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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

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1,478 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,478
Reviews: 551
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 166 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

Confirmed that this beer is "all malt" as of Oct. 2010.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,478 | Reviews: 551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
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 NODAK
3.38/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Smell is of weak cereal grains, rice in this case...weak hops....pretty thin stuff though. Not much to write about.

Taste is very light and fizzy. Smattering of citrus and light malt notes on the body. Finish has a very small hop character with a bit of grain from the rice hanging around. Again though, very thin.

I haven't had many of this style, so I cannot say if being this tame is typical but this beer does do well as a refresher if a person doesn't want to think about the beer or have any impediments to putting them down fast.

Photo of CrazyMike
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Straw yellow apperance with minimal head. Not much to the nose. slightly sweet with wet vegetables.

Taste is very light, slightly sweet and malty. Picked up little carbonation. Aftertaste is dry and sour.

Overall, this seems like a beer to chug if you had to much wasabi. Otherwise, a watery introduction to rice lager.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.38/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Self proclaimed as "Special Premium Reserve" but it came in a standard 6 pack, so hopefully this is the same thing. There sure wasn't anything special or premium about it..

Insanely vigorous pour yielded a 2.5 finger white foamy head, that didn't last too long. Color was clear light golden.

Very little on the nose. Got tired of trying to detect a scent, so i moved on.

Tastes like the other Japanese rice lagers I have had (Sapporo, Asahi..), which is very little. Very, very watered down. Usually just have these to take down to the beach because we can get them in cans. Plus I don't buy it for the beach days.

It's like beer flavored water. Not a whole lot of carbonation either. Very typical for the style. If for some reason you're in the market for a Japanese beer, the best one I have had is Yebisu, and I have only seen it at my local sushi joint.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.46/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Interesting that I had it in a sushi bar in Nogales, Arizona of all places. And the sushi was very good!

Reviewed from notes.

Straw to straight yellow. Lots of bubbles. One finger head that lasted with good thick lacing that lasts. Good looking for a rice lager.

Smells grainy with slight citrus. Nothing special.

Tastes like it smells, grainy with lemon overtures. Not impressive, quite average.

Very dry finish with no distinctiveness.

Not impressed with the drinkability. Even for a sushi bar offering, it's not what I'd order next time.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I can't say I'm very versed in Japanese Rice Lagers but I figured I'd try to review this one. A buddy of mine picked up a can for me while attending a conference in Japan. He enjoys beer himself and warned me it was pretty bad, but I appreciated the gift.

A few pours into a small tasting glass. Very Pale and extremely clear. The slightest small white head that sticks around for a minute or two, only a couple of centimeters tall before clearing up. A slight attempt at lacing but just a small spot here or there. Looks more like a light apple juice than anything else.

Smell is very weak, a little skunky, but not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Grainy with a slight attempt at some hop aroma's but doesn't really stick.

Taste isn't very strong either. Some slight grain/rice flavors to it. Tastes kind of cheap/macro like. A slight sour taste to it at the end, it's strange, has more juice like flavor consistencies than beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty bad. Very wattery, kind of sour and nothing clean about it. Not very pleasant. Similar on the drinkability. Can't completely say I regret trying it, but I don't think I'd get it again.

Photo of irishevans
2.44/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

grabbed this for a hot day and the store I stopped at had no more IPAs left that i haden't reviewed.

A- Light yellow very transparent, and filled with tons of carbpnation bubbles. almost like a glass of canada dry, or sprite. head jumps to like a finger and 4/5 but quite quickly retreats to a 1/6 finger film that seems to stick around alright.

N- Not much there at a little bit of malt and grain but generally bland, almost not there.

T- mostly malt and light grain, starts the littlest bit sout then gets sweet toward the end, and the carbonation makes itself more know as the beer goes on. also the tiniest bit of citrus flavor in the background, but not your citrus hop taste, it likely is just from a very small amount of hops to large malt use (as in ratio). very crisp and dry finish, but not so dar as to leave you parched. as far as the style goes apppropriate.

M- Again just what you would expect form the style. light thin and crisp.

D- Not bad for sessioning at a baseball game(get it?). only for the times that call for watery popped collar college beer-pong league kid brews will I get this again. abd those situations are becoming more and more rare for me.

Photo of CrazyDavros
1.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours pale yellow with a small head.
Nose is very faint but does shows some grassy hops and light malt.
Flavours are similarly lacking, with weak notes of grainy, cardboardy malt and some grassy more hops.
Carbonation is too high.
Another mediocre pale lager.

Photo of darkmartin
2.38/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear golden-yellow with a miniscule white head.

