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Beer #43 – February 12, 2010: Lion Stout

February 12, 2010

Beer: Lion Stout

Brewery: Ceylon / Lion Brewery, Biyagama, Sri Lanka

Style: Foreign Export Stout

Serving Type: 12 oz can

Price: $8.99 / six-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Shaker pint

Strength: 8.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Smooth and rich, with the alcohol well hidden.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, nearly black hue with a thick, foamy, tan head.

Aroma: Roasted coffee and licorice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slightly thick, a little chewy, with a moderate amount of tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: Starts with an initial molasses sweetness, quickly building into a rich carob and roasted coffee middle, finishing with a slightly buttery, mineral-like flavor.  An unexpectedly big and rich stout… from a can! … and from Sri Lanka!  Even not knowing either of these facts, this is a very tasty stout, but these facts make it even more surprising and intriguing.

Pairing: Great with a bacon cheeseburger or cheesecake.  I’m not sure how it would go with Sri Lankan cuisine?

Trivia: Why would an island nation in a tropical climate be home to such a delicious, relatively heavy and dark stout?  Sri Lanka’s brewing tradition dates back to the days when it was a British colony.  Brewed originally in England, “Foreign Export Stouts” were brewed big and strong to survive the long ocean voyage to British colonies in warm, tropical climates.  Even though modern refrigeration, quicker shipping methods, and local established breweries mean that this strength is no longer necessary for preservation, the style endures thanks to locals and ex-pats who developed a taste for this unique variation on a traditional stout.

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