Lion Stout | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

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88
very good
895 Reviews
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good
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Lion StoutLion Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka | website

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:
895
Ratings:
1,596
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
15.78%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
128
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 895 | Ratings: 1,596
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at the Foodery in May. WIll compare to that now coming i to Toronto. Nice head with bubbles in foam. Malty sweet, vanila, milk, good hops. Very drinkable and serviceable stout. This would be a standard beer for me if always available, which reflects that big stouts get higher ratings on complexity and thickness, but this is nice. Second bottle a few days later.

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

a very smooth stout with a well hidden high abv. pours a rich dark chocolate color with a small tan head. smells semisweet, with dark malts and a touch of coffee. flavor is velvety chocolate malts and just the slightest alcoholy sting. mouthfeel is excellent. moderate carbonation and a silky smooth fuller medium body. this is dangerously easy drinking, and pairs well with big barbeque flavors. i dont know why i waited so long to try this one, i look forward to my next. who knew sri lanka made great beer?

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Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I got this I saw what the price tag was and I was hoping that it was going to be good. I took a 4 pack to my friends house one chilly night in 2008. The beer poured out as a dark black brew that had foamy brown colored head. The head settles a bit but still managed to leave a pretty good lacing down the glass. The smell of the beer is very roasted with a good amount of coffee on the nose. The taste has some really nice roasted flavors in there mixed with chocolate. The mouthfeel is pretty thick feeling. Overall this beer is very enjoyable to me. I am glad I've had it and I'd really like to have it again one day.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color--only some traces of brownish amber are visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to the light. It has a light amount of carbonation and poured with a finger high creamy tan head that never completely faded away.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with notes of molasses and raisins plus hints of alcohol.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of roasted malts and has notes of alcohol, licorice, molasses and raisins. The initial taste is slightly sweet.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is present in the finish along with some warming from the alcohol.
O: The beer isn't that difficult to drink considering its strength and the presence of alcohol in the smell and taste. This is a good beer to sip on a cold day.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I saw some potential in their Imperial Lager, I figured the Stout would prove solid. The beer pours an expected rich dark-brown hue, and an unexpected dense, viscous texture. The foamstand rises to an inch and remains firm through the session. Solid aromas of roasted barley, toast, rich coffee, and cocoa swirl around a mild fermented lactose sweet scent. Flavors closely follow those found in the aroma and remain bold and clean without ever waivering. The beer has no single character that rises above the rest, relying on balance and maturity to produce high quality. Full and rich to the mouth, without becomming thick or chewy. Finishes sweet and with a solid roasted barley flavor (not charcoal). It's difficult to find a more solidly brewed Stout, however it's lack of challenging character leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color with ruby highlights and a "stout" beige head that dribbles lace all over the pint glass

Smell: Over-roasted coffee beans, molasses and charcoal

Taste: Opens with a mocha flavor that adds a touch of bitter citrus fruit and cocoa by mid-palate, when a dark coffee element also emerges; after the swallow, it becomes much more mellow, and there is a milky flavor that joins the bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice stout from an unexpected part of the globe

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

For some reason, this is called Sinha Stout in Canada...

This beer pours a deep black, with slight copper edges, and two fingers of soapy light brown head, which leaves a dense ring of lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of dark chocolate, and mild coffee. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, licorice, a bit of black coffee, and some soft alcohol warming. The carbonation is quite low, the body medium weight, slick, and smooth, and it finishes off-dry, an increasing bitterness evening things out nicely.

