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Tokyo* - BrewDog

Not Rated.

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

592 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 592
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 16.07%
Wants: 48
Gots: 160 | FT: 9
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: 592 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

mattboyer182, Aug 25, 2010
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.

lackenhauser, Aug 21, 2010
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!

phillybeer7779, Aug 17, 2010
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!

StoneBrewFanatic, Aug 15, 2010
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%

tjfinkle, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of johnnnniee
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.

johnnnniee, Aug 05, 2010
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*

SleepyMonk, Aug 01, 2010
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.

LittleCreature, Jul 31, 2010
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.

Evil_Pidde, Jul 29, 2010
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.

RobertTh3Texian, Jul 29, 2010
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?

jzeilinger, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of kwjd
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.

kwjd, Jul 13, 2010
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.

nickd717, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of Sigmund
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 18.2%. Pitch black colour, big brown head. Strong aroma of oak, molasses, roasted malts, sweetened strong coffee, dark dried fruits and alcohol. The flavour is sweet, malty and roasty, notes of burnt caramel and molasses, the alcohol is very noticeable. A moderate hoppy bitterness in the finish. A bit too far out on the sweet side, I'm afraid - but definitely worth sampling.

Sigmund, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

Tasted on 4/26, review from memory. Served at a local pub in a six-ounce mini-snifter glass.

A: Color is a dark brown, bording on black. There are dark amber hints along the edge. Arrive with almost no head. On swirl, a thin, tan head appears and quickly disappears. Eventually takes on a flat appearance.

S: Aroma was all over the place. At first, smelled very earthy with hints of tobacco and leather. As it warmed, some dark fruits (raisin mainly) with a hint of sweetness (cranberry?). Also picked up typical roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. Oh, and the alcohol.

T: WOW. Intense. Substantial warming from the alcohol felt almost immediately. This is a sipper. Flavor profile is similar to the smell, although the dark (really dark) chocolate takes on a more prominent note. The problem, the alcohol creates such a warming affect that it kind of distracts from the tasting experience.

M: Quite big and oily, almost like a Vin Santo. Low carbonation.

D: This is a very unique beer that I'm glad I got to taste and I'll likely go down and get another pour just because it's so rare on tap. But at the end of the day, drinkability suffers due to the alcohol. Even as a sipper, this is a hard one. I also thought the beer peaked quickly and as it warmed and flattened out a bit, it lost a little bit of its enjoyment.

oregonskibum, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Best before 16/02/20

A: This poured a murky mahogany with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like tart cranberries and earthy milk chocolate, with some coffee and oak and alcohol.
T: It tasted like cranberries and cherries, with dark chocolate and brown sugar and a little dry oak. It had a metallic aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was surprisingly thin - watery with medium carbonation.
D: This was quite and interesting blend of flavors that ended up being enjoyable - like Worldwide Stout in strength, but with unique sour taste somewhat like Le Coq. It was surprisingly drinkable for the ABV, but it was still clearly a sipping beer. My only real complaint is that the body was weak. But I'd easily drink this again, perhaps with more age next time.

Pencible, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%

Bought the new batch of Tokio this weekend. Poured into two wineglasses for my future wife and I. Poured a very short pour and got nearly zero head. Color is not as black as I expected. Amazing to see some bubbles coming up. Smells HOT. Very hot, had to open my mouth to not be overwhelmed while sniffing. Smells very sweet, malty, a bit chocolatey and fruitcake-like. Taste is very fruity, very sweet, overpoweringly alcoholic. Good god, it's like a liqueur with carbonation. Hard to detect the jasmine, or the cranberry for that matter, but do pick up a definite dried fruit taste. Tastes HOT. Feeling it after about an ounce and a half. Glad to try the beer, but I don't think it'll be a re-buy. Brewdog are definitely known for taking it over the top, Stallone style. They have done it again. They definitely don't deserve the bad rap they've gotten, I don't think. Pressing boundaries is never a bad thing, and they've also done a good job when they stay within boundaries (5 AM saint and Punk). Wow is all I have to say.

