Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

Not Rated.
Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)

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BA SCORE
80
good

271 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 15
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Asahi Breweries Ltd visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-01-2002

"a premium dark ale."
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 126
Reviews by bmwats:
Photo of bmwats
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.3 oz bottle, into a pilsner.

A: Very dark brown. Pours a hefty, cascading, brown-white head. Craters slowly and unevenly leaving lots of dry sticky residue behind as it does. Plenty of persistent lacing.

S: Char roasted malt grains, a little peat, and a little dish soap.

T: Roasted pecans, a little licorice, even less unsweetened dark chocolate, and even less still molasses.

M: Hearty body, but feels a little washed out. A little bit of a peaty aftertaste hangs on the palate.

D: Sip or session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark, with a giant head, and plenty of lacing. Nose is roasty, with some pungency, and an unsettling soapy component. Roasted nuts, chocolate, licorice, molasses... well-balanced, as each of the components are lacking a bit. A little shallow when it's all said and done. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dining out in a Japanese restaurant for my daughter's birthday, this seemd like the best bet for a beverage. It was dark brown, almost black, with a thin head. Aroma was lacking. A little sweet, that's all. Improvement in the taste. Somewhat of a milk chocolated/caramel taste, not unpleasant. A bit on the thin side in the mouth, but good enough for me that I had two of them.

Photo of dill
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a whiskey glass as provided by a restaurant. it had a date on it of 08/2007, but i'm not sure if that was a brewed on or fresh before date. also it was brewed in japan and then imported to the u.s.

A - black in color, but not too deep and not too thick looking. it was hard to get any sort of head on this one.

S - the smell reminded me a bit of raw meat.

T - it's not too bad. a bit roasty, but lightly so. actually about what i expected of this japanese black beer.

M - a bit light on the tongue with a fair bit of carbonation.

D - this is quite drinkable and would be a good choice if out at a japanese restaurant and it's available. especially in america i'd avoid the kirin and asashi that are brewed domestically and the sapporo that's imported from canada. yebisu is now being imported and is a nice option when available, and i'd put this on the list of beers to order if available as well.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of cocoa and roasted malt. Smells a bit like a stout and nothing like I expected. The flavor is also stout-like. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt, mixed with some light coffee and milky lactose notes. Overall, this reminds me a lot of a milk stout. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 334ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2012. Purchased from a supermarket some time back. Imported from Japan - a pleasant surprise as Asahi Super Dry lager is contract brewed over here. The bottle cap says 'munich type', and the ingredients include maize and rice.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep reddish-brown hue that appears black unless held to the light. Low carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy tan foam that lasts for a while before reducing to a thin surface layer. Aroma of sweet dark malt with notes of caramel, dried fruit, a hint of brown sugar, faint chocolate and mild stewed hops. Not bad.

Tastes of sweet dark malt with a mild bitter finish. Notes of roasted grain, caramel, dried fruit, brown sugar and stewed hops. Whispers of chocolate and coffee aromas in the background. Quite dry, with a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick, with light, tingly carbonation. Aftertaste of sweet dark malt and hints of dried fruit.

A decent dark lager, particularly coming from such a large brewery. It looks great, and the aroma is relatively complex. The flavour is OK but lacklustre - some vitality is missing . Nice, smooth body. Pleasant and easy-drinking; I could imagine having this again. Worth trying.

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, caramel, and a slight sourness. The flavor is nuts, chocolate, and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, with fairly high carbonation. Overall this is pretty good for a Japanese beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz 2009 bottle served in a pint glass

Clear dark mahogany on pour but nearly black in glass. 1 finger of tan head disappeared very quickly leaving no lacing or even a ring.

aroma: Sweet medium roasted malt and molasses. Somewhat floral with hints of dark bread and dark fruits. Approaches 4.5.

Taste follows aroma, allow not as sweet as aroma. Elements of rice or corn?

M - medium-light carbonation; medium body. A bit of tongue bite; given the ABV and sparse hops, this must be a rather high acidity.

O - a drinkable and tasty brew. Aroma is the strong point IMO.

Photo of Auraan
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, rich brownish black with a thin ring of off-white head that dissipated quickly. It looks fairly good, like a dark lager should. Scents of fruity esters, especially apple, some lager yeast and a nice, rich caramel maltiness. A very simple aroma profile, but a very pleasant one that is quite appealing. Flavor begins with malty sweet flavors, some caramel and molasses with a hint of smokiness. This moves into more smokey, malty flavors and some further caramel notes with some Noble hop floral character and a hint of toasted malt. Finish is smokey, toasted and modestly floral with Noble hop flavor notes. Aftertaste is smokey, roasted malt and Noble hops. A very nice flavor profile that actually has quite a bit going on, but with none of the flavors hurting the others. Very well executed. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a semi-drying feel. Quite easy to drink and pleasant. Overall this is a good dark lager with a nice aroma and flavor profile and a good mouthfeel that lends it self well to the flavor profile. Worth trying.

