Asahi Black (Kuronama) | Asahi Breweries Ltd

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Asahi Black (Kuronama)Asahi Black (Kuronama)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Asahi Breweries Ltd
Japan | website

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:
128
Ratings:
298
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
14.12%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
48
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 298
Photo of JDV
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I was an exchange student in Japan, Asahi was my brand. They had a vending machine on the corner. Anyway, I don't often find it in the Texas Hill Country. I've never had an Kuronama before, so...

A - Pours up black with dark ruby highlights. The thin dense head dissipates quickly lacing up the sides of the glass. Looks good already.

S - Very subtle hint of roasted malts. No hops detected.

T - There's a hint of sweetness at the start, then is replaced with a subtle coffee like roasted flavor. Not overwhelming. Subtle.

M - It's on the thin side, but good.

D - The roasted malt lingers but doesn't overwhelm my palate. Three or four of these in a row is possible. If it wasn't $15 a 6 pack!

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Photo of Onslow
2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lacing is Grade A ... smooth down the throat but a bit to cultured ... not the most flawless blackers but a good beginner .... " he's mental for those snausages" ... drinkable but quite neutral... bought as a single at Specs in Clear Lake..

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Photo of HardTarget
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: brown 11.2 fl. oz. bottle brags about “our pure cultured yeast”, so much for spontaneous fermentation. Date of 03/2007, which I hope is a brewed on date as I just got it and it’s 11/2007.

Aroma: Mild apple cider, yeast, light whiffs of dark roasted malt and a light medicinal alcohol.

Appearance: Black with thick ruby edges that become transparient about 2/3rd the way through the glass. It holds a dirty tan creamy head at a half finger that lasts about half way through the glass when it retreats to a thick collar leaving short lived lace.

Flavor: Sweet malty front goes over to dark roasted malt that’s slightly astringent and a very mild earthy hop bitter to finish. There’s that apple taste in the middle that lingers a bit as well. Just a hint of oxidation.

Mouthfeel: Firm carbonation edges on fizzy, medium body, slick texture.

Overall Impression: Easy drinking beer. No seriously off flavors, fairly clean. A solid offering, but not terribly exciting.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Had a small tan head that dissipated into a thin collar. It was dark with deep mahogany highlights. The aroma was very weak with roasted malts. The taste was nutty and alot better than I expected after the disappointing aroma. Goes down smooth and had a bit of smoky taste to it. Similar to a schwarzbier but weaker. Overall a decent beer that I could see trying in a Japanese restaurant if nothing better around. (3.5, RB, T, O)

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of a bottle tonight at a Sushi place here in Austin.

A: Pours a deep black color w/a good amount of head.

S: Nose is mostly rice and some roasted malts.

T: Up front, this brew is very good, as the toasted malt flavor makes its precense and is very good at that. Finishes with a minial hop bitterness and some estercey flavors as well.

M: Watery, just too darn thin for a dark beer, even if it's meant to go w/food.

D: Overally, I would say this a fairly good, drinkable brew. Not something I would buy on a regular basis, but when I am having sushi, I think it's defenitely one of the better choices out there. It certainly beats the hell out of the lighter Japanese brews I have tried.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
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

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Photo of Washburne
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet-black and, as far as I could tell, compeltely opaque. Lots of nutty malt smells, particularly on pouring, and adds a kind of burned but still fairly sweet caramel flavour to the mix. Light-bodied, but good carbonation, this makes a perfect accompaniment to lightly flavoured cheeses or sushi.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a miniscule head that quickly disappears. Smell is nutty with a mild roasted character. The taste is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Light in body, as it should be, but not thin by any means. This is an easy drinking brew. I use these when I am eating light and I want a simple session brew to accompany the food. I recommend it.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug

Nearly opaque black with ruby red edges. Thick tan frothy head which has good retention, and eventually settles to a thin cap with bulky edges. Clingy lacing.

Roasty malt smells along with an avid fruityness which is uncommon in a beer like this. Bits of smooth caramel scents.

Bitter nutty malt flavors in a medium body with light carbonation, giving it a little spritz on the tongue. Light hop characters in the finish, along with light creamy flavors.

I enjoyed this beer a lot. Good dark beer that isn't too harsh. Definitely worth it if you can get your hands on it. I had to have it ordered special. Usually it is found in restaraunts.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, Asahi can actually brew a beer that isn't yellow and fizzy. Gorgeous, creamy ivory-yellow-beige head with startlingly good retention atop a deep, dark, 90% opaque coffee-brown body. This one's a looker.

Smell: Caramel, and lots of it, rich chocolate milk, rum, raisins, prunes, and a bit of coffee with a slight soy sauce-ish funk.

