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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,220 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,220
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 2.62
pDev: 23.28%
Wants: 7
Gots: 46 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,220 | Reviews: 521 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk


2.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very clear straw colored. Bright white head that was very fizzy with little retention or lacing. This looks like a "macro" for sure. Several bubbles streaming to the top. The aromas was corn and grain. Some malt character. Maybe a faint biscuit. Everything was very faint. The taste was of a cereal grain and corn. Some minute bitterness. Not a real pleasing taste. Tastes like a "macro" also. Getting a stale, metallic taste too. The mouthfeel was light and watery. It is refreshing and crisp yet I will only have when dining at an asian establishment.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 17:57:57 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of dbaker61


2.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark yellow color. Pours with a half finger head which dissipates relatively quickly. Leaves a little foam lacing.

Smell: Cooked cereal.

Taste: Has a little hops bitterness, decent balance with the malt. A bit more flavor than many other adjuncts.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, clears well off the palate. Medium body.

Drinkability: I could have more than one. This beer compares well with similar beers of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 13:49:14 | More by dbaker61
Photo of secondtooth


2.35/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This adjunct lager pours a cloudy golden, with an average head and minimal lace.
Scent is clean...with overtones of rice and corn.
Flavor is light, without any guts.
I get some toasted rice, but no followthrough or depth.
Complexity = 0.
Kirin is an easy-to-drink light beer, and would probably be fine alongside a nice spicy Thai noodle dish, but as a drinking beer, this one fails.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 06:30:44 | More by secondtooth
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains lager yeast, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild malt sweetness which transitions into some breadiness from the light malts and lager yeast. The hops presence is mild and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily and not too filling since there isn't much to it, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's better than I had expected but there are several other beers in the style that I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 02:16:46 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of jadpsu


2.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Has a bottled date of 30 March 11.
Pours a pale straw yellow with an abundant white head that held up pretty good and provided some decent side glass lacing.
Aroma: Corn husk and maybe a earthy smells.
Reminds me of many economy american macros.
Taste: Not too good but not terrible. Nothing comes across under the label of enjoyable. Has some crispness and on the dry side but also skunky for sure.
This is my second try on this beer and the first only got a score of 2.13. This score will probably be better but not by much.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 23:14:07 | More by jadpsu
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a pale straw color with a small white head that dissipates immediately.

S-Malty, slightly musty; a typical generic beer nose.

T-Malts and carbonated water stand out the most. There is also a grainy taste.

M-Over carbonated and grainy.

D-I switched after one, but its not offensive so many could be drank in a session, if you desired to do so.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2011 14:16:28 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of Shrews629


1.78/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Very clear straw colored. Bright white head that was very fizzy with little retention or lacing. This looks like a "macro." Several bubbles streaming to the top.

Smell - The aroma was corn and grain. Some malt character. Maybe a faint biscuit. Everything was very faint.

Taste - The taste was of a cereal grain and corn. Some minute bitterness. Not a real pleasing taste. Tastes like a "macro" also. Getting a stale, metallic taste along with it.

Mouthfeel - Light, watery. It is refreshing and crisp. Doesn't leave much aftertaste at all.

Drinkability - This might be fairly refreshing if it was 110 degrees in the shade. I probably wouldn't want this under any other circumstances however. I could finish it, which is always positive I guess. Does have a cool little label on the bottle though.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 17:26:23 | More by Shrews629
Photo of Sachsenfreude


2.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pretty boring, yellow with a white head, pretty good retention and lacing. An easy beer to drink, definitely refreshing, goes well with a meal. Besides that, pretty unimpressive. Taste a bit like an American macro, not much hop flavors though. Malty dryness is the only real flavor I can get from this beer, pretty simple.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2011 05:33:04 | More by Sachsenfreude
Photo of soju6


3.15/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in Tachikawa, Japan.

A: Served a light golden color with a big head that fades to nominal lacing.

S: Aroma is sweet with grain and a trace of citrus mixed in.

T: Taste is a mixture of sweetness and citrus mixed with a light flavor of grain. Has a fairly dry finish.

F: Light body, clean and crisp. Quite refreshing.

D: Decent drinker, good for a couple.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 13:40:21 | More by soju6
Photo of bierschmecktgut


2.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pale pretty clear, lots of carbonation with bright head that fell immediately.

distinct hop smell

hoppy taste but not overpowering

crisp pop on tonge with carbonation, slightly more difficult to down that other lagers.

tried this for first time lat night, not something i would get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 02:20:25 | More by bierschmecktgut
Photo of Lauthaha


2.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Looks pretty good, thick and frothy white head which leaves moderate lacing as it recedes. Beer is a slightly-lighter-than-golden color with heavy carbonation visible.

