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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,423 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,423
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 121 | 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: 1,423 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allforbetterbeer
2.35/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, brewed on date clearly marked on bottle. Good lacing.

A: Soft white fluffy head that sticks surprisingly well over a pale straw body.

S: Light grain adjuncts, a bit of astringent off smell, and some rice.

T: The taste is very singular, rather clean, and mild. Straw like light malts with a slight hop note in the beginning and a bit of biscuit at the end... a metallic off taste comes very late in the aftertaste and hangs around. This kind of ruins everything...

M: Average carbonation, thin and though it is not watery necessarily, it is kind of limp.

D: Very drinkable but not very satisfying.

Overall: Another so-so rice lager. I have yet to try an example of this style that is unique from a mediocre light macro lager. This example however isn't even brewed in Japan, so it does not even get credit for being a culturally interesting import.

Photo of bismarksays
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Served in a 10 oz mug

Appearance: Straw colored, nice head and lacing. A promising start

Smell: Oh dear. Not a good follow. Smells of skunk and..I don't know...cabbage maybe/rotten vegetable medley.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A bit like it smells. Grainy and strange, not well balanced at all. I guess carbonation was okay.

If all I had to judge this beer by was a kinda nifty sumo tap handle and the looks, it would probably do alright. Sadly, the smell and taste really brought down the overall experience of the beer.

Drinkability: No. Just no. Never again.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a fluted Sapporo glass at Noble Japanese Steakhouse in Southington, Conn.

A: Poured a clean, pale yellow color with a thin, fizzy head of carbonation which left no lace.

S: Smells a little like expired Cheerios and an open can of corn. Seriously, little in the way of malts or hops here, just adjunct aromas.

T: Lightly sweet and fizzy adjunct flavors as well. Cooked corn and rice combined with the light, dry flavor of herbal hops. A little peppery and metallic in the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty clean and crisp but on its own it was a little seltzery.

D: Maybe one could use this to cut through Japanese cuisine, but I think it'd actually wind up hurting the dish. Can't really recommend it on its own, but if you're like me, you're willing to try any brew at least once, right?

Photo of ellenleclere
3.05/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden, with a thin head.

Smell: Dull grainy aroma that I attributed to the rice, and also a surprising zest that reminded me of citrus.

Taste: Bright and zesty, with tones of grains and rice - hard to pinpoint because the taste of the beer dissipated almost immediately.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bright acidity, but dulled quickly.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer, but it did not stand out as having any significant flavor or mouthfeel. It's a good lager for a warm day and moderately priced.

Photo of thekanna
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear yellow with about a finger of head.

S: Wants to be the clean, fresh toasted rice malt scent, but it's not quite there. There's a bit of hay/cornmeal/funk aroma that I can't quite explain except to say that it almost smells like sweat coming off of out-of-shape people exercising at the gym. This description is honestly not meant to slam the beer, but rather the most accurate description I can think of.

T: Light toasted rice malts. A little bit sweet and slightly watery, with just the slightest bit of astringency.

M: A bit watery, but crisp.

D: Fairly generic lager. I don't really see the appeal of this one.

Photo of mullenite
3.5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden color with almost no head and some light capping on the top. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smells like beer... grainy and slightly alcoholic, no hop or specialty malt aromas. Only grain.

Taste is grainy as well with some slight bread to it. Nothing complex, just light and simple.

Thin body with lots of carbonation and a clean, dry finish. Easily quaffable.

Photo of fishruss
3.75/5  rDev +42%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been to Japan many times, and I would have to say that this is one of the few beers that tast pretty much the same as it does in Japan.
Other easy to find Japanese beers, Asahi and Sapporo don't taste quite the same.
When in Japan, I prefer Asahi, but here in the U.S. I love Kirin Ichiban. It has a very crisp taste that goes well with edamame and sushi rolls.
Don't let the mass production scare you away, this is a pretty good beer! Kanpai!

Photo of jgasparine
2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- An agressive pour from the bottle yielded 3/4" of white frothy head, which slowly dissipated to reveal some lovely lacing. The body was a clear bright straw-yellow, which showcased some obvious bubble trains.

S- Smells of cornfeed and a mild noble hop aroma, with just a hint of metal.

