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Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

126 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 279
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 15
Gots: 38 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 279
Photo of BlackHaddock
2.06/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

334cl bottle poured @ home into a Westmalle chalice during October 2012, just after it's best before date.

Deep ruby red body with thinning tanned head on top: the head becoming a wisp and collar a bit too quickly for my liking.

Struggled to find any aroma at all: hints of maltiness as it warmed I suppose.

The taste was too close towards a Pepsi Cola with alcohol for me. Wasn't impressed at all. It had almost the same texture and body feel as well. (455 characters)

Photo of froghop
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

bottle in sasebo, japan.

pours a dark brown with a small off-white head, some lacing.

smells of roasted malt, some cocoa, and a hint of caramel.

taste is a bit on the chalky side, dark fruits, roasted malts, some chocolate, and a touch of sweetness, end is a little dry.

overall not too impressed. (301 characters)

Photo of Onslow
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lacing is Grade A ... smooth down the throat but a bit to cultured ... not the most flawless blackers but a good beginner .... " he's mental for those snausages" ... drinkable but quite neutral... bought as a single at Specs in Clear Lake.. (240 characters)

Photo of Matthew_Taylor
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Perhaps it was my expectation of how it should taste that interfered with my assertion of how it "did" taste. Poured thick, with a dark brown cola color that produced a medium head of coffee. I attempted to pair with sushi, as you would a traditional Japanese beer, but this failed to compliment the richness of the fish.

I will have to try again, because I feel like I gave the beer a raw deal based upon the circumstances on which it was consumed. However, the taste was lacking in my opinion, done better by many American stouts.

That being said, the beer had a rich mouth-feel and a silky texture which I did enjoy. (622 characters)

Photo of ryanmac06
2.77/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The color and look of this beer is exactly what you would want from a dark lager. Two fingers of head was present most of the time and stood there through the entire drink.

S - The smell was light and mostly non-existent. As it began to warm, the smell increased to a light/dull malty smell but never impacted taste.

T - At the front it was mostly bland with a subtle caramel malt taste at the beginning. At the end there was still a subtle malt flavor lacking hops to balance. It finished clean but was poorly balanced.

M - Very smooth and well carbonated. The feel was typical of a dark lager and could easily stand up to other beers in it's class. The long lasting head added a nice feel as well

D - This beer is very easy to consume and is a good starting point for folks who don't typically like "dark beers". It's carbonation and smooth mouth feel will help people come back to this beer.

Overall - This beer is very bland to me and is not as impressive as many beers in it's class. The balance is lacking and it's a straight forward non-complex brew. It's an easy-to-drink dark lager that's a good entry point for folks who typically drink pilsners and very light lagers. I probably won't drink this beer again. (1,230 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.79/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Asahi Kuronama

Second tasting: 21 January 2003
Compared to the Sopporo Black and Kirin Black I drank against this, it was just weak. Dark water in a bottle. I significantly droped my rating, though the drinkability remains high. Has no character.

First tasting 30 Dec. 2003
I thought the beautiful red hugh to this dark beer was really beautiful. There was an uneven head that died right away. Simple dark bread taste and the faintest aroma of chocolate. Very light, like all Asahi beers, but it I am impressed with it. If I have to have an Asahi, make it a kuronama.

Bottle stated this was a Munich-style beer. Unfortunately, it does not pass the Bavarian beer purity law. On the bottle, the ingredients in Japanese are listed as malts, hops, rice, corn and starch. (777 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.9/5  rDev -18.5%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of JBogan
2.92/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Minimal lacing left behind.

Smells of roasted coffee and nuts.

Tastes just as it smells, roasted coffee and nuts, although slightly watered down and with a hint of cola.

Mouthfeel was quite thin, certainly not what you'd expect when looking at this beer. Minimal carbonation as well.

This is a beer which, while not bad, didn't have any traits which left me wanting more. I doubt I'll have this one again. (462 characters)

Photo of rickyleepotts
2.99/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Today has been a good day… and I have some time to kill before meeting my buddy Scott for dinner, so I figured we could review a beer. I am not sure if I have had this before, but reading they use rice has me pumped up. I have been on a rice IPA kick lately… just something that smooths out the mouthfeel and provides a more enjoyable experience. Also a cool story about how Asahi basically took over from being the name of the beer to being the name of the brewery. We are having sushi for dinner… so this is only fitting!

Here is another small bottle… 11.3 ounces on this one. Would it really kill them to send a full beer? No worries. I am ready to drink! Oh, and we are meeting Scott at Angel's Trumpet Ale House… so I will be drinking plenty there.

