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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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 881 | Hads: 1,545
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 mikesgroove
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this on the shelf and just had to pick it up. SSomething just really intriques me, probabaly the look on the bottle, looked like it was gonna hurt, so I had to try it.

A - Poured very very dark black, opaque with a huge billowing tan head. Took forever to settle down. Lots of residual lace pretty much obscured the entire glass, if there was visible carbonation I couldnt tell, too thick...

S - Very strong, bitter coffee grinds and very dark chocoalte, a touch of alcohol and some hoppiness as it warmed.

T - Very bitter, especially for a stout. Lots of coffee and a touch of chocolate as well. Had a dry finish. Not overall that pleasant though, too bitter and was trying to balance out and be something it was not.

M - Smooth, but very dry in the finish. Nice carbonation gave it a somehat creamy feel and a thick presence. Felt like a stout.

D - Ehh, it was drinkable, and at 8% abv, really showed no sign of the alcohol so it was definatly well hidden. I guess you could drink a few, I really wouldnt.

Overall this was ok. Maybe a notch above average for a stout, but just wasnt really what I was looking for. It really needed some more sweetness to it...It was good dont get me wrong, just not something I would really want to drink alot of. Give a shot for a try, it was definatly good for that.

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

A - Three fingers of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Sweet chocolate malt with some toffee, caramel, and just a hint of roasted character. Some smoky notes in the background.

T - Lots of caramel and chocolate up front and some light, mocha coffee notes in the middle. Moderate malt bitterness in the finish with some hop flavor and fruity black cherry notes.

M - Moderately thick, oily body, medium carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a very sweet beer with intense, fruity caramel character that does not lend itself to great drinkability. It is nonetheless an interesting beer and a good example of a relatively rare style.

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

Appearance: Standard black stout color with creamy beige head. Minimal head retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted maltiness with a definite waft of alcohol and a hint of raisin. All with a real dank mustiness to it. Huh.

Taste: Initially, a distinct smack of malt sweetness hits the tongue, supplanted by vanilla and plums. Finishes dry, similarly to a cup of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, though still a bit lighter and lacking the fullness that I both crave and demand! Carbonation is rather low, allowing the beer to achieve some creaminess.

Drinkability: A genuinely decent stout, and one of the better foreign stouts I've tasted.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I heard this was an interesting beer, and it's from Sri Lanka, probably the first thing I've ever had from there. Here's the review, enjoy.

A: Pours super dark with a huge rich creamy head. The head rises to be 50% of the glass with a thick dark chocolate colored creamy foamy head. It slowly pops downwards. The black stout doesn't let any light through, so it's basically pitch black.

N: Nose is interesting, with some creamy malt aromas, spicy alcohol, toasted aromas, slight fruit, almost an aroma of toasted seeds, like toasting pumpkin seeds. Sweet malts and syrupy aromas also take a liking to it. It's a very unique and strange nose that I can't even pick out aromas to describe.

T: Starts with some nice chocolate flavors, creamy milk chocolate. Then some tangy spicy flavors that are also semi strange and interesting at the same time. Some light smoky flavors, and some char, like taking a bite from a charred log, literally. It's weird. The strange toasted seed aroma comes out slightly in the taste as well. It's so unique and interesting. Not amazing flavor, but interesting. A slight coffee taste comes through on burps as well. Some dark fruits also come through, fig and raisin mostly, with tastes of nuts and nutmeg.

M: Pretty creamy and thick, and despite the head not much carbonation.

F: Finishes semi bitter, slightly tangy and spicy as well. Pretty dry too, and leaves a chocolate powder flavor in the mouth, like chewing on cocoa powder. There's also some lingering fruit flavors and the stout like bitterness sticking around. It does hide the 8% abv well though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a lovely brown-black, with a healthy layer of tan frothy head. The smell holds fragments of chocolate, molasses, prunes, figs, and espresso. The taste starts off with a chocolatey maltiness, but then progesses into those figs, plums, and currants, finishing with a tinge of light coffe and brown sugar at the back of the tongue. The body is more medium than heavy, runs very smoothly, and finishes nice and lightly, making for a highly tasty and drinkable stout.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that this stout delivered much more than I was expecting. It's very unique, enjoyable, and highly drinkable. It pours an opaque black body with no visible highlights, topped by a full, very creamy light tan head that holds quite well and leaves really nice, full lace. The aroma is fruity, cocoaish, and mildly chocolatey. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that leaves it quite smooth and creamy in the mouth. The taste starts fruity, becomes sweetly chocolatey, and finishes with a light, almost smoky roastiness and lingering softly sweet notes of chocolate and caramel. Very mocha! The dark malts lend a light acidity which accentuates the fruitiness and helps to balance the malt. It never becomes cloying. The well balanced bitterness is subtle, and it relies on the roastiness and light acidity to help balance the sweet malts. Although it's probably not the best beer for a night out with the lads, it makes a great appertif, dessert beer, or nightcap. Well worth trying.