T- Bright and zesty flavors. A light hop bitterness balances the sweet flavors of corn/rice. Almost no finish to write-of... you swallow, and the flavor experience immediately terminates.

M- Thin body; highly attenuated with tons of effervescent carbonation. Gets the job done. Could be better, could be worse, I suppose.

D- All things aside, it was very drinkable. Nothing too offensive about it, just not that impressive.

Photo of zimm421
2.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear yellow straw color with a thin white head that dissipates very quickly

S - A sweet smell with hints of fruitiness like pineapple. Smells a lot like a white wine

T - Very crisp and clean, with a lot of grain and some sweetness, just like the nose would suggest

M - A decent amount of carbonation, smooth and very light

D - Fairly easy to drink, but not something I will probably buy again. Just not all that impressed.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice 650ml bottle I picked up before they discontinue carrying them at my store. The labels cool, dragon, horse type animal, very Asian.

The beer pours a honey straw colour topped by a rather big foamy white head. Good carbonation and retention, lasting well to the half way point before it dissipates.

Aromas are rather lacking grains, grass, green apple and a mild skunk; all very subdued.

The palette is of sweet malt up front and of an artificial feel at that. Corn syrup flavours dominate with a mild taste of cooked rice and white bread. A slightly medicinal alcohol flavour makes its presences felt as the beer warms. A mild hop bitterness towards the end, giving a characteristically dry finish.
The body is light with a grainy mouth feel.

Very bland, truthfully I'm disappointed, it's not as I remember it, then again I used to drink crap. None the less I find this one of the better Japanese lager offerings.

Photo of unclejimbay
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kirin Ichiban
Style: Japanese Rice Lager
ABV: 5.00 %
3.0 across the board, seems avergae for style
reviewed 11/8/09 @ SPT, bottle> pils glass

A - Clear pale straw in color with a surprising 1 finger head, minor lace and head retention.

S - Very little smell if ay at all, maybe a hint of skuny-ness.

T - Clean light malt taste on palete, followed by a crisp hint of skunky hop whisper.

MF - Light body, crsip enjoyable carbonation.

D - Not the worst beer ever, but far fromt eh best. This seems as I would epect for a Jap Rice based beer. Not bad, drinkable, but would not be my first choice if I had other options.

Photo of tigg924
1.55/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: one inch frothy head, high carbonation, bright yellow color

Smell: grass and malt

Taste: grass and malt.not much going on here

Mouthfeel: very high carbonation, smooth, and semi-sweet

Drinkability: I am not against the style, but I could not finish this one. This was my first drain pour in a long time. The taste has some bitter that is very off putting. Two sips are sadly enough.

Photo of pellegrini
2.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is another Japanese standard. It's a 205-yen-a-can beer that gives you exactly what you expect: no-nonsense, light-beer, a-bit-ragged-in-the-morning drinking.

A: As expected, a very clear golden hue. The head was a little less than a half-inch deep and was filled with disproportionately-sized balls of air sitting in a sea of smaller, white bubbles. The head was gone in two minutes.

S: Not a whole lot going on. Some sweet graininess on the nose, but 'low-impact' is the only phrase that comes to mind.

T: Round, somewhat grainy front and almost no bitterness at the back. Mass-produced wheat bread body. Slight spray of astringency in the aftertaste.

M: Smooth. The carbonation is refreshing.

D: Quite easy to drink, this is a standard cooler beer at picnics and BBQ's during the summer here in Japan.

This is an easy brew to find in these here parts. By Japanese standards (quality and pricing), it's a reasonable investment if you're buying in bulk.

Photo of lester619
1.08/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Oh Good Lord this is bad. I can't even remember why I had it in my fridge. Someone must have left it there. So this might not be the freshest example, but I honestly can't believe that would make a differance. It doesn't look as bad is tastes. There's a positive. Smell is hard to explain. Like grainy vinegar, pickle brine soy sauce kind of thing. Soy sauce that expired in your fridge eighteen months ago. The taste is similar, dry, bitter in the worst way possible. Not a hop presance, just burning chemical bitter. Theres a very unpleasant metalic aftertaste. I get that soy sauce thing again. To quote Ralph Wiggum, "It tastes like...burning." I couldn't come close to putting all twelve ounces in me. There are no redeaming qualities to this beer.

