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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

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1,463 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,463
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 151 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,463 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
2.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Looks like a commercial lager, maybe a little hazy.

S-Smells like it was imported, skunky, with a faint smell of hops.

T-I think this tastes a little better than most commercial lagers and some European imported lagers.

M-Good, foams a lot(more than usual.

D-The funky flavors(probably due to importing) would get old fairly quick.

I'm glad I tried it, definitely not the best Japanese beer I've had, but pretty decent.

Photo of sleazo
2.44/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had a bottle of this at a good sushi joint tonight.

A-Pours a clear straw with a two fingered head. Lacing is surprisingly good.

S-A raw grainish aroma with some hints of skunk and grassy hops.

T-More of that raw grain. There are hints of hops, but it is very subtle. There is a slight skunkiness as well.

M-Typical light bodied lager with an agressive carbonation.

D-Not particularly offensive or notable in any way. Typical mass produced lager with a certain industrial feel. I sometimes have this when I am not in the mood for sake. To be honest anything with too aggressive of a flavour profile would get in the way of the delicate raw fish.

Photo of sloejams
3.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No doubt about it, this is no stellar beer. But when enjoying some sushi or izakaya, it does you right. It's subtle flavors don't overwhelm the palate when eating high quality fish. It's light, refreshing and crisp. It's easy drinking, esp when on draught.

I ain't mad atcha, Kirin.

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

Pours out a pale golden color, with a little head, no lacing, and a fair amount of carbonation. No real scent to speak of, just a general malty scent, but rather bland. Same for the taste, it's quite bland and nothing really speaks out. It goes down fine, and this could possibly be a thirst quencher on a hot day, but water would work just as well without the expectations. Worth a try if you want a Japanese beer, but that's about it.

Photo of GrimmReaper
3.53/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden hazy yellow with good size white bubbly head and decent retention and some very nice sticky lacing.
The nose is skunk right off the pour,which sticks around and lingers lightly the whole time your drinking this brew.Some mild grass and maybe grains or rice kinda smell in there also.Taste is crisp and refreshing with the mild grass coming thru,goes down nice and easy with some mild bitterness and has a mild carb feel to it.Kinda thin on the way down but very high on the consumable list.Not a bad beer at all.

Photo of malibujohnny
2.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

served in a bottle at Buddha Sushi in the USVI. Pours like a common macro from the states.Has a big brew smell,nothing that stands out.Carbonation is good for this brew.Minor malt detection with the hint of hops and way too much rice flare.I'm sure this is a very common beer in Japan as Bud,Miller and Coors are here.This is nothing special at all and has no home in my fridge.

Photo of goochpunch
2.9/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a golden straw without much carbonation in the body. Head is thin, but leaves specks of lace. Nose is really faint and clean. Hints of cooked rice. Malt is weak in the flavor, but has a very VERY clean overall flavor profile. Nice subdued sweetness and a finish that is dry. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is really light and fizzy. This is refreshing, I'll give it that, but, even for a beer made with rice adjuncts, this is kind of lacking. Not bad, really. I'd take this over a Pabst.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
2.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance- Pours a distinct yellow color with no head and very little carbonation.

Smell- Hints of malted rice, very weak smell.

Taste- Weak malt flavor and rice water mark the flavor of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Watery on the palate, very indistinct.

Drinkability- Basically the japanese version of BMC, not recomended.

Photo of Amalak
2.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Light gold, but bright. Nice, bubbly head.

S: Citrusy.

T: Very nice, tangy, kind of wheat beer. While it is tangy, it is a flattened tangy if that makes any sense.

M: After taste isn't that good. Drys out real fast.

D: Honestly, I liked the original taste, but it dried out really fast and lost its original tangy flavor.

This beer started out good, but lost it. I really think that this could've been an excellent beer, but lost it late.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very light tasting beer with an adjunct flavor. Tastes like a cheap macro, not super bad, but not good. Has a decent appearance, an adjunct filled smell. Taste suffers slightly from a little bit of out of control tannins, but the flavor is just light shit with adjuncts to appeal to the masses. Take a pass on this beer, there are better beers out there by far.

Photo of Slatetank
2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured cold into a Vienna lage mug.
A - The color is pure gold w/ a quickly settling 1 finger white head.

S - Gentle malt scents w/ the crispness of rice.

M - Malty, light fruitiness in the feel w/ moderate carbonation and a clean finish.

T - A very gentle taste of malt w/ a grainy rice flavor not unlike many macro produced lagers. This one seems a tinge maltier, but hasn't much more to offer.

D - A very clean, easy drinkin' sessionable lager that is crisp and refreshing. I could have one as a lawnmower beer - it goes well with just about any pre-packaged food incl. mac & cheese.

Photo of Floydster
2.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce can from Trader Joe's in Manhattan Beach

Poured yellow into my pint glass with a large thick head surprisingly, must have been all the rice

Smell is not bad and taste is average, but pretty good for the style of beer

Taste does not last long, not too heavy and not light either

Not a bad Japanese beer

Photo of franksnbeans
2.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a yellow straw with a soapy foam head that laces. Smells of faint warm sake and grain. Tastes of watery malt and not much else. A little bite that reminds me of hops. Light in the mouth and drinkable for colored water. To be honest, its not that bad it just doesnt boast craft beer flavor. It does compliment my sushi very well being that its refreshing and renews the palate for picking out the subtle delicious flavors of the nigiri at hand.

Photo of genog
2.91/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brought to me in a pilsener glass with a white head that died down to leave lacing around the top of the glass. Smell has some sweetness, and smells a little bit of rice and grains. At first I did not taste much but then I tasted some hoppiness with a bittering mouthfeel that follows. Highly carbonated and tastes watery.