Smell: Smells of grain and yeast, some mild hops.

Taste: Not much here, some grain, a tiny bit of hops in the finish. Not bad just very bland.

Mouthfeel: Very light with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: It goes down without a problem, I'd just never buy one again.

Photo of bmwats
2.58/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

A: Dark straw color. Pretty heavy carbonation rises throughout. Pours into a 3 finger foamy white head. Settles pretty quickly leaving some sticky residue behind as it does. Some spider web lacing remains as you drink it down.

S: Pale malt, yeast, not much else.

T: Kind of a weird, funky, sweet, yeasty, stale, flat... something.

M: Very light body. The off-putting flavor (unfortunately) coats the palette and lingers. Seems flat.

D: Not the easiest drink I've ever fought through.

Atmosphere is okay I guess, at least in t part. The appearance is not bad. Pure golden hue, and a giant foamy head. It's kinda' downhill from there though. Nose is very non-distinct...just not much there. Flavor is really really off. A weird cloying sweetness, and it seems flat or something. Overall, this is a pretty weak quaff.

Photo of Zebus0
2.86/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Something new.

A- Overall I think it's a good looking beer. Nice gold color, nice frothy head on it that dissipates in a reasonable amount of time. Pretty standard really.

S- Not impressed. Kind of malty, a real BEER smell to it that I'm not very fond of. Seriously, try something different. In any case, little hoppy, I'm almost getting a wiff of pine from it?

T- Pretty crisp really. Light body, just a tad of hops. It's like the Japanese Budweiser really. Dry finish on it, I appreciate that, extra .5 points.

M- Light, surprisingly pretty frothy, really average.

D- Eh. I like this as it is, for what it is, but it's not something I'll probably buy again. Getting this again is pretty unlikely unless I pair it with some sushi, but my favorite sushi bar has Xingu so not likely. Average, but just not that great.

Photo of OtherShoe2
2.45/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium yellow with a huge foamy white head that left some decent rings. Big surprise. Good clarity.

Something odd about this one. Macro beer/corn scent and...garbage? I mean really sour/weird. Luckily, this is not a strong aroma.

Light malt, some corny sweetness in the beginning, some coarse grain and husk. Light bitterness, something harsh (?) and a fairly clean finish. But really, a nothing finish. I'm not offended by the taste here, just nothing great.

Lighter bodied and decent carbonation. A bit watery, but not much.

Started out ok, and got much less drinkable as this warmed. Nothing horrific, but why even bother with this? One and done.

Photo of vette2006c5r
2.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4.5

Kirn poured a bright, urine like yellow, with no head, a good amount of carbonation though. There really wasnt any smell. Taste was weak, a bit stronger then other adjuct lagers, with a bit of a citrius taste that was a bit acidic. The taste was very weak, certinaly cant savor after a sip. Very easy to drink. Overall an OKAY beer, not too bad on a hot day.

Photo of emmasdad
3.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at a sushi restaurant in Rancho Bernardo on my recent vacation. Not surprisingly, every time I go out for sushi, I have a giant bottle of Japanese BMC. This time was no different. Along with plum wine, distilled sake and fiery sushi, I enjoyed 22 ounces of this beer. It was golden colored, cold and otherwise not nearly as memorable as those jalapeno rolls I indulged in.

Photo of hideyoshiki
1.74/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, the label looks awesome - it's one of the more interesting logos, if you can call it that since it's so complex, that I've seen on a 6-pack bottle. However, the label is about the best part. It goes down hill after that.

I would say if you're two or three beers deep in a couple hours and are half tipsy, the beer becomes drinkable. Other than that, stay away. It's good to drink this I guess to not drink all your good beer if you're really going for it at the cookout or whatever other occasion you happen to be drinking it.

Photo of Haybeerman
2.44/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pale straw color. Poured a 1 finger stark white head that dissipated quickly to a broken skim. Decanted lightly. Laced in inconsistent thin rings.

S: Wet grain maybe some hay. Muted honey or apple note that was very faint. Not much there.

T: Wow. In another word: bland. Watery and wet with little sweetness coming from someting. Despite the wet start, finishes crisp and a litte dry.

M: Light (thin) body. Ample carbonation. Thats about all I can say.

D: Its not like I can't drink it, but why. Has little to offer.

Photo of jsprain1
1.97/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Pours bright golden with a decent little head on it.
S- Smell is kind of an artificial sweet rice. It wasn't so bad at first but as it warmed it become somewhat unpleasant.
T- Taste is rather unremarkable. Slight sweetness, some rice. a bit of strange hop flavor. again, not offensive cold, but way off when warm.
M- Light, dry, rather much like an adjunct.
D- It's a japanese take on American macros. I guess it's a fair representation of that. If you're going to call it an import lager though... maybe not up to snuff.

