1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

260 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 11
Gots: 26 | 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."
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 122 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

334ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass feb18 2010

A not far from cola with the fast falling tan head to match, lots of bubbles stuck to the side of the glass but to dark to see bubbles inside

S some molasses with a little chocolate and raisin

T not far from the smell but with some very mild coffee

M decent carbonation gives it a slightly creamy feel but it's still fairly light in the mouth surprising considering the color

D better then expected and that's never a bad thing but not blown away by any aspects of this beer

not a bad beer and for a big brewer from Japan I was fairly happy with what I got for my money

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one tonight at dinner as the girlfriend wanted to eat sushi.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a lot of red highlights. The head is off-white and dissipates quickly.

S: A decent enough nose on this one, mostly roasted malt with a slight coffee aroma.

T: This beer has an interesting flavor to it. There is certainly the roasted malt flavor, but also a touch of coffee and even a bit of what I would describe as cola.

M: The body is medium and surprisingly creamy with plenty of carbonation.

D: I'm not generally expecting a lot when I order one of the Japanese beers, but this one was quite good. I would definitely do so again if I see it on a menu at a Japanese restaurant.

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 JBogan
2.92/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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 Dawkfan
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light black, with a tinge of red. Nice looking beige head that reduces to a thin layer leaving some lacing.

S- Smells sweet, I get caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a little bit of chocolate. Really is quite pleasant.

T- The smell is so much better than the taste. I'm getting mild roastiness, a tad bit of coffee and chocolate and a somewhat bitter finish.

M- Thin but creamy body, fairly high carbonation.

D- Easy to drink, it's a lot better than most of the Japanese beers I've had. Well worth a try.

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

Pours out a deep opaque brown, translucent mahogany nimbus, with bright garnet highlights when held to direct light. Tall, tight spongy light beige head that slowly recedes to a thick cap.

Roasted malt with some sour/tart grains on the nose, rounded toasted notes come out near the end.

Yum, sweet toasted bready malt up front, lingering grain sweetness throughout, dryness in the aftertaste already. Fairly one-dimensional, but enjoyable.

Smooth, slick, medium-bodied mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to offer some minor crispness.

Enjoyable, though far from complex, definitely in line to make a good session beer.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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

Munich-Type Asahi? Okay. Cool.

Pours pretty dark brown with a thin creme head. Nose is quite malty and sweet with what's coming off as molasses. A bit too malty sweet really. Mellows out enough as time goes on to make it drinkable enough. Decent, yes. Especially coming from a major brewer.

Photo of Evocatus
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a dark black body that's not completely opaque and a nice beige top. It has a distinct aroma of a nice dark toasted malt. Tastes has hints of coffee and cocoa; nothing too sweet or too bitter. Not too thin either. Definitely one of the better asian brews.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.07/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of DT7
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Lighter black, the beer is black but you can see through it, its between a very dark brown and a lighter black. The head is not white it is yellow

S-Roasted Malt, brown sugar and back notes of vanilla and cloves

T-Roasted Malts, brown sugar and a finishes a little bitter. But the bitterness goes away after a few minutes. A little bit watery

M-Smooth not very carbonated at all, quite similar to the mouthfeel of Guinness except its not a nitro-can

D-Not bad its easy to down fast because of the lack of carbonation but I don't think I would have more than 2 or 3

Overall one of the better dark asian beers i've had (I know Asia does not produce many) but overall a big surprise. I wasn't expecting much from this beer but its actually quite nice. I wouldn't drink it religiously like Guinness but it would be nice to drink it once in a while

Photo of HeroJH
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real nice dark lager with some nice flavors as it warms, but quite light and accessible and easy to drink.

A - Black from a distance, slight ruby red/brown in the light.

S - light notes of caramel and toasted bread.

T - refreshing but with some nice underlying flavor.very balanced. Coffee, toasty, hint of deep fruits like prune, buscuit. All subtle, which is nice for a change. Lightest dryness at the end from the toasted malt and hops.

M - Clean and dry

D - Very easy to drink, best when it warms up a bit.

Photo of blackc5
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The look was dark black with a mocha head.
The aroma of malts,chocolate and a touch of fruit hints.

The taste starts off with a chocolate caramel flavor which is then followed by some toffee notes. Some hops are present.I also detected some light fruit flavors.

The feel was high carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: A pretty good beer. I liked the taste and it was a lot like the German dark lagers.

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

Very dark brown to black with a nice beige head. Even a bit of lacing evident.
Smells of dark malt, caramel and bread.
Taste has more dark-roasted malt flavor, a bit of sourness and a dry finish. Very smooth mouth feel but sort of a thin body.
Very good session beer; nicely drinkable.

Good effort from Asahi, especially compared to the mass-market stuff.

Photo of pradipta
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this could compete with the very best from Munich if not for the slightly sour-bitter taste which lingers in the aftertaste. Ends up tasting like an unintended fusion between a Munich dark and a stout...of course this could be due to the rather long trip from Japan. A pleasant beer, overall, much preferable to other supermarket brands.

Photo of FrothyBeverage
4.13/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of froghop
2.48/5  rDev -29.7%
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.

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 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 SargeC
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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

Nose is malty and dark fruity with some toast, nut, and caramel. Slightly sour. Smells pretty good... kind of like a Schwartzbier.

Pours a very, very dark brown (~44 srm), fair clarity, moderate head with fairly long lasting retention. Looks good.

Malty and dark fruit. Lots of dry roast accompanied by sweet, ripe fruit. A little bitter, and a little sour. Some chocolate, some deep woody roast. A little creamy. Finishes slightly dry and nutty. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good.

Impressively good considering the other, more common Asahi beer availible. I like it, and would recommend it to people interested in trying a bolder beer.

Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.