Smell: Smells a lot like an adjunct, although not as unpleasant as most. Subtle maltiness with light fruit undertones behind a blanket of boiled corn. *Shrug*

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very intriguing, not what I expected. Very hoppy, with a good amount of bitterness to the hops. The carbonation is not as vigorous as it appears, but that allows the flavor to settle a little slower, which in this case isn't a bad thing. Seems like there is some fusel alcohol thing going on here. The more I drink, the less appealing it actually is.

Drinkability: Served ice cold, it has the potential to be enjoyed maybe once a month. Not a bad beer, but one I will not actively seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 01:34:52 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of 650gs


3.15/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A somewhat pale yellow, definite carbonation. A surprisingly decent head.

S - Almost entirely corn, with somewhat of a hoppy content.

T - Actually, there's more going on then I would have expected. A slightly bitter start, with somewhat of a mildly sweet finish. Again, somewhat surprised. That being said, not great.

M - Light, and carbonated

D - Not a great beer, but again, enough of a surprise for me to finish it. Decent drinkability. If you're short on cash, and don't feel like driving any farther than the local grocery store, it's worth a try. I might pick this up again sometime in the future.

Serving type: can

01-03-2011 01:19:51 | More by 650gs
Photo of CalhounJohn


2.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What a mistake. I was eating sushi and wanted an imported Japanese beer to drink with our meal, so in a rush and without first consulting BA, I ordered this because of the label and, alas, it was very disappointing and had very little value as a beverage. other than it was coid. So, this American made drink is an average beer at best and something I hope to avoid in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 00:24:38 | More by CalhounJohn
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went to a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco so I decided to try this. Pours a straw yellow colour with very thin white head. No real lacing. Smells of grain with some mild grassy hops. Flavour is fairly faint. Carbonation is much smoother than other similar lagers, which was nice. The beer wasn't particularly good, but inoffensive enough to go well with sushi.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 16:25:24 | More by kwjd
Photo of zoso493

North Carolina

2.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've never seen or heard of anyone buying this beer, but I found one in my grandmother's refrigerator so I thought I would review it. Just glancing at the bottle, I see that I am promised a beer from a "special premium reserve" that is "brewed under strict supervision Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc." What more could you ask for in a beer?

Appearance: I poured this one into a tulip (it was all I had, but what does it matter?) and instantly recognized it as being an AB classic (think Busch Light). This is what Greg Koch means by a "fizzy, yellow beer" as I can see now. This beer is a pale straw color that might be just a touch deeper than your average adjunct lager. The head, however, is much the same, as it's just pure carbonation-driven bubbles at the top of the beer and disappears almost immediately.

Smell: Kirin Ichiban smells pretty nondescript. By that, I mean it smells like nothing in particular. By nearly hyperventilating myself, I can strain and get a whiff of some artificially sweet malts and that's about it.

Taste: In keeping with the smell, KI tastes like lightly flavored water. Bearing in mind that this is brewed by AB, this might be this beer's saving grace, since it really lacks any repulsive, brow-furrowing flavors. If I have to be specific, I'll say that KI does have some light grassy hops that are most pervasive in the taste, followed by some sweet, bready malts.

Mouthfeel: KI is not as highly carbonated as I anticipated, but this bottle is four and a half months old, making it a relic that can't be expected to have that much carbonation left anyway.

Drinkability: Well, I've almost finished this glass, mostly because it's warm outside and I'm thirsty, but I suppose that makes this a reasonably drinkable beer.

Overall, Kirin Ichiban is a wonderful example of mediocrity in brewing. It is not special, premium, nor is it a beer that anyone should keep in reserve (unless it is to refrain from drinking it). I will, in all likelihood, not be reaching for this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 20:56:11 | More by zoso493
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

2.33/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle from a Japanese restaurant. I saw the beer in the book "300 beers to try before you die". Well, I could live without ever trying it. Pours a straw color with thin head. Aroma is light with notes of pine hops, lemon grass, and biscuit malt. Light body. Flavor is light pine hops, some citrus and sweet malt. Finish is long but barely noticeable. On a plus side I did not notice any adjuncts, but it still tastes like a pale lager to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 21:22:36 | More by mikeg67
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


2.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear and golden. Light appearance. Good head for this beer style. The head doesn't evaporate immediately.

Smell: The smell is somewhat nutty and vanilla. It's not super aromatic. Maybe some of the rice replaces the hops. I'm not to familiar with the beers composition The flavors aren't very strong or unique.

Taste: Not a lot of taste. Good with food and clearing the palate. Pair with some sushi or sashimi because it doesn't leave any bitterness or other lingering flavors. This beer doesn't stand on its own as a beer for beers sake, but isn't unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Watery. Light. You should drink this quick because it goes flat very quickly

Drinkability: Chug with your sushi. Its not a beer for either relaxing or having a

Serving type: can

12-05-2010 09:47:40 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On draft at Asia Cafe in D.C.

A: The beer is very effervescent and light yellow in color. Atop fthe beer sits a white head approximately a half inch thick.

S: The aroma is very faint, but has the general scent of a macro lager. Not much to report.

