1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,365 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,365
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 50
Gots: 49 | 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:
 http://www.lionbeer.com 

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lion Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,365 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clickpush
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very dark brown body capped by two finger brown head that's fizzy and quick on its descent, leaving no webbing on the glass. just a slight leftover hint of lace and thin halo remain. smells of dark chocolate, chalk, apples, and charcoal. taste is terrific, fruity and at the same time nice and roasty. absolutely no trace of the 8% abv in the flavor. burnt toast finish. mouthfeel is a bit thin, but that makes it all the more drinkable, in a way. caramel, wafers, oats, blackberries... quite the complex flavor. very enjoyable.

clickpush, May 11, 2007
Photo of icemonkey908
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is jet black with a creamy tan head. The aroma is mostly sweet with some roasted chocolate notes. The taste starts off very sweet with nice mocha flavors and finishes with a roasted flavor that lingers.

This is a good all around stout, although it is not my favorite. Fairly drinkable and a reasonable flavor.

icemonkey908, May 11, 2007
Photo of Neehan
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky black with a thin head but good retention and substance. The smell is of roasted malts with a chocolaty back ground. Very smooth and inviting. The taste was very roasted, very malty, very smooth-- very good. The alcohol is well hidden and there is solid balance in the mouthfeel. Good stuff.

Neehan, May 03, 2007
Photo of tatterdash
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an impressive black with red edges with a creamy tan head that lasts. Aroma of roasted barley, dark chocolate, some prune. Taste was huge roasted barley, with some burnt toast. Mouthfeel was very smooth and lighter in body than expected, definitely appropriate even on a hot day. This is a great export stout, and a good value as well.

tatterdash, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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!

jwc215, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of buliwuf
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes...

Presentation - 12oz bottle, gold foil around the top, endorsed by the mighty Michael Jackson

Appearance - pours jet black with a generous tan head, which slowly dissipates into a nice lacing that sticks to the glass throughout the session. As the glass drains, the blackness seems to fade into a dark brown.

Nose - an interesting mix of fruity malt, vague notions of chocolate, and an extremely vague notion of smokiness, all blended nicely to suggest something complex. As it warms, a subtle wood aroma develops but this is not as noticeable as the sweet malt profile that grows with temperature increases.

Mouthfeel - nicely full without being chewy. Creamy, smooth, and not overly carbonated.

Taste - dominated by a sweet malt fullness, complemented by a mix of chocolate, prunes, and coffee. There is just a slight tinge of bitterness, maybe sourness. But only "just". Taste is primarily the same from beginning to end, from first touch of the tongue through the swallow. There is an 8% ABV attached to this beer, which one feels mid-beer and afterwards, but well hidden in the taste. Warmth enhances these flavors somewhat, but I drained my glass rather quickly so there wasn't much time to fully appreciate it. Maybe next time, I'll have two in a row.

Overall - This is a very nice sweet stout, well-balanced and delicious.

buliwuf, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer. First beer I've tried from Sri Lanka. Acquired by accident when our distributors sent us a case of this instead of the Lion Lager (this is actually over the state imposed alcohol cap). Glad I was able to try it, though I don't see myself drinking it again.

The beer pours to a nice inky black color with a brown hue at the edges. Capped off by a nice tall brown head that recedes fairly quickly, leaving very little lacing in its wake.

The smell is good. Has a subtle dark chocolate aroma along with a mild roast. A hint of astringency from the roasted malts. Gentle burnt coffee aromas. A tad bit on the sweet side. Smells like there is some lactose in the mix.

The taste is very similar to the smell. Starts off a touch sweet, then the roast takes over. A touch of sourness from the roast. A bit nutty with some caramel and toffee flavors. Good coffee flavor in the finish with hints of dark chocolate. Tastes like it has some milk sugar. Quite pleasant in the finish.

