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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,390 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,390
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 23.11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 106 | 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
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Ratings: 1,390 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.55/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug at low altitude.

A: Pours a completely translucent wheat yellow like you'd expect from any other lager, with a stark white and foamy three finger head. Plenty of carbonation flowing up toward the top of the glass. An impressive amount of lacing.

S: What little smell comes through is mostly stale malt.

T: More of the same from the nose, and as watery as expected. Not great, but also absent of any unpleasant metallic or skunky notes.

M: Not much going on here. I imagine leaving a club soda open for an hour and then drinking it would feel about the same.

D: Goes down like water, but nothing really sets it apart from adjuncts in my opinion.

schlimenhaumer, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Macca
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brewed in Japan version.

Pours a clear bright straw colour with minimal head that drops away very quickly.

On the nose it's unattractive adjunct aromas. Not much else.

Very similar on the palate. Something a bit weird in there that I can't quite place.

Light bodied and highly carbonated.

Not a nice beer at all.

Macca, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of WillCarrera
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a crystal clear pale yellow/straw color. Produces a finger of white, foamy head.

S- Some grain and alcohol, the main aroma is of corn and husk.

T- Grain, corn husk, some light, sugary malt and a faint glimmer of fruit, some hops show up towards the finish, which combines some mild hop bitterness with the relatively sweet malts. It's decent but not great, definitely a big step above the downright disgusting category that a lot of cheap American pale lagers fall into.

M- Light bodied and a bit thin, highly carbonated, this is a beer to be drunk in large volume, so I guess its what you would expect.

O- It's decent, not a terrible beer. If you're looking for something crisp and easy-drinking without much to it then this is a good choice, as long as you know what you're buying.

WillCarrera, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of WestValleyIPA
2.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into my Dale's Pale Ale Shaker Glass. Looks like BEER. Generic yellow with lots of bubbles. A finger of head that dies quickly, but actually leaves a little lacing. Smells like BEER. Corn, veggies, barley, some light hops. Tastes a littly funky vegetabley, but otherwise some sort of generic offering of light biscuit, corn, sweetish malt with a really bad lingering vegetable bitterness on the finish. Very bubbly looking, but very thin on carbonation when it actually hits your tongue. I would never pay for this beer.

WestValleyIPA, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a step, though a very small one, above Budweiser or any other commercial brew. Understandable since it's an AB product now. I hope they still import the real Japanese version for the restaurant trade!

Color is medium yellow, bland taste, no hops to speak of , watery. At least it doesn't spoil the taste of the unagi!

CaptJackHarkness, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of bamojr
2.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

golden fluffy white head dissipates right away
a lot of spice and flower to the nose
lots of carbonation
very very malty
sweet and a bit bready
has an almost red stripe feel to it
Exactly what I expect from a Japanese beer, no offense to their people, but beer is not their forte.

bamojr, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of badun
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a tall boy can of this while on a grocery store run. I wanted something cold and mild on a blisteringly hot day, just a little something to tide me over until company arrived for dinner. Dinner was served with several high gravity home brews so I wanted a beer that was refreshing and wouldn't color my palate before dinner (I just made up that pretentious nonsense) and this fit the bill. Completely average in every way, but sometimes average is OK. I would never buy a six-pack of this stuff, but an occasional tall boy is affordable and fun.

badun, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
2.35/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a light yellow w/ a small white one finger head. Almost completely clear in appearance. No carbonation and almost no lacing. Smell is that of corn, malt, and that's about it. Taste is about the same. Very one dimensional, and not that enjoyable. Mouthfeel is very thin, and not much there. Overall, this is an extremely one dimensional beer that can't be recommended.

jayhawk73, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of hopsolutely
2.48/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An uninspired beer that is reminiscent of any one of hundreds of macro lagers. Definitely not worth the premium paid to transport it from Japan to Ontario.

Bright and clear yellow lager with a crisp yet almost flavourless taste. No malts or hops evident, although no corn or rice or other adjuncts evident either.

Inoffensive and bland.

hopsolutely, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Yagman3000
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Smells very light with a tiny bit of bitterness... No malt.

