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Tokyo Black - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tokyo BlackTokyo Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

156 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 17
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Naerhu on 12-25-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by gpogo:
Photo of gpogo
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black body, tan head. Head faded to a ring.

A- Sweet roasted grain. As it warms chocolate comes out with very faint dark fruit aromas.

T- Initial sweetness with a bitterness throughout. The bitterness really complements the chocolate flavor, almost like you are eating some bitter dark chocolate. Finishes with a roasty bitterness and a light sweetness that sticks around.

M- Medium body, low carbonation.

D- Honestly I grabbed this beer due to the can. I'm impressed with the flavor, I found the aroma to be a bit bland. Seems like something I could easily drink two of in a session.

More User Reviews:
Photo of patre_tim
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown almost black and very thick looking like oil. Slight copper tinge when held to the light at the edge, 3 fingers foam toffee colour head. Fine lacing left as well.


S: Dark toasted notes, molasses. Not really coffee or chocolate but molasses. Hint of fruitiness, but molasses, need I say it again?


T: Okay, coffee comes in, dark 80% plus dark chocolate, burnt charred finish that lingers on the tongue. A hint of sweetness.


M: Medium thick slightly oily body, little carbonation.


O: It’s a great brew. Will try it with a Cuban Cigar. Drank in Kunming, Jan 13th, 2015.

Photo of Weizenmensch
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a tan head. Some head retention, a good amount of lacing, and low-moderate carbonation (that I can see, anyway). Appropriate for the style.

Smell: Nice and complex - certainly moreso than just about any other Japanese beer that I've tried since moving here! Almondy nuttiness, in fact very nutty, some walnutty dry-but-sweet aromas in there. I'm surprising myself that I can even recognise the different nuts in there! Otherwise, that satisfying rich charred dark malt smoke smell... and maybe some stone fruit too. Pretty complex when I sit back and think about it.

Taste: So much more than your average supermarket-bought Japanese beer! Even the other dark styles like Yebisu Black etc. Malty sweetness, nutty astringency, unusually bitter hops that are very distinctive, and which I've definitely had before in some of the Wig and Pen's (Canberra, Australia) dark ales... but I'm out of practice so I can't recognise them. Not as much to back it up as I would have expected though - not a lot on the palate besides the aforesaid bitterness. A bloody good beer for Japan but nothing on similar ales I've had in the past.

Mouthfeel: Rather lacking. The beer is frothy and thick in the front of the mouth, but thin on swallowing. I suppose that's what the brewer intended - a relatively easy drinking porter to have on a lukewarm weeknight (such as tonight!). However, there is a stouty thickness to it, with a watery aftertaste (well, not exactly watery, but definitely thin) that doesn't blend well. Still, it's all right for the style.

Drinkability: I could definitely have another two or three of these, but after that I'd be wanting some lager to wash down all the thick malty astringent residue from the roof of my mouth! In fact, if these were alternated with a nice crisp pilsener or sweet malty lager, that would make for a fine night's beer drinking, and I could drink this beer throughout. Alas, a crisp pilsener is not to be found in this country, and happoushu may have to suffice!

Overall: Awesome for Japan, still quite adequate for anywhere outside England or America.

Photo of ehammond1
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can

Thanks for sharing, MrVonzipper!

Nearly black with a thin brown head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.

Somewhat simple aroma--mild roasted malts and some mild coffee.

Simple, flavors: roasted malt, mild coffee, a hint of bitter chocolate, and some unfortunate ash/char flavor, though it isn't particularly distracting.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A decent enough Asian/American porter, but there are too good of beers to try to revisit this one anytime soon.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with nice looking 1cm light brown head. Medium retention and mild lacing.  

Nose smells like cardboard to me. Surprisingly flat and weak. Slight roasted malt and nuttiness.

Flavor is pretty nice. Light roasted coffee and malt. Good Balance. A little woody. It doesn't have that typical, ricey-like Asian malt flavor that most Asian beers seem to have.

Medium bodied. High carbonation that is nice and creamy.

Overall it's a pretty good beer. Very easy to drink. A good American porter made in Japan.

Photo of hreb
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool 350 mL can served in pint glass. Beer is pitch black with a THICK mocha brown head. Relatively hoppy aroma for a porter, and not too roasty, nor sweet.

Coffee, hello. Erm, did I pick up a can of Japanese coffee? Supper roasty in the flavor, and relatively heavy body. Medium to light carbonation, within the appropriate range for the style Layers upon layers of roasted barley. As much stout (in between sweet and dry) as porter. Secondary flavors of baking chocolate and perhaps...unmalted barley? And at only 5% ABV there is a ton of flavor here with nothing to hide behind.

Yum. Don't know what the nay sayers could possibly be talking. Unless you just don't like porters and stouts this is totally worth seeking out.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Jet black with a finger of tan head.

