Kirin Lager | Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

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Kirin LagerKirin Lager
Kirin LagerKirin Lager

Brewed by:
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 295
Photo of deanhead
2.98/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brilliantly clear beer, straw in color, without any head.
Virtually no aroma to be found here.

Slightly spicy flavor, most notably grainy & slight malty taste.

Light bodied, crisp and refreshing but mostly uneventful beer.

It's underwhelming and un-remarkable. If its the only game in town go for it, otherwise your better off trying something with more flavor.

The best thing about drinking this beer would be some spicy food or a sweltering hot day.

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Photo of Gavage
2.12/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a 3" head with large bubbles. The head falls apart quickly.

Smell: some hints of grass are all that is detectable here. Barely any aroma to notice.

Taste: light grainy malt base with some hints of grass and very littel bitterness. Not much else flavorwise.

Mouthfeel: light in body. Crisp throughout, with a hint of dryness late. Aftertaste is clean.

Drinkability: all around boring beer that can be consumed with some hot and spicy food, but not as a stand alone session beer.

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Photo of SargeC
3.4/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear gold brew with a sticky white head.

Smell: Hint of citrus, hops, decent malt presence.

Taste: Hint of fruit. Citrusy hops with limited, yet present malt. Clean, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body. Comes across thin. Dry.

Drinkablity: Easily consumable. Cheap and readily available, but has limited character.

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Photo of thierrynantes
2.53/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2001.

Appearance : Blond (clear) color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : malty aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : hoppy persistency, pretty watery.
Drinkability : a not impressed beer in the style Japanese rice lager.

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Photo of CampusCrew
1.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

had this at a sushi house waiting for my order.

appearance: light yellow

smell: bitter, low hoppness

taste: not a fan, low flavor rice lager

mouthfeel: flavor, zeroness, blank

drinkability: not a fan, a blank beer with zero taste. I'd rather have bud light and thats bad.

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Photo of bobsy
2.49/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is decent - yellow body with a fluffy white head and some lacing. Sweet, slightly leafy aroma. Body has a very mild bitterness, a good dose of sweet malts and little else. Fairly bland and inoffensive, but not particularly pleasurable. Like water, really, but more expensive. Carbonation is high and body is light.

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Photo of WHROO
3/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Typical straight down the line lager...
Poured into a pilsner glass, with big head & good lacing. Straw golden in colour with average to good carbonation.
Aroma was pretty bland - no real maltiness, just a lighter lager aroma.
Taste was neither here nor there - a tiny bit a malt, a pinch of bitterness but nothing that stands out.
Mouthfeel is not too bad with some refreshing carbonation.
A very non-offensive (bland) beer...i'd imagine the mass drinkers who just want to drink a beer without it being too sweet or bitter would enjoy the likes of this.
Overall not too bad, but then again not too good either...Average on all accounts

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.78/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this with a ramen dinner last night in Kyoto. This beer was just average in every way, maybe under-average as more neutrality of flavor didn't seem possible. It's splitting hairs to compare it with Kirin Ichiban, as the similarities are easier to detect than differences, but I'd say Ichiban is a better product. I had it 2 nights ago in Tokyo with dinner, and it was just on the positive side of neutral.

There is no need for anyone to ever sample this beer, water is a better choice every time.

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Photo of Absumaster
2.59/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I know that this beer gets very low reviews, but when you look at the intent of the beer, being a easy drinkable beer, without too much body, this is a good beer.
It pours a golden color with a small head and little carbonation. Smell reminded me of vegetables and rice, with a slight metallic taste. In the background some maltiness.
Taste was bland, some maltiness and very little bitterness. For the rest not much taste, not even when the beer warms.

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Photo of davidchollar
1.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

looks exactly like a japanese rice lager. clear yellow, good fizzy head.
smell is almost nonexistent. ketchup packets and cigarette breath faint, but not terrible, smells like it looks.
tastes like you would expect, poor. kirin is trying hard to be the producer of the most different kinds of bad beer, they have many. yuck. aftertaste is bile.

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Photo of tesguino
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

beer make of rice also like sapporo; nice flavor, hops, and rich in adjoincts; special for the seafood and fish, try with cheese; full bodied flavor; its bottle label design is one of the most beatiful in the beer world; 78% recommended. not good for mexican food.

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Photo of tgbljb
2.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a pale yellow color with a nice puffy white head. Smell is virtually non-existent with only a bit of metallic noted. Taste is very light with nothing offensive or overly enjoyable. Finishes as a refreshing beer, but no better or worse than any other lager. Drinkable, but nothing to go out of my way to get.

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Photo of chilidog
2.75/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had thisone on vacation at Disney's Epcot world tour, Japan. Nice native lady poured thisone into an American plastic cup and took my $4.00 with a bow, nice touch!
It was poured a rather dull copper, rust/tea color with a white, mid-fiz head that quickly faded to a very thin film.
The taste was on the bland side. A rusty grain, matalic base with a citric or lemon hop background that allowed the mouth to finish with a husky dryness.
A try for sure, not sure id buy by the pack.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Medium gold in color with a medium bright white head that fades quickly, cratering itself. Smell is of light grassy malt and a bug spray like alcohol quality. Taste is very light and watery, with most of the flavor coming in the form of light maltiness. No hops present. Mouthfeel is watery thin, making this beer represent itself as a watered down vrsion of a standard euro lager, which is probably the result of rice in the brewing process. Thin and boring, and not for me.

