Asahi Black (Kuronama)
Asahi Breweries Ltd

Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - Munich Dunkel
Ranked #169
ABV:
5%
Score:
81
Ranked #44,908
Avg:
3.55 | pDev: 14.37%
Reviews:
131
Ratings:
316
From:
Asahi Breweries Ltd
 
Japan
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  26
Gots
  52
SCORE
81
Good
Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)
Notes: "a premium dark ale."
View: Beers
Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 316 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is roasted malts and mild grainy sweetness. The flavor is roasted/dark malts, mild grainy sweetness in the middle, mild fruit and a bit of acidity in the finish.

Apr 03, 2017
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying right now at Tau New Asian restaurant in Billings, Montana. For some reason I have not seen this for sale locally anywhere so this is the first I've seen it let alone tried it, though I have heard of it.

Very dim lighting in here, but from what I can tell, dark reddish brown ("black"), at least moderately clear. Weaker aroma, my bottle was opened for me when inreturned from restroom so perhaps that is why. Dark fruit or toffee and tartness, I suppose. Predominantly toffee flavor, some smokiness/roastiness, some fruit hardness but almost more so a musty sour suggestion from the malt that do not distract too much, weaker than what you would find in certain odd Scotch Ales and Vienna Lagers. Cleaner, drier finish than expected, but probably within style parameters. Surprisingly effervescent and light in body for what it is but it works well enough with everything else, equal parts fine tingles and velvet.

Jan 14, 2017
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Dinglehacker from Oklahoma

3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into pokal. Ring of head gives way to bubbly lace, and then nothing. Cola black, ruby when held to light.

Malty nose, no hops.

Light smoked taste, almost hickory. Malts. A little nutty.

Watery and light mouth.

Has a little more personality than the usual Japanese imports. A modest, but drinkable dunkel. If a sushi bar has it, go for it.

Dec 08, 2016
Photo of johnnyd10vt
johnnyd10vt from Oklahoma

2.05/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Meh. Looks almost as dark as a porter. Smells metallic. Tastes mostly bland. Probably better than the traditional Japanese lagers (that all taste like Budweiser), but nothing to get excited about. Probably won't order again.

Dec 13, 2015
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911CROFT from England

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

334ml bottle into a snifter glass. Paid £1.00 for a single bottle.

Pours an opaque, dark reddish-brown coloured body with an abundance of ruby highlights and small amount of visible carbonation. A light, one-finger in height, cream coloured head dissipates almost instantly, leaving very little lacing on the glass.

The nose consists predominantly of lightly roasted malts and sugary molasses, underneath there are aromas of tangy dark fruit, smoke and a slight trace of alcohol. The taste follows suit, lightly roasted dark malts and grains lead upfront along with plenty of sticky sweet molasses and a little burnt caramel. Towards the middle, generic dark fruit flavours build, along with a pronounced smoky and slightly nutty character. In the mouth it is disappointingly thin and watery. The carbonation fades rapidly leaving the light to medium body seem flat, slightly syrupy and dull. On the end a small amount of roasted malt bitterness and gentle earthy hops redeem the feel slightly. Becoming moderately dry, it gives a quick and clean finish that allows only a trace of burnt caramel to linger for a fraction on the palate.

Overall this is a decent beer. Honestly, I liked it much more than I was expecting to. If the mouth-feel was improved to match the nose and taste I could see myself drinking a lot more of these on a regular occasion. At the price point I paid, if I pick some more up I’d be happy to overlook this failing and just drink them a little quicker next time! Recommended.

Oct 05, 2015
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mhuber from New York

4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate brown, no head, no lacing. Flavorful but not heavy. Slight hop flavoring gives way to the malt. Balanced flavor. Much better than their dry beer.

Sep 01, 2015
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Lard_City from California

4.11/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow, very nice yeasty aroma. Molasses, malt and raisin tastes with a bit of hoppy bitterness. Not a strong tasting dark ale but much more than I expected. Not bad at all.

