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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
84
good

132 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 15
Gots: 7 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbutler1
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can. A little pricey at about $5 a pop but figured I would give it a try. Popped the top and poured into a NB tulip glass a dark non transparent brown/black color with a 1 finger mocha tan head that slowly settles. The arom is sublte but has notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Medium roast coffee flavors that slowly transition to a smooth dark chocolate note endign with a slight bitterness. Some sweetness but still dry. Minimal lacing. Overall, a nice drinking porter but a little too pricey for me to go for again.

kbutler1, Oct 14, 2011
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.

emerge077, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of billshmeinke
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

billshmeinke, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Klym
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stone nonic.

A: Black with a 1 finger creamy, khaki colored head and carbonation bubbling throughout the body.

S: Big vanilla overhang with coffee, an irony dried blood tinge, wood, caramel, non-lactose centric milk note, and honey roasted nuts. Odd and complex, but makes me very interested to drink it.

T: As though they mixed the nose with club soda, all of the nose but coming through much lighter with a generic roasted wood taste dominating. There's more vanilla in the finish, but not quite enough flavor overall. Kind of a big let down.

M: Smooth and creamy at first but goes into a club soda mouthfeel quickly with a little old graham cracker residue feel in the mouth after swallowing.

O: I'm always interested to give things from Japan a shot as I think there's a lot of potential there, but this one fell short in the taste in mouthfeel. I can't account for quality considering the distance this beer must have traveled, but as it is in my glass it still has distance to go.

Klym, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this single can from Total Wine. Pours pitch black with a nice beige head. Smells quite toasty and with distinct notes of blackstrap molasses, but it doesn't smell sweet. In fact, it's quite dry. The taste is interesting- also very dry, with an almost meaty, savory flavor up front, followed by charcoal notes, and grassy hops, as well as some bitter chocolate, some light nuttiness, and roasted grains. Very dry, but quite smooth in the mouth, this has a nice lingering bitterness as well. A pleasant surprise.

Georgiabeer, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of hreb
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

hreb, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of WillCarrera
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a completely opaque, midnight black, it doesn't produce a lot of head but what's there is almost mocha brown before it fades to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, coffee, it smells nice but I wish there were more going on here.

T- More roasted malts and coffee, some char and chocolate with a slight metallic coffee grounds taste on the finish, again it's not a bad flavor, but it's a bit thin and watery and tends to ride more heavily on the finish than at the beginning.

M- The beer's weakest point, the body is light and a bit too thin, good carbonation and an otherwise nice, creamy feel and dry finish, but it's definitely too thin for a porter, there just isn't enough substance to it.

O- A decent, easy drinking porter, the flavors are pretty good but the body is a bit too thin, a good beer that could have been so much better.

WillCarrera, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of snogglethorpe
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
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!

snogglethorpe, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of alexhahn82
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Black, two finger head that quickly dissipates. Black, oh yeah, its black too! Almond colored head that is a pleasant color to see.

S - NADA. ZIP. NOTHING. Small hint of dark roast and that is a far stretch.

T/M - SMOKE! Mild carbonation, a very minor finish of chocolate.

O - 5% ABV - kind of a tame porter in my opinion, Meh... middle of the spectrum, don't seek it out, but if its there give it a shot over something else you may have had.

PP (Price Point) - $4.99 for a 12oz can, again, Meh. Would be more appropriate at $3.50 or so for a can.

alexhahn82, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this randomly at the grocery store the other day. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured black, just a touch of translucence at the edges. An inadvertent over-aggressive pour gave me over 3 inches of rocky, medium brown head that had very good retention and zero lacing.

The aroma was richly malty with some roast tones. The flavors were almost all roasted malt, just a hint of hop spice, with a coffeeish finish.

The body was surprisingly thin, way too thin for the style. Drinkability was good, the beer went down smoothly and easily. Overall, a decent beer. Worth trying if you see it.

beertunes, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good American Porter. Pours a dense black color with a medium size dark tan head. Head retention ok, good thick lacing.

Strong and pleasant aroma. Coffee predominates but there are smoky and roast malts and some chocolate in the aroma. Taste is the same. Coffee is on top, chocolate and smoky malts are very apparent also. Nice blend of flavors, very tasty.