T: About what you would expect from a macro lager. The flavor is simple and straightforward. The beer has an aftertaste that is slightly bitter and mildly astringent.

M: Light in body with plenty of carbonation. Decent feel for the style, but nothing too impressive.

D: An OK beer to pair with various Asian cuisine, but not something worth drinking by itself.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2010 22:41:04 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of NODAK


3.43/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Smell is of weak cereal grains, rice in this case...weak hops....pretty thin stuff though. Not much to write about.

Taste is very light and fizzy. Smattering of citrus and light malt notes on the body. Finish has a very small hop character with a bit of grain from the rice hanging around. Again though, very thin.

I haven't had many of this style, so I cannot say if being this tame is typical but this beer does do well as a refresher if a person doesn't want to think about the beer or have any impediments to putting them down fast.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 01:44:48 | More by NODAK
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

2.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Straw yellow apperance with minimal head. Not much to the nose. slightly sweet with wet vegetables.

Taste is very light, slightly sweet and malty. Picked up little carbonation. Aftertaste is dry and sour.

Overall, this seems like a beer to chug if you had to much wasabi. Otherwise, a watery introduction to rice lager.

Serving type: can

11-19-2010 02:41:42 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor


2.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Self proclaimed as "Special Premium Reserve" but it came in a standard 6 pack, so hopefully this is the same thing. There sure wasn't anything special or premium about it..

Insanely vigorous pour yielded a 2.5 finger white foamy head, that didn't last too long. Color was clear light golden.

Very little on the nose. Got tired of trying to detect a scent, so i moved on.

Tastes like the other Japanese rice lagers I have had (Sapporo, Asahi..), which is very little. Very, very watered down. Usually just have these to take down to the beach because we can get them in cans. Plus I don't buy it for the beach days.

It's like beer flavored water. Not a whole lot of carbonation either. Very typical for the style. If for some reason you're in the market for a Japanese beer, the best one I have had is Yebisu, and I have only seen it at my local sushi joint.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 04:30:47 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


2.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Interesting that I had it in a sushi bar in Nogales, Arizona of all places. And the sushi was very good!

Reviewed from notes.

Straw to straight yellow. Lots of bubbles. One finger head that lasted with good thick lacing that lasts. Good looking for a rice lager.

Smells grainy with slight citrus. Nothing special.

Tastes like it smells, grainy with lemon overtures. Not impressive, quite average.

Very dry finish with no distinctiveness.

Not impressed with the drinkability. Even for a sushi bar offering, it's not what I'd order next time.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 22:30:29 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of AndyAvalanche


1.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I can't say I'm very versed in Japanese Rice Lagers but I figured I'd try to review this one. A buddy of mine picked up a can for me while attending a conference in Japan. He enjoys beer himself and warned me it was pretty bad, but I appreciated the gift.

A few pours into a small tasting glass. Very Pale and extremely clear. The slightest small white head that sticks around for a minute or two, only a couple of centimeters tall before clearing up. A slight attempt at lacing but just a small spot here or there. Looks more like a light apple juice than anything else.

Smell is very weak, a little skunky, but not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Grainy with a slight attempt at some hop aroma's but doesn't really stick.

Taste isn't very strong either. Some slight grain/rice flavors to it. Tastes kind of cheap/macro like. A slight sour taste to it at the end, it's strange, has more juice like flavor consistencies than beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty bad. Very wattery, kind of sour and nothing clean about it. Not very pleasant. Similar on the drinkability. Can't completely say I regret trying it, but I don't think I'd get it again.

Serving type: can

11-04-2010 00:02:55 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of irishevans


2.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

grabbed this for a hot day and the store I stopped at had no more IPAs left that i haden't reviewed.

A- Light yellow very transparent, and filled with tons of carbpnation bubbles. almost like a glass of canada dry, or sprite. head jumps to like a finger and 4/5 but quite quickly retreats to a 1/6 finger film that seems to stick around alright.

N- Not much there at a little bit of malt and grain but generally bland, almost not there.

T- mostly malt and light grain, starts the littlest bit sout then gets sweet toward the end, and the carbonation makes itself more know as the beer goes on. also the tiniest bit of citrus flavor in the background, but not your citrus hop taste, it likely is just from a very small amount of hops to large malt use (as in ratio). very crisp and dry finish, but not so dar as to leave you parched. as far as the style goes apppropriate.

M- Again just what you would expect form the style. light thin and crisp.

D- Not bad for sessioning at a baseball game(get it?). only for the times that call for watery popped collar college beer-pong league kid brews will I get this again. abd those situations are becoming more and more rare for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 04:44:29 | More by irishevans
Photo of CrazyDavros


1.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours pale yellow with a small head.
Nose is very faint but does shows some grassy hops and light malt.
Flavours are similarly lacking, with weak notes of grainy, cardboardy malt and some grassy more hops.
Carbonation is too high.
Another mediocre pale lager.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 08:03:10 | More by CrazyDavros
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,220 ratings.