22. Kirin

Posted: August 26, 2009 in International beer, Lager
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Kirin - BOTTLEKirin
Japanese_flag - SMALL


Company info:
Kirin Brewery Company
JAPAN (this particular release is brewed in Australia by Lion Nathan for Kirin Brewery)

[No website listed on bottle]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$[TBC]

Label info: “Kirin’s unique art of brewing ensures purity and smoothness. Unlike other beers, only the liquid drawn from the first mix of malt and water is extracted when ingredients are at their purest. This first pressed liquid is considered a blessing from nature in Japan”

What the label really means: I like the concept that this beer is ultra pure and I am sold on the technique immediately. Give me some of that damned purity!

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I am firstly impressed by the simplicity of this label. A simple splash of white colour as though from the end of a bamboo paint brush strikes down the bottle and ‘KIRIN’ stands boldly beneath. The neck label has a very cool dragon strutting about with impressive wind-swept hair. I like the fact that Kirin are definitely letting the beer, and its first press method speak for itself without feeling the need to go with over the top imagery. 

If there are any Japanese people reading this that can tell me what the script on the front of the bottle says, I would be most interested to hear from you. If there are any French people reading this, bonjour.  

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA: A real full-bodied lager smell that is extremely attractive.

Taste: GLASS – A malty wheat flavour that is mild, though enticing. I do enjoy this beer but my only negative comment is that it doesn’t seem to linger in the mouth for too long. I’m not quite sure why this is but it definitely shortens the sips lifespan and doesn’t allow you to roll it around on your tongue. 

Kirin - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – I am always surprised when a beer tastes better from the bottle than it does from the glass, and this is a fine example. When drinking Kirin from a glass I feel that the air gets in and discombobulates (ok so I just wanted to use that word, not quite knowing what it means) the taste, dispersing it throughout my mouth. When drinking from the bottle, you get straight to the heart of Kirin. It rolls around the mouth with a sweetness that is very attractive, and then leaves with a gentle bitterness. I also note that the carbonation seems less evident. Be damned if this isn’t going back as one of the ol smoothies.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Light, crisp, easy on the tum. I could really enjoy this all night”

She gave it a taste rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Ok this is a bit predictable and perhaps even stereotypical, but I would like to suggest that this accompanies all manner of tempura and sushi. It got me in the mood for a Japanese banquet.

Best season to appreciate: Being a fairly light beer in terms of colour and taste, I feel this beer would be a great Summer thirst quencher.

All-nighter beer? Yes, definitely – if you can afford this expensive import. (I’m sure it’s cheaper in Japan!)

Other notes: You’ve really got to check out the Kirin Australia website (www.kirinbeer.com.au). It is one of the finest designed sites I have ever come across, using familiar manga techniques. 

NEXT WEEK: Tooheys Extra Dry

  1. McLean not MacLean says:

    Nice suggestion by the big Barge boy. Mason, if you can sniff out a cheeky stout for us over the coming weeks, that’d be most interesting. I’m still searching folornly for something to replace my previous love affair with draught Guinness (it just doesn’t taste the same over here).


  2. BargeDave says:

    Sampling one now. Very clean and smooth, definitely a great summer thirst quencher which would go down well all day. Not as sweet as some lagers, which is just fine by me. Hey Mase, now that winter’s just about gone, are you going to get around to reviewing a stout we can look forward to next winter?


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Yeah fair call BD (and McLean). I’ve really neglected stout lovers eh?
      Leave it with me, and just like the corpses in my backyard, I’ll see what I can dig up!


      • BargeDave says:

        Lots of boutique brands out there, my personal fave (as a South Australian) is predictably Coopers Best Extra Stout. Fans of a black-and-tan (aka a half-and-half) should have a crack at an all-Coopers version made with half Sparkling Ale and half Stout. A cracker, particularly good while watching a footy game.


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