Lion Stout – Lion Brewery, Ceylon Limited – Biyagama, Sri Lanka
History: From the Label – … a piece from Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter “The stout was soft, fresh and quite delicious. This was the top-fermenting Lion Stout … it was bottle conditioned and had an extraordinary chocolaty, mocha … character.” There will be more, eventually, but as you can ascertain from clicking on the link, the site is currently under construction.
Before I even get to the sensory overload that is this stout, right out of the gate I will admit that this is, by far, one of the finest stouts I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. Watching the pour is like witnessing chocolate syrup drizzle onto a sundae. It’s especially thick, incredibly rich, and exceptionally dark. The scent, after a proper opening up via glass swirl, is fully and completely reminiscent of a mocha coffee drink. The malt is scintillating, the hops are expertly roasted and caramelized, and the smell absolutely speaks volumes of the brewing process. Yes, in case you couldn’t gather the point I’m driving at from the opening sentence: this beer is a work of art.
The flavor is so compellingly similar to a chocolate malt (I’d even go so far as to say an alcoholic Yoo-Hoo) that even those drinkers who shy away from darker brews in the stout and porter realms will find this an interesting drink indeed. The head is as rich and creamy as you please and remains a nice quarter inch the entire time. There’s a little bit of lacing and leveled foaming that’ll remind you of the sips that once were. It’s mouth-feel is so silky and gentle with nary a hint of the bitterness that dark hops often offer. It’s very much a stout, but thanks to its, presumably, Sri Lanken brewing methods, the taste is unlike any other stout I’ve ever had. Oddly enough, on the label where it mentions the brewery, it says it’s imported by Elite Brands in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’ve lived here for 35 years and I have no idea where that is. Now I have a mission. Enjoy this stout, it is magical.
Rating: * * * * *
As a professed dark beer fan, this is, thus far, the pinnacle of my findings. Wonderful.