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Kirin Ichiban Shibori Stout | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

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Kirin Ichiban Shibori StoutKirin Ichiban Shibori Stout

Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Japan | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by soulgrowl on 11-09-2007

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 32
Photo of FLima
3.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Until a couple of years ago I understand this beer was actually a Black Lager, but they changed the yeast.
Black color with red highlights with a thick huge caramel head with great retention.
Aroma with predominant notes of mocha coffee.
Flavor with notes of caramel, homemade coffee, cocoa, slightly earthy, a bit of charred wood, grains and cola. Dry aftertaste with a cola and roasted note. Very mild bitterness.
Light bordering watery body with good carbonation.
Smooth Stout on the lighter side with homemade coffee predominating. Not outstanding, but I could have a few.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The moderately intense aroma is dominated by roasted malt which gives off brown sugar, bread, chocolate, and coffee; there's a light touch of spicy/herbal hops. Pours a large, thick, and smooth tan head; the body is very dark brown with deep garnet highlights against the light. The flavor includes very smooth, dark roasted malt with a toasty, grainy finish. Again, there's a hint of spicy/herbal hops. The flavor thins out over time and comes to taste more like stale coffee but remains rather enjoyable. The feel is smooth and a bit thin with moderate carbonation and a good bite without being overall crisp.

Rich, tasty, pleasantly aromatic, and fairly solid overall. Especially at first, there's lots of roasted, mildly sweet maltiness in the flavor with a slight hoppy accent. It does thin out like many other dark, malty beers, but at that point its Ichiban Shibori foundation becomes detectable while retaining its smoothness and roasted malt flavor. I'd be happy to have it again.

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Photo of samparkique4
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

aroma is fulfilling
palate is roasted rye bread
dark barley roast is presence
"koku"mentship is here
nutty caramel and yet sweet inside the palate

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Photo of woodychandler
4.11/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My local, in-person trader, tone77, was recently on a far out trip to the Far East and brought back a plethora of CANs for me. I am very excited by all of these foreign CANs and as such, today is my New CANned Black & Oriental Beer Sunday!

From the CAN: "Kirin's Prime Beer"; "Brewed for Good Times"; "The first wort gives this quality draft beer a full-bodied flavor. The deep and creamy taste enriches your precious time."

They have NO idea just how precious my time is! I should be paid to do this, but for now, it is time for the Crack & Glug! My initial inverted Glug into my Anderson Valley CAN glass not only produced a faux-cascading action, but the head began to threaten to overflow the glass. I allowed it to settle into two-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown which allowed for ZERO light penetration. Nose had a dark chocolate, burnt charcoal quality along with a slight metallic tang. Mouthfeel was dense, creamy and coupled with the chocolate flavor, I could close my eyes and imagine having a milkshake. Finish was semi-sweet with the chocolaty flavor simply lingering. I CAN see why tone77 thought that this was the best of the lot.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by coffee. Taste is coffee, roasted malts, a touch of smoke. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is probably the best beer I found at the local beer vending machine here in Tokyo.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a hotel tumbler

Pours black but not opaque, light brown head. Smell is toast and chocolate.

Taste is coffee, slightly burnt toast, and not much else. A little one dimensional, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is thinnish and light. Overall, this isn't a very special beer, but it's not bad. I'd drink it again, unless there was something else to try.

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Photo of sfprint
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Like a very dark cola/root beer, barely a head, too dark to see any rising carbonation if there is any.
S: Chocolate, more chocolate than roasted malt. Slight dark fruit aroma.
T: Very toasted malt, bordering on burnt, slightly sour, extremely subtle cola quality.
M: Very astringent which can kind of glue your mouth shut. Very mild carbonation, light body.
O: Decent. definitely drinkable, but not special.

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Photo of pettis
3.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into a US pint. Nice frothy tan head at first that recedes to a rather small lacing. Faint hint of roasted malt in the nose. Very dark brown, almost black, though shows a bit of dark amber when held up to the light.

