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Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

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

1,341 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,341
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 50
Gots: 44 | 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: 1,341 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of karst
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle without the gold foil on neck that displays a white dot matrix printed best by date of Feb. 2005. Pours jet black with ruby glint held to a summer's setting sun. A fist of stiff dense tan head slowly recedes and laces the sides of a Stone Old Guardian Rastal.

Aromas of dark chocolate, prunes and burnt sugar and hints of burnt barley and dark caramel.

Flavors of light roastfully coffee mocha, raisin and bitter chocolate. Roasted grain, hops and high ABV dry the clean burnt finish. Excellent drinkability.

Amazing story of the brewery can be found on Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter site where he recounts his "most unusual beer hunting trip" I always cite a visit to Sri Lanka, in 1986.
http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-001402.html

Recently the Colombo brewery shut down to brew water the next day after the Tsunami hit the area. The origional brewery is in the mountains near the holy city of Kandy. 75% of Lion Brewery Limited sales are for this stout. Two other brewerys in Sri Lanka also produce stouts.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/8508/15048/

McCallum Brewery, also of Colombo, has two BA reviews presently. I do not know the third Sri Lankan brewer.

This beer come highly reccomended! An amazing joy to drink!

karst, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 330ml - 11.50 fl.oz. - 0.58 Pint - standard looking brown glass bottle that looks rather funky and a tad trendy with its rhomboid neck and main labels. Black crown cap has a colorful picture of a lions heads, as does the main label above the words ‘LION Stout Imported Alc. 8% By Vol.’

Appearance: Thick dark brown body with a heavy dose of ruby in the backlit flashes that form at the edges of my Pint glass. Cocoa brown head sits nice and even on the surface and leaves a little lacing as the rink slowly works its way down the libation vessel. Finely dissolved carbonation supports the head throughout and wit vigor when gently swirled.

Nose: Lightly sweet malts mix with a caramel laden molasses. Coffee tinted cum roasted body which is backed by dark chocolates. Some hops in the back end.

Taste: This is a very “soft and gentle” yet big roasted malty Stout with some Cocoa powder and a light hint of milk chocolate in the back end with a smidgeon of freshly brewed black coffee which has just been impacted by a small amount of fresh cream. After a few small mouthfuls a nicely rounded bitterness develops in the finish and mixes well with the roasted chocolate lingering ending. Damn tasty stuff and as slick Teflon®.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and exceptionally creamy in the mouth; it withstands a gentle swirl around the tongue with ease, quite robust and hearty, yet with an attractive lightness thanks to the finely attenuated conditioning. Helps to accommodate the 8% ABV all too easily.

Drinkability: I tried this once back in England many moons ago as a Student and I don’t recall it being this drinkable, it had a more acidic bite to it then, either that or my tastes have changed. This bottle was very soft and incredibly palatable. It didn’t last long!!

Overall: Heard a lot about this one, for whatever reason it seems to have rather the cult following. That is usually a sign of image over substance, but this really is not that bad actually, I’m almost torn to admit that I really quite like it, not sure why, but for $1.69 it ain’t all that bad.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deoop brown, almost opaque color with slight off-white head. The smeel is absolutely fantastic, a mixture of roasted grains, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, ripe fruit, and prunes. I don't think I have ever experienced this complex a smell. Taste is dry and bitter, with roasted grains and chocolate at the top. Mouth feel is a slightly bitter. An excellent beer.

tgbljb, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at the Foodery in May. WIll compare to that now coming i to Toronto. Nice head with bubbles in foam. Malty sweet, vanila, milk, good hops. Very drinkable and serviceable stout. This would be a standard beer for me if always available, which reflects that big stouts get higher ratings on complexity and thickness, but this is nice. Second bottle a few days later.

Sammy, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black, some dark red shows at the edges, big tan head, some lace. Smells like bitter roast, grass, some skunkiness is detectable? Wow, coffee and cream, little yeasty and sour, pretty roast. How the hell is this beer so smooth? The 8% doesn't show at all, insanely smooth and creamy, very slick mouthfeel. Excellent.

Viggo, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of nrrd
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a little thick head, very little carbonation.

Smells sweet with a touch of coffee, not perticularly strong. Taste is dark chocolate and slightly burnt cofee, malty, bitter, but very pleasent and drinkable, especially as it warms up. Finish is a tad sweeter.

Overall, this is a very solid and drinkable stout.

nrrd, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a decent opaque dark brown, with plenty of foam some cascading carbonation. Smell is toasty malts with some cocoa and coffee thrown in. Taste is malty sweet, with some chocolate and coffee again up front. Finish is a bit rough for me though. The beer starts off rather sweet and then ends up just a shade unpleasant. The bitterness is quite mild. Mouthfeel could be much fuller for this beer especially at this sweetness level. The 8% ABV is well hidden, but I couldn't drink more than a bomber at a time.

pentathlete, May 22, 2005
Photo of Domingo
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid stout that reminds me a little of Mackeson's XXX, but a little less complex. Still for an 8% brew ...there's NO hint of that kind of strength. Other than MJ's strange endorsement (when he himself just called it "surprisingly good") it's a winner.

