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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner - Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 25.34%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeio
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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.

zeio, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of GRPunk
3.2/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

GRPunk, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of scoobybrew
3.83/5  rDev +29.4%

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.

scoobybrew, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of JRed
1.55/5  rDev -47.6%

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.

JRed, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Crayz
4.22/5  rDev +42.6%

A - Poured into a standard pint glass. Immediate full white head that slowly settled down to a thin film with minimal lacing, if any. Deep straw color with a slight cloudy appearance. And I mean slight; it probably about a clear as it can get with an ABV of 8%! Also, incredibly light for such high alcohol.

S - Not a strong smell right off the bat. Had to swirl it around a bit to get a good whiff. Once I did that! Whoa! Bread notes right away, that lead to doughy malts, and a slight citrus zest near the end. The doughy scents reminds me bohemian style lagers, right on par. As the beer warms, the zestiness lends way to a faint alcohol notes.

T - Mirrors what I was smelling. From the smell I was hoping the taste would follow a similar path, and it does! Bread flavors again, followed up by a slight hop citrus and warming alcohol feeling. Leaves the tongue with malts and lemon. Incredible balance with a nice palate journey from start to finish. Even though you know the alcohol is there, its masked and blends well with the malts and hops.

M - Creamy. The malts are so smooth I know its fooling me a bit, but this is as close to a nitro pour I have had from a non-widget bottle. For a pils, it feels a little heavy; but for 8%+, it feels refreshingly light. So for me, its a victory.

D - Read the end of mouthfeel. This is a smooth, drinkable beer. Biggest reason it doesn't get a higher drinkability rating is the alcohol presence. Though mild for a high ABV, it is enough to slow you down and really enjoy this brew!

Crayz, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%

A: A light Honey color. Slightly hazy, with some floaties... Not sure how I feel about floaties in this style... Nice head on it, but it was gone before I could bring up the web page...

S: Slightly Sweet alcohol?

T: Sweet, tart, a lot of alcohol. Almost cider like.. What a strange beast this is...

M: Tons of carbonation..

D: Not actually bad, just funky. How can Lion Stout be so awesome, and this us so... Meh.

Beejay, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of bsp77
2/5  rDev -32.4%

Received in May shipment of Beer of the Month Club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, pale orange-yellow with very active (and loud) bubbles and head, but the head subsides very quickly with no lacing. Looked pretty good for about a minute and a half.

Smell: German noble hops, semi-sweet malt, cheap alcohol. Unfortunately, the hop smell disappeared, leaving mostly the cheap alcohol.

Taste: Wow, that does not taste the same as the somewhat dry, hoppy smell. Very, very sweet, like candy, but very peppery hops counter and are prominent at the finish. Tastes like a Malt Liquor with out of place hops. Cloying.

Feel: Pretty carbonated, light to medium body, feels alcoholic (if that makes sense).

Drinkability: Not very. Adding this note from a short while after I finished: I have an awful aftertaste in my mouth still, and am not sure if I can drink the other two I have.

This was such a great BOTM shipment until I had this.

bsp77, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of DoctorDog
4.25/5  rDev +43.6%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. "093161732" printed on side of neck. Unable to ascertain actual availability.

A- Slightly hazy light golden. Pours with 2+ fingers of off white head, which fades gradually to a thin cap, and eventually almost nothing. No lacing noted.

S- Bready, malty-sweet notes, with hints of lemon zest. Lightly floral hoppiness.

T- Nice grainy sweetness. Light / citrus zestiness. Alcohol presence is superbly mixed. Moderate bitterness.

M- Moderate carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth; Fairly full feel. Fairly dry. Excellent.

D- Quite outstanding for an 8.8% ABV...could be quite dangerous.

Future outlook: Seems like Lion only does a few beers, but they do them quite well. Moderate price + fantastic taste and feel make repeat purchase and consumption likely.

DoctorDog, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of Lexluthor33
3.3/5  rDev +11.5%

A bronze colored beer with a half inch head and a thin lace.
The aroma of light fruits,light hops and a touch of mild malts.

