Kirin Ichiban | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

592 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 592 | Ratings: 1,788
Photo of Gregaroo
3.21/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

11/27/15 - Large bottle poured into pint glass at Wokano Sushi in Los Angeles. Went very well with our sushi and rolls the day after Thanksgiving. A fine lager for a sushi meal, but doubt I'd have this one without.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a signature Kirin pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Gold color with heavy bubbles on the body, creates a thin head maybe rising half a finger's length upon initial pour and settles very quick before the first sip.

Smell: Average hop scent, little sour citrus lift floral feel. Super light and nothing that will catch your attention.

Taste: Smooth malts and feels a bit like white rice type of taste.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, little dry and feels a touch bready.

Overall: not a bad brew at all, personally I think the bomber costed 3 bucks and is very well deserved. In the end all you need is a glass and a few bucks, you'll thank me later...Salud!

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Photo of staubot
2.99/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale Yellow, fair bit of carbonation, small head is gone before you drink it.
Has a boozy sweetness but flavor is very subdued
Bit too much carbination but otherwise goes down well with a bit of an aftertase

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Photo of stcules
2.34/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Clean yeallow, a decent off-white foam.
So and so smell. Macro lager, a bit of metallic, and, anyway, quite banal-
A bit worse in the mouth. Nothing interesting.
Standard macro lager.

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Photo of drmeto
2.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Bought in Poland
Contract brewed at Weihenstephan, if the label is to be believed

-pours a clear golden with a medium,foamy,white head
-medium carbonation visible
-grainy,sulfur,honey,spicy,slight skunk
-no bitterniss whatsoever
-medium carbonation
-light body
Typical "Premium" Lager.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
3.21/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this with spicy Chinese food and was thankful for the smooth,
sweet taste. Reduced the heat immediately. Was quite surprised by this beer. Thought it would taste like Bud but was way better. Could tell there was no rice or corn which gives it an actual backbone. The criticism that there is minimal hop flavor is true. It's not a very "flavorful" beer overall, but subtle is not a bad thing sometimes. I go with the notion that there is a time and a place for almost every beer.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
1.55/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

I tried this beer while my wife and I went out for sushi. I hadn't tried it and lately I've been trying more and more beers that I've always assumed aren't my preference without trying them. So, needless to say, I got one. This beer was the Japanese equivalent of a Bud Light or Natural Light. It was a light, golden color with a lot of carbonation. The foam head quickly disappeared after pouring into a glass. The smell left a lot to be desired, as did the taste. It didn't have a strong flavor to me, and the aftertaste was a little bitter in my opinion. I probably won't get this one again.

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Photo of hophead723
3.89/5  rDev +47.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Consistent clear straw gold color with a fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation rushes to the top, fueling the head and providing excellent crispness.

Smell: The aroma is simple malted grain and a touch of corn. This is an all malt beer so you don't get that added complexity to the aroma but it is doughy and delightful nonetheless.

Taste: The taste is subtle, mildly sweet, and grainy overall but with doughy notes in the lingering finish. The aroma and taste go hand in hand.

Feel: This is superbly crisp and drinkable with a mildly dry finish, excellent with sushi of course.

Overall: Its either this or Sapporo that is brewed by a macro brewery like Coors or something but I don't care with this beer; it is enjoyable and I love all good craft beers and IPAs out there. I am surprised by the reviews on here by the bros, too low it seems to me.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.26/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served at a ramen restaurant on Ramen Street at Tokyo Station in Tokyo, Japan on the first night we arrived. I was given a can and proper glassware to drink out of.

Poured a light yellow body, one finger white head that fit the glass perfectly, lots of lacing. Good retention. It's as if the glass was designed for the beer. Smells of a mild skunkiness, light bready grain, mild noble hop, crackers. It's not complicated, but about what I expected from a macro lager. Flavour is similar; less skunky, nice grainy breadiness, a bit of earthy noble hops, biscuit, cracker. It's drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium-thinner bodied, good carbonation, refreshing when cold. Overall, as expected for a macro lager. It drinks great with hot ramen, I'll tell you that much.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

it's not the greatest taste but it's pretty smooth. i paid $3.29 for a bomber and thats probably too much to pay for this beer but i have no complaints.

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Photo of mobius71
1.56/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Very blah. One dimensional. All malt. Hops? I'd be happy with this if I had some really good wings and I wanted to enjoy the wings over the beer. Won't be buying again.

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Photo of mjurney
3.47/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw color, crystal clear. Good amount of carbonation rising. Foamy head.

Grainy, grassy, crisp, clean, faint bitterness.

Semi-sweetness up front, grainy, grassy. Hop bitterness is very mild. Finish is dry, crisp, refreshing. Body is light and watery, crisp, clean, refreshing, fizzy carbonation, highly drinkable.

It's a good Japanese lager.

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Photo of Mdog
3.12/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear gold, ok head.

Smell: Sweet, corn, mild noble hops.

Taste: Sweet, fruity-grapes. A little bitterness in there.