Taste: Peanuts, burnt sugar, day-old coffee, dark chocolate, and some understated dark fruit notes (especially cherries). Smooth, malty, and sweet, but rounded out nicely with a touch of resinous hops and a nice, full, roasty dryness. A bit watery at times with an unspectacular finish (which develops into a pleasant, lingering hoppy mocha flavor), but overall, quite well-crafted.

Mouthfeel: Silky, crushed-velvety smooth, yet thin-bodied and somewhat syrupy in the finish.

Drinkability: This is a really nice alternative to the usual Japanese crap, and it's easier to find and not as expensive as ji-biru. Definitely recommended, especially as a pair with Gruyere.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came across this at a Japanese restaurant (Edomasa) in Santa Barbara. I didn't realize Asahi did a dark lager.

A - Dark body like a stout with a pretty big off-white head.
S - Sweet malty scent. Slight coffee smell in there.
T - Smooth and malty. Not overly sweet, nor chalky, just a little of both. There's a roasty slight chocolate flavor.
M - Kind of a little thin in the mouthfeel. There's flavors yes, but they don't spread about the tongue much.
D - Very smooth, easy drinker.

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Photo of wl0307
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 334ml slim brown glass bottle, the gravity is 5%abv. as stated on the beer label. BB 01/09/2006, served lightly chilled in a slim goblet.

A: pours a very dark brown colour, with caramely red glows; the tan head comes thick and very foamy with superb retention, against a lively carbonated body--looking very decent and elegant.
S: a semi-thick note of buttery+toffeeish+caramely malts and bitter-sweet burned sugar dominates, sprinkled with lots of brown sugar, bread-crust like grainy note and a very faint trace of hops. Slightly overly malty whereas other elements are subdued, yet crafted nicely all the same.
T: upfront the texture is indeed akin to a rice-added lager with its slightly thin-ish and metallic touch, but not too much of a distraction. Like the aroma, the palate is dark malt-dominated, with plenty of caramely flavour of dark malts and bitter-sweet burned/roasty and sweet-coffeeish edge of roasted malts, backed by a slightly rough, chewy, whole-meal bready as well as nutty malts underneath. Rather clean finish with only a touch of sugar, true to a dark lager, but the roast-malty and nutty aroma and a residual chewy texture sustain nicely at the back of the palate.
M&D: medium-plus bodied for a Schwarzbier-style lager, the rich and grainy content makes it a quite chewy and enjoyable beer. And, fortunately, the added corn and rice are not played to the detriment to the beer's texture, thus I'd say this Japanese brewery's self-appointed task of producing a Munich-style dark lager (as specified on the beer cap) is no disappointment at all.

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Photo of nouseforotacon
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one a number of times on tap at a local bar in Akasaka last year, first time reviewing a beer by the can (500mL) and also first time reviewing a macro.

The tap version always pleased me, as it's a much better alternative to other macro offerings in Japan. I think I can safely say that the can version is decent, though some of the brew's body really is lost.

Thick, opaque black color with a fast rising and falling, puffy tan head. Appearance is average.

Strong, roasted malt smell, chalky, with a sweetness and hints of powdered chocolate. Light fruitiness.

Initial taste is very crisp, clean, and watery - macro lager. Pleasant, lingering bitterness and the roasted character is present. Dry, powdery chocolate in the finish, but oveall really crisp and sharp. Some creaminess in the mouthfeel, but the water really overtakes it leaving the mouthfeel flat and dull.

From what I recall, it's unfortunately not nearly as creamy as it is from the tap, and overall it's a rather watery, crisp and clean lager. Nice bitterness and roasted character give this one more dimension. Decent.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this on the menu at Japanese restaraunt in Toronto. While the food wasnt the greatest, this beer was a pleasant surprise.

It pours from the fancy old school looking can black with cognac hints. The caramel colored head is creamy and thick at first, only to shrink down to a ring after a couple minutes. Lacing is very plentiful. The aroma is sweet and malty. Some roastyness, caramel and dark chocolate are also there. The taste is subtle. Its quite malty with a pleasant grainy feel. Hops and BPM bitterness provide great balance. The mouthfeel is light with an understated carbonation (at least compared to other Asahi beers). The finish is sweet and slightly hoppy.

This beer has a very lager like quality, its clean and completely lacking in esters. Id classify it as a very good Schwarzbier. I was very surprised to find this in Toronto.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Gap Wines, Belfast...

Poured a deep dark mahogany red / almost black colour. Creamy tan head poured big and foamy and faded to a nice thin layer...

Aroma - Sweet (treacle), strong roasted maltiness, smokey, strong dark coffee, some pepperiness, aniseed notes...

