1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

310 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 3
Gots: 18 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 310 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Point 2012 Black Ale

Appearance: Dark brown, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: Cascade hops, subtle caramel, and dark chocolate.

Taste: Cascade hops, dark chocolate, slight cocoa, malts, slight caramel, and slight grain.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light.

Overall:
Not too shabby. It has good flavor and is also very easy going down. It can be very slightly watery, but it still has plenty of flavor.

megahurts4, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of DaveBlack
2.4/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Has a nice pour, beer is dark brownish red with a large (2") tan head.

S: Surprisingly sweet. Molasses, roasty. I don't get much coffee or chocolate which I've come to expect from beers this dark. A surprising odor, but not unpleasant.

T: Wow, and not in a good way. Lots of molasses and sweetness, but nothing to balance it out. The flavor hits you like an unpleasant roasty truck then fades away leaving you with an unpleasant bitter flavor

M: A fair amount of carbonation for a dark beer, and it's also much thinner. It feels more like a light lager than a "black ale."

D: The unpleasant, astringent bitter flavor makes this beer pretty undrinkable. I regret that I have 5 more from the six pack to work through, because I don't think that I would drink another if someone offered it for free.

DaveBlack, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of mklinger
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Definitely a black beer that looks brown around the edges where light shines through a corner, but otherwise black with no light penetrating the main part of the glass. A thin mocha head formed then fairly quickly dissipated.

Aroma is slightly malty/bready with just a bit of roast in there. No hop presence at all.

Very light flavored. It basically comes across as a pale American lager with a good amount of Carafa malt added. If a schwarzbier is a German pils made with carafa, then this tastes like an American lager made with carafa. A bare hint of molasses in there too. Otherwise, it is pretty bland flavorwise.

Thin mouthfeel (like a premium American lager), well carbonated. Overall, I didn't really know what to expect from this, but I'm fairly unimpressed.

mklinger, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of BierFan
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thick tan head. The body is black with some red around the edges. Head retention and lacing is decent.

Smell: Roasted malts with a little chocolate.

Taste: Smooth carbonation with sweet chocolate and some coffee. Dark chocolate and roasted malts in the finish.

BierFan, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark mahogany with a good sized, very creamy, frothy, dense, smooth, light khaki colored head. Good retention with a nice, creamy layer of lace left over.

S - Toasted malt with touches of caramel. A good amount of chocolate and some coffee. Some roasted grain aroma as well. Reminds me a lot of a Schwarzbier in the aroma, but a bit more grainy, and less roasted aroma.

T - Similar to the nose with a good amount of toasted grain, and some roasted caramel malt. Some milk chocolate and toasted dark bread with just a faint hint of coffee. Some earthy/nutty and herbal hops come out mid sip and last a little toward the finish.

M - Light to medium body with a good level of carbonation. Pretty crisp and drying feel.

D - Pretty easy to drink beer with a good balance of flavors. Nice beer that is refreshing, but it does lack a wow factor.

Notes: Reminds me of a Schwarzbier more than a Brown Ale. Good amount of chocolate and some roasted flavors, along with a fair amount of earthy/nutty hops. Didn't wow me, but it was pretty refreshing and an easy, fairly enjoyable beer.

FreshHawk, Sep 19, 2010
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 BeerFMAndy
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. "Based on the Mayan calendar", 0680 on the neck, no info.

A - It pours more like a deep porter, clear and dark brown while pouring, almost opaque black in the glass. A densely packed two-finger head was fairly well-retained and left some good lace on the glass.

S - Dense roastd malts -amber, caramel, and maybe a touch of chocolate- with some dry cocoa and light wood notes. Not a whole lot of hops come through in this one. Mild, low-level aroma.

T - Very roasted amber malts with a little bit of toffee that's overlapped by charred cocoa and bakers chocolate with a little hint of nuttiness. Slight cardboard also pokes out. Minimal hop interaction in flavor although bittering is noticeable.

M - 2012 is extremely dry and both acrid bitter from the roasted malts and bitter from the hops. Smooth in texture with a medium body.

D - Something about it seems just a little off and I'm definitely unsure of the correlation between the beer and the 2012 name based on the Mayan calendar besides the "inspiration" word listed on the bottle. I do however remember it being released around the same time as the movie under the same name. Marketing ploy for sales? The beer is average.

BeerFMAndy, Sep 07, 2010
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 Tone
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/5 inch head of an pale tan color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of roasted malt, grain, pale malt, hops, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, slight hop, pale malt, slight yeast, and a hint of citrus. Ovearll, a decent brown; good body and blend.

Tone, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of gmfessen
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this one while on vacation down in Nashville, at one time I had tried every beer Point made but I hadn't seen this one before so I had to give it a try. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, 2012 is BLACK in the glass with just hints of ruby-brown at its edges. The head is dense and creamy, mocha in color and leaves nice sticky lacing on the glass. The nose is of dark chocolate, toasty notes, a bit earthy and woody. The flavor has similar characteristics, nutty, roasty, chocolaty and earthy. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, carbonation is rather docile. Overall, a very drinkable beer and honestly better than I expected. They're better than BMC beer but not usually impressive; this one is probably the best I've had by them yet.

gmfessen, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A firm pour into my favorite bulb produces a full two-fingered head which recedes rather gradually, and leaves plenty of lace. The head is a medium-tan, perhaps even closer to a light brown.

The beer itself is a very dark brown, almost impenetrable in the 60 watt glow of the ceiling lamp (no doubt it would be a bit closer to a ruby-amber when held up to full sunlight : )

Nose is sweetish and tangy, with notes of dark fruit (rasp/berries, date, plum) and lighter cocoa, even a bit of an espresso astringency. No hop presence or spiciness that I can detect . . .

