Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,431
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 130 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,431 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TippySelenoid
3.53/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this out of a goblet.
It's color was dark golden and it had a little head with minimal lacing.
The aroma was pleasant because it wasn't too bitter.
The taste was great for an Asian lager.
It felt very crisp in my mouth with a little aftertaste.
Pretty good for what I paid for it but not something I'll purchase regularly.

Photo of rec
2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

After pour a foamy head quickly grows and then quickly dies down with little to no lacing. The body is a typical golden yellow.

The smell is indifferent to similar macro lagers and pils. Hopps are present, not much else.

It's watery and bitter with a strange metallic twang during the dry aftertaste.

Another easy to drink quaffing beer, but far from a quality brew.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber in color, it has a good head but otherwise there is nothing distinctive about its appearance. Taste and smell are about average; it has a bit of a bite but no bitterness. Kirin feels zingy and goes down smoothly, so while it is not a spectacular or distinctive beer, it makes a good companion to a meal or something to sip while watching a game or movie.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
1.63/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Light yellow, clear. Moderate head, mild carbonation.

Toasty buttery bread-like malt. Sweet, sugary. Citric acid edge.

Buttery and toasty. Lightly sweet. Very lightly citric/acidic. Slight metallic edge.

Mildly carbonated. Moderate foamation.

Okay drink to accompany a meal, too weak to stand alone. It also has a cool dragon on the label - can't go wrong with dragons, even if this is AB.

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

Poured a soapy like white head that dissolved into nothing. No lacing present. Lots of bubbling carbonation. It is a clear straw yellow color. Slight bitterness on the finish. It is suprisingly very dry like a seltzer water. Dry wheat taste with a touch of sweet malt. Reminds me of all the headache beers i've drank. Typical cheap macro-beer taste.Not even worth importing into the US.

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured out into a your typical yellowish color topped off with a small head. the smell mildly resembles that of old english, but Kirin Ichiban goes down a lot has semi dry feel to it with a slightly bitter after taste but not bad over all.

Photo of jarmby1711
3.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got presented this at a suburban Japanese Restaurant , when I thought Iwas getting a Kirin Lager.
It was well chilled and poured into a courisly squat glass for beer.It still looked ok to me being mid yellow tan with a good quantity of bubble and hed.
The smell and taste were all about the malt , where there was a sharp edginess to th profile Maybe the rice cuts back the sweetness to do this.
An ok drink but nothing special

Photo of mwagner1018
2.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty typical lager, decent flavors, good mouthfeel, easy drinkability. I enjoyed this lager at a recent trip to a Japanese steak house, it fit the mood, was easy to drink, didn't override or hurt any of the food taste. A pretty nondescript beer, but good considering the Japanese are not well known for incredible brews, I would rate this just above Sapporo, definitely worth a try.

Photo of Grundle20
3.63/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

The beer is crystal clear straw yellow in color. There's a minor white head with lousy retention and no lacing.

There's a funky lager character to the beer but for the most part it smells like dirty water.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again there's not much going on here. The beer drinks light and flat with a decent crispness. Only the slightest notes of a rice can be drawn from the taste. The finish is clean but for an cheap lager this beer's aftertaste is actually not too bad.

This beer is just about as drinkable as water. It's not very tasty but it's certainly easy to down.

Bottom Line:
Slightly better than your average macro lager but it's still not bringing much to the table.

Photo of tbone53
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this is what i remember it tasting like when i was a young sailor.nothing spectacular here.comes in a brown long neck bottle with a born on can taste the alcohol i think it is higher than listed.pours and has moderate head.even lacing down the glass.taste ok i wouldnt turn it down.

Photo of tugdriver7
3.98/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lived in Japan for awhile (back in my non-drinking days). The advertising for Kirin was all over the place. So I was intensely curious when I found it in a bottle at the Japanese steakhouse. Nice golden color, with a bit of fizziness that quickly disappates. The rice adjuncts are rather obvious, but I found the taste silky smooth, light, and crisp. It went very well with Japanese food and would, I'm sure, be great with just about anything. Easily one of the most drinkable beers out there. One interesting side note for any of you familiar with our macro-light offerings... If someone were to ask me what Kirin Ichiban tastes like, I'd say my first impression is that it reminded me of Coors Light, only with a richer taste and decent body. I guess it's what Coors Light wants to be if it were to "grow up" and become a "real beer." Easily one of my favorite "go to" beers when out on the town. Not quite Sapporo, but great for a session beer--especially at Benihana's.

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

Pale gold color, a mere ring of white foam, a bit of lace.

Smell is very mild, but not bad. Grain, hints of lemon, pineapple, orange.

Tastes bland. Grain, and only a bare hint of citrusy and floral hops. Tastes clean, no off-flavors, but needs hops.

The carbonation is just about right, but it's still watery. Drinkable like water, but it would be more thirst quenching if it had at least a little more hops.

Photo of JWFokker
2.83/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kirin Ichiban, even the Special Premium Reserve, is a very average, extremely nondescript lager. If you've had Sapporo, that's pretty much Kirin Ichiban. It pours gold with minimal white head and minimal lacing. It tastes the same as many macro lagers that use rice and has the same thin mouthfeel. It goes down easily, but it's completely forgettable.

