Kirin Ichiban - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,559 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,559
Reviews: 587
rAvg: 2.65
pDev: 23.02%
Wants: 10
Gots: 216 | 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 (49) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Ichiban Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,559 | Reviews: 587
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
1.42/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Light straw appearance. Not much aroma. Tastes like a fruity floral carbonated lager. Tastes almost like a light beer--tastes like beer. Remember college? No depth at all. Finishes as it starts. Moderately carbonated. Pretty much no real redeeming qualities that we can write of.

Photo of Jemonster
3.47/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a stein. Thick white lasting head and pale gold, clear body.

S: Smells like an American beer to me, malt and hops. Nothing particularly interesting and worthy of note, but no funky, off-smells either.

T: A bit bolder than I thought it would be. Some decent bitterness, no real sweetness, and nothing else in particular. Simple flavors... It really does taste like beer flavored beer.

M: Light and actually pretty refreshing. Not enough acidity to be a great summer beer, but I wouldn't turn it down on a hot day either. Thin and cooling on the palate.

D: I could session this. Not a beer to drink for the sake of drinking great beer, but not the typical cheap offerings either.

Photo of micahgoldfus
3.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a an off-yellow, straw color, 1/2 finger head. Smell was weak, only picked up a little bit of slightly sweet malts. Taste is pretty good: crisp and very dry. A nice balance of malt and hop, I could definately pick up the rice flavor, which came off as a pleasant, grainy taste. A nice bitter kick at the end, but slightly too carbonated for my liking. A great session beer, which pairs very well with Japanese food. I think this is my favorite of the famous Japanese big-time breweries.

Photo of jvajda
1.9/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had a few of these on the plane to Tokyo. When in Rome, right? Apparently.. not really.

Smell: Like a Bud or some other swill. Smelled a little old.
Taste: Like no other beer I've ever had, but not very good. The best way to describe this is a sweatened up Bud. There were slight hints of ginger and Asian spices. Very unique, but not my bag.
Mouthfeel: Nothing special.
Drinkability: After a couple of these, prepare for some major gas. Not something to drink in a social setting (or on a 15 hour plane ride, yikes!).

Ichiban means number one in English, but this certainly is not Japan's best. Try a Sapporo instead.

Photo of dlmvh5150
3.24/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Crisp smooth good all around

Photo of bamojr
2.78/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Evocatus
1.78/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a golden yellow with little to no head. Light smell of grains but nothing distinct. Tastes like it smells, nothing special, just some light grains. Goes down pretty easily, like water. It has a odd aftertaste that pretty much kills the beer. Overall, something to drink when there isn't any other option available. Just slightly better than a Coors Light or Bud.

Photo of JoLight
4.9/5  rDev +84.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: 70% grassy, 30% malty/grainy. Nostalgic summer "beer smell".

Appearance: two finger white head, soapy, dissipates; clear, light bubbles, golden-yellow.

Taste: Grain all the way through, carbonation upfront, dry hops in the middle-end; also in the end is a flowering of breadiness, still with grains in the background, bready and almost tangy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: semi-dry, carbonated, light.

Finish: crisp, refreshing.

Photo of twi1609372
2.53/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer used to be at a bar me and my friend go to. When they first had it, we had it off the tap. It really wasnt bad. It had a bit of a different taste, but wasnt bad. sort of smooth, nothing bad. However about a week later, we had another one, and yuck, it tasted foul, smelt off, just wasnt good. So i guess if your going to try this, try to amke sure it's fresh, otherwise dont expect much.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
2.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice 650ml bottle I picked up before they discontinue carrying them at my store. The labels cool, dragon, horse type animal, very Asian.

The beer pours a honey straw colour topped by a rather big foamy white head. Good carbonation and retention, lasting well to the half way point before it dissipates.

Aromas are rather lacking grains, grass, green apple and a mild skunk; all very subdued.

The palette is of sweet malt up front and of an artificial feel at that. Corn syrup flavours dominate with a mild taste of cooked rice and white bread. A slightly medicinal alcohol flavour makes its presences felt as the beer warms. A mild hop bitterness towards the end, giving a characteristically dry finish.
The body is light with a grainy mouth feel.

Very bland, truthfully I'm disappointed, it's not as I remember it, then again I used to drink crap. None the less I find this one of the better Japanese lager offerings.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
2.2/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of Getinthevan
3.25/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kirin to me is one of those ironic beers where it doesn't smell as good as it would taste and ends up becoming a really good drinkable beer. Call it a paradox, it really is one.

Appearance is a mild, pallid yellow with minimal lacing and barely any frothy head.

Smell is pretty strong sour smell of rice and grains. It's definitely a bitter beer waiting to be consumed.

