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Onyx Black Ale - Stevens Point Brewery

Not Rated.
Onyx Black AleOnyx Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

319 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 319
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 3
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cdkrenz on 03-03-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep black with a tan head. Smell is almost entirely dominated by roasted malts with tiny hop notes sneaking in here and there. Definitely more toward a schwarzbier in the nose and taste profiles. Taste is similar with roasted malt being about the only flavor. Mouthfeel is quite thin; body is almost entirely lacking. Drinkability is average. Nothing to make me want the next sip.

Thorpe429, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

GRG1313, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stevens Point's 2012 Black Ale shows a first impression of Brown Ales, primarily American, but also the more tame characteristics of Schwarzbiers and German Dunkels.

The pour of dark brown exhibits highlights of ruby and garnet while establishing a creamy but thin lightly tanned head that leaves behind spotted islands of lace and fair head retention. All is par for the course though a froathier and more verbose head character would have impressed more.

slightly scorched caramel, malted milk, light chocolate and coffee play into the savory but understated aroams. Slight apple yeasty notes emit but don't interfere with the malt focus. Only a mild grassy hop note balances the promise of caramel sweetness. Fresh and toasty, the beer carries an overall appealing scent.

Moderate malty sweetness of caramel and toffee- both in a semi-burnt kinda way set the stage while true malt gives a lightly starchy taste that provides the base flavor for specialty malt flavors of caramel, toast, coffee, chocolate, and wanlut. Again, grassy hop flavor starts in mild fashion at mid palate and morphs nicely into a mild earthy bitterness in finish. Only a grainy flavor outlasts the malt and leads to a somewhat unsettled flavor in finish.

Medium bodied throughout, the beer carries a malty/creamy early palate that holds its structure well into finish where lightly warming alcohol, mild grain astringency, and hop dryness rise but never really close the beer with much confidence.

Expected from American Brown Ales in a bolder hop presence of citrus, pine, and/or grass. But those lack, whereas the fairly neutral yeast character and moderate malt dryness come through nicely if not timid. Very drinkable and enjoyable- if now underwhelming.

BEERchitect, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Root beer brown that looks like it might fall just short of opacity (the sun isn't up yet). A pretty good looking crown of beige colored foam sits atop the liquid and is starting to lay down a decent amount of lace in sudsy strands.

The beer smells darker than a brown ale and lighter than a black ale, with elements of each. It's mostly dark caramel-like with a vanilla vibe that is interesting. Despite 32 IBUs worth of Saaz, Cascade and Cluster, there isn't much hoppiness at all.

2012 tastes like a fruitier, less black malty schwarzbier. Ale yeast is responsible for the former and a malt bill that goes easy on roasted malt (and uses no black malt) is probably responsible for the latter. Bitterness is balancing and hop flavor is on the low side.

Specifics include caramels with a thin layer of dark chocolate, a very small splash of black coffee, vanilla, and bitter tea leaves. This is pretty simple stuff, but then Stevens Point brews pretty basic beer for the most part. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The mouthfeel is a minor letdown (it's hard to be too disappointed when expectations weren't high to begin with). I've had ales and lagers that were a full percentage point lower with respect to ABV that had more size and creaminess than this.

This Stevens Point offering's name was inspired by the Mayan 'Long-Count' calendar that suggests that the world will end on December 21, 2012. If that's true, then you can be sure I will be spending my final days drinking something more worthy of the apocalypse than 2012 Black Ale.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a near black body with an inch and a half head of beige-colored foam.

Smell: A pleasant enough intermingling of various notes: Breakfast Blend coffee, toasted nuts, toasted bread, and standard chocolate.

Taste: Roasty, toasty malts yield tastes of sugar sweetened, though not particularly bold coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and (lightly) Brazil nuts. Subtle hop presence displays a lightly earthy herbaceousness and a suitable amount of bitterness. Splash of store-brand cola on the otherwise coffee-hinted, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable and approachable and fairly reminiscent of the Schwarzbier style. While I haven't had a slew of beers from Stevens Point Brewery, this has been one of the better ones.

ChainGangGuy, May 27, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass.

Figured I'd taste the apocalypse before it tasted me, though I didn't expect this to be a brown ale (especially considering the name), but oh well. It pours a lightly hazed burnt sienna topped by a finger of dusty ecru foam. The nose comprises light maple syrup, light cinnamon, and light molasses. If it weren't so light, it'd be more enjoyable. The taste makes these elements even lighter, adding a touch of cola to the proceedings in the process. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thick watery feel. Overall, a decent brew, nothing special, but not quite what I was expecting either. For a normal brown, though, it's not too bad.

TMoney2591, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mayan-inspired Schwarzbier?

Attractive pour, tons of lace and strong retention. Fluffy foam that rises above the rim of the glass with irregular crags and peaks. Black body, glowing red in the meniscus. Faint roast in the aroma, weak and grainy with traces of day old coffee. Not bad not good, a little bland.

