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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 donnebaby
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As I continue my quest of trying as many "ji-BEERU" or Japanese micro-brews as possible, this porter-like "black beer" jumps out at me--although it is certainly NOT a micro-brew. Asahi, the maker, is one of the four big Japanese brewers, along with Kirin, Sapporo, and Suntory. Getting to the point, this beer for me is the best dark beer--really the best beer in general--one can easily purchase at any local COMBINI, or convenience store, in Japan. All of the other "black beers" I've tasted here are quite bad, except for Sapporo's "kuro-nama", which can unfortunately only be found on tap at their beergarten in Sapporo.

This beer has a solid taste, with a bunch of flavors coming out like coffee, caramel, vanilla, nuts, and molassas. However, it is not too sweet or over-done like other Japanese "black" beers. Check this one out if you get the chance--it's one of Japan's best macrobrews.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Who knew that there would be a market for Dark German Lagers in the land of Rice Beers?

Asahi Black pours with a deep garnet, nearly bark brown color. Its brilliant clarity casts ruby highlights and bronze shaddows. Ample carbonation streams through the lager to form a dainty sheet of foam on the beer's surface. Dissipating fairly quickly, the lager trails with random spots of lace.

Distinctive aromas of light roast, toast, light coffee grounds and a hint of chocolate. Decorated with mild raisin and licorice fruitiness, the clean toasted malt profile shows a delicate ester profile. Its early palate is slightly of caramel and sweet cereal grain. Dry on the middle palate, the taste is scant with the robust pilsner malt to back up the toast and fruit and leaves the scent and taste needing a tad more support. Its finish is short, toasted and nutty with the flavor of more delicate coffee and dates.

Light on the palate, the lager sheds its carbonation quickly as it has little malt support to retain much creaminess. Though the beer thins out considerably, it remains refreshing from the try toast elements and slight coffee-like bitterness. Shy alcohol warmth and mild grain-derived astringency closes the beer with a linger of fruit and toast.

Though largely void of malt underpinnings and roundness, its understated savory taste lends itself to seared fish and robust sushi dishes.

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Photo of JDV
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured Black with about an inch of short lived light beige head. Had a malty smell, and a bit of a metallic odor which dissipated as the beer warmed slightly. Taste was of a dark, sweet, roasty char flavor, but not harshly so. Had good a carbonation level with a small, nice lingering dark aftertaste. Overall the body was somewhat thin, easy to drink, and I can see this being a very drinkable and delicate dark beer to go with japanese food. I liked this much more than the only other Schwarzbier I’ve had too.

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Photo of Zimbo
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Forms an easy head and keeps a fine line of head for the duration of the glass this is black but with many reddish brown highlights. Medium roasty flavour, some sweetness and a quick dash of treacle but slightly on the dilute side. Thinnish and easy drinking. Reminscent of Labatt Velevet Cream Porter but without the shrilling zing.
Terribly OK.
This beer has been terribly miscateogrised on BA. A bottom fermented black lager is as much an English Stout as sake. Total BS.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

334ml bottle, poured into a straight sided pint glass

Pours with an almost jet black body. Tight off white head forms about an inch thick but soon settles to a reasonable half inch of form. Some slight lacing but not a whole lot

Smell, rich dark malts, black malt, tiny little bit of very dark chocolate powder. Bready malt and a little bit of a phenolic character. Little bit of sweetness in the form of caramel or burnt sugars

Taste, crisp and biscuity malt, chalky mouthfeel, noticeable blood like metallic flavours, dark malts dominate with quite a thin mouthfeel.

A drinkable dark lager, not quite as good as those made in Europe but pretty interesting

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Photo of bobsy
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Uzu Japanese restaurant in the core. From all indications, Asahi seem to be trying to move into the Canadian market with the Black.

Pours a very dark brown with a creamy light tan head that drops to a significant film. Some lace spots left behind. Slightly smoky nose, dry grain, a touch of oxidisation (the bottle seems to be from the UK, but I can't see a freshness date) and a mixture of sweet and roasted malts. Relatively straightforward flavour has a watered down roast component, with a sweetness to balance the astringency. Very limited hop profile. Some tobacco and a touch of plastic. Seems to be drifting towards a Munich Dunkel. Medium body with a matching carbonation.

Not a spectacular effort by any measurement, though a decent companion drink to a meal that doesn't draw away too significantly.

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Photo of blackc5
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at unknown (but probably a bit too cold) temp. Bought a six-pack from Uwajimaya as it was the only Japanese beer they had actually imported (and not brewed by Molson, etc), and it definitely one of the best, if not the best, Japanese macro beers out there.

