Tokyo* - BrewDog

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

269 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 269
Hads: 721
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 25.65%
Wants: 83
Gots: 242 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  18.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PartyBear on 08-29-2009

The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips. It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.

90 IBU
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Reviews: 269 | Hads: 721
Photo of homebrew311
2.06/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: somewhat of a light brown, zero head, no lacing

S: aroma features some earthy tea notes along with bark, I pick up a spirit like spice character, not picking up any stout flavors, some medicinal cough syrup like character in there

T: the taste is also very spirit like with huge sweetness, some cranberry comes through, big time alcohol burn on the finish

Mf: thin, no carb

O: not digging this at all, way too booze forward, even for an 18% brew, no stout character at all

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Photo of Dennoman
2.06/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A knowledgeable American sommelier I met at a pub here in Belgium, described BrewDog as "great marketing, lack of talent". After drinking this brew, I think I have a reasonably good idea what he's talking about.

This beer is just wrong on so many levels. The completely overpowering sweetness from plums and other dark fruits and raw alcohol you get from the nose are quite frankly sickening. The taste is equally bad, adding a stale dampness remeniscent of rain on hot concrete, potpourri and grandmum's living room with all the windows closed.

For me, this beer really doesn't have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. It doesn't even LOOK that appealing for an Imperial, having quite a light and tame head and not even being very dark, probably due to the amount of alcohol running through it, making it look quite insepid for its genre.

There are certain things I want from a stout, and I guess BrewDog Tokyo* has nothing of the sort. No beautiful roasted coffee, no bitterness, no texture, no deep dark brown head and pitch black body, ... as much as I would have liked to adore this beer as an almost unconditional stout fan, I absolutely hated this.

The only reason I didn't pour it down the sink, is because I coughed up €10 for the damn thing.

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Photo of koganator
2.09/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had on 12/31/2012 at Brewdog Camden in London. This was my 3rd beer of the night and definitely got me drunk. Half filled wine glass from tap.

Appearance: Solid head, and pitch black RIS goodness, looking good so far.

Smell: Sweet, cloying, caramel-like... Like a weaker smelling Tactical Nuclear Penguin that I had earlier in the night

Taste: Good god, imagine a truck of sugar crashing directly into your mouth and spilling all of it's cargo therein. This is the most unpleasant beer I have had in a long time. Whatever else is happening here is completely overshadowed by pure malt. It's as if I'm drinking diluted malt concentrate mixed with maple syrup. Painful, simply and utterly painful. The alcohol was there, but it was somewhat co-opted by the sheer sticky presence of the maltose.

Mouthfeel: I had to struggle it down.

Overall: I don't even want to think about this beer again. I know it's rated fairly highly on BA, but it just was so not for me.

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Photo of armock
2.14/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottle from Best Damn Beer Shop (in Super Jr. Market)

A - Poured a very dark brown color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off coffee scents dark fruit some oak and a lot of alcohol

T - Starts off sweet with roated malt then the dark fruit flavors come out with lots of alcohol

M - This beer has a full body with medium carbonation to it

D - Even though this is the first beer of the day for me the first sip made me gag and throw up some after washing out my mouth to get a review its not any easier to drink this is a boozy mess and the price of the bottle is going to make me finish this garbage

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Photo of kevanb
2.2/5  rDev -43%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Intergalactic Fantastic Oak Aged Stout with Cranberry and Jasmine, an interesting concept. 11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Tokyo* pours a dark cola brown color, almost black but not quite, fairly opaque but also surprisingly clear from the top down once the head recedes. Shockingly, there is a head, almost a finger high, tan in color, moderate retention, easily resummoned with a quick swirl of the glass, light lace. The aroma is of sharp acetone nail polish, chewy oak and violent alcohol, extremely harsh and quite unpleasant. The flavors are very similar, lots of chewy oak, a bit of vanilla comes out before the nail polish flavors really dominate the tongue and to make matters worse, the punishing alcohol takes control of what is already an astringent and toxic brew and just obliterates the palate with an out of control harshness. The body is thin, bubbly and over-carbonated, abrasive on the tongue but it does have a moderately smooth finish but the zesty carbonation can be felt on the tongue for quite some time.

Verdict: Just awful. Simply awful stout from BrewDog. I appreciate the creativity and lack of convention from this brewery and love trying their stuff, but to say this was successful is impossible. A drain pour.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.2/5  rDev -43%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

As soon as I popped the cap I could smell the booze on this. I'm actually a little intimidated by this guy. It looks pretty nice, with a dark body and a thin tan head that disappears quickly into thin lacing. Not bad for an 18+! Smells boozy! That isn't shocking though. I am pleased with how the cranberry aroma pulls through with a bit of oakiness and toastiness! However, it's all still masked by a gigantic wall of alcohol that BrewDog has reputed themselves with. I'm less than impressed with the flavor, this just burns. My taste buds have been burned and I can't taste anything except alcohol heat! Behind it I can get a bit of oak with a slight touch of dark fruit but damn! This isn't even novel for me. The mouthfeel is nothing more than aggressive alcohol burning. Not very pleasant. I'll finish this, but damn, it's going to be a chore.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.29/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into some glasses, courtesy of oglmcdgl, thx 4 the shot.

