Lion Stout | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

BA SCORE
88
very good
901 Reviews
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
Reviews:
901
Ratings:
1,617
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
11.7%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
141
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 901 | Ratings: 1,617
Photo of Crayz
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into an oversized red wine glass. Slow rising rich tan head. Very smooth, with a fluffy characteristic. Lingered for a bit before dissipating to a thin film - minimal lacing. Extra points for the nitro like pour.

S - Very inviting and complex, yet simple and smooth; tons of dark fruit, chocolate, a little coffee/mocha too.

T - Roasted malts. Lots of roasted malts that blend nicely to create a smooth chocolate flavor with underlying dark fruits. Raisins, dates; a great finish with a slight caramel bitterness.

M - Smooth. Have I mentioned smooth anywhere else?! Fairly light mouthfeel for the style and alcohol. Overall a very creamy feel that matches the looks of the pour.

D - Great beer overall. A soild stout that lives up to the style. Could drink a couple in a row, but the roasty presence and warming alcohol as it warms keeps it as a nice sipper. Though the smoothness may lead you elsewhere....

 922 characters

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

Poured a soapy like head that thickened up to a solid chocolate colored foam.Left rings of sticky brown lace even before the first sip.Consistency poured of oil that gulped.Aroma was of smoke,coffee,and chocolate.Very creamy,but not very crisp on the mouthfeel.Mouthfeel wasnt too impressive,and wasnt almost watery.Alcohol taste is present and noticed.Leaves a dry bitter after taste that stays in the back of the throat.A very good stout but not the best.Overall average.

 473 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep black with large bubbles creating a thin tan head.

S - Chocolate with a slight hint of dark fruits.

T - Chocolate with dark fruits. Slightly sweet and roasty.

M - Very carbonated. Creamy but slightly on the heavy side due to the amount of carbonation.

D - This one goes down way too easy for 8%. Feels a little heavier than it is due to the heavy carbonation.

 380 characters

Photo of monkeybeerbelly
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

nice looking beer! served in a tall pilsner glass (?) with minimal head. Smells nice with nice roasty malts and coffee dominating the nose. tastes like a classic export stout with coffee, some cocoa and some nice roasty flavors coming through. Mouthfeel is where this lacks, incredibly thin . really throws off the chill of this beer.
overall a nice export stout that i would drink again on tap, but i'm happy i didnt spend the money on a bottle

 445 characters

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

Purchased a small growler at Halftime in Poughkeepsie, on the lookout for a beer from Sri lanka for a work project.
Above average head poured into three plastic cups poolside, smelled more "boozy" than anything else. Tasted sweet and malty, too sweet for my taste, and a bit oily.
Perhaps worth a try, but I would not purchase again.

 333 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: dark brown with ruby accents; 1+ finger medium tan head that receded to a thin cap; very nice, thick, lacing;

S: sweet with a rum-like quality; a little alcohol; a little roasted grain;

T: follows the nose - sweet with a rum-like quality; a hint of roasted grains way in the background; almost no bitterness;

M: light to medium bodied; light to moderate creamy carbonation;

O: too sweet for my taste; body was quite light;

 430 characters

Photo of brendan13
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - eXtremely dark brown with a thick, fluffy 1" beige head.
S - Roasted chocolate malt with some faint dark fruit notes
T - Chocolate is the first taste to hit the palate followed by some burnt bitter flavours. Decent balance of sweet & bitter malt flavours.
M - Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. Bitter chocolate aftertaste.
D - Good beer that I'd get on a semi-regular basis.

 387 characters

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

Bought as a close out beer because the cap has a lion on it. I collect bottle caps, and thus I drink outside my comfort zone if I see a new cap. Just noticed, my bottle doesn't have the gold foil top, or else I wouldn't have seen the bottlecap.

A: Nice brown, head is light but chocolate in color. A thinner stout, but still opaque. Lacing is ok when you drink but immediately sinks back to the beer.

S: Chocolate, some malts and molasses like grain smell.

T: Slight metallic taste to me. But I taste metal a lot. The rest is chocolate and light coffee taste. A little smoke perhaps.

M: I want to say thin gruel like mouthfeel. But it doesn't have like pieces of grain in the beer I think the carbonation is causing the chunky feel.

D: Easy to drink. It says it's 8.0% but you really can't tell. It just rolls down the throat and provides a pleasant albeit carbonated chocolate burp.

