Kirin Ichiban | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

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Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kirin Ichiban is one of the world's most unique premium beers. The Ichiban shibori process uses only the most flavorful portion of the finest ingredients.

100% Malt.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 634 | Ratings: 1,952
Photo of Rays1074
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid brew. Great with a meal, or just to sit back and enjoy while you barbeque. Nothing exceptional, nothing really wrong with it though. Give it a shot, for the price!

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Photo of LocalBeerGuy
3.65/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a very nice easy with nice smell and hops decent amount of head best enjoyed when cold and overall solid little beer to sip and drink on anytime of the day.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
2.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

This is one of Japan's best known beers. As omni-present as Budweiser used to be in the US, and the likes of Double Diamond, Long-Life and Skol lagers used to be in the UK until the real ale scene started in the 1970s. This still might be the default beer you're offered in a restaurant or when flying with a Japanese airline.
Bear in mind that many east Asians have what is sometimes called 'the bitter gene', they tend to not tolerate bitter flavours such as well hopped beers (or green vegetables such as sprouts!). Thus many Asian beers come across as under-hopped to the western palate.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
2.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bought a 12-pack bottles $7.49 Don Quijote
Made in LA. Will update if I can get a Japan brewed version.
Smell of malt, corn
Light, clear golden color
Light-medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Sweet malt flavor, clean tasting
Overall an ok beer, but great for the cheap price. Better than domestic macrobrews. Great with food as this won't overwhelm any food flavors. Wish I could get the real deal Japan version to try.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle brewed 10/6/18. Golden color with a half inch of white head. Strong smell of grain when opening the bottle. Light feel. Flavor is malt with a little sweetness and some floral hops. Maybe I got a good bottle or something, but I feel like this one is underrated. Hits all the main points of the style and it's a pleasant beer to drink, even compared to other styles. What's not to like?

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Photo of buzzscag
4.22/5  rDev +56.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

clean malty flavor. good drinking beer. 5% alc so you can have a few before you wrap the chevy around a pole.

NO RICE YOU DINGBATS its made with barley, hops and water...that's it.

Dumb provincials think because it has a jap name its a rice beer. nincumpoops

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Whenever we go out for maki, this is the beer I drink. It's nowhere near great, but it works well with my food. Clear yellow color, small white head, effervescent. Grainy aroma, sweet grain taste.

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Photo of LarryV
3.44/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh my, contract brewed in the US by Anheuser-Busch - I don't really give a shit. There are times I get tired of the aggressiveness of IPA's or the demand to analyze other craft beer styles to appreciate all of the subtleties and I just want a beer that's refreshing and easy to drink. This beer fits the bill for me. I drink it nice and cold without any pretention and it really hits the spot. It's excellent with some spicy food and complements the food very well. Aroma is subtle grain, I don't get any skunkiness like others have mentioned.Taste is malty, slightly sweet and crisp. Not something I buy often but when I do I always enjoy it.

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Photo of polloenfuego
2.76/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

One of the palest beers I have ever seen. So light and clear. Decent head then nothing. Smell is malts. Simple as that. Light malty flavor with no evidence of hops. Very clean with decent body and carbonation.

Doesn't hold up to its Japanese counterparts, such as Asahi. This beer is a watery and light drink, with no real flavor.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
2.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear bright yellow with a thick white head that recedes quickly leaving decent lacing. Aroma is light grains, biscuit. Flavor is semi-sweet corn and grains. Feel is light bodied with low carbonation. Overall a just only drinkable brew.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
2.5/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold with a thin white head. Scents of malt and grass. Very malt forward with some hops balance and an astringent finish. Above average carbonation. Some lacing, good not great.

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Photo of elnachooo
1.55/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Una de las cervezas mas populares de Japón. Cerveza pálida, con poca carbonatación. Tiene un sabor plano, con un suave sabor a malta. Una cerveza olvidable.

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Photo of Lorwhal
3.38/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If I walk into a yakiniku restaurant in Tokyo for all you can eat grilled meat and all you can drink draft beer, I want it to be cold, and I want it to be Kirin, which happen to be the two things Kirin is really good at being. I rate Kirin Ichiban 3.5 stars for temperature (it is cold), drinkability (it is a liquid), and tenacity. One point five stars have been deducted for gratuitous chimerism.

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Photo of chitoryu12
2.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look: Typical pale yellow with very little white head.

Smell: Rice, bitterness, alcohol.

Taste: Very faint adjunct malt, a bit of banana, mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly above average thickness for adjunct lagers. Heavily carbonated.