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

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, licorice and roasted malts.

T: The taste starts out with a quick burst of smokiness that is followed by a hearty roasted malt character. Then some flavors of coffee, milk chocolate, dark fruit and spices come in along with a mild sweetness. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty with good complexity, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, although there are others in the style that I would choose first, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I don't know what it was about this, but I could tell it wasn't a basic American try at a stout, maybe it was the smoothness, maybe the hint of black licorice, or maybe just a combination of things. BUT, Sri Lanka I would have never guessed, I would have thought that this beer was European and probably from one of the English islands. Having said that I really enjoyed the light licorice notes blended into its other qualities, the creamy malt drinkability, and just the over all taste of this offering.

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

I picked this up at Brass Rail Deli, poured chilled from the can into a tulip.

A - an opaque, black as night color w/ thick band of beige, the lace clings decently and bead is average size

S - The smell is very good, lots of dried fruit aromas: fig, raisin and currant w/ a slight scent of roasted grain and mild alcohol in the aroma

M - A feel that has smooth carbonation with a mild level of sweetness and roastiness, the textue is full bodied and has a mild warmth of alcohol as it finishes

T - The flavor follows the nose pretty closely with mild fig, slight dark cocoa bitterness and mild hop effect w/ a moderate amount of wood/tobacco in the background a very nice flavor profile

D - I enjoyed this one a lot, a very good example of the style and nice to have from a can too. I would recommend this to anyone who likes strong stouts

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml / 11.5oz brown bottle with an expiration date printed on the bottle. Stellar lacing on the glass with a ring being left nearly every sip. Coal black with virtually no light coming through.

Sweet molasses, prunes and black currants, thick roasted coffee, baker’s chocolate and a estery alcohol are all aromas I pick off of this stout.

Full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy without a doubt, coffee and unsweetened chocolate come to mind at the first taste. Fruity twang in the middle of black currants, this twang doubles with a roasted grain flavour that is perfectly balanced. Hints of charcoal and earth run middle to end as the alcohol as kicks in with a warming estery character. Finishes slightly sweet with vague remnants of roastedness.

Not as complex as I thought it would be but that is finish being that a brew with such strength can be so drinkable. I’ll going back to this beer for sure.

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

Pours from super sturdy 330ml bottle to a jet black color with a 4 fingers+ milkshake-like dark tan head. Good head retention and slight lacing

Smell: Frutiness, chocolate notes, licorice, some grainy notes as the beer warms. Slight alcohol, roasted malts, & ever so slight sour taste (that works) in the finish

MF: slight oilyness, some prickyness. that detracts. Good carbonation levels

Prettydrinkable: Makes me think baltic porter. Easily one of the best beers from the southern hemisphere I know of, only a few aussies could challenge

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

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/9/2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense mocha head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of raisin, apple, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, herbal, light char, coffee, and earthiness. Nice aromas with good strength and balance; quite a bit on the fruity side. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, char, caramel, raisin, molasses, apple, light coffee, herbal, and earthiness. Fair amount of herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, light fruit, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Good balance of roasted flavors with light herbal hoppiness; slight amount of cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy, chalky, and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present on the finish. Overall this is a good foreign stout. Some nice robust roasted flavors with good complexity; quite smooth to sip on. A bit cloying at times, but is a nice sipper.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those beers that are just classic. I love it, possibly my favorite all around stout that I have tasted. It really is amazing, hell, even Michael Jackson endorses this one, but then again his opinion is just that another opinion. The Lion Stout pours a very dark opaque tone of deep blackish brown with hints of ruby at the edges when held to the light. The head that complements the body is an incredible milk chocolate hue of brown head, and leaves a sturdy even lace down my imperial pint. The aroma is saturated with dark malts especially the chocolate roasts. Very well done, and the flavor of this brew contains the perfect combination of sweet creamy chocolate, full of coffee roasts, and a smooth dryness that mellows the finish so nicely. With the medium light body and the creamy mouthfeel to each sip, this beer is so drinkable that besides the ABV there is no reason why it shouldn't deserve a five. Quite the impressive work of art straight from who would have thought Sri Lanka. MJ make some room cause this BA would like to sign his seal of approval on the Lion Stout.

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Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark tan head of solid, tight bubbles. As it dissipates, large bubbles form with remnants left on the glass with a similarity to hot cocoa. Pours a dark brown where light cannot pass through.

Strong chocolate aromas; a little chaulky. Very mild.

Creamy body with a low carbonation. The flavor is similar to milk chocolate without sugar. The aftertaste lasts a long time with a coffee-ish touch and strong alcohol warmth.