Myself, I prefer hops in the Sierra Nevada style, but this is surprisingly decent to drink. I was surprised it was from Sri Lanka, I think of more refreshing and lighter lager styles from places that are hotter. I probably wouldn't buy it again, it's not bad just there are more choices in my preferred style. If you are a stout person you should give it a try.

j.

 1,255 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Black with a fizzy tan head
A - there was a slight funk I could t pinpoint - almost Belgiany, sweet and malty
T - Chocolate, Coffee, Roasted Malt
T - sweet with a light to medium body, boozy finish

 201 characters

Photo of jboles074
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served into a pilsner glass. Thin, dark head. The smell seemed to be missing something and so did the taste. Has a hint of chocolate for sure not the most powerful quality but it is a nice hint. overall it is a very good beer especially for the price.

 251 characters

Photo of tempest
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a bottle at The University Roadhouse in Kalamazoo.

Basically a lighter, but very drinkable and tasty export stout.You'd never guess it was 8% abv, I've had thicker normal stouts. The flavor is a smooth chocolate with a bit of mocha (sorta like MJ says on the label). I found the aroma weak, but the taste and drinkability fun.

 333 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served into standard pint glass:

A - Pours a non transparent dark brown/black color. The head is two fingers, devoid of cream, and terrible retention. Excusable for the high abv.

S - Bitter chocolates, roasted malts, and a strange olive smell. Relatively mild, and the ethanol is present.

T - Much better than the nose predicted. Sweet cream and chocolate on the open. Roasty backbone is evident throughout. Extremely well built. High abv isn't noticeable until the finish, where it fits.

M - Full bodied, smooth and wet. Nearly perfect.

D - Hides its abv very well, well balanced, and extremely drinkable. I'm very surprised with this one and will have it again.

 687 characters

Photo of foogerd
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a tan head and some lacing

S- Sweet malts, honey and powdered chocolate, some sweet lactose. Not as strong of an aroma as I would like.

T- Pretty bitter at the beginning then the sweetness comes through presenting bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, very dry bitter finish with some bitter booze of a finish, I think I get some anise at the end as well.

M- Rich and creamy with moderate carbonation.

O- Above average Export Stout, pick one up if you see it.

 484 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml (?) bottle. marked with "52008 17:27", whatever that means. tasted in mid-may 2009.

nearly opaque, black/brown, with reddish brown on the edges under the light. 2+ finger, light to medium brown head, very slowly recedes to thin layer. great lacing, forming curtains in the latter half of the glass.

aroma: fruity esters, almost strawberry, upfront. like a fruity nougat. then dark caramel, hints of coffee and some earthy roast and hops.

taste: that fruity, vanilla nougat character again, but not necessarily sweet like the actual candy. then the roast malt, caramel, with coffee tones, and earthy hops. moderate bitterness with gentle underlying acidity. bitterness and medicinal hint can become unbalanced though, without enough malt or ester sweetness overall.

medium body, creamy at times, punctuated by acidity and astringency, peaking in the finish. moderate carbonation has tingle upfront, and helps with creaminess, but doesn't lift the astringent feel.

the fruity nougat character and medicinal off-balancing actually gets a tad distracting. this beer is ok, but i think jackson's hyping of it gives more credit than is really due.

 1,152 characters

Photo of xav33
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lion Stout
625 ml bottle
Recent bottling, savoured 09/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured black with a huge light brown frothy mostly lasting head with good lacing. Glass had a very dim brown tinge once finished.

Smelt of heavy chocolate, with light coffee, roasted malt, herbs and port.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet chocolate and light acidic fruitiness, followed by a lingering heavy bitter roasted taste, with tinges of clove honey, soy sauce and red wine. Mouthfeel was light, fizzy, oily, and the finish lightly alcoholic and heavily astringent.

Overall, a perfectly balanced foreign stout that packs a punch on aroma and taste, and hides the abv wonderfully.

Side Note: I've tried this with freshly squeezed mango juice, 1 part juice 1 part Lion Stout. The Sri Lankan locals apparently make a cocktail that involves mango juice, passion fruit and Lion Stout, but I haven't a clue where to get passion fruit. Close enough, the result was equally eye opening.

 989 characters

Photo of SAxDRC5
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a fairly large, tan head

S: smells great! chocolaty and malty. exactly what I like in a stout.

T: decent, but I was expecting better. Mild malty flavor, strong chocolate and alcohol flavors.

M: pretty thin feeling for a stout. very bubbly. alcohol taste/feel. reminds me of beer flavored champagne.

D: 8% ABV is kinda rough. I've got will power of steel so I could drink a few but i'd rather stop after one.