Photo of scottyshades
2.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had as a part of our macro tasting. This beer ended up losing in the first round, then again in the first round for the losers bracket.

A: Pours a transparent pale straw color. The head was actually better than I thought- pretty thick with decent retention.

S: Very plain and generic. The only notes I could pick up was slight honey, rice, and grain. Not too much else to say, I was not too impressed. I have found that the nose in macros can really set create a positive difference.

T: The flavor was pretty bland with an overall watery profile. The flavors are all extremely subtle and light. Slight honey again, along with some rice.

MF/D: Light in body, highly carbonated, and very difficult to drink more than one (I can see drinkability being higher in social settings though)

Notes: This did not stand up to the other beers in our bracket (Kalik Gold, Red Stripe, Stella, LaBatt's, Brooklyn Lager, Fosters, and PBR). The best way to describe the flavor, as my dad put it so eloquently, is sour dishrag (which we also found in PBR and Fosters).

Photo of JoKo
4.08/5  rDev +54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured a bright gold, slightly hazy color with lively carbonation, the head is about a centimeter.

Smell: Citrus hop aroma, pretty clean typical lager.

Taste: Dry, crisp with a nice hoppy bitterness that doesn't linger, there are some bready malt notes in the background.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry light bodied lager.

Drinkability: Easy drinkability, very good.

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

$2.86 for the 22oz bottle, May 3, 2010 is the bottling date.

A light golden colour, it has a good 2 finger head of foam. It does look pretty average overall.

The nose is light..some sweet notes, some grain, a bit like most of the macro lagers but not as offensive.

The taste is lightly sweet with some grainy notes, and not a bad bit of bitterness especially near the finish. A decent taster.

The body is close to medium with fairly brisk carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good with this one as it is fairly smooth and fairly refreshing. I wouldn't turn one down if offered.

Photo of jrallen34
3.12/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whenever I'm at PH Changs this is my go to beer. Its light straw and way to fizzy. The aroma is lighte with a hint of skunk but not as bad as much macros. The taste is a little skunk as well with a bite at the end that on its own would make it undrinkable, but have some spicy chinese and this is fine to drink.

Photo of womencantsail
3.35/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

Photo of mynie
2.96/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I went to a sushi place where my only choices were Kirin Ichiban or Sapporo. Since only sissies drink water, and since my last Sapporo had an unpleasantly milky aftertaste (I don't mean the body was full, either, I mean it tasted like old milk), I opted for this.

Bomber was reasonably priced, for a restaurant. Artwork was pretty class. The pour was dark golden and reasonably heady. Much nicer looking than Sapporo (which I'm going to reference a lot, since it's the only other rice lager I've ever had). Whereas Sapporo is as light as water--or Coors--this is more along the lines of a craft all malt, shadewise.

Smells like... barley? Hmm. No, not quite. That's the kind of heavy adjunct that so overwhelms the barley that it's often mistaken for barely, especially at very cold temperatures. When it warms, all you smell is rice. And it's really not bad, kind of like a Bud Heavy only a little bit tart.

Tastes, again, not at all bad. A good degree sweeter than your average American macro--maybe even a little more sweet than Grain Belt--but it's nearly hopless and there's only the tiniest bit of generic bitterness near the backend, which doesn't do a very good job of balancing things out.

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

A: poured a golden orange with yellow highlights with a finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: I did rice aromas after the first whiff that also had various grain notes alongside slight citrus and wheat malt notes; pretty simple nose on this one.

T: the malts and rice flavors dominate the palate with citrus and grain accents. There is a slight booze character as well.

M: the brew was light in body with a good amount of prickly carbonation tha had a grainy crisp refreshing finish.

D: very drinkable beer that was really good paired with sushi and teppan grill chicken and shrimp.

Photo of Jemonster
3.47/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a stein. Thick white lasting head and pale gold, clear body.

S: Smells like an American beer to me, malt and hops. Nothing particularly interesting and worthy of note, but no funky, off-smells either.

T: A bit bolder than I thought it would be. Some decent bitterness, no real sweetness, and nothing else in particular. Simple flavors... It really does taste like beer flavored beer.

M: Light and actually pretty refreshing. Not enough acidity to be a great summer beer, but I wouldn't turn it down on a hot day either. Thin and cooling on the palate.

D: I could session this. Not a beer to drink for the sake of drinking great beer, but not the typical cheap offerings either.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,478 ratings.