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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,351 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,351
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 23.19%
Wants: 9
Gots: 90 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,351 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of beerthulhu
1.68/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Label reads "brewed under the STRICT supervision of Kirins Brewmaster by Annheuser-Busch". Well let me tell you something I think the someone fell asleep during this batch.

A: Any hoot, poured a clear, pale straw color with a short lived fizzy white head. Visible carbonation was fairly strong and aggressive.

S: light cabbage aromas.

T: The flavor was stale rice grains, with a slight green vegetable bitterness. A light aluminum taste was always observed. Odd as rice usually imparts a neutral crisp flavor while this was anything but. Green vegetables and sour celery stalks only add insult to injury for this beer.

M: watery, thin, dry , fizzy and otherwise repulsive.

D: not on my life. Cleaned my sink drain pretty good.

beerthulhu, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of BeerCon5
2.25/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden color with about a half inch of foamy white head

A faint hoppy scent, rice, grain, corn.

Mostly a sweet grainy taste, kind of skunky.

Light bodied and pretty crisp feel with moderate carbonation.

Average drinker. I didn't really enjoy this beer at all. I don't think I will ever drink this again unless it's a last resort.

BeerCon5, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
2.15/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

24 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow gold with 2 fingers of foamy brite-white head that peters down into a thin looking fizzy retention. Leaves some moderate lacing behind. The aroma is barely there with just a hint of light malt sweetness and hops.

The taste is once again a light sensation of malt and hops that just hangs on the tongue for a slip second before disappearing. The mouthfeel is light and watery with a fizzy carbonation.

Not too much I can say about this. I didn't expect much and didn't get much in return. I paired this up with some take-out sushi and it did little more than wet my whistle. Same thing I could have gotten from a glass of water. Still, its' pretty cheap for a 24 oz can, which probably bumps up the drinkibility a 1/2 notch.

Kegatron, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of atis
3.65/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Foamy head which dissolves and disappears very quickly, almost no lacing at all.

Aroma is light hoppy, as expected with some strange grain, maybe it is rice, but this is the first time I try rice lager, so I am not sure. Taste is slightly spicy and hoppy in the beginning, but then quickly turns to plain and dry bittery taste. There is some sweetness in the aftertaste.

Good, very easy to drink and refreshing beer.

atis, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of tbeck
2.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light golden with a medium white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was a slight skunkiness. Taste was definetly skunky and could not pull much more flavor from it, pretty bland. Very watery texture, not much mouthfeel. Overall I was not pleased with this beer. The aroma and taste was terrible, and woulc not recommend trying this beer.

tbeck, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of diabecktic
2.75/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a very light, translucent gold. Much carbonation is present, as I can see the bubbles constantly rise for quite some time. Moderate "light" head formation dissapates quickly with little lacing.

Rice seems to be the predominant aroma, but there is a somewhat sweet smell that compliments it. For the most part, it smells rather average.

Wow - the rice flavor is overwhelming. It's not really balanced with the sweetness in the smell. Not too much of an aftertaste, but it definately dries out your mouth. It doesn't taste awful, but it is by no means great.

It's not too watery, but it feels rather light in the mouth. I can't really feel the carbonation on my tongue, either.

Since it's a bit on the watery side, it's not to hard to drink this beer quickly. I'm not sure I would want to have this one too early, since it doesn't taste all that great to me. However, if it were a bit cheaper, I wouldn't mind having these after I've enjoyed the taste of my first few.

I don't know what to think of this - the strong rice aroma and flavor make me think I'm drinking sake even though this is (supposed to be) a beer. I'm not really impressed with it, but I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered me one (afterall - it IS still "beer"). I typically like heavier/darker beers, but I've definately had better Japanese beers before (of both same/different styles). You wouldn't miss out on too much if you didn't try this out.

diabecktic, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of jdmorgan
2.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer at a Japanese restaurant and it is the first I've had from Southeast Asia. It was a very light straw color with a lacy white head.

