Thursday, 3 July 2014

Beer Review: Lion

It's another beer from somewhere outside the UK (Sri Lanka apparently) and it's another stout. I appear to be having a lot of stout lately. Oh, right, sorry, better get on and review the damn' thing. It's Lion Stout from  Lion Breweries and I'm rather tired, so this is likely to be short!

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There's been one or two very late nights recently, well past my new normal working time, and I was feeling pretty whacked before I even tried this one. I actually had it with tea, which was featureless you'll be glad to know, and before the childrens were packed off to bed. As a consequence my impressions were quicker than normal too. It didn't make much fuss on opening but the dark treacle like mixture oozed into my glass well and with a large head. This took a while to die down but the wait was worth it. A heavy and dark odour rose from the glass, drawing you ever inward to it's dark belly. I didn't spot the 7.5% ABV on the bottle but it was clear from the get-go that this would be a strong contender.

The taste was as you would expect: dark and strong and heavy. Not at all unpleasant, the whole thing was very much a stout. No adventure like the sort of fayre one would expect from Thornbridge but a definite sense that there had been some care and attention put into the brew. Very reminiscent of Stallion (here) despite having been brewed in a completely different location - they were both imported by the same company and so perhaps there was a clue there to why they had been chosen. Definitely stronger and much more satisfying than the sadly disappointing Oyster Stout (here) that really does badly from being one of the ones that I tried at the beginning of the academic year.

It also completely knocked me out. Despite being less than a full pint and nowhere near the strongest ale I've tried (yes, Imperial Russian Stout, I'm looking at you!) it blew me away and I was out for the count after having it.

Enjoy this one when you need the sweet sweet embrace of slumber after a hard week. You may manage more than one, but I think this is a finishing ale that comes at the end of a happy evening rather than one where there is time for a second pint. It was a very cheap punt for me but would easily command higher prices and be worth it. I have no idea whether it does Sri Lanka proud (but, seriously, with their record on human rights...) but it was a nice enough diversion in my privileged white western world.

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