Today is the start of something special. From time to time, I’m going to be reposting a few posts from Alicia and Kevin, an amazing couple from Beer Loves Company. They visited Japan in early 2013 and I had a chance to meet them. We will be sharing blog posts whenever our topics coincide. You can also look forward to seeing my own posts on their website too. Be sure to check them out as they do a great job talking about the craft beer industry in the New York (Long Island) region. All future posts will just read “BLC Guest Post” in the title and you’ll know it is from them.
Yo-Ho Tokyo Black Porter was our travel companion on the 14 hour flight home from Japan, though it didn’t get the luxury of airplane food, a 2 square foot bathroom and a string of questionable movies. It had to ride in cargo. Had it not, we probably would have cracked the can open somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. But, due to pesky TSA rules, this Tokyo Black Porter made the journey back to New York in January and we managed to hold onto it until late summer when we finally sampled it.
Tokyo Black Porter poured dark opaque black, hence the namesake, with a creamy tan head. It slightly resembled a Guinness until the foam dissipated, leaving behind some lacing and settling into a small cap. The aroma is multifaceted, with notes of roasted coffee, dark fruit and cocoa in the forefront over a subtle dark and earthy backbone. These flavors carry over into the taste, though the body is lighter than expected from the scene. The sip ends on a bit of a dry note, leaving behind a lingering aftertaste of a slightly fruity, woody coffee. A lightly sweetness presents itself throughout, balancing out the subtle hop presence that occasionally made itself known. For a 5% ABV Japanese porter, there was no shortage of complexity or flavor here.
What Alicia Thinks
Compared to the subtlety of most Japanese beers we have tried, this one was refreshingly bold. As a fan of darker beers (in case I hadn’t mentioned that about a million times) a porter in a can could definitely become my summer/hockey tailgate beverage of choice. As it sat for awhile the intensity did mellow a bit which wasn’t at all a bad thing and further cemented the fact that I could definitely get into it as a “session porter”. When we do make it back to Japan there may be an empty suitcase with Tokyo Black Porters name on it. Or perhaps someone can save us that lengthy beer run and suggest a delicious canned porter available in New York. Either way works for me.
What Kevin Thinks
Tokyo Black packs a good amount of flavor into a light body. The beer is deep and dark with classic notes of coffee and chocolate mixed in with interesting earthy, woodsy tones. The beer is very drinkable with a dry finish that beckons you back for more. With so many things going on it would be easy to see Tokyo Black derailing at some point but all everything chugs along nicely (like a Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka). Most everything within this beer screams porter and all of the parts seem to compliment each other very nicely. There are some stone fruit and a touch of “grape” that comes out as the beer warms which is not a harmonious fit. I’d think that Tokyo Black Porter would be a sure fire home run if these small issues were addressed. This was a very tasty and enjoyable beer. Overall for me this is an 8/10.
Style: Robust Porter ABV: 5% IBU: 34.5 Color: Opaque Black Year: 2013 Brewery: Yo-Ho Brewing Company
The Brewery Says
Porter is an English traditional, dark-colored beer with roasted malt flavor. Beer of this style is popular not only in England but all over the world. We brew fresh and genuine Porter in Japan. Deep dark in color, Tokyo Black is a Porter with extremely rich taste and creamy top. Recommended serving temperature:13℃
– Gold Medal: International beer competition (Robust Porter Category, 2010)
– Silver Medal: Monde Selection (Beers, Waters, Soft Drinks & Non-Alcoholic Beverages 2011)
Tokyo Black Porter – Yo-Ho Brewing Company (2013) was originally posted at Beer Loves Company and reposted here with permission. You can see the original post here: http://beerlovescompany.com/tokyo-black-porter-yo-ho-brewing-company-2013/