The smell was light with a little bit of rice/grain aroma and a little bit of skunking. The taste was very light with a light and crisp body. The hop profile was scant, with mainly bitterness and not much in the way of aroma or flavor. There was a bit of skunk aftertaste as well. Mouthfeel had a light consistency and a medium carbonation.

It wasn't a particularly bad beer, but not something I'd drink regularly. There are better beers to be had for what I paid for this.

jdmorgan, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of giblet
3.53/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i thought that i had this beer before. i could not remember so figured wth. poured nice and golden yeller into the glass. about three eights inch of head. good steady carbonation. smells grainy with a hint of skunk. the skunk is not bad or powerful, just interesting. taste is pretty refreshing and light. good lacing down the glass and the carbonation was steady all 22 ounces down. pretty decent thirst quencher.

suckem up and movem out.


giblet, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
3.4/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Robokyo in Greensburg, PA.

A - Pale straw, very clear, with a half inch or less of head that receded quickly, leaving some minimal lace.

S - Typical smell of neutral grain, perhaps a hint of green apple.

T - Green apple and corn hit the palate upfront, but it's fairly uninteresting and the brew switches quickly to a drying bitterness.

M - Nice and smooth, probably because it was on tap but high levels of carbonation sneak through.

D - Not a bad beer, but nothing I'd seek out. Washed down the ol' hibachi food welll but only a half notch above it's American counterparts, if that.

PatrickJR, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of armock
3.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a clear straw color with a two finger white head

S - Is fairly typical of rice lagers rice and grainy malt

T - Isn't bad the grainy malts give off some sweetness

M - This beer has a light body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is an easy to drink beer thats typical of the style its light and refreshing with a good taste this is a pretty good summer beer

armock, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of elniko
2.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass

A: Urine yellow coloring, very little head that dissipated quickly. Average looking beer.

S: My nose is very stopped up, but I did get a little skunkiness.

T & M: A little sweetness that I detect in the flavor, perhaps this is from the rice. Mouthfeel is underwhelming, leaves a little graininess behind.

D: Drinkable but didn't stand out to me. If offered I would drink but don't think I'll be paying for again.

elniko, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of KeefD
3.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the lightest straw yellow I've ever seen from a beer with a two-finger head that's gone in a flash leaving behind very little lacing. Lots of big carbonation bubbles keeping a fairly decent cap on top of the urine-colored liquid. Aroma is of some husky, corny, grainy, malts. Aroma is not sweet in least, almost a Budweiser-type aroma. Taste is much more pleasant than the aroma. Surprisingly sweet in the taste, which I wasn't expecting from the smell, with hints of rice (Budweiser-like again), but nothing much in the way of some decent malt flavor. I suppose I expected worse due to the low reviews, but it's really not that bad, folks. I've easily has worse lagers than this. Mouthfeel is crisp, and somewhat clean, well carbonated and fairly refreshing. Not a bad brew, as some would lead you to believe, but probably would not buy again unless some gave me one at a Japanese restaurant.

Just to be sure, could I be drinking a Budweiser in a Japanese bottle??

KeefD, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.33/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got from a buddy who was cleaning out some beer that wasn't selling at his bar.
Poured into a pint.

A: Pours a pale yellow, that is clear. Has just a touch of head but barely any retention. No sign of head either.

S: Smell is a bit skunky to tell the truth. Rice and grains can also be found, but a sour skunk is very present.

T: Much better than the smell. There is some heavy rice presence (I know, read the style). Still there are some good grains flavors and some sweetness that may be coming from the rice. Pretty damned tasty.

M: It is a light bodied brew that is crisp and easy going down. Finishes clean, just leaving a touch of sweetness in the mouth.

