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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Educational use only; do not reuse.

564 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 564
Hads: 1,636
Avg: 2.64
pDev: 39.39%
Wants: 11
Gots: 269 | 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 (50) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Reviews: 564 | Hads: 1,636
Photo of Germanstylefan7896
1.4/5  rDev -47%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Lousy, piss like color and flavor. Also a big headache beer. Last time I had it it was brewed in Canada, pretending to be Japanese. If your at a Japanese place try to find something much better, even mass produced Thai beers.

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Photo of Bigalduncan64
4.83/5  rDev +83%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Based on the category this beer was placed in, this is the best there is. I can't think of another beer this style that has a better flavor and drinkability. I'm very very surprised Kirin Ichiban has such low ratings.

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Photo of ElJacobian
2.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Tastes like newspaper. That being said - I'd drink this all day over a Miller Lite. This beer is useful if you're having incredibly spicy Thai food and need something to wash the fire off your gums.

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

Sampled last night on 4/12/15 but had this once before but that was a many years ago at a Japanese restaurant. Comes in a 12 ounce (355ml) bottle and maybe in cans as well. "Brewed under Kirin's strict supervision by Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles and Williamsburg, VA." their "KIRIN ICHIBAN" contains right at 5% alcohol (ABV), like all other Bud's products. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 10 ounce vintage 'COORS' pilsner glass.

Brew pours a hazy golden-yellow in color with a thin white head. A good amount of lacing was seen when sipped that stuck to the sides of the glass.. The aroma is of malts with a hint of sweet corn and rice. Pretty much is said for the taste. Nothing special at all really. Drinkable but that was it. Lighter-bodied with higher carbonation. Overall, it probably is better on tap (if it comes that way) at a Japanese restaurant.

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Photo of ordybill
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the large bomber size at a Japanese Steak House in Douglasville, GA. into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has that malt aroma that I remember well from my Marine days spent in Japan.
Appearance- Has a weak clear yellow color that reminds me of watered down Miller High Life.
Taste- This is purely a Japanese version of an American Macro Lager, it is ok at best.
Palate- This is a light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Has a slight skunk finish to it.
Overall- Kirin Ichiban is not "number one" in my book when it comes to Japanese macros. I find Asahi and Orion to be far superior in flavor both in Japan and imported into the states.

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Photo of predikit
3.42/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow, left a fizzy white head that receded quickly. Left no lacing on the glass.

Malt with an odd fruity like note in the scent which was interesting.

Malted grains take the start and middle, and grape like fruity note takes the finish. Light american style lager, slightly sweet.

Thin, light-bodied. Refreshing and easy to drink.

Not terrible by any means, would prefer this over American macros.

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Photo of supervike
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light flavored American style lager. All the malt and taste is up front and has a smooth clean finish. It tastes better than it's slightly skunky smell.

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Photo of Artisan-Korea
3.9/5  rDev +47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice for mass produced beer. Tried the original Japan made version, there are other country specific origins but when having to taste review do the original?

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Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
3.75/5  rDev +42%

Review: Can of Kirin Ichiban Pale Lager, 5%ABV

Kirin Ichiban, my first time having a Japanese beer, was impressive on its first showing. In general it was pretty nice and quite drinkable

On pouring, the appearance was of a pale yellow colour with a very big creamy head that lingers for some time, and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Had a nice look to it.

Aroma: A pleasant sweet smell of a light grain and malt aroma.

A nice light beer to drink and went down easy enough.

The taste had some initial sweetness followed by a very enjoyable bitter aftertaste of hops, kind of creamy. Tastes of hay, wheat, and light floral hops.

A good clean, crisp beer, smooth, I liked it. Recommended for someone who is looking for a nice light beer to relax with

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Photo of JackieKu
3.16/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

350ml can.

A: Clear, golden. Poured with much foam but soon it collapsed.
S: Somewhat sweet notes. Little grainy.
T: Light malty sweet.
M: Light bodied. High carbonation.
O: A delicious macro-lager.

