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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
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172 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 172
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 25.34%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited visit their website
Sri Lanka

Style | ABV
Euro Strong Lager |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DoctorDog on 06-11-2009)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 172 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LuckyBrewer


3.03/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beer: Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
Style: Imperial Pilsner
Brewery: The Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC
Location: Sri Lanka
Website: http://www.lionbeer.com/
Serving Type: 12 Fl.Oz.
ABV: 8.8 ABV

Pour: Smooth pour with a even pilsner head.

Smell: This pilsner smells very malty once you get into it, but at the beginning it has a crisp hop smell to it as well.

Taste: I was really excited when i bought this beer, it comes in a really nice box and the guy from a great liquor store recommended it. I am almost at the bottom of the first glass and it is tough. I enjoyed the first half of the beer and now it taste a little to malty. I did some traveling in the UK last summer and many of the beers tasted like this, it was good with an Indian meal but it doesnt taste as good over here in the states.

Drinkability: The first half is indeed much more drinkable then the second half.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 01:15:23 | More by LuckyBrewer
Photo of johnwarne


2.15/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A beer haiku for you:

Uh oh--trouble here;
Here's an Asian in distress-
Better be careful.

Not the best introduction to this brand--I understand their dark offerings are much better, but it will take me a while to get up the courage to face another Lion in this family....


Serving type: bottle

05-02-2010 19:48:41 | More by johnwarne
Photo of Lauthaha


2.45/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a champagne glass to be enjoyed frugally.

Appearance: Poured easily at a 45 degree angle. Nothing mind-blowing, but the color was nice (as George Carlin would never say). Looked like an average pilsner; light, highly carbonated and lacking a heavy, foamy head. Absolutely no lacing whatsoever.

Smell: At first sniff, I detected a hint of fruitiness, followed quickly by an almost overwhelming scent of alcohol. The high ABV of this beer is a bit surprising for a pilsner, but certainly detectable early-on.

Taste: Sadly, the taste is nothing to write home about. Very similar to other pilsners, except for the higher alcohol content which is (with taste, just as with smell) a bit overwhelming. The hops are overly evident; too much.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Aside from the 8.8% ABV, there are no other factors to negatively impact my review of this beer. I would say the mouthfeel is similar to American pilsners such as Budweiser.

Drinkability: I bought a six-pack to last me the weekend, and I'm fairly certain that it will be more than enough. Though it isn't the worst beer I have ever had, it's certainly nowhere near the best.

I have to say I'm disappointed overall with the Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner. Knowing Lion Brewery Limited's reputation for great beers, I really wanted to give this beer a standing ovation. Perhaps their Stout ruined me (as it's one of the highest rated beers in the world, and for good reason), but I would not recommend the Pils to a friend. You can get just as drunk from "Camo" or "Hurricane" for about 20% of the price while not compromising much on taste. If the purpose of your purchase is to enjoy the beer (as mine was) then don't choose this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2010 00:11:20 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of HeightsEats


3.63/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

First impression--appearance, aroma--is a typical if slightly above average pilsner. The flavor is fairly dry and not particularly complex, but there's a nice malt sweetness and subtle hop bite. The most impressive element is how well the 8.8% ABV is hidden. I could drink a second one of these more easily than, say, a second Bud Light. The strength is catching up to me as I write this, though, so perhaps it's for the best that I only had one on hand ($1.50 each at Whole Foods).

Serving type: can

04-13-2010 01:30:28 | More by HeightsEats
Photo of WhatsNewinBooze


3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a little expensive for what it is but it is worth a try. It pours a clean golden color with a small head that dissapates quickly. Aromas of pear, citrus, melon and palate that matches. The palate is lightly fruity with flavors of pear and melon and has a slight bit of sweetness, which you never find on a pilsner. The higher ABV was noticable but not over the top with the alcohol flavor.

Serving type: can

04-11-2010 18:07:57 | More by WhatsNewinBooze
Photo of tone77


2.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a small head. Smell is of mild malts and alcohol. Taste is like the smell, alcohol with some malts. Feels light in the mouth and one of these was enough for me. Overall this offering is mediocre at best.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 14:02:28 | More by tone77
Photo of shootncast


1.3/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This was without a doubt, the biggest waste of money I have ever spent. Congrats to the marketing team for thier impressive label.To the brew master, you should be ashamed of yourself. At first sip you will realise you have made a terrible mistake. I would rank this beer somewhere around rhinelander and colt 45.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 12:47:50 | More by shootncast
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a faintly hazed, dark yellow body with a short-lived, white head.

