Sapporo Original Draft Beer | Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

105 Reviews
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Sapporo Original Draft BeerSapporo Original Draft Beer

Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-24-2001

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 486
Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +70.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brilliant orangish yellow color with a bone-white head that resolves quickly while it takes on an appearance of stiff egg whites. Triumphant orange. Victory orange. I put it to my nose.

"At last," I think to myself, "A quality beer that I prefer cold!" My pipes feel even hotter in anticipation. The first sips are full of wonder. I absorb the brisk, culinary form before me. A translucent patch of fine bubbles forms a perfect equilateral triangle on the surface. Aromas are sweet like honey. Pure, bright Alpine flowers
and their nectar,
and the milk of the cows that graze on them,
and the sweet Emmenthaler made from it.
Fluffy, white, unsweetened meringue. Cereal-box marshmallows. That's the appeal. Now, on to the structure:
A. Stalky, celery bitterness.
B. Driving Champagne-like fizz.
C. Grain tannins.
No char, no caramel, no coffee, no fudge, no vanilla, no cocoa, no burnt sugar.
Just stemminess and threads of fizz, snug on the tongue. The flavors of this beer perfectly occupy the space laid out for them by the alcohol. They fit like fingers in a glove. Supple when cold, like frozen, whole cream....
Rich. Golden. Sunlight. Truth.

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Photo of Rennpferd
4.28/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It poured a golden straw color with a nice three finger head. Minimal activity could be seen, but the head left some great lacing behind as it retreated.

It had that alcohol/rice smell that I typically attribute to a rice brewed product. There was a nice sweet undetone.

Very neutral, no real taste at first. It then gave way to a light pseudo malt flavor, I was not expecting that out of a rice beer.

There was a little bit of a metallic aftertaste that I find typical when drinking beer stored in a can. (It's not the brewers fault that the distributor only provides a beer in one type of container. I will not take this into account when I score the beer.)

It had a great mouthfeel. Crisp, cool, refreshing. Wet and light with a nice back of the palate dry finish.

A little different. But I could drink a couple of these in a sitting.

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Photo of splunge
4.2/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have saved my first review for this, and I have held back for good reason.
I have held out on reviewing all the other beers I have endured, which is to say that all of the macro beers on the north american continent that I can think of ( canadian, american and mexican). I think this should become the watermark for american (mainly U.S.) macro. Especially since if you have enough to afford them, you can afford this. There isnt nearly as much corn and rice flavor as in the macros, you can let this warm up and sit for a while and its still is palletable, as opposed to the U.S. macros that become undrinkable. Actually there are some that cant be drank unless they are ICE cold. Definantly worth being stocked.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.97/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/07/04- Purchased at Trader Joes in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz can with no freshness date. Poured into a large 24 oz beer mug.

Appearance- Pours a light yellow with a large white bubbly head that soon disappears and next to no lacing.

Smell- Very clean. Not much scent. Rice and maybe a bit of malt and hops.

Taste- I have always thought of Sapporo as one my favorite thirst quenchers during the summer months. Yet, by many it gets a bad rap. Definite rice taste, and kind of sweet and dry at the same time. You can taste some hops and a little malt. Very crisp and refreshing.

Mouthfeel- Very high level of carbonation, but when drank cold, I don't give a crap. It's serves it's purpose. Quenching my thirst.

Drinkability- I could drink these things all day while working in the yard, etc...It's a beer you have to drink cold though. I don't know what it would taste like warmed up and I don't want to find out.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.92/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favourite asian beers. Though at this time, I'm consuming it from a can, I have poured it before and it is a golden, straw colour. It has a very light weight smell to it and lightweight taste, as well. A tiny bit of biscuit (I think, personally) an a light carbonation which accounts for its drinkability. This stuff is almost thirst quenching. I can chug this stuff with no problem. If you're wanting a deep, flavourful beer you can drink and pick apart, get something from Bavaria. If you want a cold beer you guzzle, but don't want some mainstream foolishness like Bud or Coors, grab a Sapporo.

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Photo of RollingRocker
3.9/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color and has a slight cider smell to it. Tastes grainy with some hops a light apple juice like finish. A nice feel across the palate crisp and refreshing just the right amount of carbonation a very drinkable beer. Overall i could drink more of this beer but could be expensive since i can only find the 22's.


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Photo of StevieW
3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle. Clear fizzy golden yellow color. Large, explosive fizzy head. Served in a tall pilsener glass at PF Changs restaurant. Sour, and grainy smells, but somewhat pleasant and appealing. Carbonation was a bit highly charged but did not overwhelm the very adequate sweet malty taste. Super clean and crisp taste paired great with spicy Chinese Food. Decent shot of bitterness in mid taste, then a sweet balanced finish. Nothing lingers, very refreshing and a great choice with Japanese or spicy Chines food. Easy going, well balanced, and compliments food nicely.

