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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,499 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,499
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 22.73%
Wants: 8
Gots: 176 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,499 | Reviews: 555
Photo of avaulteriam
2.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one was pleasant when paired with other lagers, but I'm not a pale lager fan. At any rate, easy to drink, reasonably balanced with minimal hops/malt. ok beer. A bit biscuity and again, very easy drinking. Pale yellow with same soapy head. Soft at least.

Photo of rye726
1.33/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This brew reminds me more of Mexico than Japan. It is a clear yellow color with a middling white head. The taste and nose are light but skunky. I find old grassy hops and ricey malts. The body is light and overly carbonated. Not the most drinkable brew due to multiple factors.

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

Poured out of the 24oz can into a beer stein. Poured a pale golden color with a finger of white foamy head. The head dissolved rather quickly and provided minimal lacing.

The smell is pretty much like most macro lagers. Nothing overpowering, just kind of grainy.

The taste is okay, a little bubbly on the tongue due to the carbonation, light to medium body with a rather weak finish.

It's an okay drink, nothing I'd go out of the way to purchase, but not a bad thirst quencher.

Photo of woodychandler
3.17/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sunday morning and I'm in the CAN.

24 Fl Oz., to be precise. My pour produced two fingers of rocky, bone-white head. The nose had a very characteristic lager sweetness to it. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a mostly lager-like sweetness on the tongue, although like a previous reviewer, I did catch a light smokiness. I wonder what drives that? Lots of carbonation evident in terms of bubbles. Say, whatever happened to "Bubbles" McGough, a high school classmate of mine? Prosit, Bubs, wherever you may be! Finish was slightly sweet, nothing terrible, but not great, either. For the $, it was decent. Taking into consideration the portability of the packaging plus the size, it was a bargain.

Photo of Onslow
1.84/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

had twice, today at CL hunan with general tso chicken, did not mix well...

pours a straw yellow colour..bigass head when poured at pace..has decent lacing though!..smell is just terrible, beer dumpster..subtle bitterness but is missing some edge..quite bland really, was expecting a little better but...why???

avoid at all costs, just drink the free water instead

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

The bear poured out of the bottle a straw golden color with a big white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma is pale malt with some other grain also present, rice I suppose. Light on the palate with the feel of some carbonation. The flavor is very light, almost not there, but hints of malt and again a somewhat unpleasing and unidentified flavor. A very slight bitterness at the end. Not the greatest.

Photo of soupyman10
2.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this one when I made a call for "interesting beers" from my buddies. Poured a macro-looking yellow color with a weak head that dissolves to a fine film. Pretty weak. Nose smells like cooked rice, barbecue, maybe some light roasted malt. Weird. Flavor is lots of rice, grainy malt. No real hop bitterness. Doesn't taste good, although the flavor's a lot more present than your BMC - that weird kind of smoky thing. Feel is thin with high carbonation. Overall, it's not good. I won't drink it again unless someone sticks

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

I guess I would consider this the Budweiser of Japan. Pours a pale lemon yellow with a white, quick fizzling head. Smells of very faint hops and a dash of cooked rice. Taste pretty baron with very small hops and a minute detection of rice. Carbonation makes it hard to quaff.

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

Served on draught into a mug.

I want to make clear that this was consumed in California and likely brewed in LA as opposed to Japan. I have had it in Japan before and it was better than this.

A - a decent yellow color with a white head with lots of lacing.

S - at first there was a strong yeasty, grainy smell.

T - not very strong with a bit of hops although not very pleasant.

M - medium carbonation, a bit thin.

D - i ordered this at a japanese restaurant as it was the only draught option. i've had it before and never quite enjoyed it, but often it is the only option. i think i've probably had it in america for the last time though.

Photo of hustlesworth
2.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- after purchase, i flipped read over the 6 pack and noticed this beer's affiliated with anheuser bush, which is why it looks, smells, and tastes alot like its american non rice cousins. bright golden with a loose white head, seems to have better retention than than the others.