The body is fairly thick with a mild carbonation. A bit acidic with some tannins. The finish lingers for a little while, but ends clean with only a fleeting memory of coffee roast. Fairly drinkable for an 8% stout, but it's not something I would want to drink more than one of in a sitting.

neonbrown82, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of ncvbc
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lion Stout? Sri Lanka, huh? Well, I had never heard of this beer, much less a beer this good from Sri Lanka. Came in a heavy 330 ml bottle. Poured a near pitch black with a thin, brownish head. Smells lovely, roasted malts and a lingering sweetness behind it all. Taste is above the average stout and quite unique. Bold and fairly complex for what I had expected. Definitely not a one-dimensional stout in my opinion. Some chocolate, coffee, and sweetness all in there with an excellent roast bite. Mouthfeel is also great. Medium to full bodied with a creamy texture. Very smooth and enjoyable. There's no way I'd believe this was 8% if it wasn't on the label. Easily drinkable and from what I've seen well worth the price. I'd challenge an entire sixer if I had better access to this brew. Recommended highly.

ncvbc, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours gravity well black with a fluffy tan head and huge lacing.

The nose is dark chocolate, coffee, and sweet dark malts; residual (or adjunct) sugar is clearly present. No hints of alcohol at all. The aroma is simple but enticing, and contains pretty much everything I need from a stout.

Tastes more or less exactly like it smells, with heavy malty sweetness. Black malt bitterness shows itself mostly as dark chocolate flavors with some coffee. The astringency is very light and balances out the sweetness, since hopping is damn near nonexistent in the flavor. There is a little late palate spiciness/fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is awesome, creamy as hell and just the right thickness.

It's too stouty to pound, but I could put a hurt on a case of these over the course of a night.

RERATE: It's still awesome, and fills that perfect middle ground between an imp and a porter. Plus it's cheap as hell.

kajerm, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of pumarocks
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the king of the jungle when it comes to stout! This is a great brew from Sri Lanka of all places. I picked this up at the Wine Cellar in Kenwood, OH. If has a deep rich chocolate/roasted coffee flavor that I associate with this style. It has good head retention and solid mouthfeel. so far, it is the best stout I have tasted.

pumarocks, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lion Stout pours out a rocky tan head over a black brew. The
carbonation is hard to guage, but the nose is is bitter chocolate
raisin, and molasses. The flavor is molasses up front with a bitter
chocolate finish, and as with a lot of stouts I've had, a sort of scotch
boozieness in the background. The aftertaste is more of that bitter
chocolate and hops. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for a stout, also a bit
dry and astringent as well. I associate stouts with cold misrable countries,
but this one comes from Sri Lanka, a hot and miserable country. I'm given
that this 8% alcohol by volume version is strictly for export. It's kind of too
bad native Sri Lankans can't have any. Maybe they would stop shooting
each other...

shadow1961, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of oggg
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark black with brown tints. A modest head of off white creamy foam fades slowly but leaves very little lace on my pint glass.

Not a whole lot of aroma even after warming to room temp.

At first, this beer threatens to hurt your tongue with harsh artificial bitterness. Syrupy sweet malt surges to subdue the initial impression. It segues to a uniquely soft, roasted finish that lingers nicely, and finishes dry.

Medium to full bodied. Alcohol impercetible/dangerous.

Overall: Too much alcohol to be a session brew, but this would be a great dessert beer.

oggg, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of AltBock
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big beautiful 625 ml bottle with this funky shaped black with red trim label. It looks like their label cutter went a little haywire and cut their label a very odd shape. Above the big gold letters of the word "Lion," is a very nice head shot of a male lion looking to his right. The lion looks so sad that you just want to jump into the label and pet him. He'll probably chew your arm off, but he just looks so sad. On the neck of the bottle is another label that just lists all the gold medals they won international. The back label has a picture of Michael Jackson (the beer connoisseur) drinking a Lion Stout and a comment he made about the beer. I'll give you a hint, he didn't say anything bad about it. Below him is just the Government warning, barcode, contents, and it's distributor. I couldn't find a date anywhere, but there is so kind of brewery number and time on the neck toward the back. Whatever it means, it's nothing the consumer could decipher to see when their beer was made or when it's best before.

