Orion Premium Draft Beer | Orion Beer Co., Ltd.

108 Reviews
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Orion Premium Draft BeerOrion Premium Draft Beer

Brewed by:
Orion Beer Co., Ltd.

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 12-11-2002

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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 271
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.92/5  rDev +65.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orion Premium Draft Beer has a medium-to-thick white head, a somewhat hazy, bubbly, yellow-golden appearance, and a nice amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, lightly-toasted barley malt, cracker, and sugar, and it has a very full smell- wonderful! Taste is of sweet, light barley malt, delicate cracker, sugar, a mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Orion Premium Draft Beer finishes crisp, refreshing, mostly dry, and super drinkable. This is an incredibly balanced, almost perfect lager beer. I am stunned by it, and I think you should seek it out!


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Photo of Grundle20
4.2/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't think I've reviewed a Japanese rice lager, nor do I have much experience with them, but I'm assuming this is basically a Japanese spin on American macro lager brewed with rice. As such I will attempt to review this beer subjectively given those criteria.

The beer is straw yellow in color with just a touch of haze. There's a pretty decent two finger creamy white head to the beer. Although the head displays little lacing, this is offset by the mildly impressive staying power.

With very little power to the scent only a touch of sake like odors are detected. I've had a few encounters with rice beers as of late so I'm now almost positive that this is the smell of fermented rice, so I will simplify this to, "The beer smells faintly of rice." If you really bury your nose in to the beer a kiss of hops can be picked up at the back.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again with the sake like rice flavors, they almost come across as cidery in nature. There's a mild tartness up front with an even wash of overripe apples over the back of my palate. From front to back there is a sweetness to the beer, very similar to that of a 40oz. In the finish there is faint floral hop character but it only pops in for just a moment. The aftertaste is clean.

I must say that I would take this beer over a BMC standard lager just about any day. There's more flavor and less nasty aftertaste which consequently makes for a pretty drinkable beer.

Bottom Line:
By comparison to American macro lager I find this beer to be a step above. I find it odd given the fact that similar ingredients and processes are most likely used. Then again I've been to Japan before, and they do love rice so perhaps it's centuries worth of experience with fermenting rice beverages that gives this beer the edge. It's really not that bad, not quite a Prima Pils but not a beer to scoff at.

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Photo of kerouac
4.06/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orion is, thus far, my favorite Japanese-brewed beer. It is a great beer overall. Great taste, mouthfeel, and surprisingly good in a variety of temperatures. If you're a pilsner fan, like me, you'll enjoy this beer.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- this beer has hints of yeast, hops and malt that can be detected. Appearance- beer pours a pale yellow that is clear and has a one inch white head. Taste- A great hoppy flavor that has great dry finish. Palate- a nice light body with a dry finish that is accented by the lively carbonation. Overall- I may be biased since I loved this beer for years while stationed in Okinawa but I think this maybe the most flavorful Japanese rice lager. If it was available more often I would definitely drink it more in the States

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Photo of jaymirage
3.98/5  rDev +34%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been seeing this around lately, and given it was one of the few Japanese Rice Lagers I hadn't tried, I decided to pick one up.

Pours a striking yellow. Head lingers for a good long while -- long enough to surprise and impress, for what it's worth.

Taste is clean and crisp; refreshing, even. Reminds me very much of my favored light beer. Alcohol seems a bit lower than the other Rice Lagers, a quality reminiscent of an inoffensive British Mild. I like this. Very smooth, very clean, very mild. This is good.

Mouthfeel is superbly smooth. This would make an excellent session beer. Or good for an afternoon pint. Very drinkable.

Granted, this is NOT a complex beer -- if you're looking for that, by all means, avoid avoid avoid. But this beer does what it does, and it does it well. Mild. Nice. Refreshing. Give it a try.

This is my pick over Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, and yes, even (Y)ebisu, if you want to go there. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

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Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear pale yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring of lacing. It's not the best looking beer, but it's very true to the style. Scents of lager yeast, some moderate hop character, and grainy malt. Flavor begins with a moderate level of floral hop bitterness and some grainy malt in the background. This moves into more nice dry grainy malt flavors with a balance of floral hop bitterness. Finish is dry with a nice grainy dryness and floral hop bitterness. Aftertaste is dry with floral hop flavors. A nice flavor profile, quite dry, grainy and with a good level of hop bitterness. Quite pleasant to drink as a result. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a drying feel. Very refreshing, easy to drink and wonderful on a warm day. Overall this is a good Japanese Rice Lager that has a nice dry flavor character, a classic aroma profile for the style and a wonderfully refreshing mouthfeel. It's not the best beer around, but for it's style it is a fantastic drink.

