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Lion Stout - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion StoutLion Stout

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

875 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 875
Hads: 1,525
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 61
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 875 | Hads: 1,525
Photo of mrn1ceguy
2.5/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle in the US and I did not enjoy this. This is probably due to the fact there is no way to know how long the bottle has been on the shelf and how it was treated getting there. Eitherway, probably not the best beer to chose to export to the US. (255 characters)

Photo of headhunter1898
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Format: Draft. Draft pour is noticeably different than when you buy the can or 330ml bottles. Good head retention.

Appearance: Very black with a creamy Guinness type head.

Aroma: Strong coffee, vanilla/mollassas, dirt, and alcohol. You can smell the 8%abv.

Taste: Strong alcohol bite with good coffee and smoke flavors.

Aftertaste: Smooth with a bit of smoke and earthy coffee flavor. The alcohol bite dies off nicely.

Mouth feel: Thick and chewy, just like a stout should be.

Overall: A well rounded stout overall. Now having had this in the US and Sri Lanka, there is a definite difference in the quality of the beer depending on the location. I've had this in can and bottles in the US, but othing beats having it on Draft in Colombo. (744 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Format: a solid dark brown 330mL bottle with a standard SEA-style label.

Appearance: a thick, syrupy black beer with a staggeringly creamy - almost greasy looking - two-finger grey and brown head. Drops to a creamy half-finger with decent lacing. Looks good.

Aroma: an interesting combination of coffee, brown sugar and some earthen qualities. Some definite meat / umami flavours too, maybe pork.

Taste: very strong in flavour, which is nice - those roast coffee and earth flavours again, with biting alcohol and plenty of smoke. Doesn't quite seem rounded out, a touch harsh with the alcohol. Still, not bad.

Aftertaste: the sharp alcohol backs off a bit to leave the flavours fairly well combined.

Mouth feel: a thick body that really works quite well. Low in carbonation but just enough to carry plenty of flavour, nice and crisp to boot.

Overall: an decent and unusual stout, a bit expensive at AU$90+ a case. The flavours come across a bit harsh with an alcohol fug, but the flavours are reasonably well rounded. I will have one every now and then. (1,059 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
2.97/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recommended to me by a colleague as “A pretty good Stout... and from Sri Lanka” - I had to give it a go, I don’t think I’ve even looked in the general direction of Sri Lanka for anything beer related, so on my beer world tour country #34 is (of course I just told you, put away those sticks - there’s no need for a drumroll): Sri Lanka!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours really excitable for an 8.8% ABV Stout (I have a 1 inch tan head going on here) with a deep brown, almost black, body and some large chunks of yeast sitting at the bottom of my glass... just noticed the best before date is July 2014, oh :( 5/10.

S: Bit of the old burnt barley, engine oil, roast coffee and dark chocolate aromas happening right now, kinda reminds me of my very first review those many moons ago (you remember Sheaf Stout right?). 6/10.

T: Interesting flavour, an almost sickly sweet prune character (upfront and all over) with some smoke, roasted coffee notes, and indeed as the label proclaims a: “mocha liquor like character”. I’ve underlined the “liquor” part because Sinha are obviously proud of the fact that their Stout has this fusel alcohol note. The aftertaste is quite proportionally metallic as well. 6/10.

M: Medium bodied with a medium, borderline fizzy-as-hell carbonation. 6/10.

D: This brew shies away from greatness due to the odd fusel and almost sickly sweet prune characters which make it more of an oddity than an enjoyable experience, perhaps it’s my own subjective views but Sinha Stout doesn’t do it for me quite nearly as much as Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout did. I actually found this a bit of a chore to finish, and drinking beer should never become a chore. 6/10.

Food match: I imagine a big Sri Lankan curry would sort this Stout out sharpish. (1,816 characters)

Photo of untitledeuphoria
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No idea on a bottling date, and because of that, I guess it really doesn't matter when I drank it. Poured from a bottle into a 10oz wine glass.

