Monday, June 20, 2011

Lion Stout (2011 original review)

This is the last of the "obscure beers from obscure countries" series I've been attempting to do over the last few weeks. I've heard of Lion Stout before, it even appears in Michael Jackson's "Great Beer Guide" book and other BeerTubers have reviewed it to high acclaim as well. I decided to review it outside on a warm summer evening.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUN 20, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into an English stout glass.

Appearance: Black as spent motor oil and totally opaque. Forms a large, frothy/creamy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Black licorice and a slightly tangy, almost sour dairy scent in the nose. I was worried my bottle was expired.

Taste: While the aroma had me a little anxious, I was quickly and pleasantly relieved after taking the first swig. This is what I look for in a good imperial stout. The first half is strong with rich sweetness - especially black licorice, and the second half delivers a strong bitterness of deeply roasted malts with a quick burst of dark chocolate. As the beer warms the palate really begins to develop with even more sweet flavors of toffee and caramel in the beginning. There’s a faint sourness on the finish, but it actually works with the palate, surprisingly enough.

Mouthfeel: Thick, soft and tepid with a velvety smoothness.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 8% ABV, Lion Stout doesn’t have the overwhelming hubris you might expect in beers like this. There is no alcohol present in the aroma or taste and drinking one is satisfying, and not a challenge. The soft mouthfeel enables the beer to slide across the tongue and down the hatch like water.

Overall, a very impressive stout especially considering it hails from an obscure country not known for its beer. Many American brewers could something from this brew.

Grade: 8/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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