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

1,293 Ratings
THE BROS
57
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,293
Reviews: 525
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 23.19%
Wants: 9
Gots: 67 | 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: 1,293 | Reviews: 525 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev +20.9%

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.

05-25-2008 14:34:28 | More by woodychandler
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev +29.3%

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.

12-21-2008 12:56:32 | More by tempest
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

2.68/5  rDev +1.9%

Coming in a 350ml can, produced on 14/06/2011, BB 13/06/2012, served chilled in a slim pilsner glass.

A: pale straw in colour, coming with lively fizziness mainly consisting of medium-large bubbles, while the thin off-white beer head lasts pretty well.
S: very light lager malts’ aroma flows with a mild edge of lager’s sourness, while a gentle whiff of hoppiness stays behind. A swirl brings out more doughy aroma, while the malts underneath also manifest more. Not like other Japanese adjunct-rich lager, this one seems to stand up to the promise of “100% malts”
T: the foretaste is a bit weird, at first hop-bitter, a bit dry, then an intriguing flow of sour grain-mash ensues, followed by more rough bitterness… Malts pretty much disintegrates amidst these elements, rendering only a faint trace of grains in the very end. Hops, in both bitterness and aroma, seem to retain a rather low level, showing random fruitiness also in the very end.
M&D: due to the low serving temp., the fizziness doesn’t seem to bother that much, overall refreshing anyway. This beer’s promise lags way behind its performance, I’m afraid. Albeit adjunct free, the taste and body don’t seem to benefit directly from this fact, while the alc. content stands out where the flavour wanes, which is a critical failure in terms of production and balance, IMO.

01-24-2012 10:59:50 | More by wl0307
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3/5  rDev +14.1%

Pours golden with a head that fades quickly to a thin swirl on top but leaves some slight lacing. Smells clean, light, slight minerally and with a noticeable smell of rice. fresh smelling as well. I think the can makes a difference in stopping the skunking of this beer. The taste is similar. Slight yeastiness, some light pleasant rice flavors, clean and fresh tasting with a light bitterness on the finish. Smooth and somewhat crisp. I was looking for a lawnmower beer and this fit the bill. Not bad for what it is, but obviously not the end all be all either.

06-10-2008 23:16:34 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +41.8%

This is a pint glass, served on-tap and in a pilsner glass, at PF Chang's restaurant, a Chinese-American chain. The lager is cold.

Appearance: The lager has a nice golden color, a little deeper than a pilsner, but still crystal clear. Must be the pour, but there is no head.

Smell: The lager has a nice malty aroma. The light aroma clearly supports the inclusion of rice on the brewing. There is no appreciable hop aroma.

Taste: The malts (including the rice) give the lager a very pleasing taste. The flavors are not too overwhelming (a drawback for some, perhaps), but they go very well with the delicate flavors and spices of Asian food (yes, this is Chinese food, but there was no Tsing-Tao on tap).

Mouthfeel: The malts are pleasant and low-key, although I'd love just a little hop kick.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer, ably representing its style. I could have had many more, if only I weren't driving...

05-14-2006 23:11:39 | More by akorsak
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

2.7/5  rDev +2.7%

Served in a bottle at Tonic (Hilton Beijing) in Beijing, China

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall bright white head that quickly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring around the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of grainy malts with just the slightest hint of rice.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderate flavors of grainy and cracker malts with very light hints of rice. There is a pleasant light bitterness to the beer in the finish which does not linger.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is easy to drink and a little more malty than I had expected considering the style and lightness of the beer. Not a bad flavor but nothing that really stands out - traditional offering at many Japanese restaurants so I will eventually have it again but not a beer I would seek out.

08-24-2012 22:52:01 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev +15.2%

(Served in an imperial strange)

A- Pours a very pale yellow with a slight orange hint. Almost no carbonation visible in this crystal clear body and a big creamy head.

S- Very crisp clean aroma with a faint hint of fragrant rice. It also has the very faint hint of decomposing leaves that is not a pleasant smell.

T- Very light hop bitterness at the initial sip and then a unique taste of rice. It is a almost sweet rice finish but it is very light and delicate.

M- Very light watery mouthfeel with no carbonation and no astringency at all.

D-This is very unique even from other adjunct beers. It accents the rice in the beer instead of masking it. The smell kind of puts me off but the taste in surprisingly interesting. I didn't find the beer all that well rounded just unique. I didn't notice any malt and only faint hints of hops.

04-01-2005 02:13:44 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.15/5  rDev -18.3%

Pours with a two-finger white head that leaves some lace. Clear pale amber color. Very light bodied and light carbonation. Slightly hoppy nose. Starts sweet with some hoppy overtones, finish is bland and watery. Works as a lawn mower beer and not much more. $1.60 for 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

08-13-2004 22:34:17 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

2.28/5  rDev -13.3%

Pours a light golden brew. It LOOKS OK!

Almost smell free. Not a good sign of a tasty brew.

