Bony Fingers
Moonlight Brewing Company

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European Dark Lager
Ranked #2
Ranked #4,578
4.26 | pDev: 10.09%
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elNopalero
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Joy! Another Moonlight brew! Bony Fingers—The kind to wake the dead?

Pours a roast black the color of French roast, with a crema colored creamy cap. Big toasty aroma reminiscent of a tasty cuppa, with a smooth and almost creamy malt backing that tapers into a roasty, toasty finish. Excellent.

This pours a thick creamy black color with a tan cocoa foam. Pours thick, something I can tell even from looking at it. Like a big bold stout. Light roasty aroma with a sharply smooth flavor. There’s a big, dry roasty finish to this. Smooth and stout, although I don’t necessarily think that’s the style for it.

Regardless, I found this simply fantastic.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.71/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Half-pour at Beachwood Brewing. Reviewed from notes.

A- Half a finger khaki-colored head. Spotty lacing. Dark black color with minimal light penetration.

S- Roast malts. Darker smells.

T- Subtle flavor, roast malts but muted.

M- Light bodied, wet finish.

O- Meh. Not anything special.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hopmonk, Sebastol location. A smoked beer, really. Smoky and yet smooth creamy. Black coloured. Great drinkability, even for lunch without the sweetness or peatiness from some smoked bears. Its the Death on Taxes on smoke heaven steroids. Notes from 33 beers notebook. Very floral rather than overwhelming smoke aroma.

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Photo of Offa
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is another excellent Moonlight beer which I have had, as with most of their beers, on tap at Flavor in Santa Rosa.

Black, it has a creamy medium light brown head very slowly shrinking to lasting creamy thin top and some nice lace.

Aroma is slightly winy prune, coffee, chocolate, roasted grain, dark toast.

Taste is full bodied, balanced sweet-bitter, hint of sour, very clean and balanced with sweet dark fruits, plum pudding, dark toast, hints of chocolate, coffee, singed leaves. It is highly drinkable and excellent.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a dark black color with a touch of brown with a thin finger of chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet lightly burnt chocolate malts with a bit of caramel and milk sweetness mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet burnt chocolate malt and a bit of lactose sweetness to balance it out a bit. Through the middle, some richer burnt malts come through with a bit of coffee coming through as well. The finish is a mix of sweet roasted chocolate with some milky caramel sweetness alongside.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a slick and slightly thick mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Really like the heavily roasted flavors and sweetness. Interesting mix of a lager, but it turns out to be super tasty.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado

Pours essentially black in color with a finger of dense khaki head. A nice roast and chocolate aroma, a touch of earthy hops and pine. Some slight sweetness on the nose, maybe a light herbal note. Flavor is quite earthy and roasty with a subtle bitterness. A piney and herbal hoppiness to it. Medium bodied with a creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

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Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Impenetrable black with two fingers of dense foam. Great head retention.

There's a lot of roasted, bitter malt and coffee on the nose along with a hint of nuttiness. Lager yeast really allows the malt to shine here, there isn't a whisper of fruitiness.

It's blackened and bitter on the palate. The malt character is stout-like, heavily roasted with only a hint of sweetness to support it. This could be mistaken for a stout, in fact, except that there's the subtle presence of sulfurous lager yeast. Nuttiness comes out more in the finish, along with a kick of burnt and bitter malt. Very dry and somehow even refreshing, this is damn impressive stuff.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bobby G's Pizzeria in Berkeley.

A: Nearly black body with a mocha head; retains well and leaves some ivy lace down my glass.

S: Dark chocolate, espresso, light roastiness, earthy hops. It reminds me of a better Midnight Sessions lager. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly pungent.

T: Dark chocolate and espresso in great quantities, but the beer is dry enough that those flavors aren't accompanied by the usual cloying sweetness they bring in imperial stouts. There's a light roasted grain flavor, and a touch of earthy hops that balances out the taste. I'm not sure how this is different from a schwarzbier, but I like it as much as Death & Taxes.

M: Clean, dry flavor. It's fairly smooth; it wouldn't surprise me if there were some oatmeal in the beer, but I wasn't able to taste any.

D: Tasty, has a decent kick to it, and it's filling. I had my pint and was happy. I'd get it again.

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Photo of somabeer
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark brown close to black, with a mocha colored head, had a good amount of head with some lacing.

It smelled like dark chocolate with hints of coffee. The taste was similar with the added heat of the alcohol. The mouth feel is what really surprised me. This tasted much more like a black lager than death & taxes. Very drinkable very good!

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Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monks Kettle in SF. Damn, this beer rocked!

A - Nearly jet black in color with a lasting foamy tan head and good lacing.

S - Aroma is nice roast, chocolate, coffee, and earth. Really strong and enticing.

T - Awesome roasted and earthy flavor with fresh coffee and rich yet bitter cocoa as well as mild hops.

