1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
62
poor

1,226 Ratings
THE BROS
57
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,226
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 2.62
pDev: 23.28%
Wants: 8
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited visit their website
Japan

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)
View: Beers (33) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,226 | Reviews: 521 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Greggy
Greggy

Minnesota

2.83/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Crystal clear golden color with a 1.5 finger thick white head with good retention. After about 2 minutes, the head dissipates into a thin white cap.

S- Very grassy/adjuncs, sweet malts with hints of citrus fruits.

T- Starts out with a semi dry graphite note and transitions into the dry metallic finish. Simple.

M- Low carbonation, slightly odd after-taste.

D- This isn't a great beer but it did well washing down my popcorn, but PBR could do that, and at a fraction of the cost.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 04:13:46 | More by Greggy
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

2.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Mild head which dies to literally nothing; clear gold color.

Grainy and grassy; more as there is no hop aroma. Can you say lawnmower?

The taste offers a slight improvement--there's a minimal amount of hop present, particularly in the swallow. Also, for a "rice" brew, this has a surprising solid body. It also has a very high carbonation level, giving the mouthfeel a definitive spritziness. Thin malt flavor. Overall, a step above the traditional macros...barely.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 19:48:14 | More by smcolw
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

2.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Waiting for my Susuhi order my wife allowed me to have a beer so I chose my old standard Kirin.
I must say this is one of the cleanest and refreshing Japanese beers for my tastes.

Pours a golden yellow with a nice foamy head which quickly dissolves. Nice carbonation throughout.

Very malty but goes down nice.

Almost no aftertaste.

Not awful for what it is and in hot weather, it's not a bad choice.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2009 02:48:52 | More by kaseydad
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

3.18/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 22oz "Special Reserve" can this beer was a perfectly clear, straw-gold color. The head was one-finger and off white, the retention decent, the lacing mediocre. The aroma was a blend of dry grains and pale malt, just general macro lager. The flavors were crisp and refreshing. Slightly tart. A simple but well-balanced blend of pale malt, dry grains, slight hops and rice. The mouthfeel was good, the carbonation good, the body medium. Similar to Singh and a great choice for pairing with Asian food.

Serving type: can

01-24-2009 19:48:53 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

2.93/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, pale yellow. 1/2 inch head with slight lacing and slight retention. Smells of the cleanliness of a lager. Fits the style. Has a smooth and crisp mouth feel. There was an average carbonation level. Tastes mostly of a clean lager. A little more body and less adjunct flavor than Budweiser type products. Overall, not bad compared to adjunct lagers, but otherwise not that great.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 20:55:01 | More by Tone
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper

California

2.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another beer I had picked up from my work. Let's try it out!

Appearance: Very very pale gold color with a decent-sized, pretty foamy head. Nothing special in the looks department.

Smell: Very faint smell of malt, grain, and corn.

Taste: Starts off with a corn/malt sweetness but then finishes with a very unusual (and unpleasant) bitterness that tastes like rubber.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin, with a decent carbonation. Also smooth.

Drinkability: Overall pretty average, but the unnatural rubber taste totally makes this beer one to avoid.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 22:41:20 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22.

The appearance is what it is. Average golden lager appearance with average silky white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smells okay. Barley and a bit of malt. Not a lot of detail to it.

Tastes pretty good, actually. There's a sweetness that is the unmistakable signature of rice. Otherwise the tastes are on par with any basic golden lager sans any noticeable hoppiness. Goes good with sushi.

The moutfeel is good. Smooth but a bit bubbly.

I like the drinkability of this one. Its not going to blow anyone away with a huge range of tastes and its not a high quality beer, but for what it is it gets the job done.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 19:14:14 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of kshankar
kshankar

District of Columbia

2.93/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale golden, straw like color. Carbonation is present, and very little foam/head...but there is a good deal of lacing going down.

Aroma: Eh, its mild...rice I guess, and some malts. Not too much else

Taste: Slight sweetness, some dryness..rice.

