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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

343 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 343
Hads: 554
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 8
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ybnorml on 11-25-2004

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 343 | Hads: 554
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.39/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is lighter than what I expected for a stout - dark ruby-brown and almost opaque. Aroma is rich and smoky with coffee and molasses undertones. Flavor is not as strong as other stouts I have tried but still pleasing - smoky with coffee undertones and a hint of molasses. Finish is smooth and leaves a little bitterness, but the pleasant bitterness of hops. This is one lump of coal that you won't mind finding in your holiday stocking! (439 characters)

Photo of Byeast
4.35/5  rDev +26.5%
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 schoolboy
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of this on a close out deal. Figuring it is a strong stout, a little aging should be good for it. That seems to bear out in the tasting. It is a well behaved stong stout. A bit sweet and nicely balanced. The malt and hops nicely cover the alcohol (completely).

It has a very smooth, civilized taste. It works very nicely not too cold. I probably would never buy it again since the single bottle was a bit pricey, even with a buck or two off. (457 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black that the light of the pub could not penetrate. A dark tan head of decent size. Leaves no lace.
Smell is kind of sweet, toasted malt, caramel, coffee, toffee.
Taste is toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a sweetness that comes across as cocoanut milk. Very nice. Great balance and flavor.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, full-bodied with a light effervescence all over the mouth and tongue.
Drinkability: oh, heck yes! Even with an 8% ABV I could drink this fine brew all day. With or without food, this is a great beer. (542 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/23/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with no freshness dating. Pretty sure it's this years Christmas release though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Moderate black coloring. Not quite pitch black, but black enough. 1/2 inch large bubbled and quickly receding head. Lacing is acceptable with some streaks here and there.

Smell- Chocolaty, malty, coffee scented and a light whiff of alcohol. Overall a better than standard.

Taste- Deep roasted, borderline scorched malt. Good and heavy deep dark chocolate tastes as well. Stale coffee grounds with a dash of brown sugar that gives it a bit of sweetness. Hops have a slight bite also.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, fairly heavy mouthfeel.

Drinkability- For an English Stout, I really thought this was a good example. Flavor meld was good and well as the overall texture. I'm glad I got to try this one. Even though the $5 price tag was too steep. (965 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I honestly didn't expect much from this beer. What a pleasant surprise. It's a deep, thick, dark, high viscosity brew. Jet black with a light tan head. The smell is intense...coffee, dark chocolate, and licorice. Dark fruits (cherry?), and a bit of smoke and charcoal. The taste is sweeter than anticipated...rich, luxurious, and balanced with a no-nonsense bitterness. Fruit, roast, and lots of grain in the flavor. The body is substantial: filling is an understatement. Mmmm...Christmas! (489 characters)

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black, with hints of red, nice foamy head.

Smells of dark cherry and sweet malt.

Has a great dark fruit and sweet malt flavor, matches the smell nicely.

Very smooth and creamy, easy to drink for an 8% and hides it's booze very well.

This was the best beer of my all English night, and it was easy to see why, great flavor and texture make this a darn fine beer.

DOA (387 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.21/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quite lovely jet black; to the light a deep clear mahogany with ruby highlights. Expresso crema head that cascades nicely as it rises. Extremely fine, lazy carbonation. No real lace, but good retention. Good lookin' stout.

Smell: Not a punisher by any means, but a subtle blend of chocolate, rum raisin and perhaps a slightly sharper cherry fruitiness. Hops try, but fail, to make some sort of statement.

Taste: Oooh, much better the second time around. Had this last night and was thoroughly unimpressed; this time, I'm digging it. Dark chocolate off the bat, velvety smooth, with a cherry brandy mild booziness midpalette. Roasty and bitter in the finish, but complements the other flavors quite well -- nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Smoove.

Drinkability: Great, although the alcohol is amazingly well concealed, so you may want to let your guests know what they're getting into. And at two-fitty at Cost Plus, I shall not complain.

