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Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

880 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 880
Hads: 1,544
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 66
Gots: 102 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited visit their website
Sri Lanka

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-28-2001

The dark caramel, large dense headed brew, with its 8.8% alcoholic content, is unique due to its sweet notes of chocolate and coffee interspersed into a foundation of dark roasted barley. Symbolic black to denote leadership, power, focus and strength, is dominant in the labeling as the lion journeys in the twilight unafraid, unbowed and unchallenged.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 880 | Hads: 1,544
Photo of mrfreakybig
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this beer. It's well-made and very tasty and drinkable. I'd drink it again without thinking twice. Makes me wonder what it is about beers like this one that make them better than so many of today's overdone imperial stouts.

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Photo of mchegash
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - 4.25/5
Extremely dark brown, almost black. Two fingers of light brown head. The head dies down a little, but stays at about 1/2 finger for a while. Great lacing. There are various small to large particles which can be seen in the beer.

Smell - 3.5/5
Strong chocolate then alcohol aromas fill my nose. I swish the beer around again and take another sniff. Chocolate/mocha, and the alcohol is even stronger this time. The alcohol smell reminds me of vodka. I like the chocolate aspect, don't like the "vodka" aspect.

Taste - 2.25/5
Roasty and smoky, sweet roasty chocolate/mocha. Strong vodka-like alcohol taste. I was going to say the taste wasn't that bad, but then I realized my face cringed upon my first sip. So I can't rationalize this away and say it's great, because clearly my body says otherwise. Yeah, after taking a few more sips I can say that I definitely don't like this beer. It literally tastes like someone poured a little bit of vodka into a stout. It's not good. This is one of those beers I was tempted to pour down the drain (I didn't...mainly because I hate wasting beer, and I wanted to finish the review).

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium-bodied, medium level of carbonation. Fairly smooth

Overall - 2/5
I had this beer sitting in my fridge for a few weeks and was excited to try it. I was extremely disappointed. This ranks down in the top 5 worse beers I can remember.

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Photo of gory4d
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a tulip pint. Dark, almost black; fluffy tan head. Smell is sweet roastiness, maybe some coffee notes. Taste is quite sweet, but the slightly charred flavor at the back keeps it from being cloying. Thick and smooth. A pleasant beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black. World Class head volume, lacing and retention.

Outstanding nose of dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruit (prune) subtle coffee and a hint of alcohol.

Heavy medium bodied with a very smooth texture that approaches creamy. Above normal carbonation level with effervescence from the middle on.

The outstanding flavor profile is intense, complex and well balanced. It begins with a blend of flavors that separate into chocolate, a hint of coffee and very subtle prune. In the middle, the big malt sweetness comes forward with a molasses and caramel flavor against a mild bitterness of citric hops and roast. The finish is a slow sweet fade and leaves you with that nice slight alcohol burn at the back of the throat amid an effervescent burst.

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Photo of Melnovo
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Owns a pitch black pour and rich caramel head. Carries a green olive aroma and accompanied with the same, in taste. Smooth body. Overall, worth the try!

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black into the pub pint glass, with a surprising amount of fizzy carbonation. So, far, not like any stout I've had before. Got a good two and a half inches of mocha head, almost to the point of overflowing the lip of the glass. Head died quickly, leaving some spotty lacing and a thin film.

The most immediate aroma is booze. Subsequent sniffs reveal roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, but the booze is still there.

The taste is another surprise. Smooth, not harsh as the smell would indicate. Silky, but a little watery mouthfeel. I get burnt coffee and malt on the tongue, with a booze bite on the finish. Not harsh, though. Settled on smooth: taste and feel.

The high ABV is noticed halfway through.

This one comes highly recommended by a few folks, and the guy at the bottleshop offered to buy it back if I didn't like it. They were all correct. This one should be on the must-have list for anyone who's a fan of stouts.

