Lion Lager | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

130 Ratings
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Lion LagerLion Lager

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Undoubtedly the best selling among our mild beers, Lion Lager has a 4.8% alcohol volume and is credited as a great thirst quencher. Golden roasted malt in colour with a hint of fruit and caramel flavouring, it is very slightly sweet with less hop notes. The attractive labeling is in sophisticated black and gold, showcasing our strong but watchful golden lion as the king of the savannah, symbolising visionary leadership and power.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001

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Ratings: 130 |  Reviews: 89
Photo of SixpointJMH
1.24/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

i don't know if my bottle came from a bad batch, but there's something horribly wrong going on here. the brew didn't look all that bad. it poured a golden/light copper colour with a minimal head. i can only equate the smell to something along these lines: it seemed like something died in the bottle. this wasn't the standard heineken skunky smell, but much worse. sadly, i pressed on. the initial taste was nothing impresseive. almost completely watery with maybe a hint of grain or citrus (perhaps?), but the aftertaste was an absolute killer. worse than the smell. there was some sort of metal/sulfur/rye/skunk thing going on here that you'd really have to taste to believe. it's quite hard to describe. i couldn't even finish the pint because of it. others have said this brew isn't that bad. i may have to reluctantly give this one another shot down the road in hopes that i was a victim of a bad bottle, but for now, i'd recommend staying away from this brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.37/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a three-finger white head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Crystal clear pale amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Grassy nose. Flavor is pitiful - sweetish, watery, occasional hops, slight dry metallic finish. No improvement since I had this in April 2002. Didn't read the label (I know RTFL) thought I was buying Lion Stout which is excellent. $1.35 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of AltBock
1.58/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A big beautiful 625 ml bottle with this funky shaped black with gold and red trim label. It looks like their label cutter went a little haywire and cut their label a very odd shape. Above the big gold letters of the word "Lion," is a very nice head shot of a male lion looking to his right. The lion looks so sad that you just want to jump into the label and pet him. He'll probably chew your arm off, but he just looks so sad. On the neck of the bottle is another label that just has the words "Legendary Lion." I know a lion is a legendary creature, but I didn't know this beer was a legend. On the back black label is just the same lion with his gold letters, a brief little blurb about the beer and brewery, Government warning, barcode, contents, and it's importer. No date anywhere, but they do have one of those "no use to the consumer number and time" printed on the back of the bottle. There's a good reason why Michael Jackson (the beer connoisseur) was on the back label of the Lion Stout and there's a really good reason why he isn't on this one.

Appearance: When poured into an official Lion Brewery tulip/goblet (it was in one of those gift packs), the beers was the same exact color of apple juice. Do a side by side test with apple juice and it will be the same color. It had a small head of white foam that dissipated away into nothing. No white lace or even white rings around the glass. Noting in the glass except for some apple juice colored beer. It's best if you don't blink while you're pouring the beer because you're going to miss it's tiny head of white foam.

Smell: It had a mild aroma of malted corn, a touch of malted rice, sweet malt, and ended with a hint of apple juice. After the aroma and appearance of apple juice, I'm thinking the Lion Brewery made a mistake by bottling apple juice instead of beer. Well, on second thought, maybe they didn't make a mistake because I don't remember apple juice having an essence of malted corn and rice in it. Whatever you do, don't smell the beer because it is not good, unless you really like the smell of corn and rice. I know I don't.

Taste: It tastes like they took all of those crappy aromas you smelled and sweetened them. I don't know why they did it, but they decided to sweeten the malted corn, malted rice, malt, and even the apple juice. The only thing that separated the taste from the aroma other then the Lion Brewery sweetening everything, was that there was a pinch of hops in the background. I couldn't tell what kind of hops because it was gone in a flash, just like it's white head of foam. It tasted like a good 'ol average American macro lager, except that this one was brewed in Sri Lanka.

