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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: 101 | 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 battlekow
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are no confirmed reports of melanistic (black) lions, either in the wild or captivity (http://www.lairweb.org.nz/tiger/black.html). Well, I found one: this Lion is jet black with a huge, rocky head that lasts forever. Oh, and it had a cat hair in it, but I'll blame that on my new kitten and not the Lion. Smell is surprisingly subdued, with a gentle roasted character. The taste, though, explodes with delicious bitter roastedness that's smooth as can be. Just a hint of plums/raisins. What a great beer. I might move to Sri Lanka.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a dark tan head thats rocky but shortlived. It recedes to a persistent cap that coats the glass with lace. The aroma is of sweet milk chocolate and Cappacino. The taste is very chocolatey and complex. Powdered cocoa blends with dark and white chocolate in the front. Theres a pleasant coffee bitterness in the back as well as some powdered milk and dark fruit (plums, prunes). A bittersweet finish lingers forever. The mouthfeel is creamy but a little thinner than I expected.

This is a great foreign stout. Its a little sweet for my taste but its still way less sweet (and way more complex) than the caribean examples Ive tried. I highly recommend.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with a well-kept bubbly tan head. Aroma is sweet, cocoa and plum. Flavor is again sweet, but lacks a serious malt profile that is warranted for an 8% ABV stout. Where's the beef? Tastes good enough and is a fairly easy drinker, but lacks complexity and anything to balance the chocolate sweetness and the mildly warming alcohol effect. Though it's full bodied, I expected something with a heartier flavor profile. Despite the bubbly head, carbonation on the palate is quite low. Still, not too shabby, especially if you truly dig stouts.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: A dark cola pour with a sudsy tan head that develops. No visible carbonation noted. No light gets through this one and it appears well filtered.

Smell: Just a touch of dry roasted malts here. Not much going on.

Taste: Starts out dry and then turns pleasantly sweet. Hints of carob, walnuts, and dark grains are noted. Finishes dry and leaves a coffee-type aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch creamy.

Drinkability: Very solid. Nothing over the top but very well done. Just a touch of alcohol on the palate which deserves respect. A nice one to enjoy the cooler weather with. Recommended.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours an opaque black color with a huge tan head. The lacing is thorough, and lasts forever. The aroma is of cracker, cream, and is slighly nutty, but not vrey strong. The taste very enjoyable. Creamy, and slightly nutty with some bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a solid brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Polished mahogany with generous garnet highlights that are created by bright morning sunshine pouring through my front window. The tremendous, cascading, golden ecru head has now settled down to a firm, three finger cap. I'm sure the 8.0% ABV is at least partially responsible for the disappointing amount of lace. A classic look.

The nose is dominated by roasted black malt. Dark chocolate is present as well, although it smells powdery and dry rather than sweet and rich. Faint coffee notes add additional interest. Unfortunately, there's just enough mustiness to keep me from loving the nose.

Lion Stout is much, much better on the palate. The flavor is multi-faceted, distinctive and just plain ol' good. My initial impressions are roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate, light molasses and a hint of anise. There's something else present, something sweetly floral, that makes me think there's a secret ingredient. Some exotic jungle flower perhaps? It's probably just hops, but it's different and delicious.

Sweet and bitter work well together, from start to lingering end. The various flavors are well-integrated when beer hits taste buds, then fan out beautifully and allow one to savor each in turn if desired. The mouthfeel is initially no better than acceptable for the style, then develops a lightly silky smoothness as the beer warms. The ABV is as well-masked as possible, drinking much lower than 8.0%.

I imagine Lion Stout is the pride of Sri Lanka. It's an incredibly flavorful beer whose singular, exotic deliciousness impresses me to no end. In fact, it's one of the best foreign/export stouts (that are actually foreign) that I've ever had.

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Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with ruby highlights and a tan head. Plenty of fine lacing was left behind as the foam subsided a bit. Malty aroma, with lots of chocolatey sweetness and light roasted coffee. Light bitterness with a strong sweetness. A bit of dark malt character, but not as much as I expected. It finishes a little acidic with just a hint of dry, grainy astringency. The carbonation is well integrated, with fine bubbles supporting the body somewhat. Not bad at all, though the flavour doesn't quite pull through like the aroma does.

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Photo of stodbrew
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with some deep red coming through at the edges. Ok tan head at first, then dissipates to a slight film.

Aroma is dark chocolate and some dark fruit.

Taste is hugely chocolatey up front giving way to a bit of coffee-like roastiness. Somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel is very full.

Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sinha Stout.

A: Black, with a touch of tan head.

S: Sweet, roasted malt.

T: Very refined, smooth roasty flavour. Doesn't have the burnt bitter flavour of a lot of stouts. Very well balanced (though perhaps it's less bitter than the style calls for?).

M: Moderate, almost chalky.

D: No harsh bite for the beginner, but enough flavour for the geek. The alcohol could certainly be trouble!