First off, initial impressions. That is to say, I didn't have any. I had initially grabbed a Evil Twin Doughnut Break, some Ten Fidy, and a Stone Coffee Milk Stout. Once the cashier got to the Stone he just gave me a disapproving look and said "Are you sure you want this? I dont think you want this. Give me ten seconds and I'll get you something better... same price" I respond with a "what the hell, sure" he promptly chucks the Stone, runs off, and returns with a bottle of what looked like a trashy euro brew that your drunk uncle Janek chugs every night in an attempt to finally kill his liver. Sensing my skepticism (a stout made in Sri Lanka? really?), the cashier assures me that this is a quality beer, going so far as offering that i could return the bottle empty and get anything of the same price in exchange.

Persistence pays off, and I walk out with the official stout of MGM studios in my bag.

So lets get to it.

A: Pours an incredibly deep, opaque brown...borderline black, with a fine mocha head. The heady quickly builds to a full finger, and then quickly fades to a thin milky cap with a minimal collar. Appears to be quite thin, as it does not coat the glass much at all when sloshing.

S: Roasted malt, molasses, dark roast coffee, banana, hints of vanilla... and after much deliberation, and many a sniffs as the beer warmed... tobacco. Extremely pleasant aromatics, the layering of which was a very pleasant surprise.

T: Chocolate covered coffee beans, roasted malt, eastern spices, and dark fruit. Possibly raisins or dates. The alcohol is noticeable, but the sweetness and roasted malt/coffee cover it nicely.

M: Well carbonated, no lingering bitterness or aftertaste. Thin and light, with a crisp, clean finish. Not exactly what one looks for in a stout, and easily my biggest problem with this beer.

0: A very unexpected, and pleasant surprise. The aromatics and flavor of this beer left me quite shocked, as it does a great job in both attributes. mouthfeel aside, this is a good beer. Not hunt it down, or a new standby, but one that I could be happy with drinking on most occasions. (2,266 characters)

Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

I noted this one specifically for the big complex aromas on the nose. I was getting chocolate, honey, vanilla, banana, pear, apple, coffee, espresso and roast. It poured a very dark, opaque brown with a light brown head. It had a nice silky, creamy mouthfeel, with a medium to full body and a light level of carbonation. To the taste there was big time chocolate and coffee, also vanilla, caramel, toffee and some subtle dark fruits. Aroma was definitely the star on this one, but it's hard to complain about anything really. It's a fantastic beer, very complex and easy drinking for a stout this big. (601 characters)

Photo of barhoc11
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

I was shocked at how good this was after hesitantly trying it for the first time. It is a solid stout with big flavor that will stand up to most anything. I can't put my finger on the taste but it has a nice sweet, but not too sweet, finish. (241 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $2.35 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass. Best before January 2016.

Appearance -Pours a dark cola beer, with plenty of cola like bubbles. Small half finger of head is poured and dissipates virtually instantly. Pretty mediocre

Smell - Roasty coffee mostly, some leathery tobacco like aroma too. A bit of sweet booziness as well.

Taste - Big bold coffee flavor followed by a helping of dry coffee beans and maybe a touch of dark chocolate. The leatheriness comes through here too.

Mouthfeel - Wet and somewhat slick with good carbonation, finishes fairly dry. Probably the best part of the beer in my opinion.

Overall - Rather disappointing, was hoping for a big stout with great flavor and feel, and ended up with something limper and less tasty that expected. Maybe it was a bad bottle, but I really don't think so. I'll pass next time. (888 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

The Michael Jackson quote on the back label made me pick this up, i'm really curious about it.
A beautiful pour, entirely black with a generous mocha head, creamy and lasting a long while, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.
Smells nice too, dark chocolate laced with licorice and some vanilla, sweet coffee, plum jam, faintly smoked roasted malts, aromatic herbs, brown sugar and syrup.
Starts with sweet chocolate, creamy, with sour cherry, plum, fig, and an alcoholic warmth, giving the impression of brandy-filled chocolates from the get go. The appropriate spices, with licorice, vanilla, citrus peel and a floral/herbal feel reminding of Breckland thyme tea, faintly minty. Roast brings a big burnt bread crust aroma in the finish, mixed with the lingering sweetness, like molasses, and some sweet coffee too. Finishes fresh, with a mild herbal bitterness in lieu of a big roastiness. A hint of oxidation too, clearer later on.
Thus flavors get through to the aftertaste easily, with nice dark fruit, light chocolate, sherry, sweet dark malts and just a bit of roast. Medium body and carbonation, but full and chewy.
Didn't impress me with the advertised "chocolatey, mocha character", but it has a great complexity, great flavors with just a few faults, ignorable. Never imagined a beer from Sri Lanka of all places could be this good. (1,343 characters)

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330-mL can. Unsure of bottling date.