A pretty good strong stout, the alcohol barely noticeable, and decently drinkable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice medium dark foamy head with quite good retention. Aroma of deep chocolate and roasted malt is clearly detectable and quite enjoyable. Taste is also distinguishable by the high-level of chocolate malt with a nice dose of sweetness. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Great foreign stout and even more surprising coming out of Sri Lanka.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I don't know what it was about this, but I could tell it wasn't a basic American try at a stout, maybe it was the smoothness, maybe the hint of black licorice, or maybe just a combination of things. BUT, Sri Lanka I would have never guessed, I would have thought that this beer was European and probably from one of the English islands. Having said that I really enjoyed the light licorice notes blended into its other qualities, the creamy malt drinkability, and just the over all taste of this offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a huge, mocha-colored, foamy head. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, caramel and toffee. There were some slight coffee aromas, too.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate, caramel and molasses. It also tasted of dried fruit, mainly cherry.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great tasting stout. Fairly easy-drinking despite the alcohol content.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a reddish tint near the bottem of the glass with a slight brown head,aroma is of burnt fruit and bitter chocolate.Very intense flavors in this one burnt fruit and bitter sweet chocolate with some nice earthiness in the finish.I really like this stout very intense flavors a nice one to savor in my opinion.

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Photo of nickfl
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Sweet chocolate malt with some toffee, caramel, and just a hint of roasted character. Some smoky notes in the background.

T - Lots of caramel and chocolate up front and some light, mocha coffee notes in the middle. Moderate malt bitterness in the finish with some hop flavor and fruity black cherry notes.

M - Moderately thick, oily body, medium carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a very sweet beer with intense, fruity caramel character that does not lend itself to great drinkability. It is nonetheless an interesting beer and a good example of a relatively rare style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I heard this was an interesting beer, and it's from Sri Lanka, probably the first thing I've ever had from there. Here's the review, enjoy.

A: Pours super dark with a huge rich creamy head. The head rises to be 50% of the glass with a thick dark chocolate colored creamy foamy head. It slowly pops downwards. The black stout doesn't let any light through, so it's basically pitch black.

N: Nose is interesting, with some creamy malt aromas, spicy alcohol, toasted aromas, slight fruit, almost an aroma of toasted seeds, like toasting pumpkin seeds. Sweet malts and syrupy aromas also take a liking to it. It's a very unique and strange nose that I can't even pick out aromas to describe.

T: Starts with some nice chocolate flavors, creamy milk chocolate. Then some tangy spicy flavors that are also semi strange and interesting at the same time. Some light smoky flavors, and some char, like taking a bite from a charred log, literally. It's weird. The strange toasted seed aroma comes out slightly in the taste as well. It's so unique and interesting. Not amazing flavor, but interesting. A slight coffee taste comes through on burps as well. Some dark fruits also come through, fig and raisin mostly, with tastes of nuts and nutmeg.

M: Pretty creamy and thick, and despite the head not much carbonation.

F: Finishes semi bitter, slightly tangy and spicy as well. Pretty dry too, and leaves a chocolate powder flavor in the mouth, like chewing on cocoa powder. There's also some lingering fruit flavors and the stout like bitterness sticking around. It does hide the 8% abv well though.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that this stout delivered much more than I was expecting. It's very unique, enjoyable, and highly drinkable. It pours an opaque black body with no visible highlights, topped by a full, very creamy light tan head that holds quite well and leaves really nice, full lace. The aroma is fruity, cocoaish, and mildly chocolatey. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that leaves it quite smooth and creamy in the mouth. The taste starts fruity, becomes sweetly chocolatey, and finishes with a light, almost smoky roastiness and lingering softly sweet notes of chocolate and caramel. Very mocha! The dark malts lend a light acidity which accentuates the fruitiness and helps to balance the malt. It never becomes cloying. The well balanced bitterness is subtle, and it relies on the roastiness and light acidity to help balance the sweet malts. Although it's probably not the best beer for a night out with the lads, it makes a great appertif, dessert beer, or nightcap. Well worth trying.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Polished mahogany with generous garnet highlights that are created by bright morning sunshine pouring through my front window. The tremendous, cascading, golden ecru head has now settled down to a firm, three finger cap. I'm sure the 8.0% ABV is at least partially responsible for the disappointing amount of lace. A classic look.

The nose is dominated by roasted black malt. Dark chocolate is present as well, although it smells powdery and dry rather than sweet and rich. Faint coffee notes add additional interest. Unfortunately, there's just enough mustiness to keep me from loving the nose.