Mouthfeel: It was very light and with an aftertaste that was really corny. Just when you thought you were through with the taste of corn, it was also in the mouthfeel. You just can't get rid of it. I do have to hand to them though, it really wasn't watery. I guess the flavor of corn conquered the water taste.

Drinkability: Like I said before, there was a really good reason why Michael Jackson didn't put his name and face on the label. That's because it wasn't good and it's nowhere near it's other sibling, the Lion Stout. There's no way I would drink this liquid corn again unless every brewery stop producing macro lagers and I was in the mood for some light liquid corn. It's not a lion of a beer, it's more like a your average house cat kitten of a beer.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.89/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A one finger foamy head snaps, crackles, and pops it's way down to a very thin cap, leaving very little lace behind. This beer is perfectly clear, and is the color of the world as seen through blu-blocker sunglasses. The head is gone by the time I finished typing these first few lines, and I'm left with what looks like apple juice in a glass.

S - Actually, this smells a little bit like apple juice too. Or Apple Jacks cereal. Grainy, with a hint of apple skin tartness. Not altogether unpleasant, but its pretty mundane.

T - More assertive than the nose, this is still a pretty weak brew. It tastes like watered down apple juice, cereal grains, and tropical fruits that I can't put a finger on. Starfruit and kiwi?

M - Thin, super-carbonated, and very dry on the finish. This would be very thirst quenching on a hot day (today it's hovering just above freezing so I missed the window of opportunity for slaking a mean thirst with this one).

D - An slightly below average lager. Better and more flavorful than American macros, but not quite as good as most Asian or European style pale lagers. I could suck some of this back on a hot day though, so it does have some merit.

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Photo of Higravity
1.91/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On the discount table for a buck. Sure why not, in the fridge out for dinner. Looks crytal golden with a decent head, no lacing really. Smells like a mistake, a sweet grainy little corny but might be from the lager yeast, the hops add a smell like rotten melons. The taste would be undrinkable anywhere near room temp. This is gainy and the finish is dry with a ringing of putrified melon. I added some salt and a few ice cubes a shot of lime juice and it went well with my tacos.

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Photo of stcules
2/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Full golden color, with white foam, quite scarce, and quickly falling down.
Quite sweet malt in the smell, with something like grape-flavored chewing gum.
The taste is light, quite carbonated. Sweet malt, and again some sweet fruits.
Normal body, not so much to say about the aftertaste.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.03/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

330ml bottle into pint glass.

Crysal clear deep golden hue with a very thin fizzy cap that quickly settles to almost nothing.

Very light and sugary aromas, not hops to speak of. Candy like.

Syrupy flavors again, with a little bit of fizzy carbonation. Light bodied. Only the slightest hint of bitterness from hops, but mostly drowned out by the sugar flavors. The sugar taste lingers for a bit.

So sweet and watery it's almost like soda. Not very enjoyable, and only slightly refreshing.

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Photo of TerryW
2.06/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of a two bottle gift pack available from the LCBO alongside Sinha Stout and glassware. Labelled "Sinha Lager" rather than "Lion Lager".

Decent enough looking pour. Gold colour, short-lived white head that settles to a ring, no lace.

Generally insipid. Uninteresting aroma, macro flavoured, bland, slightly metallic.

Pretty much an uninspired effort.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.2/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My bottle says 4.8% ABV.

It pours out a pale gold lager, darker than most macro lagers, with a small ivory head and no lace. The aroma is lightly grainy with some vegetal notes and what might be spicy hops. The taste of cooked vegetables and some sweet malt. There's a soapy almost plasticy feel as well. Hops provide only a coarse bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller than expected with moderate carbonation. The finish is bland and adjuncty.

Another bland international lager with no redeeming qualities. I can't believe this is from the same people that make Sinha (Lion) stout. Well I guess even Girardin make an insipid lager.

I noticed some grey flecks under the cap that looked kind of like mold.

