Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

878 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 878
Hads: 1,536
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 65
Gots: 99 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lion Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 878 | Hads: 1,536
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle. Snifter glass. Enjoyed on jul´11. Pours pitch black in color. Tan froth creates a creamy lasting & thick crown. Ripe grapes, raisins & hints of chocolate to the nose. Flavors & mouthfeel are dominated by a heavy sweetness. Quite cloying sensation.

 262 characters

Photo of GNWBC
2.96/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

hadnt had this in a while so i figured i pick up a couple.

P: pours a jet black with a tan head that has good retention and lacing

S: doesn't really smell like anything....kind of disappointing.

T: Vanilla, burbon, carmel and some toasty malts

O: not bad has good mouth feel with the carbonation, wouldn't mind sessioning with it but its not stellar.

 354 characters

Photo of jbertsch
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

As black as black gets. Completely eclipses any light on the other side of it. No color glow on the edges. I poured a 625 ml bottle into a tulip glass that produced a two-finger head that appeared as a thick and frothy tan. There is some pretty ringed lacing.

Pleasantly rustic, and a bit musty, but sweet with a strong mocha presence. The former is due to some spicey dark fruit notes and a little smokiness. The smell of alcohol is noticeable.

Interesting...I can't tell what kind of stout it's trying to be. The coffee/mocha aroma doesn't really translate through in the taste that much. There's a molasses sweetness that fades into a finish of bitter, dark roasted grain. There's even something else there at the end that just tastes foreign. Maybe it's that spice that I smelled. I know Sri Lanka is a mecca for spices.

A bit on the flat side, and finished wet and long.

I wouldn't drink more than one bottle, nor would I buy it again. But I enjoyed the bottle I had enough.

This beer looks and smells better than it tastes. But I felt that I would have enjoyed it more if I had a smokey aged cheese and artisan bread to go with it. It needs an edible companion.

 1,229 characters

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.

 1,816 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours almost pitch black in color. Some tan froth and lacing.

(S)- A raisin heavy roasted maltiness; almost smoky on the finish.

(T)- Again, quite heavy on the raisin with subtle molasses combined with an almost smoky but roasted malt profile.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. A good malty balance that is a bit on the lighter side but plenty of flavor.

(O)- An easy drinking stout with smooth and mellow carbonation. Surprised this came in cans.

 488 characters

Photo of idResponse
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average porter. Average price. Average... ho hum... blah... move on... If you want something interesting, certainly don't look here. This beer is a porter... sure... it's a porter... yup... it sure is a porter! I'm pretty certain it's a porter. It tastes and looks and smells like a porter. It's a porter allright! I'm bored of this porter. It's unremarkable and average all the way through. Certainly an excellent find if it's on a bargain shelf but I'm sure you can find better tasting porters near you and not from halfway across the world... Unless you live in Sri Lanka!

 575 characters

Photo of SamN
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Lion Stout in a can. It's gotta be done.

Pours a pretty thick blackness. Head is notable; beautiful notes of brown and tan. Loose and and little filmy. Excellent crown to a big black stout. Smell is a little sour; some vinegar, coffee notes, molasses. Not the typical stout smell; sweeter, a little sour, no oak, vanilla or bourbon notes to be found. Taste follows smell pretty closely. This definitely has a sweet edge to it. I also get some grape skins in the taste. The main roasted malt taste is upfront, which gives way pretty quickly to a sweet/sour and tinny finish. Some coffe and cocoa detectable. Not bad, interesting tastes, not a stout I'd drink very often. I can see drinking this fresh off the tap on a tropical island, beachin it up.

Has a distinct sour bite to it I don't care for. Don't know if it's a bad can; is that possible? I seem to like it much more out of the bottle.

 894 characters

Photo of mothman
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured int Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours an opaque black, slightly brown around the edges of the glass. Pours a tan head the leaves good splattered lacing about the glass.

Aroma is very smokey. I smelt something like teriyaki sauce and it reminded me a lot of Sam Adams Triple Bock. It was very malty.

