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Tokyo* - BrewDog

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

579 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 579
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 15.82%
Wants: 48
Gots: 155 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: PartyBear on 08-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 579 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

A classy black-tie black, with an oddly animated centimeter of taupe foam. The aroma is deep and dark and complex. Baked figs; black cherries; coffee beans; 70% cacao chocolate; tarry licorice; wet maple leaves; marzipan; dark brown sugar, raisins; and sweet walnut liqueur. A pancake breakfast comes to mind. The flavor is somewhat flatter than the aroma, mostly cola, chocolate syrup, vanilla, brandy, sweet sherry, candied cranberries, and honey. It's stupendously thick and sweet - really, like teeth-numbingly sweet - but that helps smooth out the rougher edges you'd expect from a beer of this obscene strength.

This is an exceptional imperial stout. The strength is completely unwarranted, to be honest, as I've had stouts half this ABV that are twice as complex, but nonetheless I am impressed with the flavors and the surprisingly well-hidden alcohol. Another well-executed high-concept ale from BrewDog.

10-02-2010 22:51:27 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

I had this on tap at the Hulmeville inn. Poured black with some highlight's you could see through around the edges. Nice heading after the pour which did leave a thin lace around the glass. Not a bad heading at all for such a heavy beer.

Not too much of a nose as I would have anticipated the heavy alcohol content would have just reeked but stays in tune. Feint oak aroma. Nothing really popping out here.

Taste is just insane. At first taste I thought to myself Jesus this is just too much alcohol. After the second sip I let wander around a bit. Nice fruity flavors pull through for a quick to touchdown and are immediately put to rest by the burning alcohol.

Mouth is full bodied,thick and chewy with an insane hot booze feel. It did have some nice carbonation for how high in alcohol it was.

This is not a bad beer but anything more then a glass or two could be a downfall.

10-02-2010 16:54:14 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of Urbancaver


2.98/5  rDev -24%

Appearance- pours thin and remarkably clear... Was expecting a thick dark beer...

Smell- smells like oak and alcohol... Not much else to it

Taste- burns the lips... Tastes like oak, oak, and more oak...

Mouthfeel- thin and burning... Not much stout to it as the flavor is dominated by the oak flavor

Drinkability- well, for an 18% it's nothing special... Raisin d'extra and others are far more drinkable...

10-02-2010 04:42:58 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of kbutler1


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Bottle. Pours a dark black color with a nice tan coaster head. Bad ass aroma of oak mixed with with cranberry fruit with super dark chocolate. Slight burn of alcohol at the end of the smell. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet taste along with roasted notes and fruit. This is like nothing I have had before. Very tasty. Get raisin type molasses flavor from this. Surprisingly very little alcohol flavors that I pick up. Overall a pretty cool beer but hard to drink a lot of it.

09-24-2010 14:32:05 | More by kbutler1
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -14.5%

3oz sample courtesy of Chris Dynes. Thanks dude!

A: midnight black in colour with ruby edges. A thin tan head and dots of lacing make a brief appearance before subsiding about halfway through. Given the weight of this beer, I'm surprised that the initial pour produced some foam and lace. Pretty impressive.
S: very hot and aromatic liquor, whisky, a strange doughiness (like stale sour dough bread?), smoke, nail polish, coffee liqueur, leather, and a strong sweetness that I can't put my finger on.
T: extra dark chocolate, raw cocoa, roasted barley, liqueur-like flavours, damp wood, port wine, prunes, a touch of maple, earth, and a bittersweet, boozy aftertaste.
M: sharp palate, fuller than medium but thin for the style, drying finish with alcohol on the breath.
D: an obvious sipper, I prefer this over the Bismarck. The booze dominates, no doubt, but the beer displays a respectable range of flavours and aromas, and I managed to finish 1/4 of a bottle. Worth trying if you're looking for something novel.

