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Tokyo Black | Yo-Ho Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
85
very good
82 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
188
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
18.67%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 188
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with nice looking 1cm light brown head. Medium retention and mild lacing.  

Nose smells like cardboard to me. Surprisingly flat and weak. Slight roasted malt and nuttiness.

Flavor is pretty nice. Light roasted coffee and malt. Good Balance. A little woody. It doesn't have that typical, ricey-like Asian malt flavor that most Asian beers seem to have.

Medium bodied. High carbonation that is nice and creamy.

Overall it's a pretty good beer. Very easy to drink. A good American porter made in Japan.

 520 characters

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.

 727 characters

Photo of SargeC
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Intensely black colored brew topped with a dense, brown head that really stands up.

Smell: Hints of dark chocolate. A slight hint of minerals. Vanilla and a touch of hops.

Taste: Bold malt flavor. Very well crafted and balanced between the strong malt flavor and the hops that finish off the taste. I had been missing the porter style for some time, so this hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Nice porter consistency. Feels solid throughout but lightens up in the finish and presents a chalky profile that allows the flavors to linger.

Drinkablity: Great porter. An awesome example of what Japanese craft brewers are capable of. It is also nice that it is a little bit easier to find than many other craft brewery's beers. The can makes it highly portable as well.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has the steepest cost to ratings that I have found outside of sours. The mouthfeel is quite metallic pricky texture, more in line with a textbook porter.

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Photo of gpogo
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black body, tan head. Head faded to a ring.

A- Sweet roasted grain. As it warms chocolate comes out with very faint dark fruit aromas.

T- Initial sweetness with a bitterness throughout. The bitterness really complements the chocolate flavor, almost like you are eating some bitter dark chocolate. Finishes with a roasty bitterness and a light sweetness that sticks around.

M- Medium body, low carbonation.

D- Honestly I grabbed this beer due to the can. I'm impressed with the flavor, I found the aroma to be a bit bland. Seems like something I could easily drink two of in a session.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taste of smoked malt grains, woody.
Toasted malt nose, Black/brown in color, opaque with a tan head of average lace.
Clean finish, slight spice and chocolate character.

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Photo of biglite351
2.77/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - dark as night with a tall creamy off-white head.

S - mild malts, chocolate and dried fruit. If it was stronger it would be nice, as is it is a bit boring.

T - malt, touch of smoke, meaty. However, very mild.

M - thin but a lot of tingle all over the tongue.

O - quite drinkable but mild enough to opt for something else.

 328 characters

Photo of BeerZombies1
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

American porter
5% ABV

APPEARANCE: Poured out a deep motor oil black. Even up to the light you can not see through this. Small tan head that settle into a small halo.

AROMA: Very intense and in your face coffee aroma. Chocolate and molasses in the mix with a almost metallic cooked blood smell of iron hiding in the shadows.

TASTE: Chocolate right up front with the coffee. It literally reminds me of a mocha latte. Some bitterness in the middle, sweet malts some faint hops. Finishes smokey and toasty.

MOUTHFEEL: Very light body for a porter. I'm assuming that mixed with the low ABV was the intention of an everyday drinking porter. Minimal carbonation. Slight creaminess in the beginning but thins out on the swallow.

OVERALL: Very interesting and complex beer. Easy to drink, I will say this is the best Japanese porter I have had.

RATING: 3.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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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 cwguy5
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep brown, almost black with thin, tan head that faded to a swirling cap; some light lacing left behind

S - pretty standard porter aromas... roasted malt, some coffee, some dark chocolate

T - roasted malts but not to the point of bitter, coffee, chocolate, black walnut

M - thin-medium bodied with moderate, fine carbonation; a mild, drying finish

O - always eager to try dark beers from Japan and this one did not disappoint. nice porter with black walnut twist flavor-wise. check this one out if you get the chance.

 526 characters

Photo of Klym
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stone nonic.

A: Black with a 1 finger creamy, khaki colored head and carbonation bubbling throughout the body.