Overall: Dull.

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Photo of TheClassAct
3.47/5  rDev +29%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kirin Ichiban has a rich Golden malt. Clean, and light finish with notes of sweet corn and a light malty thickness. For an American style Pale Lager it has excellent characteristics. The carbonation creates a 1 inch head foam which is excellent for a light beer. Excellent flavor, surprised on the ratings so I had to help this company out!

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.78/5  rDev +40.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass.
A: Pours a crystal clear golden color with good carbonation and one inch, white head formation, solid retention, but modest lacing.
S: Aroma of sweet corn predominates with some grassy and spicy notes, perhaps.
T: Semisweet. Reminded me a good deal of any American Adjunct Lager that incorporates corn. Very light bitterness contributing to clean finish.
M: Light bodied with robust carbonation resolving to light fairly quickly.
O: I unexpectedly quite enjoyed this. Looked at the numerical rating (but not the comments) before trying. I found it was light, refreshing, and reasonably flavorful. Clearly designed to be served cold. I truly do not understand the very low ratings, but I will say this tasted very fresh (had two at one sitting) and that can be a challenge for any beer coming from the other side of the Northern Hemisphere. If the beer is skunked, would it not make sense not to review it until you got a fresh one? Had the same experience with Dos Equis Lager.

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Photo of WunderLlama
2.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle poured into pint glass

Clear golden yellow , scant foam islands

Aroma is grassy, Malty

Taste is watery , grassy, malts , adjunct, not much flavor

Serve it ice cold , it could be a lawn mower beer

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Photo of D1noB
3.4/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A light, grainy beer, some slight malts, a great light beer, easy to drink.

Taste rating in words: A spring flower that blossoms, opens, and shines.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.04/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look: One-and-a-half finger white head, clear yellow body.

Smell: See below.

Taste: Grains, a bit metallic, mild earthy hops, maybe a hint of stone fruits.

Feel: Medium-light body, medium-high carbonation. Balanced upfront, dry finish.

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Photo of chinchill
2.98/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Kirin Ichiban 100% malt. 12 oz can on an airline on the way to Tokyo.
Clear fizzy yellow body with a tall head of foam that has decent retention. The aroma has a mix of attractive malts, spicy and grassy hops, and faint off-notes. The flavor is oddly more bitter mid-taste than in the aftertaste. Almost repellant at first, it improved as my taste adjusted and it warmed a bit.
Quite poor compared to the Sam Adams lager that preceded it. I’m sure better beers await me in Japan.

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Photo of Nass
3.45/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wow! look at the artwork and the great selection of color on this beer label. This is a great all malt lager that just takes some getting used to, after a few packs your palate will adjusted to it & it goes great with asian style cuisine. $2 for a 25 oz can is not a bad deal, not mention there is also a canned on date on the bottom that let me know that I am consuming this beer at 1 month old which is quite fresh. Cheers! B-

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Photo of beersampler6
2.85/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Safe easy-to-drink Japanese lager, very light in taste with faint notes of grain and malt. Definitely sweeter than the usual lager. Clean and crisp, minimal head, very faint aftertaste with little mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation but fades quickly. Tough to distinguish from Asahi.

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Photo of Greywulfken
2.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Medium-pale gold and clear on draft into a mug at Taka Asian fusion in Merrick... Inoffensive but basically "meh" - sweeter and fuller in body than expected, with a fairly fruity taste - no bitterness to speak of - smooth and easy drinking... Worth a tick but you won't see me buying any...

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Photo of CHickman
3.22/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle with dinner at a hibachi place and it had a very basic and boring look to it and it only had hints of malt and grains in the nose, but the flavor was malty and just sweet enough to keep it above American lagers and light beers. It was quite easy to drink and did the trick in complimenting the Asian food.

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Photo of beertunes
3.29/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into shaker pint. Poured a clean, clear, crisp, bright straw-gold color with an inch-and-a-half of white head (thanks to accidentally enthusiastic pour on my part) that had light-medium retention and very light lacing.

As is typical for the style, the aroma was fairly light and benign, although there was a bit of a pleasant grain scent. Very similar on the tongue, except for the grain, and some very gentle hops, the beer was neutral. The body was light and crisp, and had a semi-dry finish. Drinkability was good, for the style. Overall, this might be good with certain foods, to help cleanse the palate, or as a lawnmower brew. Solid example of the style. Worth a shot if you're looking for a refreshing beer.

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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Beer rating: 2.69 out of 5 with 1,952 ratings