Onyx Black Ale | Stevens Point Brewery

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Onyx Black AleOnyx Black Ale

Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cdkrenz on 03-03-2010

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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 371
Photo of NuclearDolphin
1.87/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Coal Black with no type of color differentiation at all when held up to the light. The head has a pretty brown color to with no lacing retention to speak of. Had I not known this was supposed to be a brown ale, I would've mistaken this for a Porter or a Stout, but then again, it is called "Black Ale" for a good reason.

Smell - Very subtle Chocolate & Cocoa and some roasted malts with an overall slight sweetness. The smell just isn't there! I had to double check just to be sure that it was the beer that had no scent and not because my seasonal allergies were returning, which usually causes my sense of smell to vanish.

Taste - The taste sadly doesn't change from the smell. You have the subtle sweet chocolate, roasted malts and barley taste to it, which also has very little flavor to speak of. For a dark beer, the taste is just not there.

Mouthfeel - Body feels average which expected out of darker beers, but at the same time there's a slight thickness to it. The carbonation, compared to other Stevens Point Brewery beers I've had, is alot more subdued here.

Overall - Stevens Point Brewery, you have really creative ideas when it comes to marketing your products but your actual beers come off as disappointing because there's little to no flavor at all. I'm pointing this out in particular because this would've been an absolutely phenomenal brown ale had there been more flavor, but right now it just comes off as a good idea for a brown ale executed poorly.

 1,515 characters

Photo of homebrew311
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass. Appears a dark cola brown with no head whatsoever. The nose has some roasted barley, notes of caramel, some artificial sweetener, and tootsie roll chocolate character. The taste has a heavy bitter roast, sweet caramel, minimal hops. Something is odd here, this tastes thin and artificial. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Overall, this one needs to be passed on.

 382 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

 804 characters

Photo of mklinger
2.71/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

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Photo of cdizinno
2.81/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle as pictured.

A: Dark, Dark, Dark brown, almost black. Has a bit of a reddish tint when held up to the light just right. Little to no head. Thin film of light tan bubbles.

S: Roasted, malty, nutty and brown sugary smells.

T&M: Dark fruits, dark chocolate and after taste of mildly sweet nuts. Light bodied.

Okay. Brown ales are not really my favorite style, but this is just okay whether it is a brown ale or if Stevens Point is trying to be creative with a black ale style, it really does not "wow" me.

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Photo of witster18
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

points for originality here, but will probably be my last...

malty backbone and a strong graininess to this... a bit of citrus fruit tied in with a bit of dark fruits.. the blend is awkward... I finished the bottle but this isn't something that I would session. I'm not sure this beer knows what it wants to be... it says ale, but nothing about the abv, mouthfeel, or taste says ale... this is a cross between a cheap black lager and a hellas beer... with a really strong malt grain backbone.

a bit to sharp and light in overall taste - while at the same time not having enough taste... I mean the taste is busy... almost too much going on.. but the flavors are not strong... this reminds me of jomo lager... something out of the box that might appeal to a small group of devoted fans(yuengling too), but it just isn't a world class beer by any stretch of the imagination.

thank you sir, but you can keep the other.

 918 characters

Photo of lester619
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a translucent dirty brown with a thin white head and not much lacing. The smell is sweet with hints of caramel and nutty toffee. The taste upfront is slightly sweet with hints of caramel and nuts. Faint smokey roasted grain notes combine with an astringent bitterness at the finish. The flavor doesn't hold together very well. It's watery and bland with just a slight smokey bitter aftertaste. Thin watery mouthfeel as well. Not awful tasting beer, but not good either. My buddy got me a six pack of this because I'm always joking about the comet thats coming in two years. Cool concept but mediocre brown ale.

 616 characters

Photo of JoshRadTxist
2.87/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

 434 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.91/5  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.

 389 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

A. Very dark brown with a two finger brown foamy head that receded back to a collar in about two minutes with medium levels of lacing left behind.

S. Exceedingly faint roasted aroma, ghostly cocoa powder appears only once it has had time to warm up to room temp.

T. Gentle roasted malt, some faint nuttiness, and that's about it. I wish there was some amplification in place here.

M. Lighter side of medium body, good carbonation levels, nothing out of the ordinary here.

 496 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2.92/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark brown almost black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of toffee, caramel, and a hint of flowers. It is a rather strong aroma. The taste on the other hand is very faint. There is some light caramel, but not much else. The mouthfeel is fairly light, with a watery texture. Overall, this is a pretty bland beer that I can't see myself drinking again.

 428 characters

Photo of DrinkinBoy
2.97/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

 690 characters

Photo of CHSLBrew
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Very dark brown beer, pretty much black, I suppose. Brown head rises nicely, then begins quickly to retreat down to sparse bubbles.

