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There are many Japanese beer brands. Today we will talk about Kirin Ichiban, Japan’s Premium Beer. “Crafted with the finest ingredients for freshness and pure enjoyment. ” Let’s start, Kirin Ichiban:
The Kirin Company (キリン株式会社 ) is an integrated beverages company. Beside the beer they have more products, Alcoholic beverages, Soft drinks, they even have Real estate and Restaurants. The beer is, said by the company itself, a form of art. Ichiban, which stands for number one, or the best, is contained in it’s name. Their First Press process (or Ichiban Shibori method) brews beer to it’s purest state, keeping only the best flavors. It contains 5% of alcohol.
Please take note that this is based on a personal opinion, tastes differ.
As i am used to Japanese beer being slightly more bitter than European beer (at least, that’s what i thought it was) this beer has a rather sweet taste. The color itself is nice light yellow and the after taste is also slightly sweet. The small bubbles are still appearing, even if you let the beer rest for a while, making it seem fresh for a longer period (compared with some beers, where the bubbles disappear if you leave it for 10 minutes). Of course the rather thin foam disappeared by then.
As for the design, the bottle itself has 2 labels, one around the bottle neck and one on it’s body.
The label around the bottleneck is rather simple, It seems like an average sticker, it contains the company name (Kirin) and a golden drip with “Premium press” overlapping it. The sticker itself had also 2 bars on the top and down strokes with shiny Silver and Golden colors giving it a “special” feel.
The body label is a sticker too. This contains the silver and golden colors too. It also contains some sort of lion-horse kind of character. It is the Mythical, legendary creature, known as Kirin. The Kirin is derived from ancient Chinese myths and is said to be a harbinger of good luck. After looking it up, i also stumbled upon information of the logo. If you look closely enough at the Kirin Beer labels from 1933 to the present day reveals that the three tiny Japanese kana letters for “ki,” “ri” and “n” are hidden in the mane of the Kirin. We do not know exactly why this started: Some say the graphic designer who created the original 1933 label may have simply added an amusing touch to the design, while others claim it was an attempt to prevent forgery of the labels. I personally love easter eggs like those.
Despite the easter egg, i find the design bottle itself rather simple. beside the silver and golden details, the design of the label is a little plain, and typical beer-like. The stickers have no special structure and the golden japanese letters are hard to say in a darker environment.
The taste of the beer itself was fresh and nice, the bubbles stayed rather long, however the foam was gone quickly (of course this happens with most of the bottles beers, so we do not keep this too much in account.) It is definitely a beer you should try at least once!
Source: Wikipedia, Google, Bottle Pictures by Saetori! Please do not take out without proper credits.