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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
62
poor

1,335 Ratings
THE BROS
57
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,335
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 23.19%
Wants: 9
Gots: 81 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Confirmed that this beer is "all malt" as of Oct. 2010.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,335 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours an extremely clear light yellow with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a small cap. Random patterns of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet grain and maybe some subtle hop aromas. Taste is of sweet grain and a grape-like light fruit flavor. This beer has low carbonation and is slightly thick in the mouth. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with a bad mouthfeel. I wouldn't get this one again.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of djrn2
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

djrn2, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
2.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow with a small white head that dissipates quickly without any lacing. The aroma is a little bit of grainy sweetness and almost no hop presence. The taste is grainy and mildly sweet. Mouthfeel is light with quite a bit of carbonation. Drinkability is okay in that it goes down easy, but nothing to really bring me back to it.

Thorpe429, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of zestar
2.75/5  rDev +4.6%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of spycow
2.75/5  rDev +4.6%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of nmann08
1/5  rDev -62%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

acurtis, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of metter98
2.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly faded away, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grainy malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of cracker and grainy malts along with a light amount of bitterness, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has some dryness.
O: This beer is rather malty for a light-bodied beer but there’s nothing interesting about the taste.

metter98, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of brentk56
2.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a clear pale golden color with a modest head that hangs around as a foamy landmass but leaves no lacing

Smell: Awful vegetal aroma

Taste: Starts out insipid and goes downhill from there with a very odd, slightly sweet, vegetal flavor that has lots of grain husks to it as well

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and fizzy

Drinkability: None

brentk56, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear pale amber with almost no visible carbonation. The off-white head is frothy, but not airy, falls unevenly and leaves very little glass garnish. Skunk assaulted me immediately after the cap was removed, but is much less evident now that the beer has had a chance to breathe (like a fine Burgundy?). The nose is sweet and grain-like with a modest amount of hops. Not horrible, not good.

Light body, light flavor. Noble hops and grain, sharply bitter from the former and barely sweet from not enough of the latter. I'm not sure what the rice contributes, but since plenty of American macros use rice (and taste like bilge water) it can't add much that's desirable.

Really, this beer is pretty indistinguishable from hundreds, maybe thousands, of other adjunct lagers, whether they use corn, rice or some other non-barley substance. The body/mouthfeel is thin and watery, slipping away into nothingness along with the flavor. Here one minute, gone the next.

Kirin Ichiban proves that an adjunct lager is an adjunct lager is an adjunct lager, ad infinitum. It really doesn't matter what the nation of origin is or what particular adjunct is used, almost none of them are worth a damn.

(I took one last look at the label before tossing the bottle and saw "brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch Inc." That explains a lot).

BuckeyeNation, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev +14.1%

Texasfan549, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
2.17/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think my fellow BAers are way to kind with this one. I think it's horrible beer; expecially since they try to pass it off as if it were a quality brew. Looks promising in the off set with a strong straw color and fluffy retention, but the aromas tell the tale. Smells quite grainy with the malts, light on the hops and with little character. Tastes of cereal grains everywhere with a modest barley malt flavor. All flavors are fleeting leaving a grain and husk flavor and texture. Aftertaste is similar to American Lite beers. In fact, this whole beer resembled American Lagers, but with twice the price. Not worth it.

BEERchitect, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
3.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dull pale golden yellwo with a big white head, lots of carbonation. No real smell, slightly grainey and bland would be st describe it. The taste followed suit, nothing really to write home baout. It went well with the dinner, but I would definatly not seek this one out on a regular basis, just nothing real special about it at all.

mikesgroove, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

kjkinsey, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a light golden straw color with a voluminous white head that settles down to a thin layer.

S: The nose is sweet and lightly grainy with notes of rice in the background that become more prominent as the beer sits in the glass for awhile. Pretty standard and unoffensive.

T: A similar story with the flavor. Plenty of sweetness with a definite adjunct taste, but it's a fairly mild and crisp beer, not like the adjunct lagers of this country.

M: Light in body with a lively level of carbonation.

