Sunday 14 February 2010

Beer of the Week - Feb 14 - Sinha Stout

330 ML bottle
Price: $ 2.00
8.8% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content : 3
Made in: Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
By: The Lion Brewery Ceylon Ltd

LCBO Tasting Note
Dark colour with r
ich head; aromas of burnt grain, mocha, black fruit, floral hops and teriyaki sauce; off-dry, rich and velvety on the palate, flavours of bitter chocolate, dark fruit, ash and caramel with a tangy finish.

On these cold and somewhat damp days, I was looking for a dark beer to try. Maybe a stout. Yes, a stout! Let's hit the LCBO and find us a nice new stout to try! Perhaps one from a nation known for its beer and more for its stout.

How then did I end up with a stout from Sri Lanka?

Not only did I not know that Sri Lanka had a brewery, but admittedly I had to look it up on a map to see where it was.

Sri Lanka is located in the Indian Ocean, just off the tip of India and once was known as Ceylon. According to an article by The Beer Hunter, the country has three breweries, each one producing a stout. Ceylon Brewery makes its Lion Stout but exports it as Sinha Stout.

Ceylon Brewery, also known as Lion Brewery, was started back in 1881 by Sri Samuel Backer, who opened it to serve the British colonial tea plantations in the hill country of Nuwara Eliya. The climate was cool and the place had natural spring water, perfect for a brewery.

In 1993, the brewery became a subsidiary of Carson Cumberbatch & Co. Ltd. and in 1996, Carlsberg took over the company. Lion Brewery now holds 85% of the market share. Seems that extremely high excise taxes on beer means Sri Lankan drinkers have started moving towards hard liquor.

And the taste?

The beer pours a deep dark brown or black colour and must be poured gently as it is very quick to produce a deep head. I tried to wait for the head to settle down to take a picture but the head lasted so long, I had to sip it off and pour in some more.

There is an initial pronounced bitter coffee flavour to this beer followed by a nice smooth sweetness of the roasted malts. The bitterness seems to return in the finish. At 8.8% ABV, this is definitely a beer for taking your time and sipping on.

A stout from Sri Lanka ... I did not know what to expec, but I would say that this would stand up to stouts from other countries and is one that I would try again.

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