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Photo of KYGunner
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Despite the claim of 100% malt this smells like an adjunct lager. Corny, with bubblegum sweetness there is some barley malt aroma.

The flavor tastes like an adjunct as well. Very corny, sweet and some grain it's easy to drink but I'd dispute the malt claim.

As far as Japanese beers go I find this to be less attractive than Sapparo but better than Asahi.

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Photo of classixIII
3.19/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ok I rated this awhile ago but was working in the yard this weekend and needed refreshment bad. Lo and behold there was a 24 ozer in the back of the beer fridge that looked like it would fit the bill. That thing was canned in April 2012 and I think It was a leftover from the beach vacation later that same year. It said best within 180 days so I figured should still be good 3 years later. To my amazement it tasted no different to me than if I had just picked it up that afternoon. Went down smooth as hell and the desired effect was achieved.

Really, it's not awful.

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

Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got no head or lacing, mild carbonation, and a clear medium gold body.

Smells like banana esters, and that's pretty much it.

It tastes very malty, yet clean and smooth

Mouthfeel is very crisp.

Overall a 3 for Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited. I may buy this brew again, but I highly doubt it.

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Photo of titvs
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 1C). Bottle 33 cl - Batch unknown. AROMA: sweet and grainy (corn like) malt aroma. very faint hop aromas. APPEARANCE: gold color and very clear. thin white head with low persistance. TASTE: dry flavour with low malt sweetness. low bitterness. PALATE: thin body with low carbonation. OVERALL: yet another diluted pale lager that doesnt impress.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +51.5%

Kirin Ichiban brewed by Kirin Brewery Company Limited with an ABV of 5.0% This brew pours out a nice amber color with a small white head. This brew has the look of an American Lager. The smell is sweet with some grans and hops. So far the is nothing bad about this brew. The taste is bold with flavor but it has a smoothness to it. They did a nice job with this one I really like this one. There is nothing over powering in this brew it has a nice balance to it. The mouthfeel is nice clean and crisps. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. This was better than what I was expecting.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500 mL can served well-chilled; best before 08/05/2015. Curiously enough, the label mentions that the beer in this can was contract-brewed in Germany by none other than Weihenstephan. Well, I guess that certainly can't hurt its chances.

Pours a pale golden-yellow colour; good clarity, and topped with one finger of frothy head that fizzles itself out over the next minute or two. A modest collar and scattered lace remain behind afterward. Looks fine, and has a fairly clean, bland aroma typical of these Asian lagers - fairly grainy, with some grassy hops and lager yeast.

The taste follows suit - clean and straightforward. More grainy barley malt, with a touch of lemon zest and a grassy finish. Dry aftertaste, with no lingering flavour. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a smooth, easy-drinking mouthfeel. I'd put this ahead of virtually every domestic macro lager, and possibly a few of the crappier craft pale lagers.

Final Grade: 3.43, a serviceable B-. Kirin Ichiban is certainly not an interesting beer, but there's nothing inherently wrong with it. I am rather surprised at its atrocious grades, but I am going to attribute those to a combination of the difficulty involved in finding a fresh sample of this beer, and BAs not really liking this sort of style in general. Probably my favourite Japanese lager to date... keeping in mind that all of the Japanese beer I've tried has been contract-brewed somewhere else.

[Updated Jun 13 2015]

I've had a few other equally enjoyable cans of this over the past few months, but this was the first time I picked up a bottle (from the singles bin, mostly for the cap). Brewed under supervision of AB-InBev in Virginia is what it claims on the label. This was much less appetizing than the canned version - super corny, sweet, and just kind of unappealing, particularly on the nose. If the bottle weren't so old (nearly 10 months) I'd be more inclined to alter the score, but until I have a bad, relatively fresh can of this, I'll still think of this one as a pretty good pseudo-imported lager for now.

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Photo of DaveBar
2.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at the LCBO as a single. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens ok. Pours like a North American mass produced beer

S- Not much here just like a mass produced North American beer

T- Not much here just like a mass produced North American beer

M- Not much here just like a mass produced North American beer

O- Just like a mass produced North American beer

Food Pairing

This beer will pair with anything you would have a Bud or Miller with.