D: This is not a bad beer by any means. I mean it is not the hot Japanese Anime chick that showed up to the party, but she isn't one that you would kick out of bed either. Solid brew that goes down easy and refreshes. Enjoyed.

everetends, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of jmz62565
3.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw gold with a small white head that disappears quickly. The smell is nice with a sweet malt and floral scents. The taste is crisp and clean,but with little flavor. This is pretty much a "Macro" lager. The m/f is light with the weakish flavors mixing well. This is OK,but is very much "Bud"like.

jmz62565, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of Getinthevan
3.3/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kirin to me is one of those ironic beers where it doesn't smell as good as it would taste and ends up becoming a really good drinkable beer. Call it a paradox, it really is one.

Appearance is a mild, pallid yellow with minimal lacing and barely any frothy head.

Smell is pretty strong sour smell of rice and grains. It's definitely a bitter beer waiting to be consumed.

Taste however is much better than it smells, as the rice flavor is full, but balanced against the grains. This stuff certainly goes down quick and it does have a pretty addicting taste to it.

Mouthfeel was pretty average: watery, rice flavored water with a tiny bit of froth. Not bad, but not unbearable.

Drinkability surprisingly is very good. You can drink a good few pints of these and catch a good buzz. Not a bad Japanese lager. This stuff really is a paradox of the senses.

Getinthevan, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
2.88/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single, 12-ounce bottle copped for $1.49 from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
An aggressive pour yielded a clear, lucid, golden-colored, light hue with rising carbonation and a decent-sized head that left no lacing at all...
Grainy, corn-dominated aroma...
Crisp, clean, refreshing, very light flavor... Corny and grainy with not much flavor or action in this department...
Loose, watered-down mouthfeel with an average level of drinkability to say the least...
Mediocore at best...

dsa7783, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Bobdope
2.42/5  rDev -8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is what it is. I find in some oriental restaurants it is very difficult to find a "good" beer. Sometimes you need to play the hand you are dealt. This seems to be a better end of the common beers you may find in such a place. Of course your other option is Sapporo in most cases. Personally I think this is just a hair better on my taste buds. So why do I keep going back to these restaurants you may ask. I love sushi. Maybe it is safer to stick to the saki though.

Bobdope, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of orangemoustache
2.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a bright gold with a thin bubbly head that leaves a sad amount of lacing as it quickly drops to nothing,some bubbles cascade to the top,but not much to look at here besides the artwork on the bottle.This smells like inexpensive malt liquor(oe800,colt45,bull ice)a slight dry rice smell as well as some light grains.The taste is similar to the nose except it is not offensive like the taste that is expected from the homewreckers I named before.There are some nice simple malts in good balance with some bitter hops.A little to much carbonation,but it is suited well to the style,along with a very light body it is needed for any mouthfeel at all.I had this alongside Kobe beef,so I was a little distracted by the $100 steak being cooked in front of me,wish I had somthing good to say about this boaring brew! nice bottle.

orangemoustache, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
1.15/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Well I've reviewed this one quite unfavourably from a bottle, but the Dolphin Hotel has this baby on tap so I thought what the hell, let's give it the benefit of the doubt. (Long story short: DO NOT MAKE THIS SAME MISTAKE)

Pours quite well, has a dense fizz running up the inside that balloons out in a mushroom cloud kind of effect. The head is, though, kind of thin. Pale and lagery looking, but with an interesting-looking effect.

Smells like a sweaty armpit. Salty and horrible. What's more, it's simple. Bland, and whatever's there is horrible. Yeah, really bad smell.

Oh. My. God. I'm an Australian, and Carlton United are ubiquitous where I live, and so I'm used to yeast on the front of the palate. But I had NO IDEA it could LINGER. That's all there is to this drink. It's just cloying yeast that sticks to the roof of your mouth and just stays there - that's the only flavour to mention here. You seriously might as well just culture some yeast in some warm water and drink it. This is terrible, there's no more to say.

The mouthfeel is sticky and although there was a lot of head when I first looked at this it doesn't come through, it's frankly very very flat. But I'm grateful for this, actually, because considering the taste this could be a lot stickier in mouthfeel.

Drinkability? It ISN'T DRINKABLE. Enough said.

laituegonflable, Jun 21, 2008
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,351 ratings.