Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

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Lion StoutLion Stout

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very good

878 Reviews

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Reviews: 878
Hads: 1,533
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 64
Gots: 96 | 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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Reviews: 878 | Hads: 1,533
Photo of eric5bellies
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sitting in my hotel room here in Colombo

A - pours an oily thick ebony colour. Nice creamy tanned head that retains well

S - heaps of toffee, coffee and vanilla

T - up front some nice vanilla flavours, followed by some caramel and toffee. Espresso finish.

M - full body and low carbonation. Impressive

O - well you don't expect great stouts to come from Sri Lanka but this is a great stout. Full of flavour,body and balance. One of those really nice surprises that you get every once in a while.

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Photo of Casey_Butt
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

I was surprised at how good this is - it's become my favourite stout. Nice, balanced stout in the British tradition. Rich and smooth with just enough bite to cut through and balance out the body. Roasted malt and dark chocolate taste with a hint of coffee and maybe raisins. 8.8% alcohol, but no alcoholic taste. A little thin, I think due to a bit too much carbonation, but not a major complaint.

Very nice. I hope it becomes more widely available because it's my go-to stout now.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz on tap at The Porch in Key West, FL 5/27/2014.

A- dark black body, one finger tan head with average retention. No lacing.

S- charred malt, a bit of smoke, some umami, dark chocolates and subtle raisins. Smells solid but not unique or intense in comparison to other American offerings.

F- dark chocolate, roast and charred malt, raisins, still a bit of smoke. Very good, with a nice bit of complexity. Flavourful and interesting.

M- lighter body but not watery. Solid carbonation, not flat or fizzy. A fine dark fruit-filled aftertaste with a bit of earthy bitterness.

O- solid export stout, similar to Guinness FES and probably rates a bit underneath it. Recommended if there isn't anything else good under the stouts section of the draft list.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a big foamy beige head.

S: Dark and intense like a coffee and chocolate liqueur.

T: Hmm, it's only half what the nose promised. It's smokey and there's dark chocolate in there but it's missing some oomph. There is some unpleasant alcoholic bitterness. The mouthfeel is lightly zingy and not particularly complementary, and the finish leaves you wanting. It's slightly sweet.

O: Despite my pessimism it's a pretty fine beer, just that it falls short compared to other members of its genus. Of all the strong stouts I've had it is the least delicious.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a creamy liquid which is black as oil. Forms a medium creamy beige head. Medium retention and some thin, spotty and molasses lacings. Some brown particles cab be seen in the bottom of chocolate

S: Great smell of roasted malts. Notes of dark chocolate, chocolate malts, flowery hops and some earthy notes in the end. Alcohol is perfectly hidden

T: Slightly sweet and quite roasted upfront. Strong notes of dark chocolate and chocolate malts. In overall, taste is crispy and dry. Good medium bitterness

M: Heavy and creamy body. Medium carbonation. Roasty and earthy aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Excellent Foreign Stout. Big surprise

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. brown bottle

Lion Stout poured a dark almost totally black except for some garnet color highlights when it is hit by light. The head formed was 1 3/4 fingers, dense, bubbly and mocha colored with light clingy lacing left behind as consumed. The nose is lighter than expected, dominated by roasted dark malts and chocolate. The taste is stronger than the nose, also dominated by roasted dark malt with sweet notes of chocolate and coffee. The finish is on the sweet side and a little dry. Mouth feel is smooth and medium bodied with the alcohol well hidden making good drinkability.

Lion Stout is my first taste of the foreign/export stout style. This ale has made me a fan!...I'll have another.

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Photo of lochef81
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've seen this stout for years on the shelf and avoided it based upon its location of origin; I couldn't have been more wrong. This stout pours a near black color with a small tan head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is a very pleasant familiar blend of coffee, chocolate, sweet roasted malts, dried fruit, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is a little flat, could definitely use a little more creaminess. The flavor is exactly as the nose foretold but, unfortunately, there is a long lasting metallic aftertaste that spoils what would be a truly outstanding stout. Hard to believe the abv, it is so well hidden. For its cost and availability this could definitely become a go to stout for me...just lose the metal in the finish.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before Jan. 2015 and served at cellar temperature. I grabbed a bottle of this while leaving for a camping trip a few years ago and rather enjoyed it, but for obvious reasons neglected to post a review at the time. This is the first time I've seen it since.

Pours a deep black colour; completely opaque, and topped with one finger of dense, dark tan-coloured head with a silky-smooth texture. It gradually wilts away over a period of minutes, with the eventual remnants consisting of a thin cap/collar and an unbroken curtain of lace. The aroma is a little subdued but fairly intriguing, with notes of caramelized sugar, molasses, milk chocolate and coffee, as well as fruitier hints of raisin and red licorice candy. The alcohol is detectable, but blends nicely with the other elements.

This is a pleasant-tasting, no-nonsense strong stout with a simple, balanced flavour profile - and it's growing on me more with each sip. Roasted malt flavours abound here, with treacle and burnt sugar providing a constant underlying sweetness. It's not overpoweringly sweet, though, with baker's chocolate, roasted coffee and some raisin/dark fruit to distract you, and a lingering, almost herbal finish that includes a touch of smoke and anise. The mild ethanol warmth works seamlessly here. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, creamy feel on the palate and gentle carbonation levels. Unexpectedly drinkable - I could see myself downing 2-3 bottles of this in a night with little effort.

Final Grade: 4.01, an excellent A-. I am far from an authority on export stouts, mostly because very few of them are exported to Ontario. Still, I know what I want from a strong stout - and Sinha manages to deliver in spades. Big roasted malt flavours, with good balance and well-integrated alcohol is enough to earn this one a solid grade and some repeat purchases from myself. At $2.50 a bottle, Sinha Stout is very affordable, and something that no self-respecting stout fan should skip.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: dark brown leaning towards black with a thin head that disappears in about the time it will take you to read this sentence. All that is left behind is a thin ring of foam.

S: nothing stunning but, there are roasts, malts and coffee present.

T: roasted malts, molasses and coffee are the dominant flavors but there is also a slight sweetness to it.

M: medium body and carbonation.

O: not a bad beer, it is easy to drink and a good price. I could see enjoying this beer with a nice meal of spicy Indian food.

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Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.95/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my go to stout! At any time a bomber of this goes down sooo smooth, almost too smooth. At above 8% it sure has the ability to go down quick. Beautiful in the glass. Dark fruit aroma, with coffee and chocolates as well on the palate. Some may not like it, some may think its too cheap in a sense...but to me, for the price, year round availability and great all around character of this brew, it's a winner. Cheers!

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a deep black color and a medium tan colored head with moderate retention.
The aroma is very pleasant and inviting. Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate and some coffee.
Tastes bittery and roasted, with some coffee and little caramel in the back.
Very drinkable, creamy and full of taste.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed via the LCBO for around $2.50/330ml bottle. Served at 10deg C in a medium body wine glass.

A- Excellent! Opened with a mighty pop and brown head 2" high that dissipated down to a thin film in a couple of minutes.

S- Very good. Caramel, malts and other stout goodness

T- Almost as good as it looks. Pretty nice for mass production beer.

M- This one let me down a bit and dragged the whole rating down... A bit bland, dry, carbonated too much and a bit metallic.

O- Very good. If they could get this nice stout a lot creamier and possible a hint of Sri Lankan/Indian coffee style that would really pick this up.

Food Pairing...

This wonderful mass produced stout went well with... Lamb Shank. An excellent slow roasted lamb shank with garlic mashed potatoes and root vegetables in a reduced balsamic glaze.


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Photo of Act25
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Discovered at 11 Barclay NYC.
Unsure how I feel about shipping cans of beer around the world? With so much American stout goodness closer to home I think I would not make this a habit and expand my carbon foot print.
That said, it's original and good.

A: The beer pours jet black w some brown amber when held up to the light. well carbonated, the head is stiff, laces well and persists.
S: Major aromas of roasted malts w/ molasses and raisins and something floral exotic unfound in other stouts betraying its origins. No alcohol found.
T: Taste follows smell with major flavors of roasted malts, major of licorice and molasses and hint of flowers, something exoitic, and raisins. A very satisfying pull, finishes slightly sweet.
M: It is medium- to full-bodied, smooth on the palate with light carbonation. Dryness, warming, licorice is the finish.
O: Great winter beer. Enjoyed it. A must try. But I am not importing any more from so far away.

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Photo of Weston19
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a creamy mocha colored head that leaves sticky lacing all around the beer. Looks really nice and the way a stout should look like.

S: Smells like mocha, cocoa, vanilla latte, raisins, and roasted coffee. It's a very pleasant and sweet smell that isn't very strong and comes with a variety of smells. For an almost 9% beer it's great that there's no alcohol smell at all.

T: It tastes exactly like it smells and there is hardly any alcohol flavor there. You get the roasted notes almost immediately followed by that coffee/mocha flavor and then some of the alcohol. It ends slightly bitter but not enough to overwhelm.

MF: Heavy and with a semi dry finish bitter finish.

O: I thought this was a great beer. I wasn't expecting much from it for some reason but upon tasting it it was great. It's pretty strong and the fact that the alcohol taste isn't very obvious is a huge plus. Would definitely have it again.

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Photo of gregb13
4.61/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark with a fine, sticky-creamy head that settles quickly. Smells very rich and roasty; tobacco, cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate liqueur, espresso bean and a little booze. Taste is very complex; flavors follow the nose, along with faint brandy and dark fruity notes. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, and there is a very pleasant, lightly bittersweet aftertaste that lingers moderately.

Overall, this is easily one of the best stouts I've had. Even better is that I can pick it up for 8rmb (about $1.30) for a 500ml (16.9oz.) tin here in China.

I couldn't recommend this beer any more strongly. Go and get it!

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Photo of Amalak
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. It is basically black, but some brown hues at the bottom. It has a good foamy tan head with some solid lacing.

S. It has a malty, chocolate and metallic scent.

T/M. It is quite rich and has a bit of a coffee aftertaste. It is chocolaty with a good deal of a kind of grape sweetness. Smooth but carbonated. Medium body and medium alcohol.

O. It's very solid. I like the mix of flavors. A semi-metallic aftertaste is left though.

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Photo of krustster
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I decided to re-re-review this as my first one was based on a mildly infected box, then my second attempt was a drunken, rambling mess. I actually ended up increasing some of my scores now that my nose isn't so stuffy and I'm in a better state of mind to pick up on the subtleties.

Awesome appearance. Nearly black, but just a bit of light shines through at the edges. Big, creamy, tan head with excellent retention. Kind of hard to describe but the best way I can put it is that the bubbles are extremely fine, almost like a nitro stout. Thick sheets of lacing everywhere. An oddly unique look, and one of the most appealing that I've seen.

Nose is lively with some coffee, dark fruit (I still hate saying that), sweet roasted malts, and a slight hint of alcohol. There's another scent under there that's hard to identify which I like a lot, and which gives this beer a lot of its character. Oh, that's it, chocolate! Almost a milk chocolate, not the bitter dark of most stouts (well, imperial ones, which what I normally reach for).

Delicious taste that reveals some more nuance. Assertive coffee/roast flavor that is kept in check by the underlying fruity sweetness. I guess you could say that the entry has more fruit and sweetness and creamy milk chocolate, with the roasted character coming out in the... mid palate? Is that a thing? The finish goes back to more of a fruit and light chocolate taste, with very light bitterness coming out as it fades. It's hard to to fully express my appreciation for this beer's taste, because it's got a lot of flavor, but the balance is what's important, and that's difficult to describe. I think it's the balance of chocolate and fruit that does it to me. And it's really not that sweet overall, which is another plus.

Mouthfeel is another strong point. The carbonation is fairly high, but once again, oddly fine. It's sharp on the entry, but not too much. Body is on the lighter end of medium, really quite unusual when you consider the nearly 9% ABV, but this is another oddity that ends up working very well for me. Rather dry finish. Smooth, creamy, incredibly drinkable for how strong it is. Compared to most stouts, it's almost like drinking a champagne, and it works! I'm used to drinking imperials that blast my throat with extreme viscosity and just saying "oh man it's so thick I love it." This one is a little strange and the various elements all come together to make something unique and, to me, fantastic.

One of my favorite stouts overall, and definitely my favorite one that isn't limited/fancy/hard to find. When you factor in the price, this is very nearly a perfect beer. Less than $10 for a four pack of 500ml cans or under $5 for a bomber, unbelievable. I'm sure a lot of the low reviews are of infected/"off" batches, judging by how different some of the descriptions are. I've got a pretty big backlog of beers at home to work through, and yet I just keep buying more Lion Stout. It's a versatile beer suitable for thoughtful sipping or just partying and tossing back. A true classic!

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A majestic and determined lion runs at you from the shield shaped label. Back label also has a quote from Michael Jackson seemingly touting this beer, so I guess that's a good sign. Poured into a tulip, black with a 2" head that had some stay to it.

The nose on this is roasty and smoky, chocolate, and tobacco which starts to delve into a barnyard element. Taste follows the nose as much as it can but is predominantly chocolate, and the high abv gives it like a chocolate liqueur-like quality. That being said the alcohol isn't very noticeable in either the aroma or flavor, it's just super smooth, light carbonation, medium-heavy mouthfeel.

I like this quite a bit and would handily get this again. Really good stout - one of my favorites that I've had this year.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Dark, dark brown, bordering on black but still slightly translucent. Very dark, fine head with significant retention.
Smell: Deep woody smell with strong molasses nose. Grainy with a twinge of alcohol. Bready and spicy.
Taste: Very deep roasted grain flavor that blooms into a pleasant sweetness. Opens into an earthy cacao like twinge. Raisins and good pipe tobacco come to mind.
Mouth: Very smooth and heavy. Perfect light carbonation one expects in a stout.

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Photo of Greg_MacLeod
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown to black color with thick caramel colored foam.

Sweet toasty malt smell.

There are a lot of different flavors going on in this beer. It starts out with a carmel / chocolate / fruity sweetness, lots of malt grain flavor, and just enough bitter coffee and hops flavor for a great finish. Every sip is a treat.

Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Well suited for a stout.

Overall this is one of my absolute favorite stouts. It has great flavor and wonderful drinkability. A single serving of this will cost you a small fortune where I live in Thailand, but it is a fortune well spent.

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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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Photo of burnstar
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown to black. Big rocky persistent tan head. Smell is roasted barley. Not a particularly strong aroma. Great complex malty flavor throughout. Sweetness. Raisins. Chocolate. A little roasted malt bitterness and hops. Medium bodied, maybe a little light bodied for a stout but it suits this beer nicely. Well carbonated. Perhaps the best thing about this beer is how crisp and refreshing it is despite being a big tasty stout. Astonishingly drinkable. Really great stuff.

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Photo of migwell
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I probably tend to over-rate this stout, having spent a year and a half cycling through Southern Asia, but it stands out so much compared to the general run of lackluster beers and second rate stouts that the difference is quite dramatic.

In a geographical area where finding even an 'adequate' beer is problematic, to tumble on a world class stout was a very pleasant shock. I never found this on tap, which I imagine would have been even better, but it ranks second in my experience to a nicely pulled Guinness pint in a pub in Ireland.

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Photo of dreamchaser
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Malty, toasty aroma. Thick, fairly quickly dissipating bubbly tan head. Flavours include roasted coffee, with sweet malt notes that fade to a nice, smooth bitter and dry finish, and very faint aftertase. Well carbonated, and striking hop presence challenges the sweetness. Warmth follows throughout.

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Photo of bdaggett
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark body- really dark. Creamy, small head.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee and chocolate. A really pleasant smell that matches the appearance well. I was excited with the smell and expected a really good beer.

Taste: Like the other reviews say, the 8.8% is obvious at the end. However, it isn't overwhelming. The initial taste is roasted coffee - not much cream flavor, little chocolate. The roasted flavor dominates all other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick, fairly smooth.

Overall: A really solid stout. My first beer from Sri Lanka - surprisingly good. Not one of my favorites, but I would look for it again. If you are looking for a great heavy stout to sip with a meal, this is a great choice.

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Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.