Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

215 Ratings
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Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka

Style: Euro 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: 215 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of yesyouam
3.2/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lion Imperial Pilsner is a dense, crystal clear golden lager with a white head that fades to a film and leaves good lacing. It has a very faint aroma of cardboard and grass. It's medium bodied and very lively. The finish is sharp and it leaves the mouth chalky. It's quite sweet and not bitter enough to balance things out. It's tangy with a little noble hop character. There are no off flavors but it's not refined. It's very drinkable for 8.8% ABV. There's no alcohol flavor. It could serve as a session beer, but things could get out of hand if it did.

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Photo of Drew966
3.35/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner pours a pale yellow with a white head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is sweet and malty. The flavor is also sweet and malty. Alcohol is a bit evident but I didn't find it overpowering. Not bad for what it is, actually a bit better than I expected.

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Photo of heavy216
3.82/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 11.2 oz bottle. 2 finger head, lasted several minutes, heavy lacing, gold in color.

S: heavy strong alocohol aroma, almost like rubbing alcohol

T/M: high carbonation, very smooth going down...strong alcohol taste

D: 8.8% alcohol and you can, really strong but very enjoyable

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Photo of great7dividers
2.5/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner. That's quite a mouthful. Fortunately, a drink of this is not as challenging as saying the entire name three times fast. This is a very drinkable, light and simple brew.

But although it goes down with ease, it is in turn not a very impressive beer. As I've found typical with most asian brands, in the glass it is very pale yellow, completely see through, with a light white head.

The smell is very light, and not particularly flattering. There is a hint of honey in the aroma, possibly a little lemon, but its smell is just as thin as its mouthfeel. Thin, thin, thin. There is virtually no body, and it really doesn't go down like a pilsner at all. There is little to no bitterness (which is more characteristic of the average pilsner). It really just tastes like an (ever so slightly) syrupy lager.

This is no doubt the result of the high alcohol content (8.8%). But I find it a tad disappointing. It actually tastes like old apple juice. Its not as offensive as it sounds, but it really doesn't astonish the senses in any way.

A few of these on a hot summer day may be enjoyable, but I would probably reach first for something with more intriguing flavor.

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Photo of rlshep
1.6/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Aroma is light floral hops and hints of Pilsner malt. After it sat a little, picking up a mild funk.

Pours big 3" thick foamy head. Slow to dissipate. Very light golden color. Clarity is high, but seeing a lot of particles floating around. Thin long strands.I don't think this was bottle condition and I'm pretty sure it didn't come from the glass. Big turn off to an otherwise great presentation.

Tastes like apple cider. Don't believe this was the intended flavor.

Alcohol is very evident on this one. Leaves tongue mildly slick.

Obviously an infected bottle. I can't remember where I picked this up but it was in a make your own 6-pack and sat in my fridge for 5 months. So guessing shelf life is well past its prime, still if Lion had better sanitary practices this could have been avoided.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
2.78/5  rDev -7%
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 BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +23.7%
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 dtivp
3.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear gold with a small white head that dissipated very quickly.
Aroma of pale malt and stale bread with some alcohol.
Taste of crispy malt, alcohol and a hint of citrus fruit.
Mouthfeel was a light body with little carbonation. The high alcohol presence surprised me for an 8.8% abv beer.
I'm nt a big pilsner fan, this was a good beer, however, I'm not sure it belongs in the imperial pilsner class.

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Photo of Brent
2.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

You can call this an Imperial Pilsner, but malt liquor is malt liquor - and this belongs in that category. Heavy malt, sweet with pungent, biting alcohol noted at every turn. While better than the convenience store brown bag-worth offerings, this is really not that much of a step up.

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Photo of drizzam
3.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to my BA buddy cdkrenz for the offering! I still owe ya bud!

A - Pours a pale gold in color with just the slightest haze. An aggressive pour yielded a surprising fluffy white two finger head. Good head retention and decent lacing.

S - Pretty mild aroma, grassy and grainy. Not a whole lot to write home about.

T & M - Rather sweet with a touch of buttery diacetyl. Seems like the sweetness has a bit of unidentified citric character to it. Has a drying, almost wine-like finish. The alcohol is fairly well masked (which was surprising to me). Thin mouthfeel but still somewhat creamy.

D - This one surprised me. It has a sort of unexpected complexity to it, even for a simple style. The ABV will sneak up on you, but it's got some flavor and I was pleasantly surprised. It's a must try, if not just for the style.

