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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
80
good

243 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 10
Gots: 14 | 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: 243 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joedon
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
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 +2.8%
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 +18.4%
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 -29.7%
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.

froghop, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
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 +7.6%
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 -2.3%
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 +2.8%
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.

MrHungryMonkey, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of Mauerhan
4.2/5  rDev +19%
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 +8.5%
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 +11.3%
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 +6.2%
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 -6.5%
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 +4.8%
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 +1.4%
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 -5.7%
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
Photo of hiikeeba
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I was an exchange student in Japan, Asahi was my brand. They had a vending machine on the corner. Anyway, I don't often find it in the Texas Hill Country. I've never had an Kuronama before, so...

A - Pours up black with dark ruby highlights. The thin dense head dissipates quickly lacing up the sides of the glass. Looks good already.

S - Very subtle hint of roasted malts. No hops detected.

T - There's a hint of sweetness at the start, then is replaced with a subtle coffee like roasted flavor. Not overwhelming. Subtle.

M - It's on the thin side, but good.

D - The roasted malt lingers but doesn't overwhelm my palate. Three or four of these in a row is possible. If it wasn't $15 a 6 pack!

hiikeeba, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Onslow
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
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..

Onslow, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of HardTarget
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

HardTarget, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Had a small tan head that dissipated into a thin collar. It was dark with deep mahogany highlights. The aroma was very weak with roasted malts. The taste was nutty and alot better than I expected after the disappointing aroma. Goes down smooth and had a bit of smoky taste to it. Similar to a schwarzbier but weaker. Overall a decent beer that I could see trying in a Japanese restaurant if nothing better around. (3.5, RB, T, O)

TexIndy, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of a bottle tonight at a Sushi place here in Austin.

A: Pours a deep black color w/a good amount of head.

S: Nose is mostly rice and some roasted malts.

T: Up front, this brew is very good, as the toasted malt flavor makes its precense and is very good at that. Finishes with a minial hop bitterness and some estercey flavors as well.

M: Watery, just too darn thin for a dark beer, even if it's meant to go w/food.

D: Overally, I would say this a fairly good, drinkable brew. Not something I would buy on a regular basis, but when I am having sushi, I think it's defenitely one of the better choices out there. It certainly beats the hell out of the lighter Japanese brews I have tried.

AustinBeerLvr, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of cypressbob
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
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

cypressbob, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of Washburne
3.45/5  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.

Washburne, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of pentathlete
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a miniscule head that quickly disappears. Smell is nutty with a mild roasted character. The taste is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Light in body, as it should be, but not thin by any means. This is an easy drinking brew. I use these when I am eating light and I want a simple session brew to accompany the food. I recommend it.

pentathlete, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  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.

BeerSox, Oct 14, 2006
Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.