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Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

881 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 881
Hads: 1,545
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 68
Gots: 103 | 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: 881 | Hads: 1,545
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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Photo of sleepingbear
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chocolate City meets the Pacific.

I must admit I had a slew of predispositions about this beer.
I was thinking a Sri Lankan brew, really?

After watching the rolling, silky, fat-girl-in-satin-nightie pour- the first taste coaxed me into submission until I was lapping at the lion's paw.

A beautiful soft, round mouth feel is accented with rich, delicately sweet notes of cacao and coffee muted with a beautiful slightly sweet finish.

There’s something about a beer with a purpose that turns me on.
I mean anytime I eat any coconut curry (Indian or Thai) I will either be drinking this beer or thinking about drinking this beer. The Lion Stout even at room temperature is absolute fantastic combination with all hot curries dishes. This will be in attendance in the cellar for its occasions.

*side note: This brewery stopped brewing its beer to bottle water for victims of the tsunami.

Viva Lion!

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I just complained about the stout classifications and here I am reviewing a "Foreign/ Export Stout." A stout's a stout IMHO and this brew proves that aphorism.

Poured from a bottle into a chilled, wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Foamed up to a nice head; over a half inch and a beautiful khaki colored head at that. The color of this stout is black, yes, but is a more clear black than some other stouts. Less "inky black" and more of a gem-like color. A beauty.

-Smell 4.5: Wow! Big, delicious bouquet. Notes of chocolate, brown sugar, toasted cereals...this baby SMELLS like a stout should!

-Taste 4.5: First tastes are semi-sweet chocolate and concentrated barley. This is followed by a big wave of cool liquid. The aftertaste is wonderful and very strong: smoky, chocolaty...just delicious. This is one of those beers that makes you taste it again and again to find other flavor levels and different nuances. Just delicious.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: This is a bottle-conditioned ale; "Beer Hunter" Michael Jackson's picture on the back label told me so! Mouthfeel is good but not great: a bit too much carbonation. This is, however, just a nitpick. Kind of like noticing a piece of lint on the Crown Jewels of England.

-Overall 4.5: Excellent stout. This beer could stand toe to toe with the best beers in the world and come out on top. This stout is refreshing, warming and demonstrates a quality of brewing at each and every level. Its high ABV (8.8%) is completely unnoticeable in the taste, so be aware.

I paid $10.99 for a six pack of these at the Lotte/ Assi Plaza in Atlanta. Good of the ol' Beer Hunter Mr. Jackson to appear on this beer, as it is a magnificent brew. Worthy of the name "Lion." Highly recommended.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle to nonic pint

A: Pours a thick oil-like black with a 4-finger frothy dark mocha head that was retained moderately well leaving thin lace down the first half of the glass.

S: Chocolate and bitter coffee with dark fruit esters.

T: Sweet roasted malt with a nice warming finish. Bitter coffee linger with raisiny esters upfront. A clean stout flavor.

M: Chewy and smooth. Well-rounded feel with good carbonation to provide a fuller body.

D: Absolutely delicious says my notes and my memory. A great balance between roasted malt and fruity esters.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark milk chocolate appearance especially in the color with a descent size mocha head leaving a sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Stout mocha aroma with a dense chocolate or cocoa bean smell kicking in.

T: Dark sweet chocolate and peppermint with light coffee flavors in the aftertaste kinda reminded me of irish cream with chocolate.

M/D: Did not have a heavy feel like most stouts but did leave your mouth very dry. It was very drinkable and I would highly recommend this stout although it is not my favorite.

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Photo of orfeu
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 17-ounce snifter at cellar temp (~50 deg. F). Black-coffee dark brown with a rather substantial creamy and crater-pocked dark-tan head. Black cherry and dried fig aromas mix with a pronounced boozy scent. Fruit aromas lighten up and reveal fresh fig and roasty chocolate aspects. Interesting and complex. Black roasted malt flavor up front, becoming dark booze-soaked cherries and prunes. Dry, astringent alcohol presence in both taste and mouthfeel; chocolate and dark-roasted coffee at the finish. Vinous berry flavors in the aftertaste. Some definitely noticeable alcohol sharpness on the palate -- jarring at first, but then it cedes to a smoother, almost (but not quite) silky slickness. Actually, the alcohol seems to meld pretty well with the other flavors, tying them together with a dry oakiness, all while remaining distinct and apparent. Hmmm; root beer flavors in the burps!(?) In all, Lion Stout makes me think -- if it is at all representative of the style -- that Foreign/Export Stouts are akin to "junior" Russian Imperial Stouts -- sort of a "warm up" to those larger, more over-the-top relations. In any case, very drinkable. Secure recommendation.

