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Des de Moor
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Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
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Des de Moor


Asahi Premium Black / Kuronama

Bières sans frontières, . For more selections see previous post.

ABV: 5%
Origin: Sumida, Tōkyō, Japan

Premium Black Kuronama

The Japanese beer market exhibits a taste for dark lagers inherited no doubt from the German brewers who helped set up the country’s brewing industry in the late 19th century. Even so, this black beer from what’s now Japan’s biggest brewery, Asahi (“rising sun”), established as Osaka Brewing in 1889, is a recent addition — launched in 1995, it’s been seen as a brave departure for a brewer better known for its ultra-clean and pale lager Super Dry.

The beer acquires its dark burgundy colour and yellow-fawn head from three different roasted malts, although there are also rice and maize in the mash. A lightly malty-roasty aroma has hints of spice and sharpish fruit, and there’s a luscious but dry and roasty palate with blackcurrant and coffee notes. A milky coffee swallow sets up a drying roasty and slightly astringent finish with chocolate, burry hops and burned flavours over soft malt. Overall this is a beautifully balanced example of how to set off intense roast flavours with rich and tasty malts.

More Bières sans frontières selections in the next post.
Read more about this beer at

2 comments to Asahi Premium Black / Kuronama

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