Easy to drink and fairly light bodied like a Schwarzbier, hints of roast malt and coffee, flaccid and husky with slight diacetyl. Not particularly complex, but its not bad. Could drink 1-2 easily.

emerge077, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, deep dark brown (almost black) color with a thin, caramel colored head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of roasty malts, chocolate and mild coffee notes.

T - Nice chocolate flavors with toffee, roasty malt and subtle coffee flavors. It had a nice bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied ale that drinks really easily.

D - This is a very fine dark ale. It really seems more like a porter than a brown ale but it was quite good either way.

zeff80, May 18, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, nuts, maple and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of maple, caramel and honey. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent ruby=tinged mahogany with 3 fingers of rocky mocha colored head, good looking brew! Good head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt, a faint whiff of nuttyness

T: Toasty malt, with a touch of licorice?, brown bread & faint herbal hoppyness up front. Grainy notes, coffee & a hint of caramel are all there as this warms, along with some mineral dryness & a kiss of licorice. Finishes dry, nutty, with mocha & toasty grain

MF: Light/medium bodied, a touch of stickyness. fairly controlled carbonation, & decent balance

Drinks pretty easy, not on "point" for the style, but close enough. Far better than most offerings from these guys. I look as this a pretty solid release from these guys & worthy of future purchases when hankering for some coffee/ licorice flavor, especially for the price

russpowell, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -15.5%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

I'm naturally drawn to dark beers, stouts and schwarzbiers and the like, so I figured I'd give this "black ale" a try. It was more of a "dark" brown ale than anything, I thought. Poured into a pint glass, a cola brown color with a small off-white head. Mildly roasty aroma, with notes of brown sugar and bread. Toasted malts in the taste, pumpernickel, and hints of coffee and sugar. Overall pretty lacking in the flavor department, really. A bit watered down. Just barely medium-bodied, and hmm...probably not something I'd get again.

Rifugium, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +12.7%

MarkyMOD, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

beernads, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

DrunkinYogi, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is toffee with some chocolate and earthy hops notes. The flavor is toffee and earthy hops with not too much else going on. Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a very exciting beer, but nothing too offensive either.

Mora2000, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of jwc215
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of winter variety pack:

Pours pitch black with very thin, lasting tan to light brown head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mildly roasted coffee, black pepper, some pumpernickel and subtle earthy tones.

The taste is of roasted coffee, toffee and earthy tones. Sweetness balanced by mild roast and a hop touch that gives bitterness more than flavor in the finish. Slight alcohol shows late.

Medium-bodied, slightly slick, it finishes rather abruptly.

This is a pretty good dark roasted, malty brown ale.

jwc215, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a short 1/4" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: soft roasted malt sweetness and a hint of earthiness are very mild. A fruit sweetness is also there.

Taste: thin malt base with some toasted nuts, earthiness, ripe plums, and a mild bitterness are the main flavor components.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: this is a so-so black ale that wants to really be a schwarzbier. Easy to drink but it grows tiring quickly.

Gavage, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of imperialking
3/5  rDev -15.5%

imperialking, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of weeare138
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a fluffy tan head that never really fades away. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of a very mild roasted grain with cream, and chocolate milk.
Taste is of the aromas with a touch of buttery diacytel coming through, along with chocolate syrup, and rice pudding.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet up front, lip smacking, with bitter roast and mild hops found in the swallow.

weeare138, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Not bad for Stevens Point. I picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. The near black beer looked more like a Schwarzbier than a brown ale and tasted like a stronger (and better crafted) version of Yuengling Porter. It had the fruity dark chocolate flavor of a classic Baltic Porter, but then had a noticeably thin body that gave away the quasi-craft origins. The flavor dropped off pretty quickly, but what was there was quite pleasant.

tempest, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into CCB snifter.

Pours a very light amount of fizzy tan head. Color is near black.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts with some espresso/coffee flavors. Reminds me a bit of Flat Earth Black Helicopter. Very malty. Some sweet caramel.

Taste: Again, coffee, but not the coffee I like to see in beer. Roasted malts. Some grassy hops. Very bland.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and dry. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry.

Overall, not the best beer in the world, but I didn't have high expectations. Not something I would buy again. Just didn't have it going on. Not to drinkable imo.

mothman, May 05, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger khaki head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Malty chocolate nose, flavor is roasted malt and caramel. $1.95 for a 12oz bottle from Bert’s Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

jdhilt, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - ruby black with a big, thick, frothy, brown head that has good retention

S - nutty, caramel

T - nutty, caramel, some faint roast, light citrus, faint coffee, light bitterness

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, smooth

This is a nice, full flavored brown ale. It's nutty and very malty with a very balanced hop character. I recommend this beer to all fans of the style.

tdm168, Nov 15, 2012
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Onyx Black Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.