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Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 286
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 20.56%
Wants: 16
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Asahi Breweries Ltd visit their website

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."
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 127 | Hads: 286
Photo of mhuber
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate brown, no head, no lacing. Flavorful but not heavy. Slight hop flavoring gives way to the malt. Balanced flavor. Much better than their dry beer.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The aroma gives off bread crusts, molasses, prunes, and a graininess reminiscent of Grape Nuts cereal. Not much retention in the head. The body is clear and almost black but not quite opaque as it admits some deep garnet highlights. The flavor is intensely malty with loads of bread crusts. There are undertones of molasses, caramel, and prune, along with some low-level alcohol. Leaves a toasted marshmallow aftertaste. The body is medium-light with moderate carbonation and bite.

Deliciously malty, though it doesn't seem to venture much beyond that quality. Still really loving this.

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Photo of kentawan
4.26/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown like Guinness. Good head retention.

Sweet and not so bold.

Taste very wholesome. Easy to go down. Good roasted barley and just enough of complexity there. Best Japanese brew tried so far.

Clean and sweet.

Overall Impressions:
AWESOME for this price ! Got it in Singapore for 4 dollars. Awesome beer, awesome price.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Asahi Black has a thick, beige head and a clear, dark red appearance, with lots of streaming bubbles and good, thick lacing. The aroma is of sweet, dark, sugary malt and grain husks. Taste is of dark-roasted malts, sweetness, dark cherries, grain husks, cream, cocoa powder, and some bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Asahi Black finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and mostly dry. This bottle was stamped 10/2008, but still, this was excellent.


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Photo of Mauerhan
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so i was out to sushi last night when i asked my server what they had as far as beer goes. He rattled off the usual list of sapporo, sapporo light, kirin, kirin light, asahi and asahi black...wait asahi black? it might have just been pure ignorance towards Japanese lagers but i had never heard of this. well its worth a try.

pours a dark rich brown into my glass with a nice fluffy one finger mocha cream fudge head. some nice roasty red highlights when held up to the light.

smell catches me off guard. i am hit by a rich malty aroma. full of chocolate, slight bready smell.

taste is great. i am surprised by how much i really enjoy this beer. smooth cocoa, rich malts are the star of this show. tasty.

this beer is crazy good for a commercial import lager. i will be drinking this again asap.

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Photo of texashammer
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, this beer had a smallish but good head: lots of very small bubbles like a Belgian. It lasted well, laced the glass and remained. Beer was very black until held up to light, when it showed red. Aroma was overwhelmingly roasty, some caramel, coffee, sweet roasted malt. Light bodied. First taste shows bittersweet chocolate, coffee, perhaps a note of vanilla. Overwhelming roasted malt flavor. Light body. Very rich flavors, fairly complex. The finish lingers and is quite pleasing. This Japanese black beer is strangely reminiscent of a Belgian beer. I'm quite happy with it.

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Photo of samparkique4
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Surprise when the staff send the beer
color is dark and yet clear
dark rye
on palate
the roasty yet texture is thin easy and crisp
lite bitterness and easy on mouthfeel
-- 87/100
Kyushu Ferry | feeling is like hopping on Kyushu Ferry
51% caramel malt golden bar
litely hops presence
yet malty

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Photo of FrothyBeverage
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a very rich dark color that lives up to its name. Cannot see through the glass and some decent head. The smell is of roasted malts and coffe. This beer tasted very chochlatey and coffeish. The mouth feel was very smooth and creamy. I found this beer to be quite drinkable. You wouldnt think the japenese know how to make a decent dark beer but i was suprised.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Gap Wines, Belfast...

Poured a deep dark mahogany red / almost black colour. Creamy tan head poured big and foamy and faded to a nice thin layer...

Aroma - Sweet (treacle), strong roasted maltiness, smokey, strong dark coffee, some pepperiness, aniseed notes...

Taste – Nice bitter chocolate maltiness, strong coffee, dark fruits (raisins), light smokiness, spicy hops...

Feel - Smooth and creamy... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent beer.... Quite porter like... Recommended !!

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Photo of Lard_City
4.11/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow, very nice yeasty aroma. Molasses, malt and raisin tastes with a bit of hoppy bitterness. Not a strong tasting dark ale but much more than I expected. Not bad at all.

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Photo of FRANKIE65
4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had three of these at the Toronto Benihana restaurant.
Not sure if it was the atmosphere, and/or, company, but, I loved this beer.
I'm partial to dark beer, stouts, to begin with so it was right up my alley.
Wish I could purchase some here to give it a proper review at home.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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.


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Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Asahi Black (Munich Type) @ 5.0% from a single 334 ml bottle
A-pours very dark brown/black with some ruby hints along the glass edge , with a fine cola head that leaves some small lacing along the pint glass
S-hints of cherries , roasted malts
T-a rich and smooth taste of sweet chocolate , a very nicely balanced beer
MF-low carbonation , medium bodied
Ov-a good beer , not great but certainly nothing bad either , give one a go

cheers LampertLand

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this on the menu at Japanese restaraunt in Toronto. While the food wasnt the greatest, this beer was a pleasant surprise.