A good nose of burnt malt, but rounds out with roasted malt.

Heavy hitter on the burnt malt in the taste. I like it. Joined by nice bitterness makes it "gripping". Hint of milk but the burnt malt reigns supreme.

On the creamy side, smoother, bubbles on the tongue. Medium body.

A tasty, standard porter.

Photo of DonDirkA
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Ive never had a japanese beer that I like but this one isn't bad. Smells like coffee with a little chocolate. The taste is coffee, straight up with a slight aftertaste of mocha-like chocolate. Its kind of a watery beer though, goes down like a light beer so that's a little disappointing. Overall maybe a B- beer but as far as japanese beers go its an A.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a medium dark khaki head that fades but is nice on the pour.

Nose is full of plumed coffee/plumed chocolate. Hints of vanilla and a hint of coconut and carmel.

Mouthfeel is medium thin but nice carbonation and decent balance.

Flavor profile is simple but nice roasted coffee and hints of chocolate malt and cocoa. Tastes a bit like a chocolate/mocha malt flavor.

Finish is cocoa/bitter chocolate and bitter roasted coffee. Finish is long lasting.

Photo of BS-
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a highball glass

A: Absolutely black with a thick foamy mocha head and great lacing.
S: Very deep and roasty malts.A touch of bitter chocolate and slightly burnt coffee, but mostly deeply roasted malts.
T: Malty, roasty and earthy upfront, but a very distinct acidity comes in towards the mid-palate. It kinda took me by surprise. It’s almost a dark fruit-y, tart-ish kind of presence almost leaning towards overly ripe cherries. I did not find it all that pleasant initially, but it grew on me after a few sips. The finish is roasty and bitter with a nice maltiness that I love so much in stouts.
M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly light. I expected it to be creamier and fuller. It is extremely smooth though.
O: Very enjoyable. I would definitely have this again. Amazingly, it packs all that flavour in a 5% porter.

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.94/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with a lasting, light tan head.
Sweet-smelling, some soy sauce shows along with roasted malt. Little else. Very faint.
Better flavours, with some spicy hops, roasted malt and liquorice. Again, quite sweet.
Carbonation is too high.
Not great.

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single can from Healthy Spirits. Served in a stemless wine glass.

Black body, frothy tan foam. Creamy texture, with lots of lacing all around the glass. Foam breaks up in a pattern that looks like a floating bed of seaweed in the ocean.

Dark chocolate, mellow roast, malted milk balls.

Lightly bittersweet flavors of chocolate, and mellow coffee. Some lightly charred roasted barley comes through in the middle. Flavorful and smooth, with a creamy feel. No off flavors, and overall clean. A nice Japanese Porter, up there with Hitachino and Baird in my humble opinion.

Photo of smakawhat
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

Classic dark walnut brown body, with a hint of red. Quite dark and opaque. Head makes three fingers but settles slowly to a simple 3mm collar and tan like puck. Kind of a cocoa brown colored head. Pretty solid.

Nose is odd. Quite sweet and sugary smelling. Lots of sugars, and not sensing brown sugar either more of a powdered sugar. Malt and roast character is slight but quite overpowered by this sugar sensation. Forgive the irony but it smells like sweetened iced tea.

Palate comes with a borderline very thin and wet body. Light roast character in the mid palate but quite subdued until the swallow which allows it to permeate a bit more. A bit of a cola like mouthfeel and faint hint of fizz to match going with it. Leafy green hop action without the bitterness that seems to come with some of the sweetness and produce a strange herbality for a porter.

It's drinkable and passable, but it's a very odd tasting porter. Very unlike any porter I've had before.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours opaque black with a half finger light brown head that dissipates relatively quickly, no lacing. Aroma of roasted malt a bit of coffee. Smooth subdued chocolate, roasted malt and light coffee flavor with a slight hint of smoke at the finish. Light to medium bodied. A pleasant, well integrated but not too complex porter.

Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. It is in fact black. Nice foamy brown head that leaves some lace.

S. Kind of smells like cardboard.

T. It's has a toffee feel to it, and that cardboard smell fits into the taste, even if mild. Interesting taste. Very nice and interesting taste. There's a candy taste to it. Kind of like root beer candy.

M. Full-bodied and tingly.

O. Interesting taste. I really like this. Not your typical porter but worth a try.

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer is almost jet black in color (only some traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a finger high tan head that died down but consistently covered the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of lactose, similar to what you would expect from a milk stout.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors similar to that of a milk stout. There are hints of burnt malts in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium- bodied and slightly thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation that tingles your tongue.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink and goes down easily.

Photo of BeerZombies1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

American porter
5% ABV

APPEARANCE: Poured out a deep motor oil black. Even up to the light you can not see through this. Small tan head that settle into a small halo.

