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Heart Of Darkness | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Heart Of DarknessHeart Of Darkness
Very Good
1,414 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,414 |  Reviews: 335
Photo of BittRnessabounds
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, almost black with just a hint of red color with a small creamy tan head. A bit of vigor is required to get much of any head. The head settles to a bit of lace that remains nicely. The smell is dominantly of roasted chocolate malts, with just a hint of caramel. The taste is a nice complexity of the roasted malt flavors giving an almost smokey character to the brew, yet there is just a touch of hops for balance. The mouthfeel is pleasant and each taste finishes with a nice roasted flavor. I would almost call this a medium body stout; it really isn't heavy at all. Very pleasant, interesting, and drinkable.

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

Had this bottled. Pours to a very dark black. No light coming through this beer. Small, stoutish head, even after a vigorous pouring, though it suited the beer just fine.

Taste is dominated by smoke and chocolate malts. A very smooth finish, not too heavy. Though it is new and seasonal, if it were around longer/more often, I think this could become a benchmark for American Stouts. Not terribly complex but well handled and very smooth, hearty. As close as I reckon a good stout could get to being sessionable.

My favorite Magic Hat to date, though I hear good thinks about Blind Faith.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Hat! A memorable experience, indeed...

It had a black body, with a khaki tan head that went quickly to a wispy lace.

The aroma reminded me of wet autumn leaves, expresso, and chocolate.

It tasted of expresso and tangy citrus, with a hint of dark chocolate as it warmed. The finish was bitter hops and citrus peel that faded to a malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit thin, IMHO, for a stout, with light carbonation.

Not my favorite stout, but a good one. We all need to get in touch with the dark side sometimes. Drink enough of these, and the eye on the label starts to follow you around the room...

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Photo of ZAP
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was eagerly anticipating this and while it was very easy drinking, it seemed to lack the weight of some of the better stouts I've had...Pours a charcoal black with a little tan head...nose is soft and small...some java tones and some cocoa....body is thin for a stout...maybe medium at best..let's call it on the thin side of medium...taste has some coffee notes and dark cocoa notes but overall it isn't a powerhouse of flavor...finishes on a dry note which is a nice close...overall this certainly isn't bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase this one..My first Magic Hat experience rates slightly above average....

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

It was two dollar pint night, and I spied this on tap. Poured a nice dark color, a pretty good head. Smooth, a taint sweet, and just a hint of coffee. It went down quickly, leading me to question, is it a stout? Maybe a sub-stout, bordering on a porter. Regardless, this was an excellent beer.

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

A thoroughly dark stout, pouring with a deep black color and a quickly fading caramel head.

The aroma is that of a good stout, with the chocolate malt tones coming through strongly, and a good amount of roasted malt. A *bit* of coffee smell, but on the "sweet" end of the coffee spectrum, not harsh.

The mouthfeel is very full and rather sweet. Unlike most stouts, while there is definitely that bitter flavor characteristic of stouts, this bitterness is rather mild, resulting in a very smooth stout. And it's lightly carbonated, so you don't have much of the acidic sting from the carbonation.

Overall, a very respectable stout, one of the best that I regularly have the pleasure of drinking.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is fully black, with a big, tan head. Aroma is full of all of the things I enjoy and expect from any stout worth it's salt: rich, roasty espresso notes. Mouthfeel is full, sweet, rich, with loads of beautiful, sweet notes, and bitter ones, too. Tasty, toasty, roasty, with a long, luscious finish. A fine and tasty stout, with a slightly sweet aftertaste, and just a touch syrupy. An excellent, but ordinary, stout, and I give up props to UncleJimbo and purplehops, my twin EastCoast providers. Though, I may suggest, that Joseph Conrad might have something more sinister in mind.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep black with a thin head that quickly dissolves yet never completely disappears. predominantly smells of coffee with hints of chocolate. there is a definite roasted flavour here as well as smoked malts and coffee as mentioned above. though certainly not light, much easier going down than would appear. not nearly as heavy as other stouts. overall, one hell of a stout and one hell of a beer in general. my favourite in the magic hat family.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, a lot of people have reviewed this beer in the past few days. Opaque black with ruby edges. Head was small but did not vanish. Appealing aroma of roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, grasses. Sharp tasting, like many of MH's brews, with a bold assertive flavor that informs the drinker, hey we are not dicking around here. Roastiness takes a while to settle in, very warming and invigorating. Some light smokiness in the background, a little bit of greasiness too but not repugnant. Hops are grassy, drying, and refresingly bitter. A perfect balance between bitter and sweet. Other reviews have talked about creaminess but I'm not getting it. I would say this is a bit slick for a stout, maybe even a little thin. Stickiness is appropriate and delightful. Each sip requires another, a very drinkable beer. An exquisite beer for a snowy winter's day.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is just like the Conrad novel. Dark! Really dark with a thin tan head. The smell was the best part of the beer because it reminded me of one of my favorite things to do. Take a big whif from a bag of freshly ground coffee. There were also some smells that made it smell a little like damp earth too. Excellent smell! The taste had little hints but wasn't quite as good, but the thickness made up for that. Magic Hat has a winner here.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.87/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

