Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
63
poor

1,559 Ratings
THE BROS
57
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,559
Reviews: 587
rAvg: 2.65
pDev: 23.02%
Wants: 10
Gots: 214 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

Confirmed that this beer is "all malt" as of Oct. 2010.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,559 | Reviews: 587
Photo of kojevergas
1.9/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Clear yellow, thin head with fair retention. This is pathetic.

Sm: One note of clear barley. Very meh.

T: Holy malt, batman! No real open, no real finish. A bit like Finnegan's Wake, without any literary genius. (Okay, that metaphor sucked.)

Mf: Too smooth, too wet. A classic flaw.

Dr: Never again - by choice. Is this what they forcefed to the Chinese during the WWII medical experiments? Given the choice, a vivisection might be preferable. It should be said that it's probably better than a lot of American macros, and it's relatively cheap.

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.23/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

"Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA" 24 0z. can, with the mythological Japanese deer/dragon beast striding diagonally up the aluminum container.
Color, a transparent bright yellow, with a prodigous, fluffy, bone white head, that hastily, noisily crumbles.(Perhaps the head size was helped by the enormous Weihenstephaner glass I poured it into?)
Aroma: rather dull and dry, and perfectly in step with a typical cheap lager smell, and am I smelling the rice? Is there rice? Taste will tell...
Very smooth on the palate, to a fault, to the point that it's existence barely registers or makes any impact upon the senses at all. Body is so light light that it rings hollow at every turn. There's is a decent texture, I admit, a nice grit and play on the tongue and lips, that makes it a far more bearable beer than many ordinary lagers, but...I can't at all detect the "complex character of one of the world's premium beers." You've got to have a narrow definition of "beer", and "premium"...and "world"...
Drinkability? Yeah, you can drink them, if you've got nothing better to do, nothing better to drink, and a mean streak of masochism...

Photo of smcolw
2.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Mild head which dies to literally nothing; clear gold color.

Grainy and grassy; more as there is no hop aroma. Can you say lawnmower?

The taste offers a slight improvement--there's a minimal amount of hop present, particularly in the swallow. Also, for a "rice" brew, this has a surprising solid body. It also has a very high carbonation level, giving the mouthfeel a definitive spritziness. Thin malt flavor. Overall, a step above the traditional macros...barely.

Photo of drabmuh
2.27/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Its CANtastic, sorry woody. I was at a sushi restaurant with my wife wiggle tonight and I was drinking this beer and realized that I just like beer. Its the texture maybe that I like but even when drinking a shitty macro knock off adjunct clear lager like this, I love beer. Sure I could go home and drink a 5 year old Cantillon Kriek, but would that pair well with raw fish and sticky rice? Maybe not. There is so much rice in the dinner and in the beer, they are like the yin and yang of this culture. I doubt many Japanese are pleased with this beer but who cares. I'm home now and drinking homebrewed IPA and loving it. Off to the review, as if even I care.

I had 1 pint 8 ounces of this beer served to me in a shaker pint out of a rather ornamental can (tall boy). Beer is yellow and clear with high carbonation and a head of medium and small bubbles that will eventually break leaving no lacing on the glass. This what a 6 year old that watches too much TV would draw if asked to draw "beer"...looks like beer to me.

Aroma is weak and has this biting grainy edge to it. Hmmm....

Beer is medium to light in body, actually has more body to it than I expected. Interesting. I've had a lot of cheap lagers and I can say without hyperbole that this is the bottom of the barrel. Its acrid and harsh without an aftertaste but the dry finish reveals this horrible bitterness from what I can only assume is rice and corn. Its not a drain pour kind of accident but its about there. I doubt I will venture into the Kirin world again.

Photo of jwc215
2.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours straw yellow with a thick white head with an impressive retention.

The smell is of grain and husk. Something akin to cooked veggies mixes in.

The taste is of sweet grain and a growing husk flavor - more like an American macro than a Japanese rice beer. Hops are overwhelmed with adjuncts and bland malt. It's not very clean.

