Friday, June 29, 2012

Asahi Kuronama

I finally found a place that sells this in my town! Not just prefecture, but an actual grocery store in my little town in the center of Yamanashi. The Ito-Yokado shopping center’s grocery store sells Asahi’s Kuronama in the alcohol asile. I rarely ever shop there, especially for food so I can understand how I went for so long without noticing this. From now on I will have to do my shopping in multiple locations to get all the stuff I want. At least I don’t have to go far to get it!


So why am I so excited to have this particular beer? Well for one, I’ve had it many times before when I used to live in the US. I even had it once on tap. Kuronama is a black beer kind of like Guiness but less heavy. It comes in a really plain , boring looking can but looks can be very deceiving. It’s been about 5 or so years since I’ve drank this particular beer so I am kind of coming in with only the good memories that stuck with me.

Let’s open it up already and get to the important stuff... Kuronama pours with a nice, rich, chocolaty color and an inviting caramel head. It pours with a dark beer’s signature thickness that is sadly absent from Asahi’s Dry Black. Why did they even bother making that inferior stuff I will never know… It’s not viscous like a motor oil in how thick it is but if you’ve ever drank heavier dark beers, you’ll know what I mean. The smell is kind of sweet but not overpowering. Over all it has a very inviting look to it when poured into a glass.


But how does it taste? Incredible! It’s pretty much how I remember it and more. I may be a little more favorable to it since I am really into dark beers but it is still pretty good. It was especially a nice change of pace to get back onto a real beer after getting comfortable with Sapporo’s Mugitohop Kuro, which isn’t much of a slouch its self but it’s not real beer. It’s kind of funny how I don’t like Asahi’s flagship beer but I like their less known and unadvertised black beer. Go figure! So I am not completely biased against Asahi. Just Super Dry.

The only down side to this happy tale is that Kuronama isn’t cheap. I think I got my can for about 205 yen or something over 200 yen. Compared to the common Japanese beers like Kirin, Asahi, and regular Sapporo, Kuronama is about 20+ yen above the others putting it into Yebisu and Suntory Premium Malts territory. Despite carrying such a high price, I had no second thoughts buying it for this review even in the future when I crave another. I wish it was competitively priced with other regular brands in Japan but at least it’s now an option for me.

So now I know where to get my dark beer fix and I don’t have to go to Tokyo or another large metropolitan area to get it. I am super excited! Can’t you tell?



  1. I have not had that in a long time. Good memories though.


  2. If you are who I think you are, then we've gotta have one when we meet up next month. :) If you're not, have one by yourself anyway even if you have to have one delivered.

  3. I came across this beer a few weeks ago at the local izakaya I go to in Honchiba. I have had it in can and bottle form when I lived in NYC but nothing beats tap. Even though this post was from a while ago thanks for sharing this. It's nice to know someone else likes it as much as I do since most of my Japanese friends say it's too strong tasting for them.

  4. It really is great. It's not too impossible to find in the US either at least if you're on the west coast, which you are obviously not. It's a great dark beer and I'm glad it's made it over to your side of the US as well.

    I'm not surprised most of your Japanese friends don't really like it. The usual Japanese beer is much ligher and darks are near non-existent here. So to have Asahi make something so unique for the Japaense market is quite a treat especially since they did it so right. :)