S- sweet grains, corn, and some noble hops, still smells diluted and raw.

T- taste is just as expected, pale barley and a touch of hops, similar to busch, rice isn't noticeable in any aspect of the beer, i suppose the amount used was only sufficient enough to call it a rice lager.

MF- thin and fizzy overall, but compared to other macros it has a juicier body.

D- not quite what i expected (i wanted something to go with my oriental take-out). maybe this is why people in japan drink budweiser. do they? but nonetheless it scored in the D zone for being like barley flavored water. bonsai!

Photo of bboven
1.87/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Oh, the things I do to expand my horizons.

Pours a medium yellow, crystal clear body with a bit of head that does last longer than you would expect. No lacing.

Sweet malt and rice, sharp metallic hoppiness is overridden by extreme skunk.

Sweet malt at the beginning, very grainy tasting in the middle, and a medicinal bitterness at the end. Very not good.

Mouthfeel is medium carbnation and pretty drying. They got that right.

No way. I'd rather have any American macro than this macro from Japan. I'm going to finish it, because I'm not one to waste $2.49, but I'm not going to like it.

Photo of naterock
2.89/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After being informed that my favorite Sushi Beer was out of stock, I was stuck with a Kirin Ichiban. Overall, I was not at all impressed. A pale yellow leads to a bitter smell with an overwhelming smell and taste of alcohol. I might have been upset about not having a Saporro, but the Kirin simply didn't settle well. I began to feel bloated from the over-carbonation.

Photo of morebeergood
2.77/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered a bottle last weekend at a sushi restaurant on Comm Ave. Pours with a pale yellow color, small bubbly head, and lots of carbonation. Smelled like all other Macros out there. Taste-wise, it was much more like a corn based lager than rice based. Not much different than BMC. Just a plain lager that doesn't do much to overpower the food. It's a decent beer to have with sushi, but I'd prefer a Sapporo with dinner.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.7/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It seems impossible I've never rated this beer, I've had it so many times during trips to Japan. I had it again last night with a dinner of ramen and gyouza so here's a recent review.

The beer looks like any mass produced lager, crystal clear and the color of straw with a thick white head. The aroma is mostly neutral, but on the malty side if anything. Paradoxically the flavor is on the hoppy side of neutral, if only from the bitterness in the after-taste. Everything about this is neutral but that's the style so I'm not scoring it too low. The drinkability is high, as is the drinkability of water.

Photo of Strix
2.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden with surprisingly good lacing.

Smell does not impress. Vague, grainy, cheap.

Taste does not impress either really. It is what it is I guess, but why? A vague grain taste. Perhaps the tiniest tiniest hop finish. Almost a sweet finish, but so little taste, I can't really give it credit for that. Unoffensive though.

Mouthfeel is decent.

Fairly bland and tasteless. Now I know what a Japanese Rice Lager is like I guess. No better or worse than an American Macro Lager I suppose.

Photo of botham
2.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a crystal clear straw color with a few fingers of tight white head. head retention is sustained for a few minutes, very good for a light lager.

aroma is a mix between pale malts, floral yeast, and a touch of citrus. a distant fruit note of apple rounds out the aroma.

taste is more of the same, with a distinct smoothness on the palate. not bad, but could use a bit more flavor.

mouthfeel is smooth and light bodied, with a semi-dry finish. mild CO2, without any alcohol present.

drinkability is decent. this is a standard light lager, which could use a bit more character. overall not bad, just a bit watery.

Photo of Squelch
2.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours pale yellow with a slight fast dissipating head

Smell: Smell's pretty good. Aroma of malts and some hops

Taste: Harsh bitterness. Malts lacking. bland. Bitterness lingers

Mouthfeel: Fuller than I would of thought. Not bad.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer but not a sipper.