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Photo of Devildog3
3.82/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my beer of choice when I was stationed on "The Rock" many moons ago in 1984. At the time, I remember it being available in mini plastic kegs, in beer machines on the street and on tap at local bars throughout the island.

I tried other Japanese brews such as Kirin, Sapporo and Asahi. Definitely decent and respectable beers in their own right. However, this particular brand was it for me.

Fast forward to 2009 and some things haven't changed. Drinking this again was like going back in time for me. Has a generic, floral taste with moderate spiciness and nice gold color and decent drinkability.

This may not be everyone's beer, but ahh, the memories!

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Photo of Spikester
3.74/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear bright gold with three fingers of white head that falls in about ten minutes leaving thick rings of lace.
Smell is very light.
Taste is light grains or malts with just a hint of herbal hop in the end.
Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation. Finish is lightly dry and neutral.
Overall a beer you could drink all night without getting bloated or bored. Well done Orion.

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Photo of skasdan
3.72/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer beats a Bud or Coors any day of the week. You must take this beer for what it is and nothing more. This isn't an Alpine Nelson nor was it meant to be. This is a mass produced lager that has been brewed with Japanese attention to detail and craftsmanship. It has light hop notes and a honey-like finish. This is a great beer to end a long day working in the high heat and humidity of Okinawa. It is refreshing and is true to its intent. Don't drink this beer thinking you're getting a craft brew, you are getting a well balanced and very drinkable beer that is cheaper than any American domestic here in Okinawa. Next time you are at Bevmo, pick up a bottle in the Japnese section for $2.50 and compare it to any domestic tall boy. I promise you'll buy it again.

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Photo of Bricelyn
3.64/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is straw yellow with little hints at orange in the shadows. No head as the Japanese lady that poured it filled it right to the top so the surface tension of the beer was all that was holding in in the mug!!! It has a little head that appears from me jostling the glass and a tiny bit of film lacing

It smells like a bud to be honest grainy and almost sweet.

This brew tastes amazing I do have to warn you that I have what is known as Oki Goggles!!! It's truly the only fresh beer on island and lets be honest The Japanese could care less how they store this stuff. Its grainy almost no hops a little sticky but smooth and no skunk to speak of so it makes me happy.

It has a very light soda like carbonation it feels very smooth not gonna say perfect but with oki goggles this brew feels awesome in my mouth I sometimes just chew on it cuz it has no skunk and that is a beautiful thing

If its on Tap I am drinking it! probably a little to irresponsibly

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 6 ounce stange/cylindrical glass at Ten in Charlottesville. From notes. Reviewed 13 June 2011.

A: No head, very pale. Clear yellow with some lace. Not irredeemable.

S: Lagery grain. Light and unpleasant. Doesn't bode well.

T: Shockingly good! Light fruit (apple) and really pleasant malt. Dry/clean aftertaste.

M: Absolutely great. Clean sparkly carbonation. Dry hints of fruit.

O: In my limited experience, the best Japanese beer I've tasted. Recommended highly for the style, but otherwise not worth seeking out.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.55/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking this out of a coffee pot.

Very clear orange-gold with a little white head.

Smells simple and a little sweet, about like a typical American lager. I also noticed a very weak scent of pineapple.

Tastes better than I expected. The standard lager tangyness is toned down, which is good. Flavor is watery with a little bit of sweetness and very mild light hop.

Feels very refreshing and clean. The tingle is a good medium. Feels like I could consume a lot of this.

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Photo of Burly
3.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My local 99 Ranch, an Asian-themed supermarket chain, is currently selling six-packs for $4.99, which is a bargain in and around Berkeley, California, so I've consumed a fair number of six packs over the last month. The beer is heavily carbonated, so be warned. However, it is light (4.7% alcohol), which I currently like, because I drink too much beer to be good for me. The flavor I would best describe as pleasant. It is probably a rice adjunct beer, since that's what it tastes like and that is common for East Asian beers. I generally like Asian rice-adjunct beers, particularly with Asian food, so that's not a problem. Seems to give the beer a bit of a winey, saki, malt liquorish flavor, which, again, goes well with Asian food.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.48/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this at the local sushi place in bomber.

A - Straw colored, very white 1 inch head, slowly leaves with tight bubbled cling lace.

S - Light malt, light hops. Breadier than expected. The operative word is light.

T - Taste matches smell. Light and easy on all accounts.

M - Light bodied, good coating and carb.

D - Very easy to drink - - would have a few out by the pool.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Something about the aesthetics of this bottle is really appealing to me. A nice heavy bottle with a raised pattern and the silver label stick out in my mind.

