Heart of Darkness StoutMarch 1, 2001 Burlington, VT
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
Available: VT, MD, NY, NH, RI, CT, MA
This oatmeal stout is brewed with all English 2-row malted pale, crystal, cara, wheat, chocolate, roasted barley and flaked oats, with Target, U.K Progress and North Down hops.
Original gravity: 1056
Starts with a very fine head--blond, good sound, and nice dry roasty aromatics. There may even be "Foreign Extra" character here; and there's certainly more body than most Irish style dry stouts can boast. Exceptionally clean with not the slightest off-flavor of any kind to mar it's gustatory pleasure. Although flawless, the company of a few squares of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate would certainly enhance the overall enjoyment of this cheerful libation.
- Fred Eckhardt
The reddish-black beer is capped by a rocky tan head. The aroma is pleasant, with hops and roasted malts dominating. Brisk hopping flies in low over the tongue, leading to a surprisingly light center with good roast character and hop flavor. The finish--bone-dry and very clean. This tastes like a bottled version of classic draught Irish Stout, without the widget-produced fake head. It resembles my favorite Beamish more than anything else, and would certainly be very good with oysters. Unless it’s stronger than it seems, it’s a fine session beer as well.
- Garrett Oliver
Good name. When I first tasted this beer, back in 1995, I noted the density of its blackness. It still has that. Its aromas and flavors then seemed creamier. In the group tasted here, I found it very intense all the way through. Its flavors are sappy, woody, slightly smoky, and a little medicinal, especially in the finish. Is it dry enough to accompany oysters? Maybe some big, creamy blue points.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.