Kirin Ichiban
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban
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Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
American Lager
Ranked #333
Ranked #30,070
2.73 | pDev: 22.71%
May 27, 2023
Aug 17, 2001
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban
Notes: 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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Photo of Spike
Reviewed by Spike from England

2.96/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
8oz brown glass bottle. Brewed by Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles, CA and Williamsburg, VA. Clean and smooth. Lemony. Decent mouthfeel. Dry finish. Inoffensive but bland macro lager.
May 27, 2023
Rated: 2.91 by SSGCujo from Wisconsin

May 18, 2023
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
12oz bottle. Label is marked for best by date of '13JUL23'.
Clear, straw colored body. One thick finger of white head. Leaves behind some horizontal strings of lacing.
Aroma of toasted malt, green apple, and floral hops.
Taste is toasted malts and floral hops. Has a citrus lemon tasting note. Touch of sulfur.
Medium mouth feel. Crisp and dry finish. Very good carbonation.
Wet and refreshing. Easy to drink in a session.
Apr 20, 2023
Rated: 3 by Ushouldbeworkinh from England

Apr 16, 2023
Rated: 3.79 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Apr 07, 2023
Rated: 3.53 by Mcb99d from Massachusetts

Feb 25, 2023
Rated: 5 by NIverson97 from Illinois

Feb 23, 2023
Rated: 2.69 by TrueMetalJake from Oregon

Feb 12, 2023
Rated: 3.44 by Taybeh from Minnesota

Feb 10, 2023
Rated: 3.47 by Beergod420 from Michigan

Jan 30, 2023
Rated: 3.51 by LunchMoney from Minnesota

Jan 21, 2023
Rated: 3.75 by BeerInspector from Delaware

Jan 18, 2023
Photo of Pmicdee
Reviewed by Pmicdee from Canada (ON)

3.53/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours a crystal clear gold colour with a nice sized head on top. Corny and grainy on the smell and the taste. The taste is not bitter at all but has a dry and dank aftertaste
Jan 13 2024
Jan 13, 2023
Rated: 2 by carolinabeerguy from North Carolina

Jan 06, 2023
Photo of AlfromPA
Reviewed by AlfromPA from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Tastes great in a tall glass, fresh and cool on tap, and served with Japanese food in Japan. An AAL style beer, for sure, but served with rice, tempura, spicy Japanese specialties, it's wonderful.
Dec 12, 2022
Rated: 3.34 by Phoodcritic from Michigan

Nov 26, 2022
Rated: 3.09 by Rainintheface from Florida

Nov 23, 2022
Rated: 3.82 by pijiujintian from Taiwan

Nov 14, 2022
Rated: 3.25 by te99912_123 from Switzerland

Oct 28, 2022
Photo of lflotron
Rated by lflotron from Florida

3.91/5  rDev +43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Very unoffensive and easy to drink. One of my favorite Japanese beers that you can get in USA.
Oct 09, 2022
Rated: 1.88 by selekt0r

Oct 09, 2022
Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

3.61/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Wasn't sure what to expect from a 100% Malt beer, but what I got was a pretty basic any unoffensive lager. Nothing stands out, nothing sticks out, but it's got just enough flavor to know you're drinking a beer. I certainly wouldn't turn one down, but nor will I buy a six pack any time soon.
Sep 29, 2022
Rated: 3 by ssimpson89 from Illinois

Sep 19, 2022
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

2.88/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Clear gold appearance with a small white head and sparce lacing. Neutral aroma, no distinguishing hop scents, nothing about the malt bill to get excited about. But, nothing off or bad either. Taste raises the bar a little. Grains are noticeable while the hops add a soft floral touch. Nicely carbonated, light-to-medium bodied mouthfeel leading to a short lived finish.
Sep 17, 2022
Photo of industrialswill
Reviewed by industrialswill from Washington

4/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I think this Japanese lager is my favorite American lager if that makes any sense.
I will compare the sensation og taking a nice big gulp of this wonderful beer to jumping in the river on a 100 degree day.
It would be interesting to do a "Blindfold Taste Test" between this beer and all the other AALs.
I think I would be able to back up my assertion but who knows until I actually do the test.
At any rate..if you like AALs I am sure you will really like this one.
Sep 17, 2022
Rated: 2.73 by MrJones07 from Spain

Jul 28, 2022
Rated: 2.99 by Sulty from Massachusetts

Jul 22, 2022
Photo of C-Stockwell
Reviewed by C-Stockwell from Rhode Island

3.56/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
L: pale gold with fine white head
S: malt, hops pepper, and banana
T: faint maltiness with a dry finish
F: fine carbonation

Would buy again, a good lager that would go well with a wide variety of food.
Jul 07, 2022
Photo of Storm_Rryder
Reviewed by Storm_Rryder from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Simple lager, kind of sweet, light body. This is very easy to drink, and refreshing. Goes well with sushi as it's no overpowered flavor. Nothing super exciting here but nothing wrong either.
Jul 03, 2022
Photo of walser
Reviewed by walser from New York

3.69/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This is Japan's malt beer, very similar to Molson Golden in Canada but with less sugars. My favorite Japanese beer you can get in the US. Not a craft beer but an incredibly easy and pleasant beer to the palate and nose. Fantastic malt beer. As good as the malts get. Earthy, sweet, robust.
Jun 26, 2022
Rated: 3.53 by marcebi

