Tokyo Black | Yo-Ho Brewing Company

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84
good
197 Ratings
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Tokyo BlackTokyo Black
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Yo-Ho Brewing Company
Japan
yonasato.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Naerhu on 12-25-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
197
Reviews:
86
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
12.8%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of ColSanders123
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of vikingmike
4.83/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Midnight black, even when held up to light. Beautiful, chocolate coloured head that gets whiter as it reaches the top. Gorgeous

Smell: Roast coffee and chocolate

Taste: Wow. Such complexity with such a low ABV...I'm really impressed. Initial notes of dark chocolate and espresso. Fades into roasted hazelnuts. Finishes with molasses and smoke.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth

Drinkability: This beer is simply awesome. I wish it were more widely available in Japan. I'd put this in my top 3 favorite Japanese beers, as well as my top 3 porters worldwide.

 567 characters

Photo of D-Rock
4.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased in Japan and poured from a can into a lipped glass.

Look: Pours smooth inky black and totally impenetrable. Even holding it up to the direct sun does not reveal any light penetration. The head is thick and coffee colored, about an inch and a half deep, which settles down over several minutes to a thin layer with no lacing whatsoever left on the glass sides. Every once in a while I think I can catch a glimpse of carbonation bubbles jetting towards the surface.

Smell: Coffee, grain, hay, chocolate and honey scents waft up from the glass with the sensation of smelling wet slate. A bitter component to the smell suggests some hoppiness to the beer. Pleasant and wonderfully complex.

Taste: Starts off sweet with a hint of chocolate and coffee taste flowing into a malty character accompanied by mild hop bitterness and burnt grain. A lingering bitter finish asserts the highly roasted grains used in this beer. Extremely mild and flavorful.

Feel: The mouthfeel is ever so slightly dry with the barest hint of astringency. The carbonation bubbles come over the tongue mid swig and provide a rush of refreshment. The bitter finish of the beer is prominent, but not overpowering, giving a nice thirst quenching feel.

Overall: This beer is literally an oasis in a sea of typical bland Japanese beers. Yo-Ho Brewing did an excellent job of creating a textbook porter here. Looking at other opinions, maybe there is something to be said for drinking this "fresh" in the land it was produced, I have always wondered what the effect of shipping a delicate product like beer halfway around the world is. Also to note, there is nothing risky here, just a straight up textbook porter, which is a commendable strength of the Japanese mentality to create a "perfect" product. I struggled to find reasons to fault this beer, but could find few. it really is a great beer.

 1,880 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.73/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Pooler, GA. The appearance is a pitch black color with a huge brown head. The aroma is roasted malt. The taste is big on malt and very flavorful. An outstanding porter.

 238 characters

Photo of Naerhu
4.68/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - They got the name right with this one! It is as black as the devil's heart, with the darkest brown head I have ever seen.
S - Rich coffee and sweet charred oak.
T - Amazing depth of flavor. Elegant and long lasting bitterness.
M - How can this light body carry such depth of flavor? Minimal carbonation.
D - This is a crowd pleaser and a half!

 353 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Top at Club Popeye in Tokyo. Black as midnight with a huge mocha head. Truly a wondrous sight for a beer lover! Deep roasted coffee and milk chocolate aroma. Very complex flavour - layers of chocolate, first milky and sweet, then dark and bitter, followed by a creamy coffee roast. Grapefruit and caramel bring up the rear. The body is surprisingly light for the complexity of flavour, and there is little carbonation to speak of. Excellent beer, and I'm glad I brought some home!

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Photo of bhawk1
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoppleJock
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of Slikpitt
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of BS-
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a highball glass

A: Absolutely black with a thick foamy mocha head and great lacing.
S: Very deep and roasty malts.A touch of bitter chocolate and slightly burnt coffee, but mostly deeply roasted malts.
T: Malty, roasty and earthy upfront, but a very distinct acidity comes in towards the mid-palate. It kinda took me by surprise. It’s almost a dark fruit-y, tart-ish kind of presence almost leaning towards overly ripe cherries. I did not find it all that pleasant initially, but it grew on me after a few sips. The finish is roasty and bitter with a nice maltiness that I love so much in stouts.
M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly light. I expected it to be creamier and fuller. It is extremely smooth though.
O: Very enjoyable. I would definitely have this again. Amazingly, it packs all that flavour in a 5% porter.