This says "full-bodied"... Are they kidding? It has something of a body I suppose, but fits into the "light and fizzy" category pretty well.

Whatever...It's a macro-like beer that is hurt by an unusual astringency. Why bother with this one...

Photo of dbrauneis
2.71/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle at Tonic (Hilton Beijing) in Beijing, China

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall bright white head that quickly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring around the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of grainy malts with just the slightest hint of rice.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderate flavors of grainy and cracker malts with very light hints of rice. There is a pleasant light bitterness to the beer in the finish which does not linger.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is easy to drink and a little more malty than I had expected considering the style and lightness of the beer. Not a bad flavor but nothing that really stands out - traditional offering at many Japanese restaurants so I will eventually have it again but not a beer I would seek out.

Photo of Mora2000
2.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a straw yellow color with a white head. The aroma is rice, corn and some grassy hops. The flavor is very sweet. I get a lot of grass along with some corn and bready malts. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not as bad as expected but not something I care to try again.

Photo of mothman
2.2/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, the color is a light clear yellow. Head doesn't last long. Little lacing. Smell and taste is of rice and grain. Where are the hops and malts? I guess beer from across the country is way different than ours.

Mouthfeel is very clean and crisp.

Overall, nothing I would ever recommend or buy again. Very light beer, I'd rather spend money on an American marco.

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.42/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On draft at Asia Cafe in D.C.

A: The beer is very effervescent and light yellow in color. Atop fthe beer sits a white head approximately a half inch thick.

S: The aroma is very faint, but has the general scent of a macro lager. Not much to report.

T: About what you would expect from a macro lager. The flavor is simple and straightforward. The beer has an aftertaste that is slightly bitter and mildly astringent.

M: Light in body with plenty of carbonation. Decent feel for the style, but nothing too impressive.

D: An OK beer to pair with various Asian cuisine, but not something worth drinking by itself.

Photo of woodychandler
3.17/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sunday morning and I'm in the CAN.

24 Fl Oz., to be precise. My pour produced two fingers of rocky, bone-white head. The nose had a very characteristic lager sweetness to it. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a mostly lager-like sweetness on the tongue, although like a previous reviewer, I did catch a light smokiness. I wonder what drives that? Lots of carbonation evident in terms of bubbles. Say, whatever happened to "Bubbles" McGough, a high school classmate of mine? Prosit, Bubs, wherever you may be! Finish was slightly sweet, nothing terrible, but not great, either. For the $, it was decent. Taking into consideration the portability of the packaging plus the size, it was a bargain.

Photo of tdm168
2.32/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - bright yellow; big, white, dense, foamy head; decent retention

S - very grainy, faintly grassy, a hint of lemon

T - very grainy, metallic, lemon, faint grass, very bitter finish, warm

M - crisp, thin, very light, smooth

This is a hrash beer. The metallic, bitter, warm off flavors are immensely off putting. There really isn't anything good to report here. Even the drinkability is slowed by the off flavors despite its light, smooth mouthfeel. I'll avoid this in the future.

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 330ml bottle was brewed under licence by Wells and Youngs of Bedford, England: best before 8 July 2012 it was poured (twice) into a 'Veltins' badged pilsner stemmed tulip on 14 Feb 2012.

Looks like a regular lager: golden, clear and bright, mid depth of goldness. The head a mass of white bubbles, then fading to a wispy covering and a collar.

Slight hop aroma, some hints of cereals maybe as well.

Crisp, dry and boring were my first three thoughts as the beer entered my mouth. Strangely for a lager as the mouth began to dry after each sip the palate seemed to get sweeter instead of the normal slightly bitter, sometimes metallic hit.

I suspect my beer (brewed in the UK) tastes very different to the US version. So my review will not be a lot of good to most BA users, but hey ho, it might interest one or two who read it.