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Photo of johnnyapollo
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Interesting stout, less creamy and a bit more carbonated than is typical. Distinct caramel and coffee flavored rather than chocolate. Rich, dark color with obvious higher alcohol content. A fine brew from Sri Lanka and above average for imports from that part of the world.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was very good. Pours deep black with caramel colored two finger head. Aroma is that of espresso and roasted malt with a noticeable alcohol presence. Taste follows nose well, espresso and chocolate, deep roasted smokey characteristics, good alcohol warming, very well balanced. Feel is thick and creamy, good body and carbonation. Overall a fantastic brew, well worth venturing into the import area to try.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with light tan head, thicker too. Raw cocoa, roasted malt, and brown sugar on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with roasted malt.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottom of can says 140503. Not sure what that's supposed to mean.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 3/4 inch light brown head that retains and retains before becoming a

S- Dark roasted malt with a hint of sweetness.

T- Biscuity malt that's slightly sweet with a metallic aftertaste. Hint of smoke. ABV is very well-hidden.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- As far as high gravity affordable stouts go, this one's pretty tasty.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle in the US and I did not enjoy this. This is probably due to the fact there is no way to know how long the bottle has been on the shelf and how it was treated getting there. Eitherway, probably not the best beer to chose to export to the US.

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Photo of headhunter1898
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Format: Draft. Draft pour is noticeably different than when you buy the can or 330ml bottles. Good head retention.

Appearance: Very black with a creamy Guinness type head.

Aroma: Strong coffee, vanilla/mollassas, dirt, and alcohol. You can smell the 8%abv.

Taste: Strong alcohol bite with good coffee and smoke flavors.

Aftertaste: Smooth with a bit of smoke and earthy coffee flavor. The alcohol bite dies off nicely.

Mouth feel: Thick and chewy, just like a stout should be.

Overall: A well rounded stout overall. Now having had this in the US and Sri Lanka, there is a definite difference in the quality of the beer depending on the location. I've had this in can and bottles in the US, but othing beats having it on Draft in Colombo.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Format: a solid dark brown 330mL bottle with a standard SEA-style label.

Appearance: a thick, syrupy black beer with a staggeringly creamy - almost greasy looking - two-finger grey and brown head. Drops to a creamy half-finger with decent lacing. Looks good.

Aroma: an interesting combination of coffee, brown sugar and some earthen qualities. Some definite meat / umami flavours too, maybe pork.

Taste: very strong in flavour, which is nice - those roast coffee and earth flavours again, with biting alcohol and plenty of smoke. Doesn't quite seem rounded out, a touch harsh with the alcohol. Still, not bad.

Aftertaste: the sharp alcohol backs off a bit to leave the flavours fairly well combined.

Mouth feel: a thick body that really works quite well. Low in carbonation but just enough to carry plenty of flavour, nice and crisp to boot.

Overall: an decent and unusual stout, a bit expensive at AU$90+ a case. The flavours come across a bit harsh with an alcohol fug, but the flavours are reasonably well rounded. I will have one every now and then.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recommended to me by a colleague as “A pretty good Stout... and from Sri Lanka” - I had to give it a go, I don’t think I’ve even looked in the general direction of Sri Lanka for anything beer related, so on my beer world tour country #34 is (of course I just told you, put away those sticks - there’s no need for a drumroll): Sri Lanka!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours really excitable for an 8.8% ABV Stout (I have a 1 inch tan head going on here) with a deep brown, almost black, body and some large chunks of yeast sitting at the bottom of my glass... just noticed the best before date is July 2014, oh :( 5/10.

S: Bit of the old burnt barley, engine oil, roast coffee and dark chocolate aromas happening right now, kinda reminds me of my very first review those many moons ago (you remember Sheaf Stout right?). 6/10.

T: Interesting flavour, an almost sickly sweet prune character (upfront and all over) with some smoke, roasted coffee notes, and indeed as the label proclaims a: “mocha liquor like character”. I’ve underlined the “liquor” part because Sinha are obviously proud of the fact that their Stout has this fusel alcohol note. The aftertaste is quite proportionally metallic as well. 6/10.

M: Medium bodied with a medium, borderline fizzy-as-hell carbonation. 6/10.

D: This brew shies away from greatness due to the odd fusel and almost sickly sweet prune characters which make it more of an oddity than an enjoyable experience, perhaps it’s my own subjective views but Sinha Stout doesn’t do it for me quite nearly as much as Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout did. I actually found this a bit of a chore to finish, and drinking beer should never become a chore. 6/10.

