Boney Fingers
Moonlight Brewing Company

Boney FingersBoney Fingers
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Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Lager - European Dark
Ranked #2
Ranked #3,211
4.25 | pDev: 9.41%
May 14, 2022
Oct 21, 2004
Boney FingersBoney Fingers
Notes: Roastier, bolder version of our iconic Death & Taxes. Higher ABV, fuller body and exactly what you want when the weather gets colder.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by PlinyBeMiney:
Photo of PlinyBeMiney
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by PlinyBeMiney from California

I like this beer a lot despite it not looking or smelling like anything special (beyond being a great black lager). It improves upon the death and taxes base with just a little more of what you (or maybe I?) want. This beer was on sale for a very short time, so I only got a few cans, but I look forward to snagging more the next time it comes around.

May 14, 2022
More User Ratings:
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by RaulMondesi from California

I’m going to go there. I’m telling Mark Twain to move his ass to the side because Boney Fingers is even better than Death & Taxes. I mean, let’s be real here: Death is no slouch. But this one is pretty much one of those Hadid chicks after plastic surgery. It was fine before, but it’s even better now.

Nov 06, 2021
4.33 by jakecattleco from California on Oct 25, 2021
Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by RyanK252 from California

Can poured into a Mountain Ramble Brewery pint glass

A: Pours super dark brown wit a bit of a mahogany tone and a frothy khaki head that settles to a firm layer and laces very nicely.

S: Roasty, coffee, char, a touch of chocolate, earthy, herbal pine, slightly floral and grassy, faint hints of dark fruit, and just a touch of burnt sugar.

T: Roasty, earthy, a bit of char, black coffee, and a hint of chocolate, resinous pine, herbal, grassy, and floral notes, dark fruit hiding deep in there, and a little burnt sugar.

M: A bit on the fuller side of medium body, moderate carbonation, a little creamy.

O: Definitely delivers on what it promises as an amped up version of Death & Taxes, which, not gonna lie, on a lot of nights I would opt for. (It's just so insanely drinkable!) On those other nights when you want a little more, this would absolutely hit the spot.

Feb 04, 2021
4.25 by acurtis from New Jersey on Nov 21, 2020
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - The beer was black in color with a light tan head crowning the glass.

Smell - The nose was roasty a similar profile to iced coffee.

Taste - The overall profile is very roasty. It was a little more coffee forward that it’s counterpart beer. There was bitterness toward the back. I’m not sure if the lager yeast was really allowed to shine.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation was small, allowing the pour to be smooth.

Overall - This a well-designed lager, but I think I’d like Death & Taxes better.

Oct 31, 2020
Photo of bret27
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by bret27 from California

Can from lupulo Santa Cruz.
Seasonal October drop from brewery
Appearance: black with thick tan head.
Smell is bread, chocolate, malt, roasted espresso/coffee.
Taste is coffee and/or mocha, toasty, malty. Somewhat higher abv not apparent in taste.
Full bodied clean fairly dry finish.
Overall: world-class. Almost identical to death & taxes. Does higher abv mean better? I’m not sure, it’s an individual choice. Definitely recommended either way.

Oct 14, 2020
4.5 by Kurmaraja from California on Dec 10, 2018
4.54 by robertrh from Texas on Dec 06, 2017
4.37 by festizio from California on Nov 11, 2017
4.1 by impending from California on Apr 09, 2016
4.13 by metter98 from New York on Oct 30, 2015
4 by StoutSnob40 from California on Nov 15, 2014
4.25 by Hagbert from California on Oct 22, 2014
4 by crhea89 from California on Nov 05, 2013
4.75 by MIrvine from California on Nov 03, 2013
4.5 by pheggeseth from Minnesota on Feb 10, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by elNopalero from California

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.

Jan 14, 2013
4.5 by Bubbles from California on Dec 08, 2012
4.25 by OMPH from California on Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
2.71/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by Murrhey from Washington

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.

Nov 15, 2012
3.75 by Piason from California on Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sammy from Canada (ON)

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.

Nov 11, 2012
4.25 by ambruns1979 from California on Nov 05, 2012
4 by t0rin0 from California on Nov 04, 2012
5 by JonJSt from California on Oct 07, 2012
4 by popery from California on May 15, 2012
3.75 by Halcyondays from California on Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Offa
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Offa from California

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.

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

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.

Dec 14, 2011
Photo of brokensail
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by brokensail from California

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.

Nov 27, 2011
4.5 by codynevels from California on Nov 17, 2011
5 by rob133 from California on Nov 14, 2011
4.75 by westcoastbeerlvr from California on Nov 14, 2011
5 by avaldivia from California on Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by largadeer from California

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.

Oct 30, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Arbitrator from California

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.

Oct 10, 2010
Photo of somabeer
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by somabeer from California

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!

Nov 10, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by nickd717 from California

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.

Nov 06, 2009
Photo of TheBungyo
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by TheBungyo from Washington


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.

Nov 04, 2009
Boney Fingers from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 47 ratings