Lion Stout | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,623 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Lion StoutLion Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka
lionbeer.com

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-28-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,623
Reviews:
904
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
11.7%
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
145
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,623 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of BretSikkink
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark dark brown color with a light tan head. Fairly nice and foamy, but the retention was a little poor, as the cap remaining is only a mm thick. Lacing is okay.

The nose is pretty much super dark roast malt. A little dry, with some coffee and chocolate notes, kind of powdery.

Lots of dark fruits on the nose, big presence of fig, bitter chocolate, anise, molasses. These are major malt characters, while the hops are way in the back, a little floral and herbal touch.

Pretty well-attenuated, the finish is smooth and sweetly malty. Moderately smooth, good soft body with great carbonation that takes the cloyingly sweet notes off the tongue but doesn't rob the palate of any flavor.

Very enjoyable Foreign Export stout, I love the flavors and find the craftsmanship remarkable.

 787 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a dense, creamy, initially four-finger thick, deeply brown stained, full tan colored head. The beer is a full black color that shows just a flash of ruby to it when held up directly to the light. Weird, the aroma is quite weird; buttery, but with an almost chemical undercurrent. What is weird is that this might not be diacetyl, this is the most likely culprit, but for some reason it just seems a bit different than your typical diacetyl signature. Buttered popcorn aromas clearly dominate, but there is just a hint of roast character noticeable towards the finish.

Quite sweet with a fairly agreeable flavor until the finish which has a phenolic, chemical edge to it. The body has a nice fullness to it as well as a nice soft, chocolate tasting, roast grain flavor to it. That strange buttery note is not nearly as noticeable in the flavor, but the chemical note still manages to mute my enjoyment of this beer pretty significantly.

This is newly arrived in Arizona, so I don't understand why this is so bad; and to be honest the flavors of this beer seem pretty fresh, it is just that there are also some significantly off components to this beer as well.

 1,197 characters

Photo of Greggy
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a fluffy tan 1 finger head into my large snifter. The body is pitch black and cannot be seen through. As the head recedes, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- Notes of lactose, roasted grains, chocolate, a hint of dark fruit, a slight whiff of alcohol, slight vanilla and cream.

T- Starts off with a big mouthfeel then moves into a silky smooth transition of sweet cream, then finally moves into a nice long dry chocolate and hop finish.

M- Very large mouthfeel on this one and silky smooth at that.

D- 8% is hidden very well in this one. It definitely can only slightly be detected in the nose, but nothing else. I can see having this again in the future.

 667 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark black with nice tan head and good lacing. Very nice scent, a very good coffee/burnt grain and malt scent, faintly sweet. Nice taste, a very nice dry-type stout, with a great burnt grain/malt taste, slightly coffee in taste, with a semi-sweet finish. Goes down extremely well for a higher ABV beer.

(On-tap at Barley and Hops Bottle Shop, Pittsburgh (Bethel Park), PA)

 391 characters

Photo of dmamiano
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black with a big, off white head. lacing hangs to the end.
Smells of chocolate from a factory. Huge odors with a nice mix of sweet, roastyness.
Taste is nice a smooth, big mouthfeel. Very thick and viscous. Chocolate malts, coffee and a hint of alchohol.
Nice beer for the ages.

 286 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

625ml. bottle poured into a cople sampler glasses. Dark black at first glance with a thick tight-bubbled tan head. Closer look reveals ruby edges, the head fades slowly and leaves a nice sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma of dark roasted malts, cola, some dark fruits. Taste is roasty with a quick dry finish. Sounds like car wax or something. I do taste some sweet cola with this. Not much if any hop bitterness. Interesting.

Thick and seriously dry.

I would not open another.

 480 characters

Photo of elricorico
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Practically black with a thick creamy tan head despite a slow careful pour. Good retention and lacing. Looks nice.

Impression of sweetened coffee and cherries. Not what I expected, but a decent aroma.

Quite sweet, with a smokey finish. Fruitier than expected. Alcohol well buried. Cherries, orange, even a hint of strawberry all over a dark maltiness. Not a typical strong stout.

Creamy mouthfeel with slightly prickly carbonation.

More than tasty, but less complex than I thought it would be. A different beer, but good none the less.

 539 characters

Photo of jamesm7485
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is one of the first big stouts i had over a year ago so i figured id finally review it.

The appearance is a dark brown with a light tan head not much noticeable lacing.

The smell is very malty with a very thing note of chocolate.

The taste is the same as the smell

Mouth feel is pretty damn light for a stout of this size, but is still enjoyable

The drinkability is just about average not great.

A good stepping stone for me to the bigger beers ive been enjoying.

 474 characters

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Plam in Milwaukee. This is from notes, and those notes were kind of drunk...

