Kirin’s new Ichiban Shibori

Having been tipped off by the boys over at Good Beer and Country Boys, I’ve been keeping an eye out for Kirin’s new Ichiban Shibori, a macrobrew that offers the promise of a return to good, simple beer. Unlike regular Ichiban Shibori, which contains adjuncts — in layman’s terms, needless shit — such as rice and cornstarch to “pad out” the beer and cut costs, new Shibori contains simply malt and hops. Definitely a step in the right direction, if you ask me … but as a beer, how does it stack up?

shiboriNew Shibori is slightly darker in color, a welcome improvement on the unnatural piss yellow of the former incarnation. Upon first taste, it’s definitely a smoother brew, with a bit of sweetness to it. For a moment, it has you thinking that it’s actually a decent beer — a second later, however, it kicks in with the tinny, wet dog-like flavor of classic Shibori.

Way to go, guys.

This is one beer I don’t think I’ll be buying again, especially given other readily available macrobrewed options such as Kirin’s own Muroka and Suntory’s Premium Malt’s, which should definitely be had in the bottle.

Sorry if this sounds like plagiarism, Country Boys; you just happen to have reached the same conclusions as me.


9 Responses

  1. A big beer company making a microbrew? Is that possible? Sounds like an oxymoron. I want to try it though.

  2. i seem to keep going back to yebisu ‘the hop’…green can…good stuff…haven’t found it in a bottle yet though

  3. The new TV commericial with Ichiro is enough to make me not want to touch the stuff. Shameful.


    Stick to b-ball, Ichiro.

  4. I love talking about beer. I feel like if you get piss drunk all the time, if you have some knowledge about the alcohol its less of a crime

  5. didn’t think it was too bad. Better than the other options and by that I meant super dry, kriin lager and sapporo black star.
    Yes, malts is better. Yebisu can get old but for me the best value beer made by the big for is Kirin Heartland. If you can find it. Just over 200yen for a 500ml bottle at my OK supermarket.

  6. @Tornadoes, you’d probably have more luck (and a better drinking experience) going with Malt’s in the bottle. It’s a pretty decent brew.

    @Casey, I wasn’t too taken with the Yebisu Green Hop thingy myself; I found the new Suntory Malt’s Green Aroma to be more flavorful (and cheaper).

    @Billy, haven’t seen it, but I tend to avoid Japanese TV as much as possible. The Yamanote ads are bad enough.

    @Babs, exactly. That way, you’re a connoisseur instead of the one who’s always hitting the bottle.

    @Chuwy, I went through an INSANE amount of Heartland when I needed the bottles for, ahem, a project I was working on and now I can’t stand to even look at the stuff. I think it was 250 yen though, definitely not 200 for the 500 mL bottle, so your supermarket is definitely running a good deal.

  7. John, good man. The stuff is drinkable and better than super dry, but grab a Premium Malts over this stuff. I also don’t mess with the Yebisu. There’s supposed to be a new one this summer–but don’t hold your breath for that one either.

    Nate also loves the Heartland–and I think we can get it for pretty cheap as well. However—I had it once on tap and it was horrible–SKUNKED! and I havent been able to get over it.

    Next beer festival boys? I had to give Tokyo a pass this last weekend to save some dough…Minoh Beer Festival in May????

  8. I’ve given up on Kirin beer altogether.

    By the way, if you are into local microbrews I recommend you visit the local brewery in Odawara (if you ever happen to be out near Mt. Fuji). It’s across from the kamoboko museum (that still makes me smile that they have one) and has the best damned pilsner that I’ve ever tried in my life. The lager was really tasty too. So much so, that I’ve been considering a day trip out there just to go beer shopping!

  9. @Jellybeanzkelly
    Where in Odawara is the “local” brewery?
    I’m going to be staying in Yoyogi near the Odakyu Line from the 5th to the 13th, and would likely enjoy riding it to Odawara.

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