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Photo of kamilgracki
2.24/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Very watery and light lager

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Photo of GarthT
2.25/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of icemonkey908
2.26/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very good looking macro lager. Very light and bubbly like one would expect from this style. The aroma is very light and mostly non offensive, especially when first pulled from the fridge. Once the beer warms a bit you can start to smell some corn and grain aromas.

The first sip was very thin and tasted mainly like carbonated water. After a few sips, though, it started to 'skunk out' like many macro lagers do and leave a foul taste in the mouth. Best to drink very cold if you are going to drink it at all, I guess. Maybe that is the way this style is supposed to be, I don't know. I'm not a very big fan, though.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
2.27/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a nice golden/amber with no head at all. Yeast in the bottom of the bottle smelled very good. Slight european noble hop aroma. This seems to be agressively hopped but is not very pleasant or balanced. I think this is the kind of beer you love or hate but nevertheless it does not seem to be of high quality. do not recommend.

Dumped it and got something else.

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Photo of battlekow
2.28/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I absolutely adore Lion Stout, so I figured I'd be remiss if I didn't give Lion's only other beer at least a shot. Here goes.

Pours a disturbingly clear amber, with a big, soapy head. The head, of co urse, is immaculately white. Clearly racial tensions in the US are mirrored by those in Sri Lanka. Euro-centric maps? Try Euro-centric beer carbonation!

Smells smeet and adjuncty, pretty average for the style. Tastes grainy, but there's a strong undercurrent of rotten fruit and metal pipes. O Lion, why hast thou forsaken me?

You may, like me, be disposed to think that because Lion makes such a good interpretation of a stout, surely their lager can't be half bad...right? Wrong. Miller High Life is so much better, if only because it fails to taste like urine. Stick with Lion Stout.

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Photo of Foxman
2.28/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours a crisp clear straw yellow, very macro-esque, with a fast tight white head that swells to a finger then dies off promptly.

The aroma brings a light pale malt sweetness along with a thin berry note. An adjunct grain trace flits with very spotty and distant hops echo.

First sip delivers a thin grassy grain sweetness, which comes through then drops away, letting a flat and vague fruit presence glide into the middle. A rounded mild sourness appears toward the end, then fades to the finish along with a very low octane hops bitterness.

Light bodied, the watery feel leaves little memory of itself after it soon washes away.

Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is a legendary spice island off the coast of India, and that makes me think of flavor. I guess I should not apply that thought process to their beer. Arthur C. Clarke, the noted sci-fi author, lives there, and that fact brings to mind substance. Nope, none of that in this beer either. I have no doubt I could double fist these until the Sri Lankan cows came home, but I really see no reason to bother. Thin, watery, vague, and dull- they come close to summing it up, but not quite. Let's not forget....forgettable.

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Photo of bditty187
2.3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear, gold in hue with a smattering of animation that danced to the white head, at the apex the foam was two fingers tall. Head retention was impressive; the bubbles were very slow to collapse to a thin collar. Subsequent lacing started before I even took a sip. Overall, the lacing was unorganized but widespread. I like how this beer looks!

The nose smells awful, lots of green apples, sweet grainy maltiness, lemons, bread, moss, and dying fruit. Moderate potency (sadly). I don’t like what I smell. It is not inviting; I really don’t want to take a sip. I’m scared.

Thankfully the palate is very bland. Hell, it is neutral. All I detect is some graininess, hints of sweetness, and a faint herbal bite at the end. Maybe it’s still cold enough I don’t taste what I smell. I really don’t want to wait around and find out. However, every sip gets a little sweeter with a little more of a green apple note. Dry finish, muddled aftertaste… okay, I’ve had enough. The palate is barely tolerable but not enjoyable.

Medium in body, low carbonation, slick and smooth mouthfeel; I find the mouthfeel to be a tad sluggish but at least it is not watery and thin. Fair.

I could finish a bottle on a hot day. I think I could anyway. Well, it is not a hot day and I’m not dying of thirst. Where did that metal taste come from? Christ. I’m done. I maxed out with this lousy beer. I purchased my bottle in Council Bluffs, IA as part of a mix-pick pack. My curiosity as been fulfilled. Pass.