Not as dark as expected for a ris, tokyo pours out of the bottle with a dark reddish/brown color and some black. Once in the glass, it appears black, but is not quite there. A finga of tightly coiled tannish foam that left no lace.

Wow, this is a booze monster, boozy as hell with some dark fruits resembling bum wine. This reminds me of a certain fruit beer brewed in delaware. I can't even get chocolate or other familiar smells out of this, just booze

The booze is in the way, it's large and in charge, the oak aging barely comes through and you have to look for it. All the crazy ingredients used form some type of odd taste that I can't break down. Port wine and licorice makes sense.

Boozy and hot on the mouth. This does not have the biggest body for a 18 percent ris, on the thicker side of medium. The hotness makes this seem bigger than it is. Carbonation is not a problem, it's there but it does not liven things up that much.

No way in hell that I would drink an entire bottle of this to the head, hell, I had a time with my six ounces or so. Very similiar to dfh wws fresh out the gate which I was expecting so I was not totally dissapointed, just aware of what it was before I dove in. Sure I could lay a bottle down for five years to mellow the booze, but where it's at now, what's the point?

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Photo of craytonic
2.29/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: black pour, decent light brown head, some lacing:

Smell: Booze dominates, followed by molasses, dark roasted malts, and chewed tobacco

Taste: Booze overpowers, followed by the roasted malts, tobacco juice, molasses, and dark fruit. I am not noticing cranberries, jasmine, etc.

Mouthfeel: Full

Drinkability: Too boozy to drink much; I know it is 18.2% but see that as more of a negative

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Photo of justintcoons
2.3/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

Translucent black with garnet highlights. 1 finger of khaki colored head that dissipates quickly. Legs are clearly visible.

Rubbing alcohol, dark chocolate, notes of cranberry and potpourri.

Incredibly boozy. Beyond the booze there are some roasty notes that could be dark chocolate or coffee? It’s hard to tell. Black licorice, sickeningly sweet toffee and butterscotch. There’s a lot of perfume and floral flavors. Some cranberry catches on the back of the palate.

Light-medium bodied, sticky and warming.

This is a pathetic Imperial Stout. Behind the massive booziness of the 18.2%, all the Imperial Stout characteristics are lost. Sickeningly sweet and cloying. Blech! Save your money!

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Photo of ek1050
2.3/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So I picked up this black labeled bottle and gave it a cursory glance. I'm a nut for good barrel aged stouts, which this beer contradicts. This beer hedges on something like a port wine. Its sweet, sweet taste over-accentuates the subtleties of a quality stout.

A- Standard for a high quality stout, leveled out with minimal head and par for the course.

S- Pungent smell of sweet cranberry in the background coupled with a strong alcoholic backbone. I did not expect this, despite my great expectations.

T- Right in line with the smell. This beer (which, to be honest I did not realize was made with cranberries and Jasmine prior to purchase) resonates with sweetness and alcoholic abrasiveness. I was offended by the lack of subtlety and smoothness. I was reminded of the port wine I tried at Thanksgiving, regretting my obligation to try.

M- While I was looking for something much more subtle and calm, this struck me as much more abrasive. I cursed the price as I let it ruin my taste buds.

D- My mantra: You only have so much sobriety to waste on sub-par beer (okay, beer that you don't really love).
My thoughts: I'd pour this out if I didn't shell out around 10 bucks for this 12oz bottle. After a short debate, I realized that I had much bigger and better beers to understand and I exposed a good friend to the other half of this bottle. He shared my sentiments, but thanked me for my "generosity".

Overall: you can't combine these ingredients for a great, quality Imperial Stout. Too far outside the box for my taste. This needs its own style. I'm sure it seemed like a great idea at the time, but leave the cranberries out. If you are seeking out a sweet, uncharacteristic stout, go for it. If you enjoy Port wine, maybe this is up your alley. If you are used to great, smooth, barrel aged stouts (Bourbon County, Parabola, or even a Firestone anniversary blend), then this probably isn't your cup of (tea).

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Photo of Jeffo
2.31/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Turns up a one finger medium looking tan head with decent retention. Black body, though it's relatively thin and clear for the big ABV, with basically no carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a wisp and a ring. Only the ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the sides. A little lack luster, and not quite thick enough for what it is.

SMELL: Roasted malts are there, with some dark chocolate notes too. A bold bourbon presence with some oak notes and hints of vanilla. A nice bold nose with some well integrated boozy qualities.