D: For what this beer is and the meal I had it with, it worked quite well. I don't really think I'll be sitting down with a sixer of Kirin Ichiban all the time, but it's a nice light beer.

womencantsail, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
2/5  rDev -24%

ygtbsm94, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
2.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: half finger head with decent lacing on a clear bright golden body.

S: maybe some musty hops with a lot of wet grain and some plae malts.

T: some wet sock musty hops, grains and pale malts. There aren't any off putting flavors but I don't think this is a pale ale.

M: light body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: well it isn't terrible, very simple and therefore drinkable.

kylehay2004, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

jaydoc, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $1.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Bottled on March 2, 2010.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dandelion-hued body with a billowing, white head with some staying power.

Smell: Simple, rudimentary nose of lightly sweet-scented barley, sun-dried grain husks, and a modestly spicy, grassy hops.

Taste: Faint maltiness with a light cereal sweetness and a pervasive, disagreeable husk accent. Noble hop character with a light spiciness and balancing bitterness. Crisp, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Mouthfeel is a tad watery.

Drinkability: Unremarkable, unmemorable lager, though, it does serve to provide a modicum of refreshment. Still, it's not particularly pleasant and one I don't see myself revisiting, even at the local sushi joint, as I tend to stick to the sake. It did look nice, but if that was enough, then I could skip the beer store and just cruise Google Image.

ChainGangGuy, May 24, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
2.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was one of the first Japanese brews I had. Although this doesn't really differ from any traditional lager that's made anywhere else in the world, this beer had a big rice backbone to it. The aftertaste is all rice. The beer is yellow in color and doesn't have much lacing or head. It looks pretty much just like a miller lite. This isn't much to brag about here.

Knapp85, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber depicting a mythical horse/dragon creature on the label - nice packaging, but it's downhill from there. The body is clear yellow with a short-lived fizzy head. The smell and taste are dominated by a thin and one-dimensional sweetness, a bit cloying. Not much of a hop presence, just a brief bitterness in the finish. Thin-bodied with large bubbles that make for a slightly harsh carbonation. Not a particularly impressive lager - best avoided unless you're desperate for a beer.

largadeer, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of emerge077
2.85/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft pour in tall pilsner glass.

Pale clear yellow, looks like so many other pale lagers. Smell is grain, apparently rice. Small amount of foam appeared.

Taste is pretty nondescript, it was hard to pinpoint rice from corn, but that seemed to be the only flavor. Very clean & dry aftertaste, not much of anything really. Crisp, prickly mouthfeel, lots of fizzy carbonation. It was easy to drink a pint with Chinese food, but it was definitely not memorable.

emerge077, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of zeff80
2.76/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy golden-yellow color with a white, very fizzy (soda-like) two-finger head. It actually left a little lace.

S - It smelled of grains and rice. There were faint hints of caramel malt.

T - It taste of some spices, caramel and rice. Not great but not offensive.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light bodied beer.

D - This isn't a great tasting lager but it still quite drinkable for the style. That being said, I wouldn't run out and buy a case.

zeff80, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.03/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml bottle, at a Japanese sushi joint in downtown Toronto. It's the only kind of place where I find it hard to resist a bottle of Japanese lager.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, thinly foamy, and yet mildly creamy bone-white head, which leaves some chunky elongated lace around the tall Sapporo (branding fail!) glass as it readily recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet, grainy white rice, a weird vegetal corn sourness, acetone, stale lemon, and weedy, mildly grassy hops. The taste is more glutenous white rice grain, yeasty corn mash, a faint white breadiness, somewhat acrid citrus pith, wet straw, and floral, dead grassy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, but still quite frothy, the body a rather light medium weight, generally smooth, and just a tad cloying. It finishes actually pretty clean, with a cheaply innocuous blend of grains, and a suggestion of sucking on a plastic fork.

As usual, hardly something worthy of seeking out on its own, but given a place next to its country of origin's food (especially if it's of the spicy sort), these kinds of lagers seem to work - here, it was a decent enough serving for one when used for washing down some chili tuna maki rolls and beef tataki.

biboergosum, Feb 11, 2010
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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,335 ratings.