Taste – Nice bitter chocolate maltiness, strong coffee, dark fruits (raisins), light smokiness, spicy hops...

Feel - Smooth and creamy... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent beer.... Quite porter like... Recommended !!

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Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Snifter:

Appearance: This beer appears to be a black looking color till held to the light which reveals a dark ruby tint, a pillowy cream colored head that whithers away to just a white ring floating on top.No laceing.

Smell: The nose is of toffee,caramel and a sweet oat aroma.Also a little chocolatey and perhaps a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Identical to the nose the flavors are right on.The caramel,sweetened chocolate,toffee,french vanilla coffee all play good roles in this beer.

Mouthfeel: A medium to thin mouthfeel.Nicely carbonated to create a bubblely finish.

Drinkability: I can honestly say this is now one of my favorite Japanese beers,but on the down side I paid 13 dollars and some change for a sixer.A little steep if you ask me.Ill try any beer at least once with disreguard to price.Definitely a must try.

Cheers2Beers

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Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Asahi Kuronama. This beer had a very "porter" like appearance. It poured out a dark brown with a 1" creamy tan head. The head dropped to a cap and then it was gone. No lacing.
The aroma was a very mild roasted malt. There was not much going on that I could pick out in the nose.
The taste was also mild, with a little roasted coffee bean and some slight chocolate flavors. No discernible hops. To my surprise the taste really came through in the finish with the roasted and chocolate flavors really opening up.
The beer had a creamy mouthfeel and was of a medium carbonation level.
This is an enjoyable beer, very mild and pleasant. If I had to pick a Japanese beer right now it would be this one.

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Photo of pijiu
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An easily drinkable dark. Its red-black appearance is betrayed by the light-bodied, thin, nature of the beer. Hence, the easy drinkability. I was hoping for a more comprehensive flavour with a thicker mouthfeel. Flavour is sweeter than expected and pleasing, with cider, coffee, and slight pineapple and cherry pit flavors. There is a weak roasted aftertaste that doesn't linger long. Best served only slightly chilled, as the coldness creates a false crispness and masks the underlying flavor. Overall a solid beer; good as an introductory dark lager.

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Photo of texashammer
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, this beer had a smallish but good head: lots of very small bubbles like a Belgian. It lasted well, laced the glass and remained. Beer was very black until held up to light, when it showed red. Aroma was overwhelmingly roasty, some caramel, coffee, sweet roasted malt. Light bodied. First taste shows bittersweet chocolate, coffee, perhaps a note of vanilla. Overwhelming roasted malt flavor. Light body. Very rich flavors, fairly complex. The finish lingers and is quite pleasing. This Japanese black beer is strangely reminiscent of a Belgian beer. I'm quite happy with it.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

There's a big, tan plateau of a head: dense with a cookie dough collapse. Thin swoops of lacing. The beer is clear, dark red-brown; almost black. Faint toffee aroma gives away the dry, tangy, toffee front. Middle is milky with just a little chocolate. Finishes with coffee and bitter chocolate. It's quite nice. A light toffee, coffee, bitter chocolate beer. Gets quite nice and milky in the middle with temperature. I like it.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of optikon44
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like this reddish beer. It's got a nice, clean coffee/vanilla taste, with an extremely pleasant finish. Sure, it's on the lighter side, but it's still loaded with flavor. Pleasant aroma of vanilla and maybe a little bit of cappucino. Definitely worth trying, not an everyday beer b/c of it's slightly inflated price, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black ruby in color with a thin tan colored head that fades into a wispy lace. Nose is sweet dark malts and fresh brewed coffee. Medium in body with a smooth mouthfeel. Lots of sweet roasted malts in the flavor along with notes of dark fruits, bitter coffee, and burnt toast. A decent brew and certainly more enjoyable than their “Super Dry” beer.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Asahi Kuronama

Second tasting: 21 January 2003
Compared to the Sopporo Black and Kirin Black I drank against this, it was just weak. Dark water in a bottle. I significantly droped my rating, though the drinkability remains high. Has no character.

First tasting 30 Dec. 2003
I thought the beautiful red hugh to this dark beer was really beautiful. There was an uneven head that died right away. Simple dark bread taste and the faintest aroma of chocolate. Very light, like all Asahi beers, but it I am impressed with it. If I have to have an Asahi, make it a kuronama.

Bottle stated this was a Munich-style beer. Unfortunately, it does not pass the Bavarian beer purity law. On the bottle, the ingredients in Japanese are listed as malts, hops, rice, corn and starch.

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Asahi Black (Kuronama) from Asahi Breweries Ltd
81 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.
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