TASTE: Roasted malts with heavy bourbon notes and alcohol all over the place. Some oak shows through with hints of bitter chocolate at the finish. The aftertaste is bold and longer lasting with some hop bitterness and caramel sweetness, as well as lots of bourbon and booze. A very boozy imperial stout; lots of heat.

PALATE: Thinner body and kind of airy. Not creamy or smooth enough, goes down decent but with lots of heat and a good alcohol scratch at the finish. Feel wasn't what it needed to be for this. Not quite awful, but close.

OVERALL: This one just didn't work out for me. The taste profile was pretty big, but there was far too much booze and heat than there needed to be. The booze was just too dominating. Combine that with a relatively thin and airy body, and this one was a chore to drink. The nose was enticing and the taste profile showed some real promise, but perhaps a few years on it will mellow out the alcohol and make it more enjoyable. Moreover, a bigger body to compliment the bold taste profile would go a long way in helping this one. I have another bottle, but I think I'll sit on it for a while and hope it mellows out.

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Photo of checkfeet
2.31/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Sampled this with a friend in Glasgow who picked up a bottle at the shop despite the hefty price, though turned out to be a better beer to share among friends because of the strength.

Pours a dark viscous black tar with minimal head and little lacing. The nose is very sweet, like melted candy and the taste is similar - strong and far too sweet.

I could see this pairing well with black forest gateaux or some other rich, chocolatey cake, but on its own, even as a nightcap sipper it doesn't live up to the hype.

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2.31/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes 08/26/11 at the Bad Apple.

Pours a deep black, no head. Smells of straight malt. Hints of chocolate, and coffee but no hop aroma. Not much going on. Tastes rough and boozy giving way to more complex chocolate, cranberry and vanilla notes. Aftertaste is way too harsh though, even for a Imperial Stout lover like me. It was fun to try and there was definitely some nice flavors in there, but way too much of a hot mess. Tasted like cough syrup as it warmed as well. I'm not a Brewdog hater but this just didn't agree with me.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle split with onix1agr, poured into snifters.

A- pours a deep ruby brown with a finger or two or tan dense head. Spots of lace with minimal stickage.

S- licorice and port wine. Booze soaked dates and a mild chocolate touch. Some burt malt in there as well.

T- yikes! That's hot, lots of alcohol. Sweet and slightly burnt. Lots of port and cream sherry. Licorice root and chickory. But its the sweetness and booze that wins.

M- mild carb and on the viscous side with a burn from the heat.

D- not there yet maybe with some time its going to be something but this 7 or so oz is going to be tough. Not quite what I was expecting from an ris more like a giant old ale.

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Photo of Squelch
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance: Jet black. no head. opaque.

smell: Alcohol. Malt. no hop aromas here.

Taste: Strongly sweet. Artificial. overly sweet in my book.

Mouthfeel: HEAT from the alcohol.

Overall: Do not like this one. WAY too much alcohol. Very unique beer but maybe not a beer at all?!

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

11.2 oz bottle served in a snifter

A - Pours pitch black with a dark esspresso head

S - Astringent bakers chocolate, booze, licorice, tobacco, dank earthy hay, old malts,

T - Wow! Super sweet(I'm talking diabetic coma sweet!) licorice, syrup, concentrated grape juice, straight raw brown sugar, sweet tobacco juice, tart fruit helps out a little with the cloying sweetness. Finishes with a peppery alcohol bite.

M - Heavy sugary body, low carbonation, cloyingly sweet.

This one is hard to drink. Sweet does nothing to describe this sugary substance. Thank God there was some tartness in there to combat it. There's good flavors in there but is just overtaken with the sweetness. I wanted to like this but this is a mess.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
2.52/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't want to imply by some of the things I'm about to say that this beer is bad, but it is certainly not good. The smell was strongly of nail polish remover. The taste was intensely sweet, with a bit of a fruity, appley, taste. However, there was still an overpowering flavour of nail polish remover present. It wasn't something that could really be excused or explained. There must have been some acetone in there somewhere and it really ruined the whole beer.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.57/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a chalice. Viscous looking dark body, minor foaminess.

Aroma is deep and alcoholic, as you would expect - a mocha spiked with a lot of whiskey.

One sip. Sickeningly sweet. Another sip....sickeningly sweet....and so on and so on. Inexplicably, it's straight-up sweetness and alcohol. Little to no nuance/complexity playing off the sweetness. I can't pick up bitter chocolate, coffee, hops, anise, vanilla...nothing. It's simply achingly sweet and bracingly alcoholic. In despair, I pick up a piece of bitter chocolate, hoping to enhance the experience, and indeed, the bitter dark chocolate provides a much-needed counterpoint. However, should I really have to pair an 18% stout with a piece of chocolate in order to get any flavor depth at all out of it? I don't think so. I can't believe I'm giving this a 2.0 for taste, but I am.

