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Lion Lager - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion LagerLion Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

109 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 2.91
pDev: 18.9%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited visit their website
Sri Lanka

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jackndan:
Photo of jackndan
3.68/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lion Lager from Sri Lanka: Definitely not bad. From a 22 oz bomber bottle. Pours a nice amber yellow, with a pure white head with unfortunately large and not long lasting bubbles. The aroma is weak, clean and not remarkable. Nice euro lager taste, fairly malty, imagine a beck’s without skunk, and a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and you are getting close. To no one’s surprise, very clean and fresh aftertaste, leaves the palate ready for another go about. Rich malty taste set this one apart from a run of the mill lager. Refreshing when fresh and worth the couple of bucks.

jackndan, Jun 05, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.28/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gosh darn it, I like it. Keeping in close mind the style, this one isn’t too bad.

I generally drink it at Bandung, a great Indonesian Restaurant in Madison, whenever I eat spicy food there. I find that lagers like this are an essential part of any SE Asian/Indonesian dining experience because they save your mouth from the Thai chilies and robust curries.

I also like Lion at Bandung because they sell enough of it so that it’s not too skunky. This beer has been very skunky and at least a couple of years old when I’ve had it at some other area restaurants.

Lion is very smooth and drinkable. It tastes slightly citrusy with hints of grain and metal spice. Did I just say metal spice? Sounds weird but that’s what it is.

The finish is corny and leaves one thirsty for more.

This is a beer that I would never drink at home but at a Thai or Indonesian restaurant I would pick it over most other available brews because it just goes so darn well with Ristafel or a nice Thai spread.

DaPeculierDane, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of migwell
3.14/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My feelings about this beer are related to the fact that I've now spent several years in Southern Asia, where the available beers range generally from barely tolerable to dreadful. I suspect that
Lion Lager, compared to the finer international examples of this style, is nothing very special, and yet in this region of the world, it stands above the rest as something both palatable and desirable.

Additionally, Lion Brewery puts out the truly world class Lion Stout, again influencing my judgement of their lesser product. This is a fine enough, European style lager, drinkable and refreshing in a hot climate.

migwell, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Attractive clear gold in color with a nice white soapy head. Head dissipated relatively quickly to just a thin layer of lace spreading out to a white ring. Very little lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a fruity macro lager. It isn't bad, but it's nothing to write home about. That little fruity smell is interesting though.

T&M: Very pale malts are fairly well balanced with light hops but there is a curious fruit flavor that comes through - it's a sort of apple or pear aroma but sweet. The texture is about average with light to moderate carbonation and just a bit of wateriness on the tongue. The brew finishes clean and quick, with a hint of that apple-like flavor fading with the linger.

D: Although a little different, I found this brew to be pretty easy to drink but after a while I realized my preference is probably more toward the malt and hops instead of whatever this other flavor component is. I gave it a 3.5 because it is intriguing and not at all unpleasant, which puts it a notch above average for me.

SIRIUS2, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

We're pretty sure that were it not for the popularity of Lion Stout, this beer wouldn't be found in the US.

Very clear and bubbly; pale-golden straw color. More than enough carbonation produces a sizeable head that drops down to a clinging white lace. Grassy herbal hop in the aroma--almost tobacco-like. A bit of cooked cereal in the nose as well. No shortage of smoothness here, which really helps out its light body. Big, gritty cereal flavor comes out swinging; the malt character, on the other hand, seems a bit weak. Hop bitterness comes through, but with bitterness--there isn't much blocking its way or balancing it out. Grain goes a bit husky, but other than that, the palate is quite clean. Finishes dry with a slight yeasty tone.

This is one of those regional Pale Lagers that wouldn't be half bad if you are in Sri Lanka when it's hot and humid. Otherwise, it just doesn't compare to its rivals, and gets tossed easily into the "run of the mill" bin.

BeerAdvocate, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Todd
3.3/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 625ml dark brown bottle. Best Before Aug 2001. Hmm ...

Appearance: Crystal clear golden beer with active large bubbled carbonation and a quick to die white foam head.

Smell: Metallic, grain, sulfur / skunky aroma.

Taste: A very thin beer, with a soft and smooth light-body. Malt flavours are pretty much non-existant up-front with just a touch of grain in the flavour. Hops are refreshing, lemony, with a touch of lime, some salty flavours and a slightly spicy herbal character. As the beer warms you can taste the cooked corn/veggie flavours of adjuncts and some dextrin sweetness. Finish is clean with light residual hop flavours and a touch of sweet corn.

Notes: An okay lager. Let it warm a bit. It's worth a try, but there are plenty of better ones out there to taste ... and at least Michael Jackson's endorsement isn't all of this one, like their Stout.