Mouthfeel is crisp and spritely, rich enough and the beer goes down very smooth.

This is a good American Porter...A bit pricy at $4.99 a can but a very worthwhile beer.

JayQue, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of broken22
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Today I continue my quest to find good Asian dark beers with Tokyo Black.

The beer pours out and leaves a nice cream colored head. About average thickness finally subsiding to just a ring around the glass. The beer is dark. I can hold this up to the light and it stays that way. The smell has a little smoky malt like smell to it. The flavor is more of the same. The smoky smell comes through with a very subtle bitterness. The overall mouth feel is nice and smooth because their is not a lot of carbonation.

Overall this beer is great. I really like the flavor profile. I think it is perfectly executed and well balanced. I wish it was easier to find. I can only get these as single 12oz cans. If you like American Porters than do yourself a favor and pick one of these up.

broken22, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Today's CANQuest (TM) Sumo event pits no less than woodychandler versus Kitazakura at Ryogoku Kogukikan on a cloudy, full moonlit night. This will be a monumental bout as Kitzakura does not look kindly upon foreigners and as he stares up at the moon for guidance, woody merely quaffs a beer and awaits the referee's signal. This beer (and match) brought to you by JayQue, a recent promoter on the scene and one unaware of woody's prowess with regard to the CAN.

As the pair of daunting sumos go into their crouch, the dreaded Crack & Glug is heard from near the ropes, unleashing beads of sweat upon the brows of these heretofore unshakable opponents. Word passes that the Glug has produced two thick, unmovable fingers' worth of deep-brown head and Kitzakura shakes his head at his unbelievable bad luck and again gazes up at the moon. woody bows down, both to the beer and his opponent, smelling a rich, dark chocolatiness from the former and flop sweat from the latter and he smiles in anticipation. The former is as dark as the night might be, were it not for the moon over head and his opponent has a white pallor from being dusted with powder and salt. They crouch and simultaneously jump up as the ref jumps back! woody is comparatively small, but his size allows him to slide between his opponents' widespread legs and take hold of a thick ankle, enabling him to quickly topple his giant opponent! A sip of beer is needed and it tastes of burnt charcoal, smoke and dark chocolate and woody is re-energized as his now embarrassed opponent lumbers nearer, nearer ... The lunge of the ogre-like Kitzakura is too telegraphed and woody leapfrogs him, pushing his shoulders to the mat as the ref signals the finish! The beer's finish is smoky, dry, bittersweet and he signals for another as praise is heaped upon him by all in attendance.

woodychandler, May 22, 2011
Photo of teromous
2.25/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think it is awesome this is listed as an American Porter.

A: Well, it's dark with about 3/4 thumb of tan head. There is no lacing.

S: It smells of roasted coffee and I pick up a little alcohol. In fact, it smells a lot like coffee.

T: It has a coffee taste. The flavor is pretty underwhelming...I guess I expected it to have more flavor. It's very mellow on any flavors and has no bitterness at all. It just tastes like watered down coffee. It's not infected or anything so I wouldn't say it's awful, but I'm definitely not impressed.

M: The mouthfeel is bland. It's a wet beer, without much malty character. Not much carbonation...feels like cold water. Blah.

O: I wouldn't drink this again. I guess I thought this would be better for some reason. Is it possible for a beer to leave you depressed?

teromous, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of OneBrewru
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tokyo Black pours thin and is jet black. The head is mocha brown and remains for about 30 seconds. Moderate lacing lines the glass.

The smell is mostly of bitter coffee and dark chocolate. The smell, like the beer itself, is a bit thin.

The taste is only a little bitter with coffee and chocolate notes. A slightly metallic aftertaste lingers.

The mouthfeel is thin but smooth and soft. Perhaps a little more prickly carbonation than a porter should have.

Overall, this beer is ok but not great. Yona Yona Pale is a better offering fro Yo Ho.

OneBrewru, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Thorpe429, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the tick, Bobby.

A: The pour is not quite black with a big, soapy, mocha head.