09-23-2010 21:19:32 | More by cratez
Photo of laituegonflable


3.03/5  rDev -22.7%

Pours a deep brown - not quite dark, as it's brown all over that. Head is modest, but a reasonably good retention, lace is alright but not very sticky. Looks a bit plain, but not bad.

Smell is incredibly boozey. Actually feels like it's giving me a headache just sniffing that. Very sweet with huge alcohol phenols. Has a refined-sugar/rum kind of aroma, and disappointingly little dark or roasty characters off it besides a slight sweet chocolate fragrance.

Taste is incredibly strong, very sweet with golden syrup combining with slight chocolatey notes, and a genuine heat from alcohol on the back. Only a slight sip gives you a huge amount of flavour, so marks for that, but it's strong so of course you will get that effect. Brown sugar, some peppery spice, but really the palate is unnuanced with the dominant flavour being strong alcohol. Doesn't quite harness its own strength, and the booziness dominates an otherwise fairly unilateral palate.

Syrupy, fairly thick mouthfeel. Definitely feels heavy as well as tasting it. Can't say I'm a huge fan.

Yeah, not an unpleasant experience, just doesn't have any sparkle to it. Like a really strong, muscular person with no personality.

09-23-2010 04:16:52 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of GabrielM

New Mexico

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Thanks to JMBSH for including this as an awesome extra! Bottle poured into a snifter.

A - a shade under pitch black with a surprising 1-inch tan head that lasted longer than expected.

S - first thing is a strong hit of alcohol, then cranberry, raspberry and oak. There is probably more in there, but alcohol is definitely the dominating aroma.

T - the first to hit the palate is smokey oak, then a strong blast of alcohol. The cranberries are present, as is some burnt espresso and some bitter chocolate. Goes down leaving a very noticeable burn.

M - actually better than expected after smelling and tasting. The alcohol is very hot, but the carbonation, thickness and consistency are all great while in the mouth.

D - too young and hot for now, but it has promise. Give this one a good 3, 4, or 5 more years and it'll be prime.

09-22-2010 23:49:33 | More by GabrielM
Photo of Bendurgin


2.15/5  rDev -45.2%

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.

09-17-2010 03:14:39 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours a pleasant deep brown colour, with a filmy head of crusted off-white foam. Very fine bubbling when swirled. Body looks pleasantly thick. Not bad at all.

Nice hop characters on the nose. Extremely fresh and slightly fruity, with a slight hint of coconut. Crisp and rather sharp. Certainly not much note of the darkness apparent in the appearance on the nose. But it's extremely pleasant.

Taste is yet another spanner in the works. Extremely long and languid palate -- big roasted characters and deep tropical fruit characters mingle together. Overripe papaya mixes with the dark roasted flavours and vanilla and coconut nuances. It's extremely odd, but extremely -- really, extremely, genuinely -- tasty. Lovely palate. Really good.

This is an extremely tasty brew, that mingles fruit and darkness together in some wonderfully bizarre chimera. It's a lovely and extremely interesting brew.

09-14-2010 05:14:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottled as Tokio. Batch DD2

Poured into Darkness Snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Fades a little. Color is a dark murky brown.

Aroma: Lots of oak followed by cranberries. Very sweet dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Very big. Very good.

Taste: Cranberries up front with loads of oak and vanilla following. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel. Sweet. It has a herbal taste to it. Ends with coffee.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and warming. Not overly hot.

Overall, hardly any booze shows. Really nice in that aspect. I love the cranberries. It is a very beer and a sipper for me.

09-12-2010 01:22:07 | More by mothman
Photo of Proteus93


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

My bottle is listed as being Tokio, which is retired, but my understanding is that this is the exact same beer. If it needs to be moved, that can certainly happen. This sat in my cellar for the last couple months, and probably for the better with a brew this big.

A: Typical onyx pour, totally opaque. What surprised me, though, was the good size of head that I got off of the pour... a solid finger+ which is still setting on the brew a few minutes later while I type. Nice!