Appearance: When pour into an official Lion Brewery tulip glass (I got it in their gift pack), the beer was as black as the fur of a black cat named midnight. I'm sure you could do a side by side coloring test with a glass of motor oil and you probably couldn't tell the difference between the two. You can do that if you somehow remove Lion Stout's tall pillowy 1 finger head of mocha/tan colored foam. Nice piece of eye candy. When it finally receded, it left behind a minimal amount of sticky mocha lace and rings around the glass.

Smell: It had a rich aroma of dark chocolate, a hint of roasted coffee beans, roasted malt, a dab chocolate covered cherries, and finished off with just the slightest hint of floral hops. I noticed that when it warms up a bit, some caramel emerges from the back and lodges itself in between the chocolate cherries and floral hops. It was a nice and pleasant aroma filled with tons roasted aromas.

Taste: The taste was that of a tame (if you could do that) lion. You take a fierce wild lion of a roasted flavors and tame it down just a bit and you'll reach the taste of this beer. The beer had plenty of roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, and then the beer decide to end this roasted extravaganza with a touch of floral hops mixed in with a slight taste of alcohol. Toward the end, I noticed that the beer got a bit rusty. Not so much it destroyed it, but you can still notice it.

Mouthfeel: It was somewhere in between medium bodied and full bodied. If I had to guess, it was a bit more on the medium bodied side than the full bodied side. The aftertaste was floral hops mixed into some chocolate malt. It completely masks it's alcohol content. That could mean trouble if you don't watch yourself.

Drinkability: I could understand why this won 5 gold international beer medals and why Michael Jackson let Lion Stout put his name and face on the back of their bottle. That's becuase it's sooo good. I could see myself buying another big bottle of Lion Stout and enjoying it again. It's a Lion of a beer!

AltBock, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of cypressbob
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

625ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass. Served slightly chilled

Pours with a rich brown body with black and crimson highlights. Thick tan head forms about two centimetres thick with good retention. Lots of patchy lacing

Smell, smooth estery roasted malt, some fresh coffee aromas, slight hint of dms which kind of throws you off slightly... not something you'd expect from a stout especially one this size.

Taste, crisp and fairly carbonated. Choking chalky flavours, rich fresh coffee beans, Bournville dark chocolate, slight butteriness. Little hint of vegetal flavours, some smokiness present along with a slightly sour sweetness on the finish. Very thin mouthfeel, for an 8% stout I would have expected a much thicker, richer and more full bodied beer. Some slight hop character floating around too, not so much for bitterness but for flavouring

A solid stout let down by a pretty thin mouthfeel and a few off flavours in the form of DMS, still worth a try

cypressbob, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of foamyhead
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extremely dark reddish brown mother of a beer. She has a firm light-brown head.
In my nose she is fresh, with rich bread and smooth heavily roasted malt and nice creamy texture; she welcomes me. Now the beautiful mulata caresses my taste buds… So smooth, with dark chocolate, coffee, butterscotchs, a bit of chalk. Still with nerve though, she is not a mere pleaser… So perfectly harmonious curves – I am under her spell!

Later she must leave me - but this dark queen of a beer stays on my tongue and in my mind for long.

foamyhead, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from 625ml bottle(room temp) a pitch black with a pretty large head of foam that shrinks slowly and then completely dissipates. There's some lacing present with each new pour but that too disappears after sitting in the glass for a while.

The smell is of roasted malt but it's pretty light. Not much going on for me as far as the nose goes.

The taste has coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and...right near the finish, a hot cocoa flavour but they are all on the light side and make for a very smooth brew overall; I can't beleive it's 8%abv, it's *that* smooth and easy drinking but Iknow better than to think that the alcohol won't catch up to me so I'm only taking small sips.

Further sips and and nothing really changes. I note that the body on this one is on the thin side though the taste never does lean towards the watery side. It's good. I'm glad I got to try it but...it's not something I'd seek out again.

Bitterbill, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is very creamy and has a great coffee flavor with chocolate in the background. No one would ever guess the alcohol content of this just by drinking it. Very drinkable beer with an awesome bottle. It only has one downfall. The aftertaste. Its not bitter or even dry. Its very prevelent. It almost seemed like a teriyaki or some other Asian flavor to it. This is different and makes it stand out against other similar stouts but it does not seem to match with the rest of the taste.