Sweet and tangy on the first sip, followed by a billowing, rich, chocolate-y character: this one is full of roasted, dark malts, gah... Some bitterness brings up the rear and lingers throughout, but this is hardly an RIS -- it's much, much closer to a porter.

Sweetness seems to be the dominating characteristic, and a bit more bitterness would go a long way, particularly in adding to the drinkability of the beer (and especially when considering our modern, hop-centric tastes as beer advocates).

Licorice notes come through and flit about before becoming lost in the roast and lighter, lingering bitterness, but make for a nice surprise nonetheless. Definitely porter-like in that way. There's also a mild nuttiness (pecan!) here that I find intriguing.

Over all there's a fairly good mouthfeel and drinkability going on here, and this is the kind of beer that I can really go-in for. It's almost a session-able beer. Almost ; )

Definitely one that improves and opens-up as it warms.

A fairly fresh bottle -- code is 1130.
Hell of a deal at $5.99 a six, too!

Chaz, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of pb9613
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 had a beautiful black color with a nice tan head.

This leads to a sweet chocolate aroma with a little hop note on the end.

The taste was good but I was expecting a hoppier finish similar to an IPA. This was a little on the bland side for hops but a pleasant chocolate note was evident.

This beer needs a little more head retention. This hurts the beers appearance and body the longer it sits in a glass (which shouldn't be too long).

Overall this is a beer that you can drink and enjoy all year round not just during the fall and winter months when darker beers tend to be more popular.

pb9613, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer at the Magic City Brewfest. Then Stevens Point 2012 Black was all most black, could not tell about the head because it was on a 2 oz. sample. It Smells sweet, roasty, Nutty. It taste Sweet nutty and ends bitter. The mouthfeel is about average for the Schwarzbier style.

harpus, Aug 14, 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 tronester
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a small dark tan head. I have seen porters and stouts lighter in color that this! Smell is a hint of coffee beans, and dried fruit. Taste is dry cocoa powder up front, with a tart malt middle, and an earthy, grassy finish. Mouthfeel is average, medium carbonation. Drinkability is good, rather light bodied for 5.4 percent alcohol. This is an enjoyable beer, but with so many better, similar beers, I doubt I will be buying this again.

tronester, Jul 30, 2010
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 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 DrinkinBoy
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2012 Black Ale appears an incredibly dark brown and it is almost completely opaque. The head is a similar in color to creamed coffee, but the retention is okay.

The smell has the sweet, roasted, nutty smell that is expected from this style.

Its taste starts off sweet, then goes into nut notes on the mid palate. The beer finishes with roasted bitter notes, similar to a blend of coffee and a pale ale.

The mouthfeel is medium, which is a suprise for as dark as the beer appears.

Overall, it drinkability is about average. The aftertaste does not leave you wanting more. But the beer is worth a try, and it is nice to see this long time brewery pushing its limits and trying new styles.

DrinkinBoy, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of matty
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is very faint chocolate.Taste is nuts and chocolate malts.Taste is kind of weak and watery..slightly above average.I guess I would recommend to try at least once.I'm 50/50 on whether I would purchase again.

matty, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of uwmgdman
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This ale pours black with a moderate, but quickly diminishing tan head with a little lace. The aroma is moderately roasty with subtle caramel and bready malts. The flavor is moderate-high malt -- mainly nutty and chocolate with some roast and finishes dry. Nothing overly complex, but still tasty. The hop bitterness is medium-low, accented by the dry finish. The hop flavor is low but noticeable, slightly spicy. The carbonation is moderate and body medium-thin. Overall a flavorful ale with great drinkability.

uwmgdman, Jun 26, 2010
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 Yojimbo1941
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. I bought this straight from the brewery yesterday.

A - Black as pitch with some dark brown undertones around the edges of the glass; one finger of mocha head

S - Smells a bit like an oatmeal stout I made last month. Light coffee, hint of chocolate, some cereal and malt. Slight hops.

T - Once the carbonation bite settles there is a decent, non bitter coffee flavor that leads into a malted grain taste with slight bitterness on the back end. It reminds me of some of Leinenkugel's dark lagers.

M - Carbonation was the first thing I noticed. Light for such a dark ale, not quite what you would expect. The beer coats the tongue just a bit at the end.

D - I could see drinking a six pack of this quite easily. It's not the best dark beer I've ever had but it's decent enough and would do well for someone in the mood for a stout but not in the mood for the mouthfeel.

Yojimbo1941, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a czechvar glass.

Pours a cola black, almost opaque. Decent sized head is slightly fizzy.

Aroma is dark roasted malt, sweet with a dextrose aroma. Smallish coffee and dark cocoa aroma.

Flavor is of dark roast malt. Slight flavor of tannin and coffee. Middle brings an aggressive bitterness. Astringent grain comes on the fish with a molasses and burnt coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is very bubbly, not thin but the carbonation is aggressive. The carbonation cuts the swetnes of the grain slightly.

Not a bad beer, crisp and full of flavor, just a little thin.

wheatyweiss, Jun 06, 2010
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 JoshRadTxist
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into ceramic mug.

A: As advertised, black-or really dark-brown opaque color. Foamy head recedes quickly.

S: Not much smell really. Smell the barley that's clean, but it's a faint smell, that's about it.

T: Very mild taste too. Decent but unmemorable. Malt, sour bitterness, chocolate or smoke overtones maybe in the finish.

M: Clean, dry, chewy.

D: Can't see this as a session beer. It sits a little heavy in the stomach.

JoshRadTxist, May 21, 2010
Onyx Black Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.