Asahi Black (Kuronama) | Asahi Breweries Ltd

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128 Reviews
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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 298
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 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.

 597 characters

Photo of HeroJH
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real nice dark lager with some nice flavors as it warms, but quite light and accessible and easy to drink.

A - Black from a distance, slight ruby red/brown in the light.

S - light notes of caramel and toasted bread.

T - refreshing but with some nice underlying flavor.very balanced. Coffee, toasty, hint of deep fruits like prune, buscuit. All subtle, which is nice for a change. Lightest dryness at the end from the toasted malt and hops.

M - Clean and dry

D - Very easy to drink, best when it warms up a bit.

 517 characters

Photo of Evocatus
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a dark black body that's not completely opaque and a nice beige top. It has a distinct aroma of a nice dark toasted malt. Tastes has hints of coffee and cocoa; nothing too sweet or too bitter. Not too thin either. Definitely one of the better asian brews.

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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 dill
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a whiskey glass as provided by a restaurant. it had a date on it of 08/2007, but i'm not sure if that was a brewed on or fresh before date. also it was brewed in japan and then imported to the u.s.

A - black in color, but not too deep and not too thick looking. it was hard to get any sort of head on this one.

S - the smell reminded me a bit of raw meat.

T - it's not too bad. a bit roasty, but lightly so. actually about what i expected of this japanese black beer.

M - a bit light on the tongue with a fair bit of carbonation.

D - this is quite drinkable and would be a good choice if out at a japanese restaurant and it's available. especially in america i'd avoid the kirin and asashi that are brewed domestically and the sapporo that's imported from canada. yebisu is now being imported and is a nice option when available, and i'd put this on the list of beers to order if available as well.

 929 characters

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.

 1,114 characters

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.

 155 characters

Photo of GeneralZod
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE - Low head. Dark Lager
SMELL - a malty smell. Burnt like smell.
TASTE - Taste like burnt malt. Leaves an aftertaste of the roasting. Typical of these types of beer. I like personally like the Gordon Biersch version of a black lager better.
MOUTHFEEL - Slighty coarse, carbonated
DRINKABILITY - Would not go out of my way to have another, but will have one if there are some.

 385 characters

Photo of lamergod
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a stub into a Anchor Draft mug

Appearance: Very dark red. Very similar to Coca Cola. Even the head is also very similar. A dark tanned red 2 finger head. Carbonated. Typical from what you get from a stubbed beer.

Smell: Very strong Roasted malts and caramel up front. Slight hint of Coffee slips in. Hops smell is very very little. Almost negligible.

Taste: The first sip is very noteworthy. Strong caramel and roasted malts. Coffee is not present in taste. After subsequent drinks, taste gets more and more bland. But roasted malt taste is still ever present. If it weren't for the roasted malt taste, it's as good as drinking coloured plain water. Aftertaste is not present. It starts off sweet, then slight bitter, then once it goes down your throat, there is no aftertaste. The drink is acidic

Drinkability: Very drinkable. It's like stout, except more drinkable and not so heavy.

Overall, it's a very nice beer. If you are a stout guy, you will be impressed with this kind of beer. Another Euro Dark lager is the Sapporo black. It's like a stout in terms of taste and smell, but it's heaps less heavy.

 1,123 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.)

 971 characters

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

Had a very rich dark color that lives up to its name. Cannot see through the glass and some decent head. The smell is of roasted malts and coffe. This beer tasted very chochlatey and coffeish. The mouth feel was very smooth and creamy. I found this beer to be quite drinkable. You wouldnt think the japenese know how to make a decent dark beer but i was suprised.

 363 characters

Photo of Hachiman
3.27/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This isn't up to the rather impressive Asahi Stout. The label says, "Munich Style", so maybe it's a Svartzbeer.

Pours a very deep brown, with a 1cm tan head. I had some lacing, but the viscosity of the beer made it rather drippy looking.

Th aroma is quite fine: strong molasses aroma mixed with sweet malt.

The malt isn't apparent in the flavor, just molasses and an alcoholic hghi note. Very smooth, and it went well both with steak and a rich desert.

The mouthfeel is medium and it leaves some stickiness on the lips.

Good, but not the best Japanese mass market dark beer. If you have a choice, the Stout is better.

 622 characters

Photo of jamiejohnson
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I just had this beer with some takeout sushi and it fit nicely. I used to frequent a Guinness-serving Seattle sushi restuarant where I noticed dark malts complimented the raw fish, so I thought I'd give this a try. I was thrilled to see this was actually brewed in Japan instead of Los Angeles or Canada or mama's laundry room. I probably won't buy this again except for a sushi accompaniment, however this is a potential lifesaver if on tap amongst malted weaklings in a Japanese restuarant. Wonder how Alaskan Smoked Porter would match with sushi?

Eat'n raw,
Drink'n dark.
Fat Cat meow
Big Dog bark

 601 characters

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.

 340 characters

Photo of DoesntMatter46
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep, dark black, had a reddish hue when held up to light. Not much of light tan foam formed on the top of the beer.

Smell was of floral and toasty.

