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Lump Of Coal | Ridgeway Brewing

354 Reviews
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Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ybnorml on 11-25-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 354 | Ratings: 588
Reviews by Shakerman:
Photo of Shakerman
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours not quite a lump of coal dark but close with some nice ruby tint thru out with an off white head that is gone quite quickly.deeply roasted malt and dark fruit in the nose with a hint of milk chocolate,big robust flavors for a big stout tarry and fruity roasted of course with a light smoky flavor in the finish.Wow I really like theis holiday stout big and complex and quite quaffable to boot.

 399 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Well, beside the lack of head I noticed that it's really not all that dark. I mean, yeah, it's dark, but not like a lump of coal. It said "Dark Holiday Stout" on the label too. It looks nice, just not super dark.

Smell - This English Stout has a nice, light burnt malt aroma with some notes of yeast and nuts. I hate to say chestnuts because it sounds so cheesy (holiday beer and all) but that's kind of what I'm getting.

Taste - This has a sharp burnt malt flavor to it that really lingers beautifully on the palate. There are some sugars at the taste that I didn't catch at the nose, but they are relatively subdued.

Mouthfeel - This just does meet my definition of medium-bodied. It lacks that nasty citrus tang that I've found in some cheap examples of the style. The blackened malts offer some bitterness at the finish.

Drinkability - The slight dryness at the end makes you want to drink more of it, but the flavors are sharp enough to keep one sipping. Nothing out of this world but nicely done just the same.

Update - I re-tried this holiday beer the day before Thanksgiving 2009 and it's just as I remembered it from my notes. I got a little better aroma from the glass this time around so upped my Smell rating half a point but otherwise this was right on.

 1,284 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clever label, mediocre beer. A 50dc bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The beer was dark brown with red highlights. It had a medium-sized tan head that disappeared quickly. Roasted malt and faint chocolate aroma. Coffee and chocolate taste, teeny bit of hops. The beer seemed to be pretty watery, and I don't think I'll have it again.

 342 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle. Pours ruby brown with a medium frothy light tan head that goes to a thin film and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted oaty chocolate and caramel.

The flavor is sweet sugary dark fruits, roasted grainy chocolate malts with some black licorice and ashy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and a bit watery.

Overall, it's overly sweet, grainy and ashy.

 419 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaywoz
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of RPMazzi
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with some off-white bubbles but not real head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt with some anise notes mixed in. The flavor is almost identical. The chocolate and roasted malt are what really stands out, but the licorice/anise notes are in the flavor as well. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not great, but one of the better Ridgeway beers I have tried.

 423 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mattster
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold from 1pt 9oz bottle into pint glass. Nice creamy looking head low, holds at about 1/8 of an inch.

Smells of malts and maybe a hit of copper. Taste is nice, albeit light for a Stout, I think that this is a nice stout for people who normally find a stout a little stronger that what they would normally drink. It does have a nice chocolaty taste and nice creamy mouthfeel.

A little bitter aftertaste on the finish, but all in all a decent beer.

 457 characters

Photo of Byeast
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured opaque black with some reddish brown hints on the edges , a creamy tan inch of head dissipated to a nice , lasting layer.

Smell: dark, roasty , and slightly sweet malt , some dairy , hint of chocolate syrup , very faint licorice.

Taste: Nice creamy body of roasted malt , bittersweet chocolate , slight dairy, coffee bean , some darker berry / fruity qualities , and pleasant hop bitterness keeps it all very well balanced in the finsh.

Mouthfeel: creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: A very nice stout. The only thing that makes it holiday like imo is the warming strenghth. Very pleasant roasty , chocolatey ,and sweet flavors that are kept in a great creamy balance.

 696 characters

Photo of westcott
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of magictrokini
2.27/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The best part of this beer is how it looks. Midnight black pour with a short-lived brown head. It goes downhill from there. Sour, fake-malt aroma with dank wood and grain. Thin, watery mouthfeel. The taste is not like any stout I have ever had. Corn, grain, sour hops, metal, and burnt malt, but in a bad way. The worst is yet to come: a Jelly Belly popcorn aftertaste. Seems like a gimmick name for a bad, overpriced beer.

 423 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served into a nonic glass from a brown bottle 1pt.9oz. with crimp-on cap.

Opque,black reddish hue in light, 1" tan head dissapated quickly into coating throughtout,a bit of spotty lacing down the glass.

Strong chocolate aromas,also carmell/toffee/roasty,complex malt aromas.a winey,fruity smell,hints of vanallia,Samuel Smith comes to mind in the aromas.

Very chocolaty tastes,also roasty.a sweet boozy taste,a bit winey.
Notes of vanallia,the finish is dry,tart,bitter,yet very clean. Not a bad taste, just a bit boring.