Very dark chestnut brown. 1-finger dark tan head. Decent alcohol legs. 1/2-finger collar lingers. Malt roast, sweet cream, touch of cola. Vigorous swirl opens up licorice and fruit. The dark fruit intensifies with warmth

like Tsunami, the roast doesn't get acrid here. all told, however, the flavor's a tad muted - dark fruit (more similar to an ris or baltic porter), dark brown bread sweetness, but less coffee, dark chocolate than I'd like

thinner mouthfeel, despite the creaminess on the nose, but very, very drinkable. ultimately, I enjoyed this, but I think it strays off style (623 characters)

Photo of Chief_Mug
4/5  rDev +0.8%

I am surprised to see the metallic taste n 2 different reviews. I found this Stout to be very smooth, malty and pleasant tasting. I think Ceylon does a good job of hiding the high ABV which is uncommon in a Stout. My Rating as 4.0 is a Good Beer, not a wow -can't live without. but a Beer I would recommend. (315 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Dark black with a creamy head. Some chocolate, cocoa and dark roasted malt make up the smell. Smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate, some slight bitterness, and a strong alcohol flavor comprise the taste. A decent, strong stout. A little heavy on the alcohol taste, but otherwise is an OK Stout. (287 characters)

Photo of Fargrow
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a light brown head with varying bubble size.
S: Hot chocolate and smokey charred wood. Metallic.
T: Much the same as the nose. So much charred wood and burnt malt flavor, I don't think I've ever tasted this much. Ends smokey.
M: Thick and sweet at first, finishing bitter dark chocolate.
O: One of the smokiest non-smoked (or maybe it is, I'm not sure) beers I've ever had. Very nice sipper, although I doubt it's very refreshing in hot and humid Sri Lanka. (485 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deepest black color with a thick dark caramel head that vanishes quickly.
Aroma of licorice, creamy chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
Sweet and bold flavor with notes caramels, coffee, cocoa, spices, vanilla, roasted malts and a hint of all major hops, citrus, herbal and earthy. Dry aftertaste with a lingering spiciness challenging its sweetness.
Full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol of 8.8% is hidden behind its malty base.
Bold beer from the unexpected Sri Lanka, nice and complex regarding both malt and hops with lots of chocolate, but a tad on the sweet side which makes it a bit cloying.
Ap.3,75 Ar.3,5 Sab.3,75 Sens.3,5 Cj.3,75 (637 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a huge, 2.5 inch head, that descends quickly, leaving the typical ample dry stout/export stout lacing.

Smells sweet and creamy, if that makes sense- some mocha and vanilla flavors, along with typical roasted malt aromas.

As I move towards the taste, I begin to appreciate how much of a gem this one is. I’d have no problem sucking this one down all the time if I lived in Sri Lanka. Insanely creamy flavor, tons of rich milk chocolate flavors, some mocha cream flavors, vanilla, roasted malt, licorice, and mild dark fruit flavors. Just everything I want in a stout, really.

This one has medium-strength body, leaning closer to heavy, actually. Really creamy, fluffy mouthfeel on it, no alcohol present. Really, really drinkable.

An absolutely excellent export stout. I could drink a ton of this and be really happy. (914 characters)

Photo of WoostaBia
4.78/5  rDev +20.4%

Quite a treat. Easy drinking Stout with complex flavors. Amazing caramel, dark chocolate, light roasted coffee flavor. Kept asking Sri Lanka makes great beer??! (160 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a dense, tan, two-finger head; moderate retention. Virtually black with no visible highlights. Good lacing. Malty sweetness comes through first, followed by prunes, molasses; substantial alcohol content apparent but well integrated. Cardboard/peanut-shell finish. Medium body, light carbonation, warming alcohol.