Todd, Dec 16, 2001
Photo of Billolick
2.55/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours very light almond amber, minor white head, no lacing. Minor scents picked up by the old schnozolla, perhaps just a wiff of hops. This is tastless, next to lifeless and lacking in any BA interest. I wonder if they consider this decent beer in Sri lanka? Lawn mower/very hot day at best. Pass this one by. A waste of decent water.

Billolick, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.5/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

served into a nonic glass from a 330ml brown bottle with crimped cap and a long slender tapered neck.

Golden color,almost clear with a slight haze. White creamy head dissapating quickly into a coating of foam. A few tiny bubbles rising to the top with some slight spotty lacing.

A mild complex aroma,very fruity,bready,grainy/grassy.Some toffee,tart and sweet aromas.

A bit lackluster in the taste department.Fruity is the main taste,also grassy,nutty.sweet tastes,finishes clean,with a light bitterness.

A light mouthfeel,on the thin side feels watery. Macro feel here.
Good drinkability,a bit more flavor would make it more drinkable for me. Would taste good on a hot summer day served cold.

jcdiflorio, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 330ml bottle with a BB of April 2012. Picked up cheap from a local off-licence. The label claims that this was first brewed in the 1880s to slake the thirst of English tea planters.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A golden-amber colour with low carbonation. Forms a large head of white foam with a thick, creamy texture; it lasts for a couple of minutes before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with an offensive stale note of corn, overcooked veg and stewed leaves. None too pleasant.

Tastes of light malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, overcooked veg and stewed hops. A mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy, with light tingling. Faint astringency. Aftertaste of bitter stewed hops/veg.

A bog-standard macro lager, though it doesn't smell too nice. Bland flavour of weak malt and corn; the only plus is it's pleasing smoothness. Falls far short of the standard set by Lion Stout - incredible how the same brewery can produce two beers that are miles apart in quality. Give it a miss.

jazzyjeff13, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of ADR
2.73/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear gold appearance, fast rising head of big bubbles. Laces minimally and the head doesn't last. Sweet aroma, some honeyish tones. Very tight beer in mouthfeel and flavor, palest toast to the malt, hops decent but don't have much to balance. Slight grass sense. Doesn't build enough to say the finish is really watery, but this is a thin beer overall. There's just a lot notable going on, but there aren't any offputting vegetal impressions either. Drinkability is probably its best characteristic.

ADR, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.58/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears a mild hazed deep golden tone with a thin white head dwindling quickly but it leaves specks of lace around my glass. Aroma has sweet fruit esters and some of my buddy's pear bread qualities with mild lemon grass coming off somewhat perfumey for a lager. Flavor is rough with graininess with sharp citrus/tart apple notes and it finishes clean with grassy herbal tones, once again perfumey in nautre with mild ester filled bubblegum notes. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a mild mannered carbonation some residual sugar textures not watery in any way though. Drinkability is classified as a session lager just I wasn't too into this Sri Lanken lager looking for a good beer from Asia try their Lion Stout that Michael Jackson is always pushing.

WVbeergeek, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of Shovelbum
2.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a thin white head over a crystal clear golden body. Aromas of pilsner malt and a faint trace of floral hops. Noticeable adjunct flavor up front and throughout, although a bit of pilsner malt is detectable. A moderate spicy bitterness in the background. Light bodied. Well-carbonated and crisp.

Fairly average for a macro lager. It is omni-present in Lanka and fairly easy to find in N. America too. While I was in Sri Lanka I found McCallum's ‘three-coins malt lager' to be the preferable local lager--- I'm not sure if it is exported, but it is definitely a better ambassador for Lankan brewing.

Shovelbum, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of intoxabroad
3/5  rDev +3.1%

intoxabroad, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of tastybeer
3.25/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a lager alright. Clear, light and golden. Head is large initially but fades fast to a thin patchy layer leaving little lace. Nose is very crisp and clean. Just like a lager should be. No big corn aromas like many low quality lagers and as for rice, well you/I can't smell rice easily. A little bit spicy, fruity? and softly earthy somehow as well. Taste is clean and clear with a bit of spice like the nose. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth with a light prickly carbonation and light easy body.

This is a not bad lager. Not exceptional but it is in the ballpark of where lagers should be. Very drinkable, non-offensive and enjoyable.

tastybeer, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
1.88/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A one finger foamy head snaps, crackles, and pops it's way down to a very thin cap, leaving very little lace behind. This beer is perfectly clear, and is the color of the world as seen through blu-blocker sunglasses. The head is gone by the time I finished typing these first few lines, and I'm left with what looks like apple juice in a glass.

S - Actually, this smells a little bit like apple juice too. Or Apple Jacks cereal. Grainy, with a hint of apple skin tartness. Not altogether unpleasant, but its pretty mundane.