Aug 13, 2015
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Asahi has a dark side as well? Ok, I have known that for some time, but failed to pull the trigger. Thanks to Tina, I got to work with six-pack, but for this review, a single 11.3 ounce bottle will do. On to the beer:

Don't be afraid of dark brown with ruby colored hues, or you will be missing something surprisingly good. A thick head forming with rocky formation...I told you, don't be afraid of how it looks. It smells rich, smokey, dark cocoa, with a whistle of husk. If all you drink is Coors Light, you will be shocked, because not only do you smell something, you taste something too. And what a surprise to this Beer Advocate! Much of what I drink can be considered "craft beer", so tasting a rich and delicious dark beer from Asahi that can hold its head high is one of the biggest shocks I have found to ooze out of the macro world. Not only malty, but pleasantly smoked. A note of vague fruit and raisins and me thinks it's a bock. The smokey aftertaste finish the beer on a wonderful note. Rafting in a medium and smooth body, it's hard to emphasize how much that Kuronama surprised me. On par with many dunkels coming out of Bavaria.

Aug 03, 2015
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mikeg67 from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with tall, off-white head. Aroma is of plums and toasted malt. Body is medium and very crisp, way too much carbonation. Taste is similar to aroma with some herbal hops in the background. Finish is short and barely noticeable. Overall it is drinkable brew.

Jul 24, 2015
Photo of safaricook
safaricook from Netherlands

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank it from the bottle at a small sushi joint in downtown Toronto. Therefore, I do not know much about looks and taste. But is was really tasty and smooth and accompanied the food well.

May 17, 2015
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FRANKIE65 from Canada

4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had three of these at the Toronto Benihana restaurant.
Not sure if it was the atmosphere, and/or, company, but, I loved this beer.
I'm partial to dark beer, stouts, to begin with so it was right up my alley.
Wish I could purchase some here to give it a proper review at home.

Jan 22, 2015
Photo of The_Mad_Capper
The_Mad_Capper from Japan

4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The aroma gives off bread crusts, molasses, prunes, and a graininess reminiscent of Grape Nuts cereal. Not much retention in the head. The body is clear and almost black but not quite opaque as it admits some deep garnet highlights. The flavor is intensely malty with loads of bread crusts. There are undertones of molasses, caramel, and prune, along with some low-level alcohol. Leaves a toasted marshmallow aftertaste. The body is medium-light with moderate carbonation and bite.

Deliciously malty, though it doesn't seem to venture much beyond that quality. Still really loving this.

Oct 11, 2014
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev +8.7%

Bottle marked U/1827:K132 at 40 degrees into a standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt and molasses
Head small (< 2 cm), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing none
Body very dark reddish brown, clear
Flavor begins moderately sweet and tastes like molasses and dates; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4.25, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.635. Final weighted score: 3.8625.
This beer was a pleasant surprise. It seems somewhat sweeter than the typical Munich dunkel, but not cloying. The rapid termination of the head and lack of lacing detract from the appearance of this beer. The aroma, flavor, and palate are all above average with the flavor directing me to buy more. Unfortunately, it’s not available around me.

Sep 01, 2014
Photo of jngrizzaffi
jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber, almost orange. Hard to see in dark restaurant. Finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing is minimal, but we were given very small glasses. Dark, slightly roasted aroma. Can discern figs. Moderately roasted malty taste, followed by dark fruits, maybe figs. Not bad. Not my style, but it is representative of the style.

Jul 26, 2014
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samparkique4 from England

4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Surprise when the staff send the beer
color is dark and yet clear
beautiful
and
dark rye
on palate
the roasty yet texture is thin easy and crisp
lite bitterness and easy on mouthfeel
84/100
-- 87/100
Kyushu Ferry | feeling is like hopping on Kyushu Ferry
ale
51% caramel malt golden bar
malty
litely hops presence
yet malty

Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(bottle date U/2113: F043 - poured into a fluted goblet)

A: dark orangey brown liquid, clear... macro lager-esque foam, khaki color, wells up over an inch on the pour, slowly falls, bit of staying power as a cap... (side note - the beer comes in one of the heaviest ~12oz bottles I've come across)

S: brown bread (pumpernickel) crust, hint of roasted grain, bit of milk chocolate... nice aromas, just pretty weak

T: pretty spot on for a dunkel lager style - dark, toasty melanoidin - decidedly bready... dark malt flavor with little sweetness, hint of bubblegum in the far background... hearty, almost nutty-woody, roast character with a moderately ashy-bitter aftertaste... by and large, dry in the finish, with perhaps a light film of residual burnt sugar... not much depth overall

M: medium-bodied, slight perception of feeling filling... mild roundness and light gummy texture... drops off fairly quickly, real dry but not so clean... leaves a fine grainy film on the palate

O: not bad at all... I could see getting this again if that's the best thing around