S + T: Seeing cranberry noted on the bottle, I find myself picking up on it in the aroma, but I don't believe I would have otherwise. The same does not go for the flavour, where I most definitely detect it... along with some dark fruits, it is a nice addition to an otherwise intense malt and alcohol. Perhaps the little bit of time has helped smooth it out, but in the very few big stouts I have had that are 12% and upwards, they seem to be quite dominated by a very intense roast / burnt malt character that gives it almost a charcoal quality. This doesn't have that element, instead being a nice, robust roast. It allows the fruitiness to come out, at least in flavour, and a nice amount of vanilla and wood notes in both flavour and aroma.

M + D: Still quite hot, which doesn't surprise me... time doesn't take away from the fact that this beer was brewed to have a high alcohol content. Body is about just right, considering... not too thick, but creamy enough to leave a slick residue of it over the tongue. Certainly one to savour over a good hour, and as it warms a bit, some more interesting qualities make themselves known. Pretty nice beer, though one I'd only find myself picking up very occasionally considering the ABV and price.

09-06-2010 01:50:10 | More by Proteus93
Photo of zaphodchak


3.33/5  rDev -15.1%

"Tokio*" pour from a bottle into a snifter. Very thin head and almost no lacing. Cloudy reddish-brown body. Nose has significant alcohol and fruit esthers, some honey. Taste is hoppy with significant alcohol 'burn' but not overpowering considering the ABV. Cranberries (mentioned on the bottle) barely detectable; as for the jasmine, I doubt that I'd be able to tell. Definitely honey as well. Bitter overall, but significant sweetness to balance. Mouthfeel thin, unremarkable, but with a burn from the alcohol. Ultimately overpriced (as compared to something like Samichlaus); as for high ABV, they don't come much higher, though. Not too drinkable, all things considered, unless you have a taste for very strong, alcoholic beer and have the deep pockets to match.

08-28-2010 23:53:51 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of mattboyer182


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Pours black, thin head. Smells very fruity. Feels pretty thin for such a strong stout. You can really taste the cranberries. It actually tastes very similar to a barley wine. Kinda disappointing cause I wanted a stout. You can really taste the alcohol.

08-25-2010 23:36:11 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of lackenhauser


2.98/5  rDev -24%

Pours a very muddy looking brown color. Mild ring of carbonation. A ton of sediment, need to hold back near the end of the pour. Very oakey and solvent smelling. Flavor of dried fruit, oak, burnt coffee and a mild spiciness. Alcohol is fairly obvious. Mildly sticky and gummy sweetness. Average body. Ok overall. Needs to age a great deal to remove the "hotness". Nowhere near the balance and complexity that I liken it to if I was to compare it to a WWS at the same abv.

08-21-2010 02:05:06 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of phillybeer7779


3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Listed as a stout, but poured a much lighter color, one that would be more associated with a darker barleywine or old ale. The smell was of cranberries and some jasmine, with a hint of alcohol. The cranberries and jasmine were both present in the taste, but the alcohol was very much in the front. As far as mouthfeel, the cranberries and jasmine were in the front, but the alcohol burn took over in the end, I could feel when this one reached my stomach. This beer is 18.2%, and I could feel this with every sip. This beer is not totally undrinkable, but there is no way I would want to even smell another one of these after having one. Purely a sipper, and one that should probably end an evening of drinking (provided that you didn't drink all that much). Overall a worthwhile and enjoyable beer to try, but know what you are getting into!

08-17-2010 06:18:07 | More by phillybeer7779
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

A - Pours very deep coffee color into my glass with one finger of head at best that dissipates quickly, not much in the way of lacing.

S - Dried dark fruits, rich malts, bitter cocoa, coffee, hints of vanilla, and a bit of alcohol as well.

T - Very rich and sweet. Molasses and dried fruit. Bittersweet cocoa mixed with a coffee-like flavor. Nice oak and vanilla notes as it melts away in your mouth with a slight alcohol burn, but nothing like you would expect at the ABV.