Very nice pour. It's rare that a pour looks creamy, but I'll be damned if this one doesn't look creamy. Dark, nearly opaque black with a tall brown head.

Smells like a really good, firm dry stout. Strong raw porter grain mellowed out by chocolate malt with a firm hop in the back.

Tastes very much like smells, only everything is lightly improved by the magnificient creaminess of the body.

Really nice.

 500 characters

Photo of starsbleedblue
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-jet black in color with a thick caramel colored head
s- very sweet smelling, like a malty mocha with some vanilla notes
t- super rich espresso and chocolate... its like dessert in a bottle:)
m- thick, creamy, and velvety smooth
d- this is already one of my favorites so ill definitely be having it again

 305 characters

Photo of adamette
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into clean, clear glass.

A 3 finger head light brown head and the deepest black body of any beer that I have seen.

S dark chocolate, molasses, dark stout. Sweet and intriguing

T Now THIS is a stout! Dark, heavy chocolate but smooth, velvety with a pleasant aftertaste which dissipates quickly at first but then lingers for a minute or two.

M Full but not bitter and undrinkable like some other stouts I have had (like Great Lakes Blackout Stout). I heard of Guinness described as "liquid bread" once and that certainly applies here.

D good for a stout.

Notes: I am not the biggest stout fan (2 to 3 Guinness's a year) but this one is quite enjoyable. Certainly if you enjoy stout then you should try this. I would love to find it on tap somewhere.

 776 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a huge amount of brown colored head. This is one of the best-looking stouts I've seen.

S: Had aromas of malt, coffee, chocolate and some light fruit. Nicely done.

T: At first, this beer did not impress me. After a while it grew on me. Coffee, malt, light and chocolate all appear. Unlike some other stouts, the coffee in this one didn't dominate the other tastes.

M: This had high carbonation rate a smooth finish.

D: The Lion Stout is definitely a drinkable beer. While not my favorite in the stout category, it's still solidly done.

 633 characters

Photo of Lukie
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sinha Stout, as the bottles are in Australia.

Pours out a jet ink black, with a firm brown head, which looks like coffee, dissipitating to small lacing, which clings to the sides of the glass like a spider web.

A huge hit of coffee, vanilla bean, cooking chocolate, and rum. Very rich smell which would put most other stouts to shame.

Coffee and cocoa, with some raisins, plums and roasty flavours that kick in. Very little hop character, but just a touch in the back.

This is amazingly smooth and creamy. Just a wonderful stout that is easy to drink, high in alcohol, and a must try for stout (or any) lovers.

 614 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a pitch black body with the slightest hint of ruby-red highlights and a good inch or so of tan head that persists and leaves lacing. Smells roasty with strong caramel notes, coffee, baker's chocolate... Tastes very roasty with chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toffee notes. Fairly sweet right to the finish. Rich full mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Very tasty, fairly drinkable considering the ABV and rich flavors, and an old favorite for sure. Surprised I haven't reviewed it sooner!

 546 characters

Photo of Beerking721
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man... Michael Jackson's favorite stout of all time. What more can I say?

Absolutely phenomenal!

A = Midnight out in the middle of the country (with no light polution). This beer is as black as they come. Rich head and lace upon pour and consumption.

S = Wonderful scent of deeply roasted malts complimenting with a buttery richness and essence of wood (hickory?).

T = Highly concentrated flavors of holland chocolate, roasted expresso, and a hint of oatmeal. This beer is all about the roast.

M = Rich - viscous - creamy - smooth.

D = Definalely not a session beer, this quaff is best served at cellar temp and allowed time to "breath." As this occurs, a velvety smoothness will eminate. To be slowly savored!

 717 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
2.62/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Paid $1.99 for an 11.2 oz bottle from City Beer Store in San Francisco.

One inch tan head after an aggressive pour. Moderate head retention for a stout. Some lacing that slowly disappears. Black color.

Smells of breads, alcohol, sweet and roasted malts and some yeast esters.

Tastes a bit over-roasted. Alcohol is present.

Thick and moderately creamy. Little carbonation. Full bodied. Not the easiest to drink.

Not a fan.

 427 characters

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: nice opaque super dark brown/black that is totally opaque; copious frothy head that leaves light lace

s: light coffee; sweet chocolate syrup; raisins; molasses; light metallic overtones that are quite unpleasant; vanilla; possibly light menthol scents

t: powdered swiss miss chocolate; light alcohol; vanilla; coffee; dark chocolate; coke; again an unpleasant metallic taste though

m: ok; a little on the cloying syrupy side

d: very sweet and interesting but has very unenjoyable metallic aftertaste despite being a year from the exp date

 545 characters

Photo of Baileyuk
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

tasted a full bottle at a beer tasting (it was my first drink so my tastebuds were clean).

poured an excellent looking black with a great off white/brown head. Lacing was superb.