Taste much like it smells, though the burnt/roasted malt flavor comes through more. Not exactly sweet...more on the dry side though little hop bitterness. Good call on the Schwarzbier classification--not sure if this uses a lager yeast (probably it does) but it drinks more like one that it does a stout or porter.

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Photo of OneBrewru
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Kirin Stout pours a thin black and is topped by a persistent cappuccino colored hear. Decent amount of lacing.

The smell is very minimal. Whisps of coffee and chocolate with a metallic edge.

The taste is light and bitter with a slight metallic finish. Hints of coffee.

The mouthfeel is very light with a small amount of carbonation.

Overall, this beer is ok but nothing special.

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3.14/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Served in a small (8oz) glass. A light wisp of cappuccino-colored head quickly dissipated into the watery black body of this beer. All in all, like a waifish Japanese supermodel, this beer looks a little more light-bodied than it should be.

Smell: On first whiff, I noticed dates, molasses, and sweet root beer. On second whiff, a distinct note of cheap malts (a la Bud Light) crept in. Still passable.

Taste: Slightly charred wood and dry fruits up front, with a distinct sour, smokey, and metallic finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin but it sticks with you. Carbonation is a little more prickly than necessary.

Drinkability: This beer is just so-so. It has some good flavors, but the metallic and slightly moldy-malt flavored finish cut away from it being a clear win. I could drink a few of these, but it certainly wouldn't be a fondly-remembered, warm-fuzzies eliciting beer session.

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Photo of TexIndy
2.1/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Got as an extra from EinWeizenbitte who bought it back from Japan - many thanks! Poured from a 350ml can into a pint glass. Bottom of can shows June '09 canning with a Feb '10 best by date. Was a dark black color with mahogany highlights when against the light. It had a large brown head that settled into a collar and some film.

The aroma was very weak at first and improved slightly as it reached room temp. Smoke, roasted malt and cocoa. The taste was very bitter and not in the good way. From start to finish was solid bitter with the base flavors being drowned out. This is one of my favorite styles so expecting bitter but this was too much and had an almost burnt quality to it. Needed some major balancing to offset it. Undrinkable and drain pour as is.

Overall, really disappointed with this one. Big fan of schwarzbiers and they are hard to come by so was really psyched for this one. However, the overly burnt bitter taste overwhelmed the rest of the beer. It's fresh and others don't mention the bitter and do mention gentler flavors so maybe the store mishandled this one.

Rotation: not available here but would be one and done if it was. [1x]

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Photo of Murchmac
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend brought this back for me from Japan, in a can. No more rhymes I mean it, anybody want a peanut?

It pours with some head, the cola brown and black mix like Andy Garcia and Michael Douglas in Black Rain.

Smells of some cocoa, chocolate, cut grass. Is this a stout? No, may the schwarzbier with you.

Good taste, lager body, roasted stout taste. An agrarian beer in a modern stout flavor. Just like Japanese society.

Thanks to Keg for schlepping this beer back with him. Glad I had it, pretty quaffable. Not bad considering he bought it out of a vending machine on a city street.

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Photo of bobsy
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good call on the schwarzbier - while this does have some roast too it, its definitely not a stout.

Deep cola coloured liquid with a large frothy mocha head that laced well and had good retention. Nice start for this macro. Treacle and dark fruit in the nose, with limited dark roast. Lots of caramel and molasses in the flavour, along with chocolate and a light coffee bitterness in the finish. Like a good schwarz, the light mouthfeel belies its dark appearance and makes for a refreshing drink.

For a beer from one of the biggest brewers in the world this is highly impressive. When the hell will Molson roll out a drinkable beer? Also, considering the poor distribution of micros in Japan, this could easily become a standby option for residents.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm glad soulgrowl had the nous to enter this as a more apt style than the user-friendly "STOUT" appellation on the bottle. Considering the beer market in Japan, this is a highly acceptable brew, especially since it's easy to find at most decent supermarkets.