Domingo, May 17, 2005
Photo of bnuttz
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat translucent dark black color with a large and foam dark tan head. Smells of bitter roasty malts, chocolate and coffee, and a somewhat metallic smell is present as well. Taste is sweet and chocolatey with an alcohol presence. Very smooth, and somewhat acidic, but not in a real bitter way. Mouthfeel is smooth and on the thinner side, no a thick brew by any means. Drinkability is very good for an 8% brew.

bnuttz, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an unexpected find at the Classic City brewfest, a strong stout brewed in the tropics of Sri Lanka. It is dark brown, nearly black with a fantastically thick head that stays and stays.

The aroma is caramel sweet, and has delicate hints of chocolate, coffee, plum/prune, and has a slight metallig twang that English stouts and porters often have. Pleasant aromas, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Flavor profile follows suit. It is dominated by bittersweet choc and coffee accents of the roasted dark malts. There's a bit of creamy vanilla in there too. It has a definately prune (or Lekvar-brune butter) quality throughout that adds a hint of fruity acidity. Overall it is very mellow and quite subdued.

It has a medium body, which is creamy in texture and very smooth. There is zero indication of the 8%, it would make a fine sessionable brew. Tame, but enjoyable.

AlexJ, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of texashammer
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label is simple and dark with lion head. I appreciate simplicity. Six-pack holder shows Michael Jackson big with endorsement -- a little tacky on his part perhaps. How are we to trust the "guru" if he gives endorsements, hmm?
Pours black. Shows nothing when held to light but blackness. Head is 2 fingers, fades to 1 and holds there. Thicker head with dark tan color and really sticks to glass.
Cold at the store and I couldn't wait to open it, but it's way too cold and has no aroma at this temperature. Waiting for warming.
Warmer: has a little of a British porter aroma, like the Sam Smith Taddy and Fuller's London. Sorry I don't know what to call that. Certainly and recognizably coffee and bittersweet or baker's chocolate. There is a roasty bitterness to the smell. Some dark dried fruit like prunes perhaps.
Taste is a lot more simple than I hoped and sort of expected. Coffee and roasted bitterness and not much more.
Mouthfeel is slightly chalky and dry, but with some fairly full body. I would almost say "rich" but not quite. Smooth and not overly carbonated.
Drinkable? Definitely, especially for the slightly high alcohol. Not extremely complex, but worth having again as a standby.

texashammer, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 625ml with a best before date printed on the glass of Feb '05.

Pours jet black with a khaki colored head that leaves good lacing as it fell.

Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, slight hops and a touch of alcohol.

Pretty much tastes like it smells with the chocolate notes being more pronounced but its still balanced. Nice long finish. I found the mouthfeel a tad light for the style, but it doeasn't suffer for it. Quite drinkable for an abv of 8%.

I picked up a few bottles for $2.99 a piece at Huckleberry's in Ypsilanti. According to the owner this one might be hard to find in the future as the well this brewery uses became contaminated in the wake of the tsunami disaster. I hope that's just a rumor because this is a killer brew.

ypsifly, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of ChrisBowers
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 625ml bottle purchased at Whole Foods in Arlington, VA. I've been looking for this beer for quite a long time without much success and I finally found it. It did not disappoint. I must confess that the sheer fact that this is from Sri Lanka, an area not really known for its brewing prowess, earned this beer a few sentimentality points in my book, but it can definitely stand on its own. Pours jet black with a nice khaki tan head. Smell is a touch on the sour side, with some sour cherries present. Taste is slightly sweet up front, with cherries, prunes, unsweetened bakers chocolate and alcohol in the body. Not quite as complex as I imagined but still one of the more interesting stouts I've had. Definitely a departure from your everyday stout. Its 8% ABV is well blended, making for a deceptively drinkable brew. I will definitely buy more of this.

ChrisBowers, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of Sigmund
4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle, bought at Selfridge’s, London. Label says for some reason "Lion Dark Beer" in stead of "Lion Stout", but there’s no doubt that this is the very same beer. Otherwise the label is exactly the same, so is the ABV and the characteristics of the beer. Pitch black colour, impenetrable for light. Large and thick brown head. A real beauty! Excellent aroma of various types of wood, tar, leather, tobacco. Full and rich flavour where the roastiness and hops are perfectly balanced with the velvety sweetness. Extremely drinkable. It’s debatable whether "the perfect stout" exists, but the Lion must be pretty close!

