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 uwmgdman
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says Black ale, the style here is listed as brown ale. What gives?
To me it resembles and tastes more like a brown ale.
It is although a very black looking beer with a smallish foamy head that fades fast real fast.
Thin light aroma of roasted malts maybe some espresso.
Tastes of roasted burnt malts coffee and espresso. Hops can't be tasted butr has a measure of bitterness at the end.
Has porter and stoudt qualities to it.
Medium to thick mouthfeel. Watery around the edges with some grit and astringency to it.
A good middle of the road beer no matter what it's called.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from can into a Nonic shaped pint glass

A - Beer pours with a nice chocolate shake colored head; about one to one-half finger in size; frothy and rocky in appearance; held pretty well; body is jet black, but has plenty of visible carbonation stick on the side of the glass; kind of pours with a motor oil consistency; good lacing around the glass

S - Nutty malt nose with a twist of lightly roasted malt; brown sugar oatmeal; dark fruit; licorice; toffee

T - Roasted malt flavor; moderately strong licorice taste; some coffee and some chocolate but faint compared to the burnt roasted malt taste; nutty

M - Kind of chewy with a medium body; slightly effervescent; clean and crisp; roasted malt aftertaste

D - Clean and refreshing black ale taste; I really liked this; had great roasted malt characteristics and the flavor stayed consistent, sip after sip

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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 MartzMimic
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%

Rescued from the $1 bin. Pours a dark reddish brown into a pint glass. Not a huge head, and it leaves quickly. Smells of malt, chocolate and dark fruit. Those all come through in the taste, but with more of a roasted flavor. Medium mouth with some oil. I really like this, and would revisit it regularly.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a nice dark brown and forms an 1/8 inch mocha colored head that quickly reduces to a light lacing. Almost opaque when held to the light with a ruby tinge around the edges.

The aroma is coming out as it warms including solid caramel malt sweetness with some roasted nut and coffee hints.

The taste is solid as well with a primarily roasted malt flavor and some mild hoppy back notes with some almost wheat-like spots.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with a pleasant and balances level of carbonation which may take away slightly from the taste but improves drinkability. It goes down crisp with a very mild coffee-like dryness at the end.

Overall, this beer is very drinkable. It is like a combination of light and dark beers with reasonable components of each making it pleasant, refreshing and worth a trial if you can get it.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of Chaz
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild semi-sweet roast with a bit of toast and a brushing of hop that blends quite nicely with an earthy quality.
Small brownish head covers a very dark beer with only hints of light showing brown on the edges.
Roast flavor, a mild sweetness temporarily. Soft hop flavors reminiscence of the aroma. Mild extended dryness that seems both from the hops and malt.
Too carbonated and too thin of body. I shouldn't feel an urge to belch after on the first couple of sips. Too bad. Semi-soft feel to the carbonation.
Ya' know this is a reasonable flavorful beer. Nicely hopped over a mild roast body. I'd drink this again. Probably try to find a way to flatten it some.

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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 russpowell
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent ruby=tinged mahogany with 3 fingers of rocky mocha colored head, good looking brew! Good head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt, a faint whiff of nuttyness

T: Toasty malt, with a touch of licorice?, brown bread & faint herbal hoppyness up front. Grainy notes, coffee & a hint of caramel are all there as this warms, along with some mineral dryness & a kiss of licorice. Finishes dry, nutty, with mocha & toasty grain

MF: Light/medium bodied, a touch of stickyness. fairly controlled carbonation, & decent balance

Drinks pretty easy, not on "point" for the style, but close enough. Far better than most offerings from these guys. I look as this a pretty solid release from these guys & worthy of future purchases when hankering for some coffee/ licorice flavor, especially for the price

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Photo of Pegasus
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Quite deep brown, nearly black in color, with a superb, large and dense tan head with excellent retention. Thick, creamy lacing utterly coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Charcoal and burnt caramel dominates the aroma, though there is cold coffee and bitter cocoa as well. Mild grassy hops accent, but do not dominate the aroma.

Taste: The taste opens with cold coffee, bitter cocoa, and burnt malt. These flavors dominate the taste, also there are moments of sweet chocolate, Later in the taste, the cold coffee and bitter cocoa utterly dominate. Finishes with a lingering note of charcoal.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, perhaps a touch thinner than I would have expected.

Drinkability/notes: Rather good, other than being a bit thin, its somewhat stout-like.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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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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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 gmfessen
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black, indeed. This one comes at you with a thick head of fine, tan carbonation. Lace is spotty, and unremarkable.

Nose is sweet and chocolate. A little nutty, as well. Appealing!

Tastes mild, with some lightly roasted malts coming through. I get a little burnt cocoa, too. This one seems simple and uncomplex. Still, definitely session-worthy, despite being a mite thin.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of 1BeerLeague
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black as my heart, richly dark and dirty with an oil-like appearnce.

Aroma: Subtle chocolate and hops, sweet, nutty notes.

Taste: Roasted barley and smokey caramel.

Drinkability: Smooth with a rolling flavor of caramel throughout.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter coffee finish.

Serving vessel: Pint glass & bottle.

Additional: Overall it could be a pickup for a six pack, but not a long running session beer. Best beer for under $3.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12. fl. oz. bottle sampled on October 29, 2011. The pour is a rich black with a thin head but at the same time it is not completely blocked from light like a stout might be. The sweet maltiness kicks in on the nose right off with a slight cherry cough drop mixture. The overall body is medium but there is also a kind of sticky, heavier quality to it. The taste is full of sweetness and molasses. It is a likeable beer that works well in its own way.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of winter variety pack:

Pours pitch black with very thin, lasting tan to light brown head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mildly roasted coffee, black pepper, some pumpernickel and subtle earthy tones.

The taste is of roasted coffee, toffee and earthy tones. Sweetness balanced by mild roast and a hop touch that gives bitterness more than flavor in the finish. Slight alcohol shows late.

Medium-bodied, slightly slick, it finishes rather abruptly.

This is a pretty good dark roasted, malty brown ale.

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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 Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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