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Sapporo Premium Beer - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Sapporo Premium BeerSapporo Premium Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,535 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,535
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 2.85
pDev: 20%
Wants: 12
Gots: 122 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Japanese Rice Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: IronDjinn on 05-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,535 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LiquidBread219
2.98/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A= Pretty light yellow in color, A little head on this beer that disappears pretty fast, no lacing.

S= The nose was really faint to me all I could really pick up is light grains.

T= To me it was pretty clean and crisp not to much going on here either. Kind of just tasted like a Import Miller to me.

M= Light and thin in body, over carbonated

D= Easy to drink I probably wouldn't buy this beer just to sit down and have a few but when I paired it with sushi I can enjoy it for what it is.

LiquidBread219, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Kendo
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the 22 oz can (man, that thing is hefty - feels like stainless steel rather than those lightweight aluminum cans I'm used to) into a pilsner glass. Looks pretty good for what it is: clear, straw-yellow body with a 1-finger white head that settles quickly. No real lace.

S: Not much going on in the nose - faint cereal grains and a touch of fruit. As it warms it starts to fall apart, however - getting a bit of cooked veggies. . . . Score lowered to 2.5. . .

T: First sip surprised me - it wasn't bad at all. Not much flavor there, mind you, but in my book at least, no flavor is better than bad flavor. There's an ever-so-slight taste of cereal grain and it finishes clean. Slight bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. As it warms, the aftertaste becomes a bit off - hard to describe it exactly, but it's almost a lingering fruitiness that wasn't there before.

M: Light-bodied. Carbonation is a bit too "sharp," which takes away from the drinkability a little.

D: If it's ice cold, this one's not bad for what it is. As it warms up, however, some "off" flavors (and scents) show up and make it a bit of a chore to drink. My advice? If someone gives you this as a gift (that's how I got the bottle), keep it in the fridge, mow the lawn on a hot day, and then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Pour into a pilsner glass and chug.

Kendo, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of MoreThanWine
2.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First of all, although my sample looks just like the BA photo and was indeed imported it says it was brewed in Ontario, Canada, so Japanese in name does not mean actually from Japan. And were it bottled beer I may be grateful it's a close-by origin to avoid skunking, but their cans are built like tanks so they could have exported all the way from Japan and it still be acceptable.

This beer is on par with any other cheap weak pilsner - like the Bud's and Bud Lights of the world. In fact I thought Sapporo was more like the latter than the former.

Really the only nice thing about this beer is the cool uniquely shaped and classy can.

MoreThanWine, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Brent
2.68/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer has been a saving grace at many a sushi restaurant, in comparison with the other usual offerings. Moderately crisp with a rather full malt middle and a slightly astringent finish. Does a nice job of cutting wasabi heat and fatty tuna. As an independent beverage, however, it has little by which to distinguish itself, other than a really cool can.

Brent, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of eat
2.7/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sapporo pours a crystal-clear golden yellow with lots of large, visible carbonation bubbles. The thinnest raft of bright-white head covers its surface. Not the most appealing-looking beer I've seen.

The nose is light and consists of yeast, grain, peppery Japanese hops and dust.

In spite of being from Japan and made from rice, Sapporo tastes pretty much like any mass-produced North American lager. I think they're all aiming for the same goal: to be neither offensive nor distinctive in any way. I suppose the main distinction presented here is a spicier hop variety, adding a nice pepperiness. Other than that: bland light malt and mineral water. Some bitter planty hops on the finish. Yeah, there's not really anything here. No off tastes, just boring as hell.

This beer's light, thin body is definitely over-carbonated, with lots of big foamy bubbles. A slight drying is left on the finish.

While certainly drinkable, I wouldn't want any more than one of these big cans. I guess it goes well enough with the Asian food you're likely to be consuming it along with, since it's unfortunately the beer-list highlight of a good many such restaurants.

eat, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of Richter35
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from 500ml can from the LCBO. Has become an excellent value since being packaged in a 4-pack of 500ml, instead of the fancy 650 ml cans that are considerably more expensive. Poured into a pilsner-style glass. Recently came back from Korea, where I was extremely unimpressed with the beer from a style standpoint and expected more from Sapporo Premium. The difference, in fact, was marginal;

...Looks alright. Pale gold in colour with a lot of tiny bubbles racing to the top of the glass and a delicious, persistent white foam on top.

