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 brewdude1982
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a 12 oz can poured into a snifter.

It pours a lovely black with a nice head that dissipates quickly. It has a sweet dark smell that also has some spices. The taste is very pleasing and the beer has a great body that does not disappoint, I would definitely recommend.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass, pours the deepest brown you can get (black) under a thinning but well preserved head. A moderate aroma of roasted malt, light licorice and deeply roasted nut timidly calls to the nose. An overall smoky flavor highlights a crisp and roasted malt dominated body. Vanilla, roasted caramel and ground coffee are coming in on my palate. With regards to the smokiness in the flavor, this may be the only time I've been able to appreciate it because of how well balanced it is with the other flavors at play here.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with an amber hue on the edges, thumb of head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is rich with cocoa and hints of espresso, a unique graham cracker note and hints of honey.

T - The cocoa flavours resonate with hints of espresso, black licorice and sugary caramel. The finish has burnt cane sugar and toffee notes that linger alongside a leafy green note.

M - Medium, smooth and wet.

O - This one was a pleasant surprise boasting loads of flavour in an unsuspecting way. For a brown ale this will certainly please any fan of the style.

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Photo of CreamCity
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 12oz pint glass.

S - Picking up chocolate, fruit, sour.

A - Very deep dark brown, dark tan head, little to no lacing.

T - Chocolate malts, a bit of a charred flavor. Pretty subtle flavors going on.

M - Very light body, surprisingly. Otherwise it is smooth with good carbonation.

O - Not a very memorable brew. Seemed rather typical or ordinary. Don’t think they were going for this.

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Photo of chilidog
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up some point 2012 on sale in Wisconsin . I'm glad I did.
Poured very dark,black. Tan head that disapates quickly. Little on lace.
Aroma of dark malts.
Taste comes through with dark malts, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, black hard candy and chocolate .
Mouthfeel is smooth, not overly sweet.
Overall a good surprise, candy like finish. Nice beer.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This black ale has a slightly offensive aroma. It could be that it just doesn't go well with my neighbor's stinky mulch, but I think part of the nasty grassy smell is this.

It looks decent in the glass, though, and it has a characteristic for the style, if mild, taste and aftertaste. won't go out of my way for this, but it was worth a try. I think there are better examples of the style.

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Photo of dbossman
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite black with a steady head and pretty good lacing

S: Not a ton going on here though pleasant enough--some roasted chocolate malts standout the most with a touch of both some sour grains and dark fruits; also some light hop characteristics in the finish

T: Similar to the aromas in that there is a definite lack of complexity; however, what is there is still rather pleasant; mild grassiness, some chocolatey malts

F: Quite thin for what it is; I was hoping for more depth though the creaminess does help

O: A decent little beer and actually a nice summer beer--light and refreshing and in a can, which is nice; one of my favorites from Stevens Point

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours black, period. There's a thin tan head and no lace. The aroma is toast, nuts, and a hint of dark cherries. Mild maple and molasses shows as it warms. The flavor is bread crust, nuts, and a hint of anise with Root Beer Barrel candies coming through as it warms. It's mouthfeel is medium and mildly warming. Stevens Point 2012 Black Ale is a very good, complex brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought two 12oz bottles of this a while back ($2.50 ea). No better time than a raw, dreary March Saturday to partake... Didn't find any freshness info on the label.

Poured into a nonic, it was a dense, opaque black, with a thin, wispy trail of bubbles posing as head. Had minimal lacing, too. Had a decent nose, with some rindy hops and a touch of roastiness. It was fairly smooth, though the body was a slight touch on the thinner side of medium.

A little sweetness alights on the palate, along with some caramel and a hint of nuttiness. Has some mild bitterness, with the hops exhibiting a bit of citrus and florality. No too bad at all; somewhat of a decent session bier. Prosit!

3.5/5 rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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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.

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Photo of RobinLee
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had both bottle and can, a privilege reserved for Stevens Point area residents. The can is a little less of everything compared to the bottle, I think. This review's of a bottle poured into a glass.

A: Nearly black. When lifted up to a light, very deep red shows at the edges. Nice white head, but it doesn't stick around.

S: Roasty, malty, and almost fruity, slightly chocolatey.

T: Roasted cocoa and malt. Swish it around a bit, and the fruit comes out nicely.

M: Very pleasant mouthfeel, not quite stout or porter heavy, but then again, it is a black ale.

O: Smooth enough for easy drinking, yet has enough body to be satisfying. One of my favorites from Point.

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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.

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Photo of jleslierogers
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured Point’s 2012 Black Ale from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass and enjoyed it at an approximate 42 degrees F.

Appearance: The color is very dark. Not brown, but as close to a true black as you could ever expect to find in an ale. Held up to the light, only the edges take on a dark amber. A thin, light-tan head forms after pouring but quickly dissapates.