Food match: I imagine a big Sri Lankan curry would sort this Stout out sharpish.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No idea on a bottling date, and because of that, I guess it really doesn't matter when I drank it. Poured from a bottle into a 10oz wine glass.

First off, initial impressions. That is to say, I didn't have any. I had initially grabbed a Evil Twin Doughnut Break, some Ten Fidy, and a Stone Coffee Milk Stout. Once the cashier got to the Stone he just gave me a disapproving look and said "Are you sure you want this? I dont think you want this. Give me ten seconds and I'll get you something better... same price" I respond with a "what the hell, sure" he promptly chucks the Stone, runs off, and returns with a bottle of what looked like a trashy euro brew that your drunk uncle Janek chugs every night in an attempt to finally kill his liver. Sensing my skepticism (a stout made in Sri Lanka? really?), the cashier assures me that this is a quality beer, going so far as offering that i could return the bottle empty and get anything of the same price in exchange.

Persistence pays off, and I walk out with the official stout of MGM studios in my bag.

So lets get to it.

A: Pours an incredibly deep, opaque brown...borderline black, with a fine mocha head. The heady quickly builds to a full finger, and then quickly fades to a thin milky cap with a minimal collar. Appears to be quite thin, as it does not coat the glass much at all when sloshing.

S: Roasted malt, molasses, dark roast coffee, banana, hints of vanilla... and after much deliberation, and many a sniffs as the beer warmed... tobacco. Extremely pleasant aromatics, the layering of which was a very pleasant surprise.

T: Chocolate covered coffee beans, roasted malt, eastern spices, and dark fruit. Possibly raisins or dates. The alcohol is noticeable, but the sweetness and roasted malt/coffee cover it nicely.

M: Well carbonated, no lingering bitterness or aftertaste. Thin and light, with a crisp, clean finish. Not exactly what one looks for in a stout, and easily my biggest problem with this beer.

0: A very unexpected, and pleasant surprise. The aromatics and flavor of this beer left me quite shocked, as it does a great job in both attributes. mouthfeel aside, this is a good beer. Not hunt it down, or a new standby, but one that I could be happy with drinking on most occasions.

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Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

I noted this one specifically for the big complex aromas on the nose. I was getting chocolate, honey, vanilla, banana, pear, apple, coffee, espresso and roast. It poured a very dark, opaque brown with a light brown head. It had a nice silky, creamy mouthfeel, with a medium to full body and a light level of carbonation. To the taste there was big time chocolate and coffee, also vanilla, caramel, toffee and some subtle dark fruits. Aroma was definitely the star on this one, but it's hard to complain about anything really. It's a fantastic beer, very complex and easy drinking for a stout this big.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

I was shocked at how good this was after hesitantly trying it for the first time. It is a solid stout with big flavor that will stand up to most anything. I can't put my finger on the taste but it has a nice sweet, but not too sweet, finish.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $2.35 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass. Best before January 2016.

Appearance -Pours a dark cola beer, with plenty of cola like bubbles. Small half finger of head is poured and dissipates virtually instantly. Pretty mediocre

Smell - Roasty coffee mostly, some leathery tobacco like aroma too. A bit of sweet booziness as well.

Taste - Big bold coffee flavor followed by a helping of dry coffee beans and maybe a touch of dark chocolate. The leatheriness comes through here too.

Mouthfeel - Wet and somewhat slick with good carbonation, finishes fairly dry. Probably the best part of the beer in my opinion.