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Photo of utah44
3.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass at the appropriate temperature a generous white head with plenty of carbonation. Body was light in color as expected from a pilsner. Smell was malty with a strong alcohol presence.
Strong malt taste, slightly sweet and hoppy overwhelmed by the alcohol taste. Mouthfeel was more pleasant than the taste, light and fairly smooth. Not a great brew, but certainly one that I would drink regularly if the price was right. I would recommend this beer to folks who prefer high acohol content beers.

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Photo of chaz410
2.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer at the flying saucer in Charlotte.
Pours a naval orange peel yellow/amber body with a slight head head.
Smells really tart, almost like sour apple and unripe oranges. Some typical lager rounded malt character and some slight malty sweetness.
Taste of caramel and toasted lager rounded malts and still some of that underlying tartness. Not at all what I expected. Very crisp finish for an imperial lager. I don't know if this bottle was tainted or not but it's not what I would want in a strong lager at all. There's a funk to it nearly like a weak belgian beer.
Very drinkable minus the obvious flaws in character for the style and fairly sweet.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.34/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly cloudy, very light copper color. A very thin slightly soapy head sits on top, even with a vigorous pour from the tender. Head's gone fast, no lacing.

The aroma is a bit of crisp malts, maybe a little spice or booze, but very underwhelming.

The taste was upfront malty, crisp, and alcoholic, finishing with notes of grapefruit.

The feel was slightly velvety, low on the carbonation, upper light in body.

Above average drinkability.

Not the best IP I've had, but it's still tasty and overall pleasant...and for $5 a bottle at my "for the most part a bit pricey" bar, that's not a bad deal at all.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been on kind of a can kick lately, as I really enjoy drinking from a can, and I honestly think the beer keeps much better. That said, I was attracted to this one the other day when I was putting together a mixed sixer, and said what the hell. I actually thought it was an imperial stout (black can, big word Imperial, 8.8 abv), so imagine my surprise when it poured out a brilliant yellow color, with a bubbly white head. Kinda like a good malt liqour, a little grainy, somewhat sweet, and really not a whole lot to recommend, although I'd probably drink it again.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.65/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prepared from notes taken during a recent camping trip.

As with any review of beer sold in a can, I review it as it tastes directly from the can. My philosophy on that is, if you've actually bought the beer in a can, it is because it cannot easily be quaffed from a glass, so it better taste good from the can. If I ever find this in a bottle, I will happily update the review.

Consumed from a 11.2 oz (330ml) can. The can is all black, with a photograph of male lion in 3/4 profile, and the words, "Lion Imperial" written in gold down the side. It has the slightly scary look of a strong nalt liquor.

Has a strong sweet, malty smell, with hints of alcohol and corn.

Taste is strong, sweet and malty. Has a definite malt liquor taste, which I guess should be unsurprising. Overall, though, a decent tasting beer; just don't let it get too warm, as it becomes slightly corny in taste.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, sharp toward the end though.

Rather drinkable, though at 8.8%, you better watch what you're doing if you;re having more than two of these -- especially if you're camping!

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Photo of divineaudio
1.49/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz can into a pokal glass.

color is a transparent golden yellow with a thick white head that calms to a thin cap and lasts. lots of lace in this glass.

smells like corn and alcohol. maybe a little hops in there.

taste is sticky, malty sweet in a not so good way. really grainy with a little hop bite in the finish. taste gets really bad as the beer warms.

body is much thicker than i was expecting. really chewy with a lot of carbonation.

drinkability is pretty low, i couldn't even finish this one. wound up dumping about half of it down the drain. if you see this on the shelf, keep on going.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.03/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Three plus inches of perfect, frothy, white head on top of a golden body with a fair amount of carbonation.

S - Pale malts, the subtle presence of alcohol and whole grain bread.

T - Very strong in the malt department. There's certainly a sweet remnant of the barley. The taste of sweet rum makes for a very unique flavered brew.

M - The feel is soft and silky. Which, in my opinion is not consistent with other pilsner style brews. That being said, I think the texture of this brew is done well because the high alcohol content in conjunction with a really abrassive texture would likely not work with such a light malt.

~ Overall I think this is a good beer. It is not something I could sit down and have more than one or two of a time. It's not even really something I would enjoy more than once per month but it is nice to see a high gravity pilsner out there with some unique character to it.

My suggestion to those reviewing this brew in the future is to really think about the characteristics this beer is offering. This beer was not intented to be a Bud or MGD.