M - Pretty full in body, but not as think and syrupy as I expected. Mild carbonation and slight burn from the alcohol.

D - Great beer to try, but a bit more of a novelty item. Drinking for the experience of something new and outside the boundaries. Share this one with a friend, especially the price!

08-15-2010 21:03:44 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of tjfinkle


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Slightly chilled bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Pours very dark with very little head

Smell - Malty, serious alcohol, and a slight oaky smell.

Taste - Alcohol and oak, with slight roasty and leathery aftertaste, but overall you mostly notice just how hot this beer is

Mouth- considering the style as well as the smell and alcohol content, it is not very thick, but overall good mouthfeel considering the high alcohol content

Drink- Could not drink a lot of this beer, but that is not intended. However that being said, this is a very drinkable beer for 18%

08-11-2010 01:47:11 | More by tjfinkle
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -1%

Pours a solid black with a surprisingly large tan head that dissipates quickly to form a ring. Smells of licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, treacle, sweet dark fruits, a non-descript floral component, and a hint of alcohol. Wow this really has a lot going on in the aroma! Taste is sweet with thick chocolate, caramel and burnt sugars, a little fruit and a lot of harsh alcohol. Leaves a long lingering sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, and vodka in the finish. Thick body, light carbonation, creamy Hershey's chocolate syrup type mouthfeel. This one packs a punch! Its a sipper for sure, but I would have liked the alcohol burn to be a bit less harsh. I enjoyed this one for most of the night.

08-05-2010 22:15:32 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of SleepyMonk


3.88/5  rDev -1%

Chilled bottle poured into a sniffer glass.

Body is deep and dark, very close to espresso/coffee residue. Head is tan but not very lively, it jumps up to about 1 and half fingers and then gives way to a patchy coating.

Aroma is think with alcohol esters plus bitter chocolate and coffee. Hints of burnt toffee and roasted dried dark fruits.

The alcohol esters and burnt sugar also dominates the taste palate. Golden syrup and over cooked molasses tastes also run strong. There are elements of malt but these notes deviate from the norm due perhaps to the other tastes that are a lot more dominant across the palate.

Very full bodied and tilting towards the heavy side of the weight scale. This beer is huge in many ways. Rather syrupy with a long taste spectrum and a spicy finish that leaves an olive oil like sensation in the mouth.

At and 18.2% ABV you obviously aren't going to be doing a bunch of these one after the other (or perhaps you will if you're brave) but if you have a sensible and discerning approach to the consumption of good beer, then you should consider booking out some time in your calendar to appreciate Brewdog's Tokyo*

08-01-2010 13:31:17 | More by SleepyMonk
Photo of LittleCreature


3.48/5  rDev -11.2%

Appearance - 4.5
A gentle pour into the middle of a small brandy snifter results in three fingers of frothy beige head over a body that can only be described as jet black. No light is getting through this one! The foam gradually subsides then disappears.

Smell - 3.5
Rather whiskey-like, the alcohol burns the nostrils. Aromas of oak, dark malts, a lot of sweetness, American hops and a slightly meaty character.

Taste - 4.0
Wow. Sweetness hits the palate first, sugary sweet, I would almost say sickly sweet if it weren't for what was to come. Golden syrup, chocolate and a slightly acrid, burnt bitterness are next, followed by a wave of what seems to be rather piney American hops, a hit of menthol and then the woody vanilla character of French oak. Then the alcohol takes over; peppery, warming, bordering on hot. Overall the effect is pleasant, though a bit medicinal. I know the jasmine and cranberries are there, but to me they are lost in this huge beer.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Full bodied, oily, but not syrupy as I might have expected. Lightly carbonated with very fine bead and a lot of alcohol heat.

Drinkability - 2.0
Let's face it, Tokyo was never brewed with drinkability in mind.