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Photo of Penrodeo
2.31/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Tone
2.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Weak golden color with little head and no lacing. Smells of a European lager (clean with a slight funk). Typical flavor, so it does fit the style. Light to average body that is slightly carbonated. Not as good as the original European lagers, but not horrible either.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.4/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

330ml bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear yellow color with a white head that faded fast.
S - grainy sweetness, kind of an odd fruit aroma as well, kiwi?
T - grainy taste with a little shot of grassy hops.
F - light bodied with a thin feel.
D - kind of weak on it's own but it works to wash down a salty snack.

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Photo of TwiggyCZ
2.42/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.44/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into an American tumbler pint. 4.8% ABV, string of numbers on neck, no distinguishable date.

A - Pale straw yellow and totally clear with little in the way of carbonation. A two-finger white head rises up, lowers quickly, and leaves little lace on the glass.

S - To find this Euro pale lager unskunked in aroma is quite a surprise! What I picked up definitely doesn't help it though. Freshly paved asphalt, band aids, some yard mulch, and not a hint of beer ingredients. It's also incredibly low in potency, so I suppose in this situation, that's a good thing.

T - A far cry from the aroma, it actually tastes somewhat like beer! Sweet pale malt, crystal also perhaps, and grains with cooked corn. Not awful but not great at all either.

M - Light-bodied and crisp with a mild sweetness and clean, carbonated finish.

D - Plug your nose from this one. Otherwise it goes down decently with slight refreshment but it's a shame this comes from the same place that makes one of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of CrellMoset
2.44/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - I'll wait to thank him 'til after I've tried it though! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden body, a pretty color, topped by a crown of two-fingers of crystalline, snow white foam. The retention is surprisingly good, above average for the style, I'd bet, though it eventually does fade into a solid dusting, leaving behind - at least initially - some decent lacing, sheet-like at first and then erratic, swirling all over the sides of the glass. Carbonation is infrequent, well-distributed, and reasonably slow. I'm willing to call this this beer's best characteristic.

Aroma: A step down. Green, light, estery notes, a dash of corny sweetness, and zero hop presence is about par for the style, but nothing very impressive.

Taste: Pale, husky sweetness, high up on the register, almost green apple like in places. Only the faintest bit of hop bitterness exists to balance out the sweetness, which manages to not be cloying only on account of its husky unpleasantness.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, uneven, with random shots of effervescence. The sweetness also tends to leave a bit of a cloying, sticky film.

Drinkability: Thanks Dan? But seriously. This beer's not terrible, but it is by no means good, despite the good first impression. It's just a little too artificial, a little too estery, and a little too funky to be enjoyable.

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Photo of foamyhead
2.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: light with a hint of gold, the foam is quite firm, but doesn’t last too long.

Smell: light, slightly metallic. Fresh and dry, but doesn’t really tempt me…

Taste: Maybe refreshing in the tropical hot climate, but here in Denmark it is too anonymous for me to be excited. Nevertheless, it is a well balanced beer with a dry, malty taste that turns into a *little* caramel sweetness and then is taken over by a mild hoppy finish. Good carbonation too, enough to make it fresh, but it never turns into a soda stream feel.

Mouthfeel: Very light on the palate, but smooth and comfortable.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but I prefer malt and hops with a little more “fireworks”.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.48/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

No Aroma, wait, a sweet, bran smell. Dark yellow color. No head.

Sweet malt flavor, hint of honey. No hops to speak of. The label says this is only made from malts and hops, but I swear I taste corn.

Cola carbonation. Thin. This should be renamed "Thin corn bread lager".

Good only when one is desparate to dull the pain of burnging hot curry.

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Photo of Damian74
2.5/5  rDev -13.5%

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Lion Lager from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
2.89 out of 5 based on 130 ratings.
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