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Photo of ernie
3.85/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Posh alu 22 oz can with a gold star on it. Pale yellow color, high level of carbonation, head spectacular but short-living.

Smell malty with a little hint of hops, herbs and lime.

Fizzy itchy start, then the malts step in and a bit later you begin to feel the citric accent. Body firm, very dry, complex with a strong herbal element towards finish. Finish dry, with a delightful fruit accent.

Best Japanese beer I ever had.

 432 characters

Photo of Beerislife652854
3.83/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had one 22-ounce can with lunch today at Bentara Malaysian Restaurant in the Ninth Square.

Pours a clear yellowish off-gold color into a standard pint glass. Nice thick head that lasts a while and laces the glass nicely. I found the taste surprisingly sweet and mellow. The aroma is floral and somewhat malty.

This was the first time I've tried Japanese rice lager beer, but after trying this style, I'm looking forward to trying different brands to compare them.


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Photo of SargeC
3.8/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear gold with a foamy white head.

Smell: Malt, floral hops and butter.

Taste: Sweet malt with a touch of hops. Slightly sour finish. Dry and clean

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Slightly waxy finish.

Drinkablity: Tasty Sapporo brew. Slightly crisper than standard Sapporo. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz can poured into a pilsner glass.
82511G on the bottom, no info.

A - The sexy-looking can releases pale straw yellow beer with moderate carbonation and brilliant clarity. The white head fades quickly with but a few fingers of lace creeping up the glass.

S - Just the simple crispness of the aroma is inviting. Not off-putting in the least but certainly open and airy, dry dusty straw, pale malt, and, of course, rice completes the aroma.

T - Sweetness stems from pale and pils malt in the taste that's accented by straw and rice. Much less dusty than the nose foreshadowed.

M - Crisp, clean, and most importantly, refreshing, Sapporo is light-bodied and biting with carbonation but smooth regardless.

O - Predominant rice additions don't hinder this defect-free beer for me. For the style, it's delicious and damn if it isn't refreshing after a long day at work. Thank you sir, may I have another?

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Photo of ypsifly
3.71/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the coolest looking 22oz can into a pokal.

Pale gold with a decent white head that shows halfway decent retention and sticks to the glass as it falls.

Smells grainy with slight floral hops paired with a little macro skunk.

Moderate malts and grains paired with enough hop bite to give it balance. Clean, dry finish.

Light mouthfeel, very drinkable.

As far as a dinner beer goes, this one could be versatile as it finishes clean. The smell is the only downside of this brew.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a mystery! But finally I got the urge to get this at my job, and take it home. Awesome beer! Nice gold color, sweet malt, foamy white head, decent lacing, floral or buttery taste that lingers, kind of waxy after taste, and very drinkable. This beer is one of the few that I have encountered better out of a can!

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.64/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice light lager color.

Smell is typical of what you would expect to find with a German pilsner, although this one is obviously coming from Japan.

Rather crisp taste and refreshing finish. Very surprising.

Easy drinking beer makes this good for summer. Of course it's a staple at many sushi restaurants as well.

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Photo of beersarang
3.63/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid, easily my favorite easy to get Japanese beer.

Pours a pale straw color with a white slightly creamy and foamy head that actually retains! Head holds itself up for a while which gives this beer a boost in appearance.

Smells like rice and a touch of grains here and there.

Tastes a lot like other Japanese beers, but cleaner and drier. Upfront rice and grains with a crisp bitterness. Finishes very smooth, making this one of the best.

Smooth, moderately carbonated, and light bodied. Easy to drink and great with Grilled dishes and raw fish.

 559 characters

Photo of ruckus232
3.61/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 Ounce Silver can

Appearance: Golden yellow color with decent head and nice lacing.

Smell: Faint smell of grains but not very strong

Taste: Crisp with a good amount of carbonation. There is a good bitterness to it but not overwhelming and the taste remains for a while.

Comment: This beer is refreshing and light with a good mouthfeel and drinkability. A good beer, plus the can is pretty unique.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.59/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; crystal clear light yellow. Pale white head with good retention and chunky lacing.

smell; rather ordinary. Mild cereal grains and flower pollen hops. A little sweetness, mirin comes to mind but that just might be me associating this beer with rice.

taste; slightest bit of sweet rice upfront but finishes with a strong grainy malt flavor. The hops are quite pleasant, reminding me of Trix™ cereal, as it blends fruits(mostly citrus) nicely with the malts. The slightest bit of alcohol blends with rice flavors, as one taste past the initial grain flavors.

mouthfeel/drinkability; a bit more substance than one would expect for such a light colored beer. Almost creamy but some fizzy qualities thin it out a bit. Quite crisp and refreshing. Really not that good in my opinion but not bad either. I would definitely buy again if I was having some sushi, would make a nice pairing.

