1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Kirin Light Beer - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Not Rated.
Kirin Light BeerKirin Light Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
56
awful

134 Ratings
THE BROS
46
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 2.22
pDev: 27.03%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Light Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kirin Light Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, light yellow body with an airy, well-sized, white head.

Smell: It's a pretty mild aroma at best, with only some light, clean notes of barley and spicy hops.

Taste: A thin, light taste of malted barley marked by a faint degree of sweetness and lightly spicy hops with a complimentary bitterness. Clean, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. A tad watery.

Drinkability: A light beer, of course, but one that's at least clean-tasting and fairly refreshing. There's a lot of true horrors in the land of lagers, but, thankfully, this wasn't of them.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of farfromstout
2.13/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this at a hibachi grill. Asked the guy if I could have the lager...shows back up with the light. I said, "You don't have the lager?" He goes, literally, "This is better." WOW!

Okay, I am not going to completely bash this. If you read on the side of the label, it says brewed by AB! "Under the strict supervision of Kirin". Well, since I haven't had any other Kirin products and this is claimed to be brewed identically by supervision of the parent company, then so be it.

It was slightly carbonated water. A bit of bitterness that may of been thrown in there as a last ditch effort for some type of flavour. Mouthfeel and taste hit the BACK of the tongue like you are scraping it with your toothbrush in the morning. Unfortunately won't forget that beer for a while. At least the Hibachi was good.

farfromstout, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
2.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on date of 13Jul09 and this one is brewed under 'supervision' by AB InBev in LA. Pours a very clear, very pale yellow with a fizzy white head that initially fades fast to a slowly decaying coating. There is just a bit of lacing on the glass.

Does not smell like much at all. Carbonated water and maybe a light graininess with some rice. Very unoffensive and neutral smelling beer.

Taste is on the mild side, even for a light lager with a few hints of stale grains...much like seltzer water and the rice additions only accentuate the effect. If you want a light beer with the least amount of flavor, this one is a good choice.

twiggamortis420, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
2.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Like most of the Oriental beers I've had, this poured a very pale yellow, with little head or lacing, a touch of carbonation, a grainy aroma and taste and a short dry finish. All that said, it was okay when paired with a Spicy Seafood Noodle soup, but I could have done much better. At least it wasn't fattening.

kimcgolf, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of yaegerje
1.73/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Pretty much looks like carbonated urine after a night of drinking, a big white head that leaves absolutely no lacing.
S - Corn and iron
T - Same, this big metallic after taste really messes this beer up.
M - Good carbonation I guess, that's something, but overall a little oily feeling
D - Just stay away, Kirin regular isn't half as bad as this light crap

yaegerje, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of erosier
1.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a golden yellow color that is completely see-through and has a short and thin white colored head that leaves little lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Smells of rice and that tingly alcohol smell you get from sake.
T: Tastes like water mainly with hints of rice flavoring.
M: Very smooth, very watery, good amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, it was like fizzy water with a bit of rice.

erosier, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of hopdog
2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. Enjoyed at Japan in Epcot after walking around in 90 degree heat.

I can't say this had any special aromas of tastes...grains, some corn, and lighter grassiness. It did go down fast on the hot day, but then again so did the glass of water.

hopdog, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of Mosstrooper
1.75/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this with 4 other Asian beers (plus 1 Budweiser to make a 6 pack) from the Japanese restaurant I work at.

Appearance: Unimpressive- very very pale gold color with a smaller head that leaves very quickly and leaves a tiny bit of lace. The lace is a slight plus, I guess.

Smell: An extremely faint smell, but smells of grain and corn.

Taste: Almost no flavor to be found, but has just a hint of sweetness and adjunct (rice, maybe some corn).

Mouthfeel: Very watery. Hey, at least it's refreshing.

Drinkability: I could drink these things all day, but that's only because they're so thin and tasteless. Wouldn't go out and buy this ever again (not even at a restaurant), but would drink it only if it were a hot day and some cold ones were around. Seriously, this beer isn't even worth a try.

Mosstrooper, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
1.18/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Pale, and I mean pale yellow...nearly colorless actually. A small wispy white haze is all that's on top of this beer, and no lacing is to be found.

S - Not much to smell really. A little bit of rice, a little bit of a sour, almost lactic note is there too.

T - Oh God, that's not really very good. I recall enjoying the normal Kirin Ichiban with some sushi, but this falls far short of that respectable brew. There isn't any flavor to be found apart from a mild sourness that reminds me of spoiled milk.