Very dark brown with a very foamy tan head. The head isn't very dense and is probably the least attractive thing about the beer - tasting the foam is where the rice adjuncts are most noticeable. Smell of roast malt, but without too much depth. Tastewise, there is hoppy bitterness without going overboard, and roasty malt which isn't so excessive and warming as to make this beer unattractive in a warm climate. A sense of rice on the palate, but only if you're looking for it.

This is a dark beer well-suited to a night like tonight: a Friday evening in early June in humid Japan. It's not spectacular, but it's easy to find without too much of a headache or a wait, it's interesting enough to enjoy but mild enough to quaff, it's not so extreme as to slow me down in this weather, and it's reasonably priced. I'm glad I've got a few to help me unwind.

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Photo of Tsuriman
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I originally posted this beer as Kirin's Stout. Now that I know it is a schwarzbier I am really happy. I will paste my unedited post below (mostly cause I am lazy, but it gets the point across).

Hate to do this when I see all the bottled reviews so high but the canned version of this beer is not so good. I want to call it a darker, slightly roasty version of kirin ichibanshibori.

Even the can states
"Just taste 'Ichibanshibori Stout.' The first wort gives a marvelously deep taste. The aroma of roasted malt and smooth creamy foam enrich your precious time."

While a slight flavor is present an aroma is not. My precious time might be well spent somewhere else. If I am looking for a STOUT, I wouldnt bother with this beer again. As for the head, its big bubbles disappear quickly but coat the sides of the glass for a while. Mouthfeel is thin. Taste as well, with minimal roasted malt detectable.

Big label of stout across the front kills the experience. Maybe a Black Lager or a Schwartzbier label would do this beer experience wonders.

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Photo of SargeC
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep black brew with a sticky, tan head.

Smell: Hints of minerals, smoky malt.

Taste: Schwarzbier flavor. Smoky mineral-like backbone with tasty malt flavors throughout. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body, dry and refreshing.

Drinkablity: Good beer. I do not know why they call it a stout because it isn't, but it makes a good light sipper.

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Photo of Talisker
3.12/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(Review originally filed 9/23/2007 under a different Kirin Stout. Reposted here after now that the correct beer is listed).

350ml can purchased at 7-11 in Tokyo. Poured into a glass in my hotel room.

English text on can reads "Kirin's Original Brew. Stout. Just taste 'Ichibanshibori Stout.' The first wort gives a marvelously deep taste. The aroma of roasted malt and smooth creamy foam enrich your precious time."

Pours a medium dark brown with some red highlights. Very clear, translucent all the way through when held up to light. Head is off-white. Aroma is chocolatey, but not heavy. Taste is very light, some fluffiness, but also some lager-y tangy characteristics (maybe from rice?). That light fluffy chocolate and roast is nicely integrated with the nose. Finishes too quick, gone before you know it.

If someone told me this was a schwarzbier, I would believe them. Regardless of style, it's not particularly noteworthy. Not bad, just not worth seeking out.

Originally Reviewed on: 09-23-2007 07:16:21

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: The name is "stout," but I understand this was brewed with a bottom-fermenting lager yeast, so I am entering it as a Schwarzbier. It is all-malt, so I feel it would be inappropriate to put it in the "Euro Dark Lager" category (whatever that is).

Appearance: Opaque root beery blackish brown. Dark and thick-looking. Head is cafe-beige in color with decent retention.

Smell: Lots and lots of molasses up front, with a very distinct prune-like quality, plus a roasty character (burnt popcorn?) and mild chocolate and coffee in the background. Hops are undetectable.

Taste: Mildly and straightforwardly "dark" tasting, with plenty of woody char, dark chocolate, and oatmeal cookies. Crisp, floral hops keep the edges nice and tidy. Overall, it is good but very simple. My tongue keeps searching for nuances and finding nothing.

Mouthfeel: Marshmallowy soft and airy, with a surprisingly crisp dryness to it. Perfect for the flavor, and for the target consumer.

Drinkability: This is a lovely offering from Kirin, not as good as their export stout, but very nice. I am very sad to see it slowly being phased out. Oh well... at least Suntory The Premium Malt's Black is still around.

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Kirin Ichiban Shibori Stout from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
80 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.