In the Glass: It's dark, but it's not black. I wish I knew Japanese… I wonder what the label says/means. It could say, "This is the best beer ever!" and we would never know. When I was pouring it, the beer produced a really nice creamy head… but it was gone as fast as I could turn around. Not much lace to speak of. Let's see what she smells like. (I still feel weird writing that…)

Nose: This smells like rich malty bread. The rice isn't really coming through, but I am sure it will in both the mouthfeel and the flavor. A second whiff has me smelling some of those dark malts that were tacked about. I hope the flavor delivers.

Flavor: It's nice, but not until the end. There is a lot going on with the mouthfeel… but the flavor is really lacking for a beer that is sold by the palate. Or is it palette? You know what I mean. The best part of this beer is the finish. In the tasting notes they mentioned coffee several times, but I am not getting much coffee from this. There might be a hint of coffee in the finish, but the dark malts are all I am getting here.

Mouthfeel: At first, there isn't much going on and then it explodes into a crisp sharp malty backbone. Then, as it sits on the palate it begins to dry. I get a hint of coffee notes as it finishes, but that isn't really changing the mouthfeel. I don't want to call it boring, but it's nothing to write home about.

Aftertaste: This is the best part. It has a nice drying finish to it, but the flavor dwindles in a hurry. Right after I swallow it tastes good… and I want that flavor to continue. But it doesn't. I am still not getting any rice from this. Grab a Flying Fish Wild Rice Double IPA… THAT is what rice is supposed to taste like in a beer. If I were to buy an Asahi beer again, it would be the Super Dry. We are having sushi later. I hope they have Asahi Super Dry! (2,625 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with tall, off-white head. Aroma is of plums and toasted malt. Body is medium and very crisp, way too much carbonation. Taste is similar to aroma with some herbal hops in the background. Finish is short and barely noticeable. Overall it is drinkable brew. (291 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: brown 11.2 fl. oz. bottle brags about “our pure cultured yeast”, so much for spontaneous fermentation. Date of 03/2007, which I hope is a brewed on date as I just got it and it’s 11/2007.

Aroma: Mild apple cider, yeast, light whiffs of dark roasted malt and a light medicinal alcohol.

Appearance: Black with thick ruby edges that become transparient about 2/3rd the way through the glass. It holds a dirty tan creamy head at a half finger that lasts about half way through the glass when it retreats to a thick collar leaving short lived lace.

Flavor: Sweet malty front goes over to dark roasted malt that’s slightly astringent and a very mild earthy hop bitter to finish. There’s that apple taste in the middle that lingers a bit as well. Just a hint of oxidation.

Mouthfeel: Firm carbonation edges on fizzy, medium body, slick texture.

Overall Impression: Easy drinking beer. No seriously off flavors, fairly clean. A solid offering, but not terribly exciting. (992 characters)

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

334 mL poured into a tall, pilsner glass.

A nice smell came from the 4-finger head which covered a dark, brown-red body. Some light could be seen through the body. Aroma was the typical smell you get from dark beers, though at first some metallic scents were present.

This beer had a decent dark-beer taste, though with some metal tinge at first. This metallic flavour gave way to some bitterness that took its place. This beer is bitter (for my tastes), but still good. No cocoa flavour that I've come to expect from darker beers, and not much roastiness. It's more of a bitter fruitiness.

Faint carbonation.

Overall, an okay beer. Given a choice among several dark beers in a bar or restaurant, this would not be what I'd order (I'd rather get, say, a Guiness). However, if it were the only dark beer offered (which was the case in this restaurant), I'd get it again. One thing became clear, though: This doesn't pair well with sushi. (I'm not sure any beer would.) (971 characters)

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Asahi Kuronama. This beer had a very "porter" like appearance. It poured out a dark brown with a 1" creamy tan head. The head dropped to a cap and then it was gone. No lacing.
The aroma was a very mild roasted malt. There was not much going on that I could pick out in the nose.
The taste was also mild, with a little roasted coffee bean and some slight chocolate flavors. No discernible hops. To my surprise the taste really came through in the finish with the roasted and chocolate flavors really opening up.
The beer had a creamy mouthfeel and was of a medium carbonation level.
This is an enjoyable beer, very mild and pleasant. If I had to pick a Japanese beer right now it would be this one. (701 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.07/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 6/18/2009 (bottle dated 10/2008):

Pours a very dark red color body, with an average creamy head, lastingish. Very pilsnery, malty aroma. Malty nutty taste. Some roasted flavor too. Light tasting. Tasty. Sweet, almost fruity. Not bad. Shiner-black like. (262 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (296 characters)

Photo of GeneralZod
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE - Low head. Dark Lager
SMELL - a malty smell. Burnt like smell.
TASTE - Taste like burnt malt. Leaves an aftertaste of the roasting. Typical of these types of beer. I like personally like the Gordon Biersch version of a black lager better.
MOUTHFEEL - Slighty coarse, carbonated
DRINKABILITY - Would not go out of my way to have another, but will have one if there are some. (385 characters)

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.12/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one a number of times on tap at a local bar in Akasaka last year, first time reviewing a beer by the can (500mL) and also first time reviewing a macro.

