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Asahi Black (Kuronama) - Asahi Breweries Ltd

Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)

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

204 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 113
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.71%


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)
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 113 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DoesntMatter46
DoesntMatter46

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 05:21:26 | More by DoesntMatter46
Photo of SargeC
SargeC

Japan

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 08:04:47 | More by SargeC
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 00:08:36 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of Mauerhan
Mauerhan

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 16:52:01 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 21:34:54 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 00:18:51 | More by canucklehead
Photo of jamiejohnson
jamiejohnson

California

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

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 01:25:14 | More by jamiejohnson
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 14:00:58 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of dill
dill

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 18:32:03 | More by dill
Photo of hoegaardenhero
hoegaardenhero

California

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

Serving type: can

02-29-2008 12:12:28 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 22:38:59 | More by JDV
Photo of hiikeeba
hiikeeba

Texas

3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 00:06:57 | More by hiikeeba
Photo of Onslow
Onslow

Texas

2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
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..

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 00:24:50 | More by Onslow
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2007 03:15:25 | More by HardTarget
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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)

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 01:35:58 | More by TexIndy
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
AustinBeerLvr

Texas

3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 06:06:34 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 13:09:13 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Washburne
Washburne

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 01:10:18 | More by Washburne
Photo of pentathlete
pentathlete

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 04:43:39 | More by pentathlete
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 05:22:06 | More by BeerSox
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, Asahi can actually brew a beer that isn't yellow and fizzy. Gorgeous, creamy ivory-yellow-beige head with startlingly good retention atop a deep, dark, 90% opaque coffee-brown body. This one's a looker.

Smell: Caramel, and lots of it, rich chocolate milk, rum, raisins, prunes, and a bit of coffee with a slight soy sauce-ish funk.

Taste: Peanuts, burnt sugar, day-old coffee, dark chocolate, and some understated dark fruit notes (especially cherries). Smooth, malty, and sweet, but rounded out nicely with a touch of resinous hops and a nice, full, roasty dryness. A bit watery at times with an unspectacular finish (which develops into a pleasant, lingering hoppy mocha flavor), but overall, quite well-crafted.

Mouthfeel: Silky, crushed-velvety smooth, yet thin-bodied and somewhat syrupy in the finish.

Drinkability: This is a really nice alternative to the usual Japanese crap, and it's easier to find and not as expensive as ji-biru. Definitely recommended, especially as a pair with Gruyere.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 10:33:42 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of JayTheFinn
JayTheFinn

California

3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came across this at a Japanese restaurant (Edomasa) in Santa Barbara. I didn't realize Asahi did a dark lager.

A - Dark body like a stout with a pretty big off-white head.
S - Sweet malty scent. Slight coffee smell in there.
T - Smooth and malty. Not overly sweet, nor chalky, just a little of both. There's a roasty slight chocolate flavor.
M - Kind of a little thin in the mouthfeel. There's flavors yes, but they don't spread about the tongue much.
D - Very smooth, easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 04:47:38 | More by JayTheFinn
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 334ml slim brown glass bottle, the gravity is 5%abv. as stated on the beer label. BB 01/09/2006, served lightly chilled in a slim goblet.

A: pours a very dark brown colour, with caramely red glows; the tan head comes thick and very foamy with superb retention, against a lively carbonated body--looking very decent and elegant.
S: a semi-thick note of buttery+toffeeish+caramely malts and bitter-sweet burned sugar dominates, sprinkled with lots of brown sugar, bread-crust like grainy note and a very faint trace of hops. Slightly overly malty whereas other elements are subdued, yet crafted nicely all the same.
T: upfront the texture is indeed akin to a rice-added lager with its slightly thin-ish and metallic touch, but not too much of a distraction. Like the aroma, the palate is dark malt-dominated, with plenty of caramely flavour of dark malts and bitter-sweet burned/roasty and sweet-coffeeish edge of roasted malts, backed by a slightly rough, chewy, whole-meal bready as well as nutty malts underneath. Rather clean finish with only a touch of sugar, true to a dark lager, but the roast-malty and nutty aroma and a residual chewy texture sustain nicely at the back of the palate.
M&D: medium-plus bodied for a Schwarzbier-style lager, the rich and grainy content makes it a quite chewy and enjoyable beer. And, fortunately, the added corn and rice are not played to the detriment to the beer's texture, thus I'd say this Japanese brewery's self-appointed task of producing a Munich-style dark lager (as specified on the beer cap) is no disappointment at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2006 18:12:29 | More by wl0307
Photo of nouseforotacon
nouseforotacon

Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one a number of times on tap at a local bar in Akasaka last year, first time reviewing a beer by the can (500mL) and also first time reviewing a macro.

The tap version always pleased me, as it's a much better alternative to other macro offerings in Japan. I think I can safely say that the can version is decent, though some of the brew's body really is lost.

Thick, opaque black color with a fast rising and falling, puffy tan head. Appearance is average.

Strong, roasted malt smell, chalky, with a sweetness and hints of powdered chocolate. Light fruitiness.

Initial taste is very crisp, clean, and watery - macro lager. Pleasant, lingering bitterness and the roasted character is present. Dry, powdery chocolate in the finish, but oveall really crisp and sharp. Some creaminess in the mouthfeel, but the water really overtakes it leaving the mouthfeel flat and dull.

From what I recall, it's unfortunately not nearly as creamy as it is from the tap, and overall it's a rather watery, crisp and clean lager. Nice bitterness and roasted character give this one more dimension. Decent.

Serving type: can

04-25-2006 04:04:47 | More by nouseforotacon
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this on the menu at Japanese restaraunt in Toronto. While the food wasnt the greatest, this beer was a pleasant surprise.

It pours from the fancy old school looking can black with cognac hints. The caramel colored head is creamy and thick at first, only to shrink down to a ring after a couple minutes. Lacing is very plentiful. The aroma is sweet and malty. Some roastyness, caramel and dark chocolate are also there. The taste is subtle. Its quite malty with a pleasant grainy feel. Hops and BPM bitterness provide great balance. The mouthfeel is light with an understated carbonation (at least compared to other Asahi beers). The finish is sweet and slightly hoppy.

This beer has a very lager like quality, its clean and completely lacking in esters. Id classify it as a very good Schwarzbier. I was very surprised to find this in Toronto.

Serving type: can

04-22-2006 03:12:04 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.