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Photo of CalgaryFMC
2.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a glass at a Japanese restaurant in Calgary. Label indicates "100% Malt" and also describes the contents as one of the world's most unique beer drinking experiences. Um, OK. I will concur that the color is unique for the style, an almost mango yellow-orange with a light spattering of white bubbles. Aroma nearly non-existent except for a generic graininess tempered by just a dollop of bread-like sweetness. Taste is similarly grainy and quite astringent, faintly sour with very subtle grape and custard notes. Some buttery yeast peeks in and out as well. Rather bitter and not in a particularly positive way, the hops are coarse and some floral notes do little to diminish this effect. Uber-carbonated of course. What tannins are present at least serve to provide some flavor. Ugh. It is perhaps unfair to single this particular brew out, but whenever I go to an Asian restaurant (and I love Asian food) I feel the need to try something "local" and frankly its just depressing that this sort of thing still dominates folks' beer schemas across damn near the entire world. I shall have to bust out something Hitachino this weekend to restore my faith.

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Photo of guitarkirk
3.63/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I got this because i found i don't like hops very much and this says 100% malt on the label. Well, i have to say i love this beer! And i'm surprised you can get this taste with no hops at all.(I'll keep this in mind when i start brewing my own!!). At 5% ABV this is a nice beer to drink and it has what i'm looking for...which is the opposite of a beer called hopalicious... I usually like darker beers but this has a blond pale ale look. The smell and taste is sweet malty... and i like it!! Overall i'm pleasantly surprised and look forward to my next bottle...

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Photo of BeerLovinWoman87
2.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Kirin was one of the first beers I tried. I haven't had one in many months, so I decided to see what it tasted like now that I have tried other beers.

This beer has almost no flavor. It pours a pale yellow with a quickly fading head. If I had wanted yellow water I would have drank a bud light. Definitely not worth the price, and not as good as I remember.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 07JAN14 so this may be a bit old as I am sampling it on May 16, 2014.

It looks like the style should with a pale yellow color building up to an enormous white fizzy head that lingers for some time.

I picked up a brown bottle but it had that green bottle skunkiness, which was a disappointment. However, on second sniff I do pick up a modest sweet malt character and a clean crisp hope bite.

Light body.

The taste expresses itself a bit better than the aroma with a notable barley and pale malt character kicking in. Sweet. Clean, crisp finish. Easy to drink. It is not as bad as all that.

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Photo of Eric_Standard
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%

A very mild beer, very light flavour and mouthfeel, almost watery. Nice crispness and pretty fresh. It went well with semi-spicy sushi, but I wouldn't drink it on it's own.

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Photo of Foyle
2.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.
Appearance: pours a 1+" white head which quickly recedes with little to no lacing. Color is clear pale straw with moderate streaming carbonation.
Aroma: yeasty bread dough, lightly toasted barley malt and some grassy/herbal hop.
Mouthfeel: light and slick with a quite dry finish.
Flavor: cracker, sweet barley malt, grassiness, bitter herbs.
Overall: a decent and enjoyable lager, but not outstanding.

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Photo of IronLover
2.94/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright yellow in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a short, bright white foam that maintained fairly well. Light bready malt and earthy grain aromas with no hint of hops. On the lighter side of medium bodied with refreshing, fuzzy carbonation through the middle. Light biscuity malt flavors up front with a light, bitter tanginess through the middle. Finished with a stale bready aftertaste.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I've had this beer several times over the years, but have finally gotten around to trying it again and it a rating. Not much to say about this brew as it doesn't entirely impress, but to be fair it's not altogether that bad. Appearance-wise, there's no head or lacing to mention and it's color if fairly common. The odor is not bad - it's has the normal scents of barley and yeast - but not overpowering. Mouthfeel was mostly carbonation - it felt a bit water as well to me and taste-wise it was okay - just like a rated it (and I gave it a plus-up in the overall category since it did taste pretty decent.

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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.