1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cgrunin
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

cgrunin, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of -ronin-
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

-ronin-, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of Schmoog
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Schmoog, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Georgiabeer, May 12, 2014
Photo of kvgomps
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

kvgomps, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

TheBeerAlmanac, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of AlvinLin
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

AlvinLin, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of S_C
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

S_C, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of gritz147
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

gritz147, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of zbooks
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

zbooks, May 22, 2013
Photo of jpBeerGuy
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
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!

jpBeerGuy, Nov 26, 2009
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 rarbring
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

rarbring, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Who knew that there would be a market for Dark German Lagers in the land of Rice Beers?

Asahi Black pours with a deep garnet, nearly bark brown color. Its brilliant clarity casts ruby highlights and bronze shaddows. Ample carbonation streams through the lager to form a dainty sheet of foam on the beer's surface. Dissipating fairly quickly, the lager trails with random spots of lace.

Distinctive aromas of light roast, toast, light coffee grounds and a hint of chocolate. Decorated with mild raisin and licorice fruitiness, the clean toasted malt profile shows a delicate ester profile. Its early palate is slightly of caramel and sweet cereal grain. Dry on the middle palate, the taste is scant with the robust pilsner malt to back up the toast and fruit and leaves the scent and taste needing a tad more support. Its finish is short, toasted and nutty with the flavor of more delicate coffee and dates.

Light on the palate, the lager sheds its carbonation quickly as it has little malt support to retain much creaminess. Though the beer thins out considerably, it remains refreshing from the try toast elements and slight coffee-like bitterness. Shy alcohol warmth and mild grain-derived astringency closes the beer with a linger of fruit and toast.

Though largely void of malt underpinnings and roundness, its understated savory taste lends itself to seared fish and robust sushi dishes.

BEERchitect, Aug 06, 2013
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 bobsy
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

bobsy, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 334ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2012. Purchased from a supermarket some time back. Imported from Japan - a pleasant surprise as Asahi Super Dry lager is contract brewed over here. The bottle cap says 'munich type', and the ingredients include maize and rice.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep reddish-brown hue that appears black unless held to the light. Low carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy tan foam that lasts for a while before reducing to a thin surface layer. Aroma of sweet dark malt with notes of caramel, dried fruit, a hint of brown sugar, faint chocolate and mild stewed hops. Not bad.

Tastes of sweet dark malt with a mild bitter finish. Notes of roasted grain, caramel, dried fruit, brown sugar and stewed hops. Whispers of chocolate and coffee aromas in the background. Quite dry, with a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick, with light, tingly carbonation. Aftertaste of sweet dark malt and hints of dried fruit.

A decent dark lager, particularly coming from such a large brewery. It looks great, and the aroma is relatively complex. The flavour is OK but lacklustre - some vitality is missing . Nice, smooth body. Pleasant and easy-drinking; I could imagine having this again. Worth trying.

jazzyjeff13, Oct 10, 2012
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 CwrwAmByth
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 334ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark black colour with a small head. No lacing.

Smells strongly of malts, a bit skunky too.

Taste is mostly a more malty version of regular Asahi. Still refreshing yet more wholesome and with more taste.

Overall an alright beer.

CwrwAmByth, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Zimbo
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Forms an easy head and keeps a fine line of head for the duration of the glass this is black but with many reddish brown highlights. Medium roasty flavour, some sweetness and a quick dash of treacle but slightly on the dilute side. Thinnish and easy drinking. Reminscent of Labatt Velevet Cream Porter but without the shrilling zing.
Terribly OK.
This beer has been terribly miscateogrised on BA. A bottom fermented black lager is as much an English Stout as sake. Total BS.

Zimbo, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of donnebaby
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As I continue my quest of trying as many "ji-BEERU" or Japanese micro-brews as possible, this porter-like "black beer" jumps out at me--although it is certainly NOT a micro-brew. Asahi, the maker, is one of the four big Japanese brewers, along with Kirin, Sapporo, and Suntory. Getting to the point, this beer for me is the best dark beer--really the best beer in general--one can easily purchase at any local COMBINI, or convenience store, in Japan. All of the other "black beers" I've tasted here are quite bad, except for Sapporo's "kuro-nama", which can unfortunately only be found on tap at their beergarten in Sapporo.

This beer has a solid taste, with a bunch of flavors coming out like coffee, caramel, vanilla, nuts, and molassas. However, it is not too sweet or over-done like other Japanese "black" beers. Check this one out if you get the chance--it's one of Japan's best macrobrews.

donnebaby, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of MDDMD
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-dark brown with ruby hints and a light tan head and a little lacing

S-roasted malt, dark fruit, caramel, hint of chocolate

T-roasted malt, caramel, raisins, little chocolate, mild bitterness in the finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-OK but a little on the thin side and lacks robustness in flavor

MDDMD, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of bmwats
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.3 oz bottle, into a pilsner.

A: Very dark brown. Pours a hefty, cascading, brown-white head. Craters slowly and unevenly leaving lots of dry sticky residue behind as it does. Plenty of persistent lacing.

S: Char roasted malt grains, a little peat, and a little dish soap.

T: Roasted pecans, a little licorice, even less unsweetened dark chocolate, and even less still molasses.

M: Hearty body, but feels a little washed out. A little bit of a peaty aftertaste hangs on the palate.

D: Sip or session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark, with a giant head, and plenty of lacing. Nose is roasty, with some pungency, and an unsettling soapy component. Roasted nuts, chocolate, licorice, molasses... well-balanced, as each of the components are lacking a bit. A little shallow when it's all said and done. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

bmwats, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of tjkinate
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank a bottle before sushi the other day.

A: Deep dark brown body, with hints of red when held to light. Kinda like Coca-Cola. From a hard pour into a standard pint glass produced a 2 fingered off white head with decent retention and some lacing.

S: Light malts, grains, very little hop profile.

T: Semi-sweet chocolate malts are at the forefront, followed by grains and subtle hints of bitter hops.

M: Pretty light for the variety, low carbonation.

O: I enjoyed the brew and it accompanied my lunch nicely. One of the better Japanese beers I have had to date.

tjkinate, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of wagenvolks
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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
Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.