Tastes very light and thin... The Asian budweiser.

Mouthfeel? What mouthfeel? Very little experience here.

Overall I wouldn't get it again unless at Benihana. Not a good time for beer at all!

Yagman3000, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of cyrenaica
2.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

355ml bottle
5.0% ABV
Brewed in America by Anheuser-Busch, under license from Kirin
I tried this beer on May 19, 2011 at "Smokeless Joe" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a translucent pale yellow with a medium sized white head. The aroma was grass, weak hops, and sour stuff. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was sour grains, weak hops, and bitter.

cyrenaica, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of treque
2.38/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: a pvery pale straw, completely traslucent, too much carb average white head at least it has good retention, looks like an average industrial beer

S: some butter and a tiny malt, nothing else

T: its just like a soda, crispy on tonge, refreshing, flavour is so flat, there is no after taste

treque, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours an extremely clear light yellow with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a small cap. Random patterns of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet grain and maybe some subtle hop aromas. Taste is of sweet grain and a grape-like light fruit flavor. This beer has low carbonation and is slightly thick in the mouth. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with a bad mouthfeel. I wouldn't get this one again.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
2.45/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap into a Kirin half-pint.

A: Clear gold body with a host of slowly-rising bubbles trying vainly to support the thin white cap. Nice lacing. Ok.

S: Bitter, astringent graininess. Mild metallic twang. Weak and unpleasant.

T: Follows the nose, unfortunately. Grainy huskiness. Mild sweetness, then a bitter, dry finish. Astringent and off-putting. Not truly awful, but not good at all.

M: Sharp, prickly carbonation throughout. Thin, watery body. Expected, yes. Pleasant, no.

O: What can you say? It's not good, but not quite terrible. There are far better fizzy yellow beers, and there are even a lot of adjunct lagers I'd prefer to this supposedly all-malt disappointment.


woosterbill, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner

A: Pours straw yellow with a very translucent stream and fizzy head, just like the lighter sibling.

S: Smells bitter and malty, but also carries a sweet scent of grapefruit and pear. It’s really surprising and nice.

T/M: Tastes relatively light and fizzy with a floral hint and a slight pear sweetness. The flavor isn’t as welcoming as the aroma, but it’s still much better than any other American lager that comes to mind.

For a “big beer,” this one is surprisingly decent. Don’t tell anyone I said that.

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of PhillyStyle
2.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer poured a clear light yellow liquid, with a pretty big head, but it dissipated pretty quickly and faded into a spotty cap. The beer gave off a rather light corn aroma with maybe a hint of hops, maybe. The taste, on par perhaps with other beers of its stature, light, grainy and not at all that enjoyable. The beer had a light, fizzy feel to it, probably a result of too much carbonation. Overall, I would not buy this again as there are other beers in this class that are better.

PhillyStyle, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of flyingpig
2.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear, golden straw colour with bubbly white head fading to a thin lace.

A really skunky smelling beer. There is a grain and some vegetables but the main aroma seems to be the corn & alcohol.

A lot of grain in the taste and a bitter-sweet flavour blended with some corn, all of which is pretty dull although not as bad after a couple of sips. Finishes with a hop-bitterness which is okay.

Light with medium carbonation although it isn't all that smooth to drink. Slightly dry in the finish.

The skunkiness of this beer was a little too much for me and it didn't have enough flavour about it to change my mind after I drank some.

This beer is one of 1001 to try before you die:

flyingpig, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of zdk9
3.08/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- This isn't pee yellow- more of a dark yellow with some orange notes. A whole lot of head billowing up with yellow egg white like style.

S- Smells a little corny, some grains, some faint dirty grass.

T- Not as bad as I expected by any means. A lot of grain tastes- straw, corn, light wheat bread. There's also some notes of sweet navel orange, honey, and even milk.

M- Some bitterness on the back of the mouth, not bad in this department.

O- I went for this beer for an afternoon ballgame drinking opportunity, and it's not a bad choice, not the best beer, but better than a normal BMC in my book.

zdk9, May 25, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
2.9/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Looks pretty good so far. Half inch of head with no lace to speak of and a beer as yellow and clear as any. Ow man I hope it doesn't suck...

