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 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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Photo of cavedave
2.66/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Black and thick, with a hat of light tan lather that snaps back to a thin ring.

Hints of anise come up with the roastier aspects with just a hint of herbal hop and coffee to add to the aroma. Along the way I get dark chocolate whiffs. Weak bouquet, though, not a lot going on.

Neutral sweet and burnt sugar, dark chocolate, instant coffee, licorice, ends with the herbal and tha ash, some burnt licorice taste too (only way I can describe it, and not in a good way.)

Thin for a stout, nicely low carb., not clean flavor, cling on palate builds, finish really weird root beer as it warms.

Am not enjoying this out of balance, overly rooty, stout. Sorry I took a friend's recommend on this one, and bought the whole six. Root beer (stout) float anyone?

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was yet another beer that I was given for Christmas, and it had been at least 10 years since I last cracked one of these open. I wasn't sure how this would hold up over that span, given that the other Magic Hat beers that I drank recently were nowhere near as good as I remembered them. That wasn't the case here, as this was a fine, textbook example of an English Stout that nearly qualified as a session beer as well. While not as good as the "motor oil" Stouts that I love this time of the year, this went down easily and had enough to it that it was enjoyable as well!

The pour was as to be expected, with a coffee-like hue and consistency and a somewhat thick tan head that quickly settled down. Not a lot of lacing either but thin rings were to be found after each sip, reminding me that there was a decent body to this as well. A slight roasted malt presence and some coffee could be found in the aroma, which was reinforced by some espresso and soda in the taste. Hardly any caramel stickiness was here and the carbonation was just light enough to gently scrub those flavors away. Was there a bit of burnt, bitter chocolate here? Perhaps, as I could feel a bit of it as the roasted malt faded away during the aftertaste.

As for the alcohol, it's here but this was about an easygoing a Stout that I'll ever have. Even though I only had one bottle of this, I could easily have another in a sitting and hardly feel buzzed from it. If you're looking for a good breakfast Stout or a replacement for your morning cup of joe, look no further. This won't win any awards but it just might win me back to Magic Hat, even after all of these years.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two and half fingers of head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, molasses, milk and a little wood.
The taste is a little earthy, more roasted malt and a little chocolate. Mild bitter note on the finish.
The texture is fairly smooth with a little fizz.
Pretty good. I enjoyed the smooth texture and great appearance.

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Photo of Act25
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Magic Hat's (Burlington Vt) best that I've had. A solid drinkable, stout, that makes me want another, tasted off St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout from nearby (Montreal CA).

A: Typical dark body, average retention and lacing.

S: Nose starts with malts, powdered chocolate, and roasty malts. Very nice profile. Inviting. complex.

T: starts with the smokey malts, and more balance of coffee & chocolate, good sweet mid-range, and then a bit of hops in the nice dry finish. A very nice flavor arc. Delicious. Easy.

Mouth is med to light bodied, good finish.

Safe and good.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

My third beer reviewed from Magic Hat, and one of my favorites. Had this straight out of the bottle. The color was what you'd expect, as dark as dark can be, puffy tan-ish head. Smooth smokey flavor that you'd expect from a stout. Average body for an American stout. If you're looking for a nice after dinner beer or something of that nature.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P- Als of Hampden

A- black ink and dark coffee color. Light tan head with minimal lacing. Quite opaque as well.

S- dark roasted malts and coffee in the nose.

F- Oooh a roasted coffee malt. It feels like I am drinking beer coffee. Very tasty

M-creamy and thick bodied. Like drinking black coffee with booze.

O- not a bad stout. the flavor really saves the nose and appearance though.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout has a thin, cream-colored head, a very dark brown, inky appearance, and thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of blackened or dark-roasted malt and a bit of fruit. Taste is of the same with a black bread note, some acidity, and a mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is rather watery, and Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout finishes dry, a bit powdery, and pleasant. Overall, this is worth checking out.


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Photo of alaimoa
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Initially thought this was a bit watery and not very complex after thinking it was a Russian Imperial. Definitely fits into the English stout category and a damn good one. Nice black pour and you can see it's a bit thinner almost leaning to the porter side. Smells of roasted coffee but not overpowering and a slight burnt chocolate. Taste similar with a nice balance of smooth coffee, not too bitter, nice finish

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Photo of iliotib
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown and perfectly opaque. Poured a two-finger beige head which dissipated fairly quickly. Some tiny-bubble lacing that didn't around.