What a difference a day makes. This is why you should taste twice, review once. I was ready to crucify this beer last night -- I HATED it -- but a fresher palette, an appropriate glass and a bit closer to room temperature, and presto -- coal turns to gold. (1,213 characters)

Photo of satowns
4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby/brown color. tan head althought short lived.

aroma is big dark fruit and a decent hop presence. rich roasty malt.

flavors of milk chocolate, figs and spicy hops. deep caramel malt flavor serves as backbone.

full bodied. nice carbonation level tickles the tongue, decent alcohol presence.

great fireplace beer. (331 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it seems Ridgeway has put out another winner. I recalled liking their "Santa's Butt" very much, and when I saw this one I had to grab it (unlike Santa's real butt!).

It pours an almost-black mahogany body beneath a super frothy head of light tan foam. The retention s quite good, and it leaves some very nice, clingy lace in its wake.

The nose is limited, but there's a touch of dark caramel, a sublime fruitiness, and a very subtle roastiness to it; and it's remarkably clean beyond that.

In the mouth it's remarkably smooth, as any good English ale worth its weight should be, and it has a medium-light body, and a gentle, moderate carbonation.

The flavor expresses a well-melded combination of yeasty fruitiness (berries, cherry, apple) and softly sweet malt with a hint of darkness that suggests both chocolate and underlying roastiness. A cusp of polished firm bitterness keeps it in hand, and it finishes short and dry with just a flourish of yeasty fruitiness and a cusp of scorched dark caramel.

Not everything has to hit you over the head to be brilliant! Like so many other fine English ales, what this beer lacks in full-frontal assault of flavor, it more than makes up for in intrinsic value and balance. It's freakin' bloody drinkable, is what it is!!! The pleasant notes of sublime dark chocolate and yeasty fruitiness just keep popping their heads up here and there. A thread of roastiness runs through it, again and again, at its base. Darkly caramelized sugar throws its arms out to the world every now and again... yet it remains quite confident and concerned with itself - oh so British in nature!!!

For any fan of British ales, this is a must-try. For fans of porter or stout, don't miss this! And for your everyday average beer lovers in general, what a charm this is! (1,815 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
4.17/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color a medium dark brown with some tan foam and there was lace on the side of my glass. There was a smell of sweet roasted malts and a hint of molassis was evident. The taste was more complex than the smell. Roasted malts, molassis, but then there was a hint of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Nicely put together, just a touch to bitter. I thought the flavor got even better as the stout warmed up. More flavor and less bitterness. (449 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.16/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.
This was poured into an imperial nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking dark brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. Light lacing trickled here and there to a standstill just above the beer as it got sipped down.
The smell had a super roasty coffee, big and bold and pure absolutely coffee. A light sweet chocolate enters in as it warms.
The taste had a nice roasty boozy sweetness. Light coffee enters in once again to balance and make good. A light coffee-ish aftertaste enters and leads to a semi-sweet to dry finish.
The mouthfeel sat about a light to medium on the body with a semi-sessionable quality about it. Nice roasty coffee rolls over my tongue.
Overall, yeah, I dig this, and I dig it as a foreign/export stout. Merry Christmas, BA's! (828 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic

Deep black with ruby edges when help up to the light. A one finger light tan frothy head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving a little bit of lacing behind.

Roasty malt aromas mixed with a little bit of black coffee and sweet chocolate. Not much hop aroma.

Bitter malts with a powdery feel. The chocolate is repeated in the flavor. Full bodied with good carbonation. There is just enough hop flavor to balance things. The finish is mostly the lingering bitter malts.

This is certainly a stout for malt lovers. It focuses on the malts, but it's also somewhat complex, with chocolate tones mixed in with the bitter notes. Recommended. (662 characters)

Photo of jbone78
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this stout into an American Pint glass. Not as black as described on the label. It is actually a dark brown or light black, if that's a color. I detect hops and a tid bit of alcohol on the nose. Drinks well, easy I should say with light sweet chocolate undertones with a balanced spice and a chewy hop finish. Not really dry, but could be to some.

I think this drinks well.