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Photo of mentor
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle obtained from Liquor Mart (Colorado) and consumed the next evening. Pours a four finger fluffy clingy cavernous caramel-brown colored head over a pitch black liquid. Smells of chocolate, sour black malt, toffee and caramel. Coffee roast only with searching. Tastes smooth silky milk chocolate that persists through and dries a touch in the finale. Soured black malt makes it's presence known in diametric oposition to the chocolate. Coffee modifies the sour and a toffee sweet keeps it from ruining the beer entirely. The aftertaste has a bit of alcohol sting rising up the back of the throat. Hop flavor is missing amid the mix of strong dark flavors...perhaps some cottony fuggles. Any hop bitter is buried beneath the sour and alcohol. Mouthfeel is only medium and carbonation is moderate. The overfoaming head hurts this beer's appearance. Near the end of the bottle, the alcohol became more prevalent in the aftertaste detracting from the drinkability.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sinha Stout, 330mL bottle, B/B Apr 2005.

Appearance: Opaque black syrupy fluid with a tan head which almost looks rose-coloured. Close inspection with bright light shows moderate carbonation and mahogany colour.

Smell: Solvent alcohol, date, raisin, cocoa, maybe even stone fruit. Complex but still refreshing.

Taste: Smooth, chocolatey, bitter, very nice, but not particularly unusually good,

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy but quite interesting. Definitely creamy. As a result, drinkability is impressive. Although I wouldn't drink it all night, but it's a nice stout overall.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured pitch black with a huge bronze head. Soem carbonation. Nose was big on roasted malts, some black licorice. Taste was to the sweet side. Again, black licorice was dominant. Nice malts. Very smooth, light bodied...a little too light bodied i would have to say. Lingering sweetness...a touch of raisin off the finish. Alcohol warmth. As far as a stout goes, i was looking for a little more body and fullness. Drinkable but not where i might want a stout to be.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/11/05- Purchased at the Wine Exchange in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Englander pint glass.

Appearance- Black pour with a full 1 inch dirty white head. Average lacing.

Smell- All your basics. Chocolate, espresso and dark malts. Nothing really spectacular, but still a good whiff.

Taste- Mirrors the are the scents. I think mostly some dark sweet chocolate and a bit of coffee. Malts were mild.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation for a stout and definitely creamy.

Drinkability- A fine stout. Nothing out of this world, but still a very good one worth trying. Heck for $1.75 it's worth buying a few.

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Photo of pootz
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle: poured a pitch black with a gorgeous mocha puffy cap. Moderate carbonation for a bottle conditioned ale. Nose recalls coffee, dried fruits, toasted caramel sweetness and grassy hops. Full bodied, rich, and silky mouth feel. What a wonderful mix of flavors..all very mellow and not sharp or over bearing: cocoa, chickory, dates, musty apple, slightly charred toast...all kept in balance with lashings of lemon grass acidity from the hops and a soft drying charred finish that is totally in balance with sweet caramel tones...the finish is the mellowest, evenly balanced I have ever tasted in a stout...this is a world class stout and probably the best foreign stout available in bottles. Smooth, well rounded and very drinkable for a stout.

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Photo of Naes
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours black and has a one inch tan head that is frothy and laces well.

The aroma is of chocolate, alcohol and has traces of roasted barley.

As for flavor, chocolate is the main character here. Alcohol is also a presence in the finish of this brew.

The mouth feel is surprisingly light for such a strong beer, but still falls in the medium bodied category. It’s mildly carbonated and goes down smooth.

I can definitely see another in the future, just not tonight. The drinkability is hindered by its ABV (for me at least).

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Photo of karst
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle without the gold foil on neck that displays a white dot matrix printed best by date of Feb. 2005. Pours jet black with ruby glint held to a summer's setting sun. A fist of stiff dense tan head slowly recedes and laces the sides of a Stone Old Guardian Rastal.

Aromas of dark chocolate, prunes and burnt sugar and hints of burnt barley and dark caramel.

Flavors of light roastfully coffee mocha, raisin and bitter chocolate. Roasted grain, hops and high ABV dry the clean burnt finish. Excellent drinkability.

Amazing story of the brewery can be found on Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter site where he recounts his "most unusual beer hunting trip" I always cite a visit to Sri Lanka, in 1986.

Recently the Colombo brewery shut down to brew water the next day after the Tsunami hit the area. The origional brewery is in the mountains near the holy city of Kandy. 75% of Lion Brewery Limited sales are for this stout. Two other brewerys in Sri Lanka also produce stouts.


McCallum Brewery, also of Colombo, has two BA reviews presently. I do not know the third Sri Lankan brewer.

This beer come highly reccomended! An amazing joy to drink!