Mouthfeel: Dominated by carbonation. It somewhat overshadows the flavor..that is, if there is any real flavor anyways. Lighter bodied, crisp from the carbonation but not much else. Goes down okay

Drinkability: Carbonation can be considered "refreshing", but that really is all this thing has going for it, with a non-offensive taste that makes it drinkable, but not much else.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2008 00:01:51 | More by kshankar
Photo of lhaqq
lhaqq

California

2.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours with a straw golden body and little head but leaves good white lacing.
S: Smells of rice and a little bit of malty sweetness.
T: Same as the smell. Kinda tastes like a typical malt liquor. Less flavor than was expecting, might be because it was dominated by the carbonation.
M: High carbonation level--if I let it sit for awhile, a bit more enjoyable.
D: Went well with sushi, but wouldn't have it as a stand alone. A bit too carbonated to have too many, as well.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 03:31:54 | More by lhaqq
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a bottle with sushi and soup at the Japanese place at DTW airport. This beer masters the style just like Bud Light and the American light lager. This isn't a delicious beer in the grand scheme of thing, but for a Japanese rice lager, it's quite nice. Unfortunately, right off the bat this beer has an odd rubber aroma, but that quickly fades to leave a very clean beer. The malt has a subtle toasted bread flavor and there's a hint of spicy hops. Very drinkable and worth a try next time you sit down for sushi.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 12:56:32 | More by tempest
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pairs well with most asian foods and is a classic in the food industry.

This is a pale, yellow-gold color, plenty of good carbonation that appears clear, clean and crispy. a thin, white head dissipates quick but leaves some nice stuff left over.

The nose is very sublte, but i can detect a light, malt with white rice and dried corn. a slight herbal, sour yeast in the back ground.

This is a beer of simple and subtle delights, a clean, crispy malt that has white-rice and fresh corn with a slight, herbal-sour hops and yeast. good balance with only a very slight metallic edge that is not enough to become bad.

The feel is classicly light and crisp.

more kung pao please!!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 00:27:38 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of likethetaste
likethetaste

Virginia

2.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this beer just to try it out. Of course, I look more closely after I buy it and realize that it is actually bottled by AB! Well, Ok. I taste it and well... it taste really no different than a Budweiser to me.

Nothing great about this beer at all and there are enough faults to keep me from ever getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 00:14:42 | More by likethetaste
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

2.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A- a weak head and a dry pale yellow color. very clear and unappealing.

S- dry malts and barley. Nothing much there in the nose.

T- a dry sweetness with a bland malt. There seems to be a rice flavor.

M- sweet malty but bland and nothing to feel.

D- this is like a miller lite in Japan. Very dull and if you like BMC beers you will love this!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 22:34:27 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

2.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle at Shima Sushi in Webster, NY. Kirin Ichiban is a clear and sparkling pale yellow lager with a small white head that quickly fades. The aroma is soft and fruity with some light grain. It is light bodied and watery in the mouth. The flavor is pretty corny, fairly bitter and not-so-fresh. Good for washing down Unagi Nigiri, I suppose.
(rated May 14, 2008)

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 16:15:16 | More by yesyouam
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.1/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I guess this would be my frist Japanese Rice Lager. Pours clear yellow, white head, nothing unexpected. Aroma is ricey and sweet, nothing different froma a Bud Light. Very dry beer. Instead of being heavily sweet, it is more starchy-rice-dry. This is a decent Japanese lager, perfect to have with Asian food. Light but sharp flavor, dry aftertaste. Nothing exciting.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 17:14:38 | More by magictrokini
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

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

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2007.

Appearance : Blond (clear) color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : finely hopped with the sweetness on the tongue.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Japanese rice lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 16:09:55 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

2.1/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Although not expecting much from a Japanese macro brew, Kirin still leaves a lot to be desired. It pours a very light straw yellow, and has almost no distinct smell. The odor does vary from an American macro, probably from the use of rice.

There is a small head, leaving almost no lace on the glass.