Smell: Basal, simple nose smelling of grainy pils malt, transient fruit notes, a small addition of Noble hops, and fermented honey.

Taste: Lightly grainy cereal-minded maltiness coated with no more than a bit of honey sweetness. Floral, mildly spicy hop tones with a modest amount of balancing bitterness. scant hint of fruitiness akin to apple and maybe a few drops of choice melon juice. Small sip of white wine in advance of the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. There's a smooth slickness to the mouthfeel, but the alcohol seems to cut the body down.

Drinkability: Eh. I see and have heard a few comparisons to malt liquor, and while it's not quite that bad, it's not that much better, either.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 17:21:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ml can, black label with a lion's head and simply Lion Imperial. 8.8%, no other description, style, etc.
Slightly hazed, golden yellow color, fluffy white head. Decent lace and foam retention. Malt and grainy smell, as it warmed the aroma turned more sour and adjunct-like.
There is a strong alcohol burn, definately feel the high alcohol. A bit of cooked vegetable smell and taste, typical of an American malt liquor. Warms the tongue, well burns almost. Lots of carbonation bubbles, but still left a sticky coating on your mouth.
Hot, alcohol would make it tough to pound back more than one of these.

Serving type: can

02-22-2010 23:57:23 | More by BigBry
Photo of CPeterson


3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- Pours a crisp golden with a small head that dissipates quickly.

S -- Smells faintly of grape and pear, sweet and subtle. Light citrus notes fade into a faint warm alcohol.

T -- Surprisingly light flavor characteristics, sweet bread (think Kings Hawaiian) , grape, and light pear would seem to resonate on my pallette.

M -- Zesty on the front, a little sticky but not syrupy. A minor twinge of bitterness.

D -- Overall, considering the abv I must say that this brew is extraordinarily drinkable. Still not what I would call a session beer, but definitely a good beer that I won't have a problem picking up again.

Serving type: can

02-18-2010 03:58:18 | More by CPeterson
Photo of OlRasputin989


4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz can to pilsner glass...

A: Pours a faded gold color with a fizzy, small head. fades to wisps of white foam and leaves a few tiny spots of lace.

S: tropical fruit, apples, and king's hawaiian bread. toasty and sweet.

T: very fruity and sweet upfront with apple juice and orange flavors, also quite spicey. finishes with sweet honey and grain flavors

M: a hefty medium body that has a smooth entry, noticeable hop tang up front, bubbly like champagne(and i don't mean Miller High Life),finishes off-dry with alcohol-like warmth. interesting...

Overall, a tasty and different take on the pilsner style. The aroma and taste are mainly apples and bread. All the bad reviews are really misleading. While pilsners aren't my favorite style, I find myself enjoying this one. If you like your beers big, then check this one out

Serving type: can

02-11-2010 02:41:47 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of cagocubs


2.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I wanted something unique and this Sri-Lankan all black can with a lion on the label caught my attention.

A: Pours a hazed gold. Leaning towards straw. White head that billows up and dissipates. Very little lacing.

S: Smell was almost like apple juice. You could tell this was going to be a mixture of alcohol, water, and adjunct ingredients. Some earthy scent like grass.

T: Fairly watery. You can taste some hops and grain (bread). Ends real sweet, almost like apple juice.

M: Really watery with slight alcohol bite. It has a similar body to juice. Good carbonation.

D: Certainly not the best pilsner, but for a Sri Lankan brewer I was happy. I would drink this beer again, but I would search for alternatives first.

Serving type: can

12-22-2009 15:15:29 | More by cagocubs
Photo of techfed87


3.45/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from a six pack at a local specialty store, owner described it as very "malty". Poured an appropriate head, definitely has a distinctly malt smell to it.

First taste took me back on how sweet it came off, almost a meady type of sweetness to it. However, this dissipated within the first two sips. Flavor was not that complex, as other Pilsners can be.

True, the alcohol content is a great deal more than what you'd expect from a Pilsner, but that's not really an excuse for a beer that just tastes like something you'd usually buy in a 40 oz. bottle.

