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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week:" Lion Stout

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 19, 2009 7:20PM

2009_08_19_botw.JPG Although we didn't recognize it at the time, our formative years learning about beer started in the southeast Asia nearly 20 years ago with brands like Tiger, Chang, Bintang, Anchor (not the San Francisco brewery), Kingfisher and Singha. We heard that Lion stout was making its way to Chicago and it brought back old memories. Getting our hands on the stout was like saying hello to an old friend. Say hello to Guinness? Screw that and marketing slogans. Say hello to Lion Stout!

This stout from Sri Lanka is bursting with flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and smoked/roasted malt. And it's thick on the palate, sick and sticky thick. That thickness also leaves some serious lacing on the inside of a glass, once the beer decides that its retained its head long enough. Lion stout has some amazing carbonation and the thick head is reminiscent of a bitter. Lion stout is the brewing equivalent of poetry in motion. It's also the only beer that the late Michael Jackson (the "Beer Hunter," not the commemorative cookie icon) ever gave a personal endorsement. Jackson's picture still graces the back label of Lion Stout bottles.

Both Small Bar locations (2049 W. Division, 773-772-2727; 2956 N. Albany, 773-509-9888) hosted a tasting of Lion last night. They might have Lion in stock today.

Photo Credit: Jumani Djimi Django.