S-Chocolate maltiness, slight coffee, hint of caramel.

T-Toffee maltiness, slightly sweet, with a bit of roasty chocolate that makes an appearance, lingering into the finish. Bitterness comes a bit from the hops, along with some moderately spicy hop character.

M-Medium-light body. Carbonation is moderately high, a bit too lively and kind of interferes with the flavor.

D-Lots of flavor, while still smooth-feeling on the way down. While it may be easy to drink, it is also not a terribly memorable beer.

 684 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 580 characters

Photo of FightingEntropy
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tan head bubbles up nicely on the pour over nearly black ale, as advertised. A very light mouthfeel is the weak point of the beer. Watery base has a light roast malt, but not overly complex or interesting. More coffee than roast in the nose, which is fine,and none of the Cluster, Saaz and Cascade hops listed in the brewery's website description. Overall, a serviceable beer for the night and a standard beer for Stevens Point.

 428 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.02/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep dark brown, not quite black. Head is tanned, with mediocre retention on it.
S- Aroma is sweet, some caramel, a touch of smoke. Pretty light, and on the sweet end for what calls itself a black ale. Minimal hoppiness. Would have liked a bit more roastedness.
T- A decent taste to it, but would have liked a bit more presence to it. Coffee, dark caramel, that is about it. Good, but could have used just a touch more hop character or smokiness.
M- Would have liked more body to it. More body would have possibly brought more flavor and creaminess to it, either or both of which would have been appreciated.
O- It's not bad, but there just isn't much to report here. Acceptable, but uninteresting.

 701 characters

Photo of mooselvlt
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours very dark, with a 1 fingers tan head with moderate retention. Nice sticky lacing. The appearance definitely confirms the name. Its really dark, Black Ale is appropriate name here. No seeing through this one.

S - Roasted malts is all I really pick up here.

T - Just like the nose. Roasted malts with just a hint of hops. Rather average, but certainly not poor tasting. Just average.

M - Pretty thin, light bodied. Some carbonation presents itself, not overly done. It drinks pretty smooth really but its a little on the watery side overall

O - Its a decent beer, not bad, but also not one I would seek out again. Wanted to try it, I did. I can say I gave it a shot and enjoyed it for what it was.

 744 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

 538 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.99. No, the beer wasn't released a year early. The date on the label refers to the year the Mayans believed the world will end, so the brewery wants us to drink this stuff before it's too late.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a 1½-finger light brown head. The head lasts awhile and leaves a ton of lacing behind.

Huge roasted malt aroma, even some burnt smell.

Burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavor to go along with the roasted malt. Kind of one dimensional - just a lot of roastiness. At just 9 IBU's there's not much hop flavor to speak of.

Thin to medium body with fairly high carbonation.

It's OK I guess if you like burnt malt flavors but I would have preferred more flavors than that. Didn't care for it that much.

 830 characters

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is dark brown with a light lacing that clings to the glass until the last sip.

At first it was hard to smell much off of this beer, but after letting the beer warm, a sweet raisin-y smell comes through.

The taste is very roasted and malty. Raisins and a very slight hint of chocolate comes off the taste and a semi-tart taste lingers - maybe from the raisins.

The beer is light in body - lighter than it looks like it would be.

 441 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my pint glass thr beer is dark brown almost black. When held to light you can see some brownish red edges. About a finger of dark khaki head settles leaving a thick coating of lace.

The aroma is fairly roasty. Not super strong. Light coffee maybe a touch of chocolate. Mostly toasted caramel malt.

The flavor is simialr to the nose. Again not real strong. What is there is a definite roasted malt with hints of coffee and caramel. A slight metallic flavor haunts the finish.

Light thin body. Rather watery. Light carbonation.

Overall I'm less than impressed. Point makes some decent beers usually. How ever this one missed the mark for me.

 658 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is malty with a subtle undertone of molasses and a whisper of yeast. It pours a nice opaque sable with a fairly thick and fluffy beige head. Flavor is malty and a little sweet, having a hint of molasses, but not too strong. Texture is a little on the watery side and just a little fizzy.

 293 characters

Photo of mothman
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of jfmorey
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle
Very opaque black with a generous dark tan head that left good lacing, with the smell of roasted malts.

Too bad the taste did not measure up. The flavor was not unpleasant but weak and one-dimensional, and the mouthfeel rather watery. Not bad, but nothing to seek out.

 324 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fleeting roasty, malty, cocoa aroma with a hint of molasses. Short lived brown head. Flavor's mainly sweet with just enough carbonation and bitterness to counter the sweet. A bit thin. Ok finish.

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Onyx Black Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
3.56 out of 5 based on 371 ratings.
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