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Yebisu Black Beer - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Yebisu Black BeerYebisu Black Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

30 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 59
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd. visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Naerhu on 07-18-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 59
Photo of jeranbrews
2.11/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Going back for the can this time. Why? To document, to warn, to verify it wasn't a fluke.

A - Not bad. Decent Rorschach lacing that disappears like the super hero of the same name.. Somewhat clear dark brown color. Low head of a bone/beige color. The color is the redeeming factor.

S - Oh dear. Gaseous. Aluminum. Like a CO2 action BB gun that needs to be cleaned. Some bits of the hop but not that great. Hard to find the chocolate this time.

T - Mild medicinal flavor. Like when you crunch a pill into powder and mix it with water. Aftertaste is somewhat acidic. I taste some saran wrap plastic in there too. The can wasn't an improvement.

M - Not all that smooth. In Japanese fashion it's a bit loose and watery.

D - Yeah reach for the others when you are in a Japanese supermarket. This was fine when it was the only one on the market but now there are so many better ones both Japanese and imported. (910 characters)

Photo of JeremyBrews
2.79/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark caramel color. Weak head that fades immediately. Zero lacing.

S- Rye bread with swamp/bog.

T- Nice initial hop passes the baton to toasted malt and rye bread flavors. Aftertaste is a bit of a salty, soy sauce experience.

M- Medium-light body. Carbonation was way too weak.

D- Overall a very average dark lager. Admittedly, though, I have pulled more of these off the shelves of Japanese convenience stores than any other beer - but this is mostly a testemant to the lack of dark brew options here. (509 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The was an extraordinarily average beer. Tan rapidly disappearing head, medium to light lacing. The faintest aroma of coffee and nuts. This is very similar to the original Yebisu only, with the ever distant coffee and hazelnut flavor in the background. I would not bother to drink this again, but then again I am not a big fan of the style. (340 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yebisu, Sapporo's "premium" AKA expensive line of beers features the god of fishing (whose name is...Yebisu) and, of course, of luck, on a black and gold can: impressive.

I enjoy drinking this beer, despite its inflated price. It lacks the taste that Asahi's "black" beer pulls off, but it's great presentation and feels good in the mouth. The smell's a little watery, with only a slight maltiness. The very dark red color and fleeting head remind me of a nice Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer (not beer). There's a pretty high carbonation, which unfortunately doesn't give way to too much else. There's some type of earthy, slightly bitter unrefined beer taste, like peanut shells or something. Maybe a little dark cherry taste in there as well. (746 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is ok, the head is thin and falls fast and breaks the surface. Although it has a lacing that falls 3 or 4mm before stopping and sticking to the glass. The color is deep dark and ruby/purple. The head dissapears after a little time.

Smell is dark roasted, but light at the same time. The flavor reminds me of a weak stout.

The flavor is the same as the smell, but the finish is clean and the aftertaste is dark roasted malts with cocoa.

Mouthfeel is watery, but well carbonated and a little smooth in the finish.

It's a nice to try beer, seems like the Japanese has this for a session beer they can enjoy. (629 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was given this from a friend

A- Dark in color, not black....almost like a dark redish brown. Pours with about a finger of head that quickly disappears and leave behind virtually no lacing

S- Roasted malts...thats about it.

T- Not really much going on here. It has some dark roasted flavors with some hints of coffee of burnt grains....overall not that impressive

M- Quite thin feeling with average/medium carbonation. A bit watery.

D- Maybe 2, but nothing more than that.

Overall, the beer was quite bland IMO. (518 characters)

Photo of hunteraw
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at a Shanghai supermarket. I was impressed with Yebisu's "The Hop" and thought I would give this "black beer" a shot.

Appearance: Pleasant dark leather in color, clear with red tints. One finger khaki head with modest retention.

Smell: Aroma is less roast, and more vegetable. Faint hints of coffee.

Taste: Flavor is better than the aroma, reminiscent of a schwarzbier. Caramel, roast, and coffee but lager-clean.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Medium body, mild carbonation. On the whole, not nearly as good a beer as The Hop. Moderately drinkable. (560 characters)

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the local AAA in Yomitan, poured from the can...

A - Dark as pitch with a muddy two fingers of rich head.

S - Roasted malts is the only thing I can make out of the nose.

T - Anise, roasted malt, and a smidgen of bakers cocoa in the front, lacking any burnt bitterness whatsoever.

M - Light bodied, creamy, and refreshing.

Overall this is a nice "euro dark lager" whatever that means, reminds me of a less impressive Lion Stout, still enjoyable, Would recommend if you are facing this versus any mainstream Japanese pilsner-esque beers... Orion, Kirin, Asahi etc... (583 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at the Yebisu Beer Museum's bar. It's deep black with brown edges and a tan head that fades. Looks good. Nose is roasted caramel malts, and slight hoppy sweetness. Taste is decent malty goodness, slightly burnt on the finish, and an underlying sweetness. Not bad. Average mouthfeel and drinkability. (303 characters)

Photo of eye2
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Favorite Japanese beer.