Pours a crystal clear yellow with a 2 inch puffy stark white head that settles to a small cap. Random streaks and spots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains, rice, and some grass notes. Taste is of sweet grains, minor rice flavors, and some herbal grassy flavors on the finish. A pretty good level of carbonation with a crisp but slightly medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good rice lager coming straight from Japan. I was expecting something mediocre but I actually enjoy this one for what it is. Much better than Saporro for sure.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.47/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a translucent golden yellow with a half finger of bubbly head and left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of various grains, citrus, and hints of spice with some sweetness from the malts; very basic.

T: the sweetness from the malts are the star of the show on the flavor with citrus, grains, and rice accents.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, grainy, citrusy, and crisp finish.

D: it was very light all around but drank really good and went good with some sashimi. Definitely a sessionable brew.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.47/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one from a brown 633ml bottle (odd size...) into a German-style pilsner glass. The beer pours a clear golden color with a bubbly white head, about 3 fingers worth. A very typical lager appearance, nothing special here.

The smell is the same, just what you expect from a lager, and the adjunct rice used doesn't stand out particularly. The dominant aromas are grassy, earthy, cool smells.

The taste is better... but it's still nothing bold. Extremely crisp and refreshing, which might not be the best way to describe a beer's taste, but it works. There's nothing bad here, just nothing special.

I'm sure these rice lagers are extremely popular in Japan, their versions of BMC lagers or Euro macrolagers, but I do find this to be a little better than the American versions.

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Photo of don1481
3.46/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

633 ml bottle at Zushi while away for business in Virginia Beach.

A: Pours a crisp amber color. Better than Miller lite's watery amber for sure.

S: faint traces of tropical fruit and apples. Not bad at all.

T: MUCH better than I feared given the price at a nice restaurant for the bottle. Pretty crisp, light but not thin. I like it.

M: For what I was expecting, its not watery at all. Pleasant surprise.

O: I would definitely have it again with sushi.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Custom brown 633 ml bottle with tiny dimples.
Aroma: A definite adjunct smell, guessing rice. Some light malt hints as well.
Appearance: Painfully clear yellow with a white short lived head the dwindled into a small collar and clumps. For the small head, it formed a lace beard on the far side of the glass.
Flavor: Very neutral, very clean, very light. It’s a lager. A hint of lemon, but faint.
Mouthfeel: Strong carbonation and slightly astringent.
Overall Impression: Ok, everyone has slammed this beer, but I actually enjoyed it. Yes, it’s macro water-beer. But it was clean, fairly smooth, and was a fair example of the style. I could see it pairing with many Asian foods. Scores reflect points for the style.

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Photo of mta00007272
3.44/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is my favorite Japanese Beer.

A - nice golden color typical of a lager

S - nothing special, but not offensive

T - great taste

M - crisp and refreshing

O - if a sushi restaurant has it, I am ordering it; great to cleanse the palate after some spicy tuna (I don't like the pickled ginger)

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Photo of mightyj
3.43/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

have had this from the bottle a number of times.

A - clear light yellow color with an ok amount of head

S - not too much going on here. some barely w/ a slight hop smell

T - taste i feel is very similar to weihenstephaner original. clean smooth sweetness with a little hop at the end to round it off

M - against it's clean crisp with a good amount of carbonation.

D - this is definitely a session beer.

i keep thinking this tastes like weihenstephaner original. it's the same beer!

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 21.4 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste is light, malts, a bit of sweetness, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good example of this style.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold champagne colour, steady bead. Head is white and foamy, pretty decent density. Nice lace.

Grain, rice and pearl barley on the nose. Hint of grassy, European hops, but mostly grain, and pretty bland.

Taste is based on cereal grain, notes of puffed rice and pearl barley, but finishes early, some grassy, slightly soapy hop notes. Very clean, finishes dry, crisp; lagery you might say. Actually tastes alright. Not very interesting but pleasant

Decent if a little thin body, bit of fizz, finishes dry enough.

Decent crisp lager. Overall pretty uninspiring, but plenty drinkable.

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Photo of SimpleBeerLover
3.39/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Standard pale golden with decent head.

Smell: Very faint aroma. Nothing outstanding

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light, clean refreshing.

Drinkability: I could put these away all night.

This is a beer that I normally wouldn't rate very highly. It's a great example of a style that I think has a lot of problems. But you have to be ON Okinawa to understand. This beer was tailor made for Okinawan summer evenings. Any other place, any other time, and it become mediocre at best. But on a hot, humid, summer night overlooking the beach, or sitting in an izakaya, this beer's qualities shine through.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very Japanese. Reminded me of Asahi dry or Sapporo. Light, crisp. Refreshing on a hot day. I used to live in Japan but have never encountered this beer before. Had it back in the hotel room together with a box of take-away sushi.

Bought at a Japanese supermarket in Singapore.

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Orion Premium Draft Beer from Orion Beer Co., Ltd.
2.97 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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