I'd love to try this against some milk stouts and some imperial stouts as this beer seems to have attributes of both.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fully ebon hue, rich, tan hand, thick and rocky...good looking stout, so far. Nose, soft and creamy, with notes of nuts and cocoa. Taste is smooth at first, but fills the mouth well. Huge malts, caramelly, thick and nearly chewy, very full bodied. Perfect integration, wonderful balance, sweet and tasty, but never too, with a delicate fruitiness, just underneath. The ABV peeks in just a bit, but doesn't mar the enjoyment of what's nearly a perfect stout! Beats the hell out of Guinness, but gets me yearning for an Expedition. Hearty and proud as it's namesake, Lion is a stout fit for a king. Lightly spicy in the end, nutty, and never-ending tastiness.

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Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a thick, creamy tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some trailing lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is of bitter coffee, chocolate and prunes with a touch of peppery alcohol.

The taste is of bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit - esp. prunes, and a splash of coffee. Sweet with a long, bitter, somewhat boozy and acidic, intense finish.

Smooth despite noticeable alcohol and creamy in a lighter side of full body.

Too intense and boozy to drink too quickly or too much of (one bottle is plenty), it's a nice stout to sip on slowly.

Thanks to bitterbill for including this one!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark black with a two finger tall tan head. There is some head retention and significant lacing is observed.

S: Slight hint of alcohol in the smell of this beer but the primary aromas are sweet malts, brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee.

T: Flavors are mostly coffee, vanilla, caramel, and toasted malts. There is a light and pleasant bitterness in the finish but overall this is a sweet beer.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Much better than I was expecting, being that Sri Lanka is not one of the places that is renown for stouts. A little too sweet for me personally but a very enjoyable beer and easy to drink.

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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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a can into a Bruery tulip. Beer is black and forms a huge dark brown head of small and medium bubbles. Head falls away quickly leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is unknown but presumably low due to lack of head retention. Falling head leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is overall a little weak, kind of sweet, mildly smokey, some roasted coffee perhaps. Smells OK.

Beer is medium to thin in body, slightly sweet and finishes nicely with some roasty bitterness. There is some ash like flavors to this beer overall that are less than pleasant but fortunately for it they are minimal. Drinkability is good and mouthfeel is also good. Its a decent, kind of sweet, stout.

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Photo of billab914
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black with a thick tan head covering the top of the beer. The head faded and clung to the sides of the glass
but left some nice lacing.

The aroma has a little roastedness to it but more of the chocolaty slightly sweet smell than a roasty bitterness. Unfortunately I seem to get a mustiness or almost a very slight sourness to it that I didn't expect and didn't enjoy. I would almost say the bottle might be bad based on the nose but the taste shows no signs of it at all.

The taste shows a lot of chocolate and mocha with a very light bitter roastedness coming through in the finish to help balance it out a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it was a pretty smooth drinking stout but wasn't one I'd probably buy again. It had some nice chocolaty flavors to it but it just didn't really wow me.

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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 woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I CAN't believe how many different CANned beers are available. The CANQuest began as a lark and has become an obsession. CAN you dig it?

First, this lion came roaring out of its CAN! It looked like oil from the current slick in the Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of BP. The head was outrageous, demanding my immediate attention lest its deep-brown rise above the lip of the glass and spill onto my computer. Two fingers that eventually tamed themselves and sat atop the beer like a real lion on a stool. F**ing rampant animals! I despise that! This cat had a real bite on the nose. Deeply roasty with a bit of dark chocolate sweetness, if that passes for sweet for you. Color was ebony black with the light penetration of a black hole. NONE! Zee-roh! Mouthfeel was somewhat thin for a stout, but the taste was dark chocolate, raisins, prunes, my morning coffee (I am a retired US Navy sailor), and smoke. This tasted like the aftermath of a house fire smells. Wow! The finish was dry, smoky, worth seeking out. Good kitty!

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Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating. Pours black, little light shining through the edges. Dark tan head, any lacing sliding down the side of the glass. Nose is funky, and of burnt malt. Taste is a bit on the thin side, just a hint of burnt malt, some chocolate and drying hops. Alcohol is on the hot side and a bit up front. Decent product, but other stouts come to mind to try next time.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.71/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330 mL can poured into a snifter. This can has been in my fridge for about 3 years.

Appearance - Black with a decent pale khaki head. Thick collar.

Smell - Roasted malt and some cardboard. Lots of caramel.

Taste - Sweet up front with some sherry like oxidation. Cardboardy bitterness builds. Less roast than I was hoping for. Much more caramel.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Pretty sweet, but not enough to back it up.

Overall - Well this is too old, but besides the oxidation, it still tastes like regular Lion Stout.

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