S - Smells of vegetables, slight cooked grain and rice with a bit of hops.

T - A bit bitter and kind of sweet, with a lingering flavor of butter. It's not so bad. Weird lingering taste must be band aid.

M - Light to medium. Man this is beer for men. *spit*

Overall I got this when I mixed and matched at my local place and man was I pissed on this one. A slight side step to typical BMC, but not much as its just as hard to keep down. Average beer at best.

DrDemento456, May 25, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.6/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottled on 28feb11. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clean white sudsy head with soapy lacing. Pale clear straw body with light carbonation.

Smell - Almost none. Slight corn.

Taste - Sour. Bitter. Metallic. This doesn't seem right. I've had this beer before and don't remember finding it so offensive.

Mouthfeel - Very acidic. Unpleasant.

Overall Drinkability - Can't tell if it's infected. Bottle isn't old enough to taste this bad. Will have to re-rate another time.

ZenAgnostic, May 23, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear gold/yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, malts, corn, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains mixed with malts and some cooked corn. There are also some fruit flavours.. apples mixed with lemons and a slight amount of hop bitterness.

Overall – The beer is not offensive and it's fairly drinkable. The taste is well balanced and although I wouldn't buy it again - I also wouldn't turn one away if offered.

spinrsx, May 20, 2011
Photo of CarefreeT
3.88/5  rDev +47%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went to a Thai restaurant in town with a friend, and having never ordered it before, and beer being only $0.25 at Happy Hour, I ordered a Kirin Ichiban (a guy I know likes it a lot, so I gave it precedence over Tsingtao [which I never liked] and Singha [which I've never tried]). I thought it was a pretty good beer for the style. It was "100% Malt," which, as an American, I assume to mean to be 100% barley (compared to Tsingtao, which seemed to me to be nearly 100% rice), but as a beer-drinker I recognize as a cultural quality standard. The very, very cute waitress served it to me in a glass.

Taste-wise I recognized this beer as MUCH heftier than Tsingtao, which I've found to be the lightest of all beers ever (the ONE that I tried at least). It was malty, full, hoppy, and flavorful. I really liked it! I thought it was full and flavorful, but in a "white rice" way that made it excellent with starchy Asian food, and the hops were present in such a way as to make me thirsty but not without need. This beer was wonderful with Japanese and Thai food.

CarefreeT, May 18, 2011
Photo of Wegomlegging
2.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got the tall can from the store, so my expectations weren't high to begin with. Was a thin yellow pour with minimal head, and the smell reminded me of a stinky Miller Lite (no offense, giant beer company). The taste was actually drinkable though, and very refreshing. I'd say it'd be good for a baseball game, maybe with some hot dogs or something. Not a beer drinker's beer though, unless you're a Japanese girl (no offense, Japanese girls). Was thin in the mouth, not much there at all. Overall it's drinkable, and like most beers of this ilk, a good drink to have a few of and not have to worry about having blurred vision or feeling full.

Wegomlegging, May 14, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
1.25/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First had: bottle at Birdland Jazz Club, NYC, NY

For some reason, I thought this was not too bad for a pale lager/pils type beer. But I'd probably never get it again unless I had no choice.

Pours a thin golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that all but dissipates. Mulched grass aroma, and a slight sensation of hops detectable. Overall skunked, but crisp to the point where it doesn't leave an unbearable aftertaste. Grass and stale grains. Light, thin body and not much flavor. There are good light / pale beers out there, but this isn't one of them.

Rifugium, May 12, 2011
Photo of benclimbs
2.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours just off clear with a nice lingering head and a bit of lacing.

smell is pretty boring, a little old bananas and corn - eh, whatever

taste is quite clean, warm, cereal grain flavour lingering on the off sweet side, but then finishing with a bit of artificial cherry on the end.

feel is just very very light - nothing there really

overall this is a refreshing brew without a lot of positives but with no glaring negatives, something to have with sushi or to chug as a first beer on a hot day.

benclimbs, May 10, 2011
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,390 ratings.