Kirin Ichiban | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

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Kirin IchibanKirin Ichiban
1,845 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,845 |  Reviews: 604
Photo of monkist
3.66/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of aaronyoung01
2.53/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of KLHBB
3.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of fthegiants
1.75/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Photo of Bartleby91
2.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of WillieThreebiers
2.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

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

Photo of TIB
2.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, mostly average all the way around. What sets it apart is its overpowering malty taste.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
1.49/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Photo of Satorn
3.5/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Everydayoff
2.71/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Clear golden yellow color, it tops with very thick frothy white head with good retention. The head gradually sinks to a long-lasting bubble sheet and leaves some lacing on the glass-side. There is high fizzy carbonation.

Grain, bread, cooked veggies, earthy, some sort of sweet, sulfur, not much of smell.

The taste is watery and quite insipid with some bready malt sweetness, grain, earthiness, DMS, yeasty lager, metallic, and some hint of ghost-like hop bitterness.

Light body with good crisp and lively carbonation, semi-smooth mouthfeel and refreshing, finish is dry. Nothing worth remembering.

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Photo of Ant777uk
2.02/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Japanese, though mine is brewed in Germany under licence, it says on bottle...

Probably better, less nuclear waste and stuff.

Never had this before, though never liked any of the others from Japan.

Nice bottle, though lagerish look with quick disappearing head. Aroma just like a German pilsner haha this is so not Japanese...

Which is probably a good thing.

Very refreshing, sweet barley and dry pilsner hops, exactly like every other German pilsner hops.

Works pretty well though, as a crisp, stylish lager. Best drung from the bottle, as there is a really cool dragon thing that looks like a goat...I thought they were Chinese..? Anyway, this is German really...

If you put a bit of extra sugar in any German pilsner, and add a Japanesey Chinese dragon, this is what you have!

Having read the other reviews, it seems apparent why Kirin outsource the brewing...anyway respect to them

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Photo of Timc32
2.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of elprofe
3.14/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of MinerBob
3.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear pretty much Budweiser color with a little head and some lacing. Hardly any smell or taste this is another beer you can get real cold and chug. Smooth going down bon appetit.

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Photo of Prost76
2.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of calebeof
2.57/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of NastyNorseman
2.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

This beer is typical mass produced fare. Head vanishes as soon as it sir. Light yellow ultra filtered appearance. Bitter lingering finish. It is what it is.

 156 characters

Photo of metalspice
2.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of illpass78
2.63/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle in a tulip with a bowl of katsudon.

Appearance: One of the palest, clearest beers out there. Very little head. Clean, clear and yellow. Almost weirdly clear.

Aroma: Very little other than a skunky note. Maybe don't smell this beer. Maybe smell your food. Mmmmm ... katsudon.

Taste: Again, very little. The skunk note is less than the nose, thankfully. Some grain, some cereal, some faint malt. Mostly water.

Mouthfeel: Had this with a glass of water, too, and they had the same feeling on the palate, save a few bubbles.

Overall: I can't say it's good, even for Japanese lager (Sapporo is certainly better), but it pairs well enough with Japanese food that I'm happy to have one every once in a while. A great while, probably.

 745 characters

Photo of schavuytje
3.16/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale yellow body with a bubble foam top, one for herbal-smelling aroma hops flavor of soft biscuit-like malt and a slightly bitter tasting bar with a not quite dry finish

 170 characters

Photo of ItsBeer4Me
2.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of PMarcy78
3.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of doktorhops
2.02/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Kirin Ichiban, or Kirin first-best, is #2 on my Mini-Japanese-Macro-Journey (or MJMJ for short). Named after a mythical chimerical (i.e. a fictional animal composed of parts of various animals) Chinese creature known as the “Qilin”. This creature was based on two giraffes which caused quite a stir in the Ming dynasty courts, the Emperor at the time used the captured animals as a publicity stunt to proclaim them as magical creatures which, after being captured by his men, proved how bitchen he truly was. I’m not making this stuff up - seriously. Fact: Kirin now owns Lion Nathan (one of the two biggest Australasian distributors). Expectations set to macro disappointment levels.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Sapporo stein [no brand bias there].

A: Much the same as Asahi: a clear golden body, however the white head of Kirin sits pretty firm at around 1 centimetre - which earns it at least an extra point over Asahi (now that we’re dealing in absolutes). 7/10.

S: Aroma has a decent whiff of DMS (Dimethyl sulfide), which is obviously due to this beer being package in a green bottle (when will brewers learn?!?). So yeah, those pleasant [sarcasm intended] notes of corn and cabbage which detract immensely from the overall drinking experience. In fact this brew is so riddled with DMS, and being a Japanese Lager means it was never going to be a bold aroma in the first place, I can’t really detect anything else. Great work Kirin! 3/10.

T: More like an Aussie macro Lager than a Japanese one - grainy, corn, hint of stewed vegetables, cabbage (DMS affecting the flavour). Finish is slightly crisp but more malt syrupy (read: inferior) than Asahi. Terrible effort for a Japanese Lager. 4/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a bit of a fizzy carbonation - another area where this is more like an Aussie macro Lager. 5/10.

D: Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve had a skunked beer due to me reviewing nice craft brews, but this really has reminded me of the bad old days of drinking Heineken/Carlsberg/Becks/anything in a green bottle - because hey there is a science behind this stuff people and any beer that contains hops undergoes a chemical reaction as soon as UV light hits it (unless it’s hopped with tetra-hop extract) it’s called “lightstruck” and it’s bad yo. In any case - green beer bottles: My goat, got. 4/10.

Food match: The drain when you get a skunked one, otherwise: Sushi.

 2,427 characters

Photo of Antg8989
3.87/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honestly didn't think it was that bad.

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Kirin Ichiban from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Beer rating: 2.67 out of 5 with 1,845 ratings
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