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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 127 | Hads: 286
Photo of kentawan
4.26/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown like Guinness. Good head retention.

Sweet and not so bold.

Taste very wholesome. Easy to go down. Good roasted barley and just enough of complexity there. Best Japanese brew tried so far.

Clean and sweet.

Overall Impressions:
AWESOME for this price ! Got it in Singapore for 4 dollars. Awesome beer, awesome price.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, brown colour with a small, tan head. Average head retention.

Nice, nutty, bready aroma with distinct yeast and caramel notes. Decent.

Malty yet crisp and dry. Slightly roasty with more yeast notes.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

A decent beer from Asahi and a real surprise.

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Photo of massshortage
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a surprisingly decent accompaniment to a sushi dinner.

It is crisp and clean. In the glass it is a dark burnt brown and fizzy. I didn't get a lot of foam out of it. The nose and flavor is straight up nutty. Body is light and dry, with plenty of fizz.

I liked it a lot, particularly for being light and refreshing, while still having some solid bold flavors.

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Photo of mjurney
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber-brownish color, see through. Good amount of carbonation. Head looks very impressive.

Sweet roasted malts, caramel, slight hint of earthy.

Malty... Nice blend of sweet roasted malts, caramel, nutty, slight touch of burnt. There some hint of earthy in the taste (hops or maybe yeast?). Body is light, almost towards medium. Carbonation is nice, not overpowering.

Crisp finish, clean aftertaste.

Overall Impressions:
Very good for a Dark Lager.

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Photo of soju6
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at local pub in Fussa, Japan.

A: Served a very dark brown color with a good head that slowly fades.

S: Aroma is of roasted malt with a hint of coffee and some sweetness.

T: Has a nice malt flavor with a touch of chocolate sweetness and a bit of bitterness.

F: Fairly full body, very smooth and creamy.

D: This is a good easy drinker. This beer is best from the tap. One of my go to beers when working in Japan.

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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 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 rarbring
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is also heavy of roasted malts, some mild notes of coffee, some notes of chocolate.Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of ryanmac06
2.77/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served at Elaisu SFO 5.28.2010.

1/2 finger off white head, dark brown body no visible carbonation, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Very malty nose with some hops. Taste is caramel malts with a bit of molasses, minimal grassy hop presence. Fairly full mouthfeel. OK drinkability, if I wasn't in a Japanese restaurant I wouldn't have ordered this, though it did pair nicely with the Kobe skewer appetizers.

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Photo of lamergod
3.23/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

334ml (ok) bottle - a much more impressive presentation than their standard rice lager, it would seem.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish cola brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and mostly creamy tan head, which leaves a thick arched ring of villain's lair lace around the glass as it rather slowly falls away.

It smells of lightly roasted bready caramel malt, a bit of lactic sourness, subtle coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, and semi-sweet, dried orchard fruit. The taste is toasted bready malt, a bit of caramelized molasses, singed black fruit, faint bitter chocolate, an oily nuttiness, and earthy, softly leafy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, but supportive enough as required, the body a decent medium weight, mostly smooth, and even a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate-tinged malt becoming more prominent as the roasted character fades into that good night.

A nicely rounded, and fully flavoured dark lager, and true enough to the European style. 'Light' is a but a mere dot in the distance, for all those who might mistake this lager for something, well, a lot more ordinary.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

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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 wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of MarsMoose
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of JBogan
2.92/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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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 jpBeerGuy
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
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!

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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