A medium mouthfeel,creamy,a tad sticky. Easy drinking, just wouldn't
drink more than a few. This beer just reminds more more of a porter than a stout. Not a bad beer nothing to get excited about though.

 738 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours bright, dense dark brown to black under a clingy 3” tan foam collar with a fine bead. S: Malty, light roast, dark dried fruit. T: Lightly sweet, dark dried fruit, hints of chocolate. Nothing burnt or harsh. F: Full bodied, very soft on the palate. O: An inoffensive, easy to drink sweet stout.

 304 characters

Photo of fionn13
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Dantheman4162
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bought this for the novelty of the bottle. my initial impression? "eh". not the best. beer was very dark, almost too dark. Pitch black. malty taste.

Like some of my other reviews, this was taken from my notes, and is from winter 2007. I definitely need to retry this beer.

 274 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a slight hint of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and about two fingers of light tan head that recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and sweet dark aroma. Roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, toffee, and hazel nut. Mild hint of smoke. Also some light undertones of dark fruit including prune and raisin. Sweet scents of brown sugar. Hop scent is very light. A pretty nice roasty and burnt aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a nice roasty and sweet mix of dark malt flavor. Dark roasted malts with a taste of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, hazelnut, coffee, burnt toast, and a little smoke. Burnt sugars add some sweetness. Light taste of dark raisin, fig, and prune. Subtle earthy hops in the background. A pretty nice roasted taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat slick. Moderately drying finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: Pretty good for a smaller English Stout. Nice roasty flavors and balanced sweetness.

 1,193 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2014. Picked up from Booths about a month ago. Described on the label as a dark holiday stout - this is the second Christmas brew that I've had from Ridgeway recently. Lots of grains on the ingredient list.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A very deep ruby hue that appears black in the glass. Low carbonation. Produces a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with notes of prunes, dried fruit, molasses, mild roasted grain, subtle coffee, chocolate, faint smoke and yeast esters. Well-rounded but holds back on the roastiness that many stouts have.

Tastes of fruity malt with a dry finish. Notes of dried fruit, molasses, fruit cake, mild roasted grain, chocolate, faint coffee, leather, earthy yeast, a twinge of smokiness and stewed hops. Slightly sweet. A subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, spicy and lightly tingly, with good body but a lack of carbonation. Mildly astringent, with an aftertaste of fruity malt and earthy yeast. The flavour doesn't linger much.

Not bad, though it seems like more of a porter than a stout. The strength doesn't show either - it's an 8% brew that drinks like a 4%. Looks alright and the aroma is decent, but the flavour seems rather muted. Some more roasted malt notes/bitterness would be nice. Body is OK, if a little flat. I guess for the ABV I expected a more complex flavour profile and a longer finish. A reasonable Christmas beer that doesn't quite live up to expectations. Worth trying but no need to seek it out.

 1,605 characters

Photo of Dizzy
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with garnett highlights. Light tan head which quickly dissipates to a thin film. Aroma is chocolate and coffee. Taste is initially chocolates, then roasted malts, fruitiness in the finish. Seems medium bodied, lighter carbonation and some alcohol burn at the end. This is a pretty good stout, I'll probably get this again.

 341 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Despite the claim on the label, it does not pour out black as can be, its actually more brown and ruby. Aroma was lacking anything but slight roast.

A good dallop of nuttiness and toffee out of this one. Easy drinking enough. Slight plum and raisin feel to it. Keeps the bitterness in check. Good price on it, under $4, might go back to this one once a year around the holidays, a little changeup for that time of year.

 420 characters

Photo of ADR
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark but not opaque, mahogany highlights shine through. Tannish head head is not big but leaves collars for lace on the glass. Aroma is reserved, mostly pale caramelized sugar, not much special. Flattish mouthfeel and not that pleasant, not coating or creamy. Flavors show some aspects of generic fruit-flavored gum, transitioning into mild and weak coffee but without an overall hard-roasted bitterness. This beer has the alcohol content to verge on Imperial or Double in strength, but compare it to Samuel Smith Imperial and its easy to see that it doesn't have nearly the interest. Sweet and unidimensional, maybe cantelope flavors are most obvious.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark bodied stout with ruby highlights when held toward the light, mocha tan head swells leaving behind even thin bands of lacing. Aroma dark fruit and dark roasted malts very bitter root like notes, with fruit sweetness in the edges a bit of booze comes off in the nose as well. Flavor is creamy with dark chocolate and some packed in fruit notes mainly a touch of yogurt tartness and plum or raisin pudding. The mild coffee and dark chocolate roasts reign supreme bringing out a bit of alcohol in each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy lightly carbonated milky feel to it. Overall drinkability is decent but definitely not a beer to give up on American crafts for.

 678 characters

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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.