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 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 metter98
3.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that immediately dissipated, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of adjunct malts (rice in particular) in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of rice malts and has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and seems to be a lot more palatable compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I danced around trying this beer for quite some time. Seeing everyone at one of my favorite watering holes pay good money for this, I thought I'd give it a shot. I was expecting it to wow me, but it didn't. It's a typical rice beer that has a corn sugar sweetness and void of meaningful character. Hopped for bitterness and light earthy flavors. Ends up lightly herbal, grainy, and a bit oily. Finishes shy of clean or crisp. Not a bad beer. I certainly prefer this to many other Japanese beers that I have tried.

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Photo of emerge077
3.09/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Heavy monolithic 633mL bottle, $4ish at Mitsuwa Marketplace.
Bottlecap reads "for your happy time".

Brassy gold color, billowing head of white foam, spotty lace in the glass. Pretty good surface coverage, collar of white foam in the glass.

Aroma is bland, grainy rice hulls, and a mild sweetness.

Watery, wet paper notes, vague bitterness in the finish. So bland and mild there's really not much assertive flavor whatsoever. If the goal was to make a bland, inoffensive beer... success!

Works well as a foil to wasabi or chili peppers.

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Photo of largadeer
3.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale yellow in color, a small white cap rises and slowly settles to a thin ring.

Not much aroma to speak of. Faintly crackery with the slightest hint of butter. Subtle yeast and lemon zest. Not bad, but extremely bland.

The taste is similarly bland; watery up front, dry and fizzy with a slight mineral flavor. The mid-palate reveals a hint of malt and a slight slickness. Dry and lightly bitter in the finish. A clean and refreshing lager, albeit pretty bland.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label on the bottle reads "Orion draft beer's clear mild taste is widely loved as an Okinawan original". Just exactly how "original" it is, I'm not sure. As for the "clear mild taste", however, I'm completely sure of that!

It pours a crystal clear golden body beneath an average-sized head of bright white that holds fairly well, bolstered by quick rising, fairly large bubbles from below. Minor lacing is left about the glass.

The aroma is clean, and quite generic. It smells like "beer" - a mild combination of lightly grainy and subtly sweet malt and some fairly non-descript hops.

In the mouth it's light-medium in body, and fairly effervescent, leaving it quite zesty on the tongue.

The flavor is as might be expected of any mass-produced golden lager. Straightforward, lightly grainy and mildly sweet malt is tempered with gently floral, and very subtly grass and spicy hops. It's superbly balanced, however, by a gently firm bitterness. The start is like the finish, the finish like the start, and there's not much of a bump in between.

Not that that's a bad thing, if that's what you're looking for. There IS some flavor here, and although it is basically "fizzy yellow beer", there's a time and place for that just as much as there's a time and place for a thick, rich barleywine. On a really hot day, out in the sun at a ballgame or out on a fishing boat, this would certainly serve a purpose.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cap reads "For Your Happy Time" - let's go.

A: Poured from a 633 ml brown bottle a clear pale yellow with one-finger thick white head which fades quickly to the rim and a thin cap leaving splotchy lace.

N: Grainy and husky earthyness with some grass/hay and yeasty notes.

T: Crisp and clean, mildly sweet malts, yeasty, floral, slightly metallic aftertaste.

M: Light body and semi-medium carbonation. Semi-dry, smooth, frosty, yeasty finish.

O: Basic and easy to drink and enjoyable with food.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear pale straw yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall white head that instantly dissipates to an extremely thin patch and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing is observed.

S: Some adjunct malt aromas as well as a stronger aroma of rice and toasted rice. There is a light amount of sweetness in the smell. Just a hint of some earthy hops.

T: The flavor follows pretty closely to the smell, there is a pleasant sweet malt malt (mostly adjunct malt with grain sweetness). There is a pleasant toasted rice flavor as well as some hints of earthy hops with very light bitterness.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable, this beer matches well with a lot of different pan-Asian cuisines. I have had this beer at many sushi restaurants and continue to enjoy/order it. Better than many others in the style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.51/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale lemony amber with a few fine specks if one allows direct sunlight to enter the glass like I'm doing. The cap is a fraction darker than pure white, which gives it a rich, classy look. The texture and persistence aren't too shabby either, nor is the quality and quantity of lace deposition. Orion is a pretty good looking beer.