true to the darkness claim, but had a small, short-lived head: after a few seconds the top of the beer looked strangely like an oil slick. Decent aroma mostly made up of roasted and burnt malts and a wee bit of oatmeal. The flavor is too one-dimensional for me (and too much black patent bitterness). It seems to start very similar to how it finishes, with little change in between. I prefer more complexity in my oatmeal stouts, but being Magic Hat the brewers were probably going for a session-style oatmeal stout. And for that, it is fine. An average beer in my book.

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Photo of jeffboo
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heart of Darkness, thanks to Kunzbrew for sample. A black beer with some red glow while backlit. The aroma is huge, lots of chocolate,roasted grain, and raisins in this tan foam. The flavors are of espresso,and bitter chocolate that lingers on when the glass is set down. Unfortunately the body is too thin and flavor too dry to get the maximum flavor out of the ingredients.A little more sweetness and the body filled out and this one could stand out. But until then..........

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Photo of MJR
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My first Magic Hat brew...I've been looking forward to this!

Underneath the cap says: 'Come to the Night...of the Living Dead.' Nice cheap advertising for their annual Halloween bash!

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown with reddish highlights. A light tan head starts thick and shrinks down to a thin cap.

Smell: Has an aroma of heavy roasted coffee with just a touch of bitterness. There's a touch of an earthy smell too, perhaps from the oatmeal?

Taste: Lots of coffee character with a smooth flavor that bounces back and forth between roasted and burnt. There's a nice general hop bitterness that is present the entire tasting, but get's a bit stronger in the finish. A touch of chocolate is buried in there too. Overall, the flavor is a bit grainy. Nice...

Mouthfeel: Somewhat dry and crisp, but the body is 'way' too thin for an oatmeal stout. They should thicken it up for a more chewy mouthfeel. Oatmeal stouts could be one of my favorite styles, but I can't seem to find one that's thick enough for me!

Drinkability: Very good. I could drink this brew all night. The finish is just dry enough to warrant another pint.

A 'thank you' goes out to Mike (kunzbrew) for sending me this one in a beer trade!

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

Pours dark brown with a tan and very lacy head.
It had a mild malty and chocolate aroma.
There was a malty flavor with a subtle sweet aftertaste. Overall a very good flavor from beginning to end, however a little too tame.
Medium bodied. Wish it was ceamier.
Not a bad brew from Magic Hat. I might put this into my beer purchasing rotation under the less frequent.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with a tight tan head over a dark brown with reddish highlighted liquid. Very nice aromas of coffee and chocolate over a background of roasty grains. The taste is a bit thin in the mouthfeel department, with flavors of highly roasted malts...not much in the way of sweetness, or oatmealy smoothness. A nice level of hoppiness mixes with the roasted grains to lend a very sufficient and enjoyable bitterness to the mix. Things finish up on a dry and roasty note. For the price ($5.99) it's a very nice, tasty stout...easy to drink in quantity.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost jet black with garnet highlights and comes with a nice tan two-finger head. The aromas of roasted malts and chocolate are dominant and make your mouth water. Holy Kamoly or however you spell it! This stuff is smooth and mirrors the aromas along with perfectly blended hops to make one great tasting brew! The mouthfeel is medium bodied yet finishes just slightly thinner and with a burnt chocolate flavor. Very good brew! Thanks to BIGDEB for sending me this brew! Cheers!

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Photo of purplehops
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Heart of darkness pours a deep black with garnet high-lights and a very thin tan head that disappears quickly, leaving little to no lace. The aroma is roasted grain and charcoal with a hint of citrus. The taste starts with a rush of coffee and black malt with charcoal and a hint of cocoa. The finish is very dry with some carbonation prickle on the tongue and flavors of roasted malt starting to blend with hop bitterness. The aftertaste is coffee and citrus hop flavors lingering for quite a while. The mouthfeel is light and acidic. To light for a stout IMHO.
Overall a nice blend of flavors but nothing really special. IMHO it could use a richer and thicker body and a little more aroma. I wouldn't turn one down but at the same time I wouldn't go out of my way for one.