Taste was pretty much identical to the smell. It was was too smokey and nothing I enjoyed very much.

Mouthfeel was very creamy, but I couldn't withhold the taste so I couldn't keep it in my mouth too long. There was no alcohol present and it had decent carbonation.

Overall this is probably my least favorite stout to date. I don't plan on buying or drinking another one of these.

 689 characters

Photo of BigDank
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a goose island matilda goblet. In the air the pour stream is a very dark brown but once in the glass becomes enough to be opaque / black. The head is a light brown and very tall so the carbonation must be somewhat high. Head reduced to a lumpy foam then dissipated completely in a short time. Smell is light, not too rich or outstanding. Taste is somewhat light and sweet and not really anything amazing as far as I'm concerned. Not a bad beer but not really what I would look for in a stout. To each their own I suppose. Drinkability is high as the abv is not too high and the mouthfeel is smooth and easy. The beer rolls across the tongue lightly with the bubbles biting just a little bit. Overall drinkable, but not my cup of tea (or beer). Was worth the try.

 790 characters

Photo of bjohn84
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours deep chocolate brown with 3 fingers of foaming, creamy light brown head

S - Bitter chocolate,Unique smell for the style.. almost like some form of sour burnt sugar comes though with a slight smokiness. Not really pleasant on the nose

T - Bitter chocolate / chocolate milk upfront with a fruity bitterness throughout the middle and alcohol rounding out the back end

M - Medium High mouthfeel on this and lingering cream texture, but also feels a bit chalky. Dry bittering finish on the tongue to end things. Would be difficult to have too many of these with the lingering numbness on the tongue from the alcohol.

O - Not too bad for the price being on the lower end, and has a decent amount of complexity, but something about the strange smell vs the taste kept if a lower rating for me.

 800 characters

Photo of MEsquandoles
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle in Unibroue Maudite snifter.

32308 18:18 printed in yellow on the neck. It tastes like it could be from March 2008.

Michael Jackson is pictured on the back, it's from Sri Lanka, an 8% "Stout" and only costs 2 bucks a bottle. This is why my friend in AZ picked it up for me.

Very good head retention. I'm likely marking off because the appearance isn't as impressive as other bis stouts I've had due to this one most likely not having oat and significantly less-hopped. Aroma nowhere near compares to most big stouts I've had.

Has those Euro Big Stout flavours, like Sam Smith Imp Stout or a Baltic Porter - toffee, tootsie roll, grape jelly and berries, port. I suppose that is the "Export Stout" flavor. I get some sweet wine-like flavors (but not very woody), some dessert-like creaminess (chocolate mousse, maybe carrot cake?), and some hazelnut. I'm not that familiar with carob, but I think it tastes a like a carob dessert.

Thick and the alcohol is not present in the taste.

I didn't know Sri Lanka exported beer. It's probably pretty good there. If I was ever near Sri Lanka, I'd love to try in there.

Not bad. I'd recommend it for the price, but I wouldn't seek it out. A little sweet for my tastes., I'd like some more roastiness and hop presence. I much prefer American Imperial Stouts, like Victory Storm King for example; although I realize this is a different brew in many ways. I would bet most would like more than me though...

 1,465 characters

Photo of granger10
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I loved the look of this. Pitch black with a beige colored head that came large and stayed at medium size for awhile. Smelled of strong semi-sweet chocolate chips and a hint of alcohol. Taste of roasted malts and intense chocolate (like a mochachino). Only problem is that the flavor is withdrawn and doesn't fully show itself. There's also a sourness in the beer that seems like it shouldn't be there. Is that supposed to be the hops? Is it some astringency from the grains. I don't know, but I do know that it mixes with the chocolate and creates an off flavor. Body is medium to weak in thickness. Could be much better than it is.

 633 characters

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.

 888 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Lion Stout.

Another beer I have looked over a few hundred times. Found a single for $2 and figured I'd give it a shot. Haven't had many export stouts since it isn't a very common style. Let's see what we get .

