Kirin Ichiban | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

BA SCORE
63
poor
1,799 Ratings
THE BROS
44
awful
Read the review
Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Japan
kirin.co.jp

Style: American Pale 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,799
Reviews:
594
Avg:
2.64
pDev:
23.11%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
371
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,799 |  Reviews: 594
Photo of LXIXME
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow with a small white head that dissipates quickly without any lacing. The aroma is a little bit of grainy sweetness and almost no hop presence. The taste is grainy and mildly sweet. Mouthfeel is light with quite a bit of carbonation. Drinkability is okay in that it goes down easy, but nothing to really bring me back to it.

 342 characters

Photo of mothman
2.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, the color is a light clear yellow. Head doesn't last long. Little lacing. Smell and taste is of rice and grain. Where are the hops and malts? I guess beer from across the country is way different than ours.

Mouthfeel is very clean and crisp.

Overall, nothing I would ever recommend or buy again. Very light beer, I'd rather spend money on an American marco.

 366 characters

Photo of nickfl
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of jlindros
2.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light fuzzy head that disappears almost instantly with crystal clear golden wheat yellow color.

N: Not much of a nose but light lager malts, macro style extracts, light pilsener aromas, little lager yeast with touh of fruit and crispness.

T: Lighter pilsener with light malts, little toasty, crisp lager, little macro extract, slightly sweet, and little skunky flavor.

M: Lighter body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes a little bleh with a lingering skunk flavor, little sticky sweetness light lager. Better than most beers of the style but not great.

 570 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.46/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really hoping for more from this beer that advertises its "special single-press process" - whatever that is!
It pours a crystal clear golden body topped by a full and foamy bright white head that holds very well before dropping to a razor thin surface covering. It leaves next to no lace about the glass. The carbonation is quite fine, leaving thin steady streams of tiny bubbles rising steadily to the surface. Very nice appearance! The nose is limited to a "generic" beer aroma with some lightly grainy malt; low-level, undiscernable hops; some lager-fermentation sulphur; and a thin thread of alcohol. The body is light/medium with a gentle carbonation that's crisp in the mouth. The flavor delivers a clean and straight-forward grainy malt that's delicately touched by hop flavor but backed by a firm bitterness. A mild note of apple or dried golden fruit (pear, perhaps?) adds a hint of character to it. It finishes short and dry with a light note of residual malt and sublime hop bitteress. Refreshing!

 1,016 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains lager yeast, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild malt sweetness which transitions into some breadiness from the light malts and lager yeast. The hops presence is mild and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily and not too filling since there isn't much to it, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's better than I had expected but there are several other beers in the style that I would choose first.

 827 characters

Photo of Kegatron
2.16/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

24 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow gold with 2 fingers of foamy brite-white head that peters down into a thin looking fizzy retention. Leaves some moderate lacing behind. The aroma is barely there with just a hint of light malt sweetness and hops.

The taste is once again a light sensation of malt and hops that just hangs on the tongue for a slip second before disappearing. The mouthfeel is light and watery with a fizzy carbonation.

Not too much I can say about this. I didn't expect much and didn't get much in return. I paired this up with some take-out sushi and it did little more than wet my whistle. Same thing I could have gotten from a glass of water. Still, its' pretty cheap for a 24 oz can, which probably bumps up the drinkibility a 1/2 notch.

 779 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
2.71/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle at Tonic (Hilton Beijing) in Beijing, China

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall bright white head that quickly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring around the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of grainy malts with just the slightest hint of rice.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderate flavors of grainy and cracker malts with very light hints of rice. There is a pleasant light bitterness to the beer in the finish which does not linger.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is easy to drink and a little more malty than I had expected considering the style and lightness of the beer. Not a bad flavor but nothing that really stands out - traditional offering at many Japanese restaurants so I will eventually have it again but not a beer I would seek out.

 1,120 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Rifugium
1.23/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First had: bottle at Birdland Jazz Club, NYC, NY

For some reason, I thought this was not too bad for a pale lager/pils type beer. But I'd probably never get it again unless I had no choice.

Pours a thin golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that all but dissipates. Mulched grass aroma, and a slight sensation of hops detectable. Overall skunked, but crisp to the point where it doesn't leave an unbearable aftertaste. Grass and stale grains. Light, thin body and not much flavor. There are good light / pale beers out there, but this isn't one of them.

 561 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of dcmchew
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.86/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $1.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Bottled on March 2, 2010.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dandelion-hued body with a billowing, white head with some staying power.

Smell: Simple, rudimentary nose of lightly sweet-scented barley, sun-dried grain husks, and a modestly spicy, grassy hops.