M - Super-thin, super-carbonated, and super-weak.

D - Pretty bad. This is a far cry from the "real" Kirin Ichiban...if you are trying to save calories, eat a little less rice beneath your sashimi and stick with the real stuff.

pmcadamis, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
2.9/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear maize-gold with a frothy white head that started out 2 fingers high and was very active on the surface with tiny eruptions and craters. The head soon diminished to a thin, fizzy covering while retention was moderate and the lacing non-apparent. Visible carbonation was very light.

s: There was a slight skunkiness upon first opening which thankfully was not detected on the actual nose. The aroma had light corn, dried rice and was very light overall.

T: For flavor there was some light dried butter grains with hints of fresh lemons. Overall was hard to judge, but was clean, crisp, refreshing, and faired well considering the style, which is all you can ask.

M: light, a little watery, with a brisk lemon hopping while finishing with a dry hoppiness. For a light beer it actually felt pretty good on the tongue.

D: Drinkability overall was average, per style. Certainly had no problem putting this down and at 95 calories and being a light beer I would ponder to say this is one of the better light beers (with exception of sam adams) that ive tasted, and I could drink a couple of these without hesitation.

beerthulhu, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of jwc215
1.8/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Born on date - as it's made for Kirin by A-B:

Pours light straw yellow with a thin white head that becomes a wide disappearing patch. Typical for style, at best.

The smell is not much of anything but seltzer water and some husk.

The taste is of lightly sweetened carbonated water. Pathetically void of anything, even for the style. Maybe some light husk, certainly seltzer water. Finishes...well, it hardly began, so there's not really a finish. Not really...anything, really. Yet, there's something going on that just doesn't taste right.

This reminds me of lightly sweetened carbonated water much more than a beer - even a macro light. Sad. A neighbor of mine likes this. She can keep it. I'll pass.

jwc215, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of Onslow
2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours with a big soapy foam head .. tastes abit tart, slightly metallic, and cheap low grade make yo mama cry wholesale corn ... smell is low, 2 non pigeon ... driankable but there are soooo many better (non budweiser made) light lagers out there.. and what is the deal with sushi??

Onslow, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of Portertime
1.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chock one up for another crappy light beer. Pretty much a watered down version of Kirin Ichiban. Pours a pathetic, thin, yellow tinged seltzer water. Smell of maybe dried corn and rice if you put your nose right up to it. Tastes like watered down ricecakes. One more light beer for the drain.

Portertime, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of Rootdog316
1.83/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light yellow color into the pint glass with almost no head. Very thin lacing, mouthfeel and palate. Pretty standard light beer. Looks like nothing, smells like nothing and tastes like nothing. Its certainly not offensive but its hard to say its good. Its carbonated water with a dash of alcohol. Not recommended at all...although I wonder how it would go along with sushi...probably not worth trying.

Rootdog316, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
2.63/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Extremely pale yellow, reminiscent of white grape juice. Produced a fingertip of head that actually lasted a while. Suds cling to the insides of the glass. Lacing is minimal to non-existent.

S - Smells faintly of corn, grain, and grass. Other than that, nothing really here.

T - Initially not bad at all for the style. Very light watery taste that is complimented with something oddly sweet. Aftertaste however reminds me of pocket change.

M - Light bodied, medium carbonation, tinge of something coppery. Not entirely pleasant.

D - Pretty decent, overall. I'd actually prefer this over 99% of other bmcs. I do like the Ichiban a little better, but I'd have to say I'd take this over any other light beer.

PhageLab, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of theopholis
2.53/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours an absoutely crystal clear straw color with a tight, white head. The head has no retention, leaves no lacing, but the body continues to effervess for quite some time.

Aroma - A corny, sour-mash up front, with a hint of malt sweetness and bittering hops in the background. Aroma of cooked corn to. About what you would expect from an American macro-lager.

Taste - Not much taste at all. Very crisp and refreshing, but so light, there is very little taste. This would be a decent lawn-mower beer, but that's it.

Mouthfeel - Light body. Very crisp and clean. CO2 level is just about perfect for the style.