M - Body is medium and palate is smooth and a bit dry.

D - Drinkability pretty high, very good and not too intense. Overall this an awesome schwarzbier, on of the best I've tried. Better than Death and Taxes IMO.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I don't review beer much anymore but I'd be crazy not to hop onto BA and give Moonlight some serious and well deserved props. The ebony bodied and cocoa colored head are just marvelous to gaze upon. While ogling this beer the scent of chocolate and espresso wafted up to me, tempting me to sip.

Taste is just so damned pleasing. Lots of chocolate, coffee, mild roastiness and a dry finish that just blows me away. I could drink this for ages to come. An absolute pleasure.

This is the kind of beer that is often reviewed out of the proper perspective. It isn't high alcohol, it isn't barrel aged and it isn't bottled and wax dipped .... hence most won't make a big deal over it. However, it IS absolutely delicious and a clean relatively low alcohol beer like this is a lotto winner in my book.

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Photo of bcm119
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a light coffee colored fizzy head.

Intense chocolate malt in the nose with a focusing herbal hoppiness.

Roasty up front, very concentrated flavors. Chocolately, but not burnt. A fleeting sweetness mid-palate. Drying hop bitterness washes over and cleans up the finish, lending a mild leafy flavor. Medium body, with prickly carbonation.

A nice clean beer with bright and intense roasted malt, pretty similar to a German Schwarz in that the malt is clean and sort of one dimensional, but stronger and a little punchier in the hops department. Somehow seems a little rougher around the edges than Death and Taxes, but along the same lines.

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Photo of illidurit
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pitch black with a thin mocha head that leaves filmy lacing. Boozy brownie mix aroma, kinda like Southern Tier Choklat but lighter. Some red fruity esters too. Flavor is light milk chocolate sweetness that gets trampled by more bitter dark chocolate. Dry herbal hop finish complements the roastiness. Fluffy body, light but flavorful. Well-crafted beer, great for lovers of the darkest bitterest chocolates.

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Photo of waltonc
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Milk chocolate lager? This was a very dark brown beer with a thick tan head. Delicious, creamy mouthfeel supplemented with thick head. This tasted to me like a light-bodied chocolate milk ale. Though the taste was fairly dry. Not a sugar bomb. Very well balanced, and I'd love to see this pop up more around the Bay Area. So much better than a typical 6.2 ABV brew.

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Photo of abfraser
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland.

A: Beautiful. Black as night with a huge dark brown head that lasts the entire beer.

S: This is a great smelling beer. Chocolate, roasted malt dominate.

T/M: Refreshingly dry, intensity of the chocolate and roasted malt smells are there all the way through. Slight sweetness. An incredibly smooth and well balanced beer.

D: Given the relatively low abv and dry, refreshing body, I could drink this all night long. Excellent stuff.

I see this is tagged a Schwarzbier. Need to try more of these

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Photo of Talisker
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavor in Santa Rosa. Listed as the "Special Beer" - bartender knew the name, but couldn't describe the beer - so I just ordered a pint.

BA lists Bony Fingers as a Schwarzbier, and Moonlight's own web site lists it as "Bony Fingers Malt Liquor: Black Strong Lager." Could have fooled me - I had it pegged as a straight-ahead (and spectacularly-made) stout.

Pours nearly black with a pillowy dark brown head that sticks around for a while - good lacing. Smells of sweet roasted malt, some chocolate, no coffee, little hops. The taste works perfectly with the aroma, leading with sweetness, but the right amount of hop to keep this in style. Rich, foamy mouthfeel, none of the porter-like powderiness, nor any of the metallic tang I associate with lagers.

To me, Bony Fingers sits very nicely on the spectrum between a dry Irish stout and the syrupy-sweet American version. Whatever the style, I could drink this all night.

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Photo of carln26
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black topped by a creamy tan head. Aroma is dark caramel, and mild hop. light roasted character in the nose. Flavor reflects the nose well. Just some dark malt, mild figs, light hop bitterness. Smooth medium mouth feel. Good drinkability. I had a hard time trying to determine what style of beer this is. I might have called it a porter. The folks at Flavor didn’t really know (nice place, but some of the bartenders don’t get beer). Interesting beer. I think it’ great he brings this out as a fall seasonal rather than the traditional marzen.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed in October 2004 from the Toronado pub in San Francisco, CA. Poured a very very dark black with a small head and had decent lacing. Smelled on super burnt coffee and deep dark malt. Tasted about the same as it smelled. Tasted super dark. A little bitter and definite coffee overtones. Didn't really catch a lot of chocolate as in many stouts, but it was thick and chewy. The bartender didn't really know how to describe it. He thought it would be best put under a lager. But after I tasted it; I can't see it as anything other than a stout. A nice beer, but super dark and chewy. A bit on the dry side also. Give it a try. The name dragged me into it.

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Bony Fingers from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 40 ratings