If blinded, then allowed to take a sniff, I'd have said American macro lager. I don't expect the flavor to be such a dead ringer for that style, but the nose is. A whiff of untoasted grain and a whiff-and-a-half of musky hops is about it.

The only difference between Orion and... say... Miller Genuine Draft, is that this beer is a little sweeter and has less flavor overall. The first thing to hit the taste buds is a short blast of rice juice sugariness, followed by a slightly longer herbal spiciness from what tastes like German (or Czech) hops. In the end, the paper thin flavor profile collapses into a watery muddle that features a minimal amount of prickly carbonation.

Prior to the fleeting tongue sizzle on the back end, the bubbles don't do much. They certainly don't energize what can only be described as a lackluster mouthfeel. Sure, this stuff might be drinkable in the 'ease of' sense, but not in the infinitely more important 'enjoyability' sense.

I can't remember a thing about the four Japanese rice lagers that I drank prior to this one. If anything, this is even more of a generic style than American macro lager (and that's saying something). The only English words on the brewery's website are 'For Your Happy Time'. Actually, no time is the right time for Orion Premium Draft Beer. My time would have been happier if I hadn't spent $3.79 for the bottle.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to mdfb79 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF Round 5. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of slightly dirty white foam. The nose comprises wheat, grass, flowers, light cardamom (sorta), and a minor bit o' pepper. The taste holds notes of wheat, light greens, light lime zest, black pepper, flowers, and some very light caramel. The body is a hefty-ish (in the loosest sense) light, with a light moderate carbonation and a finish that leans toward the crisper side of life. Overall, a decent brew, really not all that bad for a JPL. Normally these things hurt to drink: This one was just kinda bland and, you know, kinda there...

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Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was down in Baltimore this past weekend, visiting a college chum and attending the annual Brewers' Art Mid-Atlantic Holiday Gathering. I took Amtrak to Penn Station and then began walking south to The Brewers Art when I passed Aloha Liquors, a little store that never fails to have something new and unusual available, prompting me to stop in. I scored an 833-ml bomber of this, as well as some other gems that are sure to be just as good.

From the bottle: "Orion Draft Beer's clear mild taste is widely loved as an Okinawan original."

Okinawa, eh? I spent several months there in 1992 with NMCB 5 at Camp Shields and what I remember most was the stench from the pig farm down the road. Let's hope this is more pleasant.

My pour did not lack for head! I had better than two fingers' worth of dense bone-white head with great retention. Color was a sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a clean lager-sweetness to its scent. I am beginning to understand why not all adjuncts are bad - just corn. Mouthfeel was tending toward full, kind of light and fluffy on the tongue with a pleasant lager sweetness in the mouth. Finish had a real dryness to it which was both unexpected and enjoyable. I may be jaded after so many AALs in support of The CANQuest (TM), but I found this to be quite enjoyable. Now, do not misconstrue what I am saying - this was nothing to write home about, nor would it be worth seeking out, but as a "find" and at its price point, it was fully worthwhile. I would like to revisit this in a CAN, if possible.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Generic lager color with a great head, and decent lace.

S - Very subtle, not much of a smell at all. Sling notes of agave nectar and lemon.

T - Definite notes of ginger. The front end has notes of a watey melon, similar to a honeydew. The middle faded to a citrus note like a lemon zest. The finish was a very dry bitterness.

M - Average lager, very light and smooth. Carbonation is very pleasant.

O - As I said, just a very generic lager, very drinkable.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.24/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a light yellow amber with a thin white cap that has decent retention with slight lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light sweet apple juice and a hint of grassy hops. Flavor is light sweet malt with a minerally bitterness that eventually resolves as light grassy hops. An unusual light bland sweetness that may be the rice components. Light bodied. A pleasant light lager that is milder and slightly sweeter than a domestic adjunct lager. Bland and harmless, tasted pretty good on a hot summer day. My one hundredth style on BA.