Jun 25, 2022
Photo of benjb
Rated by benjb from Oregon

2.93/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Not a whole lot going on here. Malty, bready initial taste. Easy drinking and great with a savory meal.
Jun 12, 2022
Photo of jjboesen
Reviewed by jjboesen from Maryland

3.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Kirin Ichiban (Number One) is rather underwhelming. Bland taste with non-existent nose. Light body and mediocre balance does not offer much. It can quench a thirst on a hot day. Do not know how hot it gets in Japan. OK.
May 29, 2022
Rated: 3.42 by TP2MSU from Michigan

May 23, 2022
Rated: 3.59 by CoasterGuy from Pennsylvania

May 05, 2022
Rated: 3.33 by Catalinmunteanu from Romania

May 02, 2022
Photo of ivanbrew
Reviewed by ivanbrew

5/5  rDev +83.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Wow only 64 I actually really liked it! I I tried it from a small bottle gave off a nice multi aroma beautiful golden light color I actually had some nice hoppy flavor to it as well! Definitely a premium lager!
Apr 17, 2022
Photo of Perioddicals
Reviewed by Perioddicals from Texas

3.24/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
L - Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner glass at 50 degrees. One finger white head. Minor lacing.

S - Scent is a light bread cracker malt. Light crispness as well.

T - Taste follows scent. Light bready malt. Not hoppy at all. No bitterness. A little buttery. Easy to drink.

F - Medium carbonation. Medium mouthfeel

O - Overall, a solid beer. Straightforward flavor profile. Would definitely drink again.
Apr 15, 2022
Photo of AlexandraDen
Reviewed by AlexandraDen from Canada (ON)

3.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Tall can of Kirin Ichiban, billed as first press 100% Malt, pours a crystal clear, light straw gold with two fingers of foamy head. The head has… surprising staying power? Or maybe not? If I was more objective I wouldn’t be so surprised, expecting a macro to be as bad as the Labatts and Coors of the world. This looks objectively great. Straightforward and crispy lager aromas of strong cereal grains and toasted malt. Slightly grassy background. Classic and straightforward.

Unfortunately, the palate falls short of the appearance and aroma, which are both straightforward but very nice. Not that the taste is bad per se. The malt is more gentle, but the grainy taste of a lager is here. Slightly bready in character, slightly grassy with the mildest of bitterness, the taste is washed away by a slight watery sensation. Light bodied as can be expected with medium carbonation that can only be described as crisp, there is a nice prickliness on the tongue that quickly washes the beer down on each sip with a very snappy character. The only thing left each time is a very, very mild biscuity, gently malty bread finish.

Objectively, if you’re honest with yourself on the feel and look of the beer (and the taste being thoroughly average) each rating would absolutely clock way above the Avg on BA. Hard to see people here rank it so low on looks when lagers and pils from Anchor, Founders, or Deschutes breweries are given almost perfect marks despite looking nigh identical. The beer is thoroughly unremarkable in the taste department but by no means *bad*. If anything, this beer clocks above most macros simply by way of avoiding the completely washed out corn adjunct taste of most macro beers, and avoids the metallic tinge common to all too many canned macros.

Would I go out of my way to have this again? Unlikely. Did I enjoy it more than most macros? Absolutely. Is it bad tasting? Not at all. Most Asian-themed, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants tend to have limited selection on tap, so is this something I’d order over other ones there? Probably yes!

When people say ‘hey the beer snobs hate macros but I love my crisp and clean beer!’ THIS is the taste I always imagined. Bud, Coors, Labatt, Busch, all are unsavoury in some ways, some metallic, some unfortunate corn-y tastes. Kirin Ichiban surprisingly outpaces all of those beers.

Important Identifiers: Kirin Ichiban First Press 100% Malt, poured from a 473mL can. No canning date, but drank from a large shipment from the LCBO, likely fairly fresh. Can bottled and brewed under license by the Labatt brewery in Canada, rather than the Japanese brewery.
Apr 12, 2022
Photo of AzfromOz
Reviewed by AzfromOz from Australia

3.71/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Despite copping backlash for being "yet another generic mainstream lager", this beer actually carries itself well. Yes, there's some corn and a bit of grass, but it's moderately hopped, crisp and generally well put together, which is exactly what this beer should be.

In the glass, it pours a shining golden yellow. The head quickly disappears and carbonation is not exactly jumping out of the glass.

Aroma-wise there's not much there. Perhaps some crackers and bread and the faintest floral hoppy note.

Taste-wise it's dry, moderately bitter and carries unmistakable biscuit with some corn and grass, but none of the offensive blandness that can characterise some generic international lagers. For mine, it's the moderate floral hoppiness that carries this beer, and it does so in a way that doesn't unbalance the beer given the relatively light body.

Mouthfeel is dominated by significantly more prickly carbonation than is evident from sight, but it's not an unpleasant or overbearing sensation.

Overall, this beer is what it should be. It's meant for consumption without significant contemplation, and its dryness and relatively neutral taste profile means it would suit most foods. If you expect a hoppy, fruity craft lager, you'll be disappointed. if you expect a reasonably generic international lager boosted by a moderate but not overbearing bitterness, which is what this beer is, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Apr 07, 2022
Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Beer rating: 64 out of 100 with 2100 ratings