Lions have fascinated mankind since time immemorial. They form an integral symbol of strength and clan identities for tens of thousands of years. The mystery and allure of the king of the jungle pervaded civilizations for centuries and in the late 19thcentury, deep within central Sri Lanka, British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker, discovered a lion that would one day enliven palates around the world – but, it remained a secret.
Whilst on a hunting trip in the cool climes of Sri Lanka’s (then Ceylon) salubrious central hills of Nuwara Eliya, situated 6000 feet above sea level, legend says Baker took aim at a magnificent stag in the distance. Baker hit his target, and as he strode to retrieve his price, he was struck with awe at the beauty and abundance that surrounded him including a sparkling spring flowing down to the lake below. There, Sir Samuel Baker set up what would become the Ceylon Brewery in 1881.
Since then, the Ceylon Brewery – now Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC,– produced golden brews that for long remained some of the best kept secrets from the rest of the world. Visitors to the golden isle and its dwellers savoured the exclusive flavours for decades, before Lion ventured out to the world in 1981 – more than a century after its inception.
Upon its discovery by global beer connoisseurs, its flagship product, Lion Lager, is now exciting drinkers around the world. With a unique flavour stemming from its century-old recipe, Lion Lager is now available at selected Beer Stores under the brand name Sinha Lager in Canada. The beer is available in 6 packs and retails for $17.45 for a 6 pack.
But the jewel in the crown of this King is its famous Stout – the indisputable king of dark beers. Lion Stout, known as Sinha Stout in Canada, is for long considered the best kept secret in beer. The traditional dark stout comes with sweet notes of chocolate, toffee, mocha, caramel and roasted barley, and trapped by its dense creamy head offers drinkers a burst of flavour that keeps them coming back for more.
The late Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson, officially endorsed this Stout as ‘the best in the world’. During a visit to Sri Lanka, in 1986 to track down this cask-conditioned stout, Jackson savoured this legendary beer and fell in love with it immediately. This was definitely ‘love at first sip’. What adds a real tang to this tale is that Jackson did not seek any form of compensation for his endorsement or review – he loved it so much.
It’s difficult to detail the richness of a Sinha Stout. It is a flavour that must be indulged for a palatal experience that is unparalleled. Over the years Sinha Stout has earned the privilege of converting countless lager faithful towards dark beer, and it is all down to the most unique and rich flavour of this beer – what was once the best kept secret in beer. Now that the secret is out, it is waiting to be discovered by Canadian beer enthusiasts. Sinha Stout is available at selected LCBO outlets around Ontario.
Tipplers love this Stout. So-much-so, it enjoys a 97-99 rating onratebeer.comand has acquired a loyal consumer base in many European markets for its distinct taste profile. It’s not just the consumers, even quality agencies love Lion/Sinha Stout, winning multiple Gold Awards continuously from the prestigious Monde Selection over several years. The Lion Brewery works in partnership with Carlsberg AG, and is compliant with the latter’s Global Quality Management System.
It happens it was a cocktail competition that drew the late Beer Hunter Michael Jackson to Sri Lanka back in the day. Sinha Stout was used in the competition, and mixing was evidently popular from the olden days. Jackson recounts his experience as below.
“The (Lion) brewery’s principal product is lager, but it made a pale ale until the 1960s, and it still produces a stout. This pattern is typical in former British colonies. As golden lagers became more popular, the bronze or copper “middle” color vanished, but a black porter or stout survived for those who wanted something truly dark. All beers were stronger in colonial times, and these old black brews typically had between 6.0 and 9.0 per cent alcohol by volume.
Sinha Stout, a wonderfully sweet but assertive tropical gem, is bringing the rich heritage of Sri Lankan flavour to Canada’s discerning drinkers. This legendary dark beer is presently served in 26 countries, brewed untouched by hand using nothing but the finest ingredients from around the world said Stefan Atton, Vice President International Business for Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC. True to the nation’s historic penchant for quality and flavour, the Lion Brewery is reputed as one of the most advanced breweries in South Asia, adorned by global stamps for quality and process excellence. In Sri Lanka, the company represents brands from Carlsberg, Diageo, Brown-Forman, AB InBev and Warburn demonstrating its commitment to working with world-leading brands and serving nothing but the best.
Sinha Stout is a favourite on Sri Lanka’s golden sun-bathed beaches, and even in the cool climes of the hills within which it was discovered. It is a beer that keeps connoisseurs coming back for more, with its soft, fresh and extraordinary chocolatey mocha character. Reach out for a Sinha Stout, a beer that is exotic as the island within which it was born.
Enjoy the best kept secret.