Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

876 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 876
Hads: 1,528
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 62
Gots: 97 | 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: 876 | Hads: 1,528
Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (946 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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 (548 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.66/5  rDev +17.4%
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. (1,097 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (1,162 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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! (619 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (710 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.01/5  rDev -24.2%
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 GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
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! (1,017 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours black in color with a short 1/2" head that reduces to nothing in a minute or so. No lacing developed during the session.

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate sweetness leaps out of the glass and is enjoyable.

Taste: follows the nose as the roasted malts and chocolate flavors are dominant with some softer plum and prune sweetness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable and provides some soft warming. Bitterness balances out the sweetness nicely.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste lasts a bit as the roasted malts and chocolate remain around a while.

Drinkability: nice stout that is a slow sipper and mildly warming on a cold winter evening. A few of these can be easily quaffed in a long session. (747 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.94/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a dense, creamy, initially four-finger thick, deeply brown stained, full tan colored head. The beer is a full black color that shows just a flash of ruby to it when held up directly to the light. Weird, the aroma is quite weird; buttery, but with an almost chemical undercurrent. What is weird is that this might not be diacetyl, this is the most likely culprit, but for some reason it just seems a bit different than your typical diacetyl signature. Buttered popcorn aromas clearly dominate, but there is just a hint of roast character noticeable towards the finish.

Quite sweet with a fairly agreeable flavor until the finish which has a phenolic, chemical edge to it. The body has a nice fullness to it as well as a nice soft, chocolate tasting, roast grain flavor to it. That strange buttery note is not nearly as noticeable in the flavor, but the chemical note still manages to mute my enjoyment of this beer pretty significantly.

This is newly arrived in Arizona, so I don't understand why this is so bad; and to be honest the flavors of this beer seem pretty fresh, it is just that there are also some significantly off components to this beer as well. (1,197 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (905 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

21.1 oz. bottle, a weird size, real heavy bottle, great label,

A: Pours black, with a creamy medium tan head, good retention and some spotty lace.

S: Light cacao count dark chocolate, like the 60% stuff, licorice, with a hint of banana liqueur and rum, it's a tropical stout for Pete's sake.

T: Great chocolate taste with some sour twang and that "tropical" dark malt character I find in Cooper's Export Stout and Xingu. Definite mocha characteristics, with notes of cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and roasted malt.

M: On the lighter side body for a big stout, but I like it as this is a style that needs to be drinkable and refreshing in the hot sun. Creamy and silky, enjoyable aftertaste that doesn't go on for too long, but makes you want another sip. That finishing vanilla note works wonders. The 8% is completely hidden.

D: I was excited to see a bottle of this at Hollingshead's; I've always wanted to try it, I'm a big fan of the style, yet there are so few examples around town. The price is real good, I think it was $3.99, and you get a delicious stout perfect for a hot summer day, a beer that can be drunk in droves, so be careful out there. (1,158 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

625 ml Bottle reviewed on it's best before date (Sep 2011).

I was really impressed, this looked, smelled and tasted like a good quality Stout. Lovely velvety looks, those rich, smooth malty aromas of roasted and toasted barley just carried on into the mouth. Chocolate and mild Coffee flavours linger in the mouthfeel as the brew level slips slowly down the glass.

One of the simpleist and best tasting Stouts I've had, ever. (427 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 330 ml bottle and into a Guinness pint glass, on to the beer:

Pours a velvety dark brown to black, leaving a pitch black body in the glass. The head implodes from a thick three-finger head into a paper-thin sheet. Smells of hard chocolate and a mild roasted character tease the nose. The roasted flavor isn't bitter at all, but this brew isn't as deep as I would expect. Is it a good beer? Yes, but it lacks a strong flavor and/or complexities related to a strong stout. But hey, it's easy to drink, and that's not a bad quality to have. (545 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clean black, with tan head about 1/2 finger. Strings of red trace the head and along the sides.
Smell of light coffee. Nothing too potent, some cocao and roasted malt. A bit of toast as well.
Taste is clean. A balance of chocolate and coffee with hints of roasted malt. This is a good stout, probably one for those who've never had a stout.
The bomber bottle didn't last long. (385 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.71/5  rDev -31.7%
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. (524 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a bottle at The University Roadhouse in Kalamazoo.

Basically a lighter, but very drinkable and tasty export stout.You'd never guess it was 8% abv, I've had thicker normal stouts. The flavor is a smooth chocolate with a bit of mocha (sorta like MJ says on the label). I found the aroma weak, but the taste and drinkability fun. (333 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a Lion mug. Dark as night with a white, poor retaining head.

S. Roasted malt and a hint of booze in there too. Earthy grains. Expresso.

T. A wonderfully balanced export stout. Gives me just enough roasted malt, some earthy hop, peat and moss, some torched brown sugar. Coffee notes with cocoa powder. Very tasty.

M. Also thick, black and full bodied. Just how I like my stouts.

D. As sessionable as an 8% stout can be. On tap it is especially nice. Reccommended. (488 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a modest tan head the retreats quickly lacing the glass on the way down. Smell of dried fruit, and a bit of cocoa, some phenolic or higher alcohol in there to. Tastes of bitter roasted chocolate and coffee with a bit of dark fruit, then ends with some roast bitterness and a bit of alcohol or maybe fusel, its muted but there and I can't put my finger on it. Medium to thin body with a creamy/oily mouthfeel. Lingering roast bitterness after each sip. Good stout, a bit to vinous for my taste. (523 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, jet black coloring with a thick, dense, light tan head that starts a solid inch and a half, and settles into a filmy coating as you drink. Aromas of coffee, charcoal, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of molasses. Very balanced aromas of savory and bitter, with highlights of smoke. Flavors of roast and nut on the forward tongue, with a milk chocolate backbone accented by charcoal and smoke. Very smooth flavors that are layered by subtle bitter and camp smoke characteristics. The beer remains smooth and fairly light in mouth, despite the rich and stereotypically heavy flavors. Roasted and smoky aftertaste, with a smooth, slightly dry finish. Very balanced and easily drinkable stout. (751 characters)

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
89 out of 100 based on 876 ratings.