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Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

252 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 12
Gots: 16 | 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:
"a premium dark ale."

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

IronDjinn, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

wagenvolks, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of Evocatus
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Evocatus, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

jujubeast6000, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of DT7
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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

DT7, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of HeroJH
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

HeroJH, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of blackc5
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

blackc5, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Lexluthor33
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Lexluthor33, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of joedon
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

joedon, May 03, 2009
Photo of pradipta
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

pradipta, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of FrothyBeverage
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

FrothyBeverage, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of froghop
2.48/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

froghop, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

NeroFiddled, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of DoesntMatter46
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

DoesntMatter46, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of SargeC
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

SargeC, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

MrHungryMonkey, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of Mauerhan
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Mauerhan, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a cold pint glass at a restaurant. Light black color with some ruby highlights. Head fades away quickly into some large brown bubbles.

A bit cold, but has a deep earthy malty nose...somewhat stout like. Smells pretty good and fresh. Has hints of rice and chocolate.

Light bodied and tasty roasty malts are foremost. A bit of sweet chocolate and nuttyness...almost like a schwarzbier. A surprisingly flavorful and balanced offering from one of Japan's largest breweries. Me likey, might have to grab a sixer of this soon.

twiggamortis420, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of canucklehead
3.93/5  rDev +11%
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.

canucklehead, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of jamiejohnson
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I just had this beer with some takeout sushi and it fit nicely. I used to frequent a Guinness-serving Seattle sushi restuarant where I noticed dark malts complimented the raw fish, so I thought I'd give this a try. I was thrilled to see this was actually brewed in Japan instead of Los Angeles or Canada or mama's laundry room. I probably won't buy this again except for a sushi accompaniment, however this is a potential lifesaver if on tap amongst malted weaklings in a Japanese restuarant. Wonder how Alaskan Smoked Porter would match with sushi?

Eat'n raw,
Drink'n dark.
Fat Cat meow
Big Dog bark

jamiejohnson, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

lordofthewiens, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of dill
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

dill, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: nice deep true black body with off-white head that fades a little too quickly leaving just a white coating on top

s: not amazingly fragrant and the hints of milk chocolate and coffee

t: chocolate taste followed by some coffee; very simple but very good

m: for a japanese macro this beer is incredibly creamy w/ maybe a little too much carbonation

d: this is a great beer for Asia but still a good beer anywhere else; i'll definitely have it at a japanese bar anyday

hoegaardenhero, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

JDV, Jan 15, 2008
Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.