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Photo of germanbeer1
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This a very enjoyable beer. I had it from a snifter which served to enhance the toffee-like smell of the stout. It has a dark brown almost black color to it, with a rather tan head. Unlike a lot of the stouts that I have tried, this one has a nice clean finish to it, does not leave an overpowering after-taste and has a good body. I would label the taste as being a reserved blend of chocolate and caramel. I highly recommend this beer, especially to those who enjoy dark lagers and are looking for the same in a stout.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A- Jet black color with massive fluffy mocha brown head with no lacing. Left behind some brown sentiment in the bottom of the glass.

S- Notes of roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, and toffee

T- Notes of sweet dark fruit, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, toffee, caramel, and vinegar. Finishes with a nice little alcohol burn.

M- Soft, velvetly mouthfeel, and warming. I have never had a beer that was this smooth and textural pleasing.

O- A very well-crafted complex stout that has an incredible soft and smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a black color with a finger of tan head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is really full of chocolate with hints of raisin in there as well. The taste is really chocolatey, slightly raisiny flavor on the start that mellows totally to a chocolate finish. Nice. The feel is moderate to thick. Just where I expect things for this beer. Drinkability is fine and dandy for a 8% beer. I would not expect a beer like this to come from a country like Sri Lanka.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours black into the glass. Beautiful two-finger coffee colored head of thick foam. Retention is okay. Lacing is great.

Very nice nose. Smells of cocoa, vanilla and leather. Roasted chocolate malts. Very nice smokey notes. Dark fruits.

Big chocolate and coffee flavors. Huge roasted malt flavor. Slight hints of molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and cherries. Touch of dried fig flavor. Here, also, is a very nice touch of smoke.

Feels very good. Nice and medium thick body. Slick and almost oily. Personally, I'd like it to be a tad bit thicker, but it is still very good.

This is an excellent representation of what a good stout should be. I'm very surprised that this is from outside of America. Tastes like a big American stout. Alcohol is very well hidden.
This brew is extremely drinkable. I want more.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ya know, if someone would have TOLD me a beer from Sri Lanka would be this amazing, I would have thought there were insane. This is unbelievable! It poured nearly totally black like dirty motor oil with a light brown head. Head was fluffy and pitted for about 45 seconds, but subsided to haze. Nice lace. The smell is very chocolatey. Lots of coffee and lots of roasted malt. Smells like it should be a cake or some sort of chocolate dessert. The taste, too, has an enormous likeness of coffee with plenty of toasted malt. This is simply delicious!! The mouthfeel is very smooth. I feel like I could probably drink three of these in a sitting, but certainly no more than that. If I were to have to guess the abv by simply taste alone with out seeing the bottle, I would probably say 6 and change or so. I'd never guess this was an 8%'er. This is an inconceivably good beer from a third world country like Sri Lanka. I'm truly impressed.

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

A: Dark brown, with brown foam. Looks like dark chocolate, or coffee.
S: Smells of roasted cocoa, nuts, and perhaps a little malty.
T: I taste the cocoa and caramel, but my taste buts keep getting some roasted nuts in there as well. An odd, but delicious combination of bitter and sweet. That 8.8% ABV isn't even noticable.
M: Not very heavily carbonated. Silky
O: This isn't a beer you drink 4-5 of. This beer is heavy and mind blowingly delicious. Once I stop trying beers, I imagine I'll come back to this one a few times.

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

I've been meaning to try this for a while, so I finally caved and purchased a four pack (at a fair price) for Surdyks some time ago. Finally got around to trying it.

Poured into a pint glass, the color is deep black with a huge 3 or 4 finger chunky brown sugar colored head. Excellent retention and tons of lacing all over the glass.

The nose is toasted malts with a spicyness that I wasn't expecting, but it kinda works. There is also a nuttiness and a nice sweet character going on.

The taste is spot on the nose, nice toasted character with a light sweetness and spicyness. Very complex and earthy, a treat for sure.

Mouthfeel is thick bodied with a creamy and smooth feel. Nice carbonation level does wonders for it. Drinkability is awesome. If the ABV was lower this would be an exceptional session beer.

Overall, a great offering. I can imagine this goes well with spicy asian food.

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

Bottle version from Spikes..
Poured black with a slight brownish tint of brown in the light. Head was pretty nice, light brown and somewhat thin. Nose just smelled extra smooth and subtle. Some dark chocolate and mocha with a slight roastiness. Taste is chocolate upfront and the mocha hits you about halfway to finish. Not dry either like most stouts. This was very smooth and no bite. Very interesting stout. This stout is one of the most drinkable stouts I have ever had. The ABV was just right and very mellow with lots of taste!!!. EXCEPTIONAL

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

Sampled at the Plam in Milwaukee. This is from notes, and those notes were kind of drunk...