Smell: There is, at first, the tang of fruit blossoms, sweet and sharp, but this is quickly joined by a light dusting of cocoa.

Taste: The mildness of the carbonation compliments the lightly roasted malt that is present upon first taste. Then there are small doses of sweet caramel and bitter hops, the hops holding out a little longer than the caramel. These do not last long, however, and are soon replaced by an encore of the cherry and chocolate smelled earlier, persisting a pleasantly long amount of time after each swallow.

Mouthfeel: 2012 is medium-bodied and the flavor is complimented quite well by its smell. Its weight is less than you would expect such a dark beer to be, though this could be due in part to the relatively short list of contributing flavors.

Overall: This beer is smooth enough for consecutive drinking yet flavorful enough to hold your interest. It’s what I’d call a “yummy” beer. Though I drank this without food or smoke, I would imagine it would be quite good with a steak and baked potato or some dry-rub barbeque like ribs or brisket. 2012 is good enough that I would drink it again, and good enough that I would recommend it to a friend, especially those who enjoy nationally distributed brown ales like Newcastle or 1554.

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Photo of Winter
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is near black in color with a tan head. The nose is fairly light with a vinous aroma, along with that of soy, feint chocolate, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium in body with soft carbonation. The taste starts off with a light, roasted maltiness. Caramel emerges midway, followed by some soy flavor toward the back. Very lightly hopped, with a low bitterness. In fact, according to the brewery’s website it’s only at 9 IBUs.

2012 Black Ale is pretty smooth drinking and very mild. I recently had a few pints of this at a local downtown cigar bar. They didn't have any stouts on tap, so I opted for this at their only "darker" option, something I would hope would hold up to the mild cigar I was having. It didn't pretty decent job.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 22 Oct 2010. Served in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker.

Medium sized brown head. Well carbonated. Black, nearly opaque. Aroma is light, roasty and sweet. Lightly roasted and light chocolate to start. Touch of mocha. Becomes a bit more roasty towards the middle and finish. Some molasses and dried fruit in the aftertaste. Lingering roasty bitterness. Light body, light ethanol.

Not bad, but not clear exactly what style was the target.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours black as night, not a bit of color in this one. The head is a chocolate, nice solid lacing. There's just a slight malt scent, it's subtle, tempting. I like that in women and in the smell of my malts. This has a little bit of a chocolate flavor to it. Nice smoky wooden taste kicks in the back. Almost porter like, but doesn't quite have the right texture to it. This is a perfect winter sipping beer. 2-3 of these is probably enough. It might be the best thing Point's ever done.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of tvv375ia
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first review for 2012 poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice dark ruby colored with about a finger of head that faded to a small cap with some lacing

S-faint chocolate with some carmel malt and a little hops

T-sweet carmel malt with a little bit of some nuttiness before the hops on the finish

M-light to medium body with good carbonation

O-easy to drink and well balanced

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Photo of PossumMunsen31
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap. Pretty tasty. I've never been a big fan of dark beers but this one is pretty tolerable. Pours a pretty decent head. Roasty coffee notes with a clean finish. It was good enough to purchase a sixer. Not as good as some dark beers but better than others.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a globe glass

A: SRM is dark brown. Head is tan, 1 in, dissipates to line the rim of the glass. Medium/light carbonation. Light lacing.

S: I believe this is Vienna malt, 2-row? Very malt forward, sweet notes of honey. Mild hop notes are present.

T: Light malt, some honey notes, slightly watery. Light hops. Aftertaste is slightly sweet and slightly malty.

M: Light bodied. Malts give a decent texture. Sweetness coats the palate just a bit. Hops add just a bit of complexity. Crisp and dry finish.

O: Nice beer. Overall, not overly impressed with anything, but this is a good beer. Nice overall balance of flavors. Cool label. I probably would not buy this beer again though. Also, they say the beer is themed on the Mayan calander, yet an Aztec calender adorns the label.

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Photo of Illtryit
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head. Head dissapates rather fast but it does leave a ring around the rim with light lace.

You can smell roasted barley or hops. Trending towards black licorice.

Taste followxs the nose. Roasty flavor with just a touch of sweetness. No burnt toast flavor on this one.

Nice, sharp carbonation gives this black ale a crisp and refreshing feel. medium bodies and flavorful. Not a favorite, but I would recommend and I will definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of Airedoggie
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black color with a weak light-tan head and moderate lacing.

S:Sweet fruit notes with a touch of caramel

T: Burnt caramel maltiness with hint of coffee. Sweet and the bitter.

M: Lighter than expected, nice carbonation and yet feels like a stout

O: Very pleasant flavorful beer.

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