S: Dark roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. Sounds like 99% of the stout reviews, right? There are at least three other smells that I can perceive but am too noobish to put into words.

T: This is a complex stout. While coffee is the overriding flavor, there is an underlying unsweetened chocolate note. Also wood and bourbon? Strong hop finish that hung around nicely without becoming annoying. Very interesting.

M: Thick, rich and just a little too much carbonation. This definitely helps when forming that beautiful head but I wished slightly more milky mouthfeel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. As I have said, my only knock against this stout is the slightly high carbonation. If let sit until slightly above room temp, Heart of Darkness takes on a different character--it becomes a little more rich and the hidden flavors become more evident. I didn't detect the bourbon (?) flavor right away.

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Photo of stakem
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a dark tan head. Some spotty strings of lace coat the glass as the cap fades.

The aroma is burnt and roasty. Some anise, char and leather. Trace hints of milk chocolate are the last things noted across the back.

The brew loads up with a of bitterness upfront like burnt grain, char, ashy anise and leather. A touch of citrus to herbal hops attempts to brrak things up before almost a meaty and beefy smokiness to the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is interesting dry and lots of bitter roast quality. Not terrible but also not something I can see myself returning to have again.

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Photo of digitalflood
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Diabolical Stout (2013) - 5.7% ABV. Behold, Magic Hat's possible best brew. Pitch black thick body. Little to no head with excellent lacing and retention. No sign of carbonation-- I'm sure it's there but good luck seeing it. Thick chocolate and cocoa aromas. A hint of coffee. Clean wet mouthfeel. Coffee nose. Lots of Kona, Arabica, and a hint of Ethiopian beans. Chocolate milk and coffee mid-palate. Luxurious. Bitter back palate. Stout bitter hops and porter malts. Toasted barley and oaked wood aftertaste. Strong tannins and leather persist. Dry finish. So much stout. So much good bitters. So full and well rounded. Incredibly drinkable. Smooth. 4.5 out of 5. Very good. Bordering on excellent. Recommended for any porter or stout lover.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 2, 2013.

The pour is very dark brown that nearly appears black unless held to the light. Long lasting soft tan head sits quietly on top.

The aroma is of dark malts, coffee, some chocolate, and a touch of plum or other dark fruit.

The body is medium but it is also smooth and soft.

The dark malts and coffee are the welcoming ingredients in the flavor but it does not take long for a notable dry hop bitterness to emerge at the end and speak for the stout on its own. It really tastes the way I like my English stouts to taste.

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Photo of godlessape
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the psychedelic, Orwellian, purple eyeball label art. Poured this into a Samuel Smith Imperial pint glass.
The body is like darkness, collapsed upon night, smothered in a coal mine. The thin tan head reduces to a skim.
The aroma is of earthy roasted barley malt, pipe tobacco, raisins, and I swear I smell an old, flat, rum and Coke.
With the taste I'm picking up a lot of coffee, along with the roasted malt and maybe a little chocolate on the tail end.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Overall a fine stout.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Acquired as part of the Magic Hat winter variety pack. A new to me seasonal, expectations are about average.

Poured into an over-sized wine glass.

A - Pours a dark cola brown colored body; opaque black in the glass. One finger of light mocha head with some decent staying power.

S - Smell isn't half bad. Some light powdery chocolate, cold coffee, roasted malt, some sugary cookie dough like smell, & some creamy lactose. Smells of raisins and dark chocolate as it warms.

T - Taste follows the nose nicely: bitter cold coffee and powdery chocolate, some creamy vanilla, bitter chocolate malt roast, and a smooth creamy finish.

M - Feel ends mildly bitter and sticky. Thin and light-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a nice light bodied stout from Magic Hat, probably one of their better beers, well worth picking up the winter variety pack just for this beer alone.

Magic Hat Heart Of Darkness ---4/5.

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Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This one from magic hat pours pitch black.

There is a light roasty aroma.

The mouth feel is smooth.

The taste starts out with some dark malts and turns to a glorious chocolate note.

Overall, the taste of this beer is remarkable for nice oatmeal stout and the price makes it even sweeter. I would recommend this one to anyone.

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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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