A: Black/DarkBrown put still opaque. Almost no head.

S: Not much smell.

T: It has a taste. Slightly bitter and pleasing.

M: High carbonation and refreshing. Makes you happy to be out and about.

O: Overall, it's not super great. But it's probably the most tasty & refreshing native beer in Japan that you can drink all day at the park or just walking around. (386 characters)

Photo of crwills
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad for a macro, not bad at all. Had a couple of these at the Da Vinci bar in the ANA Hotel in Akasaka. Quite pleasant roasty aromas, and a good roasted caramel flavour, although fairly weak in body. Carbonation was a bit higher than I'd like as well, but still pretty drinkable. (283 characters)

Photo of xylophonica
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from what I think is a 350ml can into a tulip.

A - Jet black, slight hint of purpley-brown when held in the right light. Little or no head to speak of... but this is from a can.

S - Sweet toffee and caramel. Hint of honey & wheat as well.

T - Fairly smooth - minimal carbonation. Strong malt sensation with heaps of roasted flavours. Big, rich, dark-sugary tastes with some coffee as well.

M - As above the carbonation is fairly mild however it does have a slight aftertaste which is dominated by the bitter-coffee sensation.

O - Not a terrible example of the style. I think if you could get this on tap and it was just a little bit creamier it would be a damn fine beer. As it is, it's pleasant enough. (716 characters)

Photo of davidchollar
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i vaguely remember trying this one years ago and being unimpressed, but i think i drank straight from the can. revisiting it now in light of discovering the surprisingly tasty asahi stout.

appears very dark. black with just a little light shining through at the bottom of my guinness glass. average head, but poor retention and no lacing. the smell is pretty good, very much roasted malt, coffee smells. similar to a weak stout. it's really a nice change of pace from your average rice lager or pilsener, but it seems one-dimensional. not much beyond the obvious.

abv stated on can as 5%. this is a nice, well-balanced beer. no surprise, it's pale brother yebisu was my favorite macro for a long time. overall taste and mouthfeel, average, not bad. above average for japanese mass-produced lagers. worth a try. (817 characters)

Photo of basica
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this one off the shelf at Isetan over at Scotts, Orchard. Thought I would give the
Yebisu a try after hearing so much about it and I picked the black lager from Yebisu. I am not
sure if I should call this a black lager or simply a stout. It feels like a stout due to the
highly roasted malts and subtle coffee hints in the smell, taste and after taste. This dark lager
pours out really blackish dark with a 1 inch thick head that slowly sinks in to leave a coffee
like lacing The main thing in the smell, taste and after tasts however is still the the dark
roasted malts and it really lives up to its name as an "all malt beer". However it becomes a
little monotonous with just the familiar roasted malt taste. Bitterness was very subtle and light
and the body of this one's a little on the thin side. Carbonation was high at the start but
quickly drops to a minimal level. Generally a very smooth beer and pretty refreshing and thirst
quenching for a stout (or black lager). I can appreciate it to a certain extent but still feel
that there could be more to it. (1,083 characters)

Photo of mdvatab
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a bottle at Tori Gin restaurant in Nagoya Japan. Was relieved to see something on the menu other than Asahi or Kirin.

A: Whole wheat bread, dark roasted malt (a combo of molasses, brown sugar, and light smoke). Also, a faint herbal hop note. Not bad.

A: Pours dark brown with a tinge of ruby, and a foamy, 3 finger light tan head. This does not look like the Japanese beers I`m used to, and that`s a good thing!

F: Maltiness comes through again with a touch of molasses and whole wheat bread, but sweetness is relatively dry and muted. A slight tartness is noticeable (likely some astringency from the dark malt). The beer has a nice, moderate hoppy bitterness that comes in toward the middle, and hangs on for a little while.

M: Medium mouthfeel with crisp, medium-high carbonation.

O: Again, if it comes down to either ordering the standard Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo golden lagers or this one, I`m choosing this all day long. Definitely not one that would be my beer of choice back in the states, but I applaud the effort by Sapporo to market a darker beer. Now, if only demand for this kind of product would increase so the other big brewers came out with similar products! (1,186 characters)

Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another souvenir for me from my wife's trip to Japan.

This beer pours a clear, deep mahogony with reddish hues. A nice tan head tops the beer and lasts through most of the beer then turns to lace.

Aroma is slight roastiness, som carame, and moderate but noticable noble hops.

Mediuim body with a nice dry finish.

An enjoyable, easy drinking beer. (359 characters)

Photo of dbaker61
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nov. 25, 2010 brew date, best by July 25, 2011.
Enjoyed slightly chilled.

Appearance: Dark brown-black, reddish glow when held up to a bright light. Plenty of thick, tan foam, about three fingers worth. Good retention, leaving little bits of lacing and a bubbly ring.

Smell: Roast malt, hint of chocolate and sweet malt.