Overall - Rather disappointing, was hoping for a big stout with great flavor and feel, and ended up with something limper and less tasty that expected. Maybe it was a bad bottle, but I really don't think so. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%

The Michael Jackson quote on the back label made me pick this up, i'm really curious about it.
A beautiful pour, entirely black with a generous mocha head, creamy and lasting a long while, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.
Smells nice too, dark chocolate laced with licorice and some vanilla, sweet coffee, plum jam, faintly smoked roasted malts, aromatic herbs, brown sugar and syrup.
Starts with sweet chocolate, creamy, with sour cherry, plum, fig, and an alcoholic warmth, giving the impression of brandy-filled chocolates from the get go. The appropriate spices, with licorice, vanilla, citrus peel and a floral/herbal feel reminding of Breckland thyme tea, faintly minty. Roast brings a big burnt bread crust aroma in the finish, mixed with the lingering sweetness, like molasses, and some sweet coffee too. Finishes fresh, with a mild herbal bitterness in lieu of a big roastiness. A hint of oxidation too, clearer later on.
Thus flavors get through to the aftertaste easily, with nice dark fruit, light chocolate, sherry, sweet dark malts and just a bit of roast. Medium body and carbonation, but full and chewy.
Didn't impress me with the advertised "chocolatey, mocha character", but it has a great complexity, great flavors with just a few faults, ignorable. Never imagined a beer from Sri Lanka of all places could be this good.

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330-mL can. Unsure of bottling date.

Very dark chestnut brown. 1-finger dark tan head. Decent alcohol legs. 1/2-finger collar lingers. Malt roast, sweet cream, touch of cola. Vigorous swirl opens up licorice and fruit. The dark fruit intensifies with warmth

like Tsunami, the roast doesn't get acrid here. all told, however, the flavor's a tad muted - dark fruit (more similar to an ris or baltic porter), dark brown bread sweetness, but less coffee, dark chocolate than I'd like

thinner mouthfeel, despite the creaminess on the nose, but very, very drinkable. ultimately, I enjoyed this, but I think it strays off style

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Photo of Chief_Mug
4/5  rDev +1.5%

I am surprised to see the metallic taste n 2 different reviews. I found this Stout to be very smooth, malty and pleasant tasting. I think Ceylon does a good job of hiding the high ABV which is uncommon in a Stout. My Rating as 4.0 is a Good Beer, not a wow -can't live without. but a Beer I would recommend.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Dark black with a creamy head. Some chocolate, cocoa and dark roasted malt make up the smell. Smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate, some slight bitterness, and a strong alcohol flavor comprise the taste. A decent, strong stout. A little heavy on the alcohol taste, but otherwise is an OK Stout.

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Photo of Fargrow
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a light brown head with varying bubble size.
S: Hot chocolate and smokey charred wood. Metallic.
T: Much the same as the nose. So much charred wood and burnt malt flavor, I don't think I've ever tasted this much. Ends smokey.
M: Thick and sweet at first, finishing bitter dark chocolate.
O: One of the smokiest non-smoked (or maybe it is, I'm not sure) beers I've ever had. Very nice sipper, although I doubt it's very refreshing in hot and humid Sri Lanka.

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Photo of FLima
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deepest black color with a thick dark caramel head that vanishes quickly.
Aroma of licorice, creamy chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
Sweet and bold flavor with notes caramels, coffee, cocoa, spices, vanilla, roasted malts and a hint of all major hops, citrus, herbal and earthy. Dry aftertaste with a lingering spiciness challenging its sweetness.
Full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol of 8.8% is hidden behind its malty base.
Bold beer from the unexpected Sri Lanka, nice and complex regarding both malt and hops with lots of chocolate, but a tad on the sweet side which makes it a bit cloying.
Ap.3,75 Ar.3,5 Sab.3,75 Sens.3,5 Cj.3,75

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a huge, 2.5 inch head, that descends quickly, leaving the typical ample dry stout/export stout lacing.

Smells sweet and creamy, if that makes sense- some mocha and vanilla flavors, along with typical roasted malt aromas.

As I move towards the taste, I begin to appreciate how much of a gem this one is. I’d have no problem sucking this one down all the time if I lived in Sri Lanka. Insanely creamy flavor, tons of rich milk chocolate flavors, some mocha cream flavors, vanilla, roasted malt, licorice, and mild dark fruit flavors. Just everything I want in a stout, really.

This one has medium-strength body, leaning closer to heavy, actually. Really creamy, fluffy mouthfeel on it, no alcohol present. Really, really drinkable.

An absolutely excellent export stout. I could drink a ton of this and be really happy.

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Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 880 ratings.