Dec 13, 2012

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

I’ve had a couple of similarly named “Darkness” brews this year. From Ommegang’s Belgian insluenced Art of Darkness to The Bruery’s supremely tart Tart of Darkness each has been a unique take on their general style, but Magic Hat’s Heart of Darkness is the most straightforward of the bunch that I’ve had — and in a way, more drinkable.

The Vermont brewery’s 5.7% ABV English Stout has been around for over a decade, but this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to try it out let alone actually see it on shelves in my area. It’s well crafted and balanced brew with an excellent roast and robust character. It’s certainly a beer that I can see myself stocking up on when the Winter season arrives year in and year out.


A dense, dark tan head caps the opaque black brew. It certainly looks good in a glass.


A nice and clean aroma profile greets you smoothly with dark coffee, hints of chocolate, roasted malt and a distant earthy, char.


This is a robust brew. An astringent dark coffee bitterness accompanies a subtle char on the roast malt as hints of chocolate appear before fading smoothly to the drying finish. There you’ll find light grassy hops and an ever so subtle warmth. This is a full bodied stout which is appropriate, but the sharpness to the carbonation is a bit too much. I’d like a slightly softer mouthfeel in my stout.


All in all, Heart of Darkness is an earthy and robust beer that is fitting for the colder, shorter days. It’s a stout that I can sit down with and have a couple without causing too much damage to myself. I would, however, like to see it with slightly softer carbonation activity. It’s a bit too prickly at the moment. That aside, I can see a sixer of this brew sitting in the fridge in the near future.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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