Drinkability- With the canned corn aroma and severe lack of taste, it's not the most drinkable stuff in the universe. It ain't horrible tho.

theopholis, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
2.75/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Went out to the hibachi steakhouse last night and they had the last two on the menu that I had not tried, this being one of them. Poured a dull straw yellow with a big white fizzy head. Lots of visible carbonation, but the fizzy yellow water type, no lace. The smell was very faint, if there at all. What I could pick up was maybe a hay, or wheat smell. Again very very faint, and hardly there at all. The taste was very light and non descript, but that is about what one would expect from a light lager. A light grain, just enough of a taste to know I was not drinking water would be the best way to describe it. Decent feel, again just the cold well carbonated. Crisp, and a clean finish, no aftertaste. Overall this was totally forgettable, as I imagined it would be. Their version of Bud Light I imagine and if thats the case, it is spot on. Nothing to see here, move along people.

mikesgroove, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of Drew966
2.73/5  rDev +23%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kirin Light Beer pours a light golden yellow with a thick white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is grainy. The taste is also grainy, with a touch of corn flavor jumping out at me. There's nothing offensive here, but really not much going on either. A decent choice if you want a light lager.

Drew966, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
2.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My girlfriend says that this beer smells like wet-dog. She makes me laugh. Actually the beer smells quite grainy for a light lager, and with an earthy hop character that hinges on the pungent side. The good news is that that's the worst of it. The beer pours an expected crystal-clear, fizzy brew with fleeting head retention. After the aromas, the flavors offer little of anything. Very faint pils malts and rice, but those are short lived. The hops only encorage a balance and are equally as fleeting. The feel is quite watery and carbonated. The beer simply offers little character or interest.

BEERchitect, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of zeff80
2.1/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a light yellow color. Highly carbonated with next to no head.

S - It smelled sweet and of corn/grains.

T - Tasted like corn and a little watery.

M - It is thin and very light-bodied.

D - Not the worst light lager, but certainly not the best. Nothing really jumped out at me.

zeff80, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
1.02/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a clear gold with a quarter inch cream colored head. Dissipates quickly. No lacing at all. Smells of sweet corny malt.

Taste is really bad. Sour and unpleasant. Mineral watery in character and lightly vegetal. Mouth is watery. No crispness. Limp, yet fizzy. Blick. This is foul. Run, don't walk.

ViveLaChouffe, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.58/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Sallow maize, not the 'rich amber color' that is claimed. The cotton white head isn't as soft, as unsticky and as short-lived as the heads on some beer of this style, but neither is it anything special. It looks slightly pathetic as is deflates, and results in no more than scattered sudsy specks of lace.

The nose is almost absent. And what I do appreciate... I don't appreciate. Kirin Light doesn't really smell like beer at all, more like faux beer. At best it smells like low-alcohol beer. Even though it doesn't make me turn away in disgust, I have no desire to keep on sniffing.

Because Kirin Ichiban (a Japanese rice lager) was so weakly flavored and had such a light body, I wasn't expecting much out this offering. Actually, it has a little flavor (although I wish it didn't). It tastes as artificial as it smells; as if beer extract was added to lightly carbonated distilled water.

There's nothing resembling malt or hops in the flavor profile. The brewery must have a terrific sense of humor since (in addition to the 'rich amber color' gag) they claim that Czech hops are used. Trust me, there isn't one shred of hop flavor or hop bitterness is this abomination of an alcoholic beverage. At 3.31%, we can't even count on alcohol to add a little flavor.

Amazingly, the body/mouthfeel seems lighter and more insubstantial than water. How is that possible? A fine fizziness early gives way to a barely noticeable fizziness late. This beer has one of the most crapalicious mouthfeels that I've run across in a long, long time.

Kirin Light is bad. It's even worse than some low-alcohol beer and I have a hard time thinking of them as beer at all. My advice can be boiled down to one word that can be found on the reviewing drop-down menu next to the number 1.0. And that word is... avoid.

BuckeyeNation, May 20, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
2.88/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pale yellow color with modest white head. Smell is very minimal with only a slight sweet note to be found. Taste is very light, but also refreshing, and moderately enjoyable. Finish is more of a refreshing taste, but offers nothing out of the ordinary. Expensive spacer.

tgbljb, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Higravity
1.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Well I had the Kirin so lets see if the light is as good.

Wow this is pale yellow, or moderatly hydrated man piss. White head that leaves no lace. Smells of boiled rice and taste of almost nothing. My mouth thinks I am drinking soda water, at least I can drink it quickly.

Higravity, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
2.13/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

The closest beer I recall that tastes almost exactly like water. Although this may increase its drinkability score, no other positive qualities could be found. Appeared almost like water with a few squeezes of lemon. No head or carbonation. First time I have had a Japanese beer and I hope this will not deter me from trying a few others.

Backer2004, Dec 05, 2004
Kirin Light Beer from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
56 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.