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Yebisu Black Beer - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Yebisu Black BeerYebisu Black Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Naerhu on 07-18-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdvatab
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

mdvatab, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

cdwil, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of SargeC
3/5  rDev -13.8%

SargeC, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of OsakaRedbeard
5/5  rDev +43.7%

OsakaRedbeard, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of eye2
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

eye2, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +14.9%

nickfl, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of dbaker61
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

dbaker61, May 13, 2011
Photo of xylophonica
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

xylophonica, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of soju6
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

soju6, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Achel Chalice.

A - This beer pours a dark ebony colour with a coffee colour head that retains well.

S - Molassis and brine from the bottle. Once poured takes on a much more roasted aroma.

T - Plenty of roasted malts and molassis, with a hint of chocolate.

M - Full body and medium carbonation makes for a smotth drop

D - Great beer and recommeded

eric5bellies, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of jeranbrews
2.1/5  rDev -39.7%
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.

jeranbrews, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of wl0307
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
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~~

wl0307, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of capra12
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
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".

capra12, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of JeremyBrews
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

JeremyBrews, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of taylor714914
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

taylor714914, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of hunteraw
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

hunteraw, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of bobsy
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

bobsy, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
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

hoegaardenhero, May 28, 2008
Photo of shivtim
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

shivtim, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of jerryj
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

jerryj, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of basica
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

basica, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a can of this beer from a department store in Ikebukuro (Tokyo). Poured into a hotel room glass as a nightcap and was very surprised by the quality. I rated as a Euro dark lager (the current description on BA), but this really seemed more like a porter to me.

The appearance was great, thick light tan head over a dark burgandy brown beer. The aroma was roasted malts and a hint of chocolate, not too different from GL Edmund Fitzgerald. The flavor is same as above but maybe a little more like London Porter. The more I try it the more sure I am that this is a porter, and a good one at that.

I highly recommend this if you're in Japan, it beats the Kirin and other Sapporo products I've tried.

TurdFurgison, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of soulgrowl
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Olive blackish brown, not totally opaque, but would probably make an effective pair of shades. Head is thick, creamy, and dense, caffe latte in color with fair retention.

Smell: Caramel, coffee, peanuts, tobacco, and milk chocolate malt. Light metallic notes paved over with thick, chewy brownie richness. Decidedly subtle hops - from Bayern, according to the can - lend a vague estery essence.

Taste: Chocolate, buckwheat honey, earthy coffee beans, and nutty, roasty dryness. A solid dark malt taste that becomes more rich as it warms, with a lovely cocoa finish without a trace of syrupiness. Light spicy hop notes. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Soft and medium-bodied with a just-right effervescence.

Drinkability: This is my go-to beer in Japan as it's generally the most flavorful option at most stores and it doesn't run quite as expensive as Japanese craft brews. Definitely recommended in this land of rice lagers and happoshu.

soulgrowl, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of crwills
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

crwills, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of davidchollar
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

davidchollar, Jun 09, 2006
Yebisu Black Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.