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Photo of DrJay
1.59/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Very pale, clear, gold colour topped by a thin, bright white head. Heavy DMS aroma, with a lot of sweetness and a bit of lager sharpness. Musty hop smell. Sweet, grainy flavour with little hop bitterness. Musty hops are quite strong in the flavour. Very thin bodied to the point of being watery with medium/high carbonation. Quite astringent, dry finish. Drinkability was poor due to the fact that I couldn't finish the bottle.

355 mL brown bottle with the production date clearly stamped on the rear label.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another "World classic"! Line up for this one. A heavy pour and got a three-fingered head that faded quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Clear golden color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Starts with hints of hops and adjuncts, lingering bitter after-taste. On par with Budweiser. $1.60 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

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Photo of CBFanWish
1.97/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A bottle of this with my sushi last night. I poured it into a pint glass with furious rigor. Still no head. Impressive. How can you make a beer with absolutly no head? Anyway, there was none. The colour was clear golden yellow with a little fizz.
If I was doing a blind taste test, I would have pegged this as one of those carb free beers. A lot like Sleeman Clear, actually. There was no aroma other than a mild adjunct smell. I figure it was rice.
The taste was equally unimpressive. There was nothing but a faint rice taste and was lacking in the hops department.
No more for me, please.

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Photo of oelergud
2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale clear yellow body, moderate carbonation, white head not much retention but decent lace.
Unfortunately the smell is the prototype is a cheap lager smell, very distinctive and not pleasant.
Taste watery and sour, the hops are there but they aren't right, somethings wrong in the bowels of this brew but hell if I know what it is. Bitter aftertaste but not in a good way.
Not much mouthfeel, very close to water. Not a repeat beer.


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Photo of jvajda
2.2/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had a couple of these on-tap at bars in Tokyo. I was disappointed. It's pretty much knock-off Bud, which isn't good to begin with.

Appearance: Yellow, with a small head that is gone very quickly.
Smell: Very bland, hardly any smell at all.
Taste: Like it smells. Bland. Light on any flavor at all. I detected corn or a similar adjunct in this. If you blindfolded me and gave me one of these and a Bud, I would be hard pressed to tell which was which.
Mouthfeel: Watery, boring.
Drinkability: Easier to drink than Kirin Ichiban. Like any number of liight beers, this goes down like water all night.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.9/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Light straw yellow tone with a white fizzy head leaves minmial lacing, sorry looking lager. Aroma: Grainy corn and rice combo with some husky offness with a touch of hops should be clean and fresh smelling like a nice crisp lager should be. Taste: Grainy huskiness along with the corn and rice adjuncts not what I was looking for when dining Japanese, is drinkable but the flavors didn't work for me. Mouthfeel: Thin bodied fizzy carbonation doesn't satisfy me. Drinkability: Well, yeah I will probably never give this one another shot much rather settle for a Sapporo before this one.

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Photo of Billolick
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled on date of 10-2-03
Pours light straw, with a white head. Bit of hops in nose, not much else. Very Light bodied lager, high carbonation. Not much malt, hops, or flavor. Some nasty off flavors, apple/cotton candy. Tried this one at my local sushi place, I'd have a bud or miller next time, this stuff is nasty.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.59/5  rDev +52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - light golden color. White and pocky head, trying to hold on, but losing ground rapidly. Unimpressive carbonation activity.

Aroma - a whiff of skunkiness at first. Actually a bit pilsner-like, too. The aroma takes on an about-face though, and 'malts up' a bit, getting a little sweeter on the sniff. A nice improvement.

Taste - nice malt base, about average, again with what tastes like shades of a pils. Some hop presence but balanced more to the malt side. A sweet malty finish and way more carbonated than the appearance lets on. The taste is the right time to shine.

Mouthfeel - one part of the beer leans towards a malty, just slightly solid feel, a second part towards a bubbly crisp feel. Very enjoyable.

Great drinkability - My wife recommended this after her trip to Japan, which included a trip to a Saki brewery where they were serving Kirin alongside the saki shots. I'll take her word about the saki, but the KL I can verify as tasty!

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Photo of mschofield
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very highly carbonated, perfectly clear and sparkling pale gold beer, with a tiny white head. The head quickly dissolved to film. No lacing.
A lot of sulfur in the aroma, grainy. Some spicy hops and grassy taste, but mainly grainy and some rice. Seems like the boiled the malt instead of steeping it.
Dry light and crisp feel, too bad the rest of the beer couldn't back up the refreshing mouthfeel. I don't think I'd even drink this in a Japanese restaurant.

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Photo of WesWes
3.56/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very pale gold color with a frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is weak, but clean and dry. It has the scent of pale malts and lager yeast. The taste is decent. It has a dry finish. The beer is pretty simplistic in flavor. There is the presence of pale lager malts and not much else. It tastes refreshing and clean. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. It drinks well; a fine lager.

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Photo of donnebaby
2.87/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The medium bubbly head shrinks down pretty quick to remain as almost nothing over the pretty pale brew; its appearance is not its best characteristic. That said, the smell and taste are appetizing, both sweetly malty. The nose is particulary creamy which also comes through in the taste. A nice drink, a little something of bitter hops the comes along with the carbonation and outlasts it.

In the mouth, there's low carbonation, just enough to feel at the end of a gulp if not taken too quickly. A very much drinkable beer. The carbonation disappears completely no doubt but the maltiness rounds out and the covers the bitterness over.

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Kirin Lager from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Beer rating: 2.36 out of 5 with 295 ratings