Taste: Nice roast malt flavor, not as full flavored as porters. Bitterness coming from hops and roast malt. Good balance between malt sweetness and the bitterness, with the bitterness winning out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Dry bitter finish. Low carbonation.

Overall: Fine Japanese attempt at the dark Euro style. Quite drinkable. I will be having this again. (685 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 350ml can, produced in 09/2009, BB 05/2010 (likely unpasteurised); served lightly-chilled in a straight pint glass.

A: pours a nearly black hue with mahogany glows, coming with semi-lively carbonation and a thick, light tan frothy head that retains quite well.
S: pleasantly malty - bitter chocolates, sweet coffee, bitter-sweet black malts, burned black sugar and metallic notes dominate the nose, laced with lighter hints of roast nuts, black prunes and leather-ish+grassy hops. Very pleasant, actually, less roasty than most stouts and rather like a very very dark Dunkel lager or even a less sweet Baltic Porter.
T: surprisingly bitter and dry from the beginning, the foretaste has a soothing black malt theme, followed by semi-earthy hops and dry-ish bitterness, lingering burned walnutty aroma, and a lighter input of black prunes, but in the finish it's the good quality black malts' aftertaste and the bitter edge of caramel that linger the most.
M&D: the carbonation is kept at a "healthy" level, i.e. soft enough and not at all spritzy, while the body remains medium-minus to go well with the refreshing flavour profile. I find this beer more like a slightly more malty, heavier Schwarzbier, which, aided by Sapporo's dry-ish touch and a delicate hop profile, is rendered even more quaffable~~ (1,316 characters)

Photo of jerryj
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a couple cans of this lovely beer this evening from the local Sunkus convenience store here in Takamatsu, Japan.

The can is a standard 500ml can that most beers in Japan these days come in. Unlike most Japanese beers, this one #1 - is black, #2 - doesn't taste like Miller High Life (Sapporo Draft One, anyone?).

This Black Lager is not too unlike a beer that I had prior to leaving the US - the Samuel Adams Black Lager. This beer is not overly carbonated, and has a rather nice balance of malts... at times it tastes of that familiar coffee flavor, at times a bit of a dry caramel flavor. It's got a dark color consistent with a dark beer, but its taste lacks the creaminess of a stout or even porter. It has a bit of a crisp finish.

This beer is a bit off the beaten path compared to most Japanese beers. If you're looking for a native beer that doesn't lack flavor and is a bit more malty than hoppy, this beer is a good bet. It's one of the best beers I've been able to find in Japan that is even available in the smaller cities. It's far better on tap if you can find it (I did at my local Ikaku restaurant), but don't hesitate to drink it straight from the can or bottle. Thumbs up from this gaijin. (1,217 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass goblet. About a half finger of head on top of a black body. The head faded pretty quickly.

Smells of hay and grain, lots of it.

It has a good roasted malt taste throughout. There's some burnt taste too. It ends with a good bitterness.

Smooth and medium body, low carbonation. Fits nicely with the flavor.

A tasty black lager. (350 characters)

Photo of tjd25
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A quickly disappearing coke-like head: brownish with big bubbles. The color is dark purple, and the only thin I could get from the smell was some winy notes. The taste is interesting: smoked malts, winy grape notes, cherry and dark chocolate, floury on the tongue. The carbonation is citric and iodated. The mouthfeel is a bit rough from the chocolate like bitterness, but shows some creamyness too. A nice beer. (412 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at the Yebisu Beer Museum in Tokyo.

A: Served a virtual black color with a good tan head with some lacing.

S: Aroma is a mixture of Caramel and Coffee mixed in with roasted malt.

T: Nice roasted malt flavor with a bit of caramel and coffee.

F: Faily full body with a smooth creamy feel.

D: Easy drinker, good for a few. One of my first choices when I find it available while traveling in Japan. (406 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: nice off-white head on top of a thick brown/black body; some decent lace

s: strong sweet coffee with some chocolate malts

t: smooth roasted coffee; some chocolate malts hints of bitter coffee beans; nuttiness

m: creamy and sooth light carb

d: i have always been kind of a fan of this beer but it is really smooth on tap (326 characters)

Photo of bobsy
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Ginza Lion Beerhall. Nice dark brown, bordering on black with a large mocha head. An impressive appearance from a major brewer. Caramel cocoa and coffee in the aroma. Smooth, roasty taste, somewhat like kostritzer, with the emphasis very much on the malts. Creamy mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Surprisingly good, and a solid quaffer. (350 characters)

Photo of capra12
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed in Hong Kong on 10/15/09 from notes taken.

Appearance: Poured dark honey brown, with a fine and frothy head that dissipates slowly.

Smell: Roasted malts and dark grains.

Taste: Opens with subtle malts, then incomes the roasted malts as those are then over taken by caramel malts and a hint of coffee that lingers in the background leaving a roasted malt and slghtly hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rather smooth and dry, light to medium bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: I would have this again and would recommend this to those who like to try a roasted malt and mildly hoppy "black beer". (614 characters)

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Yebisu Black Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
81 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.