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Photo of scottum
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mint! I got a free Magic Hat pint glass with the six pack of this favorite brew of mine. Pours our black as black can be. Tastes oh so good! Not quite as nice as on tap, but I won't complain because this is just such a great beer! Thank you Magic Hat!

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Photo of kelticblood
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Heart of Darkness poured out a solid black with great carbonation and appearance.The aroma for me was coffee and chocolate,and maybe a bit of smoke.The first sip was all smoke and coffee in flavor.Starting to leave trails of lace with each sip.Kind of an oil like mouthfeel.Not much carbonation in the actual mouthfeel.An earthy,peat,smoke,and coffee taste.The texture seemed a bit watery for a stout.Overall very good but not great IMO.

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Photo of Brewzzle
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sweet coffee chocolate aroma to start with along with a head that fizzles quickly. A typical dark reddish brown color.

To taste it is very straightforward, roasted malt, coffee and a hop bitterness to balance it out. Aftertaste is more of the same but with a thin watery body which kind of spoils the whole experience. Body is medium to light, seems appropriate though.

An easy drinking stout, very typical of the style. I was a little dissapointed, I was hoping the Magic Hat people would do something special with this one.

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Photo of Viking
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky brownish-red, almost black. Small off-white head. If you look closely, and have patience, you may see a trace of CO2 in the body. Hade fades quickly, leaving a thin, spidery lace. Aroma of roasted oats, with hints of chocolate and (unless my nose decieves me) coffee. I also seemed to notice a faint trace of maple syrup in the aroma after the beer had warmed a bit (possibly my imagination). Flavor packed with roasted oats, hints of chocolate, and faint bits of smoked peat. Moderately bitter throughout; slightly more bitter in the finish. Has a lingering aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. An excellent session stout.

Special thanks to pbrian for sending this on my way!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Magic Hat beer, I have heard and read so much about these beers.
This one comes in a 12 fl.oz. bottle with a rather strange psychedelic purple and orange label that has a solitary single eye that simply sits and stares at you with the words Heart of Darkness in black text below, with the word Stout in white text to the left of the eye. The label is in the mold of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” Slightly disturbing.

Black but not thick, quite thin when poured, struggles to maintain more than a thin broken brown head, which spoils the appearance and leaves minimal lace.
Aromas are of deep roast malts and nothing else. Tastes are also highly roast, burnt, cremated deeply dead tastes that are sarcastically laughing at the living world. Amazing depth to the burnt roast flavors in the middle of this beer, very wholesome. Mouthfeel is indeed solid and very smooth - silky burnt residues cling to the palate long after the beer has gone. A nice crisp bitter finish with some sweet fruitiness in the end.

A full-bodied Stout that impresses, I would like to try this beer on draft; I have a feeling that this may be the better medium for a beer of this intensity.

Thumbs Up to BigDeb for this Sample - Nice One Deb.

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Photo of Reverand
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This truely captures the essence of a stout.This brew was black as the night with a small creamy tannish head.Belgian lace left its mark all the way to the bottom of the pint glass.Roasted barley and a sweet carmel chocolate smell. Extremely smooth and easy to drink. Full bodied the way a stout should be.

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Photo of yen157
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost black. Very, very, very dark red. Pretty head of big bubbles and some bulges made up of leaner bubbles, both tan in color, decorated the top of this beer. Funky lace stuck to the sides of the glass. Coffee and some fruitiness from hops, maybe raspberry-like, make up the nose of this elegant stout. Tasted of nicely toasted grains and either wood or nuts, I haven’t made up my mind. Some charcoal flavor exists as one would expect, but it doesn’t add much bitterness as is often the case. A tiny sourness pops up every now and then just adding to the complexity of the brew. Extremely creamy in the mouth. Overall, very good stout. A nice change from overly assertive stouts.

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

Pours a nice dark coffee colr with little head that leaves a nice sexy lace behind. The smell of coffee and nuts fill the nose with great pleasure. The oats are not as strong as they could be but thats ok. The finish is very nice. there is not a strong coffee flavor on the pallette at the finish. This is a very nice beer to compliment tonight dinner.



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Heart Of Darkness from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 1,414 ratings
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