I honestly was impressed with this not being a standard adjunct lager. It is malty and flavorful. Chocolate and caramel with a nice fruity medium-body and ends with a hint of bitterness.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 334ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark black colour with a small head. No lacing.

Smells strongly of malts, a bit skunky too.

Taste is mostly a more malty version of regular Asahi. Still refreshing yet more wholesome and with more taste.

Overall an alright beer.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank a bottle before sushi the other day.

A: Deep dark brown body, with hints of red when held to light. Kinda like Coca-Cola. From a hard pour into a standard pint glass produced a 2 fingered off white head with decent retention and some lacing.

S: Light malts, grains, very little hop profile.

T: Semi-sweet chocolate malts are at the forefront, followed by grains and subtle hints of bitter hops.

M: Pretty light for the variety, low carbonation.

O: I enjoyed the brew and it accompanied my lunch nicely. One of the better Japanese beers I have had to date.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-dark brown with ruby hints and a light tan head and a little lacing

S-roasted malt, dark fruit, caramel, hint of chocolate

T-roasted malt, caramel, raisins, little chocolate, mild bitterness in the finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-OK but a little on the thin side and lacks robustness in flavor

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass at a sushi restaurant in Houston.

Nice pour, although the cola head quickly dissipates to a scant wisp of foam. Attractive, translucent chocolate color with hints of ruby red in the light. For the style, the aroma is above average, with a light dusting of chocolate backed by toasted cereal grains and wild rice.

The taste is a letdown, but still highly quaffable, with a faint kick of toasted coffee and toffee malts amidst a dominant note of brown rice and unsweetened cereal mash. Highly carbonated, medium-thin body that cut through the wasabi spice and heaviness of the sushi. Overall, a pretty good beer all things considered. Not something I'd ever want as a stand-alone brew, but pairs well with a meal.

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Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of SargeC
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black colored brew with a light tan head.

Smell: Lightly toasted malt with a hint of molasses.

Taste: Very subdued dark malt flavor. Very smooth. A hint of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Dry finish.

Drinkablity: Tasty brew. Easily sessionable, but complex enough to satisfy.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm quite impressed with this little beer. A bottle poured into a pint glass produced a "light" black pour, a bit thin looking. Not a bad off tan head I might say. Lacing isn't much, but a quick swirl brings back the head in no time, and all the way down to the end.
malty, musky aroma. Sweet roasted caramel with some dark chocolate. Faint anise and plum
Tastes, to me, like a introductory malt bomb. Perhaps I was expected something a bit drier. This has a slight smokiness to it on top of the roasted malt. Chocolate isn't strong, but it's there, towards the back, bitter.
Finishes quite well. Not sticky or with that stale malt I sometimes get in dark lagers.
nice brew.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber, almost orange. Hard to see in dark restaurant. Finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing is minimal, but we were given very small glasses. Dark, slightly roasted aroma. Can discern figs. Moderately roasted malty taste, followed by dark fruits, maybe figs. Not bad. Not my style, but it is representative of the style.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Washburne
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet-black and, as far as I could tell, compeltely opaque. Lots of nutty malt smells, particularly on pouring, and adds a kind of burned but still fairly sweet caramel flavour to the mix. Light-bodied, but good carbonation, this makes a perfect accompaniment to lightly flavoured cheeses or sushi.

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Photo of basica
3.48/5  rDev -2%
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)

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Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nearly opaque very dark brown with an even, tan head. Head retention is average. Aroma is comprised of prune liquer and Belgian yeast. Flavor is quite similar to Guiness Extra Stout. Prune and coffee liquers are most prominent. Finish is smooth, but abrupt. Decent beer.

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Photo of Converge
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

334ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Big, billowy mocha head off the pour. Dark brown-black with a lot of ruby highlights. Head settles nicely.

S - Dark, roasty malt and molasses with some brown sugar sweetness.

T - A lot of roasted malt creating a light bitterness in the aftertaste. A little thin to be honest. Still pretty strong on the molasses, but the brown sugar and dark chocolate sweetness backed off a lot. Fairly easy to drink, but nothing really exceptional here.

M - Pretty smooth, without a ton of carbonation. Body is surprisingly thin and feels a little watered down.

D - Lacks something in the flavor profile. I'm usually not a fan of really bitter flavors, but even this was a little tame for me. A nice drinkable stout, but nothing fantastic.

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Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black ruby in color with a thin tan colored head that fades into a wispy lace. Nose is sweet dark malts and fresh brewed coffee. Medium in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Lots of sweet roasted malts in the flavor along with notes of dark fruits, bitter coffee, and burnt toast. A decent brew and certainly more enjoyable than their “Super Dry” beer.

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