Look - Pours a deep impenetrable black with a small cap of mocha head that doesn't stick around, quickly turning into a small cloud formation around the top of the glass. Carbonation is unreadable due to the depth. Looks like a glass of motor oil. No lacing is left. 3.5.

Smell - Big hints of coffee and dark fruits with just a touch of chocolate. Odd metallic note all around the nose. Smells sweet and knowing the style the taste will likely follow the nose to a T. 3.25.

Taste - Sweet dark cherries at first followed by a bit of darkened coffee and finishing on the aforementioned metallic note. The metallic aspect lingers around in the mouth forever. 3.

Feel - Body is light and a touch creamy despite the failure of the head. Carbonation is moderate. Metallic flavor sticks around and certainly loses this beer some points in this category. 3.25.

Overall - I didn't like this beer that much. Too sweet with an off putting metallic note that would make you think it came out of a damage can or something. Not the worst beer I've ever had, but likely one of the worst stouts. I'll likely dump this. 3.

 1,321 characters

Photo of ZtremEoj
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A pitch-black brew from Sri-Lanka, an island off the southern coast of India.

I received this beer as part of a "beer of the month" club type thing.

I was excited to open this beer, but it wasnt quite up to what i was expecting. maybe a little too metallic?

The can it came in looks nicely appointed. Simple black and red with a lion (as expected).

When poured, it looked almost syrup-y. very heady.

The smell is just on-par for a stout.

The taste did disappoint me a little. To me, it was a little bit metallic for my taste.

Not a bad mouthfeel. Pretty smooth.

Overall, it was just Okay. Dont hate it, but would not choose it again if given other options.

 668 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.14/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Liquorish with a dark chocolate hue. A deep heavy malt is at once, creamy and sweet. Lacking any real hop aroma the surprise is the full bitter hop bite. Heavy and flavorful chocolate and coffee notes blend in well. Tricky alcochol is certainly there, but hardly noticeable. The creamy head fades quickly.

 305 characters

Photo of slitherySOB
3.14/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle said Sinha stout, but I am sure this is the same thing as well. Pours extremely dark with a large amount of brown foam that quickly disipates to a thin film. Very little lace left on the glass. Smells ripe with dark cherries, plums, chocolate, rum, mollases, and roasted malts. Flavour is quite balanced. Starts out slightly sweet, with an aftertaste of bitter coffee and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, though. As if someone took a good stout and added a litre of water. Still, an overall decent beer. Not sure if it's a dry or sweet stout. Perhaps a hybrid.

 580 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark red color with nice opacity. The head is a huge, foaming three finger khaki color that descends to one finger after a while. Plenty of lacing is left behind, as well.

S: Big, massive, hugely sweet chocolate. Some dark fruits, as well. Actually, come to think about it, there's a minor whiff of sour cherries - infection, perhaps? We shall see. I still enjoy the aroma greatly, but that foamy head should have been a giveaway.

T: The flavor takes on more of a roasted barley and coffee bean tone, especially at first, while waves of chocolaty sweet and - unfortunately - tart cherries seemingly via an onsetting infection. After a while, the tartness takes center stage. Some herbal hop flavors also try to pop up in the finish, as well. So what we have here is a lightly soured stout, and it kind of works. Not perfectly by any means, but there's enough sweetness here to keep it in check.

M: Quite light in its loafers with wimpy carbonation. There's actually an esophageal burn and a bit of stomach turning which completely tanks the mouthfeel score for me. On the palate proper, it's not particularly dry, but nicely bittersweet'n'sour; whatever the blue hell that's supposed to mean.

O: Infected - it just has to be. But thank Odin it's a minor infection that actually gives it a pleasant twist, instead of twisting my mouth sideways and dissolving my tongue. This clearly isn't the final product as it's intended to be - thankfully I have a penchant for a good Flemish-style ale along side my stout tooth, so I still think it's quite okay.

If you're bottle has "123881841" on it, just be wary.