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Photo of Jdbateman83
3.51/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I drink this when we go out to Asian places for dinner. Its OK, I like it, nothing special. Similar to a Coors Lite but with more aluminum in the flavor. Light, very easy to drink, slight hops. Price for what you get is debatable. If you find it at a good price by all means try it, but as an import its going to be more expensive when you can usually find a happy hour Coors Like for more then half the cost of this.

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Photo of yen157
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice sized head and a malty nose with a hint of lemon. It is light yellow in appearance and perfectly carbonated. This beer is one with a body that isn't too big and is very smooth. This is a very well balanced beer and nothing really seems out of place. When sipped, it starts out with the fizz, alcohol, and a little citrus, followed by a tiny bit of grains and malt. A very good beer all around.

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Photo of ThomasT
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%

Served very cold in a normal glass.
Appearance: Amber colour with small white head and some lacing. Very bubbly.
Smell: Rice, yeast, and a bit of citrus.
Taste: Lots of carbonation. Starts with a yeasty flavour up front, a floral flavour in the middle, and then a sharp bitterness on the finish. No lingering flavour. Kind of similar to Budweiser, but a bit lighter and more interesting.
Body: Light, but not as light as some others.
Overall: A good beer for pairing with a light meal (sushi perhaps) or for a hot summer day.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.42/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

To the best of my ability, I've only ever been able to find the "Original" draft beer in a 22 oz. can. I've often wondered if it's the same beer that comes in the sharp looking embossed bottle with the shiny black & two-color gold label. The can advertises ceramic filtration, but the bottles only say "cold filtered"... all beer is filtered cold! So I did a side by side tasting. The color and head retention appear to be the same, although the beer from the can is slightly hazy (and may have to do with the age of the sample). The light "beer" aroma appears to be the same with the exception that there may be a little skunkiness in the bottled sample. The flavor also appears to be the same, although the mouthfeel of the canned beer is a little smoother. So, in conclusion, it's my belief that if there is any difference between the two beers it's simply in filtration and packaging. A decent beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of Greggy
3.42/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Nice yellow color with a touch of sediment. Good 1 fingre head that is slow to recede.

S- Floral, nice malty bouquet, lemon, apricot, touch of lime.

T- Very thin to start, but smooth with slight maltiness, and slight lime finish.

M- Pretty watery, but smooth.

D- If paired with food or a hot day, it would be pretty sessionable, but this is must a touch to thin.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden with a rapidly dissipating head.

Smell of adjunct, rice, grain, malts.

Taste is nicely balanced with a distinct bitterness on the finish and a nice bread aftertaste. Vegetable and malt make up most of the body.

Crisp and clean with a nice snap for the feel.

Drinks smooth and goes well with Japanese cuisine. Wish i would have ordered a taller one.

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Photo of Todd
3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Big old 22oz silver sculpted can -- I love these things. Batch number, no freshess date.

Appearance: Pale yellow liquid with a very lively carbonation level. This forms a thin white lace that remains consistent for most of the brew.

Smell: Rather clean in its aroma with faint grain and floral hops.

Taste: Crisp and refreshing. Body is light, mouthfeel is a bit creamy due to the carbonation. Immediately there's a wonderful lemon/lime hop bitterness and mild sharpness that flushes and wakes the palate, its flavour lingers for a bit, then contributes a small dose of dryness on the palate. Malt flavours are very light with a balancing sweetness that is spot on for this type of brew. As the beer warms, malt flavours become more pronounced but I recommend drinking this beer cold. Finishes with faint residuals of both hop and malt characters.

Notes: This is the same beer that is sold in 12 and 16oz sizes, however we have to give the can it's due respect. Hands down, this brew is at the top of the list for some of the better mainstream lagers imported into the US. Goes extremely well with Asian dishes, working as an ideal palate cleanser.

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Photo of sbe1
3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 22oz can.

Appearance: Pale yellow with a quick head that leaves some consistent lace on the glass.

Smell: Mostly clean, some grain, faint hops, faint malt.

Taste: Crisp light citrus with a hint of creaminess, a hint of sweetness with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and refreshing. Light bodied and mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty good for quenching the thirst, light and inoffensive tastewise.

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Sapporo Original Draft Beer from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
2.93 out of 5 based on 486 ratings.
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