Keiryn Nisbet, 22, was told he would spent at least 18 years behind bars for killing Robert Simpson, 67, in his home in Armadale, West Lothian, on October 5 last year.
Judge Norman Ritchie, QC, branded him a "violent young man who presents a considerable danger to the public".
Police yesterday said they had failed to establish a motive for the attack.
Nisbet had been drinking in a nearby pub on the day of the incident but was repeatedly asked to leave. After being refused entry to another bar in the area, he was spotted on CCTV walking into Mayfield Drive, Armadale, where Mr Simpson lived, and on the common path to the pensioner's home.
He repeatedly punched and kicked the man, who walked with the aid of a stick, and stamped on his head and body.
Nisbet was found guilty of the murder at the High Court in Edinburgh last month and was sentenced yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow.
In his sentencing statement, Judge Ritchie told Nisbet, who was on bail at the time of the killing, his criminal record was "indicative of an individual with violent tendencies and little consideration for others".
The judge added: "From your record of offending and from the nature of this horrific and sustained attack on a defenceless, elderly man in his own home, I have concluded that you are a violent young man who presents a considerable danger to the public."
The judge said that after carrying out the attack Nisbet tried to gain entry to a nightclub before ending up at a house party, telling him: "There was no distress or remorse exhibited by you."