PittBeerGirl, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of mdagnew
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from Edwin Tucker online...

Poured completely black - no sign of colour even when held up to the light... Creamy, dirty brown head poured thick and foamy then faded fairly quickly to light layer... faint wispy lacing...

Aroma - Strong roasted chocolate malts, musty notes, espresso / mocha coffee, leathery / tar hints, some vanilla, peppery, faint aniseed, toffee / treacle / burnt sugar notes, some cardboard notes, nutty traces...

Taste – Very nice strong roasted malt bitterness, some faint smokey / dusty notes, creamy milky vanilla sweetness leaves coating on the lips, dark fruits (blackberries, prunes), peppery hops, muscavado sugar notes, some breadiness...

Feel - Smooth and creamy... full bodied... Very drinkable for an 8% stout...

Overall - A very good and well balanced stout... nothing earth shattering but well worth a try...

mdagnew, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of browner
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark pour out of the bottle with a classic rich tan head. Very sweet and creamy with hints of licorice, chocolate and nutty thrown into a well crafted Stout. Would recommend anyone who likes stouts to give this a try. A big stout that will surely please even the toughest of critics.

browner, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Mebuzzard, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this beer into tumbler at 48 degrees. Beer was very black with a giant brown head that really lasted. Fruity nose chocolate oozing from chocolaty head. Good lacing. Slight interesting smoky taste but also a bit sour to me which turned me off. Will not buy again.

Minkybut, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful black body topped with a full tan head and perfect lacing. Looks better than i remember.

Chocolate dominates the nose with toasty accents to compliment the sweet malt.

Only subtle chocolate with a larger role played here by the toasted flavor and some nuttiness (and just a little sourness) on the finish.

There's actually a bit of a thin feel for something that seems like it should have a motor oil consistancy. Also a bit more carbonation than I want from a stout with an ABV of 8%.

You know, it's not perfect but it tastes good and I'd gladly have another. A beer that represents South Asia like none other I've tried.

malcontent, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big thick black brew with a very solid-looking one finger brown head. Lots of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Swirling brings back one finger even towards the end of the glass!

S - Dark chocolate, raisins, yeast, burnt toast, dark roast coffee and esspresso. Sweeter milk chocolate also. Woody and barky. Very roasty. Alcohol is absolutley transparent for such a powerful beer.

T - Woody and roasty dark chocolate flavors with a little touch of alcohol. I can taste granulated sugar and molasses. Very sweet for a stout, and I like the way that the sweetness balances the woody roasty flavors.

M - Medium to full bodied. Low level of carbonation with a pretty dry finish. Although it is creamy it still seems a bit watery to me.

D - Despite the alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer. I would session with this, and I will surely look for this again.

pmcadamis, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of treedoctor5002
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Trying this beer from a 330ml bottle.
The pour is nice, very dark and luscious. Head is light brown. When swirled around the glass it leaves some small bubble groups.
Smell is bourbon and chocolate. Very nice and sweet.
This beer is really smooth. None of that overdone burnt coffee flavor. Chocolate mocha and molasses rule the day here.
Mouthfeel is very smooth. For as big of a beer as this is you don't hardly taste it at all. I could drink this all night, seriously that good.
One of my new go to stouts.

treedoctor5002, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of mmcave
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at local liquor store and poured into a nonic, full one finger tan, almost gray head, with clumpy lacing and decent retention. The body is opaque polished black color. Smells of subtle chocolate up front with, toasted notes, a smoky character, maybe some sherried raisins, and a pleasant nuttiness. Tastes is of slightly fudgy chocolate with toasted round malt notes, after it warms it becomes rather silky. The bitterness is subtle and comes toward the midsection the finish is a sort of dry and wet at the same time with medium mouthfeel. I have to say this was drunk through out a spicy curry dinner and the ends of a cold, but I’ll stand by this review till I have this again and prove myself wrong. Anyhow this is totally worth hazing not the most amazing, but totally economic and tasty.

mmcave, Jan 19, 2007
Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 1,365 ratings.