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Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

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

1,324 Ratings
THE BROS
57
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,324
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 23.19%
Wants: 9
Gots: 77 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,324 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JAHMUR
2/5  rDev -24%

JAHMUR, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.48/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really hoping for more from this beer that advertises its "special single-press process" - whatever that is!
It pours a crystal clear golden body topped by a full and foamy bright white head that holds very well before dropping to a razor thin surface covering. It leaves next to no lace about the glass. The carbonation is quite fine, leaving thin steady streams of tiny bubbles rising steadily to the surface. Very nice appearance! The nose is limited to a "generic" beer aroma with some lightly grainy malt; low-level, undiscernable hops; some lager-fermentation sulphur; and a thin thread of alcohol. The body is light/medium with a gentle carbonation that's crisp in the mouth. The flavor delivers a clean and straight-forward grainy malt that's delicately touched by hop flavor but backed by a firm bitterness. A mild note of apple or dried golden fruit (pear, perhaps?) adds a hint of character to it. It finishes short and dry with a light note of residual malt and sublime hop bitteress. Refreshing!

NeroFiddled, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev +14.1%

SocalKicks, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Jason
1.73/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with an A&B “Bottled On” date on the back label. Brewed by Anheuser-Busch in the US.

Appearance: Very good lacing, stick white and foamy. The clarity is fine in a yellow coloured brew.

Smell: Smells of skunk and cooked cabbage … well perhaps the skunk and cabbage smell mixed together smells like rotten cabbage. Horrible aroma and I dread even drinking a sip.

Taste: Light body with a medium level of carbonation. Husk flavour upfront grows to overwhelming and needless to say becomes astringent with little flavour. Hops are all used up with a bitterness that is not natural. More and more astrignet grain flavours come and make it harder and harder to drink.

Notes: I had to pour this out after four sips, perhaps the worst beer this year. As the comic book guy on the Simpson’s would say “Worst Faux-Japanese beer ever.”. This is not the beer I remembered at the numerous Asia restaurants I frequented back in the day.

Here is my English-Haiku review:

It is hot outside
I tried this beer to quench thirst
Made me want to ralph

Jason, Aug 17, 2002
Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of nickfl
3/5  rDev +14.1%

nickfl, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
2.15/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

24 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow gold with 2 fingers of foamy brite-white head that peters down into a thin looking fizzy retention. Leaves some moderate lacing behind. The aroma is barely there with just a hint of light malt sweetness and hops.

The taste is once again a light sensation of malt and hops that just hangs on the tongue for a slip second before disappearing. The mouthfeel is light and watery with a fizzy carbonation.

Not too much I can say about this. I didn't expect much and didn't get much in return. I paired this up with some take-out sushi and it did little more than wet my whistle. Same thing I could have gotten from a glass of water. Still, its' pretty cheap for a 24 oz can, which probably bumps up the drinkibility a 1/2 notch.

Kegatron, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of russpowell
2.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There are surely worse beers out there, but my taste buds expect more out of a lager, but went out for sushi and it was this or bud..

Poured a straw-like color with a bubbly white head that held up well. Some lacing

Smell: Malty/fruitty and a trace of floral hops

Taste: Sweetness with not pleasant pricklyness on the tounge, some bitterness in the finish.

MF: A lot more malt please, thin & gassy

Taste: Shouldn't have ordered a 22 oz bottle the free water was going down better. Next time i'll get the sushi to go over chance the sapporro (sp?) or Asai, can't be any worse...

russpowell, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Slatetank
2.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured cold into a Vienna lage mug.
A - The color is pure gold w/ a quickly settling 1 finger white head.

S - Gentle malt scents w/ the crispness of rice.

M - Malty, light fruitiness in the feel w/ moderate carbonation and a clean finish.

T - A very gentle taste of malt w/ a grainy rice flavor not unlike many macro produced lagers. This one seems a tinge maltier, but hasn't much more to offer.

D - A very clean, easy drinkin' sessionable lager that is crisp and refreshing. I could have one as a lawnmower beer - it goes well with just about any pre-packaged food incl. mac & cheese.

Slatetank, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
2.2/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

"Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA" 24 0z. can, with the mythological Japanese deer/dragon beast striding diagonally up the aluminum container.
Color, a transparent bright yellow, with a prodigous, fluffy, bone white head, that hastily, noisily crumbles.(Perhaps the head size was helped by the enormous Weihenstephaner glass I poured it into?)
Aroma: rather dull and dry, and perfectly in step with a typical cheap lager smell, and am I smelling the rice? Is there rice? Taste will tell...
Very smooth on the palate, to a fault, to the point that it's existence barely registers or makes any impact upon the senses at all. Body is so light light that it rings hollow at every turn. There's is a decent texture, I admit, a nice grit and play on the tongue and lips, that makes it a far more bearable beer than many ordinary lagers, but...I can't at all detect the "complex character of one of the world's premium beers." You've got to have a narrow definition of "beer", and "premium"...and "world"...
Drinkability? Yeah, you can drink them, if you've got nothing better to do, nothing better to drink, and a mean streak of masochism...

feloniousmonk, May 05, 2003
Photo of StonedTrippin
2.88/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

somehow i think this is better than many other asian beers on offer at sushi places. i had 3 of these with an outstanding dinner at nobu in las vegas. pours a light golden color with a thin white head, lots of bubbles, but very very thin. smells light malty and crisp, which it is in the flavor too. a little bready, but balanced off by some generic hopping. feel is average too, extremely light body with medium to bright carbonation. quite drinkable and palate cleansing between fish courses. overall this is far from a great beer, but when lined up with many of its asian counterparts, it is one of the most tolerable in my opinion.

