780: Kirin Ichiban

780 - Kirin IchibanName: Kirin Ichiban
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Country of Origin: Japan
City & State: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Style: American Pale Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.00%
First Brewed: 1990
Price: $1.29

Tasting Notes
The color is of lightly shaded straw. The nose offers faint citrus hops and hints of green apple. Vigorous carbonation generates sparkle, a soft meringue of foam, and pleasing white lacing. Ichiban delights with full-bodied chewiness and is a beer to be saved with rapturous slow intensity.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I am not too excited about this beer. I have had it several times before, but usually order it when we eat. Ra Sushi carries this. It’s boring, but it was fun learning about the brewing process. It was also fun learning that this is the most expensive beer in the world. I mean… not literally. But in regards to the brewing process. I also didn’t realize they had high taxes in Japan. The more you know!

I am not eating with this. I had a turkey wrap earlier today, but I felt bloated after I ate. Not sure I am going to have dinner. It’s weird, because my last three meals I have felt horrible… bloated and really full regardless of what I eat. Maybe I need to stop eating. I did gain weight last week. I’m a mess. Let’s drink!

In the Glass: It looks like any domestic beer you have ever had. The beer does have a nice white head that lingers, and then a decent lace as the head settles. I am seeing a ton of bubbles in this one, too. I would see more, but Sheryl turned the light out. She must hate lights!

When we review a beer, I put more focus on my experience with the beer. Speaking of beers, we have over 30 beers in the kitchen to review. I told Sheryl I am not buying any more beer until all of those have been reviewed and consumed! Here’s to a few weeks of good craft beer.

Nose: They use maize in this, which makes me think of a rice IPA. With a rice IPA, you get more mellow flavors, and a polished almost fluffy mouthfeel. I hope that is what they mean by “chewiness”. In regards to the aroma, not much going on. I love how the tasting notes will drop words like “citrus” and “green apple”. I am not getting any of that. Grass before green apple. I doubt it, but I hope the flavor delivers.

Flavor: It didn’t. This beer is pretty boring. There isn’t much flavor at all. It is VERY drinkable; I will give it that. But this isn’t a beer that I would order again. I take that back… if I am having sushi for lunch or dinner, I might order this. But even though this beer is made with 100% malt, I am not impressed with it at all.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel does remind me a of wild rice IPA. I wouldn’t call it chewy, but it has a nice fluffy thing going for it. I tried to swish this around a little but, but got hit with a ton of bubbles. Doing that also made me taste the alcohol in it… which didn’t help the overall experience. I am glad that beers like this are on our list, but the education is the only thing that I can appreciate. I don’t care how they brew it, this beer just isn’t very good.

Aftertaste: If there is anything to write home about here, it’s the aftertaste. If I did write home, it wouldn’t be a long letter. There is a subtle dryness in the finish, but it’s a dryness that leaves me wanting to drink something else. I am not sure how big the craft beer industry is in Japan, but they are missing out if this is a beer they are known for. Like I said, this pairs well with food… but that’s about it. Unless you are eating, skip it. You can thank me later!

It says, on BeerAdvocate, that this beer was “confirmed all malt” as of October 2010.” I wonder what it was before that… I am sure that has to do with the taxes in Japan.

Kirin Ichiban – The can says: “Kirin Ichiban is one of the world’s most premium beer. The Ichiban shibori process uses only the most flavorful portion of the finest ingredients.”


Rating: 1/5 

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Ricky says that the beer we’re doing now isn’t very good. It’s an Asian beer, and I don’t tend to think too much of those. Usually they are about one step above domestics. This one looks to be about the same. It looks thin and golden yellow in the glass. There was quite a bit of head when it was poured, but it was gone very fast. This one really just looks like a typical domestic, with a lot of little bubbles floating up to the top. It smells basically like bread. Let’s see if it tastes any better than I expect it to.

It tastes pretty highly carbonated, and as expected, mostly of bread. It’s a thin taste, pretty much as I thought it would be. It’s slightly better than a domestic beer. Ricky said the process for making this beer is really expensive. I’m not sure why they spend so much money to make what is a pretty basic, boring beer. I really don’t have much to say about this one. It’s pretty much just as a I expected, and nothing special. Probably not one I’d buy again.

Rating: 2/5

779 bottles of beer on the wall…

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