S: Big vanilla overhang with coffee, an irony dried blood tinge, wood, caramel, non-lactose centric milk note, and honey roasted nuts. Odd and complex, but makes me very interested to drink it.

T: As though they mixed the nose with club soda, all of the nose but coming through much lighter with a generic roasted wood taste dominating. There's more vanilla in the finish, but not quite enough flavor overall. Kind of a big let down.

M: Smooth and creamy at first but goes into a club soda mouthfeel quickly with a little old graham cracker residue feel in the mouth after swallowing.

O: I'm always interested to give things from Japan a shot as I think there's a lot of potential there, but this one fell short in the taste in mouthfeel. I can't account for quality considering the distance this beer must have traveled, but as it is in my glass it still has distance to go.

 1,007 characters

Photo of relynnjr
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black to dark brown with two fingers off brown head, leaving sporadic off white lace. Aroma is molasses and a touch of coffee. Taste is bitter like coffee but then a wave of sweet balances it out with some dark chocolate and molasses. Really enjoyable.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a tan head. Some head retention, a good amount of lacing, and low-moderate carbonation (that I can see, anyway). Appropriate for the style.

Smell: Nice and complex - certainly moreso than just about any other Japanese beer that I've tried since moving here! Almondy nuttiness, in fact very nutty, some walnutty dry-but-sweet aromas in there. I'm surprising myself that I can even recognise the different nuts in there! Otherwise, that satisfying rich charred dark malt smoke smell... and maybe some stone fruit too. Pretty complex when I sit back and think about it.

Taste: So much more than your average supermarket-bought Japanese beer! Even the other dark styles like Yebisu Black etc. Malty sweetness, nutty astringency, unusually bitter hops that are very distinctive, and which I've definitely had before in some of the Wig and Pen's (Canberra, Australia) dark ales... but I'm out of practice so I can't recognise them. Not as much to back it up as I would have expected though - not a lot on the palate besides the aforesaid bitterness. A bloody good beer for Japan but nothing on similar ales I've had in the past.

Mouthfeel: Rather lacking. The beer is frothy and thick in the front of the mouth, but thin on swallowing. I suppose that's what the brewer intended - a relatively easy drinking porter to have on a lukewarm weeknight (such as tonight!). However, there is a stouty thickness to it, with a watery aftertaste (well, not exactly watery, but definitely thin) that doesn't blend well. Still, it's all right for the style.

Drinkability: I could definitely have another two or three of these, but after that I'd be wanting some lager to wash down all the thick malty astringent residue from the roof of my mouth! In fact, if these were alternated with a nice crisp pilsener or sweet malty lager, that would make for a fine night's beer drinking, and I could drink this beer throughout. Alas, a crisp pilsener is not to be found in this country, and happoushu may have to suffice!

Overall: Awesome for Japan, still quite adequate for anywhere outside England or America.

 2,112 characters

Photo of DonDirkA
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Ive never had a japanese beer that I like but this one isn't bad. Smells like coffee with a little chocolate. The taste is coffee, straight up with a slight aftertaste of mocha-like chocolate. Its kind of a watery beer though, goes down like a light beer so that's a little disappointing. Overall maybe a B- beer but as far as japanese beers go its an A.

 354 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A smoky sweet, molasses-like malt aroma is readily apparent. Pours a moderate, dense, tan-colored head which soon diminishes and forms a lasting ring; lots of lacing. Body is black—no discernible highlights. The roasted malt flavor comes through clearly in the first few sips, along with an unwelcome metallic quality; light coffee; both hop bitterness and flavor are subdued. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the flavor is the lingering, nutty roastiness. Medium-light body with moderately low carbonation and a satisfying bite.

While not bad overall, the metallic quality is a little distracting and the flavor begins to taste of carbonated water over time. Very drinkable otherwise, though it could benefit from a more complex and expressive flavor profile.

 768 characters

Photo of TokyoCO
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a goblet.

A: Black, slight light penetrance on edges, foamy head.

S: Malts, light smell of coffee, hints of dark chocolate.

T: Very creamy, tastes (coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, malts) are subtle but well balanced. Smoke taste really comes through in the finish. Drinks very easily.