Sigmund, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of malty
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml tapered neck brown bottle - no freshness date.

Virtually opaque with a beautiful khaki head that settles down to 1/4 inch - but rebuilds quickly with a few swirls of my New Belgium goblet.

Scent of charred dark malts and marshmellows. There's also a hint of sharp alcohol in there also.

Taste is rummy and liquer-like. The roasted dark malts follow nicely along with a bitter dark chocolate. Alcohol is somewhat apparent, but not an issue. There's also a bitter acidity that balances nicely with the roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin for my liking, but the carbonation was fine and kept the overall flavor and finish in the palate for a good long time.

Drinkability is good seeing this is 8% abv. You might want to be careful with this one.

Overall a good ballsy stout that's not shy. I wonder if this is available on tap? I was hoping for a more creamy texture, but maybe this bottle was a little old (?). I would buy this again.

malty, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack of the Lion Stout this evening. I like the thick, cardboard box that it comes in. Its also nice to try a stout brewed in Sri Lanka. I have been reading about Michael Jackson blowing this beer for many years now. I'm glad I finally have the chance to check this out.

I had this out of a 11.5 oz brown bottle and served in an imperial pint glass. There is the # 335 15:07 in jet ink on the front of the bottle, but I don't know what that means. Translation would be helpful. The label claims this beer has 5 international gold awards to its credit.

Black in appearance with some ruby highlights on the bottom. Very nice, stained brown head on top with attractive sticky lacings all over the glass. This is a nice looking beer.

Aroma of chocolates, black olives, and roasted coffee beans.

Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is at a good place. Chocolately malts blend with a zingy olive-like bite. Roasty and robust flavors should make your palate content.

This is a solid Foreign Stout and certainly one worth checking out if you dig stouts.

Hibernator, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark reddish black color and has a huge, rocky, tan head. The aroma is very sweet and coffee like. It smells like a Starbuck's Frappachino. The taste is very full and smooth... lot's of coffee, chocolate and peat to tantalize your tongue. This is a very balanced stout, on par with a Sam Adam's Cream Stout. The only thing that hold it back is it's price. There are equal or better stouts for less than $9 a six pack.

RushLimbmalt, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with a nice espresso head of foam. Nice lacing as well. Cocoa comes through hard in the aroma of this brew, caramel does as well to a lesser extent, as well as roasted malts and a bit of wood. Taste is chalky, smoky, chocolaty, and roasty with a nice dry dinish that is also slightly acidic and somewhat lactic. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and nice, but a bit light. Drinkability remains very good.

francisweizen, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of bultrey
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, served at cellar temperatures. Medium light tan head with little retention. Opaque black color. Alcohol is slightly apparent in the aroma, as is a roasty espresso smell. The taste is very port-like, with a slight chocolate-covered dark fruitiness, maybe raspberry or raisins. A nice dry, roasty, coffee bitterness peeks through, then yields to some residual sweetness in the aftertaste. Drinkability is very smooth, particularly for such a large alcohol. Not one of the greatest beers in the world, in my opinion, but certainly not overrated. Quite delicious.

bultrey, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of soulfly967
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with hints of red around the edges of the glass. A nice foamy tan head stuck around for quite a while and left nice clumps of lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell was of dark malts and dark chocolate. The taste wsa pretty good with hints of licorice, caramel, and fresh roasted coffee. The mothfeel was nice and creamy, and rather smooth too. I could drink these all night, too bad I only picked up one bottle of this.

soulfly967, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of maxpower
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a nice creamy brown head that leaves good lacing in my glass, roasty, fruity malty aromas. Taste like plums, chocolate and smoke, medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, finishes a bit sweet, alcohol comes through as it warms, not as good as I was expecting but still a good stout.

maxpower, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Billolick, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shows a really low fill line. Also a fair amount of setiment on the bottom.
Aroma is a pretty simple dark malt with a roast quality. A little coffee and a little fruit.
Really nice looking beer. Black a pitch with burgundy hues. Nice full rich tan head with good lacing.
Nice chocolately quality, especially mid to finish. Roast throughout. Well balanced dryness with the bitterness. Pleasing long finish. 8% alcohol is well hidden. There is occassionally a slight metallic taste.
Adequate thickness. Carbonation adds fullness with a bit of softness.
Michael Jackson has quotes on the bottle label that describes many aspects of this beer pretty well. Flavor was consistent throughout the drink, i.e. temperature didn't enhance the quality of the taste.

garymuchow, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of clvand0
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark color with a tall head that has nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is of chocolate with a little bit of fruit and roasted malts thrown in. The flavor is much the same - chocolate, little roasted and a hint of raisin. Moderate body and slightly creamy. Drinks really easily for the alcohol level.

clvand0, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

kmpitz2, Dec 09, 2004
Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.