 828 characters

Photo of Tsuriman
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First pour produces a nice cascade ala guiness and a thick, foamy light brown head over a black, nearly opaque bear. The aroma is sweet with a subtle roast. The taste is spot on for a porter. A nice hop bitterness to back up a sweet, full bodied porter. Nice and clean on the back of the throat. The body is thick enough and creamy from start to finish.

I would drink this any day. Japan or back in the states.
I look forward to drinking another Tokyo Black.

 459 characters

Photo of schnarr84
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LukeGude
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really great surprise. Full coffee flavor with strong body. Plus drinkability

77 characters

Photo of juju7
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a fine little beer. Black as they come, fine fluffy head. A none too subtle nose of espresso, roasted malt and some tar and chocoloate in the back. Creamy smooth and beautifully balanced with just the right amount of bitterness, carbonation and dryness lining up to form a beer thats hard to dislike. Good stuff.

 317 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

350ml can purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. I love beer in cans. It's hard to tell its exact volume as almost all of the writing is in dense Japanese, but it's hidden there when you look.

Pours a very deep roasty black-brown, with a mildly frothed head of mocha that dissipates to a very thin film. Nice fine messy lace. Carbonation is quite fine, but the body is relatively light, meaning it sluices through quickly. Overall, it's a very decent looking brew.

Nose is also very pleasant, with a roasty toasted bite and a mellow chocolate or buttered brioche sweetness. Some heft in the aroma, meaning it stays very nice and rich. It's a very nice smelling, if not overly complex nose.

Taste is excellent: solid roasted basis, with a clear, rounded fullness to the palate, lending some smoky coffee, earthy spices and even a savoury umami character. Lovely stuff. The finish is really nice and long, and maintains a decent sweetness right to the back where it tastes like a crumbling mound of dark demerara sugar.

Feel is light but solid, and certainly full for a beer that's relatively low in ABV: pretty much spot-on for this style and flavour profile.

Overall, wow—I'm very impressed indeed. I wasn't expecting this to be as good as it is. It's really tasty, drinkable and flavoursome, but manages to stick really well within the pleasant mild, roasted genre of the porter. Really excellent, well-made stuff.

 1,421 characters

Photo of snogglethorpe
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, like oil, color is absolutely pitch black, completely opaque, with a big creamy and robust dark tan head.

Smell is a mixture of roastiness, "beer smell", a little metallic.

Mouthfeel is very thick and oily (exactly like it looks). It's not so carbonated (just enough, really), and goes down very smoothly.

Taste is thick, dark-coffee bitter roastiness, slighly sweet, that mellows out on the back of the tongue, with a lingering slightly acrid bitterness (maybe has a bit more hop character there than in the initial taste). Hints of chocolate. The thick oiliness and coffee/chocolate really work together.

A delicious and compelling beer, really tastes more like an American stout than a porter to me (but what do I know). [Vastly better than what I was expecting given some of the poor reviews here!] Maybe it's a freshness issue (I'm in Tokyo)?

I highly recommend this beer for anybody that likes coffee/chocolatey American stouts. Luckily this is also a relatively easy to find in Japan, which is nice because I've not found any other really good stouts that are readily available here -- and it's also quite cheap!

 1,137 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely looks like a porter. Tastes like one too. Nice smoky tone on there that accents the thick malts. Smooth. That is the key word here. I think this is one of the more masterfully brewed porters I have had in quite some time. So thorough and distinct. I feel like I'm watching a master painter slowly move their brush against a canvas and admiring every inch of movement that the brush deposits paint from. This is a very nice porter and the third beer I have tried from this brewery. They have a new fan in me. Now if only I could read their website.

 558 characters

Photo of Rwalford74
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of vma
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of hreb
4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool 350 mL can served in pint glass. Beer is pitch black with a THICK mocha brown head. Relatively hoppy aroma for a porter, and not too roasty, nor sweet.

Coffee, hello. Erm, did I pick up a can of Japanese coffee? Supper roasty in the flavor, and relatively heavy body. Medium to light carbonation, within the appropriate range for the style Layers upon layers of roasted barley. As much stout (in between sweet and dry) as porter. Secondary flavors of baking chocolate and perhaps...unmalted barley? And at only 5% ABV there is a ton of flavor here with nothing to hide behind.

Yum. Don't know what the nay sayers could possibly be talking. Unless you just don't like porters and stouts this is totally worth seeking out.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of double2chin
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of david18
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of KevMo84
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of klmcmachen
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

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Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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