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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,320
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 23.19%
Wants: 9
Gots: 76 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited visit their website

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
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Ratings: 1,320 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cylinsier
3.63/5  rDev +38%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22.

The appearance is what it is. Average golden lager appearance with average silky white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smells okay. Barley and a bit of malt. Not a lot of detail to it.

Tastes pretty good, actually. There's a sweetness that is the unmistakable signature of rice. Otherwise the tastes are on par with any basic golden lager sans any noticeable hoppiness. Goes good with sushi.

The moutfeel is good. Smooth but a bit bubbly.

I like the drinkability of this one. Its not going to blow anyone away with a huge range of tastes and its not a high quality beer, but for what it is it gets the job done.

Cylinsier, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of kshankar
2.93/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale golden, straw like color. Carbonation is present, and very little foam/head...but there is a good deal of lacing going down.

Aroma: Eh, its mild...rice I guess, and some malts. Not too much else

Taste: Slight sweetness, some dryness..rice.

Mouthfeel: Dominated by carbonation. It somewhat overshadows the flavor..that is, if there is any real flavor anyways. Lighter bodied, crisp from the carbonation but not much else. Goes down okay

Drinkability: Carbonation can be considered "refreshing", but that really is all this thing has going for it, with a non-offensive taste that makes it drinkable, but not much else.

kshankar, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
2.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours with a straw golden body and little head but leaves good white lacing.
S: Smells of rice and a little bit of malty sweetness.
T: Same as the smell. Kinda tastes like a typical malt liquor. Less flavor than was expecting, might be because it was dominated by the carbonation.
M: High carbonation level--if I let it sit for awhile, a bit more enjoyable.
D: Went well with sushi, but wouldn't have it as a stand alone. A bit too carbonated to have too many, as well.

lhaqq, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev +29.3%
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.

tempest, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.35/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pairs well with most asian foods and is a classic in the food industry.

This is a pale, yellow-gold color, plenty of good carbonation that appears clear, clean and crispy. a thin, white head dissipates quick but leaves some nice stuff left over.

The nose is very sublte, but i can detect a light, malt with white rice and dried corn. a slight herbal, sour yeast in the back ground.

This is a beer of simple and subtle delights, a clean, crispy malt that has white-rice and fresh corn with a slight, herbal-sour hops and yeast. good balance with only a very slight metallic edge that is not enough to become bad.

The feel is classicly light and crisp.

more kung pao please!!

GratefulBeerGuy, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of likethetaste
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this beer just to try it out. Of course, I look more closely after I buy it and realize that it is actually bottled by AB! Well, Ok. I taste it and well... it taste really no different than a Budweiser to me.

Nothing great about this beer at all and there are enough faults to keep me from ever getting it again.

likethetaste, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A- a weak head and a dry pale yellow color. very clear and unappealing.

S- dry malts and barley. Nothing much there in the nose.

T- a dry sweetness with a bland malt. There seems to be a rice flavor.

M- sweet malty but bland and nothing to feel.

D- this is like a miller lite in Japan. Very dull and if you like BMC beers you will love this!

Dodo2step, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
2.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle at Shima Sushi in Webster, NY. Kirin Ichiban is a clear and sparkling pale yellow lager with a small white head that quickly fades. The aroma is soft and fruity with some light grain. It is light bodied and watery in the mouth. The flavor is pretty corny, fairly bitter and not-so-fresh. Good for washing down Unagi Nigiri, I suppose.
(rated May 14, 2008)

yesyouam, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
2.1/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I guess this would be my frist Japanese Rice Lager. Pours clear yellow, white head, nothing unexpected. Aroma is ricey and sweet, nothing different froma a Bud Light. Very dry beer. Instead of being heavily sweet, it is more starchy-rice-dry. This is a decent Japanese lager, perfect to have with Asian food. Light but sharp flavor, dry aftertaste. Nothing exciting.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of thierrynantes
2.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2007.

Appearance : Blond (clear) color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : finely hopped with the sweetness on the tongue.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Japanese rice lager.

thierrynantes, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.1/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Although not expecting much from a Japanese macro brew, Kirin still leaves a lot to be desired. It pours a very light straw yellow, and has almost no distinct smell. The odor does vary from an American macro, probably from the use of rice.

There is a small head, leaving almost no lace on the glass.

It tastes almost exactly as it smells, nondescript and dull. The one upside to this beer is the drinkability. Although it would not pair well with almost any food due to the lack of flavor, it was smooth enough to wash down the sushi I was enjoying without getting in the way.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Reviewed 11/26/08.

KickInTheChalice, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of janubio
2.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Very pale crsitaline colour, foamy head that doesn't hold much. Grainy and herbs smell with maybe some citric. Anodyne watery flavor, taste of herbs with some malty sweetness and bitter end. Just another beer more, I've drunk some worst ones.

janubio, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of stevecee2003
1.95/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer strickly to write a review. Almost immediately after tasting I didn't want to bother. But I was committed, so I now forge on. Dare i say.. the Budweiser of Japan?