It tastes almost exactly as it smells, nondescript and dull. The one upside to this beer is the drinkability. Although it would not pair well with almost any food due to the lack of flavor, it was smooth enough to wash down the sushi I was enjoying without getting in the way.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Reviewed 11/26/08.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 19:43:54 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of janubio
janubio

Spain

2.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Very pale crsitaline colour, foamy head that doesn't hold much. Grainy and herbs smell with maybe some citric. Anodyne watery flavor, taste of herbs with some malty sweetness and bitter end. Just another beer more, I've drunk some worst ones.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 16:43:03 | More by janubio
Photo of stevecee2003
stevecee2003

Florida

1.95/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I bought this beer strickly to write a review. Almost immediately after tasting I didn't want to bother. But I was committed, so I now forge on. Dare i say.. the Budweiser of Japan?

Poured from a 24 oz. can, with a fair lace, for a few fleeting moments. The color is light amber. I say "light" because to me it comes off as a cheap immitation of an even cheaper lager beer. But then thats me.

Smell. Can't tell. Cabbage and rice maybe. Maybe.

Taste. Slight. Very. It is a liquid, I'll give it that.

And the feel is simply.. simple. Nothing going on. Perhaps if I played Death metal while I drank it, it might bring it up to an illusiion of some sort of goodness. No, not even then would that help...

Overall, it was worth a try, if only because now I know.. Never again to spend my hard-earned cash on this "water with slight amber food coloring added" beer.

Serving type: can

11-21-2008 04:14:25 | More by stevecee2003
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

2.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, the color is a light clear yellow. Head doesn't last long. Little lacing. Smell and taste is of rice and grain. Where are the hops and malts? I guess beer from across the country is way different than ours.

Mouthfeel is very clean and crisp.

Overall, nothing I would ever recommend or buy again. Very light beer, I'd rather spend money on an American marco.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 05:09:39 | More by mothman
Photo of roscoehnj
roscoehnj

New Jersey

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

From an 18 ounce bottle at a sushi bar with the usual poor selection (why can't they at least carry SNPA?). Not much to look at - pale and watery looking, closely matching the taste. Mouthfeel was very thin. The beer was light and slightly nasty. Would have been better off with the budweiser - I guess I like corn better than rice for my macro beers. The Japanese make some nice sakes - why are there no decent Japanese beers?

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 19:43:47 | More by roscoehnj
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
Jerzdevil1116

New Jersey

2.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16oz bottle drank from a pint glass. Bottle reads, "Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA." (Sounds like a foreshadowing of the taste to come.)

A: Clear pale yellow body. A lot of carbonation rising in the glass. White foamy head dissipated over a few minutes.

S: Smells like most other macro beers. Slight metallicy hop presence.

T: Slightly sweet taste of some type of grain, probably the rice. Maybe a faint hop bitterness hidden in the finish. Basicly your standard BMC.

M: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D: It goes down pretty easy, but the taste is not enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 22:16:55 | More by Jerzdevil1116
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/31/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very pale yellow straw colored body. Small white head, very quickly diminishing. Malty sweet aroma, with some graininess. Grainy malty taste, maybe rice or corn. Fizzy, and there's some alcoholic aftertaste present. Goes okay with spicy kung pao.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 07:55:53 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale color with a head that disappears almost immediately, very very slight lacing. There was a yeasty smell, with mild grain undertone. Based on the smell I thought it would be "chewy" when I tasted it. That wasn't the case. The beer turned out to be very thin with a flat aftertaste. I've had better asian beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 15:05:41 | More by Jayli
Photo of SickBrew
SickBrew

Washington

2.48/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, the bottle is cool! This looks just like butwiper, I mean Budwieser. Sorry it doesn't taste as good. It does leave one finger of head that quickly dissipates, but does leave some minimal lacing. Flavor, well you get what you get with rice and not much more. Hopping in minimal and malts are absent. And then there is something else in there, something slightly metallic.
The horse on the label is the best part. Grab yourself a bud and you'll be better off, for sure.

Prost!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 00:40:58 | More by SickBrew
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,226 ratings.