This beer smells pretty good. A good balance of barley and grassy hops, the rice content is hard to notice, but is there. Somewhat bread-y smell.

Taste has metal-like tinge of a cheaper euro lager, with grains and rice up front with no noticeable hop flavour. I find the taste of this beer depends a lot on the glassware used and perhaps there is some inconsistancy in the brewing process.

Mouthfeel is thick for a lager, but still is refreshing enough to complement spicy, flavourful foods. The beer seems to be meant to blend into the background. Drinkability is remarkably low for a lager.

Overall, this beer dissapoints, as it could be so much more. Rice-based lagers are an unfortunate result of lack of resources and never seem to quite match the pure barley-malt offerings in quality. I find it can also vary in quality from can to can, which did not seem to be a problem in the not-too-distant past.

Richter35, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
2.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Straw gold in colour. Pillowy white head shows decent retention and leaves the occasional patch of lace. Light grain and grass aroma. Grainy, musty flavour. Hopping is very muted and indistinct, giving it a the barest touch of bitterness. Appropriately light for the style, but I find the carbonation prickly and aggressive. This is actually pretty palate cleansing stuff, for what it's worth. If given a choice between the two, I would rather drink Asahi Super Dry at a sushi joint. It's just as palate cleansing and mild, but lacks the unpleasant mustiness of the Sapporo.

mintjellie, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of JMastrangelo
2.65/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Golden bubbles rise
Interesting Asian brew?
My taste buds are sad

It's the Japanese version of Bud Lite. Take that as you will.
It's got a golden color, heavy carbonation, and I believe this style's called "Pilsner". A bit sweeter than Bud, but nothing special. It's good to know what it tastes like though, I've been able to recommend this beer to my father when going to Japanese restaurants, since he's strictly a Bud man.

JMastrangelo, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of brewduck
3.25/5  rDev +14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is basically a generic American beer, with a bit more quality and crispness. Tastes like grain and alcohol. Nothing special, but they get a + for presentation. The giant can is pretty cool. I enjoy this beer when at Asian restaurants - this or an Asahi.

brewduck, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of Transatlantic
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz can poured into a Pilsner glass

A - Nice white bubbly head, very light and crystal clear straw yellow, carbonation bubbles bubbling up everywhere. Lacing is very good.

S - Wet grain smell, just a little bit on the skunky side.

T - Very crisp, very refreshing, not a lot of flavor. Barely sweet but watery towards the beginning and slightly bitter towards the end.

M - The little bit of flavor this beer has goes down just as soon as you swallow it.

D - This is a good "lawnmower beer"
It's good to quench your thirst when you're parched. If you're looking for a beer to sit and enjoy, you better look elsewhere because this is one beer that will disappoint in the flavor dept.

Transatlantic, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a Pale straw color, clear, lots of carbonation, a small fizzy/foamy head that went away quickly, and a little lacing on the glass.

Smell - rice, grains, breads

Taste & Mouth - average carbonation, and a light body. Rice sweetness and a touch of malts. Light tasting. Not really a whole lot to say about it.

Drink - I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about with this beer. It's fine, but I'd much rather have a lower priced TsingTao.

spinrsx, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours medium gold with a big foamy white head. No real lacing or retention. Some bubbles.

Light malt (?) aromas, some light grain notes. Not much, but not bad.

Dry and almost clean flavors, except a sour turn in the finish (like your palate clearing after eating white bread. Not super strong. Very light bitterness. Some white bread edge at best. I'm looking and not finding.

Thinner bodied, but appropriately light. Helps in the drinkability, and it needs it. A food washer at best, not even really that great for hot weather beer. A lightly flavored beverage that won't get in the way of food. Offers little, gives little. Eh. Not horrid or off-flavored, just lacking.

OtherShoe2, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of ChrisCage
3.6/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours with about a one inch head that slowly dissipates into a somewhat thick layer over the brew. The color reminds me more of a kristalweisen, in the fact that it is a perfectly light golden...however it isn't perfectly clear IMO. There appears to be moderate carbonation rising to the top and there is very little sticky lacing. Fairly typical of a lager.

S- Overall a very clean smelling beer....primary aromas of faint malt and some graininess. No real hops on the finish to report. Mainly just a mild adjunct laden aroma.