Feel is syrupy, not exactly helping, but that is to be expected with a beer this alcoholic.

Drinkability is extremely limited. You might protest, "oh, but it's 18%!" To which I say so the hell what? DFH World Wide Stout is 18%, and while certainly sweet in its own right, that beer is quite complex and tasty, beckoning further sips. This? This just makes me think of my teeth, rotting away.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
2.61/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - It's dark, but let's plenty of light through, and is mostly red, and not just around the edges. There is some nice head retention and lacing, which surprised me.

S - Just a lot of booze. Some woody notes, but this smelled overwhelmingly of alcohol

T - Pretty similar to the nose. Some dark malty character, but very much as a background to the strong taste of alcohol.

M - Feels kind of like mouthwash.

D - It's not the worst drinking beer I've ever had, and at 18.2%, it's not something I'd really want a lot of anyway.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.64/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Poured pitch black with a one and a half finger light brown fizzy head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, peat, raisins, dark fruit, maple syrup, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, wood, peat, massive alcohol, and maple syrup. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall I was not really a big fan of this one. It just seemed like a big mess to me if I'm honest. As you probably know this one is pretty high ABV and it definitely lets you know this fact right out of the gate. Not a whole lot of balance going on in this one at all as the alcohol truly dominates this brew. While it is a LITTLE sweet up-front, it doesn't stand a chance again the booze. To be fair, it did smooth out some when it warms up, but not much. Also upon warming the aroma actually made my eyes burn! Worth trying at least once to say you did, but I will not be having this one again...

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.66/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep black color with a thick brown colored head and a little lacing all around. Smells of alcohol but not in a too offensive way, bourbon, and a little oak. Tastes of oak, bourbon, malts, a little hops, and resinous alcohol. Mouthfeel is harsh and somewhat tough to handle. Drinkability is very low.

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Photo of AAvgerinos
2.77/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

There's nothing Stout-like about this beer. No roast/coffee/bready qualities. Not even that characteristic old world Porter/Stout funk. Methinks they should have called this a barleywine or just strong ale.

In a nutshell, it basically tastes like cheap fortified Port. Maybe it will smooth out in a few years, but then it might just taste like syrup.

The aroma smelled strongly of brandy soaked prunes. Color was a hazy brown with red highlights. Besides the hot alcohol notes, the taste had some pleasant sherry/port qualities which got better as the beer warmed. As it warmed one could also pick out a vague burnt sugar note.

To give this beer a chance, serve and consume near room temperature. At typical bar tap temperature it was way too hot and thick.

Overall... meh.

Good idea, bad execution.

EDIT: Serving size was a "sample" at about 4-5 ounces. Like wine, this was plenty.

In case it wasn't obvious, I'd like to point out if you're hoping to find barrel/oak notes, dry hop character, or anything else described on the label of this beer, you will be sorely disappointed. It basically tastes nothing like the description will lead you to believe. That's not a bad thing, just be ready for it.

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Photo of SawDog505
2.84/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured very aggressive into a 20oz Duvel tulip. Pours pitch black with a 3 inch tan head no lace at all. Smell Bourbon, burnt dark chocolate and coffee, and strong whiffs of dark fruits prunes and fig. Taste is that, but a very strong hit of turpentine. Body is thin for its massive abv, enough life, and drinkability is very low. With everything I have said, it is better than it might sound, but not much. A beer that I feel is crazy and excessive. I wish I knew how old because 5 years may tame it down and show the brewers vision, but as is, very hot and messy.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
2.89/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

At first sip, I enjoyed it, because of its bold flavor, but as noted elsewhere, it became just overbearing and alcoholic, which increased as it warmed in the glass.

Rich mahogony in color, nearly black, with a pale white head that dissipated quicly. Sticky sweet aroma with obvious notes of alcohol.

Dominated by roasted sweetness, almost burnt, there are hints of the smoke and oak, but they're overwhelmed by the bitterness and alcohol.

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Photo of Viggo
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, can't remember who shared this one. Maybe my boy George.

Pours a very dark and viscous black, some ruby red in the corners, thin tan head forms and quickly settles to a very thin ring around the glass, some legs form, not bad.

Smell is pretty intense, very sweet and sugary, some caramel, brown sugar, molasses, treacle, soy sauce, dark fruit, tons of alcohol, lightly woody, comes off a bit spicy in the nose, some licorice, alright but too boozy.

Taste is the same, some nice flavours, toffee and brown sugar, molasses, licorice, a bit of wood, but very sweet and lots of soy sauce and way too much alcohol going on, sweet finish with a bit of spice.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Tons of heat, and way too sweet for me. Pretty tough to drink.

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Tokyo* from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.