Photo of imanidiot777
3.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pale gold color, very clear, decent sized head but dissipated quickly, almost no lacing.

S: A little hoppy, can't really pick out anything else but my nose isn't the best at this.

T: Has a little bit of a pale ale aftertaste (a little bitter), just a little sweetness not sure what is making it sweet though.

M: Feels smooth, refined, could use more carbonation.

D: Goes down smooth and isn't too heavy so you could have quite a few.

Photo of BeerSingh
2.9/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At Tony Chneg's in Chinatown, DC. Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a collins -

A - Pale straw colour with a thin, disappearing head

S - Little floral and hoppy, nothing else going around

T - Grain water, little Asian sweetness

M - Crisp

D - Yeah, its ok to order a Kirin at a Sushi bar

Photo of Thorpe429
2.48/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of checkfeet
3.2/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think the version brewed in Japan must be better than the one in North America.

Pours clear and straw-like, nothing you wouldn't expect.

There is actually more to the nose than most macro lagers: pineapple and grapes, reminiscent of some white wines.

Crisp, clean bite with kind of a starchy, bitter aftertaste.

Not incredible, but I'd choose it over other Asian macro lagers (maybe not Yebisu) and any North American one.

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

served from a 650ml bottle in a glass:

A - Light pale yellow - think head that fades fast.

S - Nothing much to smell, slight hop smell

T - Not much taste here, the rice adds a sweet undertone, the hops are barely noticable.

M - Watered down, high carbonation, the rice leaves a crisp, clean aftertaste.

D - I like this in a Japanese restaurant but otherwise I dont really drink it.

Photo of wordemupg
3.1/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into pint glass sept14 2009

A crystal clear straw yellow with little head and no lace

S a little sweet with some rice crispy cereal and a little grass

T as it smells, quite bland really

M thin but with good carbonation

D not bad overall, pretty easy too drink but nothing worth looking for

Nothing offensive but worth mentioning

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with a pretty large head... not much lacing to be seen here. Faint skunky beer aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied, pretty surprised as I was definitely expecting this to be lighter than ever. But even though it has nice consistency to it, the mouthfeel and taste are non existent. You can swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds and all you taste is a slight tinge of hops, rest of it just a watery mass. Just import swill right here, wouldn't recommend.

Photo of tone77
3.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Virtually no smell here, some hints of rice. Taste is crisp and mild, finishing dry. Not a whole lot of flavor here. Feels light in the mouth and has pretty good drinkability. Overall a fairly average beer.

Photo of ToddT
2.25/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pale golden yellow with a one finger off white head. Head falls quickly to a ring and leaves no lace on the glass.

S- Minimal aroma, some grain, light whiffs of both malt and hops.

T- Sweeter than expected, but not much in flavor either. Some sweet malt and rice, faint hit of hops at the end to finish.

M- Thin and watery, carbonation is high. Finish is dry and clean.

D- Really drinkable with spicy food, the 5.0% ABV isn't even noticed.

Typical adjunct macro lager, but not a beer that you would want to dink for the flavor alone. Good to pair with spicy food but it can't stand alone.

Photo of malmquna
2.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours effervescent into the glass, with a burst of white head that readily dissappears. Carbonation starts and ends with a flash as well. Looks typically golden yellow and clear, clear, clear. Smells of adjunct-based alcohol and little else. Flavor agrees with the color and the smell. Thinking hard enough, there is some very light malt flavor in the aftertaste, covered up with some non-hop bitterness. This beer is rather drinkable however, with asian food (of course) or anything spicy.

Photo of meatmallet
3.13/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear and golden in color with a thick white head. The head leave a nice lace ring at the top of the glass.

Smell: Nothing outstanding. It smelled of grains and rice. There were faint hints of caramel malt and a bit of grass.

Taste: Starts with a bit of sweet malt but ends a bit bitter. The rice and grass dominate the taste and there is a bit of underlying skunk to it.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light bodied and in taste overall I this is a great beer with oriental cuisine. By its self it is nothing special but pair it up with some sushi or Thai food and it is wonderful.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,423 ratings.