Photo of JanM
3.63/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

People generally give Ichiban average or bad reviews but I want to upgrade this style of beer. It's refreshing and thirst quneching just as a good pilsener. It poured with a pale, yellow color but the smell was full of flowers, bread and citrus. The foam disappeared quickly but it was still very fizzy. The taste was dry with pronounced notes of citrus and bread. It tastes great well-chilled. Licensed brewed in the UK.

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

Pint on tap at local, in standard imperial pint glass

A - Straw coloured fizz, 2 finger head, doesnt look like its gonna be any good

S - Some sweet malts, rice and grains, slight hoppy notes, better than some pale lagers ive had.

T - Malty at first finishing quickly in a fizzy attack of dry tonic water while someone hands you a little hop extract to suck on. Bleh!

M - Fizzy dry and watery.

D- Not much, 1 pint and so bloated, wont seek out again!

Photo of alysmith4
1.73/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Tried this beer last night.. was not impressed. Couldn't smell much of anything, very clean scent. Mouthfeel was decent, but the taste was very bland and watered down. Detected a slight rice flavor, but not much of anything else. Would not order this again, there are plenty others that represent this style much better.

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

FRESH: 4 months old on a 6 month exp.
PURCHASED @: Jewell-Osco
COST: @2.00
HEAD: large white
LACE: thin rings
COLOR: Clear straw
AROMA: light malt
MOUTHFEEL: thin; foamy
PALATE: soapy
TASTE: like a light lager with rice not corn adjunct
COMMENTS: not bad, very nice actaully; 145 cals. A-B is affiliated w/ these guys?

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

12oz bottle -> american pint
bottled on: 03AUG06

Bottle Notes:
'Freshest Taste Within 180 days' above 'bottled on'
'Brew'ed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by A-B, Los Angeles, CA

Pours a straw pale yellow with a one inch soft pillow head that quickly shrinks away to nothing. Some patchy thick lace. Extreme carbonation present.

Nose: Smells of rice, strikingly similiar to an American Macro.

Taste: Not much taste, a little malt. Not bad on bitterness or the dry aftertaste. Not completely unpleasant, but not good either. Strikingly similiar to an American Macro.

Mouthfell is dry and slightly watery.

Another sample from my AB rep friend. Not a bad beer altogether but nothing really going on. would of liked it better had it actually been brewed with Japanese water. Taste strikingly similiar to an American Macro, so I'm sure many people out there would find it very drinkable, (only reason it doesn't get a lower drinkability score.)

Photo of JohnfromDublin
2.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted this 330ml bottle on 10th October 2006, a "best by 31/12/06" date printed on the neck. Brewed by Charles Wells, Bedford, UK under licence from Kirin.
Poured a lifeless pale straw coloured brew with minimal head. Nothing much to smell; a vague grass/hops smell.
Not much flavour either.
I only hope that the original "at source" brew is better. But, I won't be in a hurry to find out. I dumped the second half of the glass, not worth the effort drinking this; life is too short!

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

Light gold, white rocky froth, not much bubbing.

Hoppy aroma, with some subtle fleshy/sulfur/skunky notes reminiscent of some Euro lagers.

Flavour nondescript. Some late hop character lifts an otherwise dull beer.

Finishes dryly, light/medium bitterness, not much aftertaste.

Photo of plaid75
3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retenion and lacing.

The smell featured clean grain and rice aromas with a subtle flowery hop.

The taste was balanced and clean. Light rice body with a decent hop element.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp.

Overall a nice beer to accompany sushi. Nothing really exciting though.

Photo of afinepilsner
2.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle

Kirin Ichiban was a clear golden color with a white head that was quick to dissapear. The aroma was light with a little malt and some hops. The taste was light with a dry finish. The body was light with medium carbonation. It's just another boring lager in the same league as b-m-c. You can do better with your money.

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

This is decent beer. There's absolutly nothing outstanding about it but it's better that most American macro brews. It pours a deep gold color with weak head and decent lacing. It smells very crisp to me, not really like vegetable matter like some other have said. It has a dry lagery taste that's typical of beers from nihon. The mouthfeel is a noticeably smooth though. I like it. It's a little hoppier and not quite as dry as asahi super dry.

Photo of kkipple
2.35/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

My first Kirin of any sort, this one is a pale yellow brew with a rapidly fading head that eventually disappears almost entirely.

The smell is hard to pin down; I suspect that’s because of the rice which I’m not familiar with. It’s a starchy, hoppy, salty smell with something that vaguely reminds me of chicken. The smell is probably the best thing about this beer, it’s unusual and full.

Didn’t much care for the taste of this one, it’s like a bizarre pilsner / lager mix with a dry finish and some weird starchy characteristic. Again, I suspect the rice. Leaves a rather sour, adjunct flavor behind. I didn’t finish my bottle.

So while Kirin Ichiban is perhaps worth a try if you dig rice lagers, I can’t say I’d buy it again, especially not for the $7 per six pack price we have here in SC. There are way too many good beers to waste your time on this oddity.

The bottle artwork is pretty cool, though.

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

Like Sapporo, very average beer. Apperance was light amber with a small white head; very little lacing on the glass. Had this with spicy asian food and it was a good pairing, but not much of a smell/taste--light hops & malt aroma/taste. Mild beer that went well with the Asian food I was eating, but I would not have it on its own.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.