T- Again, an overall clean tasting beer (I guess from the use of rice), with some grains and malt dominating the palate. I can taste a very muted hop bitterness on the finish that actually magnifies itself during the swallow. Also to note, as it warms up, the malts are much more noticeable too. A bit adjunct-ish in general but still a step above the average macro.

M- This is a fairly thin bodied brew, although I find it has more depth than a standard macro. The carbonation is surprisingly mild, making this a smoother than expected beer to down.

D- Full marks here! This is very easy to drink, as it is flavorfull enough to want more, doesn't scrub the palate with bubbles, and is a clean, crisp beer to enjoy on the deck, as I did for this review. Anyone who like BMC should try this and I'll bet will find it much more enjoyable.

ChrisCage, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
2.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - 2 finger head off a hard pour is fading fast but leaving average lacing. Light to medium carbonation. Golden colour.

S - Aroma is very, very subdued. Faint malts.

T - No bitterness. Slightly dry finish. Tastes just about as exciting as white rice.

M - Decent. Light body and mild carbonation but not flat by any means.

D - Typical lager sessionability if you're into that kinda thing. Not exciting enough to want another.

tbeckett, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz silver can into a pint glass.

Appearance: light, translucent gold with two fingers of foamy white head. Stylistically appropriate.

Smell: sort of a grainy sourness. The intensity is low, though, so it's not that offensive.

Taste: light and slightly malty; there's actually a little hop bite here which isn't too bad at all. Luckily, there's none of that unfortunate sour odor, though there is a bit of the graininess still. Not awful.

Mouthfeel: light body but actually pretty good carbonation. There's a little astringency which cancels the pleasure of the creaminess, but it's not too bad.

Drinkability: as I said, it's not awful, and it's light and refreshing. I'll call this fairly drinkable.

flagmantho, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of bourbonbock
3.4/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz can of this into a clean pub glass. It was "Brewed and canned by Sapporo Brewing Company Guelph, Ontario Canada"

A. Poured a thick foamy head with significant lacing on the glass. The body is clear and straw in color.

S. The smell is very muted but very much like rice and adjuncts.

T. Light and clean with some crisp aftertaste of bubbles. This is a surprisingly clean and refreshing beer with litter skunky flavors and adjunct sourness. Overall a very fine beer.

M. Very fine and smooth one of the silkiest beers I've ever had. Very unique and adds greatly to the beer.

D. I could sip these back all day.

bourbonbock, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of appenzeller
3.38/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Simply put, most of the reviewers here favor massive beers with over the top flavors and give zero credit to technically good beers and subtlety. Sapporo is a quality macro brew, very clean, crisp, and perfectly in the Japanese style. It is nothing like an American adjunct and all of the harshness or impurities that entails. Clarity is excellent, this is the Asian equivalent of a premium pilsner. Not a "craft" beer for sure, but Sapporo is a good choice that matches with most Asian food perfectly.

nb: this was brewed in Japan. Never, ever, ever buy a Japanese beer brewed in North America. I've never had a good one.

appenzeller, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of eduardolinhalis
2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml can poured in a chalice.

A: Yellow to orange color with a huge and fluffy white head
S: Not impressive. Smells like a bad Euro Lager. Like those that smells corn. Also malt and a bit of hops
T: Not impressive. Rice and cereals, basically. The only point in favor is its reasonable bitter end
M: Very light body and high carbonation
D: Not bad. A light beer to drink very cold when it's very hot :)

eduardolinhalis, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of MNJR
3.38/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 22oz can into a heavy glass mug I had in the freezer. Color and smell nothing special. The head was massive, but dies quickly (freezing the glass seems to do this for most beers). The taste is nothing special, but it does taste good. This is a minor cut above most macro lagers. There is a fullness to the mouthfeel and up front nothing bad can be said about the flavor, but it does get better when and after you swallow it, expanding into a pleasant richness going down with flavors of slight orange rind, and a light honey-ish sweetness with hint of spiciness or "kick." It's not a world class or exceptional beer in any way, but it is a good, solidly built beer that does not let me down.

MNJR, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
2.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Good color, moderate carbonation with a bit of a fluffy head; disappears quickly and leaves little to no lace on the glass

S: Very mild hops; smelt of yeast and rice

T: See above

M: Very light feel.

