Japanese Name: サントリー ザ・プレミアム・モルツ 黒
Release: Oct. 19, 2010
Purchase Price: ￥210 @Jusco
Suntory The Premium Malt’s Black seems to be released yearly around the end of autumn. Unusually, this year there was no press release, and it’s not even listed on their website in their current product line-up. However, convenience store 7-Eleven is pushing this one pretty hard, with the one I went to having a full three shelves stocked full at eye level. Could this possibly be a new marketing scheme? Interesting. Afterall, Suntory does produce 7-Eleven’s Private Label brew.
While I do like dark beers, they’re not something I reach for everyday like some people. This Suntory Black was one I hadn’t seen in a while, so it screamed “BUY ME!” and I pulled the trigger. According to ratebeer.com this black is a Schwarzbier, and after tasting it Suntory The Premium Malt’s Black definitely fits the flavor profile. To me, it’s on the heavy side for a Japanese beer, but not overbearing in any way. Lots of cocoa and charcoal-ish flavors and aroma from the roasted malt, and just a hint of sweetness counteracts any bitterness you might expect.
If you’re expecting a stout like Guinness, you might be better off just buying Guinness. However, this black lager definitely has a fuller bodied taste that will satisfy those looking for something more flavorful than the average lager. Give it a try while it’s in the stores.