The tap version always pleased me, as it's a much better alternative to other macro offerings in Japan. I think I can safely say that the can version is decent, though some of the brew's body really is lost.

Thick, opaque black color with a fast rising and falling, puffy tan head. Appearance is average.

Strong, roasted malt smell, chalky, with a sweetness and hints of powdered chocolate. Light fruitiness.

Initial taste is very crisp, clean, and watery - macro lager. Pleasant, lingering bitterness and the roasted character is present. Dry, powdery chocolate in the finish, but oveall really crisp and sharp. Some creaminess in the mouthfeel, but the water really overtakes it leaving the mouthfeel flat and dull.

From what I recall, it's unfortunately not nearly as creamy as it is from the tap, and overall it's a rather watery, crisp and clean lager. Nice bitterness and roasted character give this one more dimension. Decent. (1,114 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.14/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, biscuit, and slight char-like aromas. Taste is much the same with roasted grain flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable but it smells slightly better in my opinion. (552 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.21/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, I don't know why this is the EDL category, it's an ale on the label and I remember reading in one of Michael Jackson's books that this was a stout, anyway,

A: Pours black with a finger of light tan head, good retention, spotty lace.

S: Light roasted malt, coffee.

T: Dark chocolate with a lot of charcoal, but not overly burnt. Minor notes of raisin/dark fruit, but really in the background, better as it warms up.

M: Very dry, thin finish, fizzy on the palate.

D: This was OK, I expected a little more, I've been wanting to try this for a while, nice enough. (581 characters)

Photo of lamergod
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a stub into a Anchor Draft mug

Appearance: Very dark red. Very similar to Coca Cola. Even the head is also very similar. A dark tanned red 2 finger head. Carbonated. Typical from what you get from a stubbed beer.

Smell: Very strong Roasted malts and caramel up front. Slight hint of Coffee slips in. Hops smell is very very little. Almost negligible.

Taste: The first sip is very noteworthy. Strong caramel and roasted malts. Coffee is not present in taste. After subsequent drinks, taste gets more and more bland. But roasted malt taste is still ever present. If it weren't for the roasted malt taste, it's as good as drinking coloured plain water. Aftertaste is not present. It starts off sweet, then slight bitter, then once it goes down your throat, there is no aftertaste. The drink is acidic

Drinkability: Very drinkable. It's like stout, except more drinkable and not so heavy.

Overall, it's a very nice beer. If you are a stout guy, you will be impressed with this kind of beer. Another Euro Dark lager is the Sapporo black. It's like a stout in terms of taste and smell, but it's heaps less heavy. (1,123 characters)

Photo of jpBeerGuy
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
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! (776 characters)

Photo of bearish
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Second beer this evening. I'm a person who has just developed a taste for dark beers, so thought I'd try out this one. Looking at the ingredients, could barely make out a word that said rice Think I've got something for Japanese beers today. Haha. Beer is quite nice, smells like coffee and a little hint of caramel.

This one poured a great thick head, but it went down soon after. There's a nice small little head to protect your beer from getting exposed to air, so I'm quite glad that the head retained. The beer tasted smooth, quite sweet (not like the sugary sweet) and the roasted character definitely came through. Sour aftertaste reminds me of a Petrus Dubbel Bruin. This one is just to tell someone the little sourness, not to place it side by side against a nice Belgian.

Not that I'd buy this again, but still its a good drink. (841 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of Hachiman
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This isn't up to the rather impressive Asahi Stout. The label says, "Munich Style", so maybe it's a Svartzbeer.

Pours a very deep brown, with a 1cm tan head. I had some lacing, but the viscosity of the beer made it rather drippy looking.

Th aroma is quite fine: strong molasses aroma mixed with sweet malt.

The malt isn't apparent in the flavor, just molasses and an alcoholic hghi note. Very smooth, and it went well both with steak and a rich desert.

The mouthfeel is medium and it leaves some stickiness on the lips.

Good, but not the best Japanese mass market dark beer. If you have a choice, the Stout is better. (622 characters)

Photo of rarbring
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is very dark brown, it has a tan head, rather firm, but leaving no lacing.

The smell has mostly weak sweet malty nut tones.

The taste is rather sweet, brown dark bread, some fruit notes, pears and ripe apples, a small bitterness.

Medium high carbonation, a rather simple body, fresh. A dry finish.

Not bad, but nothing to remember, possibly a bit too sweet. (370 characters)

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Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.