Tastes sweetish and grainy. Slight lemon and hops flavors. Mostly it's a sweet Lager.

Mouthfeel is Budweiser, That sums it up.

Drinkable, But I would find a Sapparo

02-22-2004 05:33:20 | More by Zorro
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

1.83/5  rDev -30.4%

Beer testing, one, two...alright, let's give this beer a ride:

Straw yellow in color with carbonation bubbles racing through the body. It's topped by a lackluster head. Smell is conducted by some skunk and corn husk. There's plenty of rice is this brew, in fact, it's quite cloying. The flavor is very neutral and bland, but it does deliever a snappy feel on the tongue, with some dirt in the aftertaste.

Kirin Ichiban is the term Nabihci Nirik spelled backwards. It might as well be, cause this beer is no good and tough to consume.

07-24-2007 05:25:20 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

2.25/5  rDev -14.4%

02-17-2014 06:00:57 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

2.2/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

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

Utah

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a yellow color, nice carbonation, little one-finger white head had that does not last long, basically no sticky lacing. The nose is malty, ricy, grainy. The taste is malty, ricy/grainy, slightly sweet. Light body. Not drinkable, not too bad, but would not buy again.

09-10-2008 01:26:27 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

03-09-2013 13:44:55 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.42/5  rDev -8%

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.

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

Maryland

3/5  rDev +14.1%

12-05-2013 02:15:33 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

07-25-2014 03:43:35 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev +4.6%

11-30-2011 22:17:25 | More by brandoman63
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev +26.6%

I don't mean to sound racist, but all these Asian beers look alike to me. Yellow, filtered, steady bubbles and a head that appears eternally in a state of near-total collapse. Kirin Ichiban does, however, looks a little cloudier than most; its chill haze doesn't damper any of the glimmer but it does make my fingers appear fuzzy on the other side of the glass.

Anyone who bought this beer with the intention of tasting something exotic or unusual is bound to get a rude awakening in the aroma. No exotic impressions of Japan here. I had expected the crude, cheap, commercial stench of American industry, but I too was surprisingly mistaken in my assumptions. This actually smells... good?! Really good.

And indeed it tastes that way too. The maltiness is crisp and toasty, like you'd find in a quality American lager or traditional German pilsner, and has a slight biscuity profile. The finish is complimented by a very perceivable hop presence, a subtly pithy and earthy bitterness that puts the exclamation mark on what is a flavourful and quenching lager.

I initially sighed at the fact that I had to fork out the money for a full 650ml to review this. Now, I couldn't be happier that I did. And I'd do it again! This is an enjoyably, easily drinkable lager that has just the right amount of sweet, grainy flavour and brisk, enhancing carbonation. Best of all: I'm not tasting anything that isn't supposed to be in there.

Pale lager is not a style that I (nor most people) have a tough time appreciating, that is if it's done right. There are a few brands of pale lager that comprise some of my favourite, most frequently drank beers, but they resemble nothing like the diluted, corrupted, bastardized examples that most Asian breweries put out. Kirin Ichiban, on the other hand, as much as it surprises me to admit, actually does. Don't assume too much about this one...

04-03-2011 19:13:18 | More by biegaman
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-27-2013 16:40:44 | More by rab53
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev +4.6%

05-28-2014 01:22:37 | More by Latarnik
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.23/5  rDev +22.8%

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retenion and lacing.

The smell featured clean grain and rice aromas with a subtle flowery hop.

The taste was balanced and clean. Light rice body with a decent hop element.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp.

Overall a nice beer to accompany sushi. Nothing really exciting though.

10-02-2006 00:55:34 | More by plaid75
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

02-24-2014 22:04:24 | More by LXIXME
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

1.68/5  rDev -36.1%

Label reads "brewed under the STRICT supervision of Kirins Brewmaster by Annheuser-Busch". Well let me tell you something I think the someone fell asleep during this batch.

A: Any hoot, poured a clear, pale straw color with a short lived fizzy white head. Visible carbonation was fairly strong and aggressive.

S: light cabbage aromas.

T: The flavor was stale rice grains, with a slight green vegetable bitterness. A light aluminum taste was always observed. Odd as rice usually imparts a neutral crisp flavor while this was anything but. Green vegetables and sour celery stalks only add insult to injury for this beer.

M: watery, thin, dry , fizzy and otherwise repulsive.

D: not on my life. Cleaned my sink drain pretty good.

08-11-2008 22:38:06 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

2.28/5  rDev -13.3%

A - bright yellow; big, white, dense, foamy head; decent retention

S - very grainy, faintly grassy, a hint of lemon

T - very grainy, metallic, lemon, faint grass, very bitter finish, warm

M - crisp, thin, very light, smooth

This is a hrash beer. The metallic, bitter, warm off flavors are immensely off putting. There really isn't anything good to report here. Even the drinkability is slowed by the off flavors despite its light, smooth mouthfeel. I'll avoid this in the future.

05-25-2012 12:28:14 | More by tdm168
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
62 out of 100 based on 1,293 ratings.