8.8% alcohol lends a smooth bitterness which is noticeable but not disagreeable. Not the most complex stout, but largely enjoyable. (453 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

(on tap at The Map Room - served in a fat tulip)

A: black as hell, little head... no lace as it was going down - hard to tell how clean the glass was - I'd like to assume the glass was washed properly considering the rep of this spot - maybe the gas was low

S: black licorice, mild European coffee... a tad 'herbal' (like Jager?)... faint dark cocoa

T: much like the aromas - not much new revealed on the palate... surprisingly tame sweetness - in fact, one could argue this has a clean Baltic porter foundation with a hybrid dry stout / schwarzbier taste... roasted flavors are low, or at best polished to a less-than-brilliant gloss, seems more like patent malt and a touch of crystal were used - who knows?... no real discernible hop flavor, light+ bitterness... not a strong presence of booze, curiously

M: damn light in body and on the palate... not quite, but nearly watery (again, leak on the gas line - almost flat)... nothing making a mark on the palate aside from the heat flash at the back of the throat

O: a bit underwhelming... had this a couple times in the past and though it was pretty good, however, I've always seemed to confuse this with Dragon Stout from Jamaica... this was a tough one to grade because I feel like something was off here... (1,266 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 21 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with an inch and a half tall tan head which receded slowly to even surface foam and dense lacing

s: Dark chocolate, caramel and black coffee

t: Chocolate/black coffee dark malt up front with a significant hop bite which lingers at the back edges of the tongue. Sweet/bitter finish. 8.8 ABV is well covered. Later, smokiness emerges.

m: Medium, good body. Some carbonation tingle.

o: A very tasty stout, light bodied enough to be enjoyable in warm weather as well as cool. (557 characters)

Photo of Friction4now01
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer was a bit on the disappointing side, but that is probably because I had overly high expectations for it.
A: Nice dark brown/blackish color that you typically see in a stout or porter. There was a good amount of head on the beer, but it settled quickly.
S: Strong scent of chocolate with a hint of vanilla and coffee.
T: The tastes definitely reflect the smell. Chocolate is the dominant flavor. However, the beer seemed disappointingly unsweet.
O: This is a good stout, but would be better if it was just a bit sweeter. (530 characters)

Photo of MrWilliams
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The simple design of the can is what caught my eye originally. Very little information provided just a sleek black can with red lettering saying Lion Stout, and a picture, you guessed it, of a lion.

Poured from a can into a tulip glass.

A 4.0) Poured easy received about a two finger head, mocha, colored that died down quickly. Deep opaque brown, and when held to the light only the barest amount shone through the edges. no lacing to speak of, the slightest bit that did present itself quickly vanished.

S 3.75) Dominant raisin smell with undertones of burnt toast. Just a touch of smoke but it's almost an after thought.

T 4.25) Served cold straight from the fridge. To begin with dark chocolate was the dominant flavor. A bit of slightly burnt toast presented itself on the finish and no hop presence. After letting it warm up a bit raisins became dominant. Chocolate still lingered and and toast became a bit more evident, overall the flavor reminds me of a cola with just a bit extra syrup but without the sweetness.

M 3.75) Mouthfeel is fair to middlin'. Not as heavy as many imperial stouts but nowhere near as watery as some of your basic stouts. Carbonation was very evident and almost tickled the nose on the first few sips but mellowed out a bit as the glass emptied. Still it lingered with a slight tingle on the tongue.

O 4.0) Quite enjoyable. I haven't looked yet to see the availability of this beer but my beer guy said it was the first time they had had it in two years. If I can find it more though I think that this could become a staple. Easy to drink with a middlin' ABV content of 8.8%. (1,618 characters)

Photo of ZtremEoj
3.12/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A pitch-black brew from Sri-Lanka, an island off the southern coast of India.

I received this beer as part of a "beer of the month" club type thing.

I was excited to open this beer, but it wasnt quite up to what i was expecting. maybe a little too metallic?

The can it came in looks nicely appointed. Simple black and red with a lion (as expected).

When poured, it looked almost syrup-y. very heady.

The smell is just on-par for a stout.

The taste did disappoint me a little. To me, it was a little bit metallic for my taste.

Not a bad mouthfeel. Pretty smooth.

Overall, it was just Okay. Dont hate it, but would not choose it again if given other options. (668 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of Casey_Butt
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (482 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (759 characters)

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
89 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.