WestValleyIPA, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of geokills
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

The Brewdog Tokyo Russian Imperial Stout was poured to me on-tap at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, California, as part of their barrel aged brew month. At 18.2%, I just knew I had to try this monster. To my surprise, the monster was well tamed!

Fresh malty nose, tan head of soft fine bubbles. Significant lacing and a dark, dark mahogany. Lively mouthfeel, bready and rich with a bitter finish reminiscent of a strong barely wine. The heavy alcohol content is well masked amidst the sticky but not overly sweet flavor, though this one finishes with a definite hit of liquor like flavor, brandy indeed as owed to its aging in brandy barrels. Recommended.

geokills, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

The label on my bottle is spelled differently from the picture, mine is spelled "Tokio" and does not have the red dot in the first "o".

A: Pours a deep dark brown with no head at all. During the pour there was some head but immediately dissipated after the pours was finished. A very fine ring around the glass remained which is the result of this beer continuously bubbling with carbonation.

S: Smells somewhat oakey with notes of malt and cranberries. Overall a somewhat "boozy" smell as other reviewers have noted. Also some vanilla and other mild fruit notes are detectable on the nose.

T: Immediately tastes of very dark and bitter chocolate, giving way to molasses with mild cranberries and roasted malts. The taste gives way to alcohol fairly quickly but overall very enjoyable while the taste is present.

M: Somewhat creamy and oily feeling on the tongue with a light amount of carbonation. After the swallow feels like a regular hard liquor on the finish, burning the throat ever so slightly is the very high alcohol content.

D: Almost disturbingly drinkable for the amount of alcohol in this brew. Very easy to drink once the first few sips are down (much like a whiskey). While I'll definitely finish this one, I would be hesitant to have another right away.

Daktyls, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of brystmar
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%

12oz bottle into a rocks glass.

A: dark brown/black with zero head. Mild brownish layer of fizz forms on the surface. No apparent lacing.

S: boozy, malty, caramel, roasty goodness.

T: strong booze and malt up front; caramel and burnt sugar follow, ending with a strong roasted malt complexion.

M: starts off medium-bodied and rather blah in this category, but turns smooth and creamy as it warms.

D: this is an 18% beer and it shows. Actually gets easier to drink as it warms, but this is a sipper for sure.

brystmar, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of markskar
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

This bottle spells it "Tokio*". Batch 002, best before date of 14/12/19. Label reads: "intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout: malt beverage brewed with cranberries and jasmine".

This is a damn good Imperial Stout. I was skeptical about whether I'd enjoy it due to the super-high abv. Lately it seems that some brewers just go to extremes to get the hype and sell more beer, and the quality often suffers. Not so with Tokio. Thick and rich, very enjoyable as a dessert (or on it's own too I'm sure, I just happen to be enjoying one after a big pasta dinner).

A: Pours pitch black with a surprisingly thick head for a high abv brew. Lacing is minimal.

S: The aroma at first was a little bit funky, oaky, and not terribly pleasant. However, as it warms the cranberries and roasted malt aromas start to shine through. The alcohol aroma is well hidden.

T: Rich, roasted malts and dark fruit. The cranberries are detectable, but blended nicely with coffee/chocolate flavors. The taste is like chocolate covered raspberries. Very pleasant. As with the aroma, the alcohol is very well masked.

M: Thick and a little bit sticky. Little bit of an burn from the alcohol in the back of the through, but pretty smooth overall.

D: For the style and the high abv it is extremely drinkable. Definitely a sipper, and to be consumed in moderation, but delightfully enjoyable after a heavy meal as a dessert.

markskar, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

11.2oz bottle from stopbarking poured into a tulip.

Pours a murky mahogany brown that doesn't quite get to full black. There is a fairly big bubbly tan head that recedes to a small cap and leaves no lacing but a bit of legs on the side.

