Magic Hat is a great brewery. They are innovative with their flavor combinations, label art, and names. Those are all important because people need to stop thinking #9 when they consider Magic Hat. There is so much more to try and their seasonal brews are often superior to the not quite pale ale. A great example of one of those beers is their winter stout Heart of Darkness.
Like the classic Conrad tale, this beer is centered around a flawed protagonist working through his past sins towards redemption. And by that, I mean it has a dark color but a sweet aroma. If this were a lighter beer I would describe it as a hooker with a heart of gold. But because of how inky black Heart of Darkness truly is, it could only be a film noir private eye.
As with all stouts, you will find a low hop content and an extra emphasis on roasted malts. You’ll find a lot chocolate and coffee malts mixing together in each sip. If you pour it right the head will persist and hold the aromas on top of your glass which will enhance your drinking experience. At 5.7% alcohol by volume this can be a session beer because of how light it is. An interesting fact is that despite the thick feeling of stout in your mouth it is very low calorie. So you can have a couple rounds at a time.
Heart of Darkness deserves special mention because it is the opposite of Magic Hat’s flagship #9. The hop and apricot palette is replaced with a pale malt sweetness and is dark instead of golden. It fits the motif of brewing witchcraft that the brewery was inspired by too which is always a plus. I love breweries that will commit to a theme with each beer.
Smigoversen is looking for love in all the wrong places. His email inbox and the bottom of craft beer bottles.