OVERALL - 3.75
While still technically beer, this is an experience that fits somewhere between that of normal beer and spirits. Tokyo is a brew to be sipped and savoured of a an hour or two, or better still, shared with a beer loving friend. I like it, but I don't love it.

07-31-2010 14:36:08 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of Evil_Pidde


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

A: Pours pitch black, a bit oily. Almost no head.

S: Lots of different things in this smell; alcohol (obviously), dark dried fruits, strong black coffee, dark bitter chocolate, heavy roasted malt, and vanilla. All things together are pretty well balanced.

T: Lots of dark dried fruit and molasses. Alcohol and roasted malt. Coffee and chocolate kind of fades in the taste. The smell was better balanced.

M: Aftertaste is long and holds a nice bitterness. Body is medium to full and carbonation is low. Lots of alcohol gives it a warmth.

D: If the label says Brewdog - buy it and try it. This was probably a bit to strong for my taste, but still a very interesting beer.

07-29-2010 18:40:20 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of RobertTh3Texian


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Dark red on the pour. Dark fruit vanilla and oak on the smell. Lot of alcohol on the nose as well. Reminds of Mesosophoels on smell. Lots of deep fruit and malt on the taste as well. This beer is also really easy to drink at first. As you go on and the beer warms it gets a little harder but it is too easy drinking for 18%. Another good beer from the much hated guys at BrewDog.

07-29-2010 03:49:02 | More by RobertTh3Texian
Photo of jzeilinger


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

A - Pours the typical engine oil black with a thin caramel colored head covering the top and lacing on the side of the glass that is very creamy looking and bubbly.

S - Bitter chocolate, dark roasted malt, tart cherries, and a very generous nose shot of booziness.

T - Booze, booze, and more booze. This is a very boozy Imperial Stout. Has a somewhat medicinal character and goes down a little bit like cough syrup. Dark roasted chocolate malt lays a nice foundation for some pretty intense alcohol. There's some creme in the background and when it goes down, there's some pretty intense warming in the throat that sticks around for easily a few minutes after. In fact, this stuff even warms my stomach. When the alcohol finally subsides, the mouth is left with a coating of bitter chocolate that lingers for quite awhile. There's also some mild tobacco flavor going on.

M - On the heavy side of medium bodied with a sweet stickyness and is very smooth on the tongue.

D - Who can really handle more than one of these? Drinkability runs low because of the ABV, but for as boozy as it is, it's still enjoyable. Definitely an extreme beer and definitely worth checking out, at least once. After one glass, Tokyo hung a sign on my back that said, "Kick Me". That it did. Maybe dial it back to 14% to let more of the flavor come through?

07-20-2010 07:30:18 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -11.2%

Apparently best before March 3rd, 2020... so got this one in just in time. Pours a dark brown with small head. I smell cranberry and mild roasted malt. Lots of fruit in the flavour, with maybe the faintest hint of roasted chocolate. A bit thin in the body, which I didn't expect with such a high abv. This was incredibly boozy.

07-13-2010 22:30:37 | More by kwjd
Photo of nickd717


3.23/5  rDev -17.6%

On tap at City Beer in SF.

Pours nearly black in color - not quite as black as I expected it to - with a small, fading tan head. Fairly viscous.

Aroma is pretty crazy. Very vinous and fruity, along with roast, chocolate, earth, and booze. Lots of booze. A little tartness evident even.

The flavor is dominated by dark fruits, interestingly. Red wine, cranberries, cherries, and prunes stand out. There is also some roast and chocolate, but it is definitely in the background. Lots of alcohol.

Boozy and warming on the palate with surprisingly thin body (although still above average) given the ABV. Carbonation level is medium-low.

This beer is fine overall, it's just not a very well-crafted imperial stout in my opinion. This seems to be a case of throwing as much as possible into a beer and hoping something good comes out. Tokyo* is definitely an extreme beer, but as for whether it's a good beer, the jury's still out.

07-09-2010 22:21:33 | More by nickd717
Tokyo* from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 579 ratings.