Taste: Faint maltiness with a light cereal sweetness and a pervasive, disagreeable husk accent. Noble hop character with a light spiciness and balancing bitterness. Crisp, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Mouthfeel is a tad watery.

Drinkability: Unremarkable, unmemorable lager, though, it does serve to provide a modicum of refreshment. Still, it's not particularly pleasant and one I don't see myself revisiting, even at the local sushi joint, as I tend to stick to the sake. It did look nice, but if that was enough, then I could skip the beer store and just cruise Google Image.

 933 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.01/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear pale amber with almost no visible carbonation. The off-white head is frothy, but not airy, falls unevenly and leaves very little glass garnish. Skunk assaulted me immediately after the cap was removed, but is much less evident now that the beer has had a chance to breathe (like a fine Burgundy?). The nose is sweet and grain-like with a modest amount of hops. Not horrible, not good.

Light body, light flavor. Noble hops and grain, sharply bitter from the former and barely sweet from not enough of the latter. I'm not sure what the rice contributes, but since plenty of American macros use rice (and taste like bilge water) it can't add much that's desirable.

Really, this beer is pretty indistinguishable from hundreds, maybe thousands, of other adjunct lagers, whether they use corn, rice or some other non-barley substance. The body/mouthfeel is thin and watery, slipping away into nothingness along with the flavor. Here one minute, gone the next.

Kirin Ichiban proves that an adjunct lager is an adjunct lager is an adjunct lager, ad infinitum. It really doesn't matter what the nation of origin is or what particular adjunct is used, almost none of them are worth a damn.

(I took one last look at the label before tossing the bottle and saw "brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch Inc." That explains a lot).

 1,372 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.38/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There are surely worse beers out there, but my taste buds expect more out of a lager, but went out for sushi and it was this or bud..

Poured a straw-like color with a bubbly white head that held up well. Some lacing

Smell: Malty/fruitty and a trace of floral hops

Taste: Sweetness with not pleasant pricklyness on the tounge, some bitterness in the finish.

MF: A lot more malt please, thin & gassy

Taste: Shouldn't have ordered a 22 oz bottle the free water was going down better. Next time i'll get the sushi to go over chance the sapporro (sp?) or Asai, can't be any worse...

 592 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of duceswild
2.25/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of smcolw
2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Mild head which dies to literally nothing; clear gold color.

Grainy and grassy; more as there is no hop aroma. Can you say lawnmower?

The taste offers a slight improvement--there's a minimal amount of hop present, particularly in the swallow. Also, for a "rice" brew, this has a surprising solid body. It also has a very high carbonation level, giving the mouthfeel a definitive spritziness. Thin malt flavor. Overall, a step above the traditional macros...barely.

 466 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dull pale golden yellwo with a big white head, lots of carbonation. No real smell, slightly grainey and bland would be st describe it. The taste followed suit, nothing really to write home baout. It went well with the dinner, but I would definatly not seek this one out on a regular basis, just nothing real special about it at all.

 341 characters

Photo of Slatetank
2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured cold into a Vienna lage mug.
A - The color is pure gold w/ a quickly settling 1 finger white head.

S - Gentle malt scents w/ the crispness of rice.

M - Malty, light fruitiness in the feel w/ moderate carbonation and a clean finish.

T - A very gentle taste of malt w/ a grainy rice flavor not unlike many macro produced lagers. This one seems a tinge maltier, but hasn't much more to offer.

D - A very clean, easy drinkin' sessionable lager that is crisp and refreshing. I could have one as a lawnmower beer - it goes well with just about any pre-packaged food incl. mac & cheese.

 591 characters

Photo of Jason
1.73/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with an A&B “Bottled On” date on the back label. Brewed by Anheuser-Busch in the US.

Appearance: Very good lacing, stick white and foamy. The clarity is fine in a yellow coloured brew.

Smell: Smells of skunk and cooked cabbage … well perhaps the skunk and cabbage smell mixed together smells like rotten cabbage. Horrible aroma and I dread even drinking a sip.

Taste: Light body with a medium level of carbonation. Husk flavour upfront grows to overwhelming and needless to say becomes astringent with little flavour. Hops are all used up with a bitterness that is not natural. More and more astrignet grain flavours come and make it harder and harder to drink.

Notes: I had to pour this out after four sips, perhaps the worst beer this year. As the comic book guy on the Simpson’s would say “Worst Faux-Japanese beer ever.”. This is not the beer I remembered at the numerous Asia restaurants I frequented back in the day.

Here is my English-Haiku review:

It is hot outside
I tried this beer to quench thirst
Made me want to ralph

 1,129 characters

Photo of atrocity
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
2.64 out of 5 based on 1,799 ratings.
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