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

334ml (ok) bottle - a much more impressive presentation than their standard rice lager, it would seem.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish cola brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and mostly creamy tan head, which leaves a thick arched ring of villain's lair lace around the glass as it rather slowly falls away.

It smells of lightly roasted bready caramel malt, a bit of lactic sourness, subtle coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, and semi-sweet, dried orchard fruit. The taste is toasted bready malt, a bit of caramelized molasses, singed black fruit, faint bitter chocolate, an oily nuttiness, and earthy, softly leafy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, but supportive enough as required, the body a decent medium weight, mostly smooth, and even a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate-tinged malt becoming more prominent as the roasted character fades into that good night.

A nicely rounded, and fully flavoured dark lager, and true enough to the European style. 'Light' is a but a mere dot in the distance, for all those who might mistake this lager for something, well, a lot more ordinary.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't seen this beer for a while, so I was excited to find it at the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ. I bought a 6-pack for $14.99 + tax. (And a whole lot more!)

In my mind, Asahi Kuronama is more like a German schwarzbier than anything else. Perhaps it can pas as a Munich-style dunkel, but I think it's too rich for that.

It's black with a tan head that holds well and leaves nice lacing about the glass. The aroma is fairly closed, and it expresses a suggestion or really dark, almost burnt caramel, but nothing more. It's certainly not roasty or chocolatey. And that mostly follows into the flavor. It's dark but it's not really roasty, and it has lots of nutty and caramelish flavors as well, but only minor suggestions of chocolate. And some hops appear, in this case spicy and lightly woody and leafy. It offers that sweet malty note at first, but then it vanishes in the finish, leaving it clean and dry. Again, no roastiness or chocolate-like flavors remain. And it's quite drinkable. There's a lot of flavor there, but it's superbly balanced and it never builds on the palate. It's like each sip is its own little reward, and you could keep going back to the well all night for little dollops of refreshment.

Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at EuroMarket in Queens. I wasn't sure what to expect here, but it's basically a classic, inoffensive dark lager with a hint of roasted malt. There was a smooth body with just a little more weight than a standard lager. It's sweet up front with a dry finish. Not a bad beer.

Photo of DoesntMatter46
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep, dark black, had a reddish hue when held up to light. Not much of light tan foam formed on the top of the beer.

Smell was of floral and toasty.

Taste was fairly mild roasted malt, dried fruit, not very bitter at first, finish is a bit hoppier, and a hint of a burnt malty aftertaste. The bottle was labeled as an ale, maybe it's just translation, didn't have taste much like one, but compared to the Kirin I had before this one or any other Asian brew I've tried, this one definitely had most distinctive flavor.

Quite carbonated, but still very smooth.

Went very well with the Japanese BBQ I was having, and will have the next time I eat at a Japanese place, but it's not my personal favorite style, and I doubt that I'll buy a six pack. For it's genre, it is better than most.

Photo of MarsMoose
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My friend mentioned this beer in an email chat we were having and I happened see it at the liquor store a few hours later, so I picked up a 6-pack.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but poured one into my pint and tried to determine how black it was. It's filtered, but still very hard to see through that super-dark brown color. The head, which was thick and foamy but didn't last that long and wasn't lacy, didn't give away too much from its smell. I could make out only a little bit of the smell of roasted malt, and not much else. It took a sip expecting a strong flavor but was surprised to find a roasty-malty sweetness with little bitter hoppiness. The carbonation is medium, and the flavor doesn't linger too long. I took another sip, and another, and another. After 3 beers, I still feel like I could drink another 12. Did not expect such drinkability from such a dark colored beer. All in all the flavor is not something that would make me drool, but the beer was a great was to relax this evening and I would buy it again.

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark black with a decent head. Smells decent. Taste is typical dark but very easy to drink. Goes down nice and clean. Not a lot of body or substance but a decent black beer that you can drink a lot of especially eating Japanese yakitori.

