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  Southeast Asia

Intrigued but wary of a beer produced in Sri Lanka, Bucky picked up a 330 ml bottle of Sinha Stout (“Sinha”) from Lion's Brewery (Ceylon) Plc. Sinha was 8.8% alcohol by volume with a best before date of April 2015 printed on the neck of the bottle.

The brewery can trace its history to 1881 when it was established by Sir Samuel Backer as a cottage industry, catering to the British colonials. In 1993, the Ceylon Brewery became a subsidiary of Carson Cumberbatch & Co Ltd, a diversified group of Sri Lankan businesses. Considerable re-building was undertaken and the brewery was developed from a family company into the leader and creator of the national beer industry. The Lion Brewery Ceylon Limited is located just outside the capital of Colombo and is equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that enable it to fulfil the increasing export demand. Today, the brewery is 25% owned by the Carlsberg Group.

Sinha poured a deep black colour, completely impervious to light. The beer was topped with about 1.5” of dense, tan coloured head which gradually faded to a collar and thin film of foam which left some respectable lacing down the glass. Its aroma was relatively subdued with notes of coffee and dark chocolate…no hint of its 8.8% alcohol content. Luckily the flavours were more pronounced, as the beer started off with a milk chocolate sweetness that gave way to dark roasted coffee and European chocolate, finishing with a mild bitterness. A mild dark roasted bitterness lingered as an aftertaste. This beer is good…and made in Sri Lanka? Who'd of thunk it? Sinha had a more active carbonation than I'm used to for a stout, but it works. The beer is medium bodied with a creamy mouth feel, and quite reasonably priced at $2.25 per bottle. If I had to find something to complain about, it would be the brewery's use of a tiny 330 ml bottle. Otherwise, given its quality and year round availability, Sinha could become a regular purchase in Bucky's trips to the beer store.

Rating 8.30/10


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