It pours from the fancy old school looking can black with cognac hints. The caramel colored head is creamy and thick at first, only to shrink down to a ring after a couple minutes. Lacing is very plentiful. The aroma is sweet and malty. Some roastyness, caramel and dark chocolate are also there. The taste is subtle. Its quite malty with a pleasant grainy feel. Hops and BPM bitterness provide great balance. The mouthfeel is light with an understated carbonation (at least compared to other Asahi beers). The finish is sweet and slightly hoppy.

This beer has a very lager like quality, its clean and completely lacking in esters. Id classify it as a very good Schwarzbier. I was very surprised to find this in Toronto.

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Photo of mjurney
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber-brownish color, see through. Good amount of carbonation. Head looks very impressive.

Sweet roasted malts, caramel, slight hint of earthy.

Malty... Nice blend of sweet roasted malts, caramel, nutty, slight touch of burnt. There some hint of earthy in the taste (hops or maybe yeast?). Body is light, almost towards medium. Carbonation is nice, not overpowering.

Crisp finish, clean aftertaste.

Overall Impressions:
Very good for a Dark Lager.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, Asahi can actually brew a beer that isn't yellow and fizzy. Gorgeous, creamy ivory-yellow-beige head with startlingly good retention atop a deep, dark, 90% opaque coffee-brown body. This one's a looker.

Smell: Caramel, and lots of it, rich chocolate milk, rum, raisins, prunes, and a bit of coffee with a slight soy sauce-ish funk.

Taste: Peanuts, burnt sugar, day-old coffee, dark chocolate, and some understated dark fruit notes (especially cherries). Smooth, malty, and sweet, but rounded out nicely with a touch of resinous hops and a nice, full, roasty dryness. A bit watery at times with an unspectacular finish (which develops into a pleasant, lingering hoppy mocha flavor), but overall, quite well-crafted.

Mouthfeel: Silky, crushed-velvety smooth, yet thin-bodied and somewhat syrupy in the finish.

Drinkability: This is a really nice alternative to the usual Japanese crap, and it's easier to find and not as expensive as ji-biru. Definitely recommended, especially as a pair with Gruyere.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of optikon44
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like this reddish beer. It's got a nice, clean coffee/vanilla taste, with an extremely pleasant finish. Sure, it's on the lighter side, but it's still loaded with flavor. Pleasant aroma of vanilla and maybe a little bit of cappucino. Definitely worth trying, not an everyday beer b/c of it's slightly inflated price, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Asahi has a dark side as well? Ok, I have known that for some time, but failed to pull the trigger. Thanks to Tina, I got to work with six-pack, but for this review, a single 11.3 ounce bottle will do. On to the beer:

Don't be afraid of dark brown with ruby colored hues, or you will be missing something surprisingly good. A thick head forming with rocky formation...I told you, don't be afraid of how it looks. It smells rich, smokey, dark cocoa, with a whistle of husk. If all you drink is Coors Light, you will be shocked, because not only do you smell something, you taste something too. And what a surprise to this Beer Advocate! Much of what I drink can be considered "craft beer", so tasting a rich and delicious dark beer from Asahi that can hold its head high is one of the biggest shocks I have found to ooze out of the macro world. Not only malty, but pleasantly smoked. A note of vague fruit and raisins and me thinks it's a bock. The smokey aftertaste finish the beer on a wonderful note. Rafting in a medium and smooth body, it's hard to emphasize how much that Kuronama surprised me. On par with many dunkels coming out of Bavaria.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a tempting cola brown, nearly opaque, with a thin tan head - but the latter may be an artifact of the waitress’ pour. Aroma is crisp and malty with hints of molasses and caramel. Flavor is crisp and malty, like a typical lager but with a stout-like undertone of molasses and a hint of smoke. Texture is fairly smooth and tingly, rather typical. A good one to have at a Japanese restaurant.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a very dark walnut brown body with a beige-colored frothing of a head.

Smell: While it comes up a bit short of being either truly roasty or chocolaty, those are the initial impressions I get from smelling this one. Also presents are notes of dark bread, caramel, with a dark fruitiness smelling of prunes.

Taste: Mild coffee and dark chocolate flavors with a taste of coarse pumpernickel bread splashed with a bit of sweet cola. Hint of sweet caramel as well. Slight dark fruitiness. Scant hop presence, though some bitterness is provided and more than welcome. Finishes relatively clean with only a small touch of bitterness at the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A "Munich-Type" beer according to the bottle cap. Japanese brewing know-how teamed up with a German-style recipe, it's good to see those two countries coming together for something other than world domination. Though still a lager brewed with both rice and corn, it at least offers something a bit different from Asahi.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Colour me impressed...These guys know how to make a good brew...should have rated it higher on drinkability but am unsure...Try it..........Hmmmm...seems to be a little bitter after taste sneaking thru....Nice head.....Karakuchi.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well after seeing this beer for years in Michael Jackson books it finally shows up in Vancouver. This is a real smooth dark lager that has a very nice malty finish. Finesse is the name of the game in this beer. There is a nutty roasty note in the midbody which I really enjoy. So much more flavourful than their Dry.

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Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.