Photo of basica
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours almost opaque dark amber brown into my Samuel Adams Globe pint glass with a nice, thick, beige, milky-foamy head (4)

S - Nutty notes blended with dark malts and a slight smokiness on the nose (3.5)

T - Roasted malts with a touch of sweetness upfront revealing a fairly mild and watered-down middle; subtle hints of hops show up towards the finish accompanied by a very mild bitterness. Light dashes of dark fruity notes were detected towards the finish and in the after taste (3.5)

M - Light to medium bodied with little carbonation and a watery texture (3)

D - Easy drinking and refreshing but unimpressive in the nose, flavor and feel; quite a stark contrast from the accolades about this beer (3.5)

Photo of rldorrisjr
1.43/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Tastes fishy, metallic, and too light for a dunkel.

Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is also heavy of roasted malts, some mild notes of coffee, some notes of chocolate.Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Photo of goochpunch
4.4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a ruby-tinged deep brown with a thin head. Smells of chocolate, tobacco, caramel, honey, whole wheat bread. Tastes of dried fruits, wet pipe tobacco, burnt honey, and burnt toast. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is light in the body with subdued carbonation. Overall, this is great, but I have a hard time paying $15 for a 6 of this.

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown with copper highlights and a small tan creamy head.
Soft, sweet aroma of roasted barley, tar, and faint hints of cocoa. Other than that, very clean.
First up in the flavour department is some toasty and bready sweet malt, before a moderately roasty note kicks in along with some chocolate hints, with support the gently bitter finish.
Carbonation is much too high, and the body is very watery.

Photo of BeerSox
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug

Nearly opaque black with ruby red edges. Thick tan frothy head which has good retention, and eventually settles to a thin cap with bulky edges. Clingy lacing.

Roasty malt smells along with an avid fruityness which is uncommon in a beer like this. Bits of smooth caramel scents.

Bitter nutty malt flavors in a medium body with light carbonation, giving it a little spritz on the tongue. Light hop characters in the finish, along with light creamy flavors.

I enjoyed this beer a lot. Good dark beer that isn't too harsh. Definitely worth it if you can get your hands on it. I had to have it ordered special. Usually it is found in restaraunts.

Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Snifter:

Appearance: This beer appears to be a black looking color till held to the light which reveals a dark ruby tint, a pillowy cream colored head that whithers away to just a white ring floating on top.No laceing.

Smell: The nose is of toffee,caramel and a sweet oat aroma.Also a little chocolatey and perhaps a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Identical to the nose the flavors are right on.The caramel,sweetened chocolate,toffee,french vanilla coffee all play good roles in this beer.

Mouthfeel: A medium to thin mouthfeel.Nicely carbonated to create a bubblely finish.

Drinkability: I can honestly say this is now one of my favorite Japanese beers,but on the down side I paid 13 dollars and some change for a sixer.A little steep if you ask me.Ill try any beer at least once with disreguard to price.Definitely a must try.

Cheers2Beers

Photo of jpBeerGuy
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad stout but leaves a little to be desired from a beer claiming to be "Munich type".

A - Looks a little like Coca-Cola. Some of the bubbles stick to the sides of the glass giving the cola appearance... It does however possess the characteristics of a stout by having a deep golden head.

S - Meh.. smells like a nice roasted malt. Something to be expected from a black beer.

T - The first sip is noteworthy. It does taste great at first but then starts to decline half way down the glass. Not as good as Kirin Stout.

M - A little bubbly and a little creamy. Not bad but not exceptional either.

D - I find myself moving to something else after just one of these. Not for all-nighters.

Find Kirin Stout or Yo-Ho Brewery's Tokyo Black. Those are great black beers!

Photo of TexIndy
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Had a small tan head that dissipated into a thin collar. It was dark with deep mahogany highlights. The aroma was very weak with roasted malts. The taste was nutty and alot better than I expected after the disappointing aroma. Goes down smooth and had a bit of smoky taste to it. Similar to a schwarzbier but weaker. Overall a decent beer that I could see trying in a Japanese restaurant if nothing better around. (3.5, RB, T, O)

Photo of evlu1441
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I kind of like Japanese lagers, so i figured I'd try something a bit different from one of Japan's biggest brewers.

It pours a very dark ruby colour with a nice foamy head that quickly settles down to a thin layer over the beer.

The smell is delicious! Nice and roasty with a hint of chocolate, but nothing overpowering.

The flavour is light but the roasty character is present the whole way through. It is slightly sweet which is nice as well. It doesn't have too much hop bite, which makes it "warmer" than other lagers. I would say this is an excellent beer to use when introducing people to dark beers. It is highly drinkable while having all the nice qualities of a dark lager.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When in sushi, you drank sushi thangs.

Coca cola head, coca cola beer - but not bad. Maybe this is the Mexican coke of beers (sans high fructose corn syrup, insert cane sugar - the "real stuff"). Aite enough when I'm macking down some toro and mackerel, but that's about it.

Holla, my children.

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Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.