Tokyo Black - Yo-Ho Brewing Company

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Tokyo BlackTokyo Black

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BA SCORE
85
very good

74 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 167
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 16
Gots: 15 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 167
Photo of Fatehunter
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (372 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a couple pint glasses

Pours black, still, little head or carbonation. Smell is is chocolaty and coffee-ish. Rich.

Taste is sweet, lots of coffee, maybe a little cherry.

Mouthfeel is thick, a little chalky, pretty nice for a porter. Overall, this is a pretty decent beer. (294 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a blackish body with quick dying tan head on top of a mild but pleasant malty aroma. Pick up caramel/chocolate along with roasted/bready malts - touch of coffee. Medium-bodied and chewey, goes down easy, but just falls flat in taste department. Chocolate and caramel sweetness is minimal and touch of sticky malts are rather not well-balanced with mild coffee malts. Decent beer out of a can that was cheap; no real complaints. (434 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of Weizenmensch
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (2,112 characters)

Photo of toweringpoo
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer looks thick on the pour and the rich one and a half finger head which results is a really beautiful light tan. It has the consistency of a milkshake. Really enticing.

Smell is a bit weak. Smoky notes. Super roasted malts. A bit of coffee here and there. Nothing to write home about.

First sip, taste is...interesting. Smoky almost rauch-like, creamy, then chocolatey. Coffee notes are there as well. As well as something else that I'm reeaaaally having a difficult time putting my finger on... I think its something from the bitter chocolate but I can't be sure.
The bitterness is there but any hop flavor is undetectable. I'm not a big porter drinker but this one is unlike any porter I've had. (Or maybe I just forgot what they taste like, it's been so long since I've had one.)

Very unique, complex beer. I wouldn't drink a bunch of these. Never was my favorite style but I appreciate a good beer when I taste one and this is one. (946 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of joecast
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of railcaider
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (719 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (970 characters)

Photo of TokyoCO
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a goblet.

A: Black, slight light penetrance on edges, foamy head.

S: Malts, light smell of coffee, hints of dark chocolate.

T: Very creamy, tastes (coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, malts) are subtle but well balanced. Smoke taste really comes through in the finish. Drinks very easily.

M: Creamy! Very easy drinking, expected from a 5% beer.

O: My first Japanese craft beer! It's good, not overly complex or tasteful but an easy drinking porter. Smoke taste in the finish makes it above average for me! (529 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (360 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of relynnjr
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black to dark brown with two fingers off brown head, leaving sporadic off white lace. Aroma is molasses and a touch of coffee. Taste is bitter like coffee but then a wave of sweet balances it out with some dark chocolate and molasses. Really enjoyable. (260 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (975 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a creamy tan head. Good head retention.

Roasty with a light earthiness. Nice coffee notes. Very good.

Smoky and roasty with a big earthiness. Not all that fruity but it works well together. Some bitterness and cocoa.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A really solid Porter. Lovely flavour and a rounded character that brings it all together. (380 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Red Paddle Bistro at the Gunflint Lodge.

A - Poured out a jet black color with a one-finger head of tan, bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with some subtle floral notes.

T - Good roasted malt backbone with chocolate and toffee flavors. Light piney bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied porter with a dry finish.

O - This was a nice find - a canned craft ale from Japan while in Northern Minnesota. (479 characters)

Photo of cwguy5
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

350mL can into tulip. some sort of canned on/best before date on the bottom, but i cant make out what is what from it.

A: opaque black body. very fine bubbles are a pretty tan color. retention is average, but the lacing is a little poor.

S: mild notes of freshly poured black coffee. a little bit of chocolate chip cookie too. not fresh out the oven, but more like opening a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies. interesting notes.

T: a dry roasted flavor starts things off. warm notes of vanilla and the milkiness reminds me of a latte. finish is tin-y for just a second, and then a long roasted flavor.

M: the mouth is actually a bit spritely on an very close to being light, but medium body. a little less carb would be the bomb on this brew.

D: pretty good example of an "american" porter from a japanese brewery. i really am digging the can it came in as well as the graphics on the can. certainly an eye catcher. if this were more moderately priced i would certainly purchase more of this. (1,005 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,841 characters)

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of SargeC
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (787 characters)

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Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.