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Asahi Black (Kuronama) | Asahi Breweries Ltd

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good
129 Reviews
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Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Asahi Breweries Ltd
Japan
asahibeer.co.jp

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"a premium dark ale."

Added by kbub6f on 06-01-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
129
Ratings:
301
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
21.47%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
47
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 301
Photo of Dinglehacker
3.86/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
2.05/5  rDev -42.1%
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.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of mhuber
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
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.

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Photo of Lard_City
4.11/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 187 characters

Photo of FRANKIE65
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

 275 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.34/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

 588 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.86/5  rDev +9%

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.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of samparkique4
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
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

 325 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Photo of Auraan
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 250 characters

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
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.)

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Photo of goochpunch
4.4/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

 335 characters

Photo of Offa
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 397 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.59/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Matthew_Taylor
2.76/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 858 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.31/5  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.

 1,396 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cola brown that's garnet in light with puffy sepia head that fades fast.
Ash, tin, cherry stones, and grass on the muted nose.
Brown bread dough, sugar coated raisins, miso and cola, a little roasty edge, then cut hay hops.
Malteser finish and tingly linger.
Crisp, fizzy, light, flinty.

Confused by this one - Roger Protz says that Japanese black lagers are "more Saxon than Franconian" - schwarzbiers, not dunkels.

Nevertheless, this lines up with all the right sweet, bready dunkel notes (albeit in a watered down fashion) and the hops are there. Maybe I'm supposed to ignore the rice and corn, but this is thin by any lager standard, yet still sweet enough to almost cloy, and the roast is more burnt sugar than chocolate.

Quenching, but I feel like a headache is not far away.

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Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
3.54 out of 5 based on 301 ratings.
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