Orion Premium Draft Beer - Orion Beer Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Orion Premium Draft BeerOrion Premium Draft Beer

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BA SCORE
70
okay

195 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3
pDev: 23%
Wants: 5
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Orion Beer Co., Ltd. visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Japanese Rice Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gusler on 12-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by doktorhops:
Photo of doktorhops
2.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So this one was recommended to me by Dan Dan the bottleshop-man (not actually his real name). He told me it wasn't a shit Japanese Lager (I embellished the "shit", I believe he said "crap") like the others; aka Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory etc... He also mentioned that I should let it warm up, a dangerous game to play with Lager. Whilst I remain dubious there is only one way to find out.

Poured from a 633ml bottle into a Pokal.

A: Most Asian beers I've tried have a same colour 'going in' as 'coming out' and Orion, sadly, is no different. Aside from a clear urine yellow there is a reasonable white fluffy head on display that bubbles away to a light lacing.

S: Aromas of cut grass, barley and a hint of malted rice ticks all the boxes. Less skunk than most Japanese Lagers I've tried I'll give it that.

T: Grass, barley and malted rice are all there, along with a long inevitably dry Japanese finish (look up "Dry Wars" or "Dry Senso" if you want a brief history about the Japanese obsession with dry beer). Letting it warm up brings out the sweetness a little but there's no hiding that Adjunct Lager chemical taste that pervades the style, as we all know too well.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light but excitable, and gassy, carbonation.

D: At $15 for 3 633ml bottles this was a cheap(ish) jaunt into Lager territory, at a price that even cheap Dutch brews like Bavaria or Hollandia have trouble beating, but ultimately it is price-bested by the cheapest of imported Lagers: Oettinger Pils. Question is: would I prefer this to Oettinger? The answer: no, Oettinger beats it with its German Lager goodness, sorry Dan and sorry Japan.

Food match: Sushi is an all too obvious choice so how about pizza as well... or sushi pizza.

More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
3.46/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

633 ml bottle at Zushi while away for business in Virginia Beach.

A: Pours a crisp amber color. Better than Miller lite's watery amber for sure.

S: faint traces of tropical fruit and apples. Not bad at all.

T: MUCH better than I feared given the price at a nice restaurant for the bottle. Pretty crisp, light but not thin. I like it.

M: For what I was expecting, its not watery at all. Pleasant surprise.

O: I would definitely have it again with sushi.

Photo of RoyalT
1.98/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance – Very light yellow in color with a decent head that showed a bit of retention and some fizzy carbonation underneath.

Smell – Light, ricey grain that’s not as offensive as some.

Taste – The singular grain flavor finishes with an ashy kind of sweetness that left me cold.

Mouthfeel – Light with a little carbonation. This one felt cheap in the cheeks.

Sinkability – I’m not a big fan of Japanese beers, but this one was sub-par at that.

Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very Japanese. Reminded me of Asahi dry or Sapporo. Light, crisp. Refreshing on a hot day. I used to live in Japan but have never encountered this beer before. Had it back in the hotel room together with a box of take-away sushi.

Bought at a Japanese supermarket in Singapore.

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of tbryan5
2.25/5  rDev -25%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.15/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.

There seems to be a lot more lore within Japanese culture associated with the Orion star cluster compared to Greek mythology. Thankfully, this is a beer review and not a historical debate.

Fizzy foam builds up to two fingers in height then slowly dissipates to a thin crown of lace. Bright and clear and pale golden yellow. The aroma starts off with a noticeable cooked veggie smell, some hay-like graininess and herbal hop layered underneath. Watery mouthfeel with a light body, ample crispness. Malt flavor comes across this but not astringent, though perhaps a hint of barley husk. Clean with a slight hop bitterness and a tiny kernel of malt dextrin in the middle. Dry grassy finish.

Clean from the start to end, undoubtedly one of the more flavorful mass-produced lagers from Japan. A sure pick for us when next thinking of sushi.

Photo of Lazaro
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of dill
3.38/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - pale golden yellow in color, the head didn't stay around for very long.

S - the smell of old rice.

T - has a rice flavor with a surprising amount of bitter hops. nothing too special, but among the japanese rice lagers it's pretty good.

M - interestingly, my friend and i both noted that it reminded us a bit of a draft beer, perhaps hence the name, even though it was poured from a bottle. very little carbonation on this one.

D - very drinkable. a fine choice at a japanese restaurant.

Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Weizenmensch
2.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can of Orion Draft Beer, different from the old one in the picture at time of writing, and 5.0% instead of 4.7%. Freshness date 2009.06.

A: Pours a pale yellow with initial strong carbonation, with a small head that dissipates to almost nothing. Some carbonation retained though. Looks like a pretty mediocre island macro lager.

S: Not much to speak of. Poured at the appropriate temperature for drinking, albeit on a winter's night in Kyushu, a fair bit colder than it would be in Naha right now. Some vague grain aromas and that's about it.