Lion Stout is much, much better on the palate. The flavor is multi-faceted, distinctive and just plain ol' good. My initial impressions are roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate, light molasses and a hint of anise. There's something else present, something sweetly floral, that makes me think there's a secret ingredient. Some exotic jungle flower perhaps? It's probably just hops, but it's different and delicious.

Sweet and bitter work well together, from start to lingering end. The various flavors are well-integrated when beer hits taste buds, then fan out beautifully and allow one to savor each in turn if desired. The mouthfeel is initially no better than acceptable for the style, then develops a lightly silky smoothness as the beer warms. The ABV is as well-masked as possible, drinking much lower than 8.0%.

I imagine Lion Stout is the pride of Sri Lanka. It's an incredibly flavorful beer whose singular, exotic deliciousness impresses me to no end. In fact, it's one of the best foreign/export stouts (that are actually foreign) that I've ever had.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/9/2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense mocha head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of raisin, apple, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, herbal, light char, coffee, and earthiness. Nice aromas with good strength and balance; quite a bit on the fruity side. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, char, caramel, raisin, molasses, apple, light coffee, herbal, and earthiness. Fair amount of herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, light fruit, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Good balance of roasted flavors with light herbal hoppiness; slight amount of cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy, chalky, and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present on the finish. Overall this is a good foreign stout. Some nice robust roasted flavors with good complexity; quite smooth to sip on. A bit cloying at times, but is a nice sipper.

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Photo of mothman
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured int Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours an opaque black, slightly brown around the edges of the glass. Pours a tan head the leaves good splattered lacing about the glass.

Aroma is very smokey. I smelt something like teriyaki sauce and it reminded me a lot of Sam Adams Triple Bock. It was very malty.

Taste was pretty much identical to the smell. It was was too smokey and nothing I enjoyed very much.

Mouthfeel was very creamy, but I couldn't withhold the taste so I couldn't keep it in my mouth too long. There was no alcohol present and it had decent carbonation.

Overall this is probably my least favorite stout to date. I don't plan on buying or drinking another one of these.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Standard black stout color with creamy beige head. Minimal head retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted maltiness with a definite waft of alcohol and a hint of raisin. All with a real dank mustiness to it. Huh.

Taste: Initially, a distinct smack of malt sweetness hits the tongue, supplanted by vanilla and plums. Finishes dry, similarly to a cup of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, though still a bit lighter and lacking the fullness that I both crave and demand! Carbonation is rather low, allowing the beer to achieve some creaminess.

Drinkability: A genuinely decent stout, and one of the better foreign stouts I've tasted.

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Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Large can served in a Belgian snifter after some time for warming.

Pours thick and essentially black with a moderate size, semi-durable tan head. The glass gets coated with lacing each time its tipped but the lacing doesn't stick to the glass/ .

The aroma is relatively strong and fruity, with some alcohol esters and a hint of coffee.

The flavor is moderately strong and surprisingly sweet. Mainly dark roasted malts with no char or burnt grain notes. Subtle hints of coffee and dark fruits.

Smooth, medium-full body with appropriate carbonation.

Overall: I drank this beer somewhat frequently when it first came to the US. It was a bargain at the time and, of course, quite good. Now it tastes sweeter than I remember and not quite as good but plenty good enough to recommend. Well hidden alcohol.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, licorice and roasted malts.

T: The taste starts out with a quick burst of smokiness that is followed by a hearty roasted malt character. Then some flavors of coffee, milk chocolate, dark fruit and spices come in along with a mild sweetness. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty with good complexity, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, although there are others in the style that I would choose first, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this on the shelf and just had to pick it up. SSomething just really intriques me, probabaly the look on the bottle, looked like it was gonna hurt, so I had to try it.

A - Poured very very dark black, opaque with a huge billowing tan head. Took forever to settle down. Lots of residual lace pretty much obscured the entire glass, if there was visible carbonation I couldnt tell, too thick...

S - Very strong, bitter coffee grinds and very dark chocoalte, a touch of alcohol and some hoppiness as it warmed.