Smell of alcohol, roasted malts, oak and cider.

sweet taste with some of the cider smell definately displayed.

was very smooth, especially for a stout. I could, and did drink a couple. I am not the greatest stout fan but will have this again in the future.

 440 characters

Photo of MinorThreat
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served out of a 12 oz. bottle from Little Raven Vineyards; thanks for the great recommendations Peter.

A-Thick black body with a small quick receding nougat colored head.

S-Sweet coffee and caramel with a very understated alcohol scent

T-Chocolate and caramel sweetness with espresso bitterness that blend real well. Not all that complex. Seems to almost have a bourbon cask smoky/roast flavor.

M- Really nice. Comes in thick and creamy but has enough CO2 that it washes clean without any CO2 burn.

D- For as high of ABV as it carries, pretty drinkable.

 559 characters

Photo of BlueHammer
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In one word: Excellent. I do love stouts and I was excited to try one from a country I do not usually purchase beer from. The beer was poured dark brown, almost black with a thick tan head that left decent lacing. It smelled of caramel and raisins. The taste had a tangy start and a malty finish, giving it a great balance. It was fun each time I put it in my mouth and I looked forward to each new sip! The taste, much like the smell also had hints of caramel, raisins, and espresso. The finish was like bittersweet chocolate. Highly recommended.

 547 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - poured very dark, nearly black, with 1.25" tan head that retained nicely with decent lacing in my pint glass

S - dark chocolate, coffee, bread, oatmeal, mild floral tones, and a hint of currants. Of course, the alcohol is quite prominent.

T - coffee, burnt sugar, yeast, light chocolate notes, but in somewhat disproportional amounts. I'm detecting a bit much in the fruity and sweetness and not enough body to hold it together, especially with a high alcohol.

M - medium bodied, heavy carbonation, warming down the throat

D - not bad but the high ABV takes away in this department

Overall - A decent stout that gives a pleasant alcoholic kick to your evening, but it doesn't have enough body to keep it together. I found it actually slightly watery for a stout with too much carbonation. Still, stout lovers should give it a try. 'Tis a different catch.

 864 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, jet black with a dense and massive tan head. The last bit of pour lets some floaties in, too, which are visible at the edges of the glass. Head recedes to a pretty full lace and leaves some messy stick on the sides.

Smell is bold coffee and chocolaty sweetness that combine to make a sweet, mocha sort of smell. Very nice.

Taste starts off with a bit of harsh bitterness before giving way to sweet milk chocolate flavor. There is some coffee going on there, too, and there is a lactose sort of creaminess to it. Something seems slightly off and a little rough around the edges, although the flavor is good. There is a hint of alcohol in the finish, as well. Some lightly roasted flavor and bitterness comes in at the end, too.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy with a lactose sort of quality. Hefty medium body to it.

This is a pretty tasty beer that just seems a little rough around the edges to me. Still, I could see myself drinking this when it's chilly outside and being very happy.

 997 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown, but in the glass is completely opaque. Nice 2 finger head chocolate milk colored head that sticks around for a bit, falls to a thick film. Great lacing. Usually don't see this kind of retention/lacing from a stout.

S - Extremely buttery aroma with a touch of roasted character; almost a mesquite wood chip thing going on. A little sourness shining through reminiscent of a porter.

T - Good, but more bland and mild than I'd expected. Mostly a subdued roasted taste along with buttery notes from the nose. Some coffee kicks in near the finish, with a touch of caramel. Finish is only slightly bitter and fairly clean for a stout. Borderlines on sweet. ABV is hidden well.

M - Creamy and smooth, with moderate carbonation. Medium bodied. No problems here.

D - This brew is blander than I'd like, and while I normally don't find myself reaching for stouts, if I did, this wouldn't be near the top of my list.

 984 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into my DFH pint glass yields a big black body with a crown of fine-bubbled khaki foam with excellent retention that leaves scattered lacing.

Smells nice and roasty with chocolate and coffee and a nice roasted barley note.

Tastes of roasted malts with brown sugar and tangy caramel with chocolate and coffee highlights and a touch of licorice.

Medium-full-bodied with a sting of carbonation. Excellent drinkability.

 439 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this is a solid and drinkable stout. I generally don't expect much from export stouts, but this one is good.
Dark black with a big cake-like head.
Smells of unsweetened chocolate, molasses, caramel, and noticeable alcohol.
Tastes sweet and malty to start, but rounds out nicely in the end. Some roasted coffee/mocha. Alcohol is present, but well blended.
Mouthfeel is smooth and full with nice carbonation.
I'm not jumping out of my chair, but I can't find much wrong with this beer. Worth a look.

 506 characters

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,623 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.