T: Reminds me very much of Australian macros, more than any other lager I've had since coming to Japan. Maybe that reflects the fact that 100% malt is used, but many additives are involved as well. True Japanese rice lagers and happoushus have a sweeter, subtly poisonous taste that lingers skunkily on the palate. Orion has an unpleasant aftertaste too, but definitely in more of a Carlton Draught way than a Kirin Lager way. In short though, it's pretty easy drinking, and it's good enough, considering my taste buds have been numbed as I've gotten accustomed to the paltry efforts of Japanese brewers.

M: Nothing there. Nothing unpleasant remaining either though.

D: Actually better than most Japanese beers, to my surprise. Maybe there are different taxes on barley malt in Okinawa - this is the reason Japanese beers use so many unpleasant adjuncts such as rice, corn and other cereals.

Overall, worth a try, if only to broaden your cerevisial geography - for an East Asian macro lager, you can definitely do worse.

Re-review, 1 March 2011:

Re-reviewing this formerly well-known beer - it doesn't deserve the reputation it may once have earned. Long-term Japan residents still rave about it; not sure if it was always owned by Asahi but it's no better than any of their other Japanese market mainstream brews.

Tastes a little different - slightly malty, a little skunky. While it doesn't make for a great-tasting beer, at least it is evidence that they tried to make this resemble one. My can is nearing its freshness date and, considering where I bought it, may have spent some time sitting in the sun, or on the shelf for a long time.

I see this beer occasionally in Japan and due to its relative rarity, somehow think it's better than regular Asahi, Sapporo or Kirin lagers. It isn't and I should remember to stick to Guinness for want of anything more interesting. Stupid Japanese malt taxes.

For more tasting details, please consult my other review (the outcome turned out about the same).

Photo of rastaman
1.5/5  rDev -50%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Just another boring Japanese lager. Watery- very light texture, ricey, corny flavour. Pretty similiar to Asahi, Kirin, Sapporro etc....Reall, really, really, really hard to say anything about it, because there is asuch a distinct lack of flavour, very easy to drink gos down like water.

Photo of Auraan
3.89/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear pale yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring of lacing. It's not the best looking beer, but it's very true to the style. Scents of lager yeast, some moderate hop character, and grainy malt. Flavor begins with a moderate level of floral hop bitterness and some grainy malt in the background. This moves into more nice dry grainy malt flavors with a balance of floral hop bitterness. Finish is dry with a nice grainy dryness and floral hop bitterness. Aftertaste is dry with floral hop flavors. A nice flavor profile, quite dry, grainy and with a good level of hop bitterness. Quite pleasant to drink as a result. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a drying feel. Very refreshing, easy to drink and wonderful on a warm day. Overall this is a good Japanese Rice Lager that has a nice dry flavor character, a classic aroma profile for the style and a wonderfully refreshing mouthfeel. It's not the best beer around, but for it's style it is a fantastic drink.

Photo of dcbeers
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of AxlSkull
2.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of intoxabroad
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of mta00007272
3.46/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is my favorite Japanese Beer.

A - nice golden color typical of a lager

S - nothing special, but not offensive

T - great taste

M - crisp and refreshing

O - if a sushi restaurant has it, I am ordering it; great to cleanse the palate after some spicy tuna (I don't like the pickled ginger)

Photo of big2112
2.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of dertyd
3.25/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of hreb
2.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 633 ml bottle at the local Korean grocery as an added bonus while purchasing a couple of cans for my long-anticipated sushi-beer faceoff. I don't think I've ever had this one before. Chilled thoroughly, I pour it into a pint glass. There's an immediate burst of skunky lager odor. Nothing else in the aroma (nothing offensive, either). Could be worse. The beer pours pale clear yellow with a soapy white head.

What it lacks in aroma and appearance it also lacks in flavor. It's slightly fizzy with a mild bitterness, in case you forgot you were drinking beer. Ok, this beer isn't very good. But it's not all bad:
-at least it doesn't taste of metal or other pollutants
-it doesn't have any sickly sweet adjunct flavor
-it's refreshing without being over-carbonated

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label on the bottle reads "Orion draft beer's clear mild taste is widely loved as an Okinawan original". Just exactly how "original" it is, I'm not sure. As for the "clear mild taste", however, I'm completely sure of that!

It pours a crystal clear golden body beneath an average-sized head of bright white that holds fairly well, bolstered by quick rising, fairly large bubbles from below. Minor lacing is left about the glass.

The aroma is clean, and quite generic. It smells like "beer" - a mild combination of lightly grainy and subtly sweet malt and some fairly non-descript hops.

In the mouth it's light-medium in body, and fairly effervescent, leaving it quite zesty on the tongue.

The flavor is as might be expected of any mass-produced golden lager. Straightforward, lightly grainy and mildly sweet malt is tempered with gently floral, and very subtly grass and spicy hops. It's superbly balanced, however, by a gently firm bitterness. The start is like the finish, the finish like the start, and there's not much of a bump in between.

Not that that's a bad thing, if that's what you're looking for. There IS some flavor here, and although it is basically "fizzy yellow beer", there's a time and place for that just as much as there's a time and place for a thick, rich barleywine. On a really hot day, out in the sun at a ballgame or out on a fishing boat, this would certainly serve a purpose.

Photo of Bierleichen
4/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +33.3%

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Orion Premium Draft Beer from Orion Beer Co., Ltd.
70 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.