M: Creamy! Very easy drinking, expected from a 5% beer.

O: My first Japanese craft beer! It's good, not overly complex or tasteful but an easy drinking porter. Smoke taste in the finish makes it above average for me!

 529 characters

Photo of kitschiguy
2.72/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

330ml can from a supplier poured into a 350ml beer glass.

A vigorous pour produced a foamy head that died and left a film. Some lacing.

Nose has lots of coffee, cola and burnt biscuits.

Palate is much like the nose with cola coming through although not particularly well-rounded and not very complex.

Mouth was not great. A bit watery.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this. I'm finding that many Japanese beer producers tend to focus on clever marketing rather than the product itself which is a shame. As a result I talk to a lot of people who seem to think a product is good just because it's from Japan. As far as beer is concerned this is rarely the case.

 670 characters

Photo of alexhahn82
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Black, two finger head that quickly dissipates. Black, oh yeah, its black too! Almond colored head that is a pleasant color to see.

S - NADA. ZIP. NOTHING. Small hint of dark roast and that is a far stretch.

T/M - SMOKE! Mild carbonation, a very minor finish of chocolate.

O - 5% ABV - kind of a tame porter in my opinion, Meh... middle of the spectrum, don't seek it out, but if its there give it a shot over something else you may have had.

PP (Price Point) - $4.99 for a 12oz can, again, Meh. Would be more appropriate at $3.50 or so for a can.

 555 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!

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Photo of broken22
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Today I continue my quest to find good Asian dark beers with Tokyo Black.

The beer pours out and leaves a nice cream colored head. About average thickness finally subsiding to just a ring around the glass. The beer is dark. I can hold this up to the light and it stays that way. The smell has a little smoky malt like smell to it. The flavor is more of the same. The smoky smell comes through with a very subtle bitterness. The overall mouth feel is nice and smooth because their is not a lot of carbonation.

Overall this beer is great. I really like the flavor profile. I think it is perfectly executed and well balanced. I wish it was easier to find. I can only get these as single 12oz cans. If you like American Porters than do yourself a favor and pick one of these up.

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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.

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Photo of toweringpoo
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer looks thick on the pour and the rich one and a half finger head which results is a really beautiful light tan. It has the consistency of a milkshake. Really enticing.

Smell is a bit weak. Smoky notes. Super roasted malts. A bit of coffee here and there. Nothing to write home about.

First sip, taste is...interesting. Smoky almost rauch-like, creamy, then chocolatey. Coffee notes are there as well. As well as something else that I'm reeaaaally having a difficult time putting my finger on... I think its something from the bitter chocolate but I can't be sure.
The bitterness is there but any hop flavor is undetectable. I'm not a big porter drinker but this one is unlike any porter I've had. (Or maybe I just forgot what they taste like, it's been so long since I've had one.)

Very unique, complex beer. I wouldn't drink a bunch of these. Never was my favorite style but I appreciate a good beer when I taste one and this is one.

 946 characters

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 RedBeerchetta
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this on a balcony in India after having bought it in Tokyo three days ago...

Aptly named as it pours a deep black. Head is three fingers thick, medium brown and comprised of rather large bubbles - looks like a cola with a head that lingers.

Smell is a bit sour and caramel. Taste is great with cocoa, espresso, roasted grains and has a dryness that is almost tart. A bit unusual for a porter but every enjoyable.

I bought the can at the supermarket in the basement of the Hotel New Otani in the Chiyoda neighborhood.

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Photo of OneBrewru
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tokyo Black pours thin and is jet black. The head is mocha brown and remains for about 30 seconds. Moderate lacing lines the glass.

The smell is mostly of bitter coffee and dark chocolate. The smell, like the beer itself, is a bit thin.

The taste is only a little bitter with coffee and chocolate notes. A slightly metallic aftertaste lingers.

The mouthfeel is thin but smooth and soft. Perhaps a little more prickly carbonation than a porter should have.

Overall, this beer is ok but not great. Yona Yona Pale is a better offering fro Yo Ho.

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Tokyo Black from Yo-Ho Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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