Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

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Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
216 Ratings
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: 216 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of shootncast
1.34/5  rDev -55.5%
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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.27/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a faintly hazed, dark yellow body with a short-lived, white head.

Smell: Basal, simple nose smelling of grainy pils malt, transient fruit notes, a small addition of Noble hops, and fermented honey.

Taste: Lightly grainy cereal-minded maltiness coated with no more than a bit of honey sweetness. Floral, mildly spicy hop tones with a modest amount of balancing bitterness. scant hint of fruitiness akin to apple and maybe a few drops of choice melon juice. Small sip of white wine in advance of the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. There's a smooth slickness to the mouthfeel, but the alcohol seems to cut the body down.

Drinkability: Eh. I see and have heard a few comparisons to malt liquor, and while it's not quite that bad, it's not that much better, either.

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Photo of BigBry
2.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ml can, black label with a lion's head and simply Lion Imperial. 8.8%, no other description, style, etc.
Slightly hazed, golden yellow color, fluffy white head. Decent lace and foam retention. Malt and grainy smell, as it warmed the aroma turned more sour and adjunct-like.
There is a strong alcohol burn, definately feel the high alcohol. A bit of cooked vegetable smell and taste, typical of an American malt liquor. Warms the tongue, well burns almost. Lots of carbonation bubbles, but still left a sticky coating on your mouth.
Hot, alcohol would make it tough to pound back more than one of these.

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

A -- Pours a crisp golden with a small head that dissipates quickly.

S -- Smells faintly of grape and pear, sweet and subtle. Light citrus notes fade into a faint warm alcohol.

T -- Surprisingly light flavor characteristics, sweet bread (think Kings Hawaiian) , grape, and light pear would seem to resonate on my pallette.

M -- Zesty on the front, a little sticky but not syrupy. A minor twinge of bitterness.

D -- Overall, considering the abv I must say that this brew is extraordinarily drinkable. Still not what I would call a session beer, but definitely a good beer that I won't have a problem picking up again.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.99/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz can to pilsner glass...

A: Pours a faded gold color with a fizzy, small head. fades to wisps of white foam and leaves a few tiny spots of lace.

S: tropical fruit, apples, and king's hawaiian bread. toasty and sweet.

T: very fruity and sweet upfront with apple juice and orange flavors, also quite spicey. finishes with sweet honey and grain flavors

M: a hefty medium body that has a smooth entry, noticeable hop tang up front, bubbly like champagne(and i don't mean Miller High Life),finishes off-dry with alcohol-like warmth. interesting...

Overall, a tasty and different take on the pilsner style. The aroma and taste are mainly apples and bread. All the bad reviews are really misleading. While pilsners aren't my favorite style, I find myself enjoying this one. If you like your beers big, then check this one out

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Photo of cagocubs
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I wanted something unique and this Sri-Lankan all black can with a lion on the label caught my attention.

A: Pours a hazed gold. Leaning towards straw. White head that billows up and dissipates. Very little lacing.

S: Smell was almost like apple juice. You could tell this was going to be a mixture of alcohol, water, and adjunct ingredients. Some earthy scent like grass.

T: Fairly watery. You can taste some hops and grain (bread). Ends real sweet, almost like apple juice.

M: Really watery with slight alcohol bite. It has a similar body to juice. Good carbonation.

D: Certainly not the best pilsner, but for a Sri Lankan brewer I was happy. I would drink this beer again, but I would search for alternatives first.

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Photo of techfed87
3.49/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from a six pack at a local specialty store, owner described it as very "malty". Poured an appropriate head, definitely has a distinctly malt smell to it.

First taste took me back on how sweet it came off, almost a meady type of sweetness to it. However, this dissipated within the first two sips. Flavor was not that complex, as other Pilsners can be.

True, the alcohol content is a great deal more than what you'd expect from a Pilsner, but that's not really an excuse for a beer that just tastes like something you'd usually buy in a 40 oz. bottle.

For $10, you'd be much better off getting something with a more definite character.

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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 Citadel82
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, so I will admit judging a book by its cover and not really looking at the liner notes. Flog my sorry ass with a wet noodle...

I bought this - a sixer of .33 litre cans at Super saver in Somerville thinking I had scored a Lion Imperial Stout - Beep - wrong Answer- This is a Ceylonese/Sri Lankan Malt Liquor ( For want of a more approachable description.

First of all let me state at the outset that I do enjoy Lion stout. Malty, coffee richness without the froth, attitude or syrup... This brew however reminded me of all that is a good Granny Smith apple except the palate drying tartness.

Poured a deep, hazy, golden yellow with a diaphanous white head that was either ephemeral or fleeting...