For $10, you'd be much better off getting something with a more definite character.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 03:18:23 | More by techfed87
Photo of DarrellK


4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

If you didn't read the label and poured the bottle you would think you had a sandard Pilsner.

The color is a yellowish gold with a white tight head that does go a way quite quickly.

The aroma does give away that this is not a standard pilsner. The alcohol nose does come through.

The carbonation is not high so the mouth has the higher viscosity of a higher proof brew.

The finish is obviously high gravity and brings out some tingle.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 21:49:38 | More by DarrellK
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, so I will admit judging a book by its cover and not really looking at the liner notes. Flog my sorry ass with a wet noodle...

I bought this - a sixer of .33 litre cans at Super saver in Somerville thinking I had scored a Lion Imperial Stout - Beep - wrong Answer- This is a Ceylonese/Sri Lankan Malt Liquor ( For want of a more approachable description.

First of all let me state at the outset that I do enjoy Lion stout. Malty, coffee richness without the froth, attitude or syrup... This brew however reminded me of all that is a good Granny Smith apple except the palate drying tartness.

Poured a deep, hazy, golden yellow with a diaphanous white head that was either ephemeral or fleeting...

Smell was tart apples - some generic plant scents

Taste was doughy sweet with a hint of leafy hops - emphasis on hint. Aftertaste was sweet... not malt - perhaps cane or beet sugar...

Mouthgfeel was - er - average to thin...

Drinkable - yes - but not specttacu;ar - though I like the can concept.

Serving type: can

10-15-2009 04:39:11 | More by Citadel82
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle sampled at over fridge temperature in a tasting tulip. Code on the neck reads 49307 23:37.

Appearance- What begins as a pale gold hue becomes fiery in the glass, with massive streams of carbonation rushing to the surface and replenishing the two finger crown. After a few minutes, the head is translucent but the beer is active.

Smell- Full and lush, apparently due to the generous use of malt and hops. There is a faint vegetal sweetness lurking in the background. Almost a honey note going on here.

Taste- A biting, aggressive attack of malt, hops, and I would imagine a load of adjuncts. The flavorful display on the tongue is fine up until the finish, where the heavier sweetness takes over.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and frothy, it crackles slightly and remains full. The overall heaviness in taste and texture would keep me from choosing this before an alternate choice.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 02:33:08 | More by yelterdow
Photo of tavernjef


3.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Muted medium pear color with a slimming cap of off-white foam that slips away quickly to a collar and just a few bits of lace flung about the glass.

Aroma is more similar to an aged, much higher ABV Belgain Pale or Tripel with a sugar soaked breadyness laced with pear juice, white grapes, and a soggy muted alcohol.

Taste is more of this themed muted thing I keep coming back to. Pale and muted tones of sugary breadyness and of soggy dough mushed with pear, dull apricot, and unripened white grape. Steamy warmth of alcohol gets a little much and takes away from some of the taste and its possible intricacies.

Body is again, muted in a light medium mess of warmth and a soggyness in dulled fruits. There's a bit of liquesence smoothality in the front, but it gets quickly empty and airs off into strange bits of mushy fruity dryness. The alcohol is far to present and needs more masking to keep it in balance.

Meh, not anything to spectacular with this muted messy brew that seems to stretch quietly into a Belgian style rather then a Dbl/ Pils? It needs some balancing help.

Serving type: can

09-19-2009 01:48:50 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Tone


3.2/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden/amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and poor lacing. Smells of hops, pale malt, yeast, and very slight citrus. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, slight hops, and alcohol. Overall, much too much yeast and grain/adjunct flavor for my taste.

Serving type: can

09-03-2009 02:07:23 | More by Tone
Photo of armock

New York

1.63/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I got this in a beer of the month club and thats the only reason I'm drinking this beer because it showed up to my door for free.

A - Poured a yellow color with a white head that fades very quickly

S - Is of sweet grainy malt and alcohol

T - This is just a flat out bad tasting beer sweet fruit flavors and alcohol coat my tongue

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Stay away from this shit don't waste your money on it horrible beer thats about to be a drain pour stay away

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 22:08:38 | More by armock
Photo of BierFan


2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 330ml can into a branded Lion glass. The can only says Lion Imperial, but the six pack it came from identifies the beer as Lion Imperial Malt Pilsner.