May 13, 2014
Photo of Auraan
Auraan from Arizona

3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, rich brownish black with a thin ring of off-white head that dissipated quickly. It looks fairly good, like a dark lager should. Scents of fruity esters, especially apple, some lager yeast and a nice, rich caramel maltiness. A very simple aroma profile, but a very pleasant one that is quite appealing. Flavor begins with malty sweet flavors, some caramel and molasses with a hint of smokiness. This moves into more smokey, malty flavors and some further caramel notes with some Noble hop floral character and a hint of toasted malt. Finish is smokey, toasted and modestly floral with Noble hop flavor notes. Aftertaste is smokey, roasted malt and Noble hops. A very nice flavor profile that actually has quite a bit going on, but with none of the flavors hurting the others. Very well executed. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a semi-drying feel. Quite easy to drink and pleasant. Overall this is a good dark lager with a nice aroma and flavor profile and a good mouthfeel that lends it self well to the flavor profile. Worth trying.

May 12, 2014
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Richardbeerlover from Texas

3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark black with a decent head. Smells decent. Taste is typical dark but very easy to drink. Goes down nice and clean. Not a lot of body or substance but a decent black beer that you can drink a lot of especially eating Japanese yakitori.

Apr 27, 2014
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The-Jolly-Imbiber from Antarctica

3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

334 mL poured into a tall, pilsner glass.

A nice smell came from the 4-finger head which covered a dark, brown-red body. Some light could be seen through the body. Aroma was the typical smell you get from dark beers, though at first some metallic scents were present.

This beer had a decent dark-beer taste, though with some metal tinge at first. This metallic flavour gave way to some bitterness that took its place. This beer is bitter (for my tastes), but still good. No cocoa flavour that I've come to expect from darker beers, and not much roastiness. It's more of a bitter fruitiness.

Faint carbonation.

Overall, an okay beer. Given a choice among several dark beers in a bar or restaurant, this would not be what I'd order (I'd rather get, say, a Guiness). However, if it were the only dark beer offered (which was the case in this restaurant), I'd get it again. One thing became clear, though: This doesn't pair well with sushi. (I'm not sure any beer would.)

Apr 07, 2014
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goochpunch from Texas

4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a ruby-tinged deep brown with a thin head. Smells of chocolate, tobacco, caramel, honey, whole wheat bread. Tastes of dried fruits, wet pipe tobacco, burnt honey, and burnt toast. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is light in the body with subdued carbonation. Overall, this is great, but I have a hard time paying $15 for a 6 of this.

Mar 11, 2014
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good black lager.

Deep brown, almost black, medium-big tan head steadily shrinks.

Aroma is toasty, hint of burnt toast & prunes but all very light.

Taste clean, light but tasty dark toast, hint of prunes & wine, light zesty bitterness. It's not complex, flavour is light but it's firm with some depth, a very good drinkable dark lager, clean with nice light bitterness to back it up.

Feb 19, 2014
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Found this in a cooler of a Korean grocery. Never seen it before.

A: Black in color, but a thin black, somewhat translucent. Forms a moderate sized tan head. Decent retention, but does eventually fall to a thick ring around the edge.

S: Aroma is sweet and roasty. There is a slight milk-stout quality to the beer.

T: Taste reminds me of a sweet, light, black IPA. Roasty malts. Mild sweetness. Chocolate. A bit of dark fruit.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Low bitterness. Low carbonation.

O: An interesting find. Not a bad beer. Rather approachable. But nothing too complex or exciting either.

Jan 17, 2014
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Minkybut from Virginia

3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured this really black brew into my tumbler at 40 degrees. The beer was uhhh black. I said That. The beer poured a really nice big head and I like that. The beer had a slight beer smell, oh I guess it should. Really could not come up with anything else. I liked the beer and its a good product that I believe I will will have to buy again.

Dec 13, 2013
Photo of Matthew_Taylor
Matthew_Taylor from California

2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Perhaps it was my expectation of how it should taste that interfered with my assertion of how it "did" taste. Poured thick, with a dark brown cola color that produced a medium head of coffee. I attempted to pair with sushi, as you would a traditional Japanese beer, but this failed to compliment the richness of the fish.

I will have to try again, because I feel like I gave the beer a raw deal based upon the circumstances on which it was consumed. However, the taste was lacking in my opinion, done better by many American stouts.

That being said, the beer had a rich mouth-feel and a silky texture which I did enjoy.

Sep 02, 2013
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.38/5  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.

Aug 26, 2013
Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 316 ratings