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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 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 Georgiabeer
3.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale straw color with virtually no head. Smells slightly sweet and light, with a bit of congee like aroma. The taste is pretty clean to start, definitely with some light, clean rice flavors, and a bit of husky bitterness at the end. Not nearly as bad as I feared it might be, in fact, fairly refreshing.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.05/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 633mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: golden-yellow hue with a clear body and a good effervescence. Head is two fingers of frothy white foam -- stylistically appropriate.

Smell: light, sweet malt with a hint of noble hops. Not exciting, but not bad.

Taste: light, sweet malt that doesn't taste too adjunct-ey. Simple and bland with a touch of noble hops and a low bitterness. Perfectly inoffensive.

Mouthfeel: light body with a light effervescence. Not great, but not terrible.

Overall: for the style, pretty good. It's boring and balanced, but basically flaw-free, and quite drinkable indeed.

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Photo of Zorro
2.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow colored lager with a small white head.

Light hop aroma mostly lemony with a faint rice aroma. Slight vegetable aroma but this really doesn't smell like much.

Starts out mildly malty with a slight hop flavor. Slight oxidation flavor and very mildly sweet. But the truth is this doesn't taste much like anything.

Mouth feel is your basic club soda.

Drinkable in the way club soda is. OK tried this once, NEXT!

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Photo of jdhilt
2.06/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a pure white, two-finger head that goes slowly to a ring and leaving a good lace. Light carbonation and light bodied. Crystal clear golden amber color. Nose is weak malt. Flavor is bland, boring and inoffensive; sweet but insipid. Corn aftertaste. Buy only if you are bored with the macro lights. Cheap at $2.95 for a 633ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Kumo Izakaya in Melbourne during Good Beer Week 2013 for their beer and sake evening. Most of the beers and sake were provided by Herkimer, but this was our opening beer on arrival.

Pours an orange-tinged golden colour, very clear and very light in the body. Head is white and foamy, and looking absolutely stylistically appropriate, with a little bit of flair. Carbonation is very fine. I mean, it looks extremely good for what it is.

Nose is faint and clear. Some rice, but mostly just clean and dull. Again, for what it is, I'll give it a little credit, but it's far from being an exciting brew.

Light, dry and bright entry on the palate leading to a pretty dull, empty mid-palate. A little sweet, a little adjuncty. Very dry finish. Pleasant enough, with some lingering rice cloy.

Yeah, it's a rice lager. It's not a bad rice lager, but that's a pretty low bar. Still, I think I enjoyed this more than others like Sapporo, Kirin or Asahi. It was just clean throughout its length and dry and crisp on the finish. That's worth something.

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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 Gusler
2.26/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer sets in the glass with a pertinent sized white head on top a clear gold body with decent lace forming as the head evaporates. Typical lager malt dominated nose crisp and clean and refreshing as far as that goes. Front is sweet, the top skinny and the finish highly carbonated, scarcely hopped with a malt dry aftertaste, archetypal lager/pils, nothing more nothing less.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.67/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is crisp and malty, OK, but nothing special. It pours a clear straw-yellow with a fairly thick white head. Flavor is rather wan, malty and rather sweet with just a hint of hops, again nothing special but still drinkable. Texture is smooth, fizzy and just a tad on the thin side. I won't be seeking this out again, but it was worth a fair shake.

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Photo of Durge
3.23/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served really cold at sushi place in New York City this is a very clear yellow gold with a very healthy bubbly, white head and very little of any lacing. The aroma is simple clean cereal grain, sweet bread perhaps. Subtle. The taste brings sweet rice and light wheat, a crisp cereal beverage that refreshes and goes down mighty easily. The flavor is steady and compliments the Sushi nicely. It’s light-plus bodied with a thinish but lively feel. Still it has a little chewiness for the style. Not bad at all for what it is designed to be.

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Photo of RoyalT
2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance – Very light yellow in color with a decent head that showed a bit of retention and some fizzy carbonation underneath.

Smell – Light, ricey grain that’s not as offensive as some.

Taste – The singular grain flavor finishes with an ashy kind of sweetness that left me cold.

Mouthfeel – Light with a little carbonation. This one felt cheap in the cheeks.

Sinkability – I’m not a big fan of Japanese beers, but this one was sub-par at that.

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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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