Name: Asahi Black
Brewery: Asahi Breweries Ltd
Country of Origin: Japan
City & State: Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
Style: Munich Dunkel Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.00%
First Brewed: 1995
A black beer with coffee, chocolate, and licorice in the aroma. There are gentle caramel and licorice flavors in the crisp, bittersweet taste, along with dry, dark malt notes that run into the finish, bringing suggestions of roasted coffee beans.
Today has been a good day… and I have some time to kill before meeting my buddy Scott for dinner, so I figured we could review a beer. I am not sure if I have had this before, but reading they use rice has me pumped up. I have been on a rice IPA kick lately… just something that smooths out the mouthfeel and provides a more enjoyable experience. Also a cool story about how Asahi basically took over from being the name of the beer to being the name of the brewery. We are having sushi for dinner… so this is only fitting!
Here is another small bottle… 11.3 ounces on this one. Would it really kill them to send a full beer? No worries. I am ready to drink! Oh, and we are meeting Scott at Angel’s Trumpet Ale House… so I will be drinking plenty there.
In the Glass: It’s dark, but it’s not black. I wish I knew Japanese… I wonder what the label says/means. It could say, “This is the best beer ever!” and we would never know. When I was pouring it, the beer produced a really nice creamy head… but it was gone as fast as I could turn around. Not much lace to speak of. Let’s see what she smells like. (I still feel weird writing that…)
Nose: This smells like rich malty bread. The rice isn’t really coming through, but I am sure it will in both the mouthfeel and the flavor. A second whiff has me smelling some of those dark malts that were tacked about. I hope the flavor delivers.
Flavor: It’s nice, but not until the end. There is a lot going on with the mouthfeel… but the flavor is really lacking for a beer that is sold by the palate. Or is it palette? You know what I mean. The best part of this beer is the finish. In the tasting notes they mentioned coffee several times, but I am not getting much coffee from this. There might be a hint of coffee in the finish, but the dark malts are all I am getting here.
Mouthfeel: At first, there isn’t much going on and then it explodes into a crisp sharp malty backbone. Then, as it sits on the palate it begins to dry. I get a hint of coffee notes as it finishes, but that isn’t really changing the mouthfeel. I don’t want to call it boring, but it’s nothing to write home about.
Aftertaste: This is the best part. It has a nice drying finish to it, but the flavor dwindles in a hurry. Right after I swallow it tastes good… and I want that flavor to continue. But it doesn’t. I am still not getting any rice from this. Grab a Flying Fish Wild Rice Double IPA… THAT is what rice is supposed to taste like in a beer. If I were to buy an Asahi beer again, it would be the Super Dry. We are having sushi later. I hope they have Asahi Super Dry!
Asahi Black – The bottle says: “ASHAI’S ORIGINAL KURONAMA ALE IS BREWED FROM QUALITY INGREDIENTS BY USING OUR PURE CULTURED YEAST AND OUR ADVANCED BREWING TECHNIQUES.”
Well, at least this beer looks good. It’s a dark one. You know I like dark ones. It’s a really dark brown color in the glass, and somewhat thick. It looks like a porter, but honestly smells like a brown. (Can you tell I have no idea what beer we are trying?) It smells mostly… nutty to me. I wouldn’t say it looks like a stout, it’s just not quite that thick. But you definitely can’t easily see through the glass. What head there was dissipated quickly. This smells and looks like a good beer… time to find out if that’s true.
First taste… not as flavorful as I was hoping for. It definitely tastes more like a brown than a porter. It also is kind of carbonated, which is a bit weird. I like it, but it’s definitely far from being the best beer I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it is a brown or not, but that’s what it tastes most like to me, and I’ve definitely had better browns. But it’s not bad, and I do like the taste. I might order this if I was out somewhere and it was on tap, but it’s probably not one I’d buy in a bottle again.