back either; it's very flavorful and robust, so much so that it isn't hard to imagine the casual beer drinker being a bit overwhelmed by it. It seems to be selling very well though, and even the twelve packs are moving. A laudable effort from Magic Hat. I hope this will be around for years to come.

 1,720 characters

Photo of MyKroberts237
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Inky black as advertised, in fact too dark to see through at all, this heavy-looking brew develops a small tan head that diminishes somewhat quickly but remains as a heavy foam that leaves some good mixed spotting and patching.
The aroma has the elements I'd expect from a stout, heavily on the roasted side but including an almost lactic sweetness. It is, however, a bit too light.
Heavy on roast in the dark, malty profile, it's likewise heavy on the coffee note. It tends tangy, but that off-note is curbed as it warms. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, as advertised, leaning less toward sweetness which is nonetheless complemented by what seems like milk sugars, though it's not a milk stout. Also offered is a hint of toffee. Big barley notes come through all the way as well.
This stout's got the heft, and the appropriate body, but it's way too spritzy. The finish also goes astringent. I can take a little crispness in a stout, but it never abates here.

 969 characters

Photo of MikieV
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Rgalvin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout.

Pouring it into my pint glass, the beer looks solid black with a finger-and-a-half of khaki-colored foam. Mostly dense head is populated by a sea foam-like topping and a few bigger bubbles on the surface's center. The beer drinks down with a little bit of lacing.

At first waft, the beer promotes the central aroma of dark chocolate and black coffee with hints of dark fruits and light cream. Subdued nose offers little of anything else; still malt roasty, but without any indications of burnt or hoppy notes.

Mostly chocolate and coffee on the tongue, Heart Of Darkness also has a tasty creamy note married with some now-apparent roasty grain and some delicate floral hop flavors. The hops are bittering at first, but materialize a little more in the finish. Very malty, all around, but with a manageably sweet decadence accented by semi-sweet cocoa. Both, the coffee notes and the almost-silenced hops, help to stave off the sugars and advocate a very enjoyable drink. Aiding the smoothness is a burly, but milky, medium body and near-sessionable alcohol level. The carbonation is ideal, and does not overpower or try to command attention in this stout.

I would absolutely buy this again. Heart Of Darkness is a lovely surprise from the boys up in Burlington. Wish there were more of these in my fridge.

 1,344 characters

Photo of jlogan7
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of jjd315
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of poppyjohn
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of outdoor7or24
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.
A: nice dark khaki colored one finger head, heavy lacing present, deep dark brown color
S: bittersweet chocolate aroma, roasted malt, coffee
M: Medium, carbonation
T: bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt
O: good solid oatmeal stout

 276 characters

Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 73.5% out of 100 with 1,396 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.