The taste starts off sweet with a mild tartness and bland malt flavor. Some alcohol and fruit.

The feel is light to medium in body with a medium carbonation and a smooth feel. The alcohol is there in the finish so I did not gulp away.

Notes: A strong Lager as indicated and while it was not top notch it was boozy and still a bit refreshing. I would not have too many but it was decent enough.

Lexluthor33, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of prototypic
3.33/5  rDev +12.5%

Pours a clear golden color with a distinct copper hue. An impressive vanilla colored head develops at the top and reaches over two fingers. It was more resilient than one would expect and left a lighter, sticky lacing on the glass. I wasn't expecting much and it surprised me.

The nose disappoints. It's a little weird and funky. Seriously. There's a musky, funky smell that borders on bad. It doesn't quite reach that level, but it is out of place. Ther's some sweet malt, grain, and earthy notes that are appreciable otherwise. Alcohol is mildly noticeable, but doesn't offend by any means. All in all, it's weird and doesn't smell good. But, doesn't smell bad. Sounds average, no?

The flavor is a little better. It starts out sweet and a tad malty. Some variety of hops provides some buzziness and a grainy, earthy flavor. The sole reason the flavor is better is because that funky component in the nose didn't show up in the flavor. That's a good thing for this one. It doesn't have a great flavor by any means, but it's not all that bad. Perhaps prior experience is skewing perspective. More on that later. Alcohol is noted, but is pretty well restrained. It's not even close to being warm or hot. Another positive. Finishes sweet and earthy.

This one's light bodied, but is pushing medium. Carbonation is active and a tad crisp. It's not smooth, but it is above average. Drinkability, on the other hand, is average. The flavor's not good enough to warrant repeat visits and it's too strong at 8.8% (as my bottle indicates). I don't the drinkability force is strong with many Euro Strong Lagers.

Lion Imperial Lager's an okay beer. It's probably above average overall. I'm reminded of my recent experience with Cisk XS Extra Lager (which was horrendous) and believe this is a much better take on a Euro Strong Lager. This one's not quite good, but it's not the worst out there. Fix that funky nose and it'd improve quite a bit. Not exactly recommended, but you can do worse.

prototypic, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%

A: Pours a transparent straw color that produces a short-lived billowy white head that leaves some good lacing along the glass.

S: Smells like a barleywine...Alcohol, no hops, no malts, and a sour note

T: Again, minimal hops, no malts, and a sour metallic note that lingers. The flavor profile is NOT complex in any way at all.

MF/D: Decent mouthfeel, light body, no complexity, but those sour notes just kill this beer for me. Im not sure if it is past due or not, but this is not good at all.

scottyshades, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of nowise
1.15/5  rDev -61.1%

I bought this based on the very good Stout that they brew. What a mistake...

It looks like Budweiser, only with little tendrils of "stuff" floating around in it. I hope that it is yeast, but it doesn't look like any bottle conditioned beer I have ever seen. The saving grace is a pretty white head.

Smells like cheap malt liquor. Nuff said.

The taste is truly vile. Cloyingly sweet to an extreme. It makes my face pucker up and then makes my whole body shiver. After the taste has wracked me to my soul, I am left with a boozy, dry mouth and lingering sweetness.

This beer is wrong, just wrong. I drank a few sips for this review and the rest went down the drain.

nowise, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of grayburn
1.15/5  rDev -61.1%

I hate to be a killjoy but I have to be with this beer. What exactly is going on? I thought Lion knew what they were doing, their Stout is a very good beer..why is this one so horrible. This tastes budweiser with the water iced out completely. There is a definite strong smell and taste, but not one I could call great. Jet feul is the smell, half rotten corn is the other. I think that there might really be some hops somewhere or other in here, but I certainly am not the man to find them. The appearance is decent, the mouthfeel is decent, neither is anything special, and those two are this beer's only shining points. Way too hot, not blended at all. My least favorite beer of all time.

grayburn, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.63/5  rDev +22.6%

Mostly clear, faint haze,yellow, with little head.