D. Easy to drink, good drinkability

Not the worst, but certainly not the best. Meh.

HockeytownBrew, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of BeerNinja007
2.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz can, $2.99 at the Lebanon Co-op grocery. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

Moderate pour gives 2" of frothy white head that settles by condensing into large bubbles. Brew itself is a clear bright lemon yellow with visible carbonation. Smell is a half skunk/ half grassy hop aroma with some mild grain, lemongrass, and green tea aromas. Taste is much the same and moderately sweet. Mouthfeel is on the fizzy side.

Not too bad for a macro, I've had (much) worse.

BeerNinja007, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of bsp77
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from draft into tall Sapporo glass.

Appearance: Light pale yellow with stark white head.

Smell: Very mild, with grainy malts and very light spicy hops.

Taste: Semi-sweet grainy malts, slight adjunct taste, just barely perceptible spicy hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, light body, only a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Nice easy drinking lager, but nothing special.

bsp77, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of biegaman
3.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The size and circumference of the can forced a very rough, aggressive pour, the result of which was some very agitated bubbles and a stack of pillowy white stuff that, even after settling down, still sat about two fingers high. The body itself is crystalline golden, attractive and beyond reproach, and far more colourful than most rice lagers.

To even the untrained palate, Japanese Rice Lagers can be quite distinct from their U.S. or European swill lager counterparts. This one, however, doesn't smell so different. It is a musty, cloyingly sweet, rather uninviting aroma that is awfully redolent of cooked corn. Although it's a little unfair, 'yucky' is probably a convenient word to sum it up.

Upfront the beer dispenses a fairly generic, lightly sweet breadiness but on the aftertaste, if only it lasts long enough, you can clearly taste the flavour of parched, starchy and sticky white rice. I much prefer rice to corn as an adjunct; for my palate, I find it more graceful and the flavour it imparts to be much more agreeable and much less cloying.

Indeed, I'd be surprised to find anyone who would argue this beer isn't agreeable, even if admittedly humdrum. There certainly isn't much of a sense of it being tainted with chemicals or filler and, despite being hardly more than moderately flavourful, it at least hasn't been sterilized of all it's taste; there is a passable level of satisfaction achieved.

Although in essence Japanese Rice Lagers are designed from an industrial standpoint to be cheaper and more efficient beers to make, the better ones do still make fairly decent quaffs. Sapporo would not be my first choice for the style, much less for a lager in general, but it fairs better than many of its country's other, less agreeable examples.

biegaman, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
3.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650ml silver can, a study in sturdiness. Poured to a pint and sipped with a bowlful of cool tabouleh; though it's not sushi, the pairing is still a fine one.

Brewed in the wanna-be Japanese prefecture of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

A: There's golden and then there's GOLDEN ~ this a fine and bright example of the latter. Crystal clear and filled with a flurry of small carbonation. A fluffy 2-finger crown of snow-whiteness, fading to an odd-looking fractured lace of varied thickness. Seafoam flecks of lace in the loosest of bands.

S: A sweet kind of grassiness and lightly-buttered biscuit.

T: A starchy sweetness, a light cracker-bread, sly apple/pear fruitiness and a light spicing. Even a hint at lemongrass... Never too sweet nor too bitter, good balance.

M: Crisp and expectedly smooth, light-medium feel. The carbonation really isn't as busy in the mouth as it is in the glass...malty and a bit of dryness. Refreshing.

D: On its own its good enough, but with food it shines. Sapporo Premium must be among the best-known (and best, perhaps?) versions of a style that is much-maligned for it's use of adjuncts and such. No worries, its still super-drinkable.

msubulldog25, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imported from Canada, brewed in Guelph. 22oz can.
Crystal clear, deep yellow in colour. Fine white bubbles formed a thin coat on top of the beer and left a bit of clingy lace at the top of the glass. Moderate head retention. Mild aroma, crackery grain, a bit of marshmallow, light floral and fruit character, very clean. Low bitterness, mild grain and light fruity flavours, finished very dry with a hint of spicy hops. Light bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp and clean. Very easy drinking without any off flavours. Quite refreshing. A solid example of the style.

DrJay, Jun 07, 2010
Sapporo Premium Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
67 out of 100 based on 1,535 ratings.