Photo of Durge
3.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pale clear gold with fair fuzzy white head, and solid lace. Wheat cereal aroma with apple grape highlights. Tart grain flavor, weak but fizzy carbonation salvages the overall experience. Very drinkable but whimpier than expected. Pretty disappointing yet refreshing.

Photo of Matteox3
3.28/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in a 20 oz mug on tap at Panda Heaven restaurant in Wyomissing PA.

Surprisingly (based on viewing other reviews for this), I found this to be very good. All the distinct lager qualities/tastes came through. I found this to be very crisp and highly drinkable as a session type beer. Nothing exceptional about the brew, but I found its positives to be more in the sublety category.

I highly recommend this beer option if available and you are at a bar with nothing but domestic swill available.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.25/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I had a big 22 oz bottle of this at the Stir Crazy Asian restaurant in Woodfield Mall.

A - The bottle shows a crazy half-deer, half-dragon creature called a Kirin, and the the brew pours clear, golden, and a shade darker than most macro lagers. The head is one finger for a few seconds before reducing to a collar.

S - Thin and rice-y, with some sweet malt and 40 oz malt-liquor funk notes.

T - Sweet and malty, with surprisingly noticeable alcohol and a nice hop tang at the end.

M - Crisp, clean, and palate cleansing. This is an excellent food beer, especially for hot Asian stir fry.

D - This isn't anything other than what it's supposed to be. An easy drinking food beer, or an excellent pick for an all night super-session. This is a nice beer for gulping, not sipping.

Photo of BMan1113VR
2.44/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Suprisingly young, bottled on January 4th, 2008 in Los Angeles. Aroma is moderate malts, light grassy hops along with wet cardboard and urine. Pours with a forced carbonation large soapy white head. Supprisingly it has fair lacing. Flavor is pretty bitter. Goes down dry. I still believe this is the best of the main stream Jappanese beers.

Photo of JDV
3.58/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light to medium gold with a fair amount of white head. Definite lacing as I drink. Smell is of honey sweet malt mostly. Taste is refreshing, slightly watery, with a touch of bitter and sweet malt up front followed by a smooth lightly sweet rice-like finish. I really like this one, and it is definitely my favorite light lager. Very easy drinking and refreshing with a hot meal, or on a hot day and exactly what I'm looking for when I want a cold beer to cool me off.

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

24oz Can. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Transparent golden yellow coloration. Nice bit of froth, but retention and lacing was sub par. Looks like a standard light lager.

S - Grain and corn smells mostly. Nothing bad here, but nothing interesting either.

T - Slightly acidic brun, possible astringency. Pocket change, grains, rice, corn, and lawn clippings. I realize this sounds horrible, but it actually tastes better than most macros.

M - Light bodied, carbonation level is slightly harsh.

D - Could be worse. I can drink it, but most people probably wouldn't like this. No reco's here.

Photo of atrus138
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle of this at the excellent Shogun restaurant (though I had to ask for a glass). Pours a transparent yellow with no real head and no lacing. Could easily see objects through the glass. Did not bode well. I could hardly smell anything, though what I did smell was unimpressive. It tasted just like any old American lager - that is to say there was almost no taste. I noticed some rice notes as it warmed a little bit, but this kind of stuff is better "enjoyed" cold. Mouthfeel is extremely light, but very carbonated. The carbonation at least made it a bit more interesting than stagnant water. The ABV is low enough to make this a good session beer...but why would you want another one?

Photo of tkach
2.23/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was excited to try this beer upon first seeing it. After trying it I realized I may have gotten too excited as I didn't find it all that great. Always loving to try something new and something different I found this brought me neither.

Appears like any american lager you will find, a clear golden color with a white head.

Smell is essentially the same. I did not find anything significant here and is along the same lines as your average lager.

Taste was crisp and had a clean cut to it with a decent aftertaste in my opinion.

Mouthfeel was ok. Average with a short-lasting aftertaste behind.

Drinkability was good and it is easy to put back. Not a beer to drink if you want to take it slow and have a good flavor to savor for a while.

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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,499 ratings.