T - More assertive than the nose, this is still a pretty weak brew. It tastes like watered down apple juice, cereal grains, and tropical fruits that I can't put a finger on. Starfruit and kiwi?

M - Thin, super-carbonated, and very dry on the finish. This would be very thirst quenching on a hot day (today it's hovering just above freezing so I missed the window of opportunity for slaking a mean thirst with this one).

D - An slightly below average lager. Better and more flavorful than American macros, but not quite as good as most Asian or European style pale lagers. I could suck some of this back on a hot day though, so it does have some merit.

pmcadamis, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.2/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden body with a full and frothy bright-white head that drops shortly but keeps a decent collar. The nose expresses some lightly sweet and grainy malt backed by a touch of grassy hops. The body is thin with a very fine carbonation that's lightly crisp on the tongue, but also smooth, and even watery. The flavor is basically of lightly grainy malt backed by supportive bitterness; although there is some minor fruitiness and a touch of floral and lightly herbal hop flavor. It finishes short and drying with a flash of residual sweet malt and a mild hop flavor and bitterness. Not impressive.

NeroFiddled, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of Damian74Shensky
2.5/5  rDev -14.1%

Damian74Shensky, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev +3.1%

cliff1066, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.15/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden/bronze & effervescent with a 4 fingers+ white head. Good lacing & pretty good head retention

S: Slight malty sweetness

T: Slight sweetness, then apple skins. Hints of lemons & cornyness follow. Finishes dry & slightlty lemony

MF: Light bodied, slightlty prickly not a strong point

Drinks okay, but this is begging for more malt. Probably goes down great in a climate like Sri Lanka, maybe try it with some curry or vindaloo

russpowell, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of bditty187
2.33/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear, gold in hue with a smattering of animation that danced to the white head, at the apex the foam was two fingers tall. Head retention was impressive; the bubbles were very slow to collapse to a thin collar. Subsequent lacing started before I even took a sip. Overall, the lacing was unorganized but widespread. I like how this beer looks!

The nose smells awful, lots of green apples, sweet grainy maltiness, lemons, bread, moss, and dying fruit. Moderate potency (sadly). I don’t like what I smell. It is not inviting; I really don’t want to take a sip. I’m scared.

Thankfully the palate is very bland. Hell, it is neutral. All I detect is some graininess, hints of sweetness, and a faint herbal bite at the end. Maybe it’s still cold enough I don’t taste what I smell. I really don’t want to wait around and find out. However, every sip gets a little sweeter with a little more of a green apple note. Dry finish, muddled aftertaste… okay, I’ve had enough. The palate is barely tolerable but not enjoyable.

Medium in body, low carbonation, slick and smooth mouthfeel; I find the mouthfeel to be a tad sluggish but at least it is not watery and thin. Fair.

I could finish a bottle on a hot day. I think I could anyway. Well, it is not a hot day and I’m not dying of thirst. Where did that metal taste come from? Christ. I’m done. I maxed out with this lousy beer. I purchased my bottle in Council Bluffs, IA as part of a mix-pick pack. My curiosity as been fulfilled. Pass.

bditty187, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +20.3%

zonker17, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle into a weizen glass. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Aroma is mild and malty. Taste is crisp and refreshing but not very flavorfull. Feels good in the mouth and is a great warm weather drinking beer. Overall a pretty good effort.

tone77, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of bluejacket74
2.63/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a clear golden straw yellow, with a good sized lingering white head. It smells like grain, adjuncts, some green apples and malt. The taste is mainly some malty sweetness, a bit of lemon and grain/adjuncts. There's also a slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light with a good amount of carbonation. To me it's pretty much the same as most macro lagers out there, this isn't a beer that I'll likely buy again. It's not awful, but it's not great either.

bluejacket74, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of BierFan
2.83/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark golden/light amber body. The head is rather nice, white and fluffy, decent retention. Carbonation is a little low.

Smell: Malty and grainy. Not that nice.

Taste: Taste is similar to the smell. Little bit of hop flavor and light bitterness in the finish.

BierFan, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of Beejay
3.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very Yellow amber... Clear, bubbly with a white head that disappeared before I sat down.

S: Malty, a little bit of fruit in there.. Yeasty.. Smells a little like bread.

T: Nothing big to write about in this category. No big flavors coming through, light and slightly fruity.. Pretty generic..

M: Light, very carbonated..

D: I am sure you could pound a few down in a night, but why would you want to? There are so many better lagers for less money, and if you're going to spend the money, get Lion Stout. The Stout is superb, and this just does not live up to it's brother.

Beejay, Feb 03, 2009
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Lion Lager from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
69 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.