 430 characters

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

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating. Pours black, little light shining through the edges. Dark tan head, any lacing sliding down the side of the glass. Nose is funky, and of burnt malt. Taste is a bit on the thin side, just a hint of burnt malt, some chocolate and drying hops. Alcohol is on the hot side and a bit up front. Decent product, but other stouts come to mind to try next time.

 391 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 The_Mad_Capper
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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 Mikus
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really nice export stout. Big dark fruit presence, some dark chocolate, and some mystery... beer from Sri Lanka? Nice balance and just enough bitterness to cut into the sweet notes. Really nice beer, and a nice surprise.

 220 characters

Photo of projectflam86
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours jet black opaque color with a creamy beige head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Smokey malt nose with aromas of bittersweet chocolate and coffee.

T- Strong roasted malt flavor with a blend of coffee. Some bitter chocolate can be detected in the finish along with a peppery smoked flavor.

M- Medium/full, smooth and creamy a bit oily though. Somewhat chewy and a lingering roasted aftertaste.

D- Not a bad brew, just nothing overly complex.

 451 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 330 ml bottle and into a Guinness pint glass, on to the beer:

Pours a velvety dark brown to black, leaving a pitch black body in the glass. The head implodes from a thick three-finger head into a paper-thin sheet. Smells of hard chocolate and a mild roasted character tease the nose. The roasted flavor isn't bitter at all, but this brew isn't as deep as I would expect. Is it a good beer? Yes, but it lacks a strong flavor and/or complexities related to a strong stout. But hey, it's easy to drink, and that's not a bad quality to have.

 545 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep cloudy black, 2 finger tan head, good lacing

S: malt, nutty, smoky, hint of licorice

T: sweet cocoa, malt, nutty, alcohol long light bitter finish

M: med body, slight creamy/smooth body

O: Shocked that a very nice brew could come
from a most unusual place, Sri Lanka.
Well done; sip this gem. Think
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout from SE Asia.

VERY NICE, WORTH TRYING!

 382 characters

Photo of Augustiner719
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml can with a best by date of Jan 2013 into a tulip glass.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black color with a nice 2 finger tan, cappuccino colored head that recedes quickly to leave a film across the top of the beer. The aroma is dark bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans and some molasses and brown sugar notes. On the palate this beer shows the 8.8% with a slight warming sensation that plays nicely with the strong flavor profile of the beer. The flavors i get are burnt sugar, molasses, black stale coffee and a hint of cream. Very roast and malty with a surprisingly refreshing dry finish that leaves traces of hop bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is dry, slightly astringent and has a much thinner body than i expected. Overall, this might be a "summer" stout as it is bordering on imperial in my book with this ABV. I used to pass this up all the time in the states but now that I am in a beer wasteland in Switzerland, this made its way into my fridge. Worth a shot.

 1,013 characters

Photo of MadeInOregon
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What the heck is Sri Lanka doing making beer like this?! I guess colonialism has had SOME good lasting legacies afterall...

THE APPEARANCE of the Lion Stout is the most surprising aspect of this beer: Thick, frothy lacing follows a dense, mocha-colored head, atop a completely opaque black body. Little yeast is left in the bottle when poured out, and subsequently a good amount clings to the sides of the glass and eventually makes its way to the bottom. This stout looks very malty and chewy, and could easily pass for a big, imperial stout or a barrel-aged brew.

THE SMELL, when cold, is very faint...almost zero. After it warms a lot, I picked out cocoa, big alcohol aromas, and little hops. There are strong Kahlua, sherry, and port qualities to this beer when fully warmed--it's just a shame it takes so much patience to bring out the aromas.

THE TASTE is good, just as I remember from the other times I've had it in the past. Like the smell, the taste is heavily muted and tame when cold so it really needs to warm. I found room temp to actually be the point at which I could really get a sense of everything this beer has to offer: rich, sweet, mocha, cocoa. To me, it tastes like an oatmeal stout with strong barleywine qualities. It has a dry finish and a slight wineyness to it, which are interesting for a stout.

THE FEEL is medium-thin and fairly hot for a stout, due to the high alcohol content. It is incredibly warming and despite being unusually strong for a basic stout it is very drinkable.

CONCLUSION: Lion Stout looks massive but is actually a little underwhelming considering so much of its nature is masked until you hit about 55 degrees in temp. It is a good stout and certainly should be enjoyed for that. However, this is not an "extreme" beer in the American craft beer sense so it will be a let down if approached in that way.

 1,860 characters

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,617 ratings.
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