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Tokyo Black - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tokyo BlackTokyo Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

143 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 15
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Naerhu on 12-25-2005)
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KBlodorn
5/5  rDev +34%

Photo of ColSanders123
5/5  rDev +34%

Photo of vikingmike
4.85/5  rDev +30%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Midnight black, even when held up to light. Beautiful, chocolate coloured head that gets whiter as it reaches the top. Gorgeous

Smell: Roast coffee and chocolate

Taste: Wow. Such complexity with such a low ABV...I'm really impressed. Initial notes of dark chocolate and espresso. Fades into roasted hazelnuts. Finishes with molasses and smoke.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth

Drinkability: This beer is simply awesome. I wish it were more widely available in Japan. I'd put this in my top 3 favorite Japanese beers, as well as my top 3 porters worldwide.

Photo of Naerhu
4.68/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - They got the name right with this one! It is as black as the devil's heart, with the darkest brown head I have ever seen.
S - Rich coffee and sweet charred oak.
T - Amazing depth of flavor. Elegant and long lasting bitterness.
M - How can this light body carry such depth of flavor? Minimal carbonation.
D - This is a crowd pleaser and a half!

Photo of bobsy
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Top at Club Popeye in Tokyo. Black as midnight with a huge mocha head. Truly a wondrous sight for a beer lover! Deep roasted coffee and milk chocolate aroma. Very complex flavour - layers of chocolate, first milky and sweet, then dark and bitter, followed by a creamy coffee roast. Grapefruit and caramel bring up the rear. The body is surprisingly light for the complexity of flavour, and there is little carbonation to speak of. Excellent beer, and I'm glad I brought some home!

Photo of DoppleJock
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Slikpitt
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Tsuriman
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First pour produces a nice cascade ala guiness and a thick, foamy light brown head over a black, nearly opaque bear. The aroma is sweet with a subtle roast. The taste is spot on for a porter. A nice hop bitterness to back up a sweet, full bodied porter. Nice and clean on the back of the throat. The body is thick enough and creamy from start to finish.

I would drink this any day. Japan or back in the states.
I look forward to drinking another Tokyo Black.

Photo of BS-
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
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 schnarr84
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

350ml can purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. I love beer in cans. It's hard to tell its exact volume as almost all of the writing is in dense Japanese, but it's hidden there when you look.

Pours a very deep roasty black-brown, with a mildly frothed head of mocha that dissipates to a very thin film. Nice fine messy lace. Carbonation is quite fine, but the body is relatively light, meaning it sluices through quickly. Overall, it's a very decent looking brew.

Nose is also very pleasant, with a roasty toasted bite and a mellow chocolate or buttered brioche sweetness. Some heft in the aroma, meaning it stays very nice and rich. It's a very nice smelling, if not overly complex nose.

Taste is excellent: solid roasted basis, with a clear, rounded fullness to the palate, lending some smoky coffee, earthy spices and even a savoury umami character. Lovely stuff. The finish is really nice and long, and maintains a decent sweetness right to the back where it tastes like a crumbling mound of dark demerara sugar.

Feel is light but solid, and certainly full for a beer that's relatively low in ABV: pretty much spot-on for this style and flavour profile.

Overall, wow—I'm very impressed indeed. I wasn't expecting this to be as good as it is. It's really tasty, drinkable and flavoursome, but manages to stick really well within the pleasant mild, roasted genre of the porter. Really excellent, well-made stuff.

Photo of juju7
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a fine little beer. Black as they come, fine fluffy head. A none too subtle nose of espresso, roasted malt and some tar and chocoloate in the back. Creamy smooth and beautifully balanced with just the right amount of bitterness, carbonation and dryness lining up to form a beer thats hard to dislike. Good stuff.

Photo of snogglethorpe
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, like oil, color is absolutely pitch black, completely opaque, with a big creamy and robust dark tan head.

Smell is a mixture of roastiness, "beer smell", a little metallic.

Mouthfeel is very thick and oily (exactly like it looks). It's not so carbonated (just enough, really), and goes down very smoothly.

Taste is thick, dark-coffee bitter roastiness, slighly sweet, that mellows out on the back of the tongue, with a lingering slightly acrid bitterness (maybe has a bit more hop character there than in the initial taste). Hints of chocolate. The thick oiliness and coffee/chocolate really work together.

A delicious and compelling beer, really tastes more like an American stout than a porter to me (but what do I know). [Vastly better than what I was expecting given some of the poor reviews here!] Maybe it's a freshness issue (I'm in Tokyo)?

I highly recommend this beer for anybody that likes coffee/chocolatey American stouts. Luckily this is also a relatively easy to find in Japan, which is nice because I've not found any other really good stouts that are readily available here -- and it's also quite cheap!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely looks like a porter. Tastes like one too. Nice smoky tone on there that accents the thick malts. Smooth. That is the key word here. I think this is one of the more masterfully brewed porters I have had in quite some time. So thorough and distinct. I feel like I'm watching a master painter slowly move their brush against a canvas and admiring every inch of movement that the brush deposits paint from. This is a very nice porter and the third beer I have tried from this brewery. They have a new fan in me. Now if only I could read their website.

Photo of hreb
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
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 Rwalford74
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this on a balcony in India after having bought it in Tokyo three days ago...

Aptly named as it pours a deep black. Head is three fingers thick, medium brown and comprised of rather large bubbles - looks like a cola with a head that lingers.

Smell is a bit sour and caramel. Taste is great with cocoa, espresso, roasted grains and has a dryness that is almost tart. A bit unusual for a porter but every enjoyable.

I bought the can at the supermarket in the basement of the Hotel New Otani in the Chiyoda neighborhood.

Photo of vma
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of double2chin
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of david18
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of KevMo84
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of klmcmachen
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of billshmeinke
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic

Pitch black body with about two fingers of beige head. Retention is good. Not much lacing.

Smells os sweet chocolate malts, a bit earthy and herbal, malted milk balls as well. Sweet, but definitely a hefty dose of hops to balance things out.

Taste is charred, roasty, espresso, hints of black licorice, chocolate malt, a touch fruity and estery then there is an herbal and earthy hop presence that rounds out the back end. Really nicely balanced and layered.

Mouthfeel is light, well carbonated, fairly clean, and dry on the finish.

This is actually a really solid porter. It makes me think of Darkness, if Darkness was a regular stout, not an imperial stout. Kinda didn't wish I liked this so much, because it's quite price at around $5 a can.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick, ruddy black with a fair, nougaty coffee-stained brown head.

Smell: Rich with coffee and sweet chocolate, plus some roasty char and a fruity red bean-like quality. Hops are floral, a bit tea-like, and articulate, shining brightly through the dark malts. Deep, lush, and inviting.

Taste: Nutty and bold, full of roasty porter goodness. Sweet, slightly acrid burnt mocha malts are offset by a rindy hop bitterness. Grapefruit, grape juice, bitter caramel, and chocolate wafer cookies (think double-chocolate Oreos) abound. Finish is remarkably clean, with a light, lingering hoppy/roasty tang - think burnt hops.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, almost exceedingly so. Smooth and soft yet crisp, with a completely spotless finish.

Drinkability: It's better on cask, but the canned version is damn tasty, too. I'd expect nothing less from Yo-Ho. Maybe even more drinkable than Yona Yona, and possibly the best Japanese porter I've had.

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Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.