Photo of pojo41
2.83/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pale straw color with a fluffy white head. Highly carbonated. Slight malt flavor with no real hop character. Bland aroma of straw. Just another run-of-the-mill pale lager. Might be OK after a day working in the yard or as a session beer while grilling.
Described as "rice lager." That's really all you need to know.

Photo of biggmike
2.45/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured pale yellow with white head that dissipated quickly. Typical pale lager smell, mostly benign, nothing notable. Mouthfeel was thin and watery while carbonation was very noticeable and high. Taste was bland with no real hops character. Not much different than a typical macro and just found out this is brewed by Anheuser-Busch

Photo of quikfish13
1.35/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My very first Japanese beer. So I shall so this entire review as if I was an anime character. OKAY!!

A: Oh no! The fizzy yellow is attacking! With no head and clear golden color we must use powers of great smell to counteract it!

S: OH NO!! We have failed again as bitter vegetable smell with no hops! AHH! Taste is to surely save us!

T: Drat! Foiled again by the inferior taste compared to beer that actually tastes like beer!. Still getting bitter vegetable tastes and no hops or malt flavor to speak of!

M: Watery to the extreme!! Feels like I drink water that get you drunk with no carbonation to speak of!

D: We are doomed!! American consumer should rather spend less money on Bud light rather than drink this! Ahhh!!!

Photo of dstc
2.83/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, clear yellow with full white head. Head falls slowly leaving little or no lace behind.

The smell has a subtle sweetness to it and a rice beer aroma to it. Other than that nothing special.

Ok, it doesn't taste horrible. Not like a typical product coming out of AB. It has a tinny/metallic quality to it. Very clean, crisp but then again, nothing special.

Thin and watery in the mouth with lots of carbonation.

Not a bad beer but not a great beer. Very average and fairly drinkable (but not overly so).

Photo of DoubleJ
1.86/5  rDev -29.5%
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 hero27
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle.
Bottled on 2/15/07.

Clear pale gold color..foamy white head..plenty of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass.
Vegetal aroma..grainy malts..not too enticing.
Sweet-ish pale malt flavor..lackluster mouthfeel and no real redeeming qualities.
This has "macro" written all over it. Oh, that's right, it's made by Anheuser-Busch...big surprise.

Certainly not one I'd go out of my way to try, and I doubt I'll be drinking this again.

Photo of emerge077
2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft pour in tall pilsner glass.

Pale clear yellow, looks like so many other pale lagers. Smell is grain, apparently rice. Small amount of foam appeared.

Taste is pretty nondescript, it was hard to pinpoint rice from corn, but that seemed to be the only flavor. Very clean & dry aftertaste, not much of anything really. Crisp, prickly mouthfeel, lots of fizzy carbonation. It was easy to drink a pint with Chinese food, but it was definitely not memorable.

Photo of AlexLMS
1.21/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is my first Japanese beer and I honestly did not like it.

Kirin Ichiban poured with an almost straw color. The head was white, moderately low, foamy and presenting a poor retention. Very clear.
An unpleasant nose that had notes of artificial candy.
The taste was very adjuncty with strong rice notes, no hoops and only slightly bittering.
It was a quite gassy beer with low alcoholic strength and a light and watery body.
The finish is too short to be noticed.
Overall, it was characterless, bland and empty. Not a chance it will pass through my throat again.

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

22oz bomber depicting a mythical horse/dragon creature on the label - nice packaging, but it's downhill from there. The body is clear yellow with a short-lived fizzy head. The smell and taste are dominated by a thin and one-dimensional sweetness, a bit cloying. Not much of a hop presence, just a brief bitterness in the finish. Thin-bodied with large bubbles that make for a slightly harsh carbonation. Not a particularly impressive lager - best avoided unless you're desperate for a beer.

Photo of Sigmund
2.88/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle, bought in Norway at Vinmonopolet. ABV is 5.0%. Brewed by "Wells & Young’s Brewing Co. Ltd., Bedford, UK for and under license from Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan". Website www.kirineurope.com . Crystal clear very pale golden colour, large and lingering head. Fairly strong sweetish fruity and flowery aroma, notes of artificial candy, hints of grass and honey. Fairly bland and dry flavour but not offensive, very moderate hops. Moderate carbonation, soft mouthfeel. Not very interesting.

Photo of LittleCreature
2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.5
Poured about a finger of white head that rapidly went from tightish, to just a few large bubbles. Looks highly carbonated and a very pale golden yellow in colour.

Smell - 3.0
The first thing I can pick up is a faint cooked rice smell, or perhaps that is just because I know it is a rice lager and my mind is tainted? Apart from this the scent is pretty much like a generic cheap to mid priced lager. Slightly skunky.

Taste - 2.0
Initially there is not a great deal of taste, but this is replaced by a bready hoppiness. Bitterness is moderate, but fades relatively quickly leaving a fairly unpleasant aftertaste. Probably quite thirst quenching on a hot day, but sub par at any other time.

Mouthfeel - 3.0
Highly carbonated, very light, and a little watery. For a beer of this type, this is not such a bad thing, as it goes down rather easily.

Drinkability - 3.5
I could actually see myself tipping back more than a pint of this stuff while on the town, as it is rather easy drinking. However, if you are looking for an interesting beer with real taste, look elsewhere.

I will not get a bottle again, as apart from the rice-lager tag, it is nothing special. The only reason for paying a premium beer price for this beer is to show off to your mates, as it doesn't taste a whole lot different than most macro lagers, and it is worse than some.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,463 ratings.