AROMA: Very intense and in your face coffee aroma. Chocolate and molasses in the mix with a almost metallic cooked blood smell of iron hiding in the shadows.

TASTE: Chocolate right up front with the coffee. It literally reminds me of a mocha latte. Some bitterness in the middle, sweet malts some faint hops. Finishes smokey and toasty.

MOUTHFEEL: Very light body for a porter. I'm assuming that mixed with the low ABV was the intention of an everyday drinking porter. Minimal carbonation. Slight creaminess in the beginning but thins out on the swallow.

OVERALL: Very interesting and complex beer. Easy to drink, I will say this is the best Japanese porter I have had.

RATING: 3.5/5 Zombie Heads!

Photo of oline73
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a thick layer of creamy tan head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet with a lot of roasted grain. There is a mild caramel malt smell along with some dark chocolate and a touch of dark fruit.

Taste: This one was a pleasant surprise. Tons of roasted malt makes this beer stay more on the bitter side of the spectrum. There is some sweetness, but the roasty flavors win the fight. The finish is bitter from the roast.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I was pretty happy with this beer, but a little more sweetness in the flavor would have put it over the top.

Photo of cwguy5
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep brown, almost black with thin, tan head that faded to a swirling cap; some light lacing left behind

S - pretty standard porter aromas... roasted malt, some coffee, some dark chocolate

T - roasted malts but not to the point of bitter, coffee, chocolate, black walnut

M - thin-medium bodied with moderate, fine carbonation; a mild, drying finish

O - always eager to try dark beers from Japan and this one did not disappoint. nice porter with black walnut twist flavor-wise. check this one out if you get the chance.

Photo of joecast
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking can. Nice looking beer. Pours with a viscous character with a black liquid and thin light tan head.

Interesting doughy aroma. Really like getting ready to bake some bread and some ground up heavily kilned malt is mixed in.

Mellow taste. Little astringency or bitterness to upset the smoothness but manages to remain very drinkable with light sweetness.

Not quite up there with the best of the style but still a very well made and enjoyable beer.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MrVonzipper for the can share

Look: Almost black and totally opaque with 1/4 head and no retention

Smell: Dark fruits coffee and some chocolate

Taste: Little bit of chocolate and coffee upfront with a bit of ash on the backend

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation

Overall: It is a decent little beer

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A smoky sweet, molasses-like malt aroma is readily apparent. Pours a moderate, dense, tan-colored head which soon diminishes and forms a lasting ring; lots of lacing. Body is black—no discernible highlights. The roasted malt flavor comes through clearly in the first few sips, along with an unwelcome metallic quality; light coffee; both hop bitterness and flavor are subdued. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the flavor is the lingering, nutty roastiness. Medium-light body with moderately low carbonation and a satisfying bite.

While not bad overall, the metallic quality is a little distracting and the flavor begins to taste of carbonated water over time. Very drinkable otherwise, though it could benefit from a more complex and expressive flavor profile.

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

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with very little hints of very dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a three finger tall pillowy dark tan head that reduces but leaves about a half finger tall head covering the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Overall the beer has a rather mild smell, which is a little unexpected with the style. I detect a light amount of dark roasted malts and a creamy lactose (like you would get in a milk stout).

T: There are dark roasted almost burnt malts with a light amount of bitterness. The bitterness only lingers a very short amount of time and is not overly intense or aggressive.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of effervescent carbonation. Slightly on the thin side.

O: This beer is very easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I could easily see this being a sessionable beer, especially in the early autumn just as it is starting to get cool/cold in the evening.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.09/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Eric for this can. Served in a tulip.

Pours black with a huge tan head and quite a bit of nice, streaky lacing as it falls down the glass. Eventually this settles into a thin cap that looks nice around the edges of the beer. The nose is pretty plain and is disappointing after viewing this thing. There is some mild roast there and maybe an undercurrent of chocolate, though that might be stretching it a bit. The flavor involves some mild roast and a touch of dark chocolate. The body is medium and it has an off-putting dry, roasty finish. An okay beer, but not something I would seek out again. Thanks again for the gift, Eric.

Photo of railcaider
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque jet black with tan head. The head is more rich and creamy than foamy. The most prominent smells are sweet chocolate and coffee, but there is a bit of a roasted toffee aroma.

As with any beer, the taste changes depending on the temperature it's served at. The first sips I took had a very sweet chocolate taste, but as the glass warmed up a bit this became milder, like dark chocolate. Either way, the creamy mouthfeel goes well with these flavors. The carbonation is subdued and the finish is very smooth, but there is enough body to prevent a watery taste.

I really enjoy this beer, especially since this creamy style is rare in Japan. It's beers like this that made me a fan of Yo-Ho Brewing.

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Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.