Yebisu Black Beer - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Yebisu Black BeerYebisu Black Beer

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BA SCORE
80
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 15.71%
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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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 31
Photo of woodychandler
3.96/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Einweizenbitte sent me a CAN during his travels and I set it aside, awaiting picture approval, determination of brewery, and some other factors and then the site went Kaput! for a while and I shunted the CAN even further to the side. Today is New CANned Black Beer Sunday for me and this will be the next offering.

From the CAN: "This premium black beer is brewed using dark roasted malt and caramel malt in good balance, and fine malt and select hops for a rich aroma and hearty roasted flavor."; "Born 1887".

The Crack and inverted Glug threatened to overflow my Anderson Valley CANglass with its dense, two-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head with good retention. It also created a nice pseudo-cascading action before I was forced to back off. Color was a deep, dark-brown with light penetration only at the edges. Nose was rich with a smoky, dark chocolate smell. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side for my taste, but oh!, what a taste! I described an earlier beer today as being like drinking a chocolate milk shake, but this was even closer to the taste than that one. Very chocolaty without being overly sweet, which is just the way that I like such things. Sweet really turns me off. Finish was semi-sweet and the chocolate flavors really lingered well after the swallow.

Photo of wl0307
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
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~~

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.32/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of bobsy
3.91/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of shigg85
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Yebisu Museum in Ebisu, Tokyo. Poured into a half-pint glass. No transparency at all with a thick beige creamy head. Head is delicious and flavored like coffee. Roasted coffee dominates the scent as well. The taste is a bit watery but still palatable. Very bitter like iced coffee. Beautiful scattered ring lacing around the glass. Overall, a wonderful black lager especially if you are looking for a coffee-influenced taste.

Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
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

Photo of Sixpoint
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer, along with the other line, can be found at their classic beer museum in Hokkaido. One of the better easy drinking black lagers out there.

Photo of Naerhu
3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of shivtim
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of hunteraw
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of donnebaby
3.08/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of taylor714914
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of crwills
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of tjd25
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.15/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of mdvatab
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
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

Photo of jeranbrews
2.11/5  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.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
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...

Photo of capra12
3.92/5  rDev +12%
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".

Photo of dbaker61
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of basica
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Yebisu Black Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.