Taste however is much better than it smells, as the rice flavor is full, but balanced against the grains. This stuff certainly goes down quick and it does have a pretty addicting taste to it.

Mouthfeel was pretty average: watery, rice flavored water with a tiny bit of froth. Not bad, but not unbearable.

Drinkability surprisingly is very good. You can drink a good few pints of these and catch a good buzz. Not a bad Japanese lager. This stuff really is a paradox of the senses.

Photo of atrus138
2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle of this at the excellent Shogun restaurant (though I had to ask for a glass). Pours a transparent yellow with no real head and no lacing. Could easily see objects through the glass. Did not bode well. I could hardly smell anything, though what I did smell was unimpressive. It tasted just like any old American lager - that is to say there was almost no taste. I noticed some rice notes as it warmed a little bit, but this kind of stuff is better "enjoyed" cold. Mouthfeel is extremely light, but very carbonated. The carbonation at least made it a bit more interesting than stagnant water. The ABV is low enough to make this a good session beer...but why would you want another one?

Photo of likethetaste
2.75/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
2.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

served from a 650ml bottle in a glass:

A - Light pale yellow - think head that fades fast.

S - Nothing much to smell, slight hop smell

T - Not much taste here, the rice adds a sweet undertone, the hops are barely noticable.

M - Watered down, high carbonation, the rice leaves a crisp, clean aftertaste.

D - I like this in a Japanese restaurant but otherwise I dont really drink it.

Photo of PGD120
2.78/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

not gonna do a full review, its not terrible, it is what it is. nothing basically a basic macro lager but a little better tasting. had no off flavors really just not much flavor at all. probablly my favorite macro lager from japan

Photo of eye2
3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Typical look of a mass produced beer. Light in color. Pretty clear. Lots of bubbles. Head disappears quicly.

S: Not much of a smell here. Maybe a little grassy and smokey.

T: A little more flavor than your average mass produced beer. 750ml bottles are better than the slightly metallic taste you get from the cans.

MF: Pretty average. Lots of carbonation.

Overall: I'm surprised to see that this is all malt. I've had hundreds of these and have never gotten that impression. It doesn't taste anything like Yebisu (for example).

Photo of darkmartin
2.38/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear golden-yellow with a miniscule white head.

Smell: Smells of grain and yeast, some mild hops.

Taste: Not much here, some grain, a tiny bit of hops in the finish. Not bad just very bland.

Mouthfeel: Very light with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: It goes down without a problem, I'd just never buy one again.

Photo of madvoice
2.35/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was hoping that this beer was going to be something akin to Asahi in taste but it fell dismally short. It poured a light amber colour with a finger width of head that almost disappeared instantaneously. It strongly smelled of hops and not much else. Tastes very ricey and it is very fizzy. Mouthfeel is a little light and it is really watery. I wasn't so impressed with this as I was with Asahi beer. I don't think I'll be actively seeking this one out again.

Photo of dill
2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on draught into a mug.

I want to make clear that this was consumed in California and likely brewed in LA as opposed to Japan. I have had it in Japan before and it was better than this.

A - a decent yellow color with a white head with lots of lacing.

S - at first there was a strong yeasty, grainy smell.

T - not very strong with a bit of hops although not very pleasant.

M - medium carbonation, a bit thin.

D - i ordered this at a japanese restaurant as it was the only draught option. i've had it before and never quite enjoyed it, but often it is the only option. i think i've probably had it in america for the last time though.

Photo of Wegomlegging
2.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of LordChesterfield
3.48/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is decent beer. There's absolutly nothing outstanding about it but it's better that most American macro brews. It pours a deep gold color with weak head and decent lacing. It smells very crisp to me, not really like vegetable matter like some other have said. It has a dry lagery taste that's typical of beers from nihon. The mouthfeel is a noticeably smooth though. I like it. It's a little hoppier and not quite as dry as asahi super dry.

Photo of Sudsy89
2.31/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

24oz. can, poured into highball glass

This was the first "Japanese" beer I've tried, though it's brewed in California and is very similar to American macro lagers. Pours a pale straw-colored, thin. Has an average-sized foamy head that dissipates quickly, not much lacing on the glass. Taste and smell is not very pleasant, has a bitter skunkiness to it at first, and the best comparison I can make would be a cheap Budweiser or Coors, maybe a bit of rice flavor in the background. Mouthfeel is average of a lager, a bit watery. Drinkability could be OK for someone who is a fan of this style,but I'd have to pass.

Photo of Neil_Pfeifer
3.53/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For some reason I really like the taste of this beer

Photo of ElJacobian
2.51/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
63 out of 100 based on 1,559 ratings.