Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
70
okay
130 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Lion Imperial Premium Malt PilsnerLion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka
lionbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
130
Ratings:
213
Avg:
2.99
pDev:
31.44%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 213
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.

 550 characters

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.

 659 characters

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.

 610 characters

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.

 564 characters

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!

 1,088 characters

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.

 601 characters

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.

 1,193 characters

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.

 531 characters

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
Website: http://www.lionbeer.com/
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.

 877 characters

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....

Cheers!

 284 characters

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.

 1,744 characters

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).

 482 characters

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.

 397 characters

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.

 264 characters

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.

 313 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.27/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 816 characters

Photo of BigBry
2.9/5  rDev -3%
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.

 606 characters

Photo of CPeterson
3.35/5  rDev +12%
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.

 620 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.99/5  rDev +33.4%
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

 842 characters

Photo of cagocubs
2.93/5  rDev -2%
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.

 723 characters

Photo of techfed87
3.49/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 646 characters

Photo of DarrellK
3.99/5  rDev +33.4%
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.

 438 characters

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.

 1,008 characters

Photo of yelterdow
3.15/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 897 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 1,082 characters

Lion Imperial Premium Malt Pilsner from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
2.99 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe