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Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

880 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 880
Hads: 1,544
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 66
Gots: 102 | 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: 880 | Hads: 1,544
Photo of texashammer
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
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!

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Photo of malty
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of bultrey
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of soulfly967
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of maxpower
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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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 garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of clvand0
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, maple syrup brown with an untamed, creamy tan mane. Very regal.
Smell is a little odd. Kind of sour with some metallic cocoa malt. Off?
Tastes of sweet, dry chocolate with a cardboard edge. Smoky, peaty flavors chime in, and then fade, as roasty coffee bitterness takes over and lasts into the finish. Big bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Not bad—especially for the price and place of origin.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
2.54/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: A deep dark brown color with a full, foamy, tan head (low retention. Aroma is dull and muted: Roasty and chocolaty with a light hop presence. Metallic notes. Flavor: sweet start with a dominant roasted taste, chocolaty, and a lightly dry and metallic finish. Palate: medium bodied and creamy with low co2. This beer seems to have under utilized the assets of the ingredients. Not a bad beer, but not well balanced and not memorable.

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

The head on this thing is like a root beer float. Nice and sticky with heavy lacing down the entire glass. It came on really strong, but seemed to disperse pretty quickly. The aroma is very nice with a heavy chocolate and small traces of anise. The smell is much sweeter that the taste. The roasted, coffeeness really comes out strong. The high ABV is pretty well hidden in the background, but it clinges to the throat a little. Definately a nice stout with some heartyness to it and clearly one of the best example of great lacing. This is a fine beverage to sip on a cold fall night.

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

OK, so Michael Jackson (you know which one) is actually sticking his head on the back label now, I guess I have to try it, marketing people take note!

Props to Sri Lanka for kicking out a good beer, usually stuff from that area tastes like the Kellogg's Rice Krispies version of Budweiser.

Though I liked this beer, it wasn't the end-all, be-all of my stout beer experience. Smells and tastes of roasted coffee malts with a bit of chocolatey goodness on top. A tiny bit of left-in-the-coffee-pot-too-long burn smell and taste going on though. Barely detectable alcohol subterfuge going on here, you'll notice the punch more in your forebrain later than on your tongue. Slightly chewy and very smooth, a good drinkable beer, puts Sri Lanka on the map for sure. Got me on the Mothership, but didn't take me to Funkytown.

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Photo of vitesse
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from euro-style 12 oz. brown bottle.

pours an opage black. semi-thick brown head that cascades nicely, especially for a non-nitro stout.
smells of espresso and chocolate.
this is a nicely roasty stout. very very drinkable. the alcohol has little presence int he flavor. very little perceptible hop bitterness or diacetyl. i couldn't taste any vinous/sherry flavor, which is good.
mouthfeel is thick, but doesn't detract from the overall beer.

nicely drinkable. an excellent example of a foreign stout. i highly recommend this one.

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Photo of gbontrag
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm starting this at 48 degrees farenheit-finish at 52...

smells like prune wine in a corn cob pipe, and looks black as hash.

This has got some buzz to it, I can smell the alcohol. My bottle has appreciable carbonation that with the help of the alcohol cuts the stout malting. Burnt bread pudding. Some raisin, burnt sugar, a picture of one black raspberry on a leaf, burnt sugar, bittersweet chocolate shavings on a bed of barley straw....carmelized bread crust (for those of you who've ever had bread/pizza from a wood-fired oven), and a little bit of black licorice.

Awright. The "8.0%" alcohole has kicked in...

Burnt chocolate bread pudding. Okay, okay, it's stout. I like it. It's strong. It's totally balanced for being a little shallow on the depth side of flavor. Carbonation works with the high alcohol % to carry the burnt sugars to cut short any lingering sweetness. There's a photo of hops thrown in the brewing process, and it's retained in the after taste. I'll say black licorice again, and I meant to say burnt sugar twice. I agree with the overall ranking, a good, not bad stout with a good price.

Personal flavor picture: Imagine trying to cook Ghiradelli brownies (from a mix) in aluminum foil on the engine of your brother-in-laws' small pick up engine while you drive 75 miles to tailgate a pro-football game. When you're drunk enough to pull the foil out, AND you're drunk enough to lick it clean, that's where you'll find the flavor of this stout. It's a nice average brew from a long way away.


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Photo of crookedhalo
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown, almost black color with a fluffy tan head. Scorchy dark malt aromas with complements of chocolate and black licorice, some subtle hops and a slight yeastiness to the nose. Roasty graininess is upfront, strangely enough- it goes somewhat watery mid-palate and finishes with a slight fruitiness, and more dryness from roasted grain and light hopping. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, letting the drinker know this beer is not a domesticated brew. 8.0% ABV is hidden well under the shroud of roasted malts, other than some warming sensations to the esophagus and stomach. It's been a while since I had one, but I seem to remember liking it more on-draught.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a pitch black color, dark tan head, not a whole lot fo lacing on the way down. Smell is of slight coffee and alcohol hints. Taste is too much alcohol, not enough stout, too much carbonation. Not a rich enough body to support the other flavors. There are better stouts, including ones that don't get Michael Jackson to pimp their beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.79 for a 625ml bottle. 8.0% ABV.

Pours out to a very dark brown, lighter in color than expected, forming a large and robust soapy dark tan head that looks gorgeous with exceptional retention and beautiful solid sheets of lacing composed of microbubbles. Aroma is akin to a Baltic Porter...lots of raisin, dates, figs, and prunes, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and the faintest suggestion of alcohol. Mouthfeel is very nice...lively but not abrasive, with a medium body and lightly dry finish. Tastes quite nice, what I would expect for a baltic porter. Powdery cocoa with a pleasant light tartness and astringency of black currants, very faint metals in the middle, with some husk and lightly roasted grains. Almost smoky towards the finish with suggestions of diatomaceous earth. The sourness keeps the beer alive, augmenting and balancing nicely with the other subtleties going on under the hood. Alcohol is imperceptable in aroma or taste, but I'm feeling it after one glass. No other off-flavors.

Damn tasty, whatever you call it...I call it a Baltic Porter. I really enjoyed this. Forget the hype and bias and just drink it up. Very easy to drink with a tight body and the brains to back it up. Paired nicely with the 9-grain bread I just made. A wonderful stout and cheaper that Sinebrychoff or D.Carnegie & Co. Highly recommended and an exceptional brew for the price!

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


Sweet and roasted nose with hints of burnt malts, blackberries, apples, molasses and coffee beans.

Starts sweet with a hint of molasses, cocoa and coffee. Mid-palate dries out a bit and bitters a bit as well, with notes of blackberries and dark chocolate. On the finish is a lovely roasted malt bitterness and just a hint of mocha.

This is a very nice stout. It's not great, but at $ 7.99/6 Pack it might become a regular around the house.

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Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
88 out of 100 based on 880 ratings.