S: Big time roasted malt aroma with coffee and coffee grounds being quite noticeable, too. Slightly acidic on the nose with some bitter dark chocolate coming through.

T: More chocolate than I was anticipating with quite a bit of bitterness. Definitely a solid roasted malt character along with coffee. Again, there's a definite acidity to the beer.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not sure why this is getting such high marks on here. I thought this beer was pretty mediocre (at best).

womencantsail, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Guitarctica
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I saw this at my local package store and had to try it out. The art on the can is very pleasing to the eye while the sumo wrestler at bottom is hilarious. I poured this into a curved pint glass.

A - Opaque dark brown almost black. No light shines through. One finger of foamy mocha head. Decent lacing. Very nice aesthetically.

S - Roasted malts, some subtle chocolate and a little woody. Pretty light on the aroma actually.

T - The first thing I can taste is chocolate; semi-sweet dark chocolate. Light coffee notes. some smokiness. Finishes with barely noticeable bitterness. Has a dry aftertaste.

M - Smooth with a full body. Coates the tongue like silk. Feels great on the palate.

D - Good drinkability. I could have these all night. Very tasty and goes down smooth. It finishes pretty dry though.

This is the first Japanese porter I've ever had and I am very pleased. Highly recommended to porter lovers and dark beer fans. One the better ones out there. Yo-Ho has a new fan!

Guitarctica, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a luscious opaque sable brown with a thick, fairly persistent, fluffy, fine-bubbled pale tan head that leaves a good bit of lacing. Aroma is smoky with an overtone of quality roast coffee and hints of molasses and chocolate. Flavor has tones of semi-sweet chocolate, fine coffee and molasses with hints of wood smoke and licorice. There is also a bit of a metallic tang, possibly from being in a can. Texture is smooth, oily, a little thick, with just a bit of a fizz.

Cyberkedi, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a Tokyo black body with a tall, growing, toasted khaki head. Splotchy lacing on the descent.

Smell: Chiefly malty nose, scented with well-kilned grains, ground-up Whoppers, and mild, less-than-robust coffee.

Taste: Roasted barley, a sliver of smokiness, and some baker's chocolate stirred up with burnt sugars. Restrained woodiness underneath the malts. Pinch of powdered milk. Faint hint of dark fruitiness. Very subtle spiciness and earthiness from the hops. Low bitterness. Finishes dry and fairly clean.

Mouthfeel: For a churning and vigorous-looking it was on the pour, the mouthfeel is only medium-light and fairly soft. Sure, it's not Isabelle Caro thin, but still. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: It tastes decent enough, but I wish there was just a skosh more to the body of the beer. Give it a try if you don't mind plunking down four bucks or so for a can of porter.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of railcaider
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

railcaider, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

RedBeerchetta, May 01, 2010
Photo of juju7
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

juju7, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can received from tzanio in recent trade. He brought this back for me from his recent trip to Japan. Huge thanks!!

Pours a deep black, very thick. Nice two-finger tan head resting on top. Retention is weak, and there's some spotty lacing, but not much. Smell is sour at first, but then gives way to a nice roasty scent with hints of cocoa and espresso.

Very nice creamy mouthfeel on this. Smooth velvet coats the mouth. Right off the bat, there's a big metallic twang on the mouth. This recedes and becomes a roasty chocolate and bready flavor. This is very drinkable. I could drink these all night. I was very impressed with this porter, from a can no less. Recommend.

Onenote81, May 12, 2009
Photo of SargeC
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Intensely black colored brew topped with a dense, brown head that really stands up.

Smell: Hints of dark chocolate. A slight hint of minerals. Vanilla and a touch of hops.

Taste: Bold malt flavor. Very well crafted and balanced between the strong malt flavor and the hops that finish off the taste. I had been missing the porter style for some time, so this hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Nice porter consistency. Feels solid throughout but lightens up in the finish and presents a chalky profile that allows the flavors to linger.

Drinkablity: Great porter. An awesome example of what Japanese craft brewers are capable of. It is also nice that it is a little bit easier to find than many other craft brewery's beers. The can makes it highly portable as well.

SargeC, Feb 22, 2009
Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.