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Tokyo Black

So I’m trying to knock off the Japanese beers in the 1,001 beers to try before you die and I was looking forward to trying something in a can, especially a can that has a sumo wrestler on it. I think even if this had not been in the book I would have been tempted because well there is a sumo looking at the moon, what more do you want on your Japanese beer can. 

Well I will tell you what you need, for the can to come from a brewery called Yo- Ho.



Yo Ho brewing company started making beer in 1996 after the law in Japan changed to allow for craft beer to be brewed and distributed. This solves the coincidence of Yo Ho and Kiuchi from the previous post both starting in 1996. 

Interesting all their beers come in cans for environmental reasons and easy of transportation in terms of weight. With craft beer going back to cans in the United States it proves that in this one instance Japanese craft beer was ahead of the curve.


So enough about trendy sumos and environmentally friendly cans, the main question is the beer any good. The beer pours as close as to black as I have ever seen, at least in recent memory.  There is a burst of caramelized sort of burnt but appetizing sort of smell. When I poured this into the glass it looked thick and tar like, it was pretty exciting.

When I tasted it I was thinking that I was going to get more of a full on taste like a big imperial stout but this was before I looked at how strong the beer was on the internet. At 5 % and without an overpowering taste this beer doesn’t badge itself as a porter in order to separate itself stouts. This is a more moderate and traditional English style porter which has the dark ale sort of flavour without the heavy aftertaste or the warming extra alcohol you get with a stout. 

I really enjoyed the novelty of the beer and I enjoyed the beer as a porter but I think I was just looking for something a little bit more from the beer. It is certainly not a beer which will keep you warm as winter is coming. 

All up I give this two Ned Starks out of five as a winter warmer


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