Appearance: Big off-white head, clear light amber body.

Smell: The beer doesn't really have much of a smell to it. Kind of reminds me of a malt liquor.

Taste: Yup, it's just a malt liquor. Very sweet. If I had to sum up this beer I would say it's evocative of a sugary kids cereal soaked with booze.

Would not suggest this beer to others, and will avoid in the future.

Serving type: can

08-27-2009 03:23:38 | More by BierFan
Photo of Georgiabeer


1.08/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Yuck! Picked this up by mistake, as I meant to grab their fairly decent stout. This is not in the same ballpark. Pours golden with a thick head that very quickly fades to nearly nothing. Smells like rubbing alcohol with some very late graininess. Nothing like a nice whiff of solvent to wake your appetite up for the beer that follows. Tastes similar, which is -bad. Makes my eyes water from what seems to be a shot of cheap vodka more than it is a beer. Not even any hint of the grain this time (not that really helped the aroma). Mouthfeel is harsh and chemical feeling, and to me this whole beer is undrinkable. Drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 23:24:26 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of zeio


2.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance starts good, translucent, blond, has a nice head. No lacing noticed. Looks like beer.

Smell is malty and alcoholic.

Taste is decently managed alcohol, sweet and malt. I think this beer was probably difficult to make this good at 8.8% ABV, but I just can't say this is a good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is light and relatively fleeting.

Drinkability is low for a few reasons. Too much alcohol that you know is present. It is not refreshing, which is what I was expecting from a country like Sri Lanka (warm and humid). I expected lighter and drinkable. Instead I got a beer that is as difficult to tackle as a beer twice its size (24 oz) and very alcoholic. I would say this cannot be called a Pilsner, despite the label claiming it as such.

I won't be buying this again, but it is intriguing to the point where I would give the brewery another try.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 06:34:42 | More by zeio
Photo of GRPunk


3.2/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. The can simply states Lion Imperial, but I'm pretty sure this is the right listing.

A- Even a conservative pour left 2-1/2 fingers of fluffy white head atop the slightly hazed, golden body. There was moderate-heavy carbonation rushing to the surface. The head eventually became a full lace that left a good deal of sticky spots on the glass.

S- Pretty complex for the style of first sniff. I got a decent amount of cereal-like malts mixed with some fruity aromas (maybe something like fruity pebbles?). A little warmth brought out more of the adjunct aromas.

T- It's definitely 8.8% ABV. There was a strong alcohol flavor (fusel) mixed with what I'd consider some classic adjunct cooked corn. It's a touch overwhelming.

M- As noted in the taste, it has a real alcohol kick that warms from start to finish. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy with solid carbonation to lighten things a bit.

D- The lack of masking the alcohol content really hurts the drinkability. While not offensive, this is more of a one and done, than a multi drinker. I think I'll stick to the stout when drinking beers from Lion.

Overall- I regularly enjoy the Lion Stout, and since it's been years, I don't recall if I've had the Imperial Lager before or if it was the regular lager. Either way, it's my first Lion experience from a can. Not a terrible beer, I'd maybe compare it with Rogue's Dad's Little Helper. It's tough category in which to really "wow" somebody. Keeping 8.8% drinkable in a lager is tough to do.

Serving type: can

07-19-2009 20:44:42 | More by GRPunk
Photo of scoobybrew


3.83/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pilsner flute.

A - super-clear golden color with a thick, foamy head that is well retained

S - alcohol notes mixed with a grain malt character

T - sweet, but somewhat balanced, honey-like malt character with spicy alcohols noted, faint hops on finish - very clean

M - medium-light body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent beer with a potent punch. I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the Euro strong lager classification - but this is probably most similar to a Maibock and when compared to examples of this style I think it stands up well. It would be even better if the aroma was improved.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 00:31:05 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

1.55/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Light transparent in body. Terrible aromas in the nose, hops, bad water, and subtle fruit. Flavors are acidic: candied sugar, burnt sugar, alcoholic scorch. Very cloying on the palate. Tastes like a 40 oz. I'd buy in the slums of Sri Lanka. Not an enjoyable experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 19:41:52 | More by JRed
Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
70 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.