coastercan (1) - mississauga, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 18, 2006 does not count
A great schwarzbier, with big flavor and waay too easy to drink. On draft at Kirin City and Sapporo Lion pubs in Japan. I miss it and wish it was available in North America. camay1997 (73) - patton, California, USA - AUG 6, 2017
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2017 Thick tan head on top of a dark brown body, nearly black. Floral and chocolate notes on smelling. There are coffee notes upon tasting also a note of floral hops. Clean finish and great on the palette. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 24, 2006
When is a stout not a stout? When it is a schwarzbier of course. The inspiration for Sapporo Black Stout Draft didn’t come from Ireland, it came from Germany. "Black Beer" is popular in Japan, most if not all major Japanese breweries do this style. What is schwarzbier? Its a dark lager that has its roots in the eastern part of Germany, similar to Munich dunkles, but a little darker in color, with some roastiness as well. German brewers were brought over to Japan in the 1800’s to show the Japanese how to brew beer, and they brought their recipes with them. I lived in Japan for a year, and was drinking "black beer" 14 years ago, before I really understood what I was drinking. Being a stout drinker, Sapporo Black was a natural choice for me. But this beer has more in common with a Kostrizer, or even Sprecher Black Bavarian, than it ever will have with Guinness. This is a very good example of schwarzbier, and is a very smooth, drinkable, dark lager.
Sapporo Black pours to a deep brown/black color with a nice white head, and a good bit of carbonation. The nose is quite malty. Good dark malt aromas, with a touch of roast, and balancing hop aromatics. The palate is firm, dark chocolate, coffee, and roasty flavors. This beer is a lager, so it is very smooth, round, and clean. This beer finishes malty up front, then leads into a quick, dry, bitter finish.
This is an excellent "black" beer as the Japanese like to call it. It is a great tribute to a style that is under done, even in Germany. It has a cult following in Japan, and I was a member of that cult, and still am. Look for this beer in your area, its well worth seeking out. I would match this beer with smoked and grilled meats, or Mongolian BBQ.
ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUN 24, 2017
DOC: 3/16/2017Maximus55 (40) - California, USA - AUG 3, 2004
2015 BJCP Category: 8B Schwarzbier
AROMA: Medium malt presence, especially dark malt with slight confectionery overtones. Roasted malt is present akin to a black iced coffee aroma (nothing acrid or burnt). Faint herbal/spicy hops presence. Clean fermentation. 10/12
APPEARANCE: Very dark [mahogany] brown with magenta/garnet blush. Large tan foam retains and laces well. Clear body. 3/3
FLAVOR: Light-moderate malt flavor with mild sweetness up front. There is a toasted bready presence in the background. Low earthy/spicy bitterness offers balance throughout the palette. As it finishes there’s a fairly assertive taste of coffee with cream and a roasted malt flavor on the aftertaste without astringency. 18/20
MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Texture is smooth and just the faintest bit watery. This could be served on nitro just as well. Plenty of flavor and easy to quaff at only 5% ABV. Versatile palette would pair well with a savory dinner or dessert. 4/5
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely to-spec in all aspects. This beer could hold it own with authentic German examples. 9/10
TOTAL SCORE: 44/50
Goes down smooth, fresh clean crisp taste, if you havent tried it try it now...have you gotten it yet? hehe
K-V-F-L (292) - LaVista, Nebraska, USA - AUG 18, 2001
This is a damn fine product. I was expecting a stout until I learned that the Japanese admire the 'schwarzbier' style of German black beers. This is easily comparable with the best of those. Mephistefales (47) - USA - FEB 13, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 24, 2009 As someone who seeks out new flavors instead of comparing everything to existing standard flavors, I tend to enjoy the family of Japanese Blacks. Like this beer, they tend to be a bit more refreshing than your standard stout. I really enjoy relaxing with this beer. I feel that the facts in the other reviews here are accurate, but I enjoy that this beer is a smoother, lighter black than its German counterparts. Obfuscate (593) - Minneapolis, - JAN 16, 2017
A very nice session able black lager. Glad they are making this one again.. pericles35 (24) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 7, 2007
22 oz can; dark color with a full-bodied flavor. Yet, it goes down light like a Pilsner. Impossible to find; I’ve heard stories that the brewery has it. Alas, it is almost worth teh cost of the flight to Japan.