Simple aromatics, grainy, light malt, minor fruit...and the onset of alcohol.

Slilght fruitiness,mixed with cereal husk gives this some kind of flavor, but none that really does anything. It's far from clean and easy-drinking, and soon the alcoholrears in, enters the skull, knocks on the door before throwing it wide open. Here come that 8.8% boogeyman. We're in Sri Lankan malt liquor country now...
Gets fruitier ,tastier later in...hey, I could go for another...but,should I?
not really...

feloniousmonk, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of david131
3.95/5  rDev +33.4%

A- A very clear, light orange color with a very creamy white head that has astounding retention and leaves great lacing.

S- Very white wine like with some light fruit, alcohol, a little bit of floral with olive notes. Pretty complex, especially for a lager. Very aromatic and sweet.

T- Some light fruit and that white wine flavor. There is a bit of surprisingly enjoyable alcohol presence. A nice floral presence is also there.

M- Ever so slightly numbing with a modest amount of carbonation. The sweetness offsets any possible dryness.

D- A bit of a sipper. But and imperial lager from Sri Lanka like this blows my mind.

david131, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of nick76
2.08/5  rDev -29.7%

The aroma is alcoholic with flowers and sweet malt. The appearance is golden with a large head. The taste is like the aroma. It is also like fuel from the alcohol. This beer does not try to hid the alcohol in any way. The palate is smooth. Overall bad stuff. This is like a malt liquor only better than OE or Colt 45 because it lacks corn taste and has some flowery hops.

nick76, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.05/5  rDev +3%

Pours a golden straw color. No Haze with a decent size white foamy head.

Smells like grain, crisp malts. With maybe a hint of sweetness at the very end. Well balanced.

Crisp and cool taste with a bit of funk, just a touch, that lingers. Straw taste.

Little peculiar, quite refreshing.

Best for a summer's day not a cold day in Michigan

midnite2sixman, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of davedahl
2.95/5  rDev -0.3%

Imperial Lager in a 330ml bottle.

Appearance: massive white head on a deep clear golden brew. Slight lacing. If the head was controlled it would a very impressive appearance. impressive.

Smell: is lager-like with it's crisp sharp clean-malt aroma. some interesting sweetness at the end. Resembles a one-dimensional Belgian tripple but with the lager-bite.

Taste: first taste is sweetness from residual sugars, then in the middle some typical lager-bite from hardwater and low alpha hops, and then a breath of booze.

Mouthfeel: full, cloying, boozy.

Interesting but won't have another.

davedahl, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.35/5  rDev +13.2%

BA says 8%, this bottle says 8.8%. Pretty big difference, but either way it's a big ol' lager.

Big glaring white head is puffy and foamy like meringue, and the color is yellow turning to golden. Very nice, but there are some troubling, weird-ass floaters in here. They don't look like yeast or other sediment, but like tiny sea monkeys. This glass is as clean as always, so I have no idea how to score this. I'll knock the 4 down to a 3.5 and hope the tiny seahorse-like chunks are a one-time-only fluke.

Aroma is plain old lager, nothing interesting about it. Hay/straw, light lemon, not much else.

Flavor-wise alcohol rides through quite prominently, giving it a kind of aftershave/cheap alcohol slant. Too bad, because the hop/malt hookup is nice, offering spicy bitterness and candy sweetness. Light butterscotch, some grassy bitterness, sweet caramel-ish malt, even something that reminds of lemon bars, complete with a mellow tartness and brown sugar crumble topping. Somewhere between an Imperial Pils and Malt Liquor. Unfortunately it's just too boozy for its own good, which threatens the positive attributes of this beer.

Slick and creamy texture, buttery bordering on syrupy, yet also having plenty of carbonation (the "bite" that the bottle promises). This I like.