Taste was fairly mild roasted malt, dried fruit, not very bitter at first, finish is a bit hoppier, and a hint of a burnt malty aftertaste. The bottle was labeled as an ale, maybe it's just translation, didn't have taste much like one, but compared to the Kirin I had before this one or any other Asian brew I've tried, this one definitely had most distinctive flavor.

Quite carbonated, but still very smooth.

Went very well with the Japanese BBQ I was having, and will have the next time I eat at a Japanese place, but it's not my personal favorite style, and I doubt that I'll buy a six pack. For it's genre, it is better than most.

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Photo of jpBeerGuy
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad stout but leaves a little to be desired from a beer claiming to be "Munich type".

A - Looks a little like Coca-Cola. Some of the bubbles stick to the sides of the glass giving the cola appearance... It does however possess the characteristics of a stout by having a deep golden head.

S - Meh.. smells like a nice roasted malt. Something to be expected from a black beer.

T - The first sip is noteworthy. It does taste great at first but then starts to decline half way down the glass. Not as good as Kirin Stout.

M - A little bubbly and a little creamy. Not bad but not exceptional either.

D - I find myself moving to something else after just one of these. Not for all-nighters.

Find Kirin Stout or Yo-Ho Brewery's Tokyo Black. Those are great black beers!

 776 characters

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.

 302 characters

Photo of pradipta
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this could compete with the very best from Munich if not for the slightly sour-bitter taste which lingers in the aftertaste. Ends up tasting like an unintended fusion between a Munich dark and a stout...of course this could be due to the rather long trip from Japan. A pleasant beer, overall, much preferable to other supermarket brands.

 337 characters

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 MarsMoose
3.64/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My friend mentioned this beer in an email chat we were having and I happened see it at the liquor store a few hours later, so I picked up a 6-pack.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but poured one into my pint and tried to determine how black it was. It's filtered, but still very hard to see through that super-dark brown color. The head, which was thick and foamy but didn't last that long and wasn't lacy, didn't give away too much from its smell. I could make out only a little bit of the smell of roasted malt, and not much else. It took a sip expecting a strong flavor but was surprised to find a roasty-malty sweetness with little bitter hoppiness. The carbonation is medium, and the flavor doesn't linger too long. I took another sip, and another, and another. After 3 beers, I still feel like I could drink another 12. Did not expect such drinkability from such a dark colored beer. All in all the flavor is not something that would make me drool, but the beer was a great was to relax this evening and I would buy it again.

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Photo of DT7
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Lighter black, the beer is black but you can see through it, its between a very dark brown and a lighter black. The head is not white it is yellow

S-Roasted Malt, brown sugar and back notes of vanilla and cloves

T-Roasted Malts, brown sugar and a finishes a little bitter. But the bitterness goes away after a few minutes. A little bit watery

M-Smooth not very carbonated at all, quite similar to the mouthfeel of Guinness except its not a nitro-can

D-Not bad its easy to down fast because of the lack of carbonation but I don't think I would have more than 2 or 3

Overall one of the better dark asian beers i've had (I know Asia does not produce many) but overall a big surprise. I wasn't expecting much from this beer but its actually quite nice. I wouldn't drink it religiously like Guinness but it would be nice to drink it once in a while

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Photo of ryanmac06
2.77/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The color and look of this beer is exactly what you would want from a dark lager. Two fingers of head was present most of the time and stood there through the entire drink.

S - The smell was light and mostly non-existent. As it began to warm, the smell increased to a light/dull malty smell but never impacted taste.

T - At the front it was mostly bland with a subtle caramel malt taste at the beginning. At the end there was still a subtle malt flavor lacking hops to balance. It finished clean but was poorly balanced.

M - Very smooth and well carbonated. The feel was typical of a dark lager and could easily stand up to other beers in it's class. The long lasting head added a nice feel as well

D - This beer is very easy to consume and is a good starting point for folks who don't typically like "dark beers". It's carbonation and smooth mouth feel will help people come back to this beer.

Overall - This beer is very bland to me and is not as impressive as many beers in it's class. The balance is lacking and it's a straight forward non-complex brew. It's an easy-to-drink dark lager that's a good entry point for folks who typically drink pilsners and very light lagers. I probably won't drink this beer again.

 1,230 characters

Photo of bearish
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Second beer this evening. I'm a person who has just developed a taste for dark beers, so thought I'd try out this one. Looking at the ingredients, could barely make out a word that said rice Think I've got something for Japanese beers today. Haha. Beer is quite nice, smells like coffee and a little hint of caramel.

This one poured a great thick head, but it went down soon after. There's a nice small little head to protect your beer from getting exposed to air, so I'm quite glad that the head retained. The beer tasted smooth, quite sweet (not like the sugary sweet) and the roasted character definitely came through. Sour aftertaste reminds me of a Petrus Dubbel Bruin. This one is just to tell someone the little sourness, not to place it side by side against a nice Belgian.

Not that I'd buy this again, but still its a good drink.

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

This was a surprisingly decent accompaniment to a sushi dinner.

It is crisp and clean. In the glass it is a dark burnt brown and fizzy. I didn't get a lot of foam out of it. The nose and flavor is straight up nutty. Body is light and dry, with plenty of fizz.

I liked it a lot, particularly for being light and refreshing, while still having some solid bold flavors.

 368 characters

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