The brewery that would eventually be known as Lion Brewery was started in 1849 and holds the distinction of being the oldest brewery in Sri Lanka. I was first introduced to this beer the last time I lived in Japan. My wife and I were searching for something different than the regular light lager of Japan and found Aqua Vitae Suzuki in Yokosuka. This is the season of enjoying those things you appreciate the most. Lion Stout was the first beer we found after moving in 2017 and it helped us realize that we can still enjoy good beer even though we are in a country that doesn’t have a strong craft beer culture.
Foreign Extra Stout 50º – 55º F (10º – 13º C)
Once poured the aromas of roasted malt are dominant. A light caramel scent is also present with very faint earthy hops rounding out the aroma. The smells remind me of well toasted all grain bread. The beer is a deep black color that does not allow light to pass through the pint glass. A thin tan head tops the pour but it does not persist. In the initial sip there is a sweet toasty malt flavor that matches the aromas. A nutty finish lingers in the aftertaste. The beer has a full mouth feel and a smooth finish with enough hops to provide balance and give a finish to the dominant sweetness of the beer. Very distinct toasted bread malt aromas that increase as the glass warms. For being an 8.8% ABV beer the alcohol is not perceived as a harsh burn, but the sensation is definitely felt as the glass is consumed.
The strong beer would go well with dark chocolate, specifically raspberry jelly filled chocolates. As a child I would dread getting those chocolates from the sample box at Christmas. But now that I am older I can see how the chocolate bitterness can cut into the sweet stout flavors of the beer and the raspberry filling will give a more elaborate flavor to the pairing. Because of the nutty aftertaste of Lion Stout I would also look at pairing this with chocolates that have nuts included. Possibly chocolate turtles or Ferraro Rocher candies would compliment the nut flavors in this beer. Either way this sweet stout would compliment chocolate based desserts for your holiday event.