Photo of DoubleJ
1.86/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Beer testing, one, two...alright, let's give this beer a ride:

Straw yellow in color with carbonation bubbles racing through the body. It's topped by a lackluster head. Smell is conducted by some skunk and corn husk. There's plenty of rice is this brew, in fact, it's quite cloying. The flavor is very neutral and bland, but it does deliever a snappy feel on the tongue, with some dirt in the aftertaste.

Kirin Ichiban is the term Nabihci Nirik spelled backwards. It might as well be, cause this beer is no good and tough to consume.

Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a bottle with sushi and soup at the Japanese place at DTW airport. This beer masters the style just like Bud Light and the American light lager. This isn't a delicious beer in the grand scheme of thing, but for a Japanese rice lager, it's quite nice. Unfortunately, right off the bat this beer has an odd rubber aroma, but that quickly fades to leave a very clean beer. The malt has a subtle toasted bread flavor and there's a hint of spicy hops. Very drinkable and worth a try next time you sit down for sushi.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a head that fades quickly to a thin swirl on top but leaves some slight lacing. Smells clean, light, slight minerally and with a noticeable smell of rice. fresh smelling as well. I think the can makes a difference in stopping the skunking of this beer. The taste is similar. Slight yeastiness, some light pleasant rice flavors, clean and fresh tasting with a light bitterness on the finish. Smooth and somewhat crisp. I was looking for a lawnmower beer and this fit the bill. Not bad for what it is, but obviously not the end all be all either.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
1.08/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pale yellow body, not much head, just a film of loose bubbles on the top. Not particularly inspiring.

Nose is a sickly sweet grainy smell, with a hint of something slightly rancid. It smells a bit like a rubbish bin that's been left in the sun. This is a really disgusting smelling beer.

The taste is again, very sweet and cloying. Leaves a rather unpleasant sugary taste in your mouth. There's no bitterness there to create some sharpness; it makes you feel sick in your stomach. Mouthfeel is watery. Truly awful.

This is an atrocious beer. I mean really, really awful. One of the worst beers I've ever tasted. Offensive and undrinkable. I cannot recommend enough that you stay away from this shit.

Photo of Zorro
2.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden brew. It LOOKS OK!

Almost smell free. Not a good sign of a tasty brew.

Tastes sweetish and grainy. Slight lemon and hops flavors. Mostly it's a sweet Lager.

Mouthfeel is Budweiser, That sums it up.

Drinkable, But I would find a Sapparo

Photo of HopHead84
2.86/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11/26/2011

Bottle at Pei Wei poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale yellow and perfectly translucent with a small white head.

S: Apple with some rice and corn. Simple and inoffensive. I get a light sweetness and a little biscuit.

T: Rice with biscuit and a little apple. Not much else to report. Simple. There's a little sulfur in there and there's a corny sweetness.

M: Light in body with high carbonation.

Overall: An insipid lager but not a bad one.

Photo of wl0307
2.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Coming in a 350ml can, produced on 14/06/2011, BB 13/06/2012, served chilled in a slim pilsner glass.

A: pale straw in colour, coming with lively fizziness mainly consisting of medium-large bubbles, while the thin off-white beer head lasts pretty well.
S: very light lager malts’ aroma flows with a mild edge of lager’s sourness, while a gentle whiff of hoppiness stays behind. A swirl brings out more doughy aroma, while the malts underneath also manifest more. Not like other Japanese adjunct-rich lager, this one seems to stand up to the promise of “100% malts”
T: the foretaste is a bit weird, at first hop-bitter, a bit dry, then an intriguing flow of sour grain-mash ensues, followed by more rough bitterness… Malts pretty much disintegrates amidst these elements, rendering only a faint trace of grains in the very end. Hops, in both bitterness and aroma, seem to retain a rather low level, showing random fruitiness also in the very end.
M&D: due to the low serving temp., the fizziness doesn’t seem to bother that much, overall refreshing anyway. This beer’s promise lags way behind its performance, I’m afraid. Albeit adjunct free, the taste and body don’t seem to benefit directly from this fact, while the alc. content stands out where the flavour wanes, which is a critical failure in terms of production and balance, IMO.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.98/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an imperial strange)

A- Pours a very pale yellow with a slight orange hint. Almost no carbonation visible in this crystal clear body and a big creamy head.

