Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

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Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
218 Ratings
Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka

Style: European Strong Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DoctorDog on 06-11-2009

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Ratings: 218 |  Reviews: 132
Reviews by BierFan:
Photo of BierFan
2.36/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 330ml can into a branded Lion glass. The can only says Lion Imperial, but the six pack it came from identifies the beer as Lion Imperial Malt Pilsner.

Appearance: Big off-white head, clear light amber body.

Smell: The beer doesn't really have much of a smell to it. Kind of reminds me of a malt liquor.

Taste: Yup, it's just a malt liquor. Very sweet. If I had to sum up this beer I would say it's evocative of a sugary kids cereal soaked with booze.

Would not suggest this beer to others, and will avoid in the future.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SIRIUS2
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
*Note: Bottle states 8.8% Alcohol by Volume*

The brew pours a dark yellow gold in color with about 1/2" of head that dissipated quickly. No lacing to speak of. Aromas are average for the most part but light, and there is a whiff of alcohol - not incredibly attractive.

The taste was incredibly average, much like a typical American macro lager, but this isn't all a bad thing. For a brew this strong, it is actually a bit of a feat to pull of this average lager taste. There isn't any real heat from the alcohol and the overall body is still relatively light, though fulfilling.

This is fairly drinkable as far as flavor and enjoyability but the ABV catches up to you pretty quickly. Overall this was interesting but I don't know that I would go out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

Interesting to see an Imperial Lager (and not, say, a malt liquor or an Imperial Pils) coming from Sri Lanka. Our interest is piqued.

Pours a bright, dusty golden color, with a few bub- bles rising to the top. A healthy white lace adorns the brew. Smells of refined honey and mild solvent alcohol and carries a sweet maltiness. At first whiff, it feigns a mead-like aroma. Smooth and crisp with a creamy, full body. The notes of fresh-cut grass and light sugar sweetness comes from the malt, while hop bitterness and flavor comes off faint but brash--enough to bal- ance all of the sweetness. Waves of grain and mild hop bitterness draw closer as the beer dries up. The alcoholic flavor stays clean (more or less) with a rose-like flavor; but it doesn't dry up completely, as the finish is only semi-dry with some residual malt sweetness.

If there is one attribute that sets this one apart from Lion's other lager, it's balance--and you thought we were gonna say the higher alcohol content. This beer has balance and it makes it that much more enjoyable. Pair it with chicken cutlets with linguini in Alfredo sauce.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of bread and lemons. The flavor is grain and bready malt. Fairy bland and not near as hoppy as I was expecting from an Imperial Pilsner. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a bad beer, just nothing that really stands out.

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Photo of bsp77
2.03/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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.

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Photo of Prospero
3.44/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beerkittycat
4.2/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a beautiful deep golden, almost orange color with a puffy white head. The nose is flowery with notes of vanilla and lemongrass. The moment you drink it your tastebuds begin to dance with sweet malty goodness of vanilla, plum, lemongrass, and cherry flavors. The finish lingers on the malt flavors which is perfectly balanced by the moderate hoppy bitterness. VERY smooth due to its lager style, but watch out with the 8.0%ABV! This beer is a real gem!

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Photo of Beer21
1.25/5  rDev -58.5%

Photo of DarrellK
3.99/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

If you didn't read the label and poured the bottle you would think you had a sandard Pilsner.

The color is a yellowish gold with a white tight head that does go a way quite quickly.

The aroma does give away that this is not a standard pilsner. The alcohol nose does come through.

The carbonation is not high so the mouth has the higher viscosity of a higher proof brew.

The finish is obviously high gravity and brings out some tingle.

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Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tastybeer
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks golden clear orange with a good white head until it turns to a patchy lace-less layer. Nose is sweet, lightly candy-like, lemongrassy, bready with underlying earthiness perhaps. Its does seem like a big-afied version of the lager, and I don't think they used corn + rice etc. Maybe, but if so, they did a good job making it less obvious. Taste is likewise. As for the imperial factor, you can tell its a strong beer by nose and taste but the alcohol adds a complimentary edge if anything. Dry finish and medium lager-clear body.

An alright 'imperial lager'. Nothing real amazing but better than bad.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.33/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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]

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Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of brewerburgundy
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz can, pilsener.

I'm a bit surprised at the very slightly hazed orange, honey colored body, but not at all about the poofy dirty white head.

Grass, honey, and some pils malt in the nose.

Really sweet and honey-filled with no balance. I guess it's better than Malt Liquor, but not by much. If you wish hard enough there's some grassiness. Also present is the white grape I get from many sweet, pale beers, usually lagers. Apple juice concentrate.

Expectedly slurry and syrup-like. This could even do with stronger carbonation. The sweetness is only more oppressive because of the thickness.

How do you like that? All the way from 2.0-4.0 go my ratings. How novel, kind of like this Ceylonian Imperial Lager. Do not mistake this for another Stout from Lion as I did. I'll reiterate; too sweet, not balanced, too still.