There's a great beer in here somewhere. This is my first "Euro Strong Lager" and I like the concept, just as I do the Imperial Pils concept. But this needs some cleaning up, mostly in the alcohol department. As for the floaters, I've got a few more of these, so I'll adjust score accordingly in the future, if necessary. [Addendum: Not necessary. They all had Sea Monkeys]

Metalmonk, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of Douglas88
2.6/5  rDev -12.2%

Bottle from College Liquors in Grand Junction, CO. Pours a crystal clear golden color with a small white bubbly head. The aroma is mostly skunky corn and grains. The flavor is pretty much full of sweet corn and other adjuncts, a sour mash, and skunked flavor. I'm not sure how fresh this was, but it was just a OK lager.

Douglas88, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%

A - Poured out a fizzy, golden-yellow color with a bubbly, foamy, white, one-finger head. It left some light rings of lace.

S - It smelled of corn and cereal malt.

T - It tasted of alcohol with a spicy heat. Also, a good dose of cereal malt flavor and hints of grain.

M - It was very crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Even with a high ABV this is a pretty easy drinking lager.

zeff80, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev +32.8%

Pours yellow golden with a large rocky/frothy head with nice staying power that leaves sticky lacing.

The smell is grassy/grainy with spicing.

The taste is of sweet grain, a touch of fruity alcohol and herbal/earthy/spicy bitterness. It has a crisp, refreshingly dry finish.

It has a creamy, medium body.

The alcohol does show a bit, but is reasonably well-covered. It has a refreshing quality despite the alcohol. A well-done Euro-strong lager, IMO. A well-balanced, "sipping" lager.

jwc215, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of Goliath
2.23/5  rDev -24.7%

Pours a clear golden color with a one inch slightly off white head. Decent retention and no lacing.

Aroma is terribly familiar. Smells like a lager! Some pale pils like malt, kind of bready and sweet. Not much going on.

Taste is really quite horrible. Ridiculously boozy, sweet, slightly fruity, some pale pils malts as well. Just horribly constructed.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is low. The flavors in this brew are terrible, and the alcohol is very apparent. Quite a stretch from their stout, which is easy to drink. This is murder!

Goliath, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of Offa
4.2/5  rDev +41.9%

This is dark gold with a big, off-white head slowly shirnking to lave a hint of lace. The aroma is bread, grapes, wine (Riesling, esp.), hint of meat (in a manner common to higher alcohol lagers, malt liquors, and some wee heavies), raisins, fruit candy. It's sweet, fruity, spciey, zesty, with bread and fresh waffles being the main traits, along with grapes. It has a nice, light hop quality to balance the malt body, with grassy apple peel. It's very nice, quite flavourful, and very smooth and easy to drink.

Offa, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of becktone
1.75/5  rDev -40.9%

Eye: Looks very nice as it is poured into this pils glass. Very nice head formation and retention. The head is stable at perhaps a bit more than a finger and has a soapy looking texture. Color is crystal clear gold. This is a fizzy yellow beer, but it does a good job at looking nice.

Nose: Strong malt aroma fills the nostrils, pretty potent and easy to smell. During the pour the character of this beers aroma hit the nose. Vinous, especially when it comes to the alcohol in this beer, smells much like a riesling. Some sweet malt character here, but I'm also getting some off aromas. Something medicinal, or plastic.

Tongue: Again, that vinous quality is here. Also the off aroma is here in flavor. Taste is stale, plastic-like, and perhaps a bit medicinal. Really there is nothing redeeming about the flavor of this beer.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Light in body, though not as light as a light lager. Carbonation is pretty coarse and is lower than I expected. Finish is dry. There is no reason to come back to this beer, I am glad I didn't pay for this, barter for it, trade for it, waste my time trying to decide if I wanted to drink it, waste my time making a decision to buy/trade/barter/steal this. It was given to me, so I took it. I'll only try this one more time, and that would be because after tasting this I believe that this bottle is quite old.

becktone, Aug 19, 2008
Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
70 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.