Kirin Ichiban | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

1,820 Ratings
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Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban

Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

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

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Ratings: 1,820 |  Reviews: 597
Photo of garyford
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.95/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 330ml bottle was brewed under licence by Wells and Youngs of Bedford, England: best before 8 July 2012 it was poured (twice) into a 'Veltins' badged pilsner stemmed tulip on 14 Feb 2012.

Looks like a regular lager: golden, clear and bright, mid depth of goldness. The head a mass of white bubbles, then fading to a wispy covering and a collar.

Slight hop aroma, some hints of cereals maybe as well.

Crisp, dry and boring were my first three thoughts as the beer entered my mouth. Strangely for a lager as the mouth began to dry after each sip the palate seemed to get sweeter instead of the normal slightly bitter, sometimes metallic hit.

I suspect my beer (brewed in the UK) tastes very different to the US version. So my review will not be a lot of good to most BA users, but hey ho, it might interest one or two who read it.

 834 characters

Photo of Chopman50
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of oldp0rt
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of tfsimpkins
2/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of andrewj17
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of bpackertx
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of bogus564
2.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl. oz, poured into a pint glass.

I’m off to a Super Bowl party soon, so I figured I’d grab myself a beer to go with my chips. I’m going with a reasonable ABV, as I don’t recommended driving while intoxicated, or even highly buzzed. And off we go…

A: It’s very yellow, like the beers my dad used to drink (Miller High Life, Budweiser, Coors, Schaeffer, Piels). It produces a 1 cm head with a reasonable pour, the head being off-white in color. It’s slightly bubbly as well.

S: It smells of faint hops and grass. You really have to reach back there to catch the very slight malt aroma. I’m not very optimistic at this point.

T: Wow – I don’t mean that in a good way. The smells are confirmed, but the proportions are off. The first thing that hits you is the malt flavor, followed by the grassiness; the hop character seems to be a secondary character, kind of like an ensemble cast member that you wouldn’t miss if he/she weren’t there. It reminds me of Robbie Rist, who played the character of Cousin Oliver in the final season of ‘The Brady Bunch’. With a blossoming Jan (Eve Plumb) and an already-there Marcia (Maureen McCormick), why would you even want this guy in your cast?

M: It’s a’ight, as the people of color say. Being a person of color, I’ll take that bit of literary license. It’s very light in body, the carbonation is decent, it’s not what you’d expect on the palate (that could be good or bad, subject to your personal interpretation), and it is better than watery. The finish is – clean, I believe I’ll go with that descriptor.

O: I would drink this beer if given to me, but I wouldn’t seek it out as one of my must-haves. I would consume it at the hibachi restaurant as part of the ‘Japanese experience’, but that’s about it. It’s better than I thought it would be, but that’s not saying much. And with that, I’m off to the Super Bowl party. Go G-Men!

 1,938 characters

Photo of ShesaCrafty1
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of rangerred
2.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at a local sushi place.

Arrived a clear straw yellow with a thin fizzy head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing, though.

Smelled of sweet grain with a tad bit of grassy hop aroma.

Tasted pretty sweet with some bready grain along with a cooked vegetable flavor. Some grass and hay hop flavor along with a mild bitterness. Finished pretty crisp and dry.

Overall a below average beer. There are much better beers out there in this category.

 453 characters

Photo of rdub
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Griffith
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of RAFH
3.25/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of goblue3509
2.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear straw yellow color with a two finger stark white head which gives way skim. There is thick sheets of lace left up and down the glass. The aroma is of bread and grassyness. The taste follows suit, it is all malt. The taste is of lager yeast and grass along with hints of bread. The mouthfeel is thin. Overall it was and easy drink and it is crisp and clean, but there is just not a lot going on with this on.

 421 characters

Photo of ccbass22
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.01/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head which leaves some lacing.

Smell is malt, mellow.

Taste is all malt again, nothing special.

Feel is thin and slightly fuzzy, easy to drink.

Not my normal choice of brews, reviewed from the sushi bar. When in Rome, amirite? Very mellow, and doesn't overpower the food.


 320 characters

Photo of wl0307
2.7/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Coming in a 350ml can, produced on 14/06/2011, BB 13/06/2012, served chilled in a slim pilsner glass.

A: pale straw in colour, coming with lively fizziness mainly consisting of medium-large bubbles, while the thin off-white beer head lasts pretty well.
S: very light lager malts’ aroma flows with a mild edge of lager’s sourness, while a gentle whiff of hoppiness stays behind. A swirl brings out more doughy aroma, while the malts underneath also manifest more. Not like other Japanese adjunct-rich lager, this one seems to stand up to the promise of “100% malts”
T: the foretaste is a bit weird, at first hop-bitter, a bit dry, then an intriguing flow of sour grain-mash ensues, followed by more rough bitterness… Malts pretty much disintegrates amidst these elements, rendering only a faint trace of grains in the very end. Hops, in both bitterness and aroma, seem to retain a rather low level, showing random fruitiness also in the very end.
M&D: due to the low serving temp., the fizziness doesn’t seem to bother that much, overall refreshing anyway. This beer’s promise lags way behind its performance, I’m afraid. Albeit adjunct free, the taste and body don’t seem to benefit directly from this fact, while the alc. content stands out where the flavour wanes, which is a critical failure in terms of production and balance, IMO.

 1,354 characters

Photo of RoryOMoore
3/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.05/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" white head. The body is a clear straw yellow and exhausts most effervescence on the pour. The smells is mildly of malt and grass. The taste is a little sweet with malt and grain. There's a slight fizz in the mouth in the finish. In a blind taste test I'd bet I'd have thought it was a Bud relative. It may be a Japanese beer but my sample says it was "Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc, Los Angeles, CA". Could that be why?

 482 characters

Photo of brewbaker
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of TrojanWheels
4/5  rDev +51.5%

Photo of schopenhauerale
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of Huffaroma
1.5/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of sh00ky
3.5/5  rDev +32.6%

Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
2.64 out of 5 based on 1,820 ratings.
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