Overall: Beer #3 from my Shanghai trip. From a 500mL can. I'd had Kirin Ichiban before when I went to Japan 10 years ago, but did not review at that time. It was my favorite of the big 4 Japanese beers at that time. Nowadays, I think it is all right, but the grape note isn't to my liking. Nice to smell and taste a little hops here though.

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Photo of Beejay
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Yellow straw in color, with a small amount of white head that rapidly disappears into the body of the beer.

S: Pretty standard fare, some light crisp malt aromas with perhaps a touch of skunk to it.

T: Tastes like a pale lager, some malt flavor, a touch of fruitiness, and a little lingering bread.

M: Medium with high carbonation.

O: Overall not bad, your basic run of the mill lager.

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Photo of Nyg
3.35/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My number 3 of the the Japanese beer. Pours golden like most the Japanese beers. Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation and nice frothy head. Very simple and drinkable wheat tasting beer

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Photo of iman99
4.24/5  rDev +60.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just drank a 25 oz got it from the store in florida at Publix for 2.13 after tax its 1.99 before tax its a nice morning drink.

this is an amazing beer, really nice taste and gives you a nice feeling doesn't give you the real cheap feeling like some other high gravity beers give you, doesn't make you have all kinds of weird things going on in your head like some of the cheap beers do, really pleasant

highly recommend

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Photo of nvrstck
2.77/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle, 4mos old, brewed by Anheuser Busch.
A: slightly spicy, Saaz?, light biscuit;
A: golden copper yellow.
T: light malty biscuit, nice Saaz flavor, metallic aftertaste...old malt? Mod+ carbonation.
Overall: decent pale lager. Better than most American adjunct lagers.

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Photo of Dikfour
2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Look: Crystal clear pale yellow. Poured a nice big soapy white head that tripped over its self to dissipate. Mild Carbonation.

Smell: Just strait up pale bready malt.

Taste: Its a little brighter than the nose would indicate but is pretty much just pale bready malts. Also, there is a weird metallic thing going on that isn't very pleasant.

Feel: Light bodied. A little fizzy carbonation.

Overall: Not much to it. Not terrible but not very inspiring. Meh

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Photo of Safa1
4.13/5  rDev +56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Okay. This shits made in Los Angeles. It's all malt. Listen. All malt. Usually 8.99 a 12 pack 5% and all malt. It's delicious. I just drank an old chub Oskar Blues then cracked this one. It tastes silky smooth. No nasty aftertaste. It's pretty fucking premium tasting and it's a god damned macro. I keep a few cold. When you just don't want fuck my mouth flavor(hetero but not hateful) it's the perfect beer. I will drink this over any other macro. Period. Think again if you think this has rice round eye.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.7/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a glass.
Limpid yellow with good white head. It smells like a rice lager. Sweet and a bit foul. It tastes okay! Not overly sweet. Lagery and watery and lightly hopped. Well carbonated. Aftertaste is slightly metallic. A pretty palatable rice lager.

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Photo of JoLight
4.9/5  rDev +85.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: 70% grassy, 30% malty/grainy. Nostalgic summer "beer smell".

Appearance: two finger white head, soapy, dissipates; clear, light bubbles, golden-yellow.

Taste: Grain all the way through, carbonation upfront, dry hops in the middle-end; also in the end is a flowering of breadiness, still with grains in the background, bready and almost tangy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: semi-dry, carbonated, light.

Finish: crisp, refreshing.

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Photo of PGD120
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

not gonna do a full review, its not terrible, it is what it is. nothing basically a basic macro lager but a little better tasting. had no off flavors really just not much flavor at all. probablly my favorite macro lager from japan

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.54/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1 finger white head that receded to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: grainy; a little bready; a little skunky;

T: grainy up front; a little malt sweetness by mid-palate that increases toward the end; finish is lightly bitter;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation;

O: I like this with Japanese food;

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Photo of Asics
3.51/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 25oz. can into a mug.

Look - darker yellow than it's American BMC counterparts. Clear and effervescent. Kept its head for the life of the pint.

Smell - metal, buttery. Not a whole lot going on.

Taste - more buttery flavors, more metal, small but sharp bite from the carbonation. With a large enough quaff you get some muted hops. According to the can this is a 100% malt beer so no corn flavors.

Feel - there's a sharp bite from the carbonation but is smooth otherwise. Not offensive.

Overall - Comparable to a good pilsener or helles lager. Even my wife who doesn't like the aforementioned styles enjoyed it. Would recommend versus any BMC & and many Euro imports.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.88/5  rDev +47%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served cold from 330ml bottle into American pint glass. This one is contract brewed in the UK.

L) Light golden colour, crystal clear, lots of small bubbles. Thin but stable white head. Looks alright.

S) Mainly sweet munich-type malts, although some hints of sulphur.

T) Pretty good - a bit like a cross between a helles and a German pils. Slightly sweet bready malt dominates, with just a touch of hop bitterness if you look hard enough.

F) Fizzy and refreshing, same as any decent lager.

O) A good lager, would buy it again. A decent substitute if you can't get hold of a good German helles or pilsner.

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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
2.64 out of 5 based on 1,788 ratings.
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