T - Very bitter, especially for a stout. Lots of coffee and a touch of chocolate as well. Had a dry finish. Not overall that pleasant though, too bitter and was trying to balance out and be something it was not.

M - Smooth, but very dry in the finish. Nice carbonation gave it a somehat creamy feel and a thick presence. Felt like a stout.

D - Ehh, it was drinkable, and at 8% abv, really showed no sign of the alcohol so it was definatly well hidden. I guess you could drink a few, I really wouldnt.

Overall this was ok. Maybe a notch above average for a stout, but just wasnt really what I was looking for. It really needed some more sweetness to it...It was good dont get me wrong, just not something I would really want to drink alot of. Give a shot for a try, it was definatly good for that.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Brass Rail Deli, poured chilled from the can into a tulip.

A - an opaque, black as night color w/ thick band of beige, the lace clings decently and bead is average size

S - The smell is very good, lots of dried fruit aromas: fig, raisin and currant w/ a slight scent of roasted grain and mild alcohol in the aroma

M - A feel that has smooth carbonation with a mild level of sweetness and roastiness, the textue is full bodied and has a mild warmth of alcohol as it finishes

T - The flavor follows the nose pretty closely with mild fig, slight dark cocoa bitterness and mild hop effect w/ a moderate amount of wood/tobacco in the background a very nice flavor profile

D - I enjoyed this one a lot, a very good example of the style and nice to have from a can too. I would recommend this to anyone who likes strong stouts

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Photo of dcmchew
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

The Michael Jackson quote on the back label made me pick this up, i'm really curious about it.
A beautiful pour, entirely black with a generous mocha head, creamy and lasting a long while, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.
Smells nice too, dark chocolate laced with licorice and some vanilla, sweet coffee, plum jam, faintly smoked roasted malts, aromatic herbs, brown sugar and syrup.
Starts with sweet chocolate, creamy, with sour cherry, plum, fig, and an alcoholic warmth, giving the impression of brandy-filled chocolates from the get go. The appropriate spices, with licorice, vanilla, citrus peel and a floral/herbal feel reminding of Breckland thyme tea, faintly minty. Roast brings a big burnt bread crust aroma in the finish, mixed with the lingering sweetness, like molasses, and some sweet coffee too. Finishes fresh, with a mild herbal bitterness in lieu of a big roastiness. A hint of oxidation too, clearer later on.
Thus flavors get through to the aftertaste easily, with nice dark fruit, light chocolate, sherry, sweet dark malts and just a bit of roast. Medium body and carbonation, but full and chewy.
Didn't impress me with the advertised "chocolatey, mocha character", but it has a great complexity, great flavors with just a few faults, ignorable. Never imagined a beer from Sri Lanka of all places could be this good.

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Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from super sturdy 330ml bottle to a jet black color with a 4 fingers+ milkshake-like dark tan head. Good head retention and slight lacing

Smell: Frutiness, chocolate notes, licorice, some grainy notes as the beer warms. Slight alcohol, roasted malts, & ever so slight sour taste (that works) in the finish

MF: slight oilyness, some prickyness. that detracts. Good carbonation levels

Prettydrinkable: Makes me think baltic porter. Easily one of the best beers from the southern hemisphere I know of, only a few aussies could challenge

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml / 11.5oz brown bottle with an expiration date printed on the bottle. Stellar lacing on the glass with a ring being left nearly every sip. Coal black with virtually no light coming through.

Sweet molasses, prunes and black currants, thick roasted coffee, baker’s chocolate and a estery alcohol are all aromas I pick off of this stout.

Full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy without a doubt, coffee and unsweetened chocolate come to mind at the first taste. Fruity twang in the middle of black currants, this twang doubles with a roasted grain flavour that is perfectly balanced. Hints of charcoal and earth run middle to end as the alcohol as kicks in with a warming estery character. Finishes slightly sweet with vague remnants of roastedness.

Not as complex as I thought it would be but that is finish being that a brew with such strength can be so drinkable. I’ll going back to this beer for sure.

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Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,596 ratings.
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