Poured from a 24 oz. can, with a fair lace, for a few fleeting moments. The color is light amber. I say "light" because to me it comes off as a cheap immitation of an even cheaper lager beer. But then thats me.

Smell. Can't tell. Cabbage and rice maybe. Maybe.

Taste. Slight. Very. It is a liquid, I'll give it that.

And the feel is simply.. simple. Nothing going on. Perhaps if I played Death metal while I drank it, it might bring it up to an illusiion of some sort of goodness. No, not even then would that help...

Overall, it was worth a try, if only because now I know.. Never again to spend my hard-earned cash on this "water with slight amber food coloring added" beer.

stevecee2003, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of mothman
2.2/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

mothman, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of roscoehnj
1.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From an 18 ounce bottle at a sushi bar with the usual poor selection (why can't they at least carry SNPA?). Not much to look at - pale and watery looking, closely matching the taste. Mouthfeel was very thin. The beer was light and slightly nasty. Would have been better off with the budweiser - I guess I like corn better than rice for my macro beers. The Japanese make some nice sakes - why are there no decent Japanese beers?

roscoehnj, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
2.2/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16oz bottle drank from a pint glass. Bottle reads, "Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA." (Sounds like a foreshadowing of the taste to come.)

A: Clear pale yellow body. A lot of carbonation rising in the glass. White foamy head dissipated over a few minutes.

S: Smells like most other macro beers. Slight metallicy hop presence.

T: Slightly sweet taste of some type of grain, probably the rice. Maybe a faint hop bitterness hidden in the finish. Basicly your standard BMC.

M: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D: It goes down pretty easy, but the taste is not enjoyable.

Jerzdevil1116, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/31/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very pale yellow straw colored body. Small white head, very quickly diminishing. Malty sweet aroma, with some graininess. Grainy malty taste, maybe rice or corn. Fizzy, and there's some alcoholic aftertaste present. Goes okay with spicy kung pao.

jujubeast6000, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of Jayli
3.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale color with a head that disappears almost immediately, very very slight lacing. There was a yeasty smell, with mild grain undertone. Based on the smell I thought it would be "chewy" when I tasted it. That wasn't the case. The beer turned out to be very thin with a flat aftertaste. I've had better asian beer.

Jayli, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of SickBrew
2.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, the bottle is cool! This looks just like butwiper, I mean Budwieser. Sorry it doesn't taste as good. It does leave one finger of head that quickly dissipates, but does leave some minimal lacing. Flavor, well you get what you get with rice and not much more. Hopping in minimal and malts are absent. And then there is something else in there, something slightly metallic.
The horse on the label is the best part. Grab yourself a bud and you'll be better off, for sure.


SickBrew, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
2.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Wasatch, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of Goliath
2.4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a one inch bright white foamy head. Poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is not too great. Reminds me of an American Macro. Some sweet bready malt, no hops. Perhaps it's the rice?

Taste is really not that good. Some sweet pale malt, and I suppose rice would be the quality at hand here. Slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly low. Flavor is just not good. No thanks.

Goliath, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of aquaderek
2.85/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured the beer from the bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a light orange with a foamy frothy white head that sticks around for a minute or two. The nose sweet and malty, maybe a little skunky and the taste follows with a refreshing dry finish. If there is anything that saves this beer is the bone dry finish which I find extremely refreshing. Not my favorite beer, but I don't think that it is horrible eithier. I think for the type of beer it is; it does it's job.

aquaderek, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of changeup45
2.4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from the bottle. Golden colored, poured a pretty decent head but halfway through the beer it was pretty much gone. You can smell all you want but there isn't much aroma at all. This is what it is. Very light-bodied, slightly sweet and grassy. It's refreshing and during a hot summer day I can think of worse, but there just isn't enough here to warrant anything higher.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of tdawgydog
2.93/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I always have this on tap when we visit PF Changs. I'm somewhat confused by the fact that a "Chinese Bistro" has a Japanese Lager on Tap, why not have Tsing-Tao on tap?

Anyway, the Asian beer selection is limited. They pour my Kirin into a frosted (ugh) pilsner glass. The head has completely dissipated by the time the waiter brings it to our table. The beer doesn't look half bad, it has a much darker golden hue than your typical American pilsner. It pairs well with the spicy Chinese food.

There is nothing special about it. The aftertaste is a little annoying and it seems like it could be so much more than what it is. I would drink it again but only under the same circumstances. I am not seeking this out otherwise.

tdawgydog, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.1/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Clear yellow, very white and loose head. No lacing left behind.

S- Ahh Lager fumes. Have you ever smelled a macro lager and got wapped in the nose by the strange fumes. Yeah that is here too.

T- I suppose all the rice in this beer has zapped the taste away. This is the definition of beer flavored water.

M- Eh.

D- It won't kill you.

Wetpaperbag, Aug 12, 2008
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,320 ratings.