I have another one cellared for a few years down the road. I'll be sure to update my review when I crack it open.

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Photo of chickenflea
1.8/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12-oz bottle.

Smell - Strange. Apple vinegar. Yeast. Spices. Alcohol.

Appearance - Looks promising. Clear and golden with billowy white head.

Taste - Huge malty sweetness, almost syrupy, medicinal, some caramel notes. Pretty boozy. The seeming lack of hop bitterness to offset the intense sweetness is a bit problematic. Strange side notes: metal, balsamic vinegar, cough syrup.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied.

Drinkability - The most bizarre beer I have ever tasted. I am not quite sure what the brewers were trying to accomplish.

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Photo of LuckyBrewer
3.1/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beer: Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
Style: Imperial Pilsner
Brewery: The Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC
Location: Sri Lanka
Serving Type: 12 Fl.Oz.
ABV: 8.8 ABV

Pour: Smooth pour with a even pilsner head.

Smell: This pilsner smells very malty once you get into it, but at the beginning it has a crisp hop smell to it as well.

Taste: I was really excited when i bought this beer, it comes in a really nice box and the guy from a great liquor store recommended it. I am almost at the bottom of the first glass and it is tough. I enjoyed the first half of the beer and now it taste a little to malty. I did some traveling in the UK last summer and many of the beers tasted like this, it was good with an Indian meal but it doesnt taste as good over here in the states.

Drinkability: The first half is indeed much more drinkable then the second half.

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Photo of johnwarne
2.17/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A beer haiku for you:

Uh oh--trouble here;
Here's an Asian in distress-
Better be careful.

Not the best introduction to this brand--I understand their dark offerings are much better, but it will take me a while to get up the courage to face another Lion in this family....


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Photo of Lauthaha
2.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a champagne glass to be enjoyed frugally.

Appearance: Poured easily at a 45 degree angle. Nothing mind-blowing, but the color was nice (as George Carlin would never say). Looked like an average pilsner; light, highly carbonated and lacking a heavy, foamy head. Absolutely no lacing whatsoever.

Smell: At first sniff, I detected a hint of fruitiness, followed quickly by an almost overwhelming scent of alcohol. The high ABV of this beer is a bit surprising for a pilsner, but certainly detectable early-on.

Taste: Sadly, the taste is nothing to write home about. Very similar to other pilsners, except for the higher alcohol content which is (with taste, just as with smell) a bit overwhelming. The hops are overly evident; too much.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Aside from the 8.8% ABV, there are no other factors to negatively impact my review of this beer. I would say the mouthfeel is similar to American pilsners such as Budweiser.

Drinkability: I bought a six-pack to last me the weekend, and I'm fairly certain that it will be more than enough. Though it isn't the worst beer I have ever had, it's certainly nowhere near the best.

I have to say I'm disappointed overall with the Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner. Knowing Lion Brewery Limited's reputation for great beers, I really wanted to give this beer a standing ovation. Perhaps their Stout ruined me (as it's one of the highest rated beers in the world, and for good reason), but I would not recommend the Pils to a friend. You can get just as drunk from "Camo" or "Hurricane" for about 20% of the price while not compromising much on taste. If the purpose of your purchase is to enjoy the beer (as mine was) then don't choose this one.

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Photo of HeightsEats
3.62/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

First impression--appearance, aroma--is a typical if slightly above average pilsner. The flavor is fairly dry and not particularly complex, but there's a nice malt sweetness and subtle hop bite. The most impressive element is how well the 8.8% ABV is hidden. I could drink a second one of these more easily than, say, a second Bud Light. The strength is catching up to me as I write this, though, so perhaps it's for the best that I only had one on hand ($1.50 each at Whole Foods).

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.15/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a little expensive for what it is but it is worth a try. It pours a clean golden color with a small head that dissapates quickly. Aromas of pear, citrus, melon and palate that matches. The palate is lightly fruity with flavors of pear and melon and has a slight bit of sweetness, which you never find on a pilsner. The higher ABV was noticable but not over the top with the alcohol flavor.

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Photo of tone77
2.63/5  rDev -12%
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 shootncast
1.34/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This was without a doubt, the biggest waste of money I have ever spent. Congrats to the marketing team for thier impressive label.To the brew master, you should be ashamed of yourself. At first sip you will realise you have made a terrible mistake. I would rank this beer somewhere around rhinelander and colt 45.

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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
2.99 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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