Very nice pour. It's rare that a pour looks creamy, but I'll be damned if this one doesn't look creamy. Dark, nearly opaque black with a tall brown head.

Smells like a really good, firm dry stout. Strong raw porter grain mellowed out by chocolate malt with a firm hop in the back.

Tastes very much like smells, only everything is lightly improved by the magnificient creaminess of the body.

Really nice.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: April 9, 2015... GLASSWARE: Guinness retro pint... OCCASION: a stout battle--Lion vs. Dragon... APPEARANCE: jet black body that sports a dense, thick, clumpy, clinging brown head that has its show stolen by the web of lacing that paints the glass... AROMA: the Styrian hops initiate a peppery, spicy aroma that suggests candied fruits and a winy, cordial intimidation... PALATE: immediately full-bodied, with a balance of milky softness and substantial warmth... TASTE: mellow prune, mocha chocolate, and warming peat; a formidable collection of flavors; ... OVERALL: the smoothness of this beast is starting, as I have had stouts with half the ABV that went down as easily; a perfect standalone nightcap....

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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 Cylinsier
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from a 12 oz

Pours a jet black with no transparency, with an oak colored head. Good head, retains as lacing.

Smells sweet like chocolate and malts, with hints of spices like nutmeg and a smokey aroma.

Taste is similar, with a mild dark chocolate bitterness accompanying the sweet notes. Rich.

Feels full bodied with a thick, oily texture. The carbonation is minimal but present in the feeling.

Absolutely delicious, a real treat. Hides the abv well. The only gripe is it disappears too fast.

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Photo of ski271
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear, very-dark ruddy brown, with a small, tan, creamy, head that diminishes to just a ring.
S: Like a port wine in a way! Alcohol, plum, cassis, and light roasted malt aromas.
T: Wow that’s big and beautiful. Fruity, dark and balanced. Chocolate definitely present, especially in the finish.
M: slick up front with a dry finish, medium body, low carbonation.
D: Hell yeah! This is my kind of brew. Very good, and doesn’t hurt that it came at a time when I was getting tired of all the summer brews I’d had been having lately. But something about this one just really impressed me… made me smile. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This was recommend to me by the beer guy at my favorite beer store. I have enough respect for his opinion so I bought it on a whim. Man am I glad I did!!!
Pours a pitch black with an everlasting 3 finger head. Tons of sticky lacing lines the sides of my now empty pint glass.
Bitter/sweet chocolate smell with a faint mustiness.
This is delicious! Same bitter/sweet chocolate that was in the nose dominates the flavor with a nice mocha flavor intertwined. Smooth. Sweet, but not overly so. The 8% abv is totally hidden.
Mouthfeel is a bit light for a typical 8% stout, but I think it fits this beer well and adds to the drinkability.
The most drinkable 8% beer I've ever had. Lion stout will find it's way into my fridge again.
Note. It has one of the nicest bottlecaps I've ever seen.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep dark brown to black under a 2”clingy tan foam collar with a very fine bead.
S: Chocolate, dark dried fruit, no burnt or harsh aromas.
T: Hits the palate with coffee and chocolate mocha flavors. An initial sweetness highlights the mocha flavors then gives way to a soft, grainy finish. No burnt or harsh flavors.
F: Has an incredible texture that is exceptionally smooth, creamy and soft in the mouth. Full bodied to chewy, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: A surprisingly well made easy to drink beer.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. pours a stunning opaque chocolate. Chocolate & a touch of caramel smokiness on the nose follow right through to the palate. Finishes with a nice sweet/boozy combo. Overall a really solid take on the style.

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Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 11.5 oz bottle out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color with a one-finger tan head that leaves a gorgeous trail all the way down the glass and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Great aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Similar to the smell, roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors cross the palate. Smooth brew with a creamy body.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Hands down, one of the best stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In between bites of my bologna and mustard sandwich and dabblings in the fine delicacies of M&Ms chocolates and swigs of Lion Stout I can't help but be reminded of St. Augustine: "All things that are corrupted are deprived of good. But if they are deprived of all good, they will cease to exist. In so far as they exist they are good. Evil is no substance." But how can this be when EVIL is the man who has never gotten his PAWS around a LION STOUT?!?!

So what is it about me and coffee? I've never drunk the stuff more than 10 times in my life and each time with more sugar than a Pepsi and half milk. I'm a late comer to beer as well so it's quite peculiar that in concert these two should form the corpus of my favorite brews. I literally want to hug this lion. Both for the 8% alcohol involuntary lovefest and also to squeeze the daylights out of Michael Jackson (the brew guru) and his big mustache who adorn the back label. It also comes in a top-notch case which is as good looking as a hat box. 5 knocking stars and filaments.

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Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 881 ratings.