Smell was tart apples - some generic plant scents

Taste was doughy sweet with a hint of leafy hops - emphasis on hint. Aftertaste was sweet... not malt - perhaps cane or beet sugar...

Mouthgfeel was - er - average to thin...

Drinkable - yes - but not specttacu;ar - though I like the can concept.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle sampled at over fridge temperature in a tasting tulip. Code on the neck reads 49307 23:37.

Appearance- What begins as a pale gold hue becomes fiery in the glass, with massive streams of carbonation rushing to the surface and replenishing the two finger crown. After a few minutes, the head is translucent but the beer is active.

Smell- Full and lush, apparently due to the generous use of malt and hops. There is a faint vegetal sweetness lurking in the background. Almost a honey note going on here.

Taste- A biting, aggressive attack of malt, hops, and I would imagine a load of adjuncts. The flavorful display on the tongue is fine up until the finish, where the heavier sweetness takes over.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and frothy, it crackles slightly and remains full. The overall heaviness in taste and texture would keep me from choosing this before an alternate choice.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Muted medium pear color with a slimming cap of off-white foam that slips away quickly to a collar and just a few bits of lace flung about the glass.

Aroma is more similar to an aged, much higher ABV Belgain Pale or Tripel with a sugar soaked breadyness laced with pear juice, white grapes, and a soggy muted alcohol.

Taste is more of this themed muted thing I keep coming back to. Pale and muted tones of sugary breadyness and of soggy dough mushed with pear, dull apricot, and unripened white grape. Steamy warmth of alcohol gets a little much and takes away from some of the taste and its possible intricacies.

Body is again, muted in a light medium mess of warmth and a soggyness in dulled fruits. There's a bit of liquesence smoothality in the front, but it gets quickly empty and airs off into strange bits of mushy fruity dryness. The alcohol is far to present and needs more masking to keep it in balance.

Meh, not anything to spectacular with this muted messy brew that seems to stretch quietly into a Belgian style rather then a Dbl/ Pils? It needs some balancing help.

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Photo of Tone
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden/amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and poor lacing. Smells of hops, pale malt, yeast, and very slight citrus. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, slight hops, and alcohol. Overall, much too much yeast and grain/adjunct flavor for my taste.

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Photo of armock
1.73/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I got this in a beer of the month club and thats the only reason I'm drinking this beer because it showed up to my door for free.

A - Poured a yellow color with a white head that fades very quickly

S - Is of sweet grainy malt and alcohol

T - This is just a flat out bad tasting beer sweet fruit flavors and alcohol coat my tongue

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Stay away from this shit don't waste your money on it horrible beer thats about to be a drain pour stay away

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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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Photo of Georgiabeer
1.09/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Yuck! Picked this up by mistake, as I meant to grab their fairly decent stout. This is not in the same ballpark. Pours golden with a thick head that very quickly fades to nearly nothing. Smells like rubbing alcohol with some very late graininess. Nothing like a nice whiff of solvent to wake your appetite up for the beer that follows. Tastes similar, which is -bad. Makes my eyes water from what seems to be a shot of cheap vodka more than it is a beer. Not even any hint of the grain this time (not that really helped the aroma). Mouthfeel is harsh and chemical feeling, and to me this whole beer is undrinkable. Drain pour.

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Photo of zeio
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance starts good, translucent, blond, has a nice head. No lacing noticed. Looks like beer.

Smell is malty and alcoholic.

Taste is decently managed alcohol, sweet and malt. I think this beer was probably difficult to make this good at 8.8% ABV, but I just can't say this is a good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is light and relatively fleeting.

Drinkability is low for a few reasons. Too much alcohol that you know is present. It is not refreshing, which is what I was expecting from a country like Sri Lanka (warm and humid). I expected lighter and drinkable. Instead I got a beer that is as difficult to tackle as a beer twice its size (24 oz) and very alcoholic. I would say this cannot be called a Pilsner, despite the label claiming it as such.

I won't be buying this again, but it is intriguing to the point where I would give the brewery another try.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. The can simply states Lion Imperial, but I'm pretty sure this is the right listing.

A- Even a conservative pour left 2-1/2 fingers of fluffy white head atop the slightly hazed, golden body. There was moderate-heavy carbonation rushing to the surface. The head eventually became a full lace that left a good deal of sticky spots on the glass.

S- Pretty complex for the style of first sniff. I got a decent amount of cereal-like malts mixed with some fruity aromas (maybe something like fruity pebbles?). A little warmth brought out more of the adjunct aromas.