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Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a color similar to apple juice. Slight white foam does not retain. Minimal lacing.

S - Smell is of light malts, honey, and earthy spices.

T - Flavor has a vibe of spice, sweet honey, and exotic grains. Actually I was a bit surprised about the complextiy of this one.

M - Good drinking beer to pair with food. Light enough to be sessionable.

O - I'd try this again. Who knew Sri Lanka made a decent beer.

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Photo of reaganrvltn
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of prototypic
3.31/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of nortmand
3.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange-yellow with a moderately sustaining white head.

Smell's of sweetgrass and honey, a bit of an herbal character as well.

Sweet honey flavors throughout most of the palate. Ends with a decent bitterness.

Medium-full bodied. Seems a bit underattenuated, but not a bad offering.

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Photo of output01x
3.09/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can (no date) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a massive 3-finger off-white head that nearly spills over the brim of the glass. The body is a perfectly clear golden yellow with some small carbonation bubbles creeping slowly toward the surface. The head recedes quickly to a thin, clumpy dusting. Thick lacing clings to the glass in massive clumps.

Sweet, bready malt aromas mix with honey and a faint floral hops smell. Overall the nose has a somewhat musty characteristic and is rather weak.

Light bready malts flavors flow over the tongue while a sharp, peppery spice stings the tip. The flavor is incredibly sweet and honey-like. It actually has an almost apple juice flavor to it.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is very drinkable. The body has an odd syrup texture about it but is not sticky at all.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.52/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsener glass, the appearance was a semi-hazy burnt yellow color with a slim white cap of a foamy head. Dissipated eventfully to leave a mild stringy sliding lace.
The aroma had some crisp sweet biscuits, grassy hops, alcohol whiffs, and a mild lemon scent - somewhat perfumey.
The flavor crushed all of the previously mentioned aromas together to create a fair perfumey, boozy and herbally sweet aftertaste. Biscuits back this up too.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a mild sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt as projected. Booziness is there, but not as distracting as I thought it was going to be since I tasted and smelled it.
Overall, not a bad Euro Strong Lager, maybe again.

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Photo of wrecknut
2.35/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Very unbalanced and too fruity. Leaves a bad aftertaste.

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Photo of tone77
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a small head. Smell is of mild malts and alcohol. Taste is like the smell, alcohol with some malts. Feels light in the mouth and one of these was enough for me. Overall this offering is mediocre at best.

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Photo of Copernicandream
2.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

I'm a little jaded with this review but I guess my impulsiveness serves me right. Its called Imperial, the bottle is black, and I've had Lion Stout before and enjoyed it. So Lion Imperial to my surprise... is a pilsner.

A: Golden yellow with moderate 2 fingers of head.

S: Grains. Some floral hops but very mild.

T: Cereal grains and sugar, plus extra sugar, with some sugar. A subtle smokiness. Hops are nearly absent.

M: This is a pilsner? It's a little thick, somewhat syrupy. The beer is flat, essentially without carbonation.

O: Meh. As I said, I thought I was buying the Imperial Lion Stout. I won't get the pilsner ever again. I've had so many better and cheaper pilsners...

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, bright golden-bronze with a thin, sudsy white head that quickly dissipated. Visible carbonation was light.

S: a very soft citrusy hopping of oranges and lemons.

T: a sweet buttery-citric maltiness with fresh oranges and lemons. On the finish was a sour malting, dry oranges, lemon grind and a dry floral hop fade. The abv% of 8.0 was fairly well hidden behind the sweet malting upfront. The overall flavor I found to be a little strange and odd yet intriquing with a big hoppy fade with some sour lemons on the finish.

M: medium-full with a nice viscosity and syrupy feel. Some sour malt and dried floral lemony hopping coats the tongue.

D: Definitly not a session lager. Has a big sweet buttery-citric flavor that makes this drink like a macro in the beginning, but the big hoppy nature in the finish gives it some credit. Worth a try, but not a six-pack.

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Photo of longbongsilver
1.98/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Two reasons I tried this: 1) Loved their Export Stout, but also 2) seeing the imperial pilsner designation, figured that if the average BMC is loosely based on a pilsner, then getting an import pilsner -- even more so, an imperial one -- would provide opportunity to taste How It's Supposed To Be. Where's my mug...

Pours a fizzy copper tone, white bubbly head of about an inch that melts away pretty quick. Don't smell much, maybe apple & a bit of indistinguishable spice (clove? Kind of...). Take a swig, and get pretty much the same thing, with a slight bit of caramel. Not much though, it's ridiculously subtle to near nonexistent. Goes down like a spritzer or wine cooler.

This is one of those beers where, when getting into another style, you conclude that either it's a bad example of the style or that style is just not for you. I'm hoping the former, because I've had malt liquors that were better than this.

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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 218 ratings