Yebisu Black Beer - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
3.35/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
12-07-2011 00:32:15 | More by eye2
3.63/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
05-13-2011 13:44:34 | More by dbaker61
3.43/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
03-22-2011 09:24:18 | More by xylophonica
3.85/5 rDev +11.3%
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.
01-14-2011 13:37:39 | More by soju6
4.05/5 rDev +17.1%
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
06-18-2010 15:47:15 | More by eric5bellies
2.1/5 rDev -39.3%
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.
02-06-2010 16:57:06 | More by jeranbrews
United Kingdom (England)
3.63/5 rDev +4.9%
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~~
12-24-2009 14:48:55 | More by wl0307
3.93/5 rDev +13.6%
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".
11-05-2009 04:12:17 | More by capra12
2.8/5 rDev -19.1%
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.
11-01-2009 15:37:55 | More by JeremyBrews
3.23/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
02-13-2009 01:27:40 | More by taylor714914
3.25/5 rDev -6.1%
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.
01-10-2009 06:40:58 | More by hunteraw
3.93/5 rDev +13.6%
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.
10-12-2008 18:33:33 | More by bobsy
3.9/5 rDev +12.7%
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
05-28-2008 05:47:05 | More by hoegaardenhero
3.28/5 rDev -5.2%
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.
12-20-2007 17:38:21 | More by shivtim
3.8/5 rDev +9.8%
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.
10-30-2007 13:11:42 | More by jerryj
3.53/5 rDev +2%
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.
08-10-2007 18:29:12 | More by basica
4.33/5 rDev +25.1%
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.
06-03-2007 11:58:05 | More by TurdFurgison
United Kingdom (England)
4.1/5 rDev +18.5%
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.
03-11-2007 10:02:17 | More by soulgrowl
3.4/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
11-16-2006 18:36:51 | More by crwills
3.45/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
06-09-2006 15:07:04 | More by davidchollar
3.13/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
05-29-2006 01:28:52 | More by Erdinger2003
3.58/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
06-06-2005 00:13:05 | More by ncbrewerbun
Yebisu Black Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.