T- It's definitely 8.8% ABV. There was a strong alcohol flavor (fusel) mixed with what I'd consider some classic adjunct cooked corn. It's a touch overwhelming.

M- As noted in the taste, it has a real alcohol kick that warms from start to finish. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy with solid carbonation to lighten things a bit.

D- The lack of masking the alcohol content really hurts the drinkability. While not offensive, this is more of a one and done, than a multi drinker. I think I'll stick to the stout when drinking beers from Lion.

Overall- I regularly enjoy the Lion Stout, and since it's been years, I don't recall if I've had the Imperial Lager before or if it was the regular lager. Either way, it's my first Lion experience from a can. Not a terrible beer, I'd maybe compare it with Rogue's Dad's Little Helper. It's tough category in which to really "wow" somebody. Keeping 8.8% drinkable in a lager is tough to do.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.79/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pilsner flute.

A - super-clear golden color with a thick, foamy head that is well retained

S - alcohol notes mixed with a grain malt character

T - sweet, but somewhat balanced, honey-like malt character with spicy alcohols noted, faint hops on finish - very clean

M - medium-light body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent beer with a potent punch. I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the Euro strong lager classification - but this is probably most similar to a Maibock and when compared to examples of this style I think it stands up well. It would be even better if the aroma was improved.

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Photo of JRed
1.63/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Light transparent in body. Terrible aromas in the nose, hops, bad water, and subtle fruit. Flavors are acidic: candied sugar, burnt sugar, alcoholic scorch. Very cloying on the palate. Tastes like a 40 oz. I'd buy in the slums of Sri Lanka. Not an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Crayz
4.19/5  rDev +39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a standard pint glass. Immediate full white head that slowly settled down to a thin film with minimal lacing, if any. Deep straw color with a slight cloudy appearance. And I mean slight; it probably about a clear as it can get with an ABV of 8%! Also, incredibly light for such high alcohol.

S - Not a strong smell right off the bat. Had to swirl it around a bit to get a good whiff. Once I did that! Whoa! Bread notes right away, that lead to doughy malts, and a slight citrus zest near the end. The doughy scents reminds me bohemian style lagers, right on par. As the beer warms, the zestiness lends way to a faint alcohol notes.

T - Mirrors what I was smelling. From the smell I was hoping the taste would follow a similar path, and it does! Bread flavors again, followed up by a slight hop citrus and warming alcohol feeling. Leaves the tongue with malts and lemon. Incredible balance with a nice palate journey from start to finish. Even though you know the alcohol is there, its masked and blends well with the malts and hops.

M - Creamy. The malts are so smooth I know its fooling me a bit, but this is as close to a nitro pour I have had from a non-widget bottle. For a pils, it feels a little heavy; but for 8%+, it feels refreshingly light. So for me, its a victory.

D - Read the end of mouthfeel. This is a smooth, drinkable beer. Biggest reason it doesn't get a higher drinkability rating is the alcohol presence. Though mild for a high ABV, it is enough to slow you down and really enjoy this brew!

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Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A light Honey color. Slightly hazy, with some floaties... Not sure how I feel about floaties in this style... Nice head on it, but it was gone before I could bring up the web page...

S: Slightly Sweet alcohol?

T: Sweet, tart, a lot of alcohol. Almost cider like.. What a strange beast this is...

M: Tons of carbonation..

D: Not actually bad, just funky. How can Lion Stout be so awesome, and this us so... Meh.

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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 DoctorDog
4.22/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. "093161732" printed on side of neck. Unable to ascertain actual availability.

A- Slightly hazy light golden. Pours with 2+ fingers of off white head, which fades gradually to a thin cap, and eventually almost nothing. No lacing noted.

S- Bready, malty-sweet notes, with hints of lemon zest. Lightly floral hoppiness.

T- Nice grainy sweetness. Light / citrus zestiness. Alcohol presence is superbly mixed. Moderate bitterness.

M- Moderate carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth; Fairly full feel. Fairly dry. Excellent.

D- Quite outstanding for an 8.8% ABV...could be quite dangerous.

Future outlook: Seems like Lion only does a few beers, but they do them quite well. Moderate price + fantastic taste and feel make repeat purchase and consumption likely.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bronze colored beer with a half inch head and a thin lace.
The aroma of light fruits,light hops and a touch of mild malts.

The taste starts off sweet with a mild tartness and bland malt flavor. Some alcohol and fruit.

The feel is light to medium in body with a medium carbonation and a smooth feel. The alcohol is there in the finish so I did not gulp away.

Notes: A strong Lager as indicated and while it was not top notch it was boozy and still a bit refreshing. I would not have too many but it was decent enough.

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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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Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 216 ratings
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