Monday, January 11, 2016

Kirin Ichiban

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20Chad9976 (1535) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 11, 2016
I’ve tried several Japanese macro lagers and they’re all very similar to other countries’ popular pale lagers. I’ve actually had Kirin Ichiban several times over the years (at hibachi and sushi restaurants) and I’ve never really been impressed. This particular edition is brewed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch, though trying to find a fresh bottle is a challenge. Despite it being all-malt, it’s a pretty boring lager.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/22/15 and cost $1.29 ($0.11 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful golden hue; crystal clear with visible carbonation. Pours to a large, white, foamy head which retains and laces remarkably well.

Smell: Lightly sweet pale malt blend. Faint touch of floral hops, otherwise quite mild in the nose.

Taste: As I said, I’ve drank this beer many times, and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s consistently inconsistent. Some bottles are much sweeter than others; some are tinny and dirty-tasting. This particular bottle was somewhere in the middle, in that it was more mild and bland than anything else. I will say I notice a bit of light malt, but it’s not especially delectable or particularly sweet. This is interesting, because I recently drank a year-old bomber of this beer at a sushi restaurant that was very sweet due to its age. Light-bodied pale lagers aren’t the types of beers you usually associate with aging well, but I can honestly say that year-old bottle was better than this remotely fresh one. To its credit, I don’t really find it repugnant at all. Just a touch of metallic sensation and maybe even a faint spicy hop presence. Its only crime is being not just dull, but extremely so.

Drinkability: At only 5% ABV, Kirin Ichiban is equivalent to Budweiser in potency, though it is not a complete fizz bomb. Mouthfeel is quite light and there’s a watery sensation to each swig. Slightly refreshing while in the mouth, which is nice, along with an almost completely clean aftertaste which is also nice. Though I use that term in a relative way.

RATING: 4/10

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