S- Very crisp clean aroma with a faint hint of fragrant rice. It also has the very faint hint of decomposing leaves that is not a pleasant smell.

T- Very light hop bitterness at the initial sip and then a unique taste of rice. It is a almost sweet rice finish but it is very light and delicate.

M- Very light watery mouthfeel with no carbonation and no astringency at all.

D-This is very unique even from other adjunct beers. It accents the rice in the beer instead of masking it. The smell kind of puts me off but the taste in surprisingly interesting. I didn't find the beer all that well rounded just unique. I didn't notice any malt and only faint hints of hops.

Photo of jdhilt
2.16/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a two-finger white head that leaves some lace. Clear pale amber color. Very light bodied and light carbonation. Slightly hoppy nose. Starts sweet with some hoppy overtones, finish is bland and watery. Works as a lawn mower beer and not much more. $1.60 for 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pint glass, served on-tap and in a pilsner glass, at PF Chang's restaurant, a Chinese-American chain. The lager is cold.

Appearance: The lager has a nice golden color, a little deeper than a pilsner, but still crystal clear. Must be the pour, but there is no head.

Smell: The lager has a nice malty aroma. The light aroma clearly supports the inclusion of rice on the brewing. There is no appreciable hop aroma.

Taste: The malts (including the rice) give the lager a very pleasing taste. The flavors are not too overwhelming (a drawback for some, perhaps), but they go very well with the delicate flavors and spices of Asian food (yes, this is Chinese food, but there was no Tsing-Tao on tap).

Mouthfeel: The malts are pleasant and low-key, although I'd love just a little hop kick.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer, ably representing its style. I could have had many more, if only I weren't driving...

Photo of biegaman
3.33/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't mean to sound racist, but all these Asian beers look alike to me. Yellow, filtered, steady bubbles and a head that appears eternally in a state of near-total collapse. Kirin Ichiban does, however, looks a little cloudier than most; its chill haze doesn't damper any of the glimmer but it does make my fingers appear fuzzy on the other side of the glass.

Anyone who bought this beer with the intention of tasting something exotic or unusual is bound to get a rude awakening in the aroma. No exotic impressions of Japan here. I had expected the crude, cheap, commercial stench of American industry, but I too was surprisingly mistaken in my assumptions. This actually smells... good?! Really good.

And indeed it tastes that way too. The maltiness is crisp and toasty, like you'd find in a quality American lager or traditional German pilsner, and has a slight biscuity profile. The finish is complimented by a very perceivable hop presence, a subtly pithy and earthy bitterness that puts the exclamation mark on what is a flavourful and quenching lager.

I initially sighed at the fact that I had to fork out the money for a full 650ml to review this. Now, I couldn't be happier that I did. And I'd do it again! This is an enjoyably, easily drinkable lager that has just the right amount of sweet, grainy flavour and brisk, enhancing carbonation. Best of all: I'm not tasting anything that isn't supposed to be in there.

Pale lager is not a style that I (nor most people) have a tough time appreciating, that is if it's done right. There are a few brands of pale lager that comprise some of my favourite, most frequently drank beers, but they resemble nothing like the diluted, corrupted, bastardized examples that most Asian breweries put out. Kirin Ichiban, on the other hand, as much as it surprises me to admit, actually does. Don't assume too much about this one...

Photo of plaid75
3.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retenion and lacing.

The smell featured clean grain and rice aromas with a subtle flowery hop.

The taste was balanced and clean. Light rice body with a decent hop element.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp.

Overall a nice beer to accompany sushi. Nothing really exciting though.

Photo of Wasatch
2.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a yellow color, nice carbonation, little one-finger white head had that does not last long, basically no sticky lacing. The nose is malty, ricy, grainy. The taste is malty, ricy/grainy, slightly sweet. Light body. Not drinkable, not too bad, but would not buy again.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,559 ratings.