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

Presentation: 330ml - 11.50 fl.oz. - 0.58 Pint - standard looking brown glass bottle that looks rather funky and a tad trendy with its rhomboid neck and main labels. Black crown cap has a colorful picture of a lions heads, as does the main label above the words ‘LION Stout Imported Alc. 8% By Vol.’

Appearance: Thick dark brown body with a heavy dose of ruby in the backlit flashes that form at the edges of my Pint glass. Cocoa brown head sits nice and even on the surface and leaves a little lacing as the rink slowly works its way down the libation vessel. Finely dissolved carbonation supports the head throughout and wit vigor when gently swirled.

Nose: Lightly sweet malts mix with a caramel laden molasses. Coffee tinted cum roasted body which is backed by dark chocolates. Some hops in the back end.

Taste: This is a very “soft and gentle” yet big roasted malty Stout with some Cocoa powder and a light hint of milk chocolate in the back end with a smidgeon of freshly brewed black coffee which has just been impacted by a small amount of fresh cream. After a few small mouthfuls a nicely rounded bitterness develops in the finish and mixes well with the roasted chocolate lingering ending. Damn tasty stuff and as slick Teflon®.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and exceptionally creamy in the mouth; it withstands a gentle swirl around the tongue with ease, quite robust and hearty, yet with an attractive lightness thanks to the finely attenuated conditioning. Helps to accommodate the 8% ABV all too easily.

Drinkability: I tried this once back in England many moons ago as a Student and I don’t recall it being this drinkable, it had a more acidic bite to it then, either that or my tastes have changed. This bottle was very soft and incredibly palatable. It didn’t last long!!

Overall: Heard a lot about this one, for whatever reason it seems to have rather the cult following. That is usually a sign of image over substance, but this really is not that bad actually, I’m almost torn to admit that I really quite like it, not sure why, but for $1.69 it ain’t all that bad.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deoop brown, almost opaque color with slight off-white head. The smeel is absolutely fantastic, a mixture of roasted grains, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, ripe fruit, and prunes. I don't think I have ever experienced this complex a smell. Taste is dry and bitter, with roasted grains and chocolate at the top. Mouth feel is a slightly bitter. An excellent beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at the Foodery in May. WIll compare to that now coming i to Toronto. Nice head with bubbles in foam. Malty sweet, vanila, milk, good hops. Very drinkable and serviceable stout. This would be a standard beer for me if always available, which reflects that big stouts get higher ratings on complexity and thickness, but this is nice. Second bottle a few days later.

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Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black, some dark red shows at the edges, big tan head, some lace. Smells like bitter roast, grass, some skunkiness is detectable? Wow, coffee and cream, little yeasty and sour, pretty roast. How the hell is this beer so smooth? The 8% doesn't show at all, insanely smooth and creamy, very slick mouthfeel. Excellent.

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Photo of nrrd
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a little thick head, very little carbonation.

Smells sweet with a touch of coffee, not perticularly strong. Taste is dark chocolate and slightly burnt cofee, malty, bitter, but very pleasent and drinkable, especially as it warms up. Finish is a tad sweeter.

Overall, this is a very solid and drinkable stout.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a decent opaque dark brown, with plenty of foam some cascading carbonation. Smell is toasty malts with some cocoa and coffee thrown in. Taste is malty sweet, with some chocolate and coffee again up front. Finish is a bit rough for me though. The beer starts off rather sweet and then ends up just a shade unpleasant. The bitterness is quite mild. Mouthfeel could be much fuller for this beer especially at this sweetness level. The 8% ABV is well hidden, but I couldn't drink more than a bomber at a time.

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Photo of Domingo
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid stout that reminds me a little of Mackeson's XXX, but a little less complex. Still for an 8% brew ...there's NO hint of that kind of strength. Other than MJ's strange endorsement (when he himself just called it "surprisingly good") it's a winner.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat translucent dark black color with a large and foam dark tan head. Smells of bitter roasty malts, chocolate and coffee, and a somewhat metallic smell is present as well. Taste is sweet and chocolatey with an alcohol presence. Very smooth, and somewhat acidic, but not in a real bitter way. Mouthfeel is smooth and on the thinner side, no a thick brew by any means. Drinkability is very good for an 8% brew.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an unexpected find at the Classic City brewfest, a strong stout brewed in the tropics of Sri Lanka. It is dark brown, nearly black with a fantastically thick head that stays and stays.

The aroma is caramel sweet, and has delicate hints of chocolate, coffee, plum/prune, and has a slight metallig twang that English stouts and porters often have. Pleasant aromas, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Flavor profile follows suit. It is dominated by bittersweet choc and coffee accents of the roasted dark malts. There's a bit of creamy vanilla in there too. It has a definately prune (or Lekvar-brune butter) quality throughout that adds a hint of fruity acidity. Overall it is very mellow and quite subdued.

It has a medium body, which is creamy in texture and very smooth. There is zero indication of the 8%, it would make a fine sessionable brew. Tame, but enjoyable.

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