The aroma is heavily roasted black malts, charred almost, with a big vanilla sweetness and cranberries. No doubt about the alcohol in this one as it burns the nostrils. Lots of oak and a hint of jasmine lend a light spiciness to the nose.

The taste starts with a quick hit of chocolate covered cranberries but it's quickly swept away by the oak and vanilla which has an accompanying alcohol burn. The taste doesn't seem quite as charred as the nose but more boozy and sweet. It burns a lot.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and seriously boozy. Slick with soft carbonation.

This is a big, oaky stout with a ton of contrasting flavors and a massive alcohol presence. It's certainly low on the drinkability scale but it's an interesting beer to try once.

gford217, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of sisuspeed
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

Batch 002, best before 14/12/19

Poured into a snifter. Dark, dark brown body, with a tint of ruby red around the edges. A thin, lightly-tan film sits on top after the initial head gives way. Light waves lacing after each sip.

Dark roasted malts, alcohol infused cranberries, vanilla and oak rise up from the glass. A little bit of chocolate, but vanilla and cranberries are the dominant smell. The alcohol is a bit stiffer than most beers, but does not get in the way too much.

Rich oak and vanilla flood the taste buds at first, followed by a rush of cranberry and dark, chocolaty, malts. However, before the malts and cranberry can really set up they are wiped out by a wave of alcohol. The alcohol is really quite dominating on the finish. There is also a hint of floral notes in the beer, which may be the jasmine, but I'm not exactly sure, since I haven't dealt with jasmine too much. In general the flavor has a nice complexity that I enjoy, but the high ABV knocks it down a notch just because it wipes things out a bit.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Creamy, smooth, ample carbonation and lots of warming alcohol.

Drinkability is a tough to rate for this beer. I admire the beastliness of the beer, but the ABV does wash out a bit of the flavor. Definitely a sipper, but one that I quite enjoy. Perfect for splitting with someone on a cold winter night. Enjoy it slowly like a nice whisky.

Overall, this is a fairly crazy brew. Nice aroma, great complexity in the flavor and a big helping of alcohol heat. Not for the faint of heart, but probably an enjoyable beer for those that like stouts and scotch. The brew seems to have a lot of potential for aging, so I think I'll pick up one or two more and see how they fair down the road. Worth seeking out.

sisuspeed, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of abuliarose
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured into a snifter, revealing deep brown body with a thin layer of dense and creamy tan head. Some lacing. Smells Strong and sweet with heavy vanilla notes and hints of dried fruit. Somewhat boozy, but with the 18.2 percent it's a lot better masked than I expected.

Tastes really good, but the alcohol is ever present. Lots of oak and vanilla with a decently strong bitter hop presence over the roasted tones and malt. The cranberry flavor is folded in with all the other dark dried fruit flavors of date, apricots and fig. Jasmine is hard to detect, but there is a certain delicateness to the brew otherwise unexpected from something that packs such a whopping alcohol punch. Carbonation is tight and tingly in what is perhaps a medium body but drinks like a fine bourbon. Very much a sipper, this one, and one I could easily split a bottle a few ways of.

Overall, it's worth a try... especially on a cool night with a crackling fire and some anti-establishment literature.

abuliarose, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

Draft, City Beer Store, BrewDog night. This was an interesting beer, but it was just a bit too big for its own good with heat overshadowing much of the complexity. Appearance is very dark brown to black with a pretty good light brown head, unexpected in such a big beer. Unfortunately, this beer is quite hot. There's a lot of booze in the aroma and even more on the palate. There's chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, oak and roast, but it's all buried under alcohol and the more delicate notes just don't really show up. For instance, it's floral and fruity but I can't pick out jasmine or cranberries specifically. I would enjoy trying the normal version of this beer for a point of comparison and to see if more subtlety came through without quite so much booze. Mouthfeel is a bit rough, also from the booze. It's not terrible at all, but the alcohol content just throws things off-balance for me.

popery, Jun 20, 2010
Tokyo* from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.