StonedTrippin, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
2.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Its CANtastic, sorry woody. I was at a sushi restaurant with my wife wiggle tonight and I was drinking this beer and realized that I just like beer. Its the texture maybe that I like but even when drinking a shitty macro knock off adjunct clear lager like this, I love beer. Sure I could go home and drink a 5 year old Cantillon Kriek, but would that pair well with raw fish and sticky rice? Maybe not. There is so much rice in the dinner and in the beer, they are like the yin and yang of this culture. I doubt many Japanese are pleased with this beer but who cares. I'm home now and drinking homebrewed IPA and loving it. Off to the review, as if even I care.

I had 1 pint 8 ounces of this beer served to me in a shaker pint out of a rather ornamental can (tall boy). Beer is yellow and clear with high carbonation and a head of medium and small bubbles that will eventually break leaving no lacing on the glass. This what a 6 year old that watches too much TV would draw if asked to draw "beer"...looks like beer to me.

Aroma is weak and has this biting grainy edge to it. Hmmm....

Beer is medium to light in body, actually has more body to it than I expected. Interesting. I've had a lot of cheap lagers and I can say without hyperbole that this is the bottom of the barrel. Its acrid and harsh without an aftertaste but the dry finish reveals this horrible bitterness from what I can only assume is rice and corn. Its not a drain pour kind of accident but its about there. I doubt I will venture into the Kirin world again.

drabmuh, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light fuzzy head that disappears almost instantly with crystal clear golden wheat yellow color.

N: Not much of a nose but light lager malts, macro style extracts, light pilsener aromas, little lager yeast with touh of fruit and crispness.

T: Lighter pilsener with light malts, little toasty, crisp lager, little macro extract, slightly sweet, and little skunky flavor.

M: Lighter body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes a little bleh with a lingering skunk flavor, little sticky sweetness light lager. Better than most beers of the style but not great.

jlindros, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of Rifugium
1.25/5  rDev -52.5%
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 Mora2000
2.8/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a straw yellow color with a white head. The aroma is rice, corn and some grassy hops. The flavor is very sweet. I get a lot of grass along with some corn and bready malts. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not as bad as expected but not something I care to try again.

Mora2000, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of jwc215
2.1/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours straw yellow with a thick white head with an impressive retention.

The smell is of grain and husk. Something akin to cooked veggies mixes in.

The taste is of sweet grain and a growing husk flavor - more like an American macro than a Japanese rice beer. Hops are overwhelmed with adjuncts and bland malt. It's not very clean.

This says "full-bodied"... Are they kidding? It has something of a body I suppose, but fits into the "light and fizzy" category pretty well.

Whatever...It's a macro-like beer that is hurt by an unusual astringency. Why bother with this one...

jwc215, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
2/5  rDev -24%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of smcolw
2.88/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

smcolw, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of MarkyMOD
2.75/5  rDev +4.6%

MarkyMOD, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
2/5  rDev -24%

XmnwildX12, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
1.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Clear yellow, thin head with fair retention. This is pathetic.

Sm: One note of clear barley. Very meh.

T: Holy malt, batman! No real open, no real finish. A bit like Finnegan's Wake, without any literary genius. (Okay, that metaphor sucked.)

Mf: Too smooth, too wet. A classic flaw.

Dr: Never again - by choice. Is this what they forcefed to the Chinese during the WWII medical experiments? Given the choice, a vivisection might be preferable. It should be said that it's probably better than a lot of American macros, and it's relatively cheap.

kojevergas, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of BlackHaddock
2.9/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 330ml bottle was brewed under licence by Wells and Youngs of Bedford, England: best before 8 July 2012 it was poured (twice) into a 'Veltins' badged pilsner stemmed tulip on 14 Feb 2012.

Looks like a regular lager: golden, clear and bright, mid depth of goldness. The head a mass of white bubbles, then fading to a wispy covering and a collar.

Slight hop aroma, some hints of cereals maybe as well.

Crisp, dry and boring were my first three thoughts as the beer entered my mouth. Strangely for a lager as the mouth began to dry after each sip the palate seemed to get sweeter instead of the normal slightly bitter, sometimes metallic hit.

I suspect my beer (brewed in the UK) tastes very different to the US version. So my review will not be a lot of good to most BA users, but hey ho, it might interest one or two who read it.

BlackHaddock, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of beernads
2/5  rDev -24%

beernads, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
2.42/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with a pretty large head... not much lacing to be seen here. Faint skunky beer aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied, pretty surprised as I was definitely expecting this to be lighter than ever. But even though it has nice consistency to it, the mouthfeel and taste are non existent. You can swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds and all you taste is a slight tinge of hops, rest of it just a watery mass. Just import swill right here, wouldn't recommend.

oriolesfan4, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
3.18/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sunday morning and I'm in the CAN.

24 Fl Oz., to be precise. My pour produced two fingers of rocky, bone-white head. The nose had a very characteristic lager sweetness to it. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a mostly lager-like sweetness on the tongue, although like a previous reviewer, I did catch a light smokiness. I wonder what drives that? Lots of carbonation evident in terms of bubbles. Say, whatever happened to "Bubbles" McGough, a high school classmate of mine? Prosit, Bubs, wherever you may be! Finish was slightly sweet, nothing terrible, but not great, either. For the $, it was decent. Taking into consideration the portability of the packaging plus the size, it was a bargain.

woodychandler, May 25, 2008
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,324 ratings.