-Bye (389 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

aged one year

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a goblet that left nice sheeting and lace throughout. the body was a dark brown color.
s - strong aromas of chocolate and dark fruits.
t - chocolate and roasted coffee with hints of fruits with some underlying spiciness.
m - very rich and creamy.
d - goes down smoothly, a nice sipper. to quote my girlfriend, "it's smooth going down and doesn't bite you back." (426 characters)

Photo of shippos
4.14/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

courtesy of clvand0 via bifxmas.

poured with small tan head that faded into a skim and a black as night color. roasted barley mainly dominating the aroma with some soft syrupy molasses, treacle and burnt sugar also. sweet taste upfront followed a burnt toast, maybe burnt malt or burnt sugar. very very balanced beer and very drinkable. body does get a little on the thin side as it warms up and then you get some alcohol, but still very nice. big thanks, clvand0. (467 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.12/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deeo, dark chocolate brown with a rye bread head that thins quickly.

Lots of oily caramel and alcohol malt in here. Maybe there's some mild piney hop backbone too. Almost Belgian spice notes of cinnamon but more sugary, typical for style? Deep, dark chocolate malt is quite prevalent, needless to say.

Interesting dryness of deep, dark, roasted/chocolate malt. Alcohol is a strong supporting cast with some hop grass and maybe slight pine. A bit of caramel and cinnamon tones.

Soothing at first, but tightens from bittersweet chocolate with warmth combining with piney hops and alcohol burn. Generally coats palate well as with typical high-gravity stout.

This is a very enjoyable offering. Heavy? Wicked heavy. It's a sippah! (738 characters)

Photo of longarm
4.12/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fluffy brownish-yellow head starts strong and fades quickly. Rim of milky foam clings to the side of the glass. Deep darkness as expected with a stout.

Aroma: An enticing milk chocolate aroma dominates the nose with a hint of cherry. Some hop aroma appears at the end of each whiff. As it warms, some spices begin to shine through, but it's difficult to determine what they are.

Flavor: Less of the chocolate character shines through in the flavor. Dark roasted maltiness without roasted barley bitterness. Still, there's a slight balancing bitterness that hits on the finish but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Relatively smooth beer. Light hops and spices clean the palate, but still a little sticky-sweet.

Overall: There's enough complexity to keep this intriguing for a holiday warmer, but it's not weird or overly spicy. It definitely should be warmed just a bit before serving to bring-out some of this complexity. I wish I had a bit of cheesecake or some chocolate covered fruit to bring-out the flavors in different ways. It's hard to drink a lot of them, but that's really not necessary anyway for an 8% a.b.v. brew anyway. (1,156 characters)

Photo of Actualimeer
4.11/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I poured it into a pilsner glass, it color was a rich syrupy gold. As the glass filled, the reddish gold color turned black. It smelled sweet an alcoholic. The taste was clean, sweet and bitter, and it had a definite taste of alcohol. Though it had a thick texture, its after taste was subtle and clean. It went well with my meal, but would have also been good alone. (370 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
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 Dizzy
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
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 cudmud
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany color with one-half finger of thick head and good lacing. In all, a handsome brew.

Smell: Rich chocolate, carmel, and coffee aromas. It smells like dessert.

Taste: Malty, yeasty, fruit-like, and finishes with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Drinkability: A good effort and a tasty brew. I don't think you would want to drink more than two a night. (390 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark black that some light can get through to show a ruby reflection. Minimal head. Very sweet on the nose and definite malt influence. Flavor is rich and beautiful. I will admit that off such a hokey label, it kind of lowered my expectations, but the truth lies in the bottle. Rich and chocolate-like (strong, but somewhat mild at the same time), but still bears strong stout characteristics. More even and smooth than I would have expected. Still though, it seems to drop off on the tail end in a way that I really don't want it to. On the finish you get a slight spicy kick. Feel is a little thin, but still good. Highly drinkable. (647 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
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 HeroJH
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours nice and dark with a frothy tan head. The head stayed on for a bit but has now dissipated as I'm taking my time drinking this.

S - Brown sugar and wheat bread. Molasses cookie. Coco powder.

T - full flavor and balanced. Bitter molasses, roasted finish.

M - coating flavor, nice mild carb

D - Quite drinkable, would be nice with food or a dessert. (361 characters)

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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.