 1,659 characters

Photo of wedgie9
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from a can. Pours nearly black with a very thick and frothy light brown head. Nose is coffee, dark chocolate, very roasted malts, and light hops. On the palate, the flavor is fruitier, displaying prune, the chocolate is more of a milk chocolate than dark chocolate. The malts taste a little more like caramel than expected, and the hops add a nice dimension as well. On the palate, this beer is actually lighter than expected, due in large part to the heavy carbonation. The finish is not terribly long. Overall, this is a very drinkable stout.

 551 characters

Photo of schrist275
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very quick developing head, colored like a frappacino sits easily on top of a very very dark dark maroon/black colored almost wine smelling bier. The first sip delivers chocolate and mellow hops. Its almost syrupy constitution lends itself well to the smell, they work very well together. If the taste could develop more of an after taste or carry the flavor further along the tongue it would be an outstanding beer. The alcohol volume is not readily tasted, but comes across in the wine like smell.

 501 characters

Photo of bigdrewsmoove
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark with a substantial, two-finger brown cream head that sticks around for quite a while. Smell is pungent with a powerful alcohol smell. Almost reminds me of the smell of Name Tag beer which isn't the greatest smell in the world. Taste had some coffee and mocha flavors as the bottle suggested. Going to have to pick this up again from somewhere else than world market. Bottle had stuff floating in the bottom of it and tasted old. I have had other bottles from there that had stuff in it as well and just weren't very fresh. I'll update what I find.

 563 characters

Photo of Todd
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 625ml brown bottle with a gold foil neck. MJ, the beer hunter, is pictured on the back of the label with a cheesy endorsement. Expiration date printed on the bottle.

Appearance: Black with brown hues. Pours a massive tan head with a creamy/foamy consistency, lots of glass stick and great retention. Unfiltered.

Smell: Caramel, light roasted notes, wet paper, touch of musty fruit.

Taste: A malty sweet brew, smooth and mature in character. Caramel, chocolate and mocha flavours are dominant with a touch of blackstrap molasses in the background. Wet paper flavours pull-thru revealing some oxidation of the beer. Soft, even mouthfeel. Alcohol is not evident in taste, but you can feel it working the brain. Mild astringent bite and dryness. Finish is chocolaty, a bit metallic and dries up.

Notes: Over-promoted by Michael Jackson and over-hyped in general. A pretty average sweet stout that has potential to be something better, but it never gets there. It sits somewhere between a dry Irish stout and typical sweet stout, leaning a bit too much towards the dry with its flat, one dimensional malt profile. Still at least worth a try for all of you stout lovers out there.

 1,200 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: A Sri Lankan Stout heavily endorsed by Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter? Bizarre. Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with the king of beasts adorning the label and various "quality" awards depicted on the neckband. Purchased as a single bottle from Three Cellars.

A: Pours an inky black with a generous tan-colored head. No apparent lacing.

S: Chocolate and caramel malts, dried fruit and wet cardboard.

T: Sweet chocolate malt with notes of earthy peat, smoke, and peppery spice. Suggestions of dried fruit -- primarily prunes -- come to mind. A touch of vanilla emerges on the back end. Finishes sweet and slightly astringent with a flash of well-concealed alcohol.

M: Velvety smooth on the palate.

D: I didn't find this Stout remarkably drinkable. Beware, the alcohol in this brew creeps up out of nowhere.

 821 characters

Photo of Brubaker
3.19/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black with super 3 finger head that dissipate to a nice lace.

S- Coffee & malt

T- Sweet coffee, alcohol, malts, fruit/spice

M- Bubbly, maybe watery

O- Should be stronger & richer for a Stout. Alcohol and coffee mingle to make a anise/spice flavor.

Might Drink
Wouldn't Buy
Wouldn't Make

 294 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a pitch black color, dark tan head, not a whole lot fo lacing on the way down. Smell is of slight coffee and alcohol hints. Taste is too much alcohol, not enough stout, too much carbonation. Not a rich enough body to support the other flavors. There are better stouts, including ones that don't get Michael Jackson to pimp their beer.

 341 characters

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.